National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


I have to admit, when I read the news of Exxon's opting not to appeal the 9th Circuit Court's ruling that the oil giant must pay interest on its meager settlement in the 20-year Valdez fight I was first excited for the stakeholders, then a little suspicious.

Why would Exxon give up their epic battle now, especially after their series of victories that slowly ratcheted down the damages due from $5 billion to roughly $500 million?

Perhaps they fired all of their ace lawyers and decided it was time to fare well in the court of public opinion for once. But one tiny concession is not likely to curry too much favor with Alaskans, who value all of their natural resources and won't soon forget this two-decade war.

Maybe the truth is Exxon saw the writing on the wall with this one. After all, that's what high-powered, well-paid attorneys are for: to provide stellar representation and a reasonable assessment of the outcome of the fight. And they certainly were right in their push to take the damages case all the way to the Supreme Court. (I wonder if Norm Coleman wishes he'd had the same legal team.)

So there you have it. Big oil's answer to the O.J. Simpson trial has finally been put to rest, and the check's in the mail.

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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