National Fisherman


Zaca--slide1“Zaca” at the Pound Nets


The Tilghman Waterman's Museum on 3-mile-long Tilghman Island, Md., is showcasing the artwork of local waterman William E. Cummings. Now 87, Cummings taught himself to paint when he was in his 40s. When it was too rough to go fishing, he would go to the library and take out books on human anatomy or travel to museums in Washington, D.C. 

Cummings paints working watermen: oyster harvesters, pound netters and seine haulers. He saw these watermen becoming obsolete as his tiny island on the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay changed from a working waterfront that was home to dozens of skipjacks to a retirement community. Cummings wanted to capture a way of life that is vanishing, said Hall Kellogg, executive director of the Tilghman Waterman's Museum.

The museum is selling limited edition canvas prints of several of Cummings paintings to support their mission of preserving the heritage of Tilghman Island's waterman community.

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Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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