National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


Though this phrase is best known for being Quebec's motto, the Acadian people in Canada and Louisiana are connected by more than language.

On this anniversary of the worst oil spill in our country's history, I hope our northern neighbors will lend us the French "I remember" to honor their distant relatives in the bayous of the Gulf of Mexico.

Today we celebrate the first Earth Day since the Deepwater Horizon well began spouting oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

While it hardly feels like a day for cheer, there are some things for which we can say grace. Yesterday marked the first time NOAA reopened all the fishing grounds that closed after the spill began. The seafood that is coming out of the region is clean and thoroughly tested. In fact, I'd wager it's the best money can buy right now. Even better, many fishermen are back to fishing after a full summer of running booms.

But the few bright spots do not justify the Obama administration's declaration of "mission accomplished" on the Gulf Coast.

We still have a ways to go before we have an inkling of the long-term effects the oil and dispersants have had on the marine ecosystem. The damage to vital tourism in this part of the country is painfully clear.

April 20 may be our national day to remember, but the people we are keeping close in our thoughts today have been coping with the disaster for 365 days with no end in sight.

Honor them with an oyster, a snapper, a shrimp on your plate.

Inside the Industry

The anti-mining group Salmon Beyond Borders expressed disappointment and dismay last week at Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s announcement that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

This came just days after his administration asked members of his newly-formed Transboundary Rivers Citizens Advisory Work Group to provide comment on a Draft Statement of Cooperation associated with Transboundary mining.


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.

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