National Fisherman


There is a reason a cod hangs in the State House as our official emblem. For almost as long as there has been a port in Boston, seafood has been a part of it. Seafood is linked to our regional identity, it is embedded in New England’s food system, and it needs to be — and can be — part of our economic future. But it should not be taken for granted.

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Costco Wholesale Corp. was sued for selling farmed shrimp from Thailand, where slave labor and human trafficking in the fishing industry are widespread, and allegedly misleading U.S. consumers about it.

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Late one night on the remote island of Unalaska, the site of Alaska’s tiny groundfish processing town Dutch Harbor, Korean-born Fishermen’s Finest founder and CEO Helena Park went from fisherman’s wheelhouse to fisherman’s wheelhouse, knocking on doors to gauge interest in a new business plan.

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LONG BEACH, Wash. — Greater than average forecasts of fall chinook and coho salmon are opening the way for more commercial fishing in the Columbia River.

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In an effort to reduce the financial burdens on the region’s struggling fishermen, Governor Charlie Baker and the state’s congressional delegation urged federal officials this week to pay for a controversial program that requires observers to monitor fishermen who catch cod, flounder, and other bottom-dwelling fish.

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Curt Clawson, R-Bonita Springs, has introduced a bill that would ban importing all 11 lionfish species, including the nine that have not been found in U.S. waters.

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The lobster population has crashed to the lowest levels on record in southern New England while climbing to heights never before seen in the cold waters off Maine and other northern reaches — a geographic shift that scientists attribute in large part to the warming of the ocean.

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As Hurricane Katrina lashed everything above ground, it also caused problems for seafood in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The crop that took the worst hit were oysters, whose annual sales account for hundreds of millions of the enormous Gulf seafood market.

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Recently, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called the requirement for fishermen to pay $710 per day for catch monitoring “the most perfect example of an unfunded mandate” and continued on to call the policy “ridiculous” and “outrageous.” As a fisherman with close to 50 years experience in the fishery, I could not agree more but think your readers and editors need more context to understand the fishermen’s anger.

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For James Sewell, diving for scallops on the ocean floor off Maine’s jagged coastline transcends making a living – it’s what keeps him alive.

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Page 90 of 435

Inside the Industry

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association released their board of directors election results last week.

The BBRSDA’s member-elected volunteer board provides financial and policy guidance for the association and oversees its management. Through their service, BBRSDA board members help determine the future of one of the world’s most dynamic commercial fisheries.

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Former Massachusetts state fishery scientist Steven Correia received the New England Fishery Management Council’s Janice Plante Award of Excellence for 2016 at its meeting last week.

Correia was employed by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries for over 30 years.

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