We hope to see many of our readers this week at Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle. Not only is the expo a chance to check out the latest equipment and gear, it's also an opportunity to learn about hot topics in the industry at a wide range of lectures, panel discussions and special events. Here's what's happening on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

11 a.m. - noon Keynote Address: Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act by Brian Rothschild, president, Center For Sustainable Fisheries

Join Brian J. Rothschild as he discusses the reforms that need to be made regarding National Standard 1: the balance between overfishing and optimum yield; National Standard 2: best science available; and National Standard 8: the need to take into account the economic and social fabric of fishing communities.  He will also uncover the many misconceptions regarding fish population dynamics that constrain the effectiveness of legislation and the institutions that we need to be built to create sustained optimum yield.

11 a.m.  Kevin Bailey, "Billion-Dollar Fish - the Untold Story of Alaska Pollock" at the Author's Corner & Bookstore

Noon - 1 p.m. The Human Element in Safe Shipping: ABS Initiatives

This presentation will provide information reinforcing the continued need to address human element concerns in maritime systems as well as how the American Bureau of Shipping is tackling these concerns. The ABS Ergonomics Model for addressing human element concerns and current ABS activities to help improve mariner safety, crew task performance, and shipboard quality of life are presented. ABS human element-related topics include crew habitability, the assessment of safety culture, the identification of potential leading indicators of safety, mariner personal safety, and the application of ergonomics in a maritime environment. Presented by: Julie Pray, engineer, ABS

1 p.m. Sylvia Taylor, "The Fisher Queen" at the Author's Corner & Bookstore

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. The Jones Act/MEL vs. Longshore Act 

Which Coverage Applies: There is uncertainty for vessel owners and workers as to which insurance coverage applies - workers' compensation coverage for maritime employees under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act and workers under the state act compensation laws is mutually exclusive of crew member liability coverage under the Jones Act and the general maritime law.  But there is a "Zone of Uncertainty" whre these laws seem to overlap, and it is difficult for vessel owners to identify their correct exposure in order to be adequately insured against liability for injury or death of employees.  This presentation will explore the "Uncertainty Zone," set out the coverage tests currently in use by the courts, and look at recent case law. Presented by: John A. (Jack) Martone, senior vice president, consulting, and director of marketing, American Equity Underwriters

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Cooperative Research in Alaska and the North Pacific

Researchers from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center and Northwest Fisheries Science Center will present examples of recent cooperative research projects and discuss their development. Fishing industry representatives from Alaska and West Coast fisheries will discuss their experiences with cooperative research and share their perspectives on working with government and university partners. They will be joined by trawlerman Jimmy Ruhle of North Carolina, who has been at the vanguard of cooperative research on the East Coast for more than a decade. This panel will expand on institutional arrangements, describe in more detail how collaborations developed, share how expertise and duties are shared and identify possible funding sources for cooperative research. Presented by: Dr. Steven  Barbeaux, AFSC; Dr. Waldo Wakefield, NWFSC;  Dr. Craig Rose, AFSC; and John Gauvin, Alaska Seafood Cooperative; Jimmy Ruhle, Captain of F/V Darana R and president of the Commercial Fishermen of America

3 p.m. Don Pepper, "Fishing the Coast - A Life on the Water" at the Author's Corner & Bookstore

3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Catch Shares in the Gulf of Alaska

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will present an update on the developing catch share quota program for Gulf of Alaska groundfish. Capt. Keith Colburn will share lessons learned from Bering Sea crab rationalization. Presented by: Captain Keith Colburn, Crab Wizard; Becca Robbins Gisclair, senior fisheries policy advisor, Alaska Marine Conservation Council; Duncan Fields, NPFMC member and Kodiak resident; Mark Fina, United States Seafoods and Mark Gleason, executive director, Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers

3 p.m. - 4 p.m. On the Home Front

What fishermen’s wives can do and are doing at home to promote the fishing industry. Presented by: Lori French, The Faces of California Fishing; Jen Karuza Schile, author and blogger; Elizabeth McMasters, co-owner, F/V Lady Laura, McMaster Maritime, board of directors Commercial Fishermen's Festival and Erika Kesterson

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