National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


Another week, another seafood glut, another strike.

Salmon fishermen in northern California have been enjoying a bountiful season of king salmon returns. It's a true blessing after three years of shutdowns and minimal openings, but the blessing has become a curse.

Last week, some fishermen tied up to create more demand and improve their boat price, but they haven't seen the effects yet. Most fishermen are getting half what they were before the San Francisco fleet started loading up in fishing-friendly weather in recent weeks. But in many fish markets, the retail price remains the same.

Maybe a tie-up will help the processors clear their lines and create incentive to pay the fishermen a bit better for their premium product. This is the kind of processing politics that has many fishermen looking for direct access to their markets. But after years of shutdowns, it's not easy to reopen those channels.

It's a shame that West Coast fishermen finally have what they've been waiting for but they can't afford to go fish for them. The best I can do right now is cross my fingers for them and enjoy some fresh California king salmon.

Care to join me?

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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