Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Friday, 07 September 2012
This week three groups who supported an Oregon ballot initiative to ban commercial gillnetting in the Columbia River have pulled their support from the ballot measure. They are instead throwing their weight behind Gov. John Kitzhaber's proposed solution to restrict fishermen using this gear type to off-channel areas. Ostensibly, this area closure would allow commercial fishermen to catch hatchery fish and reduce their catch of low-return wild salmon.
The tragic flaw of the ballot measure (#81) is that it does nothing to reduce fishing overall. First, it would simply allow recreational fishermen to exploit the same stocks through different methods and second, it would not restrict Washington-based gillnetters on their side of the river.
I don't understand the proclivity to eliminate jobs and entire communities on a whim or the misguided belief that one type of fisherman is better or worse than another type.
While I disagree that simply moving fishermen out of their historic fishing grounds is the best choice, I applaud the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association and the Northwest Guides and Anglers Association for moving away from an extreme stance by supporting Kitzhaber.
I urge the Coastal Conservation Association, Oregon Wild and the Humane Society to make moves toward reason and compromise, as well. Join industry and tribal groups, who also oppose the ballot measure, in a discussion, not a shutdown.
Come November, I hope the people of Oregon will vote with their hearts in support of their fellow citizens, jobs, community and history.
National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.