Category Archives: International News

The cost of offshore wind power: worse than we thought

A few days ago, the BBC’s Roger Harrabin mentioned a new suggestion that instead of cutting up redundant oil rigs, we should simply sink them to the bottom of the sea, where they would become artificial reefs that would encourage a flourishing of marine flora and fauna. Observant readers of his Twitter feed were of course quick to point out that this was exactly what BP had proposed for their Brent Spar platform nearly twenty years ago. At the time there was an outpouring from environmentalists, who accused the oil giant of deliberately polluting the seas.,, a recently published a paper on the potential decommissioning costs of all those offshore wind turbines that they are so keen on installing.,, costs for 34 turbines could reach £100 million ($131,654,735.40) >click to read<09:44

Smuggling the “Codfather” Profits: Bristol County Sheriff Captain Convicted

A Captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office was convicted today by a federal jury in connection with helping Carlos Rafael, known as the Codfather in the fishing industry, and the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing businesses in the U.S., smuggle the profits of his illegal overfishing scheme to Portugal. Jamie Melo, 46, of North Dartmouth, Mass., was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States and one count of structuring the export of monetary instruments. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for Oct. 24, 2018. The jury acquitted the defendant of one count of bulk cash smuggling. >click to read<22:30

Bay lobster aquaculture developed in Tasmania

The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), under the University of Tasmania, has paved the way for the bay lobster (Thenus oriental) aquaculture industry in Tasmania, after developing a unique method to breed the resource commercially. Based at IMAS’s Taroona laboratories, the ARC Research Hub for Commercial Development of Rock Lobster Culture Systems began researching hatchery techniques for the resource, better known as Moreton Bay Bugs, in September 2017. The starting point for this project was the technique developed for the tropical rock lobster, of the Panulirus family. >click to read<15:24

Extremely rare white lobster turns up in Bantry Bay

The whole country may have spent the past month basking in sunshine and getting as red as the proverbial lobster but for west Cork fisherman Donagh O’Connor, the warm weather has brought a rather more unusual example of the species: a very rare white lobster. The whole country may have spent the past month basking in sunshine and getting as red as the proverbial lobster but for west Cork fisherman Donagh O’Connor, the warm weather has brought a rather more unusual example of the species: a very rare white lobster. >click to read<11:47

Chile fishermen race to recapture escaped salmon that could pose risk

Chilean fishermen were working yesterday to recover hundreds of thousands of salmon that escaped from a fish farm as environmentalists warned of possible risks if they are eaten by humans, the government said. A storm on July 6 damaged nine enclosures at Marine Harvest’s Punta Redonda Center near the southern city of Calbuco, freeing at least 600,000 salmon into the wild, the company said.,,, Some of the salmon had been injected with a course of antibiotics that was incomplete at the time of their escape, making them unfit for human consumption and prompting concern by environmental groups that the fish will make it into the food chain too early. >click to read<11:15

The secret life of lobster (trade): Could we be in hot water?

In a paper published in Frontiers in Marine Science, researchers, including lead author Joshua Stoll of the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences and the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, map the global trade routes for lobster and quantify the effect they have on obscuring the relation between those who catch the valuable crustacean and those who ultimately eat it. The team’s findings indicate that in today’s hyper-connected world, a growing number of nations are acting as “middlemen” in the supply chain. This makes it increasingly difficult to trace where seafood goes and difficult to anticipate changes in market demand. >click to read<10:30

NTSB Says Icing Caused Fatal Sinking of FV Destination in Bering Sea, issues related Safety Alert

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a marine accident brief >click to read<and a related safety alert>click to read< warning mariners of the dangers of icing following the agency’s investigation of the sinking of the fishing vessel Destination in the Bering Sea last February with the loss of all six crew members.  The 110-foot, 196-gross ton, fishing vessel Destination sank in frigid, remote waters 2.6 miles northwest of St. George Island, Alaska, on February 11, 2017. >click to read<09:36

Spanish fishing boat “Dorneda” sinks in Argentine Waters, twenty-five crewmembers rescued, one missing

A Spanish fishing trawler sank in rough weather off Argentina’s coast and at least one crewmember died, Argentina’s Navy said Wednesday. Twenty-five crewmembers were rescued and one was missing. The Navy issued a statement saying it was alerted Tuesday night that the Dorneda was in trouble. Early in the morning, the Spanish fishing trawler Farruco found two life rafts and a lifeboat with crewmembers from Spain, Peru, Morocco and Indonesia aboard. The British-flagged Beagle I also participated in the rescue and was taking the survivors,,, >click to read<09:51

La. shrimp industry representatives welcome Trump tariffs, Other U.S. seafood interests oppose

Louisiana shrimp industry representatives welcomed the Trump administration’s announcement today that it will impose tariffs on Chinese seafood imports. Members of the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force, meeting in Houma, said they are considering a push for similar 10 percent tariffs on other top countries that send shrimp to the U.S., including India, Indonesia and Vietnam. Shrimpers in Terrebonne, Lafourche and across the U.S. coast have long complained that a wave of cheaper, mostly farm-raised imports has made it difficult for domestic shrimp fishermen to compete. About 90 percent of shrimp consumed in the U.S. is imported. >click to read<09:01

Ukrainian seafood buyers want to connect with Unalaska’s fisheries

International seafood buyers are scheduled to visit Unalaska this month, but they don’t hail from a massive importer like China or Japan. They’re coming from Ukraine — a once-modest market for Alaska fish that’s slowly reemerging after political upheaval and economic crisis. In 2013, Ukraine spent $105 million on American seafood — a record for the Eastern European nation that loves hake, pollock and salmon roe. But two years later, those imports had plummeted almost 70 percent as the Ukrainian government was overthrown and parts of its land occupied by Russia. >click to read<21:22

Great Salmon Escape Threatens to Taint Chile’s Fish Farms

About 900,000 salmon escaped from a Marine Harvest ASA farm during a storm on July 5, according to the Bergen, Norway-based company. The fish are not fit for consumption, Marine Harvest said in a press release. The company has recovered about 250,000 salmon and taken them to a nearby site, it said in a separate statement on July 9. About 680,000 fish are still missing and it is collaborating with the local Fisherman’s Federation to recover the remainder, Marine Harvest said. Chile’s salmon industry was already under attack for the use of hundreds of tons of antibiotics every year and allegations that the dumping of dead fish in the past have fueled algae blooms that damage the local fishing industry. >click to read<10:51

Prosecution was “legalised blackmail” – Angry trawler skipper cleared of illegal fishing says case cost him £200,000

A South Devon trawler owner cleared of illegal scallop fishing has lashed out at prosecutors who took him to court – in a case which has cost him more than £200,000. Derek Meredith, aged 50, and fellow skipper David Bickerstaff have been acquitted by a jury after a three-week trial. Mr Meredith, who owns the two boats at the centre of the case, said the prosecution had almost crippled him. He added that the two-year prosecution had cost him between £200,000 and £250,000 in lost business and legal fees. But a jury at Gloucester Crown Court acquitted him, Mr Bickerstaff and their companies of 16 counts. >click to read<09:55

Florida Keys fishermen talk impact of President Trump’s tariffs

Jeff Cramer is a longtime Keys commercial fisherman who operates a fish house in Marathon. He buys lobster from as many as 20 different boat captains and then sells them all to his Chinese buyer. “I’m just hoping our president can resolve this little trade war he’s got going with Europe and China. A lot of us voted for him and maybe this will work out in the long run, but for the short term, it’s really going to devastate us after we had that hurricane last year. A lot of guys are living off the SBA loans that they have to start paying back in a little bit,” Cramer said. “Let’s see what happens. He got Rocket Man to back down, let’s see if he can get the Chinese president to back down,” Cramer added. Gary Nichols also voted for Trump and is standing by him. >click to read<11:44

A fishing life

It was a laugh when we started. Mike and I really didn’t know what we were doing. When you’re going for flounders you’ve got to set the net pretty low, and every now and again you get five tons of muck instead of any fish, or you might find some fish but you’ve got to hose them out. Neither of us could mend the net, not in a hurry anyhow. We blundered on like this for three months. One night, it was about 11 o’clock, we were still out in the bay there, with the lights on, hosing mud out of a trawl.,, We saw some lights coming towards the boat. This boat pulls up. It pulls up pretty close to us, a voice comes across from the wheelhouse: “I can’t bear watching you two stupid bastards going broke any longer!” It was Jack Flowers. >click to read<11:53

Four fishermen rescued off the coast New South Wales

Four men are lucky to be alive after they were rescued from a sinking trawler off the south coast of New South Wales on Saturday morning. A rescue chopper was sent out to the scene at Bengunnu Point at Mimoso Rocks National Park, south of Canberra after an alert was sent out by the men at 6.20am on Saturday. The men’s ship allegedly hit rocks in the peninsula causing it to start sinking. A large amount of floating debris of the trawler was found in the waters and on a nearby beach. >click to read<12:56

Fish Farm: Audit finds 70 percent of B.C. fish-processing plants do not comply with environmental regulations

An audit of British Columbia fish-processing plants sparked by gory video of a pipe spewing bloody water into the Salish Sea has found that more than 70 percent of plants audited are out of compliance with environmental regulations, and some operate under rules decades behind modern standards. Stronger measures are needed for the fish-processing industry, to ensure protection of the marine environment, including wild salmon, according to the audit of 30 fish-processing plants released Wednesday by the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in response to controversy that erupted over the plume. >click to read<13:00

Brexit: A ‘sea of opportunity’ for Scotland’s fishing fleet, claims industry leader

Brexit offers a “sea of opportunity” which gives Scotland and the wider UK a chance to become world leaders in the harvesting of sustainable seafood, the head of Scotland’s fishing industry has claimed. However, as Brexit negotiations continue at the highest level of both the British and Scottish governments, Bertie Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, has warned that the possibility of remaining in the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, or even granting similar access to European trawlers, would be a complete betrayal of Scotland’s seaside communities. He has also fired a warning shot across the bows of the EU by stating that any actions that prevent Scottish sea food from reaching European markets on time after Brexit will simply result in the Scottish seafood industry finding new markets elsewhere. >click to read<12:54

How a 25-year-old turned his ‘passion project’ into a global business with $30 million in sales

When recent college grads Luke Holden and Ben Conniff opened a hole-in-the-wall, 200-square-foot lobster shack in New York City’s East Village in the fall of 2009, they were wholly unprepared. The two had recently met through Craigslist and gave themselves a two-month time-frame to open their shack, which they dubbed “Luke’s Lobster.”,,, Holden did have an idea he was excited about: a lobster shack.,,, Holden saw a hole in the market. He called his dad, who had 50 years of experience as a Maine lobsterman, dealer and processor, and asked him to be a 50-50 investor in the first Luke’s Lobster shack. >click to read<13:43

Rare fish with ‘feet’ caught off the west coast of Ireland

A bizarre fish with feet has been found off the coast of Ireland. The sea toad, which is usually found in the depths of the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico, was landed by the Kerry trawler Cú Na Mara on the Porcupine Bank. The pink fish has evolved “feet” so it can tiptoe across the ocean bed. It came to the attention of millions of astounded TV viewers when it featured on David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet. ,,, “It’s the same skipper, Patrick Flannery, who landed one in 1988 from the Porcupine Bank and this one has come in from the Porcupine Bank.” >click to read<21:37

Canfisco hopes to defend quota system at Ottawa committee

Richmond-based Canfisco hopes to present to a new Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans examining West Coast fishery regulations come next February, at the latest. Rob Morley, vice-president, production and corporate development at Canadian Fishing Company (Canfisco), told the Richmond News Monday that the present licensing and quota system so often criticized by the likes of independent fishers and environmental groups has merits. There is growing concern — including Liberal MP Ken Hardie, who requested the committee — that licenses and quotas are becoming too expensive to lease and prohibitively expensive to purchase. As such, capital-rich companies and investors are taking fishing profits from community-based fishers. >click to read<08:25

Obituary: Joey Murrin – Voice of Irish fishing industry for more than 40 years

Joey Murrin, who has died in his home port of Killybegs, Co Donegal, at the age of 81, was a leading fish industry lobbyist and natural communicator with a unique ability to simplify the most complex issues. A consummate negotiator, he dealt with 15 government ministers during his career, and was feared by several; even former taoiseach Charles J Haughey once expressing irritation at his popularity. Born in Killybegs the youngest of four children, he began his career at sea in 1954 as a deckhand, fishing on the San Paulin owned by Tommy Watson. >click to read< 11:24

Queen Elizabeth Makes Millions from U.K.’s Offshore Wind Farms

Leasing the seabed to offshore wind developers was the most profitable business last year for The Crown Estate Ltd., the company that generates income for Queen Elizabeth II. Earnings from the clean-energy technology in 2017 jumped 32 percent from the previous year to 37 million pounds ($49 million), according to a statement. The gain boosted the investor’s energy, minerals and infrastructure portfolio income by 20 percent. The U.K. is a world leader in offshore wind with more turbines in the sea than any other nation. At least one machine was installed every day in 2017,,, >click to read<

Horror photos of farmed salmon spark legal threat

The diseases, damage and infestations suffered by hundreds of thousands of caged salmon in Scotland have been exposed by more than 300 graphic photos released by the Scottish Government. Pictures taken since 2015 by fish health inspectors investigating mass deaths at salmon farms along the west coast and on islands reveal eight diseases, bloody lesions, eye damage, deformed organs, plagues of flesh-eating sea lice and much else.,,, The investigations were into outbreaks of disease and other issues at 27 fish farms run by six companies. The majority – 15 – were at farms operated by Marine Harvest, along with four run by The Scottish Salmon Company, three by Scottish Sea Farms, three by Cooke Aquaculture, two by Greig Seafood, two by Loch Duart and one not known. >click to read<17:42

‘Owner should have ensured fishing boat was seaworthy’

The owner of a small fishing boat, whose sinking led to the death of a father-of-three, should have ensured it was in a seaworthy condition. That was the view of Procurator Fiscal David Glancy yesterday as the final submissions were made in a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of 40-year-old Scott MacAlister. Mr MacAlister was the skipper and sole occupant of Speedwell, owned by Luing ferry captain John Connell, which sank off Easdale Island on April 25, 2013. The inquiry earlier heard that the boat had a leaky hatch. He stated that another precaution would have been for the owner of Speedwell to ensure there were life jackets on board the vessel. >click to read<09:54

No, lobsters aren’t actually immortal: The science behind their long lives

In 2017, a massive 22-pound lobster named Louie, estimated by some sources to be 132 years old at the time, was pardoned after spending 20 years at a seafood restaurant in Island Park, New York. He was later deposited in the nearby coastal waters, complete with a ceremonial send-off. This story was revived in a recent Twitter conversation about the longevity of the crustacean, which has only been a dining delicacy in the United States since the mid-19th century, suggested lobsters may be immortal (Technically, Twitter user @JUNIUS_64 theorized the lobsters “made a deal with the devil for conditional immortality and it backfired on them”). The sort of “immortality” of lobsters is linked to telomeres–a structure on the end of a chromosome–that is constantly repaired in lobsters. >click to read<15:58

A fishermen had his fish stolen at knife-point while three miles out at sea.

A fisherman has been robbed at knife-point while three miles out at sea. Police report a lone man was fishing in the channel of Slapton Sands, off the coast of South Devon, when two men an inflatable boat approached. After the fisherman confronted the men, they threatened him with a knife, cut his nets and stole his catch. Local reports say the fisherman had a quantity of plaice and Dover sole stolen. Both are popular fish, and the latter is high-end: a Dover selling for £40 or more in a restaurant is not uncommon. A theft at sea like this is extremely rare, concerning the fishing community. >click to read<12:09

Fife firm making a splash with lobster pod storage system.

A Fife firm is aiming to double sales over the next two years as it rolls out a shellfish storage system that it believes will revolutionise the fishing industry. Family-owned Todd Fish Tech, which is based in Dalgety Bay, has patented its Lobster Pod product, which is said to increase the survival rate of landed lobsters, crab and langoustine from one or two days to up to six months. Instead of storing the shellfish in polystyrene trays or heavy tanks of water, they are held in individual plastic palettes with chilled and filtered water. These reduce stress and damage and help keep the creatures healthy. >click to read<11:31

US imports record amount of seafood in 2017

The United States imported more seafood last year than at any point in its history, and the nation’s trade deficit in the sector is growing, federal data show. The U.S. imported more than 6 billion pounds of seafood valued at more than $21.5 billion in 2017, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees American fisheries. The country exported more than 3.6 billion pounds valued at about $6 billion. The widening gap comes at a time when Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who heads the federal agency that includes NOAA, has identified reducing the deficit as a priority for the government. >click to read<09:46

Closing out the seventh season, ‘Wicked Tuna’ celebrating 100th episode

The hit National Geographic reality series “Wicked Tuna” is going to close out its seventh season with its 100th episode Sunday night. When producers first came to Gloucester back in 2011, none of the captains realized what they were in for. Even Capt. Dave Marciano of Beverly, who fishes out of Gloucester, admitted then that he didn’t think anything would come of it. Fast forward seven years; “Wicked Tuna” has remained a steady hit for National Geographic, and now airs in 171 countries and 43 languages. >click to read<14:41

The Factory Trawler – Akamalik

Akamalik is not just a fishing boat. This 280-foot floating factory pulls in up to 20 tons of shrimp per mission, all of which is sorted, boxed, frozen, and prepared for shipping. But it’s not easy. Reaching the haul means facing the ice-choked waters of Greenland in the dead of the arctic winter, where icebergs, sudden storms, and blinding fog are a daily reality. For the crew, their paycheck depends on the size of catch, and risking their lives is just part of the job. Forty five minute video >click to watch<10:56