Written by Jen Finn
Smells like team spirit
Every year, as we start to get Crew Shots submissions, I receive them as visual reminders of what a wide-ranging industry this is. It doesn't matter if I'm looking at a photo of a crew of 20 lined up around the fo'c'sle of a Bering Sea trawler or a chubby toddler plopped on a lobster trap, they always make me smile.
Many of the emails and hand-written notes we get with the images express the sentiment that this is the reader's favorite issue of the year. And I have to say, it just might be mine. Thank you for making our industry what it is. We would not be here without all of you folks, who run the boats and work the decks. We're also grateful to those who take the controls back home. Plenty of these Crew Shots come from the wives and mothers of fishermen (many of whom take their own turns on deck). Without their commitment to holding down the shoreside operations of commercial fishing businesses and families, we wouldn't have this issue, and we probably wouldn't have much of an industry to speak of. Begin the hunt for your favorite photo on page 22.
Fishing brethren come out of the woodwork not only for Crew Shots, but also anytime there's a crisis in a fishing community. West Coast fishing groups have been reaching out to help those fishing families affected by Superstorm Sandy, primarily in New Jersey. At press time, these towns were taking stock and drying themselves out, as NF correspondent Kirk Moore's story reveals on page 20.
We also have a follow-up story to Tele Aadsen's heart-rending blog entry on finding Ryan Harris, the Fish Tote Survivor. Tele is a fisherman, fisherpoet and fish blogger. In short, she's a member of many fishfolk communities. I was in touch with Tele immediately after she and her partner in fishing and in life, Joel Brady-Power, happened upon Harris. Tele wanted to get out the word of this amazing discovery because it was a triumph of the human spirit and an illustration of what fishing communities do when someone is in trouble — we band together. Tele's story begins on page 5, and the full text is available on our website.
A community of another kind sprung to life when a few attendees of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's annual advisory meeting got stuck in Kodiak before the rest of the meeting's participants could get there. Read about NF Assistant Editor Melissa Wood's journey through the fog this summer on page 16.
As usual, we got so many amazing shots that we spread the coverage of Crew Shots to the Last Set page (52) and will do the same in our next issue. We will also continue to feature your photos at NationalFisherman.com all year long. So if you don't see yours here, check out the February issue. Until then, we'll see you online.
— Jessica Hathaway
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.Read more...
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.Read more...