National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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

 

Ten years ago, El Nino was throwing West Coast fishermen for a loop. Warming water temperatures led to migrating species.

Now fishermen in California, Oregon and Washington are dodging dead zones and Marine Protected Areas, and some would argue that the difficulties are all man-made.

Today's Los Angeles Times article "Dead zones off Oregon and Washington likely tied to global warming, study says," reports that a group of scientists from Oregon State University believe the growing dead zones off the northwest coast are the result of global warming.

Scientists were tipped off to the study by crabbers who found pots full of dead, dying or very weak crab. It was like nothing they'd ever seen.

The record-breaking dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico has been tied to fertilization of corn crops, which are growing by the square mile to respond to the call for ethanol as an alternative fuel.

While it's clear we have to do something to prevent dead zones, I worry about how the solutions will affect fishermen.

So many American farmers have lost their land to expanding suburbs, and others can't find two dimes to rub together because cheap imports have taken over the market. It's not a stretch to correlate dead zones to suburbs and cheap imports to, well, cheap imports.

Farmers markets, community supported agriculture (the CSAs that provide the abundant farm boxes so many of us have come to rely on) and the popularity of heirloom varieties are the response to mass-market, often bland produce. And those efforts are keeping many small U.S. farms alive.

But it takes an informed, involved public to keep those efforts going. It's up to us to do the same thing for fishing.

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live is a web video series featuring the latest fishing news, product information and industry analysis by our editors. In this episode:

  • Ruling favors commercial red snapper fishermen
  • Fishermen file suit over Texas oil spill
  • Florida gov. announces oyster recovery funding
  • Hatchery salmon were 36 percent of harvest
  • Maine's new elver rules delay season start

Inside the Industry

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats as well as applications from scientists interested in serving on its Scientific and Statistical Committee.

Read more...

The North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), a nonprofit trade association representing commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, recently announced a new leadership team. Incorporated in 1952, its administrative office is in Bayboro, N.C.

Read more...

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