Written by Jen Finn
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.
NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.
The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.Read more...
Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.
Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.Read more...