Controversial arctic surf clam decision stays as new federal Fisheries Minister outlines his vision for DFO

A controversial arctic surf clam decision will not be revisited under new federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. Wilkinson became the head of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on July 18, being shuffled into cabinet by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Previous to his cabinet appointment, Wilkinson was parliamentary secretary to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. His area of focus was how to save caribou herds across the country. Wilkinson says there’s no need to view the environment and the economy as two different things. >click to read<

DEC Announces Public Information Sessions to Modernize and Reform State’s Commercial Fishing Licensing System

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that the agency is holding a series of meetings across the State’s Marine and Coastal District in July and August to gather feedback from key stakeholders about the State’s current commercial fishing licensing system and ideas for reforms to modernize and improve the program. In March 2018, DEC retained the services of an expert marine fisheries consultant, George LaPointe, who will facilitate the meetings to be held in Brooklyn, East Setauket, Freeport, Southampton, Staten Island, Southold >click to read<19:05

Coast Guard suspends search for man overboard in Ugashik Bay, has been identified

The Coast Guard suspended its search Friday for a man reported overboard from the 190-foot fishing vessel Cape Greig in Ugashik Bay, Alaska. A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew, a Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and nine good Samaritan vessels searched a total of 13-square miles along the Ugashik Bay shoreline and up the river in efforts to locate the man. On Thursday, at approximately 4:27 p.m., Communications Detachment Kodiak personnel received a report of a man overboard from the fishing vessel Cape Greig. photo credit vesselfinder.com >click to read<

Overboard fisherman sought near Pilot Point – Grant Hildreth Jr., 25, reportedly fell into the river at about 4 p.m., troopers said in an online dispatch. Word of the fall was relayed to troopers by the village public safety officer in Pilot Point. >click to read<16:21

Reps. Poliquin and Pingree co-sponsor amendment to HR-200

In an effort to cut unnecessary federal fees for lobstermen, dealers and processors, Congressman Bruce Poliquin (R-2nd Dist.) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-1st Dist.) joined forces across the political aisle to amend a fisheries bill that is currently before the U.S. Senate. The bill, H.R. 200 – Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, passed the U.S. House 222-193 on July 11. The amendment, offered by Poliquin and co-sponsored by Pingree, directs NOAA to conduct a study of all fees imposed on all sectors of the lobster industry. >click to read<14:03

Board of Fisheries declares low Chignik sockeye returns an emergency

Like many Gulf of Alaska communities, far fewer sockeye are returning to the Chignik River than forecasted. Chignik has an early and late run. The combined escapement goal for July 20 is 416,000 sockeye. As of July 18, only 222,000 sockeye had made it upriver to spawn. With no harvestable surplus, the Chignik Management area has not had a commercial fishing opportunity targeting sockeye. Further, some residents say they are voluntarily forgoing subsistence fishing to boost escapement. Audio report, >click to read<13:24

U.S. Coast Guard investigates fishing vessel for knowingly discharging oil in Canadian waters

Investigators from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage and Marine Safety Detachment Dutch Harbor, and Coast Guard Investigative Service agents are investigating the fishing vessel Mark I for knowingly discharging oil overboard in Canadian waters. A Transport Canada aircrew detected the Mark I transiting through the Canadian exclusive economic zone 97-miles off of Cape St. James, British Columbia, with an approximate 26-mile oil sheen trailing behind, July 7. (photo credit vesselfinder.com)>click to read<11:12

Fishermen’s group grateful DFO lays charge stemming from lobster raid

A fishermen’s association is pleased to see the Department of Fisheries and Oceans lay a charge against the owner of lobster pound in southwest Nova Scotia who is accused of selling lobster caught under an Aboriginal communal fishing licence. Colin Sproul, vice-president of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association, said he’s grateful DFO is taking action this summer. “Last summer, there were an incredible amount of lobsters poached in southwest Nova Scotia,” Sproul said on Thursday. “They weren’t First Nations people poaching these lobsters. They were just being poached by poachers under the guise of the FSC [food, social and ceremonial] and sold. >click to read<10:28

Protect Shem Creek’s shrimpers

Without its shrimp boat fleet, Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant would be a different kind of place. But the number of boats has been dwindling for decades, and the loss of the dock that formerly housed the Wando Shrimp Co. could be a tipping point. The Wando dock is up for sale. And unless a nonprofit buyer such as the East Cooper Land Trust or even the town of Mount Pleasant is able to scoop up the property, it could be redeveloped in a way that would push out a few more of the remaining shrimpers in the creek. That would be a shame. Shem Creek and the nearby Old Village form the unofficial heart of Mount Pleasant. >click to read<09:46

Testing ropeless fishing gear

A test of ropeless fishing gear could protect the livelihoods of lobster fishermen and lives of North Atlantic right whales. Industry is totally against this, Lobsterman David Casoni announced from his Margaret M fishing boat tied up at the dock of the Sandwich Marina, Gear manufacturer Marco Flagg had stepped aboard holding his cylinder attached to a mesh bag filled with rope and floats. But, Casoni said, the states 1200 commercial lobstermen could be interested in the equipment under certain conditions. >click to read<08:54

Sam Parisi: HR-200 was passed in the House and will now move on to the Senate. Push Your Senators!

There has been a lot of those for and against the bill, and after reading the forty-nine pages of the bill and trying to consume it, I have come to the conclusion that over all it is a move in the right direction. The enactment of the 200 mile limit was needed because of foreign fisherman from other countries were destroying our Fisheries and our government at that time had no jurisdiction, Japanese and Russian Factory Ships were invading our waters using small mesh netting scooping up small fish like haddock, cod, flounder, and other bottom dwelling species. I say this because while fishing for whiting off the Canyons near Cape Cod I saw in front of me and fishing along side of me, those factory ships. >click to read<17:48

Congress must choose threatened salmon over sea lions

State, federal and local governments have spent too much time and money restoring fish runs in the Columbia River Basin to let those efforts go to waste. The U.S. House recognized this reality last month by passing legislation to make it easier to kill sea lions that feast on threatened salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries. Now, the Senate must step up and push the bill through to the finish line. Northwest senators must be unified in their support for this common-sense measure, which aims to safeguard the billions of dollars invested in preserving fish that are listed under the Endangered Species Act.>click to read<

Not including our seal products in the E.U. agreement is another nail in the coffin of the N.L. fishery

This is in response to a letter published in the Telegram June 30 by Premier Dwight Ball titled “PC’s ill-informed on Trade Matters,” where he states “I am amazed that the PC Finance critic, Keith Hutchings, is so ill-informed on a trade related matter.” It’s like the pot calling the kettle black. This letter is not to defend MHA Hutchings and the PC’s — they are quite capable of defending themselves — but to point out the lack willingness of this premier to negotiate in good faith for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. >click to read<14:51

Biloxi Shrimpers say season is ‘mediocre’ so far

The brown shrimp season began about a month and a half ago, and so far, local shrimpers are reporting mixed results. “Our preliminary numbers so far show that we are below average, but we hope that would pick up as we get further into the brown shrimp season,” said Rick Burris, Shrimp and Crab Director for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. “What we’ve been seeing is low numbers, but the shrimp they are catching are good marketable size.”Down on the docks, some shrimpers say this season can best be described as mediocre. Video, >click to read<14:04

Hoopa Valley Tribe Plans Federal Lawsuit to ‘Protect Salmon on the Brink of Extinction’

The Hoopa Valley Tribe (Tribe) today announced that it will file a lawsuit within 60 days unless federal agencies reduce the numbers of Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed Klamath-Trinity origin Coho salmon being killed in the Pacific Ocean. Klamath River origin Coho salmon have been listed as a ‘threatened species’ under the ESA since 1997. Without analysis or formal ESA re-consultation, regulations of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) were changed this year to allow more Coho salmon to be injured or killed, although they are protected by the ESA. “We will not stand by while the federal agencies kill our salmon,” said Hoopa Tribal Chairman Ryan Jackson. >click to read<13:30

New Bedford: NOAA lifts groundfish ban – Approval in place immediately

Nearly eight months to the day after NOAA closed groundfishing for Carlos Rafael vessels, the agency lifted the ban on Thurday that had put 80 fishermen out of work. NOAA announced the approval for lease-only operations plan for Sector IX and allocated quota for Sector VII. “Continuing to withhold this amount of quota from the fishery significantly hampers the ability of the fishery as a whole to operate,” NOAA said in the 17 page document. >click to read<10:59

NOAA Fisheries sent this bulletin at 07/19/2018 11:16 AM EDT-NOAA Fisheries Approves Lease-Only Operations Plan for Sector 9, Amendment to Sector 7 Operations Plan, and Quota Allocations for Sectors 7 and 9 – >click to read<11:39

62nd Annual Disabled Vet’s Day Fishing Outing – Veterans hit the seas for annual fishing trip

The boats set off from the Quincy Yacht Club in Houghs Neck on Wednesday morning. Local lobstermen and charter fishermen donated their boats and their time to take the veterans on a three-hour fishing trip around Quincy Bay and Boston Harbor. When the veterans returned around 1:30 p.m. with about 20 flounder in tow, they were greeted with a Thanksgiving-style lunch and entertainment, including a DJ. The fish they caught will be donated. This year marked the 62nd year for the fishing tradition and a particularly special year for organizer Michael Cheney, who has been involved with the event for 41 years. This year, Cheney’s father, 94-year-old Tom Cheney, was the guest of honor. Lots of photo’s! >click to read<09:19

Coast Guard rescues 2 survivors clinging to debris in Pamlico Sound, NC

Two men were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew Wednesday morning, after their fishing boat capsized Tuesday near Hog Island.,, The wife of a fishermen called for help Tuesday night, on behalf of her husband, reporting the generator on the men’s boat was not working properly and the men were trying to find safety near shore in the deteriorating weather. They had departed Ocracoke Tuesday morning and were planning to shrimp in Pamlico Sound before unloading their catch in Engelhard. >click to read<07:54

It’s a-boat time Pacific City celebrates unique maritime heritage with Dory Days Festival

For more than 100 years, dory boats have gone out to sea from Pacific City. And for the locals, dory fishing is not only their heritage, their pride and their way of life — it’s also their addiction of sorts. “When I haven’t had a dory I was going through the D.T.s,” said Skip Bailey, who has been dory fishing for nearly 40 years. “We grew up as dory people and we live and breathe that stuff.” He’s not kidding, according to other dory devotees. “Sometimes in the winter I just go and sit inside my dory and have a beer — it’s so nice,” said Capt. Mark Lytle, who runs pacificcityfishing.com. “Every person who has a dory will understand, because they do the same thing.” >click to read<20:17

Opinion: Fisheries act is a chance to build trust

There’s a little something for everyone to hate in the House’s proposed renewal of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Commercial fishermen feel it gives too much to recreational fishermen and environmentalists. Recreational fishermen say it goes too easy on their commercial counterparts, and the environmental lobby says the measure, which passed the House last week along largely partisan lines, will undo years of progress in restoring fish stocks. We are left with what we have had for decades — a pitched battle among competing interests, with no end in sight. Congress must do better to help guarantee that the science behind management decisions is sound and easily understandable. >click to read<19:25

North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson appointed minister of fisheries, oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

The last seven federal fisheries ministers have represented ridings in Atlantic Canada and one of them, Gail Shea, was appointed twice. But today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed a B.C. MP, Jonathan Wilkinson, to take over this portfolio from Dominic LeBlanc. Wilkinson was first elected in 2015 to represent North Vancouver in Parliament. The last B.C. fisheries minister was Herb Dhaliwal, who held this position from 1999 to 2002. He was preceded by another B.C. MP, David Anderson, who was fisheries minister from 1997 to 1999. Wilkinson is also the minister responsible for the Canadian Coast Guard. >click to read<18:51

DFO closes more fishing zones after right whale sighting

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has closed portions of four fishery grids after right whales were spotted in the area. The affected grids are in the extreme south of the speed reduction zone and will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday. The closure marks the 20th fishery closure this year related to the North Atlantic right whale. No right whales have been found dead in Canadian waters since last year but a right whale was spotted last week off Miscou Island partially entangled. It has not been spotted since. >click to read<18:33

Lucrative seaweed pits Canadian company against Maine homeowners in court battle

Cheryl Sawtelle grabs her binoculars – one of three pairs scattered on her living room couch – and peers at the water below her house on Cobscook Bay. “Look, they’re out there again,” she says. “We’ve lost. I’m telling you, it’s too late.” The objects of her distress are two wide skiffs, practically motionless on the buttery surface. In the boats, Kenny Sulkowski and Eric Newell are sweating as they tug at 10-foot rakes to cut and pull heavy seaweed aboard. They clamber atop a growing mound of the rubbery green weed as they work. To Sawtelle, the presence of the men is a dire sign that landowners along the nation’s most northeastern coastline are losing their battle over who owns the seaweed. It’s a peculiarly Maine battle. >click to read<15:05

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 76′ Steel Dragger, Detroit 12-V-71, with federal/state permits – Price Reduced

Specifications, information and 15 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here< 13:41

Two rescued after shrimp boat capsizes during storm in Pamlico Sound

The two-man crew of a small shrimp boat from Carteret County were rescued by the Coast Guard early Wednesday after their craft capsized in the Pamlico Sound during a thunderstorm. The Mad Lady II from Marshallberg was reported overdue Tuesday evening, after reportedly running into generator problems while trying to reach Englehard.,, A Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City located the Mad Lady II capsized off Hog Island around 6:20 a.m., and a Good Samaritan also reported finding debris nearby, Kendrick said. At 7:32 a.m., the captain and mate were found by the helicopter crew clinging to debris about seven miles from where the boat went down. >click to read<10:26

Offshore Wind Projects’ Impact on Fishing Grounds off the Ocean City Coast Discussed

After hearing a strong presentation from a noted expert on the impacts of wind farms on commercial fishing, the Mayor and Council seem inclined to strengthen opposition to the wind farms off the resort coast in general.,, Monday’s presentation was spearheaded by Meghan Lapp, who is the fisheries liaison for Seafreeze Ltd., a Rhode Island-based company that is the largest producer of sea-frozen fish on the east coast. The highly-decorated Lapp also serves on numerous fishery management councils up and down the east coast including the mid-Atlantic region. Joining Lapp during Monday’s presentation to the Mayor and Council were a handful of local commercial fishermen, most of whom have been working the seas off the Ocean City coast for generations.  >click to read<09:46

Seafood Industry should Organize, File National Class Action Lawsuit Against Anti-Commercial Fishing 501(C)’s, private companies

Every Seafood Industry related trade association in America should join hands and file a National Class Action Lawsuit  against certain 501(C) organizations and private companies that have de-humanized the Commercial Fishermen in the United States by reducing the non-boaters share of the Federal Fishery Resources. The lawsuit should be filed in the District of Columbia Federal Court on behalf of the hundreds of millions of non-boaters who depend on access to the nations fish at restaurants and retail markets through the labors of Commercial Fishermen. By Bob Jones >click to read<08:32

F/V Kristi sinks near Clark’s point, all onboard survive

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, July 14, the F/V Kristi lost power. The tide was coming in, and the boat floated in the current at 5 knots. While its skipper Jan Medhaug and deckhand Kyle Brojakowski worked to restore power to the 32-foot aluminum drift boat, Medhaug’s wife, Kayla Breeden went to the stern to hang a protective buoy. “When you’re out there fishing for that many days, you just think kind of everything is mundane, so I grabbed my buoy to go out there,” said Breeden. “I didn’t even put my rain jacket on and I almost didn’t put my boots on because I thought we were going to clear her.” She could see two large ships, which she estimated were “three football fields away.” >click to read<23:44

Now We’re Talking!! BOEM dressed down, wind farm companies get an earful at a meeting

Federal officials in charge of leasing ocean bottom land to offshore wind farm companies got an earful at a meeting with commercial fishermen Wednesday – and much of it was R-rated. There isn’t merely significant opposition to offshore wind farms; there is 100-percent agreement among the fishermen that the wind turbines will eventually put them out of business.,, Deepwater Wind, which has a project slated off the coast of Montauk called South Fork Wind and runs the Block Island Wind farm, was the subject of much of the ire and criticism,,, Ryan Fallon said he has spent his life on the water. “Everyone is against [the wind farms]. This is my life, my daughter’s life. I almost brought her here so you could look her in the eyes,” said Fallon, whose father was a commercial fisherman and bought him his first boat. “I’ve been doing this since I was 12. I’ll die before I let you take it away.” >click to read<20:37

Deepwater Wind Offers Offshore Information, Fishermen Want Compensation

The Providence-based company recently announced a program to inform fishermen of where and when construction and other work occurs at the site of three wind facilities and their electric cables. The offshore wind developer hired liaisons to offer dockside information to fishermen at main fishing ports such as New Bedford, Mass., Point Judith, and Montauk, N.Y. Daily activity will be posted online about surveys, construction, and maintenance work. The updates will also be broadcast twice daily on boating radio channels, according to Deepwater Wind. Bonnie Brady, president of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, said the outreach by Deepwater Wind is window dressing. Deepwater Wind is “not doing anything at all. it’s a big, giant schmooze,” she said.,, Richard Fuka, president of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance, said he speaks with fishermen daily in Point Judith and he’s hearing the fishing stocks are down around the Block Island Wind Farm. >click to read<19:53

Coast Guard medevacs sick fisherman 6 miles off Nantucket

A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod aircrew medevaced a 40-year-old man experiencing abdominal pain Tuesday six miles southwest of Nantucket. The captain of the fishing vessel Provider notified Coast Guard watchstanders shortly after 2 p.m. of the sick crew member.  An Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was conducting prescheduled training in the area at the time and diverted to assist. The aircrew hoisted the fisherman to the helicopter and flew him back to Air Station Cape Cod where he was transferred to awaiting emergency medical services personnel.  -USCG-19:29