Santa Cruz teen brothers start Point Fish Co.

ar-161029875-jpgmaxh400maxw667Weekends usually mean sleeping in, but for not the Hofmann brothers of Santa Cruz. The teen entrepreneurs wake up while it’s still dark and head out for a long day of fishing. Their company, the Point Fish Co., has been in the works for years, but only recently came to fruition. The reason for the wait? The oldest brother had to wait until he was turned 16 to pilot a boat legally. The Hofmann brothers, Hayden (now 17), Baylor, 14, and 13-year-old Grady grew up around the water and always loved fishing. About six years ago they were fishing and started wondering how much money they might make if they sold their catch. When Hayden was old enough to captain the boat, the brothers decided to get some advice and researched how to start a fishing business. Read the story here 18:32

Alaska dipnetting – Disorderly and unsafe

alaska-dipnetting-medredThe winter meeting of the Alaska Board of Fisheries is months away but already the weirdness has begun.  At a work session in Kenai-Soldotna this week, the board spent some time kicking around the idea of motor restrictions for the Kenai River to make the popular, personal-use dipnet fishery there safer. The suggestion was brought to the board by 72-year-old Soldotna resident George Parks and picked up by the board’s new vice-chair Sue Jeffery, who termed the Kenai a “disorderly, unsafe fishery.” A commercial fisherman from Kodiak, Jeffery appeared unaware everyone was discussing the wrong fishery. There are deadly dipnet fisheries in Alaska, but the Kenai boat fishery is not one of them. The short stretch of the Kenai open to dipnetting from boats during the short July dipnet seasons does get congested. Some boats have collided, and a few have even taken on water until they sank. But no one has ever died. Read the story here 14:38

Editorial: Auditor General scrutinizes DFO’s fish stock management

envie-sustain-development-commish-julie-gelfeldIn a province that has the Pacific Salmon as an official emblem, it’s surprising that a report from the federal Auditor General on the management of fish stocks by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans didn’t get more attention. The audit, conducted by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (part of the Auditor General’s office), disclosed a number of deficiencies that should have raised concerns, if not alarm. For example, it found only three of 15 critically depleted stocks had rebuilding plans, increasing the risk that depleted stocks won’t recover. Moreover, of 154 fish stocks, 44 were either missing integrated fish management plans or the plans were out of date. Among other problems the audit identified, third-party observers hired by fishing companies sometimes failed to comply with program requirements but DFO had little recourse other than revoking their designation, which would have deprived it of catch data. Read the op-ed here 13:21

New South Wales mock share-auction website crashes!

trawler_fct910x683x108-0_ct620x465ABOUT 90 fishers who took time off to learn how to stay in the changing industry have been left with no help due to a crashing website. The website, set up to train fishers how to buy and sell fishing rights in an upcoming New South Wales-wide shares auction, went offline between 9am and 1pm on Monday. It was meant to be the website’s first day online. Upper house Labor MP Mick Veitch said the crash was indicative of “continuing errors in the implementation of the commercial fishing restructure”. Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair told parliament fishers were still able to get phone help. He said about 450 fishers were registered for the mock share-auction stage, but most of the industry would not need to take part. The online failure follows a troubled training session branded a shambles by industry figures. Local fishers came away saying they left the session disappointed, angrier, dismayed, with more questions than when they came. Read the rest here 10:53


Officials say they cannot enforce Hawaii fishing contracts

Federal officials cannot enforce a contract being proposed by the commercial fishing industry as a solution to concerns about foreign fishing crews in Hawaii, leaving the industry responsible for enforcing its own rules. Federal and state officials met with vessel owners, captains and representatives from the fleet Thursday at a pier in Honolulu. The normally private quarterly meeting was opened to media and lawmakers to discuss conditions uncovered in an Associated Press investigation that found some foreign fishermen had been confined to vessels for years. On Wednesday, Hawaii state Rep. Kaniela Ing held a public meeting at the state Capitol on the issue. Ing and other lawmakers pressed representatives from the fishing industry and government agencies about what can be done to increase oversight and improve conditions in the industry. Read the story here 09:31

Letter: Fisherfolk should get behind new union by Oswan Tucker, Reef’s Harbour

ryan-clearyNow is the time to finish what we started last year, which was to get rid of the FFAW. The Fish, Food and Allied Workers union has neglected us, taken advantage of us and turned fisherfolk against one another. It shouldn’t be like that. We can do better than that, and now we will. We have acquired Ryan Cleary to head up our new union, which will be named the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL). This new union will look after the best interests of Newfoundland and Labrador fishermen and women — and only them. It will have a constitution drawn up to protect fisher folk from the kind of things we had to put up with from the FFAW. Read the rest here 09:06

Scientists Are Closer To Understanding What Makes Ocean’s Toxic Algae Bloom

dungenesscrabLast winter was the first time the Dungeness crab fishery in Oregon closed temporarily because of toxic algae in the ocean.  And even just a week ago, another toxic bloom was happening off the coast. Scientists are just beginning to understand what triggers these conditions. A study this month from Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides a rare peak below the waves. The toxin, demoic acid, is sometimes produced by an algae called Pseudo-nitzschia, or PN.  PN does better than most algae when ocean temperatures are high and there isn’t much nutrients in the water.    When these nutrient-poor conditions are followed by upwelling of rich, cold water from the ocean bottom, the PN are in the perfect position to party.  Their numbers explode. Read the story here 08:46

Whalers in crosshairs at International Whaling Commission huddle

southkoreanaMore than 80 nations square off in Slovenia next week over the fate of the world’s remaining whales, facing a multitude of perils from meat hunters and ship strikes to getting snared in fishing gear. The stage is set for heated debate, as the 88 members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) are deeply divided along pro- and anti-hunting lines. The biggest bones of contention are Japan’s yearly whale hunt in the name of science, which critics insist is for dinner tables instead, and a proposal for a South Atlantic sanctuary to protect the majestic marine mammals. Hunting nations Japan, Norway and Iceland are traditionally pitted against much of the rest of the world at the biennial IWC meetings, which seek to balance issues of national sovereignty, subsistence rights and culture with conservation of Earth’s natural bounty. For environmentalists, it is an issue of cruelty as well. Read the story here 08:19


Photo Release: Coast Guard tows disabled fishing vessel to Dutch Harbor, Alaska

Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Hedman, a gunners mate aboard Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau, shoots a tow line to fishing vessel Pacific Sounder near Cold Bay, Alaska, Oct. 20, 2016. The Pacific Sounder lost propulsion and requested Coast Guard assistance. The Pacific Sounder lost propulsion and requested Coast Guard assistance.  Click here for more photos 18:26


On bottom in Grand Passage – boat and barge troubles near Brier and Long Islands

People are having trouble keeping their boats afloat around Brier and Long Islands this week. An aquaculture barge sank in Westport Harbour Oct. 19 and then a lobster boat went aground Oct. 21. A small feed barge at the Cooke Aquaculture site near Westport spent a day on the bottom before it could be towed to shore Oct. 20. And then the fishing boat the Atlantic Conquest somehow ended up high and dry on the Cow Ledge, a shoal on the Long Island side of the northern end of Grand Passage. More images, read the rest here 16:29:41

American Somoa misses out on quota transfer fisheries revenues

Honolulu-Fish-Auction-Bluefin-TunaStatements by the governor’s fisheries advisor at the meeting of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council last week indicate that the territory missed out on an opportunity to earn money from allowing Hawaii to use our quota of big eye tuna catch. During the public comment session which followed a report on American Samoa’s fisheries activities at the Council meeting in Honolulu,  Governor Lolo’s adviser on fisheries, Vaamua Henry Sesepasara, spoke up about the big eye quota transfer. This allows Hawaii longliners to buy unused quota limits for big eye catch of the territories of Guam, Northern Marianas and American Samoa. Vaamua said that the Lolo administration was not aware of the big eye quota transfer which was first carried out in 2011 and 2012 under the Togiola administration. Read the story here 14:12

State Medical Examiner investigates apparent drug overdose on New Bedford fishing boat

mass-med-examinerState and local police are investigating the apparent fatal overdose of a man, who was found unresponsive on a fishing boat docked at Pier 3 in New Bedford. The 49-year-old Fairhaven man was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Hospital Thursday night after being found on the fishing vessel Saint Jude. The death appears to be an overdose, police said, but the state’s medical examiner was investigating. Signs of drug use were found. A co-worker on the boat attempted CPR before police, fire and EMS arrived at about 8:38 p.m. The victim was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:05 p.m. The is investigating, along with New Bedford Police and State Police. Link 13:02

Gulf of Mexico shrimp landings low, prices up

louisiana shrimpShrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico are running lower than usual, but prices are up, according to the latest data issued by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). U.S. shrimpers caught 11.2 million lbs. of shrimp in September 2016, the lowest September total since 2008 and 3.5 million fewer lbs. than was caught last September. The total is nearly 18 percent off the 14-year historical catch average of 13.6 million lbs. Landings in the U.S. states of Texas and Alabama both fell markedly, while Louisiana’s catch was around its historical average for September. Texan shrimpers caught 4.3 million lbs. of shrimp in September, Read the rest here 11:43

Recreational Fishing Industry report seeks federal fisheries reform

charter_boatSeveral stakeholders in the recreational fishing and boating industries released a set of recommendations for the incoming administration and Congress to change the way federal overseers allocate saltwater fish. The Center for Coastal Conservation and its 10 member groups issued a report recommending a government shift away from using the same tools to manage commercial fisheries as it does for recreational fishing at a federal level. “One of the most important things in the document we put forward is the recommendation that we get our own Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee,” Center for Coastal Conservation president Jeff Angers told Trade Only Today. “The current Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee is dominated by the commercial industry. We really need our own. We have a different industry, different constituents, different environmental impacts.” Read the rest here  11:07

Tasmanian researchers say Scallop deaths linked to seismic surveys being carried out on seabed

459292-16x9-largeA link can be drawn between seismic testing for mineral resources and scallop deaths, Tasmanian researchers say. The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation has released findings of a four-year study into the impact of marine seismic surveys on south-east Australian lobster and scallop populations. The study began after Tasmanian fisherman were convinced seismic testing carried out by the Victorian Government in Bass Strait in 2010 caused a massive die-off. Seismic testing involves firing soundwaves into the ocean floor to detect the presence of oil or gas reserves. Bridport fisherman Allan Barnett was hit hard from the 2010 mass mortality. “The industry blames the seismic activity for the death of virtually all the scallops in that bed which was 24,000 tonne — about $70 million worth,” he said. Read the story here 10:24

Bait crisis is over, but Maine lobstermen are still feeling the pinch

1097790_730802-20160908_zone-c-cl2The lobster bait crisis that plagued New England this summer is finally over, now that fishermen have begun to catch herring off Georges Bank. But the price of lobstermen’s favorite bait fish, which rose dramatically when the offshore fleet wasn’t landing enough herring to refill empty bait freezers, has remained high through the end of peak lobster season, typically August through late October. Although there’s been no appreciable effect on consumer prices, lobstermen agree the shortage hurt their bottom line. “There is always a risk of something like this in a wild-caught fishery,” Patrice McCarron said. “You can’t create supply. Herring just wasn’t available, and no manager can fix that. I think the managers did the best they could to stretch the inshore bait out as long as they did, but there’s no doubt, it cost us more than ever to bait our traps this year.” Read the story here 09:33


U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Foreign Fishermen Have No Complaints Working On US longline vessels

Federal officials said Thursday they have interviewed dozens of foreign crew members who work on U.S. commercial fishing boats since allegations of labor abuses surfaced, but haven’t found much beyond a few cockroaches. “They had an opportunity to talk to us freely,” said Ferdie Jose, supervisory officer for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “They didn’t voice any complaints.” Jose made the statement at what has traditionally been a private quarterly meeting among commercial fishing vessel owners, law enforcement officers and state and federal officials. It was a marked contrast to one held just a day earlier at the state Capitol, where legislators grilled state officials and fishing industry leaders for nearly three hours in an effort to find ways to improve the working conditions for foreign crew members. Read the story here 09:02


Destroyed tuna vessel Laurie Ann towed to Salisbury 

The Laurie Ann, a 35-foot-long tuna boat that sank in the mouth of the Merrimack River Monday evening in rough seas, is back above water but its days as a seaworthy vessel appear to be over.  Wednesday evening the vessel was towed back to shore and hauled out by a TowBoatUS crew, an operation that took roughly six hours. Afterward, the boat was trucked to the Salisbury Industrial Park off Rabbit Road where its owner, Stan Kench, works, according to Mike Goodridge of TowBoatUS.  Kench was one of two men onboard the vessel when it capsized in choppy water around 7 p.m. Monday. Both men were thrown from the boat and sustained minor injuries. The capsizing was witnessed by a good Samaritan aboard the Lady Suzanne who radioed the Coast Guard for help and then plucked the two men from the water.  Read the story here 08:36

After pursuit at sea, captain busted trying to smuggle illegal immigrants into South Florida

sfl-james-sawyer-20161020The boat entering the Hillsboro Inlet might have gone unnoticed, if the captain hadn’t made an “aggressive” U-turn beside a sheriff’s boat and headed back out to sea. Broward sheriff’s deputies called out and signaled for the captain to stop. But he just gave them a thumbs up, pointed in an easterly direction and kept going, investigators said. Sheriff’s deputies said they followed the boat — and only gave up when they were 25 miles off shore.The Sept. 14 excursion eventually ended with boat captain James Sawyer’s arrest on federal charges he tried to illegally smuggle 15 people into the U.S. On Thursday, he pleaded not guilty. A Coast Guard cutter stopped the boat nearly three hours after it left the inlet, about 10 p.m. Only two men were visible on the boat, but officers quickly discovered there was a total of 18 people on board. Read the rest here 20:38


Summer Flounder Management – Nils Stolpe asks, Can it get any worse?

Summer flounder, also known as fluke, support recreational and commercial fisheries that are among the most important in the mid-Atlantic and southern New England. They have been a mainstay of recreational fishermen either from their own boats or on for-hire vessels, support a large directed commercial fishery, their incidental harvest is important in other fisheries and they are near the top of the list of must-have meals for summer visits to the shore. Hundreds of party and charter boats depend on them for all or for part of their annual incomes, thousands of private boats seek them out every summer, and much of the business bait and tackle shops do every year depends on the fishery. Hundreds of commercial fishing boats target them or take them incidentally in other fisheries.,, The summer flounder stock has gone from having the highest biomass in 50 years to being on the verge of overfishing in the five years between 2011 and 2016. While no one seems to know why the management program hadn’t been working, the SSC did come up with several possibilities. These included “sources of (fishing) mortality that are not fully accounted in the assessment. These could include under-estimation of discards in both the commercial and recreational fisheries and lower estimates of mortality rates applied to the discards than are actually occurring.” Read the full article here 15:27

Shrimpers with chainsaws: Local commercial fishermen carry on after Hurricane Matthew

gayfishco-2October is supposed to be a month for prime Lowcountry seafood but this month, Hurricane Matthew had other plans. The Category 2 storm put local seafood production on hold. The storm hit Beaufort County just a week after the start of the oyster season and in the middle of shrimp season. But not to worry. Most local fishermen stayed with their vessels through the storm and — with the resilience the trade has always required — are making their way to recovery. “A chainsaw becomes necessary equipment on a shrimp boat now,” Reeves said. “Anything you can imagine, we see: pilings, lawn chairs, refrigerators. Cutting through can be difficult and very costly.” The long-term impact on local shrimp populations is also still not clear, local shrimpers say. Read the story here 14:01

Hawaii lawmakers hold public meeting on foreign fishermen

5808338b8495f-imageA woman who worked as an observer on fishing boats that docked in Honolulu described for Hawaii lawmakers what it was like without toilets, showers or hot water. “You have a cold water deck hose as a shower…the water tastes like iron,” said Ashley Watts, a former observer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Watts’ comments to lawmakers at the state Capitol Wednesday followed an Associated Press investigation that found some fishermen have been confined to vessels for years. A federal loophole allows the foreign men to work but exempts them from most basic labor protections. Many foreign fishermen have to stay on the boats because they are not legally allowed to enter the United States.  Before the meeting, a group of Hawaii residents and activists rallied outside the state Capitol to call for better conditions for fishermen, demanding an end to what they call unacceptable living and working conditions. Read the story here 13:25

Fishing Boat Runs Aground In West Falmouth

carlos boatA 73-foot steel hulled fishing boat ran aground in the Great Sippewissett Marsh area early Thursday morning, October 20, according to Deputy Director of Falmouth Marine and Environmental Services R. Charles Martinsen III. Mr. Martinsen said the boat is currently stuck in a shallow and rocky area of the marsh, “right up against the shore.” Report of the accident first reached the US Coast Guard and Falmouth Fire Department Thursday morning, and the marine and environmental services department was notified at about 6:30 AM. Link to the rest 12:56

Bay of Fundy tidal energy battle heads to court Thursday

colin-sproulThe Nova Scotia government and a company attempting to deploy two tidal turbines in the Bay of Fundy have joined forces to fight a move by a fishermen’s association to block the venture. The Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association is scheduled to appear Thursday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court to ask for a stay on an approval that will allow Cape Sharp Tidal Ventures to install two 16-metre-wide turbines at the bottom of the Minas Passage. Cape Sharp Tidal is a partnership between Halifax-based Emera, parent company of Nova Scotia Power, and French-owned Open Hydro. The province and Cape Sharp Tidal want the court to dismiss the application. Read the story here 09:57

Shrimp boat goes up in flames at Aransas Pass

shrimp-boat-fire-aransas-passA day at work for a local shrimper took a turn for the worst when his boat went up in flames.  Aransas Pass police say the boat was found drifting in an intercoastal waterway before coming to a rest in a cove near Turtle Bayou Road. Firefighters from Aransas Pass, Rockport, and Fulton responded to extinguish the fire. A fire boat belonging to the Rockport Volunteer Fire Department was also utilized after weeks of initial training. Coast Guard and Texas Parks and Wildlife were also on the scene. Police say the boat owner sustained minor injuries trying to put out the fire. Fortunately, a local boater was nearby to help assist the owner of the shrimp boat to shore. The owner of the boat says the fire started near his generator while he was on his way to get fuel at Conn Brown Harbor.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Video, click here 09:04

S.C. couple rode out Matthew on their shrimp boat

636116106364572999-billingtons1Richard Billington, who was aware of the storm and had taken special precautions with his boat, Village Lady, said the couple did not have cell phone service and they had lost power so they weren’t sure where the storm was. Unbeknownst to them, the hurricane was aiming for a landfall near McClellanville, the same spot where Hurricane Hugo made landfall in 1989 with a 20-foot storm surge and devastating consequences. “We came down here to make coffee and cook breakfast and all of a sudden the storm surge came in and we couldn’t get off,” he said. “The most amazing thing was right during the worst of it, I looked across the creek at a dock and there was about 20 seagulls with 95 to 110 mph winds blowing and the seagulls were still holding onto the dock,” he said. He also noticed an army of bugs coming out of the water and climbing onto the pilings. Read the story here 08:33


Fundraiser hopes to keep F/V Lady Bernice shrimp trawler working after Hurricane Matthew

The Lady Bernice shrimp trawler was set free Monday after Hurricane Matthew wedged the 80-ton shrimp boat in the mud of Hilton Head Island’s Skull Creek. But all is still not well with the Lady. There was other damage that may risk the future of one of the few shrimp boats still working near Hilton Head. After the boat was freed, longtime shrimp boat captain Charles Abner discovered that his trawler lost all electronics and that the radar system needed to navigate on the boat was damaged. The boat also suffered a broken propeller, shattered window and cosmetic damages to its side. Capt. Abner hopes the boat is still able to go on short shrimping trips, but knows it would be unsafe to go out longer. “I still fully intend to go out shrimping on Thursday,” Capt. Abner said. “We’ll see if it works then.” Read the story here  To donate to help keep the “Lady Bernice” runnning, go to the “Save Lady Bernice” page at 07:59

The U.S. Labor Department suing Intershell over workers’ wages

5807c2b6c5d20-imageThe suit, filed Oct. 4 in U.S. District Court in Boston, seeks at least $275,000 from Intershell for back wages and liquidated damages. The Labor Department said Ultimate Advance Corp., which provides Intershell with temporary workers, is jointly liable for about $116,000 of the total amount being sought. The federal department said an investigation by its wage and hour division revealed that Intershell owners Monte Rome and his wife Yibing Gao-Rome, in conjunction with Ultimate Advance, violated federal law by not paying overtime to 55 workers responsible for cutting, cleaning and packing seafood.It said Intershell had been involved in the violations since February 2013 and Ultimate Advance since 2015. The suit also charges the defendants failed to keep accurate records of employees’ work hours and provided inaccurate payroll records to the division’s investigators. It accused them of  “improperly deducting from certain employees’ pay the cost of cleaning their uniforms.”  Read the rest here 19:58


Members of Alaska crab industry are holding out hope for high prices and a late fishery.

The Alaska Board of Fisheries hasn’t yet decided whether to review harvest guidelines for Eastern Bering Sea Tanner crab and potentially open the season in January or earlier, or leave the fishery closed entirely for the next two years. Meanwhile, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game cut the quota for snow crab by 50 percent and for Bristol Bay red king crab by 15 percent. Despite the cuts, crab industry stakeholders say the season for Bristol Bay red king crab is moving along at more than a healthy clip. “Some good news from the grounds, the crab look good. They’re heavy. There’s a lot of small crab, females. Folks are seeing pots just plugged with crab — so full they can’t get another one in,” said Jake Jacobsen, director of the Inter-Cooperative Exchange, a crab harvesting cooperative with 188 members that together harvest 70 percent of Alaska’s crab. Jacobsen said that given the density of the fishing, he wonders why the surveys that measure abundance didn’t pick anything up.“The reports I’ve got, maybe the people who aren’t doing so well don’t say anything,” he said. “There’s a lot of very optimistic reports from the grounds. I’m not sure what happened with the survey last summer.” Read the story here 16:53

Fishermen upset over extension of ban

vaquita-400x266With only six months remaining in a two-year ban on all fishing activities in the vicinity of the port town of San Felipe, Baja California, there is now disagreement between fishermen and environmental groups over what happens next. Fishing techniques had become a threat to the vaquita, whose numbers have declined to an estimated 60, because they are caught along with the totoaba, a fish species whose swim bladder is a delicacy in China. The two-year federal program was intended to give the marine mammals a respite started in April 2015. As its end draws near, environmental organizations have asked authorities for broader controls on the illegal totoaba fishing and the creation of a safe zone for the vaquita. Read the story here 14:59


Coast Guard transports pregnant manatee to Florida following rescue in Massachusetts

The Coast Guard teamed up with multiple animal rescue teams to transport a pregnant manatee Tuesday from Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, to SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.  Expert rescue staff from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) rescued the manatee September 22 from the waters off Falmouth and transported her to Mystic Aquarium. The manatee arrived in Florida aboard a Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod HC-144 aircraft. Upon arrival, she was transported to SeaWorld by their Animal Rescue Team where veterinarians will provide round-the-clock care until she is ready to be released to her natural Florida habitat. “It was a pleasure working with the U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service, Mystic Aquarum, IFAW, and SeaWorld to transport the manatee to SeaWorld in order for her to be released to her natural habitat,” said Lt. Daniel Cloonan, one of the pilots from Air Station Cape Cod who flew the manatee to Florida. “It was a unique mission where all the moving parts and joint collaboration came together tremendously.” The manatee was named Washburn after the island she was rescued on.  Link 14:39


Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 42′ Fiberglass Lobster boat, 500HP, 6 Cylinder Volvo D9 Diesel, “like new” condition!

Specifications, information and 14 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:31

Oceana bites back at proposed rule for US dusky shark conservation

angry enviroU.S. President Barack Obama and his administration have released a proposal addressing the chronic overfishing of dusky sharks in U.S. waters. But suggested rule comes up short on its objective, according to marine conservation group Oceana. Oceana, which sued the federal government in 2015 in a challenge to its policies on dusky sharks,  has deemed the proposed rule as “grossly inadequate,” and charged that that the National Marine Fisheries Service fails to offer measurable means to stop dusky shark decline and facilitate the species’ recovery. Over the past two decades, dusky shark populations across the Atlantic and Gulf coasts have dropped by 65 percent as a result of bycatch and overfishing, said Oceana. Because the species is slow to grow and reproduces at low rates, recent studies suggest that the population would need between 70 and 180 years to recover. Read the story here 12:06

Opinion: Stop the Obama administration from destroying our coastal economy

ObamaThe Obama Administration is very close to unleashing an underwater sonic boom attack off our Atlantic Coast, including South Carolina’s. You probably have two immediate questions. What am I talking about? And why should you care? First, a sonic boom is how Richard Viso, a professor in the Coastal Environment School at Coastal Carolina University, describes seismic testing. Seismic testing is a highly dangerous process that uses intense airgun blasting to send extremely loud sound waves miles below the seafloor in a hunt for oil deposits. One seismic testing vessel can tow up to 96 airguns, which can cover an area 21 times larger than the National Mall in Washington. These sonic booms, which can be heard for thousands of miles underwater, are repeated every 10 to 12 seconds, creating one of the loudest noises in the oceans. Seismic testing under just one lease can go on for up to an entire year. The Obama Administration’s Department of Interior is set to issue up to 9 seismic testing permits because oil companies don’t share information. Read the story here 11:37

Public weighs in at Board of Fisheries meeting in Soldotna

F15735403ishermen and the fisheries-inclined turned out by the dozens Tuesday for an open hearing before the Board of Fisheries to air their concerns on a host of issues. The Board of Fisheries, preparing to enter its 2016-2017 cycle, is holding a work session in Soldotna this week to discuss Agenda Change Requests and non-regulatory proposals and to take public comments. When the session was scheduled in October 2014, the board set aside an entire day for fishermen to make public comments on any issue they wanted to address. Commenters spoke on a variety of issues, but several recurred throughout the day. The issue that received the most comments, both for and against, was a non-regulatory proposal requesting the Board of Fisheries to lobby the Legislature to update the state fish habitat permitting process to include specific criteria from the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fisheries Policy. Read the story here 11:20


Fight Over Papahanaumokuakea Expansion Isn’t Over

Hawaii’s commercial fishing industry leaders are not finished fighting the fourfold expansion of a U.S. marine monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Now the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, which actively opposed the expansion, wants the government to study the potential effects and find ways to alleviate them. “The impacts to the Hawaii fishing and seafood industries and indigenous communities as a result of monument expansion are considerable,” Council Chair Edwin Ebisui Jr. said in a statement Friday. “The Council will write to the President about these and request the Department of Commerce to mitigate them.” The latest wave of opposition to the monument rolled in earlier this month at the council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee meeting in Honolulu.  New committee member Ray Hilborn, a prominent marine biologist from the University of Washington, railed against large marine protected areas. Read the story here 08:59

Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission will decide status Gulf of Maine shrimp fishery

maineshrimp_courtesyofC_SchmidtThe commission is scheduled to meet Nov. 10 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, first to review the most recent stock status report for northern shrimp and technical recommendations from the shrimp advisory panel. It will then set the specifications for the upcoming season. The stock status reports dating back to 2012 reveal a species in free fall, with record low levels of abundance and biomass and poor recruitment since 2012. Those assessments showed problems with overfishing, warming water temperatures and a dwindling number of spawning females. Maine harvesters dominated the fishery the last time it was open in 2013. Of the 207 vessels permitted to shrimp in the Gulf of Maine, 180 had hailing ports in Maine, while Massachusetts and New Hampshire each had 13. Read the story here 07:45

Cape May fisherman gets restraining order in pilot whale killing case

whale21n-1-webA Cape May commercial fisherman charged with killing a pilot whale in 2011 has gotten a federal order prohibiting federal agents and a defense investigator from speaking to informants in the case. Defense attorney Bill Hughes Jr., of Cooper Levenson, in Atlantic City, said in court documents the informants told his investigator they were threatened and harassed by federal agents. And in its submission, the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged the defense investigator had misled the informants while interviewing them. The order follows an Oct. 17 teleconference between U.S Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor, Hughes and lawyers for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The order says that individuals who previously had contact with the informants, including federal agents, federally deputized state agents, and the defense counsel’s private investigator, cannot have further contact with them. Read the story here 20:02

North Carolina Fisheries Association

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for October 17, 2016

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 18:39

Discovery Channel

Season Finale – ‘Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove’ 9 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel

Tonight marks the season finale of Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove,” airing at 9 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel. After weeks battling the Pacific Ocean, Oregon’s crab fleet nears the finish line, but crossing won’t be easy. With lethal waves blocking his path, Captain Mikey Retherford Jr faces a deadly bar crossing into port, with his son on board.Captain Sehlbach and the F/V Galway Bay crew aren’t the only ones facing a difficult path to the finish line in the finale though. Tuesday’s season ender will find Captain Miket Rutherford Jr facing a deadly bar crossing into port while his is on board! It’s a must-see finale that promises to have fans on the edge of their seats and one that no fan will want to miss. Video here  and here 17:43

Lu Dochtermann’s letter to James W.  Balsiger – You should read it.

lu-dockhtorman-croppedAlso addressed are Glenn G. Merrill — Sustainable Fisheries Administrator, and Penny Pritzker, Secretary U.S. Department of Commerce. He cover’s a lot of territory in the letter from by-catch, to catch shares. Dear Sirs: You are both aware of our vessels, F/V North Point and F/V Stormbird who fish BSAI & GOA halibut, crab, and tender salmon in Bristol Bay — and of my significant investment in vessels, pots, gear and quotas for those grounds. Likewise, that my investment is enormously impacted when unforgiving behavior in the trawl groundfish industrialized mega-sized effort strikes at the heart of the sustainability for other bottommost stocks. ,,, In perspective with the fact that “Greed is Good” is increasingly the main motivator in all aspects of economic societies, it is particularly seemly omnipotent in the globalized fishing business, where “bigger is always better” and “the little guy” is meant to be squeezed out as the ‘market liberalization’ theory’s resource corrupt room gets smaller. Read the letter, click here 16:18

Poor Striper Spawn Reported in Chesapeake

maryland-striper-index-2016The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced yesterday that the annual Juvenile Striped Bass Survey indicates that the 2016 striper spawn in the Chesapeake was well below average.  However, it also found one-year-old striped bass from last year’s very successful year-class in abundance. Striped bass spawning success is strongly affected by environmental conditions such as rainfall and varies greatly from year-to-year, with occasional large year-classes interspersed with average or below-average year-classes. “While this year’s striped bass index is disappointing, it is not a concern unless we observe poor spawning in multiple, consecutive years,” said Fishing and Boating Services Director David Blazer. Read the rest here 15:03


A Drone May Save Your Life in the Future.

Drones have many uses—from military strikes to package delivery. One of the most important uses is to save lives. In times of emergency, a drone is often the cheapest and most efficient way to find a missing person, deliver needed medicine, or survey a disaster scene. In the case of cardiac arrest, it could take an EMT ten or more minutes to get to the scene. Brain death occurs in 4 – 6 minutes. An emergency drone can get a defibrillator to a patient within a 5 square mile zone within a minute, increasing the chance of survival from 8 percent to 80 percent. The drone tracks emergency mobile calls and uses GPS to navigate to the crisis. This same drone can be used by the Coast Guard when they are a distance from a capsized boat. Aside from dropping multiple flotation devices to conscious victims to buy time until the Coast Guard reaches them, GPS transmitters in the flotation devices enable the Coast Guard to pull the survivors from the cold water faster. Read the rest here 13:57

Iceland’s fishermen vote to strike

icelandThe Icelandic fleet is set to stop fishing next month after union members voted overwhelmingly in favor of strike action over falling earnings. Ninety-one percent of members of the Icelandic Union of Marine Engineers and Metal Technicians voted for a strike, as did 90 percent of the members of associations affiliated to the Seamen’s Union representing deck crews. The ships officers’ union had previously voted to accept the terms of an agreement with owners’ federation SFS (Iceland Fisheries). There are several issues that the pro-strike unions are deeply dissatisfied with, including the percentage that crews of new vessels pay towards construction costs, which is felt to be excessive, not least because there is a number of new vessels set to join the Icelandic fleet over the coming year, with both freezer and fresher trawlers being built at yards in China and Turkey for Icelandic operators. Read the rest here 12:02

Seafood Industry Australia – Industry finds its voice as campaign for a united peak body gains momentum

7942596-3x2-700x467A national campaign to form a united peak body for the seafood industry is gaining momentum. Voluntary contributions totalling $406,000 have been secured from the wild catch, aquaculture, post harvest and retail sectors to fund the next two years of forming Seafood Industry Australia. Chair of the implementation group, Veronica Papacosta, said with 52 days left in the campaign, she was confident of getting it across the line. “We’re very close to our minimum target, so I think we’re past the tipping point of whether this’ll happen — it will, which is really, really exciting,” Ms Papacosta said. “But now the pressure is on to make sure we get it right, to make sure we are a national body, to make sure we represent the whole of Australia.” Australia’s, at times, fractured fishing industry has long recognised it needed a clearer, united voice to speak to government and consumers. Read the story here 09:53


Boat owner describes devastation when his 42ft Bruno get’s ripped apart

The owner of a boat that was ripped apart in Bailey’s Bay by Hurricane Nicole has likened the ordeal to “losing a family member”. The storm not only tore apart Aldo Pace’s boat but also his livelihood as a commercial fisherman and with upwards of $300,000 worth of damage, he has no insurance to fall back on. Mr Pace, 62, got the 42ft Bruno Stillman fishing vessel about 25 years ago, using it for his charter business followed by offshore commercial fishing. He had wanted to take it out of the water but all the boat yards were full. Mr Pace had already called the insurance companies but they said they don’t provide storm cover for boats for Bailey’s Bay as it is a high-risk area. It left him no choice other than to tie down the boat as best he could and hope for the best. Read the story here 09:14

Fire destroys Owls Head lobster boat, community rally’s

owlsheadboat-600x800Todd Nickles said the fishing community has rallied to offer its collective hand after his lobster boat was destroyed Saturday night by fire. The cause of the blaze aboard the 31-foot Double Trouble II has not been determined, Nickles said Monday as he stood by the remnants of the burned vessel, which was surrounded by yellow tape. There were no immediate responses to an email message left Monday afternoon with the Maine Department of Public Safety and a phone message for the state fire marshal investigator about the fire. Nickles said he does not believe it was intentionally set. The boat is insured, Nickles said, but he does not know if the insurance covers lost income. Read the story here 08:38

Coast Guard confirms new icebreaker will be ready just in time for Hell to freeze over

icebreakerWith three icebreakers at over 40 years of use and abuse in the Polar Regions, the Coast Guard finally announced that the new icebreaker currently under construction will be complete just in time for Hell to freeze over. In a recent hearing of the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard on Monday, chairman Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) asked U.S. Coast Guard vice commandant Adm. Charles D. Michel on whether or not a new icebreaker would be constructed at all. Adm. Michel responded with, “Yes, we have been in talks with Lucifer and his Minions of Doom regarding the deadline and we are all in agreement that this timeline works for us.” “This is very exciting,” said former serial killer Ted Bundy, from the the Seventh Circle of Hell. “Our all-knowing and gloriously hateful lord of fire will be able to continue his reign of sin on the unholy all thanks to the speedy manufacturing of Vigor Industrial Shipyard and the US Coast Guard.” Read the rest here 08:17


$300,000+ of Marijuana Seized ‘Floating off the Shore’ of Florida over 27 Days

In a span of 27 days, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard, recorded the seizure of nearly 400 pounds of marijuana found floating off the coast of Florida. Between September 15 and October 12 fifteen separate drug seizure events have occurred in various parts of the Florida Keys and East Florida coastline, explained CBP in a press release. “There has been a significant spike in drugs washing up on shore,” said U.S. Border Patrol Miami Sector Division Chief, Todd Bryant. “This is at least partially attributable to improved partnerships across the state but potentially also to a shift in smuggling methods.” The drugs seized in that 27 day span reportedly have a street value of more than $300-thousand. Link 20:26


Axalta’s Imron Paint Shines on Fishing Boat Featured on TV Hit Show “Wicked Tuna”

Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings celebrating its 150th anniversary in the coatings industry, is excited to announce its sponsorship of the Hot Tuna fishing boat featured on National Geographic Channel’s hit show, Wicked Tuna. Axalta’s Imron® MS600™ Single Stage polyurethane topcoat protects and beautifies Captain T.J. Ott’s 39-foot, Hot Tuna boat. The boat is painted in a custom color aptly named Hot Tuna Blue. The boat will be featured in next season’s episodes in winter 2017. Imron MS600 is scientifically engineered to achieve long-lasting high gloss appearance, performance, and corrosion protection specifically for the marine segment. The durability and abrasion resistance of Axalta’s marine coatings help ensure that fishing boats and yachts retain their mirror-like finish longer. “Hot Tuna perfectly showcases our Imron marine coatings,” said Christopher Papa, Axalta Marketing Manager. “Axalta is committed to delivering the industry’s best appearance and corrosion protection, which combine to reflect the attributes that customers have come to value in the Imron brand.” Read the rest here 16:15

ocean aquaculture

Feds must end push for ocean aquaculture

The world’s oceans are in trouble. Litter, urban runoff, dead zones, leaking oil rigs and other factors put stress on sea life, notably fish, and cause alarming changes in our marine environment. One thing we do know for sure is that we should not be adding stress and pollution to ocean ecosystems. That’s why it is so baffling that we are seeing a renewed major push by the federal government for industrial ocean fish farms. Lobbyists for the companies who build these aquaculture operations would have you believe the industry is a solution for preserving our marine environment by growing fish to ease the need for taking more fish from the wild. In reality, however, these facilities can exacerbate many of the problems already hurting our oceans.  Open water fish farms are comprised of giant floating net pens with thousands of fish all eating, excreting and growing in one space. Cages used to contain fish are flow-through, meaning anything from the pens – excess feed, fish wastes, and any chemicals – can go directly into natural waters. Read the rest here 15:18

Pacific Marine Center Expands Capabilities With New Marine Travelift 200CII Boat Hoist (200 TON CAPACITY)

pacific1017-500x332Marine Travelift Inc. has announced the delivery of its 200CII mobile boat hoist to Pacific Marine Center for use at their facility in Anacortes, Washington.  Pacific Marine Center is a full service boat yard handling commercial fishing boats, tugs, and pleasure craft. There were two major goals Pacific Marine Center wanted to accomplish with the purchase of the new 200CII boat hoist according to Dave Marshall, Sales Manager at Kendrick Equipment the certified Marine Travelift distributor for the Northwest region of North America. “The customer wanted to penetrate new markets and attract an entirely new class of boat to Anacortes,” Marshall explained.  “With the Marine Travelift mobile boat hoist they can pick full capacity with the slings in any position, allowing them to target the shorter and heavier fishing boats they haven’t been able to haul in the past.  Expanding their capabilities and targeting these specific size fishing boats is also allowing Pacific Marine Center to accomplishing a second goal of theirs. “Another goal they had was to build a fishing vessel repair business in Anacortes, a gateway to the Pacific Ocean,” said Marshall.  “The new mobile boat hoist will allow them to service a strong fleet of commercial vessels that operate throughout Alaska, Canada and the San Juans.”   Read the Press Release here  13:46

Coast Guard medevacs fisherman suffering from seizures, 100 miles off Galveston

coast guardA 38-year-old man was medevaced by a Coast Guard helicopter Sunday, after reports of seizures on a fishing vessel about 100 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas. The crew of the fishing vessel Black Jack IV contacted Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders on VHF marine band radio channel 16 at about 6:30 p.m., to report that the man was having seizure like symptoms and needed assistance. The watchstanders launched an Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to medevac the man and an Air Station Corpus Christi HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew to provide communications and safety support so far offshore. The helicopter crew hoisted the man, had to stop and refuel on a rig in the gulf and then delivered him to Galveston’s Scholes International Airport, where EMS was standing by to take him to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He was reported to be in stable condition. link 13:33

Following court decision Cook Inlet fishermen wait for direction

salmonfmpConcerned fishermen gathered at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s October meeting in Anchorage to discuss a recent federal court decision that turns control of salmon fisheries in Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound and the Alaska Peninsula over to state management. Though stakeholders brought their suggestions, the council did not direct its staff to any action related to the subject of a salmon FMP. Instead, the council reiterated that the decision will be remanded back to the lower court where it could either be appealed or produce a directive for the council to write a salmon FMP. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council governs federal fisheries, which take place from three to 200 miles offshore. In 2013, industry group United Cook Inlet Drift Association, or UCIDA, filed a lawsuit  to repeal a 2011 council decision, which became Amendment 12 to the Alaska salmon fishery management plan, or FMP. The initial suit was rejected by U.S. Alaska District Court Judge Timothy Burgess in September 2014. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit unanimously remanded the case back to Burgess with instructions to find in favor the plaintiffs. Read the story here 11:48


Selling Lobster and Themselves: Cousin’s Maine Lobster Update – What Happened After Shark Tank

The introduction video started off with Jim Tselkis and Sabin Lomac introducing themselves in front of lobster cages, and a Maine harbor. They said that they were cousins from Maine. Jim said that the best part about growing up in Maine was definitely the lobster. He insisted that Maine lobster was the best lobster meat you’ll ever have. He said that they were currently living in Los Angeles. The video flashed to food truck with Cousin’s Maine Lobster emblazoned on the top. Jim peeked out from inside, and asked who wanted some fresh Maine lobster. The two walked into the Shark Tank. They greeted the Sharks, and introduce themselves. They told the Sharks that they were seeking $55,000 in exchange for 5% of Cousin’s Maine Lobster. Jim asked the Sharks to Picture People crowding around lobster Shacks in Maine, waiting for the chance to taste Maine’s signature dish, the lobster roll. Jim said that they brought then Maine lobster experience to Southern California. Read the story here 11:32

N.B. reports first cases of infectious salmon anaemia since 2012

atlantic-salmon-aquacultureCanada’s Food Inspection Agency is reporting the first New Brunswick cases of infectious salmon anaemia in four years. Four separate incidents have been documented in the Bay of Fundy since March, the most recent on Sept. 20. In each case a single fish was found to have the disease, according to the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture Aquaculture and Fisheries and the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association. “In this particular case, it was four fish,” said Susan Farquharson of the association. “Four cages were depopulated and there hasn’t been any further incidents.” Farquharson claims it’s possible no other fish were contaminated in the four cage sites involved. Smells fishy! Read the story here 11:08

Isle of Man: King scallop licences cut to conserve the stock

king scallopMeasures are being introduced to ensure the sustainability of the island’s king scallop fishery. From the start of the 2016/17 season on November 1, the number of licences issued by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) to fish for king scallops within the island’s seas will be reduced. Eligibility will be determined by vessels’ track record of fishing for king scallops over the last few seasons, with vessels’ size taken into account. Explaining the need for the measure, Richard Lole, chief executive officer of DEFA, said: ‘In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of vessels fishing for king scallops in Manx waters and a corresponding increase in the catch. ‘In 2015/16, 4,500 tonnes of king scallops were landed in the island, worth £4 million at the quayside. ‘At the same time, indications are that stock is under increasing pressure, prompting concerns over the sustainability of this valuable fishery. ‘The new measures will protect those vessels that can demonstrate a historic interest and dependence on the fishery while safeguarding the fishery in the long term.’ At the same time, the first stages of a new inshore marine zoning plan will also be introduced by DEFA. Read the story here 08:51

Bering Sea village wants to surround itself with a marine sanctuary

st georgeResidents of the smaller of two villages in the Pribilof Islands are asking the federal government to encircle their island with the first national marine sanctuary in Alaska. It’s an effort to protect the fur seals once slaughtered on the Pribilofs and other animal populations they say are plunging dangerously, perhaps because of climate change. The request from the city of St. George is only the second in the state since the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries began accepting sanctuary nominations from the public in 2014. The request, received Oct. 1, may not lead to a sanctuary designation, a process involving years of analysis and significant public engagement, said William Douros, West Coast regional director for the agency, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Read the story here 08:21

Maine: York Harbor officials, fishermen rally for federal dredging funds

1095882_268111-20161016_yorkharbo2York town officials are fighting for federal funding to remove a buildup of sediment in York Harbor that threatens to ground local fishermen and recreational boaters alike. As part of their effort to draw attention to the problem, the Town of York Harbor Board staged a demonstration Sunday to show how silt deposits from the York River encroach on mooring areas, forming shoals that crest the water at low tide. A group of fishermen and harbor officials stood atop a mound of sediment that juts above the water level at low tide in the middle of one of the harbor’s basins, near the mouth of the river. York Harbormaster David Hutchinson. “They can’t come in at low tide,” he said. According to Harbor Board Chairman David Webber, York Harbor contains moorings for about 330 commercial and recreational boats. Another 200 boats use the harbor regularly but are moored in private marinas. The harbor generates $12 million to $15 million of economic activity each year, he said. “We don’t want to lose any of it, especially with fishing being such a tough business right now,” Webber said. Read the story here 07:54

Essex Pinky Schooner Ardelle to be Showcased at The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, NH, Saturday, November 12

ardelle-under-sail-1058x1280-463x560The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, NH, will host “An Afternoon with ARDELLE: Harold Burnham and the building of an Essex Schooner” with Essex Shipbuilder and National Heritage Fellow Harold Burham and Photographer Dan Tobyne. This colorful, illustrated discussion about the building of the ARDELLE and the creation of The Shipwright and the Schooner, the newly released softcover book that chronicles the project, will take place on Saturday, November 12 at 4:00pm at the Strawbery Banke Museum Tyco Visitor Center. The presentation will conclude with a chance to mix and mingle with Burnham and Tobyne. Refreshments will be served. On September 6, 2010, facing the “economic downturn” head on with no prospects for work and slowly going broke, Burnham laid the keel for a 40-ton pinky schooner. Over the course of the vessel’s construction, his friends and family came through offering, time, materials, expertise, and money. In less than a year, the ARDELLE was completed, certified by the Coast Guard to carry 49 passengers, and now operates charter sails out of Gloucester. Read the rest and the details here 18:29