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.

It's bad enough that the vast majority of seafood consumed in this country is imported. But what's worse is that it seems harder to know whether the fish you buy at the supermarket or order at the restaurant is actually the species listed.

Just last week, the Miami Herald published an opinion piece by Bob Jones, executive director of the Southeastern Fisheries Association, regarding the problem. "Seafood industry experts believe at least 20 million consumers are ripped off each year through the illegal practice of seafood product substitution known as bait and switch," Jones wrote.
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The whirring numbers at the gas pump are putting the squeeze on everyone these days.

This morning I read in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald about a convoy of commercial truck drivers from 25 states that's bound for Washington, D.C. Truckers are protesting the rising fuel costs that they say are evaporating their profits.

According to U.S. Department of Energy data, U.S. average gas prices have jumped from $2.86 a year ago to $3.50 as of April 21 this year. On the diesel front, prices skyrocketed from $2.85 last year to $4.14 this year.
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Several years ago, I met a guy who played in a garage band, and when he learned I play guitar, he invited me over to jam with them. When I arrived, one of the guitarists asked me if I knew any Beatles songs.

“Yeah,” I said. “All of them.”

I wasn’t boasting. Back in the day, I largely taught myself how to play guitar by sitting down with Beatles albums. I’d drop the needle on our portable record player and try to figure out how to play each song. It was a wonderful musical education.
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Here at the National Fisherman offices, we're getting ready to shove off to Fish Expo Atlantic in Providence, R.I., tomorrow.

Our fearless leader, Editor in Chief Jerry Fraser, has packed up all the goodies for the NF booth, including plenty of copies of our May issue for all our adoring fans to peruse. The May issue, of course, salutes our 2008 Highliner Award winners, Tilman Gray, of Avon, N.C., Rodney Avila, of New Bedford, Mass., and Craig Pendleton of Saco, Maine.
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You just never know who'll be on the other end of the line when the phone rings around here.

This gives me hope that one day it will be actress Evangeline Lilly (Kate on "Lost") professing her undying love for me and informing me that there is a first-class ticket waiting for me at the Portland International Jetport so that I can join her in Hawaii immediately.

So understandably my hopes rose when the phone rang last week. It wasn't Evangeline (rats!). Instead, a man named Tedd Schermerhorn introduced himself as the senior casting producer for the CBS reality television show "Big Brother".
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Fishermen know all about the pain of unexpectedly losing loved ones. We know it, too.

We learned last week that we'd lost a member of our corporate family, Hasket Hildreth, a member of our board of directors. If you're thinking he was one of those corporate guys who wore three-piece suits everywhere, you'd be wrong.

In point of fact, Hasket was, like you, most at home on the water. He tried the 9-to-5 life, but he found his true calling sailing. He designed and built the Frances, a beamy, beautiful single-masted sloop. He and partner Megan Jones owned the homemade vessel, which was launched in 2004.
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I'm guessing that if you ask fishermen, "What's wrong with U.S. fisheries management?" you'll get back a laundry list of suggestions.

For example, some might argue that stock assessments are, um, debatable (Hi, there, Gulf of Mexico grouper fishermen!). Others might challenge the idea that the answer to bolstering the nation's fish stocks is thinning (Whoops! I mean "rationalizing") the herd of U.S. fishermen.

Nope. I know exactly what's wrong with our system of fisheries management.

It's the fish.
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It was heartening to learn, especially on Valentine's Day, that there are folks out there who are showing fishermen a little love.

Massachusetts legislators are introducing a bill in Congress that would establish a national health care plan for fishermen. The program uses the Massachusetts Fishing Partnership Health Plan as a model for a national program.

The Massachusetts plan, adopted in the 1990s, gives low-cost health insurance to some 2,000 fishermen and family members who previously were without health care coverage or were underinsured.
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On Wednesday came the news that a Pacific Fishery Management memo circulated last week revealed that the number of returning fish in fall 2007 totaled just 90,000, thus jeopardizing the spring commercial and recreational fisheries; the council's minimum conservation target is 122,000 fish.

Initially, it seems shocking a freefall in the number of adult spawners making their way back to the Sacramento could happen so quickly. According to a report in the Sacramento Bee this week, some 200,000 chinook annually have returned to the river and its tributaries for approximately 15 years.
But West Coast fishermen have known that things haven't been looking good with the Sacramento run. In 2002, 800,000 fish were counted. By 2006, the total had dropped to some 250,000 spawners.
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Page 27 of 27

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 8/14/14

In this episode:

  • More cod cuts expected if NOAA data holds
  • Louisiana importing oysters to meet demand
  • N.C. sets new sturgeon bycatch rules
  • BP appeals to Supreme Court on spill settlement
  • Senate releases new Magnuson-Stevens draft

National Fisherman Live: 8/5/14

In this episode, National Fisherman's Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley talks with Frances Parrott about the Notus Dredgemaster.

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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