National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


JHathaway2 Fishing buyouts have been a management strategy ever since the government realized the folly of its ways in encouraging any and all citizens to join the fishing fleets by subsidizing boatbuilding just when technology was tilting the playing field in favor of men in boats.

Now in the ailing Northeast, in the middle of the first season of groundfish catch shares, the U.S. Senate is proposing an aid package for fishermen and ports, including buyouts.

I have no problem with buyouts in general. What I don't want to see is failed management strategies crippling fishermen who then can't pay the bills and succumb to a buyout.

All too often when management fails, the managers go on and the fishermen go under.

The Northeast groundfish fleet is a fraction of what it once was. And you know what? That's just fine. The folks who are in it really want to be there, or they are fishermen because that's what the people in their family have done since they were citizens of a colony rather than a commonwealth.

The fact that the federal government's first attempt at revamping the management system for this fleet is causing so many of them to struggle and some to fail makes me think we ought to rethink the management, not the number of boats.

Let them out if they want out. But if they want to stay in the game, give them a chance to make a living at it.

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.

Try a FREE issue of National Fisherman

Fill out this order form, If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $14.95 (12 issues in all). If not, simply write cancel on the bill, return it, and owe nothing.

First Name
Last Name
U.S. Canada Other

Postal/ Zip Code
© 2015 Diversified Business Communications
Diversified Business Communications