North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for April 24, 2015

NCFAClick to read Weekly Update for April 24, 2015 as a PDF To read all the updates, click here20:27

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Coast Guard rescues 2 from sinking shrimp boat near Brunswic, Georgia

Two fishermen were rescued from their sinking shrimp boat by a Coast Guard aircrew Friday off the coast of Saint Simons Island near Brunswic, Georgia. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Charleston received the initial report at approximately 9:30 a.m., on VHF channel 16 from one of the distressed fishermen, stating that their 55-foot shrimp boat, Miss Kathy,was taking on water and was in danger of sinking. Read the rest here Watch video here 18:25

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Good News for Georges Bank! – Drilling Moratorium Extended, strong landings of lobster, haddock and scallops

The announcement in Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s budget that the federal government will join with the Nova Scotia government to legislate an extension to the Georges Bank moratorium adds to a recent spate of good news for the province’s fishing and seafood industry, says Denny Morrow,,, The coalition issued a news release saying strong landings of lobster, haddock and scallops; the lower Canadian dollar; and good demand for those seafood exports in U.S. and Asian markets are creating a feeling of optimism in the industry. Read the rest here 17:30

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NMFS Announces Approval of Three New England Groundfish Rules for Fishing Year 2015 (May 1, 2015-April 30, 2016)

nmfs_logoToday, NOAA Fisheries announces three actions affecting the Northeast Multispecies fishery. These are the final rules implementing Framework Adjustment 53 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and the Sector Operations Plans for 2015-2016, and the interim final rule that implements additional recreational measures for the Northeast Multispecies fishery. Read the rest here. If you can stand it.

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COVER STORY: ‘Cold Water’ heroes

Forever, it seems to me, a weathered skipper sporting a sou’wester has been our founding industry’s face. But the cold water cowboys fishery has evolved a lot since the days of sou’wester-wearing men who jigged cod or hauled cod traps over the side of a skiff. Nothing in my mind is showcasing the modern fishery’s risks, innovation and attitude better, nothing is changing the sou’wester stereotype with people outside the industry (especially the Townies and Mainlanders) faster, than “Cold Water Cowboys.” Read the rest here 14:41

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P.E.I. Lobster season delayed because of ice conditions, delay surprises P.E.I. Fisherman’s Association

It was the right call to delay the lobster season because some harbours on the Island’s north and south shores are still impassable with ice, says the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. Fisheries and Oceans Canada sent out the notice Thursday afternoon that fishermen won’t be setting and pulling traps next Thursday, as initially planned, because of ice conditions in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Read the rest here  Lobster season delay surprises P.E.I. fishermen Read the rest here 13:14

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Seal hunt inhumane? How about a bullfight? – The hypocrisy of the European Union’s ban on Canadian seal products

The European Union, as you’re probably aware, bans all seal products from Canada. Last year, the European Unionappeals process upheld an earlier ruling that the EU’s seal regime is “necessary to protect public morals.” There are exceptions for European travellers who buy seal products in other countries, but I didn’t want to take a chance. The ban has always seemed to me to be a hypocritical policy, but never more so, than after an unforgettable day in Madrid — a bullfight at Las Ventas Bullring. Video, Read the rest here 09:40

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Sambro fisherman charged for catching too many halibut – 48 pounds???

A Sambro, N.S., fisherman has been charged by Fisheries and Oceans Canada for bringing in too many halibut after a trip to sea last month. Bill Blackburn has been going to sea to catch fish for the 35 years. He plans to plead not guilty when he goes court next month. “I sold 1,548 pounds to Ocean View Fisheries, my hail in was 1,500 pounds. I’m getting charged for over-mishailing,” he said. Read the rest here 09:15

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NEFMC fails to agree on scallopers’ wish to enter long-closed areas

mkThursday the council failed to come to terms about the specifics of the plan in Georges Bank, which centers on an area on the Canadian line called the Northern Edge. On Wednesday the council approved several measures in the Gulf of Maine, delineating protected areas where certain forms of fishing gear will not be permitted. Georges Bank was another matter. NOAA Fisheries regional administrator John Bullard had signaled his disapproval of preliminary plans on the grounds that they weren’t protective enough of habitat. And when council member  introduced an amendment to make the plan more acceptable to NOAA fisheries, the meeting collapsed into disarray. Read the rest here 08:28

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American Seafoods Settles Over Scale Tampering

A Seattle-based seafood company accused of stealing groundfish from the Bering Sea has agreed to pay up. American Seafoods will pay $1.75 million to settle violations on three of its catcher-processors. The American Dynasty, the Ocean Rover, and the Northern Eagle were all accused of tampering with their scales for weighing fish at sea over a five-year period. Read the rest here 06:58

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Jeff Davis confirms deal for scallop fishing firm Peabody Fisheries

Jeff Davis and private equity Bregal Partners have inked a deal for US scallop fishing firm Peabody. Davis confirmed the deal closed on Thursday. On Feb. 12, Undercurrent reported the deal was in the works. He will become CEO of the new company, which will be named Blue Harvest Fisheries. Peabody, based in Newport News, Virginia, has a fleet of eight scallop vessels. Sources told Undercurrent the purchase price was in the region of $40 million. Davis declined to comment on this. Read the rest here 21:20

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NEFMC Approve Some Habitat Changes – blocks no-fishing zone for scientific research on Stellwagen Bank

Federal fishery regulators say they will keep much-debated protections for Cashes Ledge in the 100_1407in place as part of a broad effort to alter the scope of New England’s fishing grounds. Peter Baker, director of northeast U.S. Oceans for Pew Charitable Trusts, said that with the recent approvals, the council remains “on a course to eliminate thousands of square miles of important fish habitat areas” in favor of commercial fishing concerns. He said the council has ignored conservationists’ (shrugs shoulders),,, Read the rest here 20:48

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Maine Lobsterman Faces Suspension for Illegal Use of Traps

A Maine lobsterman faces possible fines and a license suspension after state authorities charged him with lobster harvesting violations. The Maine Marine Patrol is charging Benjamin Weed, of Stonington, Maine, with fishing with untagged lobster traps, fishing more than 49 percent of his allotted traps in a limited entry zone and fishing 287 traps without tags declaring the zones he was licensed to fish. He also faces three violations of regulations designed to protect whales. Read the rest here 16:59

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NEFMC Votes to Keep Cashes Ledge Closed

cashes ledge closedFederal fishery regulators are keeping protections of Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine as part of a broad effort to alter the scope of New England’s fishing grounds. The ledge is an underwater mountain and offshore ecosystem mostly closed to fishing that environmentalists have ardently opposed reopening. The New England Fishery Management Council says its protections will stay. The council is meeting Thursday to approve a long-awaited plan for federal waters from Maine to Rhode Island. Read the rest here 16:03

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New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell makes fishing industry’s case in habitat closures

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell spoke this morning to the New England Regional Fishery Council, pleading the case for a compromise solution to protective essential habitat closures on Georges Bank. In particular, he argued in favor of opening up part of an area known as the Northern Edge, parts of which have been closed 20 years and now are “the mother lode of scallops.” Mitchell brought with him a petition signed by 380 people involved in the fishing industry, mostly shore-side, who see the Northern Edge and other proposals as a needed boost for the fishing industry’s future. Read the rest here 14:55

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How oil damages fish hearts: Five years of research since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Scientists with the Ecotoxicology Program at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle have been working to understand those effects. “Along with our research partners,” said Nat Scholz, the scientist who leads the program, “we’re investigating the more subtle, lingering, and potentially widespread impacts of oil on the health and survival of fish.” Read the rest here 14:19

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Alaskan Coastal legislators support halibut bycatch cuts

alaska-halibut__frontThe Alaska legislature’s coastal representatives sent a letter to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council expressing support for 50 percent halibut bycatch cap reductions for the groundfish fleet in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. “Over the past decade,” the legislators wrote, “more than 62 million pounds of halibut has been caught, killed, and discarded as bycatch in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands. During the same period, landings of halibut as the target species have declined from an already alarmingly small 52 percent,,, Read the rest here 11:27

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Maine lobster industry – Long winter boosts lobster prices

The unusually cold winter may finally be over, but the lobsterDM0811_468x521 is still feeling its effects. The current wholesale market price of lobster is up to an average of $9 a pound, even higher in some places. Those high prices could last into the midsummer season before soft shell lobsters hit the menu. “The water temperature right now is 38, last year at this time it was around 42, 43. So we’re behind in the temperature. We might make it up if the spring gets a lot warmer, we might get caught up,” said sale manager of Beal’s Lobster Pier in Southwest Harbor, Rob Bauer. Read the rest here

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Another View: Sardine population isn’t crashing by D.B. Pleschner

Environmental groups such as Oceana complain that the sardine population is collapsing just as it did in the mid-1940s. They blame “overfishing” as the reason and maintain that the fishery should be shut down completely (“Starving sea lions spotlight overfishing,” Viewpoints, April 14). In truth, Pacific sardines are perhaps the best-managed fishery in the world. The current rule – established in 2000 and updated last year with more accurate science – sets a strict harvest guideline. Read the rest here 10:25

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Gail Shea’s stance on shrimp allocations may be softening – Province delivers shrimp impact report to feds

The shrimp fishery in this province is basically divided into a large factory freezer fleet in the offshore, and the smaller vessel fleet in the inshore. Under the last in, first out (LIFO) policy, the inshore is forced to contend with the bulk of any quota reductions that come about. In 2014, the LIFO policy resulted in the inshore losing more than 30 per cent of its shrimp, while the offshore fleets lost less than five per cent. The province’s report states that current sharing arrangement, if continued, would prove disastrous for many rural regions. Read the rest here 09:59

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New England Fishery Management Council expected to vote on opening scallop grounds

TraditionThe New England Fishery Management Council on Thursday will take up the subject of opening parts of Georges Bank to scallop fishing, in some cases after closures of 20 years that led to an untapped abundance of scallops, according to surveys. Wednesday’s meeting of the council, day two of three, offered a preview of how the council, and by extension NOAA Fisheries, intends to proceed. “Don’t be bullied” by the environmentalists, Maggie Raymond of the Associated Fisheries of Maine urged the 17-member council. Read the rest here 09:22

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Mainer Mary Beth Nickell-Tooley’s vote disallowed on NEFMC, What about John Pappalardo’s?

Mary Beth Nickell-Tooley, an at-large member from Maine since 2008, was informed Wednesday by NOAA Attorney Adviser Mitch MacDonald she “may not vote during the Council’s final deliberations on Habitat Amendment alternatives that open or close areas to fishing nor on the final vote to approve the Habitat Amendment for submission to NMFS.” Nickell-Tooley’s recusal served as a backdrop for another inquiry from , who operates the Saving Seafood website, whether council member John Pappalardo should have received a similar order for recusal. Read the rest here 08:45

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I want to be a commercial fisherman. What will my salary be?

Though many Canadians enjoy sport fishing, only a select few licensed and trained fisherman, operating in a limited number of regions across Canada, make a living from their catch. For such professionals, there are only a few seasonal windows when they are permitted to fish for certain species in certain locations, ranging from a few months to as little as a few days a year. As such, fishermen spend much of the off-season ensuring that they’re prepared for anything when that window opens. Read he rest here 07:40

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North Carolina: Area lawmakers seek to protect, improve industry

Commercial fishing is a huge industry in coastal North Carolina, and easy access to and from the Atlantic Ocean, Pamlico Sound and Albemarle Sound are key to keeping that industry healthy. That’s why area legislators have filed bills or support bills dealing with commercial fishing and related items. From dredging to oysters, to commercial fishing, these Reps from North Carolina should be an example for other’s, Nation wide. BH  Read the rest here 21:55

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A Little Paint ‘n Powder for Miss Trish at the Gloucester Marine Railway

miss trish frontieroPaul Frontiero Jr’s Photo gallery of F/V Miss Trish at Gloucester Marine Railway posted at that funky North Shore blog, Good Morning Gloucester! Click “next” below the image  Click here! 21:18

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RCMP charges Canadian Olympic snowboarder, members of Coast Guard and RCAF in drug smuggling sting

An international plot linked to Colombian and Mexican drug cartels to bring cocaine into Canada through Nova Scotia ended with charges against 15 people, including a military employee who had security clearance at the largest air base on the East Coast and a Canadian Coast Guard employee serving aboard a patrol vessel. The 413 Squadron is the primary air search and rescue unit on Canada’s East Coast, responsible for an area from south of Nova Scotia, north to Iqaluit on Baffin Island, west to Quebec City and east to the middle of the Atlantic, DND says. Read the rest here 18:56

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Coast Guard rescues 3 Fishermen from life raft near Kodiak, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued three mariners after a fire started on board their 82-foot vessel north of Kodiak Island Tuesday. The Jayhawk crew hoisted the mariners from their life raft in Stevenson Entrance, approximately 60 miles north of Kodiak, and transported them safely to Kodiak. “We couldn’t fight the fire, it was too smoky; it was scary,” said Scott Beckstrom, captain of the Northern Pride. Read the rest here, video here 16:10

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‘Sea Level Research’ Is Seismic Ruse for Oil Exploration – Neal Roberts, Lanoka Harbor, N.J.

I read with interest last autumn when a retired Princeton University professor emeritus wrote a letter to the editor defending the Rutgers University seismic testing proposed for the ocean floor within 20 miles of Barnegat Light (“Fear Not,” 11/12/2014). The Barnegat Light commercial fishing industry, local officials, New Jersey congressmen and legislators, Clean Ocean Action, Alliance for a Living Ocean and the state Department of Environmental Protection came out against the 2014 Atlantic Ocean project. (photo)  Read the rest here 15:48

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Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 43′ Fiberglass Novi Scalloper – 320HP, 6 Cylinder Isuzu

sc3860_02Specifications, and information and 26 photos of the vessel, click here  To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:34

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Scallop Fleet Responds to NMFS Criticism of NEFMC Habitat Recommendations

mkLast week, NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator John Bullard submitted a nine-page letter to the  (NEFMC) critical of recommendations made to the full Council by the Council’s Habitat Committee on Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 (OHA2) . OHA2 is a decade-in-the-making overhaul of the habitat closures off the coast of New England, reflecting the best scientific understanding of the Northwest Atlantic seafloor. Read the rest here  Read Administrator Bullard’s letter in full here Read the FSF rebuttal to Administrator Bullard’s letter in full here. 11:57

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Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 – Our View: Lift fishery restrictions to do good for all

130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1The New England Fishery Management Council votes this week on recommendations by the council’s Habitat Committee to lift restrictions in three closed areas. NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator John Bullard and at least one environmental group are arguing against it because NOAA scientists are saying it would harm important spawning areas for species like cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder. (Which is bull shit!) Read the rest here 08:41

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Charter captain refutes red snapper commentary

The “scheme” discussed in the commentary by Mr. Brown (4-15-15 issue) is not that the five state plan will destroy the commercial fishery -far from it, as all the states fully understand the importance of the commercial fishery providing safe local seafood to the consumer. The “scheme” is from the many commercial red snapper IFQ (Individual Fishing Quota) owners who mislead the consumers, the seafood houses and restaurants about what they want to do with their commercially harvested red snapper. Read the rest here 08:16

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AK fishing updates, ADFG budget cuts

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522 As always in Alaska, lots of fishing is going on from Ketchikan to the Bering Sea. Salmon trollers are back out on the water at Neets Bay near Ketchikan , and it’s hard to believe that the 2015 salmon season will officially kick off in just a few weeks at Copper River. More than 50 boats are dropping pots for nearly 70,000 pounds of shrimp at Prince William Sound after a three year closure. Read the rest here 20:25

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PETITION: Chair of the New England Fisheries Management Council Terry Stockwell – Stop Failing the Fish and the Fishermen.

tim ryderDear Mr. Stockwell, The New England Fisheries Management Council has failed the fishermen. Since the New England Catch Share policy began in 2010, fishermen and allies have identified problems such as , inappropriate scale of fishing on inshore areas, lack of access for the next generation of fishermen, and lack of transparency. Over the past five years the Council prioritized the Amendment 18 in order to solve these problems. Fishermen and allies worked together to offer various solutions to the Council and yet still, the Council has failed to address these problems. Read the rest, SIGN THE PETITION here 18:55

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Endangered and Threatened Species: Critical Habitat for Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale-Proposed rule; request for comments.

We, the NMFS, propose to replace the critical habitat for right whales in the North Atlantic with two new areas. The areas under consideration as critical habitat contain approximately 29,945 nm 2 of marine habitat in the  region (Unit 1) and off the Southeast U.S. coast (Unit 2). We have considered positive and negative economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the proposed critical habitat. We do not propose to exclude any particular area from the proposed critical habitat. Read the rest here 14:10

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Tough times intensify in California wetfish industry

California’s wetfish fleet is facing poor prognostic signs for squid, sardines and possibly mackerel fishing this year, intensifying an already-tough situation. These closures add to already-bleak fishing outlooks for other species the California Wetfish Producers Association’s (CWPA) fleet fishes, whose squid, sardines, mackerel fishery continues to be in jeopardy. Concerns are particularly strong for its high-value squid fishery,,, Read the rest here 13:18

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Newport Based F/V Corsair sinks 27 miles west of Westport, WA

One of the crewmen aboard the 50 foot F/V Corsair called NewsLincolnCounty.com and gave us the blow by blow of what happened to them off Westport yesterday. Crewman Zeke Estrella told us that it was late in the day and they were putting all the gear away after a day of hauling in a lot of shrimp. Just as they were finishing up, Just as they were finishing up, the Corsair, Read the rest here 13:01

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Newport Fishermen’s Wives lawsuit against the Coast Guard – Judge hears arguments

Whether a federal judge agrees to toss the Newport Fishermen’s Wives lawsuit against the Coast Guard seeking to keep the Newport helicopter air station open won’t be known for several days. The Fishermen’s Wives filed the lawsuit last November after the Coast Guard announced on Oct. 2, 2014 that it planned to close its Newport air station and fly central coast helicopter search and rescue missions from bases in North Bend and Astoria.  Read the rest here 10:42

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Province prepares ground for lobster levy

A lobster marketing levy on sales still isn’t in place in Nova Scotia but the government would be allowed to collect such a fee under legislation it introduced on Monday. Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell said a change to the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act would enable the province to collect a financial contribution through regulations once the industry decides what form it will take. Read the rest here 10:13

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North Carolina: Economic impact on the half-shell

As mollusks go, are an especially generous lot. They clean the water. They help stabilize eroding shorelines. And they’re delicious, especially with butter. Which is why North Carolina is working on a statewide plan to become “the Napa Valley of oysters,” as several people proclaimed during this month’s Oyster Summit in Raleigh. Business owners, local officials, and marine researchers from across the state gathered at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences to outline bivalve strategies for the coastal economy. Read the rest here 09:24

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In the Gulf – Seafood industry stable but struggling

Every year around this time, Kim Chauvin gets angry. The 2010 BP Oil Spill has damaged the success of the seafood companies Kim owns with her husband, David. “You try not to think about it because it can really get you worked up,” she said. The couple own Mariah Jade and David Chauvin seafood companies in Chauvin. Before the spill, business was great, and though they were relatively fortunate in the years following, the market has turned itself upside down. Read the rest here 08:34

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Something ‘fishy’ about Mississippi State player’s arrest

Mississippi State forward Johnny Zuppardo might win the award for most bizarre arrest, if such an accomplishment were trophy-worthy. Some of the infractions that may lead to an illegal fishing charge in the state of Mississippi include fishing without a license, or using illegal methods like the use of lime, poison, explosives, Read the rest here 08:18

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Los Angeles authorities seek kidnapped sea lion pup

Authorities in California said they are searching for a sea lion pup kidnapped by a group of people on a Los Angeles beach. The Los Angeles Police Department said a witness told investigators two men and two women were seen harassing a pair of pups at Dockweiler State Beach about 3:30 a.m. Sunday and the group allegedly threw objects at the animals, including trash and cinder blocks. Read the rest here 08:07

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Nearly 700 lobster traps damaged in Norwell brush fire

Norwell+041915A Norwell lobsterman lost hundreds of traps and other equipment Sunday in what one fire officials called a “freak” brush fire. Norwell Fire Capt. Jeff Simpson said flames reached as high as 40 feet in the air as the fire just off Bowker Street tore through stacks of lobster traps, specialized marine rope, a dingy and boat fuel. No one was injured, but Simpson said the damage could reach $100,000. Read the rest here 21:07

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Who are Alaska’s biggest fishing whiners?

Alaska’s fisheries are targeted by many different gear types, from dip nets to big Bering Sea catcher processors. Fish Radio went down to the docks to hear what Kodiak fishermen believe are the whiniest group, Probably those who are less fortunate in catching the most fish. Definitely the trawl fleet. The state wide fishing fleet. I do believe it’s the Listen, and read the rest here 20:57

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Coastal communities look to federal budget to restore coast guard cuts

Coastal communities from Parksville to Placentia are watching tomorrow’s federal budget closely for funding to restore the cuts to coast guard services that have closed bases across the country, putting communities at risk. “Our communities rely on the coast guard. Seconds matter when there’s an emergency, but Prime Minister Harper is gutting our coast guard services,” said Keith Sullivan, President of Unifor’s Fish, Food, and Allied Workers (FFAW). Read the rest here 20:27

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Menendez, Pallone hope to ban Atlantic offshore drilling

Offshore drilling would be banned in the Atlantic Ocean under legislation Sen. Robert Menendez and Rep. Frank Pallone say they will introduce in both chambers this week. The New Jersey Democrats announced the legislation on Monday, the five-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Pallone said the Deepwater Horizon spill is a reminder of the lasting environmental and economic damage that oil spills can cause. Read the rest here 18:26

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‘The Hole’ a spawning sanctuary for big fish?

The Georgetown Hole is the stuff of legend — tiers and tiers of deep ocean ledges swarmed by species after species of fish. It’s the generations-old “sweet spot” where boats once pulled holds full of the monsters seen in the old photos, game fish almost as big as a man. Now regulators want to put the bottom off-limits as a marine spawning sanctuary to help restore the overall stock and maybe bring back those monster fish. Read the rest here 15:00

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NMFS proposes reclassifying the humpback whale into 14 distinct population segments

humpback whale rangeNOAA Fisheries  NMFS proposed today to reclassify the humpback whale into 14 distinct population segments under the Endangered Species Act, providing a more tailored conservation approach for U.S. fisheries managers. Protection and restoration efforts over the past 40 years have led to an increase in numbers and growth rates for humpback whales in many areas. The humpback whale is currently listed as endangered throughout its range. The proposed rule finds that ten of those 14 populations (see below) do not warrant ESA listing. Read it here 14:41

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Louisiana Fisheries Forward’s shrimp and crab fisheries Dock day planned for Wednesday in Larose

Wednesday’s dock day will offer industry updates and hands-on demonstrations. It is designed to keep Lafourche and Terrebonne area commercial fishermen up to date on new technology, best practices for quality and handling and safety news and regulations. Specific topics include fishery task force updates, TEDs, shark guards and gear modifications, LaTer Direct Seafood, boat freezer applications, safety demonstrations and nano-ice machine demonstrations. Read the rest here  14:14

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On BP oil spill anniversary, ex-NOAA director urges major changes in federal spill contingency plan

Five years after the BP oil spill, the National Contingency Plan used by federal agencies to respond to major environmental threats still needs to be revamped to adjust to the lessons from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster, said , a marine biologist who ran the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration during the spill. During the BP spill, Lubchenco said, federal responders were forced to adapt on the run. (They fell flat on their faces!) Read the rest here 12:06

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Europeans call for more fishing industry support

EUROPEANS believe the fishing industry has a vital role to play in feeding a growing world population but have accused governments of failing to do enough to support the sector. The findings come in the first ever pan-European survey of attitudes among consumers towards the fishing industry and to eating fish as part of their regular diet. Read the rest here 09:48

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Some better news for haddock, and fishermen. Really?

THE GLOOMY clouds hanging over New England’s fisheries lifted a bit last week when the NOAA reported that several species were no longer overfished off US shores, including haddock in the Gulf of Maine. Regardless, a battle continues between the fishing industry, environmentalists, and regulators as to the extent that some types of fishing affect the ocean floor’s ecosystem. In a new effort to study those impacts, the New England Fishery Management Council is expected to vote Thursday on creating a 55-square-nautical-mile reference research area. Read the rest here 07:44

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Ruffner voted down for Board of Fisheries

Allocations among different user groups took a forefront since Ruffner’s nomination.Criticisms during the confirmation session came largely from Rep. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, and other legislators who have recently attacked Ruffner’s suitability for supposed allegiance to the commercial fishing industry and lack of representativeness of the Anchorage personal use and dipnetting user base. Read the rest here 21:32

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Illegal Lobster Harvest Costs Three $22.4M

Three men convicted of illegally harvesting rock lobsters in South Africa and importing them to the U.S. must pay a $22.4 million restitution order, the 2nd Circuit ruled. Arnold Bengis and Jeffrey Noll pleaded guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to conspiracy to commit smuggling and to violating the Lacey Act, which bans trade in illegally retrieved wildlife; David Bengis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act. Read the rest here 19:40

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New England Fishery Management Council to meet in April 22 and 23 in Mystic, CT – Listen Live!

NEFMC SidebarThe Agenda and schedule of the meeting can be viewed here, Register for the webinar presentation here The council has generously set aside 15 minutes for Public Comments! 16:30

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Canadian shrimp imports up as Maine fishery remains closed

maine shrimpMaine fishmonger Glen Libby made a disheartening discovery on Easter Sunday brunch — the cold water shrimp on the menu at a restaurant up the street from his fish market were from Canada, not New England.  Canadian imports of the sweet, quarter-sized crustaceans are turning up more in American restaurants and seafood markets since a ban on fishing for Maine shrimp dried up local sources. Read the rest here 13:16

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Canada’s turn as Arctic Council head to end at Iqaluit meeting; Kerry takes over

In an interview before handing over leadership of the council to Kerry, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq defended Canada’s accomplishments during its two-year termThe American priorities for the Arctic Council are significantly different. The U.S. has said it plans to put climate change at the centre of its two-year term and has outlined a program of measures to protect the Arctic environment, such as developing better ways to deal with marine pollution. The Americans will also start considering the development of a network of marine protected areas. Read the rest here 12:14

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Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance Weekly Update, April 19, 2015

rifa2The Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance is dedicated to its mission of continuing to help create sustainable fisheries without putting licensed fishermen out of business.” Read the update here  To read all the updates, click here 11:47

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Battle of the Bluefin

I was working as a reporter on Prince Edward Island, having only just moved there from Ontario, a place without fish of such tremendous size. I remember regretting the tuna was dead during our first meeting, hanging by its tail from a crane over the humble harbour at Seacow Pond. These fish, which can grow a frightening three metres in length and weigh 680kg, visit Canadian waters between July and November, taking advantage of our bountiful waters on the Scotian Shelf, in the Gulf of St Lawrence and on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. photo credit  Read the rest here 09:23

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