National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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

 

The Obama administration has taken on the ominous task of unifying U.S. ocean policy.

In a first step in what is sure to be a long journey, NOAA has been holding a series of public hearings to get feedback from stakeholders. The outcry of which seems to point to the ineffective style of managing fisheries individually.

However, when I read things like the comment in yesterday's Kansas City (Mo.) Star from former NOAA chief scientist Sylvia Earl, claiming that NOAA's unofficial purpose is "about killing and marketing fish," I have to wonder what is going on in Washington.

Is the Beltway so congested and constricted that no one down there can see all the way to the ocean anymore?

Since when has NMFS been a helpful aid to commercial fishing? As far as I can tell, more and more fishermen and fishing communities are going about marketing and selling fish on their own, giving rise to numerous and popular community-supported fisheries. (Not to mention the actual fishing — or "killing" part, which we all know is getting tougher to do by the minute.)

NMFS is derided from coast to coast for dropping the ball when it comes to supporting working waterfronts and fishing communities. So whose fish are they killing and marketing?

To be fair, the councils have a tremendous job on their hands, and many fisheries are improving. So I have to give credit where credit is due. But those rebounds are not the result of good marketing or excessive killing of fish.

Earle went on to say that marine sanctuaries should henceforth completely ban fishing, because, "if there are to be fishermen, there have to be fish."

And there you have it: the gold standard behind the disastrous effect NOAA and NMFS have had on fishing communities for the last decade.

This government sentiment is the reason working waterfronts and fishing towns are collapsed, dwindling or clawing their way back from near-takeover by luxury condos.

The flaw is the notion itself: that we have to put fish first and people second.

National Fisherman Live

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

Inside the Industry

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is required by state statute to appoint someone to the Board of Fisheries by today, Tuesday, May 19. However, his efforts to fill the seat have gone unfulfilled since he took office in January. The seven-member board serves as an in-state fishery management council for fisheries in state waters.

The resignation of Walker’s director of Boards and Commissions, Karen Gillis, fanned the flames of controversy late last week.

Read more...

Keith Decker, president and COO of High Liner Foods, will take over for the outgoing CEO, Harry Demone, who will assume the role as chairman of the board of directors. The Lunenburg, Nova Scotia-based seafood supplier boasts sales in excess of $310 million (American) for the first quarter of the year.

Read more...
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