National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


JHathaway2 As our editor in chief, Jerry Fraser, mentioned in his Fish eNews editorial this week, it seems like a lot of media folks out there are hunting for the next big story in a 24-hour news world and coming up with: Was the gulf oil spill over-hyped?

I suppose that means that — despite the fact that the leak is not permanently capped and no one has yet taken a single water column to test the long-term damage to any single ocean-dwelling species — it's time to declare an end to this disaster.

Just two weeks ago, everyone I know got a hangdog expression when the subject came up. We all wondered when it would end, and after the actual spilling was over, what damages would follow?

Are those questions answered yet?

The spill is temporarily fixed; we hope it is permanent and that going from cap to backup well will be a smooth transition, but no one can say for sure. The folks at BP even in today's news are saying they can't guarantee that the backup well will work, because the water is so deep, no one's ever done it before.

Sound familiar?

Maybe the big news outlets are tired of talking to distraught fishermen and are eager to pack up their tents and move on to the agonizing tale of Lindsay Lohan's transition from jail to rehab, but we can't declare this story over until our brethren on the Gulf Coast can do the same.

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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