National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


A great white shark was allegedly spotted from a beach on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts this week. The sighting resulted in two of the island's big, popular beaches being shut down.

One of them is South Beach, a sand beach known for its surfing waves. When I lived on the vineyard many years ago, it was common knowledge that great whites swam those waters. I understood it to be a surf-at-your-own-risk location. The south side of the island is fully exposed to chilly Atlantic waters.

But the island is in the midst of peak tourism, so beach closures aren't surprising. On the bright side, maybe folks will spend more time in the clam shacks, ordering local fare and funding island fishermen's diesel bills.

I take the sighting as just another sign that our ocean ecosystem is alive and well. It seems that the deep waters of New England are still able to support the largest of predators.

If only we could convince our management council of that.

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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