National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


JHathaway2 As the attendees of the International Arctic Fisheries Symposium get down to work on day two of a gathering that will carefully analyze the possibilities for commercial fisheries in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, the Obama administration has approved Shell Oil's plan for exploration and drilling in the Beaufort.

Natives and environmentalists are raising concerns, as well they should, that the proper precautions are not in place in the event of a spill.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, "Measures used to contain oil in open water were ineffective in tests off Alaska's coast. Just getting equipment to a catastrophic spill in the Beaufort, which has few support facilities and some of the worst weather and light conditions in the world, would be challenging."

Shell's defense is that they continue to make advances in spill prevention response and technology. While I applaud them for ongoing R&D success, I'm appalled that they would be permitted to drill in any location without a safety net.

What is the point of tiptoeing our way to sustainable Arctic fisheries if the federal government is going to allow another industry to go rogue with potentially disastrous results?

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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