The commercial fishing industry has a very real pulse from the grassroots up, and our readers expect material that is as lively as they are. We cover boats and gear, news and events, but most important are the people who comprise this vibrant industry.

Most of our readers are commercial fishermen, but we also have a sizable audience of academics, politicians, bureaucrats, sport fishermen, environmental advocates, and armchair mariners. Our features must be appealing and comprehensible to people who are interested in the fishing industry but who are not be directly involved in catching fish.

We use Associated Press style, and we reserve the right to edit all stories, letters and editorials to our style.

We are not interested in sport fishing (with the exception of articles on conflicts between sport and commercial fishermen), pleasure boats, cruising stories, pleasure boat equipment, or boat racing.

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Features usually run from 1,200 to 2,000 words and must be packaged with compelling artwork and photos. Feature types include: At-Sea stories from the deck of a fishing trip, including background and stats on the fishery.

  • Profiles on individuals or communities.
  • History pieces have a greater emphasis placed on the subject’s evolution. Analysis of current events in the fishing world.
  • The business of fishing — how fishermen can use efficiency, ingenuity, or market savvy to keep their businesses running.
  • The science of fishing — habitat, and weather, for example.

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The Boats & Gear section is about boats and equipment used by commercial fishermen — not charter-boat, workboat (tugs, ferries, etc.), or pleasure-boat owners.

A boatbuilding story includes design information, construction details on how the boat was built, important equipment, something on the owner and builder, and a mention of the fisheries the boat is being built for.

Gear stories cover any of the equipment a fishing boat uses.

Contact the Boats & Gear Editor


Please submit Word docs and photos attached via email, Dropbox, or Google docs. Our art director can help you with large photo files. Include with your story a headshot, short bio, and preferred byline.

We try to acknowledge all editorial submissions as soon as possible but don’t worry if you don’t hear right away. Material does pile up at certain times each month, especially when we are on a deadline. Payment is generally made upon publication unless otherwise arranged.

National Fisherman buys first and limited reprint rights to all copy and accompanying photographs, including publication to our website, newsletter, digital edition, and social media. Limited reprint rights permit us to approve the occasional request from a company or nonprofit institution to reprint an article. These rights in no way interfere with the author’s ability to sell an article to another publication after it has appeared in National Fisherman. If you are pitching a story to several outlets, it is a professional courtesy to notify us.

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All photos should be marked with a credit line and should include the sender’s full mailing address and caption information — IDs from left to right, boat name, location, home port, fishery, gear type and a general description. Please submit photos via email, Dropbox or Google docs. Our art director can help you with large photo files.

Contact the Art Director