National Fisherman

National Fisherman's 2008 Highliners

We've never sat down and tried to come up with a creed for National Fisherman Highliners, but something along the order of "whatever it takes" or perhaps, "rising to the occasion," might fill the bill.

The Highliners I've known don't preach in lofty terms or set themselves apart from other fishermen. If anything, it's their involvement with fishermen and their communities and their willingness to take action that sets them apart.

Rodney Avila's commitment to safety has paid off, not so much in accolades, but in lives saved.

Tilman Gray remains in the arena, battling for fishing communities, despite his frustrations with the system.

And Craig Pendleton has shown that in the era of growing public awareness of the ocean and its ecosystems, partnerships with diverse interests are a crucial component of survival. — Jerry Fraser

Inside the Industry

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.


The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is teaming up with leading shark-tracking nonprofit Ocearch to build the most extensive shark-tagging program in the Gulf of Mexico region.

In October, Ocearch is bringing its unique research vessel, the M/V Ocearch, to the gulf for a multi-species study to generate previously unattainable data on critical shark species, including hammerhead, tiger and mako sharks.

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