Category Archives: International News

Using Satellite Communication on Your Boat

When you’re offshore and waiting for your next bite, the cloak of isolation can be your best friend. But sometimes you can’t afford to be “dark” from your business or family for long stretches, so most captains opt for some type of satellite communication. There are a lot of options, but the trick is knowing what equipment you need and how to manage it.,,When you buy satellite service, you’re paying for the bandwidth and speed at sea. At home, 20 mbps is a good streaming rate. At sea, 1 or 2 mbps is tops. And it can cost as much as $1,000 per gigabyte. “Update a website like CNN,” says Comyns, “and you’ve used 2 megabytes. Suddenly your browsing adds up to real money.” click here to read the story 11:06

A Global Fish War is Coming

Nearly two decades into the 21st Century, it has become clear the world has limited resources and the last area of expansion is the oceans. Battles over politics and ideologies may be supplanted by fights over resources as nations struggle for economic and food security. These new conflicts already have begun—over fish. The demand for fish as a protein source is increasing. The global population today is 7.5 billion people, and is expected to be 9.7 billion by 2050, with the largest growth coming in Africa and Asia. Fish consumption has increased from an average of 9.9 kilograms per person in the 1960s to 19.7 kilograms in 2013 with estimates for 2014 and 2015 above 20 kilograms. The ten most productive species are fully fished and demand continues to rise in regions generally with little governance and many disputed boundaries. click here to read the story 17:36

Feeding the data gluttons

I see the Ministry for Primary Industries is claiming it needs GPS tracking and cameras on commercial fishing boats to better monitor the fisheries and make better and more timely decisions. I say this is rubbish as we already give them tow by tow GPS coordinates and catch estimates in the trawl fishery and they do not use this information now. As for timely management decisions, well that’s a joke. Our elephant quota has been out of balance with catches for over 20 years. I spend more time avoiding fish than I do catching it. click here to read the letter 14:30

Falklands: Outwitting canny fur seals feasting on abundant Loligo

Falkland Islands Senior Fisheries Scientist Dr Alexander Arkhipkin explains the habits of fur seals and the efforts undertaken to reduce by-catch in the Loligo fishery. Stocks of Falkland calamari (Loligo) are very prolific this year. During the first season, the fleet harvested around 40,000 tons, and two weeks of the second season brought onboard another 10,000 tons of squid. Aggregations of calamari are so dense that fishing vessels worked up to their freezing capacities having an average of 60-65 tons of squid per vessel per day. Very unusually this year, dense squid aggregations also attracted their natural predators, fur seals and sea lions into the fishing area. As the vessels concentrate squid in front of the trawl, seals have their feeding frenzy in the close vicinity of the net, and within the net too. click here to read the story 11:44

‘A complete fantasy’ Merkel blasted over Brexit negotiations promise to German fishermen

Angela Merkel was today accused of peddling a “complete fantasy” after she told German fishermen she would fight for them to retain access to British waters after Brexit. The chancellor was slammed for “making promises she has no right to make” in a crude bid to boost her re-election campaign, which has lost momentum in recent weeks.  Yorkshire MEP Mike Hookem said the remarks by the German leader showed the EU planned to “fight dirty” over access to Britain’s prime fishing grounds during the Brexit negotiations. Watch video, Fisherman hits out at foreign boats using flag of convenience   click here to read the story 12:13

Fisherman stabs himself in leg while cutting shark off line

A man had to be flown to hospital after accidentally stabbing himself while cutting a shark off his fishing line. The commercial fisherman, who was in his 40s, had been out at sea in fairly rough seas on Monday when he caught a blue shark, Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter paramedic Chris Deacon said. While trying to cut it off the line he accidentally stabbed himself with his filleting knife. “They had been at sea for a few days and there was a reasonable-sized swell and they were fishing for blue-finned tuna when they pulled up a blue shark which was quite large, and he was trying to cut it off his line,” he said. click here to read the story, and be careful out there! 09:15

Foreign ownership of British fishing fleet investigated

Foreign ownership of the British fishing fleet is being investigated by a government agency, ITV News has learned. There has long been a loophole that allows predominately EU crews to fish in British waters. Operating under a “flag of convenience”, foreign owned and crewed trawlers can fish in British waters as long as they visit a UK port twice a year. Even then, they only need to sell a small part of their catch in Britain. Now, the Marine Management Organisation is investigating the practice. Video, click here 12:25

Organizers: Baltimore seafood business masks shocking labor abuses

Phillips Seafood is a Baltimore-based company that trades on its historic connections to the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery. The signature dish at its restaurants is the famed Maryland-style crab cake, and its dining rooms feature models of antique fishing boats and romanticized images of the bay watermen culture that is fading fast. But organizers say it’s mostly fake — a cover story for a rapacious, globalized business that preys on poor Indonesian women to extract rich profits for its U.S. owners. click here to read the story 15:47

The surprising reason you might be seeing more jellyfish in the sea this summer

Scientists have discovered that offshore wind farms and oil and gas platforms provide an ideal habitat in which the creatures can thrive. Until now, the rapid increase in jellyfish numbers in oceans around the world has been largely blamed on overfishing, which wipes out their natural predators, global warming and nutrient run-off. The research suggests that man-made structures have played a role in the jellyfish boom by offering an enticing home for polyps — the tiny organisms which eventually grow into jellyfish. The results suggested a correlation between big jellyfish numbers and man-made structures such as energy platforms and wind farms. click here to read the story 13:41

Public urged to remain vigilant after Pacific salmon found in Irish rivers

Thirty Pacific salmon have been found in nine Irish river systems since the first one was recorded in late June. Fisheries chiefs said one of the most recent non-native fish to be captured was a mature male, which was ready to spawn when it was found on August 9 on the Erriff in Co Mayo. It has been suggested that some of the Pacific species have made their way south after “straying” from rivers in northern Norway or Russia. They were introduced to some Russian fisheries in the 1960s and have colonised west along Arctic coasts. click here to read the story  09:02

It started as a normal day…

When Life Cell inventor Scott Smiles went to sea for what was supposed to be a short pleasure trip, the result was far from what he had expected. Something went catastrophically wrong – and he and his friend Rick and their respective sons Riley and Ryan found themselves in the water, clinging to a cool box and having grabbed a hand-held radio from the boat before it went down. ‘He was struck by the fact that all the safety equipment was there on board – but the problem was that it was all kept in different places,’ said Sally Dale of Pinpoint Electronics, the European distributor for the Life Cell, the innovative safety kit that resulted from the startlingly sudden loss of Scott’s boat. click here to read the story 13:55

Prawn trawlers sit idle as fishermen turn to 457 visas for labour

It’s a boom season for the Carnarvon fishing fleet with colder water than usual in Western Australia’s protected Shark Bay spawning a bountiful king prawn and scallop catch. James Clement, marine biologist, former AFL footballer and head of the biggest trawler fleet ­licenced to fish Shark Bay, owned by ASX-listed company Mareterram, isn’t celebrating just yet. Despite the plentiful high-priced prawn harvest pouring into Mareterram’s Carnarvon wharf and packing sheds — the Shark Bay prawn season runs from late March to October — Mr Clement is having trouble keeping his 10 trawlers at sea for their 21-days-a-month continuous fishing time. A shortage of reliable labour and experienced fishing crew is hampering Mareterram’s total prawn catch, with issues including stress, inexperience, drugs and alcohol forcing some boats to return to port early mid-month to offload jittery crew before the scheduled full moon 10-day lay-off. click here to read the story 10:43

Grimsby man stole his boat – and world fame

Some called him The Lone Captain, the BBC called him The Buccaneer. He called himself a Freelance of the Sea. But a criminal court judge had other words in mind and sent him to prison – and hard labour – for 18 months. But history, which dwells inordinately on the glamour of swashbuckling, has found a friendly niche for Dod Orsborne, a curious Jekyll and Hyde of a man who, in 1936, stole a seine netter from its owner and sailed out of Grimsby and into the newspaper headlines of the world. click here to read the story 12:56

OPINION: Deadly year at sea reminds us that perceptions about PFDs are outdated

If you follow the news regularly, you read a lot of sad circumstances. Families die because of carbon monoxide poisoning from their stove, people perish when their car spins out of control on a winter drive, or someone gets buried in an avalanche. There is no doubt that living in Alaska has more inherent risks than more temperate locations and Alaskans, in general, take more risks than their brothers to the south. But there are some risks we take that are unnecessary, especially when it comes to the fishing industry, which is risky enough without throwing fuel on the fire. click here to read the op-ed 08:23

Simrad Announces A2004 Autopilot Controller

The new Simrad A2004 is a dedicated autopilot controller designed to meet the needs of workboat, commercial fishing and passenger vessels. The A2004 is suited for vessels that don’t require SOLAS Heading Control Systems but do require a proven autopilot interface backed by Continuum software for accuracy and ease of use. The autopilot’s information is presented on a wide-angle and zero-fog color display and is engineered for responsiveness and ease of use with a precision rotary control dial and dedicated buttons for instant access to steering modes, a custom-configurable work mode and automated turn patterns. click here to read the story 13:53

Unbelievable! Court backs lobster cruelty fine against Sydney Fish Markets store

The state’s first crustacean cruelty conviction will stand after Nicholas Seafood at Glebe lost an appeal in the District Court. The conviction was recorded after photographs emerged of a staffer carving up a lobster without first stunning it at the store’s Sydney Fish Markets premises. The store had appealed the “severity” of a $1500 fine imposed by the Sydney Downing Centre Court in February relating to a charge of an act of animal cruelty. It had been enforced after a member of the public recorded a fishmonger killing the lobster without any attempt to stun the animal to mitigate its suffering. click here to read the story 13:08

Lifejacket probe widened following Fishing Vessel Louisa fishermen deaths

An investigation into the performance of lifejackets worn by three fishermen who died after their boat sank has been widened out to other parts of Europe. The men lost their lives after abandoning the crab boat Louisa off Mingulay last year. The coastguard and maritime accident investigators have been examining the lifejackets and how they are tested. Partners agencies elsewhere in Europe have been contacted about a wider research and testing programme. The survival aids involved in the Louisa incident are understood to be widely used.,,On the latest developments, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “This is the first time we have had a concern identified with an in-service lifejacket and we are investigating urgently. click here to read the story 20:21

Let’s Go Fishing – Tuna Boat Ops

Since tuna is such a popular food worldwide and commands a high price, the use of expensive helicopters is cost effective for commercial tuna boats that use large nets called purse seines. Helicopters are extremely useful for spotting tuna, since these fish gather in large schools or shoals to cooperatively hunt vast areas for smaller fish prey. Helicopters takeoff early in the morning and fly long hours before parking on the ship overnight. R-22, R-44, B206, and MD500 are the most commonly used helicopters for this type of fishing.  It’s not unusual for pilots with relatively few hours of flying time to join tuna operations. These jobs allow pilots to accumulate hours quickly, earn a decent paycheck, and work with fishing crew members from around the world while visiting exotic ports of call. click here to read the story 11:04

Folkestone Trawler Race 2017 details as fishermen prepare for events

Trawler Race weekend is almost upon us again as Folkestone’s fishing quarter prepares for its two biggest days in the year. A new addition is coming to the festival on Saturday and Sunday which is expected to be watched by thousands of people from The Stade and the Harbour Arm – as the town celebrates its fishing heritage. The trawlers will set off for the historic race on Saturday with entertainment starting from midday and the race getting under way at 2pm. click here to read the story 13:40

Ardglass trawler skipper fined over collision

An Ardglass trawler skipper has been fined more than £2,000 after his boat collided with another vessel off the County Down coast in July 2015. Paul Thomas Wills of Russell Place, Ardglass, admitted not keeping a proper lookout on his fishing boat the Silver Dee when it collided with another trawler, the Good Intent. The Silver Dee sank in less than 10 minutes as a result of the collision. Its crew transferred onto the Good Intent. click here to read the story 11:08

Brexit Betrayal: EU Boats ‘Will Still be able to Catch Large Amounts of Fish in British Waters’, Says Gove

Leave campaigner and Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove has shocked the British fishing industry by walking back a pledge to end the exploitation of Britain’s waters by EU vessels, saying they “will still be able to catch large amounts of fish” on a visit to Denmark.  “Danish fishermen will still be able to catch large amounts of fish in British waters, even if the British leave the EU. Britain has no fish cutters [those employed to clean, trim and bone fish] and production facilities enough to catch all the fish in British waters,” he said. Video, click here to read the story 09:16

Clearwater Seafoods buys Scottish crabber as part of bid to expand in Europe

Seafood giant Clearwater Seafoods is beefing up its presence in Europe by buying a crab fishing boat and licence and is casting its eye on other potential acquisitions. The Bedford-based company picked up the Heather K., a Scottish crabber, in July for an undisclosed amount. “It was nominal (amount) relative to our total capital expenditures,” Ian Smith, chief executive officer of Clearwater Seafoods, said Thursday during the company’s second-quarter earnings call. “What is important about that is that it was the beginning of our vertical integration in Scotland.” In late 2015, Clearwater Seafoods bought all of the shares of Scotland’s MacDuff Shellfish Group Ltd. for £94.4 million.(photo, shipspotter.com) click here to read the story 11:59

Dick Grachek: Maximum Sustainable Yield: Just More Management Delusion or a Bureaucratic Con?

Even if getting out from under the management fantasy of the “extinction delusion” could somehow become a reality, an essential overhaul of the basic goals of fishery management is necessary and must begin by asking the obvious—but totally neglected—question, what exactly is all this management supposed to accomplish, anyway? Maximum Sustainable Yield: Stable and Sustainable Stocks, Right? Well…actually, managing the fisheries to MSY is all wrong. MSY accomplishes nothing more than stock population instability. One of the major mechanisms of this MSY approach is engineering the taking of large fish out of a population in some formulaic proportion to the young recruited into that particular stock. This is a naive and simplistic notion of stock dynamics. It completely ignores a myriad of natural or “biological-environmental” factors that govern fish survival and growth and population. Click here to read the story with a side note from Dick Grachek 17:04

Poor common squid catches to continue in Japan

Poor catches of surume-ika, or Japanese common squid, are likely to continue this year. The squid is used in popular home dishes such as sashimi and is also sold in a form that is dried overnight. According to a long-term forecast about fishing conditions by the Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, arrivals of surume-ika squid to sea areas near Japan will likely be almost the same or lower compared with those in last year, when catch volumes of the squid were at a record low. Many fisheries experts share a view that the poor catches have been affected by decreases in the number of eggs the squid lay due to the decreasing sea water temperature in the East China Sea during recent years. click here to read the story 14:58

Playing Catch: Northern Europe Fisheries Fleet Review

Record hauls of wild fish, an unprecedented return on farmed salmon, finance and subsidy garner new orders, new designs and emboldened suppliers. In Scandinavia, particularly Norway, rich, carefully managed fisheries raise just one question for the commercially minded — which wave of business to ride. A growing number of large and small players are in on the action, as historic profits are heralded up and down the supply chain. For the hardened makers of gear that know tougher times, this is the golden age. “We’ve sold record numbers of net haulers to boats up to 50 foot,” says Hydema Syd stalwart Solbjoerg Solgaard. Sales to the U.S. are soaring, she says, and Canada has picked up, especially for automatic hauling equipment. 8 images, click here to read the story 20:29

Boat owner jailed over fishermen’s deaths in Whitby

The owner of a boat on which two men died from carbon monoxide poisoning has been jailed for 15 months. Mark Arries, 26, from Blyth, and Edward Ide, 21, from Amble, died on the boat which was moored in Whitby harbour in January 2014. The pair were using a gas cooker to warm the boat overnight as they slept. Timothy Bowman-Davies had pleaded guilty to breaching safety laws but claimed he was not aware the men were using the cooker for heating. click here to read the story 17:42

Former deep-water fisherman reveals the tough, basic and disciplined life he had at sea

After my last trip on the Black Watch as relief bosun I found myself ashore with some time to myself for a change. However, like I thought, it was not long before offers of another ship came along, leaving me with some really good choices. Some of them I turned down for genuine reasons, like the Northern Crown, because that offer had come far too soon after my last voyage to Greenland, which would not have allowed me even 72 hours in dock. Also I had offers from the very first company that I’d ever sailed in when I left school at the tender age of 15. On that occasion I left school on Easter Friday and went to sea the following Tuesday aboard the Alfred Bannister owned coal burner Loch Park (GY 259). Life aboard those grand old ladies of the sea was so tough, basic and disciplined from the salty old characters who sailed in them, you just couldn’t help but learn the job pretty fast. Michael Sparkes click here to read the story 13:56

New Zealand: MPI agree to meet Southland fishermen over electronic monitoring regulations

Ministry for Primary Industries staff have agreed to front up to Southland fishermen who have questions about new monitoring and reporting regulations. From October 6, new measures will be rolled in to ensure that all commercial fishing boats are fitted with both GPS equipment and cameras, to improve monitoring of catch levels and to help prevent any illegal activity. More than 100 fishermen, from throughout Southland, met at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill last week to discuss the implications of the ministry’s new Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System (IEMRS). Many in the commercial fishing industry were frustrated at the fact the new rules had been decided on without proper consultation or thought to their consequences.  click here to read the story 09:43

Brexit Hopes Fade for Some Who Want It So Badly

The faded Welsh industrial port of Milford Haven and the picturesque English harbor town of Brixham are economic worlds apart, but they’re both desperate to leave the European Union. Locals say Brexit can boost their fishing industry, hit by competition from foreign fleets and quotas on catches during 44 years of EU membership. The worry is that the country will repeat the mistakes on the way out they say were made on the way in by ceding to too many European demands. What they don’t want is to end up with access to more fish, though fewer markets. “There’s a lot of bargaining and we need to come down hard and do something about it,” said Mark Albery, 43, who catches lobster, crab and whelk in the waters off Milford Haven on Wales’s southwestern tip. A fisherman since he was a teenager, he’s not optimistic over a favorable deal. “Not with this country, no, not at all. We just do what we’re told in the end.” click here to read the story 15:32

The Kings of Crab from Castletownbere – The Shellfish Ireland Story

It’s 1987 and sitting in a kitchen in the small town of Castletownbere in the west of Cork, two young friends with a keen interest in fishing founded what would later become Shellfish Ireland. Friends Richard Murphy and Peter O’Sullivan combined their love of fishing and worked together to catch and supply brown crab to local seafood buyers. As the years progressed, Shellfish Ireland grew to become a respectable and reliable seafood producer. Speaking to co-founder Richard, he fondly recalls the beginnings of the company,  “Shellfish Ireland first began in 1987 in my father’s kitchen. I used go fishing with my friend Peter in the mornings, cooking and process the catch in the afternoon and then delivering to our customers that evening. They were long days full of hard work, but we enjoyed the challenge.” Enjoying the challenge would prove successful for the determined Castletownbere duo, who recognised a gap in the local market. click here to read the story 12:14