National Fisherman

Ebb and flow

Loss and opportunity has been a recurring theme for me this month. Where you have the former, you almost always have the latter. At the end of the cycle for this issue, we learned that we had lost our longest-running columnist, Allen D. "Mike" Brown, who authored the "Cap'n Sane Says..." stories of Saturday Cove, Maine, for nearly 50 years.

Though it is never easy to say good-bye to an old friend, Mike's passing offered us the opportunity to examine his life and his history with the magazine, which is truly inspiring. Our Mail Buoy section quickly turned into a dedication to Mike and his work, first for Maine Coast Fisherman and eventually for NF, on page 12.

I hope Cap'n Perc Sane's loyal readers will take an opportunity to share with us their favorite memories of Mike and his stories. I personally most enjoyed the columns he wrote about his time with his own father. Mike may have occasionally been crass and often pushed the envelope, but he always got to the heart of things. Based on the community outpouring and the stories shared at his service in Belfast, Maine (his hometown), I was not the first or the last to be touched by Mike's words.

Also in this issue, Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley homes in on new trawl designs (and one old design rejuvenated) that can help Gulf of Mexico shrimpers and Northeast draggers reduce bycatch (p. 32). And Willy Goldsmith writes about a new fishermen-driven gear-improvement project (p. 18) coordinated by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute that aims to help Northeast draggers reduce bycatch and increase fuel efficiency.

Tightening regulations and quotas lost have forced the hand of many fishermen in these regions. My fondest hope is that gear improvement will keep some of the fleets afloat until the rising TACs can lift all boats.

Finally, I am happy to share a story about my trip to Petersburg, Alaska, this summer (p. 24). I was in town for the height of the salmon season, and yet, many folks in town took ample time out of their busy days to talk to me about fishing, the history of Petersburg, processing and their personal connections to the fishing industry. Several of them even took me out on their boats and welcomed me into their homes. The only loss there is that my time in Petersburg was limited. I'd go back anytime.

—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

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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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

Read more...

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