Category Archives: Featured

South Carolina: 30th on the 30th – Blessing of the Fleet marks start of shrimp season

The 30th annual Blessing of the Fleet will be held April 30 with an anticipated fleet of 13 boats. Continuing the tradition began by the Magwood family, who started the festival in 1988, every year the proceeds from the festival are donated to local nonprofit organizations. The Town of Mount Pleasant has chosen the Charleston Port and Seafarers’ Society and East Cooper Meals on Wheels to receive the net proceeds of the 30th annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival. Meet the captains –  click here to read the rest and view the images 15:28

The Fishing Fleet: An invisible cornerstone of our economy

Hundreds of people who drive by on their way to and from wherever probably don’t notice, but you might, or at least you could. Look seaward when you pass Safeway and you’ll see a boatyard story that goes beyond the wooden boat identity Port Townsend is famous for. Below the tall masts of schooners and square riggers are the troll poles, gurdies and net rollers of the fish boats that call on Port Townsend for their winter’s maintenance. Some of their owners live here, and the vessels’ names are better known (Chichagof, Duna, Cape Cleare). Many come from distant ports, employing and trusting our community to keep their boats afloat. The marine trades constitute the third-largest employer in the county. This is big business for us. Tim Hoffman of Lowest Hadlock Shipwrights put this way: “Ninety percent of my business is fish boats, and they really don’t get the credit they deserve for what they’ve brought to this place, and I’m talking since the mid-’70s.” click here to read the story 08:51

Reality check – As they gear up for the season, Island fishermen receive two days of safety and survival training.

Don’t put the injured on the raft first, they can slow down the evacuation. Don’t stow survival suits below decks. Don’t leave port without a Nerf football. This was some of the wisdom imparted to a group of 35 commercial fishermen gathered at Coast Guard Station Menemsha on a gray, windy Thursday morning, where, appropriately, a storm front was bearing down on the Vineyard. It was day one of two training days for commercial fishermen — along with sailors, harbormasters, and shellfish constables — provided by Burlington-based Fishing Partnership Support Services (FPSS). The focus of the day one was safety and survival. Participants rotated among six training modules: man overboard procedure, firefighting and flares, survival suits, helicopter hoist operations, flooding and pump operations, first aid and CPR, and life raft equipment. seven images, click here to read the story 16:19

Caught Dead to Rights: Video catches ocean polluters in the act

Video shot by a deckhand was the key piece of evidence that helped convict the owner of a Puget Sound fishing vessel for violating the Clean Water Act. A federal jury handed down a “guilty” verdict this week after the week-long trial of Bingham Fox, who owns the 80 foot Native Sun. Jurors determined that Fox intentionally dumped oily bilge water into the port of Blaine, Wash. The U.S. Coast Guard was alerted to the pollution scheme by a deckhand named Anthony, who shot cell phone video of a makeshift pump that sucked oily sludge from the Native Sun’s hull and pumped it into the ocean and the Puget Sound. Watch the video, read the rest here 18:50

Calling on the president to make commercial fishing great again

One boat after another offloaded their catch at Gambardella’s Wholesale Seafood. A busy day for the seafood distributor but that’s not the norm these days. Fewer fishing boats are coming in because crews say they can’t afford to go out with limits on what they can catch.“The regulations are outdated, the science is wrong, and we’ve been fishing under these conditions for too long,” said Bobby Guzzo a longtime fishermen. He says they often have to throw back fish so they don’t go over their limits and those limits are based on what state fisherman are from even though they all fish the same federal waters. Connecticut limits are a lot lower than states down south. “We’re all fishing in federal water, we’re all fishing together,” said Guzzo. “Why aren’t we all together?” It’s a question Guzzo has been asking for years and now he and fellow fishermen are hoping to ask President Donald Trump. They are calling on him to make commercial fishing great again. Video, read the story here 07:57

The Sustainable Fisheries Act – January 11, 2000 Revisited

I’ve been reviewing my past writings to gauge which, if any, have aged gracefully and which haven’t. I’ll be redistributing those that I think were particularly noteworthy, either because they were – and perhaps still are – on target or because they weren’t – or aren’t. The following addresses some of the more onerous provisions of the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996, which at the time were being fully implemented. I’ll leave it up to you to determine whether I hit this nail on the head or not. I’d be really interested to hear what you think. Nils Stolpe.  From the article: Under the provisions of the federal Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA), at any point when the populations of each of these competing species aren’t at MSY they are considered to be “overfished” and stringent harvest restrictions implementing strict rebuilding schedules (to MSY) are mandated. By requiring that all species be at their MSY, our coastal waters are expected in the SFA to support a level of overall production that is ecologically impossible, and fishermen, both recreational and commercial, are expected to reduce their catch to meet this impossible standard. Continue reading the article here 14:45

Harvey Haddock on fisherman’s rights.

In light of the recent court decision in regard to the proposed New York windmill farm allowing the project to proceed despite its potential effects on long established fishing industries, this scene, excerpted from the in-progress novel, “Delusions of a Madman”, showcases an irreverent slice of life from the Fishermans Dock Co-op, which illuminates the question; What are a fisherman’s rights? On a cold windy morning at the Fishermans Dock Co-op, all the boats are in, and a couple of small groups of fishermen are scattered at the docks unloading spots, generally discussing the last few days of fishing, and invariably complaining about one regulation or another. Henry’s in a hurry to the office today, it seems the morning coffee has done its magic, and he needs to make a deposit for Alice and Lil, the office secretary’s. He hurries through the dock careful not to slip on the ice, and enters the warm office, heads right, passing  Alice sitting at her desk, and Lil, in the next room. “Again?” says Alice. Continue reading the story here 22:02

How a ‘rogue’ environmental group transformed (HIJACKED) American fisheries

One of the nation’s largest environmental groups — bankrolled with $50 million from the heirs to the Walmart fortune — has spent millions of dollars pushing a wholesale change in how the U.S. manages its fisheries, an AL.com investigation reveals. Critics blame the Environmental Defense Fund effort for hurting fishing communities on every coast, from Kake, Alaska, and Gloucester, Mass., to Bayou La Batre, Alabama. The group has pushed a system that turns the right to catch a pound of fish into a private commodity that can be bought and sold like a share of stock on Wall Street. The government then gives these shares to individual commercial fishermen, granting them the right to catch that fish, or lease or sell the right to catch it to another fisherman. EDF gained unprecedented access to the levers of power in 2008 when President Obama appointed the vice-chair of EDF’s board – Jane Lubchenko — as the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which manages the nation’s fish stocks. Once in power, Lubchenko, a respected but little known fisheries professor in Washington State, enacted a national catch share policy that mirrored EDF’s longtime goals. Read this story. Read the story here 09:21

Government Waste – Regulatory Discards

This is what the government and their stupid regulations make us discard. Thrown away dead feeding the crabs. Fishermen would be more than happy to bring them home and give them away to feed the hungry. But nooo can’t do that. With what stupid regulations make us discard we could end hunger in this nation. Totally outrageous. 11:10

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