Commercial Fisherman George Mendonsa, whose Times Square kiss became an iconic photo, dies at 95

George Mendonsa never doubted that he was the sailor in Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photo from Times Square, when news broke in 1945 that Japan had surrendered and World War II was ending. Eisenstaedt shot four quick frames of Mr. Mendonsa kissing a stranger, Greta Zimmer Friedman, and a photo of their brief embrace became one of the era’s most iconic images. It was unforgettable for Mr. Mendonsa, too. “This moment put magic into my life,” he told the Globe in 1988. Mr. Mendonsa, a well-known commercial fisherman in Rhode Island, was 95 when he died early Sunday from complications of falling a short time earlier in an assisted living center. He had lived in Middletown, R.I., most of his life and would have turned 96 Tuesday. >click to read<21:30

Lucky number 7: Seventh right whale calf spotted off Atlantic coast

One by one, the critically endangered right whales here for this winter’s calving season are delivering new babies that raise optimism among whale researchers. A seventh North Atlantic right whale calf was confirmed this weekend off the Georgia coast, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries. “Every calf that gets us closer to 10 or a dozen is very encouraging,” said Jim Hain, senior scientist and project coordinator for the Marineland Right Whale Project. The newest mom is Pico, or No. 3270. She’s a 17-year-old whale whose last known calf was born in 2011. >click to read<20:48

Fisheries official says 2018 saw a ‘reasonably good return’ despite low numbers

The number of sockeye salmon that made it up the Fraser River last fall was lower than originally predicted, prompting a conservation group to blame the federal fisheries regulator for allowing the area to be overfished. “This year, it was the lowest run or spawning return they’ve seen on record on this cycle,” Greg Taylor told CBC Radio’s Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce. “They were very disappointing,” said Taylor, a senior fisheries advisor for the Watershed Watch Salmon Society.,,, A DFO representative told Joyce on Thursday that, while the numbers were lower than predicted, the return numbers were not out of the ordinary >click to read<20:14

Connecticut’s Commercial Fishermen Express Interest In Two Bills

Two bills that could have a big impact on Connecticut’s multi-million dollar commercial fishing business were the subject of an Environment Committee public hearing Friday. The legislation would allow commercial fishermen to take one day’s catch and bring them across state lines — to Rhode Island and New York — not just Connecticut. The other bill would “prohibit the possession and trade of shark fins in the state.” The aim is to protect sharks from skinning for trade but commercial fishermen are worried that the bill may lead to a complete ban on shark. >click to read<18:30

Free training prepares fishermen because ‘every second counts in an emergency at sea’

Fishing Partnership Support Services is offering programs in New Bedford to make life safer for those who have one of the world’s most dangerous jobs, commercial fishing. Safety and Survival Training will be from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 7 at the School for Marine Science and Technology of the University of Massachusetts, 706 S. Rodney French Blvd. Drill Conductor Training will be at the same location from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 8. There is no charge for either program, and lunch is provided both days. A team of certified marine safety instructors will lead both programs, according to a news release. Safety and Survival Training will cover: >click to read<14:37

Salmon are going the way of the buffalo! West coast group campaigns for seal, sea lion harvest

A group lobbying for a commercial harvest of harbor seals and sea lions on the West Coast is encouraged after meeting with federal fisheries officials. Richmond-based Pacific Balance Pinniped Society is pressing Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to consider a managed Indigenous fishery for seals and sea lions. Society members are convinced that a pinniped explosion is a contributing factor to declining populations of wild salmon and other finfish along the B.C. coast. “Our salmon are going and will go the way of the buffalo unless we do something,” said Thomas Sewid, founder of the society. “It’s not just fish, it’s a way of life.” >click to read<12:32

New England: Shrimpers hope industry lost to warm seas won’t be forgotten

Glen Libby looks back fondly on his days as a Maine shrimp trawler, but he’s concerned about what seafood lovers will think if the shuttered fishery ever reopens. “Shrimp? What are those?” he said. “There will be a market. But it depends how big of a market you’re talking about.” Maine’s historic shrimp industry has been closed since 2013 due to a loss in population of shrimp off of New England that is tied in large part to warming oceans.  And with a reopening likely several years away — if it ever happens at all,,, >click to read<10:44

DON CUDDY: Local expert diver, Dartmouth’s Steve Cassidy, recalls 1975 Atlantic Sword tragedy

The recent passing of Harriet Didriksen, owner of New Bedford Ship Supply, signifies the loss of yet another link to the city’s long and rich fishing heritage. It was perhaps that sad news which inspired me to seek out another of the old-timers whose lives were spent on the city’s waterfront. South Dartmouth’s Steve Cassidy is a young 91 years of age. He has accumulated, and still retains, an encyclopedic knowledge of the boats, and the men who fished on them, from the SouthCoast area over the last six decades.,,,  As I sat in his living room this week he shared some of his memories with me and reflected particularly on a tragedy that is now long-forgotten but one that has never left him. >click to read<19:53

Alaska fishing towns would forfeit $28M in fish tax under Dunleavy budget

Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proposals for balancing the state’s budget include a plan to stop sharing of millions of dollars in taxes on commercial fishing with coastal communities. “The governor’s budget is — the message he’s sending is that we’re simply — we’re out of time and we’re out of money,” said Dunleavy’s press secretary Matt Shuckerow. Landing and business taxes on fisheries – often referred to as raw fish tax – are collected by the state. >click to read<13:45

Clearwater pulls plug on storing lobster traps at sea

North America’s largest shellfish producer, Halifax-based Clearwater Seafoods, says it has stopped storing lobster traps at sea. Clearwater’s practice of leaving thousands of pots on the ocean floor for weeks at a time earned it a conviction for a “gross violation” of Canadian fishery rules. Unlike every other lobster fishery, there is no season and Clearwater has been awarded a quota of 720 tonnes, which it says represents about 15 percent of all lobster it sells. >click to read<12:58

Efforts Underway to Reduce Lobster Fishing Gear to Help Rare Whale

Interstate fishing managers are starting the process of trying to reduce the amount of lobster fishing gear off the East Coast in an attempt to help save a declining species of rare whale. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission announced this month that it would consider options designed to reduce vertical lobster fishing lines in the water by as much as 40 percent. The commission said it would try to reduce the amount of gear with a combination of trap limits, seasonal closures, changes to gear configuration and other methods. The rules are under development and it will take months before they come up for public hearings. >click to read<10:45

Coast Guard assists good Samaritan vessel to rescue five people from sunken fishing vessel near Dutch Harbor, Alaska

Two Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak helicopter aircrews searched and assisted the good Samaritan fishing vessel Kona Kai with locating five people in a life raft from the sunken commercial fishing vessel Pacific 1, approximately 40 miles west, southwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Friday. The Kona Kai safely recovered all five people from an inflatable life raft that was deployed from the Pacific 1 upon sinking. All five people were safely transported to Dutch Harbor and were reported to have been in good condition. >click to read<18:34

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for February 15, 2019

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<16:50

Mourners pay final tribute to Congressman Walter B. Jones

He was a devoted husband and father who wanted to be remembered for his integrity and love of God and the Catholic Church. He also was the voice for veterans, farmers, fisherman, businessmen and everyone in between. And when he went off to Washington, he was not afraid to go against his own political party if it meant doing the right thing. These tributes and others were shared as friends and colleagues of the late U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. gathered in Greenville to honor him on Thursday afternoon. >click to read<15:52

The Salmon Wars in the Pacific Northwest: Banning the Rough Customer

This week in Olympia, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 5617 to ban nontribal gillnetting in Washington state. The legislation would eliminate 445 small fishing businesses in rural and coastal areas. Despite the treacherous snow conditions throughout western Washington, commercial fishermen and tribal representatives packed the chamber and an overflow room, driving through the slush from far-flung places like Wahkiakum, Skamania, Ilwaco, Astoria, the San Juan Islands, Willapa and Bellingham. Also present was a sprinkling of red-hatted CCA sport fishers, hoping to drive a stake through the heart of the commercial fishing industry. >click to read<15:24

B.C.-led international expedition to probe ailing Pacific salmon stocks

An unprecedented international collaboration could revolutionize salmon science and fisheries management, return forecasting and even hatchery output. Nineteen scientists from Russia, Canada, the United States, Japan and South Korea are set to probe the secret lives of five Pacific salmon species with a four-week grid search and test fishery across the Gulf of Alaska. The expedition begins next week aboard the Russian research ship MV Professor Kaganovsky. “We know virtually nothing about what happens to salmon once they leave near-shore waters in the Salish Sea,” said expedition organizer Dick Beamish. >click to read<13:56

MSC Sustainability rating drops for Clearwater’s offshore lobster fishery

Clearwater Seafoods’ offshore lobster fishery in Eastern Canada has lost its “recommended” rating from Ocean Wise, a seafood sustainability recommendation program of the Vancouver Aquarium. It’s more fallout from a 2018 conviction for what the Crown called a “gross violation” of a Canadian fisheries regulation by Halifax-based Clearwater. In a separate action, the Marine Stewardship Council, another much larger eco-sustainability organization, has moved up its scheduled “full surveillance audit” of Clearwater’s offshore lobster fishery by two months to April. >click to read<11:00

Gulf of Mexico: 14-year Taylor Energy oil leak could be two times larger than BP spill

A toppled oil platform that has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico for more than 14 years may have released much more oil than recent estimates have indicated, possibly pushing the total volume well beyond BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. New research indicates 2,100 to 71,400 gallons of oil are escaping each day from the Taylor Energy platform site, about 10 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River. The high estimate of 71,400 gallons per day is more than two times larger than the highest potential rate cited by the Coast Guard when it ordered Taylor to fix the problem late last year. >click to read<10:24

Cushing fishing boat captain gets 4 years for causing deaths of 2 crewmen

Christopher A. Hutchinson, 30, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Portland by Judge D. Brock Hornby for two counts of seaman’s manslaughter. The bodies of 27-year-old Tom Hammond and 15-year-old Tyler Sawyer were never found. Hutchinson was the captain of the lobster boat No Limits, which sank near Matinicus Island in a storm on Nov. 1, 2014. He purchased 20, 30-milligram oxycodone pills from two separate drug dealers, smoked marijuana with Sawyer’s father, and drank a rum and coke at a Rockland restaurant on Halloween 2014, court documents say. He then departed for a fishing trip at 1 a.m. from Linda Bean’s dock in Tenants Harbor. Rain was beginning to fall, and the forecast called for a gale. >click to read<22:59

Investigating How Atlantic Sea Scallop Larvae Move Through A Fishery

A recent collaborative study from researchers at Rutgers University, Old Dominion University, University of Southern Mississippi, and NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center shows that scallop offspring – also known as larvae – can move among regions of the fishery, even though the fishery itself spans a huge area of the ocean off the east coast of the US. Scallops and other bivalves like oysters, clams, and mussels produce microscopic, free-swimming larvae. These larvae can, in some cases, traverse great distances,,, >click to read<21:19

Dutch trawler industry furious as Brussels votes to ban pulse fishing

Dutch fishermen have reacted furiously to Brussels’ decision to phase out pulse fishing, a form of trawling using electric currents.‘Lies and emotion have beaten science,’ fishermen’s organisations said after the vote. ‘The European Council, the European Commission and the European parliament have been misled by the lies and emotional campaign fought by French environmental organisation Bloom.’In total, 42 Dutch trawlers will have to stop pulse fishing this year and 42 can continue until 2021. The agreement also states that six trawlers can continue to use the technique for research purposes.,, >click to read<20:42

Tussling for tuna: Costa Rican fishermen want more access to a local tuna

Robert Nunes is a commercial fisherman who actively defends his peers in Costa Rica’s commercial fishing industry. He volunteers a lot of his time with Mauricio Gonzalez, director of the Camera de Palangreros (or the chamber of longliners) traveling the country lobbying for fisherman’s rights. Longlining is a type of fishing that boats set miles of hooks across the ocean and is not selective in what type of fish takes the bait placed on a hook. This has caused grief among many different groups who support, sharks, marlin, and sailfish that some people consider bycatch to a longline boat. The longline sector does not consider these species bycatch as the total catch is utilized and nothing gets wasted.>click to read<18:50

Alternative Youth Activities students get a lesson in hard work from a fishing boat captain

Students with Alternative Youth Activities took a trip down to the Charleston Marina on Wednesday afternoon to learn how a commercial slime eel fishing boat operates. The eel fishing vessel the AYA students toured was the Molly Ann, captained by Leandro Patricelli. Patricelli shared his story of hard work and perseverance with the at-risk youth. He and his family emigrated to the U.S. from Sicily when he was eight years old. At the age of 14, Patricelli dropped out of high school and lied about his age to get a job on a fishing boat. >click to read<16:55

Complaints about ‘chalky’ halibut draw attention from international commission

After years of hearing concerns from fishermen about the prevalence of “chalky” Pacific halibut, the International Pacific Halibut Commission is planning to gather information for an investigation into it. Chalky halibut are fish that, when cut open, have a stiff, chalk-textured flesh as opposed to the normal pale and tender flesh. Chalky meat is not dangerous to humans but is not desirable and thus costs the fishermen at the dock. Dr. Josep Planas, who heads up biological research for the IPHC, noted plans to gather information about chalky halibut from stakeholders,, >click to read<16:07

Two N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Committees are accepting proposals

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Resource Fund Committee and the Funding Committee for the N.C. Commercial Fishing Resource Fund are accepting proposals for the 2018-19 funding cycle from the N.C. Commercial Fishing Resource Fund. Proposals submitted for this funding cycle must fall under one of two programmatic areas: Economic Impact Study – Public Relations Campaign – >click to read<12:34

CoA Institute Sends Letter to Secretary Ross Requesting Public Confirmation of Controversial Fishery Regulation

The importance of an open and transparent government is rooted in the federal government’s ability to choose winners and losers, create barriers to economic freedom, and limit personal liberties. Family-owned fishing firms in New England recently had their economic freedom put at-risk when it was revealed that the government had secretly approved a proposal to impose new, and statutorily unauthorized, costs on their fishing operations. That’s why Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross yesterday, criticizing his office’s lack of transparency and inadequate analysis surrounding the controversial fishery management regulations. >click to read< 10:46

NPFMC takes first step toward rationalizing P-cod fishery

Pacific cod fishermen in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, one of the last remaining unrationalized federal fisheries in Alaska, may finally have to cross that bridge. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council passed a motion at its meeting Feb. 9 to take action on the Pacific cod fishery, which is facing a number of issues in abundance, processing and participation. Depending on public review and the council’s action at the next several meetings, the Pacific cod fishery could see significant changes to seasons, limits and vessel participation. The motion hinges around an analysis developed on the trawl catcher vessel fishery and releases Alternatives 1, 2, 3 and 6 for public review separate from the rest. Rationalization, also known as catch shares,,, >click to read<

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 55′ Dixon Tuna/Longliner, 1000HP, CAT C18

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Specifications, information and 26 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here

Bay of Islands fishermen supports opening market to outside buyers

A Bay of Islands fisherman believes a little competition among buyers can be a win for harvesters in this province.
In a news release issued earlier this week FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary questioned whether the province supports inshore harvesters being paid top dollar for their fish. ,,, Rick Crane is a member of the FFAW-Unifor (Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union) — because there is no choice not to be — and a supporter of FISH-NL. He said he sees both sides of the issue. >click to read<11:42

Virginia escapes sanction — for now — that could shut down menhaden fishing

A threat to shut down Virginia’s menhaden fishery disappeared after an interstate commission decided it wouldn’t find the state out of a compliance with a new quota for the oily fish. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission cut the quota for menhaden caught in Chesapeake Bay by purse-seine vessels by 42 percent back in 2017 — but the General Assembly balked this year and last at enacting that lower quota into state law. This month, the commission indefinitely postponed taking any action to find Virginia out of compliance, a finding that could trigger a federal moratorium on the fishery. >click to read<10:51