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: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

Read more...

Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

Read more...
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