National Fisherman


A story in last week's Chronicle highlighted a depressing truth about Galveston Bay ("Oil spills occur nearly daily," Page A1, April 7). The bay has experienced an average of 285 oil spills a year since 1998, according to Houston Advanced Research Center. These dismal numbers make us wonder how it continues to be the most productive and commercially valuable bay and estuary system in Texas. Part of the answer lies in nature's defenses to pollution. No surprise that these defenses are under stress.
 
In the past 60 years, more than 35,000 coastal marshes have disappeared for many reasons including subsidence. West Bay has lost nearly 90 percent of its underwater sea grasses during that same period.
 
These marshes and grasses are skilled at absorbing and trapping pollutants before they reach estuaries and fragile waterways. But it is the bay's most versatile natural defense, the oyster, that we want to focus on.
 
Read the full story at Houston Chronicle>>

Inside the Industry

The Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel working group is scheduled to meet Aug. 2 in Boston to discuss using commercial fishing vessels to supplement current stock assessment surveys conducted by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

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Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.

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