National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas held its annual meeting last week in Istanbul.

I was very happy to hear that Russell Smith, NOAA's deputy assistant secretary of international fisheries, managed to negotiate a hold on the U.S. swordfish fleet quota of 3,907 metric tons.

U.S. swordfishermen have worked very hard to abide by conservation measures to protect seabirds and turtles, prevent other bycatch and rebuild the stock. Strict adherence to these rules has reduced the size of the fleet, and therefore hampered catch rates, leaving the fishery underfished.

Other nations eager to catch more swords are champing at the bit for what is perceived as an excess of U.S. quota. But with fishing jobs on the line in many fishing towns on the Eastern Seaboard (and elsewhere), it's critical to retain our grip on our piece of the pie in hopes that someday the rest of the sword quota will pay for someone's boat, support a family and give back to a waterfront community.

Little victories for fishermen is something we can all be thankful for this year!

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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