National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

We honored the 2010 NF Highliners last week at a dinner in New Bedford, Mass. They’re a special bunch of fishermen.

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Finding answers to a problem that's as massive as the sunken and still-gushing Deepwater Horizon oil well isn't easy. But while "experts" are still trying to get a handle on the historic spill, one celebrity is taking action to help Gulf of Mexico fishermen.
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It's hard to assess what's going on with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill because the news seems to change so quickly.
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For years, Northeast fishermen have railed against NMFS for basing increasingly stringent fishery management regulations upon questionable science. They've said that NMFS regularly puts fish stock health above the economic well being of fishermen and fishing communities.
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Not all U.S. industries are created equal. At least that's the conclusion you reach when you look at how the fishing industry and the oil industry are regulated.
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In the wake of this week's increasingly disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill, your heart can't help but go out to Louisiana's long suffering fishermen, who must have the patience of Job.
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Occasionally you get reminders about why fishermen need to be vigilant about industry-related stories appearing in the mainstream media. For example, consider two news stories about Thursday's House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife hearing on catch share management.
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An important point is being obscured in the furor over NOAA fisheries enforcement practices in the Northeast.
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There were signs this week that maybe — maybe — NMFS is finally starting to realize that it needs to start working with fishermen rather than run roughshod over them if the agency's vision of fisheries management is to succeed.
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This week we learned that the NOAA research vessel Henry B. Bigelow's first Northeast bottom trawl survey featuring new trawl gear yielded improved catch rates for many Mid-Atlantic and New England species. What do the region's fishermen take away from this news? Probably depends on who you ask.
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Page 25 of 33

Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

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