National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


I must admit I get a little nervous when I see "NMFS" and "economics" in the same sentence. As far as I can tell, NMFS rarely makes decisions based on economics. (Except, possibly, the economy of scale, as it seems the agency is no friend of the independent fisherman.)

Earlier this month, the fisheries service released "Fisheries Economics in the United States, 2006," a statistical report with economic data on a decade of fishing. That's right, 2006.

Therein lies one of the primary problems with the management of American fisheries. We get quarterly jobs reports, so why can't we access 2008 fisheries data in 2009?

Commercial fishermen face a new landscape every year. So how can we fairly assess new fisheries management based on what was happening in fisheries three years ago?

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


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.

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