National Fisherman


WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress from across the Lower 48 convened Thursday to argue the fate of the Bristol Bay watershed and the proposed Pebble mine project, with some Republican lawmakers framing the Environmental Protection Agency’s actions to block the project as a sign of larger bias and anti-industry environmental aggression in the agency.

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For the first time in 31 years, state and tribal fishery managers are at an unprecedented salmon stalemate. In the worst case scenario, recreational and commercial fishing may miss an entire season on Puget Sound.

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WALPOLE, Maine — Lobstermen plying the waters of the Gulf of Maine from the southern end of Maine’s coast to the Canadian border have seen historically high landings in recent years, offering a stark contrast to the lobster fishery in southern New England.

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A West Marin environmental group is sponsoring legislation to end the use of drift gill nets off the state’s coast, saying they inadvertently scoop up and kill other species, including federally-endangered leatherback sea turtles.

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The results are in, 2016 is going to be a good year for blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay. An iconic figure embedded in the culture and cuisine of the Chesapeake Bay area, the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) sustains the most profitable fishery in Maryland and supports thousands of fishermen and seafood businesses in Maryland and Virginia. Based on the annual winter survey conducted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, there are nearly 35 percent more blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay this season than there were in 2015. That’s good news, especially on the heels of a 38 percent increase the previous year.

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Zombies are real. They’re walking around on the bottom of Alaska’s ocean, mindlessly incubating the next generation of creatures that will, in turn, create even more zombies.

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There’s more bad financial news for Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty Minerals, the last remaining company in the now-depleted Pebble Partnership - the company behind the reckless scheme to build a massive open pit mine in the heart of the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery, the Bristol Bay fishery of southwest Alaska.

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A study by a group of researchers led by Dr. Andrew J. Pershing from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute appeared in Science last November (“Slow adaptation in the face of rapid warming leads to collapse of the Gulf of Maine cod fishery”). The Pershing study concluded that fisheries managers overseeing Gulf of Maine cod failed to consider ocean temperature in their management strategies, leading to overfishing of the stock.

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CATHLAMET, Wash. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to know how wetland restoration efforts are benefiting juvenile salmon as they feed in the mouth of the Columbia River on their way to the Pacific Ocean.

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When commercial fisherman Beau Gribbin walked in and handed members of the Provincetown Fishermen’s Memorial Foundation a check for $6,500 at their meeting on Wednesday, April 13 he was signaling not only support for the fund but the return of a formal alliance between local fishermen.

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Inside the Industry

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association released their board of directors election results last week.

The BBRSDA’s member-elected volunteer board provides financial and policy guidance for the association and oversees its management. Through their service, BBRSDA board members help determine the future of one of the world’s most dynamic commercial fisheries.

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Former Massachusetts state fishery scientist Steven Correia received the New England Fishery Management Council’s Janice Plante Award of Excellence for 2016 at its meeting last week.

Correia was employed by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries for over 30 years.

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