National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


We get chatting about fish — what we like, where we buy, how we cook it — quite often in the office.

Yesterday, we mused on what people buy when they're far from the source. Are they limited to what they find in their local grocery store? And why do so many people continue to declare that they're intimidated by seafood? Knowing the difference between a halibut steak and a salmon fillet is no more complicated than knowing how to cook a flank steak versus a few strips of bacon.

I have a theory that our global market (while offering a plethora of delights) has largely served to confuse people with endless choices. It seems there's at least one new species on the shelf every week.

Help may be coming courtesy of NMFS.

Today the agency opens a two-day symposium in Oakland, Calif., — Eat Local, Think Global — that focuses on eating U.S. seafood (all of which is managed for sustainability). It's a simple message for retailers and fishermen, alike, to bring to the consumers: Eat American Fish.

According to the symposium's website: "At home, some U.S. fisheries continue to battle the perception that they are not sustainably harvested. This has created mounting frustration in the domestic fishing industry and is serving to undermine domestic market access."

There is a lot of energy around this theme right now. Fishermen, fleets, community supported fisheries, marketing groups and the government are all on the bandwagon of marketing and selling U.S. wild.

If you are a fishing industry stakeholder selling or marketing seafood, I want to hear your story. Please send an email to with the subject line Selling Seafood.

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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