CORVALLIS - A new World Wide Web site aims to give West Coast commercial fishing interests the chance to exchange up-to-date information about everything from critical regulatory changes to educational resources for fishermen and their families.
Called Heads Up!, the site is a collaborative effort between Oregon Sea Grant and the Women's Coalition For Pacific Fisheries, and may be found on the Web at Note to Editors: This story originally contained a World Wide Web address. The characters used in Web addresses will not telecommunicate in our system. Please call us at 541-737-2011 for the address.
The site is designed as an interactive bulletin board where fishermen and their families, the industry, the agencies charged with regulating it and other interested parties can get the word out about significant meetings, proposed regulations, market situations, announcements of comment periods, deadlines for filing permit paperwork, oceanographic conditions, fisheries research results and other fisheries-related information.
The site allows interested parties to interactively post their own non-commercial news items, complete with contacts so readers can get more information about a given subject. Guidelines for acceptable postings, developed by the coalition, can be found at Note to Editors: This story originally contained a World Wide Web address. The characters used in Web addresses will not telecommunicate in our system. Please call us at 541-737-2011 for the address.
For those without Internet access, Extension Sea Grant agents and WCPF volunteers in Oregon plan to periodically print paper copies to distribute to gear stores, post offices and other fishing community gathering places. Similar distribution arrangements are being discussed for California, Washington and Alaska.
The project grew out of discussions by WCPF members about the need for better tools for communicating within the West Coast fishing community.
"There's a ton of information out there, especially on-line, but it can be difficult to find and sort through," said Ginny Goblirsch, Oregon State University Extension Sea Grant agent in Newport, Ore., herself a fisherman's wife and WCPF Industry Issues chair. "It's hard to know where to go to get the information we need, and how to become involved when issues important to the industry arise."
Seed money from Oregon Sea Grant, the OSU-based marine research, education and outreach program, allowed the site's design and development. Sea Grant programs across the country have been invited to contribute information about fisheries-related research, publications, videos and conferences.
WCPF promotes and supports a local, national and global fishing industry and connects fishing families. The group formed in 1995 and includes members from Alaska to California.