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 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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