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Newport Fishermen’s Wives provides emergency relief, advocates safety

Posted: Friday, Oct 12th, 2012


The core mission of the Newport Fishermen’s Wives hasn’t changed much since the group formed in the late 1970s to offer direct support to local commercial fishing families in times of tragedy or need. From left, Newport Fishermen’s Wives Association board members Dee Anne Barnhart, Tia Retherford, treasure Bekki Wagner and board president Sara Skamser. (Courtesy photo)


The core mission of the Newport Fishermen’s Wives hasn’t changed much since the group formed in the late 1970s to offer direct support to local commercial fishing families in times of tragedy or need.

While the group’s relief funds for fishermen and crabbers continue to be its No. 1 priority in the event of a loss at sea, its tendency to focus on education and safety has broadened in recent years despite some outward pressure for change.

Politics are drifting into many such organizations as the industry becomes increasingly reliant on science and business plans in an attempt to remake itself into a relevant cog in a global world.

“We’re still about giving the community a vehicle to speak up and focus on the needs of the fishermen,” said Sara Skamser, the current president of the group. “In a way, the wives are the public face of our industry, and safety issues are always first and foremost here.”

Over the years, NFW have fought to include: the Yaquina River bar being regularly dredged; survival suits for all fishermen; a U.S. Coast Guard first-response helicopter being based in Newport; and federal regulations to ensure vessel stability.

For the complete article see the 10-12-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-12-2012 paper.


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