Your digital NF is here, but never fear — we’re still printing magazines. I’ve fielded a lot of queries about our trial of this one-off digital edition, so I want to clear a few things up before we dig into this issue.

First, this is a one-time digital-only edition of the magazine. I know we’re not alone in doing our best to deliver a quality product in trying times. We see you all out there selling direct to your customers. I hope you’re covering more than the fuel bill and that public demand sustains your boats and businesses through 2020 and beyond.

We’re doing our best to do the same. We have long wondered about an occasional digital-only edition of the magazine, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out. Next month, you should look back to the mailbox for the magazine. Or perhaps some of you will find that this digital edition serves you just as well or even better than the classic paper in hand. Either way, we’ll be there.

This month, we hope you’ll find all the stories you rely on to make decisions, stay informed and provide this nation and many corners of the world with wild, sustainable, nutritious and delicious American seafood.

Associate Editor Kirk Moore and I put together a legislative update. Boats & Gear Editor Paul Molyneaux profiles a 100-foot shrimp boat in the Boatbuilding feature, as well as a top-notch survey of the latest in fishfinding sonars. As long as you’re still out there hauling and sorting, we’ll be here reporting.

In a recent correspondence with a New England fisherman, I asked how he and his family were faring in these times. His response was exactly the kind I’ve been hearing from many independent fishermen I’ve had the good fortune to catch up with since the shutdowns:

“One thing I have already noticed is resilience in the remaining boats. The government has worked diligently to exterminate us for 40 years; some pesky virus is not going to succeed either.”

I want to thank you all for working to keep seafood on our tables. Many Americans in coastal communities (and beyond) are just discovering that they have access to fresh, local fish and shellfish. Like Dorothy’s ruby slippers — you were there all along, but it took a shake-up for some folks to wake up. No doubt, these new consumers are also learning that there is nothing in the world quite like buying right off the boat.

I’d also like to thank our industry partners and advertisers who have been incredibly supportive of our mission despite these unpredictable times.

Lastly, we’ve also had the pleasure of launching a new website this season. We’re still running sea trials with more features to come. I hope you’ll check it out and let us know what you think. Stay tuned for more!

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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