Regulators unveil new tool designed to help reduce right whale entanglements

Federal fisheries regulators demonstrated a new risk-assessment tool on Tuesday aimed at helping the survival of the North Atlantic right whale. It comes on the eve of regulatory decisions that could affect the fate of the endangered species — and the lobster industry, as well. Federal scientists said the new data model should help lobstermen and conservationists make collaborative decisions about reducing dangers that fishing gear poses for the endangered. >click to read<12:49

F/V Mary B II – Public hearing slated on fatal capsizing beginning at 8 a.m. on May 13

An investigation into the fatal capsizing of a boat off the coast of Newport remains ongoing. A public hearing will be held at Newport City Hall beginning at 8 a.m. on May 13. The hearing will focus on the capsizing of the commercial fishing vessel Mary B II, which led to the deaths of three fishermen at the entrance of Yaquina Bay in Newport. On Jan. 8, the three fishermen were approaching the Yaquina Bay Bar aboard the 42-foot Mary B II when it capsized without warning, tossing two overboard into the rough seas, according to a Coast Guard. >click to read< The hearing will be streamed live each day >click here to listen< 11:56

Southeast Alaska fishing boat captain admits to dumping 8 tons of waste overboard

A Southeast Alaska fishing boat captain has admitted to dumping eight tons of sandblasting waste into the ocean. According to the plea agreement filed in federal court Monday, Brannon Finney admits to violating the federal Clean Water Act. Finney, 32, has signed the plea agreement, which goes before a judge next month at her sentencing hearing. The plea agreement says Finney repainted her boat, the F/V Alaskan Girl, in Wrangell in June of 2017. Most of the debris was sandblasting material, but it also included copper slag from removing the Alaskan Girl’s old paint, and the paint chips themselves, the plea agreement says. >click to read<10:50

Westport Crab Races, derby and more in Westport this weekend

A seafood feast, crab races, crab and clam derbies with cash prizes, and the annual Whale of a Sale are all on tap this weekend in Westport.,,, The nonprofit commercial fishing group WEfish and the Washington Dungeness Crab Association are hosting the annual crab derby. The marina will be thoroughly stocked with Dungeness crab ahead of time, and each crab is marked with a cash value, ranging from $25 to the $500 grand prize. The derby starts at 8 a.m. and goes until 7 p.m. >click to read<09:50

Salmon Fisheries Set As Managers Start Process To Protect Endangered Orcas

The organization that sets limits for commercial, recreational and tribal salmon fisheries in the Pacific Northwest wrapped up their work Tuesday at a meeting in Northern California. The Pacific Fisheries Management Council bases the limits on salmon run projections up and down the coast. While the chinook salmon catch will be slightly lower than last year, the coho fishery in Washington and northern Oregon will be much improved. Recreational anglers would benefit most from this. In addition, the council is starting work on plans to rebuild five Northwest fish runs considered to be “overfished,”,,, >click to read< 09:07

Judge issues caution to all commercial fishers, Logbook, “you are either in compliance or you are not,”

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has issued a general caution to all commercial fishers when it comes to properly recording their catches. “Fishers have to understand that the court will not treat the failure to make a log entry as a mere lapse in accounting. There is no wiggle room in the conditions; you are either in compliance or you are not,” ruled Justice Frank Edwards, in a decision released Wednesday. Edwards made the ruling in overturning a provincial court judgement against a 36-year-old Halifax County fisherman who pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to properly maintain an up-to-date log book of his fishing activities. >click to read<22:09

Newfoundland: Equinor, Exxon given environmental go-ahead for exploratory drilling offshore

Equinor and ExxonMobil have been given the green light from Canada’s Environmental Assessment Agency to drill exploratory oil wells in the Flemish Pass and Jeanne d’Arc basins in the province’s offshore. Neither of the oil giants’ proposed drilling projects are “likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account,” according to a release sent by the federal agency on Wednesday afternoon. >click to read< 19:02

New boat design, New opportunities for success loom off the coast of Maine

Amidst the lobster traps, blue and barren berried rolling hills of Harrington, Maine, forager, artist and engineer Dave Olson is re-imagining the rockweed harvesting scene.,,, This new boat is built around the notion of an independent harvester. It’s five feet longer with higher gunwales (sides). A hydraulic system powers offloading machinery and two rollers which assist with reeling in the loaded rake.,,,I asked him why he decided to build this boat. “It was clear from the first day that their operation was sloppy…and it was affecting my bottom line.   >click to read<16:58

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 50′ x 4′ Ext. x 24′ Novi Lobster Boat

Specifications, information and 9 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here< Vessel is in excellent condition. 14:35

California’s whale protections must also protect crab fishing industry – Noah Oppenheim

At midnight Monday, California closed its springtime Dungeness crab fishing season coastwide, three months early. Hundreds of California crab fishermen and fisherwomen who rely on this fishery to feed their families will be off the water. They will have to find work elsewhere. Some may lose their livelihoods.,,, The ability of California fishermen to provide a seafood resource that the public rightfully owns is now even more constrained. >click to read<13:46

This summer crisis could take the steam

This year federal authorities are imposing a steep reduction, and a few regions of the East Coast are restricted to fishing, months prior to the lobster season gets rolling. East Coast herring fishermen brought over 200 million pounds of these fish to docks lately as 2014, but the catch of this year will be limited to less than a fifth of that total. The cut scrambling for fresh lure sources, is leaving with herring for generations in Maine lobstermen, who have baited traps and concerned about their capacity to find lobster. >click to read< 12:40

Responses from Third Congressional Candidates on Fishery Issues

NCFA sent questions to the Third District Candidates in reference to commercial fishing and below are the answers that we received back.  We received responses from the following Candidates: GARY CERES PHIL SHEPARD MICHAEL SPECIALE GREG MURPHY PAUL BEAUMONT JEFF MOORE FRANCIS DELUCA SHANNON BRAY TIM HARRIS RICHARD BEW MICHELE NIX ERIC ROUSE CELESTE CAIRNS GRAHAM BOYD JOAN PERRY >click to read< 11:39

FISH-NL condemns $20 million in spending on seismic blasting; Grand Banks ‘desperate’ for a break

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) condemns the decision by the Dwight Ball government to spend another $20 million this year on seismic blasting in the province’s offshore. “The Grand Banks are desperate for a break,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Most commercial fish stocks are in hard shape, and plankton numbers are way down. Ottawa preaches caution with fisheries management, and Dwight throws that caution over the side of a seismic boat.” >click to read<10:48

Best salmon return since 2014 leads to longer season for North Coast fishery

North Coast fishing crews idled by an early end to the Dungeness crab season will have a longer 2019 salmon season than in recent years after fishery managers finalized dates Tuesday, a reflection of this year’s healthier projected adult spawning run. In fact, this generation of returning adult king salmon is thought to be the most abundant since 2014, allowing for a season opener beginning May 16 and stretching to at least late September in coastal waters between Point Arena on the southern Mendocino Coast and Pigeon Point on the coast of San Mateo County. >click to read<10:08

Council Adopts West Coast Salmon Seasons>click to read<

Mechanical Failure Blamed for Fire on Fishing Vessel

About 0545 on March 18, a rigman took the helm so that the captain could rest. About a half hour later, while the vessel was proceeding at “idle speed” (about 2.5 knots), the rigman heard something that sounded like a small “boom” or “heavy thud.” The captain returned to the wheelhouse when he heard the sound and told the rigmen to pull in the nets and gear. Lighting remained on and the vessel’s main engine continued to propel the boat. However, about a minute later, the vessel started shaking. >click to read< 08:15

CLF OVERRULED! New Fishing Rights in Gulf of Maine Upheld by Judge

A federal judge upheld a rule Monday that opens up a portion of the western Gulf of Maine to commercial and recreational fishing for the first time. The Conservation Law Foundation had challenged the rule last year, claiming the National Marine Fisheries Service wrongly prioritized economic considerations over its conservation duty when it reduced the protected area in that portion of the Gulf by about 25%. While the rule offered habitat protection in the eastern Gulf of Maine for the first time, the conservation group said the agency and the New England Regional Council should have closed more of the Gulf to fishing. >click to read<17:28

OCEAN SALMON: Council adopts new recommendations

The Pacific Fishery Management Council has adopted ocean salmon season recommendations that provide recreational and commercial opportunities for most of the Pacific Coast, and achieve conservation goals for the numerous individual salmon stocks on the West Coast. “Although some salmon stocks are returning in stronger numbers than last year, balancing fishing opportunities with conservation is always a challenge for the Council, its advisors, fishery stakeholders, and the public,” Pacific Fishery Management Council Executive Director Chuck Tracy said. >click to read<17:05

Late post! New England Fishery Management Council meeting April 16-18, 2019 in Mystic, CT

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at Hilton Hotel, Mystic, CT, Newport, RI, December 4, 2018 –, To read the final agenda, >click here< Register for webinar >click here< to listen live. Our apologies for being late, and Wednesday, April 17, 2019 Kicks Off @8:30 a.m. Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management (EBFM) Committee Report, Atlantic Herring @11:30!

April 24th, 25th – Fishermen safety training planned in Newburyport, Gloucester

Fishing Partnership Support Services, which was founded in 1997 and maintains offices in four Massachusetts port communities, announces the following training schedule: April 24: Safety and survival training, U.S. Coast Guard Station, 65 Water St., Newburyport, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 25: Drill conductor training, U.S. Coast Guard Station, Newburyport, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Safety and survival training, U.S. Coast Guard Station, 17 Harbor Loop, Gloucester, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 26: Drill conductor training, U.S. Coast Guard Station Gloucester, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch is provided. Safety and survival training will cover: man-overboard procedures, onboard firefighting, emergency communications, flood and pump operation, survival suits, life raft deployment and boarding, and basic first aid. >click to read<12:30

PFMC Officials: No Sardine Fishing Off California This Year Due to Steep Population Decline

West coast regulators have voted unanimously to ban commercial sardine fishing for the fifth straight year after a recent evaluation of the northern Pacific stock revealed a steep decline. The ban on commercial sardine catch spans the entire length of the U.S. West Coast.,,, A new assessment of northern Pacific sardine stocks by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).,,, Not all fishermen agree with the decision to keep the sardine fishery shuttered. Diane Pleschner-Steele, executive director- California Wetfish Producers Association, said NOAA’s sardine survey under-counts the fish, and that the fishermen she hears from are noticing a comeback. >click to read<10:59

This day in Stamford history: 10 years ago – Lobster catches keep falling

The state’s commercial lobster catch fell to its lowest level in 25 years in 2008, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. The continuing decline in the Long Island Sound lobster population is likely to lead to new size restrictions as the state grapples with the lobster die-off that started in the late 1990s, the DEP said. State lobstermen took in 387,306 pounds of lobster last year, a 31 percent drop from 2007 when fishermen pulled in 568,169 pounds, according to the DEP’s statistics, and barely a tenth of the 3.7 million pounds hauled in when measured catches topped out in 1998, >click to read<13:20

Roe herring fishery meets DFO expectations; opposition continues to question sustainability

As with other years, the allowable catch was set at 20 per cent of the estimated 135,000 tons of returning herring. Both seiners and gillnetters came in under their quotas with seiners bringing in 7,178 tons of their 8,311 ton quota, and gillnetters catching 8,373 tons of their 11,472 ton quota. Neil Davis, director of resource management program delivery with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says overall the fishery had good success and there were no surprises in terms of the catch versus the quota. Quincy Sample, a Comox fisherman, says he was a few tons short of reaching his quota,,, >click to read<11:34

Working Waterfront: SC commercial shrimp docks battle for public money

The privately owned Wando shrimp dock is under contract to be sold and go public. Three-hundred yards away, the Geechie dock owners want public money to help it stay in business. The fate of two of the last of Shem Creek’s commercial shrimp boat docks hangs on the hooks along the Mount Pleasant waterfront. The creek is a marquee destination, the place where the shrimp boat fleet is a treasured part of history and the hanging shrimp nets are what tourists and diners come to see. >click to read< 10:17

N.S. seafood company accused of bilking 2 European firms out of $33K

Two European seafood businesses are buying Facebook ads and posting warnings in online seafood forums alleging they lost money to a Nova Scotia seafood company. Two firms say Oceanic Superfoods, run by David Brandal of New Minas, cheated them out of more than $30,000 when his company didn’t deliver the product they ordered. “Nobody should ever do any business with David Brandal,” said Willem Sodderland, founder of Seamore, an Amsterdam company that makes pasta, wraps and imitation bacon from seaweed. “That’s pretty clear.” >click to read<09:43

Gloucester Captain offers classes for aspiring Fishermen

Capt. Joe Sanfilippo fished out of Gloucester for more than 20 years alongside siblings and family members. For much of that time, a seed was germinating.,,, Which brings us to the germinating seed. Sanfilippo, as the industry evolved, often thought there might be a better way to give aspiring commercial fishermen a head start entering the profession. Now he is trying to pass along the very mechanics of working on a commercial fishing boat,,, “My goal is to have a commercial fishing training center in Gloucester, almost like a vocational school,” Sanfilippo said. >click to read<21:20

NOAA says a group of whales in the Gulf of Mexico are endangered

Federal scientists say a tiny group of Bryde’s whales in the Gulf of Mexico is endangered, facing threats including oil and gas exploration and development. “They’re the only year-round baleen whales that make their home in Gulf of Mexico, and (they) have a unique and very important role in the ecosystem,” said Laura Engleby, a marine mammal biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries’ service.,,,Engleby said, “We don’t really know much about this species.”>click to read<15:31

‘We Were Blindsided:’ Crab Fishing Closure Could Mean Millions in Losses

At the April 9 Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting, the security check-in station resembled a metropolitan airport with a long line of people stretched out the courthouse doors and halfway down the stairs to Fifth Street. All seats in the chamber were filled, the space between the chairs and the wall was filled with people standing, and others waited outside the door for a chance to speak. The source of the commotion was a sudden and unexpected closure of the Dungeness crab fishery. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife had ordered all crab fishermen throughout the state to remove their gear from the ocean by April 15. >click to read<14:40

LETTER OF THE WEEK: MPAs an insult to our community

My family obtained Gerard Island on the Eastern Shore in the 1750s. They were fishermen, like many other families, and for hundreds of years kept stewardship of the natural habitat until the present day. There is a two-month lobster fishery here, part of Canada’s top seafood exports worth billions of dollars each year and a key player in the Eastern Shore’s economy. Conservation efforts by our fishery are well documented and have been successful for over 30 years in co-operation with Department of Fisheries and Oceans regulation. >click to read<Andre Gerrard, lobster fisherman, Spry Harbour 10:09

DC Circuit Sinks Challenge to Fishing Bycatch Rule

The D.C. Circuit on Friday upheld the government’s method of counting fish and other sea life that are unintentionally swept up in commercial fishing nets. The NMFS changed its method for counting bycatch in 2015,,, The 2015 change puts trained reporters, typically biologists, on a sample of fishing boats to count bycatch. Their numbers are then extrapolated across entire fleets, giving the government an estimate to work with. Conservation group Oceana challenged the new rule,,, >click to read<19:25

Maryland Act Boosts Offshore Wind Market

Maryland state lawmakers have passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) of 2019, which would incentivize the development of 1.2 GW of additional offshore wind energy off the coast of Maryland. US Wind Country Manager Salvo Vitale testified last month before the Senate Finance Committee and House Economic Matters Committee,,, urging passage of the legislation while citing the significant economic benefits that the legislation would make possible by incentivizing the development of 1,200 MegaWatts of additional offshore wind energy off the coast of Maryland. >click to read<14:14