Category Archives: Featured

Arrival of the new F/V Copious the ‘ultimate expression of confidence’

Lerwick’s jarl squad had just revealed its beautiful galley to the public for the first time on Tuesday morning when another, even more impressive, new build sailed into Lerwick Harbour for the first time. It took Mark Anderson and his crew 17 days to complete the journey from the Croatian Tehnomont shipyard to Lerwick’s Mair’s Quay. At 24.9 metres in length and fitted with a 588kw engine, both Copious and her sister vessel Prolific have been designed to be more eco-friendly and as such more economical. Designed by Macduff Ship Design, the two new vessels have a beam of nine metres and provide accommodation for up to 12 crew members. Anderson said they would have a crew of eight when fishing. >click to read< 09:45

Biden admin faces blowback over wind farm construction threatening marine life: ‘Put whales over woke!’

Activist groups like the Protect Our Coast NJ, Save Right Whales, and others have voiced concerns that coastal wind turbines built amid a Biden administration push for green energy are hurting an already endangered species. The Washington Post reported how if President Biden hopes to archive his renewable energy goals, the undertaking would require “massive” amount of offshore wind turbines to be installed. “Dead whales and tough economics bedevil Biden’s massive wind energy push,” the Post wrote.  Environmentalist and author Michael Shellenberger wrote a Twitter thread about how construction can hurt the local whale population in a variety of ways. “Industrial wind projects ‘could have population-level effects on an already endangered and stressed species,’ concluded the NOAA scientist, Sean Hayes,” Shellenberger tweeted. “What are ‘population-level effects?’ In a word: extinction.” >click to read< 08:53

Hull headscarf parade to raise money for trawler statue

A parade through Hull will raise funds to build a statue honouring four women who campaigned for trawler safety measures in the 1960s. The Headscarf Revolutionaries took on the fishing industry and the government after three boats sank in 1968 with the loss of 58 crew. Now campaigners are aiming to raise £100,000 for a memorial to them. The four women – Lillian Bilocca, Yvonne Blenkinsop, Mary Denness and Christine Jensen – fought for tougher safety laws. The trawlers – St Romanus, Kingston Peridot and Ross Cleveland – all sank within two weeks of each other off the Icelandic coast, with only one survivor. >click to read< 08;38

Victory! After a 2 week stand down, Kodiak’s Tanner crab strike is over

Each of Kodiak’s four canneries offered slightly different deals – Alaska Pacific Seafoods agreed to $3.35 per pound plus a retro payment – which can boost the final payout to fishermen after the season. Pacific Seafood also agreed to $3.35 per pound with a possible retro to fishermen. OBI settled with crabbers for $3.25 plus profit sharing, and Trident Seafoods stayed at $3.25 per pound. It wasn’t exactly the deal Kodiak crabbers were hoping for, and some boats from Kodiak may still take their crab out west where processors are offering slightly more per pound. But ultimately, 80% of those in attendance at Saturday’s meeting agreed, it was time to go fishing. “We stuck together, we’re gonna roll this thing out together, and we’re looking at it as a victory,” >click to read< 13:11

Naval service detains Spanish trawler off the south-west coast

A German-registered Spanish vessel which was involved in a confrontation off the Scottish coast over two years ago German-registered Spanish vessel has been detained by the Naval Service off the south-west coast. The 26m Pesorsa Dos was detained last Saturday, January 21, by the LÉ George Bernard Shaw, but it took several days to haul its gear before it could be escorted into Castletownbere, Co Cork today. The same vessel from La Coruna in northern Spain was previously detained in the Irish exclusive economic zone, 250 miles north of Donegal’s Malin Head, in July 2020. It’s understood the 1974-built 27m long fishing vessel, which left the Spanish port of La Caruna on January 2, had shot gill nets and was fishing in deep water for monkfish. >click to read< 17:32

16-hour Coast Guard tow brings F/V Miss Trish II home

The crew of a Gloucester fishing vessel spent about 12 hours adrift far from shore after its transmission failed and before the Coast Guard towed it home. Coast Guard officials, responding to an emergency call from the Miss Trish II were able to reach the boat about 75 miles offshore over the weekend and tow her safely back to port. Jim Bridges, commanding officer at U.S. Coast Guard Station Gloucester said none of the six men aboard the Miss Trish II were injured during the incident. Crew on the Miss Trish II called the Coast Guard around 5 p.m. Saturday, Bridges said, indicating the ship’s engine would not start. >click to read< 18:34

Calls for €12m fund to help inshore fishing industry

The Government is to be asked to give Ireland’s inshore fishers more than €12m to help them deal with the disruption to their markets caused by the war in Ukraine and the pandemic. The market in shrimp, for example, has collapsed, with one group of around 600 smaller inshore fishers losing an estimated total of €5m in the build-up to last Christmas. Their representatives have seen more than €100m in packages to help the much larger, offshore sector boat owners deal with the negative impacts of Brexit, which is mainly the cut in quota and resulting 40% fall in income. But they say that despite having 91% of the country’s entire fishing fleet, and employing the majority of Irish fishers, Ireland’s inshore sector has, by comparison, received around €3.7m. >click to read< 11:26

How valuable, and volatile, crabbing can be along the Oregon Coast

On a calm morning last May, the three-person crew of the FV Misty dropped into the Pacific Ocean off of Port Orford, in Southern Oregon, to catch a small piece of a large fortune. It’s not easy money though, by any stretch. A day of pulling in hundreds of crab pots is relentless and fast-paced work, requiring razor-sharp choreography from a seasoned crew. Boat captain Aaron Ashdown can remember joining the family business when Dungeness crab was worth $2.50 per pound in starting price. “My dad told me, because a crab is about maybe two pounds, ‘There’s just little $5 bills all over the bottom of the ocean and all we got to do is go out there and pick them up.’” By the 2022 season, that value had risen to a record $5 starting price, unprecedented for Oregon. Interesting video, photos, >click to read< 11:06

South Carolina Shrimper Finds Smooth Sailing with Help of EDA Revolving Loan Fund Program

James Bradley is a second-generation commercial fisherman from South Carolina. He’s the owner of Bradley’s Commercial Fishing, a family-owned business on St. Helena Island. The company provides shrimp and other seafood items to local restaurants. Fishing has been a proud tradition for the Bradley family, which has been in the seafood business for more than 100 years. An able seaman who learned how to shrimp and fish from his father, Bradley served as captain of the company’s shrimp trawler, F/V Bradley’s Pride, which would sail the Atlantic off the South Carolina coast. It served as the centerpiece of Bradley’s company and its main source of revenue. After more than five decades in business, however, he realized it was time to buy a new boat.>click to read< 19:46

Macduff’s Biggest Newbuild – So Far

This is Mark Lovie’s fourth Macduff trawler in a series that started with the wooden-hulled Venture, built as Endeavour II in 1993. Since then the steel-hulled Venture II in 2001, Venture III in 2017 and now Venture IV have each been the largest vessels built at the yard at various points. The new Venture IV is the yard’s largest newbuild in terms of both size and gross tonnage. The newbuild process began in 2020 when he went to the yard looking for options for a new vessel to replace his previous <24m registered trawler, as well as seeking improvements in fuel efficiency, speed, sea keeping, and crew comfort. The yard’s design team knew that a larger vessel would be needed to meet all these requirements and the outcome was a design for a 34.50 metre, 10.50 metre breadth trawler. Video, photos, >click to read< 17:48

Fishing boats depart for Alaska – Local crabbers begin dropping pots for season opener

A number of the larger commercial fishing boats that call Newport’s Yaquina Bay their home headed out this week for the annual trek to Alaska’s Bering Sea. It can take eight to 10 days for them to make the journey up north, depending on the weather. Boats from Newport will be docking either at Dutch Harbor or Kodiak, where they will be based while fishing for pollack and cod, a fishery that generally lasts for several months. The Port of Newport’s International Terminal was hopping with activity this week as boat owners and their crews made final preparations. In addition to the Alaskan fleet getting ready to head north, local commercial crabbers were busy loading their gear in preparation for the opening of the season this Sunday, Jan. 15. >click to read< 08:40

The moment an Ayrshire fishing crew rescue another boat off the coast of Arran in horrific conditions

The moment an Ayrshire fishing crew saved fellow fishermen in horrific conditions has been captured in dramatic footage. The F/V Spes Bona crew from Troon hauled a stricken trawler which had broken down off the coast of Arran on Monday. The failed boat, with three crew members of board, was towed nine miles through ferocious conditions as stormy weather battered the Firth of Clyde. A video showing the hair-raising rescue has gone viral, chalking up more than 4,000 views in just a matter of days, with viewers left stunned by the footage. But Spes Bona captain Donald Gibson says the scenes are a regular occurrence out in the open seas. Video, >click to read< 10:01

A New Bedford fishing boat needed a new engine. Cost: $175K. And that was just the start.

Pedro Cura had a decision to make. Last September, Paulo Valente was coming through Butler’s Flat, heading back to the dock, when suddenly the engine blew in the dragger he captains for Cura and his business partner. The wear and tear from the many fishing trips aboard Fisherman, as she’s called, had caused the damage, Valente said. The engine had already been rebuilt a few times over the years. One of the options Cura was entertaining was cutting up the boat for scrap metal and just calling it a day. Another was using parts from another old engine he found to rebuild it. Instead, he decided to buy a new engine from Windward Power Systems in Fairhaven a month later. 19 Photos, >click to read< 08:01

From facing off with the Russian navy, to giving up a five-generation fishing tradition

For a brief moment, Alan Carleton was at the centre of a bizarre stand-off between Irish fishermen and the Russian navy. Back in January 2022, he and other fishermen had threatened to peacefully disrupt Russia’s naval plans to hold live firing exercises 240 km off the Cork coast. Himself and the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation CEO Patrick Murphy even met the Russian ambassador to demand the exercises be called off. Fast forward a year and a man who was prepared to stand up to the Russian navy is on the verge of giving up his own fight to stay in the Irish fishing industry. >click to read< 07:41

The Informal Strike. Bering Sea cod fisherman fight for better catch price

The Bristol Bay red king crab fishery has been closed for two years, and along with it, Bering Sea snow crab have abruptly disappeared, So when a group of Bering Sea fishermen recently heard they’d be getting paid less than they hoped for cod this winter season, they figured they couldn’t afford to just sit by. But that’s exactly what they did. Rather than head out right away to the fishing grounds and set their gear like they usually do on the New Year, nearly 30 boats dropped their anchors or docked up in port, waiting on better news. “Trident posted a substantially low price for cod this season, but no other processors would post anything,” said Chris Studeman, captain and co-owner of the 104-foot fishing vessel Kevleen K. “And they all expected us to just go fishing with the good faith that they’ll make it right in the end. And you can’t really run an operation with the hope that somebody will make it right in the end.” >click to read< 20:49

Dungeness crab season closure has ‘cut off a key economic lifeline to small coastal fishing communities’

A group of Oregon Dungeness crab fishers comprising nearly 10% of the state’s permitted commercial fleet sent an open letter this morning to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife strongly criticizing the Department’s failure to open the Dungeness crab season along approximately half of Oregon’s coast in areas where crab have exceeded meat quality thresholds for several weeks. As the delayed opening enters its second month, the fishers’ letter describes in detail how the Department’s refusal to open the season has cut off a key economic lifeline to small fishing communities up and down the Oregon coast. The letter also takes sharp aim at the Oregon Dungeness Crab Advisory Committee, which the fishers describe as an “echo chamber” made up of special interests including major processors that benefit from lower prices that predominate after the end of the peak-demand holiday season, at the expense of mom-and-pop businesses and Oregon consumers. >click to read< 17:24

Rocky: The Largest Lobster Ever Caught in Maine

There are approximately 75 species of lobsters, split into two types: clawed lobsters and spiny/rock lobsters. Typically, these sea animals have long bodies and muscular tails. It’s unlikely you will see one while swimming in shallow water since they inhabit deep burrows. They live in cold waters, have eight walking legs, and two large edible claws. Scientists believe lobsters live up to 50 years in the wild, but it’s hard to estimate their age. The largest lobster ever caught in Maine weighed an impressive 27 pounds! Although Rocky was an impressive catch, he wasn’t the largest lobster in the world. Instead, that title goes to a 44-pound 6-ounce lobster caught in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1977. >click to read< 09:55

Untangling catch shares with Lee van der Voo – Catch shares have changed fisheries and fishing communities across the U.S.

I recently saw some great reporting by the New Bedford Light and ProPublica about how the billionaire Dutch family that owns Blue Harvest Fisheries has emerged as a force in groundfish fishing off the coast of Massachusetts. These are very wealthy, powerful equity groups and corporations that are acquiring access to the fisheries and passing the cost of owning them and fishing them onto fishermen. There’s been profound disenfranchisement of people who used to have a more personal stake in fishing and seafood. Everyone from indigenous communities in Southwest Alaska whose history with halibut goes back to the beginning of time to small-boat, family operations around the United States everywhere have been losing access. Whole communities have fallen apart over that. >click to read< 08:15

Hurricane Ian remains lingering threat to SWFL’s commercial fishing industry

Florida’s Gulf Coast has experienced many hurricanes, but Ian wasn’t like anything local commercial fishermen had seen before. “I don’t think any of these storms in other places have wiped out all the infrastructure as they did for us,” Streeter says. “In Lee County, we definitely lost three of the deep-water working waterfronts, and on the island, we lost three out of the four fish houses that were executing fisheries. So, we took a major hit. It’s going to be really difficult to get these fisheries back online as they were until we get that infrastructure, until we get docks in and until we get refrigeration.” “We’re in a hard spot right now and we definitely need some help from our governor. We definitely need some congressional federal help for our fisheries.” photos, >click to read< 08:38

Dungies beyond crabbers’ grasp

The delay in starting the crab season, now stretching into its first month,,, “People have no idea how much money Dungeness crab bring into Newport,” said Casey Cooper, a third-generation fisherman who was rigging the steel-hulled Leslie Lee with crab pots at Newport’s International Terminal. “From car dealers to grocery stores, everybody’s waiting for this huge annual infusion of cash.” Businessman Dean Fleck of England Marine supplies the crab fleet with rope, buoys, crab pots and other fishing gear. He said the delay is being felt up and down the waterfront, where hundreds of workers from deckhands to processors are idled. He claimed each dollar generated by crab fishing is “brand new” to the local economy, with the potential to rebound seven times. >click to read< 15:41

Offshore Wind Farms Could Cause ‘Cataclysmic Destruction’ Of Ecosystems

Wind energy, cheap electricity from the elements. Surely a great idea? But has it just become a cash cow for big industry and governments, with precious little benefit to citizens – and, ironically, all at the expense of the natural world? I’ve written many times over the years about the potential for ecological damage caused by badly planned wind farms, particularly large offshore developments, the detrimental effects of which have been vastly underestimated. Now, as the industry expands at an alarming pace, we disregard the evidence at our peril. >click to read< By Jason Endfield 13:29

Lost fisherman: Hearts are heavy as lobster fishery sees tragedy in southwestern NS

Hearts are heavy once again in fishing communities in southwestern Nova Scotia – and throughout the province – as people grieve another tragedy to befall the lobster and fishing industry. A Monday, Dec. 26, fishing trip resulted in the loss of a young fisherman who went overboard that morning off Cape Sable Island. Family members put up posts about their missing loved one as did community members, expressing their heartache and sadness. “Yesterday, Dec. 26th, 2022, the lobster industry lost one of their own. Christian Lee Atwood aged 27 years was lost,” read one post on Tuesday morning. >click to read< 13:45

Working Shrimp Boat Returns to Key West Harbor After 30 Year Absence 

Ask anyone who remembers Key West in the 1960s what the Historic Seaport looked like back then, when it was still called Key West Bight and was still a rather rough neighborhood of hard-working, hard-partying, and commercial shrimp boats. But those days have long been gone,,, Daniel Smith and James Phelps, who own the F/V Miss Key West shrimp boat and Southeastern Shrimp & Seafood Co., are proud to say they aren’t just a part of Key West history but are making history by bringing back an industry that was as quintessentially Key West as sponging, wrecking, and now, tourism. F/V Miss Key West late last month offloaded for the first time in 30 years, sacks of locally caught Key West pink shrimp onto the docks at the Key West Historic Seaport. Photos, >click to read< 15:39

Biden’s Latest Green Energy Victim: The Lobster Industry

One of President Joe Biden’s most disgusting “Nero fiddles while Rome burns” moments came when he hosted his first state dinner for visiting French President Emmanuel Macron. While the president and his guests gorged themselves on 200 live Maine lobsters poached in butter, his administration did everything it could to regulate the Maine fishing industry, particularly lobstermen. out of existence. And they’re making the fishing industry a scapegoat for the actual peril lurking in the waters off New England — offshore wind farms. >click to read < 15:04

Boat that helped save 39 migrants returns to Plymouth

A fishing trawler which helped rescue 39 migrants attempting to cross the English Channel has returned to Plymouth. A dinghy was found sinking in freezing waters off the Kent coast in the early hours on Wednesday. A 19-year-old man has been charged over the deaths of four people who died in the Channel. Skipper Raymond Strachan said his boat and crew were “just in the right place at the right time”. >click to read< 12:32

Teenager charged after deadly Channel migrant boat sinking – The United Kingdom has charged a 19-year-old man over a deadly incident in the English Channel in which a boat packed with migrants capsized, resulting in the loss of four lives. >click to read<

Plain Stupid: The Only Thing Dumber Than Wind Power Is Offshore Wind Power

Wind power comes with a staggering price tag, taking these things out to sea sends those costs into orbit: intermittent offshore wind power is six times the cost of gas-fired power that’s always available on demand. Placing giant industrial wind turbines miles offshore is costly enough, but the rising costs of attempting to maintain them (and the transmission cables connecting them) in a highly corrosive marine environment are positively punitive. So much so, that even the grandest of offshore plans have hit the skids, as Robert Bryce details below. >click to read< 14:55

Washburn & Doughty boat with East Boothbay chief mate rescue 2 drifting fishermen

At the 11:30 watch change, Goodwin had just come to the pilothouse to relieve the captain, when the captain noticed something in the distance. “Is that a flare?” he asked. Goodwin checked using binoculars and answered, “It’s a life raft.” The small life raft with two fishermen from Destin, Florida was 1.25 nautical miles away. One of the men was standing up in the raft waving a flare. As the Linda Moran’s crew would later learn, that flare was the last of six the fishermen had. The rest were already used to try to signal ships during the two and a half days they drifted in the Gulf of Mexico. 11 photos, >click to read< 08:08

Lobster season opens with lower catches, $7 shore price

Lobster landings are estimated to be down by as much as up to 40 per cent in some areas of Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 34 after the first week of the six-month commercial lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia. “Catches are down in our area (LFA 33) 20 to 30 percent, and in LFA 34, I’m hearing they are down as low as 40 percent in some areas,” said Lockeport lobster buyer Mike Cotter, owner of Cotters Seafood Products. “Catches seem to be a little bit stronger the further you go east compared to catches in the west,” he said. The opening shore price was set at $7 a pound compared to a record-setting opening shore price last season of $11 a pound in LFAs 33 and 34 Photos, >click to read< 06:33

Built to be Versatile

The latest delivery from the Parkol Marine Engineering yard in Whitby is multi-purpose trawler Green Isle, built for Greencastle skipper Michael Cavanagh. Launched at Parkol’s Teeside yard and brought to Whitby for outfitting, F/V Green Isle has been designed for versatility, able to switch between pelagic pair trawling for mackerel, herring and scad through the autumn and winter, pelagic trawling for tuna off the south-west of Ireland for part of the summer and alternating this with twin-rigging for the rest of the year for prawns and whitefish in the Celtic Sea and grounds to the north-west of Ireland. Lots of photos, >click to read< 11:25

Jersey fishing boat sinking: Two crewmen named

Two crewmen missing after their fishing boat was involved in a collision with a freight vessel off Jersey have been named. Larry Simyun and Jervis Baligat were on board the L’Ecume II when it sank off Jersey at about 05:30 GMT on Thursday, Ports of Jersey (POJ) said. Both men had been on the boat with skipper Michael Michieli. A search operation for the men was called off on Friday with attention switching to recovery of the vessel. Mr Michieli and the two crew members were on the L’Ecume II when it collided with the Commodore Goodwill. >click to read< 12:16