National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


As I look upon the new year, I try to focus on new possibilities and the hope of things to come.

2012 is the year of the water dragon in the Chinese zodiac. Perhaps that presages the commercial fishing industry wresting some control of its future from a little knoll on the Potomac.

I know we're working to win the hearts and minds with a growing list of fishing reality shows.

This week, the Learning Channel will debut the show "Hook, Line and Sisters" about an Alaska seining family.

The show opens with Sitka herring, so I think it's easy to say the producers know what they're doing.

I love seeing commercial fishing portrayed accurately in mainstream culture, and I have no doubt TLC (a Discovery Networks channel) will do a fair job of representing the life of Alaska seiners. But as the first woman editor of National Fisherman, I particularly enjoy getting the perspectives of women in this industry.

I chatted with Susan Anderson, the matriarch of the family. She, her husband, Dean, and their two daughters, Sierra and Memry, fish a 58-foot seiner. I've also talked with the Anderson girls at Pacific Marine Expo, so I know they're serious about fishing.

I can't wait to see what the salmon season holds for the Anderson family and what 2012 has in store for the commercial fleets across the country.

"Hook, Line and Sisters" premieres Thursday, Dec. 29 on TLC.

I'll see you in 2012!

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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