My Turn: Ben Landry: Have honest discussion on fishing

In his July 7 column (“Opinions on changes toquota are divided”), Capt. Dave Monti makes multiple inaccurate claims about the biology and management of menhaden — claims that someone who advises menhaden regulators at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission should know do not conform to the latest menhaden science. Mr. Monti mischaracterizes the health of the Atlantic menhaden stock when he says it is “on the rebound, due to the first-ever catch quota put into place in 2012.” As an ASMFC advisor, Mr. Monti should know that the 2012 catch quota was based on a stock assessment, later determined to be faulty, that showed menhaden was being overfished. That later-disproven science led the commission to unnecessarily slash menhaden catch rates by 20 percent, hurting those who make their living in the fishery. click here to read the rest, it gets better! 19:24

Tokyo’s proposal to cap saury catch tanks after neighbors slam it as unfair

The North Pacific Fisheries Commission held its annual meeting earlier this month to discuss an international framework to prevent overfishing. But its eight members were ultimately unable to agree on individual quotas for Pacific saury, a popular seasonal fish, amid strong opposition from China and other players. Tokyo had proposed annual caps of 242,000 tons on Japan’s catch, 191,000 tons for Taiwan and 47,000 tons for China. State-run China Central Television reported that Japan blamed China for the shrinking stock of saury, and said Tokyo’s proposal was “irrational” and unfairly tough on its neighbor. Chinese microblogging site Weibo erupted with disapproving posts. Users questioned why Japan should be allowed five times the catch when its population was just one-thirteenth of China’s, while others said Japan’s own problems with overfishing tuna gave it “no right to criticize other countries.” click here to read the story 18:18

Coast Guard crews work diligently to keep fishing boat afloat in the Gulf

Additional Coast Guard crews have been sent to keep flooding at bay aboard a commercial fishing vessel with four people aboard, 30 miles northeast of Port Aransas, Friday. A Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and a Station Port Aransas response boat crew each delivered dewatering pumps earlier in the morning, after the 95-foot Miss Tina II reported that they were taking on water. At 4:27 a.m., the captain of the Miss Tina II contacted Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi watchstanders to report the vessel was taking on water and was in need of assistance. Another aircrew returned to provide another dewatering pump later in the morning. A total of four dewatering pumps were delivered to the vessel and were keeping up with the ingress of water. A Station Port O’Connor response boat crew relieved the Port Aransas crew and the Coast Guard patrol boat was diverted to assist. The Tin Can, the sister boat of the Miss Tina II, is towing the boat to Palacios. The Station Port O’Connor response boat crew is escorting both boats. -USCG- 16:19

Study: Sea Level Rise Revised Downward

If I had not looked past the headline of the press report on a new study, I would have just filed it under “It’s worse than we thought”. A new study in Nature reported on July 17 carried the following headlines: “Satellite snafu masked true sea-level rise for decades” “Revised tallies confirm that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating as the Earth warms and ice sheets thaw.” When I read that, I (like everyone else) assumed that corrections to the satellite sea level data since 1993 have now led to a revised trend toward faster (not slower) sea level rise. Right? Wrong. click here to read the story

Sea Level Rise Accelerating? Not. – This question all revolves around whether the rate of sea level rise is relatively steady, or whether it is accelerating … so how do we tell the difference? click here to read the story 13:21

Shrinking northern shrimp catch sparks worry for one of Eastern Canada’s most important fisheries

The northern shrimp population in the Gulf of St. Lawrence has dropped by 50 per cent in the past 10 years, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Commercial fishermen brought in roughly 30 per cent fewer shrimp between 2015 and 2016. While the exact portrait of what is happening with shrimp stocks may be complex, the warming temperatures of the Gulf of St. Lawrence have been fingered as a potential problem for northern shrimp, a cold-water-loving shrimp species found in the northwest Atlantic. Another factor is the increasing number of redfish, also known as the ocean perch, a species that prefers warmer temperatures. Redfish compete with the shrimp for food when they are young, and feed on them when they are older. click here to read the story 11:08

140,000 live Canadian lobster sold to China in 24 hours

Chinese buyers snapped up more than 140,000 live Canadian lobsters within 24 hours last week through a Beijing-based online retailer, and the demand can only grow, says a New Brunswick supplier. The live lobsters came from a variety of sources for the sale July 14 on jd.com, one of the largest e-commerce websites in the world. According to a news release from the company, the surge in lobster purchases was part of a sale promoting fresh food from Canada, which also included cherries and blueberries among the offerings. click here to read the story 10:30

Pacific Seafood Processor’s Association seeks probe into America’s Finest foreign steel

The trade group representing Alaska’s onshore fish processing plants is challenging a request for an exemption to a federal law limiting the amount of foreign steel allowed in fishing vessel construction. The Pacific Seafood Processor’s Association has major issues with the request for a Jones Act waiver sought by Fisherman’s Finest, the owner of the embattled flatfish factory trawler American’s Finest, and its builder, the Washington shipyard Dakota Creek Industries. The 261-foot vessel is nearly complete at a cost of at least $60 million, and cannot fish in U.S. waters without the waivers. PSPA’s members include Unisea and Westward in Unalaska, and most of the other fish processors in Alaska. click here to read the story 09:52

Australia Seeks to Extend Commercial Fishing in Protected Waters

Australia plans to allow fishing across 80 percent of its protected maritime sanctuaries, the government said on Friday in a proposal that would vastly extend commercial activity in the world’s largest marine-reserves network. If the plan, backed by the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, is approved by Parliament, it would be the first time a nation has scaled back its regulations in protected maritime areas. The move could potentially set a precedent for other countries, including the United States, which are considering similar reversals. (enviro’s are opposed) “This is a huge step backwards for marine protection,” said Richard Leck, head of oceans for WWF-Australia, an affiliate of the World Wildlife Fund. click here to read the story 09:00

FISHY BUSINESS: There are plenty of fish in the sea

“The ocean has been over-fished, there are only a few more years of fish out there; and then they will all be gone.” “There simply are not any more fish in the sea, they have all been taken!” “The Northeast fishing industry is dead, they have fished themselves out of business.“ These are all common statements one might hear about commercial fishing in the Northeast, although each represents a misunderstanding of the situation. In fact, today these statements are just plain wrong. The Northeast ground fishing industry is in real trouble and has been for some time, which is true. The trouble is not the result of lack of fish. As Fishy Business often points out, the real culprits are poor fishery management by the federal government, incomplete fish stock assessments and bad science. click here to read the story 21:14

Wind farm officials hear fishermen’s pleas, Deepwater Now Exploring New Cable Route

In response to strong opposition from commercial fishermen who fear a disruption of their work and destruction of fish habitat, officials of Deepwater Wind, a Rhode Island company that plans to construct a 15-turbine wind farm approximately 30 miles off Montauk, are exploring an alternative to an initial plan to route the installation’s transmission cable through Gardiner’s Bay. At an April meeting of the East Hampton Town Trustees, several fishermen voiced those concerns to Clint Plummer, Deepwater Wind’s vice president of development, should the transmission cable be laid to make landfall in Gardiner’s Bay. click here to read the story 20:25

A big harvest + a buck a pound: Bristol Bay 2017 will be one for the books

Mother Nature sent way more sockeye back to Bristol Bay than was expected, and many fishermen recorded their top seasons ever. As other fisheries fall short, the market is eager for all the fish the Bay can provide, so the fleet goes home with a better price, too. The ex-vessel value may be the highest since early 90s.The Bristol Bay run is not over yet, with word Monday that the Kvichak River seemed to finally “pop”, but this year’s fishery is shaping up to be one of the largest ever and certainly one of the most valuable in a long time.,,, “We are really happy to see several processors posting $1/lb base price – especially considering the base price just 2 years ago was .50 cents,” said Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association executive director Becky Martello. “With much of the fleet now chilling and bleeding, it means that our fishermen can get upwards of $1.25/pound. That’s good news for the fleet and the fishery.” click here to read the story 17:51

Gov. Roy Cooper: No drilling off N.C. coast; ‘not worth it’

Gov. Roy Cooper said he will oppose seismic testing and drilling off the North Carolina coast during a statement at Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach Thursday. In April, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aiming to expand off-shore drilling in parts of the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, including North Carolina. Cooper is at odds with Trump’s order, and the governor argued off-shore drilling poses an economic risk to tourism and commercial fishing with no clear benefits for the state. The federal government has North Carolina on the list of potential off-shore drilling locations, and Friday is the deadline for seismic testing click here to read the story 16:16

NOAA locates F/V Destination wreckage, Coast Guard hearing set for August

Two NOAA ships, en route to scientific missions in Alaskan waters, helped locate the missing fishing vessel Destination at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation. The Destination and its six crew members were lost February 11, 2017, while fishing for Opilio crab (snow crab) northwest of St. George, Alaska. NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson, a fisheries survey vessel, conducted the first survey from April 30 through May 1. The Dyson used its multibeam echo sounder to search the area around the last known position of the Destination. While the ship was not able to positively identify any contacts, it did narrow the search area. A second survey by NOAA Ship Fairweather, a hydrographic survey vessel, was conducted on July 8 and 9. The Fairweather used its multibeam sonar, designed for seafloor mapping and object detection, to locate the Destination in approximately 250 feet of water. click here to read the press release 13:51

Senators Murkowski and King Renew Call to Ratify Law of the Sea Treaty to Help Chart Future of the Arctic

Two key senators have renewed a more than 30-year-old United States call to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty in order to have a seat at the table involving the Arctic’s future. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Wednesday by not ratifying the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea the United States is locked out of international enforcement of what it considers its outer continental shelf for possible development and protection, the seabed and fisheries.  Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), also a member of the committee, called the Senate’s failure to ratify the pact “a huge self-inflicted wound,” speaking Wednesday at the Center for International and Strategic Studies. The failure to ratify based on arguments of loss of American sovereignty if approved means “right now we’re not in the game” in deciding broad maritime issues.  click here to read the story 13:24

2 men arrested on drug charges aboard fishing boat in Buzzards Bay

Two men were arrested Wednesday on drug charges while aboard a fishing vessel in Buzzards Bay as a result of a port security operation with New Bedford Police Maritime Special Response Team, Massachusetts Environmental Police, the Department of Homeland Security and the New Bedford Police Port Security Unit.,,, The two men were charged after members of the security operation boarded the fishing vessel Blue Ocean, which is homeported in Virginia. The vessel was headed outbound from the Port of New Bedford, police said. click here to read the story 12:39

Today’s Whale News. 8th right whale found dead, 1 more entangled, whale rescues resume, young Humback detangled of Cali.

An eighth North Atlantic right whale has been found dead and another is entangled in fishing gear in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Marine Animal Response Society said in a Facebook post.
All eight deaths have occurred in the gulf since the beginning of June, which experts are calling an “unprecedented event.” click here to read the story

U.S. officials are lifting a ban on some whale disentanglement efforts after briefly banning the practice that last week led to the death of a Canadian fisherman. But the ban will stay in effect for right whales, “whose unpredictable behavior is particularly challenging during rescue attempts,” Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, said Tuesday. click here to read the story

A crew of 20-25 people spent eight hours Tuesday freeing a juvenile humpback whale that had been entangled in fishing gear off the coast of Crescent City since Thursday. click here to read the story 11:30

 

Couple Charged with Crimes Related to False Distress Call to Fake Lead Defendant’s Death to Avoid Prison

Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that two Port Graham, Alaska, residents have been federally charged related to their causing the United States Coast Guard to attempt to save life and property when no help was needed.  Ryan Riley Meganack, aka: “Unga,” 34, and his girlfriend, Ivy Rose Rodriguez, 25, both of Port Graham, Alaska, were charged with conspiracy and false distress. Meganack was also charged with felon in possession of a firearm. Meganack, a long-time commercial fisherman and a boat captain, was scheduled to plead guilty on Dec. 5, 2016, in a separate case (State of Alaska v. Meganack, 3AN-15-00683CR), and understood that at the time he pled guilty in that matter he would go to prison. To avoid that consequence, Meganack attempted to fake his own death and enlisted the help of his girlfriend, Rodriguez. click here to read the story 10:53

Deputy sheriff convicted of ‘Codfather’ cash smuggling

A former Bay State sheriff’s deputy has been convicted in a cash-smuggling scheme connected to a New Bedford fishing mogul known as “The Codfather” during which he took thousands in profits from overfishing and deposited them into a Portuguese bank. Antonio Freitas, 47, of Taunton, a Bristol County sheriff’s deputy and a longtime Immigration and Customs Enforcement task-force officer, was convicted yesterday by a jury in U.S. District Court in Boston of one count of bulk cash smuggling and one count of structuring the export of U.S. currency. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 12 click here to read the story 08:07

FISH-NL recommends DFO immediately suspend extra cod to south coast inshore harvesters 

“The priority must be to ensure all inshore harvesters have the opportunity to at least catch their basic IQs (Individual Quotas),” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. It’s rumoured that more than 60 per cent of the 6,500-tonne cod quota that’s been set this year off the south coast (fishing zone 3Ps) has already been taken. A DFO official said late Wednesday afternoon the Department has noticed an increase in landings, and is “monitoring” the situation. While south coast harvesters are assigned IQs, they’re also allowed to catch even more cod — this year it’s up to one full extra IQ, which local harvesters refer to as a “bump”. Rumour also has it that Ocean Choice International is currently gearing up its offshore vessels to catch south coast cod this fall. click here to read the story 23:43

The Man Who Got Americans to Eat Trash Fish Is Now a Billionaire

Chuck Bundrant was a college freshman with $80 in his pocket when he drove halfway across the country to Seattle to earn a few bucks fishing. The year was 1961. He hasn’t stopped fishing since. And today, Bundrant, the founder and majority owner of Trident Seafoods, is worth at least $1.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.,,, Chuck Bundrant’s story is the stuff of industry legend. “He knew nothing about fishing boats, or catching and processing crab and salmon,’’ son Joe said in a corporate video two years ago. “He’d only watched a movie with John Wayne in it called ‘North to Alaska.’ And he heard there was money to be made on the fishing grounds, thousands and thousands of miles from home.’’ After a few years, Bundrant was looking for a way to start a business in the industry. He met two other crab fishermen — Kaare Ness and Mike Jacobson — and in 1973 the three put their money together and built the Billikin, a 135-foot boat that changed the seafood industry, according to Trident’s corporate history. click here to read the story 19:06

North Sea cod gets MSC certification

At times during these moratorium years of the northern cod, people in this province have glanced at the North Sea to see how that cod stock was faring. Collapsed, recovered and collapsed again, North Sea cod over the years seemed on a different path than northern cod, and different methods were undertaken to attempt recovery and sustainability. On Wednesday, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) announced that North Sea cod has received its distinguished certification after the stock passed an independent assessment against the MSC’s strict standards.,,, “Since then the industry has worked with the Scottish Government and EU Fisheries Council to agree and implement a ‘Cod Recovery Plan’ that would nurse the stock back to health. “The plan linked the number of days fishing that boats were given to the conservation measures they signed up to. click here to read the story 17:42

East Hampton floats $15G loan to remove boat sinking in harbor

A private fishing boat that had been slowly sinking at the East Hampton Town dock in Montauk was hauled Monday after the town board picked up the $15,000 tab, officials said. The Sylvia S, a 63-year-old wooden dragger, was taken out of the water by Gone Fishing Marina in Montauk about two weeks after the vessel began leaking, Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said. The insurance coverage on the 46-foot boat had expired.,,,Town officials had to step in to assure that the boat — which was being kept afloat by water pumps — would not sink at the town dock, where its owner was renting a slip, and become “even more of a concern,” Cantwell said click here to read the story 15:15

FISH-NL – Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Torrent River Inn in Hawke’s Bay

FISH-NL wishes to advise all inshore fish harvesters of the Great Northern Peninsula/southern Labrador that a meeting is scheduled for this coming Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Torrent River Inn in Hawke’s Bay. All harvesters are urged to attend. President Ryan Cleary will outline a number of issues that threaten the future of the inshore fishery in the area. 14:22

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 40′ Young Bros. Lobster/Tuna, Detroit 6-V-92, North Lights – 8 KW Genset

Vessel is turn key and in excellent condition. Specifications, information and 29 photos click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 14:06

Local charter suspected of ‘high-grading’ prized halibut

Pacific Salmon Charters got an unexpected publicity boost earlier this month, when the crew of the Pacific Dream rescued passengers from a sunken boat. Last week, the company received not-so-welcome attention from state and federal game wardens. On Thursday, July 13, officers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife served a search warrant at the Pacific Salmon office at the Port of Ilwaco.  According to the warrant, Pacific Salmon crews are suspected of habitually “high-grading,” or catching more than the legal limit of fish, and keeping only the most desirable specimens. Investigators say they have evidence that Pacific Salmon Charters crews high-graded on at least two trips during the short spring halibut season. click here to read the story 13:06

US court opens way for SA to recoup $100m from former Hout Bay fish poaching magnate

CAPE TOWN – A New York court has opened the way for the South African government to recoup as much as $100 million from a former Hout Bay fishing magnate. Arnold Bengis served just under four years in a United States (US) prison for poaching and illegal importation of seafood into the US. Now, this South Africa’s government is going after him again, asking US authorities to attach his assets. A New York court last week agreed to resentence him. The boss of the now defunct , Bengis, was prominent in the Cape Town fishing industry for 40 years when he was sentenced in 2004 to 46 months in a US jail. click here to read the story 12:25

FISH-NL files opposition to MPA off Newfoundland’s south coast, calling it joke to scientists and insult to inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has registered its official opposition to proposed regulations to govern a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Laurentian Channel off Newfoundland’s south coast. “The proposed Laurentian Channel MPA is an insult to inshore fish harvesters, and a cruel joke to scientists,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The fact that the proposal has  been signed off on by the FFAW-Unifor is yet another example of a union that no longer champions its members or the fishing industry, and has become a lackie of Ottawa and the oil and gas industry.” click here to read the press release 11:56

Rare blue and cream colored lobster caught off New Hampshire coast

Lobstermen catch thousands of the crustaceans every year, but every now and again a gem is found among the masses. On Monday, Rye, N.H., lobsterman Greg Ward caught a hard-shelled blue and cream colored lobster around 1 p.m. near the New Hampshire-Maine border. He originally thought he caught a rare albino lobster, but said he had rarely caught blue lobsters in his 32 years of commercial lobster fishing. “This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue,” Ward said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Usually, the stronger lobsters are usually the reddish brown color but this one still had a hard shell.” click here to read the story 10:51

Fishermen in Dingle have landed a rare giant squid for the second time

A fishing crew in Kerry couldn’t believe their luck after they encountered a rare giant squid for the second time this year. The sprawling 5.5 metre Architeuthis landed in Dingle after it was caught by the Cu na Mara crew 150 miles west, on the Porcupine Bank.,,, Patrick Flannery, skipper of Cu na Mara, told RTÉ: “When we opened the net we couldn’t believe it, that it was another one. The lads were very excited. What are the chances of two in one year!” Video, click here to read the story 09:14

Laurentian Channel Marine Protected Area – Fishing activity singled out for extra blame

I have read many Government of Canada documents. Some of them caused me to roll my eyes, some of them caused chuckles, some were examples of great work, and there has been one document that was the most insulting thing I have ever read. That insulting document (click here) is the reason I write this letter. The Canadian government is about to designate a part of the ocean as a marine protected area (MPA).,,, You can read the document and see for yourself, but the document can be summarized as saying that commercial and recreational fishing are the reason fish species are in danger of extinction and the humans who prosecute those activities have to be stopped. The document is saying that if we continue to dig up the ocean floor, if we continue blast the crap out of the North Atlantic with air guns, and if we continue to ram into whatever whales and turtles we see, it’s no big deal. However, if we bait one hook or set one net or set one crab pot, and if we do it for either recreational or commercial purposes, we are scum. Harvey Jarvis, Portugal Cove. click here to read the letter 08:26