National Fisherman

The New England Fishery Management Council takes a different position from the one expressed in the July 1 editorial (“Frightening waste of fish”), as well as those reported in recent publications about wasteful fisheries bycatch and the related costs to fishermen and society.
The authors of those reports, staff from the international environmental advocacy organization Oceana, addressed important topics that all fisheries managers face. But there are numerous errors and inaccuracies in the Oceana report — so many that the eight regional fishery management councils, established by federal statute in 1976, collectively put together remarks that discuss the shortcomings of Oceana’s publication. The letter is posted on the New England Council’s website at FMCs letter to Oceana.
It may be helpful for readers to know that the U.S. fishery councils are charged by law to “prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, facilitate long-term protection of essential fish habitats and to realize the full potential of the nation’s fishery resources.” The councils are also charged with minimizing bycatch.
While no one disputes that problems remain in our fisheries, Oceana grossly misleads the public by lumping U.S. problems in the same report with global bycatch issues. Additionally, the fishery councils, after comparing the bycatch report’s statements with core reference documents developed with the support of the federal fishery science centers, raised their serious concerns directly to Oceana about substantial errors, omissions and organizational approaches that are problematic throughout the publication.
Read the full story at the Providence Journal>>
Want to read more about Oceana? Click here...

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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