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 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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