National Fisherman


Fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico, be they commercial, charter-for-hire or recreational, all agree on one fact: the growing need for more timely and accurate data for fishery management and science. Recognizing the need for more timely data collection, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has developed an implementation plan to expand the use of both electronic monitoring and electronic reporting.

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Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts is busy trying to broker a deal with Democrats that will stop Vermont’s GMO labeling law — and any measures that may crop up in other states — from taking effect.

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Among its myriad of health benefits, fish contains nutrients that are important for developing fetuses, which is why pregnant women are advised to eat two or three servings of fish each week. However, concerns over the detrimental effects of mercury - found in nearly all fish - have given pregnant women a reason to be cautious. Now, a new study suggests the negative effects of ingesting low levels of mercury through fish are outweighed by the beneficial effects for newborns.

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By the fall of 2015, the salmon of the Connecticut River were supposed to be doomed. The silvery fish that once swam the Northeast’s longest river, 407 miles from the mountains of New Hampshire to Long Island Sound, went extinct because of dams and industrial pollution in the 1700s that turned the river deadly. In the late 1800s a nascent salmon stocking program failed. Then in 2012, despite nearly a half-century of work and an investment of $25 million, the federal government and three New England states pulled the plug on another attempt to resurrect the prized fish.

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The San Diego Unified Port District asked developers Monday how they would turn Seaport Village into a “world-class development.”

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Dungeness crab boats in California have been idle in ports up and down the coast this winter. The season remains closed in most parts of the state after dangerous levels of the biotoxin domoic acid were detected in crabs. While the delay has resulted in financial losses to fishermen and no California-caught crab at the market, some Dungeness fishermen have been busy hauling in a different catch instead: lost crab gear.

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Norton Sound’s winter crab fishery finally opened Monday after poor sea ice delayed commercial crabbers for about a month.

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With the closure of all commercial Dungeness crab fisheries statewide, the San Mateo County Harbor District board waived slip fees for its 39 permitted commercial crab fishermen who operate out of Pillar Point Harbor on the coast.

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Shocking revelations about the international fishing industry’s reliance on slave labor have caused many people to question the origin of the shrimp or tuna they eat. The disclosures have also led the United States to take some important new steps to clamp down on the use of indentured workers and discourage other unlawful activities on the high seas.

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Fishermen are making money on sushi in Maine, the only state in the country with a significant baby eel fishery, and lawmakers are looking to make it possible for them to make more.

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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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