NEW BEDFORD — The trials and tribulations of contemporary commercial fishermen are well known in seaports throughout New England, but while their futures appear bleak in the eyes of some, there are others who dispute that notion.
Competition from foreign fleets, perceived depletion of fish stocks, environmental concerns and government regulations head the list of major issues confronted by fishermen everywhere in the world today and perhaps dampen the enthusiasm for fishing as a career.
Many fear the rich tradition of "inter-generational fishing" — the once-common trend of fishermen spawning fishermen from their offspring — is nearing the point of extinction.
That is the sentiment of Tom Williams of Point Judith, R.I., who has been fishing commercially since 1967. Williams is today a self-described "shore captain" who owns two commercial fishing craft — operated by his two college-educated sons — out of Point Judith and Stonington, Conn.
"I can't remember conditions for fishermen being this bad," Williams said. "Until attitudes about the fishing industry change, I think we're doomed to failure. I don't see how this industry can survive."
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National Fisherman Live: 1/13/15
In this episode:
Council hosts public hearing on Cashes Ledge
Report assesses Chesapeake water, fisheries
Warmer waters shake up Jersey fishing
North Pacific observer program altered for 2015
Woman aims to crowdsource lobstering career
National Fisherman Live: 12/30/14
In this episode, Michael Crowley, National Fisherman's Boats & Gear editor, interviews Chelsea Woodward, an engineer working with the NIOSH Alaska Pacific Office to design static guards for main drum winches used in the side trawl fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is still seeking public review and comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011). The public review and comment period, which opened on Dec. 3, 2014, runs through Monday, Feb. 3.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.