August "Auggie" Felando | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

August "Auggie" Felando

August Felando Image
Location of Interview
Interviewer
Date of Interview
11-22-2012
Transcript
Biographical Sketch

August Felando was born in San Pedro, California, in 1929. His family roots reach back to Viz Island, Croatia, and Guernica in the Basque province of Spain. He fished on two-family owned tuna and sardine purse seine vessels during 1946-1950. In 1951, he became a co-owner of the F/V Challenger, a tuna baitboat, and as managing owner sold the vessel in 1958 for conversion to a tuna seiner. From 1960-1991, he managed the affairs of the American Tunaboat Association, including participation in hearings before the California State legislature, Congressional Committees, and federal agencies. During this same period, he was an advisor to the U.S. Commissioners of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and to the U.S. State Department. From 1971 to 1981, he served as the U.S. Government's expert adviser on fisheries during the UN Law of the Sea conference. At the time of this interview, he was a member of the Tuna Advisory Subpanel to the Pacific Fishery Management Council, and of the General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commissioners for the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.

Mr. Felando discusses exploratory purse seine fishing ventures conducted by West Coast-based tuna fishermen to open up new fishing grounds outside of the established eastern Pacific grounds. In doing so, they encountered large schools of yellowfin tuna in association with dolphin (which they referred to as porpoise). He describes the efforts of these pioneering tuna boat captains to develop gear and methods in collaboration with the National Marine Fisheries Service that led to dramatic reductions in the number of dolphins entangled and killed in tuna purse seine nets.

In the early 1900's, the West Coast tuna industry was born in the small coastal California town of San Pedro, near Los Angeles. Fishing and canning businesses soon expanded to nearby Terminal Island developing into a multi-million dollar industry. At the heart of it all was a thriving immigrant community. Generations of immigrants primarily from Japan, Croatia, and Italy harvested tuna, supported the bustling fish markets, and worked in the canneries. They explored new fishing grounds and developed novel fishing and preservation methods that influenced the global tuna industry today. Though the large tuna fleet and canneries are now gone from the area, many of those who were involved still reside there. The interviews in this collection were conducted as part of an effort to create a short film about this history. To find out more and view additional footage, visit: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/migratory_species/voices_from_the _fisheries.html


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