National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


I was delighted this week to learn that William (Bill) Karp received his official appointment to head NMFS' Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Mass.

Karp has been serving as acting director of the science center since January, and in that time, he has recognized the challenges that face the New England cod fleet, as well as the science behind the trawl surveys.

He also worked at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle for 25 years, so Karp is not only no stranger to fishery science and survey methods, but he had a leading role in a premier fishery science center with some of the most respected methods and data in the country and the world. In fact, Karp was a leader in making the transition from acoustic to digital systems at the Alaska science center.

This all bodes well for fishermen in the purview of the Northeast science center, from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras, N.C., including groundfish fishermen who are pleading for improvements to survey methods.

I wish the best to Dr. Karp and his colleagues. The road ahead is long, but the rewards include the prospect of rescuing a piece of national history.

Karp's office is, after all, based on Cape Cod. Now let's makes sure it's a name and a fishery that stand the test of time.

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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