catch share hell

Catch Share Hell

Jane Lubchenco, Tony Blair, and Vladimir Putin eventually all died and (of course) went straight to Hell. Upon arrival, they spy a red phone and ask what the phone is for. The Devil tells them it is for calling back to Earth. Putin calls Russia and talks for 5 minutes. When he finished the Devil informs him that the cost is a million dollars, so Putin writes him a check. Next Tony Blair calls England and talks for 30 minutes. When he’s finished the Devil informs him that cost is 6 million dollars, so Blair writes him a check. Finally, Lubchenco gets her turn and talks for 4 hours. When she’s finished, the Devil kindly informed her that there would be no charge and to feel free to call Silver Spring or Washington DC anytime. Putin goes ballistic and asks the Devil why Lubchenco got to call Silver Spring for free. The Devil replied, “Since Lubchenco became NMFS’s Premier of Implementation for Catch Shares, the federal fisheries inside 200-miles has gone to hell, so it’s a local call.” 20:18

Department of Fisheries and Oceans Rejects COSEWIC’s Species-at-risk designation of Atlantic bluefin tuna

hi-852-bluefin-tuna-0074651Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans has rejected advice to list the Atlantic bluefin tuna as an endangered species. The long-awaited recommendation should preserve the region’s $10-million bluefin tuna fishery, industry representatives say. The department says western Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks have been rebuilding since 2011, when the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada said tuna should be listed as an endangered species under federal species-at-risk legislation. That would have made it illegal to kill, harm or capture the giant fish. Glenn MacKenzie of the Gulf Nova Scotia Tuna Association said he was “very relieved.” He’s one of 135 commercial tuna fishermen who fish from the Nova Scotia side of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Read the story here 19:27

White Marlin Open Polygraph fail could boost N.J. fishermen’s Tuna $767,091winnings up another $2.3M!

20914471-mmmainA trio of New Jersey fisherman could land $2.3 million more in prize money for the record 236.5-pound tuna they caught earlier this month in Maryland. Brian Suschke, a Trenton police sergeant and Rich Kosztyu, a Trenton firefighter, already won $767,091 for the catch with friend and boat owner Damien Romeo at the White Marlin Open in Ocean City, Md. But last week, the tournament announced that a Florida boat that won $2.8 million in the white marlin category – the sole qualifying fish in the category – may have violated tournament rules. And last Friday, the tournament filed an action asking a Maryland court decide the matter. In court filings, the tournament alleged fishermen on the winning boat failed polygraph examinations – a requirement for collecting a prize greater of $50,000. Read the story here 19:06

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Mid Atlantic: Coast Guard urges mariners, beachgoers to prepare for severe weather

The 5th Coast Guard District is advising mariners and swimmers throughout the mid-Atlantic region Monday to use caution this week. Tropical Depressions Eight and Nine are forecasted to impact beaches and waterways from North Carolina to New Jersey as they transit the Mid-Atlantic region during the next several days. Tropical storm-force winds are possible during the next 48 hours. “Our primary concern is ensuring the safety of life at sea,” said Capt. William Lane, Fifth District Chief of Response.  “We are encouraging all mariners, personal watercraft users, and beachgoers to make safety a priority as these two weather systems pass through the region.” Mariners are warned to take the following precautions to protect their vessels and their crews: Read the rest here 18:00

Is there really a Manatee swimming around Cape Cod??

manatee-off-cape-codThe International Fund for Animal Welfare says there have been several sightings of a manatee around Cape Cod. The manatee has reportedly been spotted off Nantucket, at Dowses Beach in Osterville and Oyster Pond in Chatham. “Here on the Cape it’s not very common,” IFAW research member Misty Niemeyer tells The Cape Cod Times. “We aren’t really quite sure what they are doing.” Anyone who spots the manatee should stay away and call the IFAW at 508-743-9548. Link 16:03

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission discusses fishing limit of Pacific bluefin tuna

20160829KW___0021500010.PH.-.-.N.CI0004An international fisheries commission began discussing details of fishing restrictions for bluefin tuna in the northern Pacific at a meeting in southwestern Japan on Monday amid concerns about overfishing. At a subcommittee meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission held through Friday in the city of Fukuoka, participants are discussing the possibility of invoking a catch limit based on Japan’s proposal. The panel is discussing specific control measures with an eye to reaching a formal agreement within this year. Meanwhile, nongovernmental organizations Greenpeace and the Pew Charitable Trusts have issued a statement requesting the WCPFC to immediately implement a 2-year moratorium on all commercial fishing for Pacific bluefin tuna. Read the rest here 15:10

Photo-Op Politician to speak Tuesday on New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts designation

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-112_sr_ct_blumenthal_richardENGO., will speak Tuesday night about the effort to designate the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts area as the nation’s first Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean at Mystic Aquarium. Also speaking will be the aquarium’s Senior Research Scientist Peter Auster, who is among those trying to convince President Obama to make the designation before leaving office. There will also be a question-and-answer session followed by a reception with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The event will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Those wishing to attend the event should RSVP Dale Wolbrink at [email protected] or (860) 694-9011. Link 13:12

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Connecticut’s traditional fishing catch is heading north – New England marine life on the move

There was a hefty irony to the announcement by Connecticut’s two U.S. senators earlier this summer that they were joining the sponsorship for a National Lobster Day next month. The iconic symbol of the state’s fishing industry for years, Long Island Sound was once flush with lobster, traps and people who made their livings from them. But no more. Connecticut’s lobster landings topped 3.7 million pounds a year, worth $12 million, in the late 1990s, but by 2014 had diminished to about 127,000 pounds worth a little more than $600,000. Instead of the picture of fishing success, lobster has become the face of climate change in New England: a sentinel of warming water, ocean acidification and other man-made impacts that have sent them and dozens of other marine animals scurrying in search of a more hospitable environment. Big Read. Read the story here  11:26

“Big Lobi” the 22-pound lobster freed days ago in Chatham is found dead

EP-160829531.jpg&MaxW=650&MaxH=650On Thursday, a 22-pound lobster named Big Lobi scuttled away to freedom after twin brothers from New Jersey bought it at the Chatham Fish Pier Market and released it into Ryder’s Cove. On Saturday afternoon, Big Lobi was found dead. Ray Wilkes, a retiree from Chatham, had just moored his boat in Ryder’s Cove after a day of fishing and whale watching when a large shape caught his eye near the shore. “I was paddling back in a dinghy and saw a large thing over there in the muck,” he said. He picked up the mysterious object and realized it was one of the biggest lobsters he had ever seen, he said. He took some pictures of the deceased crustacean and sent them to the Center for Coastal Studies. Chris and David Schmidt, of New Jersey, purchased the huge lobster, which they named Big Lobi in honor of Red Sox star David Ortiz (aka Big Papi), at the Chatham Pier Fish Market for $210. David Schmidt did not return a call for comment by the Times deadline. Read the story here  09:20

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Fred Wahl Marine Construction receives $3.4 Million state grant to expand Reedsport facility and workforce

A company that builds commercial fishing boats in Reedsport netted a $3.4 million grant from the state this month, positioning itself to expand its workforce by 50 percent in the coming years. Fred Wahl Marine Construction, currently the biggest private employer in the coastal city, won the grant through the Oregon Department of Transportation and its ConnectOregon program. Its award was the second highest monetary award after an $8.3 million grant given to Union Pacific for railroad improvements. The award allows the company to begin work on a nine-story facility on Bolon Island, between Reedsport and Gardiner. The new building will be designed to be large enough to take on a bigger workload. The new facility would also take shipbuilding and repair work out of the rain when necessary. The company recently bought a six-story, 200-ton lift to haul boats out of the water and carry them into the proposed building. Once it’s completed, the company expects its roster of 91 employees to grow to about 130. Read the story here 08:40

The Wild Blue Mussel is disappearing from the Gulf of Maine

BlueMussel_MtDesertIs_SorteGCB-1080x717New England is running out of mussels. The Gulf of Maine’s once strong population of wild blue mussels is disappearing, scientists say. A study led by marine ecologists at the University of California at Irvine found the numbers along the gulf coastline have declined by more than 60 percent over the last 40 years. Once covering as much as two-thirds of the gulf’s intertidal zone, mussels now cover less than 15 percent. The Sorte study focused on 20 sites along the gulf, using historical data to compare today’s mussel populations to those of the past. She said the decline of mussels isn’t due to just one factor — warming ocean water, increases in human harvesting and the introduction of new predatory invasive species all appear to play a role. Read the story here 15:40

Sport Fishing Tournament Controversy: “White Marlin Open” says winner from Naples lied, broke rules

636076468425698649-636064189831828136-M3R-3849-1--1-Polygraph tests on the big winner of the White Marlin Open have determined the angler and crew members lied about following tournament rules, according to court documents filed on behalf of the tournament. Polygraphs administered  on behalf of the tournament determined that Philip Heasley and others crew members of the Kallianassa, which  was announced as having the winning white marlin at the close of the tournament, were “deceitful.” Heasley, of Naples, had brought in a 76.5-pound white marlin, the sole qualifying white marlin vying for the grand prize of $2.8 million. However, examination of catch logs by the tournament brought suspicion that Heasley and the crew of the Kallianassa had not followed the rules of the tournament, so officials withheld the prize money. Read the story here 13:18

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Further cut in fluke quota puts Stonington fishermen, wholesaler in peril

Imagine one of the breadwinners in a typical two-earner household is suddenly hit with a 26 percent pay cut. Then, just as the family has adjusted to the leaner budget, the same worker’s pay gets lopped another 30 percent. Their landlord already has reduced their rent, and the family has cut corners wherever they could, so how will they make ends meet now? That’s basically the question Mike Gambardella, owner of Gambardella Wholesale Fish at Stonington Town Dock, is asking himself. He faces a new 30 percent reduction in the supply of fluke, one of his main products, next year, following the 26 percent cut he’s already dealing with this year that’s cost him about $100,000 in revenue. It also forced him to lay off one of his workers and reduce pay for himself and his remaining six workers, and negotiate reduced rent on the building he rents from the town. “At this point,” he said Thursday, “we’re fighting a losing battle. If I lose another $100,000 next year, I can’t afford to stay in business.” The new 30 percent cut in the supply of fluke — also called summer flounder — was announced Aug. 15 by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which regulates fluke and other species for the East Coast along with a larger body, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, but the council basically has the controlling authority. Read the story here 11:14

Down to the sea, as Gloucester remembers its own

manatthewheelWith the long line of American flags rippling above the crescent of Stacy Boulevard and the postcard of its harbor serving as the backdrop, Gloucester on Saturday once again wrapped its arms around those who went out to sea and never returned. The number of Gloucester fishermen who have perished harvesting seafood from the cauldron of the North Atlantic Ocean now reaches into the thousands — the most recent loss that of David “Heavy D” Sutherland last December during a rescue attempt after his boat, the Orin C, went down about 12 miles off Thacher Island. On Saturday evening, America’s oldest fishing community gathered to pay homage and remembrance to those who never returned to their hailing port from their last trip, with about 400 fishing friends and family circling the iconic Gloucester Fishermen’s Memorial for the annual Fishermen’s Memorial Service. Read the story here 10:53

A UConn Student’s Dramatic Rescue In The Bering Sea

hc-the-ambition-sinking-20160826Megan Potter mustered all of her strength to swim through 10 foot swells as the boat she had spent the summer on slowly sank into the frigid water of the Bering Sea off Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. A UConn student, she had spent the last two months on the Ambition, her father’s boat, ferrying thousands of pounds of salmon from fishing boats to canneries on the Alaskan shore. Now, with her family scattered in the water around her, Megan started to panic. Her rescuers were on another fishing boat, the Star Watcher, some 100 yards away. Megan had been working alongside her father, mother, brother and a family friend, Erin Tortolano, on the 75-foot fish transport boat. Recently, she recalled the dramatic events of July 23, an afternoon she will never forget. Read the story here 10:06

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Thirteen year old girl’s heartfelt plea in front of NSW Parliament House to save NSW fishing industry

A thirteen year old girl has fronted a packed room in NSW Parliament House to urge the government to rethink commercial fishing reforms which she said were destroying her family’s livelihood. Maddison Blanch spoke before a meeting of fishing professionals, industry leaders and politicians on Wednesday, although no one from the Liberal or National parties attended. She told the crowd her third-generation fisher father, Phillip Blanch, had been hit hard by a scheme forcing him to buy back his right to work. “My father, like the majority of fishers in NSW, goes to work rain, hail or shine,” she said. “My dad goes to work and provides Australia with fresh Aussie seafood and brings an income home for his family just like every other Aussie dad. “My dad loves what he does but, because of reforms, my dad needs to buy more shares to continue to work as he does now, for 2017. “So basically he needs to buy back his job, like most fishers.” Ms Blanch said her father could not buy shares because no one was selling them, and he should not have to take out a loan to be able to afford to do his own job. Read the story here 09:01

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Hawaii Commercial Fishermen, Seafood Consumers Hit Again as President, Pew’s Ocean Legacy Closes Additional 442,778 Square Miles of Fishing Grounds in the U.S. Pacific Islands

“We do not believe the expansion is based on  the best available scientific information,” said Kitty Simonds, Council executive director. “It serves a political legacy rather than any conservation benefits to pelagic species such as tunas, billfish, sea turtles, seabirds and marine mammals. The campaign to expand the monument was organized by a multibillion dollar, agenda-driven environmental organization that has preyed upon the public’s lack of understanding of ocean resource management issues and utilized influential native Hawaiians and several high-level politicians to lead this initiative. Our government has chosen to follow the Pew’s Ocean Legacy.” Read the press release here 21:34

Brookings gets innovative seafood processing plant

57bf8f35c70ae.imageBC Fisheries owner Mike Manning cut the ribbon Aug. 19 on a $9.6 million seafood processing facility that will benefit southern Oregon coast crabbers and shrimpers. The facility will create 30 new jobs, eliminate the need for long-distance shipping of locally-caught seafood for processing, and is the first of its kind to use cool steam technology on the West Coast.  Established in 2007, BC Fisheries is a family-owned company that ships cold-water pink shrimp and crab worldwide, offloading about 1.5 million pounds per month. It was unable to process shrimp locally though, leading to high transportation costs. A $6.3 million loan from Craft3, a nonprofit that makes loans for business development, allowed BC Fisheries to build an insulated processing building next to the docks at the Port of Brookings Harbor, purchase equipment, and have adequate working capital. The new facility will be able to process up to 2.4 million pounds of shrimp per month. Read the story here 20:37

Marine Monument excerpts from Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 8/26/2016

josh-earnest-620x43611:52 A.M. EDT MR. EARNEST:  Morning, everybody.  Happy Friday.  Before we get started I’ll just do a — one piece of news you may have seen already.  As part of the President’s commitment to protect the natural beauty of the United States, we announced today that President Obama is building on this leadership by taking an historic step in creating the world’s largest marine protected area just off the coast of Hawaii. The designation will more than quadruple the size of the existing marine monument, permanently protecting pristine coral reefs, deep-sea marine habitats, and other important ecological features and resources in the waters of the northwest Hawaiian Islands.,, a lot of scientists have talked about the importance of protecting areas closer to the continental United States — in New England, in the Southeast, in the Gulf.  These are proposals,,, Read the rest here 19:03

Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak calls for Pink Salmon Fishery Disaster Declaration

commercial vessel seen fishing for pink salmon near Furry Creek on WednesdayTwo measures of relief for Alaska’s pink salmon industry, reeling from the lowest harvest since the late 1970s, are being sought. Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, last week asked the Walker administration to declare the pink salmon season a disaster, which would open up access to federal relief funds. Pinks are Alaska’s highest volume salmon fishery, though the price tends to be the lowest. Hundreds of fishermen depend on pinks to boost their overall catches and paychecks. So far, the statewide harvest is just 36 million humpies, far less than a preseason forecast of 90 million. Last summer, 190 million pinks were caught. For pinks, every other year is typically a strong year, with a weak year in between. “This is the worst salmon year in nearly 40 years, and that’s huge,” she said. “It doesn’t just affect the fishermen — it’s a trickle-down effect on the cannery workers, the processors and nearly all businesses in the community. It’s a disaster, there’s no other way to describe it.” Read the rest here 17:17

J.J. The Lobster – The heaviest lobster to be found in UK waters in 85 years

106821214_giant-lobster-NEWS-large_trans++jJeHvIwLm2xPr27m7LF8maVev2aD5m0eWCA6z67PTLMThe heaviest UK-landed common lobster is settling into his new home. Weighing in at nearly 17lb (7.65kg), he is the heaviest common lobster to be discovered in UK waters since 1931. The lobster, which was initially called Lionel, was discovered earlier this month in waters off Lannacombe Beach , north Devon, by free diver Joe Pike. It was taken to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth to be weighed and checked over by vets. The lobster has now joined the Aquarium’s Plymouth Sound tank with a brand new name, JJ – in honour of British Olympic silver medal-winning boxer Joe Joyce, a super heavyweight. Aquarium curator James Wright said: “After weighing JJ in at 7.65kg, it does indeed look like he is the heaviest common lobster to be discovered in UK waters since 1931. Read the rest here 12:25

It’s time for P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association to grow up

10-lobsters1‘Will fishermen assume their traditional role of bitching and complaining, and doing little else?’ General speaking, lobster fishermen fishing the spring season on the Island had a “pretty good year.” While catches were down from last year in some harbours on the north side and on the south-east coast, prices ranging from $6.50 to $8 a pound made up for it. There wouldn’t be many boats that grossed less than $100,000 and there’d be a good many that grossed well over $200,000.,, Recently the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) decided to gradually increase the minimum legal size for lobsters caught in District 25. Scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that following an increase in the carapace size, catch sizes also increase. There seems to be general acceptance of this change. However, no one was surprised when PEIFA opposed the measure. Read the story here 12:00

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That Sea Shepherd Promise To Stop Harassing Whalers? Don’t bet on it!

A United States court ruling preventing the environmental activist group Sea Shepherd from harassing Japanese whaling boats will not stop the annual protection campaign in the Southern Ocean, according to the organization’s sea lawyers. Sea Shepherd Australia’s boss, Jeff Hansen, told reporters they are “committed to upholding the Australian federal court ruling banning the slaughter of whales in the Australian whale sanctuary. We are not concerned about the US court settlement as it does not have any effect on Australian law.” “What it means is Sea Shepherd USA cannot give money toward the Southern Ocean campaign, cannot be involved in the Southern Ocean campaign, and that’s fine.” said Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson who claims the settlement does not affect the group’s other entities. “Whether Sea Shepherd Australia or Sea Shepherd Global . . .  intend to return to the Southern Ocean that’s their business and I can’t control them,” he said of the settlement filed on Tuesday. Read the story here 09:52

Battle over Cashes Ledge and Seamounts continues between fishermen, environmentalists

map-boundaries2-1066Despite the Obama administration’s declaration that Cashes Ledge has been taken off the table as a possible location for a marine national monument, the divisive issue of the monuments continues to percolate nationally between fishermen and conservationists. From Hawaii to New England, the lines are clearly drawn. Conservation groups have sustained a steady lobbying campaign to convince President Obama to employ the Antiquities Act to create new marine national monuments in the waters around Cashes Ledge, about 80 miles off Gloucester, and the seamounts off southern New England and Monterey, California. “We’re pushing as hard as we can with elected officials and the White House on those areas that have been identified and confirmed by the scientific community as being of great interest,” Peter Shelley, interim president and senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation, said of two New England areas. “These areas need permanent protection and this is not going to go away as a priority for us.” “This is not going to go away as a priority for us,” Shelley said. “It is not going to change with (presidential) administrations.” Read the story here 08:17

Headed home to Gloucester – Coast Guard helps fishermen dewater, make repairs to flooding boat

1000w_q95 fv tylerFour people are safely making their way back to port Friday following a multi-asset response to a fishing boat taking on water Friday morning about 60 miles southeast of Vinalhaven, Maine. A person aboard fishing vessel Tyler, homeported in Gloucester, used a VHF radio to contact watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England’s command center at about 7:30 a.m. and reported their boat was rapidly taking on water with four people aboard. The hailer reported they were using pumps, but were unable to keep up with the flooding. “It was discovered Tyler’s shaft seal packing box had come off,” said Seaman Amanda Geber, a crewmember aboard Moray. “However, after dewatering the engine space, the crew was able to make repairs. After sea trials, it was determined Tyler could make it safely back to port on her own power. It was fortunate this case was concluded without loss of crew, vessel, or catch.” Link 17:59

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The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season So Far. Keep an eye on Hermine.

A quick note about the current Atlantic hurricane season. With resect to just the US, we’ve had a fairly low level season, and it is easy to become complacent about this time, but in fact, the risks from Atlantic hurricanes rise about this time of year, so pay attention. Watch for Hermine. More on that below. Gaston is the currently active named storm. It is likely to form into a hurricane over the weekend, veer right before coming too close to Bermuda, and remain pretty far out in the Atlantic. There are no clear predictions of what it will do by mid week, but it is likely to weaken a bit on Wednesday. Gaston will be in hurricane-hostile territory at that time, so may be it will just go away. Hermine is the name that would be given to what is now a tropical disturbance, should it form a tropical storm. Read the story here 17:17

Nils Stolpe: Marine Monuments – Don’t let your piece of the ocean be next!

No-Fishing-e1449493453695In an effort coordinated by the National Coalition for Fishing Communities (NCFC), thirty four domestic fishing industry trade groups have signed on to a letter to President Obama opposing a strong push by environmental groups and the billion dollar foundations that support them to create marine sanctuaries on both coasts during his last days in office. I don’t need to tell you how much industry effort has been expended over the last several decades to make fishery management under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act an effective and transparent science-based process. Anyone with an interest in our domestic fisheries, whether on the water, in a shore-based fishing-dependent business or in any way associated with fishing should be committed to improving this process, and President Obama is being urged to circumvent it to bolster his “environmental legacy.” Yesterday the White House announced that the President will be expanding the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off Hawaii, which was originally created by President Bush in 2006. This will be a no-fishing zone of over half a million square miles. Needless to say, it’s a big hit with the enviros, but it was done without any public process.

The letter, with a list of the fishing organizations that are on board so far, is at a web portal set up by the NCFC > Click Here <. Even if you are a member of one of those organizations, please take the few minutes required to personally sign. If you are in a fishing organization that hasn’t, please encourage the leadership to do so. And please encourage as many other folks as possible. The time for top-down governmental dictates was over years ago. We have a system that is starting to work both for the fishermen and the fish and we can’t let it be short circuited. There’s too much at risk.

Cape Cod Fishermen Seek Buffer From Mid Water Trawlers

boat-e1364231633321On Aug. 17, the Herring Oversight Committee of the New England Fisheries Management Council voted to send the council two options for establishing a buffer zone prohibiting mid-water trawling off Cape Cod. The zone would extend either 12 miles or 35 miles from shore — significantly farther than the 6-mile zone proposed by the herring industry and closer than the 50-mile mark sought by environmental groups. The council will consider the options when it meets in September. Fishermen have been complaining for years about the industrial-sized ships landing on the back side of Cape Cod, scooping up millions of pounds of herring and leaving, they say, a temporary ocean “bio-desert” in their wake. In 2015, the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance collected hundreds of comments and individual letters from fisherman about the phenomenon called “localized depletion” — defined as “when harvesting takes more fish than can be replaced locally or through fish migrating into the catch area within a given time period.” Read the story here 16:22

Whale Protection & Crab Gear Retrieval Act, SB 1287, heads to Governor Browns desk

mike_mcguireNorth Coast Senator Mike McGuire’s legislation that will help permanently protect whales by removing lost and abandoned crab fishing gear from the ocean has been approved by both houses of the State Legislature and will now head to Governor Brown’s desk. SB 1287 received widespread and overwhelming support in the Senate and was approved Thursday by a vote of the full State Assembly. “We need this legislation, now more than ever. Whale entanglement numbers are skyrocketing off the California coast and we’re bringing together crabbers and environmentalists to get this common sense bill signed into law,” Senator Mike McGuire said. The Whale Protection & Crab Gear Retrieval Act, which was proactively initiated by the thousands of hard working men and women who make up California’s mighty crab fleet, would create a regulatory program with incentives for fishermen to retrieve Dungeness crab fishing gear that would otherwise be lost in the ocean. It’s estimated that thousands of pots are lost every season and these pieces of gear could have hundreds of feet of rope attached to a locater buoy. Read the rest here 16:04

Exterminated Alberta commercial fishermen sue province for $15 million over 2014 decision to end industry

alberta fishermenA group of former Alberta commercial fishermen are suing the province for $15 million over its 2014 decision to end the industry and no longer issue commercial fishing licences. Two statements of claim filed July 28 in Edmonton’s Court of Queen’s Bench allege the Alberta minister of environment and sustainable resource development was negligent for cancelling commercial fishing licences without adequate reasons and failing to give adequate warning of the impending cancellations. The statements of claim also allege the ministry failed to “act in a responsible manner,” breached its duty to continue to issue commercial fishing licences to the plaintiffs and failed to implement a program to compensate commercial fishermen for the loss of their licences and their businesses. Read the story here 14:25

Massachusetts man pleads guilty to making hoax distress calls to Coast Guard

coast guardA Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to making hoax radio distress calls to the Coast Guard that prompted fruitless searches that wasted time and resources. Prosecutors say 47-year-old Roger Martin, of Fairhaven, made three calls to the Coast Guard in April and May 2015 claiming that he was on a boat on Cape Cod Canal that was sinking. In each case he provided another man’s name, address, and on one occasion, even birth date, that he had obtained improperly from a law enforcement database while working as a dispatcher for the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. Martin pleaded guilty this week in federal court to three counts of sending false distress messages and one count of identity fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 22. link 14:03

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The Legendary Pig Nose the Sturgeon has been caught!

A young fishing guide based in Lillooet is enjoying some extra attention after he and some friends reeled in a huge white sturgeon known as Pig Nose this week. It happened late on Tuesday on the Fraser River near Lillooet after a long day without much to show for it. “The last hole of the day there, we pulled in and it happened right away,” he said. “The fish jumped right out of the river and I said, ‘Well, that looks like a 10-footer, so strap on, we’re going to be into at least a two-hour fight.’ And it ended up being two hours, two hours and 15 minutes.” Read the story here 12:15

NOAA Office of General Counsel, OLE Enforcement Actions January 1, 2016, through June 30, 20161

clip_image002_001During this reporting period, NOAA charged 45 civil administrative cases, as follows:3 ALASKA 1. AK1201773; F/V Susan ‐ Owner and operator were charged under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for allowing the vessel to approach within 3 nautical miles of the Stellar sea lion rookery site located off of Marmot Island.  NORTHEAST 15. NE1401038; F/V Janaya & Joseph ‐ Owner and operator were charged under the Magnuson‐Stevens Act for negligently and without authorization removing lobster traps owned by another person located in the EEZ.  A $2,000 NOVA was issued. 16. NE1403707; F/V Paulo Marc ‐ Individual was charged NORTHWEST 27. NW1200668B; F/V Ceres ‐ Operator was charged under the Magnuson‐Stevens Act for taking, retaining, possessing, or landing more than a single cumulative limit of a particular species ‐‐  sablefish ‐‐ and so on. Read the rest here 11:41

High expectation, a season of disappointment – Upper Cook Inlet commercial fishing winds down

upper cook inlet fishingThe boom of fish the commercial operations in Upper Cook Inlet expected never arrived this year. High preseason expectations made the 2016 season a disappointment for many commercial fishermen. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game originally projected about 7.1 million sockeye salmon to return to the Upper Cook Inlet streams, but by Wednesday, only 5.2 million had. The harvest of approximately 3,023,462 million fish wasn’t the lowest in the last decade — 2009 and 2006 both had lower harvests, with approximately 2.5 million and 2.9 million fish harvested, respectively. Altogether, the commercial fishery has harvested 2,382,167 sockeye salmon and 379,064 pinks, the two most populous species commercial fishermen harvest, as of Aug. 22. They also caught 127,971 coho, 124,648 chum and 9,612 king salmon, according to Fish and Game data. Read the story here 10:53

Lobstermen in Maine’s historically open Zone C vote to close their waters to newcomers

1030646_442532-20150905_lobster_4The lobstermen of Stonington and Vinalhaven, the busiest lobster ports in Maine, have voted to close their waters to additional fishermen, preferring that newcomers wait for others to leave before dropping traps there. Almost three of every four local lobstermen who voted in a referendum this summer supported the adoption of a waiting list system. The majority included many of the small island communities that had previously opposed making newcomers wait for lobster licenses out of fear that it would discourage people from moving to their far-flung communities. Of the nine districts within the regional lobster zone, only one, the district that includes Matinicus and Criehaven, voted against making newcomers go on a waiting list. Results show that local lobstermen of all ages, license types and business size support the closure. Read the story here 09:34

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Lobster, from the Jersey coast to your dinner plate

It had been a long four days at sea aboard the Two Dukes, harvesting thousands of pounds of American lobster and a sideline catch of Jonah crab about 80 miles from the New Jersey coast in an area called the Hudson Canyon. Out where the water is deeper than a skyscraper is tall, the work days are 14 hours long and start at 5 a.m. There’s really no break aboard the 70-foot steel-hulled lobster boat until a crew member “cooks a nice dinner” – usually not lobster or crab – and then it’s finally time to find a bunk and grab some sleep until the next shift. The weather is an ever-present, relentless partner in the enterprise and, on any given voyage, can range from sunbaked heat to cold, howling winds and monstrous, stormy swells. No one wastes time talking about good weather. Read the story here 08:41

Anti Fishing Obama Expands Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

No-Fishing-e1449493453695Obama on Friday will expand a marine national monument off the Northwest Hawaiian Islands to make it the world’s largest marine protected area, encompassing nearly 600,000 square miles and thousands of species of sea life, including endangered sea turtles, whales and black coral beds. The action will make it illegal to conduct any commercial fishing and any type of mineral extraction in the expanded Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the original 140,000 square miles of which was first protected by President George W. Bush in 2006 and designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2010. Obama will travel to Hawaii next week to commemorate the new monument with a trip to Midway Atoll, located within the newly protected area, to highlight “how the threat of climate change makes protecting our public lands and waters more important than ever,” the White House said. Read the rest here 03:54

Plaintiffs file for class certification in Refugio oil spill lawsuit

untitled oil spillA class of plaintiffs who claim to be injured by the Refugio oil spill filed for class certification. After Plains All American Pipeline’s corroded Line 901 ruptured on May 19, 2015 and spilled an estimated 123,000 gallons of oil along the Gaviota Coast, 21,000 gallons of which seeped into the ocean, fisheries were closed, oil production was shut down, small businesses lost revenue and coastal properties were tarnished, according to the consolidated class-action civil lawsuit. Named plaintiffs include Keith and Tiffani Andrews, Baciu Family LLC, Robert Boydston, Captain Jack’s Santa Barbara Tours, Morgan Castagnola, Crab Cowboys, The Eagle Fleet, Zachary Frazier, Mike Gandall, Alexandra Geremia, Jim Guelker, Jacques Habra, iSurf, Mark and Mary Kirkhart, Jamie Klein, Richard Lilygren, Hwa Hong Muh, Ocean Angel IV, Pacific Rim Fisheries, Sarah Rathbone, Community Seafood, Southern Cal Seafood, Santa Barbara Uni, TracTide Marine Corp., Wei International Trading and Stephen Wilson. Read the story here 18:36

Nova Scotia fishermen were in court today to stop Bay of Fundy tidal test project

tidal turbinesA group representing 175 Nova Scotia fishermen appeared in court Thursday in a bid stop a plan to test giant electric turbines in the Bay of Fundy. The Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association says the Cape Sharp Tidal project is based on “junk science” and should be put on hold until a year-long study can establish a scientific baseline for the state of the bay.  In June, Nova Scotia’s environment minister granted approval for the installation of two, five-storey turbines on the bottom of the bay for tidal power research. The association has filed an application for a judicial review of that decision, saying the minister acted unreasonably and failed to adequately consider evidence that suggests the project requires more study. Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge Denise Boudreau said a two-day hearing on the merits of the application would begin on Feb. 1, 2017. As well, she said a hearing could be held on Oct. 20 if the association decides to file a motion seeking a stay of the minister’s decision. Link 17:02

Hawaii: War Of Words Escalates As Monument Decision Nears

Pew U FlounderSupporters of the fourfold expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument have fired back against an advertisement claiming the proposal would result in people being unable to eat fresh local fish. A coalition called Expand Papahanaumokuakea has been circulating ads supporting the expansion of the monument, which currently covers 139,800 square miles around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The 30-second spot, primarily funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, features several people explaining why the expansion would be positive, citing the preservation of Native Hawaiian culture, fish stocks and new species yet to be discovered. Read the rest here 16:41

Ocearch says it’s found first-ever great white sharks birthing site off Montauk

great_white_shark_11Ocearch said its team of fishermen and scientists has found the first known birthing site for great white sharks on the North Atlantic Coast. After 26 expeditions, Ocearch said the birthing site in the famous waters off Montauk, Long Island is the most significant discovery they’ve ever made, reports CBS News correspondent Jeff Glor. “It’s kind of like step two in the science,” said Chris Fischer, founder of Ocearch and the expedition’s leader. “When we started this work back in 2012, 2013…  the real question was where are these sharks in the North Atlantic giving birth? Because that’s where they’re most vulnerable.” For researchers, finding the North Atlantic birthing site can lead to better protection policies and far more scientific knowledge.  Read the story here 13:26

Corporate Menhaden Harvesting Off Coast Raises Concerns For Local Sport fishermen

menhadenDead fish washing up on Ocean City beaches, a reduced inshore recreational fishery and a diminished stock of the most important species in the ecological food chain are just a few of the impacts likely caused by a large commercial menhaden processer off the coast of the resort in recent weeks, but, for now, it appears there is no immediate way to stop it. (When I read stuff like this, I can tell the direction the article is headed.) According to Captain Jeremy Blunt of the sportfishing boat Wrecker out of the Ocean City Fishing Center, the Omega Protein’s mega-purse-seining operation has been working off the coast for at least the last week. “We’ve seen them off and on over the last week or so as we head out and come in,” said Blunt. “They aren’t allowed to work in state waters in Maryland, so they are hanging just outside the three-mile line. They are working up and down just out the three-mile line well aware of the boundary for state waters.” (They are fishing in compliance of the regulations) Read the story here, and hold your nose! 13:13

‘Perfect Storm’ Captain Linda Greenlaw to speak at Fisherman’s Memorial Service

57be2a8d843bc.imageTwenty years ago, then-Mayor Bruce Toby went to Lucia Amero and asked her to research the annual Fisherman’s Memorial Service that pays homage to the city’s fishermen lost at sea. Two decades later, the Fisherman’s Memorial Service remains a vibrant celebration of the sacrifices made by fishermen and the families that comprise the fishing community here in America’s Oldest Seaport and on Saturday evening will feature Capt. Linda Greenlaw as guest speaker. “We just thought, with this being the 20th year of our doing the Fisherman’s Memorial Service and it also being the 25th anniversary of the Perfect Storm, that it was a perfect opportunity to include Linda in the program because she’s someone who has been a fisherman and knows about the dangers and the losses that go with that,” said Amero, a member of the Fisherman’s Memorial Service committee. The service is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., when the procession — including a cadre of drummers, the American flag (carried by Ed Parks), committee members and the general public carrying oars inscribed with the name of boats lost at sea — leaves American Legion Square. Read the rest here 11:26

New York’s black market for stolen seafood is booming!

black market safood nyThe three men arrested in the theft of more than $1 million worth of barbecued frozen eels aren’t the only ones allegedly selling stolen seafood to restaurants around the city. “Somebody will show up to the back door of a restaurant with a box of frozen shrimp and say, ‘Here, give me 50 bucks for this,’ and they’ll buy it, especially frozen shrimp and frozen crab,” said Dan Scofield, a buyer for Brooklyn seafood purveyor Pierless Fish Corp. We Da Li, 39, Fa Deng, 36, and Sheauloon Yat, 51, were caught in Brooklyn Monday after allegedly used fraudulent paperwork to steal thousands of boxes of prepared eels on June 1 from a shipping terminal in Elizabeth, NJ. The owner spotted his labeled boxes being sold on street corners for $520 per box. Read the rest here  10:10

On the Columbia River Commercial fishermen are endangered

EP-160829929.jpg&MaxW=600It seems a bit odd that some of our neighbors should have to reintroduce themselves. But many new residents in our community don’t seem to know who they are. They are your fishermen. The vast majority of citizens are not recreational or commercial fishermen. We live on one of the world’s great rivers — once known as the world’s greatest salmon stream. Astoria also was once known as the salmon-canning capital of the world. But development of the Columbia River basin, and the era of hydroelectric dam building, eliminated all but around 40 percent of the Columbia’s existing salmon habitat. Our once great abundance of salmon is no longer what it was. But it’s not gone. Not by a long shot. Last year, the largest run of Chinook salmon since 1938 returned to the Columbia. This is still the greatest producer of Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, in the world. And if you like to eat salmon (I know I do), someone has to catch it for you. For most of us, that means we depend on commercial fishermen. Read the story here 09:49

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A Moray Aviation group fundraising event will reunite Skipper with Rescuers of daring 1988 mission

A Moray aviation group will stage a reunion between a north-east skipper and the rescue heroes who saved him from stormy seas. Volunteers from the Morayvia Science and Technology Centre at Kinloss are arranging a massive fundraising evening at a historic venue near Elgin next month. During the bash at Innes House, they will celebrate the region’s rich search and rescue past by laying bare the details of an especially daring mission which took place in 1988. The seven crewmen aboard the Peterhead fishing boat, Budding Rose, made a frantic mayday call when the vessel began taking on water in gale-force conditions 100 miles east of Aberdeen. A Sea King helicopter was scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth, and all the fishermen were winched to safety during a painstaking three-hour operation. The drama was filmed by a TV documentary crew, and the footage will be screened during the event on Saturday, September 17. Budding Rose skipper, Peter Bruce, will attend the gathering and will offer some personal reflection on his harrowing experience. Read the story here 08:46

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Canadian government to receive $3.1 million after U.S. fishing vessel plowed into the frigate

The incident happened in April 2013 in Esquimalt Harbour. The American Dynasty, owned by American Seafoods Co., was heading towards the graving dock for repairs when it accelerated and crashed into HMCS Winnipeg tied to a jetty. The Canadian government launched legal action against American Seafoods. The $3.1 million payment is an out of court settlement. The Royal Canadian Navy has not said how much repairs to HMCS Winnipeg cost taxpayers. Read the rest, five more images here 07:29

GARFO says, Meet our Enforcement Compliance Liaison!

donAbout five years ago, NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) in the Northeast Region strengthened its compliance assistance and outreach efforts by creating a new Compliance Liaison position. This position supports OLE’s goal of ensuring that those who obey the rules reap the benefits of fair competition and an even playing field in the market. (thank you Jihad Jane!) With 23 years of experience as a commercial fisherman for scallops and groundfish, and 10 years with our Sustainable Fisheries Division, Don Frei is a perfect fit for this job. Not only is he familiar with the needs of the fishing industry, but he knows a lot about fisheries management and regulations. As Compliance Liaison, it’s Don’s job to work with the fishing industry to increase both understanding of and compliance with regional fisheries regulations. To do this, Don spends a lot of time on the road talking to people. And he also: Read the rest here 17:46

New South Wales: King Prawn prices drop as fishermen haul in record catches off Coffs Coast

7779498-3x2-940x627Fishermen off the Coffs Coast in northern New South Wales are reporting record catches of the iconic eastern king prawn. The Coffs Harbour Fishermen’s Co-operative’s seafood operations manager Shane Geary said he had never seen anything like it. “The last week or two, it’s probably been the biggest I’ve seen it in the 26 years I’ve been at the fish co-op,” he said. “Leading up to the full moon, we had some big catches; some of the boats there, not last night but the night before, had up to two tonne in the one night. “That’s some pretty big catches.”He said stocks were plentiful and the weather had been ideal. “We’re really pumping out a lot of prawns at the moment, both regionally and into Sydney,” Mr Geary said. “The prices have been fantastic. We’ve been retailing for around about $18 which we haven’t done for quite a long time. Read the rest here 17:18

Fisherman scoops up $100 million pearl — but keeps it under the bed for 10 years

MW-EU596_pearl__20160824081401_ZHA fisherman in the Philippines is happy as a clam after discovering that a mammoth pearl he stashed away for 10 years under his bed is worth a cool $100 million. The lucky angler, who has not been identified, discovered the 75-pound pearl — believed to be the biggest ever — in the sea off Palawan Island, the Mirror of the U.K. reported. Unaware of the giant pearl’s value, he kept it as a good-luck piece under his bed until a fire in his home forced him to move. The superstitious fishermen then decided to hand it over to the tourism office in remote Puerto Princesa, city officials said. “The fisherman threw the anchor down and it got stuck on a rock during a storm,” tourism officer Aileen Cynthia Amurao explained. “He noticed that it was lodged on a shell and swam down to pull up the anchor, and also brought the shell with him. Read the story here, 14:16

Downeast Boat builder Richard Stanley tinkers with a ‘hybrid’

stanley-boat-builders-3It goes without saying that Richard Stanley has wooden boats in his blood. But at Richard Stanley Custom Boats, he is working on a new design that combines both wood and fiberglass fabrication with the goal of keeping wooden boats economically accessible to local fishermen. As a compromise between the expense of wood and the relative ease of fiberglass, Stanley recently designed a 38-foot powerboat with a wooden hull and a fiberglass top. It’s an idea he has kicked around for years, but it wasn’t until recently that he found the perfect customer for which to execute his design. The boat, commissioned by Doug Mayo of Portland, will be used as a charter fishing vessel and a recreational boat for family and friends. Using fiberglass for the boat’s top will save time and money. Read the story here 14:03

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: TYPE: 48′ Steel Trawler, Detroit 12-V-71N, Federal Permits

ny bluedraggerSpecifications, information and 10 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 13:09

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Fishermen are fighting windfarm company Dong Energy for their future

Fleetwood’s last remaining fishermen have staged a stirring flotilla protest as they desperately fight to save their livelihoods. Eight of the town’s remaining ten fishing boats were adorned with giant banners yesterday afternoon as they sought to highlight their struggle with windfarm company Dong Energy. One banner proclaimed “Wind farms taking over fishing grounds. Fleetwood fisherman Will Bamber says the protest is over plans to extend an already large windfarm in the Irish Sea. He says DONG Energy’s plans could force boats out of their fishing grounds for an entire year – the whole of 2017 – and kill off their livelihoods. Mr Bamber, 33, spokesman for the Fleetwood Commercial Fishermen’s Group, said: “I might be wrong, but I think this could be the first official protest at sea by Fleetwood fishermen. Read the story here 08:34

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East and West Coast mayors join to oppose Obama administration’s ‘marine monuments’ plan

The Obama administration is running afoul of transparency and openness as it prepares to create offshore marine monuments off California and New England, two mayors including Jon Mitchell are telling the administration. Mitchell was joined by Monterey, California Mayor Clyde Roberson in sending the Obama White House letters expressing “serious concerns” about the potential economic harm to their ports from the use of executive action by the administration to create new federal marine monuments off the coasts. A chorus of opposition has been rising from fishermen and fishing communities across the country opposing the creation of marine monuments outside of the existing ocean management processes. Read the story here 08:00

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New Bedford: John Linehan, synonymous with the fishing industry, dies at 94

If any one person would be the face of the fishing industry during the last half century or more, it could well be John F. Linehan, who died Aug. 14 at the age of 94. Not a fisherman himself, the Lewiston, Maine native arrived in New Bedford in 1951 after serving in the military and graduating from Bates College, class of 1953. Linehan wore many hats in his long career, first as general manager of the New Bedford Seafood Producers Association, a fisheries adviser in Korea, and the first director of the Harbor Development Commission. He was later operations manager at Frionor Corp., vice president and general manager of Maritime Terminal, Inc., and 12 years as the industry liaison officer for the National Marine Fisheries Service. His friends, who visited him regularly until the end of his life, say they admired Linehan for being not only intelligent but funny, always ready with a wisecrack. Read the story here 22:05

Virginia Marine Resources Commission hits fisherman with new maximum punishment

Virginia Marine Resources CommissionLast year, state lawmakers answered a plea from Virginia’s commercial fishing industry to toughen the penalties for watermen who repeatedly break the law. On Tuesday, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission brought down that bigger hammer for the first time – yanking the licenses of a Hampton fisherman for five years and slapping him with a $10,000 civil penalty. It took the commission’s law enforcement staff 50 pages to document David A. Turner’s history of fisheries violations – nearly two dozen in state courts since 2001, including 10 this year. Among the latest were convictions for harvesting oysters from creeks that had been condemned because of pollution. An undercover sting by Virginia Marine Police led to those charges. “I haven’t seen anything this bad,” Marine Resources Commission chief John Bull told fellow commissioners after listening to a police officer’s rundown. It was a “laundry list … of some of the most serious oyster violations that I can imagine.” Read the story here 21:35

Letter: Atlantic Marine Monument Area Vital To Fishermen – Jon Williams, Westport Island, Maine

Atlantic red crabI was disappointed with The Courant’s Aug. 18 editorial “Atlantic Marine Preserve Would Be Victory For Environment” endorsing a plan for President Obama to designate a marine national monument off the New England coast. Contrary to what the editorial stated, a monument would profoundly impact commercial fishermen. The editorial cited the Natural Resources Defense Council’s claim that the “vast majority of red crab landings” along the Eastern Seaboard are outside the proposed protection area. But take it from a crab fisherman: That area is vital to our livelihoods. Read the letter here 17:01

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National Fisherman Magazine and Support for Marine Monuments

Many in the fishing industry have supported National Fisherman magazine for many years. What they may be surprised to learn is that it may not be supporting them. In the August 2016 edition, Daniel Hildreth, Chairman of the Board of Diversified Communications, which publishes National Fisherman, writes, “we encourage the administration, and those who have expressed opposition to the designations, to reconsider and support the designation of Cashes Ledge and the canyons and the seamounts as marine monuments.” To read A Letter From the Chairman, Click here
The Cashes Ledge and canyon monuments have been unilaterally opposed by virtually every segment of the fishing industry, as well as the NEFMC and ASMFC . In fact, the ASMFC  sent a letter to the White House requesting support for an alternative proposal that leaves fishery management protections in the canyons to the NEFMC’s ongoing Deep Sea Corals Amendment.  In contrast to the marine monument process, which held just one public meeting on the subject without any definite or proposed boundaries of a monument, the NEFMC process will include many public meetings, chance of public input, and scientific analysis. Fisheries at stake in a marine monument declaration include lobster, red crab, whiting, squid, mackerel, butterfish, groundfish, tilefish, and even sea scallops.
Why then would Mr. Hildreth, who writes that his family’s business “has served the commercial fishing and seafood industries for over 45 years”,  support a monument designation that would put all of these fisheries, fishermen, and the businesses that rely on them in jeopardy? Perhaps it may be due the fact that Mr. Hildreth is also a supporter of Conservation Law Foundation, which has been an avid supporter of designation Cashes Ledge and the New England canyons as marine monuments.  To see CLF’s 2015 annual report and donor list, Click here 16:21
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Fishing Vessel ILA goes aground off Westport

The commercial fishing vessel ILA, a long liner, was discovered aground, listing on a sand bar at the high tide line about a half mile north of W. Ocean Avenue at approximately 3 a.m. Saturday morning. Coast Guard vessel registration records show that the hailing port for the vessel is Ketchikan, Alaska, but local fishermen say the boat has been moored at the Westport Marina for several years. Responders from U.S. Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor boarded the vessel and made contact with the sole occupant, boat owner/skipper Ken Earnst, who was still asleep below decks. He was safely escorted off the vessel and spent the remainder of night in Westport. Earnst, a Sedro Woolley resident, said that he was about seven miles offshore and preparing to set his lines when he opted instead to go below and sleep. 2 more images, Read the story here 14:19

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Tropical Storm Gaston expected to become hurricane by Wednesday

Tropical Storm Gaston is expected to become a hurricane by Wednesday, forecasters said in a Tuesday morning (Aug. 23) update. The storm currently is in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean and poses no threat to land. In addition to Gaston, the National Hurricane Center is tracking Tropical Depression Fiona in the Atlantic and another system that could pose a threat to the Caribbean. According to the National Hurricane Center, Gaston is about 545 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands and is moving west-northwest at 20 mph. It’s expected to slow down slightly in the next couple days, but still maintain its path. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast, and Gaston is expected to reach hurricane status by Wednesday. Read the rest here 14:04