Category Archives: International News

NPFMC meets online to resolve halibut issues

Federal fisheries managers met online in mid-May to approve emergency action necessitated by the impact of the novel coronavirus,, The session, announced in late April, allowed for harvests, processors and other fishing industry entities until one day in advance of the May 15 meeting to submit written comments through links on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s agenda on five emergency requests. Those requests ranged from allowing all holders of individual fishing quota to make temporary transfers of that quota to eligible hired masters during the pandemic to increasing IFQ end-of-year rollover provisions. The council approved the transfer for the rest of the 2020 season for quota shares owned by all halibut and sablefish IFQ holders, based on a request from 11 industry leaders. The council also recommended to the International Pacific Halibut Commission, a request from the halibut charter industry,,,>click to read< 18:34

Here’s What Cast Members of ‘Wicked Tuna’ Make per Episode

The Wicked Tuna cast members’ salaries look a whole lot different than when the show kicked off back in 2012. And crew and deckhands always make far less than captains, or crew members who have risen to stardom either because the network saw potential, or their personalities stood out for TV. When it first aired, the crew reportedly pulled in between $2,000 and $3,000 per boat, per episode, separate from whatever fish they hauled in. As of 2019, that figure was up to $10,000 per episode — but some of the longstanding series stars may make up to $100,000 per show. >click to read< 17:46

This is very cool! Happy Birthday! Celebrate the Lobster Lady’s 100th birthday on TV

The Rockland Historical Society will bring its June program to everyone at home this year. The program will be a documentary film, “The Lobster Lady,” based on the lifelong career of Virginia Oliver who started lobstering with her older brother when she was eight years old. Oliver will turn 100 June 6. She is, no doubt, the oldest licensed lobster fishing person in Maine and probably the World. With 92 years of experience, Oliver is looking forward to starting a new season. She lobsters with her son, 77-year-old Max Oliver. Weather permitting, they go out three times a week. Both have their own traps. Oliver has 200 traps of her own. >click to read< 12:05

Alaska: Commercial fishermen struggle in coronavirus pandemic

“We tied the boat up, hoping and waiting for things to stabilize a little bit,” said Jim Hubbard, who has been commercial fishing for nearly 50 years. Hubbard’s vessel, Kruzof, has been docked for two months during the coronavirus pandemic. With many restaurants shut down or operating at a limited capacity, it wasn’t worth it to fish. “We learned that about 80% of our seafood goes to the restaurant trade and the species we target, more the commodity-based fish species. It’s really basically gutted our markets,” Hubbard said. “We’re not making money, tourist people aren’t making money, the restaurants aren’t making money, and it just keeps going down,” said Cory Harris. Harris owns the F/V Tribute and just returned to Seward from a recent fishing venture. He wants to make whatever money he can even if the prices aren’t great. >click to read< 11:05

Ireland: Warning fishing industry is on brink of collapse due to lack of Coronavirus support

Ireland’s €1.2 billion fishing industry is on the brink of collapse, according to industry representatives who say it has been decimated by the collapse in domestic and EU markets since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. But they also say the government’s lack of appropriate help could prove to be the final nail in the coffin. The representatives point to the fact that Agriculture Minister Michael Creed recently announced more money for harbour repairs than for packages to help fishermen and women. They also say a scheme he announced last week to help pay the costs of boats that can’t fish because of the crisis is “not fit for purpose”. >click to read< 10:25

Two survivors of 42 days adrift at sea struggle to return home to Marshall Islands

Two Marshallese men who survived a six-week, 1,640km drift are well and awaiting their return home from Weno, an island in Micronesia. A third man, who was in the boat when it left Marshall Islands on April 2, reportedly jumped into the sea 17 days into the 42-day open ocean drift. Earlier this week, the Micronesian government’s patrol vessel transported the two men from isolated Namoluk Atoll to Weno for medical check ups. “The sea was rough and my husband kept telling Junior to remain on the boat, but he jumped from the front end of the boat,” she said of her phone call. >click to read< 08:42

After two weeks, the Coast Guard, and good Samaritan rescue 2 men – presumed lost at sea

The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan rescued two fishermen, Monday, who were presumed lost at sea, 23 miles northeast of Cat Island, Bahamas. Rescued were Domingo Jimenez, 45, and Ramon Castillo, 29, both from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Coast Guard Sector San Juan watchstanders received a report from the good Samaritan vessel Signet Intruder crew reporting they were flagged down by two people in a vessel, who reported to have been adrift for approximately two weeks. The watchstanders directed the launch of an OPBAT Jayhawk helicopter crew to assist. “These two men were presumed lost at sea but were found and safely rescued because a good Samaritan spotted them,” Video, >click to read< 18:48

Buyers setting catch limits, processors struggle with labour shortages, ‘Lots of lobster, but we can’t bring them in’

“Pretty good catches so far. But almost everybody’s on a quota right now,” said Gerard Whalen, a long-time fisherman in Naufrage in eastern P.E.I. “We’re seeing lots of lobster, but we can’t bring them in.” “We just can’t get rid of them,” added Lucas Lesperance, who docks a few boats down from Whalen. Lesperance said he’s pulled up about 1,000 pounds of lobster some days, but his buyer has only been accepting 600-700 pounds.  According to P.E.I.’s Seafood Processors Association, that is the big problem across the industry. Executive director Jerry Gavin said Island processing plants — which rely heavily on temporary foreign workers — are about 200 workers short this season. >click to read< 17:23

Still slow going for Copper River opener, remains closed at least through Monday, May 25

Opening harvests of the 2020 Copper River commercial fishery, complicated by effort to keep the COVID-19 pandemic at bay, got off to a slow start for the first two 12-hour openers. The overall catch of Chinook and sockeye salmon came in way below forecast. The first two 12-hour periods brought processors an estimated 6,025 sockeyes and 3,255 king salmon, Copper River commercial fishery biologists said. The 372 deliveries from the first opener on May 14 included just 1,473 sockeyes and 1,552 Chinooks. Then on May 18, there were 412 deliveries, with 4,552 sockeyes and 1,703 Chinooks. The projected harvest for the second period alone had included 28,590 reds. >click to read< 16:16

State of Maine: Lobstermen are feeling the pinch

Maine lobstermen are in a world of hurt, caught in a two-pronged assault on their livelihood. The pincer claw is the pandemic, causing their market to collapse. The crusher claw? That would be the latest lawsuit over whale rules.,, Even the elders in the fishing community are rattled. They are usually the ones who face fluctuations in the market with zen-like calm. It’s been down before, they say, and it will come back. Every year is not going to be a record-breaker. This time they’re worried. Younger fishermen who have gotten accustomed to record catches every year have taken on significant debt (bigger boats, newer trucks) and are freaking out. Jill Goldthwait >click to read< 11:09

Unsung Heroes: Austie Bourke – The fight for survival

Murrisk Harbour, where Austie Bourke left in 1947 on a journey which saw him and two others lost at sea for three weeks before being miraciously found alive off the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. Several people tried to break the news to Maria Bourke but she was having none of it. Her husband was surely dead, they tried to gently tell her. Lost at sea for three weeks, he could not have survived. It was past the stage for them of hoping he would be found alive and slimmer by the day were the chances of even finding a body. But nobody knew Austin ‘Austie’ Bourke like Maria and her faith in him was not founded in denial; rather it was rooted in her knowledge of him always returning to his beloved Murrisk during a lifetime of peril at sea. “No storm could beat my husband,” she insisted, 73 years ago this month. Maria Bourke was right. >click to read< 10:03

For troubled Outer Banks commercial fishing industry, Coronavirus is one more blow. Louisiana, too.

At the state and federal level, increasing regulatory requirements and catch quotas, fueled in part by aggressive lobbying of elected officials by the well-funded recreational fishing industry, have caused even more commercial fishermen to leave the industry. And now COVID-19 strikes another blow to the solar plexus of an industry that, no pun intended, can barely keep its collective heads above water. And interviews with two local operations — of distinctly different sizes — help shed light on how the COVID crisis has affected the Outer Banks’ commercial fisheries. Mark Vrablic of the Willie R Etheridge Seafood Company, one of the last remaining large-scale seafood distributors in Wanchese, minced no words when he described the losses created by the worldwide pandemic.  >click to read< 19:15

Shrimp industry in Louisiana hit hard by Coronavirus pandemic – Shrimp processors are shut down and the baskets that are usually filled are empty. Brown shrimp season started on Monday, and so far it hasn’t been good. “Absolutely terrible, last year I had 42 boats going out during brown shrimp season, this year I only have 9 boats,” said Craig Napoli, C&A Seafood. >click to read<

UPDATED – New Brunswick: ‘This is terrible’, Val-Comeau seafood processing plant goes up in flames

A seafood processing plant in northeastern New Brunswick has gone up in flames Thursday afternoon. A plume of thick black smoke could be seen coming from Les Pêcheries de Chez Nous facility in Val-Comeau, a small coastal community now part of the regional municipality of Tracadie. Emmaneul Moyen, a representative of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union, told Radio-Canada it’s devastating news. He said about 100 local fishermen sell their catch to the plant, which had been operating at full capacity. “We are probably talking about 250 workers,” he said. >click to read the updated story< 16:47

‘Seasickness covers you like a shawl’ — my week on a Cornish trawler learning to fish

Though I set my alarm for 5.45am for this, my first morning on the Filadelfia, I sleep right through and rouse to find it is 9am and I am alone in the cabin. I can still feel seasickness menacing somewhere about my person. And so, though I hate the way it muffles my senses, I take another pill before scrambling up the ladder to join the men upstairs. I enter the galley to multiple jeers of: “Nice lie in?” and: “Get your beauty sleep?” Since everyone is seated about the table, I gather I must have woken up just after the Fishwife Call, when whoever is on watch puts the kettle on, makes mugs of coffee and then heads down to wake up the snoozing crew for the next haul. >click to read< 10:16

From Sea to Shining Recipe – Home Chefs Step Up Retail to Replace a Bit of Restaurant Deficit

Just 25 hours after Nantucket scallops were dredged and loaded from Georges Bank, they glistened like treasure at Viking Village in Barnegat Light. Aboard the 97-foot Kathy Ann, Capt. Cory Karch, mate Todd DeVito and crew had brought back dinner by the boatload on a recent Sunday to be packed out at the dock. “There is good demand, and the demand is coming from the retail mostly,” reported dock General Manager Ernie Panacek. Dining at home has turned into a pastime. “People are realizing that they can cook their own, and seafood is very easy to prepare.” photo’s, >click to read< 08:21

Brownsville: How Coronavirus pandemic is affecting shrimp producers

About two months ago, one of Andrea Hance’s boats came in with about 10,000 pounds of shrimp. Hance said on average the price of shrimp that they get from the boat is about $5, but buyers were not willing to pay that much. “They were coming back after they told us that they were not going to bid at all, you pressure them a little bit and then they said well we’ll give you a bid, but you’re not going to like it,” said Hance. “Well we ended up selling our shrimp for $3 a pound so we lost quite a bit of money on the last trip.” These are prices that John Keil Burnell, who is one of the owners of Shrimp Outlet in Brownsville, is seeing. Video, >click to read< 16:16

DFO closes fishing area after right whales spotted in Gulf

DFO is implementing the first season-long fishing closure of the year after North Atlantic right whales were spotted in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. DFO says a cluster of eight grids in the middle of the Gulf will be closed until November 15. In a release, the department says the closure is expected to have minimal impacts on nearby fishing areas for crab, lobster and groundfish. >click to read< 14:52

‘I’m not a quitter’: lobstermen turn to kelp farming in the face of climate crisis

Back from a day of scalloping, lobsterman Bob Baines has docked his boat, the FV Thrasher, at the Spruce Head Fishermans Co-op. His sternman, David McLellan, clad in waterproof overalls like Baines, shucks the last few hauls, tossing the meats into a bucket and the shells overboard. It’s the last week of scallop season, but there is a new venture on the horizon. Baines, 64, steers the Thrasher back out toward Hewett Island on Penobscot Bay to check on the underwater kelp farm that he “planted” in December. It’s a willowy structure made up of moorings, buoys and ropes that hovers 7ft underwater and spans 1,000ft wide, like a monster cat’s cradle. Baines is among the latest of 19 veteran lobstermen along the Maine coast who are applying their hard-earned expertise to kelp farming. >click to read< 12:46

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 50′ Fiberglass Stern Trawler, 425HP Volvo Diesel, Northern Lights 12 kw Generator

To review specifications, information and 23 photos, >click here< Vessel is in good condition. To see all the boats in this series, >click here< 11:44

‘We’re open’: Alaska businesses can operate at full capacity Friday, Dunleavy says

Alaska businesses can open at full capacity on Friday and sports can resume, Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Tuesday evening. “Friday, we’re open for business across the state of Alaska,” Dunleavy said at a news conference. Alaska will enter phase three and four of the government’s five-phase reopening plan at 8 a.m. Friday. That means restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses can fully open. All churches, libraries and museums can too. Sports and recreational activities can resume, Dunleavy said. It’s the governor’s latest major lift of coronavirus-related restrictions. Previously, certain businesses could only operate at 25% to 50% capacity. “It’ll all be open, just like it was prior to the virus,” Dunleavy said. >click to read< 10:29

The Lunacy of Global Seafood Supply Chains

Like all global supply chains right now, this one feels unstable and unsustainable. Most of the seafood we eat in America, even in Gloucester, the country’s oldest seaport, comes from overseas. Most of what local fishermen catch is sent elsewhere. “The models aren’t designed to feed local and regional markets,” Tolley says. Those famous fish sticks bearing the logo of a Gloucester fisherman? By the time they reach your frozen foods section, they’ve made an exhausting global journey, exported for processing, then reimported. Nearly 500 commercial boats fished out of Gloucester a decade ago. Today, there are two dozen. This reflects both the decades-long collapse in groundfish stocks—the cod and haddock that once abounded in the cold waters off Cape Ann—and ever-more-aggressive federal measures limiting who can fish and for how much. >click to read< 09:07

Fears of corporate takeover as SA Government seeks to put quotas on fisheries

Converting commercial fishing into a quota system could leave the industry open to corporate takeover, industry stakeholders fear, as the State Government seeks to tighten the net on fisheries with major reforms. SA Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone this month outlined key goals of a $24.5 million Marine Scalefish Fishery reform package he hoped to have in place by mid-2021, which would allocate transferable quotas to commercial fishing licenses. Marine Fishers Association executive officer Gary Morgan said the industry was made up of small local fishers who supplied local markets. If allocated quotas were not large enough for them to run a viable business, he said, “the majority wouldn’t have the money to buy additional quota” and could sell up. “Already, there have been companies sniffing around wanting to buy large chunks of quota,” Mr Morgan said. >click to read< 19:08

Coronavirus: Hawaii Fishermen Are Stuck In Port As Federal Aid Falls Short

With tourism all but shut down due to Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s 14-day quarantine and restaurant service reduced to takeout for social distancing purposes, there’s less demand for fish. Prices have dwindled to the point where going out on the water can be more expensive for fishermen than the price of the catch coming in. State and federal governments have done little to help out, despite the fact that fish are a critical source of protein for the islands’ residents. “We are the largest food producing industry in the state by a tremendous margin,” said Michael Goto, who’s the auction manager for United Fishing Agency in Honolulu. “If we saw a complete shutdown of fishing effort that would be devastating.” >click to read< 16:23

Economic storm brews over Newfoundland and Labrador

Crab season in this part of Newfoundland and Labrador normally starts at the end of April and has always marked the beginning of the fishing calendar in a place where work is still tied to the bounty of the sea. But now that their crab pots are in the water, the crews aren’t sure if they can collect them. The pandemic has cut the price of crab in half, and fishermen are worried about confrontations at the wharf with larger boat operators who can’t afford to go to sea with such deflated prices. “It looks like when someone has died and you’re just waiting around to see what’s going to happen. As oil prices have collapsed, so have revenues from key industries such as tourism, forestry, mining and the fishery because of the continuing COVID-19 fallout. Personal income and sales tax streams have shriveled. The pandemic also shut down megaprojects such as the Voisey’s Bay mine and the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam, and closed the province’s only oil refinery. Future offshore projects, including the $6.8-billion deep-water Bay du Nord oil field, have been put on hold. >click to read< 14:58

Always Top Quality! Your Seafreeze Ltd. Price Sheet for May 2020 Has Arrived!

Contact our sales team today! To review the complete price list from Seafreeze Ltd., >Click here< – “The only thing we treat our fish with, is respect” Seafreeze Ltd! >Click here< to visit our website! 10:43

Japan: A Fisherman in the Time of the Coronavirus

This coronavirus is unbelievable. Nobody’s catching any fish in Japan, but even so, they’re selling for next to nothing. I’m a fisherman from a village in Miyagi Prefecture. Every day you hear reports that Japan’s “entering a crucial stage in the fight against COVID-19.” It’s the same for the fishing industry. Of course, we’re taking the same actions as everyone else against the coronavirus, but we have our own problems too: meager hauls and plummeting fish prices. I make all sorts of seasonal catches through the year—mainly autumn chum salmon, but also conger eels, Pacific cod, red sea bream, olive flounders, sea squirts, Kinka mackerel, Spanish mackerel, common octopuses, giant Pacific octopuses, crabs . . . in fact, so many I can’t write them all down. These are really fertile fishing grounds. Or maybe I should say they were really fertile fishing grounds. >click to read< 09:37

Our latest lobster boat: Force of Nature

Completed in late April 2020, some 12 months after contracts were signed, Force of Nature is a 22.4 metre Southerly Designs monohull which, like other recent Dongara Marine fishing and pilot boat newbuilds, combines an aluminium hull with a composite superstructure. The new boat is an upgrade from Perham’s current vessel, the 17.1 metre Conquest 55 Natural Selection, which was built for him by Sea Chrome Marine in 1994 and which Perham is selling to make way for Force of Nature.,, “When Natural Selection was built it was pretty much the average size crayboat, perhaps slightly above average if anything. In the 1990s only a handful of new boats, maybe one in every 20, were over 70 feet. Now that’s the average size for new Australian high speed lobster boats, and in fact its more like 75 feet for the Western Australian fishery. photo’s, video, >click to read< 14:29

PGS to Acquire Three Seismic Surveys for Eastern Canada in 2020

PGS’ new Blomidon, South Bank, and Torngat Extension GeoStreamer surveys are all supported by industry funding. Together they will cover approximately 10 000 sq. km offshore Labrador and Newfoundland. The three new PGS marine seismic surveys will be acquired by the Ramform Atlas and Ramform Titan between early June and early September 2020. PGS will deliver fast-track results in 2020, and final imaging and interpretation products in early 2021. >click to read< 12:48

‘Baboom!’ St. Jude returns with 48 tons of tuna and no restaurant market thanks to coronavirus so they are selling it at Seattle’s docks

When the tuna boat St. Jude motored out of Anacortes in November for fishing grounds 5,000 miles away in the South Pacific, few people outside of microbiology labs had ever heard the word “coronavirus.” By the time the 95-foot vessel docked in Seattle this month, the microbe had shaken the entire world and turned the seafood business upside down. “Baboom!” said owner and captain Joe Malley, who returned from the six-month voyage to find the primary market for his high-quality albacore had vanished. “Who could have anticipated this?” >click to read< 11:19

‘I Don’t Know if We Will Make It’: Fishing Industry Takes a Huge Hit from Coronavirus

Commercial fishing is one of the many industries suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s led to a dramatically shrinking market for seafood as restaurants either close or have converted to takeout, and consumers stay home. It’s a quiet scene these days at L.D. Amory & Co. in Hampton, Va. The normally bustling wholesale seafood packer is struggling. “About 80 percent of the product we pack here ends up in restaurants,” Meade Amory, vice president of the company, told CBN News. “And so far we have no markets for our products right now, and it’s been very difficult.” Video, >click to read< 10:34