National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


JHathaway2 If you haven't seen the video posted on the NF home page, try to take 10 to 15 minutes to watch it.

Sadly, it gives clear insight into the problems fishermen, specifically New England fishermen, are having with NMFS.

The most telling quote, in my opinion, is from Pat Kurkul (NMFS Northeast regional administrator). In response to the problems fishermen and sector managers are having with the lack of preparedness and organization from NMFS on the May 1 implementation of sector (or catch share) management of the groundfish fleet, Kurkul says, "Change hurts."

All fishermen are asking for from NMFS is a little help, a touch of sympathy, a scosche of advocacy. Honesty and transparency would be even better, but that's probably too much to expect from any government agency.

As many of you read in NF's Editor in Chief Jerry Fraser's Fish eNews newsletter this week, this is the first year that not one single fishery was added to NOAA's "undergoing overfishing" list.

Our management system is working for the fish stocks. Now let's get it working a little better for the fishermen.

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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