Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 17 April 2009
It seems like everywhere I look there are glimmers of hope for East Coast fishermen.
The beleaguered New England groundfish fleet was the first order of business for Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA's new director. That she comes from the West Coast, which is undergoing massive salmon closures for the second year running, certainly speaks to the fact that the urgency of the situation in New England is coming across loud and clear.
Additionally, Lubchenco eased NMFS' interim rule for groundfish, rather than uphold the draconian measures set forth by federal managers in this case.
Next is the movement from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick on the winter flounder stocks. Federal regulators shut down the fishery as of May 1. But fishermen are saying (as they are with dogfish) that this fishery is not as bad off as the studies suggest.
Finally, someone is listening.
As reported in the New Bedford Standard Times, Gov. Patrick said, "I need plain language. The one sentence to ask for and then the evidence to say this is why we need it... You tell me how I can help you develop that data."
Finally, today comes word from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation that the winter dredge survey shows great promise for the blue crab population.
According to Bill Goldsborough, senior fisheries scientist with the foundation, "The population has now passed 200 million adults, an important interim target that represents the minimum level for a healthy crab population."
Although the juvenile crab population is not on the rise, one key component of this study stands out to me: consideration of the fishing community as well as the fish population.
Goldsborough closes the statement with this:
"To ensure the long-term health of the crab population, and that of the watermen's community, pollution must be reduced and a comprehensive crab management strategy must be developed that is sustainable and will allow watermen to make a reasonable living."
Sure, it could be lip service. But the mere fact that the importance of fishing communities is bubbling to the surface says to me that the drumbeat has not gone unnoticed.
Members of this country's fishing communities have spoken out, and you have been heard. So let's not rest on our laurels. Here is the chance to boost funding for cooperative research, to open the door for more media coverage of working waterfronts, to be invited into American homes and the public consciousness.
National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15
In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.
National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15
In this episode:
March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received
NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.
First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.
Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.Read more...
Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.
Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.Read more...