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 recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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