There is a wealth of information available on the world wide web. In
areas like fisheries, where up-to-the-minute information on weather, on
prices or on regulations is critical to health and safety, business success
or staying on the right side of the law, it can be an invaluable tool,
just as it is for those of us who are interested in what’s going on in
fisheries-related developments worldwide.
If you have a computer at work or at home and if you already have an
internet connection, you probably have a pretty good idea of what I’m writing
about. If you don’t, you should. One of the side-effects of the increasing
globalization of the seafood industry is that to stay competitive – no
matter what your level - you have to know what’s going on not just in your
home port, but in the next port, the next state and, increasingly, the
next ocean. Fortunately the internet provides a number of tools to let
you do that easily and effectively. All you need to access those tools
is a personal computer, a phone line and a couple of hours of effort to
get familiar with “surfing”(a computer savvy school-age kid or two hanging
around probably wouldn’t hurt either).
If you are or when you do get connected, following is a list of sites
which in my opinion al have a place somewhere on a scale of “interesting”
to “mandatory” for anyone involved in fisheries issues:
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council – While our very own
Council’s site isn’t quite as well-developed as those of some of the other
Councils, it does provide information on Council members and meetings.
It also has links to other management related sites.
New England Fishery Management Council – Along with the basic information
provided by the Mid-Atlantic Council, the New England Council goes into
quite a bit more detail on the various plans and plan amendments it has
created or is proposing.
Fisheries/ the National Marie Fisheries Service – Not only the home
page of the federal agency that manages the fisheries in the U.S. Exclusive
Economic Zone, this is a jumping-off place for all of the resources of
the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, including the
National Weather Service.
Commercial Fisheries Statistics Homepage – With the straightforward
access to the commercial landings database provided here, after a little
practice it’s pretty easy to download all sorts of useful statistics (a
companion page provides similar access to recreational catch data).
Fisherman Online – Nobody in the commercial fishing industry needs
an introduction to National Fisherman. It is the national voice of the
commercial fishing industry, and much of it’s content is available here,
along with an extremely valuable weekly update of relevant information.
Fisheries Institute – The site of the trade association representing
the U.S. fish and seafood industry, timely information on current issues
as well as solid background materials and consumer information is available
Irishmarine site – “Born out of the need for Irish fishing and coastal
communities to take advantage of the Internet, this site highlights a wide
range of information on
all topics of interest to the marine community.” It also provides information
on EEC fisheries.
Associates – Trevor Kenchington, an independent Canadian fisheries
scientist, has put together a site that, along with a wealth of information
on northern fisheries, includes what is one of the most extensive listings
of fisheries-related links on the web.
Aquatic Network – With information on aquaculture, conservation,
fisheries, limnology, marine science and oceanography, maritime heritage,
ocean engineering, and seafood, if it’s current and significant, it’s probably
On-Line – An employment service for seafood, fisheries or aquaculture
companies seeking to fill sales, marketing, management, operations or quality
control positions, this is a good way to keep up with industry trends (or
find a job or an employee?).
of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University – While there
isn’t yet a lot of fisheries-specific information here (a situation we
expect will be rectified once the New Jersey Fisheries Information and
Development Center is started at Rutgers), the remote-sensing and sea-surface
temperature sections are extremely interesting.
Hole Oceanographic Institution – Inarguably one of the most important
oceanographic research facilities in the world, WHOI has established a
web presence that effectively details its programs, facilities, research
and personnel. You can learn almost as much about WHOI by visiting its
site on the web as you can by driving to Cape Cod, but it’s not nearly
as much fun.
Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary – Long
a leader in fisheries and other marine-related research in the mid-Atlantic,
the VIMS site provides information on the Institute’s ongoing programs,
research, and general information.
Alternative Farming Systems Information Centers’s Aquaculture-Related Internet
Sites and Documents – A great example of the type of web services
that can be provided by a government agency with a serious commitment to
providing services to constituents.
– As one of the organizations leading the charge against commercial fishing
in the United States, it’s important that industry members and their supporters
familiarize themselves with some of the anti-fishing arguments. The SeaWeb
site is a good starting point (note: the inclusion of the SeaWeb site here
is not meant as an endorsement of any it’s content).
Jersery Fishing – Last but (I hope) not least, our primary goal
on the New Jersey Fishing site is to provide the “rest of the story” on
particular fisheries- or oceans-related issues that catch the public’s
eye. We also provide background information on New Jersey’s fisheries and
fishing industry, post FishNet USA as it is distributed, and interesting
articles, book reviews, etc. that we come across.
Nils E. Stolpe
Garden State Seafood Association