National Fisherman

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

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is required by state statute to appoint someone to the Board of Fisheries by today, Tuesday, May 19. However, his efforts to fill the seat have gone unfulfilled since he took office in January. The seven-member board serves as an in-state fishery management council for fisheries in state waters.

The resignation of Walker’s director of Boards and Commissions, Karen Gillis, fanned the flames of controversy late last week.

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Keith Decker, president and COO of High Liner Foods, will take over for the outgoing CEO, Harry Demone, who will assume the role as chairman of the board of directors. The Lunenburg, Nova Scotia-based seafood supplier boasts sales in excess of $310 million (American) for the first quarter of the year.

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