National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

lincIn Mixed Catch, NF Senior Editor Linc Bedrosian spotlights a wide range of commercial fishing-related news items from coast to coast.

You don't need Captain Obvious to tell you that fishing is hard work. It's a punishing profession that taxes you physically and mentally. It's no less harsh on the Alaska factory longliner Siberian Sea, but as Roger Fitzgerald notes in his column "In Search of the Simple Life" on page 9 in our April Yearbook issue, the vessel contains some perks you don't find on most fishing boats.

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I've been known to enjoy the occasional steak bomb sub (aka hoagie or grinder). And I think we've all had a questionable meal or two that has, um, left the building, so to speak, in volatile fashion. But who knew that food could truly be considered explosive to the point where it needs to be disarmed?

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Last week, my lovely bride and a few of her work colleagues piled into her large white Buick and drove directly into the teeth of a monster snowstorm, determined to reach a business conference in Charlotte, N.C. Some 23 hours of white-knuckle driving through all manner of frozen precipitation didn't keep my fisherman's daughter spouse — a force of nature in her own right — from arriving on time.

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The first in a series of nationwide public workshops to discuss revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Act is taking place today, Tuesday, Feb. 11 at Seattle's Renaissance Hotel. And if anyone asks you why the act that governs U.S. fishery management requires tweaking, tell them they need look no further than a report examining the economic performance of Northeast groundfish vessels in 2012.

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One of the perks of being on the NF staff is that you get to be among the first to read great monthly submissions like Roger Fitzgerald's "In Search of the Simple Life" column. Fitz's column is always a treat to read.

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Don't look now, but it's not too early to start thinking about Valentine's Day presents. And if you have a lobster lover in your life, I have a gift idea to pass your way. Think about getting them the 2014 Lobstermen's Calendar, entitled "Heroes of the Sea."

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For a long time, old lobster traps have found a second life as household furniture. People take old wooden lobster traps and turn them into coffee tables. This weekend, I came upon another twist on the idea.

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Congress unveiled a $1.012 trillion spending bill yesterday that will fund the government until October and contains $75 million in disaster mitigation funding for commercial fishery failures and fishery resource disasters in 2012 and 2013. Given the inability of Congress to do much of anything constructive this year, it's amazing that the $75 million is included.

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currentIf you love boats that go fast — and you know you do — you're going to love our February cover story on New Jersey's garvey boat racers. Field editor Kirk Moore's story, which begins on page 18, gives us the low down on how the classic southern New Jersey bayman's snub-nosed wooden workboats, whose roots stretch back to the 1700s, have been transformed into fiberglass racing rockets.

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Selling your catch directly to the public may not be a new concept, but fishermen are increasingly taking advantage of social media, the Internet and technology to take the practice to a new level. For example, we took a look in our November 2013 issue at how Louisiana fishermen are using tools like Facebook and Louisiana Sea Grant's umbrella website, Louisiana Direct Seafood, to sell their catch.

And in our September 2013 issue, we told you about how Half Moon Bay, Calif.-based Phondini Partners was expanding its FishLine app, which connects seafood lovers with fishermen and restaurants that have fresh fish available, to include more California ports. Now the FishLine folks have created a video that shows consumers how they can buy Dungeness crab fresh off the boat.

The video shows buyers how the crabs are caught, and what it's like to come down to the docks to pick up some Dungies to cure their crab cravings. And of course it touts the benefits of either downloading the free FishLine mobile app or using the FishLine web page.

It's a good looking video. But what is most appealing to me is that fishermen can take advantage of increasingly affordable technology to produce pieces like this. Whether you use something as slick as a GoPro video camera or as simple as a smartphone, you can shoot, edit and upload to the Web videos that can help you connect with consumers on many levels.

Yes, such pieces can help you sell your product. But they can also help you build a relationship with consumers; you can show them what you do for a living and how and why you do it. And in the process, they help the people who supply the nation with delicious seafood become the brand.

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National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 7/17/14

In this episode, National Fisherman's Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley talks with Mike Hillers about the Simrad PX Multisensor.

 

National Fisherman Live: 7/8/14

In this episode:

  • Obama proposes initiative on tracking fish
  • Council retains haddock bycatch limit
  • Columbia River salmon plan challenged
  • Virginia approves reduction in blue crab harvest
  • Ala. shrimpers hope to net some jumbo profits

 

Inside the Industry

PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative has appointed Matt Jacobson as its new executive director.
 
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The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene its Red Snapper Advisory Panel Wednesday, July 30, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the council office — 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, in Tampa, Fla. 

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