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.

Whether it's predicting weather or trying to assess fish populations, forecasting is a tricky business.

As the clock winds down on 2009, the snow is beginning to fly in earnest. It's looking like we're going to get socked with a snowstorm that will last into the new year by a day or two.

A couple of days ago, the weather forecasters told us it was looking like the snow probably wouldn't descend upon us until late Friday-early Saturday. Mother Nature has accelerated her timetable, which will likely make New Year's Eve festivities quite the adventure.
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Like manna from heaven, a few ideas for improving U.S. fisheries management have miraculously popped into my head.

So what are these momentous thoughts that have wound their way into my wee pea brain? I'm glad you asked.

Well, for one, while adding flexibility to the Magnuson–Stevens stock rebuilding timetable (as proposed in House and Senate bills now wending their way through Congress) is a great idea, it's only a start. It should also be amended to give greater weight than Magnuson currently does to the socioeconomic consequences of proposed regulations upon fisheries and coastal communities.
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NOAA is trumpeting catch shares as the cure for what ails U.S. fish stocks, but an attempt to modify the Magnuson-Stevens Act could provide greater benefits to the fishing industry and fish stocks.


To that end, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), has tentatively scheduled a caucus of East Coast legislators next Thursday to discuss altering Magnuson. Specifically, Frank wants to bring greater flexibility to stock rebuilding timelines.

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Who wouldn't feel a 25 percent hit in their income?

Maybe professional athletes, movie stars or rock stars wouldn't. They wouldn't be happy about it, but they could withstand it. I mean, if Jim Carrey goes from making $10 million per film to $7.5 million, I don't think he's going to be worried about making mortgage or car payments and putting food on the table.
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Dec. 31 isn't even upon us and foreign fishing nations are already making a New Year's resolution for 2010: try really, really hard to cut their catches of beleaguered Atlantic bluefin tuna.

Of course, we know how well New Year's resolutions go, don't we? They usually have to do with willpower. And the spirit is usually willing, but the flesh is weak.
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Hundreds of New England fishermen have gathered in Gloucester, Mass., today at a rally to call for better federal fisheries law, regulations, and management. If they don't improve, rally organizers say, fishermen can't survive.

A press release issued by the Washington, D.C.-based Project to Save Seafood and Ocean Resources states that at this time of national economic distress, it is imperative that NOAA joins the White House in focusing on economic recovery.
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Fishery management "logic" can make you scratch your head so much that you consider buying stock in Head & Shoulders shampoo.

Consider, for example, European Union efforts to have spiny dogfish listed with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Alas, dogfish stocks are in poor shape on the other side of the Atlantic.
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Concern for southern bluefin tuna stocks may be eclipsing that for their northern cousins.

Southern bluefin stocks are on the verge of collapsing, according to TRAFFIC, a World Wildlife Fund wildlife trade monitoring program, and several scientists. They "are becoming increasingly concerned at the low level of spawning stock and the low levels of annual recruitment of young fish to that of breeding stock," reports the Australian Broadcasting Corp. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-10-16/bluefin-tuna-stocks-close-to-collapse/1107232
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The Klamath River dams may well come a tumblin' down, but it may be another decade before they do.

The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/01/business/energy-environment/01klamath.html?_r=4&scp=2&sq=klamath&st=cse& reported this week on the release of a draft plan to remove four aging Klamath dams located in California and Oregon. And in releasing the plan, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the Klamath "one of the most challenging water issues of our time."

True that, Mr. Secretary.
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Someone stop the Europeans before they fish again.

Once again, European fishing nations have thumbed their noses at experts who assert that without reining in landings, Atlantic bluefin stocks could be fished into extinction in European waters before 2015. This week, a call for a moratorium on international trade of the highly profitable bluefin was scuttled when six of the 27 European Union member states blocked the European Commission proposal.
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Page 21 of 27

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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