National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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

 

I have to wonder that if Jane Lubchenco had known how catastrophic this year in fisheries management would be, would she have taken the job?

She got off to a widely publicized start by rushing to the coast of Massachusetts to talk to fishermen there about what was not working in their industry. Their answer: A lot.

Her shine started to dull pretty quickly when it became apparent she was in her leadership role not so much to lead but to tow the administration's line toward catch shares.
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JHathaway2 Today a BP official lauded the team who placed a sealing cap on the gusher in the gulf.

But don't get too excited, he warned, the oil giant is still conducting "integrity tests" to see if this cap will actually cap the well.

"People feel very good about what we accomplished in the last couple days," said BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells, according to a CNN report. "But the job is not over."
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JHathaway2 This week confirmed the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is seeping into New Orleans' Lake Pontchartrain.

The lake got a lot of press when it flooded neighborhoods during Hurricane Katrina, and in the '80s and '90s when great efforts went into cleaning it up and transitioning it into fishing grounds and an estuary for commercial species.
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It's the Fourth of July again already!

To celebrate this year, the salmon fishermen of Bodega Bay, Calif., will have an eight-day season.

Despite the fact that few boats are likely to be participating after two years of complete closure and little enthusiasm for the slightly more than weeklong season, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has gone to the trouble to add California and Oregon wild salmon to their "avoid" list.
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JHathaway2 I know the gulf oil spill has a lot of folks worried about supplies of local seafood and risk of contamination.

While I must admit that if forced to eat farmed shrimp, I'd prefer "freshwater" prawns from Indiana over any product from overseas (for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the distance Asia-raised seafood has to travel to reach my plate), what I can't stomach is the idea that farmed seafood is inherently safer than wild seafood simply because it's raised in captivity.
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The blessing and the curse of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is that people are still talking about it.

I remember two months after Hurricane Katrina, locals and their advocates were calling for more coverage in the press because it had become a passé subject.

In the last couple of weeks, I've traveled to New Bedford, Mass., for a commercial marine trade show and to central Kentucky for a family gathering. The spill was a major topic of conversation everywhere I went and no matter who I talked to.
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While it's difficult to think about anything but the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico these days, our staff is busy preparing for the Commercial Marine Expo next week in New Bedford, Mass.

It's a solemn time for the commercial fishing and commercial marine industries, but there's no better time to gather, discuss the future, and commiserate.
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Aside from the overwhelming fears of total ruin in the Gulf of Mexico, one of my biggest concerns about this spill is what it does to the perception of American seafood in general.

Just last weekend I was talking with some friends about overfishing and the film "End of the Line" (which I reviewed in the October '09 issue of National Fisherman), and one of these friends said her reaction to the problem had been basically to stop buying fish. She then said, "Isn't even Alaska salmon overfished?"
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JHathaway2 If you haven't seen the video posted on the NF home page, try to take 10 to 15 minutes to watch it.

Sadly, it gives clear insight into the problems fishermen, specifically New England fishermen, are having with NMFS.

The most telling quote, in my opinion, is from Pat Kurkul (NMFS Northeast regional administrator). In response to the problems fishermen and sector managers are having with the lack of preparedness and organization from NMFS on the May 1 implementation of sector (or catch share) management of the groundfish fleet, Kurkul says, "Change hurts."
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Blogpic It should come as no surprise that one of the first questions out of people's mouths after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and consequential oil spill is, "What's going to happen to the offshore drilling plan?"

I've heard a lot of folks pronounce this spill as the death knell to Obama's plan, but I find that hard to believe.
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Page 24 of 32

National Fisherman Live

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.

Inside the Industry

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.

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Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
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