National Fisherman


The co-chairs of the Presidential Oil Spill Commission recently said that offshore drilling is safer than it was at the time of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico incident because industry and the government have worked together to improve spill prevention and response, implement new rules, and foster a strong culture of safety within the industry ("Offshore drilling: All risk, no reward," April 1).

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Cuts of up to 60% are on the table this week for Chinook salmon bycatch in Alaska's Bering Sea pollock fishery, prompting concerns among industry sources watching the issue closely this week.

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NEW ORLEANS — An oil consortium says an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico today can be cleaned up far faster than five years ago when BP's Macondo well blew out 45 miles off the coast of Louisiana, spawning the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

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Debates about Pacific Northwest salmon issues easily devolve into the sort of "holier than thou" fights that simmer between some of the feistier Protestant church denominations, but once in a while some actual facts help illuminate the validity — or lack thereof — of restoration strategies.

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The Seward fishing community showed up in force at a mid-day work session of City Council and the Port and Commerce Advisory Board. Council and PACAB had a question: How do we attract fishing boats to Seward? The fishermen and women had an answer: build more infrastructure and develop marine service businesses. Seward fishermen have pressed for a public crane in the small boat harbor and may get one in a year or two, but they made it clear that a crane alone will not persuade fishing families to settle in Seward with their boats.

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Sitka's Fish-to-Schools program was one of the featured presentations last week at a regional meeting on sustainable food systems.

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AUGUSTA — Lawmakers took initial steps Monday to close what Maine officials described as the last major loophole in monitoring an elver fishery that included as much as $20 million in black market sales of baby eels in 2012.

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The spiny lobster season ended March 31. State biologists say it looks like the total catch will be slightly lower than last year — but the seafood that came to the market fetched record-high prices.

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APALACHICOLA, Fla. (AP) -- Five generations of Philip Vinson's family have labored using tongs to pull oysters from Apalachicola Bay's shallow waters. He fears there won't be a sixth.

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Tribal organizations and fishing groups in Alaska are urging federal fishery managers to drastically reduce the number of king salmon allowed to be inadvertently caught by commercial pollock trawlers each year.

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Page 156 of 455

Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

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