National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

Drought conditions have taken a toll on fresh water levels in rivers important to Florida and California commercial fishermen. And trying to ensure that water is allocated fairly so that the needs of all resource users — fishermen included — are met is proving to be one tough task.

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Nearly a year after Florida sought a commercial fisheries failure declaration from the U.S. Commerce Department, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker issued that declaration for Apalachicola Bay's struggling oyster fishery on Tuesday. A lack of fresh water from the Apalachicola River exacerbated by drought conditions has caused a serious decline in the bay's oyster production.

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Count Asian tiger prawns as the latest invasive species posing a threat to U.S. commercial species. The non-native shellfish's presence is growing in Louisiana waters.

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The official christening of the 184-foot longliner Northern Leader, the subject of our September issue cover story, took place in Seattle yesterday, drawing hundreds of folks to the event. Guests attending the celebration were treated to tours of the vessel and lunch at Pier 91 at the Port of Seattle. They also heard a variety of speakers, including U.S. senators from Washington and Alaska offer a few words to commemorate the happy occasion.

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Here at NF, we're focused on the health of the fishing industry. But we also try to pay attention to the health of the people in the industry, too.

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So I got married 10 days ago, exchanging I do's with my lovely bride, Kelley — a fisherman's daughter, no less. How's that for dedication to the industry?

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While the average American is contemplating whether to grill up hot dogs, hamburgers or both for their Fourth of July celebration, commercial fishermen in Alaska's Bristol Bay have salmon on the brain.

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The value of collaborative research projects in which scientists and fishermen work together to collect fisheries data is becoming increasingly clear. And you need look no further than our August issue for a good example.

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It's said that the orange lobster is extremely rare — reportedly the chances of seeing one are about one in 10 million. But one of the rare bugs, whose color is caused by a genetic defect, made its way into a lobster trap in the Bay of Fundy on Friday.

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Sad news out of Alaska yesterday, as the Coast Guard announced it was suspending the active search for a 25-year-old man who went overboard from the Juneau-based F/V Swift near Porpoise Island, 40 miles west of Juneau, late Monday night.

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Page 12 of 33

Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

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