National Fisherman

National Fisherman - November 2007


Avoid nightmares by staying awake and alert

Based on U.S. Coast Guard reports

A collision will ruin your whole day. Collisions are preventable, whether they are the result of equipment failures, weather conditions, human factors or, as is often the case, some combination of these. Navigation rules were adopted to provide for the safe operation of vessels. Any vessel operator must understand the requirements for safe navigation. Adverse weather conditions and operator fatigue require even greater vigilance and precautionary measures to ensure safety.


Gulf/South Atlantic Oysters

Increase in shell size evokes optimism; Louisiana bets on lease restoration plan

As the winter harvest season begins, oyster industry insiders in the Gulf of Mexico's top three oyster-producing states are cautiously optimistic.


Right whales, wrong tactic

Abundant stocks may be a sign of a well-managed fishery, but they will not inoculate you against management miscues, past or yet to come.


The baiting game

If it isn't one thing it's another, say seiners hit with zero-tolerance rule on spawning herring

By Kirk Moore

It's a moonless night in the Gulf of Maine. In the wheelhouse of the blacked-out Western Sea, radar and sonar screens cast weird palls of blue and red on captain Danny Fill and his crew as they watch for herring on the sounders. The light accentuates barely simmering anger in their faces.



Purse seiner for a Jersey crew;
Nova Scotia allows 50-footers

In Surry, Maine, Wesmac completed the hull and deck of what will be a 54-foot purse seiner for New Jersey fisherman Dan Axelsson. "It will look like a lobster boat on the front part, but an old-time seine boat on the back part, with her transom rolled over so her net can come in easily without catching on something," says Wesmac's owner Steve Wessel.


Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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