National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


ChesapeakeAs editor of a commercial fishing magazine, I hear a lot of great stories. And quite often, those stories are told by captivating storytellers. But it's rare that I get a chance to meet someone who wants to tell the story of fishermen in stunning pictures.

That's what we found in photographers Jay Fleming and Fred Stocker. Jay contacted me out of the blue, and when I opened his attachments, I was simply blown away. I had already been working with Fred Stocker on the idea of a photo essay on the watermen of Chesapeake Bay. Sometimes things fall into your lap at the right time, and you just have to seize the opportunity.

I love the opportunity to promote the work of commercial fishermen in different parts of the country. I hope you'll enjoy it, too. Here's a PDF of those pages if you can't wait for your issue to arrive in the mail.

But these days fishermen don't just work hard on the water. There are threats to wild fisheries all over the country. One of the biggest threats looming right now is genetically modified salmon, also called Frankenfish.

East Coast stakeholders have been working hard to revitalize critical habitat for Atlantic salmon. And while Alaska salmon is certainly healthy, that fishery has seen its ups and downs, most recently with a king salmon slump.

But all of that could be moot if the Food and Drug Administration approves the sale of genetically modified salmon (the first GM meat available in this country), particularly if it's allowed to be sold without a label clearly stating its origin.

Many (if not most) salmon eaters are health-conscious consumers. They love wild salmon not just for the taste but for the remarkable health benefits. I know I would not want to eat Frankenfish, but how would I know if I had the real deal without an labeling requirement.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee recently adopted an amendment sponsored by Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that would make labeling mandatory for GM salmon.

Alaska Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) has a compelling Northern Lights column in our August issue that speaks to the heart of the troubles with Frankenfish. Find her piece "Put the freeze on Frankenfish" on page 8.

As always, thanks for reading.

Inside the Industry

Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.


The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is teaming up with leading shark-tracking nonprofit Ocearch to build the most extensive shark-tagging program in the Gulf of Mexico region.

In October, Ocearch is bringing its unique research vessel, the M/V Ocearch, to the gulf for a multi-species study to generate previously unattainable data on critical shark species, including hammerhead, tiger and mako sharks.

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