Sometimes romanticized and glorified, and sometimes demonized, the fishing industry is always newsworthy. Here are stories of the industry’s continuing evolution as resources shrink, its successes and failures, and of the men and women whose livelihood ensures we can enjoy that clambake, mahi-mahi or a lobster or two. Please e-mail any stories I may have missed.


State creating new oyster sanctuaries, pushing aquaculture (Baltimore Sun, Dec. 3, 2009)
In a move aimed at restoring the Chesapeake Bay's depleted oyster population, Gov. Martin O'Malley will announce this morning a major expansion of the state's existing patchwork of oyster sanctuaries, according to sources, setting aside large stretches of rivers to protect the water-filtering shellfish from commercial harvest.

In the News: Week of Nov. 29, 2009

NOAA announces temporary fishing rule to protect South Atlantic Red Snapper
NOAA’s Fisheries Service has announced an interim rule that will prohibit commercial and recreational fishing for red snapper in federal waters off North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and the Atlantic coast of Florida.

Week of Nov. 8, 2009

'Last chance' for tuna authority (BBC, Nov. 9, 2009)
The annual meeting of the body charged with conserving Atlantic tuna opens on Monday to warnings that this is its "last chance" to manage things well. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (Iccat) is criticised for setting high quotas and not tackling illegal fishing.

Week of Nov. 1, 2009

Call to change fish discard rules (BBC, Nov. 1, 2009)
Changing the law which forces fishermen to dump dead fish back into the sea could save the industry £60m a year, the environment secretary has said.

Week of Oct. 25, 2009

New Coast Guard safety initiative aimed at commercial fishermen (Press of Atlantic City, Oct. 31, 2009)
The U.S. Coast Guard will launch a program to improve the safety of commercial fishing today along the East Coast to coincide with the start of the cold-weather season, which brings rougher seas. The program, dubbed Operation Safe Catch, will run through April 30.

Fishermen school up to criticize new catch rules (Oct. 30, 2009)
Hundreds of fishermen from the Northeast rallied in front of the headquarters of federal fishery managers Friday, demanding changes in the "dysfunctional" management that they say is destroying their industry.

Activists say fish deal hostage to WTO deadlock (Reuters, Oct. 29, 2009)
Proposals to rescue collapsing fish stocks by restricting fisheries subsidies are under threat because of the lack of progress in global trade talks, environmental campaigners said on Thursday.

Fishermen plan protest at NMFS (Gloucester Daily Times, Oct. 27, 2009)
With participants expected from as far away as Maryland, plans for a massive fishermen's protest Friday against federal policies at the regulators' regional offices got a boost yesterday with the release of a supportive "Dear Colleagues" note from Elinor Ostrom, the new Nobel laureate in economics.

Hawaii approves plan for first tuna farm in U.S. (, Oct. 25, 2009)
Hawaii’s State Board of Land and Natural Resources has voted to approve the development of the first tuna farm in the US.

Week of Oct. 11, 2009

EU officials warn of disappearing cod (AP, Oct. 17, 2009)
The European Union's executive body is calling for sharp cuts in the amount of cod fishermen can catch next year, pointing to estimates that the fish is close to extinction in some major fishing areas around Europe.

EU imposes further fish quota cuts (Ireland Online, Oct. 16, 2009)
The European Commission delivered bad news for fishermen today - belt-tightening is needed again next year to give endangered fish stocks a chance to recover.

Greedy dogfish blamed for Mass. fishery's problems (AP, Oct. 13, 2009)
The sea air isn't all that's salty when fishermen in the Cape Cod town of Chatham talk about the hated spiny dogfish.

Week of Oct. 4, 2009

Fish workers to live on sea farms (BBC, Oct. 6, 2009)
Workers could soon be living on moored barges under plans to extend salmon farming further off the Scottish coast.

Week of Sept. 27, 2009

Weak levels of King Salmon hurt Alaskan fishing community (NYT, Oct. 2, 2009)
Just a few years ago, king salmon played an outsize role in villages along the Yukon River. Fishing provided meaningful income, fed families throughout the year, and kept alive long-held traditions of Yup’ik Eskimos and Athabascan Indians.

Shovelnose sturgeon proposed for listing (AP, Sept. 30, 2009)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing federal protection for the shovelnose sturgeon to help protect the endangered pallid sturgeon.

Week of Sept. 20, 2009

Iceland plans big whale meat trade (BBC, Sept. 25, 2009)
The company behind Iceland's fin whaling industry is planning a huge export of whalemeat to Japan.

Palau to ban shark fishing, create sanctuary for predators (Bloomberg, Sept. 25, 2009)
The Pacific nation of Palau is creating the first shark sanctuary, banning commercial fishing of all sharks in its waters from vessels that hunt the predators for their fins, coveted in soups as an Asian delicacy.

Endangered Grand Banks cod catch doubles in 2008 (WWF, Sept. 20, 2009)
The amount of cod caught on the Grand Banks this past year exceeded the 420 tonnes bycatch reduction target set by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) by a wide margin.

Fish policy blighted by 'failure' (BBC, Sept. 20, 2009)
European rules which oversee Scotland's fishing industry have been blighted by "systemic failures" and should be overhauled, a report argues.

Week of Sept. 13, 2009

Tuna Town in Japan sees falloff of its fish (NYT, Sept. 19, 2009)
Fishermen here call it “black gold,” referring to the dark red flesh of the Pacific bluefin tuna that is so prized in this sashimi-loving nation that just one of these sleek fish, which can weigh a half-ton, can earn tens of thousands of dollars.

Wash., trollers team up to improve chinook harvest (AP, Sept. 19, 2009)
Hoping to preserve future fishing harvests, commercial fisherman Doug Fricke did something different while trolling for chinook salmon this year.

Pacific bluefin tuna fishing to be restricted (FIS, Sept. 14, 2009)
Bluefin tuna fishing in the Pacific Ocean will be restricted next year, and will be made to return to prior 2002-04 levels in terms of number of vessels and fishing days.