National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

jesJes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and


It's hard to believe, in this economy, that some folks in Alabama are pushing to buy out gillnet fishermen. And yet…

Fortunately, the ban stalled in the state Legislature yesterday when Senate republicans tried to replace the bill with a version the House passed last year. That version would make the gillnet buyouts voluntary and provide funds for a five-year study on the effects of the nets on local fish stocks.

Sounds pretty reasonable to me. In the grand scheme of fisheries management, five years is a blip on the radar. And a study, perhaps followed by a mandatory buyout, seems like the least we can do to be sure that we're eliminating jobs — not to mention a way of life and family legacies — in order to preserve fish stocks.

Otherwise, we're firing folks in a bad economy because one group feels like it's the right thing to do.

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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