Category Archives: International News

Coronavirus: Dillingham urges governor to close Bristol Bay fishery to protect the community

The City of Dillingham and the Curyung Tribal Council wrote a strongly worded letter to Governor Mike Dunleavy Monday urging him to consider closing Bristol Bay’s massive commercial fishery to protect the community from the coronavirus pandemic. Bristol Bay’s summer fishing season brings with it an influx of thousands of fishermen and processor workers into small communities around the region. The sockeye fishery is the largest in the world. Last year its preliminary ex-vessel value was the highest ever, at $306 million. In the letter, the tribe and the city said that there was no way to limit the communities’ exposure to the virus, even with the current requirement for processors to submit quarantine plans for their workers. >click to read< 17:05

How Effective Have China’s Agricultural and Seafood Tariffs Been?

There is a case that viruses (bird flu, swine fever, and now the coronavirus) have had almost as big an impact on Chinese-American agricultural trade as the trade war. (And more than most want to know on trade in crustaceans) The actual impact of the tariff though isn’t always quite as clear as many think, Take chicken feet (or chicken paws). Guess what really led to a fall in U.S. exports of chicken paws? Bird Flu. There may be a lesson there. Now consider one of the more prominent—at least judging by the press coverage—industries that has been hit by Chinese retaliatory tariffs in the recent trade war: lobster. But there are, in fact, markets other than China for U.S. lobsters, and suppliers other than the United States for China. Given the large two-way trade in lobsters between the United States and Canada,,, >click to read< 16:21

Coronavirus: Bristol Bay community leaders lay out minimum protocol needed to allow salmon season

Leaders of several major community organizations in Bristol Bay have issued a list of minimum protocols they expect to be in place before the commercial salmon fishery can take place this summer. Among other the protocol listed, fishermen and other seasonal workers would undergo a physical exam including a COVID-19 test with a negative result no more than 48 hours before traveling to the region. After arriving in Bristol Bay, the individuals would be transported to a quarantine location and remain in quarantine until a follow-up negative COVID-19 test is confirmed. The leaders listed out other expectations, including weekly health screenings, for the seafood industry to establish as minimum protocol for the 2020 season. >click to read< 11:12

Coronavirus: Rhode Island’s commercial fishery and aquaculture industry hit hard

Until the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rhode Island aquaculture industry had been expanding. In 2019, the the total value of shellfish crops was $5.8 million and the industry employed about 200 people. Coastal Resources Management Council Aquaculture and Fisheries Coordinator David Beutel said the consequences of the evaporation of the major markets for shellfish are now being felt at all levels of the industry. “They can’t sell product because most of it goes to restaurants,” he said.  The fin fishery is also suffering. Christopher Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island Commercial Fishermen’s Association, said the impact varied according to vessel size and catch. Social distancing is difficult, if not impossible, on a boat. >click to read< 10:17

Coronavirus: Fed temporarily waves at-sea observer requirement on Canadian fishing vessels

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) says the at-sea monitoring program poses a public health risk for both observers and crews on board. An order immediately suspending at-sea observer coverage was signed by federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan on April 2 and will remain in effect for 45 days. Some inshore fisheries in Canada do not require at-sea observers, but they are now routinely present on larger vessels as a licensing condition in many Canadian fisheries. Fishing companies pick up the cost of the observers, who collect scientific data and monitor fishing activity and compliance with the rules. >click to read< 07:21

Coronavirus: Lunenburg lobster boat captain sells directly to consumers to stay afloat

It was shaping up to be one of Gail Atkinson’s best seasons ever, but then COVID-19 struck and the Lunenburg, N.S., lobster fisher had to get creative. Atkinson, who captains the Nellie Row, decided to keep her traps in the water even as prices plummeted. Now, she not only catches lobster, she also delivers it to customers in the Lunenburg area.,,, Atkinson is selling lobster for $8 a pound at the wharf and offering “contactless” delivery for customers near Lunenburg.,, Stephen Bond, co-chair of the Lobster Fishery Area 33 advisory committee, is taking the opposite approach. He applauds what Atkinson is doing, but said it’s not feasible for him given the size of his boat and crew. “There’s the select few, I’ll call them, that are able to follow Gail’s model or a smaller business model working with some of the local community, but it certainly doesn’t cover off the market that we’re missing,” >click to read< 19:55

Fishermen across the East say their industry’s on a knife edge due to Coronavirus crisis

At Leigh on Sea in Essex, fisherman Paul Gibson says he’s experienced several challenges over the years, none of which amount to this scale. “The fishing industry is in absolute turmoil, ports have closed because of lack of demand, getting fish to supermarkets or to the continent where in the South East most of our fish goes, the markets have stopped.” Covid-19 follows years of decline in the industry here in the East, but now it could be fatal. Video, photo, >click to read< 16:27

Coronavirus impacts New England seafood industry as wholesale demand fades

The spread of the coronavirus has upended the seafood industry as restaurants close, fishermen tie up their boats and even big-money catches like lobster see lower demand, industry leaders say. Robert Nagle, vice president of Boston-based seafood wholesaler John Nagle Co., said the industry is trying to do all that it can as more fishing boats are tying up because of a decrease in demand. “If a boat can’t get enough money, they can’t pay their bills, they can’t pay their crews, the boat is not viable,” Nagle said. Live lobsters, which are usually sold to restaurants and exported around the world, have been essentially shut down with no one to buy catches, Nagle said. >click to read< 12:03

PLBs and EPIRBs: Marine Safety Specialists Join Forces to Raise Beacon Awareness on ‘406Day’

UK marine safety specialists Ocean Signal and Ocean Safety are issuing important advice to boat owners about the benefits and responsibilities of owning a 406 MHz beacon on ‘406Day’ (#406Day20) today, Monday, April 6th.,, As leading suppliers of PLBs and EPIRBs, Ocean Signal and its distributor Ocean Safety have joined forces to raise awareness about the life-saving technology and to highlight safety checks and procedures for beacons as boaters prepare for the season. The annual day was initiated by Ocean Signal’s sister company, Florida-based ACR Electronics, eight years ago to help people understand how to register, use and maintain their beacons correctly. >click to read< 11:12

Coronavirus: Eat More Fish! Shoppers urged to support UK fishermen as export markets dry up

With the export markets to Europe and China ruined, restaurants and chippies closed, hospitality shut down and many supermarkets not staffing their fish counters, skippers have decided to keep their vessels tied up. But some are still going out to fish, and more of what they catch is available online or being sold door-to-door.,,, “Groups of fishermen around the UK are setting up websites so they can sell locally landed fish straight to local fishmongers or to households and we’re seeing an increase in the use of fish vans which makes it easier for people to buy seafood too. photos, >click to read< 09:42

Alaska’s Commercial Harvesters Listed as ‘Critical Infrastructure’

Plans are in progress to conduct the multi-million dollar Bristol Bay salmon fishery this summer in a manner that keeps harvesters, processors and the seafood itself safe in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic. “Everyone is working on it on a regular basis,” said Norm Van Vactor of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. in Dillingham, Alaska. “It is literally a plan in progress. We are moving forward with a positive attitude (but) nobody is in La La Land.” Commercial fishermen are now officially identified as “critical infrastructure” by the state of Alaska. >click to read< 08:19

Woes and blessings in the age of coronavirus, Rachel Blackmon Bryars

Those of us who grew up in the Bible Belt are very familiar with the good book’s many “woe-to-the” passages. Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep. Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil. Woe to the foolish. These passages have never been among my favorites, but the general phrase kept coming to mind this week, with a coronavirus twist. I still don’t like the woe-to-the mindset. I don’t like feeling angry. I don’t want to feed resentment. I want to hope for the best, believe the best, point to the best. Which is why I’m forcing my mind to pivot to a different phrase, “Blessed-are-the.” Blessed are the nurses, doctors, hospital staff, and medical workers of all types working tirelessly for days and nights on end. Who are on the front lines in a life-and-death battle. Who are heroes, each one. Blessed are the farmers, the ranchers, and the fishermen — remaining in the pastures, the fields, and on the seas so that we may feed our families. Blessed are the truckers who bring it all to market. >click to read< 07:23

Looking Back: 2007-Wake up New Jersey before more of your tax dollars are wasted on Governor Corzine’s offshore windfarm

The Governor is proposing to create a huge 80 unit windfarm capable of producing 350 megawatts of electricity in the waters off the south Jersey shore at an estimated present cost of 1.5 billion dollars. Last week New York cancelled plans for a smaller farm, of about 40 windmills, off of Jones beach because of rising cost estimates already over 700 million dollars for a project originally projected to cost about 200 million. New York officials were smart enough to recognize a financial black hole before they started it. Are New Jersey officials? >click to read< 13:47

Coronavirus: NH lobstermen trying to keep afloat relying more on direct sales to the public

Andy Konchek has his own lobster boat and works as a deckhand for Capt. John Borden on the Mary Baker. They fish in federal waters and typically sell their catch to Kittery Trading Post in Maine, which was deemed “non-essential” and closed last week. Konchek said they have hauled in 300 of their traps because of the loss in sales. They are still going out for a limited catch and selling lobsters and Jonah crabs directly to customers from Pierce Island in Portsmouth to keep afloat financially. Brian Tarbell of Dover was one of Konchek and Borden’s customers last week. He said local fishermen need support now more than ever. >click to read< 08:56

Coronavirus impacts the UK seafood supply chains – Selling fish directly to consumers.

Fishermen like those aboard the netter Stelissa, are trying to keep the UK supplied with fresh fish – you can help by going online to the FishOnFriday website and buying your fresh fish – in some cases – direct from the boat itself! We’ve created guides to explain what you need to do to meet the regulations. They also highlight the food safety requirements that apply. Guides for England and Scotland are available to download below, Further guidance for Northern Ireland and Wales will be added here shortly. >click to read< 07:57

Coronavirus: It’s not business as usual for fishing industry

For Alaska’s commercial fisheries industry in 2020, things will hardly be business as usual. Reports of the first case of novel coronavirus in the state prompted processors to get to work developing plant and vessel response plans in consultation with medical experts to assure the health and safety of employees, harvesters, communities they work in and the fish they will process by the ton. “Everyone is working on it on a regular basis,” said Norm Van Vactor, president and chief executive officer of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. in Dillingham. “It is literally a plan in progress. We are moving forward with a positive attitude (but) nobody is in La La Land.” >click to read< 18:15

Isle of Man: A perfect storm for our fishing industry as Coronavirus hits markets

’We all just felt we were coming out the other side after such unsettled weather earlier in the year, with all those storms when the fleet weren’t getting out, but with this new crisis it really did escalate,’ said Nick Pledger of Port St Mary-based Island Seafare. He went on: ’The fleet are virtually tied up at the moment. All the key markets, northern Italy, northern Spain, France and the UK are among the worst affected areas. ’There is a local market of course for scallops and queenies but it’s not nearly enough to sustain our fishing fleet. As processors, we can’t keep taking it off the boats and putting it into cold storage.’ >click to read< 16:26

Coronavirus: Outdoor seafood market helps Point Beach fishermen sell catch

The commercial fishing industry, like many others, is reeling from social distancing orders. In the case of fishermen, two-thirds of their seafood is normally bought by restaurants, which have been reduced to takeout only. The co-operative’s fishermen are trying to find alternatives ways to sell their fish instead of bringing them to Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx, where wholesalers buy fish and move it to restaurants. “Prices have dropped by as much as 75 percent. I haven’t seen them this low since the 1980s,” said Jim Lovgren, who sits on the board of directors Fishermen’s Dock Cooperative, of Fulton’s prices. Video, photos, >click to read< 15:44

In the middle of a socio economic disaster, Town of Riverhead cracks down on bunker fishermen

Even as Long Island’s commercial fishing industry reels from coronavirus-shuttered markets and restaurants, one East End town this week began cracking down on one of the few remaining viable sectors for local baymen: fishing for menhaden. Menhaden fishermen who launch their boats from a town ramp in Riverhead were greeted by a bay constable Wednesday morning who said the men would be cited for using seine nets that stretch beyond the 50-foot limit allowed by the town.  “I’ve been fishing there for the last 30 years, and they decide to pick now, in the middle of a socio economic disaster, to enforce a silly code that’s not even applicable?” said Will Caldwell, a Hampton Bays fishermen who received a summons with a 30-day court date. >click to read< 09:37

Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Fishing fleets will be given monthly payments depending on length of vessels

Fisheries Minister Edwin Poots has announced a substantial £1.5 million support package for Northern Ireland’s fishing industry. Fishermen are struggling to handle social distancing measures on vessels and many ships have been grounded for the foreseeable future coupled with the collapse of the European and domestic fish markets have made trading virtually impossible. Councillor on the Ards Peninsula, Robert Adair, said: “We have been calling for help, we have been urging Government to remember our fishing industry and fleets in these desperate times. >click to read< 17:42

In This Remote Town Spring Means Salmon, and Thousands of Fisherman From Coronavirus Hot Spots

Later this spring, Alaska’s Bristol Bay will blossom into one of the largest annual salmon fisheries in the world. The regional population of about 6,600 will triple in size with the arrival of fishermen, crews and seasonal workers on jets but also private planes and small boats, many traveling from out of state. And yet the heart of the health care system in southwestern Alaska, in a corner of the state where the Spanish flu once orphaned a generation, is a 16-bed hospital in Dillingham operated by the Bristol Bay Area Health Corp. Only four beds are currently equipped for coronavirus patients. As of Wednesday, the hospital had a few dozen coronavirus tests for the entire Florida-sized region, tribal leaders said. >Click to read< 14:16

Profiles in Training: American Seafoods Company

Lance Camarena recognized from a young age that he wanted to work in the learning and development arena.,, Today, Camarena is Director of Training & Organizational Development for American Seafoods Company, a fishing company which runs six factory trawlers ranging from 256 to 341 feet. The company employs approximately 1,300 seafarers from 52 countries, with about a 7% turnover in our key officer positions and a 25% turnover in our entry level processor positions. American Seafoods has also implemented a Marine Learning Systems learning management system (LMS) e-learning solution and created the American Seafoods Knowledge Academy (ASKA), which can be accessed from almost any device to complete mandated training. >click to read< 11:04

Coronavirus: Chéticamp residents worry out-of-province fishery workers could bring COVID-19

The snow crab season on the west side of Cape Breton Island usually starts in mid-April and the lobster fishery opens shortly after that. Some Chéticamp residents say out-of-province workers are already in town looking for employment at the fish processing plant and those workers are exempt from the usual requirement to self-isolate for 14 days. Chéticamp’s Sacred Heart Community Health Centre has 10 beds.,, LeBlanc said he asked the province two weeks ago to remove the self-isolation exemption for fish plant workers, but has not received a reply. “The government needs to reflect on this very quickly and appease the fear that the community has, and rightfully so,”  >click to read< 08:46

Coronavirus: Yaquina Bay fishing continues despite market disruptions

As part of the food-production chain, commercial fishing is considered an essential industry, but even though fishermen based out of Newport’s Yaquina Bay are still on the job, they have felt the impact of the current market disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.,, “Some crabbers are still trying to stick it out, others have probably called it earlier than they normally would,” Buell added. “There still is some effort happening, for sure. It’s kind of hard to keep up with everything, but it sounds like the Chinese markets may be opening back up a little bit, so they’re able to start moving some live crab there, which is helping.” >click to read< 07:47

Fresh fish to your door – Don’t let COVID19 stop the guys fishing – buy online or from a supplier near you!

Two days ago, the local netter Stelissa skippered by Ryan Davey decided to take a chance and head out through the gaps and commit him, his crew and the boat to a full hake trip south of Ireland with a full twenty hour trip ahead of them. They steamed west-north-west into the setting sun over the Scillys before arriving on the fishing grounds yesterday to shoot their nets in these challenging times. The UK public can do their bit to a eat a healthy diet and b) help keep the nation’s fishermen at sea buy buying fresh fish either online or from a supplier in your area. Video, photos, >click to read< 06:56

Coronavirus: Elver Season Starts, But Prices Plunge

At 8 a.m., Monday, March 30, about 30 elver fishermen were at the Pemaquid Falls town landing to claim their fishing spots for a shortened season. The elver, or glass eel, season in Maine got off to a late start because of a coronavirus-related delay from March 22 to March 30. Bristol Town Administrator Chris Hall said in a phone interview March 30 that he estimates there were at least 60 fishermen at Pemaquid Falls on opening day last year. The price of elvers has dropped significantly this year, from more than $2,000 per pound in 2019 to $500 per pound, the lowest starting price since 2010. This is down from a price of $2,700-$2,800 at the start of the 2018 season, the highest ever seen in Maine’s elver fishery. photo galley, >click to read< 18:51

VARD Secures Contract For Stern Trawler

The new vessel will be the first new building of VARD’s own design sold to the Faroe Islands. VARD’s shipyards in Norway have in the past built many fishing vessels to Faroese ship owners, which several of the vessels were highly innovative at the time and a leap forward for the local fishing industry. The newly developed trawler of VARD 8 03 design is based on a range of highly advanced and well-proven fishing vessels from VARD, designed with the latest demands for fish health management, efficiency and environmentally-friendly operations. The vessel has been developed in close cooperation with Framherji and will have the latest green technology on board. >click to read< 14:47

Cordova: All fishing vessel operators must sign coronavirus safety agreements

Businesses and individuals, including fishing vessel operators, will be required to sign coronavirus safety agreements to conduct commercial operations in Cordova.,, Under a mutual aid agreement, an operator must educate their employees about coronavirus symptoms and safety measures that may prevent infection, ensure compliance with the city’s coronavirus emergency rules and complete a health risk assessment form for all operators and employees working in Cordova or its waters. An operator must notify the city within 24 hours if any individual fails a health risk assessment and confirm that that individual has been placed under quarantine. An operator also agrees,,, >click to read< 09:53

Petty Harbour Inshore fishery champion Tom Best dead at 74

Tom Best died of cancer Tuesday afternoon at the Miller Centre in St. John’s. Best became a licenced inshore fisherman in Petty Harbour in 1963 after finishing high school. Petty Harbour mayor and fisherman Sam Lee said, “I’ve known Tom all my life really, but I’ve been working with him for over 50 years closely. It’s a great loss to our community and not only to the community but to Newfoundland as a whole.” Best was founding president of the Petty Harbour Fishermen’s Cooperative, a position he held for most of the last 36 years. The Co-op is owned and operated by fish harvesters. >click to read< 08:45

Coronavirus: Commercial fishermen scale back as market demand plummets

With restaurants only permitted to offer takeout and delivery, and many specialty seafood markets offering limited products or temporarily closing amid the COVID-19 outbreak, commercial fishermen are scaling back operations, too, and they’re feeling the impact. “It’s scary what’s out there, it really is,” said Ernie Panacek, 69, general manager of Viking Village, a commercial seafood producer in the borough. “The money that we get comes from those people going out to dinner and going to retail,” he said. “It’s going to be a hardship for a while. No one is going to flip a switch and have it go away immediately. We’re going to feel this for a long time.” 14 photos,  >click to read< 07:45