National Fisherman

Beginning in January, people around the country will get a chance to watch a few clever Mainers try to strike it rich in the slippery business of eel fishing.
“Cold River Cash” will debut on the Animal Planet cable network at 10 p.m. Jan. 2. The reality show will follow the work and play of three teams of Maine eel fishermen during last spring’s 10-week eel season.
Baby eels, known as elvers, are in such high demand in Asia that they can bring as much as $2,000 a pound. Some eel fishermen can make hundreds of thousands of dollars in one season.
“The stakes are high; the rivalry is intense; and the threat of danger is constant as each team struggles to come out ahead,” reads a line of the news release from Animal Planet announcing the show. The “stakes” mentioned are the fishermen’s potential earnings. No prize money is awarded.
Animal Planet crews were around Greater Portland in March and April, filming scenes for the first season. At that time, the show was tentatively being called “Eel of Fortune.”
Also at that time, the season was off to a slow start and Maine Department of Marine Resources officials had already seen 20 violations by eager fishermen, mostly for fishing without a license or fishing too close to a dam. 
Read the full story at the Portland Press Herald>>

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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