From Philips Publishing Group
July 1, 2020

The commercial fishing industry has seen dramatic events in the last 75 years, and during that time, Fishermen’s News has been around to document and report those changes. One of the most important changes, at least in the life of this editor, was the acquisition of Fishermen’s News by me and my brother, Peter, in 2000.

Former publisher and editor Walt Kisner was ready to retire, and he didn’t want to sell his paper to “the man,” so he reached out to the sons of his former partner, Dick Philips.

Peter and I had spent time stuffing envelopes, manning the booth at Fish Expo and hearing one-sided conversations my father would have with fishermen on the phone attached to the wall in the family room – we weren’t completely unaware of the fishing industry, but I must say I’ve learned a lot since then.

Everything I’ve learned has come from you, my readers.

The West Coast commercial fishing industry is varied and diverse. Just the salmon fishery alone includes seiners, trollers, gillnetters, setnetters, reefnetters and probably more. Add other species and gear such as pot fisheries, trawlers, dive fisheries, wild and farmed shellfish and the business becomes almost unmanageable – just ask the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

I like to say that in my role as editor of the oldest and most widely-circulated commercial fishing publication on the West Coast, I am not an expert, but I know who they are and can, and do, reach out to them for information.

You, the experts, have been invaluable over the past 20 years, and I thank you for your insight and candor. Some of you have submitted articles for the magazine or enhanced our conference panels. Most of you have called the office or my cell phone, or stopped by the booth at the Pacific Marine Expo to commend or correct me on something I’ve written in this space. Rarely have I ever had to correct a news story on the following pages, because our contributors, especially including Alaska bureau chief Margaret Bauman, are careful in their reporting.

We here at Philips Publishing Group have tried not to step on industry toes – it’s a small industry and our readers, contributors and advertisers are often interchangeable. Nonetheless, we have tried to keep the regulators, administrators and bureaucrats (whose main administrative function seems to be to get in your way and then tax you for the privilege) accountable in some small measure.

Because of the current economic climate and lack of clarity on government restrictions moving forward (at press time, for example, much of the State of Washington was still locked down for the foreseeable future), as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its related closures, Philips Publishing has suspended publication of Fishermen’s News. We wish all of our readers, advertisers and industry friends all the best.