National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


This week on "Deadliest Catch," the fellas caught a little Fo'c'sle Fever.

Capt. Keith Colburn (the Wizard), who I now refer to as Cap'n Cup-O-Noodles, spoke loudly and plainly to his brother, Monte, a deckhand and relief skipper.

Those outbursts are a little painful to watch at times, but it's definitely good TV. The more perplexing act of aggression was that of deckhand Matt on the Hansen brothers' boat, the Northwestern.

When I saw the clips of Matt punching a cod, I figured he was letting off some steam after a verbal confrontation with greenhorn Jake. But when the show came back, the clip revealed that he is apparently just kind of, well, let's just say it looked like he was punching cod for camera time. Is that really the best you have to offer, Matt?

My opinion of him was confirmed when Matt went for Jake's throat. If there's anything riskier than rolling around on an icy deck in the Bering Sea, it's letting your emotions get the best of you and rumbling with fellow crewmen on said icy deck. (Not to mention Jake made Matt look even more pathetic as he tossed him onto the deck one-handed.)

It must be tough to be stuck in close quarters with a guy who is possibly a threat to your position in a lucrative job. But as the old hand, not the greenhorn, Matt should know better.

Hats off to Edgar and Sig for managing the situation without being namby-pamby about the dangers of crab boat combat.

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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