A Great Wall – In the Sea

Fishermen are being excluded from the debate relating to windfarm development in the North Sea, according to Job Schot of Eurocutter Job Senior Z-201, who has been prominent in questioning the rapid changes taking place. ‘I’m opposed to windfarms,‘ he said. ‘I’m a fisherman and this has a huge effect on how we make our living. But we have to accept that this isn’t going away.’ Since the first wind turbines appeared in the North Sea a couple of decades back, the rate of change has increased, and today fishing grounds are disappearing at breakneck speed, with little attention paid to those who question this. Photos, >click to read< 18:20

Jerry Leeman: Fishing is my life. Somewhere, people forgot to listen to the generations before us.

I’ve spent all my life on the ocean. My family and friends are fishermen and lobstermen. I grew up on an island in Maine and almost everyone was in some form of fishery, whether it be groundfishing, gill netting, seining and lobstering. We even had shrimping till that was mis managed away. I grew up watching these men and women harvesting the ocean. Rules were put into place to harvest the ocean responsibly and sustainably for future generations. Most people in this nation know little to as of why our fish stocks became depleted. Other nations like Russia and other European super trawlers were allowed to pillage our waters along the New England coast. They were eventually banned, but the destruction had been done. We’ve spent years restricting ourselves fishing, going out of our way bending backwards to rebuild our fish stocks. >click to read< By Jerry Leeman 11:19

Old Port Royal shrimp boat is sunk off Hilton Head Island. It’s now being put to good use

A 70-foot shrimp boat, once docked in the town of Port Royal, has joined New York City subway cars and other unusual materials that make up a man-made reef off of South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island, where black sea bass, grouper and barracuda and other fish hang out. On Oct. 25, the Palmetto Pride, a shrimp boat with Beaufort-based Sea Eagle Market, captained by Cameron Reaves, towed the Buccaneer to Betsy Ross Reef, 16 miles east of Hilton Head, where it was sunk the next day, said Craig Reaves, Cameron’s brother. Craig Reeves sees it as a “win win,” he said, because the older shrimp boat will benefit both the environment in its new life and Port Royal’s efforts to remove old boats from its water prepares as it prepares to build a new shrimp dock and processing facility. Video, >click to read< 09:05

Nova Scotia: Government Urges Safety as Southwestern Lobster Season Starts

Lobster fishing season begins Monday, November 28, in Southwestern Nova Scotia. Dumping Day, as it is known in lobster fishing areas 33 and 34, brings excitement and opportunity – but also great risk. Boats are often loaded with traps and gear, and crews must be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions. “Boarding boats in the cold and dark, at the mercy of the weather and the sea, makes fishing dangerous work. Safety is a crucial priority,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Steve Craig. “One tragedy is one too many, so we urge fishing captains and crews to make sure they follow their safety training and take every precaution, so they are able to come home safely to their loved ones.” >click to read< 08:07

Monkfish win for Scottish fleet after UK-Norway talks

A deal struck between the UK and Norway will help to offset “over-precautionary” catch advice affecting monkfish catches in the North Sea. The bilateral talks between the two countries have delivered fishing opportunities for the Scottish fleet in 2023. Agreements on access and quota exchanges of fish stocks were signed. Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Elspeth Macdonald said: “Reaching this deal provides certainty and clarity between the parties for the year ahead. “Due to over-precautionary catch advice from Ices… that industry considers to be unjustified, the inward transfer of monkfish from Norway is to be welcomed. >click to read< 18:02

Coast Guard pulled 4 men from shrimp boat taking on water 11 miles south of Jamaica Beach, Texas

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center watchstanders received a notification at 1:20 a.m. from Coast Guard Station Galveston watchstanders reporting a 31-foot shrimp boat taking on water with three people aboard. Once on scene, the RB–M crew reported that the shrimp boat, the F/V Captain Alex, was 86 feet in length and had four people aboard. The shrimp boat, which reportedly sank, is reported to have a maximum potential of 17,000 gallons of diesel aboard. 5 photos, >click to read< 14:50

Here’s why the West Coast Dungeness crab season has been delayed

Oregon’s most valuable commercial fishery, Dungeness crab, will have its season delayed from its traditional Dec. 1 start date because of low meat yields. Testing shows the crabs in some ocean areas off the West Coast don’t have enough meat in them to satisfy the commercial market. In some areas, testing also showed elevated levels of the naturally occurring toxin domoic acid, which can make the crabs unsafe to eat. ODFW conducts tests out of six major crabbing ports in partnership with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission and the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Oregon, California and Washington coordinate on commercial season opening dates, and the other states will also be delaying their crab season until at least Dec. 16. >click to read< 12:10

Mi’kmaw fisher hopes his treaty rights will prevail at trial

Matt Cope has already told the court that he was harvesting lobster in August 2020 when he was charged. While the fisher from Millbrook First Nation admits to that – Cope, 36, says his treaty rights should protect him from a conviction. Cope appeared at the provincial court in Digby, Nova Scotia where the Crown proved he violated the fisheries act. Officials with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, also known as DFO, testified that on Aug. 28 and 29, 2020, they seized 90 lobster traps from the Bay of Fundy. Video, >click to read< 11:09

Fish Safe NS Encouraging PFD Use Ahead of Dumping Day

Executive Director Matthew Duffy says they’ve been on wharves from Tiverton, Digby County to Eastern Passage over the last few weeks. He says the biggest topic of conversation are PFD’s. “I strongly encourage everyone going out to sea this season, that they always wear one. The Department of Labour is enforcing that, it’s the law to wear a personal floatation device in Nova Scotia,” says Duffy. >click to read< 09:10

New Zealand fines Southland fishing company $40,000 – Boat and nets forfeited

Cando Fishing Limited and Campbell David McManaway, 59, were sentenced in the Invercargill District Court today on multiple charges under the Fisheries Act they earlier pleaded guilty to following a successful prosecution by Ministry for Primary Industries. “We believe this aspect of the sentence sends a strong message to all commercial fishers. For the Quota management system to be effective in managing sustainability, all fishing activity needs to be captured correctly or the system won’t account for that activity creating a real threat to the resource through overfishing or incorrect reporting,” says MPI regional manager fisheries compliance, Garreth Jay. As a result of the fisheries convictions the fishing vessel, F/V San Nicholas was forfeited to the Crown along with 32 set nets. >click to read< 07:59

Maritime Safety Queensland launches new dredging plan at Mooloolaba Harbour

Maritime Safety Queensland will trial a new dredging technique in response to community anger over treacherous sandbanks building up at the entrance to Mooloolaba Harbour. Video footage of waves crashing over the back of the prawn trawler Canipa earlier this year demonstrated a dangerous problem that repeatedly plagues the busy seaport. Sand shoaling has limited access, endangered lives and vessels and restricted commercial trade, forcing some vessels to unload in other ports. Protests were held and more than 1,200 people signed a petition. The entrance was dredged but the search for long-term solutions continued. Video, >click to read< 14:52

Hull’s Arctic Corsair trawler wins flagship award for teaching about life at sea

The Arctic Corsair has been recognised for its role in educating people about the historic trawler trade, winning a prestigious award. National Historic Ships UK bestowed the award to Hull Maritime Museum – the team behind the restoration of both the Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship – at a ceremony in Chatham’s Historic Dockyard, Kent, on Tuesday. There were three categories in the Flagship of the Year 2022 award. “As the restoration of the Arctic Corsair progresses, it is important that we continue to raise awareness of her career and significance within the fishing industry in different and creative ways.” Video, Photos, >click to read< 11:09

How could Maine lobster get off Monterey Bay Aquarium’s red list?

Jeff White, a lobsterman of 30 years out of York Harbor, said lobstermen from Maine are not hitting or having gear tangled in the endangered North Atlantic right whale’s path, which is the basis for all the increased regulations and legal battles in the first place. “Anyone using this body of water, interacting with the right whales, needs to sit at the table… you can’t just pick one, especially one that has no impact,” White said. “If you are interested in rebuilding the right whale population that is the wrong road to take.” But if the lobster industry wants to be taken off Monterey Bay Aquarium’s red list, and to be taken off suspension from the MSC, what exactly needs to be done? Video, >click to read< 09:34

To our Friends, Readers, Supporters, and the Fishermen at Sea, Happy Thanksgiving


SF fishermen say Bay Area crab season may never again start before Thanksgiving

It’s going to be harder to find local crab this Thanksgiving, and possibly for many Thanksgivings to come. For the fourth year in a row, the start of San Francisco’s Dungeness crab season has been delayed, and local fishermen say a later crab season may now have shifted for good. “I think it is the new normal,” Max Boland, the vice president of sales at Safecoast Seafoods, a wholesale fishing company on Fisherman’s Wharf, John Barnett, a commercial crab fisherman and the president of the San Francisco Boat Owners Association, agrees. Video, >click to read<16:39

How Much Does a Crab Boat Cost? – Average Price

So how much does a crab boat cost nowadays? To begin with, you’ve got to have loads of dough if you’re aiming for the best crabbing boat. We’re talking about ceilings of $2,500,000, which can reach a little less than $3,000,000 or even $5,000,000. Even so, you can still bag a small crab boat for $10,000. Expect seesawing prices because of various factors. The cost of a crab boat can be as fickle as the sea because there are many factors that affect cost. Average-sized commercial crab boats (those that span at least 39 feet) start at $185,000. A large crab boat built for the same purpose is, of course, a different beast. These are the ones that fetch millions of dollars, especially if they reach sizes of 100 to 200 feet. Video, >click to read< 13:14

Smooth sailing not expected during lobster season off southwestern Nova Scotia

Southwestern Nova Scotia’s largest employer is gearing up for another season, however, this upcoming commercial lobster fishery comes with much uncertainty over what lies ahead for harvesters and the industry. Lobster shore prices have been down in other fishing districts ahead of the opening of this next commercial season and the cost of diesel and fuel prices, along with other expenses, is up. Lower prices for the catch, coupled with higher expenses to catch it, is not a great combination to be on the minds of fish harvesters as a new season gets underway. Photos, >click to read< 12:14

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 85′ Steel Shrimp Trawler, Caterpillar 3412

To review specifications, information, and 12 photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< 10:56

Canadian Coast Guard can’t retire old fisheries science vessels on East Coast

Canada is extending the life of its two aging offshore fisheries science vessels on the East Coast as the Canadian Coast Guard struggles to bring their replacements into service. The transition has floundered because of breakdowns, unplanned maintenance and refits on both new and old fisheries science vessels. In response, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has now postponed the planned retirement of 40-year-old CCGS Alfred Needler on Dec.31 and 34-year-old CCGS Teleost set for March 2023. >click to read< 09:18

Young Fishermen Are Struggling to Stay Afloat

Lucas Raymond has been working as a deckhand on a boat that catches monkfish, pollock, hake, and occasional cod out of New Hampshire’s Rye Harbor for the last decade. His fishing trips often involve navigating rough, stormy waters and typically last two to three days, but the 30-year-old enjoys doing physical work outside. “Even at the end of a very hard day, it’s rewarding,” Raymond says. Like many sectors, commercial fishing is facing a worker shortage, with too few young fishermen coming in to replace the aging workforce. The average age of groundfish and lobster captains in New England is 55 years old, >click to read< 07:52

Well, the windmill agenda is damning us all. Fisherman Jerry Leeman

Well, the windmill agenda is damning us all. The evidence all points in the same direction from the standpoint of the sea. I’m a fisherman and have been all my life here in New England. I was raised on an island in Maine with a bunch of fishermen and fishing families. Everyone has their own style and way of harvesting the ocean. The unspoken truth is we all are for the betterment of the ocean, stewards of the sea by trade. That’s why we have management teams or supposed to which manage the stocks which the government and state control and not the actual harvesters. Here in New England, we are the most regulated fishermen in the world and that’s no lie. We have video tracking daily reporting and 100 % observer coverage. Your every move is being watched. All the fishermen are now switching their efforts and styles of groundfishing to fish without fishing is my best way to describe it. >click to read< 22:34

Shrimpers, maritime industry find support following hurricane

One group especially impacted by Ian are shrimpers and commercial fishermen. Their vessels were tossed, turned and catapulted onto land. And that’s where they will remain until specialized cranes can safely hoist them back into the water, where they belong assuming they can still float. Leaders of local nonprofits have been surveying our community and supporting those who need help. On a recent visit to Fort Myers Beach, I had an opportunity to speak with some shrimpers and commercial fishermen who rode out Ian on their boats. When asked what they need, though, the men weren’t focused on personal items. “We’re hoping to get back in the water so we can go fishing,” Richard Browne said. “We desperately need to get back on the water.” >click to read< 13:39

Canada’s efforts to rebuild depleted fish stocks are flopping, says ENGO Oceana

Major spending increases and policy changes by the federal government to protect and rebuild wild fish stocks in Canada have resulted in little improvement, according to the 2022 Fishery Audit released this week by environmental group Oceana Canada. In its sixth annual audit, Oceana says fewer than one third of wild marine fish stocks in Canada are considered healthy and most critically depleted stocks lack plans to rebuild them. The audit assessed 194 fish stocks in Canada. The audit says 72 per cent of DFO’s management documents do not formally consider climate change and that needs to change. >click to read< 12:33

‘Cable corridors’ to stop boats cutting off island’s phone and internet

The archipelago in the North Sea lost phone, broadband and mobile services last month after a subsea cable was damaged. Faroese Telecom, the cable operator, said they believed it had been cut by fishing vessels. It was later confirmed by the Scottish Government that a fishing trawler hit the primary cable. There are now proposals for a designated corridor for undersea infrastructure cables to run along. It is hoped that these would give greater certainty to fishermen, as well as reducing the risk of telecommunications outages in future. >click to read< 10:45

Fine quadrupled for repeat offender “paper captain” violation

Further investigation after a vessel operator declined an October notice of violation issued by the Coast Guard uncovered the operator in question had previous violations of the Jones Act. The initial fine of $3,000 has been increased to $12,968.50, the calculated average penalty for a repeat violator, said Lt. Cmdr. Colin Fogarty. “The violator, John D. Gibbs, declined it,” Fogarty said in a phone interview. “When the (notice of violation) is declined, it becomes a civil penalty.” Fogarty said enforcement elements targeted the vessel, the F/V Southern Horizon, because of information gathered. We went onboard, and the captain admitted to being a paper captain.” >click to read< 09:50

Whole Foods to stop selling Gulf of Maine lobster

The Marine Stewardship Council suspended the certification of sustainability for the fishery last week, citing a failure to comply with laws meant to protect the North Atlantic right whale. The fishery was also added to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “red list” in September due to the same fishing practices which the seafood watch program deems harmful. Whole Foods says it will stop buying Gulf of Maine lobster until the suspension is lifted or the fishery is taken off the red list. The Maine Lobstermen’s Association feels the MSC decertification is the “direct result of the federal government’s overreach and its misuse of science in overestimating risk from the Maine lobster fishery,”  >click to read< 08:25

Dungeness Crab Fishery Delay to Protect Whales from Entanglement and Due to Low Crab Quality

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is continuing the temporary recreational crab trap restriction in Fishing Zones 3, 4, 5 and 6 due to presence of humpback whales and the potential for entanglement from trap gear. The commercial Dungeness crab fishery in Fishing Zones 3-6 will also remain delayed due to presence of high numbers of humpback whales and the potential for entanglement with lines and traps in this fishery. CDFW anticipates the next risk assessment will take place on or before Dec. 7, 2022, at which time CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham will re-evaluate the temporary recreational crab trap restriction and commercial fishery delay in Fishing Zones 3-6. >click to read< 07:42

SEA-NL congratulates provincial Liberal Party on World Fisheries Day

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador congratulates the provincial Liberal Party on World Fisheries Day for passing resolutions to have cod declared a heritage fish, a call for search and rescue resources for Labrador, and a review of the rules to become an inshore skipper. “It’s great to see the wild commercial fisheries on the political agenda of the ruling party,” says Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL. “The wild fisheries are what brought us here, and the wild fisheries will keep us here. That must never be forgotten.” >click to read the rest< 19:41

Fifth-generation fisherman Edward Mark Muise of Sullivan, Maine has passed away

Edward Mark Muise, 47, of Sullivan passed away at Houlton Regional Hospital with his mother and stepfather at his side. Ed was born in Ellsworth, son of Patricia and Edward. He went to school at Sumner Memorial High but claimed to graduate from “The School of Hard Knocks.” He loved the ocean and was proud being a fifth-generation fisherman. He first started fishing out of Tidal Falls as a sternman with Uncle Ronnie as a young teen. He was a sternman on several other boats then became the captain of Devil’s Delight and Pirate’s Penny. >click to read< 16:10

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for 11/21/2022 – NCMFC Votes More Apples for Me!

Last week I attended the November 2022 business meeting of the NC Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) and below are my thoughts on a couple of key issues on their agenda. Bear in mind I have not gone back and listened to the meeting, so I am relying solely on my recollection from last week. Thankfully, it’s only been a couple of days so my percent standard error (PSE) should be much lower than the bi-monthly mail survey the State used to estimate the recreational harvest of Stiped Mullet! Night one of the meetings began at 6pm with comments from the public, mostly recreational anglers and mostly focused on one issue, the net ban in the Upper Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. >click to read the weekly update< 12:08