As we sent this issue to press, Hurricane Florence had moved away from the coast but was still making her way over the interior sections of the southeastern states.
Communities in the Carolinas were pumping out and taking stock of the damage caused by flooding. Many members of our Southeast Atlantic fishing communities waited out the storm at home to stay close to their boats and equipment.
They were biding time, some in the dark and just above fast-rising waters, to find out how much damage had been done. We are relieved to begin hearing back from them.
Maureen Donald, a longtime contributor from Merritt, N.C., near Oriental, was in an area that got hit hard. Flash flooding in the New Bern and Oriental areas led to rooftop rescues.
Maureen happened to be assigned to write the profile of our 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Despite the long days of extra preparation ahead of the storm and slow recovery after, Maureen managed to file her story on Bob Jones, longtime executive director of the Southeast Fishermen’s Association. She is as resilient as the community she covers.
You can find Maureen’s story along with profiles of our other 2018 East and Gulf coast Highliners — Kristan Porter, president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association; and Ryan Bradley, executive director of Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United — starting on page 26. (Read an excerpt here.)
We will continue to cover the fallout of the 2018-19 hurricane season and effects of Florence. Please stay tuned for updates on our site and the NF Facebook page, as well as here in the pages of the magazine.
Meanwhile, we are all watching the effects of tariffs on our corner of the global marketplace. President Trump’s call for a ramp up from 10 to 25 percent on a range of U.S. goods has stateside seafood sellers keeping a close eye on outlets, prices and potential substitutions, as well as the fisheries that have lobbied for exemptions. Read more in Around the Coasts on page 12.
Global trade has come full circle for one small fisheries support business, Nomar Alaska in Kodiak. The commercial fishing gear store and manufacturer is bringing back its classic Fish Picker Coat.
As Products Editor Brian Hagenbuch tells us in his review on page 40, the wildly popular coat had to be phased out when material manufacturing headed overseas to Asia and the small-scale Alaska shop could no longer afford to source fabric to make the product. The quantities required by the outsourced outlets were simply too much for a small business. Now the shop has a new source for quality material on the global market and is bringing back its classic design, built to keep bellies and wrists dry.
Up next for us is Pacific Marine Expo, and we hope to see many of you in Seattle, Nov. 18-20. Don’t forget to register now and save $30! Your free admission includes full access to all show events, the conference program, the show floor and, yes, the beer garden.
I am especially excited about our Young Fishermen’s track in the conference program this year, which aims to educate incoming commercial fishermen, would-be captains and prospective boat owners on how to finance and plan for their future in the commercial fishing industry.