National Fisherman


Good people

I didn't grow up in a fishing family, so people often ask how I got involved in the industry.

I can offer up a pedigree of maritime publishing, but it always comes back to my affection for the people. Fishermen tell you exactly what they're thinking. And I like to know where people stand, even if they disagree with me (and sometimes especially so). You can't get very far without learning from the experiences of others.

Once in a great while, I get a note or a call from someone who is more inclined to talk at me than with me. Those rare moments are opportunities to remind myself that I am lucky to be part of an industry that is dominated by passionate, honest, earnest and hard-working people who don't take a moment for granted. Even when fishermen yell at each other, they also listen. It may take a while, but most opponents come around to at least tolerate each other's perspective. I believe it's because the real fishermen simply want to fish, and with that desire comes the assumption that the oceans must be healthy. It's that simple. Fishermen sure could teach our federal politicians a thing or ten.

Despite that industry drive (or perhaps because of it) I've been on boats as a novice, and always felt welcomed. This month, I am happy to feature the first at-sea story by NF Assistant Editor Melissa Wood. Melissa may be a greenhorn on deck, but she's no stranger to a good story. She jumps into her work feet first, and the Gulf of Maine winter shrimp season was no exception. Most people would not leap at the chance to get on a Maine dragger in the dead of winter, but Melissa volunteered without hesitation. Her story of a day out on the Jamie & Ashley begins on page 20.

On the other side of the country, longtime contributor Alan Haig-Brown visited the Knutson family at Seattle's Fishermen's Terminal as the salmon fleet was prepping for the season. The enthusiasm that spreads through the Knutson clan is palpable. Papa Pete started fishing and direct marketing three decades ago, and now the whole family is in on the act (page 24).

Just up the road from Fishermen's Terminal, the sponsoned seiner Anthem splashed into the waters off Everett, Wash., at the Hansen Boat Co. Whether it's a trailer backing down a gravel ramp or a bulbous bow diving and resurfacing with a dramatic wake, the sound of the first splash on a hull holds so much promise. Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley profiles the Anthem on page 28.

From the traditions of the Old World to the trappings of the 21st century: we've got something for those who bask in the glow of a digital wheelhouse. Marine electronics guru Ev Collier dives into fishfinders on page 32.
As always, it's an honor to bring you a little slice of the industry every month, one fisherman at a time. It feels good to serve good people.

– Jessica Hathaway

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...

Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

Read more...
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