In Mixed Catch, NF Senior Editor Linc Bedrosian spotlights a wide range of commercial fishing-related news items from coast to coast.
Thursday, 07 March 2013
April 20 will mark the third anniversary of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon well killed 11 workers and some 200 million gallons of oil gushed into the gulf before the well could be capped. Fishermen are still dealing with the spill's effects, as we show in the April issue of NF.
In our Around the Coasts pages, we learn that the region's fishermen and residents are suffering from spill-related illnesses. Fishermen who participated in cleanup efforts and had direct contact with oil or dispersants are experiencing respiratory problems.
And in our 2012 Yearbook section, Hoyt Childers, our Gulf/South Atlantic bureau chief, looks at the difficulties the region's fishermen have had trying to figure out whether to participate in the class action suit based on a $7.8 billion settlement negotiated with BP last spring or to opt out and pursue individual lawsuits.
It's a difficult decision to make. Those participating in the claims process say it's cumbersome and the payments inadequate. Others find it difficult to obtain information that would help them determine which option is better for them.
Grand Isle, La., seafood dealer Dean Blanchard chose to opt out and has funded video testimonials by local fishermen to counter BP television pubic relations campaigns. Blanchard and 2002 NF Highliner George Barisich, a Louisiana shrimper, oysterman and fishermen's advocate, both appear in a documentary about the BP spill called "Dirty Energy."
Filmmaker Bryan D. Hopkins sought out the stories of Louisiana fishermen and local residents directly impacted by the spill. Here's a clip from the documentary of Blanchard talking about the use of chemical dispersant corexit in Grand Isle.
The Cinema Libre Studio documentary likely won't generate the boffo box office numbers that your garden variety Hollywood blockbuster would. But if it can show viewers that the damage the spill has caused extends far beyond dollar values of lost revenue, it can hold its head up for bringing a story well-worth telling to the silver screen.
Callifornia crabbing: Here's a fun video shot on the decks of the Majestik while catching Dungeness crab off the coast of northern California.
Alaska fisherman and commercial fisheries activist Kevin Adams was elected chairman at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute board of directors meeting on May 9 in Anchorage.
The governor-appointed board consists of seven members: five seafood processors and two industry representatives actively engaged in commercial fishing. Adams was appointed to fill a harvester seat by Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2004.
With 38 years of fishing experience in Bristol Bay, Adams has long been an active member in the Alaska fishing industry, ASMI says. He has worked for both the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation and the Bering Sea Fisherman's Association, and represents Alaska fishermen on numerous boards.
The Northeast Regional Planning Body, a group of state, tribal and federal representatives from New England who are working to implement the National Ocean Policy and address critical New England ocean issues, is holding a series of public meetings in May and June.
The meetings are being held to discuss draft regional ocean planning goals and associated potential actions. The planning body seeks input on these goals and actions. Additional information on the group's progress can be found here.
The meetings will also provide an opportunity to review draft maps and products from initial efforts to gather information on the natural resources and diverse uses of the ocean, including fishing, transportation, energy and infrastructure, aquaculture, and recreation.