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

Legislators from Connecticut and Massachusetts complained about the current “out-of-date allocation formula” in black sea bass, summer flounder and scup fisheries in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this week.

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The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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