National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Dear cod,

I know it's been awhile since I've reached out to you, but, well, if you could spare me a couple minutes of your time, I'd appreciate it. I just want you to know I believe in you.

Sure, I know, the latest stock assessment of the Northeast population suggests that you are weaker than you were even two years ago when it appeared that you were gaining strength.

Maybe the survey numbers don't confirm the magnitude of your existence. But Northeast groundfishermen say they see you in abundance. Cod, they say, is everywhere.

But cod, the survey results could result in dire consequences for a beleaguered groundfish fleet that has long been hamstrung by Magnuson-Stevens Act timelines for rebuilding lagging fish stocks.

There's bipartisan support in Congress for a new emergency assessment of the Gulf of Maine population. Groundfishermen are hoping another assessment of you would be more favorable and stave off even more severe catch limits that could cripple the fleet.

Cod, I know you're out there. You've been an integral part of this nation's fishing industry for some 400 years. It's hard to imagine a U.S. fishing industry without you.

But if you could do us all a favor and be fruitful and multiply, I think everyone — fishermen, scientists, regulators and environmentalists alike — would breathe a lot easier.

Inside the Industry

The anti-mining group Salmon Beyond Borders expressed disappointment and dismay last week at Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s announcement that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

This came just days after his administration asked members of his newly-formed Transboundary Rivers Citizens Advisory Work Group to provide comment on a Draft Statement of Cooperation associated with Transboundary mining.


NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.

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