National Fisherman

CHARLESTOWN, R.I. – Rain and sleet smack the surface of Ninigret Pond as oyster farmer Jules Opton-Himmel fumbles with a stalled outboard motor. Not much is going his way this morning.

He's under pressure to harvest on this mid-February day to make an on-time afternoon delivery to a local raw bar. On-board, he's trying to impress a top chef from one of Newport's most exclusive restaurants – and his pontoon boat is stuck in a field of slushy ice not even halfway out into the lagoon where he grows oysters.

"Everything going wrong – I'd say that's a pretty typical day," Opton-Himmel jokes, just moments before part of the outboard engine broke off, sinking into the icy water.

As New England's waters have become cleaner in recent decades, growers like Opton-Himmel have seeded the coast with oyster farms. As their efforts start to bear fruit, the ocean impacts of climate change may test the mettle of the burgeoning industry.

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network>>

Inside the Industry

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.

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