EDITORIAL – A heartfelt thank you for your support of CFN

As the year draws to a close, it seems natural to take time to consider what we’ve accomplished, the challenges on the horizon, and the people who have helped us rise above life’s difficulties to become the best we can be.

And that’s what we here at CFN want to do now:  reflect, assess, and express our appreciation to all of you – our readers, advertisers, contributors, and supporters.

For more than 40 years, we have worked to be true to the Northeast commercial fishing industry.  While we, to the best of our abilities, have abided by the basic tenets of good journalism – accuracy, independence, fairness, and accountability – we have never considered ourselves to be simply “reporters” of the news.

Rather, we have been an integral part of this industry, working hand-in-hand with fishermen, researchers, managers, shoreside service providers, and environmentalists, all of whom are deeply involved in this region’s fisheries.

We have tried to foster a greater understanding of everyone’s role in this knotty business of conserving fish stocks while protecting fishermen and fishing communities.  Our goal in doing so has been to encourage cooperation and partnerships, bringing all sides together to find solutions everyone can live with.

In this country, the fisheries management process is a public one.  For that to work, everyone must understand the intricacies of stock assessment science, fishing practices, the market, and the law.  We have tried to plainly explain these complexities, empowering our readers to be better informed participants in discussions with the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the National Marine Fisheries Service, state fisheries agencies, and each other.

We want to thank the members of the industry and the people at these agencies for embracing us and allowing us to be embedded in the wider fishing community – on the docks, on your boats, in meeting rooms, at trade shows, and even in your homes – everywhere we have traveled, gathered, and conversed.  We appreciate your trust, your willingness to take us into your confidence, knowing that we would do right by you, relating your positions and telling your stories, both the good and the bad, with clarity and honesty.

We are proud of our work in the fishery management arena and in other areas, too.  Over the years, we have maintained a commitment to raising awareness of the critical importance of fishing vessel safety and of the vital achievements of cooperative research.

Whenever possible, we have turned our attention to new issues such as offshore wind energy development, climate change, ocean acidification, and emerging fisheries to ensure that our readers would be forewarned of what was on the horizon and prepared to deal with the conflicts and the opportunities to come.

At the same time, we have tempered the hard news with columns and features that inspire, entertain, and share the experiences of the fishing way of life.

We cannot close 2014 without thanking our regular columnists and freelancers, who have helped make it possible for us to offer comprehensive, diverse coverage over such a large geographical area, from Maine to North Carolina.  They, like us, are fully committed to this industry.

And, a final word to our advertisers and our paid-copy contributors:  We so appreciate your support.  Many people do not realize how much we depend on such revenues to survive.  You have been a big part of the reason CFN has been here for four-plus decades.

So, another year has come to an end.  2015 will bring its own trials, triumphs, and changes.  We thank you all for … everything.  And we wish you the very best.  /cfn/