National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


As I sat in the airport in Portland, Maine, this morning, ready to fly out to Maryland for the East Coast Commercial Fishermen's & Aquaculture Trade Exposition in what promises to be a sloppy mess of a snowstorm, I couldn't help but think of our friends and fellow fishermen in Cordova, Alaska.

It's been a tough road to plow in Prince William Sound this week.

Pummeled by more than 18 feet of snow, Cordova is running low on shovels and the capacity to manage the mounds that have now been covered by rainy slush that freezes when the temperatures dip again.

While most folks in town are busily shoveling snow from their roofs, a significant concern for some is the stability of boats in the harbor. They also need to be freed of the unmanageable burden of snow and ice.

The Alaska National Guard arrived on a ferry this week with a crew of 51 to help the folks in Cordova continue to dig out from under an amount of snow on that is equivalent to 20 billion gallons of water, which also has locals worried about flooding.

On my first flight this morning, the flight attendant reminded us to keep our seatbelts fastened because of the "light chop." If a little turbulence is light chop, I am not sure how to go about describing the onslaught of 18 feet of snow, slushing, melting and freezing all around.

Our thoughts are with our friends in and around Cordova this week, whose lives and livelihoods are at the mercy of winter's grip.

I can only hope that with the help of the National Guard and the Coast Guard, the hearty residents of Cordova will safely find their way through spring and back into the summer salmon season, when a light chop will feel like a relaxing dip in the water.

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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