National Fisherman


The headstone of legendary Northwest conservationist Billy Frank Jr. is engraved with an admonition. The words are quintessential Billy, and they are decidedly frank. And they ring even truer today than they did before the Nisqually Tribe leader died two years ago.

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“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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Page 56 of 488

Inside the Industry

SeaWeb and Diversified Communications are accepting proposals to present at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit up until Friday, September 30.

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Governor Bill Walker has officially requested that the federal government declare a disaster for four Alaska regions hurt by one of the poorest pink salmon returns in decades.

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