Written by Jen Finn
SKAMOKAWA — When Marty Kuller was growing up in Seward, Alaska, commercial fishermen walked tall, and little boys like Kuller looked up to them.
"Growing up as a young man, the commercial fishermen were the pillars of the community. As a young man, that was my dream. You know how something like that can take hold in you," Kuller, 50, said last week.
But these days, gillnetting no longer fills his heart with pride and excitement.
Kuller still gillnets on the Columbia River and purse-seines in Alaska, and he's branched out into fish-buying, working with fellow Skamokawa gillnetter Kent Martin and others to deliver salmon to high-end specialty markets around the region.
But as the political controversy over gillnetting and the competition with sports fishermen have built to a climax, Kuller and other gillnetters on the Lower Columbia are losing faith that a new Columbia River fisheries plan will leave a place for them and their way of life.
In fact, Kuller has made the drastic decision to leave Wahkiakum County. Within the next few years, he will move himself, his wife, Vicki Sue, and daughter, Whitney, to a recently purchased property near Lake Havasu, Ariz., thousands of miles from the landscape and profession that have defined his life for the last 25 years.
Read the full story at the Longview Daily News>>
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.Read more...
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.Read more...