National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


In an odd and happy coincidence this week, I heard a story about scientists producing the next generation of biofuels with algae. And lo and behold, Mother Nature is growing it for us in big, stringy batches in the Chukchi Sea!

When fishery managers voted to hold back on harvesting the Chukchi and Beaufort seas until we can get an idea of the fisheries and ecosystems up there in the U.S. territories of the newly exposed Arctic waters, I doubt they expected to find an algae farm.

The Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News reports, "Miles of the thick, dark gunk had been spotted floating between Barrow and Wainwright, prompting North Slope Borough officials and the Coast Guard to investigate last week."

Can we be so far from turning this algae (which was, after all, mistaken for bunker oil) into fuel for our commercial fishing fleets? Will it be the next dawn of Alaska's prominence in energy sourcing?

Who needs the net loss of ethanol and the risk of oil drilling, when we can explore our Arctic algae reserves?

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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