Category Archives: Featured

Grand Isle scrambles to clean up after freak storm: “It was like a baby hurricane”

Businesses, residents and town workers in Grand Isle scrambled Wednesday to pump out water and clear debris ahead of a second batch of bad weather expected to blow through the island by about 3 p.m.  Grand Isle was hit suddenly by a violent storm Tuesday afternoon with wind gusts of up to 90 mph and rain that flooded streets, sank boats, stripped shingles off of roofs and threw trash cans and other unsecured personal property around, said Mayor David Camardelle. photo’s >click to read< 14:34

1 dead after capsized vessel caught in ‘microburst’ of bad weather off the Louisiana coast; 12 still missing, 6 rescued – The Coast Guard searched for 12 people missing off the coast of Louisiana on Wednesday,,, Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson III confirmed the missing crew members were on board the Seacor Power before it flipped over miles south of Port Fourchon. Capt. Ronald Dufrene said his offshore trawler Mister Jug was among the shrimp boats that struggled to survive the storm. >click to read<

SPECIAL REPORT: Winds of change – Developers grease the skids to ingratiate themselves and minimize negative reception

Rural onshore windfarms have long been a subject of much debate, Windfarm developers have found that their financial contributions to local communities, like sports clubs, local organizations and projects, have helped to ingratiate themselves with the locals and minimize negative reception. HUH! Between these generous handouts and potential legal challenges, many developers of windfarms have found the projects an expensive business. But now the sector has spotted another option on the horizon – literally. Offshore wind farms. The biggest criticism of the offshore wind  energy sector in Ireland so far has come from fishing interests, Patrick Murphy of the Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation told Southern Star recently that the commandeering of sites at sea by windfarm developers today is akin to the land grabs from the native Americans in the 19th century. >click to read< 12:59

How a shocking environmental disaster was uncovered after 70 years

Just 10 miles off the coast of Los Angeles lurks an environmental disaster over 70 years in the making, which few have ever heard about. That is, until now, thanks to the research of a University of California marine scientist named David Valentine. Working with little more than rumors and a hunch, curiosity guided him 3,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. A few hours of research time and an autonomous robotic submersible unearthed what had been hidden since the 1940s: countless barrels of toxic waste, laced with DDT, littering the ocean floor in between Long Beach and Catalina Island. Video, >click to read< 09:33

Innovative Monkfish Catcher Vessel Built in Brazil

High-quality monkfish in southern of Brazil is is driving a local fishing company to build the very first fishing vessel in the country for this fishery. Blaze I’s construction is currently approaching completion and it is expected to start fishing in the second half of 2021. For two decades, seafood company Blaze has been providing premium products to European, Asian, and African markets. Despite the solid commercial relationship with the Portuguese and French customers that the company has built since the beginning, it has been suffering over the past three years with the closure of European markets to the Brazilian fish due to sanitary concerns. That was one of the reasons why Blaze decided to invest in its own boat. According to José da Silveira Jr., one of the owners, the company’s expectation is to obtain a European certification. photos, >click to read< 15:29

Lower and middle class Americans will pay for the Biden Administration offshore wind power “plan”

Last week, the Biden administration announced “a bold set of actions” that it said will “catalyze” the installation of 30,000 megawatts of new offshore wind capacity by 2030. A White House fact sheet claimed the offshore push will create “good-paying union jobs” and “strengthen the domestic supply chain.” One problem: It didn’t contain a single mention of electricity prices or ratepayers. The reason for the omission is obvious: President Biden’s offshore-wind scheme will be terrible for consumers. >click to read<,,, Offshore wind is a bad deal for the marine environment, ratepayers and taxpayers. Biden’s plan should be torpedoed before it leaves the harbor. 17:28

Changing environment may be to blame for reduced fish populations – Seals, Professor? Regulatory changes?

A new study aimed at determining how best to boost recovery of Atlantic cod has researchers pondering whether ongoing fishing and environmental changes, rather than evolution, are behind failed recovery of many stressed fish populations. (Seal predation?!!) Research published Monday, April 5 by Rutgers University, including genetic sequencing of this iconic species, offers major implications for ocean conservation, says Malin Pinsky, an associate professor in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “Fish populations around the world have collapsed and many have not recovered,” said Pinsky. >click to read 09:43

A campaign to bring 100-year-old steam trawler Viola back home to Yorkshire from an island off Antarctica

Resting on the ex-whaling station Grytviken in South Georgia, an island south east of the Falkland Islands, the now-rusted Viola has only snow-capped mountains and albatrosses for company on the sub-Antarctic isle. But over in Hull, a campaigning group called the Viola Trust is hoping to raise £3m to bring the Viola back home,,, Despite her rust and age, the Viola is in surprisingly good condition. She is the oldest steam trawler in the world with her engines still intact. >click to read< 14:46

Fishermen: “Sea-life in Dublin Bay facing wipe-out” from offshore wind farm surveys

More than 40 fishermen claim marine surveys are damaging fish and wildlife. The surveys are being done as part of offshore wind farms. Fisherman Paddy Macaulay told us that a previous windfarm survey on the seabed in 2011 “destroyed everything on the seabed”. He said: “All life that we sustain our living from was gone for two and a half years, and slowly it came back”. As part of the offshore licence, companies behind the wind farms are required to engage (seat at the table, Pilgrims?) with the fishermen who claim that is not happening. Fisherman Sean Ryan said: “This is only the survey phase when they go into the construction phase,,, >click to read< 13:55

ITS TIME FOR A FISHING INDUSTRY BUY OUT BY OFFSHORE WIND

If Offshore wind farm companies want the commercial fishing industry to support the construction of massive wind farms on their long time historical fishing grounds, then those companies must offer a vessel buy out option to fishermen before they are put out of business by these same wind developers.,,, While the Biden administration is busy throwing billions of dollars to people who aren’t even citizens, how about throwing a few billion to the commercial fishermen that your green new deal is about to destroy. If multi national corporations are allowed to just prance right into our territorial waters and take them over from the local fishermen leaving them bankrupt and out of work, then the federal government ought to own up to the damage it is creating to the fishing industry and create a voluntary buy out program, jointly financed by them and of course the Windmill companies,,, >click to read< By Jim Lovgren  21:37

Renewal programme continues as Courageous joins local fleet

Skipper Ian Shearer and his partners Christopher Irvine, James Johnson and Malcolm Reid sailed into their home port of Symbister on Saturday after crossing the North Sea from Hvide Sande in Denmark where the vessel was built. The new vessel replaces the previous Courageous, formally known as the Guardian Angell, which they had bought from Yell in 2015. The move enabled the young fishing partnership, four men were aged between 17 and 25 at the time, to get a foothold in the local industry. The fifth shareholder in the company is local fishing agent LHD. >click to read< 14:37

1 dead, another presumed dead after fishing boat capsizes off Cape Breton

Four crew members from the Tyhawk fishing vessel were rescued from the water Saturday evening and taken to hospital. But one, identified by community members as Seth Monahan, died. The vessel’s captain, Craig Sock, is missing and presumed dead after an unsuccessful overnight search.  The Tyhawk belongs to the Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, according to band councillor Ruth Levi. She said Monahan was originally from  nearby Metepenagiag, N.B., and had been living in Elsipogtog for many years. He had two young children, she said. Levi described Sock as a “gentle soul” who loved hockey. He was known as “Jumbo” to his friends. >click to read< 20:42

Lobsterman: A day in the life

“Let Her Go” is oversized for Frenchtown’s small harbor, so Ledee bases her in Red Hook, where his day begins in darkness. Rising at 3 a.m., he packs hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, curried chicken for lunch and a cooler of drinks for himself and his mate, 19-year-old Kyle LaPlace. Lobsters and fish support him and his brother Gregory, who co-owns the business, as well as the men who crew with him, build the fish traps, survey and repair the boat and provide dock space. It’s a complete microeconomy. “Fishing has been good to me,” Ledee says. 18 photos,  >click to read< 07:50

“DFO operates in denial of Reality”- Scientist says seal predation not having a significant impact on spawning cod stocks 

Instead, Karen Dwyer, weighing in on the contentious debate over the health of cod stocks, said Thursday that environmental factors and a limited supply of the cod’s primary food source — capelin — are more to blame.,, Trinity Bay fisherman Keith Smith said DFO continues to downplay the impact of seal predation on cod. “It’s like DFO operate in denial of reality,” Smith said. “Fishing mortality is at an all-time low while natural mortality, likely led by the growing seal population that consumes vast amounts of both capelin and cod, remains high,”,,, >click to read<  11:04

John Gillett: Fishery mismanaged while people go hungry

Canada is doing the world a big injustice by mismanaging our Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries. If our fisheries were managed right, we could supply a million tonnes of fish protein to the world and still have enough for our own country. Canada refusing to address the predation of millions of tonnes of fish a year by 10 million seals is criminal to me. Canada, under the UN food security program, has an obligation to share food with the world, not let it be wasted by not controlling the seals that are destroying what fish harvesters harvest and causing an ecological marine disaster. >click to read<  09:10

#ShowUsTheRope – Blamed for Right Whale Entanglements, Lobstermen say Show us the rope!

Snow Cone has triggered an outcry of frustration from fishermen, who say they’re being unfairly blamed for the decline of the critically endangered species. On Wednesday, March 10, a team from Provincetown’s Center for Coastal Studies freed Snow Cone from 300 feet of rope. The center described the team’s success on its Facebook page, and used a photo from an aerial survey that shows the whale and the telltale rope from 1,000 feet in the air. “So, I remember seeing this,” said Nick Muto. The Facebook post said the retrieved rope likely came from a fishery, but there was no close-up picture. “So my hashtag, #ShowUsTheRope, is me trying to lay it right on the Center for Coastal Studies,” >click to read< 20:06

‘You can’t touch the union boat’- Former Fishery Officer alleges DFO kept 2012 Katrina Charlene conviction quiet

The Katrina Charlene and the crab quota it was built to fish have been in the news for almost 20 years for their connection to the FFAW. The story made national news in February when a Fishery Officer alleged DFO kept quiet a conviction against the trawler, so as to not embarrass the union. Today, there’s news the quota sold recently for $1 million, a fraction of its estimated value, to Conne River First Nation. The boat and quota have been sold, but questions remain. What happened to the tens of millions of dollars generated by the crab quota? Fisherman’s Road lays out the story as it’s never been told. First of a three-part series. By Ryan Cleary >click to read<  11:59

“Every crack was a stab in my heart,” – The Death of the Kaiki, Greece’s Traditional Fishing Boat

He sits sad-eyed on a bench in front of the Neos Pyrgos pier in North Evia, watching some of the few remaining kaikia go to and fro. Just a few years ago, his own kaiki was tied there next to them. Tzevelekos’ beloved boat was one of about 13,000 kaikia which have been deliberately destroyed since 1994, after a European Union directive called for the demolition of the small wooden fishing boats,, The directive aims at putting a stop to   overfishing,,, “Every crack was a stab in my heart,” said Dimitris Livanos of Agiopyrgos, also in North Evia, describing the boat demolition that he was forced to witness. The Traditional Boat Association of Greece is a private organization which is making concerted efforts to save traditional boats from extinction. “There are about 15,000 fishing boats left, based on the number of current licenses. We don’t know how many of these are traditional,” says Nikos Kavallieros, president of the Association. >click to read< 11:53

Seven crewmen remain aboard a stranded fishing trawler off Cork coast

Several crew members of a fishing trawler that’s drifting without power off the Cork coast are to remain on board the vessel overnight, with high winds and rough seas anticipated. The fishing vessel raised the alarm this morning when it lost power off the coast of Castletownbere, and it’s understood other trawlers in the area tried to offer assistance. An update from Rescue 115 reads: “The seven crew want to remain with the vessel at this time. Numerous other vessels on route,,, >click to read< 17:41

Rescue 115 has now returned to base after making two trips to the casualty vessel>click to read<

A “Must Read” for Media and Politicians – Seeing the bigger picture on right whales

Someone should point out to the media that the right whale population has shown dramatic growth from the 1990s up until the last few years, when birth rates leveled off. Without a doubt, 2017 to 2019 was a terrible time period for them,,, It is irresponsible for any scientist or oceanographer to take an extreme year (2017) and say that the population is headed to extinction. The bigger picture shows a much more hopeful story. By Jack Merrill, >click to read< 10:27

Fishing industry unimpressed with Biden Harris’s NOAA/NMFS climate crisis notions. (Offshore Wind Farms, either!)

President Biden ordered NOAA to collect information from a wide range of groups on increasing the resilience of fisheries as part of his plan to address climate change and to protect 30% of U.S. ocean areas by the year 2030. The NOAA directive is included in the sweeping executive order Biden signed his first week in office that made “the climate crisis” a centerpiece of his presidency. “Fisheries, protected resources, habitats and ecosystem are being affected by climate change,” acting NOAA Fisheries chief Paul Doremus said at the beginning of yesterday’s conference call. >click to read< 07:55

The Intense, Lobster-Fueled Fight Over America’s First Floating Wind Farm

On Sunday, local Maine outlets reported that a slew of fishing boats gathered in a show of protest against a planned wind project in midcoast Maine. While the weekend flotilla of fishermen was peaceful, tensions continued to rise on Monday. That’s when the wind project’s owners accused three fishing boats of intentionally surrounding a research vessel that was out for an ocean floor survey, “creating an unsafe situation” that forced them to suspend operations,,, >click to read< 09:55

Pile driving for constructing offshore wind turbine supports alters feeding behaviors of longfin squid

With the offshore wind industry expanding in the United States and elsewhere, a new study raises questions about how the noise from impact pile driving to install turbine supports can affect feeding behaviors of longfin squid, a commercially and ecologically important cephalopod.,, The study addressed short-term impacts to squid feeding behavior and noted that future research should look at longer exposures to noise and field work with  free-swimming squid. In particular, the study found that rates of anti-predator behaviors were similar when subjected to recordings of piledriving whether the squid was hunting at the start of the noise, suggesting that the noise diverted squid attention from a feeding task toward predator defense. >click to read< 14:13

‘Irreversible losses’: Wildlife expert fears for North Sea habitat – The North Sea off Suffolk could be facing “irreversible wildlife losses” because of the impact on its environment of the growing number of windfarms. >click to read<

Right whales: Public comments range from ‘save the whales’ to ‘save the fishermen’

Samuel Sautaux posted his comment from Lentigny, Switzerland, located north of the Alps. His comment is among about 171,208 received from individuals who live near and far from the right whales’ cruising grounds and posted an opinion on the latest federal effort to protect the species on the public comment page overseen by NOAA. These comments are now being processed,,, Some of the comments are quite succinct, as was Sautaux’s. Others are more elaborate – including one from an author who signs as a 69-year-old, sixth generation lobsterman from Maine who says the proposal amounts to a “death sentence” on the industry. >click to read< 07:16

Biden appoints former NOAA’s “Carbon Queen” Jane Lubchenco to key climate change role!

The White House has appointed Jane Lubchenco, a well-known marine scientist at Oregon State University and former head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to a high-level position coordinating climate and environmental issues within its Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The announcement scheduled for Friday marks another step in the Biden administration’s all-of-government approach to tackling climate change. >click to read< 08:37  from 2008, Environmental Defense Fund Honored that Board Vice Chair Reportedly Picked as NOAA Administrator>click to read<

Meeting produces no solution for fishermen’s Brexit related fishing issues

Environment Minister John Young said following the discussions that he and his fellow ministers would continue to work with the industry, with another meeting due to take place before Easter.,, ‘The meeting welcomed the open and constructive discussions between ministers, officials and the local fisheries industry, and while a comprehensive solution was not reached, ‘It was a complete waste of time and a tick-box exercise to allow them to say they are engaging with industry. There was mention of financial support in three phases but it was read out “this is phase one, two, three. OK – let’s move on” and that was it,’ >click to read< 08:30

New fishing vessel boosts jobs in Nelson and West Coast

A $6 million longline fishing vessel will be built in Nelson and is set to create new jobs for the West Coast fishing industry. The 26-metre vessel F/V Te Runanga will provide up to 25 new jobs on the West Coast, and more during its construction Nelson.,, With a crew of up to eight, it will in effect create around 25 full time jobs collectively with the additional fish it brought to the factory. It will also be built strong enough to go into the Southern Ocean around the Bounties. “Some might think it’ll be too small to venture there but this boat’s built like a tank,” Boote said. >click to read< 19:02

Bodies of three men recovered off the Wirral and Blackpool

The families of missing crew members from the fishing boat F/V Nicola Faith have been informed after three bodies were recovered from the coastline off the Wirral and Blackpool over the weekend. North Wales Police confirmed it has been in contact with colleagues from Merseyside and Lancashire police, and it is awaiting the outcome of the post mortem examinations. Alan Minard, 20, Ross Ballantine, 39, and the boat’s skipper Carl McGrath, 34, were declared missing after their fishing vessel the Nicola Faith failed to return to port on January 27. video, >click to read< 14:43

Fishing Machine – The Fifth Endeavor from Macduff

The new trawler took shape only a few miles from Peter Lovie’s home and it sails with a local crew of ten, including his sons David, Ryan and Andrew. ‘It’s particularly satisfying that Endeavour V has a young crew,’ he said. The 34 metre LOA, 10.50 metre beam Endeavour V has he distinction of being    the largest newbuild to emerge from Macduff Shipyards, as well as being the fifth Endeavour to be built for the same owners since the first to carry the name, a 21 metre single rigged with a wooden hull, was delivered in 1989. >click to read< Fishing Machine – A single skipper’s chair in a horseshoe console faces a bank of a group of three 55-inch 4K bridge monitors, forming a video wall managed through a touchscreen control system developed and installed by Woodsons, who supplied the full package of Endeavour V’s electronics.  >click to read<  New Hull Form – and a bit about propulsion, >click to read< 13:07

The Voices of Gloucester Fishermen: NOAA offers virtual trip through Gloucester fishing history

The voices speak to the experience of living and fishing in America’s oldest commercial seaport, of the challenges and the joys of working on the waters of Cape Ann and beyond. They are at once a snapshot and endurable timeline collected into recorded interviews and fashioned into an  integrated story map of the Gloucester fishing and community experience. The stories and the voices which tell them are contained in the newest online chapter of the Voices of Oral History Archives organized and produced by NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Fisheries Science Center. It’s titled “Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport” photos, video, >click to read< 11:55

Forgotten industries – Auctioning off enormous areas of precious fishing grounds to offshore wind farm developers

At a time when Scottish fishing communities are still trying to come to terms with the regulations they face after the Westminster Government’s adoption of a Brexit deal,,, The Scottish Government appear to be intent on heaping more pressure on the Scottish fishing communities, as they are presently auctioning off enormous areas of precious fishing grounds to wind farm developers and are creating massive Marine Protected Areas, that prohibits fishing activities. This will concentrate the fishing effort in other areas, putting more pressure on the available fish stocks in what fishing grounds are left. By William Polson, Whalsay, Shetland.  >click to read< 18:12