Category Archives: International News

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

New Zealand: Sealord’s new $70m freezer trawler will shortly be recruiting staff

Sealord’s new $70million freezer stern trawler will be making regular appearances in Dunedin next year, sharing its port calls equally with its home port, Nelson. The 81.7m-long stern trawler is barely into week 20 of its build in Norway. The first few of eight “blocks” that will be joined together to make the hull have recently been delivered from Poland. The new vessel will expand Sealord’s overall fleet to six owned vessels and two leased and is expected to be operational from May next year. Once finished, it would complete sea trials in Norway by March next year, then would be partially rigged during its 40-day delivery passage to Nelson.,, Gillanders said unemployment in the fishing industry was at present quite low and filling vacancies was “challenging”. click here to read the story 13:17

Unexpected Nazi-era legacy: Fish tumors

German researchers have uncovered a 25 percent incidence of tumors among a type of flatfish inhabiting one area of the Baltic Sea, close to the northern German city of Kiel. They believe the cancerous growths found on the species known as the common dab could be linked to the estimated 1.6 million of tons of armaments that were dumped at the bottom of the Baltic and North Seas at the end of World War II. The high prevalence compares to a 5 percent tumor rate in three other areas of the Baltic, researchers said. Presenting their evidence to a conference in Rostock on Monday, scientists from the Thünen Institute of Fishing Ecology said the rate of tumors among dab fish in shallow coastal waters was much higher than previously thought. Empasizing that their findings are preliminary, researchers warned that as the munitions continue to rust and leak discharge, the environmental impact of the mass dumping of Nazi-era weapons is likely to be much greater than earlier estimates. click here to read the story 11:18

One in four crew members injured on fishing boats

A Neilsen survey commissioned by Maritime New Zealand and WorkSafe found 28 percent of crew members – or more than one in four workers – have suffered a significant injury while a further 26 percent have experienced a near-miss. Most of the injuries were to hands, lower back and the spine, but the outcome of a mishap at sea could be much worse. Since 2010, 25 crew members have died and the families of nine of those lost at sea did not have the comfort of bringing a body home. The Accident Compensation Corporation has had an average 966 active commercial fishing claims over the past five years and in 2016 it received 633 new claims, which have grown on average 3 percent a year since 2009. Last year ACC paid out $5.1 million in the wider commercial fishing bracket, slightly down on the average over the last six years of $5.7 million. click here to read the article 11:01

Fishing safety campaign launched in New Zealand

On June 1st, Maritime New Zealand and the NZ Federation of Commercial Fishermen launch a safety campaign, at the Federation’s annual conference, aimed at commercial fishing boat crews and operators. The “Safe Crews Fish More” aims to establish a natural collaboration across the industry. Maritime NZ General Manager Maritime Standards, Sharyn Forsyth, said more than one in four fishing crew are injured every year (28% according to a study by research company, Neilsen, commissioned by WorkSafe and Maritime NZ). ACC statistics show most injuries are to hands, lower back, and spine. The campaign will initially run for a year, focusing two months at a time on the six risk areas: fatigue, manual handling, safety on deck, winches, uncovered machinery, and intoxication. click here to read the story 11:52

Survival Story: 438 Days Lost At Sea adrift in the Pacific Ocean

Great lessons of survival come along with extreme and life changing experiences. What would a 14 months drift on the ocean mean in terms of survival? Salvador Alvarenga knows it, for sure!
Alvarenga survived 438 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean, drifting 7000 miles from just off Mexico, to the Marshall Islands. His open 24′ fiberglass boat was disabled in a storm and nearly all his gear was swept overboard, disabled or had to be cut loose to keep the boat from sinking. His story is way beyond ordinary, and now he’s sharing it in this exclusive interview for Survivopedia readers. At first glance, I must admit that I was somewhat skeptical. In my mind, this feat pushed the boundaries of what I thought was possible. Either way, I wanted to know. As I researched, read, interviewed and analyzed his ordeal at sea, I grew increasingly convinced that his story true. As you can plainly see in the video interview below, it is difficult for him to talk about the experience to this day. click here to watch video, read the story 11:21

NT fisherman left with gaping arm wound after developing flesh-eating virus

A fisho has been left with a “gaping hole” in his left arm after being spiked by a sawshark and developing a rare flesh-eating virus on a boat off the Darwin coast. The wound on Peter Lucas’ arm is now about 15cm long, and deep enough to reach bone.,, “Sawsharks are an endangered species, so we have to cut them out of the net alive and try and get them overboard in the best condition we possibly can,” he said. “In doing that, the sawshark gave a little bit of a flick … his top tooth just very lightly pierced my elbow. “The operation side of it — the theatre and the doctors — was perfect — they did a great job on my arm. click here to read the story 15:23

Ireland in danger of losing 30 more fishing vessels with the loss of an estimated 360 jobs say South West fishermen

There have been a lot of the same repeated statements about the rights of 23 RSW Pelagic vessels who have 40% of the €275,317,000 total earnings of Irelands fishing fleet, an estimated 100 million Euro in 2016 increasing to 110 million in 2017. Reports across various media have communicated a message that a Mackerel war has started between North and South. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is amazing to me personally how people’s perception can override the facts but the human brain is an extraordinary muscle. To give a little background on recent events, the Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation and our colleagues in the fishing Industry were informed by Senior officials in the Department of Marine in early 2016 that our tiny fishing fleet is still too big for our nations meagre fish allocations from the European Union in predominantly our waters that produce some 30% of all fish landed in Europe. We were told that cuts were required to be made to the Whitefish fleet of 30 boats measuring between 12 – 23 Meters. Click here to read the story 09:28

Severe Weather on the High Seas

Many seafarers find themselves subjected to harsh elements, and when it comes to the ocean, nothing “stirs the pot” like the wind; and the winds are a response to pressure differences.
More specifically, winds move from high to low values of pressure, and the greater the differences between the pressure fields, the faster the wind moves.  A good way to visualize this process is to imagine a ball rolling down a hill: the steeper the slope of the hill, the faster the ball will roll. Oh gravity, thou are a heartless force. High pressures can ultimately be thought of as “hills”, the low pressures as the “dips”, and the ball is the “wind”. So when analyzing atmospheric pressure patterns, much like a contour elevation map would indicate the steepness or grade to a hiker, tightly spaced pressure contours indicate a steep pressure change pattern, hence higher winds. click here to read the article 08:57

New Zealand: West Coast fishermen describe 1.45am liferaft ordeal as heavy seas pound boat after stranding

A father and son survived a harrowing ordeal with their skipper to make it into a liferaft as their boat was pounded by heavy seas in the middle of the night before coming ashore on Cobden beach. Mathew Fisher and his son Adin were on the fishing boat the Kutere, along with owner Les Horncastle. The vessel became stranded on the sandbar while pounded by waves, but the men managed to set off flares and then get off the boat by liferaft. All three are safe and well. “I was down below sleeping at the time when the boat lurched and next minute I was hit by a wave,” Mathew Fisher said. click here to read the story 13:06

Company denies seabed mining would wreck environment

Four months of hearings into a seabed mining application off the South Taranaki coast have finally come to an end. It follows an application by Trans Tasman Resources (TTR) to dig up to 50 million tonnes of ironsand from the ocean floor each year. It would then extract 5 million tonnes of iron ore, and dump the residue on the bottom of the sea. Trans Tasman Resources said the scheme would produce 300 jobs and add $160 million to New Zealand’s GDP. It has already been turned down by the Environmental Protection Authority once, and has come back for a second attempt. Lawyer Robert Makgill represented the fishing industry and said the law clearly required the scheme to be turned down. Click here to read the story 13:31

Spain’s 3,000-Year-Old Tuna Harvest in Pictures

Atlantic bluefin tuna are among the most hunted species on the planet and one of the best ways to see the effects of an increasingly industrialized food chain. But for a few short weeks during early summer on Spain’s southern coast, an ancient ritual known as the almadraba still plays out—an intense, intimate, and violent tradition that strives to harvest some of the world’s most valuable seafood in a sustainable manner. Photographer Michael Magers traveled to Spain in 2015 to join a small crew of fisherman in the economically depressed town of Barbate and document the spectacle. Click here to view the images 08:45

Austral Fisheries charged over electrocution death on prawn trawler

One of Australia’s largest commercial fishing companies has been charged over the electrocution of a young man on a prawn trawler in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Ryan Donoghue, 20, died in 2013 while cutting rusted shackles using a 240-volt angle grinder which was plugged into a socket without a safety switch on Austral Fisheries Newfish 1 trawler. Mr Donoghues father Steven has spent the past three-and-a-half years pushing for a prosecution and better regulation of Australia’s maritime industry.,,  Austral fisheries faces a maximum penalty of $1.5 million if found guilty. Click here to read the story 13:53

‘High-level alarm’ could have alerted three fishermen on board ill-fated FV Jubilee

The deaths of three men on board fishing trawler FV Jubilee could have been prevented if not for “missing checks in the system”, a report has found. Terry Donald Booth, 55, of the Nelson area, Paul Russell Bennett, 35, of Motueka, and Jared Reese Husband, 47, of Timaru, died on the Ocean Fisheries trawler when it sank off the Canterbury coast on October 18, 2015. The fishermen issued a mayday at 4.20am, when they were about 22 kilometres from the Rakaia River mouth. They never made it to their liferaft. A Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) report, published on Thursday, found it was likely that flooding of the fish hold was the main factor contributing to the vessel’s sinking. It was possible the cause of the flooding was water from a deck wash hose that had been left running through an open hatch. click here to read the story 21:46

Celebrity trawlerman enjoys new lease of life on dry land

While the fall in the pound since the Brexit vote has provided a boost for exporters a veteran of the fishing business sees opportunities to grow UK sales of a Scots product that does well in Europe. Name: Jimmy Buchan. Age: 56. What is your business called? Amity Fish Co Limited. Where is it based? Peterhead, in wonderful Aberdeenshire. What does it produce? We are a fish trading company focused on sourcing wild-caught Scottish seafood for distribution throughout the UK.,, Why did you take the plunge? Amity came about because of my passion for seafood. Being a fisherman all my life, I met a lot of people in the industry and I felt I had a platform to start a brand from sea to plate. I realised I wasn’t just catching fish but catching fish with a story of provenance and sustainability which gave me the inspiration to get into the seafood supply chain. click here to read the story 10:53

Fishermen Protest Against Kyaukphyu Seaport

Fishermen aboard 120 boats protested along the Thanzit River against the Maday Island deep seaport in Arakan State on Monday, as authorities have banned them from fishing in a stretch of water now reserved for international cargo ships docking at the port.,, Chinese-owned oil tankers began docking at the seaport in early May to transport the oil through Maday terminal to the China-Burma border. Authorities told locals that the oil tankers would dock at the port three times each week, according to Aung Naing Win. But residents of Maday Island said at least six or seven ships arrived within one week, and another five shops are waiting to dock. Local fishermen have been restricted from catching fish near the mouth of the river where the ships dock. “As villagers are finding it harder to earn a living by fishing, they are seeking to earn money by cutting mangroves. Click here to read the story 18:49

Offshore Wind Turbines Blamed For Killing Family Of Whales

Marine environmental experts blame offshore wind turbines for the deaths of three minke whales that washed up on British beaches, The Times reported Monday. Wildlife experts claim that the noise generated by wind turbines affected the sonar that whales use to navigate, causing them to beach themselves. There are several commercial offshore wind farms close to where the whales beached themselves.“My personal opinion is that it could be a consequence of wind farms and the amount of sand in the water,” John Cresswell, chairman of the Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service, told The Times. “If you stop the boat off the coast you can feel the vibrations and hear the noise.” The U.K. coastguard received reports of a minke whale calf that had become separated from its mother Friday evening. By the next afternoon, it had been found dead at the mouth of the River Ore, and its mother washed up near Felixstowe. On Sunday, another dead adult whale surfaced, indicating that an entire family could have been killed. Click here to read the story 16:52

How Maine came to play a central role in an international eel smuggling scheme

Years after officials launched an investigation into baby eel poaching on the East Coast, the first of several men to plead guilty to participating in the wildlife trafficking ring was sentenced last week in a federal courtroom in Maine. Michael Bryant, 40, a former Baileyville resident who now lives in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, is one of more than a dozen men who the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service says poached thousands of pounds of the baby eels, also known as elvers or “glass” eels, from 2011 through 2014. Since 2011, elvers on average have fetched around $1,500 per pound for fishermen, and netted more than $4 million total for the 12 convicted poachers who have pleaded guilty to federal charges in South Carolina, Virginia and Maine. Maine found itself at the center of a criminal enterprise that illegally netted elvers along the Atlantic seaboard, where most states ban their harvesting, and then shipped the eels overseas to feed East Asia’s voracious seafood appetite, according to investigators. click here to read the story 14:43

White Spot: Government has abandoned wild-caught prawn fishermen

THE $20 million in federal funding for prawn farmers affected by white spot is a great day for some and not so great for others if you are a commercial fishing business owner in the Moreton Bay region. There are some 300 micro and small fishing related businesses across the Moreton Bay region, including trawl and crab fishers, impacted by white spot that continue to be impacted in the wild and an ongoing movement control order on our commercial product. These businesses generate almost $20.5 million yet have received no assistance. At least 20 businesses have had their incomes severely impacted since December 2016 and still no help. The Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce announced the Federal Government will give $20 million to prawn farmers impacted by white spot but said wild-catch fishermen are the responsibility of the State Government. click here to read the story 18:17

This Guy Bickering With A Shark Is The Most Australian Thing Ever

There are a whole bunch of animals out there that if I came up against them in the wild, I would just let them do whatever they wanted as there would be absolutely no way I would be beating them at anything. That’s the law of the jungle baby and number one on that list of animals is probably a shark. Those vicious fuckers will kill you without a second thought by ripping off your body parts so there’s no way I would want to mess with them if I ever met one. I’m not an Australian fisherman though. The guy in the video below got involved in a tug of war with a shark over his fishing net and let’s just put it this way – there was no way he was going to lose that fishing net: Click here to watch the video!

Fishermen want the hardest Brexit deal they can get

Graham Doswell is in optimistic form as he unloads netfulls of lobster, crab, sprat, white bait and a solitary plaice after a hard days fishing off the coast of Eastbourne. Like the vast majority of fishermen, he voted for Brexit and believes his industry will be much better off outside the EU. “Brexit is a breath of fresh air. A lot of fishermen are hanging on by the skin of their teeth or have given up altogether because the EU has made it so they can’t make ends meet,” Doswell told i, standing by his boat, the Halcyon, in Fishermen’s Quay two miles north of the Eastbourne Pier. “The EU has knocked the stuffing out of the fishing industry by giving us only a tiny bit of the fish in our waters but it now has a fantastic opportunity to pull itself back from the brink. If we make a good job of it now, there is so much hope,” said Doswell, a third-generation fisherman. click here to read the story 10:30

Hawke’s Bay Seafoods on trial over alleged under-reporting of catches

Dozens of fishing catch returns and other documents are alleged to have been falsified by Napier company Hawke’s Bay Seafoods, a judge has been told at the start of an expected four-month trial in the District Court at Wellington. The trial started before Judge Bill Hastings yesterday, with Ministry for Primary Industries prosecutor Stephanie Bishop saying there was deliberate and wide-reaching under-reporting of catches over about two years. Ms Bishop alleged offences were orchestrated “from the top” and the necessary skippers’ collusion was gained by cash payments and continued employment. Catches totalling up to 63 tonnes of bluenose and 3.5 tonnes of trumpeter were involved, motivated by a lack of catch entitlement and prospects of export market advantages. Charges involve mainly two types of offence, with false statements on catch-return records and selling fish not properly reported to MPI. click here to read the story 14:49

The Wild West of Deep-Sea Mining

In the coming years, a new gold rush will begin. Deep beneath the ocean’s waves, from scalding hydrothermal vents to the frigid stretches of the abyssal plain, ocean processes have deposited vast quantities of valuable minerals on the seafloor. Now, the convergence of technological development and political will has placed this ore within reach. But like the gold rushes of old, the deep-sea-mining industry is emerging on the frontiers of society, far from legislatures and law enforcement. Officially, the nascent deep-sea-mining industry is governed by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), a nongovernmental organization established in 1996 by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The authority’s critical task is to coordinate its 168 member nations in establishing and enforcing regulations for the developing deep-sea-mining industry. click here to read the article 10:24

CETA – Canada-European Union pact worries US lobster industry

Members of the U.S. seafood industry are fearful that Canada’s approval of a new trade deal with the European Union will cause big problems for the American lobster business, just as the catch is hitting historic highs. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act, or CETA, cleared its final hurdle in the Parliament of Canada on Tuesday. The deal gets rid of tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the 28-nation bloc, putting Canada at a huge advantage over the U.S.,,, Seafood exporters and lobster industry members like Dave Madden, owner of exporter Lobster Trap in Bourne, Massachusetts, said they fear loss of money and jobs in the U.S. under the new rules. He ships about 4.5 million pounds of lobsters to countries such as Italy, France and Spain per year. click here to read the story 19:27

Amendments to the NAFO Convention to come in to force today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA, 18 MAY 2017- Significant amendments to the Convention establishing the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), that were agreed in 2007, will come into force today, 18 May 2017. These amendments are intended to modernize NAFO, particularly by incorporating an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. This approach includes safeguarding the marine environment, conserving marine biodiversity and minimizing the risk of long term adverse effects of fishing activities on the marine ecosystem. The amendments will also streamline NAFO’s decision-making process, strengthen the obligations of Contracting Parties, Flag States and Port States, and institute a formal dispute settlement mechanism. Click here to read the press release 13:48

Letter to a son

It has been a year since we got that phone call in the middle of the night from a Bradenton, Florida detective, who said, “Mr. and Mrs. Miller, I regret to inform that” … blah, blah, blah. Not sure your mother heard the rest. She was on the floor in a heap, your sister on the floor in a heap beside her. As it turns out you died from an accidental overdose. Opiate abuse seems to be the bane of your entire generation. Yeah, times in the-late-2000-teens are bad, but times have always been bad, or bad enough.,,, Editor’s note: RDN received this letter from a father expressing remorse over the loss of his son to an opioid overdose. Mr. Miller, his wife and family are not alone in his grief for a loved one lost to this epidemic. We print this, hoping it might help others in some way click here to read the letter 11:26

“Hero of the Seas” – Robin Alden wins more accolades

Robin Alden, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries’ executive director, has been recognized as a “Hero of the Seas,” as a winner of the international Peter Benchley Ocean Awards. Alden was recognized for her career working at the grassroots, engaging fishermen’s knowledge and participation to build sustainable, healthy coastal fisheries and fishing communities. The awards ceremony took place at a gala on Thursday, May 11, at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. “It is just unbelievable to have international recognition for Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries’ basic approach: that the knowledge fishermen have about the ecology they work in every day is important to a healthy fisheries and our communities,” Alden said in a statement last Friday. Click here to read the story 10:16

Gladstone Ports’ $100m pain over dredging class action challenge

The Gladstone Ports Corporation could face at least 200 court claims worth $100 million over its 2011 dredging. Law Essentials and Clyde and Co are working to form a class action for people “negatively impacted” by the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project. Law Essentials director and solicitor Chris Thompson said already they have signed 200 people within the seafood and tourism industry who lost money because of dredging operations in Gladstone’s Harbour. He said claims were worth “in excess of $100 million” and now he’s making a plea for anyone else affected to come forward. Of the 200 claimants, he said there were commercial fishermen and seafood suppliers from Gladstone, Hervey Bay, Mackay and as far as Brisbane and Sydney. click here to read the story 17:25