Welcome to Fishing and Aquaculture Week!

Photo: Gnangarra / Wikimedia

It has been an interesting couple of months for the global fishing and aquaculture sectors. Many new and impressive new vessels have been ordered and delivered. At the same time, some important and revealing scientific comment has been made.

The industry, overall, has begun to be positioned for a very promising and exciting future. The quality of the modern boats and ships serving it, almost globally, is impressively high. Fish stocks, generally, are in good condition and much of the industry now seems to understand the imperative of sustainable fishing and fish farming practices. Most participants and most governments now seem to accept that, without those sustainable practices, the industry itself cannot hope to be sustained.

Indeed, the latest report from the European Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) on the performance of the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) shows a substantial drop in fishing pressure over the period 2003 to 2018 in the North-East Atlantic. Fishing pressure in that region has been almost halved over that period. That has resulted in fish stocks increasing significantly, reaching levels in 2018 that are 50 per cent higher than in 2010. Similar improvements can be seen all around the developed world and in some less developed areas also.

Trawling • Longlining • Seining • Potting • Aquaculture • Mariculture

It’s the old story of governments eventually developing the will to do something constructive. That leads to the promulgation of appropriate regulations followed by the rigorous implementation and enforcement of those regulations. Unsurprisingly, that process can be very effective as has been shown so clearly in Europe.

Before the fisheries NGOs start claiming the credit for those improvements, it should be pointed out that the STECF report is very critical of them, particularly of their exaggeration and distortion of the facts.

That kind of good news is clearly inspiring considerable investment in new and better fishing and fish farming boats and their equipment. Several new and impressive examples of those will be seen on these pages during Fishing and Aquaculture Week.

Vessel Reviews:

Features and Opinion:

BOOK REVIEW | Swimming with Fishes

 “For anyone interested in fisheries science, particularly concerning tropical Pacific pelagic species, there is much to gain here. Throw in information about numerous Pacific islands that he visited and season it with experience of investigating the effects of nuclear explosions on those islands and you have a unique book.”

– by Neil Baird, co-Founder, Baird Maritime

REMINISCENCES | Leaving Kapingamarangi

 “The village chief on Kapingamarangi easily solved this problem. He placed eight or ten of the tallest men on the island to stand in waist deep water on either side of the channel as human channel markers, something I had never witnessed before.”

– by Bob Iverson, former officer in the US Navy and marine biologist

COLUMN | Fishing in the time of the pandemic

– “Will the fishing industry undergo long-term fundamental changes or, when we are past this pandemic, will it all return to business as usual?”

– by Alan Haig-Brown, marine writer and photographer

REMINISCENCES | Five-star bosoms in Kodiak, Alaska

– “It all started when I received a new job that took me to Tokyo. In 1979, I was selected to be the new Fisheries Attaché at the American Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.”

– by Bob Iverson, former officer in the US Navy and marine biologist

News and Gear:

Recent Important Features:

FEATURE | EU fish stocks up 50 per cent in a decade

– “The majority of fish stocks in the North-East Atlantic are healthy and thriving. That’s thanks to many years of sacrifices being made by the EU fishing fleets and intensive collaboration with scientists and public authorities .”

COLUMN | Covid-19: A positive change for independent fishers? [Fishing for a Living]

– “The fisherman that I quoted above, and others like him, may be able to afford to buy quota when it is no longer hoarded by armchair fishermen or vertically integrated seafood corporations. In time, he may even replace that rusting and unsafe boat.”

– by Alan Haig-Brown, marine writer and photographer

Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!

Call for content!

Any news or views about the global commercial fishing and aquaculture industries? Send it through to [email protected] ASAP (between now and May 22), so we can add it to this current edition of Fishing and Aquaculture Week!

We are after:

  • Vessels – Orders, new deliveries, under construction
  • Gear – Latest innovations and technology in the fishing/aquaculture sectors
  • Interviews – Owners, operators, processors, co-ops, distributors etc.
  • Reminiscences – Do you have any exciting, amusing or downright dangerous anecdotes from your time in the fishing world? (example here)
  • Other – Any other relevant news

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Neil Baird

Co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime and Work Boat World magazine, Neil has travelled the length and breadth of this planet in over 40 years in the business. He knows the global work boat industry better than anyone.