National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


Aside from the overwhelming fears of total ruin in the Gulf of Mexico, one of my biggest concerns about this spill is what it does to the perception of American seafood in general.

Just last weekend I was talking with some friends about overfishing and the film "End of the Line" (which I reviewed in the October '09 issue of National Fisherman), and one of these friends said her reaction to the problem had been basically to stop buying fish. She then said, "Isn't even Alaska salmon overfished?"

I almost choked on my popcorn.

If that's what an average American thinks about seafood already, then what hope does the industry have of recovering from the added burden of contamination?

I assuage my fears by hoping that a) some day Gulf Coast fishermen will have their heritage waters back and b) many fishermen and co-ops are getting involved in direct marketing to bring their faces (and truths) to market.

I told my friend what I often say on these virtual pages, "As long as you're buying American seafood, you're fine."

I'm not sure she believed me, so I'll be sure to make a fish stew the next time she's over.

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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