National Fisherman


Be ye a halibut angler -- Alaska-based or from afar -- there was good news coming out of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council this holiday season tempered by a little coal-in-the-stocking courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The Council, for its part, decided to stick with a two-fish-per-day limit for flatfish anglers fishing out of Southcentral ports near Anchorage, the state's largest city, next year. There had been worries about a reduced limit, as is already in place in the state's Southeast Panhandle because of a shrinking "biomass'' -- as the scientists call it -- of halibut.

The not-so-good news from Fish and Game was related directly -- and sadly -- to that biomass problem. There appear to be plenty of fish, but most of them are small. The state's Preliminary Estimates of Sport Harvests concluded Southcentral anglers caught about 300,000 of the tasty, white-fleshed fish in 2012, about the same as in 2011. But state fisheries biologist Scott Meyer from Homer reported the average size of halibut kept by Southcentral anglers dropped under 15 pounds for the first time ever. Some Kenai River sockeye salmon get bigger than that.

Read the full story at Alaska Dispatch>>

Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

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