National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


It's been a busy week in New England.

I kicked it off in Boston for the International Boston Seafood Show on Monday and Tuesday, where the big talk was sustainability and promoting healthy fisheries.

Oddly enough, I spent a lot of time in Boston talking about Alaska seafood. And specifically Alaska salmon, which in many ways is swimming upstream once again in moving forward with a third-party FAO-based certification program that's not the Marine Stewardship Council.

Salmon seasons may have their ups and downs, but there is no question the fishery is sustainable. Yet, if anyone tries to think outside the box, they have to answer to big-box retailers. We'll let the Alaska folks do that, because they're good at it.

But once they pave the way, yet again, for fisheries across the country, don't forget to thank them later. At least buy a few extra sockeye for your Fourth of July party this year.

Moving north from Boston and feeling the need to reorient myself to northern New England, I hopped over to the Maine Boatbuilder's Show at Portland Yacht Services.

Nothing will make you appreciate the heyday of wooden boatbuilding like climbing around in an 80-year-old wooden sailboat.

I'm sure I'll be shocked out of my wooden-boat haze come Wednesday, when I'll meet up with fishermen from around the country for the Keep Fishermen Fishing rally in Washington, D.C.

I hope you can join us there at noon on Wednesday, March 21! For more information, visit

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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