Commercial Fishermen Question Obama’s Ocean ‘Monument’ Preserve

f-viking%20village%20fleet“All commercial fishing is excluded from the area, but fisheries in the top 10 to 20 feet, no way in the world they’re going to impact the bottom,” pointed out Nils Stolpe, communications director of the association. Such is the case for a lot of the Barnegat Light-based boats, he said, for example, longliners and some hook-and-line tuna boats. “They’re fishing 3 miles up above all of this on the ocean floor.” “Longliners are probably affected more than any of our other fisheries up there” by the declaration, said Ernie Panacek, general manager at Viking Village Commercial Seafood Producers in Barnegat Light. “Our bottom longlining boats and surface longlining for sword and tuna boats are going to be affected up there.” Golden tilefish is found on the bottom and tuna and sword on the surface, “and they’re banning all commercial fishing,” Panacek noted. “It’s not a big area, necessarily, but my biggest concern is an expansion of this national monument just like they did in Hawaii,” he added. Panacek said fishermen have done “extensive work” with the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Council and the Garden State Seafood Association to protect deep-sea coral reefs and sea mounts in the North Atlantic, and were awarded for it. “And now President Obama had to step ahead and do this; I don’t understand,” Panacek said. The federal Magnuson Stevens Act has been managing these areas “and they have been managed properly,” he said. Read the story here 17:47

Invader green crabs from Europe threaten havoc in Puget Sound

20160914_gd_green_crab-550x440Emily Grason and Sean McDonald trudge through the mud of San Juan Island’s Westcott Bay on the hunt for something they hope not to find: A 3-inch menace: the European green crab. In late August, a single adult male was found for the first time in Washington’s inland sea. University of Washington researchers responded, arriving at the location of that first sighting  with hundreds of traps in tow. “It might seem like it’s crazy for us to have such an intense trapping effort for just a single crab being found. One crab, what’s the big deal?” says Emily Grason, project coordinator for the Washington Sea Grant Crab Team. “But these crabs do tend to show up in numbers and where there’s one, there’s often more.” Video, read the story here 17:24

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 44ft. 11in. Fiberglass Crab/Groundfish, 375HP, John Deere Diesel

8093%2001Specifications, information and 24 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 15:10

Temporary restraining order against the State in southern flounder lawsuit

57ebd4a356e5a-imageSuperior Court Judge John Nobles issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday during a hearing in superior court against the state enjoining officials from going forward with new southern flounder fishery regulations. Groups fighting the new regulations had requested a preliminary injunction. But the judge went with the TRO because not all of the defendants had been notified of the action. The next hearing date is to be announced, but officials hope to have it the week starting Monday, Oct. 10. Commercial fishermen and supporters of the civil action were present in the courtroom. Read the story here 13:40

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Investigation may lead to charges in the Nathan Carman “Chicken Pox’’ boat sinking

A multi-state investigation is underway into Nathan Carman and the disappearance of his mother while on a tuna fishing trip with him, a trip that authorities said took them farther out to sea than Linda Carman wanted. The mother and her 22-year-old son were aboard the son’s 32-foot aluminium boat, the “Chicken Pox’’ when it began to take on water Sept. 18 and sank near Block Canyon, an area in the Atlantic Ocean about 100 miles off New York. It has been reported (His Mother Inherited $21 Million After the Murder of Her Father) Nathan Carman told Coast Guard investigators he deployed the ship’s lifeboat, but when he turned to look for his mother, she was gone, and he never saw his mother again. The mystery deepened Tuesday after revelations that authorities had searched Carman’s Vernon, Vt., home. Rhode Island authorities wrote in court papers seeking the search warrant that repairs that Carman was making to the boat himself rendered the vessel unsafe. Read the story here 12:44

Marine Harvest Canada sues Alexandra Morton for trespassing on fish farms

alexandra-mortonAquaculture company Marine Harvest Canada has filed a lawsuit against activist and independent biologist Alexandra Morton for allegedly trespassing on three of their salmon farms on the B.C. coast last month. Morton spent the summer visiting salmon farms — uninvited — aboard the R/V Martin Sheen owned by the group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, looking for a controversial virus prevalent in salmon farms. In the lawsuit, Marine Harvest alleges she and others trespassed on their Glacier Falls, Midsummer Island and Sonora Island operations without permission and intentionally tampered with the equipment. At two facilities, they’re accused of violating biosecurity procedures. The group is also accused of flying a drone and diving at one facility, putting an object in the water at another and ignoring Marine Harvest’s instruction to leave. Read the story here 09:57

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Federal Government has signalled it would consider a shark cull on the NSW north coast

As shark attack victim Cooper Allen recovers in Lismore Hospital, the Federal Government has signaled it would consider a shark cull on the NSW north coast. Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg’s statement comes as the State Government announces a further three- month trial of shark-spotting drones and additional drum lines for the area. He said he was open to proposals for a cull of great white sharks. Culling great whites would need federal approval because they are a vulnerable species. Read the rest here 09:26

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New England: Twin trawl survey validates industry concerns with NOAA assessment

Fishermen in New England do not believe that the survey vessel used by NOAA is catching fish in amounts comparable to what they haul up and have long questioned the fishing gear NOAA employs. To address these doubts a Rhode Island captain, Chris Roebuck went out and towed two nets simultaneously to compare the different gear types. here is what he found. Watch the video here 08:41

Commercial fishing closures in Port Stephens will be lifted

williamstown-afb-closureThe closures were put in place in September last year after it was revealed that toxic fire fighting foam used at the nearby Williamtown RAAF Base had for years been contaminating the surrounding environment. Similar voluntary bans were put in place in the Hunter River. On Tuesday the deputy director of primary industries, Geoff Allan, said the closures would be lifted after advice provided by the Williamtown Contamination Expert Panel. “Reopening Tilligerry Creek and Fullerton Cove to both commercial and recreational fishers was recommended by the Williamtown Expert Panel and follows the Commonwealth’s Human Health Risk Assessment and the enHealth Guideline review,” Dr Allan said in a statement. “These fishing closures have been in place since September 2015 and were implemented while testing and analysis of seafood in the vicinity was undertaken, to determine the level of impact in the Hunter and Port Stephens waterways.” An ongoing restriction will be placed on dusky flathead caught in the Hunter River for commercial fishers. “The public can be confident that seafood for sale is safe to eat,” he said. Read the rest here 19:37

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Records show man rescued at sea was slay suspect

Court records show that a Vermont man who spent a week on a life raft in the Atlantic Ocean before he was rescued recently was a suspect in the unsolved 2013 killing of his grandfather in Connecticut. Nathan Carman, of Vernon, Vermont, was rescued Sunday. His mother, Linda Carman, of Middletown, Connecticut, is still missing and presumed dead. Nathan Carmen told the Coast Guard he and his mother were on his fishing boat when it sank. Documents obtained by The Hartford Courant show that Nathan Carman was investigated in the fatal shooting of 87-year-old John Chakalos. According to a search warrant, Carman was the last person known to see his grandfather alive on Dec. 20, 2013, because he had dinner with him at his home in Windsor, Connecticut. Chakalos was found dead the next morning. Read more here 18:59

Scottish fishermen fear they will lose out after voting for Brexit

peterhead-trawlerJames Stevens has spent 37 years fishing out of Peterhead. When he began, some 450 boats frequently filled the granite harbour on Scotland’s rugged northeast coast. Today only about 100 trawlers regularly leave Peterhead to ply their trade in the North Sea. Like almost everyone in Peterhead, Stevens blames the European Union – and particularly the unpopular common fisheries policy – for his industry’s decline. In June, the skipper of the Harvest Hope voted for Brexit “for my children and my grandchildren”. Stevens is “chuffed” that the UK will be leaving the EU, but his pleasure is tinged with a note of concern. He is worried that fishing could become a bargaining chip for both the UK and Scottish governments during the Brexit negotiations. “There is concern that we will be sold down the river again by government,” says fisherman Peter Bruce. He would like to see article 50 – the mechanism to trigger Britain’s formal exit talks with the EU – invoked quickly but that is unlikely. Read the story here 17:27

Maine lobstermen’s group weighs in on death of entangled whale

right-whale-statsThere are signs the ropes were from fishing gear not used for lobstering, an official says, as others discuss regulations that protect the endangered animal. The death of a 45-ton right whale found entangled in fishing line about 12 miles off the Maine coast over the weekend has caught the attention of the Maine lobster industry even though it’s not clear whether the whale’s demise was related to lobster fishing. The right whale is endangered and protected by the federal government. Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, said preliminary indications appear to show that the ropes found on the whale were much larger than those typically used by lobstermen. The larger ropes would instead more often be found in deep-sea fishing, she said. Read the story here 17:18

NMFS Announces Proposed Rule to Protect Deep-Sea Corals in the Mid-Atlantic

noaa nmfs logoOn September 26, 2016, NOAA Fisheries announced a proposed rule to designate a deep-sea coral protection area in the Mid-Atlantic. The area extends from the continental shelf/slope break off the Mid-Atlantic states (New York to North Carolina) to the border of the Exclusive Economic Zone.  If finalized, this proposed rule would be the first nationally to protect deep-sea corals under the new deep sea coral discretionary provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The public has until November 1 to comment on this proposed rule, either online or by mail. It should be noted that 11 years ago, the New England Fishery Management Council used the essential fish habitat provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to protect deep-sea corals located in two offshore canyon areas (Lydonia and Oceanographer) through an amendment to the Monkfish Fishery Management Plan. “This would protect 15 deep-sea canyons in a total area of about 24 million acres, about the size of Virginia, or about 20 times the size of the Grand Canyon National Park,” said John Bullard, regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region. Read the Proposed rule, request for comments here 17:01
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Fishermen looking to derail Bay of Fundy tidal project head to court

An ambitious plan to lower two massive turbines into the Bay of Fundy, where they will be tested against the awesome power of the world’s highest tides, has hit more legal turbulence. A group of Nova Scotia fishermen will seek a court order to suspend the Cape Sharp Tidal project until a judge can review the case early next year. The 175-member Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association confirmed Sept. 27 that it will head to court Oct. 20 to seek a stay of a June decision by Nova Scotia’s environment minister to approve the project’s test phase. “It’s is critically important,” spokesman Colin Sproul said in an interview.  “If that turbine goes in the water in the Bay of Fundy (this fall) …. it will never be removed. That’s why it’s so critical for our case for the stay application to pass.” Read the story here 16:32

Nova Scotia’s ancient cold-water corals protected by fishing ban

some-of-the-corals-live-for-a-thousand-years-this-model-shows-what-they-look-likeFisheries and Oceans Canada says its decision to protect more than 9,000 square kilometres of ocean bottom off Nova Scotia will have a minimal impact on the province’s fishing industry and a major impact in saving ancient cold water corals. Canada is banning all forms of bottom fishing in two areas:  Forty-nine square kilometres in the Jordan Basin 100 kilometres west of Nova Scotia, and Nine thousand square kilometres in two underwater canyons — Corsair and Georges canyons farther from the coast, by Georges Bank. The corals can live for 1,000 years. The protections are part of the federal government commitment to protect 10 per cent of Canada’s oceans by 2020.  The change bans people from lobster and crab-trap fishing on the bottom, trawl dragging, using a gill net, and hook-and-line fishing that uses anchors. MacDonald said only seven lobster fishermen had catches in the Jordan Basin area closer to shore. Read the rest here 10:34

Annual Irish Groundfish Survey Now Under Way

 RV Celtic ExplorerThe Marine Institute’s annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS2016) began off the North West Coast on Sunday 25 September, continuing till Thursday 6 October, in fulfilment of Ireland’s Common Fisheries Policy obligations. IGFS2016 is a demersal trawl survey consisting of a minimum of 45 fishing hauls each of 30 minutes’ duration. Fishing in 2016 is taking place within a two-nautical-mile radius of positions indicated in Marine Notice No 41 of 2016, available to read or download HERE. The survey is being conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (Callsign EIGB), which will display all appropriate lights and signals throughout and is also listening on VHF Channel 16. The Celtic Explorer will be towing a high headline GOV 36/47 demersal trawl during fishing operations. The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a two-nautical-mile area around the tow points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period outlined above. Read the rest here 09:52

North Carolina Counties and fishermen’s associations file lawsuit over flounder supplement

north_carolina_flagSeveral coastal counties have joined with commercial fishermen in litigation against the State of North Carolina regarding last year’s decision by the Marine Fisheries Commission to adopt new regulations on the southern flounder fishery by using the “Supplement” process. The complaint was filed on Sept. 23 in Carteret County Superior Civil Court in Beaufort. The plaintiffs include NCFA Inc., the Carteret County Fisherman’s Association Inc., Carteret County, Dare County and Hyde County. Defendants served with the complaint are the secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, the director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries and all members of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission. The practical effect of the litigation is to stop the closure of the recreational and commercial southern flounder fisheries, scheduled to take effect this fall. Read the story here 08:53

Lake Erie captain ordered to use GPS after pleading guilty to multiple counts under the Fisheries Act

kimmy-sue-lake-erieA Leamington commercial fishing boat captain with decades of sailing experience in Lake Erie has agreed to have his boat’s movements monitored by GPS during the next two years. Paolo Adragna, 50, pleaded guilty to multiple counts under the Fisheries Act in a Chatham court Monday, as part of a joint submission that he also pay $18,000 in fines and the family company, 149561 Ontario Limited, was assessed another $2,000 in fines for illegal fishing operations in 2015. Charges against the defendant’s elderly parents, who were jointly charged, were withdrawn. Crown attorney Demetrius Kappos said the defendant was the captain of the vessel Kimmy Sue and a director in the family business that holds two commercial food fishing licences to take fish from zones 1 and 2 in Lake Erie. Kappos said ministry staff conducted an inspection of the Kimmy Sue at the Port of Kingsville on Oct. 1, 2015 and found several trays containing undersized gill nets, a breach of a licensing condition. Read the story here 08:01

Fishing Catch Share restructure a ‘shambles’ in New South Wales!

i-can-t-keep-calm-cuz-i-m-going-insaneAttempts to prepare fishers for the share trading program of the NSW fishing industry restructure are a shambles says a local industry representative. Clarence River Fishermen’s Cooperative general manager Danielle Adams, attended a mock or pre-trading share program session in Maclean on Tuesday, where she said it was obvious the NSW Department of Primary Industries was clueless about the direction it was taking the industry. “Most attendees including myself left the session disappointed, angrier, dismayed, some distraught, and with many more questions than when we came,” Ms Adams said. The sessions were part of border-to-border training for fishers to prepare them for the opening of share trading. “The trainer was not from DPI/Fisheries, an obvious ploy to avoid having to answer pertinent questions,” she said. She said the inclusion of mental health line numbers in the DPI’s literature showed the department was aware of impacts it could have. “On seeking further clarification individuals were told to call Beyond Blue or a mental health line,” she said.  “Imagine calling the DPI line to gain clarification on your financial future and being told they don’t have the answers but being given a mental health number to call instead – they are aware of the toll this process is taking. Read the story here 20:09

ncfa 3 finished

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for September 26, 2016

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 19:18

NFL Hall-of-Famer Warren Sapp’s Tuna Thrill. He’s coming back to P.E.I for more!

warren-sapp-love-his-tunaNFL Hall-of-Famer and former Super Bowl champion Warren Sapp appears to have enjoyed his trip to P.E.I., posting pictures of his tuna fishing excursion off North Lake to his Instagram account. More photos, Read the story here 17:46

N.C. Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Bass Fishing

stripersA North Carolina fisherman pleaded guilty Monday to the illegal harvest and sale of Atlantic striped bass in federal waters in 2010. The Justice Department said the charges against Dewey Willis Jr. of Newport, N.C., stemmed from an multi-defendant investigation involving 13 other commercial fishermen. As described in a written notice of Willis’s pleas, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received a tip regarding the fishermen’s alleged illegal activities involving striped bass, and directed the U.S. Coast Guard to board the fishing vessel Lady Samaira in February 2010. Willis and the other fishermen onboard were charged with violating the Lacey Act, a federal law that prohibits individuals from transporting, selling or buying fish and wildlife harvested illegally. Now that he was entered a guilty plea, Willis faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Read the rest here 17:15

Burn the gillnets?

cod-fish-852As we move ever closer to a revival of the commercial cod fishery, insiders say it’s essential the focus be on quality over quantity, and that means there may be no place for the controversial gillnet. That was one of the messages delivered Monday in St. John’s to members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, and no one said it more forcefully than John Efford. “Take every gillnet in Newfoundland and have a bonfire,” Efford, a former provincial and federal politician with deep ties to the fishery, told the committee. The committee is studying the northern cod stock, and preparing for a day when the resource is once again healthy enough to sustain a large-scale commercial fishery. There’s different opinions on when that might be, but there appears to be unanimous support for a fishery that delivers premium quality products to the marketplace, therefore yielding the highest possible price for those who take part. Efford says there’s no place for gillnets in such a fishery because quality suffers, and the market will not tolerate it. Read the story here 16:16

FISH-NL: Fish harvesters in Port de Grave curious to see what will come of a push to form alternative to the FFAW.

2016-09-26-07-21-02-com-a00-27092016-port-de-grave-arThe union drive so far is getting some serious looks. Hundreds of harvesters attended meetings held last week in Corner Brook and Clarenville. Frustrations hinge on a variety of issues that have come up in the industry. One man on the wharf pointed to various fees in place and the exorbitant compensation for union management and staff. On the flipside of that, a pension for harvesters amounts to selling off their enterprise when they’re ready to leave the sea. Meanwhile, those who continue to harvest are finding it difficult to compete against boats owned by plant operators and even the union itself. There’s also some general dissatisfaction over cod licenses granting harvesters the right to catch 2,000-3,000 pounds per week. “Why would a 65-foot or a 70-foot boat go out and get that, and pay a crew? There’s nothing there to do it. And that’s what really stirred all this up, is when the cod fishery came out. People weren’t consulted about it. Two or three (people) higher up in the union come out with all this planning, and there’s no consultations done with fishers … Read the story here 13:30

Five things Steve Crocker told the standing committee on fisheries and oceans

2016-05-27-03-35-38-tel%20a09-10032016-minister%20steve-crockerProvincial Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods Minister Steve Crocker appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans this morning at the Sheraton Hotel, St John’s. His presentation was part of the committee’s study on the northern cod stock, which stretches from the Grand Banks to the south coast of Labrador.  Newfoundland and Labrador has an extremely small share of the current global cod market. Currently, the Newfoundland and Labrador cod fishery primarily produces single frozen fillets and portions in the form of loins and tails,,, The management of forage species such as caplin can be better integrated with the management objective for cod, and the impact of competitors and predators such as seals could also be considered,,, Read the rest here 13:11

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This 43-foot dead whale was trucked through downtown Portland

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is investigating how an endangered right whale found floating off the Maine coast Friday became entangled in fishing gear that probably caused its death. Jennifer Goebel, a spokeswoman for NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Region in Gloucester, Massachusetts, confirmed Sunday evening that fishing gear ropes were the most likely cause of the North Atlantic right whale’s demise. Goebel said NOAA will try to identify the gear’s owner, but she was uncertain whether punitive action would be taken. If the owner can be identified, NOAA could use the incident to raise public awareness and develop strategies for preventing future occurrences. Read the story here 12:33

Environmental group dislikes new rule for listing, delisting or reclassification under the Endangered Species Act

angry enviroThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries finalized a rule Monday that changes the process by which species are petitioned for listing, delisting or reclassification under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under the rule, first proposed in May 2015, petitioners will be required to notify each state wildlife agency where a species is located at least 30 days before submitting a petition to the federal government. The delay will gives states an opportunity to provide agencies with pertinent information on the species. The new rule also restricts the number of species that can be petitioned for at one time. Under the rule, only one species is allowed per petition. The Center for Biological Diversity was quick to slam the rule, calling it an “impediment” to using the Endangered Species Act. “These new restrictions on citizen petitions are nothing more than a gift to industries and right-wing states that are hostile to endangered species,” Brett Hartl, the group’s director of endangered species policy, said in a statement. Read the story here 10:34

What Quota? Hawaii Longliners Are Fishing For Ahi Again

ahi-tuna406x250Hawaii’s longline fishermen are back at sea in search of more ahi after extending their quota limit through an agreement with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The 2016 season had ended early, as it has for the past few years, when the longline fleet in late July hit its 3,554-ton limit for bigeye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific. The deal between Quota Management Inc. President Khang Dang and Northern Marianas Gov. Ralph Torres involves paying the territory $250,000 for 1,000 tons of its 2,000-ton limit. Under the agreement, QMI can assign its rights and obligations to the Hawaii Longline Association, a wholly owned subsidiary of QMI. The association is a nonprofit trade group formed to support the $100 million commercial longline fisheries industry, which includes a fleet of roughly 140 vessels ported in Honolulu. (the author seem to have an axe to grind) Read the story here 09:53

A New England story goes Australian – Fishing industries under pressure

Atlantic-Cod-Dieter-CraasmannThe cod isn’t just a fish to David Goethel. It’s his identity, his ticket to middle class life, his link to a historic industry. “I paid for my education, my wife’s education, my house, my kids’ education; my slice of America was paid for on cod,” said Goethel, a 30-year veteran of waters that once teemed with New England’s signature fish. But on a chilly, windy Saturday in April, after 12 hours out in the Gulf of Maine, he has caught exactly two cod, and he feels far removed from the 1990s, when he could catch 2,000 pounds in a day. The US fishing fleet has dwindled from more than 120,000 vessels in 1996 to about 75,000 today, the Coast Guard says. For the fishermen of the northeastern US – not all of whom accept the scientific consensus on climate change, and many of whom bristle at government regulations stemming from it – whether to stick with fishing, adapt to the changing ocean or leave the business is a constant worry. Robert Bradfield was one of the East Coast’s most endangered species, a Rhode Island lobsterman, until he pulled his traps out of the water for the last time about a decade ago. Read the rest here 09:30

U.S. Coast Guard confirms one missing boater from Middletown has been found safe

nathan-carmen-found-aliveThe U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed that one of two Middletown missing boaters has been found alive. Nathan Carman was found Sunday drifting at sea by a freighter. He was in good condition and was coming back to an undisclosed port. There was no information about the whereabouts of his mother, Linda. “Good to go,” Coast Guard representatives said.  He was not suffering from life threatening injuries, which is why he’s staying on the freighter. He was found on a four person inflatable life raft that is required safety equipment The family has been notified. Saturday night, friends held a vigil for the Carman’s at Linda’s home. For about a week, the Coast Guard searched roughly 60,000 square miles for  Linda Carman and her son Nathan. Read the story here 20:48

Ushering industrial aquaculture into the Pacific Islands Region EEZ is anything but sustainable

NOAA ScientistRight now, anyone can throw a cage into the open ocean within the Economic Enterprise Zone and begin an aquaculture operation, said Joshua DeMello, of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. The beginning of that aquaculture management program for the Pacific Islands Region is in the works, under the eye of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service and in conjunction with Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. The entities are preparing a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) analyzing the possible environmental impacts of the proposed management program and alternatives. “The purpose of it is to develop a management program to support sustainable, economically sound aquaculture in the Pacific Island Region,” DeMello said. The PEIS process looks at options for permit duration, whether cages should be metal or net pens, and allowable species. But ushering industrial aquaculture into the EEZ is anything but sustainable, poses a threat to the environment and could impact commercial fishing, according to a biologist. Read the story here 20:13

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Oops. Shrimp boat raises Holy Hell at the St. Simons Island pier!

A shrimp boat out of South Carolina apparently tried to stop at the St. Simons Island pier late Saturday afternoon to sell shrimp, but the sales pitch didn’t go as planned. The boat is called the High Tide, and was registered out of Hilton Head Island, S.C. The boat got its nets tangled in the railing and caused damage to the western tip of the structure. Shark fisherman Jacob Key said the shrimp boat stopped on the eastern tip of the pier, and the shrimper began handing over buckets of shrimp to a woman he knew on the pier, with plans to sell them to the anglers and sightseers there. But this caused a commotion with the anglers’ fishing lines, and the boat relocated to the south tip of the T-shaped pier. The boat was on the shore side of the pier on the western tip when its net became entangled in a light post. The trawler booms were down and the net and boom tore down several yards of railing, two light posts and a new fish-cleaning table. Read the rest here 18:25

Baseball mourns Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez – Killed with two others in boating tragedy

57e8226776fb2-imageJose Fernandez escaped from Cuba by boat on his fourth try as a teenager, and when his mother fell into the Yucatan Channel during the journey, he jumped in and pulled her out. Fernandez’s heroic backstory made his death early Sunday that much more heart-wrenching. The charismatic Miami Marlins ace was killed in a boating accident at age 24. Fernandez and two other people died when their 32-foot vessel slammed into a jetty off Miami Beach, authorities said. Authorities didn’t know the time of the crash. The capsized boat was found shortly after 3 a.m. “It does appear that speed was involved due to the impact and the severity of it,” Veloz said. “It does appear to be that they were coming at full speed when they encountered the jetty, and the accident happened.” The boat was owned by a friend of Fernandez. Read the story here 17:46:17

New book explores rise and ongoing value of commercial fishing in Whatcom County

newcoverJoshua Stilts grew up in Bellingham the son of a commercial fisher, but never got hooked on fishing himself. Instead, he pursued his interest in journalism. “Telling other people’s stories is what I was passionate about,” said Stilts, who now lives in Seattle. He recently combined his interest in storytelling with his family ties to fishing by writing “Whatcom Fish Tales: A Historical Look at the County’s Seafood Industry.” Stilts described his book as the first overview of the history of commercial fishing in the county for a general audience. His book is more than a personal memoir or a fishing company profile, but less than an academic history on the subject. Read the rest here 17:17

Four New Papers Link Solar Activity, Natural Ocean Cycles To Climate – And Find Warmer Temps During 1700s, 1800s

sun-earthAs of mid-September, there have already been 77 peer-reviewed scientific papers authored by several hundred scientists linking solar activity to climate change.  There were 43 as of the end of June, as seen here. In other words, there have been 34 more papers linking solar forcing to climate change made available online just since July. This publication rate for 2016 is slightly ahead of the pace of published papers linking solar forcing to climate change for  2015 (95 Solar-Climate papers ) and 2014 (93 Solar-Climate papers). At this rate, it is likely that a list of 300+ scientific papers linking solar forcing to climate change will have been made available between 2014 and 2016. In addition, there have already been 41 papers published in science journals this year linking natural oceanic oscillations (i.e., ENSO, NAO, AMO, PDO) to climate changes. There were 27 such papers as of the end of June. The solar-ocean oscillation climate connection has gained widespread acceptance in the scientific community. For example, see “35 New Scientific Publications Confirm Ocean Cycles, Sun Are the Main Climate DriversRead the rest here 15:36

Herrera Beutler-backed bill to kill sea lions gains traction

381713_301237193241596_1999984487_nA measure backed by U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, allowing for the killing of sea lions to protect endangered fish, is gaining momentum in Congress. The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act, co-sponsored by Oregon’s Democratic U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, was approved by the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday. The bill allows tribal members and fish managers to remove California sea lions from specific areas to protect salmon, steelhead and other native fish that are considered threatened. “Salmon are central to our way of life in the Pacific Northwest, but right now sea lion predation is posing a serious threat to our salmon populations,” Herrera Beutler said in a statement. “Significant resources are invested to ensure their survival, but we’re being poor stewards of these resources if we don’t also manage the threat of an exploding sea lion population.” Read the rest here 14:35

Bill to limit presidential powers to designate monuments

screen_shot_2014-09-26_at_11-11-34_am-0Key US Senators are trying to limit presidential power to designate sweeping national monuments on land and water—an issue that hit home with American Samoa’s fishing industry in the last few years. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Lisa Murkowski and Arizona Senator Jeff Flake have introduced separate bills to curb presidential power under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The law gives the president, sweeping power to designate hundreds of thousands of square miles of ocean and millions of acres of land, as national monuments. President Obama established in 2009, and expanded in 2014, the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument—the largest marine protected area in the world…covering 370,000 square nautical miles, and encompassing important fishing areas for American Samoa’s fishing industry. Read the rest here 13:57

Tasmania’s rock lobster fishermen fight a wave of red tape

tasmanian lobster fishermanTasmania’s rock lobster fishermen are a hardy bunch, weathering everything from wild storms to toxic algal blooms, but they have been blindsided by a wave of costly red tape. Third- and fourth-generation rock lobster fishermen who have built an $85 million-a-year trade, mostly via exports to Asia, say new regulations at both state and federal levels threaten chaos. Changes to state regulations proposed from March next year will force rock lobster fishermen to unload their catch in the same area it is caught. While designed to prevent fishermen taking extra lobsters from capped catch areas on their journey home, fishermen say the rule will force them to unload hundreds of kilometres away from their home ports and buyers. Like other fishing industries, they also face massive hikes — up to 116 per cent — in marine safety compliance fees, due to a federal takeover of the role by the ­Australian Maritime Safety Authority. They believed the state change was a lazy means of making policing easier for fisheries management. “We are not criminals and we shouldn’t be treated like criminals,” said Mr Parker’s brother and fellow rock lobster fisherman, John Parker. A submission by the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fisherman’s Association describes the state changes as “overly bureaucratic, burdensome and punitive”, as well as unjustified, given there was no evidence of a compliance problem. Read the rest here 11:11

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The government wants more offshore fish farms, but no one is biting

Off the coast of San Diego, America’s eighth largest city, commercial fishermen harvest about 1,100 metric tons of seafood from the Pacific every year. That sounds like a lot. But it isn’t much to Don Kent, who says he can do better with just one fish farm. If Kent gets his way, he would raise 5,000 metric tons of yellowtail jack and white sea bass in a grid of net pens measuring about a square mile, anchored four miles off San Diego in federal waters. The species are prized in Southern California sushi restaurants, which now serve their customers imported fish almost exclusively, most of it from China, Japan, Greece or Chile. The US imports about 91% of its seafood. Whether consumers know it or not, about half of that is farmed in aquaculture facilities much like the one Kent wants to build. While the federal government has permitted shellfish farming for years, it didn’t allow farming of finfish such as bass and salmon until earlier this year. Read the story here 10:41

Satellite beams to remote clinic in Dutch Harbor

ar-160929723-jpgexactw620The only clinic in one of the nation’s busiest commercial fishing ports is so remote that even conventional telemedicine for emergencies has been impossible for its limited staff – until last week. A new partnership with an Anchorage hospital is virtually beaming critical care doctors 800 miles away to the emergency room on the island that holds Dutch Harbor, the operations base for the Bering Sea crabbing fleet made famous by the Discovery Channel show “Deadliest Catch.” But instead of transmissions with fiber-optics, which are nowhere near isolated Unalaska Island, the team putting together the system is relying on satellite technology in what is believed to be a first in the country for telemedicine. The new connection is expected to boost outpatient care as needed by clinic staffers, including its two non-emergency doctors. The clinic, Iliuliuk Family and Health Services, brings to nine the number of providers served by the electronic intensive care unit at Anchorage’s Providence Alaska Medical Center. Read the story here 10:03

Save wild salmon, support Bill C-228

shutterstock_128807569Early this year, Bill C-228 – a private member’s bill, was introduced to amend the Fisheries Act (closed containment aquaculture) to require finfish aquaculture for commercial purposes, in Canadian fisheries’ waters off the Pacific Coast, be carried out in closed-containment facilities. It also requires the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to prepare, table in Parliament and implement a plan, to support the transition to the use of closed containment facilities, and to protect the jobs and financial security of workers in that sector. Click here to read Bill C-228  The bill is expected to go to second reading in the House of Commons this fall. Show your support for Bill C-228. Add your name to the e-petition. Link 08:55

Fisherman names his newborn son Andrew after the shrimp boat and crew that saved his life

little andrewA Murrells Inlet fisherman, who was pulled from the Atlantic Ocean by a nearby shrimp boat when his vessel capsized, became a new father Friday. And just as he promised, Adam Wiseman named his son, Andrew, after the crew that saved his life. “Baby Andrew made his entrance today weighing 10 pounds, 3 ounces,” Wiseman said on Friday. “True to my word (I) named (him) after a shrimp boat!” Wiseman and Cooper didn’t have time to call for help, but the Captain Andrew – Georgetown’s oldest wooden hull shrimp boat, still in service after 48 years – was shrimping nearby when Wiseman’s boat went under. Crew members saw Wiseman swimming for a floating ice box and set out to save the sinking vessel and its men. Baby Andrew came into the world at 7:41 a.m. on Friday. Ten fingers. Ten toes. Big smiles on a lot of faces. Read the story here 14:03

So. You wanna be a “Wicked Tuna” Fisherman, eh? Stranded in Mattapoisett

t1200-westva2Anthony Rhodes has had a rough week. The 22-year-old West Virginian was left stranded in Mattapoisett with $60 to his name, a skateboard and a 31-foot fishing boat taking on water. After watching “Wicked Tuna,” a National Geographic Channel show about Gloucester blue fin fishermen, Rhodes knew that’s what he wanted to do. Bringing his uncle, a mechanic, with him, and using funds from an accident insurance settlement, Rhodes came to Massachusetts in search of a boat. He found a reasonably priced 1972 fishing boat in good condition, got his commercial fishing license and had Brownell Systems tow the boat to Mattapoisett. Then things started to tank. Rhodes said small amounts of money began to disappear, but he assumed his uncle, who he didn’t want to name, may have sent some of it home to his family. Not knowing how to use the bilge pumps, the boat began taking on water, something was draining the batteries and the starters weren’t working. “We have no idea about boats,” admitted Rhodes. Read the story here 13:35

Celebrate the Legacy of Maine Lobster for National Lobster Day, Sept.25th 2016

5918161762_e7de5b33d4_bAmericans adore live Maine lobster and will order it for special occasions, fly it in from Maine, and have given it important scenes in movies. Nostalgia for Mainers’ gruff independence, isolation, and willingness to brave dangerous seas in pursuit of Larry lobster is ingrained in our nation’s psyche. Plying the open seas at the mercy of nature is just part of the mystique, but it’s also real and our respect for the hard work the lobstermen do is genuine. Maine lobster fishing is a 400 year old bit of Americana that is as authentic today as it was in 1605 when the first recorded lobster catch was made by Captain George Waymouth and his crew aboard the boat the Archangel. They cast a net just off shore of the island of Monhegan and were pleasantly surprised to have pulled up a generous haul of fish and many “great lobsters.” Read the story here 12:48

Governor Brown signs Whale Legislation, but the Enviros are never satisfied.

governor_jerry_brown_0California Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that he signed legislation meant to bring down the record numbers of whales getting caught in fishing gear meant for Dungeness crabs, causing unknown numbers of the entangled mammals to drown or starve. The Democratic governor approved the bill that allows fishermen to collect abandoned and lost crab pots — the cage-like contraptions used to catch the crustaceans — in the off-season for a bounty, paid for by those who lost the gear. Crab fishermen joined environmental groups in backing the legislation after federal agencies logged 61 reports of entangled whales off the West Coast last year,,, Conservation groups have urged state and federal agencies to do more, including closing some areas with high numbers of whales to crab fishing. Read the story here 12:32

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Marine Safety: Man-Overboard Device for Immediate Alert and Fast Response

Professional mariners know the life-threatening hazards of falling overboard, but may not consider how critical the recovery window is, especially with a moving vessel. Compact and easily carried on a PFD, the ALERT2 Man-Overboard Alarm System from Emerald Marine Products immediately sets off a piercing audible alarm in the wheelhouse upon immersion, and can even be wired to stop an engine and/or set a waypoint on a chartplotter. At its most basic, the easily installed ALERT2 Man-Overboard Alarm System consists of the AT101 Transmitter and AR100 Receiver. Combined, the reliable and proven system provides crew with the critical extra seconds needed for a successful, locally managed man overboard (MOB) rescue operation. Read the rest here 09:52

Fishing With A Glock 9mm Handgun Underwater? These Lionfish Don’t Stand A Goddamn Chance

lionfish-hunting-glock-9mmThe grey line that divides hunting and fishing just grew even murkier after these bros demonstrated how fun and easy it is to go fishing/hunting for Lionfish, an extremely invasive species in Florida, using a Glock 9mm pistol. Lionfish were never meant to make it to the Gulf of Mexico waters, and there’s some discrepancy on how the fish were first introduced but in general it’s suggested a few of the fish were dumped into Florida waters during a hurricane back in the 90s and that handful of fish multiplied like rabbits. And as noted in this video, a SINGLE Lionfish consumes 80% of a coral reef’s edible baitfish within 5 weeks of arriving on that reef. They’re a goddamn terrorizing nuisance! 2 video’s, Read the rest here 08:42

New York State Extends Commercial Black Sea Bass Season to October 13th

dec-logoGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the state has extended the commercial black sea bass fishing season to October 13. Originally scheduled to close on September 17, the recent tropical storm contributed to a lower rate of black sea bass landings, making New York’s waters prime for an extended harvest season. After review of the most recent landings data, Department of Environmental Conservation and Division of Marine Resources staff determined that the commercial season could be extended. The current trip limit of 50 lbs. per day remains in effect. For certain commercially harvested species like black sea bass, annual commercial quota allocations are provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Fishery management tools such as fishing trip limits and quota management plans have been implemented for quota managed species. The Department of Environmental Conservation continues to work closely with commercial fishermen to expand black sea bass harvest opportunities, and also has called for a revised, more equitable federal management strategy to improve the fishery experience. Link 19:06

Southeast commercial king crab season will remain closed

red-king-crab-2432px-608x400The fall red and blue king crab fishery has been opened only twice in the past decade, in 2005 and 2011.The numbers are still at historically low levels. Joe Stratman is the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s lead crab biologist for Southeast. “The stock health in the survey areas ranged from below average to poor,” Stratman said. He and other biologists track two groups of king crab in Southeast: the legal biomass and mature biomass. Basically, the legal crabs are crabs that are big enough to be harvested in the commercial fishery. The mature biomass also includes crabs that are sexually mature but not big enough to be landed. “Both mature and legal surveyed biomasses declined on the average of 7 percent annually from 2001 to 2013,” Stratman said. Read the story here 18:06

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Hurting US Shark Fishermen: Enviro and recreational groups lobby Congress to pass the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016

A collective composed of 80 nonprofit and conservation organizations penned and postmarked a letter to the United States Congress, asking that legislators pass the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016, in effect banning the trade of shark fins in the United States. The Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016 is supported by more than 200 businesses, non-profits, associations and scientific organizations and would help save species of sharks from going extinct. Specific supporters include the American Sportfishing Association, the Recreational Fishing Alliance, the Billfish Foundation, Guy Harvey Foundation, the International Game Fish Association, Discovery Channel, Landry’s Inc, Lokai, Sea World and many others. NGO Oceana, who also supports the ban, said it conducted a poll that found eight in 10 Americans said they supported a national ban on the purchase and sale of shark fins. (I’d like to see that poll!) Read this. Click here 16:48

Remember the Labor Day Drunk Skipper Story? The dock repair estimate is in!

nor-galeAfter assessing damage that an allegedly boozy boater caused when he crashed into a dock in Aurora Harbor on Labor Day, city officials have determined that repairs will likely cost about $80,000. Juneau Harbormaster Dave Borg said that PND Engineers examined the damaged dock after Darrin R. Hess, 51, crashed into it on Sept. 5 while driving the, a 43-foot commercial fishing vessel. Shortly after the collision, which left the dock in unstable condition, police arrested Hess and charged him with driving under the influence and refusing to take a breath test. Police took Hess to Lemon Creek Correctional Center after the crash. Before slamming into the dock, Hess played “bumper boats” with several other boats in the harbor at the time, Borg said shortly after the wreck. Neither Borg nor Rios know what the extent of the damage was to the boats Hess hit. Read the rest here 15:23

DFO makes two more major seizures – $90,000 worth of scallops and then lobster, a truck and a boat

dfo-seized-lobster-scallop-digbyFishery officers in Digby and Meteghan have made two more significant seizures. About noontime Sept. 21, Fishery Officers from Digby unloaded 160 bags of scallops at the Digby wharf. Fishery officer Jacklyn Titus told the Courier that the officers had conducted an inspection of a commercial scallop vessel on the Bay of Fundy and detected alleged violations. Titus says one individual was arrested and released and charges are pending. The 6,200 pounds of scallops were sold for $90,000, which will be held in trust pending the outcome of court proceedings. In a separate incident Sept. 22 in Weymouth, Fishery Officers arrested two individuals after an Aboriginal Food Fishery inspection. Officers seized 675 pounds of live lobster, a truck and small size fishing vessel. Includes a list of seizures, arrests and sentences from this summer. Read the rest here 14:40

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Dungeness crabs – Studies focus on acidic ocean impact

Millions of pounds of Dungeness crab are pulled from Pacific Northwest waters each year in a more than century-old ritual for commercial and recreational fishermen. But as marine waters absorb more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, federal scientists are worried that the ocean’s changing chemistry may threaten the sweet-flavored crustaceans. So scientists with the NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center are exposing tiny crab larvae to acidic seawater in laboratory experiments to understand how ocean acidification might affect one of the West Coast’s most lucrative fisheries. Research published this year found that Dungeness crab eggs and larvae collected from Puget Sound and exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide — which increases ocean acidity — grew more slowly and larvae were more likely to die than those in less corrosive seawater. Read the rest here 14:14

Gulf council seeks input from fishermen for coral reef protections

coral_cover_photoFishermen will be able to provide input for coral protection areas in the at a workshop Monday hosted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott, 142 Library Drive, Houma. The council’s scientists recommended protecting 47 areas in the Gulf, but with the help of the Coral Advisory Panel and Shrimp Advisory Panel, the number has been narrowed to 15 priority areas. The meeting is to get feedback from fishermen who use bottom-contacting gear in federal waters in the Gulf before the council begins its public scoping process. Another meeting is to be held in Alabama. “Most of the areas, no one fishes in, but there is one area off the boot of Louisiana and several off Texas and Florida where there is some fishing activity. They want to get feedback from fishermen to see how much impact it would have to fisheries,” said Julie Falgout, seafood industry liaison with Louisiana SeaGrant. Read the rest here 11:08

Maine aquaculture firm financed for land based California yellowtail farm

acadiaharvestMaine, U.S.A.-based aquaculture firm Acadia Harvest has completed a new round that will give it USD 700,000 (EUR 623,000) to build out a land-based fish farm in Corea, Maine that will have a one-million pound capacity. The Company plans to open its plant in late 2017. The capital, which comes from a combination of private and institutional investment, will allow the company to fund land acquisition, development and operation permits and some build-out of the farm, which it said would focus on growing California yellowtail it will market as “Maine Hiramasa. Acadia Harvest is also researching the use of fish waste as nutrition for other commercial species, and in developing sustainable aquafeeds. Read the story here 10:25

Fisherman must shell out $100,000 for three rock lobsters caught illegally in marine park

1474605662648Two years ago, commercial fisherman Christopher George Hansen caught what might be the most expensive rock lobsters ever netted. The Tasmanian delicacies should have brought him about $200 at market; instead, he will pay close to $100,000 for the three lobsters. Hansen was this week censured by a Federal Court judge in Canberra for setting his lobster traps in part of the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network – a huge collection of protected marine areas that stretches from Tasmania in the south to South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. Determined to send a message to other small-time fishermen, the federal government pursued Hansen, of Tasmania, through the courts in a two-year case that has racked up tens of thousands of dollars in legal costs. Read the story here 08:41

Fisherman appeals case shifting monitor costs

David GoethelNew Hampshire fisherman David Goethel is looking to the federal appeals court to overturn a federal judge’s ruling that allows NOAA Fisheries to impose the cost of at-sea monitoring on Northeast groundfish permit holders. Goethel, represented by lawyers from the Cause of Action watchdog group, has filed an appeal with the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, hoping to reverse U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Laplante’s July 29 ruling in Goethel’s lawsuit that granted summary judgment to the federal government. “NOAA lacks the authority to require industry funding for at-sea monitors. Its decision to do so violates federal statutes and the Constitution,” said Alfred Lechner Jr., president and chief executive officer of Cause of Action as well as a former federal judge. “Our clients had a legal right to their day in court at the time they filed suit. The decision holding otherwise is an error. An appeal from the decision of the district court has been filed.” Read the story here 08:13

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Lets help this guy get to the International Seafood Expo in Quindao, China and expand the dogfish markets

My name is Doug Feeney. I have been a commercial fisherman for over 20 years. I used to catch a lot of ground fish back in the day and throw overboard all the dog fish we caught as they were considered nuisance. Times have changed: There is a shortage of ground fish and we need to maximize what we have left – dogfish and skates. About 5 years ago I decided to bring attention to these underutilized species – both domestically and internationally. I have also made a point to keep an eye on the regulatory aspect as well and keep both sustainable and prevent overfishing. In 2014 I was elected to serve on the AP committee of spiny dogfish and have attended council meetings. I found 3 serious issues: 1. Currently there are only 3 processors who can only realistically handle 80,000 lbs per day; 2. The market we rely on is almost exclusively in Europe. 3. A great number of members wanted to see an increase of the daily limit (currently 6000); So if the limit goes up to 10,000, not only fish can’t be processed, but there is currently not enough demand which will result into the price to the boat go down to $0.12/$0.16/lb. So I have made it my mission to expand the markets for these fisheries. Read the rest here, and donate if you can. Lets get rid of the dogs! 21:23

Lobster boat arsonist gets 7 years for ‘simply crazy conduct’

jeremy-james-eatonJeremy James Eaton, 40, pleaded guilty in March to setting ablaze another man’s lobster boat on April 16, 2014. The vessel was destroyed, according to court documents. “To burn a lobsterman’s boat is to destroy his livelihood,” U.S. District Judge John Woodcock said in imposing the sentence recommended by the federal prosecutor. “You really struck at the heart of your community.” In addition to prison time, Woodcock sentenced Eaton to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $25,000 in restitution to the firm that insured the boat. Eaton’s conduct was described Thursday by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Moore as a “personal vendetta” against the boat owner with whom Eaton had a “long history of animosity.” A more specific motive has not been made public. Read the story here 19:26

Didn’t the train leave the station? FFAW will try to do a better job at communicating with members

2016-09-21-09-51-11-ws-03-22092016-ffaw-file_webccAs the FFAW (Fish, Food and Allied Workers) union faces an exodus of members, staff representative Jason Spingle said the union is taking the issue very seriously. FISH-NL, the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador — an effort of former MP Ryan Cleary and fishermen Jason Sullivan and Richard Gillett — held meetings in Corner Brook and Clarenville this week to gauge and drum up support for the new union. Spingle, who works out of the FFAW’s Corner Brook office representing members from the west coast, Northern Peninsula and Labrador, said he’s seen the coverage of the meetings and recognized a lot of the faces of those who are supporting FISH-NL. With around 2,000 members in the region though, Spingle said there were a lot of people who were not at the meetings. Read the story here 17:22