Category Archives: International

Rising diesel prices push UK’s fishing industry to the brink

Trawlers and commercial fishers are now struggling under the weight of price rises that mean in many cases tens of thousands of pounds extra in diesel for a fishing trip leading to take-home pay that is below the minimum wage. The biggest trawler in Brixham, the Julie of Ladram, returned to harbour after seven days at sea earlier this month, and came close to making a loss. The captain, Sean Beck, took home just £440 for a week’s work – the equivalent of £2.60 an hour for being responsible for the ship and crew 24 hours a day. “It’s a stressful time for my family. And it’s stressful at sea – fishing’s not always great. As a skipper it’s a big responsibility to make the boat pay and make sure everybody gets a wage.”>click to read< 09:42

Concerns on P.E.I. about the risk foreign bait might pose to ecosystem

In March, DFO put a moratorium on commercial fishing for herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and mackerel across the East Coast, saying urgent action is required to allow those fish stocks to recover. That moratorium led to fears of a shortage of bait for use in the lucrative Maritime lobster fishery. Mark Prevost, the co-owner of the Bait Masters alternative bait company in Nine Mile Creek, P.E.I., appeared before a federal fisheries committee earlier this week. He is calling on the federal government to regulate the kinds of fish being used for bait. >click to read< 15:36

Family of Robert Morley ‘bemused’ by F/V Joanna C tragedy report

Robert Morley’s stepdad and mother said the outcome of an investigation into the sinking of the F/V Joanna C had not given them the “peace of mind” they hoped for. Barry and Jackie Woolford are awaiting the inquest into Robert’s death to clear up a number of “anomalies”. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch report described how Robert was thrown from the boat as it capsized and he hung onto a lifebuoy before he eventually drowned. “We lost our son but we’re really none the wiser as to why. We know how but we don’t know why. “There are anomalies which we want to ask about at the inquest.” >click to read< 19:33

F/V Nicola Faith: Fisherman’s ‘harsh working conditions’ revealed in investigation

Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were on board the Nicola Faith when it left Conwy Harbour on January 27, 2021. It capsized and sank 1.9 miles north of Rhos-on-Sea. A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch found skipper Carl McGrath pushed his crew harder than most in search of greater productivity. Aged 34, Mr McGrath had been the boat’s skipper for some three years. Previously a builder and steel fabricator, he had had no fishing experience prior to skippering the Nicola Faith. Despite this, he had completed all mandatory fishing industry safety training courses. Neither had Ross Ballantine, 39, any prior experience of fishing before taking a job on the Nicola Faith, on which he had been working for about eight months. The youngest crew member was Alan Minard, 20, who had been crewing on Nicola Faith for just two weeks. >click to read< 14:00

Coroner to probe death of fisherman on Sealord vessel

A fisherman has died at sea on his first trip aboard the Sealord trawler Ocean Dawn. Nelson-based Sealord chief executive Doug Paulin said the 47-year-old man was found unresponsive outside his cabin in the early hours of Tuesday on the 64m factory trawler. Crew tried to resuscitate him but were unable to. Paulin said he could not comment on the cause of the man’s death as that would be determined by a coroner’s investigation. >click to read< 09:12

A skipper named ‘Crazy Horse’, a ‘dicky’ autopilot and a sailing trip that foundered on a beach

After hours of sailing a 14m fishing vessel on “an extremely erratic” course up the coast towards Christchurch, doubling back and then turning around again to head in the same direction closer to the shore, skipper David “Crazy Horse” Atkinson was lost. It was 9pm, he was not sure where he was, and he only had rudimentary knowledge of how to use the boat’s navigational equipment. His crew aboard the trawler, the F/V Debbie Jane, consisted of a 41-year-old woman and a 73-year-old retired school teacher who was living with him – neither of whom had any commercial fishing experience. >click to read< 08:03

F/V Johanna C: Life raft failure blamed after fishermen deaths

Two fishermen died after their trawler capsized and their life raft failed to inflate, a report has said. Investigators said the failure of the life raft “impacted” the chances of two men surviving after they were thrown into the water when the Joanna C sank in November 2020. One of the men in the water died, but the other was later rescued. A third crew member drowned after being trapped in the sinking boat, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch said. MAIB chief inspector Andrew Moll said: “Unfortunately, Joanna C’s ‘float-free’ life raft arrangements did not work as expected. >click to read< 10:38

Grey seals eat into another fish population in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Grey seals are eating into another fish species in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, driving a serious decline in the abundance of yellowtail flounder, according to a new report from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Federal scientists assessed the flatfish species in the southern gulf over the past 25 years up to 2020 and projected the population to 2030. The results are stark. The number of yellowtail flounder six-years and older is believed to have declined by 95 per cent since the mid-1980s. There is a 100 per cent probability the population will remain in the critical zone where serious harm occurs whatever the level of commercial fishing, the report says. >click to read< 08:39

Trawler skipper who got lost off Christchurch admits safety breaches

Shortly before a trawler skipper lost his bearings in gathering darkness off the Christchurch coast, one of his crew had rolled him a cannabis joint. Maritime New Zealand’s summary of facts does not say whether the skipper, 67-year-old David Anderson, actually smoked the joint, but the trawler ran aground on Waimairi Beach a few hours later. The F/V Debbie Jane’s disastrous trip from Akaroa to Nelson in December 2019 was detailed in the Christchurch District Court, when Anderson admitted two charges. >click to read< 07:48

Grimsby man whose house was full of model boats sells 400 of them at auction

Pete Dixon, 75, who spent 40 years of his life working on trawlers as a cook, acquired an incredible 600 model boats over the years which he kept around his rented home on Heneage Road. From floor to ceiling, Pete’s home was full of the boats – he even kept some in the bath because he ran out of space. But on Sunday, the time came for him to sell the majority of these at Prestige Auctions on Orwell Street in Grimsby – and people as far away as Australia, New Zealand and America were keen to get their hands on Pete’s boats. “Pete’s house still has boats in it, but they are going to be coming to Prestige Auctions in the coming weeks. There’s still about 100 boats that are going to be going to auction. His memorabilia collection will be coming in soon – that’s his Grimsby trawlers, paintings, life rings off the old trawlers – there’s a hell of a collection, and we need to sell all of that as well. >click to read< 14:41

Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship: Memories of working and playing hard on Arctic Corsair as restoration progresses

Two of Hull’s cherished ships have had decades-old paint and rust blasted away in the latest stage of a major restoration project which will ultimately see them displayed to the public. The Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship are being power-cleaned this week by special tools used to remove old paint, corrosion, and muck clinging to the ships’ hulls.  >click to read<

Waking up to find a huge cod alongside him in his bunk was an experience young Pete Forytarz never forgot. – The third generation fisherman, 70, is one of a dwindling band with memories going back to the days when hundreds of boats, big and small, operated out of Hull. He did two trips to the White Sea on board Arctic Corsair back in 1973 for cod and haddock. and now acts as a guide on board on the sidewinder trawler, which is being restored as part of the £30m Hull Maritime project. In dry dock the vessel’s elegant lines are revealed, her slim hull and raked bow. “She is going to look beautiful,” said Pete, his face lighting up. >click to read< 10:46

Hundreds of workers flown home to Pacific despite fishing firms’ pleas

Tongan, Samoan and ni-Vanuatu horticulture workers have been redeployed or flown home, to the disappointment of the country’s biggest fishing companies who had asked for help filling hundreds of jobs in their processing plants. Between 200 and 500 workers still had time left on their Recognised Seasonal Employer visas, at the end of fruit-picking season in Nelson and Marlborough. Sealord and Talley’ wrote to the immigration minister asking that workers be given the chance to transfer over to better-paid seafood jobs, to help address a big labour shortage at the start of New Zealand’s lucrative hoki season. >click to read< 09:32

That Was Quick!: French Navy backs down from West Cork fishermen

Simon Coveney confirms French navy will stay outside of Irish waters during their upcoming exercises having come under pressure from West Cork fishermen. The French Navy were planning a huge exercise – involving missile tests – off our southwest coast later this week and it was set to be even bigger than the one the Russians had to postpone earlier this year. However, as the Russians found out, the French Atlantic fleet had to reckon with Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation, with their headquarters in Castletownbere. >click to read< 17:15

Proposed N.J. wind farm could have major impact on area fisheries, draft report says

A proposed wind farm off the Jersey Shore could significantly affect local fisheries and boat traffic but generally have little impact on tourism and marine life while helping to move away from oil and gas, according to the draft environmental impact statement released Friday by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The impact statement is the next step toward winning federal approval for Ocean Wind, a wind farm to be built by the Danish energy company Ørsted and PSEG. The draft statement addressed concerns by officials in some New Jersey beach towns that the turbines would spoil the ocean views and discourage tourists from returning. >click to read the foolishness< 14:18

Prawn fishers suffer ‘worst season yet’ as high fuel prices bite

Prawn trawler operator Ed Morrison believes farming comes in peaks and troughs, but this year it’s hurting more than usual. The North Queensland-based businessman runs prawn trawlers in the Torres Strait. His prawns are sold throughout Australia, but he says this year has been one of the worst seasons he has seen. However, retailers say any hike in prices would not help the situation as consumers are not prepared to pay more for non-essential produce. The eye-watering cost of fuel and a global supply crunch has forced operators like Mr Morrison to leave vessels in port instead of putting them out to fish during off-peak periods. The situation has left trawlers considering whether or not their operations are commercially viable. >click to read< 10:29

Maine business group seeks rare deal to export ‘cape shark’ to Cuba

The cape shark, more commonly known as the dogfish, typically finds its home in the frigid, salty waters of midcoast Maine. However, thanks to the efforts of a group of Maine-based agriculturalists, the fish may soon be taken by the tides of trade to the warm shores – and markets – of Cuba. The export of dogfish is part of a larger deal being brokered by a group of Maine agriculturalists who hope to create a pipeline of Maine-based agricultural and fishery products to Cuba. Among the proposed exports are seed potatoes and apples along with dogfish. The export of such products is meant to help the Cuban economy, which has suffered in recent years due to the coronavirus pandemic, become more self-sufficient while also benefiting Maine’s economy. “Our fishing industry, if you do a little history on it – recent history – is suffering for a lot of reasons,” Marchant said. “The advantage of Cuba getting any food exports right now is dramatic.” >click to read< 09:19

Irish fishermen who faced down Russians now to protest against French navy’s military drills

Irish fishermen confirmed they are to mount major protests off the south-west coast in a bid to prevent the French navy staging military exercises later this month in important fishing grounds. The protests will mirror the demonstrations planned by west Cork fishermen last January to disrupt planned military exercises by the Russian navy in fishing waters off the south-west coast. French naval forces are planning an exercise for June 23-25,,, “The Albacore tuna fishery is opening for Irish vessels on June 23,,, >click to read< 07:35

The Game Mac White and James Gallagher Would Play While Filming Deadliest Catch

Indeed, one of the newest (and most short-lived) cast members of the series is James Gallagher, a rookie engineer for the Lady Alaska who, thus far, has only been featured on Seasons 16 and 17. By contrast, veteran deckhand Mac White has managed to stick around within the series for nearly 11 years and is still going strong, whereas Gallagher appears to have moved on. Though the older deckhand and the excitable rookie may have seemed like two polar opposites to the audience, Gallagher actually revealed that the two used to play a game together whenever they were filming. >click to read< 11:39

State of the art fishing vessel navigation simulator launched in Greencastle

The official launch of new high tech simulator suites took place at BIM’s National Fisheries College in Greencastle on Saturday. The simulator will enable skipper students to pilot and berth a vessel and navigate it through adverse weather conditions. The simulator and radio suites – recently installed both at the college in Donegal and its sister college in Castletownbere – are designed to imitate real-life navigational conditions for helm, ship control training and practice, and for vessel routine and distress alert training. >click to read< 10:21

Offshore Wind Industry Wiping Out Crucial Fish Breeding Grounds & Fishermen’s Livelihoods

Britain’s trawlermen are tough, but not invincible. Giant industrial wind turbines and their associated infrastructure have already wrecked once productive fishing grounds, with more under threat. The power cables that connect offshore wind turbines are mesmerising crabs and causing biological harm that affects their ability to migrate and breed; the same phenomenon has just been identified in lobsters. So, little wonder that fishermen are furious that their lives and livelihoods are being sold so cheap to an industry that’s built on lies and runs on subsidies. >click to read the rest< 15:18

Five rusty trawlers from Hull played a key role in securing victory in the Falklands War

As Hull officially commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict this weekend, attention will inevitably focus on the local military personnel who served there and the famous role played by the Hull-based passenger ferry Norland in carrying the troops who would ultimately help regain control of the islands. However, the spotlight will also shine on the other Hull vessels requisitioned by the Admiralty to join the Royal Navy Task Force. As well as the Norland, three city-based tugs and five stern trawlers also sailed to the South Atlantic. As such, Hull ended up sending more civilian vessels to the war than any other port. >click to read< 09:23

Troubled Waters – British Fishermen and Brexit

More than two years after Brexit, British fishermen are angry. They were promised more control over fishing rights in British waters, but what they’ve gotten is reduced income. Many of them voted Leave, but now they feel they’ve been let down. The fishing industry overwhelmingly supported Brexit. Darren Kenyon is a fisherman from Grimsby in North East England. He believed in the government’s Brexit promises – including more control over fishing rights in British waters — and voted Leave. But two and a half years after Brexit, he feels betrayed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Kenyon’s income is lower than it used to be and there’s more red tape than ever. >click to read< 12:10

All eyes on Washington over bill that could ‘halt’ offshore wind construction

US legislation whose current language threatens to slam offshore wind project construction is expected to be passed with less restrictive provisions. But how much the manning provisions of the Coast Guard Authorization Act will be watered down remains unclear. In March, the US House of Representatives passed a spending bill for the US Coast Guard that included provisions requiring crews on specialised offshore construction vessels to be citizens either of the US or their ship’s flag state. The legislation requires passage in the US Senate. >click to read< 09:14

Canadian Lobster industry sense more regulations coming for Chinese exports

In January, the Chinese Government introduced new import regulations known as Decrees 248 and 249, which require international distributors to register with the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), and for products to include Chinese-language labeling. Since their implementation, there have been many issues, with lobster distributors claiming they have erroneously been told they aren’t registered with GACC, causing delays in shipping and in sometimes voiding the Chinese importer’s obligation to pay. Currently, the regulations only apply to frozen or cooked products. >click to read< Tracing measures issued in January required Chinese-language labelling on processed seafood >click to read<14:56

Fishing Fuel Costs at Tipping Point

Many fishing vessels are facing a cruel choice between tying-up or going to sea to make a loss. NFFO members are providing landings information that illustrate although reasonably healthy grossings are being made, after deductions for fuel earnings for crews are risible. In one example a vessel in the south-west made a landing worth £11,0489 but fuel costs swallowed £10,416. In another case, a landing of £44,176 and a fuel bill of £29,068 left £1516 to be shared amongst 8 crew. A third example was an inshore vessel after eight days fishing made £8706 but faced a fuel bill of £5234, leaving £927 for the crew. These examples illustrate that the current situation is unsustainable are at the point beyond which vessels will have to tie up. >click to read< 08:18

Rising diesel fuel prices see Cornish fisherman tie up their boats

A Cornish Fisherman says rocketing fuel prices are forcing some boat owners to tie up their vessels. Peter Green, who fishes out of St Mawes on Cornwall’s Roseland Peninsula, says the rising cost of red diesel is making it uneconomic to go to sea. He said: “It means the end of the road. How can we keep going? “Fishing vessels are expensive boats to run and maintain – the costs are continuous. If you are not keeping enough back at the end of the day, you’re going to end up in trouble financially.” The effects of price rises are being felt in ports around the UK. Fish Producers Association the SWFPA has called for more action on fuel prices to support the industry. Video, >click to view and read< 16:45

‘Deadliest Catch’ Bank Robber – From Catching Crabs Pots to Being Caught

Famed author Hunter S. Thompson once wrote, “The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.” In the case of Joshua Tel Warner, he straddled the worlds of television and thievery. It hasn’t escaped our notice that a man whose job in life was catching crabs pots, couldn’t avoid being caught himself. >click to read< 13:27

North Atlantic Right Whale: Oceana Wins First Step In USMCA Complaint

The Secretariat for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, part of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), has agreed to move forward with the first step in a two-step process to investigate the USA’s failure to uphold its environmental laws to protect North Atlantic right whales, according to an Oceana announcement this week. The decision was in response to Oceana’s filing the first-ever “Submission on Enforcement Matters” against the US government under the USMCA last October. The ocean advocacy organization claimed the government has violated the USMCA by failing to enforce environmental laws to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, of which only around 330 remain. >click to read< 14:53

Cornwall ice cream man and fisherman devastated by fuel price crisis

Record-high fuel prices are deeply affecting businesses across Cornwall. Reaching almost £2 in multiple stations, various business owners have shared the impact it has taken on their businesses. Fisherman Peter, from St Mawes, said he can no longer afford to go to sea as the price of fuel has risen from 30 per cent to 50 per cent of his daily expenditure, which has reached as high as £270 a day for diesel. He said that it is not possible for his catch to cover such a rise, forcing him to give up his livelihood and security. “I have no income, full stop,” he said. “Fear is if you’re at sea for 14 hours a day, and everyone who knows boats knows they’re expensive to run. If you have a breakdown and have to replace parts on a winch then suddenly it’s a step back before you know it. >click to read< 12:01

A world first – First all-female deck crew for Fiji

A world first, history was created yesterday when eight ladies set out to sea as the first full female deck crew on board tuna long-line vessel SEAKA II for a two-week fishing expedition. The initiative was made possible via a partnership between Fijian-owned company SeaQuest Fiji and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). FFA said the all-female deck crew was one step towards addressing gender imbalance in the Pacific tuna industry. “To see an all-female crew loading ice bait and stores, to see a female first officer, a female engineer and a female bosun, to see real progress in our shared goal of increasing female employment in the tuna harvesting sector. >click to read< 18:36