National Fisherman


“My wife told me to sell the boats,” says Brad Pettinger, a longtime trawl fisherman in the Pacific Northwest. “But I said, honey, who’s gonna buy them? At that time we just didn’t have anything.”

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Forty years ago, the wife of the editor at the local paper for the remote Lofoten islands in Norway’s far north had an idea to boost its tiny circulation. The newspaper started to award a bag of coffee and a certificate to any angler who landed a cod over 30kg (66lb).

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“I would never recommend anyone to work at sea," says a fisherman from Myanmar who lost four fingers in an accident while on a fishing trawler. Despite a difficult life as a fisherman, Tunlin knew he had to be patient if he wanted to survive. "I couldn't give up my life at sea," said the 34-year-old who returned from Ambon Island in Indonesia last year.

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With a magnetic swipe card system now in place, the Department of Marine Resources is able to track elver landings — or at least sales by harvesters to dealers — more or less as they occur in real time.

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Thirty-two lobsters. Taken off the same shore in one day, and it’s a grand start toward a summer feast.

But picked out over a long stretch of coast in an eight-year period? That hardly warrants an absent-minded mention at the dinner table, much less an international trade incident.

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Didn't it feel like a mild winter? The crabs in the Delaware and Chesapeake bays think so, too. And as a result, they are scurrying out from their muddy beds earlier than usual — for your dining pleasure.

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Advocates for electronic monitoring technology in the commercial fishing industry are pleased that the Senate Appropriations Committee has secured federal resources to help defray costs associated with regulating catch sizes.

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The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act turned 40 last week and Federal and State fishery managers marked that event with an opinion piece (ADN, April 12) extolling the successes of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and its implementation in Alaska as a “global model of sustainability.”  As the authors point out, the Magnuson-Stevens Act sets up a “transparent governing process” intended to ensure that “science is behind every fishery management decision” in Alaska.  Indeed, the Magnuson-Stevens Act sets up national standards ensuring that all fisheries are managed to achieve “optimum yield from each fishery” with management decisions “based on the best scientific information available,” and guided by carefully considered fishery management plans.

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TOKYO — The latest scientific assessment paints a likely bleak future for the Pacific bluefin tuna, a sushi lovers' favorite whose population has dropped by more than 97 percent from its historic levels.

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Senate Vice President Arnold I. Palacios says the CNMI and the Hawaii Longline Association have finalized a deal regarding the tuna-catch limit.

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Page 34 of 466

Inside the Industry

Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.

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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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