National Fisherman

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>>

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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