National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.




As I begin the process of trying to decide what to get my peeps for Christmas this year, my thoughts are turning to seafood. It's a great gift selection because it's delicious, nutritious, and requires only limited storage time before it's devoured and gone.

Moreover, seafood groups are making it ever easier to order someone a tasty holiday gift. For example, just today, I received an email from the Maine Lobster Promotion Council touting the Pine Tree State's signature seafood for seasonal celebrations.

The council's website provides a searchable database of lobster dealers that will ship everything from live lobster to ready-to-cook lobster dishes anywhere in the United States, overnight.

Or I could add some Alaska salmon to some lucky duck's holiday table. According to the Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association in Cordova, you can easily order and purchase smoked, canned and flash-frozen Cooper River salmon via online stores and smartphone technology. Orders will be shipped straight to consumers' homes.

The association says Prime Select Seafoods in Cordova, Alaska, has been selling their Copper River salmon via mail order for over a decade and now can also be ordered online. Likewise, Copper River Seafoods has a new and enhanced ordering process for its customers via their website and smartphone or mobile device.

Then again, New Bedford scallops, West Coast Dungeness crab, Louisiana or Chesapeake Bay oysters, or Gulf of Mexico shrimp are among the multitude of U.S. harvested seafood that would be welcomed under any Christmas tree. Florida stone crab claws would make a great gift, too. You could call them Santa Claws.

Whatever the selection, as long as it's wild seafood harvested by American fishermen it will make a wonderful and thoroughly delicious (and appreciated) gift. No assembly required.

Inside the Industry

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.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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