National Fisherman


If the state of Louisiana were going to issue an MVB award -- Most Valuable Biologist -- Randy Pausina would win in a landslide. The tireless assistant secretary for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has overseen and directed a host of procedural changes that have vastly improved biological data collection at the state agency, and Louisiana's anglers will reap the benefits for decades.

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On a typical mission, Kimberly Warner would go to a restaurant. After browsing the menu, she always picked a seafood dish. She made casual conversation with her dinner companions and took mental notes of her meal. When the waiter wasn’t looking, she would snatch a marble-sized, sauce-soaked sample and slip it into her purse. Mission accomplished.

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Top chefs from around the world gathered in the north of Spain on Tuesday to launch a campaign to eat more small fish such as anchovies in the interests of feeding more people and reducing pressure on the world's oceans.

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This year marks 40 years since the passage of landmark Congressional legislation that fundamentally overhauled how the $90 billion U.S. commercial fisheries industry is managed. It established a unique public-private partnership in which the industry, working with scientists and both federal and local authorities, would regulate fishing according to agreed-upon scientific standards for environmental sustainability, even as the industry stretched to meet skyrocketing demand for seafood. As the world's marine science and fisheries experts convene in Boston this week at the International Boston Seafood Show, the implications of the bold decisions taken in 1976 on U.S. fisheries should be assessed in light of a race to the bottom of the seas elsewhere due to overfishing.
 
In a shot across the bow of commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico, state managers announced Friday that they have devised a plan to take over red snapper management and eliminate the commercial quota system that has helped rebuild the once-decimated red snapper stock.
Almost 40 years ago, without regard for the conservation of our fisheries or the needs of the Alaskan people, foreign fishing fleets dominated the waters off Alaska’s shores and took anything and everything in their reach. Ask anyone familiar with the times, deck lights of foreign vessels — dozens if not more — could be seen just miles off the coast of Kodiak and other coastal communities. Recognizing the need for change, countless Alaskan fishermen came to Congress to ask for help in pushing the foreign fleets out.
 

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It is well after dark by the time I make it to Port Townsend. The clock on the dash of my car glows 8:03. Pulling up to the city’s south-side boatyard, no gate or guard station bars my entry into the maze of gleaming sailboats and rugged tugs, all dry-docked, dark, and quiet.
 
Even as Massachusetts pushes to get the second phase of federal disaster funding to eligible Bay State beneficiaries, the fate of the federal buyout or industry buyback plan initially included in the third and final phase of funding could be in jeopardy.
 

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The Surfrider Foundation has turned to data mapping in the quest to help save a U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue helicopter in Newport.
 
The Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery will be on two-hour notice starting 10 a.m. Wednesday,  the Alaska Department of Fish & Game announced this Tuesday afternoon.
 

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Inside the Industry

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.

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Alaskan Leader Fisheries will give Inmarsat’s new high-speed broadband maritime communications service, Fleet Xpress, a try on the 150-foot longline cod catcher/processor Alaskan Leader.

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