National Fisherman

The first few weeks of blue crab season are off to a slow start, but the catch should increase this month, according to Beaufort County commercial fishermen.

However, with low supply and high demand in the Northeast, the succulent crab are fetching $100 per bushel. Near Charleston, those prices are driving more people into the business.

But that hasn't been the case in Beaufort County waters, fishermen say.

"We used to have a whole lot more crabbers than we have down here now," Bluffton Oyster Co. owner Larry Toomer said. Decades ago, "we had a dozen or more full-time crabbers. There are probably only four people with traps in the water right now from Hilton Head to Savannah."

Read the full story at The Island Packet>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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