Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 30 October 2009
Welcome, Australia, to the U.S. fishermen's conundrum.
This week The Australian reported that Aussie fishermen are critical of their government's openness to drastic cuts in the country's bluefin catch because the fishermen believe it punishes them unfairly while allowing Japanese overfishing to go unimpeded.
This concept is not new to American fishermen. It's unfortunate that this is the only option remaining. However, it's time we accept that bluefin is a global fishery, and someone has to take the lead on conservation and sustainability.
The next step is finding a way (as it seems ICCAT can't do it) to penalize those countries that allow rampant overfishing of this species to everyone's detriment.
American fishermen have seen the same problem with swordfish longlining. U.S. swordfish boats are adapted with the appropriate measures to protect turtle and seabird populations. The result is a streamlined fleet that has lost the ability to catch our quota. Now other nations without these measures in place are eyeing our swordfish quota hungrily.
So is it fair to give it up our resources because of those who are not as concerned with managing other habitats and populations in conjunction with managing fisheries? Nope.
Do we still need to do our best to ensure that American fisheries are the best in the world? Absolutely.
The next step, of course, is getting our federal government to stand behind U.S. fishermen to promote these honorable, sustainable practices and stem the tide of cheap, foreign and/or farmed seafood that is unfairly competing with the hard-won catch of Americans.
The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.Read more...
The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.Read more...