As New England's fishermen face the challenges of a changing industry, they are working hard to improve the profitability of their businesses. GMRI Sustainable Seafood Program Manager Jen Levin and Fish Behavior and Gear Technologist Steve Eayrs recently held a two-day Environmental Management System workshop in Beverly, Massachusetts. Fishermen and groundfish sector managers explored how to decrease the costs of fishing while improving the marketability and profitability of their catch. Topics included fuel savings, improved catch value, quality handling, reduction of environmental impacts, financing, and marketing. Funded by the Northeast Consortium, the workshop was free to participants. Many came in thinking they may not learn anything new, but a fisherman said:
"I didn't think I would like this or get much out of it, but I was wrong. This has given us a vehicle to work through some of the issues facing the industry -- issues that we have some control over. GMRI's role as an enabler has been extremely helpful. Every single fisherman I spoke to is full of ideas that have never been brought to fruition. Maybe we now have access to the tools to work on some of these ideas."