From the Editor

From the Editor: Pacific Marine Expo ‘22
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From the Editor: Pacific Marine Expo ‘22

In mid-November, I had the privilege and pleasure of representing Fishermen’s News at one of the largest and longest running commercial fishing and commercial marine trade shows in existence, Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 17-19 in Seattle. Maritime Institute, the parent company of Maritime Publishing, which runs Fishermen’s News, operated Booth 220 at this year’s expo. A handful of Maritime Publishing representatives, including publisher Dave Abrams, advertising manager Katie Higgins and yours truly, managing editor Mark Nero, were at the booth during various times over the course of the three days, as were other folks who help create content for the magazine, including senior designer Kathy Samuelson, subscription and classified ad services provider Sarah Spangler and write...
From the Editor: PME ‘22
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From the Editor: PME ‘22

As you probably know if you’re involved in the West Coast commercial fishing industry, one of the largest and longest running commercial fishing and commercial marine trade shows in existence, Pacific Marine Expo, takes place Nov. 17-19 in Seattle. And once again, the company that owns Fishermen’s News Magazine will be in attendance. Maritime Institute, the parent company of Maritime Publishing, which operates Fishermen’s News, will be at Booth 220 during this year’s expo. A handful of Maritime Publishing representatives, including publisher Dave Abrams, advertising manager Katie Higgins and yours truly, managing editor Mark Nero, will all be at the booth during various times over the course of the three days, as will other folks who help create content for the magazine. If you’re going ...
From the Editor: California Worker Classification
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From the Editor: California Worker Classification

Some important news for professional fishermen and women in California occurred in September: the state’s governor signed a bill that provides anglers a two-year exemption from the state’s so-called ABC test, which is used to determine whether workers are employees or independent contractors. Under the ABC test, a person being paid to provide labor or services is considered an employee rather than an independent contractor unless the hiring entity can prove that the person is an independent contractor. A worker is considered an employee and not an independent contractor unless the employer satisfies all three of the following conditions: The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for...
Guest Column: Doing More with Less
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Guest Column: Doing More with Less

It would appear that “doing more with less” could be the unofficial motto for today’s society, especially regarding the workplace. Restaurants, offices, tech companies and many other businesses are feeling the squeeze of being short staffed and finding it hard to recruit and retain qualified long-term help. What does this mean for the employees who are in the workforce? It means doing more than your normal duties in your job description. While it is a fact that sometimes you just do what needs to be done to perform the task at hand, this extra effort is creating an environment for workers that leads to extra stress, longer hours, fatigue and eventually burnout. This does not create a healthy and sustainable model for businesses to succeed and thrive. The COVID-19 pandemic w...
From the Editor: Tackling Illegal Fishing
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From the Editor: Tackling Illegal Fishing

In the June issue of Fishermen’s News, we ran a lengthy feature article on illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and how, for multiple reasons, such fishing is a leading global maritime security threat. Well, as a follow up to that report, I’m happy to report this news: the United States is strengthening its commitment to combating IUU fishing. In late June at the United Nations Ocean Conference in Portugal, the U.S. made a series of announcements that elevates the country’s commitment to combat IUU fishing and the labor abuses associated with it. In conjunction with the announcements, President Biden signed a memorandum addressing IUU fishing and related harmful fishing practices. Among the measures that the Biden administration spells out in the memorandum are t...
From the Editor: Onboard AI
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From the Editor: Onboard AI

Could artificial intelligence soon play a substantial role when it comes to counting catch and bycatch onboard commercial fishing vessels? Well, it might not be right around the corner, but it’s something that appears to be on the horizon. A startup co-founded by three people -- two former University of British Columbia students and one from Dalhousie University -- is working on a monitoring system that uses video and artificial intelligence to better calculate catch and bycatch for commercial fishing boats. The startup, called OnDeck Fisheries AI, is the brainchild of former UBC students Alexander Dungate and Sepand Dyanatkar, along with ex-Dalhousie student Matthew Leighton. Alexander holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science + Biology from the University of British Colu...
From the Editor: ‘A Scallop Disco’
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From the Editor: ‘A Scallop Disco’

By Mark Edward Nero According to a recent article in the British newspaper The Guardian, a new and unorthodox fishing technique is not only effective when it comes to catching scallops, but could also help preserve fragile seafloors. And it involves use of disco-like LED lights to attract fish. The article, which was published May 18, says the discovery occurred when marine scientist Dr. Rob Enever and his team at Fishtek Marine, a southwest England-based fisheries consultancy, designed small underwater lights to help protect fish stocks by replacing the need to use fish to bait crab and lobster pots. “The lights were supposed to attract crabs into the pots. But quite unexpectedly, scallops, which can have up to 200 eyes, were more attracted to the LED lights, the article states. ...
From the Editor: Fishing Vessel Tracking
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From the Editor: Fishing Vessel Tracking

Could there be more government regulations for fishing vessels on the horizon? At least one environmental group hopes so, and is even advocating for it. An analysis released in mid-April by the non-profit conservation organization Oceana has put a spotlight on America’s requirements for transparency of fishing vessels. Specifically, the study says the U.S. falls short of other countries’ requirements. This, according to Oceana, reinforces the need for the U.S. government to expand regulations and require more fishing vessels to use public tracking devices enabled by automatic identification system (AIS), which was originally developed to increase maritime safety, reduce vessel collisions, and enhance awareness of vessel locations at sea. Over time, however, AIS has also become a t...
From the Editor: Safety First
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From the Editor: Safety First

As anyone who’s worked on a fishing boat, or has spent a substantial amount of time around the commercial fishing industry knows, good safety practices are vital for a working vessel. It should come as no surprise to regular readers of this magazine that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has long stated that commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. “Many commercial fishing operations are characterized by hazardous working conditions, strenuous labor, long work hours and harsh weather,” a statement on NIOSH’s website declares. The institute maintains the Commercial Fishing Incident Database (CFID), a surveillance system for workplace fatalities in the commercial fishing industry in the United States. And data from the d...
From the Editor: Cook Inlet Fishing
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From the Editor: Cook Inlet Fishing

A decision that was finalized by federal regulators a couple of months ago is likely to have very negative ramifications for anglers in Cook Inlet, and in my opinion, should be rescinded before it goes into effect during the upcoming salmon season. In November, a rule was finalized by NOAA Fisheries that prohibits commercial salmon fishing in the federal waters of Cook Inlet during the 2022 salmon season. The area, which is three nautical miles to 200 nautical miles off Alaska, is referred to as the Cook Inlet Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The State of Alaska would continue to manage Cook Inlet salmon fishery sectors within state waters, from the shoreline to three nautical miles out. The measure will be in place for the 2022 Cook Inlet EEZ commercial salmon fishery. It affects t...