National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


We all know the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly. It can be infuriating, but sometimes it works to your advantage.

For example, my husband and I never thought we made enough money to owe taxes. But this year, we got slammed with state and federal. We were scrounging every penny to buy our first home, so it was quite a blow.

Fortunately, all we had to do was file an extension and wait until after our big purchase to pay a lump sum or figure out a payment plan.

Here's where our atrophied system comes in handy for you: If you are a Louisiana resident and a commercial fisherman, a commercial-vessel-license holder, or a seafood dealer with recorded sales or purchases of seafood during the year prior to Katrina (yes, the 2005 hurricane!), then you may well qualify for federal fisheries disaster aid.

The best part is you can still apply for it! That's right, this government molasses is trickling into Louisiana's storm-stricken coast until Oct. 31, thanks to the state's Wildlife and Fisheries Department, which set aside $28.2 million.

If you think you might qualify, contact South Central Planning and Development Commission at P.O. Box 1240, Gray, LA 70359-9902, or call (800) 630-3791 or 665-1051.

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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