National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


Yesterday, officials in Maryland and Virginia announced a second straight year of crab population increases in the Chesapeake Bay.

It's great news for baymen and blue crab lovers, alike.

I have to hand it to the local governments on Chesapeake Bay. While the crab restrictions have been extremely tough on crabbers, the fact that the fishery is on a major rebound speaks well to the management. And in the meantime, Virginia has kept baymen working by removing marine debris.

Both Virginia and Maryland have used federal stimulus funds to buy back crab licenses. I don't love the idea of eliminating fishermen from the fishery. But fishermen know that in tough times you do what you have to do to survive and help your family.

Let's hope that over the next few years, we will continue to see a thriving blue crab population and a strong population of crabbers thriving right alongside.

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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