Fate of Apalachicola Bay, seafood industry, could hang on upcoming Supreme Court test

thDER19RM8A special master of the U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled a trial for Oct. 31 in Florida’s lawsuit against Georgia over the river system they share — and with the latest in a series of droughts threatening, downstream users say the fate of the Apalachicola Bay could well be at stake. “That last drought we had — if we get just half of that, this bay may never be able to rebuild itself,” said Shannon Hartsfield, president of the Franklin County Seafood Workers’ Association. Florida sued Georgia in 2013, contending that Georgia’s overconsumption of water had reduced freshwater flows from the top of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, near metro Atlanta, to the Florida Panhandle, home of the Apalachicola Bay. Georgia denies it, arguing that Florida’s mismanagement of the bay is to blame for its woes. The Apalachicola Bay’s seafood industry was once a formidable economic driver for the region, producing 90 percent of Florida’s oysters and 10 percent of the nation’s supply. Its commercial and recreational fishing industries generated $200 million a year and supported 85 percent of the local population. But no more. Read the story here 13:17

Fisherman raps Coast Guard in Gulf sinking incident

5772d6770df6b.imageCoast Guard officials say they operated within their proper protocols during their response to a sinking shrimp boat whose captain was aided by another mariner earlier this month. But the stricken vessel’s captain and other fishermen question that assertion, and say the episode has eroded their confidence in the agency’s rescue capabilities. No injuries were reported in connection with the sinking of the fishing vessel Peruga, a 60-foot Louisiana shrimp boat that calls St. Bernard Parish home, but travels through Terrebonne and Lafourche waters, as well as those further east into Mississippi. Well-known to local fishermen, the Peruga’s captain is George Barisich, president of the United Commercial Fishermen’s Association, who has for decades advocated on behalf of fishermen.“It was my belief before the incident that we had to fend for ourselves 99 percent of the time,” Barisich said. “Now it is my knowledge that you’ve got to take care of yourself, that fishermen have to fend for themselves and don’t count on the Coast Guard. Even though we help them all the time and they count on us, don’t count on them.” Read the story here 10:49

How the Trans-Pacific Partnership would benefit Washington’s seafood industry

tpp-fish-mugsExisting tariffs — some as high as 20 percent in some TPP countries — are a big hurdle when we export, making it difficult to offer competitive prices. The TPP would eliminate tariffs on seafood exported by U.S. companies like ours.The TPP would eliminate tariffs on seafood exported by U.S. companies like ours. Just as important, the TPP seeks to raise environmental and labor standards. This is critical for the success of the industry because some foreign competitors operate under weaker fishery-management practices and have poor labor standards with underpaid, underprotected workers. The TPP addresses these issues with fully enforceable, high labor and environmental standards that combat illegal fishing and forced labor. Read the rest here 10:12

Louisiana spring shrimp season to close for inshore waters

dulac shrimper barry rogersThe spring inshore shrimp season, marked by low prices this year, will close at 6 p.m. Sunday in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries today announced inshore shrimping will end from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the western shore of the Freshwater Bayou Canal in Vermilion Parish. Meanwhile, shrimpers have continued to see low prices and small shrimp in their catch. Dulac fisherman Barry Rogers called this season “terrible,” “catastrophic” and “the worst” he’s seen in his 40 years as a shrimper. Rogers said the only way things will change for the shrimping industry is if politicians in Washington begin fighting the dumping of imported shrimp on the domestic market that is driving down prices and creating a surplus. It’ll also take those in the industry banding together. Video, read the rest here 09:54

No buyer for Kuskokwim salmon, so no commercial salmon fishing

interior-detailFor the first time since 1960, for as long as the state has managed fisheries, a season’s worth of salmon will travel up rivers in the Kuskokwim Delta this year with no opportunity for local residents to catch them commercially. With no fish buyer signed up for the Kuskokwim region, the usual infusion of millions of dollars into this part of job-poor Southwestern Alaska isn’t happening. Nearly 450,000 salmon of various types have been caught on average commercially in recent years. Not this year. The state says those unharvested fish could overload spawning grounds and hurt future runs. The sole local buyer in recent years, a branch of Coastal Villages Region Fund, isn’t operating its $40 million fish processing plant in Platinum, on the Bering Sea coast in Southwest Alaska. Coastal Villages Seafoods isn’t buying any salmon from village residents at all. Read the rest here 09:05

A Good News Report: Blue crab numbers rebounding

blue_crabBlue crab population numbers have grown for the second straight year, especially for female crabs, but their numbers are still below target levels, a Chesapeake Bay Program report released Thursday said. The report also found that crabs were not being overfished, with about 50 million pounds taken last year over 2014’s 35.2 million pounds — the lowest harvest in 25 years. It urged regulators to stay the course and maintain crab management regulations in order to maintain the progress. Female crabs rebounded from a depleted 68 million in 2014 to 194 million at the beginning of the 2016 crabbing season, and juvenile crabs, those that will grow to harvestable size by the fall and grow into large crabs by next season, were also holding steady. Read the rest here  07:59

Fishermen condemn Labor candidate Lucy Stanton’s claims – Mark Jason Alexander, Commercial fisherman

Lucy Stanton, ALPAs commercial  fishermen you expect some challenges, bad weather, fluctuating fish prices, bad seasons, but you do not expect to be falsely accused of a serious crime which has no basis and is totally untrue. We are concerned about the motives of Lucy Stanton given that she is a candidate for the Labor Party for the forthcoming election. As commercial fishermen we take pride in our product that we catch and get it to the market in the best possible condition. We also pay thousands of dollars in licence fees each year so as to keep operating. In addition to the licence fees we have an initial outlay of what can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. We are not about to risk our livelihood by doing something as stupid as firing weapons in a public place at night time as alleged. This is just totally untrue. Read the rest here 22:42

US Tuna Treaty survives, new deal for 2017 – Tunaboat Association comments on fishing pact

tuna boat samoaThe US Tuna Treaty has survived after 18 negotiation meetings over the last seven years, with the latest one just concluded in Auckland, New Zealand. The multilateral Treaty is important for American Samoa because it allows US puirse seiners that supply our two canneries to fish in the exclusive economic zones of island countries that are close by. Read the rest here  Tunaboat Association comments on fishing pact – The President of the American Tunaboat Association, Brian Hallman, says the fishing agreement reached over the weekend in Zealand between the United States and Pacific Island countries is from the point of view of the US fleet, the  best outcome they could have achieved under difficult circumstances.  Read the rest here  Tri Marine looks to build coalition – Tri Marine International, which operates the Samoa Tuna Processors cannery in Atuu, says it has been anticipating a change in how the US purse seiners would manage access to the tuna fishing grounds in the Western and Central Pacific for several years. Chief Operating Officer of Tri Marine, Joe Hamby, says now that the future of the US South Pacific Tuna Treaty has been resolved, “we will be able to focus on building a coalition of fishing companies and resource owners committed to supporting American Samoa as a regional tuna processing hub.” Read the rest here  19:55

It happens! ‘Deadliest Catch’ Skipper Sean Dwyer busted for gear infraction

Sean-Bio2“Deadliest Catch” star Captain Sean Dwyer is in trouble with the law. Alaska’s Fish and Game officials fined Dwyer for some issues with his crab-catching equipment. The rules states that crab pots must have an 18-inch flap to allow the crab to escape, should it find its way back into the ocean. Dwyer’s crab pot only had a 15-inch flap, which has reportedly been fixed. The reality star reportedly paid $1,500 in fines and is now on probation for two years. Dwyer is the youngest captain of the Brenna A ship at 24 years old. It’s his first season with the hit Discovery series that has been airing for 12 seasons. Read the rest here 17:56

NMFS: Closure of Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area for Limited Access General Category Fleet

War Cry Scallop dredgeEffective at 0001 on July 4, we are closing the Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area to the Limited Access General Category (LACG) Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) scallop fleet. We project that the 2016 LAGC IFQ has reached the Mid-Atlantic Access Area trip limit. The area will remain closed to the LAGC IFQ fleet for the remainder of the 2016 fishing year through February 28, 2017. Vessels that have complied with the observer notification requirements, declared a trip into the Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area using the correct Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) code, and crossed the VMS demarcation line before 0001 July 4, 2016, may complete their trip and retain and land scallops caught from the Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area. For more details, read the notice (pdf) as filed this afternoon in the Federal Register and the permit holder bulletin (pdf). To review the Atlantic Sea Scallop management areas, check out our story map. 17:23

Ministers divided over panel recommendation for northern shrimp fishery

Northern_Pink_ShrimpNova Scotia Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell said he’s disappointed with the recommendation and is drafting a letter for federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc to reiterate his views. Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries Minister Steve Crocker said the current policy is unfair.A federal panel decision that recommends scrapping a northern shrimp policy that protects the pioneers of the multi-million dollar industry is dividing fisheries ministers in two Atlantic provinces. Under the current Last-In, First-Out policy, the last entrants to a fishery off Newfoundland and Labrador are the first to leave when a quota is cut. But the report released this week from an independent panel reviewing the policy said it does not allow the industry to adjust to changes in shrimp stocks, which have been in decline. The report recommends replacing the policy with an allocation regime that would include proportional shares in fishing areas. Read the rest here 17:02

Following his exit from the IPHC, Kauffman calls violation ‘honest mistake’

IPHC flagAn executive from a Community Development Quota group blamed a regulatory mix-up for the fishing violation that forced him to resign from the international commission regulating halibut harvests. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement charged Jeff Kauffman and two other men in March with possessing more than 10,000 pounds of halibut over their combined quota limits for a violation that occurred in June 2012. Kauffman is the vice president of the Central Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association, the Community Development Quota group for the island of St. Paul. He resigned on June 22. The joint U.S.-Canadian body has governed halibut quotas and regulations by international treaty since 1923, and has three commissioners each from the U.S. and Canada. Kauffman chalked the violation up to a regulatory mix-up. The violation occurred around June 5, 2012, while Kauffman fished for halibut around St. Paul with Mike Baldwin and Wade Henley, the captain of the F/V Saint Peter. CBSFA owns 100 percent of the vessel. Read the story here 14:49

On this Day: June 30 – 1911: Coastal Steamer Nacoochee Runs Down Fishing Schooner Off Cape Cod.

6-30-30-steamer-nahoochee_751On this day in 1911 one of the many coastal steamers of the era sank a large fishing schooner 16 miles northwest of Provincetown. Since the canal was not completed yet, all ships had to sail a round the outer shore of Cape Cod, and the area was also rife with commercial fishing boats. The headline in the newspapers the next day blared: RESCUE CREW OF 23.; Steamer Nacoochee Runs Down Fishing Schooner Off Cape Cod. BOSTON, June 30. — In a dense fog off Cape Cod to-night the Savannah Line steamer Nacoochee, Savannah for Boston ran down the fishing schooner Catherine Allen… (Read the rest on the right.) Read the rest here 14:20

Global population’s of squid, octopuses and cuttlefish are booming

osqudThe world’s squid, octopuses and cuttlefish have been going through a massive, 60-year population boom, a new study has found. Published yesterday in Current Biology, the study shows a continued rise in population numbers of cephalopods since the 1950s. It also reveals the boom has happened in 35 species of cephalopods – covering six families – around the globe. Earlier research has found cephalopods, which are highly adaptable to changing environments, may be benefiting from a combination of climatic changes, including global temperature rises. University of Adelaide researcher Dr Zoe Doubleday led the study and found that despite anecdotal reports indicating a “boom and bust” cycle in cephalopod populations, since 1953 there had been a sustained increase. Link to the study here  11:51

Getting Hooked! Fishermen can prepare for hooking injuries

dsc04304__hook_typesMany fishermen are familiar with the feeling of getting a fishhook stuck in their hand, arm or elsewhere. Usually, it’s a quick fix if the fisherman can jump in a car and head to an emergency room or to a clinic. However, if they are out in a boat on Cook Inlet or nine miles out on a remote river, (or out in the ocean) professional medical help may not be so immediately available. Being up to date on tetanus shots is a good preventative measure, said Dr. Rod Hall, a physician at Health North Family Medicine. Based on the kind of injury, the person will need a tetanus booster in the future — if it’s a clean cut, 10 years is fine, but if it’s not, five years is better, he said. Tetanus shots are available, but there is no antitoxin and the disease can be deadly. If fishermen want to take it out themselves, they should push the hook through the skin and flatten the barb against the hook with pliers before withdrawing it back the way it came out. Read the rest here 11:12

Last In First Out – Shrimp quota change may be ‘disastrous’ for Nova Scotia fishery

doc_505_2A massive decline in northern shrimp stocks off the northeastern coast of Newfoundland could cost Nova Scotia fish companies millions. That has one Nova Scotia fishermen worried about his own commitment to buy a $60-million factory freezer trawler that could fish year-round. “Changing the ground rules at this point in time could have a disastrous impact upon us,” said Liverpool’s Ulf Snarby. With partners in New Brunswick and Labrador, he has been fishing northern shrimp off the northeastern coast of Newfoundland, called Area 6, since 1977. Fishable shrimp stocks declined by 41 per cent in Area 6 from 2014 to 2015, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans reported in January.  With that dramatic decline in the stock, many in the industry expect quotas to be reduced. That’s caused a fight to brew between fishermen in Newfoundland and those in Nova Scotia over who can fish what’s left. Read the rest here – The new $60 million factory freezer trawler Click here 10:34

South Pacific Tuna Treaty renegotiation session concluded successfully

tuna boat samoaThe most recent South Pacific Tuna Treaty renegotiation session concluded successfully on Saturday, June 25, 2016. Negotiators from the United States and representatives of the 16 Pacific Island parties reached agreement in principle on changes to the 27-year-old Tuna Treaty and the terms of fishing access for the U.S. purse seine fleet to Pacific Island waters through 2022. The proposed agreement would establish more flexible procedures for commercial cooperation between U.S. industry and Pacific Island parties. The outcome reflects strong cooperation between the parties to the Treaty and relevant stakeholders, and a mutual commitment to the broader positive relationship between the United States and the Pacific Island region. Read the rest here 09:46

Southeast Alaska Dungeness crabbers see full-length summer, fall seasons

dungenesscrabCommercial Dungeness crabbers have a full two-month summer and two-month fall season for most of Southeast Alaska again this year. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced this week the summer season would continue through August 15 and a fall season is planned for October and November. The season length is set based on the catch from the first week of fishing. Crabbing opened on June 15th. Adam Messmer, the department’s shellfish assistant manager for Southeast, says the total season catch is projected to wind up at 2.89 million pounds and the quality of the catch has started off well. “There’s a lot of people saying that there was really hard crab, full crab, not a lot of soft shell around, which is kindof an odd thing for this time of year, usually there’s at least a reasonable percentage of soft shell but it sounds like a lot of good, really high quality crab,” Messmer said. Read the rest here 09:31

Post-Brexit, north Queensland fishermen consider trade opportunities with the United Kingdom

4720852-3x2-940x627North Queensland fishermen are hoping that now the United Kingdom is to exit the European Union (EU) following the referendum last week, export markets could be re-vitalized. Many stopped exporting to the EU due to difficult protocols and high costs associated with their membership. That was exactly what Mackay Commercial fisherman David Caracciolo did, but he said he may now reconsider that decision if the UK does leave the EU. He believes with the UK split away, it would be much easier to build trade relations. “Previously, the testing regime has been very strict,” Mr Caracciolo said. “We have had lots of incidents in the past where stock, mainly prawns, have been tested in Australian [and] got into the EU and been rejected. “In saying that, the UK — to my knowledge — has not been a big market of Australian seafood but maybe things could change in the future. Read the rest here 08:56

New Bedford to unveil Fishermen’s Tribute Monument at 6 p.m. June 30 in Tonneson Park

AR-160626934.jpg&MaxW=315&MaxH=315New Bedford will celebrate the installation of the Fishermen’s Tribute Monument at 6 p.m. June 30 located in Tonneson Park on the New Bedford waterfront. The installation of the bronze statute will serve as a public tribute to the generations of commercial fishermen and their families. The Fishermen’s Tribute Fund Committee, lead by chairperson Deb Shrader, fundraised for more than 10 years to make the monument a reality. The Fishermen’s Tribute Monument is a bronze statue that depicts the scene of a fishing family; a mother stands near her fisherman husband, who is down on one knee, his daughter in his lap hugging him, his hand on the shoulder of his son who holds a crew cap. The sculpture is the work of New Bedford artist Erik Durant. The passing of the cap to the son signifies the continuation of the fishing tradition, while the clinging daughter expresses the regret of separation that her mother must hold in. The woman is located in the back of the scene, standing tall, representing the wives and mothers who stay behind to hold their families together while fishermen are at sea. Link 21:38

Vessel rescues 19 fishermen from burning boat off Bermuda

ap-vessel-rescues-19-fishermen-from-burning-boat-off-bermudaA plume of black smoke alerted the crew of a cargo vessel to possible distress. As they pulled closer in the Atlantic Ocean, they found a fishing boat engulfed in flames and the sailors in the water. The ship, K. Coral, hoisted 17 fishermen aboard. Two others drifted away while clinging to a makeshift raft made from fishing buoys. Lookouts searched for several hours, through nightfall and heavy wind and rain, before the crew pulled them both to safety as well. The ship arrived this week to unload steel in New Haven, Connecticut, where a delegation from the U.S. Coast Guard on Monday honored the captain and crew for carrying out the rescue last week 900 miles southeast of Bermuda. Park Hyog Soo, the South Korean captain of the Panama-flagged K. Coral, said in Wednesday an email to The Associated Press that the entire effort felt like something out of a movie. “Until now I, and my crew, still can’t believe that we had rescued 19 people,” he said. Read the story here 21:12

$10M spent by N.B. government to expunge crab fishermen’s loans

crab-pots-and-boat-in-port-de-grave-fishery-netsDocuments obtained by Radio-Canada reveal that from 2000 to 2008, the New Brunswick government spent $10 million to erase the debts of 15 crab fishermen, amassed in the 1980s and 1990s as part of a lending program through the department of Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Fisheries. The total amount forgiven was $10,769,225.  Seventeen crab fishermen received $15 million in public funds in the form of loans and loan guarantees for the construction of fishing boats. Fifteen weren’t able to repay their loans. Several fishermen sold their boats, and three boats were seized by the province. Only one fisherman was able to honour this loan guarantee, valued at $500,000. One of the 17 loans, granted in 1984, is still outstanding. The original amount loaned by the New Brunswick government was $687,323 and has since climbed to $880,569 with interest. Read the rest here 20:47

Fishery closures suggested to save West Coast killer whales

Killer whale, British Columbia, CanadaStrategic fishery closures and marine habitat protection are part of a proposed plan by the federal government to protect the threatened killer whales off Canada’s West Coast. The recovery plan for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whale population has been set out online by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans with a 60-day public comment period. The document makes 94 recommendations to help the two distinct whale populations that eat only fish. The Northern Residents are listed as threatened in Canada, while the United States has declared its Southern Resident population endangered.  A team of experts from the federal Fisheries Department, Parks Canada, the Vancouver Aquarium and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States developed the plan between 2011 and 2014. Read the rest here 20:05

Misuse of the precautionary approach in fisheries management – A Conversation with Carl Walters

carl-waltersWe spoke with Carl Walters of the University of British Columbia about the misuse of the precautionary approach by risk-averse scientists and conservation advocates. His concern arises from the application of the precautionary approach to Western Canadian salmon fisheries, which he believes has negatively impacted Canadian salmon fishermen and resulted in “virtually, an economic collapse.” He began by first differentiating between the precautionary principle and the precautionary approach, the former he claimed to be “a perfectly sensible statement that I think almost everyone would subscribe to about the need to avoid irreversible harm when possible…in the management of any system. There’s a different creature that has arisen in fisheries policy…called the precautionary approach to management” – this is the one that upsets him (00:35). Read the rest here   Click here to listen 16:18

Magnuson management – how well is it working?

NetLogoBackground500“Through investment and sacrifice on the part of our commercial and recreational fishermen,  today, landings by U.S. commercial fishermen—and the value they get for those landings—are near all-time highs”  The Governance of Fish: Forty Years under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 04/11/2016, Sam Rauch  (Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, NOAA Fisheries) Periodically I like to do an overview of U.S. fisheries to give readers the opportunity to evaluate how their fisheries are doing relative to other domestic fisheries. This seems particularly relevant today, particularly considering Sam Rauch’s “happy birthday to us”  anniversary statement up above. Nils Stolpe, FishNet USA Click here to read, and review the charts and graphs. 14:02

Last two public hearings for Northeast Regional Ocean Plan – tonight in R.I., tomorrow night in Maine

oceanpolicy-crop-300x185A plan to improve (?) management facets of the ocean and coasts of the northeastern U.S. states is headed for its final public hearings in Rhode Island and Maine. The second-to-last hearing about the Northeast Regional Ocean Plan is scheduled for Wednesday night at the Coastal Institute of the University of Rhode Island in Narragansett, Rhode Island. The last one is Thursday night at Glickman Library of the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine. The ocean plan is an outgrowth of the National Ocean Policy established by presidential executive order in 2010. It deals with many aspects of ocean planning, including marine life and habitat, commercial and recreational fishing and discusses national security. Website for the Northeast Regional Planning Body click here 13:11

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 36.3′ Wood Lobster,6 Cylinder John Deere 6076 Diesel

lb3935Specifications, information and 10 photos click here  To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:38

MSC puts P.E.I. Lobster fishery on notice, use less mackerel as bait, or risk eco-friendly stamp

msc_logoP.E.I. lobster fishermen will have to prove they’re using less mackerel for bait if they’re going to keep their eco-friendly certification. The Island lobster fishery achieved Marine Stewardship Council certification in November 2014. Yearly audits are done to make sure the fishery continues to be ecologically sustainable, while the council encourages consumers to purchase sustainably-caught fish with special branding — a little blue logo incorporating a check mark and a fish. To keep that certification, MSC auditors have asked the fishery to meet five conditions — two of which involve reducing the use of mackerel for bait. Read the rest here 12:06

Opinion: A remedy for overregulation – Each government agency should answer to a board of directors

6_282016_b3-raquet8201_c0-1465-1800-2514_s885x516If the 2016 presidential election has proved anything so far, it’s that millions of Americans know something is seriously wrong in Washington and they want it fixed. They’re right. The fact is that needless regulations, gross mismanagement and outright fraud have crippled our economy, stifled businesses and choked off job creation. The federal government collects $3.5 trillion in taxes and then forces us to pay another $2 trillion in regulation costs — and then another $1 trillion in waste and fraud. The gross domestic product has only averaged 1.7 percent annual growth over the last 15 years compared to 3.5 percent over the previous 50 years. That’s why the middle class has not had a raise in 15 years. Read the rest here 10:46

Commercial fishermen hit back at machine gun claims of Labor candidate for Wide Bay Lucy Stanton

Lucy Stanton, ALPQueensland Seafood Industry Association responds – It probably comes as no surprise to most that you (Lucy Stanton) are pinpointing your focus on net fishing operations in the federal electorate of Wide Bay that you are running for in Saturday’s election. It would seem that you are trying to appeal to voters on the back of the “net free zones” brought in by the Queensland State Labor Government last year. Like the State Labor policy, there is no scientific basis for any of your claims that ocean beach netters cause any harm to the environment. You may be interested in knowing that there are strict regulations set in place for ocean beach netters to legally and sustainably net fish on the North Shore beaches. Their main target over the winter months is mullet, which recreational fishers do not typically catch. It is a specifically targeted fish with limited bi-catch and proven to be sustainable. Your claims in the article are disappointing to say the least. It appears clear that you are trying to create hysteria in the hope of getting “airplay” for your own benefit in your election campaign. Read the response here 09:21

A LIFO Win for the Inshore Fleet! Maybe. Who wins when they redistribute the quota is the next question.

hi-shrimp-852The Ministerial Advisory Panel conducting an external review of the Last-In, First-Out policy (LIFO) released its recommendations yesterday. The Panel recommended abolishing LIFO and implementing permanent proportional sharing.The recommendation went on to advise LIFO be replaced with a proportional sharing approach. There, each quota holder receives a fixed percentage of the resource. For that, the panel has also advised the area fished by the inshore fleet, Shrimp Fishing Area 6 (SFA 6), use 1997 to 2009 as a reference period in establishing the new percentages, given the changes to quota shares forced by LIFO then to now. Shares should be based on total accumulated allocations over that period, for those still around in 2009, the report states. This will reveal the real winners. Two articles, click here, and click here  Read the Report of the Ministerial Advisory Panel click here 7.1 lists the “options” Read the Press Release from FFAW-Unifor click here 08:03

Nation’s first regional ocean plan discussed in Portsmouth

The Face of Bureaucracy

The Face of Bureaucracy

State and federal officials joined members of the public in a roundtable conversation Monday night to discuss a draft of the nation’s first regional ocean plan. The Northeast Ocean Plan is significant because there are numerous federal agencies with jurisdiction over the Atlantic Ocean, and prior to its development, there had never been a good way for them to communicate with each other and those who live and work on the water, according to Portsmouth native John Williamson, a former commercial fisherman. Today, Williamson lives in Kennebunk, Maine, and works in ocean management. Members of the public who were at the meeting had concerns that the plan is redundant, and that federal agencies will not take their comments and opinions into account before the final document is published. Read the rest here 18:35

Bay of Fundy Fishermen in need to pay more attention to the Energy East Pipeline project

7699103_origFormer MP Coline Campbell says people in Nova Scotia need to pay more attention to the Energy East Pipeline project and the risk it poses for the Bay of Fundy and communities all along it. “I’m not against the pipeline but I think there are better places for it go than having all that tanker traffic on the Bay of Fundy,” says Campbell, who was MP for West Nova from 1980 to 1984. “The Bay of Fundy is only 32 miles wide. In my day, every fisheries group in the province would have been at me about this but I’m not hearing anyone talking about it.” The proposed pipeline would bring crude oil from Alberta to the Irving oil refinery in Saint John, N.B. Read the rest here 17:31

HUGE CATCH off the coast of Gloucester!

sam novello found flag

On April 28,2016, F/V CAPT NOVELLO  caught a huge American flag  38 ft. by 20 ft.. Looking  for  ANSWERS , WHO LOST IT ??  WHY/??  AND  WHEN ??/ Anyone that has a lead or the answer, feel free to leave a comment below for the Captain! 14:17

Expanding monument will do more harm than good – Shane Yoshimoto, Honolulu

fisherman-obamaI am writing regarding the proposal to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and to ban commercial fishing there. I work in Hawaii’s fishing industry, but besides it being my livelihood it’s my love and passion. Fish isn’t just a source of food to me or the people of Hawaii; it’s a huge part of the culture. Hawaii’s fishing industry and economy will be impacted if this monument is expanded. I am strongly opposed to the expansion of this monument. We are already limited on locally sourced foods and this would take a significant amount of fresh fish away from Hawaii. Read the rest here 14:04

First MAN D2676 Workboat Engine Ready for Launch

Mavrik_Marine_LT32_D2676_LE443_1_4c_width_740-61233Last December, MAN Engines introduced its latest generation in-line six-cylinder engines for workboats. Now the first MAN D2676 LE443 engine off the production line will be installed aboard the new salmon fishing boat, LT32 Gilnetter, built by the Mavrik Marine boatyard in Washington State and set to launch in late autumn 2016. The D2676 LE443 is designed for light duty commercial operation and generates an output of 537 kW (730 HP) at 2,300 rpm with a cylinder capacity of 12.4 l. The maximum torque is 2,445 Nm at speeds of 1,300 to 2,100 rpm. Mavrik Marine has already fitted a large number of their PB32 series boats with the engine’s predecessor, the D2876, which offers the same output. The new LT32 boat design has been modified to be able to operate in the even more shallow waters of the Bristol Bay area in Alaska. Read the story here 13:23

The spinoff: ‘Deadliest Catch’ – Dungeon Cove ’the crab fishermen of Newport, Oregon

deadliestcatchdungeoncovefbDeadliest Catch has taken us to the Bering Sea for 12 seasons and counting. But the spinoff, premiering Sept. 13, will take us to a location even more treacherous. Deadliest Catch: Dungeon’s Cove follows Dungeness crab fishermen who call Newport, Oregon — and its dangerous sandbars and currents — home. Their fishing grounds are part of the “Graveyard of the Pacific,“ which stretches from Oregon to British Columbia and is considered the deadliest commercial fishery in the world with thousands of vessels and lives lost. Watch the trailer here 13:01

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for June 27, 2016

North Carolina Fisheries AssociationClick here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 12:19

Wide Bay net ban candidate Lucy Stanton says Fishermen using ‘machine guns’ to intimidate

Lucy Stanton, ALPPROFESSIONAL fishermen have been accused of using machine guns to intimidate residents and visitors in the area between the Noosa River and Teewah, Wide Bay Labor candidate Lucy Stanton has claimed. Ms Stanton also accused some professional netters of defying food safety and camping regulations and deliberately scaring away witnesses. She has advocated extending Fraser Island’s World Heritage area to the mainland, including a ban on inshore net fishing. “The people living on Noosa North Shore and those tourists visiting are being forced to put up with shocking behavior on the part of commercial netters,” she said. “Residents have reported automatic gunfire at night during this latest episode of worrying behavior on the part of these people. “They lack respect for people and have even less regard for the environment. Read the rest here 09:59

Sen. Marco Rubio calls for Commerce IG to review controversial red snapper regulations

sen marco rubioThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which sets the rules, announced last month that the 2015 ban would be extended into 2016. In his letter, Rubio argues that the years-long plan isn’t working and that public distrust is at “an all-time high.” A study of red snapper populations released in April found that the species still hasn’t recovered from over fishing and is still being overfished despite the strict regulations. While anglers must release red snapper, biologists estimate that roughly 40 percent of fish caught and released will later die due to the trauma of being reeled in from the ocean’s deep depths. But many fishermen dispute the study’s findings and have long criticized the regulations. Skeptics say they’re catching plenty of red snapper, which suggests the species is healthy enough to support harvesting. Read the rest here 08:23

Crossing the Bar: Captain Roswell P. Staples, of Rockland, Maine

obit%20pic%20Staples%20RoswellBorn at Deer Isle, March 11, 1934, he was the son of Chester B. and Dora Staples. After moving to Rockland with his family at a young age, Paul attended local schools. In 1950 he began fishing aboard the FV St. George out of Rockland, working aboard that vessel until he entered the U.S. Navy. A Korean War veteran, Paul served with the Navy from 1951 to 1955. Returning to Rockland, he resumed his career as a commercial fisherman, aboard National Sea Products vessels until the closing of that plant. Beginning in November of 1969, he spent nine months aboard a research ship, sailing between Antarctica and Punta Arenas, Chile. Sept. 22, 1970, he married Mildred E. Harvey Dodge in Rockland. In 1971, Paul earned his 1st Mate License and in 1974, his Master Captains License. He later worked aboard vessels out of Boston and Alaska, retiring from the sea in 1993. Read the rest here 22:19

Listed fishing boats that are registered for commercial fishing in Massachusetts

just-listed-blackThis table lists fishing boats that are registered for commercial fishing in Massachusetts, along with the vessels’ owners.  The data can be sorted by the boat’s name, the boat owner’s name (first name first), the boat owner’s home community, the boat’s home port and principal port. Boats, large and small, can also be sorted numerically by their length in feet.  Note: Only boats that list a home port in Massachusetts are included in this table. Some boats may be owned in one state and ported in another.  This listing includes boats used for myriad types of commercial fishing, including ground fishing, lobsters, shellfish, etc. 25 per page, 44 pages with 1048 listed Source – NOAA Fisheries 2016 vessel permit data, Greater Atlantic Region Read the list here 20:07

U.S. Commerce Department announces 2016 regional fishery council appointments

commerceThe U.S. Commerce Department today announced the appointment of 19 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with NOAA Fisheries to manage ocean fish stocks. One at-large seat on the Mid-Atlantic Council will be announced by the Secretary at a later date. The new and reappointed council members begin their three-year terms on August 11. Each year, the Secretary of Commerce appoints approximately one-third of the total 72 appointed members to the eight regional councils. The Secretary selects members from nominations submitted by the governors of fishing states, territories and tribal governments. Council members are appointed to both obligatory (state-specific) and at-large (regional) seats.  Council members serve a three-year term and can get reappointed to serve three consecutive terms. Asterisks preceding a member’s name indicate a reappointment. Read it here 17:24

Black gill disease shows up early in Georgia shrimp

Black Gill in shrimp“We’re seeing 40 percent of our white shrimp infected,” said Pat Geer, chief of fisheries at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “We have never seen that before. Ever. So why, why are we seeing it that much earlier?” Geer put that question to a gathering of researchers, shrimpers and fisheries managers from Georgia and South Carolina on Wednesday at the University of Georgia Aquarium at Skidaway. Though unattractive, black gill shrimp are safe to eat. The discoloration is a result of a parasite that infects the gills. When it does, that tissue reacts by producing melanin, resulting in the tell-tale blackening. Researchers have determined the culprit is a ciliate, a single-celled organism with hair-like structures that propel it, but they haven’t been able to nail down which species it is. Read the story here 15:12

Two Maryland fishermen banned from fishing for striped bass forever

636026244661894954-14835094354-773784d875-m-dThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources said that Michael D. Hayden Jr. and William J. Lednum, both of Tilghman Island, have received lifetime revocations of their striped bass privileges and have been suspended from all commercial fishing activity for the next year, followed by a four-year probationary period in all other fisheries. Their striped bass allocations are being returned to the commercial fishery allotment. In simpler terms, the two men were convicted of poaching and selling nearly $500,000 of striped bass over four years and have received lifetime bans from taking part in that fishery. Hayden and Lednum remain responsible for $498,000 in court-ordered restitution to the state of Maryland. Read the rest here 13:23:08

Oceana researchers say getting federal data on fish stocks is a challenge

cod_fisherman_la_poile_canadaA team of researchers that spent months digging up data, hounding scientists and chasing leads to assess the state of Canadian fish stocks say old, incomplete or inaccessible federal research means the health of nearly half of the country’s commercial fish stocks remains a mystery. Oceana Canada, a non-profit advocacy group whose work focuses on ocean health, released a report last week that it claims is “the most comprehensive public study ever conducted” on the state of Canada’s fish stocks. But the report’s authors say they faced barriers accessing federal data that could allow them to properly determine whether commercial fish stocks are healthy. (which didn’t stop them from saying the  fishery’s are in severe declineRead the rest here 12:35

NMFS Shoots Down Defenders of Wildlife petition to list Smooth Hammerhead Shark under Endangered Species Act

smooth hammerheadWe, NMFS, announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the smooth hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zygaena) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We have completed a comprehensive status review of the smooth hammerhead shark in response to this petition. Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, including the status review report (Miller 2016), we have determined that the species does not warrant listing at this time. We conclude that the smooth hammerhead shark is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range and is not likely to become so within the foreseeable future. Read the rest here 11:28

BP spill cost fishing industry at least $94.7 million to $1.6 billion from May through December 2010

Deepwater-Horizon-April-21-2010.-REUTERSThe BP oil spill may have cost the Gulf of Mexico’s commercial fishing industry between $94.7 million and $1.6 billion and between 740 and 9,315 jobs from May to December 2010, according a study released Wednesday (June 22)  by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The study, conducted by The Vertex Companies of Boston, Mass., measured the impact of the spill during the same period of time that is being used to calculate claims being paid to fishermen under a 2012 court-approved settlement agreement between private parties and BP. The three-year study cost $355,888. Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry bore the brunt of the costs of the spill, compared to  the four other Gulf states, the report found, with the highest costs affecting the catch of shrimp, oysters, crabs and menhaden. Read the rest here 10:34

Alaska’s ‘graying of the fleet,’ – Some determined young fishermen are bucking the trend

graying fleet young fishermenIt takes about half a million dollars to get set up as a full-time fisherman — a heftier price tag than for a plush house. Today, a seine permit in the Kodiak region costs about $50,000. A salmon drift permit in Bristol Bay runs about $150,000. Halibut quota is being sold for upwards of $50 per pound, an increase from about $15 per pound in 2010.  At today’s rate, a young person trying to buy into the halibut fishery either needs a million dollars in cash or be willing to pour all income into a loan payment. Here’s a brief look at some young Alaskans getting started in the industry that helped shape Alaska’s history and identity. Darren Platt, John Christensen, Ken Jones, Jake Everich, Amy Schaub, Luke Smith, Read the article here 09:08

Cameron Henderson, Tin Can Bay Chamber of Commerce is a reasonable man

b88185614z1_20160624140606_000go178g312-0-srkbb1th9v9nc44nfm2_fct1839x1366_ct620x465With the most important federal election in many years due in just a week, I thought that it may be beneficial to share some information learnt recently. Whilst a chamber of commerce remains “apolitical”, it sometimes becomes hard to remain impartial. I have had several discussions with the ALP candidate for the Wide Bay, Lucy Stanton. Her plans for this region are to shut down commercial net fishing and have the area World Heritage listed. Ms Stanton argues that fish stocks have declined due to commercial fishing alone; I have been informed that there are many factors as to why fish stocks fluctuate over the years. Commercial fishing is not the sole reason. The commercial fishing industry is heavily regulated and licence holders are held accountable. Evidence recently circulated claiming otherwise is outdated and inconclusive in my mind. Graphs and charts can be manipulated to suit an agenda. Read this letter here 20:41

Wisconsin DNR ponders commercial whitefish regulation changes, Sport fishers concerned

whitefish lake michiganA leading Wisconsin sportfishing advocate is urging anglers to provide input as the Department of Natural Resources considers changes to rules in Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Based on shifts in whitefish abundance, the DNR is mulling changes to its commercial fishing framework for the species. Although the agency has yet to release a proposed rules change, commercial interests have been seeking higher whitefish quotas in southern Green Bay or the ability to use unfilled quotas from other zones in the lower bay. And some commercial fishers would like to be able to sell walleye taken as “bycatch.” Walleye currently are protected from commercial fishing in Wisconsin. Read the rest here 16:39

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Brexit – Entering uncharted territory,turbulent waters, with challenges and perhaps also opportunities.

Two things can be said with certainty: 1. At this stage there are more questions than answers 2. In this new world, fishermen will need a strong, cohesive, national organisation to defend their interests during the upcoming transition It is not difficult to understand the strong anti-EU sentiments within the UK fishing industry. The European Commission has too often behaved with arrogance, and the EU Parliament with ignorance, to escape their share of the blame. To understand this, you need to go no further that the Commission’s proposed EU ban on small-scale drift nets – to solve an enforcement problem in Italy but which if adopted would have extinguished many sustainable, viable small-scale fisheries in the UK. This is but one example which just illustrates the roots of the frustration that has built over many years. Read the rest here 14:41

Fading fishermen: A historic industry faces a warming world

dt.common.streams.StreamServerThe 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. 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. Michael Mohr harvested surf clams for almost 30 of his 55 years, and his desire to stay in the business takes him far from his family. For the fishermen of the northeastern U.S., whether to stick with fishing, adapt to the changing ocean or leave the business is a constant worry. Read the story here 13:56

Coast Guard medevacs injured fisherman near Kodiak, Alaska

pacific star medevacThe Coast Guard medevaced a 26-year-old fisherman from the 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Star approximately 74 miles southeast of the city of Kodiak, Alaska, Saturday. A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the injured fisherman and transported him to awaiting emergency medical services personnel at the Kodiak Airport. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders received the call for assistance at approximately 11:03 a.m. from the operator of the Pacific Star that a deckhand had been struck in the head by deck rigging and needed medical attention. Watchstanders consulted the duty flight surgeon who recommended the medevac. The Jayhawk helicopter crew was dispatched to the scene. Click here to watch the video 12:03

Emmonak comes to life with summer fish plant jobs and commercial dipnetting

emmonak salmonAt the Yukon River’s fish central, the warning on the door to the buzzing office of the big boss, whom everyone calls “Jack,” says “Danger. Earache Area.”It’s the nerve center for Kwikpak Fisheries — a small dockside processor with an outsized role in a region where jobs are scarce, the salmon are ultra-rich, and a unique commercial dipnet fishery provides early season jobs and money. Kwikpak operations manager Jack Schultheis is buying summer chums from, as he put it, the only commercial dipnet operation “in the world.” It’s a novel setup intended to help rebuild crashed king salmon runs, but still allow fishing. During scheduled dipnet openings, residents with commercial permits from Emmonak and nearby Southwestern Alaska villages head out in open skiffs. Read the story here 10:25

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Carlos “The Codfather” Rafael’s trial could have huge stakes

Indicted fishing magnate Carlos Rafael controls nearly one-fifth of the harbor’s commercial fleet and had permits worth about $80 million last year, according to public records and local interviews. The size and scope of Rafael’s fishing business indicate a significant chunk of New Bedford’s waterfront economy could be at stake should Rafael stand trial in January 2017. He faces federal charges tied to an alleged, multi-year scheme involving illegally caught fish, bags of cash from a wholesale buyer in New York City and a smuggling operation to Portugal, via Logan International Airport in Boston. An initial survey of Rafael’s fishing permits, vessels and the corporations behind them, along with local data and interviews, provides a glimpse into an operation that has become a flashpoint for broader debates about industry regulation and oversight. Read the article here 09:08

Coast Guard rescues 2 fishermen from disabled vessel near Cordova, Alaska

fishermen from the fishing vessel SunriseA Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Forward Operating Location Cordova rescued two fishermen approximately 17 miles southwest of Cordova, Alaska, after their fishing vessel became disabled and adrift Friday. The Jayhawk crew hoisted the fishermen from the fishing vessel Sunrise and transported them to Cordova. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders received a request for assistance from the fishermen after their 26-foot fishing vessel became disabled and adrift near Strawberry Channel. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and diverted the rescue helicopter crew who were airborne and in the area on a training mission. Marine Safety Unit Valdez has issued a notice to mariners of the disabled vessel and continues to monitor the situation as the owner makes arrangements for retrieval. Click to watch the video 19:56

What are the clams economic impact on Greenwich?

clam boat Atlantic Clam Farms In his denim overalls and Simms fly fishing cap, Ed Stilwagen is where he can be found most days, checking in on his clamming boats and checking out the state of the water in Long Island Sound. “I always say the way to find clams is you go out there and you tell a clam joke. Then you hear ’em laughing, you go in and you get ’em,” Stilwagen said. Stilwagen is like a lot of people in Greenwich. He has two boats, a shiny black Cadillac and a lot of property. His boats, though, are for work and his property is mostly under water. The 4,000 acres he leases stretch about a mile into Long Island Sound. He is the largest clam harvester in Greenwich waters. “Since we been started here (in 2000), I calculate well over 300 million clams we’ve produced,” he said. Stilwagen’s crews are out on his pontoon-like clam boats sometimes seven days a week,,, Video, read the rest here and 31 photo’s. 17:57

Corals Can Be Saved If We Restore Plankton Cooling

Coral_oahu1Experts at coral reef conference in Honolulu offer little but the same old career safe ideas. Princely paid pundits prefer pitching party lines about perils to presenting practical prescriptions. Solutions proffered are couched in global warming parlance for the coral reefs those propositions will take decades to make progress and then only at a cost of trillions. Corals will be saved by restoring plankton cooling to stop ocean warming, this will produce positive results for coral reefs in a few years time and will cost mere millions. Scientists at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu this week are palavering about the latest research on our planet’s imperiled reef. With a little more googling instead of oogling they might quickly discover how the most beautiful bathing beauties at the beach the corals can be saved. Read the article here 17:05

Yurok Tribe Files Intent to Sue National Marine Fisheries Service and the Bureau of Reclamation

272106c4c2f6f8b444d177f854f5ab8aIn response to massive fish disease outbreaks in back-to-back years on the Klamath River, the Yurok Tribe submitted a 60-day notice of intent to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Bureau of Reclamation. “We cannot stand by and do nothing while our salmon hover over the brink of extinction,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr., Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “We will not continue to watch water managers jeopardize the fate of our fish and our river.” 91 percent of the juvenile, Klamath salmon were infected with a deadly parasite in 2015, as were a nearly identical number of fish in 2014. Given the nearly 100 percent mortality rate associated with the disease, approximately 90 percent of the Chinook salmon and likely an equal quantity of coho died in the main-stem Klamath River during those years, according to the notice. This year’s predicted adult salmon run is one of the lowest on record, which forced the Yurok Tribe to make a difficult decision to completely forgo all commercial fishing in 2016. Read the rest here 15:22