Whether or not fishermen have a seat at the table where their livelihoods are being discussed is a recurring theme. But it has become a searing pain point in the last 18 months, as the industry has been saddled by regulatory hoops and the added expenses that have come with reinventing market access across the board to secure domestic food supplies and reroute around the collapsed restaurant and foodservice industries.
While fishermen were navigating multiple learning curves to access customers on social media, package their catch to be family-friendly, get permitted to make direct sales, and even get permission to cut their own fish for customers, they were also attending more meetings (can’t say no if it’s on Zoom, right?), preparing materials for lawsuits over pot gear, fighting recreational fishing interests on quota allocations, coping with pandemic-related delays for gear and parts, and fighting for waterfront access in a booming residential real estate market that drove people out of cities and into smaller towns across the country.
But wait, that’s not all! The drive to develop offshore wind power has created an unusual maelstrom of eco-consciousness fueled by oil companies and a federal government eager to make a splash with alternative energy. Once again, mixing with better-funded players, fishermen are left begging for a seat at the table.
NF Associate Editor Kirk Moore has kept a tight beat on offshore wind. He provides an extended update on the wind industry’s swift and expansive march to offshore development.
When you’re in an actual blow, you might find yourself zeroing in on your hatches, windows and doors. Boats & Gear Editor Paul Molyneaux’s deck equipment feature highlights some of the new fixtures going into a pair of powerhouse Bering Sea boats — F/V Wizard and F/V Progress — that both faced the consequences of big seas blowing out wheelhouse windows. But window and hatch upgrades aren’t just for the big boats, as Paul notes. Trusted and established manufacturers make durable and reliable products in a full range of sizes, price points and materials.
Speaking of big Bering Sea boats, the F/V Keta launched from Fred Wahl Marine Construction in Oregon at the end of the summer with a major addition.