National Fisherman

As the wide-ranging region covered by the Bristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman starts the New Year, many long-term issues continued to dominate the region's news in 2014. The proposed Pebble Mine has lost funders, but is no less in the limelight following action by the federal Environmental Protection Agency that drew state and national attention. Crime and drug use continue to dog the rural communities throughout the region, with some communities pledging to fight back. And fish, the vital economic engine for the entire region, continue to find the spotlight as, in some fisheries, numbers climb and prices drop. Here is a look back at some of the top stories from 2014.
 

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TANGIER ISLAND, Va. — Ken Cuccinelli is holding a raw oyster. It is a small, round oyster with an unusually smooth shell and a distinctive black stripe. He stands on the deck of a crabbing boat that rocks gently on the Chesapeake Bay. The former Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee tilts his head back and eats his first sample from the oyster farm that he co-founded with a small group of friends.
 

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A dramatic rise in ocean temperature is changing the kinds of fish that swim off New Jersey’s coast — a development that has significant ramifications for the state’s fishing industry and could even alter restaurant menus.
 

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Before we get to 2015, it’s important to take one final look at 2014. 
 
And there’s one thing in the world of Prince William Sound groundfish that stands out - sablefish. Last year saw the lowest harvest and lowest catch-per-unit effort in the history of the fishery. It’s been in a general decline since 2000.
 

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HATHAM – Shannon Eldredge and Morgan Parker know what difficulties fishermen go through just getting by because they grew up in a fishing family. The two sisters come from a Chatham fishing family and Shannon fishes for a living with her father.
 

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LOWER TOWNSHIP _ Marina owners and commercial fishing docks in the Port of Cape May are banding together to fight a winter-time ban on dredging designed to protect a fish that doesn’t seem to even exist here.
 

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Like those heady days when salmon are coming in on joyful and full boats, crab season can enliven Noyo Harbor with motion, aromas and noise. And then take it all away, leaving the place silent and with only the faint aroma of the sea. That was the crabby up and downs of the past two weeks.
 

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NEW BEDFORD — Make friends with Willis Blount and you're bound to hear stories about life at sea. "I was a little boy and I was in (a seafood shack in) Menemsha, and it was a bad day and we were swordfishing and I was sitting on a keg listening and there was an old timer there... and this guy had gone whaling as a 14-year-old boy!"
 

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The National Marine Fisheries Service held outreach meetings in Kodiak and Homer in December. Fishermen and NMFS representatives discussed the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer program.
 

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PORTLAND — When Marianna Tracy first went lobstering 15 years ago on Cliff Island, she knew she'd found her calling.

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National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

The National Marine Educators Association has partnered with NOAA this year to offer all conference attendees an educational session on how free NOAA data can add functionality to navigation systems and maritime apps.

Session topics include nautical charts, tides and currents, seafloor data, buoy networking and weather, among others.

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NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

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