National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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

 

The National Marine Fisheries Service took another step away from serving fisheries yesterday.

Doug DeMaster, a research director at NMFS, announced on Thursday that the service is rejecting the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's recommendations on restrictions and closures in Pacific cod and Atka mackerel fisheries of the Western Aleutian Islands and will instead hurry forth with its own drastic measures to completely shut down these fisheries.

The goal, they say, is to adhere to the Endangered Species Act to protect Steller's sea lions. However, the protection efforts, resulting from a "jeopardy finding," are based on two of seven subpopulations of the western population of Steller's sea lions.

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JHathaway2 I have to give credit where it is due.

The NOAA enforcement scandal has been lighting up the lines in fishing communities throughout the Northeast for months now.

Yet, there was very little movement on the results of the agency's internal investigation until yesterday.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke met with members of the fishing industry and local politicians in meetings in Boston and Portland, Maine.

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There would be no better way for NOAA to apologize to Northeast fishermen for years of targeted, excessive punitive fees than by punishing the man in charge of overseeing those retaliatory measures.

I simply cannot fathom how the leadership of this agency can justify not even suspending or demoting Andrew Cohen, but instead sliding him into another 6-figure job that is conveniently located at his "duty station in Gloucester," Mass., according to the Gloucester Times.

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Blogpic Commercial fishermen throughout this country and the world have a lot of reasons to thank the producers and captains of the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch."

I used to think it was just a fun and easy way to give the average person a window into the lives of commercial fishermen: not just the daily dangers they face, but the fear of coming home empty-handed, the extended periods spent away from onshore family, boat and gear repairs, the camaraderie and hazing that go hand in hand with living with your co-workers.

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Blogpic Fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico welcomed the reopening of more than 5,000 square miles of waters in the eastern gulf yesterday, as well as news that they will be able to send samples to a federal lab.

But before they could get too excited, environmental groups sampling waters off the Louisiana coast announced their skepticism of the safety of seafood from gulf waters.

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Blogpic The large flotilla of New England fishermen meeting President Obama at his vacation spot on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., to protest the management mess at NOAA and NMFS has lots of support in the fishing industry.

But to have their voices heard loud and clear, they need support in Washington.

Please take a moment to sign this petition.

At the bottom of the page is also a link to the White House message system. Click that link to leave a personal message.

It takes just moments of your time to make a difference in national fishery management policy.

JHathaway2 If there's one thing the gulf oil spill can stand to teach the American public it's that a lot of seafood is specific and precious to the region in which it's caught.

I was walking between work and my car one evening this week when I got slowed down behind a touristy couple wandering somewhat aimlessly through the streets of downtown Portland, Maine. We see a lot of tourists this time of year, so I was not a bit surprised to be waylaid.

What I overheard is another story. The woman was on the phone apparently with a restaurant asking if they serve any salmon dishes.

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JHathaway2 Fishing buyouts have been a management strategy ever since the government realized the folly of its ways in encouraging any and all citizens to join the fishing fleets by subsidizing boatbuilding just when technology was tilting the playing field in favor of men in boats.

Now in the ailing Northeast, in the middle of the first season of groundfish catch shares, the U.S. Senate is proposing an aid package for fishermen and ports, including buyouts.

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At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 3, NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco will convene a national law-enforcement summit in Washington.

The one-day event will include representatives from environmental organizations, fishing groups industry lawyers and other interest groups, according to the Gloucester (Mass.) Daily Times. Attendees will discuss, according to Lubchenco, "improving compliance" and "developing forward-looking strategies to advance ... enforcement."

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JHathaway2 As our editor in chief, Jerry Fraser, mentioned in his Fish eNews editorial this week, it seems like a lot of media folks out there are hunting for the next big story in a 24-hour news world and coming up with: Was the gulf oil spill over-hyped?

I suppose that means that — despite the fact that the leak is not permanently capped and no one has yet taken a single water column to test the long-term damage to any single ocean-dwelling species — it's time to declare an end to this disaster.

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Page 24 of 33

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 2/26/15

In this episode, National Fisherman's Online Editor Leslie Taylor speaks with Rick Constantine, vice president of marketing, Acme United Corporation, about Cuda corrosion resistant knives.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

Today Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced legislation to extend a permanent exemption for incidental runoff from small commercial fishing boats.

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The National Working Waterfront Network is now accepting abstracts and session proposals for the next National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium, taking place Nov. 16-19 in Tampa, Fla. The deadline is Tax Day, April 15.

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