Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Friday in Portland, Ore., the state's Fish and Wildlife Commission approved Gov. John Kitzhaber's proposal to ban gillnets on the Columbia River's main stem. Part of the plan also allocates 5 percent of the commercial sector's 40 percent quota to recreational fishermen in 2013 and another 5 percent in 2014.
What is the purpose of increasing the recreational allocation to 65 percent and decreasing the commercial allocation from 40 to 35 percent? I'm confused as to how that is part of a conservation measure.
The Coastal Conservation Association claims gillnets are not selective enough. However, gillnets are improved year over year in fisheries all over the country. Fishermen shift depth, mesh size, net length, soak time and even attach pingers to make their nets unattractive to unwanted species.
What the CCA is basing this information on is a mystery to me. Yes, there is some bycatch in any fishery — including recreational fisheries. Meanwhile, we know that recreational fishing landings leave huge data gaps. I suppose ultimately the cuts don't matter that much, since commercial fishermen say they are unlikely to find enough fish in off-channel areas to fill their more modest quotas anyway.
“The Columbia River belongs to everyone, and the fish in it are a shared public resource that belongs to everyone,” Clatsop County Commissioner Dirk Rohne said at a rally last Thursday, according to the Daily Astorian. “Everyone should have the same right to enjoy Columbia River salmon, and that is a service the gillnetters provide for all of us.”
Nationwide, we are moving closer to privatized fisheries, from delivering the fish out of the hands of commercial fishermen, whose efforts feed the public at large, to delivering quotas to fewer and fewer boat owners, which leads to the Wal-Mart model in commercial fishing — behemoth stakeholders enjoying less competition.
Neither of these management developments makes fisheries easier to manage.
To the people of Oregon, I say only this: When you're eating Alaska and California salmon next summer, you will know whom to thank — commercial fishermen from states that allow for innovation in commercial fishing as an alternative to shut-downs.
Thursday, 06 December 2012
It sounds like the spawning grounds for Frankenfish are expected to dry up in January.
Massachusetts-based Aquabounty is crying foul over Food and Drug Administration delays in the company's approval process for genetically modified salmon.
Welcome to the world of fishery management, Aquabounty!
OK, OK, so they're dealing with the FDA. But it's the same deal, isn't it? Add a comment
Thursday, 29 November 2012
The National Fisherman crew closed out another great show in Seattle this week. The floor was packed with fishermen, new products and great giveaways.
On Wednesday I was honored to present our second annual Boats & Gear awards at Pacific Marine Expo's Boatyard Day. Randa Szymanski won our Lifesaver Award for her efforts to raise money to buy inflatable bibs for every commercial fishing boat in her hometown of Haines, Alaska. The effort far exceeded expectations to honor the memory of Haines fisherman Richard Boyce. Add a comment
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
First things first. It's almost Thanksgiving. But as soon as that holiday is wrapped, I will be gearing up not for Black Friday but to head west to Seattle for the 45th annual Pacific Marine Expo.
It's all happening from Tuesday through Thursday, Nov. 27-29, at Seattle's Century Link Field.
My team and I always strive to bring something extra to the expo, and this year is no exception.
As usual, we will be covering the show floor gathering stories for the National Fisherman Show Daily. So if you see us coming at you with a camera, don't hide! Add a comment
Thursday, 15 November 2012
Welcome to the new National Fisherman website.
The whole National Fisherman staff has been working feverishly to launch this site to be able to bring you the best of the commercial fishing universe online.
Our new site allows us to feature video, photos, blogs, news stories and so much more from every coast and around the world. Add a comment
Friday, 19 October 2012
There's no task more daunting and more rewarding than naming our annual Highliner Award winners. I often feel unqualified to decide who should get the award among fishermen who have worked for decades in this industry. But I try to do my homework and talk to dozens of people who serve all aspects of the U.S. commercial fishing industry. Add a comment
Friday, 05 October 2012
Last month, NSF International announced they were adding Aquaculture Stewardship Council's chain-of-custody certification to their portfolio. The ASC is an independent body that has piggy-backed on the globally accepted sustainability standards of the Marine Stewardship Council. The Lynnwood, Wash.-based Seafood Services segment of NSF has been performing chain-of-custody certifications for MSC for 11 years, so it stands to reason they would add ASC certification to their lineup. MSC, after all, has proven to be a very lucrative business model. Add a comment
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Introducing National Fisherman Live, a biweekly web video featuring the latest fishing news, product information and industry analysis by our editors.
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) is delighted to announce Sara Squarstoff as the winner of the “Show Us Your Alaska Seafood” Instagram Contest.Read more...