National Fisherman

National Fisherman - December 2011


National Fisherman's 2011 Highliners

No one who navigates the complicated web of U.S. fishery management would discount the value of being an innovative thinker and a man (or woman) of action.


The salt of the ocean

The search for our annual NF Highliners begins with lots of phone calls, some emails, a few texts and inevitably results in some hand-wringing along with the sense of satisfaction that we take from the opportunity to pay a little honor to those who give so much to the commercial fishing industry.


ATY Northeast

Trimaran for Maine fishermen? Shop finishes biggest boat yet

If things go as planned, the first fishing boats in this country — possibly anywhere — designed and built as trimarans will be hauling lobster traps for Maine fishermen as early as next year.

The trimaran design is the result of an initiative by the non-profit Penobscot East Resource Center in Stonington, Maine, to develop a more fuel-efficient lobster boat.

Doug Read, a professor of engineering at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, is managing the technical side of the project, and this past spring took a 4-foot 6-inch model to the Webb Institute in Glen Cove, N.Y. to be tank tested.


Northeast Surf Clams

Closed for 20 years, Georges Bank prospect delights struggling harvesters

Surf clam prices remain bottomed out at $12 to $13 a bushel, but the industry is nearing a milestone toward future investment.

In October the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference considered a new protocol for testing clams on Georges Bank for paralytic shellfish poisoning, a biotoxin that closed the area for clam and mussel harvests in 1990. Fishermen and regulators think it is safe now, but need an ironclad testing system to reopen the Georges resource.


Watch out!

From U.S. Coast Guard reports

Just before midnight in mid-October off the coast of Oregon, the skies were clear and the seas were calm. A 45-foot steel tuna boat and its two-man crew were headed back to port. The two-day trip had yielded only seven tuna. The skipper had just taken over the watch and was sitting back in his chair peering out the starboard pilothouse windows. He turned on his 1,000-watt sodium light to illuminate the darkness ahead.


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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