National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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

 

Eric Haynes’ Cod Cakes

  • 2 pounds 8-oz cod fillets, fresh if available
  • 4 ounces fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 ounces onion, diced fine
  • 1 ounces celery, diced fine
  • 1 ounces red bell pepper, diced fine
  • 1 ounces green bell pepper, diced fine
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 oz. heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
  • Cooking oil or clarified butter as needed
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Seven years from the day Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Isaac is back to test the fortified levees in and around New Orleans.

So far, flood waters are breaching 18 miles of levees in Plaquemines Parish, where many oyster boats were hurrying to return to port ahead of the storm earlier this week. Local schools have been closed since Monday, which also marked the start of an evacuation order for the East Bank and lower West Bank of the parish. Isaac is churning over Louisiana, moving very slowly and threatening to cause deep flooding.

The fall shrimp season opened on Aug. 13 in Louisiana's inshore waters and will likely run through December. It has been predicted to be a strong season for shrimpers, on the heels of two weak seasons, and it's also the time to catch more valuable white shrimp.
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You know you're invested when a story comes on the radio and you stop everything you're doing to listen and then raise your arms and cheer when a voice you trust comes over the airwaves.

If you guessed that I'm talking about this election season, then you must live in a different country than I do.

That was the scene in my kitchen yesterday morning when I heard coverage of the latest deadliest catch — Northeast groundfish — and heard the voice of one Jennifer Lincoln.
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In my morning headline perusal, the confluence of two stories got me thinking. First was about the Midwestern chain of grocery stores promoting Gulf of Mexico shrimp and then I saw a headline about a new jackpot lotto winner in Michigan. It got me fantasizing about winning the lottery — and selling fish.

What would I do if I won? The first thing I thought of was not a trip to the Mediterranean (though that would make the short list). I'd bankroll the National Seafood Marketing Coalition.

I went to the grocery store a couple of weeks ago hoping to find some U.S. shrimp to go with a grilled Caesar salad. We had used spot prawns a couple of weeks before and were itching to replicate the experience.
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This week, Portland, Ore.-based fisherman and photographer Corey Arnold is in the other Portland. And tonight in Rockland, Maine's Island Institute is hosting "Fish-Work," a presentation of Arnold's seafaring stories and images of fisheries from around the globe.

No doubt the discussion will cover lobster protests, groundfish cuts and ESA declarations, but more importantly, this is an opportunity to get a glimpse at the world of fishing through Arnold's guileless lens. This is fishing and seaside culture like you've never seen before.
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The Northeast groundfish fleet is on its knees and looking at a final, fatal blow in the form of severe cuts to key species and the possibility of closures relating to Endangered Species Act protections for some populations of Atlantic sturgeon.

It doesn't seem possible that the agency responsible for the management of the fishery would allow it to go down in flames like this. But it just might happen, and much sooner than many of us thought.

The standard response from people outside of the fishery is that the fishermen did it to themselves. They overfished and are now paying the price. It's true that cod was overfished after the federal government offered loan guarantees to build new boats, so people who had never considered fishing before grabbed the chance to make some money on the iconic and seemingly infallible species. We could never take too many, right?
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One year ago this week, I was in Petersburg, Alaska. I thought of it today not because of the anniversary but because I was in search of lunch. I found lots of local menus with farmed salmon sandwiches or fried whitefish. It's summer! I want wild salmon or any local, wild fish that hasn't been overwhelmed by batter.

Sure, I could get a lobster roll, but I prefer my lobster warm and dredged in melted butter. In Petersburg I ate fresh, local, wild fish at every meal (except one amazing breakfast of Julianne Curry's Swedish pancakes). Today I ended up with a turkey club for lunch, while listening to seagulls fight on the rooftop next door. That's just not right. The ocean is right there!

Then a food-photographer friend of mine posted a beautiful shot of a fish dish to her Facebook page. Her caption included the phrase, "Yes, I said cusk."

Have you ever had it, or even heard of it? It's a lovely whitefish that's part of the Northeast groundfish multispecies complex. It doesn't carry the same cache as haddock or cod, but it can be used interchangeably for those species.
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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.
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It's summertime in Vacationland, so all should be fine and dandy. In fact, so far, this is one of the most spectacular summers I can remember.

But today is Friday the 13th, and vacationers headed toward the state face a frightening prospect, indeed. Maine lobstermen are threatening to leave their traps in the water, thereby ending the glut of lobster that has reduced its price below the bologna threshold at about $2.50 a pound.

According to NPR, the Maine Department of Marine Resources has fielded calls from lobstermen asking the state to shut down the fishery — an action for which they don't have authority.
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This Fourth of July week, the biggest display of fireworks may well be at the NMFS' Seattle office of law enforcement. The boom could be heard in February when a report from Commerce Department Inspector General Todd Zinser revealed alleged misuse of funds gleaned from fishing fines within the agency, including the purchase of a $300,000 luxury yacht that some agents were using for social outings.

But the light show didn't begin until mid-May when NMFS reportedly abruptly replaced the regional law enforcement chief, Vicki Nomura, reassigned her to the agency's headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., and began conducting a review of her office's activities.
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Page 13 of 32

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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