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FEATURE: Mariola - Designed and built by fishermen for fishermen
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 18:10


Tom Aliotti’s new Bristol Bay gillnetter Mariola did 36 knots on sea trials. Asked the secret of getting that speed, he replied, “I’m not going to tell you my secret, except that I have fished Bristol Bay for 33 years and I use that knowledge to build boats for fishermen.”

Staying within the legally proscribed 32-foot (9.8-metre) limit for Bristol Bay gillnet boats creates a challenge that eager designers like Aliotti are happy to take on. “But it is not all about light boat speed,” he explained, “It matters to me what speed you can maintain with the weight of fish onboard and how a boat performs in weather. There are compromises to be made and I can design and build to those.”

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‘Brexit’ case founders on uncertain future
Thursday, 09 June 2016 18:10

The votes of British fishermen are unlikely to sway the UK’s referendum result one way or the other, but their oft­voiced plight is a test case for the arguments over EU membership.

The UK could follow Norway in retaining control of its own waters, alleviating the immediate struggles of fishermen and coastal regions. But a future deal with EU neighbours would be needed and there is no guarantee of better terms.

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The loving of seafood and the hating of fishing
Friday, 21 February 2014 17:27

This guest post was written by Monique Coombs. Originally published on CNN iReport. Reprinted with permission from the author.

I am often discouraged in my work by the amount of misconceptions, misinformation, and misunderstandings that exist around the seafood and fishing industries. People seem to love seafood, but hate commercial fishing. They want to “save the ocean,” but they utilise generalised seafood guides that do not take into account the whole story to select their seafood.

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Third-party seafood labels part of the problem
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 16:20

The road to hell...
Third party labelling started as a genuine effort to empower environmentally conscious consumers to exercise their buying power and stop marine-deadly fishing methods. Today, however, as a result of a lack of government oversight certain third-party certifications, like Earth Island's so-called "dolphin safe" label, have become the means to profitable and unscrupulous ends that do nothing but confuse and deceive consumers.

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NGO criticised over famous tuna brand
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 17:27
Dolphins caught in a net (Source: NOAA)

In the 1970s, then-new conservation groups such as Greenpeace were applauded for pointing out the potential abuse of the environment by natural resource industries such fisheries.

They worked hand-in-hand with government managers, scientists and the fishermen to harvest the resource with minimal damage to the stock or the ecosystem. Undoubtedly, at the time there was increasing cause for concern as big companies and government subsidies sometimes led to the neglect of the ecosystem despite the objections of individual fishermen.

Today, working together is a thing of the past.

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