National Fisherman

Pink shrimp is the first fishery managed by Washington to receive certification from the global Marine Stewardship Council fisheries standard for sustainable, wild-caught seafood.

The state’s fishery was independently assessed as a scope extension of the MSC certified Oregon pink shrimp fishery, which achieved certification to the MSC standard in December 2007 and attained recertification in February 2013.


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.


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.


The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is teaming up with leading shark-tracking nonprofit Ocearch to build the most extensive shark-tagging program in the Gulf of Mexico region.

In October, Ocearch is bringing its unique research vessel, the M/V Ocearch, to the gulf for a multi-species study to generate previously unattainable data on critical shark species, including hammerhead, tiger and mako sharks.


Jennifer Young, the owner of Food Safety Solutions and food safety specialist, has been based out of Hawaii for seven years, but will soon be joining the Gulf Seafood institute and moving back to Louisiana.

During her time in Hawaii, Young learned the seafood industry from the ground up. Starting her education at the auction, to cutting and trimming, grading, sales, marketing and finally graduating into food safety compliance and sustainability issues.


Last week, the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust announced the acquisition of more than $1 million in commercial groundfish fishing quota from The Nature Conservancy, permanently securing these historic fishing rights for the long-term benefit of the Monterey Bay community.

 The Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust is a nonprofit organization created to own and lease groundfish quota to local fishermen, while working to improve the economic and environmental performance of the fishery.


This week Cordova District Fishermen United, a non-profit focused on Prince William Sound, became the newest member of the Seafood Harvesters of America, which now represents 17 commercial fishing organizations.

“The addition of CDFU brings with it notable leadership in Alaska’s commercial fishing industry. CDFU is an exceptional organization; we are thrilled to work with them,” said Chris Brown, the chairman of the association, in a press release. The Seafood Harvesters of America is a better group for their inclusion. We share the core values of resource stewardship and accountability. We are traveling on the same pathway towards a great American fishery.”


After a 30-year career with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Jeff Regnart will be stepping down as director of the state’s commercial fisheries division on Oct. 2.

Regnart explained the main reasons for stepping down were to take care of his family and aging parents, which would require him to spend too much time out of state to keep up with the demands of the position.


The longest running coastal shark research survey along the East Coast has completed its 2015 field work, capturing and tagging more than 2,800 sharks, the most in the survey’s 29-year history. The results are very good news for shark populations.

The last survey was in 2012, during which 1,831 sharks were captured and tagged, compared with 2,835 in 2015. In all, 13 shark species were among the 16 species of fish caught. 


As part of its efforts to build resilient coastal communities and sustainable marine resources, NMFS announced the availability of approximately $10 million in competitive grants through the 2016 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program.

The program addresses the needs of fishing communities and increases opportunities to keep working waterfronts viable by funding fisheries research and development projects.



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Inside the Industry

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.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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