National Fisherman

All in the family

Family is the heart and soul of many American fishing businesses. In working waterfront towns across the country, that family often extends to include the larger community of commercial fishing fleets. What develops is a network that expands to create a safety net and often new opportunities for the fleets and their shore-based counterparts.

The same can certainly be said of a small group of Danish fishing families who saw their way of life being threatened by the onslaught of individual transferable quotas in 2006. As longtime National Fisherman contributor and author of several books on the fishing and seafood industries Paul Molyneaux explores in his story on page 20, the flyshooting fleet of Thorupstrand saw their livelihoods being pulled away by the strong tide of politicized market forces, toward consolidated fleets. Determined not to stick their heads in the sand, this fleet of beach-based seiners and gillnetters formed a quota cooperative to increase their buying power, which has assured the next generation, the so-called "gold of Thorupstrand" their place on the water.

Though closer to home than Denmark, the Great Lakes is often far from many American fishermen's ports and minds. There on Lake Michigan the third and fourth generations of Petersen Fisheries set trap nets for Great Lakes whitefish. Michigan writer Dan Denov has gotten to know the Petersen family on a couple of outings aboard the family-built Petersen Brothers, a 52-foot steel trap net boat that plies the waters of Lake Michigan from the family's dock on nearby Lake Muskegon. Their story begins on page 24.

NF Assistant Editor Melissa Wood took a trip down to Gloucester, Mass., for the opening of the Giacalone family's off-loading facility, a partnership with the founders of the Boston Seafood Display Auction. All four Giacalone boys are working in the auction house, owned by their father, NF Highliner, Gloucester trawling skipper and industry advocate Vito Giacalone Sr. Melissa's story begins on page 26.

A family of another kind can be found far to the north in Atlantic Canada's Prince Edward Island, where the wider community of local wooden boatbuilders shares a history with fishermen on both sides of the border. Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley explores the last 100 years of Canadian boatbuilding traditions and how designs were shaped by the needs of inshore fishermen (page 28).

It's not often we have the opportunity to investigate outside of our normal scope of U.S. fishing. But whenever we do, we discover the vast breadth of knowledge that comes from knowing fishermen around the world as well as in our backyard.

-Jessica Hathaway

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
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EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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