National Fisherman


A private, nonprofit organization is offering an $11,000 reward for any information about a large-scale lobster theft case near Jeffery's Ledge in the Gulf of Maine.

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Every winter, a small fleet of commercial fishing boats sets gillnets in the San Francisco Bay. Their target: Pacific herring, which enter the estuary in huge numbers to spawn and are easily caught by the millions. The fishermen fill their holds with herring just yards from the waterfront of downtown San Francisco, where many restaurants serve fresh, locally caught seafood.

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Record numbers of California sea lion pups have been starving and stranding on beaches by the thousands in recent years, and now new research finds that a decline in their mothers’ food quality is behind the disturbing trend.

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For fans who missed Capt. Keith Colburn at the 2014 Maine Fishermen’s Forum, they will get another chance to catch him this week.

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A new plan to save the ocean is coming from somewhere surprising: Wall Street. An investment firm thinks they can nurture sustainable fisheries in developing countries and make a buck at the same time. Some are calling it a big deal. Others think they’re naive.

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Last week, the Pacific Fishery Management Council released its annual population estimates for Chinook off the Pacific Coast. The council estimates about 300,000 adult fall-run salmon from the Sacramento River system are swimming off the coast this year. For the past several years, the forecasts have predicted more than 600,000 salmon.

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A coalition of fishermen, business people and environmentalists is suing federal officials over the recent decision to allow industrial fish farming in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Some of New England’s embattled groundfish fishermen say they might go out of business because of a new cost the federal government is about to impose on them on Tuesday.

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Under federal fisheries management, red snapper populations in the Gulf of Mexico are recovering and the boating and fishing industries have grown. But on Thursday, a U.S. Senate committee will hear a proposal that could gut a decade of recovery and growth  for both. The idea floated by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., would create a piecemeal system by extending the state waters of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi from 3 miles to 9. In addition, his plan would loosen some of the stronger tenets of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act — like science-based rebuilding timelines and annual catch limits.

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In a move that surprised commercial and recreational fishermen alike, Dr. Louis Daniel, III resigned as director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries this 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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