National Fisherman

National Fisherman - May 2011


Up and down in Puget Sound

Die-hard salmon gillnetters ride the waves of fish politics, variable returns and creative marketing in the Pacific Northwest

By Matt Marinkovich

The sun was low in the November sky as I drifted for chum salmon on my Puget Sound gillnetter, Satisfaction, just south of Seattle in 2009. I kept watch for sport boats so I could flag them off my net, when I saw Joe Popich on his bowpicker, the Big Dog, round Alki Point.


Building a bridge

The abrupt about-face on the part of NOAA and the Commerce Department as we were going to press with this issue in mid-March was a huge step forward for fishermen who are fighting to preserve their industry.


ATY North

Cat decision frustrates builder; museum rebuilds side-trawler

At Wesmac in Surry, Maine, Steve Wessel is both glad and frustrated. He's glad that a boat is being built in each of the boatshop's six bays. Five of those are commercial fishing boats, and one is a pleasure boat.

He's frustrated with Caterpillar because they've pulled the engine a lot of fishermen want.


Gulf/South Atlantic blue crab

Mystery illness puts La. fleet in limbo; Florida, Mississippi harvests stay strong

The Gulf of Mexico's blue crab fishery and market prospects for the coming year are mixed almost a year after the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In Louisiana, many fishermen have temporarily stopped crabbing.


All PFDs on deck

From U.S. Coast Guard reports

The image of the Gloucester fisherman in his Sou'wester has eternally linked fishermen with foul weather. Even on a short trip in sight of shore, you are at the mercy of the elements.


Inside the Industry

The anti-mining group Salmon Beyond Borders expressed disappointment and dismay last week at Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s announcement that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

This came just days after his administration asked members of his newly-formed Transboundary Rivers Citizens Advisory Work Group to provide comment on a Draft Statement of Cooperation associated with Transboundary mining.


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.

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