National Fisherman


Almost everyone interested in the commercial fishing industry is now familiar with Discovery Channel’s hit reality series "Deadliest Catch." The show is entertaining, the cinematography is superb, the characters are portrayed as both villainous and heroic and it’s filmed in one of the most brutal environments in the world. To average Americans sitting in front of their televisions, "Deadliest Catch" is an interesting documentary in a historically ignored industry. However, there has been a big problem developing in one of Alaska's most iconic fisheries as a result of the show and legislation known as Bering Sea Crab Rationalization.
 
It's obvious why the show has enjoyed such success, and I commend the captains, crew and boat owners who have been involved in the series over the last decade. But the fleet that appears on "Deadliest Catch" is creating a problem for the 65 or more other crab boats whose crews depend on the Bering Sea crab resource for financial survival but don't appear on television.
 
Alaska’s Bering Sea crab fleet has had a rich and tumultuous history. The king crab boom of the 1970s generated exorbitant profits for all who participated; however, the king crab crash of the 1980s saw these same players scrambling to keep their businesses afloat through diversification into other fisheries. Fortunately, the opilio crab fishery emerged as a saving grace to the struggling king crab fleet from the mid 1980s and well into the 1990s. As the opilio quotas dwindled in the late 1990s, different management plans were discussed to end the Olympic-style fishery that Bering Sea crabbers had perfected.
 
Read the full story at the Alaska Dispatch>>

Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

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