Commercial Crab Vessel Skipper Fined $15,000

On April 10, 2017, Van Tan Le, skipper of the commercial crabbing vessel Vitamin Sea Vl, pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act by harvesting Dungeness crab, between June 21 and June 30, 2015, in a closed area. Judge H J Seidemann III ordered Mr. Le to pay a total of $15,000, with $14,000 of that to be used for fisheries preservation and conservation projects in and around Haida Gwaii and Hecate Strait. The charges stem from Mr. Le setting more than 49 crab traps inside the Soft-shell Management Area 10 – McIntyre Bay closure area. A routine audit of the vessel’s logbook and electronic monitoring data revealed possible fishing violations and triggered a DFO fishery officer investigation in the summer of 2015. click here to read the story 13:48

Some N.B. lobster fishermen tie up in protest over price

Some lobster fishermen in eastern New Brunswick have tied up their boats in a protest over the prices they’re getting for lobster. Fishermen in ports such as Pointe Sapin and Richibucto remained at the docks Thursday, saying landings are down and prices are low. Michel Richard, an organizer with the Maritime Fishermen’s Union, says processors suggested much higher prices before the fall season began on Aug. 8, but instead they’re paying about $2 per pound lower. Fishermen say right now they’re being paid about $4.25 a pound for canners and $4.75 a pound for market lobsters. Richard says fishermen are upset because they aren’t getting a clear answer from the buyers and processors on a reason for the lower prices. link 12:22

Warming oceans: fish on the move

The oceans are getting warmer, and fish are adapting to rising ocean temperatures with their fins and swimming to waters that better suit their temperature preferences. Shifts in the distribution of important coastal fish species are resulting in changes to historical fishing options, new fishing opportunities and new fisheries management challenges.,, These northern shifts in fish populations have presented fisheries management challenges. Coastwide or regional Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) are used to manage all of these species, but these FMPs have not always kept up with the changing distribution of these species. Take summer flounder and black sea bass as examples. click here to read the story 10:51

Christie rebukes Trump Administration over Atlantic offshore drilling plan

The Christie administration Wednesday issued a rebuke to President Donald Trump’s bid to open Atlantic Ocean waters to offshore drilling. In formal comments filed with the federal government, Gov. Chris Christie reaffirmed his opposition to any industrialization of the New Jersey coast that could affect the state’s natural resources, coastal communities or economy. It’s a rare case of policy agreement between environmental groups and Christie. New Jersey officials have long opposed drilling in the Atlantic because any spills could put New Jersey’s estimated $700 billion in coastal properties at risk. The state’s $45 billion Shore-based tourism industry and its commercial fishing industry, which generates $8 billion annually and supports about 50,000 jobs, could also be impacted by a spill. click here to read the story 09:20

Another dead North Atlantic right whale found off Cape Cod

Another dead North Atlantic right whale has been spotted off Massachusetts, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in North America this summer to at least 13. The U.S. Coast Guard documented and reported the latest carcass on Monday, Jennifer Goebel, public affairs officer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Greater Atlantic region, confirmed on Wednesday. This is the third dead North Atlantic right whale discovered in U.S. waters, said Goebel. The news comes just one week after another whale was found floating off Martha’s Vineyard, the Massachusetts island south of Cape Cod. click here to read the story 09:04

Whale experts seek why of minke death – The whale had been found floating dead in Blue Hill Bay on Sunday. click here to read the story

FFAW admits error in handling Calvin Tobin death benefit

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers union has admitted it made a mistake in relaying false information to the family of a dead fisherman. The union was too quick to say Calvin Tobin’s family did not qualify for his death benefit, when in fact they may qualify for the entire $30,000, said FFAW project manager Robert Keenan. “We did communicate the wrong information to the family and we’ve been heartbroken by that,” Keenan told the Central Morning Show. “We should be there to be the pillar of support they need and not to cause any further complications.” click here to read the story 08:45

Stock assessment meeting erupts into lively talk between NOAA scientists and fishermen

Diagrams, life-like statues and pictures fill the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center to depict the history and future of the industry. NOAA scientists and local fishermen filled the small building on Bethel Street on Wednesday night to discuss future stock assessments. The meeting, though, told another aspect in the story of the Port of New Bedford: the decades old tension that continues to exist between the groups. “We all have to pull in the same direction,” Executive Director of New Bedford Seafood Consulting Jim Kendall said. Instead a powerpoint presentation listing stock limits led to a discussion, which evolved into an argument and ended with two fishermen abruptly leaving. Russ Brown, director of the Population Dynamics Branch of NOAA, ended his presentation to meet with the fishermen outside. They spoke outside for 20 minutes before parting ways with a semblance of mutual respect. click here to read the story 20:44

Developing … Peter Pan Seafoods Port Moller plant devastated in overnight fire

The Peter Pan Seafoods processing plant in Port Moller has been devastated by a massive fire that burned through the night and into Wednesday morning. So far no one has been reported injured, but power, running water, and most phone and internet connections are down in remote community. “The fire started kind of in the production end of things, kind of the freezing warehouse at Peter Pan Seafoods last night. And consumed most of the production facilities that we can tell,” said Bob Murphy, the ADF&G area management biologist based in Port Moller. Murphy was reached a little before 8 a.m. Wednesday. A fisherman who watched the fire from his vessel reported that he saw flames shooting 150 feet high, and that the long dock was eventually cut away to contain the fire. click here to read the story 15:21

Gulf dead zone bigger than ever, affecting shrimping

The Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone – an area starved of oxygen that cannot support life – has reached the largest size documented since mapping began 35 years ago, researchers maintain in a new report. The dimensions – this year the size of New Jersey – are of particular concern because they appear related to concerns expressed by shrimpers about their catch, particularly in Terrebonne Parish waters. “They may be catching some close to shore,” said Dr. Nancy Rabalais, the oceanographer who pioneered Gulf dead zone research and who compiled the most recent report on its effects. “But they are not going to get anything between Terrebonne Bay and 25 or 35 miles offshore.” That’s bad news, with the 2017 white shrimp season fast approaching. click here to read the story 14:49

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 42′ Wesmac Gillnetter/Lobster, 585HP, 6 Cylinder CAT

Specifications, information and 16 photos click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 14:13

Stanley launches wood-glass hybrid

A thunderstorm cell loomed on the horizon, but bright sunshine greeted the small crowd that gathered Sunday afternoon to celebrate the launch of National Pride, the first of a new design of lobster boat by Richard Stanley. The sturdy hull of the handsome 38-foot boat was built with Maine white cedar planking on oak frames. But the top is fiberglass, which Stanley said will be easier to maintain. The hybrid style also should make deck leaks less likely, a primary driver of rot and decay for a wooden hull. click here to read the story 13:48

Fishing vessel sinks in New Bedford Harbor

The fishing vessel Challenge sank early Wednesday on city’s waterfront, officials said. Fire Chief Michael Gomes said the Fire Department found the 65-foot fishing vessel had sunk by its stern and was leaking diesel fuel and lube oil into the harbor when they arrived. The Fire Department was notified about 4:30 a.m. Fire officials deployed 600 feet of containment boom to contain the spill and multiple bundles of absorbent to absorb the oils once they were contained inside the booms. click here to read the story 12:50

Coast Guard oversees fuel spill cleanup in New Bedford Harborclick here to read the story 17:43

‘A complete fantasy’ Merkel blasted over Brexit negotiations promise to German fishermen

Angela Merkel was today accused of peddling a “complete fantasy” after she told German fishermen she would fight for them to retain access to British waters after Brexit. The chancellor was slammed for “making promises she has no right to make” in a crude bid to boost her re-election campaign, which has lost momentum in recent weeks.  Yorkshire MEP Mike Hookem said the remarks by the German leader showed the EU planned to “fight dirty” over access to Britain’s prime fishing grounds during the Brexit negotiations. Watch video, Fisherman hits out at foreign boats using flag of convenience   click here to read the story 12:13

FISH-NL – Letter to Labour Board requesting the Board proceed immediately with a vote of inshore harvesters

FISH-NL e-mailed the following letter Tuesday, Aug. 15th, to David Conway, the new chair of the NL Labour Relations Board, requesting the Board proceed immediately with a vote of inshore harvesters to decide which union they want to represent them.,, As President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), I’m officially calling on the province’s Labour Relations Board to proceed immediately with a vote of inshore harvesters to decide which union they want to represent them. Before outlining the specific reasoning behind that, I’d like to give a brief overview of the labour climate the province’s inshore fish harvesters find themselves in. As it stands, inshore harvesters are the most controlled labour group in the province, country, and possibly Western World. click here to read the letter 11:39

New Organizers Carry on Tradition of Bristol Lobster Boat Races

Lobster boats cranked into high gear in Pemaquid Harbor on Sunday, Aug. 13 for the 31st annual Merritt Brackett Lobster Boat Races – a competitive event that is “serious fun,” said co-founder Donald Drisko. New organizers Brent Fogg and Sheila McLain took the helm of the event in 2017, signing on more than 40 sponsors and raising $17,000-$18,000 for cash awards and other prizes, said Laurie Crane, who had coordinated the event for the past 15 years with Drisko. Months of preparation go into the event, which draws dozens of lobster boats into the harbor, Fogg and McLain said. Both said they were happy to take on the work to keep Bristol’s tradition of lobster boat racing alive. click here to read the story, and race results 11:18

Fisherman stabs himself in leg while cutting shark off line

A man had to be flown to hospital after accidentally stabbing himself while cutting a shark off his fishing line. The commercial fisherman, who was in his 40s, had been out at sea in fairly rough seas on Monday when he caught a blue shark, Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter paramedic Chris Deacon said. While trying to cut it off the line he accidentally stabbed himself with his filleting knife. “They had been at sea for a few days and there was a reasonable-sized swell and they were fishing for blue-finned tuna when they pulled up a blue shark which was quite large, and he was trying to cut it off his line,” he said. click here to read the story, and be careful out there! 09:15

San Diego-Based USS Rushmore Departs on Fisheries Enforcement Mission

The San Diego-based amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore was steaming toward the South Pacific Tuesday to provide enforcement of fisheries around 10 island nations, according to the Navy.,, “Our crew is very excited to take part in the OMSI mission,” said Cmdr. John Ryan, commanding officer of Rushmore. “Working in tandem with the U.S. Coast Guard is a new experience for us, which will continue to demonstrate how the extensive range of U.S. Navy assets provides critical support to the embarked boarding teams in their mission of enforcing fishery laws.” click here to read the story 08:28

Carlos Rafael files a motion of opposition to forfeiture

Carlos Rafael filed a court motion Monday opposing the government’s motion for preliminary order of forfeiture. The New Bedford fishing heavyweight made the request in light of “ongoing discussions” regarding the vessels and permits associated with the guilty plea he made four and half months ago. Rafael pleaded guilty to falsifying labels and fish identification, cash smuggling and tax evasion on March 30. In the plea agreement, Rafael admitted the vessels listed in the indictment were subject to forfeiture. The agreement reserved Rafael the right to challenge the forfeitures. Rafael took advantage of that right,,, click here to read the story 20:49

Alaska’s losing battle

Bristol Bay – Alaska’s highest profile salmon fishery – had a banner year, and yet everywhere in the global market Alaska salmon fisheries look to be in more and more trouble over the long-term. A $2 to $3 dollar per pound commodity in the 1980s ($4 to $6 when corrected for inflation)Bristol Bay sockeye is today a $1 per pound commodity, and there is no sign the pricing is going to get much better. It could actually get worse. Chilean farmed salmon production is again on the rise and production costs in South America are falling. “AquaChile lowered costs by 13 percent in the first quarter of 2017, in line with other competitors,” Reuters reported from Santiago in mid-July.,,, Why does it matter? click here to read the story 19:54

Coast Guard medevacs fisherman off Manasquan Inlet, NJ

The Coast Guard medevaced a fisherman suffering chest pains approximately five-miles off Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey, today. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay were notified  via radio, of a 49-year old man aboard a fishing boat, F/V Miss AM, who was reportedly suffering shortness of breath and chest pains at 2:30 p.m. A Coast Guard 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Station Manasquan Inlet responded, took the man aboard and brought him to awaiting emergency medical services at Station Manasquan Inlet. –USCG– 17:53

Seafood supplier sues over lobster heist

Seafood importer and supplier Maxfield Seafood sued Seneca Logistics over a major seafood theft from its warehouse in Boston, Massachusetts. In the complaint filed in federal court in Massachusetts, Maxfield – which is based out of City of Industry, California – claimed that Seneca was negligent when a truckload of lobster worth USD 318,000 (EUR 271,762) was stolen. In mid-December 2016, Maxfield called Seneca to request transportation of a truckload of lobster which was to be picked up at two locations in Massachusetts, including one in Everett, according to the complaint. click here to read the story 16:45

4R Harvesters want higher halibut quota

Harvesters in the 4R fishing zone may be seeing plenty of halibut this year, but it’s all getting thrown back into the water. Now, they want a larger quota. Some fisherpersons – including Ernest Decker of Rocky Harbour and Stella Mailman of Port au Choix – claim they’re seeing increased volumes of halibut by-catch. They feel, instead of having to release the fish, the quota – currently set at 1,297 pounds per harvester – can be increased substantially without damaging the stocks.  Decker says no matter what you’re fishing in 4R – located from Port aux Basques to the Labrador Straits – you’re bound to get a substantial by-catch.,, Mailman believes the quota can be doubled. “They can come in from the Magdalen Islands and have a 12-hour free-for-all, catch 1,400, 1,600, 1,800 pounds,” she said. “But we’re allowed 1,250 pound? Come on, there’s something wrong with that picture. click here to read the story 16:07

Foreign ownership of British fishing fleet investigated

Foreign ownership of the British fishing fleet is being investigated by a government agency, ITV News has learned. There has long been a loophole that allows predominately EU crews to fish in British waters. Operating under a “flag of convenience”, foreign owned and crewed trawlers can fish in British waters as long as they visit a UK port twice a year. Even then, they only need to sell a small part of their catch in Britain. Now, the Marine Management Organisation is investigating the practice. Video, click here 12:25

This article more than appalled me, I was hurt and offended. Genevieve McDonald, F/V Hello Darlin’ II

I am a commercial fisherman out of Stonington, Maine, and though I do not speak on their behalf I am the Downeast Region Representative on the Maine Lobster Advisory Council. I was utterly appalled by the article, What it’s like to kill hundreds of lobsters a day, written by “coastal reporter” Alex Acquisto. click here to read the story The Maine lobster industry is not only vital to the economy of coastal Maine, but is also one of the last natural resource revenue builders in the state of Maine. Through the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative fishermen have invested millions of dollars to promote Maine lobster. But it’s more than that – the Maine lobster industry is iconic. For many of your readers in Washington, Hancock, Waldo, and Knox counties lobster is integral to our culture, identity, and sense of place. click here to read the opinion piece by Genevieve McDonald, F/V Hello Darlin’ II, Stonington, Maine 10:59

Caught on Tape: Vinalhaven Man Formally Charged with Stealing 200 Lbs Lobster, Boat

A man from Vinalhaven accused of stealing more than 200 pounds of lobsters and a boat has been indicted by a Knox County grand jury. 48-year-old Jason Marriner is charged with theft and unauthorized use of property. The Maine Marine Patrol arrested him in April. Investigators started looking into reports of thefts at the Vinalhaven co-op last fall, then again in January – along with thefts at Linda Bean’s facility, Americanus Lobster. Video, click here to watch 10:11

Hurricane Gert forms off East Coast, becoming second hurricane of the season

Gert became the second hurricane of the season Monday night (Aug. 14), National Hurricane Center forecasters said. Monday night, there were no coastal watches or warnings in effect, but forecasters warned that swells generated by Gert are expected to spread northward along the East Coast of the U.S., from North Carolina to Long Island, during the next couple of days. Late Monday, Gert churned about 445 miles west of Bermuda and was moving north at 8 mph, with forecasters calling for a turn toward the northeast and an increase in forward speed Tuesday night. click here to read the story 09:24

The F/V Akutan’s sad, failed season in Bristol Bay

Fiasco. Disaster. Nightmare. These are words used by those involved with the floating processor Akutan to describe a fishing season gone terribly wrong. The Akutan, owned by Klawock Oceanside, Inc., was supposed to custom process up to 100,000 pounds of Bristol Bay salmon a day for a small fleet of fishermen under the banner Bristol Bay Seafoods, LLC. After July 25, it was bound for the Kuskokwim to give local fishermen their only salmon market.,,, “We’re in peril,” Captain Steve Lecklitner said Saturday. “We know we cannot stay in this river. It’s breaking down our systems. The owners have basically abandoned the vessel. The mortgage holders and the lenders have not established contact. I’m trying to get parts for our generator, and as soon as that’s done, it’s our intention to move the vessel to Dutch Harbor.” click here to read the story 08:16

Hawaiʻi nearshore fishery provides big benefits

Small-scale fisheries support the well-being of millions of people around the world—even in a well-developed economy such as Hawaiʻi’s, they provide important economic as well as social benefits. The total annual monetary value of the fishery is approximately $10.3 to $16.4 million. The non-commercial fishery in particular provides huge benefits to the community—non-commercial catch is around three times reported commercial catch and is worth $4.2 to $10 million more annually. However, the full benefits to Hawaiʻi also include the potential to provide over 7 million meals a year as well as less tangible but just as important benefits such as the perpetuation of culture, community cohesion and sharing knowledge with the next generation. click here to read the story 20:22

N.B. lobster fishermen discouraged by lower prices

The Maritime Fishermen’s Union is voicing concerns about the low prices its members are getting paid for their catches in southeastern New Brunswick this season and suggesting protests could follow. Wages currently sit at $4.75 a pound per market lobster and $4.25 a pound per can of lobster — nearly $2 less than what was expected, according to MFU organizer Michel Richard. There is “no excuse for such a low price,” Richard told CBC’s Information Morning Moncton on Monday, as lobster season entered its second week. “It’s very troubling, and our fishermen are trying to reason why this is happening, and the excuses are not realistic,” he said. click here to read the story 18:33

Organizers: Baltimore seafood business masks shocking labor abuses

Phillips Seafood is a Baltimore-based company that trades on its historic connections to the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery. The signature dish at its restaurants is the famed Maryland-style crab cake, and its dining rooms feature models of antique fishing boats and romanticized images of the bay watermen culture that is fading fast. But organizers say it’s mostly fake — a cover story for a rapacious, globalized business that preys on poor Indonesian women to extract rich profits for its U.S. owners. click here to read the story 15:47