Category Archives: International News

Canada: History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries dispute

As we reflect on recent violence in Nova Scotia over the lobster fisheries, it’s important to know if there are any precedents around the core issues and if prior instances can help guide us now. The case of the Saugeen Ojibway of the Great Lakes provides some particularly useful insights to help reach a settlement to the lobster fisheries dispute. Conflict between Indigenous peoples along the Great Lakes and the state has been around since the rise of non-Indigenous commercial and sport fishing around the 1830s and 1840s. In the 1990s, things came to a head,,, >click to read< 08:29

Trident reopens Akutan processing plant after month-long Coronavirus closure

An outbreak at the plant forced the fishing giant to close the facility in late January just as the lucrative winter season was set to kick off. In the course of the outbreak, 45% of Trident’s 700-person workforce ultimately tested positive for the virus, company officials said Monday. Multiple rounds of comprehensive testing brought welcome news last week that COVID-19 cases had been isolated on site, Trident said in a statement. Surveillance testing, symptom screenings and the use of PPE and distancing protocols will remain throughout the season. >click to read< 17:40

Who are the Freshwater Five and what did they do? Two of the men will have their convictions considered

In 2011, five men were given a combined 104-year prison sentence for masterminding a £53m drug smuggling operation. On May 29, 2010, a small fishing boat, the Galwad-Y-Mor, left the Isle of Wight on what the crew claimed was a routine trip to catch lobster and crab in the Channel. That night, a large drug operation led by the Serious Organised Crime Agency was taking place,,, Two of the men, Jonathan Beere and Daniel Payne, will have their convictions considered by the Court of Appeal this week.  >click to read<

Freshwater Five: Radar evidence suggests surveillance plane and a suspect vessel – The Court of Appeal hearing begins tomorrow for two of the Freshwater Five, where new information will be put before the judge. All five men protest their innocence – following the trial they were sentenced for a total of 104 years; >Click to read<15:10

Maine Gov. Janet Mills expresses ‘grave concern’ over plans to protect North Atlantic right whales

“The survival of Maine’s iconic lobster fishery, and in fact, our heritage, through the future of Maine’s independent lobstermen and women, depend on your willingness to act,” Mills wrote in a letter filed with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration on Feb. 19. Mills called on NOAA to develop “practical solutions” that protect right whales but allow fishing to continue.,,, Two public hearings to consider amendments to NOAA’s Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. Those virtual hearings will be held Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. for southern Maine and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. for northern Maine. Both will last about two hours and require pre registration Anyone unable to participate in the virtual hearings can submit comments to NOAA by March 1. >click to read< 09:54

Forfeited: Seafood firm loses $20m vessel after trawling in protected area

Seafood company Sanford Limited has lost a $20 million fishing vessel after it admitted trawling in a protected fishing area off the coast of Stewart Island. The Christchurch District Court has ordered the company to forfeit the San Waitaki, a 64m deep water stern trawler with a processing factory and freezer facilities on board, to the Crown. The company has also been fined $36,000. In February, Sanford pleaded guilty to trawling in a lower buffer zone of a benthic protected area (BPA). >click to read< 21:39

Norwegian Crab Fisherman Renat Besolov

“I like the sea and my job as “deck manager” on board the Northeastern.  It is great to be outside, even if it is both stormy and snowy,” says Renat Besolov. For the past five years, he has worked onboard four different vessels. Onboard the Northeastern, the crew varies slightly according to the season, but normally there are 23 people on board. “We go eight hours to work and eight hours off.  This is how we go the whole trip, which is normally four to five weeks.  And as we usually say when we are at sea – crabs on the tank make money in the bank,” >click to read< 20:35

New research suggests 70% decline in diversity of B.C. sockeye salmon stock in past century

There are at least 13 genetically different sockeye salmon that spawn in the rivers or tributaries of the Skeena River watershed and that has not changed in 100 years, the study found. However Price and co-author John Reynolds show that the vast majority of sockeye salmon now returning to the Skeena River to spawn, some 90 per cent, are of one type that originates in the Babine River, a tributary of the Skeena River. Price says the   predominant strain of sockeye in the Skeena River is wild, meaning fish that were not born in a hatchery or in a human controlled spawning channel, which could affect the fish’s ability to thrive as climate change and other pressures on the fish progress. >Click to read<  Loss of Sockeye Diversity Threatens Skeena Salmon, Study Finds – A century ago, the Babine accounted for 68 per cent of all wild sockeye returning to the Skeena, according to the study. At the time, gillnetting on the coast favored larger fish,,, photos, >click to read< 16:24

Broadcasting Live: F/V Scandies Rose Marine Board of Investigation Hearing


U.S. lobster exports to China rebounded in 2020

While the coronavirus pandemic tanked U.S. lobster exports overall in 2020, international trade data suggests the industry’s once-thriving U.S. to China trade pipeline may be making a comeback.  International sales of U.S. lobster fell by 22 percent last year, from $548.4 million in 2019 to $426.9 million in 2020. The market saw declines in sales to each of the country’s top 10 international buyers, with the notable exception of China, which bought more than $127 million of U.S. lobster, or a roughly 49 percent increase over 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. >click to read< 10:34

Pescado fishing boat which sank off Cornwall ‘was hit by submarine in cover-up’

Thirty years ago, a Plymouth-registered beam trawler left port for what was supposed to be a routine fishing trip. After having heard nothing from the Pescado since it departed, on February 25, 1991, a search began for the ship on March 5. The wreck of the Pescado was eventually found 13 miles off Dodman Point on the south coast of Cornwall. The official line remains from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) in 1998: the boat tilted, flooded and sank as a result of inexperienced crew and faulty equipment. But the ship’s owner, Alan Ayres, who passed away on June 22, 2020, aged 81, had for decades insisted that a collision with a British Navy submarine caused it to sink, and that there has been a cover-up. photos, >click to read< 13:30

Fishermen call on Macron to halt Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm, threaten “unprecedented confrontations”

French fishermen have called on President Emmanuel Macron to cancel the 496MW Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm, threatening “unprecedented confrontations” if their demands are not met. The fishermen oppose the project as they say it will damage the marine environment, especially scallops,  and the fishing industry. “The State must have the ambition to cancel this project,” Alain Coudray, president of the Côtes-d’Armor departmental fisheries committee, said in an open letter to the president,,, “It is not yet too late to prevent unprecedented confrontations from emerging in the bay of Saint-Brieuc,”  >click to read< 09:26

U.S. Coast Guard Inquiry of F/V Scandies Rose sinking begins in Seattle on Monday

A two-week federal inquiry into the fatal sinking of the F/V Scandies Rose, lost on New Year’s Eve 2019 west of Kodiak Island, will open on Monday in Seattle. The U.S. Coast Guard and partner agencies will hold a virtual formal hearing to consider evidence related to the sinking of the Dutch Harbor-based fishing vessel until March 5. The 130-foot crab boat sank near Sutwik Island, Alaska around 10 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2019 with seven crew members aboard. Two fishermen were rescued wearing gumby survival suits in a life raft, but five others were never found.  >click to read< 07:50 To ensure public access and participation, the hearing will be streamed live each day at click>,

‘Wicked Tuna’ rivalry gives way to cooperation

The coronavirus pandemic’s tidal wave of challenges made its way to the high seas, and viewers of “Wicked Tuna” will see a new dynamic when the 10th season opens with a 90-minute premiere Sunday at 9 p.m. The show is known for following Gloucester fishermen in the highly competitive hunt for giant bluefin tuna and the race back to shore in search of the highest price,,, That is until COVID-19 prompted a business shutdown nearly a year ago, with restaurants shuttered or operating at a fraction of their capacity. The market and demand for the usually lucrative bluefin sank. “It was great to see fishermen working together with buyers to do the best we could in these difficult times,” said Capt. Dave Marciano,,, >click to read< 14:03

Body pulled from the sea has been identified as a missing commercial fisherman

Two of the three men on board the Joanna C lost their lives when the boat sank in November, with Captain Dave Bickerstaff dramatically saved from the wreckage by lifeboat crews. Now the family of Robert Morley, 38, have confirmed a body brought from the sea in December has been formally  identified. Robert’s dad Barry Woolford said: “To all the beautiful people of Brixham it is with much sadness that I have to inform you that our son Robert Morley has been identified as the body that was brought from the sea at Bexhill in December. >click to read< 10:53

The Coronavirus pandemic could change U.S. fisheries forever. Will it be for better or for worse?!

The first symptoms appeared long before Covid-19 gained a stronghold on U.S. shores, as China went into its first lockdown and a critical export market disappeared overnight,,, Then as social distancing rules kicked in here, another major organ of the U.S. supply chain, restaurants, where most seafood purchases are made, fell limp.  Many fishermen across the country have pivoted to direct-marketing models by selling their catch off their boats,,, To many in the food industry, the pandemic’s impact has exposed the fundamental vulnerabilities of a system that has long favored efficiency over resilience.  >click to read< 09:48

Fundraising appeal launched to support family of fisherman who died at sea

Joseph Lacaste, 45, was out with the trawler Copious when he fell overboard in the early hours of yesterday (Thursday). Despite rescue attempts from the coastguard and RNLI, he was later confirmed to have died. His friend Robie Johnson set up a fundraiser for the family, She said his family were struggling financially and needed help paying their mortgage.  >click to read<, and >click here<, Help Josephs Family Fundraiser, and please donate if you can. 07:36

 Man dies after falling overboard from fishing boat – A fisherman has died after going overboard from local whitefish trawler Copious 30 miles south east of Sumburgh in the early hours of the morning on Thursday. >click to read<

Man dies after falling overboard from fishing boat

A fisherman has died after going overboard from local whitefish trawler Copious 30 miles south east of Sumburgh in the early hours of the morning on Thursday. The Sumburgh based search and rescue helicopter and the Lerwick lifeboat were both tasked to rescue the man after the alarm was raised at 3.20am. “Officers were made aware around 4am on Thursday, 18 February, 2021, of a man having gone overboard,,, >click to read< 18:08

Canada outlines its 2021 measures to protect North Atlantic right whales

The Government of Canada remains committed to protecting the endangered North Atlantic right whale. To help prevent entanglements with fishing gear, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is building on last year’s successful measures by continuing to close fishing areas wherever and whenever North Atlantic right whales are present in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Bay of Fundy, and Roseway Basin Critical Habitat,,, To help prevent collisions with vessels, Transport Canada will be re-implementing its 2020 season measures, including a restriction on vessel speed throughout much of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to protect areas where whales are detected,,, >click to read< 17:06

Southlander to restore 106-year-old boat for history

Brian Railton beams from ear-to-ear at the thought of restoring a 106-year-old fishing boat in his backyard.,,, Railton bought the hand line fishing boat just before New Zealand went into lockdown last March. It was owned in Dunedin and for various reasons the boat was unable to be transported from Careys Bay to Wyndham until last week. “It had always been in the Otago Harbour and was hand lining up till 20 years ago.” Video, >click to read< 10:26

How the $250M Clearwater Seafoods purchase by 7 Mi’kmaw First Nations came to be

“In the beginning, we wanted a pathway, a clear pathway on how we’d end up with 100 per cent of the ownership of the company,” said Chief Terry Paul of the Membertou First Nation. “Most all of the prospective partners walked away … because of our insistence on what we were looking for.” Paul made the comments during an online chat with Clearwater founder John Risley that was put on by the non-profit Public Policy Forum. >click to read< 09:42

Community fundraiser launched to save Cadgwith Cove fishing lofts in Cornwall

The Cadgwith Cove Fishing Trust has been formed to try and purchase the winch house, gear loft and cold storage building, all of which are used crucial to Cadgwith’s fishing industry. “I don’t think they’ve ever come up for sale at the same time. We’ve got to make sure they’re are preserved for future generations. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we must take this opportunity.” said John Trewin, Skipper, Silver Queen  Tommy Phillips who fishes out of Cadgwith fears the lofts may become holiday lets or flats if funding isn’t secured to preserve them for those that fish out of the cove. Video, photos, >click to read< 17:55

Moscow orders return to motherland of fish and fishermen

Trawlers will lose quotas unless they are customs declared in Russia, catch is to be processed in domestic plants and foreign investors might be kicked out of the industry. – Russian federal authorities are ready to take strong measures to strengthen national control over the fisheries. In a decree signed late December 2020, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered all trawlers built abroad to undergo customs declaration in Russia. If not, they will lose their catch quotas,,, Russian companies today own and operate about 70 undeclared trawlers acquired abroad. They are landing their catch and shifting crews in foreign ports.,,, The Russian government is also pushing for more domestic fish processing, and several incentives are introduced to bring catch back home. >click to read< 16:21

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 64′ Dixon Longliner, 425HP, Mitsubishi, complete refit

To review specifications, information, and 7 photos, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here<  11:31

Humboldt County crabbers opposed to ropeless gear bill, the Whale Entanglement Prevention Act

A bill recently introduced to the California State Assembly is expected to deliver a blow to the ailing crab fishing industry,,, Assembly Bill 534, or the Whale Entanglement Prevention Act, was written and introduced to this state chamber by Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) on Feb. 10 and is sponsored by the environmental organizations Center for Biological Diversity and Social Compassion in Legislation. The proposed legislation would require Dungeness crab fishing operations to only use ropeless gear by Nov. 1, 2025. >click to read< 22:50

A Deep Green Freeze: An Existential Threat To America’s Future

Gas and power prices have spiked across the central U.S. while Texas regulators ordered rolling blackouts Monday as an Arctic blast has frozen wind turbines. The less we use fossil fuels, the more we need them. A mix of ice and snow swept across the country this weekend as temperatures plunged below,,, “My understanding is, the wind turbines are all frozen,”,,, >click to read< 13:53

What to do about seals?

Atlantic Seal Science Task Team, Dear Sir/Madam, I wish to contribute input to the work of the Atlantic Seal Science Task Team related to DFO’s science activities and programs regarding seals, and the role of the animals in the ecosystem in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. To begin, I want to refer to the February, 1990 Independent Review of the State of the Northern Cod Stock by the late Dr. Leslie Harris, a report that questioned the impact of seals on the marine ecosystem. The Review Panel, which held a series of province-wide public hearings at the time, was “repeatedly confronted” by inshore fishermen with the issue of the growth of the seal herds, and the impacts on the abundance of cod.,, >click to read< By Ryan Cleary 12:04

Alaskans pursue permanent protections for Bristol Bay

Robin Samuelsen still recalls his first meeting about the prospective Bristol Bay. It was around 2005 or 2006, in Dillingham, Alaska. Listening to an early plan for developing a copper and gold mine in the spawning grounds of Bristol Bay’s abundant salmon, this Curyung tribal chief and commercial fisherman quickly made up his mind. “You’ll kill off our salmon,” Samuelsen remembers saying, adding: “I’ll be up there to stop you.” >click to read< 09:25

SAFETY: A gradual culture change has been taking place across much of the fishing industry

As one of the world’s leading insurers of fishing vessels, Sunderland Marine keeps a close eye on the fishing industry’s evolution and has encouraged increasing safety awareness. Sunderland Marine has taken the initiative where it has seen that improvements can be made,,, This is not just in the UK, but also through initiatives in Australia and New Zealand, both of which have also seen a safety culture developing in the right direction In the US, Sunderland Marine has also been instrumental in making available independent safety drills for crews working on East Coast draggers and scallopers. In addition, the offshore crab fishery that’s familiar to anyone who has seen the Deadliest Catch on TV has seen positive changes. photos, >click to read< 17:32

Kirkella, the fish and chip ship stranded in Brexit

The vessel, considered the “pride” of British distant water fishing, frequented the Arctic seas of Greenland and Norway, its main fishing ground until last January, when the divorce between London and Brussels was consummated. Before Brexit, the Kirkella operated under European Union agreements with third countries, but now that the United Kingdom is an independent coastal state, the trawler must wait for the British Executive to seal bilateral agreements. Meanwhile, the boat is barely staying afloat thanks to a partial license to fish for cod in the waters of the Barents Arctic Sea, where it has been fishing since the beginning of February,,, >click to read< 12:01

“We just met out of the blue,” – B.C. couple celebrating nearly 70 years of Valentine’s

Inspirational stories leading up to Valentine’s Day are abundant, but few can match how true love has stood the test of time quite like long-time Chemainus couple Ejlif and Anna Mose. They’ll be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this year on June 9. Ejlif will turn 93 on June 9 and Anna reaches another milestone later in the year with her 90th birthday on Oct. 8. “We came to Canada, fell in love with it, Vancouver Island, and we’re still here,” enthused Ejlif. But commercial fishing was in Ejlif’s blood and he just stepped up that aspect of his life when the mill closed. He bought a bigger boat and fished fulltime after that. With the family all grown up, Anna went out fishing with him for 10 years. >click to read<, and Congratulations!