Category Archives: International News

Chinese vessels fined $825,000 and deregistered for tuna offences off NZ coast

Chinese authorities have deregistered and fined a Chinese commercial fishing company about $825,000 for misreporting blue fin tuna catches and fishing without a licence adjacent to New Zealand waters. Offending by the vessels, the Da Yang 15 and Da Yang 16, was detected during Operation Zodiac, a joint Ministry for Primary Industries and New Zealand Defence Force high seas patrol in July last year.,,, Under international law, the state to which vessels are flagged is ultimately responsible for taking action against any of its vessels that violate laws. Chinese authorities have now concluded their investigation and found that the two vessels were not only unlicensed but that they misreported over 100 tonnes of high value southern blue fin tuna as another lower value species. click here to read the story 09:17

Queen’s Speech: Access and management of UK waters to return to British fishermen

A fisheries bill will be introduced to enable the UK to set its own quotas from the point of Brexit. The government’s programme also includes an agricultural bill to “provide stability to farmers as we leave the EU”. This will set out measures to ensure an alternative system is in place to support the sector as the UK leaves the Common Agricultural Policy. Much of the Queen’s Speech, the first by a minority government for 40 years, is focused on preparing for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. click here to read the story 10:27

Rock lobster ‘resilience’ to climate change promising, but future not assured

The southern rock lobster is showing resistance to the effects of climate change, Tasmanian researchers have found, but warn that does not mean the species is immune to future environmental perils. The study, which reported on findings taken over a 25-year period, investigated the environmental aspects that influence the species’ settlement across a range of Australian locations, and found the fishery as a whole is showing broad resilience to changing ocean currents, water temperatures, swell and wind patterns. The research compared monthly records of the number of juvenile lobsters surviving in the open ocean and returning to shore. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies’ (IMAS) Professor Caleb Gardner said there were a number of factors found to affect the juvenile lobster populations, but those that were significant in one area were often completely different to those in another. click here to read the story 10:19

At least three killed as Argentine fishing boat sinks off Chubut

Argentine Coast Guard found Sunday the dead body of two of the nine crew members missing after Saturday’s sinking of a fishing vessel off the coast of Argentina’s southern province of Chubut, it was reported, while one more sailor whose body is yet to be retrieved is also feared dead and seven more are still missing.  The fishing vessel Repunte sank about 80 kilometers north of the coast of Rawson, in the Patagonian province of Chubut, it was reported. On Saturday, the Coast Guard managed to rescue two survivors and detected the lifeless body of another. It all began Saturday morning, when the captain of the Argentine-flagged Repunte signaled the Maria Liliana, which sailed 16 nautical miles (about 32 kilometers) apart, that they were abandoning click here to read the story 18:06

Blue Wave: future fishing vessel

Following a passion for the sea and going fishing at seventeen, Jean-Baptiste Goulard only in his early twenties when the owner he was working for at the time gave him the chance he needed to own his own boat.Now he can see that change is needed and has been immersed in the Blue Wave project to develop a new vessel to take the place of the traditional groundfish trawler fishing from Brittany, and the first of these new trawlers is about to start taking shape.,,, Now 34, he has been the skipper and owner of his own trawlers since he was 23, and now the three trawlers employ seventeen people directly and support another dozen jobs ashore. Coppelia, Pax Vobis and Harmonie fish from Loctudy in Brittany, and with all three having been built between 28 and 32 years ago, he feels the time has come to consolidate and renew them. click here to read the story 13:02

Rafa Ortiz celebrates International Lobster Day, runs 70-foot falls on inflatable lobster

Most people celebrate international lobster day by … well, most people probably don’t actually celebrate international lobster day. Rafa Ortiz, however, chose to mark this year’s día de la langosta by descending a 70-foot waterfall on a lobster-shaped pool toy.  Ortiz, the star of the documentary film Chasing Niagara, emphasized the importance of this latest achievement, noting that Washington State’s Outlet Falls “has never been run before in a pool toy.” Watch the video here. 12:39

Asia Is Trawling for a Deadly Fishing War

THALVUPADU, Sri Lanka — Stanley Cruz, a fisher in this beachside village on the island of Mannar off Sri Lanka’s northwestern coast, stands with his bare feet in the sand, holding up a green net between his hands. “This is the kind of net, you see. Last week, we lost many hundreds of these. “It keeps happening over and over,” says Mary Subramali, an elderly woman who cleans and sorts the incoming fish. “The trawlers come to take our fish and cut our nets, destroying them with their propellers. My son just lost his for the second time.” She picks up a cold, slippery fish from a basket and severs its head and fins with ease. For her and others on the northern coast of Sri Lanka, losing nets has become a familiar story. Over 30,000 people from the minority Tamil community in Thalvupadu work as fishers, mainly on a small-scale, mostly earning less than $2,500 per year, about two-thirds of the islands’ average. Nets in these coastal societies are precious investments — even a small one costs $23, and the village has lost nearly 1,000 of them. A very good read. click here to read the story 18:28

Dutch Fishermen catch rare two-headed porpoise

A fishing vessel in the North Sea between the UK, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia found quite the catch last month: the first-ever documented two-headed harbor porpoise. The dead conjoined porpoise twins were caught up in the GO9 Onderneming fishing vessel’s trawl net on May 30, according to the Natural History Museum of Rotterdam’s journal Deinsea. The Dutch museum said the ship’s workers were “astonished” to find that the animal had what appeared to be two heads. They took pictures and then threw it overboard. The crew thought it would be illegal to keep the dead porpoise, so the actual specimen is now lost to the ocean. click here to read the story 16:22

Devon fishing port invited to twin with America’s top port

America’s top fishing port has approached Brixham, which was recently crowned the UK’s port of the year for the second year running, to see if it would be interested in twinning. The port of New Bedford, in Massachusetts, USA, has much in common with the South Devon port. Torbay councillor Vic Ellery gave a presentation to Brixham Town Council at its meeting on Thursday evening. Cllr Ellery said he had been approached by South Western Fish Producers Organisation chief executive Jim Portus, at the request of the director of New Bedford Harbour Development Commission, to enquire whether Brixham Town Council would be interested in setting up a twinning arrangement. “The mayor’s office of this city of New Bedford is very keen to arrange a civic, tourism and economic partnership to the benefit of both ports.” click here to read the story 09:48

Trawlermen vs Turbines: Offshore Wind Farms Putting Scottish Fishermen Out of Business

Celebrated in the BBC reality TV series, ‘Trawlermen’ the men that brave the waves in search of the seafood that graces British dining tables, restaurants and fish and chip shops risk life and limb to bring the catch home. Ruthlessly competitive, British fishermen not only have to contend with mountainous seas and other Trawlermen, now the fishing grounds that they fiercely guard as their own are literally being stolen out from under them. In just the latest example, Scottish Trawlermen operating in the Moray Firth are about to be displaced by hundreds of offshore wind turbines. The fishermen concerned are hoping that they might receive some kind of compensation for the massive financial loss. From STT’s long association with the wind industry, we wish them luck – they’re going to need it. click here to read the story 08:12

CATCH SHARES – NOT A VIABLE OPTION FOR THE NORTHEAST

Theoretical constructs that might hold together logically and appear sound often quickly disintegrate in the atmosphere outside their esoteric bubble. This was certainly the case for catch shares or transferable quota management in the New England groundfishery. Catch shares in New England disintegrated almost upon entry. What are catch shares and where did they come from? Catch shares or the commoditization of the fish poundage to be caught, or the ownership of the “right” to harvest a certain portion of the government managers’ scientifically sanctioned total yearly catch, is a construct of “free market environmentalism” theory. The “enviropreneurs” or “enviro-capitalists” claim that ownership equals good stewardship, equals profitability. This privatization push is actually an idea of economics, claiming production “efficiency”, and not one of fishery conservation—although the sales pitch promotes this scheme as the answer to “overfishing”, and just in the nick of time. Click here to read the article 14:58

Owner of fire-stricken fishing vessel hits out at safety report findings

The owner of a fishing boat destroyed by a fire has accused safety chiefs of criticising his crew for saving their own lives by escaping from the vessel. Three trawlermen on the Ardent II scrambled to the safety of the Peterhead quay only after one spotted smoke when he got up at 5am to use the toilet. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) launched an investigation into the incident and published its findings yesterday. The MAIB found the crew might have saved the 131ft vessel if they had fought the flames rather than leaping ashore. click here to read the story 12:14

At U.N. Ocean Conference – Brett Tolley Touts Small-scale Fisheries

Fisheries activist Brett Tolley of Chatham has told many people about the plight of small-scale fishermen like his father, who left the industry because he couldn’t compete with big corporate interests. Last week, he told that story to world leaders in a special forum at the United Nations in New York.,, “We can’t buy our way out of this problem,” he said. The government rules that regulate commercial fishing tend to empower large corporations, and Tolley said that needs to change. Fisheries management that’s based on the allocation of shares (catch shares) or quotas of a particular catch tend to privatize the oceans, rather than treating them as shared public resources, he argued. Those policies tend to concentrate access to fisheries to a few big players. click here to read the story 13:47

UN Ocean Conference Aims for Paris Climate-Like Accord for Ocean Health

The first ever UN Ocean Conference came to a close on 9 June with a “Call For Action”, where over 1,300 voluntary commitments were made to support ocean health, and aspirations for a new convention to protect biodiversity in roughly half of our planet which lies beyond national jurisdictions.,, Considered to be the largest gathering for the oceans ever convened, the Ocean Conference that took place at the UN headquarters in New York was designed to boost support for Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14), which lays out ambitious targets to conserve and sustainably use marine resources. Heralded by Sir Richard Branson and Leonardo DiCaprio,,, click here to read the story  13:22

Inside the Multi-million-Dollar World of Eel Trafficking

The alleged kingpin of one of the biggest domestic wildlife smuggling operations ever to hit the East Coast is exactly where you’d expect to find him on a rainy evening in early May: firmly planted in a swivel chair at a big green metal desk inside his renovated Quonset hut on Foster Street, in Ellsworth, Maine. At this post Bill Sheldon waits day and night for fishermen to come and fill his bowl with writhing masses of baby eels. The 72-year-old fisherman wears glasses, a blue flannel shirt, jeans, duck boots, and a brown L.L. Bean baseball cap. His cell phone goes quack, quack, quack when it rings. The sign above his head reads, “Buying Glass Eels Here,” with the day’s market price: $1,250 per pound. (so much more about the fishery in this article than “trafficking”) click here to read the story 09:26

The Rise and Fall of the World’s Most Famous Fishing Spot

Houston oil man Alfred Glassell Jr. landed a 1,560-pound black marlin off the coast of Cabo Blanco in northern Peru on August 4, 1953, bagging himself a world record that stands to this day. He hooked the fish at the once-legendary underwater canyon known as Marlin Boulevard and eventually landed it after fighting the sea beast for nearly two hours. Footage of the fish leaping out of the water in an attempt to get free of the hook was used in the 1960 film of Ernest Hemingway’s classic The Old Man and the Sea. During the spot’s heyday, A-listers like Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Joe DiMaggio and Ernest Hemingway flocked to Cabo Blanco in the hopes of landing the big one. Click here to read the story! 20:58

Ray Hilborn: World fish stocks stable

Speaking at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit on Wednesday, 7 June in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., University of Washington fisheries researcher Ray Hilborn said the perception that the world’s fish stocks are declining is incorrect, and that fishing could sustainably be stepped up in areas with good management. “There is a very broad perception that fish stocks around the world are declining. Many news coverages in the media will always begin with ‘fish stocks in the world are declining.’ And this simply isn’t true. They are increasing in many places and in fact, globally, the best assessments are that fish stocks are actually stable and probably increasing on average now,” Hilborn said. click here to read the story 09:57

White spot – Shellfish disease unlikely to become major threat to shrimp

A shellfish killing disease discovered in crawfish ponds around Louisiana about a month ago isn’t as likely to be a major threat to the shrimp population, state officials say. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist Jeff Marx said the virus is most likely in wild populations, but it shouldn’t affect wild shrimp as much as the crawfish because shrimp aren’t in contained spaces like crawfish are. Although the disease has only been found in crawfish, it could also infect shrimp and crabs in coastal estuaries, according to a report by the LSU Ag Center. Shrimp and crab will be tested for the virus. click here to read the story 14:57

Unlikely to become a major threat? They thought that in Queensland. Australia: Fears grow as white spot detected in crab in Logan River, click here for more info.

Boat and Ship Industry Ideal for 3D Printer R&D Tax Credits – What is 3D Printing? An Overview.

Although many boat and ship components are standard items, the added transportation costs and marine specifications often make parts and components difficult to source and very expensive.,, Vessels need to have spare parts stocked at all times in case something goes awry and a replacement is necessary. This leads to more space and weight taken up on the vessel related to the spare parts inventory. 3D printers on boats would eliminate the need for an inventory of spare parts. With a 3D printer on deck, many spare parts could be printed on demand. The quick and cost-efficient benefit of having a 3D printer onboard a vessel can dramatically change the way the changing and fixing of parts is managed. Although 3D printing may seem like a daunting idea, it is not too difficult for the average person to use. click here to read the story 13:37

What is 3D Printing? An Overview. click here to read it

Theresa May warned over handing UK fishing waters to Brussels

Despite failing to capture a Commons majority, the Prime Minister has insisted she will stick to the schedule and get the Brexit talks underway despite pressure from inside her own party to resign.
Ukip MEP Bill Etheridge forewarned Mrs May about using Britain’s fishing waters as a bargaining chip, with the possibility of them being handed back to Brussels in exchange for other concessions. The Brexiteer described the potential move as the “ultimate betrayal” by Mrs May and her Conservative minority government. He said: “It would be a huge betrayal and quite frankly the second time the Conservatives have betrayed our fishing fleets. Video, click here to read the story 11:23

Consultation process questioned for waters off Cape Breton designated as Marine Protected Area

An area three quarters the size of Prince Edward Island has been declared as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) just off eastern Cape Breton and the people who normally fish there aren’t too pleased about it. According to Veronika Brzeski, executive director of the Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association, local fishermen will be losing 15 per cent of their total fishing area. But what’s even worse was the way the Department of Fisheries and Ocean went about setting it up, she says. Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced the establishment of the St. Ann’s Bank Marine Protected Area as part of World Oceans Day earlier this week. The designation means that most human activities such as commercial fishing will be prohibited in 75 per cent of the area. “St. Anns Bank is the third Marine Protected Area to be designated in Canadian waters in less than eight months,” said LeBlanc. click here to read the story 11:30

Canada using fishery closures to count toward promised 5% marine conservation target

Canada has moved a little closer to meeting its target to protect five per cent of the country’s oceans by the end of 2017, but some are concerned about the methods the government is using to reach that goal. To coincide with World Oceans Day, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced on Thursday that St. Anns Bank, covering 4,364 square kilometres east of Cape Breton, is officially Canada’s latest marine protected area. Altogether, Canada is now protecting 1.52 per cent of its oceans — a far cry from the five per cent target it has promised to hit in the next seven months, though LeBlanc said there’s “other good news coming” that will take the country “to five per cent and a bit beyond.” click here to read the story 11:50

Scandinavian biologists see threat in crossbreeding by American, European lobsters

Scandinavian biologists say American and European lobsters are crossbreeding and their offspring can survive in European waters, but it is too early to tell if the hybrids can reproduce. Susanne Eriksson of the University of Gothenberg in Sweden and Ann-Lisbeth Agnalt of the Institute of Marine Research in Norway presented their findings on the threat that American lobsters found in the northeast Atlantic Ocean pose to their smaller European cousins Tuesday during the second day of the International Conference and Workshop on Lobster Biology & Management in Portland.,,, The EU said it might one day explore other protective measures that would not be so disruptive to trade if Sweden returns with further proof of an invasion. click here to read the story 08:38

The first ever major UN Oceans Conference is underway though it is about oceans in name only.

Everything at the conference about the oceans comes within the context of the overlords of lands. Lofty statements call for more rules and with those rules more soldiers to rule over the oceans. It is as if the delegates watched nothing but swash buckling pirate movies their whole lives. Someone must speak for the oceans that need our help to restore them to historic health and abundance. If you gaze upon the two images of this planet above you will see one image shows the common view where land is prominent. The other image is more accurate as this blue planet is 72% oceans. Even of the 28% that is land barely half of that is free of ice and capable of harbouring life. June 5-9 is the UN Ocean Conference, the high-level United Nations Conference to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Read the article here 22:12

Meet Brendan Taylor, one of Foodstuffs’ ‘best’ commercial fishermen

He’s a top commercial fisherman who lives in south Auckland and works from a boat he built with his own hands. Brendan Taylor runs a business based in Manurewa that sees him catch and supply fresh fish to supermarket company Foodstuffs. He spent his childhood fishing for flounder with a small net on the Manukau Harbour.,,, Foodstuffs head of seafood David Jose says many people have the perception commercial fishing companies are “huge industrial operations” with large boats that trawl oceans. That’s not the case in New Zealand though, as he describes Taylor as one of the company’s best commercial fishermen. Video, click here to read the story 10:17

21st Century salmon

As Alaska struggles to maintain commercial productivity in its most-valuable, wild-salmon fisheries,  competition in the fish market is looming on every horizon. Land-based salmon farms are popping up in odd places across the U.S., and the Norwegians and the Chinese are teaming to take salmon farming to new heights or, more accurately, new depths offshore.  China.org today reported the first delivery of a deepwater, “intelligent offshore farm” to the Norwegian company SalMar ASA. “Ocean Farm 1” is designed to be positioned in water 300 to 600 feet deep where currents can sweep it clean in four dimensions while computers monitor its performance. “It is the world’s first offshore salmon farming equipment built on the same principle as semisubmersible installations used in the offshore oil and gas drilling sector,” the Chinese national website said.,, Open-ocean fish farms have been touted as one path to greening a business sometimes blamed for polluting protected bays and coves with fish waste. click here to read the story  08:38

Sea Levels Are Stable To Falling At About Half Of The World’s Tide Gauges

A few years ago, a comprehensive analysis of selection bias in tide gauge measurements between 1807-2010 indicated that (a) sea levels are only rising at a rate of about 1 mm/yr (as of 2010), and (b) a total of 65% of the world’s tide gauges have recorded stable to falling sea levels. Out of a database of over 2,100 tide gauge measurements available from the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level, NOAA has selected 240 tide gauges for their analysis of global-scale sea level rise. Of these, there are about 15 gauges that did not extend far enough into the last few decades (for example, Latvia, Antarctica, Ghana, Colombia), precluding a recent trend analysis. Of the remaining 225 tide gauges in the NOAA database, there are at least 100 located in regions where sea levels are stable (no significant change in either direction) or falling.  A graphical illustration of these non-trend tide gauge measurements is provided below. click here to read the story, see graphs 13:49

Scottish government accused of colluding with US drug giant over fish farm pesticides scandal

The Scottish Government allowed a US drug company to secretly rubbish a scientific study blaming one of its pesticides for killing wildlife in Scottish sea lochs. The Sunday Herald has uncovered that the £76 billion New Jersey multinational, Merck, hired reviewers to criticise evidence in a scientific study that the company’s fish farm chemical was causing widespread environmental damage. The scientists behind the study and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) privately protested about Merck’s involvement. But they were overruled by government and salmon industry officials who insisted that the company’s role should be kept secret. Merck’s behind-the-scenes influence has been exposed by more than 70 megabytes of internal documents released by the Crown Estate under freedom of information law. They also show that government and industry agreed not to issue a press release on the study. click here to read the story 13:23

Brexit vanguard abandoned by Theresa May: UK fishermen cut adrift by political elite

During the 2016 EU referendum, fishing quotas briefly became a major talking point in UK politics. Prominent Leave campaigners used the restrictive quotas to demonstrate the affect the EU had on British business, with then Ukip leader Nigel Farage even joining a flotilla of fishermen in a protest on the Thames. Fishermen across the country became a politically mobilised group during the referendum campaign, with groups like Fishing for Leave gaining significant coverage. However, one year on from the vote, interest in the issue seems to have cooled. “I do wonder whether anything will actually change, I really do” said Hastings fishermen Mark Woodley. “And a lot of the other fisherman are the same. We was hoping for great things, but she hasn’t actually mentioned anything about fishing, Theresa May, has she?” click here to read the story 11:18

Environmentalists outraged after ‘green’ wind turbines murder family of whales

Some environmentalists are saying wind turbines pose a threat to whales after a family of minke whales were found dead in the United Kingdom. According to reports by the Times (London) and Daily Caller, a young minke whale was found dead in the United Kingdom on May 20. Its mother was found dead on a nearby beach the same day, and a third whale washed ashore on May 21. It’s believed the three whales were part of the same family. According to marine wildlife experts, the whales were likely disoriented by nearby wind turbines, which can affect the sonar whales use to navigate. click here to read the story 19:57