National Fisherman


For local crab fishermen, it's all about unity.
 
United, they can keep their boats docked and try to negotiate a higher price for their product. Divided, they will fall like dominoes, and set out on the water ready to take whatever buyers are offering.
 
With the season having opened a week ago, negotiations are currently at a standstill. In fact, according to some, it's hard to even call what's going on negotiations.
 
”The buyers have offered $2.50 (a pound), we've asked $3, and those numbers haven't changed,” said local fisherman Dave Bitts.
 
Meanwhile, fishermen in Oregon and Washington, where regulators postponed the season because tests showed Dungeness crab there to be too small, are readying to start fishing Dec. 15, adding a new layer of complexity to local negotiations.
 
Some version of this dance plays out every year, as fishermen and buyers work out a deal that sends the local fleet onto the water for a week or two of furious crab fishing. The process works like this: The Fisherman's Marketing Association negotiates on the part of the fishermen to strike a deal, which would then be put to a vote of all fishermen with a commercial crab permit in the region.
 
On the other side of the table sit the buyers. Because a company called Pacific Seafood handles about half the crab inventory on the West Coast, it is the sole buyer at the proverbial negotiating table. Other wholesalers simply defer to Pacific Seafood, following its lead.
 
Then there's a complex interworking of markets and supply. 
 
Read the full story at the Times-Standard>>

Inside the Industry

Ray Hilborn, a University of Washington professor of aquatic and fishery sciences, recently received the 2016 International Fisheries Science Prize at the World Fisheries Congress in Busan, South Korea.

The award was given to Hilborn by the World Council of Fisheries Societies’ International Fisheries Science Prize Committee in recognition of his 40-year career of “highly diversified research and publication in support of global fisheries science and conservation.”

Read more...

Legislators from Connecticut and Massachusetts complained about the current “out-of-date allocation formula” in black sea bass, summer flounder and scup fisheries in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this week.

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