Author Archives: - Moderator

The difference between Blue and Yellow (Fin Tuna)

From Humdrum to Gourmet: There was a time when eating tuna fish was not considered a gourmet experience. Canned tuna was a standard luncheon selection for school children and weekend casseroles. Demand for tuna was small: In 1950, the worldwide catch totaled 660,000 tons (approximately); today the desire has increased geometrically, and the world catch recently reached an excess of 7 million tons. From Trash to Treasure  In the 1970s, Bluefin tuna was considered trash fish. It was used in cat food and sport fishermen paid to have it hauled off their boats. In the mid-1990s the reputation for Bluefin tuna in Japan was so bad that it was referred to as neko-matagi, food too low for even a cat to eat. Today it is the most expensive fish in the sea. >click to read<09:34

Coast Guard terminates fishing vessel voyage for multiple safety violations near Dutch Harbor, Alaska

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon terminated the voyage of the fishing vessel Nushagak Spirit near Dutch Harbor after discovering several safety issues and environmental concerns on board the vessel Monday. The crew of the Mellon conducted the boarding of the Nushagak Spirit three nautical miles east of Umnak Island where they discovered one fishing violation, 14 safety violations and the improper discharge of bilge water. Specifically, the vessel’s master admitted to pumping water from the bilge over the side of the vessel, a violation of the Clean Water Act. >click to read< 07:46

Coast Guard says Maine lobsterman found dead in Jericho Bay

The U.S. Coast Guard says a lobsterman has died while fishing near Marshall Island in Jericho Bay off Stonington. The Portland Press Herald reports the body of 60-year-old Wayne “Butch” Ciomei was found in the water wrapped in a fishing line. His 36-foot lobster boat, the Chelsea Lynn, was aground and running. Ciomei was reported missing by his son at about 4:30 p.m. Friday. Coast Guard public affairs officer Chellsey Phillips says a call for help was sent to other boaters and a 47-foot rescue boat was sent to the scene. Ciomei was found by his son at about 5:30 p.m. >link<14:05

With 3 weeks to go in season, Maine’s baby eel harvest tops $20M

The value of landings so far in Maine’s 2018 baby eel fishing season have topped $20 million, the fishery’s highest annual value since the state adopted a statewide catch limit in 2014. Record prices this season of around $2,500 per pound for baby eels, also known as elvers, already have made the 2018 season the third-most valuable ever in Maine. Over the past four years, the highest annual landings total for the state’s baby eel fishery, which lasts from late March through early June, is $13.4 million in 2016. According to Maine Department of Marine Resources, as of Wednesday evening fishermen had caught 8,416 pounds, or 87 percent of Maine’s annual catch limit of 9,688 pounds. >click to read<12:44

Turf War: Cooler heads need to prevail in Lobster disputes

One thing’s for certain — things need to calm down, and soon, in an escalating dispute between two area families that’s already resulted in charges being laid for assault causing bodily harm, mischief causing danger to life (after a ramming at sea) and uttering threats. There have also been allegations of an attempted ramming and anonymous telephoned death threats. A DFO vessel and the coast guard were off Ecum Secum on Thursday in response to “civil disobedience and local unrest,” a DFO spokesman said. No trouble was reported that day.  >click to read<12:01

Ryan Cleary: What makes an inshore fish harvester?

I write this letter to inform your readers why it’s important to define an inshore fish harvester for purposes of a vote by the Labour Relations Board to ultimately decide which union should represent them. Here are three, real-life examples: 1) Two men who hold commercial fishing licenses are on the provincial government’s “sunshine list” as having made more than $100,000 in base salary/overtime in 2016 (one alone made more than $130,000), should they also be eligible to vote? 2) A teenager worked aboard his grandfather’s boat a couple of summer’s ago to help him out, and had a fish sale put in his name, with dues automatically remitted to the FFAW/Unifor. Should he be given a vote? 3) A man works aboard a fishing boat for a trip or two a couple of summers ago, never to set foot on a boat again. Should he be entitled to a ballot? >click to read<10:41

Boats and ships near Prince William Sound, the Coast Guard can’t hear you

If you’re on the waters of Prince William Sound, you’ll have to be extra cautious. That’s because if you run into trouble, depending on where you are, the Coast Guard says they may not hear your distress signal. The Coast Guard announced Friday afternoon that it can’t hear distress VHF transmissions until vessels reach Port Wells in Prince William Sound, specifically on VHF-FM channel 16. If you are in the following areas the Coast Guard won’t be able to hear a distress signal on channel 16: >click to read<09:28

If Renewables Are So Great for the Environment, Why Do They Keep Destroying It?

If solar and wind farms are needed to protect the natural environment, why do they so often destroy it? Consider that: New offshore wind turbines in Germany could “lead to the extinction of individual species” including the rare, intelligent, and highly-threatened harbor porpoise, according to Friends of the Earth-Germany (BUND). Migratory bat populations, including the hoary bat, could go extinct, say, scientists, if the expansion of wind energy in North America continues. A single California solar farm, Ivanpah, required the killing of hundreds of desert tortoises, the state’s threatened reptile, and annually kills six thousand birds by lighting them on fire. Wind turbines on California’s Altamont Pass killed an estimated 4,700 bird kills annually including Golden Eagles. “Some lose their wings,” says the Audubon Society, “others are decapitated, and still others are cut in half.” Come on, you might be thinking — aren’t these impacts trivial compared to other threats? After all, house cats kill between one and four billion birds per year in the U.S. >click to read<18:49

Ethics commissioner to investigate LeBlanc for lucrative Arctic surf clams deal

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion has launched an investigation of Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s decision to award a lucrative licence for the Arctic surf clam fishery to a group that has ties to his wife’s family and the federal Liberal party — a reversal of a decision the commissioner made earlier this month to pass on such a probe, CBC News has learned. Conservative B.C. MP Todd Doherty, the fisheries critic, alleges the government’s effort to expand ownership in the fishery — by clawing back part of an existing quota held by Clearwater Foods and handing it to a group with Indigenous representation — violates the Conflict of Interest Act because it enriches the brother of a sitting Liberal MP, a former Liberal MP, and a cousin of LeBlanc’s wife. Doherty asked Dion to initiate this examination. >click to read<18:00

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 18, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >Click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<14:13

It’s here! First batch of Copper River Salmon arrives in Seattle

It’s that time of year again when Copper River salmon arrives in Seattle! More than 16,000 pounds of the tasty fish arrived at Sea-Tac Airport early Friday morning, with the first fish triumphantly raised above the flight captain’s hands upon arrival. Three more Alaska Airlines flights were inbound from Cordova, Alaska Friday, delivering an additional 48,000 pounds of salmon to the market, where it will then be delivered to restaurants and grocery stores across the country. >click to read<13:19

Fishermen block Placentia lift bridge after waiting overnight to unload crab

A skipper who waited overnight to offload crab because the Placentia lift bridge was down blocked vehicular traffic in protest Thursday morning. Brian Barry and his two crew members stopped dozens of vehicles from crossing the $50-million Sir Ambrose Shea Lift Bridge at around 10 a.m. Barry left in his boat to go crab fishing at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday and returned with a load of crab at 9 p.m., but wasn’t allowed back into port, he said. He said he was told officials wouldn’t lift the bridge in fear that it would stick and not go back down. >click to read<12:31

Zinke tells greens he’ll make ‘grand pivot’ to conservation

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke yesterday huddled with more than two dozen conservation group leaders, including some of his staunchest critics, in his latest bid to generate both ideas and support for his ambitious departmental reorganization plans. He got an earful, and may have gained some goodwill. During a get-together at Interior headquarters that lasted nearly two hours, the conservationists and sportsmen started talking reorganization and branched out from there. >click to read<10:35

New York Bight – Interactive map shows where maritime industries, offshore wind could overlap

A new interactive map showing potential offshore wind energy areas in the New York Bight is now online to help mariners assess the potential impacts on their livelihoods, as federal officials gather information and comments this month. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Council (MARCO), an ocean planning partnership of state governments, posted the mapping tool Thursday. The base map shows the New York Bight “call area” where the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is considering the possibility of offering future wind energy leases. (its bigger than Long Island) >click to read<

Rethinking the Ocean Factory Trawler

An entirely new design for the ocean factory trawler segment has been released by KNUD E. HANSENs Faroe Islands design team. From stem to stern this design redefines the classic trawler layout which has remained more or less unchanged for decades. The designers state: “The aim of this design is to set new standards for the next generation of ocean factory trawlers, seeking innovation in all solutions and adaption of new technologies to the long proven concept of stern trawlers”. >click to read<21:21

Canadian salmon firm admits using lobster-killing pesticide near Maine border

For the second time in five years, a Canadian salmon aquaculture firm has admitted in a New Brunswick courtroom to illegally using a pesticide known to kill lobsters for treating salmon off an island that abuts the Maine border. According to a CBC report, Northern Harvest Sea Farms admitted Tuesday to knowingly using the pesticide Salmosan 50 WP, without getting prior approval from the province, in an attempt to combat a sea lice outbreak at a salmon farm off Head Harbour on Campobello Island. Campobello Island is connected to the Maine town of Lubec via the Roosevelt International Bridge. >click to read<19:51

F/V Big Earl – Shrimp boat on Holden Beach finally back in the ocean

A shrimp boat that called the Holden Beach shoreline home for the past week is free. With the help of an excavator and high tide, Big Earl was dislodged from the beach Thursday morning and slowly made its way out into the ocean. “It was a miracle, like a baby giraffe being born, I was like come on Earl, go go go, don’t let the lines break,” said Sheila King, a vacationer who has been watching the beach boat for a week. (the people really rallied behind the fisherman, and I would say Big Earl is now an Ambassador.) Video, >click to read<19:06

20K-Pound Fresh Fish Catch Helps San Diego Maritime Industry

Thousands of pounds of fish were offloaded Thursday in Point Loma, an occurrence that happens a few times a month in San Diego but is part of an evolving maritime industry. The Port of San Diego is highlighting the commercial fishing industry for “Maritime Month.” Many of the fishermen who work in San Diego have been a part of the local fishing industry for generations and spend weeks at a time at sea. On Thursday, four of those fishermen aboard the boat “Anthony G” used forklifts to unload about 20-thousand pounds of swordfish, tuna, manchong and other fresh catches at Driscoll’s Wharf in Point Loma. Video, >click to read<16:47

2017 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries NMFS is pleased to present the 2017 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries managed under the science-based framework established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). The 2017 report highlights the work toward the goal of maximizing fishing opportunities while ensuring the sustainability of fisheries and fishing communities. Due to the combined efforts of NOAA Fisheries, the eight regional fishery management councils, and other partners, three previously overfished stocks were rebuilt and the number of stocks listed as overfished is at a new all-time low. >click to read<16:04

Tuna Industry Faces a Price-Fixing Scandal as Bumble Bee CEO Faces Criminal Charges

Price-fixing allegations have rocked the food world for the second time this year, as the CEO of Bumble Bee Foods is facing criminal charges for allegedly working to eliminate competition in the packaged seafood industry. Christopher Lischewski has been charged with one count of price fixing. That follows earlier similar charges against three StarKist tuna executives. One, who served as senior vice president for sales, pleaded guilty last year. Two other Bumble Bee executives have already pleaded guilty to price-fixing, and the company itself agreed to pay a $25 million fine for the same offense last year. >click to read<14:27

FISH-NL Launches fundraiser to help fund the conclusion of the breakaway union’s drive for certification

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has launched a second Go Fund Me Campaign to raise $75,000 to help fund the conclusion of the breakaway union’s drive for certification. “We’re almost there,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “It’s been16 long, hard months since FISH-NL submitted our application for certification and the Labour Relations Board is closer than ever to calling a vote for inshore harvesters to decide their union fate. We need this help to push us over the top.” It’s not just inshore harvesters who are urged to contribute to the cause, but people everywhere who are concerned with labour rights. >click to read< >click for fundraiser page<13:19

Judge denies bid for temporary halt to lobstering in Massachusetts

A federal judge has declined to issue a temporary restraining order to temporarily stop commercial lobster pot fishing in Massachusetts costal waters to protect North Atlantic right whales. The emergency motion seeking the order, filed May 4 by marine animal conservationist Richard Maximum Strahan, named the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association as defendants, although Strahan’s broader lawsuit, filed Feb. 28, includes federal agencies as well. >click to read<11:58

Lobster dispute boils over in Guysborough County

“Somebody’s going to be killed,” Austin Chambers hollered at the Mountie, pounding his fist into an open hand. The officer from the Sherbrooke detachment had been waiting on one of Ecum Secum’s wharves Wednesday afternoon to speak to Chambers about an escalating feud over lobster grounds between two sets of fishermen. Chambers arrived at the wharf in a rage, with lobster to unload and a story to tell. “He came right at us, would have split us right in two,” said Chambers. Meanwhile, at a wharf four kilometres away in Marie Joseph, Eric Pace had a different version of what transpired earlier Wednesday on the lobster grounds off Ecum Secum. >click to read<10:20

Fishing for solutions through legislation

The United States Congress is currently considering legislation that could affect the management of fisheries in the Northwest and directly impact local fishing. One of the bills being considered addresses the issue of sea lion predation on endangered stocks of salmon and steelhead. Another would effectively reverse a recent judge’s decision to increase spill at Columbia River and Snake River dams to improve downstream migration. There are also two bills that would amend the Magnuson-Stevens act, which regulates ocean fisheries. The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act, or H.R. 2083, would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972., H.R. 3144, H.R. 2023, H.R. 200 >click to read<09:00

Washington must come to grips with offshore wind conflicts

Offshore wind energy developers have momentum building for them in East Coast waters. But other maritime industries want to ease up on the throttle. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently held another round of public meetings in New Jersey and New York, gathering information for what could be a future round of lease offerings in the New York Bight. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke has promised to help fast track future permitting. .,,, Commercial fishermen have a case in federal court over the Statoil lease, and litigation seems certain to reignite.  “We have the Magnuson Act (federal fisheries law) because we want to have American fishing grounds for American fishermen,” said Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for fishing company Seafreeze Ltd., North Kingstown, R.I. “BOEM is plowing ahead regardless. They have not slowed down.” >click to read<22:42

South Shore lobstermen finally put traps in water

South Shore lobstermen are back on the water this week after more than a three month ban on lobster fishing, aimed at protecting endangered whales. The ban was supposed to be from Feb. 1 to April 30, but an additional two weeks was added because whales were spotted close to the shore last month. In all, local lobstermen have gone 15 weeks without pulling a trap or making a sale. “We’re going into the season broke, let’s put it that way,” fisherman Dana Blackman said Wednesday morning, the day after lobster fishing resumed.,, The ban affects about 75 lobster boats in Marshfield and Scituate alone. >click to read<17:46

Fishing and seafood industry raises questions and concerns during MPA information session with DFO in Yarmouth

There was a lot of agreement and disagreement when DFO representatives met with the fishing industry to consult and share information about marine protected areas (MPAs) during a recent session in Yarmouth. Many in the room were in agreement that they disagree with aspects of the federal government’s MPA plan and worry about the impact on the fishing and seafood industry. The federal government has committed to putting in place MPAs to help protect species and ecosystems and there national benchmarks have been set out. >click to read<15:53

Northern District king salmon setnetters stay closed

Subsistence fishermen in part of the Susitna River drainage will be able to harvest a few kings, but commercial fishermen in Northern Cook Inlet will remain closed for now. The Board of Fisheries considered two emergency petitions Monday related to the preseason restrictions of king salmon fishing in northern Cook Inlet after preseason forecasts indicated that the Deshka River would not see enough king salmon returning to meet its escapement goals. The board approved an action related to a petition from the Mt. Yenlo Fish and Game Advisory Committee, which requested limited subsistence fishing opportunity for king salmon on the upper Yentna River, and denied another asking for reconsideration of the commercial fishery closure from the Tyonek Fish and Game Advisory Committee. >click to read<

DFO rejects rock crab plan to ease lobster bait shortage

The P.E.I. government has asked for the rock crab fishery to open early to help with a lobster bait shortage, but the request has been rejected by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The province was thinking rock crab could be an alternative for lobster bait. There is a shortage of gaspereau that’s used for bait because of the flooding in New Brunswick. Provincial Fisheries Minister Robert Henderson said herring stock seems to be on the low side right now as well. The request to open the fishery early came from western Northumberland Strait fishermen. >click to read<14:05