National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


It is easy to get caught up in the solemn news of the industry and pass over the bright spots.

This week my eye grazed articles on lagging oyster harvests, tightened shrimp seasons, cod stock controversy, turtle excluder violations, albatross bycatch and salmon anemia.

But one thing that is undoubtedly going well is the expansion of Asian carp processing facilities in Illinois. The invasive fish may be beating down the doors at the Chicago Ship Canal, but the Pearl, Ill.-based Big River Fish company is doing its best to keep the swarm in check.

Last year, Big River began processing Asian carp from Illinois rivers and selling it to a Chinese company for resale to high-end Chinese restaurants. This week, the Midwest company will finalize a deal to expand its processing capabilities to a new location in Griggsville, Ill., which will also create about 61 jobs.

I'll admit, I've never tasted Asian carp (that I know of), but I'm starting to wonder why Americans can't take advantage of this surplus and make something of it.

It's not often we have the opportunity to think of a fishery as excessively abundant.

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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