As I mentioned in my current Editor's Log; for the magazine, this is the time of year when we hit the road in search of fishing shows and fishermen's input.
This weekend, I'll be in Ocean City, Md., attending the Maryland Watermen's Show, officially known as the East Coast Commercial Fishermen's and Aquaculture Trade Exposition. I love this show, and can't wait to visit with Larry Simns, NF Highliner, the Watermen's president and the subject of a wonderful new book, which is featured in our February issue.
This year, in addition to the usual shows, I'll be attending two conferences I've never been to before: the National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium and Managing our Nation's Fisheries.
I'm very curious to see how communities and fishermen are discussed at these two programs, which are not necessarily fisherman-focused.
My hope and my goal as editor of this magazine is to speak for the fishermen and your communities to people who can and must make a difference simply by recognizing their value.
Successful management of our nation's fisheries and preservation of working waterfront communities should not be approached through punishment or restrictions. It should be a task focused on getting the most out of every resource without selling fishing grounds to develop other natural resources (Snowbirds included).
The Obama administration has a great opportunity, as Jane Lubchenco exits stage left, to redefine leadership at NOAA and NMFS. Lubchenco was hailed this week in a Natural Resources Defense Council blog as a champion of science. That may be, but when it comes to fishing, the science — as long as we've had it — has never been a more pathetic tale.
I don't think Lubchenco would like that to be her legacy, but there it is. I hope the next chief can improve on the condition of fishery data rather than burying the truth about current management practices in a pile of statistics manipulated to skew the disastrous results of catch shares into a rosy picture of economic success.
My fingers are crossed, but I can't hold my breath on this one.