National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


Great news out of Maine this week (nope, not the tangle over sector management) is Commerce Secretary Gary Locke's appointment of Glen Libby to the New England Fishery Management Council.

Libby, of Port Clyde, Maine, is the chairman of the Midcoast Fishermen's Association and a pioneer of community-based fishing.

As president of the Midcoast Fishermen's Cooperative, Libby was instrumental in launching the country's first community-supported fishery with Port Clyde Fresh Catch.

Despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges of fuel costs and rock-bottom prices facing local shrimp fishermen, the cooperative found a way to keep boats on the water and maintain this important local fishery's ties to the community.

Libby, whose term begins in August, has also been a vocal proponent of groundfish sectors, so it can't come as a surprise that his name would make the short list for appointment to the council, which will be struggling with this cumbersome beast in the next year.

I can only hope Libby's experience and vision will help forge a clear and fair path for the council in its oversight of the historic Gulf of Maine groundfish fleets.

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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