Richard “Max” Strahan ‘Man in Final Legal Effort to Protect Whales

Strahan seeks a court order to prevent the state from licensing vertical buoy ropes and to make Massachusetts revoke all existing licenses. The ropes connect traps and pots under water to buoys on the surface so lobstermen can more easily find their catch.,,, Strahan distinctly remembers his first case, Strahan v. Coxe, which he frequently cites. The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts said in that 1996 opinion that gillnets and lobster gear have harmed endangered whales “and are likely to continue doing so.”(But he never mentioned ship strikes!) >click to read< 10:12

Wife of St. Lawrence fisherman killed at sea in May says recovery system ‘badly broken’

A lobby group demanding improved search and rescue oversight in Newfoundland and Labrador wants a say in the newly-launched provincial inquiry on the matter,,, Concerned Citizens for Search and Rescue, led by Merv Wiseman and founded in August, wants to shape the terms of reference for the inquiry into ground search and rescue services, launched Jan. 14 nine years after the death of its catalyst, Burton Winters. “There’s no oversight for search and rescue,” said Wiseman at a press conference Monday. The group also wants official standing at that inquiry, Melissa Mayo-Norman lost her husband, Scott, last year when a four-man crew was lost on a fishing vessel off St. Lawrence. She sat beside Wiseman and voiced her support for the group’s efforts. >click to read< 08:42

UPDATED: Coast Guard rescues 3 fishermen off sinking crab boat

The Coast Guard rescued three people after their commercial crab fishing boat lost propulsion and collided with the jetties while attempting to transit through the entrance channel in Humboldt Bay, Sunday. At approximately 6:20 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay watchstanders received a distress call on VHF-FM channel 16 from the fishing vessel Sunup stating their vessel had propulsion problems and was on the south jetty rocks inside the channel. photos, >click to read< 22:08

Fishing vessels crashes into rocks off South Jetty – “I was so shaken up did not calm down until I was able to hear his voice,” said Pandora Boling. William Boling who was a deck hand on the Fishing Vessel Sun up knew they were in trouble when they lost their light source. video, >click to read<

Georges Bank haddock – Canada, U.S. agree to slash quota by 45%

Canada and the United States have agreed to a large quota cut for the haddock stock that straddles their shared fishing grounds on Georges Bank south of Nova Scotia. Committee records from 2019 and 2020 show the Georges Bank haddock population is still healthy, but on the decline as the “extraordinarily strong” population hatched in 2013 is caught or dies off. COVID-19 curtailed or cancelled scientific surveys on Georges Bank in 2020. “We have no analytical model on haddock, had no U.S. surveys,,, >click to read< 21:05

New Whitby lobster boat launches on choppy post-Brexit waters

“Our Henry” is owned by business partners Terry Pearson and Luke Russell. Mr Pearson is the merchant for the local shellfishing fleet, while Mr Russell will skipper the catamaran, the first new boat to join the Whitby fleet for a decade, along with two other crew and a trainee. Delivered a couple of weeks ago the potter has been undergoing sea trials, but should make its first fishing trip later this week.  “Then with Covid, the build was delayed, and it has only just arrived when we are in the middle of the winter fishery,  “Then of course there has been Brexit,,, >click to read< 16:31

Rocky Brands To Acquire Original Muck Boot Company and Xtratuf

Rocky Brands, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the performance and lifestyle footwear business of Honeywell International, Inc. including The Original Muck Boot Company and Xtratuf footwear brands, for a purchase price of $230 million.,, The Original Muck Boot Company pioneered the rubber and neoprene boot category. Xtratuf, an outfitter in the commercial fishing segment, has provided Alaskan fishermen with footwear for wet conditions for nearly 60 years. >click to read< 13:55

Maine Governor proposes offshore wind farm moratorium

Gov. Janet Mills on Monday proposed a 10 year moratorium (just say no!) on new offshore wind projects in state-managed waters and other actions aimed at calming concerns among the fishing industry about her plan to create the nation’s first floating offshore wind research farm in the Gulf of Maine. In a letter Friday to licensed commercial fishermen, the Democratic governor said she would propose the moratorium to the Legislature. >click to read< 12:38

Family fined $70,000 over black market rock lobster sales

A family from the WA Midwest fishing community of Leeman has been ordered to pay more than $70,000 in fines and costs after selling 76 black market Western Rock Lobster to undercover officers during an operation between June 2018 and April 2019. Ronald Francis Dennis, 29, and his parents Ronald George Dennis, 67, and Lorna Francis Weeks, 67, were caught in the sting selling lobsters to undercover Fisheries officials on four occasions. >click to read< 10:15

Premium Brands and Mi’kmaq First Nations Coalition Announce Acquisition Completion of Clearwater Seafoods Inc.

“We are very excited to have a world class seafood company like Clearwater join our ecosystem.,,, said George Paleologou, President and CEO of Premium Brands. “We are also very pleased to be partnering with the Membertou, Miawpukek, Sipekne’katik, We’koqma’q, Potlotek, Pictou Landing and Paqtnkek communities. “This is a significant achievement for the Mi’kmaq,” said Chief Terry Paul, Membertou First Nation. “Mi’kmaq not only become 50% owners of the company but expect to hold Clearwater’s Canadian fishing licences within a fully Mi’kmaq owned partnership. >click to read< 09:23

How this family-run seafood business banded together to stay afloat for the next generation

When the Bright kids were young, Bill was away at sea often, “probably 150 days a year,” he says. One Sunday he came home from a fishing trip in New England, gathered the family around the table, and floated an idea for a new adventure, a restaurant. Well, not a restaurant-restaurant, but a kitchen trailer parked by the docks on Richardson Channel, with picnic tables where customers could see the freshness of the fish, guts and scales and all, being butchered a few feet away. “The kids were into it right away.” Bill and Michelle, a Temple-trained journalist and ace home cook, opened Hooked Up Seafood in 2010 and quickly developed a reputation of excellence. photos, >click to read< 07:48

Unlocking the secrets of rogue waves

Captain Cody VanBuskirk and the crew of the No Excuses were ten days into a sword fishing trip south of Sable Island. Despite the forecast for 40 knot winds that led them to take the evening off fishing, it wasn’t rough. Then a wave significantly larger than any of the others smashed into the boat’s side, rolled her on her beam, caved in the wheelhouse windows.,,, Twenty-six years ago a mathematician probably wouldn’t have believed VanBuskirk’s claim he’d been hit by a rogue wave. They were the stuff of mariners’ tales, not far removed from Davey Jones’ locker. They didn’t make sense on paper so they probably didn’t exist. >click to read< 16:20

Falklands Squid – A Fisheries Management Success Story

A suite of conservation measures overturned a negative trend in squid abundance in the 1990s, turning this into a stable fishery with total annual catches ranging between 60,000 and 80,000 tonnes over the last three years. Most of these species have short life cycles with completely new generations joining the fishery every year. The annual turnover, together with climatic variability, results in high abundance fluctuations that make   squid fisheries notoriously difficult to manage and risky for fishing companies and their production chains. >click to read< During seasons, the stock biomass of squid remaining is estimated by depletion models, which are continually updated with mandatory daily reports of catch and effort from trawlers. >click to read< 14:45

Enviros sue for North Atlantic Right Whale protections from ship strikes

Four conservation groups filed an injunction in a Washington, D.C., court last week asking the National Marine Fisheries Service to expand its efforts to protect right whales and their calves from being hit by ships. Although entanglement in fishing lines gets a lot of headlines, ship strikes have emerged as a prime killer of the right whales, whose numbers have dropped from a peak of 481 in 2011 to 356 this year. Eleven calves, including two that were spotted Wednesday off Amelia Island, Florida, so far this calving season are not accounted for in that estimate. >click to read< 09:50

Brexit has left us all at sea – even the fishing industry

Teething troubles? Bumps in the road? Pull the other one, Mr Gove. As the daily news from fishing crews, farmers, road hauliers, wine merchants, musicians and thousands of businesses up and down the land, not least in Northern Ireland, confirms, Brexit tier 3 is indeed a disaster. Far from having teething troubles that disappear, many of these businesses are having their commercial teeth extracted. It becomes increasingly manifest by the day that this is a Conservative act of conscious economic self-harm which, in an ideal world, would be rescinded before things get a lot worse. >click to read< 08:50

“This is an absolute shambles –fishermen always seem to get used as a bargaining chip”

Following the UK’s departure from the EU at 11pm on Hogmanay, new rules governing trade have crippled the sector, which is hugely important to many fragile communities across the Highlands and Islands. As a result, many creel boats have stopped fishing altogether, while the transport firms responsible for delivering crab, lobster and langoustine to European buyers staged a drive-slow protest in London on Monday of this week. Fisherman Duncan McAndrew, from Duncraig in Lochalsh, told the Free Press that those reliant on the live export of shellfish had been “absolutely shafted” by UK ministers, who “knew this was going to happen for months. >click to read< 07:45

Coronavirus closes a third Aleutian plant, stranding Bering Sea fishermen at the dock

In the Aleutian port town of Unalaska, at least five local boats are stuck at the dock with nowhere to deliver their cod after the shutdown of the Alyeska Seafoods processing plant, according to a crew member on one of them, Tacho Camacho Castillo. Alyeska closed its plant Friday “based on a cluster of positive cases” identified through “surveillance testing,” the City of Unalaska said in a prepared statement. “There’s two days and this fish starts to spoil,” Camacho Castillo, a crew member on the 58-foot Lucky Island, said in an interview Friday. “Am I going to be throwing out fish into the ocean? It’s going break my heart, for real, if I throw all this fish away.” >click to read< 18:38

Federal Relief: Great Lakes fisheries finally get a cut of Coronavirus relief funds

After being snubbed in 2020, the folks who make their living by fishing the Great Lakes ­­– both commercially and for sport – have been included in the latest round of federal relief from the economic ravages of COVID-19.,, Neither group was included in the massive Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security  Act that passed in March 2020, even though $300 million was specifically earmarked for U.S. fisheries.,, Getting the Great Lakes included in CRRSA was just the beginning. Now comes the harder work of figuring out how to access the money. Video, >click to read< 16:10

East Hampton Approves South Fork Wind Farm Cable Agreements

Agreements for the South Fork Wind Farm cable landing and burial project from Beach Lane in Wainscott to an East Hampton LIPA substation, and for $28.9 in benefits to be paid by the developers to the community, were approved by the East Hampton Town Board on Thursday.,, The wind farm, just over 30 miles east of Montauk Point, will have 15 turbines capable of producing 136 megawatts of electricity. The agreement also calls for South Fork Wind to hire a liaison to communicate with the East Hampton commercial fishing community “until the project ceases commercial operation,” and calls for a wind farm support facility and transfer vessel base in Montauk. >click to read< 14:47

F/V Chief William Saulis: Royal Canadian Mounted Police end search for missing crew on sunken scallop dragger

More than a month after the crew of a scallop dragger from Nova Scotia disappeared on the Bay of Fundy, the RCMP are calling off their search for the five men suspected of going down with the vessel, citing “significant” risk to the lives of divers. The RCMP said at the time that their crews were not equipped to dive to the necessary depths to look inside, but they said they were studying their options. On Saturday, they announced in a news release that those options had been exhausted. >click to read< The RCMP is calling off its search for the Chief Willian Saulis>click to read< 11:43

‘Everybody’s worst nightmare’: Bering Sea fishermen on edge after Coronavirus closes second processing plant

Now, fishermen and industry leaders are anxious that they might not have places to offload their catch, and that their plants might be the next to close down, said Dan Martin, who manages a fleet of nine pollock trawlers for a company called Evening Star Fisheries. “Any hiccups like this, you really have to reshuffle the deck and try to figure out, ‘Okay, what’s the next step?’” said Martin, a retired skipper. He called the shutdowns “everybody’s worst nightmare.” >click to read< 10:32

Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation is working to limit Maine’s aquaculture lease process.

With aquaculture growing, one organization is concerned about continued conflict on the coastline. Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation was established two years ago. Executive Director of the non-profit, Cyrstal Canney said her group is fighting to reduce the size and amount of aquaculture leases. Canney did add her organization is not against aquaculture but wants to protect traditional fishing grounds. >click to read< 08:48

At two-day virtual conference, B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

The United Fishermen And Allied Workers’ Union (UFAWU-Unifor) and active fishermen’s associations convened the conference, Future of BC Commercial Salmon Fishing,,,, The issues are complex and sometimes controversial. Allocation of stocks with recreational and First Nations fisheries, and access to healthy runs are priority issues, but interwoven are challenges with policy and governance that are not meeting the economic-development needs of fishing communities, a licensing regime established in the 1990s that’s consolidated power into the hands of corporations and so-called “armchair fishermen”, and an explosion in pinniped predation rates on juvenile salmon, to name a few. >click to read< 07:49

Failed policies, decisions on the fly: How the moderate livelihood fishery file blew up

Documents obtained through a freedom of information request show the federal Fisheries Department knew that 21 years of kicking the moderate livelihood issue down the election cycle had resulted in there being little rule of law on St. Mary’s Bay. The feds knew that the bay had become a pressure cooker as two communities were pitted against one another over a limited resource. When the top blew off, they turned to coming up with new policy on the fly while seeking a daily scorecard on evolving public opinion. “This is about a culture (in Ottawa) that would rather avoid any conflict at all,” said Thomas Isaac, an aboriginal rights lawyer who has served as British Columbia’s chief treaty negotiator,,,>click to read< 13:49

President Biden’s flurry of actions to protect the environment reignites a controversy about the Atlantic’s only marine monument

Last June, as part of a concerted campaign to dismantle the environmental policies of the Obama administration, Donald Trump met with fishermen in Maine and signed a proclamation that allowed commercial fishing in nearly 5,000 square miles of federally protected waters southeast of Cape Cod. In all, Biden ordered federal agencies to begin reviewing and restoring more than 100 environmental regulations that were dismantled or weakened by the Trump administration. While many of Biden’s orders could have a significant impact on New England, the review of the (Northeast Canyons and Seamounts) marine monument, a Connecticut-sized area that lies about 130 miles southeast of Provincetown, has stirred immediate controversy. >click to read< 11:44

Dakota Creek Industries co-founder Dick Nelson dead at 78

Dick Nelson, who co-founded Dakota Creek Industries, died Thursday, the Anacortes shipyard announced. He was 78. Nelson’s passing was announced in a company statement read by Port of Anacortes Executive Director Dan Worra at the port’s commission meeting on Thursday evening. Dakota Creek Industries was founded in 1975 in Blaine and initially focused on repair and conversion work before relocating in 1977 to Anacortes, where it began building new vessels, including fishing vessels, tug boats, commercial and government vessels, according to the company’s website. >click to read< 10:13

Oyster Prices Plummet As Diners Stay Home Amid Pandemic

With several hours of daylight to spare, Ronnie Robbins and his son, Jason, had already docked their 36-foot deadrise workboat on Hooper’s Island and started unloading their briny cargo.,,, It isn’t a supply problem. Watermen in Maryland and Virginia alike say they are having no trouble landing their daily wild oyster quotas.,,, “We got lots of oysters, and they’re excellent quality,” said Bill Sieling,,,  The problem is decreased demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. >click to read< 09:31

Gulf of Alaska Pollock fishermen agree to delay season, will allow roe to ripen, making fish more valuable.

Trawl fishermen targeting pollock in the Gulf of Alaska have collectively agreed to stand down from the Jan. 20 start of the fishery in order to target the fish in their more lucrative phase of harvesting the roe, instead of the flesh of the fish which is used more in fish sticks and surimi. The fishermen want to wait for two weeks to allow the roe to ripen, making the fish more valuable.,, In June 2019, the North Pacific Management Council voted to combine the four pollock seasons — two in spring and two in fall — to just two seasons: one that runs from Jan. 20 to May 31, and another that runs from Sept. 1 to Nov. 1. >click to read<  08:20

Five Days In, Crescent City Fishermen Continue To Pull Up Empty Crab Pots

“It’s a bleak year”,,,  After a delay initially due to poor quality crab and later because of price negotiations with seafood processors, Del Norte County fishermen and others on the North Coast were able to pull their crab pots at 8 a.m. on Saturday. But four hours into the season, when dock workers and fishermen should have been offloading the first of their catch, Citizens Dock was still quiet.,, Since fishermen went to work, Pacific Choice Seafoods and other processors raised the price they were offering to $4 per pound,,, >click to read< 07:32

Trident Seafoods to close Alaska plant for three weeks after COVID-19 outbreak

Seattle based Trident Seafoods is shutting down its largest Alaska seafood plant for three weeks after a COVID-19 outbreak, a difficult decision that points to a renewed assault by the coronavirus on the ranks of workers in a key part of the nation’s food-processing industry. Trident is suspending operation at its Akutan facility just at the start of major winter harvests for pollock, North America’s biggest single-species seafood harvest, as well as cod and crab. At Akutan, some 700 employees have stopped working amid a new round of testing, and a fleet of boats that would normally be delivering their catch is now tied to docks. >click to read< 16:39

Massachusetts Launches ‘Ropeless’ Fishing Feasibility Study

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has launched a comprehensive scoping project to assess ‘ropeless’ fishing gear in the New England lobster fishery. A first of its kind on an accelerated timeline, the project will interview dozens of fishermen, technologists, policy experts, and scientists to fully evaluate the challenges and opportunities of the new gear type. The twelve-month project will evaluate fishing, legal, regulatory, technological challenges and opportunities of alternative lobster gear, which could reduce whale entanglements. >click to read< 12:47