National Fisherman

National Fisherman - March 2009


Stalling out risk

Based on U.S. Coast Guard reports.

In a profession that is repeatedly deemed the deadliest in the country, fishermen are constantly weighing risk factors and asking themselves if working conditions are normal (safe), pose an unnecessary risk, or are unusual but necessary. Answering correctly often determines the safety of your crew and the boat.


Gulf/South Atlantic Grouper

Harvesters approve IFQs in hopes for year-round fishing, higher catch totals

Demand for fresh Gulf of Mexico grouper has historically been durable, and domestic production is — at best — relatively small. Consequently, there is hope the grouper market may weather the storm of the continuing international economic crisis, especially in the tourism-restaurant sector.


Safety must be first

The loss of the Gloucester, Mass., dragger Patriot in early January with two aboard gets at what is wrong with fishing in the age of regulation.


Island out of time

Tangier, Va., watermen share a storied past and an uncertain future

By Kathy Bergren Smith

Most of the 550 people who live on Virginia's Tangier Island share one of a few last names and have family roots stretching back at least a century. Their thick brogue is commonly called Elizabethan, but it is more likely a remnant of the Cornish roots of the island's settlers.



Outboard power comes back; new 50-footer is fuel efficient

With operating costs on the rise, two Canadian boatbuilding companies have come up with fiberglass hulls designed to help fishermen operate more efficiently. One is relatively small at 30' x 10' 2" from Millennium Marine in Escuminac, New Brunswick. The second boat is 50' x 21' from Dixon's Marine Group in Lower Woods Harbor, Nova Scotia.


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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