National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Do you remember what it was like to be a greenhorn deckhand? Did you find it a daunting experience learning the fishing ropes? You stuck with it though, even when the work was tough, and you became good at your job. Question is, how well versed are you on the legal ropes of being a deckhand?

In our September cover story, "Operation: Get Paid," which begins on p. 22, commercial fisherman and freelance writer Nick Rahaim explores deckhand rights and what deckhands need to know to ensure that they're paid their fair share.

20140810 deckhandstory j"There is no more important way for captains and deckhands to protect themselves than a written contract signed by both parties," Rahaim writes. "After both parties read, agree to and sign a contract, there should be no question about pay, duration of employment, expenses and a deckhand's responsibilities."

But contract wording can be tricky and terms may not always be clear. Rahaim's article helps deckhands navigate their way through some of the wording and issues to watch out for and how they can best protect themselves.

What if you're injured at sea? Rahaim also delves into what injured seamen are entitled to receive. For example, Rahaim writes that while deckhands aren't entitled to workers compensation, there are ancient common law rights that are actually more generous.

Rahaim's article goes into much greater detail on all of this, of course. His story makes for truly interesting reading for deckhands and skippers alike. And the information contained within it can help deckhands make more informed decisions.

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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