National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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

 

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.

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
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EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
Read more...
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