National Fisherman

National Fisherman's 2013 Highliners

Each of our Pacific Northwest and Alaska Highliners has his own center of focus and his sphere of influence. Robert Heyano of Dillingham, Alaska, has concentrated on his small fishing community and the greater region of Bristol Bay; Robert Hezel, of Clinton, Wash., has donated many personal hours to fleet safety, reducing the environmental effects of trawl gear and providing for the families of those lost at sea; while Jerry McCune, of Cordova, Alaska, has been a diplomat for Alaska fisheries at large, serving as president of United Fishermen of Alaska and the Cordova District Fishermen United and lobbying members of Congress on Capitol Hill — a world away from Alaska in many respects.

Each of these men is a diplomat in his own way, securing a future for many others in this historic industry. This is just one of the great qualities that makes them good fishermen and stewards of the resource.

Congratulations to National Fisherman's 2013 Highliners. — Jessica Hathaway

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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