National Fisherman


The Rudderpost 

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

 

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.

Inside the Industry

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association released their board of directors election results last week.

The BBRSDA’s member-elected volunteer board provides financial and policy guidance for the association and oversees its management. Through their service, BBRSDA board members help determine the future of one of the world’s most dynamic commercial fisheries.

Read more...

Former Massachusetts state fishery scientist Steven Correia received the New England Fishery Management Council’s Janice Plante Award of Excellence for 2016 at its meeting last week.

Correia was employed by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries for over 30 years.

Read more...
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