You are the warriors

William McCloskey Jr.'s new novel is a prequel to "Highliners." An excerpt from "Warriors" that begins on page 26 is a fictionalized account of the early days in Alaska's Bering Sea king crab fishery.

Those were the days of the true Last Frontier. The industry has changed a lot since then. I'm sure some of those pioneers would say the people have changed, too.

We meet a lot of you when we take to the road every year. But nothing is as good a reminder of what this industry is all about as our annual Crew Shots issue. You are, indeed, the warriors. You are keeping the fishing life alive and well despite endless obstacles — locally, regionally and nationally. We write about the ups and downs every month. We get the calls, the emails and even the hand-written letters. We hear you. And in return, we dedicate this issue to the people who run the boats, haul the fish and feed us all.

The Crew Shots feature is not about the business or the politics. It's about your families, by blood or by boat and sometimes both.

Your life in pictures starts on page 20, and continues in the Last Set on page 52. But that's not the end. You sent us a record number of photos this year, enough to fill seven pages and then some. We got in as many as we could. But if you don't see yours here, look for the Last Set page of our next issue.

This January edition should be in your hands before the end of 2013, so I see it as an opportunity to look back as well as set my sights on what's to come. There's a lot of good mojo in this industry right now. Tyson Fick sketches out some of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's goals for 2014 in Northern Lights on page 7. Also on page 7, Roger Fitzgerald's Search for the Simple Life has him sidling up to the bar with Mike Petersen, who served on many a Bering Sea boat in his 42 years of fishing and now runs his own ship at the Fremont Dock Sports Bar & Grill on the Seattle waterfront.

Jim Kendall's Dock Talk piece on page 9 introduces the New Bedford, Mass.-based but nationally focused Center for Sustainable Fisheries, which is headed up by none other than Brian Rothschild, Montgomery Charter professor emeritus of the University of Massachusetts' School for Marine Science and Technology and 2012 NF Special Award for Lifetime Achievement recipient. At age 79, Brian was supposed to be retiring when he left UMass in the fall of 2013, but fishing folks know a fellow warrior when they get their hooks in one.
Here's to an exciting year ahead. I wish you all a merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

— Jessica Hathaway

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