National Fisherman


This spring, conservation and sport fishing groups congratulated themselves on pushing the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries to reduce menhaden landings by 25 percent. To some observers, nature seems to be endorsing the move, with whales and pods of dolphins feeding right off the beaches this summer, to the delight of boaters and beachgoers.
 
But the millions of menhaden, also called bunker, could get scarcer late this summer for its other consumers: recreational and commercial fishermen from New Jersey to Maine.
 
Once the cheapest of bait fish, bunker prices have been escalating in response to increasing demand, largely from the New England lobster industry. That fleet's traditional first choice, Atlantic herring, has become steadily more restricted since 2005 as regulators pay more attention to issues like bycatch and ecosystem effects of removing herring.
 
Menhaden's ecosystem role low on the foodchain has made it a contentious species as well. Despite the sight of marine mammals chowing down, the impact of management changes have yet to be seen, says Paul Eidman, a charter captain and activist with Menhaden Defenders.
 
Read the full story at the Asbury Park Press>>

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Inside the Industry

The New England Fishery Management Council recently elected Dr. John F. Quinn of Massachusetts and E. F. “Terry” Stockwell III of Maine to serve respectively as chairman and vice chairman in the year ahead. The two have led the Council since 2014 but reversed roles this year. 

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Vigor will debut an affordable 142-foot freezer longliner designed specifically for North Pacific fishing at the 2016 Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle.

 

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