National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


JHathaway2 I know the gulf oil spill has a lot of folks worried about supplies of local seafood and risk of contamination.

While I must admit that if forced to eat farmed shrimp, I'd prefer "freshwater" prawns from Indiana over any product from overseas (for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the distance Asia-raised seafood has to travel to reach my plate), what I can't stomach is the idea that farmed seafood is inherently safer than wild seafood simply because it's raised in captivity.

According to Indiana shrimp farmer Tim Connor, as quoted in the Indianapolis Star, "With the situation in the gulf, people will want this quality," Tim said. "They know it's safe."

Granted, no one wants to eat oil-contaminated seafood. But the chances that petroleum-marinated shrimp will end up on your shishkebab are slim to none.

Shrimp farmers use pesticides and antibiotics in their "freshwater" ponds. That doesn't sound so fresh to me.

Shrimpers in the gulf are still fishing uncontaminated waters. Get it fresh and wild while you can.

If you happen to be in southern Indiana, find yourself a fried chicken dinner with biscuits, slaw and apple butter. Go local and stick with what you know.

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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