National Fisherman


Because of Alaska’s budget crisis, state agencies cut spending this year and are planning additional reductions in the next few years. For the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, those cuts have meant less monitoring of fish runs, a change that will lead to more conservative management and less fishing opportunity. That was the message from Fish and Game officials to a commercial fishing industry organization that met in Petersburg in late October.

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The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment recommended late Tuesday that the state put off the start of the Dungeness crab fishing season because of a potentially fatal biotoxin, as state officials scrambled to alert consumers and fishermen to a public health threat.

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There was a mix of news about the Gulf of Maine last week. First, there were dire warnings about the role of rising ocean temperatures in the demise of cod in the North Atlantic. Then came what sounded like good news — Maine has surpassed Massachusetts to become the state with the second most lucrative seafood landings in the country. Finally, on Friday, federal regulators announced they would close the Gulf of Maine herring fishery this month.

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While former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s eleven-hour testimony before the 17-month-old House Select Committee on Benghazi took center spotlight on Capitol Hill, the House Committee on Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans met to a packed room filled with Gulf commercial and charter-for-hire fishermen to hear public testimony on H.R. 3094, the “Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority Act” which gives Gulf States control of the red snapper fishery.

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The European Union is looking into reports that cheap seafood is often mislabeled as choice fish in some of the Belgian capital’s fine restaurants and even in EU cafeterias.

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Employment in Alaska’s commercial fishing sector grew last year, boosted by a  swell in groundfish harvests, state labor economists reported today.

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It’s the day North Forkers wait for all year — the first day of Peconic Bay scallop season, when dinner means delectable, sweet scallops, sauteed with butter and a hint of lemon — the day that can mean a booming season for fishermen, or a disappointing bust.

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Fishery regulators are shutting down herring fishing in the inshore Gulf of Maine because fishermen are approaching their catch limit for the important bait fish.

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On a cool Saturday morning, Sunny White was where he has spent most of the past 45 years, at the fish market on Washington’s Southwest Waterfront, selling crabs to anyone he could persuade to buy.

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The rapid warming of the waters off New England has contributed to the historic collapse of the region’s cod population and has hampered its ability to rebound, according to a study that for the first time links climate change to the iconic species’ plummeting numbers.

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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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