‘Fish don’t do borders’: Life on the Irish Sea after a hard Brexit

It is an overcast but dry December morning at Howth pier in north Co Dublin. John Lynch and his crew are preparing to take his trawler, the Eblana, out into the Irish Sea. The water is calm, for now. Our destination is a border, not a hard or soft border but a watery frontier. Lynch is bringing The Irish Times out to the Irish Sea border between what will be European Union and UK waters after Brexit. The boundary is just 30 nautical miles out, the equivalent of 34 miles on land. If the Brexit deal is not ratified by the time the UK is set to leave the EU on March 29th, 2019, this is the line beyond which Lynch must pull up his nets and stop fishing. >click to read<11:01

Offshore wind developers ante up at auction of leases near Block Island

In what is sure to be seen as an affirmation of their industry’s prospects, a scrum of offshore wind developers is poised to pay an unprecedented amount of money for the latest set of leases being auctioned off in federal ocean waters near Rhode Island and Massachusetts. When the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management suspended its auction Thursday night for the three leases located in waters about 51 miles southeast of Block Island, the bids for each had reached between $91 million and $101 million — more than twice the highest amount paid in the past for an offshore wind lease in the United States and a range that compares favorably to payments for oil and gas projects. The bureau, part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, described the day as “historic.” In a tweet, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said, “We have something big going on off the coast of Massachusetts.” >click to read<10:13

Coast Guard Raises Sunken Fishing Vessel from Shark River Inlet Off Manasquan

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Manasquan Inlet/Shark River station has reported that the Miss Kathleen was successfully raised from the Manasquan Inlet last night and placed on a barge. The removal of the 44-foot commercial fishing boat comes nearly a week after it struck the northern Manasquan Inlet jetty on December 8 and started taking on water, according to the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. >click to read<09:22

New SAR lifeboats for Canadian Coast Guard

Public Services and Procurement Canada is set to acquire eight new SAR lifeboats from Chantier Naval Forillon and Hike Metal Products for the Canadian Coast Guard. The companies are already producing six SAR lifeboats each under contracts signed in 2015. Under the amended contracts, each shipyard will build four additional vessels at a total cost of $61.8 million.  With the ability to operate up to 100 nautical miles from shore, these new high-endurance lifeboats will enhance the coast guard’s SAR capabilities. >click to read<21:10

On and Off Meeting at NOAA office last week

I received an email from the NOAA office last week concerning SKG money that is in their hands to decide on those who applied for the ten million dollars they grant to others each year. So I called fisherman, The Fishermens Wife’s and others in the fishing industry, even a couple of Senators about the meeting. I was told by NOAA you did not have to register, and anyone could speak.
The next email I got was the meeting was cancelled do to the lack of those that were going to attend the meeting. At about the same time of year, about two years ago, I had said the grant money is not going to our fisherman, and said the paper work was over forty pages to be submitted to NOAA. The average fisherman does finds it hard to fill it out. Sam Parisi>click to read<19:55

Dogfish harvest to stay same in ’19 as fishermen seek market

Federal ocean managers are allowing the same level of harvest of smooth dogfish, a small species of shark that members of the East Coast seafood industry have tried to find a market for. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the smooth dogfish quota will be a little less than 4 million pounds in 2019. Earlier this year, the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance received a Saltonstall-Kennedy grant of about $37,000 from NOAA for a marketing and promotion project centered on raising the profile of dogfish – including changing the name of the species – to make it more attractive to consumers. >click to read<19:29

NOAA Fisheries release two reports showing the number of landings and value of for U.S. fisheries

NOAA Fisheries has released Fisheries of the United States, 2017 >click to read< and Fisheries Economics of the United States, 2016 >click to read>. Fisheries of the United States provides data on commercial landings and value and recreational catch. It also includes data on the fish processing industry, aquaculture production, imports and exports, and per capita seafood consumption. Our Fisheries Economics of the United States reports analyzes the economic impact of fisheries and related sectors, including employment, sales, and value-added impacts to the broader economy. >click to read<16:08

Port of New Bedford ranks No. 1 for 18th consecutive year

Death, taxes and New Bedford ranked as the most valuable fishing port in the country remain certainties in life. NOAA announced its annual fish landings data on Thursday for 2017, and for the 18th consecutive year the Port of New Bedford topped all others in terms of value. The port landed $389 million in 2017, more than $200 million more than Dutch Harbor, Alaska, which landed $173 million. Scallops accounted for 80 percent of the seafood landed in New Bedford.>click to read<15:23

As Luke’s Lobster grows, its owner keeps an eye on sustainability

“It all starts with the fishermen,” he said. “Without them, we don’t have the great product to sell in our restaurants or through our retail partners. We’re a certified B Corporation, so it’s in our DNA to look for the win-win as we grow the business.”The co-op partnership model began in 2016, shortly after Tenants Harbor fishermen and Holden founded the Tenants Harbor Fisherman’s Co-op on Miller’s Wharf, according to a company news release. At that time, Holden started a restaurant on Miller’s Wharf and began returning 50% of the profits from the restaurant back to the co-op. >click to read<14:28

Louisiana: State begins coast-wide effort to sustain fisheries hit by wetland erosion, restoration projects

State officials have embarked on a coast-wide effort to partner with the commercial and recreational fishing industry to find ways to make fishing more sustainable in the future, even as some state projects aimed at restoring coastal wetlands and land threaten fisheries and fishers. Representatives of Louisiana Sea Grant, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority told members of the authority’s board on Wednesday (Dec. 12) that a joint fishing industry adaptation program begun earlier this year is aimed at listening to fishers and incorporating their ideas in any future adaptation plans. >click to read<12:22

First major offshore wind project in jeopardy of being blocked

The warming waters south of Cape Cod have decimated the region’s lobster fishery. But it’s an ambitious effort to fight climate change that has lobstermen like Lanny Dillinger concerned for their livelihoods. Dillinger worries that the nation’s first major offshore wind farm, planned for the waters between Martha’s Vineyard and Block Island — a $2 billion project that will set precedents for the future of wind power in the United States — will transform the area into a maze of turbines and make it too treacherous to fish. As a result, Dillinger and the rest of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Advisory Board took a unanimous vote last month that could threaten the project, which was designed to supply electricity to Massachusetts, and the Baker administration’s plans to curb carbon emissions. >click to read<11:05

Congress passes bill that will allow killing of sea lions to help salmon

Congress has agreed to make it easier to kill sea lions threatening fragile runs of salmon in the Northwest. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that a bill approved by the House Tuesday changes the Marine Mammal Protection Act to lift some of the restrictions on killing sea lions to protect salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries. The measure had previously passed the Senate. Wildlife managers say sea lion populations have grown so large that they no longer need all the protections that were put in place for them in 1972. >click to read<10:14

California shifts water from farms, cities to fish.

Despite an epic last-minute compromise brokered by Gov. Jerry Brown, state water regulators voted Wednesday to reallocate billions of gallons of San Joaquin River water from farms and cities to revive struggling fish populations. After hours of testimony, the State Water Resources Control board voted to deliver hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water from the San Joaquin watershed to salmon, steelhead and other species that ply the fragile Delta. The vote will eventually take water from Valley farmers, who have blasted the plan as a “water grab,” as well as cities such as Modesto and San Francisco. >click to read<09:52

Toxic smoke, heavy flames swallow up fishing vessel in Grand Bank

They did everything they could, but firefighters in Grand Bank couldn’t keep the Marcel Angie II above water on Tuesday. The fire started on board the vessel, tied up on a new section of the town’s wharf, just before 10 a.m. Fire Chief Tony Snook said the crew spent the morning fighting the fire on board the boat, but had to pull back due to the chemical smoke coming from melting fibreglass. “The toxic smoke was getting intense and I was losing visibility of some of the firefighters on deck, so we pulled them off for safety reasons and began to fight the fire on shore,” Snook told CBC News. The boat is from St. Pierre but has fished between Grand Bank and Fortune for at least 17 years, Snook said. >click to read<20:24

Fast-expanding seafood giant joins Irvings, McCains as N.B. business royalty

For the Irvings, it was Bouctouche. For the McCains, Florenceville. Now, in tiny Black’s Harbour, in between an Irving gas bar and the local Freshmart, is a small, two-storey brick building that is head office for New Brunswick’s newest family-owned multinational. Cooke Aquaculture Inc. is the world’s largest independent seafood company, with billions of dollars in annual revenue, shipping one billion pounds of fresh seafood annually to 67 countries. And it is about to get bigger. Founded 33 years ago, the firm is set to complete its latest acquisition, growing its global workforce to some 9,000 employees. >click to read<19:23

Fishing vessel sinks, leaks fuel in Seward Harbor

The weekend sinking of a fishing vessel in the Seward Harbor has prompted a cleanup effort as plans to salvage the vessel unfold. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said in a report that it is monitoring the response to the Nordic Viking, which sank at the “T-dock” in the Seward Harbor and was reported to DEC Sunday by the local harbormaster. It’s not clear why the ship sank. >click to read<17:44

Early reports suggest steep decline in lobster catch in southwest N.S.

The lobster fishery in southwest Nova Scotia is only into the second week of its season, but already fishermen are finding a decreased haul compared to last year. Lobster fishing areas 33 and 34 are the most lucrative in the province, with overall exports of nearly a billion dollars last year. But the federal Fisheries Department said preliminary reports from fishermen suggest the catch has declined significantly. >click to read<16:46

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 55′ Fiberglass Dragger, 425HP Cummins, 20 KW Genset, Complete main engine rebuild

Specifications, information and 53 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here< Vessel is in excellent condition. November 2017: Complete main engine rebuild. 14:09

Desperately seeking chum salmon returns

The Squamish, Mamquam, Cheakamus and Elaho rivers sustain four varieties of Pacific salmon: coho, chinook, pink and chum. The latter is popular for smoking and canning. Chum flesh and eggs are often exported, primarily to Asia, while domestic uses include animal food and bait. Regarding value on the market, chum are perhaps the least desirable salmon, but their role in the environment—including sustaining other types of salmon as well as mammals and even vegetation—make them a harbinger of environmental health or crisis. “They make the whole ecosystem tick,” said Dave Brown, chair of the Sea to Sky Fisheries Roundtable and vice-chair of the Squamish Lillooet Sportfish Advisory Committee. “They ask very little of the resource.” While other salmon may remain in the river for two to three years, relying on the largesse of the river ecosystem for sustenance as they grow, chum migrate to the ocean as fry, just an inch or two in length. >click to read<13:41

FISH-NL convention set for Jan. 24th in Gander; nominations open for 2018 Inshore Harvester of the Year

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has set Jan. 24th, 2019 as the date for its next convention and election of officers at Gander’s Albatross Hotel. As well, to coincide with the convention FISH-NL is announcing the first ever Inshore Harvester of the Year Award. “It’s full-steam ahead for FISH-NL,” says Ryan Cleary, President. “It’s our intention that 2019 will be the year of the inshore harvester, and they’ll finally get the right to choose their labour future.” Elections will be held for FISH-NL’s executive positions — >click to read<12:02

Barge, diver raise sunken lobster boat

The big winds that pummeled eastern Maine late in November did plenty of damage along the coast, including the sinking of the lobster boat Robin A. II in Prospect Harbor. Last Friday, Bar Harbor scuba diver Ed Monat joined Captain Wid Minctons and his Southwest Harbor-based crane barge Charles Bradley in a salvage operation to raise the 38-footer owned by local lobsterman Gary Jordan from the harbor floor, Minctons said Monday. The salvage operation was successful in recovering the sunken boat but, Minctons said, the vessel was a total loss. >click to read<10:43

Nova Scotia: Nervous days for the lobster fleet

A pair of websites perpetually run on the computer of Stewart Lamont, managing director of Pleasant Harbour’s Tangier Lobster Co., who had a lot on his mind when I called Tuesday. Environment Canada, naturally, is one of the sites he constantly monitors. Lately the offshore winds, which, if overly strong, could disrupt the provincial lobster fishery that opened on Dec. 2, have been relatively tame. The issue, he explained over the telephone, is water temperature. At the critical mid-shore distance, five or six hours from land, the water Tuesday was less than 4 C, which he calls “an almost unfathomable drop” from around 11 C a year ago. >click to read<10:16

Second delay idles Newport crab fleet

The commercial Dungeness crab season has been pushed back — again — this time to at least Dec. 31 as fishery managers wait for pockets of light crab to come up to par. While some crab need more time to reach the meat content target of 25 percent, the wait has disappointed Newport fishermen who question extending delay when so much of the product is ready to be brought to the docks. Crab from Coos Bay north appear ready for harvest. Tests conducted Dec. 6-9 showed Newport crab at 26 percent meat content,,, Newport fisherman Corey Rock called the delay another example of a limited number of fishermen dictating the terms of the season to the larger fleet. >click to read<09:17

Letter: Celebrate efforts to make commercial fishing safer

I appreciated seeing Colin Murphey’s photography feature showing our local commercial fishing crews engaged in safety training on Nov. 30 (“Fishing — the Most Dangerous Game,” The Daily Astorian) >click to read<. However, the headline struck me as somewhat inappropriate for the content. The Coast Guard holds a drill conductor training here in Astoria three to four times a year, and Oregon Sea Grant helps get fishermen signed up. Amanda Gladics >click to read<08:49

Proposed Cut for Herring Harvest Could Affect Lobster Catch

Fishermen who seek one of the most important bait fish on the East Coast are likely to see a dramatic reduction next year in the amount they are allowed to harvest, and the change could have major implications for lobster consumers. The commercial fishery for herring is a major industry in the Atlantic states, where the little fish is important as lobster bait and is also eaten by people. The fish has been under the microscope of regulators and conservation groups recently after a scientific assessment said earlier this year that the fish’s population has fallen in the past five years. NOAA wants to cut the annual catch limit from nearly 110 million pounds (50 million kilograms) this year to less than half that in 2019. The agency said in a statement that the deep cut is needed to “prevent overfishing.” >click to read<23:16:

Commission denies commercial fishing expansion in Hernando Beach

A proposal to expand commercial fish processing into the center of Hernando Beach was unanimously denied Tuesday by the Hernando County Commission. The proposal by Hernando Beach Seafood, which operates commercial fish and stone crab processing on Calienta Street near the main Tarpon Canal, would have moved its stone crab operation to a site on Shoal Line Boulevard where the company’s crab boats moor just off the Marlin Canal. The company needed the new processing site to reduce crowding at the Calienta location, where shrimp and crab boats cross each other when stone crabs are in season, according to spokesman Allen Sherrod. >click to read<22:46

Grand Bank Fire Department called to a fishing vessel fire

The Southern Gazette has learned that members of the Grand Bank Volunteer Fire Department are currently working to extinguish a fire onboard a fishing vessel docked at the wharf in the town. Details as to what started the fire are not readily available at this time. The Southern Gazette is following this story and will have more information as they become available. >link<19:40

CoA Institute Highlights Deficiencies in Proposed Rule to Shift Burdensome Costs of At-Sea Monitoring to Commercial Fishermen

The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC), in coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), seeks to approve and implement a controversial set of regulatory amendments that would create a new industry-funding requirement for at-sea monitoring in the Atlantic herring fishery and, moreover, create a standardized process for introducing similar requirements in other New England fisheries. Under the so-called Omnibus Amendment, the fishing industry would be forced to bear the burdensome cost of allowing third-party monitors to ride their boats in line with the NEFMC’s supplemental monitoring goals. This would unfairly and unlawfully restrict economic opportunity in the fishing industry. >click to read<14:29

Offshore oil exploration: Can the average citizen make a difference?

To the average American it often seems that our elected leaders, once they get to Washington, D.C., can become somewhat hard-of-hearing to the wants and desires of the voters who sent them there. Such is the case with the recent approval of a permitting process by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which will allow seismic airgun exploration in the Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast of the United States – an activity, experts say, that is extremely hazardous for whales, dolphins, turtles, and other sea creatures. Hundreds of municipalities have already expressed formal opposition to both airgun exploration and offshore drilling, as have hundreds of state and local legislators. >click to read<13:43

Rockfish make a remarkable recovery off California coast, prompting federal officials to raise catch limits

Locally caught red snapper was once a staple on Southern California menus and a vital part of the state’s fishing industry. But overfishing took its toll, resulting in federal restrictions nearly two decades ago to prevent their extinction. But with stocks rebuilding faster than anticipated, federal officials on Tuesday boosted catch limits by more than 100% for some species of rockfish in a move they said would help revive West Coast bottom trawlers and sportfishing fleets. >click to read<13:15