National Fisherman

Recollecting the beginnings of this column, it's been rewarding to describe different aspects of this fishing community. I think it is imperative that although we are in different times since its origin, more than 400 years ago, we must ensure the industry remains and continues in the heritage it has provided and for the future contributions it will make. While the color of its threads might have faded in these hard times, it can't be unwoven from the fabric of our Seacoast and the many individuals who have contributed to its existence.

In my time, I can recollect a long list of names with embellished stories of the past and continue to the present with colorful individuals of today that are creating another contemporary chapter. All said and done, while their lives are consumed in the activities of their profession, their thoughts and perspectives outside of this realm are uniquely valid and on target with issues that we all face. Many tenured individuals of the fishing community could be placed into different professions and hit the ground running with return to logic and simplicity that has been overcome with today's complexities.

What is worrisome is that while the tenured fishermen are excellent mentors, the lack of youth entering the business is noticeable and the knowledge that is not being passed on has possibilities of being lost. Nothing replaces hands-on experience and acquired wisdom when dealing with any profession, but even more so with this subject because when things go wrong, it can happen fast before any help might come to aid.

Read the full story at Seacoast Online>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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