BARNEGAT LIGHT, N.J., Aug. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Water Fishermen's Association (BWFA) is a trade organization representing domestic fishing and associated businesses that are involved in the harvest and sale of highly migratory species – primarily swordfish, tuna and sharks – from U.S. and international Northern Atlantic waters. The Association is coming up on its 25th anniversary and a large part of why its members are still in business is that from the very beginning in the late 1980s they have individually and collectively committed to a sustainable fishery with minimal impacts on the ocean environment.
This has been in spite of the U.S. fleet making up a very minor part of the North Atlantic fishery, an international management regime that was initially focused much more on maximizing harvest than on preserving the long-term viability of the fisheries, and the misdirected opposition from several mega-foundations, the ENGOs they support and other fishing groups that they have co-opted.
The conservation-related efforts of BWFA were given official recognition in 2007 through a posthumous award by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to Nelson Beideman, former pelagic longline fisherman, one of the organization's founders and its second Executive Director. From the web page memorializing this event, he "helped initiate some of the most effective collaborative research projects between commercial fishermen, NOAA scientists and conservation organizations. He was an active fisheries management partner who was instrumental in efforts to reduce domestic and international bycatch of sea turtles, and develop domestic and international management programs that led to the rebuilding of north Atlantic swordfish."
But BWFA's efforts surely haven't been limited to conservation. In fact, the fleet of pelagic longline vessels ranging the Western North Atlantic provide discriminating seafood lovers with the best swordfish and other highly migratory species of fish that any ocean has to offer, they do it sustainably and they do it at a competitive price in a market dominated by much larger and less conservation-focused foreign fleets.
Blue Water Fishermen's Association has been guided by this legacy since its creation and we should all look forward to it continuing in the same direction for years into the future.
SOURCE Blue Water Fishermen's Association