Category Archives: International News

When Lowestoft boats went to fish from Canada

There was an interesting time, way back in the early 1950s, when several drifter/trawlers and trawlers from Lowestoft were sent on the long trip to Nova Scotia to ply their trade, reports Mick Harrod. The first Lowestoft boats to make this voyage were Acorn LT 31, skippered by Ivan Down, and Boston Swift LT 377, in September of 1954. Acorn was a steamer, built in 1919 at Aberdeen and the story goes that, although she was filled with coal, including in the fish hold and ice lockers, she still ran out of fuel in the last few miles and was towed in by Boston Swift. The agreement with Mercury Fisheries Ltd, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was that the crew initially signed on for six months and then, if they liked it enough, they could have permanent berths and their families would get assistance to move to Canada. click here to view more images, read the story 09:36

Mexico plans immediate action on US imports after WTO tuna ruling over USA “dolphin-safe” labeling

However, the ruling could be overturned later this year if a subsequent WTO decision finds the United States has stopped discriminating against tuna caught by its southern neighbor. The World Trade Organization ruled Tuesday that Mexico’s tuna industry has been harmed by USA “dolphin-safe” labeling rules and says the country can seek retaliatory measures worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Mexico’s economy ministry said it planned immediate action to initiate the trade sanctions. Ruling on the tuna dispute, a WTO arbitrator said earlier on Tuesday that Mexico can impose annual trade sanctions worth $163.23 million against the United States. The US insists that any Mexican tuna sold in the US must be “dolphin safe”, meaning dolphins weren’t killed by tuna fisherman, which was once common. The WTO agreed and ruled that Mexico could place trade sanctions on the USA of up to $163 million a year, enough to make up Mexico’s estimated loss. “Today’s WTO decision threatens to punish USA families for the crime of having a label on tuna cans that saves dolphins’ lives”. click here to read the story 16:23

Scientists don’t need to do a better job of explaining themselves to fishermen — they need to do a better job of listening to them.

There’s currently a public spotlight on the plight faced by the province’s inshore fishers, due in part to the courageous 11-day hunger strike of FISH-NL Vice-President Richard Gillett that ended Sunday with his hospitalization, and to the increasing militancy on the part of desperate fishers, who have stormed, occupied, and barricaded Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) offices, burned their gear in public protest, and spoken out in myriad ways about the crisis they and their communities face.,, Their protests have provoked a range of responses, some of which are incredibly counter-productive. For instance, the suggestion that scientists need to do a better job of explaining their science to fishers.,, The implication is that if fishers actually understood the science, they would stop protesting — which misses the entire point of these protests on two counts. click here to read the article 17:45

US warns threat of an export ban over continued killing of seals by Scots fish farms

Ministers have received a warning about the continued shooting of seals by fish farms as the US poses the threat of an export ban which could cost the Scottish economy £200 million a year. New figures reveal that despite the salmon industry giving a “clear intention” to cut the number of seals shot to zero, fish farms and fisheries were continuing to kill them at a rate of over eight a month last year, under licence from the Scottish Government. The details have angered protesters who are concerned that that instead of finding alternative ways to deal with seals, fish farms are continuing to be content to shoot to kill. The US is now requiring proof that its seafood imports are harvested in a way that minimises harm to marine mammals. Later this year, the US is expected to release a country-by-country list of fisheries deemed acceptable and those deemed non-compliant.  continue reading the story here 09:31

Animal rights industry never has to take bait

A few years ago my wife and I took two of my boys to the Northern Territory and were lucky enough to be given extensive access to the Tiwi Islands by the local land council. It was a rare privilege and I learnt much, but the thing I did not expect to learn had nothing to do with the culture of the local Tiwi Islanders at Bathurst and Melville Islands or the progress they were making at Tiwi College. What stuck with me were the photographs on the walls of the Barramundi Lodge showing World War II GIs, in the hundreds, swimming during shore leave. Today the waters of the Tiwi Islands are so infested with saltwater crocodiles that the Aboriginal kids we met would not dare swim beyond knee deep at their pristine beach. Across the NT coastline and in most of the Top End’s saltwater rivers, swimming is strictly off the agenda. Croc watching is big tourism business and crocs make great copy for the local newspaper, the NT News. But as the Tiwi elders told us, it was not always this way. In the days when crocodiles were hunted for food by the Tiwis and for skins by white hunters, it was not nearly so dangerous to enjoy the tropical waters of the Territory. Croc hunting was banned in the Territory in 1964, in Western Australia in 1962 and in Queensland in 1974. Populations have boomed and croc distributions widened dramatically since. So it is with sharks today. click here to read the article. 14:16 Sadly, the link redirects to subscribe. It worked earlier. This shark article explains the sharks today problem. ‘There’s no shark increase’: Fisheries minister ignores Federal government’s call for cull click here to read the story 20:14  

“The Queensland government’s response is a f—ing joke,” – Fishers furious over delayed warning of toxic foam spill

Fishers are furious they weren’t warned for days about a toxic foam spill in Brisbane waters, saying hundreds of kilograms of prawns were caught in the affected area. On the night of Monday, April 10, 22,000 litres of firefighting foam containing potentially harmful chemicals was released from a Brisbane Airport Qantas hangar, with some likely making it into the water in the lower reaches of the Brisbane River and killing about 20 fish. Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles admitted his department knew of the spill by the following day but did not alert the public until Good Friday, when many people were disengaged with the news. He warned against eating seafood caught in the affected zone – from Bulimba Creek to Fisherman Island and north to Shorncliffe – but said this was outside commercial fishing areas. Trawler Michael Wilkinson said the T5 trawl fishing zone he and more than 30 others were licensed to fish entirely overlapped the affected area. “The Queensland government’s response is a f—ing joke,” he said, saying fishers should have been warned out of the area as soon as the spill occurred. click here to read the story 12:11

Arron Banks to launch pirate radio station off Clacton coast if he becomes UKIP candidate

Millionaire businessman Arron Banks will start his own pirate radio station off the Clacton coast to help become the Essex town’s MP if he is selected as the UKIP candidate. Mr Banks, who caused controversy this week by admitting he knows nothing about the town, would use the pirate radio station, based in a fishing trawler, to help his election campaign. DJs would include former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who now hosts a nightly LBC radio talk show, and former BBC Radio One presenter Mike Read. The details have been confirmed by Andy Wigmore, a spokesman for Mr Banks. In a statement issued to this newspaper, Mr Wigmore, a former DJ himself who would also be one of the station’s presenters, said: “We have been given a trawler by fishermen campaigning for fishing rights after Brexit. click here to continue reading the story 08:48

VMS – Fishermen living in a police state – makes the Stazi and Big Brother look benign!

Here’s an example of what has happened to the fishing industry and how closely monitored its operations have become – now, almost the entire fleet are policed remotely using a VMS (vessel Monitoring System) that tracks their every move.  Fishermen have to pay for the privilege of being watched 24/7 and maintain the equipment directly from what comes out  out of the cod-end – which they are happy to do – but, if for any reason the system fails, they are immediately contacted by the MMO who insist that they report their position manually every 4 hours and return to port immediately to fix the problem – when they will be detained until they have done so!…This is exactly what happened to the Spirited Lady III yesterday click here to read the story 08:09

Judge says Butt Out! Environmentalists Can’t Help Defend Fishing Rules

Three environmental groups cannot join the U.S. government to defend against a challenge to an Obama administration rule requiring seafood companies to report the origin of the fish they sell, a federal judge ruled (click to open). The National Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity and Oceana asked the court on March 7 to join the government in defending a suit from a group of fishing companies challenging the seafood traceability rule, which requires companies to disclose on a government form the vessel or collection point of origin for their fish. The companies say the rule will make seafood more expensive. The environmentalists say it is critical to protecting fish populations from illegal fishing. The environmentalists made specific arguments in support of the rule, telling U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta that reversal would affect their daily lives. Lol! affect their daily lives? What lives! click here to read the story 10:07

Medieval Histories – Medieval Cod Wars 1415 – 2017

In the 15th-century long-distance fishing appeared as one of the first global industries. Then – as now – huge political and economic interests were at stake; often leading to war. Medieval fishing in the North Sea has for a long time been an important topic for a group of historians, archaeologists and scientists led by J. H. Barrett, Reader in Medieval Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. Being an archaeologist, this has resulted in significant accumulation of valuable knowledge as to how and when the fishing trade in Northern Europe exploded; and how it successively played out. (this is an interesting read, Fast forward) And so it went for centuries with more than ten officially registered “cod wars”. According to the received history, the last two of these began immediately after WW2, when Iceland gained its independence from Denmark.,, Cod Wars Post Brexit,,,  click here to read the story 19:19

Eat prawns over Easter? They might’ve been contaminated, Brisbane prawn catches at risk from airport chemical spill

Prawns eaten over the Easter long weekend were most likely contaminated by last week’s toxic spill, Brisbane’s commercial fishers have warned. At least 300kg of prawns were caught from the contaminated zone of the Brisbane River and sold on to local residents over Easter because local fishers were not warned against it. State Environment Minister Steven Miles yesterday wrote to the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester seeking immediate enforcement action to be taken against those responsible for the chemical spill and for the responsible party to “remediate and compensate for any harm caused”. The Queensland Seafood Industry Association received advice from Fisheries Queensland only on Tuesday – a week after the spill – to stop selling seafood caught within the contaminated zone. Local commercial fisher Michael Wilkinson said the advice was “too little, too late” after the State Government initially said the contaminated area did not affect commercial fishing zones. “It makes me sick to my stomach that I sold contaminated food to somebody unbeknown to me,” he said.  click to read the story 16:58

Brisbane prawn catches at risk from airport chemical spillclick here to read the story.

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 230ft. Steel Freezer Trawler, 4896HP, 12 Cylinder Wartsila 12V28B

Specifications, information and photo’s and videos click here  (click the square on blue header for menu, here ) To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:42

Wind Farm Conflict: Fisherman, “I feared for my life”

John Worthington was out trawling a catch on his 10m fishing vessel Mi-amor (FD1) when his boat and the 20m plus survey vessel Fairline Surveyor, employed in the windfarm industry, came within just a few metres of colliding. Had the two vessels made contact, the veteran fisherman says his boat would have been destroyed and he could have been killed. Mr Worthington, 51, of Troutbeck Avenue, captured the incident on camera and says it outlines the difficulties the inshore boats are now facing as the windfarm industry expands. DONG Energy is in the process of creating the new Walney Extension wind farm project just off Walney Island in Cumbria, but some of the waters coincide with where the fishermen ply their trade and the two parties are currently involved in a dispute over compensation. DONG says it has received no complaint about the near collision and insists safety is a priority. click here to continue reading the story 07:59

Shooting won’t stop us: Tamil Nadu fishermen

At the break of dawn on March 05, 2017, as the rest of world was sleeping, Charles and four other fishermen fired up the engine of their trawler and left for fishing from Pamban Island, Rameswaram, India. Charles and his fellow fishermen were waiting for hours after setting the net in the middle of the sea near Danushkodi. Later, Charles pulled the net into the trawler and checked what was collected, but it was empty. The fishermen were anxious as they did not want to return empty-handed. One of the fishermen suggested to sail a little far and see whether they would be able to get a good catch. Charles and the others have already heard of stories of local fishermen being arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy when they tried to reach,,, click here to continue reading the article 19:36

Home after 6 months detention, fishermen recall ordeal in Gulf – For six months, Indian fisherman S. George lived in fear on a boat, thinking he would never see his wife and children again. Click here to read the story 20:40

Japan on verge of breaking tuna fishing cap, unable to enforce self-imposed limit

Japan is poised to exceed an international commitment to limit catches of threatened Pacific bluefin tuna just two years after it adopted the cap, which has been undermined by lax compliance. Japan leads the world in catches and consumption of the fish. As of Monday, the Japanese bluefin catch had reached 99.7% of the agreed-on quota for the 12 months ending in June, making it only a matter of time — possibly within the next two weeks — until the commitment is broken. In 2015, Japan adopted limits on catches of immature bluefin, following a decision by the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. For the year to June, the quota comes to 4,007 tons, 3,995 tons of which had been caught as of Monday. click here to read the story (2 pages) 17:33

An online home delivered service is going off the hook!

Door to door fish deliveries are taking off in Taranaki like never before. “It started as a part time business, three days a week. But now I’m so busy I can’t go hunting,” said George Cameron, owner of G & J Fish Supplies Ltd in New Plymouth. Cameron said he believed the internet had a lot to do with the resurgence of fresh fish because people could order online and have him deliver it fresh to their door.,, He processes all the fish himself in his small factory setup in New Plymouth, a process that can take to four or five hours each day. Video,  click here to read the story 09:01

Poor season drives a black market for crabs in Qld

Poor weather over summer has resulted in a lucrative black market for the sale of mud crabs in Queensland. Recreational fishermen have been caught taking to websites such as Facebook, eBay and Gumtree to illegally sell mud crabs for up to $50 to try to reap the benefits of a poor crabbing season. It comes as the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol was preparing for a busy long weekend as thousands of people were taking to the water over the Easter break. Fishers and crabbers have also been found resorting to illegal activities such as keeping undersized and female mud crabs after a dry summer saw fewer mud crabs being caught in Queensland’s waterways. Earlier this year, a man was fined $3100 after pleading guilty to five crab-related offences, click here to continue reading 13:24

From Port to Plate: A journey of New Bedford’s most profitable product

Who knew that a silver dollar-sized scallop could provide such bang for a buck? As the most profitable item turned over in the most profitable port in the country, this milk-colored mollusk has almost been solely responsible for the re-birth of New Bedford’s working waterfront since the turn of the century. While other New England ports have shrunk or been gentrified from a working waterfront to high rise condos and upscale restaurants, New Bedford has thrived. OUT AT SEA- Captain Earl Chor Sr. described an early 12-day April trip to the Elephant Trunk Flex Access Area as “smooth” despite working around a few days of harsh weather.,, TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER- In the damp and hollowed display room of BASE there are dozens of tall cardboard bins filled with ice and bagged scallops, known as lots, lining the room.,, SPANNING THE GLOBE- click here to read this big story 08:51

Helping US Shrimpers, New Trump order might hit India’s shrimp exports

The $5.5-billion Indian seafoodexport market might face new restrictions in America. The new Donald Trump government, in an executive order, is set to enforce countervailing duties strictly on countries held to be dumping goods. America is the major importer of Indian seafood, with a share of 28.5 per cent in 2015-16, for 153,695 tonnes worth $1.3 billion. Frozen shrimp is the principal item of export to the US, with a share of 94 per cent in value terms. Another executive order directs their department of commerce and the Office of the US Trade representative to examine every form of trade abuse and non-reciprocal practice that contribute to the US’ large and persistent trade deficit, largest of any major nation in 2016 at $500 billion. Within 90 days, both these agencies are to give a comprehensive report to the President on the causes. “The US is the only country which is imposing an anti-dumping duty on Indian shrimp, to give level playing to its producers. click to continue reading the story 19:30

Brexit ‘provides golden opportunity to regain control of fisheries policy’

Brexit provides a “golden opportunity” to revitalise the UK’s fisheries industry, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has said.  The free market think tank claimed the sector has been in decline for decades, due in part to the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy. An IEA study urges the Government to remove indirect subsidies, such as grants for harbour improvements and transport links, because it says infrastructure is better operated on a commercial basis. The report calls for subsidies for the industry to be phased out and replaced with market mechanisms to protect fisheries. click here to continue reading the story 15:35

Twillingate Fisherman Richard Gillett enters Day 2 of hunger strike: ‘If I can’t fish, I’m no good to no one’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Friday, April 14th, 2017 – Richard Gillett, an inshore fish harvester from Twillingate and Vice-President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), began a hunger strike Thursday afternoon on the grounds of DFO’s NL headquarters in St. John’s. Gillett’s demands include: a meeting with the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Dominic LeBlanc,  and his assurance of an independent review of DFO science/management; as well as an independent review of the relationship between DFO and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union. “Enough is enough,” says Gillett, “This is a desperate situation that needs to be looked into right now. The industry is in the worse mess it’s ever been in,” says Gillett, who’s been drinking only water since Thursday afternoon. “DFO science has been gutted and the management system we have today, when most of our fisheries are in crisis, is the same one that we had back in ’92 when the cod moratorium came down. And the FFAW, which is supposedly our union, stopped standing up for fishermen long ago and got in bed with DFO.” “If I can’t fish I’m no good to no one. I’m no good to myself. I’m no good to my family. I’m no good to my friends. I was meant to fish.” On Tuesday, April 11, Gillett, along with Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, travelled to Ottawa and met with five of NL’s Liberal MPs, including: Gudie Hutchings, Yvonne Jones, Ken McDonald, Scott Simms and Nick Whalen. The MPs called the meeting to discuss the current fisheries crisis. click here to read the press release, and FISH-NL’s presentation 08:26

Japan embraces Russ George’s scheme for iron fertilization

Russ George is semi-famous for dumping over 100 metric tons of iron dust, iron sulfate fertilizer and iron oxide into the sea off British Columbia, Canada in 2012. The act, he claims, spurred a plankton bloom that fed a huge surge in pink salmon returns the following year and in chum salmon returns in 2016 – the difference in years reflecting the different lifecycles of the species. The plan sought to replicate the effect of the eruption of Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutians, which also deposited iron-rich dust and spurred a plankton bloom. Sequestering carbon – in the hard shells of diatoms that sink to the ocean floor – was a supposed secondary benefit. However, George’s experiment, undertaken with the backing of a Native American (First Nations) group, the Haida in the village of Old Masset, and carried out as a corporate activity of the “Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation,” was deemed a rogue experiment. click here to read the story 15:36  click here to read  “Japanese Salmon Fisheries In Historic Collapse Help On The Way” 15:40

U.S. imposes new seafood import rules – DFO says it’s too soon to know what fisheries in Canada will be affected

The United States is now requiring proof that its seafood imports are harvested in a way that minimizes harm to marine mammals like whales — and that has concerned some members of Atlantic Canada’s fishing industry. As of Monday, countries had to submit a list of fisheries measures in place to limit by-catch and gear entanglements with whales, turtles, porpoises and seals. The U.S. wants standards comparable to those imposed on American fisheries.,, “It could be a big problem,” said Bernie Berry, president of the Coldwater Lobster Association, a group representing fishermen in Canada’s most lucrative lobster fishing areas in southwest Nova Scotia.,, “It could be a big problem,” said Bernie Berry, president of the Coldwater Lobster Association, a group representing fishermen in Canada’s most lucrative lobster fishing areas in southwest Nova Scotia. click here to read the story 12:07

How To Build Your Own Craypot (Lobster Pot) Perth WA

DIY how to build your own craypot (lobster pot) for catching your own West Australian Rock Lobster (Crayfish) We catch them from the North side to the West end of Rotto in 30m of water in the Indian Ocean. We also catch them behind Three Mile Reef in 30m of water. We normally leave Hillarys Boat Harbour to check our pots. We sometimes put our pots behind Five Fathom Bank in 30m of water. We normally use tuna heads, mackerel, sanmar and mullet for our bait for our craypots. They have an interesting way to retrieve them too! Watch the video here 14:54

Appologetic Taiwan EPA head in hot water with animal rights and environmental groups for eating shark fin soup!

The head of the Environmental Protection Administration Lee Ying-yuan found himself in hot water with animal and environmental groups Sunday, after he was caught eating shark fin soup. Political pundit Windson posted photos online of a lunch with members of the political and business communities that both he and Lee attended. One photo shows a bowl of shark fin soup, a delicacy that environmental and animal rights groups have tried to ban. Windson has since deleted the post.Lee confirmed Monday that he had eaten the shark fin soup served during the lunch, saying that at first he had hesitated. Lee said he was invited to the lunch at the last minute and arrived twenty minutes late and that he and his family members did not normally eat shark fin. He said that in the future he would proactively remind fellow dining participants not to order the controversial menu item in order to protect the environment. link 09:11

Being Pushed Out: Offshore wind farms add to woes of Dutch fishing fleet

Plans to extend the number Dutch offshore wind farms are adding to the problems faced by the Dutch North Sea fishing fleet, said the Financieele Dagblad on Monday. Proposals presented last Friday call for offshore wind farm capacity of 4,450 megawatts to be added until 2031, with capacity hiked to 10,000 megawatts by 2030. The wind farms would cover several thousand square kilometres in the North Sea. But with the major shipping lanes, large nature reserves, sand-mining areas and other areas off limits to the fisheries industry, Dutch fishing waters are being compromised. And with Brexit, British fishing grounds may be closed to Dutch fishing vessels, further adding to the problems, the paper said. link 08:41

Lobsters at core of a tasty China-US story

Lobsters caught by fishermen on Little Cranberry Island in Maine in the United States in the morning can be had for dinner by Chinese families the next evening. The lobster and shrimp farming industry in Maine, which despite its history of more 150 years faced an uncertain future because of overcapacity, has been revitalized by Chinese consumers’ strong demand. That China-US interdependence in trade is based on win-win cooperation and mutual benefit is evident in the “lobster story”. The volume of China-US trade was less than $13 million in 1972, the year when bilateral ties started thawing thanks to then US president Richard Nixon’s visit to China. Last year, the bilateral trade volume reached nearly $520 billion. In 1979, when the two countries officially established diplomatic relations, Chinese people’s impression of US products was largely limited to a “foamy drink called Coca-Cola”. Click here to read the article 18:20

Western rock lobster price falls due to a drop in China demand, cheaper American exports

The value of premium species of lobster sourced from Western Australia has plummeted, causing the lucrative industry to grind to a near halt. The western rock lobster ‘beach price’, which is the price professional fishers receive direct from processors, has slumped to about $50 a kilogram. Compared to six months ago, the price has shed about 30 per cent of its value. Mark Rutter is the general manager of marketing and business development at the Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative, which is the largest processor and exporter of rock lobsters in Australia. “It’s very hard to pinpoint exactly what’s driving the prices but certainly we are experiencing very low prices … in a recent historical sense,” he said. continue reading the story here 11:36

Walmart Exposed for Selling Dolphin-Deadly Tuna in Costa Rica

Investigations by the nonprofit International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP) have revealed that, in its Costa Rican locations, Walmart has been selling its own brand of canned tuna that has been caught using fishing methods that harass and kill dolphins. These practices make Walmart’s tuna brand — called Suli — dolphin-deadly, though Suli tuna cans carry a misleading seal claiming that the tuna is dolphin safe.,,, In what appears to be a deliberate attempt to mislead consumers, on its Suli label, Walmart includes a blue dolphin seal with the words: “Tuna caught under dolphin protection standards” in Spanish. The cans also note that the tuna is a “Product of Mexico.” click here to read the article 15:00

Advanced workboat propulsion controls unveiled

Twin Disc has introduced contactless sensors to its range of commercial-grade propulsion controls for workboats. The EC300 Power Commander now comes with magnetic, contactless hall-effect sensors for monitoring lever position. Twin Disc said this outlasts other electro-mechanical and potentiometer type sensors for longer shifting service life. Tests with the EC300 demonstrated that there was no single loss of lever position signal in four million cycles. Twin Disc said EC300 single and twin lever control heads have superior transmission and throttle handling because of the contactless sensors. Read the rest of the story here 17:52

Are Days at Sea the Answer?

Recently, the argument that, after the UK has left the EU, effort control (days at sea limits) could replace quotas as the main management tool in the mixed demersal fisheries, has been finding some currency. It is not difficult to see the appeal. At a stroke, the discard problem would be solved, as vessels could land everything that they catch. The messy business of quota management, with its fixed quota allocations, swaps, leasing, top-slicing etc. could be dispensed with overnight. Instead, vessels would be given an annual allocation of days at sea. Full stop. In some versions of the theory, quota shares are converted into effort shares, which admittedly makes things more complex than a flat-rate number of days for every vessel in the fleet. But before we take the leap of ditching the messy quota system let’s have a look at the other side of the coin. There are a few reasons why effort might not be the road that we want to go down. Here are some of the counter-arguments: Read the article here 12:55

China’s fishing fleet hunts for new oceans to target, squid is becoming the new substitute

Seagulls wheel and cry around the Caleta Portales fishing pier in the Chilean port of Valparaiso while sea lions loiter in the waves. The fishermen hoist their boats out of the water, untangle a paltry catch from their nets and trudge off for a political strategy meeting in a dark room lit only by a PowerPoint presentation. Nearby, a line of white banners bear a defiant message in red block letters: “NO to industrial squid trawling!” ,,, Squid is taking the place of declining stocks. In Valparaiso, artisanal fishermen operating out of Caleta Portales rely on squid for about half of their income. And the carts now sell enchiladas stuffed with squid, which locals call loco de los pobres, or “poor man’s loco”. Even Corpesca, the nation’s largest fishing conglomerate, has moved into the game. Chilean fishermen were outraged in 2012 when the revised fisheries law gave Corpesca a permanent quota for 20 per cent of the squid catch. “Other species have collapsed so these ships and technology are being applied to squid,” Mr Fuentes says. “Squid is becoming a new option.” Read the article, click here 13:57

Greenpeace criticises fishing monitor’s connections with industry

Environmental campaigners Greenpeace will take a complaint to the Auditor General after discovering the company responsible for monitoring large chunks of the fishing industry is wholly owned by the industry’s biggest lobby group. The company, named FishServe, has been contracted by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) for the last 20 years to monitor overfishing, take catch reports, manage quotas and decide on licences. A Greenpeace investigation found the company is not only owned by the industry group Seafood New Zealand, but it operates from the same office and shares staff. The revelations follow a series of controversies last year about fish dumping going unprosecuted, and a contract for camera-monitoring also being given to an industry-owned company. continue reading the story here 09:26

Maritime NZ has a ‘moral obligation’ to act over old boats going to Pacific, industry says

Maritime NZ is failing in its “moral obligation” to ensure old fishing boats leaving our ports are safe, industry groups say. Stuff revealed last week, click here (Where Boats Go To Die) how Tongans have been buying up old fishing trawlers with Government loans, re-flagging them, and sailing them home with no inspections by New Zealand authorities. Some have broken down and one was later abandoned at sea after a dramatic rescue, leaving the uninsured owner with no way of paying back his loan.,, “It’s our reputation that’s on the line…never mind all the other ethical issues that go alongside it. Read the story here 10:23

Angry Fishermen protest Gillnet ban, shrimp boycott in upper Sea of Cortés

Fishermen in the upper Sea of Cortés, caught in the middle of efforts to protect a species of porpoise that is on the verge of extinction, faced off against environmentalists this week, protesting their presence in the area and their support for a boycott of Mexican shrimp. Protests in Golfo de Santa Clara, Sonora, and San Felipe, Baja California, were triggered by a call two weeks ago by United States conservation organizations for the shrimp boycott, followed by a proposal last week from Mexican officials to shut down gillnet fishing in the region. What is now “a pressure cooker,” said area fishermen, threatens to become a bomb because the gillnet ban would represent the final blow for local communities. continue reading the story here 17:21

Are Spanish trawlers in Cornwall ‘getting landing figures up’ so they can claim link to UK during Brexit talks?

It could be just a coincidence but the arrival of what are understood to be Spanish trawlers in Cornwall has left some wondering if something fishy is going on. Within hours of the government triggering Article 50 the boats were landing their catch in the Cornish harbour of Newlyn for the first time in years. The suspicion amongst some in the fishing community is that these boats, which sail under a British Flag but are part of the Spanish fleet, are “getting the landing figures up so they can claim an economic link to the UK during Brexit talks”. read the rest, click here 18:09

Fishing boat runs aground in Dumfries and Galloway

Five men had to be rescued after a fishing boat ran aground near Kirkcudbright. The stranded commercial vessel hit land within metres of the town’s lifeboat station during the night. The Irish registered scallop dredger was taking on water after hitting the rocks and had sent a distress signal around 1am. A Marine and Coastguard Agency spokeswoman said: “Just after 1am today (31 March) UK Coastguard received a VHF radio call from a fishing vessel reporting they were taking on water at Kirkcudbright Bay. “The vessel with five persons on board had run aground close to the Kirkcudbright Lifeboat Station and hit rocks before it started taking on water. More images, read the rest here 09:17

Four-year investigation fails to find cause of ship fire off Canterbury coast

A four year inquiry into a fire that ripped through a ship off the Canterbury coast, forcing dozens of crew members into lifeboats, has failed to establish “with any certainty” how it started. On Thursday, the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) released a report into the blaze, which turned the fishing factory freezer trawler Amaltal Columbia into “a fireball from the bow to the stern” in 2012. The 41 crew on board were ordered to abandon ship, 85 kilometres northeast of the Lyttelton heads, after exhausting their air tanks battling the inferno. The fire broke out about 5am on September 12, 2012, in the fishmeal bagging room on the fish processing deck. continue reading the story here 11:25

Commercial Fisherman Releases 30 Tonnes Of Mackerel To Save Dolphins Trapped In Nets

“The crew were determined not to hurt the dolphins in any way if at all possible and they set about trying to free them by lowering the sides of the net,” said Fiona MacMillan, general manager of fishing company Sanford Ltd. “Unfortunately this did not encourage the dolphins to swim out, so the skipper faced a tough choice at that point. “He either took further steps to try and free the dolphins and risk losing the catch of 30 tonnes of jack mackerel, or he faced the prospect of killing the dolphins. “He believed that his first priority was to try to save the dolphins, so he made the decision to release one at end of the net near the bow and that enabled all the dolphins to swim away, totally unharmed. In the process all the jack mackerel accidentally escaped too.” While 30 tonnes of fish is a potentially significant financial loss, Fiona said Sanford’s focus was on sustainability. link 10:45

Fish plant fined in court for tampering with weighing scales

A Donegal fish processing plant which was found to be tampering with its weighing scales has been fined a total of €45,000. Killybegs based Norfish Ltd and director Tony Byrne were convicted at Donegal Circuit Court. Byrne of Roshin Road, Killybegs was given a six-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay €10,000 to a local hospice and a further €10,000 to the Donegal Branch of the RNLI. Norfish Ltd was given three months to pay a €25,000 fine. This prosecution followed a joint investigation by the NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland) and the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA). They found an electrical switch fitted to the company’s flow scales used to weigh incoming fish catches. It could be used to turn off the scales, allowing the fish to pass over without being weighed. read the rest click here 11:27

Mexican fishermen burn boat, demand environmentalists out

Dozens of fishermen have burned a boat as part of a threat to force out a ship operated by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Mexico’s Gulf of California. Sea Shepherd has been removing illegal and abandoned nets that endanger the vaquita, the world’s smallest porpoise. Fishermen in the town of San Felipe painted the name of the Sea Shepherd on an empty, open fishing boat they burned Sunday. They threatened to remove the conservationists’ ship themselves if the government doesn’t. “Just as they are judging us fishermen, we will judge all the environmentalists,” said Sunshine Rodriguez, a leader of the local fishing cooperative in San Felipe, Baja California. “We aren’t going to just sit around.” A speaker at Sunday’s protest — which drew hundreds of onlookers and supporters at San Felipe’s main waterfront boulevard— said over a loudspeaker, “I’m giving them (the government) five days to get this boat out of our territorial waters, or we will do it ourselves. Read the story here 17:03

Small – but packs a punch!

It isn’t often that a 15 metre fishing boat hits the industry headlines but the launching in Norway last month of the TA Senior has certainly grabbed everyone’s attention. While dimensions of 15m in length with an 8m beam may not be every fisherman’s preference, in this particular case it works and combines to produce an extremely versatile and hardy vessel fit for operating in a diverse range of fisheries. While the biggest claim to fame in recent times from the Stadyard shipyard, located at Raudeberg near Måløy on Norway’s west coast, may be the production of the eye-catching 70m purse seiner/pelagic vessel Torbas two years ago (now the Faroese Høgaberg), it is the latest building of TA Senior for Akkarfjord fisherman Morten Ingebrigtsen in Finnmark that has again brought this yard into the limelight. continue reading the article here 11:43

Where Boats Go To Die

He wakes in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, his mind going back to the day he lost everything. He grabs his daughter’s tablet and watches the video for the hundredth time. Shot from the deck of the German cruise liner Albatros, it shows his stricken trawler, the Losemani Fo’ou, being rescued by one of the ship’s life boats.A Tongan crewman ends up in the sea; another’s head is split open. Vailele Taukitoku had bought the trawler for $83,000 from New Zealand four months earlier – he never saw it again. He and five crew had been fishing for snapper several hundred kilometres south of Tonga when they discovered the alternator belt was loose and both banks of batteries were dead. continue reading the story here. Big Read! 21:42

Will Brexit bring boost to King’s Lynn, Yarmouth and Lowestoft – or will fishing industry be sold down the river?

While the sun shone down on the shrimp boats, there were big clouds on the horizon for King’s Lynn’s fishing fleet and what few vessels still manage to steer their way through the murky waters of EU fisheries policy. As fishermen met politicians to discuss lobbying for a better deal post Brexit, some Lynn boats were fuelling up to sail down to the English Channel to fish, because they have no quota to catch from their home port. Others have already steamed through an estuary full of shellfish on their way to fish for scallops off Yorkshire, because they have no quota in The Wash. The same issues affect every fishing port around our coast, from Wells Quay and Sheringham, to Yarmouth and Lowestoft. continue reading the story here 10:31

Shark Fins: Waste or Resource?

An article in the St. Augustine Record caught my eye on social media this week. Viewed as a winter resident of Florida the headline was quite shocking, especially since I have many times seen sharks hauled ashore by surf-fishing tourists and subsequently abused. By abuse I mean leaving the animal in the sand while relatives run to find cameras to record the grisly images for bragging rights, not at all concerned about the suffering of the shark and/or the fact that it needs water to be able to “breathe.” The header in the Record was even more worrisome: “Sale and trade of shark fins to continue in Florida, despite threat to ecosystem, tourism.” The Boston Globe-credited-photo leading the post was worse. continue reading the story here 14:17

Tag from famous fishing boat washes up in Fanore

A tag, believed to be from one of the Hannah Boden’s lobster pots, has travelled up to 5,000 kilometres across the North Atlantic to where it washed up on Fanore Beach on March 14th. The discovery was made by avid beach comber Liam McNamara who also made contact with the crew of the Hannah Boden to check its authenticity. Liam said: “The is a great beachcombers find and a very cool story indeed. I was walking on Fanore beach last Tuesday and saw it wrapped in seaweed. I know what it was straight away has I had seen the film. It is in fact a tag from the now very famous New England boat, the Hannah Boden, which survived “The Perfect Storm” of 1991 while her sister boat the Andrea Gail which was lost at sea with all hands during the same storm,” he said. read the story here 10:28

Forearm-sized prawn caught in Gulf of Carpentaria

A photo of the prawn sent to the ABC by Kai Thomas has generated plenty of interest on social media this week, with fishermen comparing their biggest catches. Austral Fisheries northern division manager Andrew Prendergast said it was rare to catch a prawn weighing 300g. “That’s a pretty significant prawn,” Mr Prendergast said “They’re not a target species of ours. We catch them incidentally and they’re generally always bigger than the grooved or brown tigers.” Mr Prendergast said he had never caught a prawn bigger than 300g, but he had seen one. “I do remember seeing something in the Australian fish management fishing magazine about one that was caught in the gulf, just under 400g,” he said. continue reading the article here 10:10

Push to investigate land-based salmon farming option for expanding Tasmanian industry

Tasmania’s Shooters and Fishers Party is pushing for land-based salmon farming, saying the move would silence the industry’s critics. The party believes with the industry’s projected dramatic expansion, and a growing groundswell of concern from the fishing community, it was time to consider options other than ocean pens. Vice-chairman Ken Orr said land-based salmon farming was being introduced around the world, including in the United States, Denmark, and on the Chinese-Mongolian border. He said the practice would eliminate uncertainty and many of the ocean open-cage controversies plaguing the industry in Tasmania. “You don’t have the issues with anyone saying that you’re trashing the environment,” Mr Orr said. “You don’t have the seal issues, you don’t have the sea lice and freshwater bathing, you don’t have the issues with escaped salmon.” Read the article here 17:24

Brexit Allows Us To Solve This Haddock Conservation Problem By Leaving The CFP

It would be terribly wrong to compare the European Union to any of the mid-20th century unpleasantnesses in Europe like fascism and the rise of the Nazis but it is true that that peaceful economic arrangement has managed something that total war did not, the rationing of fish and chips in Britain. For it is actually true that said fish and chips never was rationed. Even when the Kreigsmarine was trying to sink everything larger than a canoe which issued from Britain’s ports we still had that haddock, cod and plaice. Give it 45 years of that ever closer European union and the bureaucratic management of the Common Fisheries Policy and we’re being told that we must indeed ration our consumption:,,, It’s all there in Garret Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons. Where there’s an open access, what Hardin calls Marxian, resource, then that is just fine. If the regeneration capacity is greater than the annual demand, then all who want can have simply by taking. (See where this is going?) continue reading the article here 14:50

Fishing industry rattled as white spot disease breaks barriers

It was the outbreak they were expecting, but hoping would never come to pass. Concern and uncertainty seem to the prevailing moods amongst the Queensland commercial fishing industry, reeling from this week’s news that white spot disease had broken it’s containment in the Logan River and been detected in Moreton Bay. There’s also considerable frustration amongst members of the Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA), many of whom predicted the outbreak was a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’. “It definitely hasn’t been a good week for us,” says QSIA’s CEO Eric Perez. “There’s certainly a lot of concern about the impact this will have on the industry here, as well as the knock-on effects this will have on the wider community.” There appears to be no immediate threat to fisheries in the Gympie and Cooloola Cove regions, but tests are ongoing just to determine how far the disease has spread. continue reading the story here 11:16

Marine Conservation Society fish stock downgrade branded meaningless by fishermen

The Marine Conservation Society said that two North Sea haddock fisheries are now rated 4 (amber), and the other has dropped from being a “good choice” – rated 2 – to one to eat only occasionally after scientists said stock was at the point where action is now needed to increase the number of fish of breeding age. But fishermen warned that the data did not reflect the picture on the ground. Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “The fishing industry is well used to these sorts of frankly meaningless publications – it’s not so long ago that we were told that there were only 100 cod left in the North Sea. Try telling that to fishermen today who are seeing huge volumes of large cod on the grounds. Read the story here 11:48

Fears for prawn industry grow after white spot found in Moreton Bay

The ban on movement of uncooked prawns and crustaceans outside a new control zone could lead to cheaper seafood for south-east Queenslanders. Uncooked products will not be allowed to leave the area, which includes Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Moreton Bay, but they can be sold within the area. The movement order, effective immediately, includes crabs, prawns, yabbies, Moreton Bay bugs and marine worms. It comes after positive test results on several properties in the Logan River. Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne briefed prawn farmers, commercial fishers and others in the industry on Thursday morning, but some trawlers are still at sea and will need to be spoken to when they return. The prawns were caught within the past week at the Redcliffe Peninsula and Deception Bay, with 31 testing positive. continue reading the story here 21:52

New research at Aberdeen University has highlighted the potential size of the prize awaiting Scots fishers after Brexit

The study looked at 17 commercially key Scottish fish stocks, focusing not on how big they were, but on their distribution. Comparisons were made between the percentages of fish largely contained within the UK’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), out to 200 nautical miles, and quota allocations. For all but three of the species studied, current UK quotas are significantly below stock levels within the EEZ. And according to Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive , these results strengthen the case for the UK seizing control over its territorial waters after Brexit. “It’s not fair and it’s not right,” Mr Armstrong said at a recent meeting of the North East Scotland Fisheries Development Partnership in Aberdeen. He argued Scottish fishers were at a disadvantage under the current EU arrangements and added: “This is not a land grab or an act of aggression – these are our waters. continue reading the article here 11:00

Lifeboat called to boat hit by ‘freak wave’ off Shetland

A crab fishing boat with eight crew on board lost power after it was struck by a large wave 40 miles (64.3 km) north west of Sumburgh in Shetland. The wave that hit the Edward Henry on Tuesday night broke windows and swept the boat’s skipper, Piotr Wrublennski, across the inside of the wheelhouse. Mr Wrublennski said the “freak wave” knocked out electronic devices. The skipper was able to alert the coastguard and Aith Lifeboat was launched to go to the aid of the boat. It was possible to start the engine again and the Edward Henry arrived in Scalloway at 07:00 on Wednesday for repairs. continue reading the story here 13:00

We Are Not Pirates, Just Hard Working Fishermen Holding Oil Tanker Crew Hostage For Money

The hijackers who seized an oil tanker and its eight-man crew off Somalia are demanding “compensation” for a rise in illegal fishing in Somali waters. VOA’s Somali service spoke by phone to one of the hijackers Tuesday, a day after men boarded and seized the ship about 30 kilometers off the Somali coast, then anchored off Alula, a town in Somalia’s Puntland region. The hijacker said seven men took part in the raid. He asserted that he and his colleagues are fishermen, not pirates. “We have decided, as local fishermen, to resist illegal fishing. We have taken arms to defend ourselves, and we will continue,” said the man, who declined to give his name and did not suggest any dollar figures. continue reading the story here 18:11

Crew member fights for life as 3 still missing in Irish Coast Guard helicoper

Hopes are fading for the survival of four crew members of an Irish Coast Guard helicopter missing off the west of Ireland, the head of the rescue service said. One crew member was pulled from the Atlantic, in a critical condition, as an intense search continued for three others off the Co Mayo coast – around six miles (10km) west of Blacksod. The Dublin-based Sikorsky S92, which was providing cover for another helicopter involved in an early-morning rescue operation, lost contact at around 1am on Tuesday. Eugene Clonan, acting director of the Irish Coast Guard, confirmed the crew member found in the water at around 7am is fighting for their life. “We don’t hold out much hope for that person,” he said. “And indeed, at this particular point in time, hopes are fading of finding the remainder of the crew.” continue reading the story here 10:16

EU snow crab fishermen illicitly expelled from Barents Sea and Svalbard

Approximately 19 large boats from several EU countries remain tied up in port out of fear of being arrested for fishing snow crab in the Barents Sea and Svalbard waters. This is due to some being arrested by the Norwegian authorities who refuse to recognise the legitimate right of EU vessels to sustainable and legally operate in this specific area. Despite EU vessels being authorised to fish for snow crab in the Barents Sea and Svalbard waters since 2013, a recent Norwegian court ruling has declared Norwegian restrictions illegitimate and contrary to the international obligations undertaken by Norway. Javier Garat, president of Europêche, explained: “The legal fishery conducted by EU fishermen has been harshly interrupted, forcing EU authorised crabber vessels to remain at ports, while Norwegian vessels continue catching snow crab.” continue reading the story here 09:16

Shrimp fishermen facing catch crisis

Shrimp fishermen in parts of  northern Norway are reporting their worst winter ever, with catches down by  between  50 and 75 per cent. Some say that if the situation continues they may be forced to sell their vessels and turn to  something new. It is not just Norway which has problems. Some areas on the north east coast of Canada are also reporting a sharp decline in shrimp stocks. One prawn fisherman Lynne Prudence Sjåvik , based in Helgeand region, told the northern office of the state broadcaster NRK  that for every year that passes the situation just seems to he get worse. Read the rest of the story here 11:25

WA’s scallop quota doubled after stock recovery

The quota for WA’s commercial scallop fishery has almost doubled this season, due to a recovery of stocks after a marine heatwave in 2010/11. Fishermen will be able to take 330 tonnes in 2017, compared to 166 tonnes last season. Department of Fisheries principal scientist Mervi Kangas said the speed of recovery in the Shark Bay fishery had quickened.”The stocks are recovering. Denham Sound, which was the key area where most of the scallop take came from, has actually recovered,” Ms Kangas said. “The northern part of Shark Bay is still recovering, but it is improving each year.” continue reading the story here 19:57

Canada’s trade minister promises Brits cut-price lobster and maple syrup if free trade deal follows Brexit

Francois Philippe Champagne said he hoped the UK copied the free trade deal agreed between his country and the EU when it strikes out alone. And he revealed he had met Trade Secretary Liam Fox three times to discuss future relationships. He said a deal would mean “more and better choice for consumers”. He said: “A company in Wales is importing maple syrup from Canada and paying an 8 per cent import duty.” “That duty would go down to 0 per cent if there is a free trade deal. “If you’re in the UK and love Canadian lobster, you have an import duty of up to 25 percent today. “On day one that would go down to zero.” Link 09:06