National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


The blessing and the curse of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is that people are still talking about it.

I remember two months after Hurricane Katrina, locals and their advocates were calling for more coverage in the press because it had become a passé subject.

In the last couple of weeks, I've traveled to New Bedford, Mass., for a commercial marine trade show and to central Kentucky for a family gathering. The spill was a major topic of conversation everywhere I went and no matter who I talked to.

In New Bedford, I got back to my hotel room after a day of chatting with fishermen at the trade show and an evening of celebrating our 2010 Highliners. I turned on the TV to find Larry King interviewing the TV-star captains of "Deadliest Catch," who were in New Orleans to lend their support, meet with fishermen and advertise the freshness of gulf seafood.

It was enough to make me feel like fishermen were the center of the universe. But that's the kind of thinking that gets people in need ignored in the long run.

We can't let our brethren suffering from the oil spill forget that we are supporting them, and we can't allow the coverage of their struggles to wane from the press.

Write letters to newspapers, call politicians, and if you live in the gulf, talk to the journalists!

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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