For Sale! 121-foot law enforcement vessel used for investigating commercial fishing violations

VesselWoldstadOne of four large vessels used by Alaska State Wildlife Troopers for commercial fishing enforcement will be sold for budget reasons. The Woldstad carries a civilian operating crew of four. Eliminating those positions will save more than $500,000 annually but will mean less enforcement, said wildlife trooper division director Steve Bear. “Us not being on the water, there will be more violations that go undetected,” Bear said. “There’s no doubt about that.” The state hopes to sell the vessel by July 1. The vessel is so specialized, “It’s going to take the right buyer,” Bear said. Read the rest here  18:14

Bristol Bay Fishermen prep for 2016 reg changes

akirabrooke_dillingham_harborThe Bristol Bay salmon fishery will see some changes this year, from when fishermen have to declare a district and how tenders accept deliveries from d-boats, to when the Wood River Special Harvest Area can be used. Among the changes made by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the State Board of Fisheries is one that will affect most fishermen early in the season, no matter their district. This year, drifters must register in the district in which they intend to fish right from the get go. Gone is the time to test the waters in different areas before committing to one. Once a fishermen is committed, there’s mandatory wait before they can switch. That change was made by the state Board of Fisheries in December, and was widely supported by public testimony and the Bristol Bay area advisory committees. But Dillingham drift fisherman Bronson Brito was one of few who opposed the change this winter, and said in mid-May that it’ll effect how he starts his season. Audio,  Read the rest here 16:46

Cormac Burke talks common sense about Leaving the EU


Although the final decision of a ‘Brexit’ will ultimately lie in the hands of voters who are looking at a wide range of economic impacts or possible benefits and not just one industry or sector, the ‘Fishing for Leave’ campaign believes that it is vital that these voters must be made fully aware of the destruction and decimation of the once ‘great’ British fishing industry since power of control was surrendered to the European Union. At the core of the anger of those wanting freedom and to break away from the EU is simply the fact that this is “not what we signed up for” — as a nation (indeed for all the individual nations who are members of the EU), the agreement was to join a European ‘common market’ which, in principle, was a reasonable proposal i.e. that a community of nations should work together as one to benefit the economy of each individual. Read the article here 15:33

BREAKING” Fishermen rescue F/A-18 Super Hornet Pilots, and Co pilots off NC coast

48809387.cachedTwo Navy jet fighters collided off the coast of North Carolina during a routine training mission on Thursday, sending four people to the hospital, officials said. The F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighters, based in Virginia Beach, collided about 10:40 a.m. off the coast of Cape Hatteras, said Navy spokesman Ensign Mark Rockwellpate. Four crew members were taken to a hospital in Norfolk, but Ensign Rockwellpate said he didn’t have information about the extent of their injuries. A safety investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the accident, he said. Coast Guard Fifth District Command Center watchstanders were notified at 10:30 a.m. that two planes collided and four people were in the water. The crew of the commercial fishing vessel Jamie recovered all four survivors.  An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, hoisted the survivors and took them to Norfolk Sentara General hospital. 14:33

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 23, 2016

ncfa 3 finishedClick here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 12:02

New hearing date for indicted “Codfather” Carlos Rafael, sheriff’s deputy

carlos rafaelThe next scheduled court date for indicted fishing magnate Carlos Rafael is a June 22 status conference in Boston, and a trial would have to begin by early September should the case go that far, according to court documents filed this week. The status conference also will include indicted Bristol County Sheriff’s Office deputy Antonio M. Freitas, a 46-year-old Taunton resident. The conference will be held at U.S. District Court in Boston, and signals the transfer of Rafael’s and Freitas’ cases from Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy to District Court Judge William G. Young. This week’s documents also shed light on when potential trials for Rafael and Freitas could begin. Prosecutors’ indictment of Rafael and Freitas was unsealed May 9, and Freitas appeared in court that day, meaning the Speedy Trial Act would require a trial to begin within 70 days of that initial appearance. Young ruled this week, though, to start the 70-day clock at the June 22 status hearing, rather than May 9. A motion requesting the extension had been agreed upon by prosecutors and defense counsel. Read the rest here 11:26

Again we are treated to the absurdity that is “fishery management” in North Carolina

NCDMF_trnsprntSam Walker, writing for the, has what we think is an excellent article on the latest boondoggle from the NC Marine Fisheries Commissison. As with the Southern Flounder, they imposed restriction on cobia without any valid data and against the recommendation of the experts on their staff. Pure special interest politics and kabuki dancing with Federal bureaucrats. Click here to go to the original source to read the story. Commentary – Note that the article reports that the last “stock assessment” (that’s like a census) on cobia was made in 2012. Apparently, the justification for reducing the catch now is that “too many” had been caught recently. The Feds cut the take in Federal waters (three plus miles off shore) and pushed the states to do likewise. Our MFC capitulated but Virginia’s did not. Kudos to Rep. Walter B. Jones, Jr. for blowing the whistle on the Fed fish counters, demanding that a more scientific method of stock assessment must be found. Click here to read the letter Amen to that Walter! Note in the Outer Banks Voice’s article that the approach the NCMFC used was what is called euphemistically as “catch shares.” Think about this. Under the guise that certain species of fish are “overfished” they impose regulations on different kinds of fishermen according to what group you belong to…commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen and even in some instances imposing different regulations (amount that group can catch) on charter boats, while if you fish in the surf different rules apply.  Read the rest here 10:34

Scallop Survey halted – R/V Hugh R. Sharp Losing the HabCam will create uncertainty in the assessment

Shortly after dawn last Friday, the R/V Hugh R. Sharp was towing a sophisticated array of sensors and cameras along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Then suddenly, the research vessel shuddered. Within seconds, the line went slack, and the team of scientists and volunteers realized the $450,000 camera system was lost, somewhere off the Virginia coast. Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said they believe the cable connecting to the camera system, known as HabCam, snagged on the remains of the Bow Mariner, a well-known wreck in the area. “This will create uncertainty in the scallop assessment, meaning there’s a greater chance that we’ll catch too few scallops, which will be a short-term loss, or too many, which will be a long-term loss,” said Drew Minkiewicz, an attorney for the Fisheries Survival Fund, a trade group that represents scallopers throughout the Northeast. Read the rest here 10:12


South Atlantic Council, NOAA science gets ripped! Another crooked closure of red snapper

NOAA ScientistMany of you aren’t fishermen. But even if you don’t know a red snapper from gangsta rapper, this might still be worth a look. The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council is as crooked and bloated a government bureaucracy as exists today. It perverts science. It feeds on special interests. More importantly, it squanders a natural resource. It announced this week the 2016 season for the American Red Snapper will be closed — as it was in 2015. During the three years prior, the season was open for a total of 12 days. It all began in 2008 when NOAA scientists determined that the red snapper stock in the South Atlantic was at just 3 percent of the biomass 50 years prior. That would have been 1958 when there was neither a NOAA, nor any other group counting red snapper. Perhaps 10 percent of all boats, recreational and commercial, could make the trip out 50 miles where the species thrives. There was no real sonar to find the hundreds of reefs where the fish spawned and no satellite positioning systems to find them again if you did hit a honey hole by accident or luck. So the “science” began as a fabrication, and that continues today. Read the op-ed here 07:45

Its here! The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association Spring 2016 Newsletter

b66831_ffcb0f8690134b069e0be33fa8a4b5f6~mv2The Spring newsletter is here! Along with daffodils and an early crop of salmon berries, this spring brings the first cruise ships of the year to Southeast Alaska. If you operate your boat in the vicinity of these behemoths, you’ll want to read Tomi Marsh’s newsletter article, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind. In addition, you can read up on the U.S. Coast Guard’s Automatic Identification System (AIS) requirements that came into effect for commercial fishing boats longer than 65 feet this past March. Also in this edition: that cheap Coast Pilot edition that you bought online might not meet your vessel’s carriage requirements. Click on the picture and read all about it and more! Click here to read it! 19:05

Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) releases draft Northeast Regional Ocean Plan

map regional planning areas nopThe Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) is proud to release the draft Northeast Regional Ocean Plan for public review and comment. Several years of public engagement, scientific study and data analysis, and collaboration has led to this draft, and the RPB looks forward to hearing the feedback of everyone who is interested in the future of New England’s ocean and its resources. The RPB wants your feedback on this draft Plan. The public comment deadline is July 25, 2016, and you can comment on each chapter electronically at each chapter landing page, in-person at any of our upcoming public comment meetings, through the comment form below, or by submitting written comments to: Betsy Nicholson, NE RPB Federal Co-lead National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Regional Office 55 Great Republic Drive  Gloucester, MA 01930-2276. You may also provide comments by sending an e-mail to:  Here it is, all 198 pages of it click here 17:36

Mid Atlantic: National Ocean Policy threatens new regulatory burdens

oceanpolicy-crop-300x185Since its creation by Executive Order in 2010, the Obama administration has hailed its National Ocean Policy (NOP) as a non-regulatory, stakeholder-driven initiative that will lead to reduced burdens and less uncertainty for ocean user groups. In reality, it’s nothing of the sort. This was highlighted recently during a hearing held by the U.S. House Natural Resources’ Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee on the implications of the NOP, where House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop summed up many of the concerns of stakeholders when he noted that “it’s creating more uncertainty, and it certainly is not helping the industry and it’s not helping the environment.” You know what? He’s right. The Long Island Commercial Fishing Association (LICFA) has been closely monitoring the development and implementation of the NOP since its establishment six years ago.  We’ve had no other choice, as we represent stakeholders in New York’s $1.4 billion boat-to-table seafood industry, with Long Island in particular landing 99 percent of the state’s wild-caught seafood. Read the rest here 16:42

inshore shrimpers n+l

Abandon LIFO: Fishermen ask for new deal on shrimp

Glen Winslow and the six-member crew of the Roberts Sisters II should have been fishing for crab Tuesday. Instead, the boat was tied up in St. John’s harbor. Winslow joined more than 150 other people, mostly fishermen, in trying to convince a federal review panel to recommend the federal government abandon the last in, first out (LIFO) approach on allocating northern shrimp quotas. The majority of those in the room asked the minister not continue to force smaller, inshore enterprises to take the greater share of quota cuts on the declining stock off Newfoundland and Labrador, when compared to larger, “offshore” enterprises. “We’ll be out of the (shrimp) fishery this year,”,, Read the story here 15:01

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 42′ Bruno & Stillman lobster boat, 8-V-71 Detroit Diesel

lb4132_01To see specifications, information and 15 photos Click here. To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:28

Rhode Island tagged Bluefin Tuna gains 593 pounds, travels 3,865 miles before recapture in the Mediterranean

bluefin_recapture01The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami, Florida has been tagging fish for years with the help of fishermen and scientists throughout the world. A 9-pound bluefin tuna caught, tagged and released by Capt. Al Anderson of Narragansett in 2004 at the Mudhole (about 17 miles east/southeast of Pt. Judith) was recaptured recently in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Sardinia, weighing in at 602 pounds. Anderson, who has tagged more bluefin tuna than anyone else in the world, said, “This was the 13th bluefin tuna I caught, tagged and released. The tagging of fish caught by fishermen helps scientists determine their migratory pattern, define their populations and if possible, estimate their growth rates, population sizes and mortality rate.” Tagging programs also help scientists determine the need for conservation programs, as well as how to plan for conservation programs. “During the 11-year timeframe from point of tagging to point of recapture, this bluefin tuna traveled 3,865 miles,” said Anderson. Read the rest here 11:54

Gulf Shrimpers at odds with new AIS rules

coast guardSome shrimp boat owners are seeking an exemption from federal vessel regulations that took effect May 1, alleging that new rules require installation of computer systems that can render vital existing navigation equipment ineffective. The fishermen would also like the rules, which grew out of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, to be more closely examined before enforcement begins. Alleging that the rules were promulgated with Pacific Coast fisheries in mind, the Gulf of Mexico fishing interests say they are not only inapplicable to the Gulf, but can actually do the opposite of what they were intended to do, which was to keep fishermen safer. Kimberly Chauvin has formally asked for a waiver of requirements that vessels more than 65 feet in length use AIS systems for vessel identification when in federal waters. She also asked – on behalf of all commercial fishing vessels in the Gulf – that enforcement of new rules be halted and, if need be, rewritten. Two members of the Bayou Region’s congressional delegation – state Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, and U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge – have staff members working on facilitating the requests. Read the rest here 11:35

Freedom, danger is in R.I. fisherman’s wheelhouse – Mark Patinkin

AR-160529654.jpg&MaxW=650&MaxH=500I got to wondering what it’s like these days for commercial fishermen so I drove to the Point Judith docks, walked up to the trawler Elizabeth & Katherine and asked the captain, Steven Arnold, if I could come aboard. It was at 11 a.m. and he’d already put in a long shift with plenty more to go — he’d steamed out for squid at 4:30 a.m. He was back because his net tore on rocks while dragging the bottom of Rhode Island Sound so the crew had come in to repair it. I climbed over the rail and followed Arnold, 52, to the wheelhouse. He wore jeans, boots, a sweatshirt, hadn’t shaved for a few days and seemed to belong there in the captain’s seat. Squid is his biggest species but that morning, they weren’t there. He mostly had scup when the net came up torn. You have good days and bad, Arnold said, but he still loves fishing for the same reasons that first drew him to it after a childhood in South County and two years at New England Tech. Read the story here 11:01

In Maine’s last open lobster zone, a feud over limiting newcomers

895284_713858-20150905_mcdonald_1In most of Maine, adults who want to make their living trapping lobster must wait until a licensed lobsterman dies or forgets to file a license renewal. There is only one place in the state, in the waters of eastern Penobscot Bay off Stonington, Vinalhaven and Isle au Haut, where a resident who completes the necessary training and safety classes can get a license to lobster without waiting for at least a decade. But the lobstermen who oversee Maine’s last open lobster territory are now fighting over whether to cap the number of lobstermen who can fish those waters, effectively closing the last open door to the state’s largest commercial fishery. The debate is pitting islanders who worry that a cap would eliminate an incentive for adult children to return home against mainland fishermen who want to protect this lucrative industry from outside exploitation. After years of debate, the local lobster council has tried to put the issue to a vote twice before, but the meetings have fallen through, with members missing meetings or walking out moments before a closure vote could be held. Read the story here 09:33

“Joint Law Enforcement Agreement” – Constrain Feds and Encourage Science for Fishermen

635713273782374596-north-carolina-NC-flagProgressive protection of the fisheries is needed but mostly against polluters and out-of-state special interests controlling NC legislators. Federal agencies are necessary to stop the destruction of fisheries by foreign and out-of-state special interests that defy the people’s will in NC. Federalism is not inherently bad and is needed for doing things (together, as a nation) that concern issues that cross State borders, like pollution and some fish stocks fall into that category, as well. Having said that, there are large, distinctly NC fisheries, that should not fall into Federal Management, like crabbing and any commercial fishing within the Sounds, inside the Barrier Islands, unique to NC. Read the rest here 08:40

How safe is the fishing industry in South Jersey? Training and tech improve safety

57339a23989a8.imageThe crew of the Barbara-Pauline offloaded 17,000 pounds of scallops, stored like jewelry in soft cloth bags. And for the Port of Cape May, they might as well be white gold. New Jersey’s fisheries were ranked 11th in total value nationwide at $152 million in 2014. The Port of Cape May, with its valuable scallop fishery, is responsible for much of that. The Barbara Pauline made its quota in eight days at sea, earning each crew member as much as $15,000. But it’s not easy money. Commercial fishing is one of America’s most dangerous jobs. Statistically, fishermen are far more likely to die on the job than those in virtually any other profession. In the decade of the 2000s, an average of 17 fishermen died at sea each year from sinking, capsizing, falls overboard or traumatic injuries sustained on pitching decks surrounded by heavy moving equipment. Read the story here 08:00

Bay of Fundy Fishermen raise cash for tidal power injunction

XAV101_20160519340671_highFishermen are building a legal war chest to launch a court fight against tidal power projects being tested this year in the Bay of Fundy. Chris Hudson, president of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fisherman’s Association, says the rapid deployment of the test turbines is forcing the fishermen’s hands. At least two turbines are expected to be deployed in June. Hudson and a number of other sources confirmed the association is talking to legal counsel about an injunction to temporarily block the turbines from being deployed. “It’s not that we’re against it, but they shouldn’t be allowed to just jump over everybody,” Hudson said in an interview with the Chronicle Herald Tuesday. “They haven’t consulted with us and don’t have the proper studies in place,” he said. Hudson, who also started a petition last week, brought more than 60 of the highest-earning Bay of Fundy fishermen to the Digby fire hall Sunday night to discuss what to do. Multiple sources said members of the FORCE tidal power group also attended the meeting, but Hudson said the meeting was was to consult with fishermen. Read the rest here 20:44

‘Fraught With Defects’, Connecticut Lawmakers Urge Reforms To Fishing Regulations

excaliburConnecticut’s congressional delegation is leading a renewed push for reform of federal commercial fishing quotas critics say are out of date, wasteful, fail to respond to climate change and unfair to New England fishermen. Warming ocean temperatures are pushing vast numbers of fish like black bass, summer flounder and scup farther north into New England waters, according to the delegation’s letter to federal officials, but old fishing quotas severely restrict how many of those fish commercial boats from this region are allowed to keep. The out-of-date quota system means that fishermen from North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland are allowed to take much larger numbers of those types of fish, even when they come to New England’s offshore waters to net them, according to a joint letter by Connecticut and Massachusetts members of Congress. Read the rest here 20:15

Louisiana: Shrimp season’s start isn’t a happy one – Low prices and fewer shrimp

gulf brown shrimpShrimp season opened Monday. Observers say fishermen are caught between small catches and low prices. There are two shrimping seasons, spring and fall. Spring is considered the brown shrimp season, which opened Monday. “The season opened today, and the catch is way off from what it usually is,” commercial fisherman Rodney Olander said. “The grade is way smaller than what we usually open with and, as usual, the price is down on us.” Olander has worked as a commercial fisherman for 37 years. He docks his boat at Cypremort Point State Park and shrimps in Vermillion and Cote Blanche bays. That area usually produces more white shrimp than brown. “We’ve been sitting idle for the last six months, waiting for the season to open,” Olander said. “The season opens — there is not a lot of shrimp. The shrimp are small. And they plan on cutting the prices on us.” Read the story here 18:32

NEFSC, R/V Hugh R. Sharp Lose HabCam during Scallop survey, Fisheries Survival Fund takes them to task!

img03 hab camLast Thursday, May 19, 2016, while on the current scallop survey, the NEFSC crew lost the HabCam when it separated from the vessel. According to initial reports, it was inadvertently driven into the side of a known and charted shipwreck while being operated by a volunteer, losing at least a week of valuable sea time. Several knowledgeable sources have suggested that there could be as much as $100,000 in damage. Accordingly, the researchers must return to port to acquire a remote operated vehicle, which they will use to attempt to find the lost HabCam. The loss of a key piece of scallop survey equipment demonstrates the need for an overhaul of how the federal government assesses the species. The Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF), which represents the majority of the limited access scallop fleet, calls for reforms to how scallop surveys are conducted to prevent such an incident from derailing surveys in the future. Read the rest here 17:25

Tonight on the “Deadliest Catch” – Big Wave Bends the Northwestern’s Bow

b1764dd28683520042b46271e028665966e17872.png.cfOpi season begins on tonight’s episode of Deadliest Catch which means Sig Hansen is back in the Northwestern’s wheelhouse. While he avoided the last storm, when brother Edgar was at the helm for Bairdi, the weather doesn’t let up. When a captain as seasoned as Sig says, “Whoa…” at the sight of a wave, you know it’s a big one. Our exclusive sneak peek shows a 35-foot rogue wave slamming into the boat, causing Sig to duck in the wheelhouse and, as Edgar later notices, buckling the steel of the bow like a tin can. “Gotta pay attention,” Sig says. “Gotta pay attention,” Watch the trailer, read the rest here 15:00

The Fishermen’s Mission and its 130-year lifeline to Scotland’s coastal communities

image guardian angel fishermens missionFOR the communities which draw their livelihood from Scotland’s forbidding seas, the Fishermen’s Mission has been a steadying anchor for more than 130 years. And with tragedy and danger continuing to blight the fishing industry, the Fishermen’s Mission believes its work is as relevant now as it was in the late 1800s when the first staff set sail to deliver food, compassion and the gospel to Scotland’s fishing crews. The reach of its work is today as broad as it is deep, with the charity helping not only the men at sea but the families of those employed in what the mission describes as the ‘most dangerous peacetime occupation’. Read the story here 13:32

Regardless of legally caught sharks, California’s ban on possession and sale of shark fins stands

judgementCalifornia’s ban on the possession and sale of shark fins survived a legal challenge Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Bay Area suppliers and sellers of shark fin soup, a traditional dish in the Chinese American community. “The purpose of the (California) shark fin law is to conserve state resources, prevent animal cruelty, and protect wildlife and public health,” the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said in a 2-1 ruling. The court said opponents of the state law had acknowledged that it still allows the use of about 95 percent of any legally caught shark for meat, skin and oils. The Obama administration at first supported opponents of the state law, filing arguments in 2013 that disputed California’s authority to restrict the sale of sharks that had been legally caught in federal waters. But it later changed its position after discussions with state fish and wildlife officials and said the two laws could be harmonized, with federal rules governing shark fishing while California regulated commerce within the state. Read the rest here 12:29

Fishermen, Scientists Collaborate to Collect Climate Data

ShelfFleetTraining1_CFRF-800_428393Fishermen plying the waters off the southern New England coast have noticed significant changes in recent years.  Though generations of commercial fishermen have made their livings on these highly productive waters, now, they say, they are experiencing the impacts of climate change. “The water is warming up, and we see different species around than we used to,” says Kevin Jones, captain of the F/V Heather Lynn, which operates out of Point Judith, Rhode Island. To help understand the ongoing changes in their slice of the ocean, Jones and other fishermen in the region are now part of a fleet gathering much-needed climate data for scientists through a partnership with the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (CFRF) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Video Read the rest here 10:02

Pelagic red crabs return to Monterey, bad sign for fishermen

13240549-877999952346771-4836346465315033319-n--1--jpgMonday, millions of pelagic red crabs washed ashore on Del Monte Beach in Monterey. A rare sight for beach goers but bad news for fisherman. “When I was a tuna fisherman we used to see them down south, and down south near the equator, down there that’s a good sign to catch tuna, but up here seeing them it’s not such a good sign,” said Gaspar Catanzaro with the Monterey Fish Company. These crabs like warm water and this past El Niño has kept the Monterey Bay warmer than usual. These conditions are preventing nutrient filled water to mix up to the surface And as a result the commercial squid season has been a bust since it opened in April. According to Catanzaro, his 6 boats have had a tough time catching any squid locally. Read the rest here 09:39

Oceana wants the feds to require 2,400 skimmer trawls to use TED’s, increase observer coverage

dt.common.streams.StreamServerSkimmer trawls have been exempt from the requirement to use the devices while other nets on larger boats have been forced to comply since the 1980s, according to Tuesday’s Oceana report, “TEDs for All Trawls: A Net Positive for Fishermen and Sea Turtle.” The report calls on the federal government to require that all shrimp trawls use a smaller-spaced TED, require that trawls using the current TED to transition to a smaller spaced one, and to increase the number of federal observers for the shrimp industry. Currently, the TEDs have a 4-inch space between the bars, and Oceana would like to see shrimpers move to a 3-inch gap. Read the rest here 08:32

Getting CHOKED! Cod quota cuts, boats not fishing could interrupt New Bedford fish auction trading

AR-160529774.jpg&MaxW=650The fish auction that’s been a daily institution on the city’s waterfront for decades could see periodic closures over the next month or so, as a co-owner said Monday that this year’s significant cut to the cod quota is keeping many boats tied to the docks, rather than bringing in fish. Richard Canastra, co-owner of the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction since 1994, said Monday morning that in his view, “there won’t be” fish auctions on some days between now and July 4, when he expects commercial fishing activity to pick up again. “There’s not many fishermen fishing anymore,” Canastra said as he stood outside the auction building on Hassey Street. “A lot of the boats are just tied up — they’re not going to fish. Why would they fish if there’s only so much (allowable) cod?” Former New Bedford Mayor John Bullard, now regional administrator for NOAA fisheries, has said the new regulations create “about a 95 percent cut” since 2012 in catch limits for Georges Bank cod, a key species for New Bedford’s fishing industry. Read the rest here 06:43

Fishing town blasts EU for foreign boats fishing in British waters then selling fish back to the residents.

fish-546439Appledore, a town in north-west Devon, has claimed there are no British boats left in the harbour, blaming EU fishing quotas.  It is a sharp decline from “about 80 to 100 boats” in 2002, says Tony Rutherford, chief executive of North Devon Fisherman’s Association.  The Hannah Marie marked the end of an era of British ships sailing the costal waters, after she was sold five weeks ago bound for Denmark.  Mr Rutherford, owner of Bideford Fisheries which since 1979 has bought fish from fishermen to sell to wholesalers claims most of the boats are now BelgiumRead the rest here 16:00

Operation Black Glass – Spain to Asia network of Chinese elver smugglers busted

4b5e9d7a978896618e885f0d01cf2013_LEVERY operation undertaken by the Guardia Civil is given a special name and when the Nature arm, Seprona, started an investigation into the illegal export of Angulas (elvers or juvenile eels) it was inventively name Black Glass. Commencing in October 2015, officers became aware that large volumes of these elvers were being illegally obtained by Chinese traders, and smuggled out of Spain to Asia using false documents. Over a period of time and with the active assistance of Europol, various addresses near to the Madrid Barajas Airport were kept under surveillance and raids in various parts of the country netted 700 kilos of illegal elvers with an estimated value of €1 million. Having identified those responsible, 20 people, mainly of Chinese nationality, but including three Spaniards were arrested and the operation has been dismantled, although a further nine suspects are being hunted. Read the rest here 13:54

‘Aquatic cocaine’: Fish bladders are latest Mexican smuggling commodity

ivp-lucrative-fishsmuggling-trend-active-in-re-001One hundred twenty-one fish swim bladders lay before Garcia Pereda on the concrete floor, most of them white, some with shades of pink. The smell of fish guts was overwhelming, a stench Garcia Pereda never grew accustomed to, even as he went from bust after bust of the illegal smuggling. This was a huge haul of “aquatic cocaine”: 39 kilos of totoaba fish swim bladders, with a Hong Kong street value of $750,000. Not quite as big as a recent bust, thought Garcia Pereda, where they’d stopped 600 bladders from getting across the U.S.-Mexico border, flowing eventually to China. The fishermen – Jorge Garcia sat on the back of his truck, selling fish filets and shrimp to tourists wandering the boardwalk in San Felipe. He looked out at the water, disgusted that his two boats are not doing what Garcia was raised to do: fish big game like totoaba. “We’re being punished,” he said. “Young fishermen from out of town are coming in, fishing illegally in the water, making tons of money.” Read the story here 11:04

Will North Carolina give up even more sovereignty to the National Marine Fisheries Service?

81932EnWP2037163.lgNext week (June 1) will be a significant day if you are concerned about Federal control of our lives. There will be a meeting of an “advisory group” in New Bern to consider whether or not the state should sign a “Joint Law Enforcement Agreement” to impose greater Federal control over the regulation of fishing within the state’s waters. Note the last part…within the state’s waters. Click here to read the announcement. Most people, even including fishermen, will not be in New Bern on June 1. The decision of whether to recommend to give this power to the National Marine Fisheries Service will be made by a small group of people who serve on this panel representing various special interest groups who have a stake in fishing regulations. As always, the dominant special interests are recreational fishing interests vs. commercial fishing interests. Read the rest here 10:03

Ocean Signal presents new M100 and M100X Maritime Survivor Locating Device with AIS

Ocean_Signal_M100_MSLDThe M100 and M100X Maritime Survivor Locating Device (MSLD) with Automatic Identification System (AIS) and 121.5MHz homing beacon. Designed for the professional marine market and suitable for all offshore and lone workers, the rugged man overboard devices are designed to unobtrusively attach to immersion suits and inflatable life jackets ready for automatic activation on inflation of the jacket or on submersion when fitted to the suit. Available in two versions, the M100X is designed to meet the European ATEX directive and the IECEx approval for use in Zone 2 explosive atmospheres and is ideal for use in environments such as oil rigs, offshore platforms or other hazardous areas. The M100 device is suitable for all other commercial use, such as wind farm users, off shore workers, fishing fleets and fish farm workers, and helicopter transfers. Read the rest here 08:29

Commercial fishermen: Net ban would destroy N.C. seafood industry

AR-160529725.jpg&MaxW=315&MaxH=315A state House bill first introduced 16 years ago has been resurrected that would ban the use of large trawling nets in state waters, a move that the commercial fishing industry says could destroy the livelihood for most North Carolina fishermen. New Bern native Billy Richardson, D­-Cumberland, filed a bill that would let voters decide whether to outlaw gill and certain other nets in all state coastal waters. If the N.C. General Assembly supports House Bill 1122, the binding referendum would be on the November election ballot. “It would be the end of North Carolina’s (commercial) fishery,” said Wayne Dunbar, a waterman for nearly 40 years, located in Pamlico County’s Paradise Shores on Lower Broad Creek, leading into the Pamlico Sound. “People that don’t fish wouldn’t get North Carolina seafood.” Read the story here 18:44

Community Supported Fisheries processing plant planned for False Creek

shaun-and-sonia-strobel-skipper-otto-s-csfShaun and Sonia Strobel founded Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery in 2008 as a way for Otto Strobel — Shaun’s father — to keep fishing independently at a time when it was becoming increasingly more difficult for fishermen like him to make a living in B.C. Now, another 39 boats have joined their collective and more than 1700 customers pay up front — on average $300 per year — to have the chance to order and pick-up fresh fish, shellfish and other food direct from B.C.’s waters. “The lack of secure processing is the biggest hurdle we have to overcome,” said Shaun Strobel, who added that up to 75 per cent of what he and other fishermen in the collective catch has to be processed. Some of that is done on the boats and in the limited space that the Strobels and others have at the False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf, but most often they must turn to fish processors who are already busy with contracts from much larger companies. Read the rest here 15:36

Leo “The Hypocrite” DiCaprio flies 8,000 miles in private jet to accept ‘green award’

GettyImages-507665192Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio flew an additional 8,000 miles from France to New York and back to accept an award on climate change. The actor suffered a massive blow on his carbon footprint when he took one jet from the Cannes Film Festival to New York City to attend the green awards ceremony, before hopping on board a second jet for a fund-raising event back in Cannes the following evening. The New York awards ceremony was the Riverkeeper Fishermen’s Ball at Chelsea Piers, where he was honoured by the clean-water advocacy group and fellow actor Robert De Niro for his efforts to raise awareness on climate change. Read the story here 13:49

Predator-prey relationship of Lingcod and Rockfish – Catching one improves chances for the other

The UW scientists examined this predator-prey relationship between lingcod and rockfish to see if allowing lingcod fishing in rockfish conservation areas could take some of the pressure off of rockfish and let small juveniles grow bigger and stronger to rival lingcod. Their models showed that modestly fishing for lingcod in these areas using different, more selective gear could avoid harming rockfish. It would also benefit fishermen and could bring more tasty fish to the market. “This is about the ability to actually use a resource that’s out there — lingcod, which is now a really reproductive and healthy stock,” said senior author Tim Essington, UW professor and associate director of the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. Read the rest here 12:50

Will they finally be sunk? Sea Shepherd takes fight to Chinese fleets fishing illegally

0dd64034da4217fbc687c29ff7acb4bcIt took two days and nights for the exhausted crew of the MY Steve Irwin to recover the drift net that had been abandoned by the fleeing Chinese fishing vessel. Most of the 321 marine animals the 5km of illegal netting had entangled, including sharks, dolphins, bluefin tuna and seals, were already dead. “It was the worst thing we could see but we knew it was the last time this net would kill and we could at least save a few of the animals – that was important,” says Bernd Mutz, a former social worker from Dortmund, Germany, who took part in the operation. “The days of smoke flares are over,” says Gary Stokes, director of Sea Shepherd Southeast Asia. Based in Hong Kong, Stokes is one of eight global directors who run the organisation, and its eight vessels, under the watchful eye of controversial Canadian founder Paul Watson (more on him later). Read the rest here 11:23

State legislators get taste of N.C. commercial fishing bounty at N.C. Fish Fry and Seafood Sampler

Sen-Sanderson-Britt-Shackleford-e1463835746471Close to a dozen organizations representing the commercial fishing industry were on hand to introduce North Carolina’s government leaders to the state’s seafood bounty. This gathering has become one of the most important forums for members of the industry to explain the important economic contributions made by the commercial seafood industry, all while battling federal and state regulators, environmental interests, and a well-funded recreational fishing industry which often seeks to reduce commercial catch quotas and restrict harvesting methods. Sen. Bill Cook (R-Beaufort) and Sen. Norman Sanderson (R-Pamlico) enlightened their colleagues about the economic importance, cultural heritage and threats to the long-term survival of commercial fishermen, and appealed for their support. Read the rest here 10:04

This Irish documentary about fishing and oil is making people angry

thF1SIMXY0The Atlantic Ocean can be wild, dangerous, beautiful and mystical. It provides a stunning view, a home to shoals of fish and marine life. But it also provides a livelihood for fishermen and those who trawl the sea for fish, and companies who drill for oil and gas. Director Risteard Ó Domhnaill is the man behind the acclaimed documentary The Pipe, about the Shell pipeline controversy in Rossport, Co Mayo. It was an intimate story, but one which taught him about the bigger picture of politics and industry around natural resources, says the director. Atlantic was meant to be a half-hour documentary about the oil and gas resources that Ireland has, but like many projects, it blossomed. The resulting film looks at how these resources as well as the fishing industry are treated in Ireland – but also in Newfoundland and in Norway. Read the story here 08:57

Then there was that time the Coast Guard tried using pigeons for sea rescues

poster-us-coast-guard-pigeon-project-sea-hunt-617x768Back in the late 1970s and early 80s, the Coast Guard thought they had a better way to search for people lost in the ocean. They tested using pigeons affixed to the underside of helicopters. Yes, like the pigeons in the park. And, yes, it did work. The birds performed about twice as well as their human counterparts at spotting “appropriate targets” on their first pass over an area. The pigeons involved in Project Sea Hunt, as the effort was known, were first sent to “basic training.” For obvious reasons, about the only thing pigeon basic shared with human basic was the name. Pigeons were placed in training chambers with “peck keys” that released food when pressed. Once the pigeons got the hang of the keys, their training boxes would be faced toward Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, where a buoy with a radio-operated orange plate floated. Trainers would expose the orange plate and then reward the pigeon when it hit the keys, but wouldn’t feed the pigeons if the plate wasn’t exposed. Read the story here, see more images here  15:22

Coast Guard Cutter Sanibel crew retrieves stranded fishing vessel off Nantucket Coast

450x338_q95The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Sanibel towed an 84-foot commercial fishing vessel Friday with seven people aboard after the vessel became disabled 100 miles off the coast of Nantucket. Crewmembers aboard the fishing vessel Discovery, homeported in New Bedford, contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern’s command center at approximately 2:30 a.m. Friday reporting they had a disabled rudder and needed assistance. Sector Southeastern watchstanders issued a marine safety information broadcast at about 3 a.m. requesting nearby fishermen to assist. The request went unanswered by the other fishing vessels in the area. At approximately 3:30 a.m., the Coast Guard Cutter Sanibel crew diverted to assist. Link 15:01

Jim Kendall: Little-known effort puts Northeast fishermen at risk under the National Ocean Policy

oceanpolicy-cropIn my 50-plus years as a member of the New England fishing community, I have witnessed many threats to our survival as a result of regulatory overreach. However, there is one in particular that demands the attention of everyone concerned about maintaining a viable fishing industry in our region: the coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) effort under the National Ocean Policy. Haven’t heard of it? Believe me, you’re not alone. Just like catch shares, this initiative has been implemented around rather than through Congress, its genesis being a presidential executive order issued in 2010 that led to the chartering of a government-only Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) and a National Ocean Council charged with overseeing it and other RPBs around the country. The RPB’s task: Develop a coastal and marine spatial plan for waters spanning from Connecticut to Maine. Now, in a rush to complete a plan for the Northeast before the end of 2016, the RPB is set to release a draft plan that federal agencies will be bound to implement when final. Read the rest here 13:59

Whatcom fishing fleet likely to stay longer in Alaska this season

CommercialFishing%20(2)With the fishing season in local waters still uncertain, a bigger contingent of the Whatcom County commercial fishing fleet may stay in Alaska longer this season. Commercial fishing men and women are busy loading up boats in places like Squalicum Harbor, with many planning to head north in the coming days and weeks. Loren Kapp and Cathy Wade are expecting a good, but not blockbuster, fishing season in Alaska. They operate the Chief Kwina, a former Lummi Island ferry that is now a salmon tender boat. They plan to depart for Alaska on Monday, May 23. “With the warm blob going away, it should help,” said Kapp, referring to the area of warm water that settled in the ocean waters east of Vancouver Island for the past couple of years. There is the potential for cooler waters in the area this year, which is what the salmon prefer. Read the rest here 12:30

Sussex waterman nabbed for mutiple crabbing violations – cops a plea

blue_crabDelaware Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested a Sussex County man May 19 for multiple commercial crabbing violations on the Inland Bays, officials announced in a release. John L. Fabryka, 53, of Ocean View, was charged with one count of unlawful commercial crabbing in a non-commercial area, 10 counts of tending more than two recreational crab pots, 10 counts of improperly marked recreational crab pots and six counts of failure to tend recreational crab pots at least once within required 72-hour timeframe, according to the release. Read the rest here 11:07

Gov. John Bel Edwards appoints Telley Madina to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

telley_madinaCommercial fishing interests have a new representative on the state board that regulates their industry. Gov. John Bel Edwards has appointed Telley Savalas Madina of New Orleans to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. Madina, who will represent the commercial fishing and fur industries, replaces Nathan Wall, an alligator farmer from Springfield, who recently resigned from the seven-member board. Madina was executive director of the Louisiana Oystermen Association in 2010 and 2011 and is still a board member. He serves as CEO of Red & Blue Consulting of New Orleans. The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission sets policy dealing with recreational and commercial fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities. Read the rest here 09:34

P.E.I. fishermen are not happy with the lobster size increase

lobster-sizeA decision to increase the lobster carapace size for Lobster Fishing Area 25 has upset the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans issued a notice to fishermen Friday informing them of the change. PEIFA executive director Ian MacPherson said he doesn’t believe the science supports a carapace increase. “Island fishermen just can’t see the value in having less choice for the consumer and having more lobster competing in certain size categories for price,” said MacPherson. “Half of the plants on Prince Edward Island rely on the smaller lobster as a large part of their marketing efforts. They have been marketing to different parts of the world that want that smaller lobster so, you know, this is a real disappointment.”  Read the rest here 09:03

Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Lobster size minimums to increase in Lobster Fishing Area 25

lobster-sizeNew Brunswick lobster fishermen are “ecstatic” about the federal government’s decision to increase the minimum size for lobster harvested between the southeast of the province and P.E.I., by five millimetres over the next three years. Fisheries and Oceans Canada issued a notice on Friday, informing harvesters of the change for the western half of the Northumberland Strait, known as Lobster Fishing Area 25. “Our harvesters feel this is an historical decision,” said Christian Brun, executive secretary of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union in New Brunswick. It comes after a long-standing dispute between fishermen in New Brunswick and P.E.I. over carapace size, he said. The legal harvesting size will increase by one millimetre to 73 mm this season, and will further increase to 75 mm in 2017 and 77 mm in 2018, according to the government notice. Read the rest here 20:49

Piscine Reo-Virus found in salmon on one fish farm in B.C. but more research needed

atlantic-salmonScientists have detected a potential disease in farmed Atlantic salmon for the first time in British Columbia, but say more research is needed to determine if it could affect wild populations of the fish. Dr. Kristi Miller, head of the molecular genetics research program in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, said pathologists found lesions on salmon on one farm in Johnstone Strait indicating they had heart and skeletal muscle inflammation. “These lesions were present for an extended period of time, at least eight months, on this (undisclosed)  farm,” Miller said Friday. The Piscine Reo-Virus has been associated with all outbreaks of heart and skeletal muscle inflammation, as it was on the single B.C. farm, but it’s not known if it causes the disease, Miller said, adding scientists around the world are investigating how the virus could be linked to the disease. Read the rest here 19:36

Man arrested for poaching 153 black sea bass

t1200-IMG_2296A Rhode Island man fishing out of season was out of luck after being busted with 153 black sea bass at Mattapoisett Town Wharf on Wednesday. Mattapoisett Harbormaster Jill Simmons became suspicious of Belmiro Baptista, 65, of Patwucket, Rhode Island after helping him attach his boat to his truck. Baptista told her he had a commercial fishing license and was fishing for scup. He also told her he caught five or six sea bass, “for eat,” said the Portuguese native. He later said he had eight bass. Simmons, unsure if sea bass were in season, called the Department of Marine Fisheries and the Massachusetts Environmental Police, who told her that the fish were not, in fact, in season for recreational fishing until Saturday, May 21. Even if it had been the correct season, Baptista did not have a recreational saltwater license. The commercial season for the fish begins Aug. 1. Read the rest here 17:12

A dream becomes a nightmare

0220013When Dick Garbowski, a commercial fisherman in Green Bay, snagged an expensive net on an unknown obstruction in Lake Michigan in 1967, he probably did not know that he would set events in motion that would culminate in crushed dreams and a demolished schooner with a historical designation. Garbowski called an experienced diver and friend, Frank Hoffman, to help him free his $1,400 fishing net. The two originally kept their problem a secret, because as V.O. Van Heest writes in “Lost and Found,” “Garbowski had kept quiet about the predicament worried that someone might hear about it and try to abscond with the $1,400 net. Hoffman, too, had kept quiet because he knew that news of a new wreck could bring out other divers intent on looting.” was not until the summer of 1968 that the net was finally freed and Frank Hoffman realized he had an almost intact shipwreck to explore. The shipwreck was the Alvin Clark. Read the story here 16:42

Fishermen celebrate after catching ‘drunk monster’ eel

eel drunkAdolph Nwarhombi (32) and Go-Back Makhuvele (26) from Makuleke near Malamulele, Limpopo poured 25 litres of traditional beer in the water where they were fishing. They now believe that this is the secret to successful fishing because after they caught a 1.2m (4 ft) long eel. Go-Back told Daily Sun that they poured the beer in the water and when they came back in the evening they realised there was something very strange under the surface. “We waited about for three minutes after casting and then pulled the net into the boat. “We knew we had caught something special. It was like a monster and very strong. It nearly pulled us out of the boat,” he said. It was dark and they couldn’t see what was in the net. “We were scared that we had a crocodile in the net,” he said. “We thought of jumping out of the boat and running home. But then the monster started getting tired. After half an hour it finally surrendered. “Go-Back said they couldn’t believe it when they switched on their torches and saw the giant eel in the net. Adolph said: “I believe the eel got drunk on our beer and that’s why we defeated it. We’ll sell it for R500 ($ 31.98 USD).” link

Advisory group wants to move Astoria Marine Construction Co. Shipyard, Fishermen leery

AR-160529960.jpg&MaxW=600The advisory group overseeing the cleanup of Astoria Marine Construction Co.’s contaminated shipyard has asked the state to support a public-private partnership to relocate the business. The long-term impact of the closure of AMCCO on our fishing fleet could have severe economic consequences, as the loss of the fleet will impact fish processing and other businesses related to the fishing industry,” Löfman wrote. “Commercial fishing represents 18.6 percent ($142.4 million) of all earned income in Clatsop County.” Löfman, who also sent the letter to a long list of local, state and national legislators, said she put the letter out to raise awareness about the clear need for the shipyard. Dave Jordan, an advisory group member who lives near Tillamook and bases his fishing boat out of Warrenton, said it takes him as little as 45 minutes for his boat to get to Astoria Marine. Astoria Marine helps change his equipment between the crab, shrimp and tuna seasons, along with biennial haul-outs and emergency repairs. “That’s one of the big losses, is the emergency part of it,” he said. “It’s a bad deal. Boats might sink because it’s not there.” Read the story here 13:06

Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association launches petition to halt Bay of Fundy tidal projects

XAV101_20160519340671_highChris Hudson, president of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association started the petition this week, asking that tidal power testing be halted until their association is satisfied the fisheries won’t be harmed. The association is one of Nova Scotia’s biggest fishing groups, representing 150 lobster and fixed gear groundfish licence holders in the Bay, from the Yarmouth county line to the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border. “We haven’t been contacted about this whatsoever,” Hudson told the Chronicle Herald. “And that’s not acceptable. We’re not saying we’re against it, we just want to be around the table to talk about the exact plans. There’s a lot of ifs.” Hudson says he was contacted by the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) on Wednesday with background information. “That’s a start,” he said. Read the story here  12:27


“Scallop Fishing on the Mister G” – Photographer Markham Starr captures a day in the life

“I should have been born 150 years ago,” said Markham Starr, a man who actively documents the present so it can be preserved for the future. In recent years, Starr has documented working cultures throughout New England, mostly through photography. Many of these images have been organized into books, such as “In History’s Wake: The Last Trap Fishermen of Rhode Island,” which “documents a tradition now hundreds of years old, capturing the spirit and work ethic that drives Rhode Island’s fishermen to continue providing food for their neighbors.” More recently, Starr began capturing these stories through video. In 2011, he spent a day scallop fishing on a small boat called Mister G with its owner, Mike Marchetti, and that experience has been made into a 45-minute film, “Scallop Fishing on the Mister G,” which will have its first public showing at Peace Dale Library, 1057 Kingstown Road, Peace Dale, Saturday at 2 p.m.  Read the rest here 09:48


Gloucester Fisherman Al Cottone to serve as city’s fisheries director

Al Cottone, 50, a longtime Gloucester fisherman and a staunch advocate for the commercial fishing industry, is filling the newly re-created job, Chairman Mark Ring announced at Thursday night’s Fisheries Commission meeting at Gloucester High School. The position has been dormant for several years, but Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, in consultation with the Fisheries Commission, reignited a belief that the city and its fishing industry would greatly benefit from re-establishing the position to serve as the city’s liaison to state, regional and federal fishery managers and regulators. Cottone currently serves as a voting member of the Fisheries Commission, but his status will shift to a non-voting member once he assumes the new position July 1. Cottone, Gloucester born and bred, is a familiar face and respected voice at fishing-related meetings of the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries, the New England Fishery Management Council and NOAA. Read the story here 08:34

Feds Drop Buoy-Napping Case Against Fishermen

48643802.cachedCooler heads have prevailed, and the feds earlier this week dropped their lawsuit against two fisherman who seized a piece of scientific equipment operated by the United States Geological Survey. A source close to the situation told Courthouse News that the “oceanographic mooring buoy,” known as Scientific Mooring MS, was returned to the United States Geological Survey. The buoy had previously been in the possession of two Moss Landing, California-based fishermen. Daneil Sherer and Patrick Anderson, who run A&S Fisheries, found the piece of equipment in January and demanded $45,000 to return of the equipment. The feds sued the fisherman in late March, accusing them of holding government property “de facto hostage” and causing irreparable harm to an international research project. Read the rest here 20:34