National Fisherman


As winter approaches, take a second look at that wild salmon entree you paid a premium for in a restaurant. It's likely mislabeled.

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The coastal ocean and its fisheries have played a huge role in the cultural and economic development of Cape Cod. Yet recent changes in the atmosphere and deep ocean threaten the natural rhythms that govern the ecosystems of the shallow waters surrounding Cape Cod.

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“Clam Power” read the T-shirt on the sturdy woman carrying gear from her pickup to her no-frills work boat tied to a ramshackle dock in Patchogue, on the South Shore of Long Island.

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An industry-led effort to determine whether sea urchins can be encouraged to grow in once fertile habitat got a boost last week. The Department of Marine Resources Advisory Council unanimously approved a regulation closing a part of the Sheepscot River to urchin fishing for nearly three years.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is using a new, interesting, and very trendy way to study endangered killer whales, including those that may be pregnant – drone technology.

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I stared for a while at the placid face of Long Island Sound before I could make out Bren Smith’s farm. It was a warm, calm morning in September. Sixty buoys bobbed in rows like the capped heads of synchronized swimmers. It wasn’t until Smith cut the engine of his beat-up boat, Mookie, that I knew for sure we had arrived. The farm, a three-acre patch of sea off Stony Creek, Connecticut, starts six feet underwater and descends almost to the ocean floor. From the buoys hang ropes, and from the ropes hang broad, slippery blades of sugar kelp, which have the color and sheen of wet Kodak film.

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The commercial and charter fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the United States, are unified in opposition to H.R. 3094 (Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority Act).

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Alaska’s 2015 salmon season produced the second largest harvest ever, but rock bottom prices yielded the lowest pay out to fishermen since 2006. That will cut into the tax base of coastal communities and state coffers, which collect fully half of all fish landing taxes.

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Eric Evenson is very, very worried about fish.

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The razor clam sport and personal use fisheries on the east side of the Cook Inlet will remain closed for a second year. The number of razor clams on beaches in Ninilchik and Clam Gulch are still too low to allow harvesting, according to Matt Miller, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game’s regional management coordinator for sportfishing in the Upper Cook Inlet. The department conducted surveys this year on five beaches on the peninsula — Ninilchik North and South, Clam Gulch North and South and the Oil Pad Access North.

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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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