National Fisherman

DEAL ISLAND, Md. (AP) — Around the turn of the 20th century, the skipjack was the vessel of choice for oystermen who made their living on the Chesapeake Bay. However, today only a handful of the sailboats are used for commercial dredging during Maryland's oyster season, which runs November through March.

The owner of one is Capt. David Whitelock, who says commercial fishing runs deep in his family. Two members aboard his skipjack, a 109-year-old sailboat named Hilda M. Willing, are cousins. And only after buying the vessel from another family of watermen did Whitelock discover that it once belonged to his great-great grandfather.

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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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