National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


The battle over New England's groundfish quotas rages on this week with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) stepping up to bat and New Bedford, Mass., Mayor Scott Lang talking to Frank and Rep. Walter Jones (D-N.C.) in a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill.

The mission is to bump sector quotas in order to keep the little guys afloat. This is not an effort to overfish, but rather to fish just enough, to stay on the water without taxing the resource. That is the true definition of a sustainable fishery.

In keeping with that mission of balancing fishermen's livelihoods with ecologically sustainable practices, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, based in Portland, Maine, is starting a new program aimed at training Northeast fishermen to ease environmental impacts while simultaneously boosting their profits.

The first Environmental Management System program is scheduled to take place in Beverly, Mass., on Feb. 16 and 17. Admission is free but limited to 20 participants.

If you're interested in attending, please contact Steve Eayrs ( or 207-228-1659) or Jen Levin ( or 207-228-1688) at GMRI.

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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