How Valuable Is FishNet-USA?

The question should actually be “how much is FishNet USA worth to you?”

I’ve been writing stuff for the commercial fishing industry for over three decades. That’s a lot of words, and I suspect that no one who is on the present distribution list, who has read my columns in National Fishermen or on Saving Seafood, or has FishNet issues forwarded to them from someone on the list has not benefitted from some of them.

One of their most valuable contributions to the domestic commercial fishing/seafood industry has been to let “outsiders” know that someone is out there watching and reading and researching, and if they write anything that isn’t spot-on accurate or that is too far removed from the real world that we live in, they might get publicly called out on it. And they might get called out with well researched references, links, charts, and etc.

Below are links to mostly randomly chosen pieces I’ve written that are available on the web (I’m working on a compilation of what I’ve written on commercial fishing since the early days. It’s up to 2,500 or so pages and still growing). Take a look. (Written when, at the beginning of the still-ongoing Covid pandemic, NOAA/NMFS, which had tied their research fleet up, was trying to force on-board observers onto commercial fishing vessels). (These are Different Perspective columns I wrote for National Fisherman ending in 2011. If there is any subject or situation that was important to you back then, use your browser’s “find” function to see if I addressed it. I’d recommend “black helicopters,” “barndoor skates,” “anti-fishing movement,” and “law enforcement” for starters. Or just browse round. The so-called Precautionary Principle, which had been one of the primary weapons employed by the anti-fishing activist individuals and organizations in their efforts to destroy the domestic commercial fishing industry, was left by the wayside in their rush to cozy up to the multinational mega corporations and their $billions.

Thanks to the Covid mess, and also thanks to what seemed to me to be some philosophical differences between me and some prior sponsors who were part of a commercial fishing consortium that was trying to get into the windmill business, my industry support has dwindled down to the point where the funds coming in just about cover my internet/telecommunications costs. Unlike just about all of our domestic fisheries, this is not sustainable.

Folks, I’ve been here for most of forty years, and I think that the threat the commercial fishing industry in the U.S. is facing today, the massive development being planned for what seems to be virtually all of our inshore/offshore areas, is greater than it’s ever been. This includes pre-Magnuson foreign factory trawler fleets in our EEZ, the mercury contamination scare, the anti-fishing campaigns by the enviro orgs and the accompanying demonization of commercial fishermen, the rampant bureaucratization (and the “greening”) of our federal and state management agencies, and anything else that we’ve dealt with.

There is a new organization that is working on some of these looming development-read that “ocean turf wars”-issues, and I salute the effort. But they’re going to need all the help that they can get, and then some.

I’ve built up a reasonable amount of credibility, and I’d like to continue to make that available to all of you in the future. But that’s not going to happen without your financial support. Look over the linked material above. We need more of that, and we need more people to see it. If you have a particular issue, contact me and if I’ve addressed it, I’ll let you know where and when. But I can’t work for free. That’s what I’ve been doing of late and it can’t continue.

I’ve done a lot for the industry, and I’ve addressed a lot of issues without your support, but that was then, and now is now.

If you are interested in helping to continue my efforts to continue to support you and your industry, please contact me at [email protected], or at 609 731 3368. If my phone doesn’t recognize your number, your call won’t be answered. (my car is still covered under the original warranty). Please leave a message.

It’s been suggested that I do a “go fund me” site for FishNet. If that would be convenient for you, let me know. Also, if you have any other ideas for making FishNet sound and economically viable, please let me know.

In addition to my regular distribution of FishNet, in 2019 the three websites that I created and maintain had 66 thousand visitors who downloaded 151 thousand pages. Ten years ago, if my memory is still working accurately, the sites had over 300,000 visitors annually. That’s a lot of eyes, particularly considering that I haven’t done anything to promote the sites for going on 5 years. This could be a tremendous starting point and I would like nothing better than to update and promote these sites.  The sites are FishNet USA (, FishTruth ( and FishingNJ (

I designed the sites to allow quick and easy updates, and each would be a great tool to get messages to the masses-perhaps limited masses, but the people who visit are all interested in fish and/or fishing. They could be the start of a pro-fishing of people we should be targeting

Take a look at them, bearing in mind that they’re all a bit out of date. There’s a tremendous potential for growth there, but it will take a lot of work, and at this point that work is not going to get done.

PS – Thanks to the folks at Viking Village in Barnegat Light, NJ and at Fishery for helping to disseminate my stuff. Viking Village has been a “founding supporter” of Fishnet USA from the beginning until this Covid mess and Fishery Nation has provided and continues to provide and invaluable (and too often unrecognized) service to our commercial fishing industry. And thanks as well to The Fishermen’s Dock Cooperative, Viking Village, Lund’s Fisheries, Atlantic Capes Fisheries, Saul Phillips, Marc Agger and a handful of other individuals and organizations for seeing the need for an electronic publication like FishNet USA, for getting it started and for keeping it going for 20+ years.

Thanks for your attention, Nils Stolpe

2 Responses to How Valuable Is FishNet-USA?

  1. John says:



    This has all been a” Hostile takeover” surprisingly with some of the same names from the 90’s… MAN HUNTING MAN, the prey is released with 2 or 3 cents on the dollar and they’re about to perform Experiments with Wind Farms or would that be Pandora’s Jars. The true release of EMF needs to be revealed and many Fish need to be tested!!! Will we need to implant miniature GPS in all Anadromous Species so they can find their way back to these Dam busted Rivers???

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