National Fisherman

By the time you read this, Alaska’s first roe herring fishery at Sitka Sound could be just about over. The 8,712 ton quota is down by half from last year and the lowest Sitka catch since 2003. That, combined with historically low herring prices, has fewer boats fishing and they are doing so as a co-op.


The first opening in the annual Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery Wednesday yielded 530 tons of fish in a four-hour opening west of Crow Island and Bieli Rock, the Department of Fish and Game said today.


ROCKPORT — Maine’s scallop fishery saw another year of increased landings and value in 2014, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Marine Resources. The fishery is continuing to rebuild from an all-time low of 33,000 pounds landed in 2005.


If the state of Louisiana were going to issue an MVB award -- Most Valuable Biologist -- Randy Pausina would win in a landslide. The tireless assistant secretary for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has overseen and directed a host of procedural changes that have vastly improved biological data collection at the state agency, and Louisiana's anglers will reap the benefits for decades.


On a typical mission, Kimberly Warner would go to a restaurant. After browsing the menu, she always picked a seafood dish. She made casual conversation with her dinner companions and took mental notes of her meal. When the waiter wasn’t looking, she would snatch a marble-sized, sauce-soaked sample and slip it into her purse. Mission accomplished.


Top chefs from around the world gathered in the north of Spain on Tuesday to launch a campaign to eat more small fish such as anchovies in the interests of feeding more people and reducing pressure on the world's oceans.


This year marks 40 years since the passage of landmark Congressional legislation that fundamentally overhauled how the $90 billion U.S. commercial fisheries industry is managed. It established a unique public-private partnership in which the industry, working with scientists and both federal and local authorities, would regulate fishing according to agreed-upon scientific standards for environmental sustainability, even as the industry stretched to meet skyrocketing demand for seafood. As the world's marine science and fisheries experts convene in Boston this week at the International Boston Seafood Show, the implications of the bold decisions taken in 1976 on U.S. fisheries should be assessed in light of a race to the bottom of the seas elsewhere due to overfishing.
In a shot across the bow of commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico, state managers announced Friday that they have devised a plan to take over red snapper management and eliminate the commercial quota system that has helped rebuild the once-decimated red snapper stock.
Almost 40 years ago, without regard for the conservation of our fisheries or the needs of the Alaskan people, foreign fishing fleets dominated the waters off Alaska’s shores and took anything and everything in their reach. Ask anyone familiar with the times, deck lights of foreign vessels — dozens if not more — could be seen just miles off the coast of Kodiak and other coastal communities. Recognizing the need for change, countless Alaskan fishermen came to Congress to ask for help in pushing the foreign fleets out.


It is well after dark by the time I make it to Port Townsend. The clock on the dash of my car glows 8:03. Pulling up to the city’s south-side boatyard, no gate or guard station bars my entry into the maze of gleaming sailboats and rugged tugs, all dry-docked, dark, and quiet.

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Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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