National Fisherman


America's commercial fishermen provide the public with some of the world's best seafood: Alaska salmon and halibut, Maine lobster, Gulf red snapper, New England cod - names that make your mouth water. These are the fishermen who support our coastal economies and contribute to our food security, and continue to do so in the face of a growing number of challenges.

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President Joko Widodo’s plan to establish Indonesia as a ‘global maritime axis’ took a step forward last week as US ambassador Robert Blake announced a partnership programme to help improve marine law enforcement and sustainable fisheries management in the world’s largest archipelagic nation.

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NOAA Fisheries announced last week that it was expanding the critical habitat for endangered North Atlantic right whales to cover its northeast feeding areas in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. The designated area is much larger than the one it replaces, and now includes all of the Gulf of Maine on the U.S. side of the national boundary with Canada.

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Local fisherman David Goethel said he hopes a court ruling comes soon to determine the legality of a new federal mandate, as he and other fishermen are fearful they will go under before the trial begins.

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Interstate fishing regulators have decided to hold off on starting the process of crafting a plan to try to preserve the dwindling southern New England lobster stock.

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New research published Monday adds to a body of evidence suggesting that a warming climate may have particularly marked effects for some citizens of the country most responsible for global warming in the first place — namely, U.S. East Coasters.

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Last week included one of the signature events on the Pacific Northwest’s annual calendar: the setting of spring fishing seasons on the Columbia River.

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Amid the volcanic peaks and hot springs of southern Japan, something fishy is happening: caviar.

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A majority of Gulf of Alaska groundfish trawlers will voluntarily suspend fishing in order to attend the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland, Oregon this week. They are concerned that the recent State of Alaska proposal to restructure their fisheries would seriously harm their livelihoods and the economies of their fishery dependent communities.

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A recent post from Mission Blue – Sylvia Earle Alliance (“Chesapeake Bay Suffers from Menhaden Reduction Industry”) makes several claims about the Atlantic menhaden fishery, most notably that the fishery, particularly in the Chesapeake Bay, is responsible for “environmental collateral damage.” The Menhaden Fisheries Coalition disputes this categorization, as based on the most recent assessments conducted on the menhaden stock, there is little evidence that the menhaden fishery is negatively impacting the health of the species.

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Inside the Industry

Legislators from Connecticut and Massachusetts complained about the current “out-of-date allocation formula” in black sea bass, summer flounder and scup fisheries in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this week.

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The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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