You are invited to the 2017 Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association’s Annual Weekend and Industry Trade Show January 19-22, 2017

You are invited to the 2017 Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association’s Annual Weekend and Industry Trade Show  January 19-22, 2017 This event is open to all and admission is FREE!  MLA ANNUAL WEEKEND AND TRADE SHOW 2017 PROGRAM  Calling all Commercial Fishermen READ MORE HERE>>>  COME MEET “WICKED TUNA” CAPTAIN DAVE MARCIANO f/v HARD MERCHANDISE Click here for more information 13:10

Port of Savannah leads in the export of shark fins

For the last three years the port of Savannah has been the U.S. leader in the export of shark fins, a legal but controversial trade item used to make shark fin soup, a delicacy in parts of Asia. Federal fisheries data show that although no shark fin was exported from Savannah in 2013, the trade here jumped in the following years from 18,444 pounds in 2014 to 25,765 pounds in 2015. That amounts to about $1.2 million in shark fins over the two years. Last year through November the export amounted to 19,171 pounds, valued at $559,845. In each case the shark fins were shipped to Hong Kong. Oceana is now advocating a nationwide ban on the shark fin trade. Not all shark lovers agree. Shark researcher Chris Fischer, a founder of Ocearch and a leader of its expeditions to catch and satellite tag great white sharks, said shutting down trade here will merely create a bigger opportunity for unmanaged fisheries elsewhere. Read the story here 12:33

Penobscot East Resource Center Founder Robin Alden to step down as fisheries organization director

Robin Alden, a one-time commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources under Governor John Mckernan and longtime editor and publisher of the regional trade publication Commercial Fisheries News, will step down as executive director of the Penobscot East Resource Center at the end of this year. The organization has begun a national search for her successor. Alden founded Penobscot East 13 years ago together with her husband, MacArthur Fellow Ted Ames, former Maine Sea Coast Mission pastor and fisheries advocate Ted Hoskins and Kristen and Paul Lewis. Started with only a few employees and a thin-as-a-shoestring budget in 2003, Penobscot East now has a dozen employees including fisheries scientists and marine policy experts. Under Alden’s stewardship, its operating budget has grown to $1.8 million. Read the story here 12:05

Trump presidency may bring changes to U.S. fishing laws

Previously unsuccessful efforts to reform the US’s main federal fishing law, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, are positioned to move ahead under a Donald Trump administration. New efforts to amend the US Magnuson-Stevens Act are expected from the new Congress, leaving some in industry concerned with any move away from a law judged by many to have worked reasonably well for four decades.  “Right now you might be looking at potential for a whole lot of changes and revisions,” said an Alaska-based source who wished to remain unnamed. “I would say there should be some anxiety about how far you go giving people flexibility that moves outside the scientific realm.”  HR 1335 – One of the bill’s central provisions would have reformed Magnuson-Stevens’s mandatory 10-year stock rebuilding timeline, incorporating additional flexibility. Instead of formally defining all stocks in decline as “overfished”, Young’s amendment would allow the term “depleted” when the reason for a stock’s decline is due to depredation or other non-fishing factors. Read the story here 11:39

Washington State Commercial and Sport fishermen demand transparency in setting salmon seasons

Commercial and sport fishermen are demanding change when it comes to the annual process that determines who gets to fish how much salmon and when. It’s called the North of Falcon process, and it involves several months of private meetings between federal, state, and tribal representatives. They typically start in February. The meetings are not open to the public, but a petition that’s gained more than a 1,000 signatures is just one sign of rising tides against the process, as non-treaty recreational and commercial fishermen rally for transparency. Tribal representatives defend their push for fishing restrictions over the last few years, pointing to low salmon returns. In 2016, the North of Falcon process took so long, the fishing season was canceled for weeks as the state and tribal co-managers stood at a stalemate. Read the story here 09:18

WATCH: Fishing Vessel Battles Chetco River Bar (Nearly Loses)

Check out this amazing video posted to facebook showing an inbound fishing vessel crossing the Chetco River (Brooking) bar near Brooking, Oregon. The footage is grainy but if you watch and listen closely it’s easy to see what’s happening. According to the person narrating, the video shows the 24-meter dungeness crab vessel F/V Pacific Hooker battle a strong current while inbound. In the first half you can see two guys standing out on deck, but luckily it looks like they head in right before things got really bad. At the two minute mark a HUGE wave take out just about everything on deck. The person in the video said the vessel actually had to back off and turn around. Read the rest here, and watch the video 08:18

BIG DAY AHEAD: North Carolina Shrimpers to argue against proposed industry restrictions

The public will have a chance to speak during a meeting in New Bern that could lead to commercial shrimp trawling restrictions in North Carolina. Multiple media outlets report five advisory committees to the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet jointly Tuesday at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center. The committee members will discuss a petition was filed by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation that would designate fishing waters in the sounds and three miles into the ocean as primary nursery areas to protect habitats for juvenile fish. Another change would be to limit the days and hours when shrimp trawling is allowed. Commercial fishermen say the proposed regulations would further threaten the shrimping business in North Carolina. link 07:41

FISH-NL SLAMS FFAW for stonewalling on membership list

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is slamming the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW) for trying to prevent the release of the list of inshore fish harvesters. “The FFAW has thrown around the 10,000 figure as the rough number of active, inshore harvesters, but the union knows that’s a fairy tale,” FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary said in a news release. “The attempt to block the release of  the list is a sure sign of guilt of exaggeration.” On Dec. 30th, FISH-NL presented an application to the Labour Relations Board to represent the province’s inshore fish harvesters with  2,352 membership cards signed by inshore harvesters around Newfoundland and Labrador. FISH-NL said that number represents more than 50 per cent of all harvesters, the amount required to force a vote by the Labour Relations Board to decide which union will represent harvesters. Read the rest here 17:24

Fisherman Kirby Elson’s legal challenge of inshore fishery rules is back on

A Labrador fisherman who launched a legal challenge of rules for Atlantic Canada’s inshore fishery only to back away from litigation last week has had another change of heart. Lawyers for Kirby Elson have notified the Federal Court that he will be proceeding with his case, after all. Elson’s legal challenge is widely seen as a test case for Canada’s ban on controlling agreements in the inshore fishery. Elson, of Cartwright, N.L., did not explain why he changed course in a letter to the Federal Court. “I have reconsidered this matter and I have decided I wish to proceed. Please accept this letter as a retraction of my letter dated Jan. 10, 2017,” Elson wrote in a Jan. 12 letter, which was made public Monday. Read the story here 16:54

Questions arise over commercial license fees collected for flounder fishery observers

Watermen want to know what happened to commercial license fees that were collected to fund observers required by law for flounder fishing when sea turtles are spotted in area waters. Few answers were provided at a meeting of the North Carolina Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee on Jan. 4. Records show that $1.3 million was allocated for the observers in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, but only $608,065 was spent. Dewey Hemilright, who attended the meeting, asked how so much could have been spent on the Section 10 permit program when the flounder fishery was closed much of the season. “Expenses need more accountability,” said Hemilright, a long-line fisherman. “This doesn’t affect me, but I’m willing to pay the extra money if it allows others to fish. But if there’s more being paid in than is needed, then it should be returned to the fishermen.” An additional license fee was imposed after a state appropriation to cover the cost of complying with the federal permit’s conditions was eliminated. One condition requires the observers, who monitor interactions with endangered sea turtles and sturgeon. Read the rest here 15:53

81 False killer whales die off South Florida coast

81 false killer whales have died after stranding themselves off the South Florida coast. NOAA announced the grim news on Monday afternoon. NOAA initially reported that 95 false killer whales were stranded in South Florida. Then on Monday afternoon, NOAA Fish Southeast tweeted that 81 whales had died and also said the whales were at a remote location off of Hog Key in the Everglades. One whale was seen alive on Monday and 13 others are unaccounted for, NOAA Fish Southeast said on Twitter on Monday afternoon. The National Park Service has closed the area around the whale stranding location. The National Park Service is asking that aircraft not fly over the area and that boats stay away from the area. Read the rest here 15:14

The True Story of the Fugitive Drug Smuggler Who Became an Environmental Hero

When Raymond Stansel was busted in 1974, he was one of Florida’s biggest pot smugglers. Facing trial and years in prison, he jumped bail, changed his name, and holed up in a remote Australian outpost. Even more remarkable than that? His second life as an environmental hero. –  Even before he arrived at the accident scene, sergeant Matt Smith knew it would be bad. Smith was in charge of the 12-person police department in Mossman, a speck of a town located along Australia’s remote northeastern edge. He knew from experience that there was a fundamental truth about car wrecks: drivers have a pretty good chance of surviving a crash that’s car versus car, but they rarely walk away from a vehicle that’s slammed into a tree. The call that came over the police radio on that May 26, 2015 afternoon said that a ­vehicle had struck a tree along a two-lane road hugging the coastline. Officers traced the registration to Dennis “Lee” Lafferty, age 75. Everybody knew Lee. Read the story here  Read Traffic accident in Australia ends 40-year-old mystery in Florida Click here 14:04

Australian Government ‘disappointed’ as minke whale slaughtered in our waters – Why the Hunt Goes On

The Federal Government has this morning condemned Japan after one of its ships was caught whaling in the waters off Antarctica. Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd released photos showing a dead minke whale on the deck of the Nisshin Maru ship in the Australian whaling sanctuary. It appears the death was playing out at the same time as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s weekend meeting with Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney, at which the ABC reports whaling was ‘mentioned’, but focused on trade and defence. Japan is a signatory to the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium on whaling in force since 1986. But it exploits a loophole allowing whales to be killed for the purposes of “scientific research”. Read the story here What are the issues behind Japan’s whaling programme, and why has compromise been so difficult? Isn’t whaling banned? Not quite. The International Whaling Commission (IWC), which regulates the industry, agreed to a moratorium on commercial whaling from the 1985. But it did allow exceptions, enough for Japan to hunt more than 20,000 whales since. Read the story here 11:28

Fisherman breaks own record with 1004lb Giant bluefin tuna

Third generation fisherman David Soares landed the biggest tuna caught in Bermuda’s waters on Saturday morning and he did so single-handedly in 15 minutes flat.The Bermudian, who said he has had it confirmed by the fisheries department that the 1004lb giant bluefin tuna that landed on his boat was the heaviest recorded in the island’s history, was also responsible for the previous record catch — a 1003lb tuna landed in the same fishing grounds in 2013. He was out fishing alone on Challenger Banks about ten miles southwest of the island on Saturday morning when he felt the tug. It was his first “bite” of the day after just five minutes with the lines out. Read the story here 09:32

Fishermen and Scientists to collaberate on Trawl Surveys utilizing industry vessels in the Gulf of Maine

By next year, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center hopes to begin outfitting commercial boats with surveying equipment and paying fishermen to pull in catches that will supplement the regular trawl surveys conducted by government scientists, according to Russell Brown, who heads the center’s population dynamics branch. The gathered data will be fed into the complex process used to set catch quotas. It’s a collaboration that Brown hopes will give regulators a more detailed picture of the fish population and build trust among fishermen, who in turn see it as an opportunity to show the scientists what’s really going on. “It’s really perplexing that you’ve got a set of federal scientists who are sampling the ocean methodically and coming up with a very different picture than the fishermen about what’s going on out in the Gulf of Maine,” Jonathan Labaree of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute said. Read the story here 08:27

The Mysterious Disappearance of Fisheries Observer Keith Davis

A little over a year before Keith Davis disappeared at sea, he sent an ominous email to friends. In it, he linked to a video that shows four men being shot to death while they cling to debris in the ocean. After the gunshots ring out and blood spills into the water, the camera pans to the boat, reportedly a tuna fishing vessel from Taiwan, where men are laughing and posing for photos. The YouTube video describes the victims as Fijian, killed just beyond Fijian waters. Other commenters claim they were Somali pirates whose attempts at hijacking the tuna vessel off the coast of Somalia backfired. “One way or another, the video depicts murder,” wrote Davis. The 40-year-old was a fisheries observer—a member of a little-known profession tasked with traveling aboard the boats used to fish the world’s oceans to monitor and collect data from the catches—and spent much of his time far from shore. The nature of his work made him an outsider among captain and crew: a tiny, isolated speck in a vast ocean. Davis often confided to friends about his increasing unease over the lack of law enforcement at sea and the mounting dangers facing both fishermen and the observers who monitor them. The video is an extreme example of what sometimes goes on in the middle of the ocean, wrote Davis. “But know that there is other awful stuff that happens out there that goes unpublished.”  Read the story here 15:04

Coppertail releases beer that yes, seriously, has stone crab in it

Offering further evidence that there’s nothing craft brewers won’t incorporate into a beer, Tampa’s own Coppertail Brewing marked Friday the 13th with the release of its Captain Jack’s Stone Crab Stout, an “unconventionally flavored” brew that pays tribute to both Florida’s annual stone crab harvesting season and the anglers that brave the slightly colder winter waves in search of those delicious crustacean claws. And yeah, Captain Jack’s is literally made with stone crabs. What’s more, a portion of sales proceeds will be donated to the Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman’s Association “to promote sustainable fishing, and to help preserve the way of life of Florida fishermen.” Read the story here 12:16

Seal meat, a Natural Sustainable Resource – Questions for those who decry seal meat and other Indigenous foods

When a Vancouver chef put seal on the menu this week he attracted some negative attention — but in Nunavut icy chunks of raw whale blubber and seal meat are common fare. Seals are not endangered, so why the aversion to seal dishes in urban Canada? It seems people are still haunted by images from the 1980s of white-furred seal pups clubbed on blood-soaked ice — images that led to cries of inhumane kill practices. These days, the seal slaughter is considered to be as humane as any food-source animal. Seals are shot and ensured to be dead. And Canada now requires mandatory training for sealers to ensure the hunt is humane. “We welcomed the news today that the popular Vancouver restaurant Edible Canada will be offering its own culinary take on East Coast seal meat in a new dish they call seal pappardelle,” said the Canadian Sealers Association. But there are questions for those who decry seal meat and other Indigenous country foods. Read the article here 10:09

Fishermen, consumers rallying to fight petition calling for shrimp trawl restrictions

Jimmy Phillips estimates 100,000 pounds or more of shrimp comes through the family seafood market in a season; all of it fresh from North Carolina waters. “Yeah, it worries me,” Phillips said when asked about a petition for rulemaking before the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission that would put severe restrictions on shrimping in North Carolina. “It would affect shrimping tremendously, net fishing, and everybody,” Phillips said. Phillips is just one of many fishermen, seafood industry representatives, and concerned consumers who plan to attend a Tuesday public meeting in New Bern to express their opposition to the petition. The meeting begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Riverfront Convention Center. Jerry Schill, president of the North Carolina Fisheries Association, a nonprofit trade association representing the interests of commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, said the petition for rulemaking is “not only a referendum on shrimping but a referendum on the future of commercial fishing.” Read the story here 09:34

Statoil: Fishermen lobby for new spot for proposed Long Island wind farm

In Joe Gilbert’s view, fishermen like him shouldn’t have to compete with wind farms for a piece of the ocean. “We’re not anti-wind farm,” Gilbert said this past week. “But we don’t want to trade one renewable resource — fish — for another one — wind. They can both exist.” Gilbert is the owner of Empire Fisheries, which has four scallop and squid fishing boats based at the Town Dock. He’s also a member of the board of the Fisheries Survival Fund, one of 12 fishermen groups from New England to New Jersey opposing the federal government’s recent approval of a provisional lease to a Norwegian company that proposes to develop a wind farm on 79,350 acres of ocean bottom about 13 miles south of Jones Beach in Hempstead, Long Island. “What we’re asking is that it be relocated,” said Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison with Sea Freeze, a squid wholesaler based in North Kingstown, R.I., that has joined the Fisheries Survival Fund in challenging the wind farm plan. The site of the proposed wind farm, fishermen say, is one of the most productive squid and scallop fishing areas in the North Atlantic. But the long trawling nets used by these fisheries could not maneuver within a “pinball machine of structures” that would constitute the wind farm, Lapp said. “It would be too dangerous.” Read the story here 09:01

Washington adopts Columbia River salmon fishing reforms

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission agreed here Saturday to implement in 2017 the most sweeping lower Columbia River salmon fishing reforms in decades, including the elimination of gillnets in the main stem of the river during spring and summer. By a 7-2 vote, the commission decided to go ahead with implementation this year of reforms first adopted in early 2013 and phased in during a four-year transition period. Oregon’s Fish and Wildlife Commission will address the issue Friday, and there are indications it might not agree with Washington’s position. In a nutshell, the reforms allocate more chinook salmon to sportsmen in the main Columbia and restrict gillnetting to off-channel sites like Youngs Bay, Tongue Point and Blind Slough near Astoria.  The reforms also call for any commercial fishing that remains in the main lower Columbia to be done with live-capture methods — such as purse seines and beach seines — designed to harvest hatchery stocks and release wild fish. Read the story here 08:14

Fisherman Reaching Out to New England Congressional Delegation to Support Senator Murkowski’s S.B. 437

Recently, President Obama declared a large area of the Continental Shelf closed to fishing by Executive Order designating New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument. As a retired fisherman, I am very concerned with more and more Monument area’s that forbid our fisherman from fishing in those waters. I fished these waters back in the 60’s for whiting in March, April, and May. This was good because we laid off fishing for haddock cod flounder groundfish. There were also off shore lobster men there. We had a 90 foot dragger and we saw one the first off shore lobster boats out there. When my Dad saw him in that 45 foot boat, he said he was nuts! Lobster and Red Crab will continue fishing there for seven years, while fishermen were excluded in mid-November. I would like to reach out to our Senators and Congressmen in New England and ask them for their support of Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s Senate Bill 437, the “Improved National Monument Designation Process Act” that in essence would have input from each state before going to Congress.

It says, “The President may not declare any area of the exclusive economic zone to be a marine national monument unless: it is specifically authorized by Congress, the President has certified compliance with NEPA, and each state legislature within 100 nautical miles of the proposed monument has approved it. Neither the Department of the Interior nor the Department of Commerce may implement a restriction on the public use of a marine national monument until the expiration of an appropriate review period providing for public input and congressional approval.”

Thanks to Senator Murkowski, we might put a halt to more monuments. After all, those in the fishing industry and the consumer they serve have the most to lose. Senator Murkowski has twenty-six senators on board and I commend her and Senator Sullivan for their efforts to help our fisherman all over.

Thank You, Sam Parisi ,Gloucester Proud to have been a fisherman

Forty-foot fishing trawler run aground near Powell River

Mounties are investigating after a 40-foot fishing trawler ran aground in a village north of Powell River on Thursday. The vessel ran into trouble and slammed into the marina in the small community of Lund around 10 p.m. According to witnesses, people onboard intentionally crashed into the marina to keep the boat from sinking. Police have remained tight-lipped on the incident, only saying that it’s under investigation. Crews worked to get the trawler off the sea floor on Friday. Video, read the rest here 14:45

Safety first crossing the Kaipara bar after Francie tragedy

If in doubt, don’t go out. There are three types of bars on New Zealand coastlines, the Coastguard says – dangerous, very dangerous and extremely dangerous. Coastguard get called to around 15 incidents on bars around the country each year as boats head out to fish deeper offshore waters. The foundering of the Francie on the Kaipara Harbour bar last November, with the tragic loss of eight lives, was an extreme outcome of a fairly common incident. Coastguard Kaipara president Iain Guilliford said the Kaipara bar was easily the biggest in the country, covering nearly 10 km and stretching 8km out to sea. Waves catching up from behind pose the biggest threat coming in. They can lift the rear of the boat pushing the bow under water and causing the boats to skew around and roll, or swamp it. Read the story here 13:46

Gloucester Seafood Processing company’s future in question

Illinois-based Mazzetta Co. remains mute on the fate of its Gloucester Seafood Processing subsidiary, but a state agency on Friday confirmed it has spent about five months helping place workers laid off from the Blackburn Industrial Park facility. Officials from Mazzetta, based in Highland Park, Illinois, have not responded to multiple requests for comment, so it is unclear whether the layoffs — which Messina pegged at about 175 — will lead to the international seafood company completely shuttering the Gloucester business it opened in 2015.  Read the story here 10:03

Atlantic Canada’s seafood industry gets a boost as China lowers tariffs

Atlantic Canada’s seafood industry is starting 2017 with a boost for the bottom line thanks to lower tariffs on seafood entering the booming China market. The Jan. 1, 2017, tariff cuts announced just before New Year’s Day by China’s ministry of commerce will benefit about a quarter of Canada’s seafood exports to China. The exports to China were valued at $634 million as of October 2016. Global Affairs Canada told CBC News crab, frozen halibut and albacore are among the export products most benefiting from the tariff reductions.  Tariffs on these products will be reduced on average from 11 to five per cent, leaving more money in the pockets of seafood companies in 2017. The tariff on northern shrimp — Pandalus borealis — is also being reduced from five per cent to two per cent. Nova Scotia exports more seafood than any other province. As of October 2016, it had already exported $218 million worth to China, putting it on track for another record year. Read the story here 09:27

Maine Department of Marine Resources wants to raise the price of commercial fishing licenses

If approved by the Legislature, the proposed fee increases would range from as little as $1 for a Maine resident to harvest green crabs to as much as $114 for a lobsterman with two sternmen. Under the new fee schedule, which would take effect January 2018, the cost of securing a Class III lobster license would top $1,000 for the first time, hitting $1,002. The fee hike would enable the Department of Marine Resources to hire an additional lobster biologist, outfit its science staff with field technology and pay for Marine Patrol officer raises and ballistics vests, among other things, without increasing the department’s $21.3 million bottom line, department spokesman Jeff Nichols said. Read the story here 08:36

Victorious United Cook Inlet Drift Association file to vacate salmon rule

A Cook Inlet salmon plan will take a lot more work from federal managers in the next few years. The United Cook Inlet Drift Association, an industry group of salmon drift netters, has requested the U.S. District Court of Alaska to vacate a piece of fisheries policy they successfully sued to overturn after an appeal court ruling this past September.In the meantime, the old plan replacing the vacated plan will require some work. “Given the dire situation faced by UCIDA as a result of the federal government’s utter abdication of its (Magnuson-Stevens Act) responsibilities in this important fishery, the Proposed Judgment sought by UCIDA is immediately necessary,” according to the motion filed by UCIDA on Jan. 7. “It would ensure that the checks and balances guaranteed by the Act — including the requirement to use the best available science, to manage the fishery in accordance with the 10 national standards, and to achieve optimum yield — are provided to UCIDA and the fishery in the short term while NMFS works with the council to produce a new FMP.” A three judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with commercial fishing groups against a 2011 decision by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to remove several Alaska salmon fisheries from the FMP. Read the article here 08:03

Coast Guard saves 2 lobstermen from sinking vessel off the coast of Maine

The Coast Guard rescued two people off their sinking vessel Friday, about 17 miles off shore from York, Maine. At around 3:15 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Northern New England received a MAYDAY call on VHF-CH. 16 from a crew member reporting their 45-foot lobster boat, Miss Mae & Son, was hit with a rogue wave and the pumps could not keep up with the water. A boat crew from Station Portsmouth Harbor launched their 47-foot response boat and arrived on the scene to find the fishermen standing on the pilot house in full survival gear. Due to safety concerns, the fishermen jumped into the water and the boat crew pulled alongside to bring them on board. The water temperature was 42 degrees and the air temperature was 37 degrees. The fishermen are being brought back to Station Portsmouth Harbor and no injuries have been reported. Sector Northern New England is currently issuing a broadcast to mariners informing them the lobster boat is taking on water and adrift with nobody on board. Link 20:23

New money for Quebec seal hunt – UPEI researcher to study commercial potential of grey seals in Magdalen Islands

After rejecting a scientific study that involved culling 1,200 grey seals from the Brion Island nature reserve in the Magdalen Islands, the province is helping to finance similar research nearby. The $72,904 in funding will allow a University of Prince Edward Island researcher to study an unspecified number of grey seals harvested on Corps Mort, or Dead Man’s Island, a few kilometres west of the Magdalen Islands archipelago. Wildlife veterinarian and pathologist Pierre-Yves Daoust is pleased the Quebec government decided to support an alternative proposal. Some opponents of the seal hunt are appalled by the decision. “We are deeply disappointed to see this so-called study funded,” said (panhandler) Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International – Canada, calling the study a make-work project for the commercial sealing industry. Read the story here 19:28

Ballard-built fishing schooner retired, finds a new home at Northwest Seaport

After more than a century of hard fishing in the North Pacific Ocean, the 1911 halibut schooner, Tordenskjold, is retiring to become an operational museum ship and education platform at Northwest Seaport on Lake Union in Seattle. On December 27th, the boat was drydocked at Fishing Vessel Owner’s Marine Ways (located at Fishermen’s Terminal), the shipyard that has cared for the boat for much, if not all, of its 105 years afloat. There, it spent a week undergoing a final inspection survey, laser scanning and repainting before being transferred to Northwest Seaport. Read the story here 15:13

FISH-NL renews call for province to allow in outside buyers; ensure provincially owned quotas caught by inshore harvesters

In light of declining south coast cod stocks, the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is renewing its call that the provincial government lift all restrictions and allow out-of-province buyers into the provincial marketplace for all species. FISH-NL also calls on the province to ensure the provincially owned 150-tonne halibut quota is caught by the inshore harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Fish harvesters cannot survive on 60 cents a pound for cod, which is what they made last year and what they made 30 years before that,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “It’s time to blow open the doors to the provincial marketplace and allow in outside buyers.” Read the press release here 14:42

New Jersey Fishermen, beach builders fight for ancient underwater sand hills

Just a few miles off New Jersey’s coast  are a series of underwater hills on the ocean floor, made of perfect quality beach sand tens of thousands of years old. The value of these ancient sand hills to sea life, fishermen, scientists and beach-building engineers has set up a fight between those who would protect them and those who would mine them. And that battle is only expected to intensify as rising sea levels are expected to magnify. Meanwhile, every beach on New Jersey’s 127-mile coast will soon have been engineered or replenished after 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers promising to keep replenishing them for another 50 years. There are only two projects left to do – the Absecon Island project covering Longport through Atlantic City, and the Monmouth/Ocean counties project covering Manasquan to Barnegat inlets. Read the story here 14:12

Virginia Institute of Marine Science Orders Research Vessel

Virginia Institute of Marine Science of Gloucester Point, Va. awarded a contract to Meridien Maritime Reparation of Matane, Quebec to construct a 93-foot research vessel. JMS Naval Architects of Mystic, Conn. designed the research vessel to replace VIMS’s current vessel, the R/V Bay Eagle. The primary mission of the Institute’s fleet is to provide inshore and offshore work platforms for the support of fisheries related oceanographic research projects. The new vessel will be capable of conducting fisheries assessments of greater capacity, in deeper waters and with a larger science complement than the Bay Eagle. In addition, the new vessel will greatly expand VIMS’s capability to perform general oceanographic research in the Chesapeake Bay and the mid-Atlantic near coastal waters. The state-of-the-art research vessel offers enormous capability in a small package that is also economic to build and operate. Read the rest here 13:28

Despite recent tweaks, New England fishermen want more changes in law

In October of 2016 NOAA made changes to NS1, which aims to prevent overfishing while achieving the optimum yield from each fishery. Changes were first proposed in January 2015, and the final rule passed in October 2016 giving regional councils more latitude to set catch limits, a change that was opposed by environmental groups.  Fishermen, particularly on the US east coast, have been critical for several years of what they say are rigid timelines that give regulators ten years to rebuild stocks deemed overfished. Conservation groups, on the other hand, see the added flexibility as a weakening of Magnuson-Stevens that undermines the stringent standards that brought many fisheries back to health. Read the story here 12:01

The Magnuson Stevens Act and its Ten Year Rebuilding Timeline: Science or Fiction by Meghan Lapp Click here to read this white paper

Quota Challenge as English Fishermen Claim They Are Being Sacrificed to Appease Scottish Nationalists

The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), which represents fishermen in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, has railed against the UK government for adopting “a policy of appeasement” towards separatist politicians in Scotland, handing over 1,500 tonnes of England’s fishing quota to the devolved administration in Edinburgh. Scotland voted to remain in the United Kingdom in 2014, but the Scottish National Party (SNP) has retained its grip on the regional executive, albeit as a minority administration. While nominally concerned with achieving full Scottish independence, the leadership of the SNP are staunchly in favour of the European Union (EU). Following the Brexit vote last year, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has been pressuring Theresa May to either keep the UK in the Single Market or find a way for Scotland to remain in it while the rest of the UK leaves. Read the story here 11:26

McCrory set stage for latest threat to shrimping

The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission appears poised to pass a new regulation that many critics say will drastically impact, perhaps even shut down, North Carolina’s shrimping industry. On Jan. 17, the Marine Fisheries Commission will be holding a hearing in New Bern on the rule, which would essentially make all inland waterways a “secondary nursery” for fin fish, significantly curtailing the use of trawl nets to harvest shrimp. After a huge turnout at a public hearing in 2013, the MFC denied a petition from an individual angler to implement similar rules. But with anti-shrimping forces possessing what appears to be a super-majority on the MFC, the petition and hearings are back, this time proposed by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, a group closely allied with the Coastal Conservation Association — a special interest group that has long sought to ban shrimp trawls and finfish netting from the state’s inland waters. Ironically, local commercial fishermen, who have heavily supported the GOP in state elections, have former Governor Pat McCrory to thank for their predicament. Read the story here 10:56

A Look Back At Cape Cod’s Fish Traps

Captain Steve Karras – My father was a commercial tuna fisherman in the 1940s and 50s, when the predominant way to catch tuna in New England waters was using weirs, or “fish traps.” Weir fishermen rely on nets and nature to make their catches. These weirs consist of long poles driven into the ocean floor, with nets strung from them. A long, straight line of poles and nets running in an offshore direction from shallower water toward deeper water would create a barrier, and at the deepest point of this barrier, there would be a heart-shaped chamber with a purse seine strung from it. The fish would swim along the coast until they were blocked by the trap. Their natural instinct to swim toward deeper water would bring them into the heart of the net. Once there, they would get disoriented and, unable to find an exit, be trapped until the fishermen returned to harvest them. More images, read the story here 10:33

In advance of its annual meeting in Victoria, British Columbia, Jan. 23-27, IPHC posts catch limit proposals

In advance of its annual meeting in Victoria, British Columbia, Jan. 23-27, the International Pacific Halibut Commission accepted proposals through Dec. 31 on catch limits or harvest advice. Of the eight proposals noted so far by the IPHC, six were specific to Area 2C in Southeast Alaska, including one from a group of processors and fishing associations who contend that reductions in Area 2C catch limits are not justified by current data or trends. Area 2C stocks are increasing at current harvest rates, and the Area 2C survey weight per unit of effort is higher than any other IPHC area coast-wide, the proposal said.  The document was signed by Kathy Hansen, Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance; Megan O’Neil, Petersburg Vessel Owner’s Association; Dale Kelley, Alaska Trollers Association; Dan Falvey, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association Joe Morrelli, Seafood Producers Cooperative; Don Spigelmyer, Icicle Seafoods; and Mike Erickson, Alaska Glacier Seafoods. Read the rest here 09:40

Stakeholders Seek Baltimore Canyon National Marine Sanctuary Designation Withdrawal

Two weeks after the National Aquarium expressed a willingness to consider withdrawing an application to designate the Baltimore Canyon as a , a coalition of local marina owners and boat captains last week fired off a letter seeking to hold him to his word. Last week, attorney Mark Cropper, who represents multiple resort area marinas, boat owners and captains and other stakeholders in the resort area, fired off his own letter to Racanelli essentially holding the National Aquarium CEO to his word and calling for the application to be withdrawn as offered. Read the story here 08:47

Controlling Agreement? Labrador fisherman Kirby Elson is ending his legal challenge filed with the Federal Court

Nova Scotia fish harvester Susan Beaton is breathing a little easier now that a legal challenge that could have overturned the rules protecting the independence of Atlantic Canada’s inshore fishery appears to be over. “I think it’s very good news, at least for those of us who care about the owner-operator policy,” said Beaton, who is from Antigonish. The federal government’s owner-operator policy stipulates the main benefits of inshore fishing licences must go to the licence holders. Kirby Elson, a fisherman from Cartwright N.L., a small fishing town in Labrador, had launched a legal challenge, appealing a decision by the federal fisheries minister to take away his commercial fishing licences. But the case ended quietly and abruptly this week when Elson notified his lawyers Jan. 10 that he wanted to “immediately withdraw from this litigation,” according to documents filed with the Federal Court. Elson had refused to obey a DFO requirement that he exit a so-called “controlling agreement” with two Newfoundland and Labrador fish processors. Read the story here 19:31

Caught In Alaska, Processed In China: Does Trump Make A Good Point?

When Donald J. Trump announced his candidacy in 2015 he created quite a stir with many of his statements. He spoke a great deal about securing borders, fixing the economy and especially the effects of China on the United States. Regardless of whether you agree with his plans and ideas of how to tackle these issues, you have to agree that these issues really do exist, especially the influence of China. The financial power of China overpowers not only American consumer good production, but also greatly affects the competitive of US fisheries. One of the major secrets to China’s fiscal strength is its over-abundance of very cheap labor. There is such a difference in labor between the US and China that it has greatly changed the way the US seafood industry works. Previously it was ideal to catch the fish in Alaska, fully process it in Alaska (i.e. filleting), and then ship it down to the mainland US where it would be consumed. Today it is just as common to catch the fish in Alaska, freeze it, ship it to China, process the seafood there, and then ship it to the mainland US for sale. This difference makes seafood producers millions of extra profits every year.  This is common for all sorts of Alaskan seafood, including Alaskan Pollock, Pacific Cod, and especially Salmon. Read the article here 18:13

Lobster Fisherman Gentle Giant (Jim Buchanan) Fundraiser

As most people have already heard, the Buchanan family is going through a tragedy. Jim Buchanan (Big Jim) passed away suddenly on Saturday, January 7th, 2017. He is survived by his loving wife Lisa, two sons Matthew and Brett, a daughter Melissa, and a beautiful 9-month-old granddaughter. He was the “bread winner” of the family. Not only did he support his family but many in the community as well. His house was like a ‘do drop in’ and no one ever left there hungry. His house, for a family of 5, always had a family of 20. He didn’t know the word “no”. The family is at such a lose that they could really use some help to get them back on their feet. Please donate if you can, click here 16:24

Opponents line up in showdown over limits to shrimp trawling

Hyde County Commissioners, along with local stakeholders and seafood advocates, have issued strong opposition to proposed rules that would result in major changes to the state’s commercial trawling industry. They say the restrictions could ultimately end the state’s access shrimp.,, Other rule changes outlined in the 99-page NCWF petition are: Limiting shrimp trawling to three days a week; limiting trawling to daytime only; limiting the total head rope (the span of the nets) to 90 feet; establishing 45-minute tow times; define type of gear and how it can be used in special secondary nursery areas;and opening the season based on a 60 shrimp per pound. Last week, Hyde County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution opposing the rules. Read the story here 15:16

Man-Overboard Transmitter becomes new standard

Emerald Marine Products announces the release of the ALERT418™ Man-Overboard Transmitter. Made in the USA, the enhanced unit is based on the company’s proven ALERT2 Transmitter, and is compatible with its Man-Overboard alarm system receiver and portable direction finder. Designed for working mariners, the ALERT418 Man-Overboard Transmitter is smaller and lighter than its predecessor: only 4.25″ L x 1.5″ W x 1″ D and 3.6 oz. For normal working conditions, it’s worn attached to a PFD. When it’s immersed in water, the reliable ALERT418 Man-Overboard Transmitter automatically sends a signal to the receiver. There’s no delay, as with AIS, so crew are instantly notified and can initiate an immediate man overboard rescue. The system can also set a waypoint or other digital action, and can be wired to kill the engine(s), making it ideal for solo fishermen. Link 13:01

Turtle Excluder Devices: Public meeting on shrimping regulation gets little feedback

A new federal regulation on Coast shrimpers may add more stress on an already stressed industry. Wednesday’s meeting discussed expanding the use of Turtle Excluder Devices to shallow water skimmer nets. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meeting drew more than 50 fishermen. However, only one was willing to talk about the potential impact of the new TED regulation. “If this is implemented, you will lose more fishermen,” said Thau Bu, director of the Mississippi Coalition for Vietnamese American Fisherfolks and Families. “Livelihoods threatened, families facing serious hardship. We lose so much of the cultural traditional heritage and value the fishing communities have contributed for hundreds of years.” Bu was also upset that Vietnamese families in attendance didn’t get enough time to translate the information to even understand what was facing them. So, she spoke for them. Video, read the story here 12:02

Tapeworm from Asian waters found in Southcentral Alaska salmon

Scientists have found evidence that a parasite from Asian salmon has been spreading to North American fish, according to a newly released study on samples taken from Southcentral Alaska. The study,(click here) appearing in February’s issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports on the discovery in Alaska salmon of Japanese broad tapeworm. Its authors say the results could mean Japanese broad tapeworms infecting humans have been mistaken for fish tapeworm, a species known by the CDC to affect North American fish. Scientists have found Japanese broad tapeworm, which was first identified in 1986 and can affect humans who consume infected fish raw, in chum, masu, pink and sockeye salmon from Japan and eastern Russia. About 2,000 cases of humans infected by the tapeworm have been reported primarily in northeast Asia, although the study’s authors say infections are likely under-reported. Read the story here 11:24

Newfoundland fisher harvesters consider disaffiliating from Unifor

Representatives of the upstart Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) applied to the provincial Labour Relations Board on Dec. 30 to certify a breakaway union for the province’s inshore fish harvesters. Currently, the fishers are organized by the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW), which is an affiliate of Unifor, Canada’s largest industrial union.,, Fishers have cited many examples of the FFAW apparatus feathering its own nest at the expense of the workers it purports to represent. In a particularly telling case, the Newfoundland Supreme Court recently upheld a complaint by dissident FFAW members, finding that the union had “failed in its responsibilities to fishermen” by secretly negotiating a deal with provincial energy conglomerate Nalcor.,, The grievances of the inshore fishers of Newfoundland are real. Unifor-FFAW does in fact operate as a business in a naked conflict of interest with its own membership. Read the article here 09:57

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for January 9, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here  09:29

Study shows Cook Inlet sockeye harvested in Kodiak

New genetic data indicates that many of the sockeye harvested by Kodiak’s commercial fishery may originate from Cook Inlet streams. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game published a study in December compiling three years of research into the genetics of sockeye salmon harvested by commercial fishermen in the Kodiak Management Area. In 2014, local Kodiak-origin stocks of sockeye salmon contributed 88 percent of the harvest, but in 2015 and 2016, they only contributed 58 percent of the harvest, according to the study. Almost all the rest of the harvest was Cook Inlet-origin stocks. In 2014, 8 percent of the harvest turned out to be from Cook Inlet. In 2015, that portion was 37 percent, and in 2016 it was 30 percent, according to the study. Chignik-origin sockeye salmon comprised another 10 percent, according to the study.  Read the rest here 08:56

Maine’s Scallop season off to a good start

Five weeks into the scallop season the winter weather has begun to take a toll on fishing days, but not on landings. According to the Department of Marine Resources, when fishermen have been able to get off the mooring they have been seeing good landing. With snow, bitter temperatures and howling winds increasingly the norm since the last week of December, scallopers working outside the well-protected waters of Cobscook Bay got a break — or at least a chance for some relief — when several limited access areas opened to fishing on Monday, Jan. 2. While four segments of the coast were closed to fishing on New Year’s Day after their harvest targets were reached, the opening of the limited access areas gave an additional opportunity to the drag fleet in more protected waters once a week. So far, boat prices remain strong, and have even strengthened since the season’s opening. Read the story here  08:03

The Last Trial of the Codfather

Last night, just nine fishing boats pulled up to the dock behind the building, far fewer than the hundreds of boats lining up for the old city auction on Pier 3 in the 1980s. Back then, boats would haul in as much as 500 tonnes of cod, haddock, flounder, and other species of groundfish from the icy depths of the North Atlantic. Today’s groundfish catch is 4.3 tonnes. Most of the money keeping the port afloat is in scallops. I start to pull out a chair to take a seat when I hear a voice behind me. “I don’t think you want to do that,” says a lanky, gray-haired man reading a magazine. “The guy who normally sits in that chair will choke you to death.” “Choke you to death on cigarette smoke!” cracks a black guy with a patch on his beret that reads, “I’m Cape Verdean.” After I move to the back row, a big-bellied, bald man in a plaid shirt pushes past the No Smoking sign on the front door and walks into the room. He takes his seat and lights up a Winston cigarette. He spits out a few words about a dissatisfied fish buyer to the auction owner in raspy Portuguese. Then, he switches to English. “Tell him he can go fuck himself, the fish is fine,” he growls. “I saw every fucking one, it’s his fucking problem.” It doesn’t take me long to realize that this is Carlos Rafael, otherwise known as The Codfather, who was out of jail on a US $2-million bond. Under the table, an electronic monitoring bracelet is beaming his location to federal authorities who are making sure he gets back to his house every night by 8:30 p.m. Read this article here 21:16

On This Day, 2006: Coast Guard tows disabled Lady of Grace to port

On this day in 2006 the Coast Guard towed a 76-foot fishing vessel to safety after the vessel became disabled near Nantucket early Monday morning. The Lady of Grace with four crew members on board, contacted the Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England Command Center at 3:34 a.m. and reported they were without power and drifting approximately 10 miles east of Great Point, Nantucket. A rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Brant Point on Nantucket launched a 47-foot motor life boat to take the vessel in tow. Almost exactly a year later, on January 27, 2007, the Coast Guard launched a massive search for the fishing boat Lady of Grace after the 75-foot dragger failed to return as scheduled to New Bedford.1922: Weird January hurricane hits Cape, Read the rest here 16:23

Always Top Quality! Your Seafreeze Ltd. Preferred Price List for January11, 2017 Has Arrived!

Contact our sales team today @ 401 295 2585 or 800 732 273 Click here for the complete price list from Seafreeze Ltd. – We are Direct to the Source-We are Fishermen-We are Seafreeze Ltd!  Visit our website! 15:57

Boat docks in Green Island Cove after fright from storm

It’s not often, in January, you see a long liner tied up at the wharf in Green Island Cove. Or a search and rescue Cormorant hovering over the community in the dark with floodlights lighting the harbour and assisting a vessel into port. But that is what happened. The Crew of The vessel CPMI No2 were very happy to see the lights of Green Island Cove Sunday,  Jan. 8, at around 7 p.m. The Cormorant flew very low over the wharf as a large crowd gathered, ready and eager to assist the vessel to tie up. The crew was attempting to steam their vessel from Englee around the tip of the peninsula and up the Strait of Belle Isle to Trout River. Read the story here 15:34

North Carolina: New trawl Bycatch Reduction Devices show promise

A state-initiated fishing industry workgroup is getting promising results with prototype bycatch reduction devices in shrimp trawls, and plans more tests this year. An industry work group created by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission met Monday at the Riverfront Convention Center to discuss ongoing testing of prototype BRDs, devices and gear configurations designed to reduce the amount of finfish and other marine life caught incidentally when fishing for a certain species, in this case shrimp. The group discussed the results of tests conducted in 2016 with four different BRDs towed by volunteer commercial shrimp harvesters, as well as set priorities for additional testing for this year. Last year was the first of a three-year research project the work group is conducting.  Jerry Schill, executive director of the N.C. Fisheries Association, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the state’s fishing industry, said the results from last year’s tests were “very positive.” “Even the (the work group members) were surprised at some of the results,” Mr. Schill said. “Ever since I started (in the fishing industry) 30 years ago, we’ve been trying to reduce bycatch in shrimp trawls.” Read the story here 15:01

Zhengzhou Airport welcomes charter flight with live lobsters from North America

Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport welcomed a charter flight from Halifax, Canada Airport, on the evening of January 9. The United States National Airlines charter flight was full of live lobsters from Canada. With this, Zhengzhou Xinzheng Airport imports North American seafood. The security units at the airport geared up to handle 156 one hundred tonnes of live shrimp. The customs inspection and quarantine departments were also immediately involved to check and release. It is understood that these Boston lobster are from Canada, Boston lobster, meat is more tender and detailed, the product has a variety of trace elements rich and delicious. Mainly grown in the North Atlantic Ocean near the Arctic cold sea waters, very cold water, so the growth was particularly slow, the “century lobster,” said. These exotic lobsters from Zhengzhou will be delivered directly through the air transport to the domestic Guangzhou, Fujian, Shanghai, Shandong and other provinces and cities. Link 13:52

From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong – Keep summer flounder limits as they are

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to do everything possible to preserve jobs and to attract new ones for our local residents. As a local mayor, my direct influence over regional issues affecting our economy is necessarily limited. Nevertheless, I still have a voice and I need to raise it when I see something happening which may affect the opportunity for Absecon residents to earn a living. Statement in Opposition to Implementation of Summer Flounder Draft Addendum XXVIII – As the Mayor of the City of Absecon, Atlantic County, New Jersey, I write to voice my firm opposition to the regulations promulgated by NOAA Fisheries and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Fishery Management Council which would reduce the commercial quota and recreational harvest limits for summer flounder in 2017 and 2018. Read the rest here 13:30

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 45′ MDI Lobster boat, CAT 3406C, Price Reduced!

Specifications, information and 4 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 13:05

FISH-NL hires lawyer David Goodland

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has hired well-known St. John’s lawyer David Goodland to represent the organization’s certification application currently before the Labour Relations Board. “David’s one of the best labour lawyers in the province and we couldn’t be more pleased to have him aboard,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “He has a proven track record, most recently having successfully represented scallop fishermen in the Strait of Belle Isle in their case against the FFAW.” Last March, the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador ruled in favour of 76 scallop fishermen who took the FFAW to court over a compensation fund for lost fishing grounds. Nalcor agreed in 2014 to pay out $2.6 million to keep fishermen away from an undersea cable needed to bring Muskrat Falls power to the island. The fishermen argued the money should be shared through lump sum payments among everyone who held scallop licence. FISH-NL presented an application to the Labour Relations Board on Dec. 30th requesting that it be certified to represent the province’s inshore fish harvesters, breaking them away from the FFAW. The application was released to the FFAW on Monday, giving the union and fish processors 10 calendar days to respond. In turn, FISH-NL will have 5 calendar days to respond to those responses. The Labour Relations Board will then conduct an investigation of the application and the membership cards, a process that could take “weeks or months.” Once that investigation is complete and a report is issued, FISH-NL will have 2 days to respond before the final report is released. 10:49