Category Archives: International News

The Murder Trial of three Cooloola Coast fishermen – Witness: They asked me to ‘babysit’ esky murder victim

A key witness in the murder trial of three Cooloola Coast fishermen was a long-time commercial rival of one of the accused and suspected him of sleeping with his ex-lover. The revelation came during day three of the trial against commercial fisherman Stephen “Snoopy” Armitage, his son Matthew Leslie Armitage and their friend William Francis Dean who are accused of torturing Gold Coast man Shaun Barker and keeping him in an esky (cooler) before burning and dumping his body. Tin Can Bay fisherman Matthew Paul Dean, 39 claims he was asked to “babysit” the trio’s alleged victim who was said to be “tied up in the forestry” with smashed knee caps and a missing finger in December, 2013. In a fiery exchange with Stephen Armitage’s barrister late Thursday, Mr Dean was forced to admit he and “Snoopy” had been at war over the same fishing zone patch near Double Island Point for decades and had had a “falling out” not long before Mr Barker was allegedly killed. Read the story here 11:35

Maritime Radar to Celebrate 70th Anniversary

The first Type 1 radar system was produced and installed on a fishing trawler in 1947. It would become the first type-approved radar of any kind, earning a type-approval certificate in August 1948. Kelvin Hughes (www.kelvinhughes.com), a company with a 250-year history, is proud of having produced that navigation radar system and achieving a milestone in maritime history. The firm has developed radar systems for commercial ships, fishing vessels, coast-guard patrol vessels, and warships. continue reading the article here 12:32

The Codfather will Cop a Plea!!! – Rafael scheduled to plead guilty to evading fish quotas, smuggling money

“The Codfather”, Carlos Rafael, who the Department of Justice labeled as the owner of the largest commercial fishing business in New England, will plead guilty to federal charges as part of a settlement he reached with the government, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Massachusetts said on Wednesday. Rafael, of Dartmouth, was scheduled to appear in federal court on March 20. Instead he’s scheduled to plead guilty to evading fishing quotas and smuggling profits to Portugal in U.S. District Court in Boston at 2 p.m. on March 16. The U.S. Attorney’s office provided no further details regarding the plea deal. Rafael’s attorney, William Kettlwell, did not return requests asking for comment. Read the rest here 17:06

Owner of largest commercial fishing business in New England, Carlos Seafood Inc., scheduled to plead guilty on evading fishing quotas for ‘bags of cash’ Click here to read this story 17:50

‘It was two years of absolute torment’ – Immigration charges dismissed against two Irish fishermen who hired Filipino sailors

Pat O’Mahony and Leonard Hyde had insisted to Cork District Court they understood the UK agency they hired would ensure full compliance with all Irish visa, work permit and passport regulations. Both also vehemently insisted that the two Filipino fishermen involved were treated with every consideration and respect while they worked on the ‘Labardie Fisher’ trawler operating from Crosshaven, Co Cork in 2015. The men told the two day trial that, had they any inkling the two Filipino sailors were not legally entitled to work in Ireland because they had entered via Belfast, they would never have contracted for them. Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin dismissed all charges against the men after the trial heard that other fishermen who used the same agency and route to bring Filipino sailors into Ireland to work on other trawlers had those workers even given safety training by State agencies. Cork District Court was packed with up to 30 fishermen from all over Cork, Kerry, Waterford and Donegal who wanted to support the duo. All cheered as Judge Ni Chonduin dismissed all charges within minutes of the closing arguments. Read the story here 16:36

Judge gives fisherman ‘benefit of doubt’ in row over oyster dredges

A fisherman was cleared of fishing without a licence after a judge ruled the authority which provides the licence was unclear. Jason Steele, of Lower Cabry, Quigley’s Point, was accused of fishing without a licence on Lough Swilly on September 21, 2015. He denied the charges before him at Carndonagh District Court. Fishery officer Seamus Bradley told the court he received a report of illegal oyster fishing on Lough Swilly so at 12.45pm on September 21 he launched the patrol boat from Rathmullan. Mr Bradley said himself and fishery officer James Doherty checked a number of boats for licences and undersized oysters. He explained how they boarded a boat fishing vessel, belonging to Mr Steele, which was fishing for oysters on Russell’s Bed. “I asked him if he had a licence to fish for native oysters on Lough Swilly, he replied no so I cautioned him. I observed 20-25kgs of oysters on board.” Mr Bradley said he seized the oysters and returned them to the oyster’s beds. He explained that Mr. Steele’s boat was 30 foot long with a large mechanical dredge on the back that is used for fishing for oysters. continue reading the story here 10:26

Photo of the Day: Splitting the Catch

Whales in some parts of the world have learned to follow the noise and activity of fishing boats in order to catch any herring near them. When the boats’ nets begin to close, the whales recognize what’s happening and take the opportunity to cut off any herring escaping the nets as they close. It’s sometimes a beneficial relationship for both the whales and the people fishing. Fishermen often locate killer whales and humpbacks to find the schools of herring that reside near them: Photographer Audun Rikardsen captured this photograph in the Arctic water off of Norway. His equipment includes the Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a 11-24mm f/4 lens at 11mm, 1/200 of a second, f/6.3, ISO 640. Read the rest here 21:29

This Ramsgate fisherman has slammed a ‘crazy’ policy that he says is costing him £50k a year

A Ramsgate fisherman has hit out at an EU policy that he claims is causing him to lose up to £50,000 worth of fish a year. Steve Barratt of Thanet Fishermen’s Association is calling on the UK to take back control of its territorial waters as part of the Brexit negotiations and abandon the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). He called the policy “immoral” and harmful to fish stocks. The commercial fisherman from Ramsgate, who operates an under 10 metre boat, is among a dozen other local fishermen who lose money because they have to discard dead fish. The 58-year-old grandfather said: “Firstly, we want to immediately scrap the current rules and regulations and the CFP that have not and will not work. “Secondly, we want to ban the practise of discarding dead fish and make it law that they are landed and recorded. “This will benefit scientists as they will have accurate information to work with, and will obviously benefit the fishermen that caught these fish due to the value of these fish.” He added: “Thirdly, we are proposing a system whereby we are limited in the number of days we can go to sea and we are proposing that we are limited in the amount of gear we can use. Read the article here 17:03

Grundens Rain Gear Review: Herkules Bib Pants and Ragnar Jacket

The Grundens Herkules Bib Pants and Ragnar Jacket are designed to keep the wind and water from interfering with sport, commercial, and onshore fishing activities. As the company’s story goes, around a century ago a Swede named Carl Grundén, the son of a fisherman, began to manufacture water-repellent garments to withstand the forces of nature. Grundens rain gear might be a bit of an unconventional review for these pages since it’s unlike other products we review and we’re not going out on the water, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a use for what, at least at first blush, seem to be some very fine products. Considering how well-respected the brand is in commercial fishing, we expect it to be just as good on the jobsite. And if all else fails then, hey – we’ll go fishing! continue reading the article here 07:53

Fishermen warned of the dangers of using drugs while at sea

Fishermen are being warned of the dangers of using drugs while at sea following several deaths linked to the use of amphetamines. In the last two years, 15% of fishing vessel accidents have involved drug abuse. Micky Hill’s son, Mike, was skipper of a scallop dredger when it capsized off Teignmouth, Devon. He died aged 22, along with Shane Hooper, 34 , who was found with amphetamines in his system. Mr Hill says Mike would not have allowed Shane on board if he’d known he’d been using drugs. Watch video here. We have a drug problem, people. One of the articles that continues to get an amazing amount of hits is about Wicked Tuna Fisherman Adam James Moser, age 27, of Portsmouth, N.H. whom passed away September 19, 2015, from an apparent overdose Link to the article  13:20

Tasmanian mayor heckled, ‘no confidence’ in minister, over fish farm pollution fears

The sometimes-heated community meeting was called to discuss Tassal’s plan for a fish farm in Okehampton Bay. A petition was also circulated calling on Glamorgan Spring Bay mayor Michael Kent to resign. The town appears to be splitting by some accounts over the fish farm proposal. Councillor Kent told the meeting he had been the subject of a campaign of mistruths and misinformation. Tensions boiled over in the crowd and there was loud heckling and booing. Bumper stickers opposing the project were distributed and slides shown of alleged instances of intimidation. Vision of the current state of Okehampton Bay was also shown. The meeting was also told the fish farm on the state’s east coast would have little economic benefit, and threatened the area’s marine health. continue reading the story here 12:52

No Way Forward: Commercial fishers voice frustratation over catch share reforms and parliamentary inquiry

“It’s like continually banging your head against the wall.” This is how Donna Cook, the matriarch of a Stuarts Point commercial fishing family, describes trying to keep their livelihood afloat in the wake of the NSW Government’s industry reforms.  The Cooks are one of many fishing families around the state who have been devastated by the reforms, which cap the amount of fish they could catch with their existing permits, with fishers required to purchase more shares to catch the same amount of seafood. Donna said a continuing lack of information over what shares are available, and the fact that the shares necessary to keep their business afloat either don’t exist or have already been purchased by others, was creating angst for country fishers. For the Cooks, it means the shares don’t exist for them to remain viable. continue reading the story here 10:39

Fishermen’s fury as Brussels DEMANDS access to 60% of British Waters after Brexit

Scotland’s fisherman have said they will not bow to pressure from the European Union (EU) to allow them to be held to ransom over Brexit. And they are calling for Theresa May to make an immediate impact assessment on current fish stocks in United Kingdom waters. The European Parliament Committee on Fisheries (PECH) is demanding access under its common fisheries policy for the right for fishermen from other countries to access up to 60 per cent of Britain’s fish supplies. And Brussels bosses say they will not allow Britain to sell fish to the EU should they not get their way. The concerning rhetoric has been blasted by fishermen in Scotland who are wholly opposed to the EU over the effect the bloc’s policies are having on their livelihoods.  The industry is hitting back and today issued a direct demand to the UK and Scottish governments not to give away their income. continue reading the story here 13:46

UPDATED: Five fishermen rescued from sinking vessel

Five men were rescued from the fishing vessel Ocean Way around ten miles east of Whalsay on Friday morning before it sank less than one minute later after taking on water. The men abandoned the trawler and jumped into the sea, which is thought to have been less than seven degrees in temperature, before they were collected by the lifeboat. Lifeboat coxswain Alan Tarby described the scene as “chaos” and said there was less than one minute between the men jumping into the water and the boat fully sinking. He believed something “struck the bottom of the boat and made a hole in it”. The men walked away unharmed after being taken into Lerwick Harbour on the lifeboat. The lifeboat crew and Shetland Coastguard were alerted at around 6.50am after receiving reports of water entering the Ocean Way (LK207). Read the story here and here 09:01 Video: Five Fishermen Rescued from Sinking Trawler 13:37

Fishing For Leave – First Brexit Policy Released

Fishing for Leave released one of the first detailed 144-page Brexit policy documents this Tuesday in Westminster with Nigel Farage MEP and former Secretary of State Owen Paterson MP. The policy paper clearly details the realities of Brexit to ensure the UK regains all fisheries waters and resources automatically with nothing to negotiate. Speaking to the 30 national journalists FFL said “We have devised future policy to ensure the UK takes advantage of the clean slate afforded by the terms of Article 50, that the ‘treaties shall cease to apply’ and therefore the CFP too”. “We cannot adopt any element of the disastrous CFP into UK law as proposed with the Great “Repeal” Bill as this would bind us to the CFP, betraying Brexit for political convenience and a small minority of vested interests”. “This policy details a bold new approach to manage UK fisheries sustainably by eliminating the cause of discards, EU Quotas, and replacing them with Days-at-Sea whilst preserving current entitlement investments”. “We have a golden opportunity to become world leaders with Brexit.  This policy proposes sustainable management with Days-at-Sea that works for everyone regardless of whether you are the smallest boat or biggest company whilst providing a stable transition”. continue reading the rest here 15:27

Furuno’s new Multi-Beam Sonar

Furuno is proud to announce that it is bringing side-scanning capabilities to its flagship NavNetTZtouch and TZtouch2 MFDs with its latest network sensor called the DFF3D. This multi-beam Sonar takes the highly-desired capability to scan port to starboard under the vessel and adds Furuno’s commercial fisheries spin on it. This deep-water Sonar delivers a sidebar detection range of an unprecedented 650+ feet, while being able to see down to over 1,000 feet. The DFF3D utilizes a new, compact multi-beam transducer, along with Furuno’s own advanced signal processing, to produce eye-popping images that will help you find and track fish. The transducer and fairing block is only 14 inches long, which makes this a perfect fit for boats of all sizes. To top it off, the transducer features a built-in motion sensor, which keeps the images stable, even in rough seas. continue reading the article here 13:18

Farage takes centre-stage in fishers’ Brexit policy launch

Nigel Farage will team up with former UK Government minister Owen Paterson for the launch of Fishing For Leave’s Brexit manifesto in London today. A spokesman for the organisation said it would make clear the “constitutional realities and extrication process” needed to make sure UK control over fishing is “automatically repatriated and not betrayed as negotiating capital a second time”. He added: “This policy advocates a radical new approach of a fit-for-purpose days-at-sea management regime suitable to the UK’s rich highly mixed fisheries. “It ends the cause of the abhorrent practice of mass discarding caused by EU quotas and provides a framework to rejuvenate coastal communities that have suffered so much.” continue reading the article here 13:23

Brexit Leak: UK Fishermen May Not Win Waters Back

A leaked memo from the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries looks set to dash the hopes that British fishermen will “win our waters back” as part of Brexit negotiations. This document, as discovered by British newspaper the Guardian, suggests MEPs have drafted seven provisions to be included in Britain’s “exit agreement”, including a stipulation that there will be “no increase to the UK’s share of fishing opportunities for jointly fished stocks”, and instead the existing quota distribution in UK and EU waters will be maintained. The memo also states that “it is difficult to see any alternative to the continued application of the common fisheries policy”. Continue reading the story here 12:18

New Zealand: Underwater life in Kaikoura Canyon marine nature reserve entirely wiped out after earthquake

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake in November at Kaikōura, on New Zealand’s South Island, has destroyed all creatures living on the seabed in the Kaikōura Canyon marine nature reserve. On land the earthquake killed two people and caused massive damage to properties, roads and railways. It caused the sea-floor to leap up by two metres in some locations, exposing stretches of sea snails known as paua along the coast. Further out at sea, it caused a mudslide that destroyed a whole ecosystem. “While fish were still found in the area, this time didn’t record evidence of a single organism living on or in the seabed over a stretch of nearly six kilometres. Nothing. It was quite sobering, and a catastrophic event for the ecology of the canyon,” said Dave Bowden, who led a second exploration of the area. Continue reading the story here 10:49

Stunned chopper pilot finds castaways lost at sea on two seperate boats from Kiribati

The pilot, operating the chopper from a trawler off the Marshall Islands, came across the boats by chance last week, leading to the rescue of three fishermen and a teenage boy, the Marshall Islands Journal reported. It said both boats had set off from Kiribati, about 650 kilometres (400 miles) away. The one with three fishermen aboard had been adrift for 28 days, while the lone 14-year-old in the other had been lost for 11 days. Ocean currents had brought both boats within eight kilometres of each other but they were unaware of the other’s existence until they were spotted and rescued. The trawler Kwila888 picked up the drifters and cut short its tuna fishing trip to drop them in the Marshalls’ capital Majuro last weekend, the Journal reported. Link 15:53

Not Guilty – Judge clears Whitby skipper of sinking boat in harbour

A Whitby skipper accused of sinking a boat in the harbour has spoken of his collapse with tears of relief after the case was dropped. A not guilty verdict has been recorded on Trevor Cross, 49, of Mulgrave Place, Whitby, after the prosecution offered no evidence. Mr Cross, known as Gordon, has spoken to the Whitby Gazette about his ordeal. He said: “It’s a weight lifted off my chest. The night I got the phone call from my barrister telling me the case had been dropped, I just broke down in tears. I was in a pub, went outside and collapsed.” He added: “I maintained my innocence all along – I’m so relieved.”  continue reading the story here 11:09

Fishing inquiry calls for more money for adjustment and an urgent assessment of fishing stocks

An inquiry into commercial fishing in New South Wales has recommended the Government find more money to help fishermen adjust to reforms. $16 million dollars has been put aside to help fishermen buy extra shares to stay in the industry, but many have claimed that won’t be enough. Chair of the inquiry Robert Brown said about $20 million might be required. “No fisher, none of these small businesses should be left hanging,” he said. The reforms were aimed at removing a large number of “latent” licences from the industry but Mr Brown said those licences should have been handled differently from active licences held by working fishermen. continue reading the story here 20:21

Irish Coast Guard rescues severely injured Russian fisherman 140 miles out at sea in heavy winds

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter has rescued a severely injured crewman from a Russian fishing vessel 140 miles off the coast of Kerry in difficult weather conditions. The Shannon-based Rescue 115 helicopter was assisted in a search and rescue operation by the LÉ Róisín naval ship and the Waterford-based Rescue 117 helicopter. Crew members from the LÉ Róisín boarded the Russian fishing vessel this afternoon and assisted in evacuating the crewman. It is believed he became injured in an accident involving fishing gear and may have suffered multiple broken bones. Weather conditions were difficult for the long-range mission, with a strong west to south west swell and gusts of over 35mph. Two additional images, continue reading the story here 17:05

“Cavalier” skipper who sailed at night without navigation lights is jailed

A skipper who sailed at night without navigation lights or safety equipment has been jailed. Shane Barton was caught at the helm of the Nicky Noo on a number of occasions between May 22 2014 and October 20 2016 when the fishing vessel contravened safety laws. The 42-year-old was caught by enforcement officers in Christchurch, as well as Fowey in Cornwall and Castlebridge in Devon, operating without navigation lights, safety equipment or a properly-trained crew. In mid-October last year, the safety certificate for the Nicky Noo expired. A spokesperson from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said Judge Ian Lawrie, sentencing the defendant at Plymouth Crown Court, called Barton “complacent and arrogant” and had shown a “cavalier attitude” to the safety of his crew. Read the story here 08:57

DMC researchers test technique to determine lobster’s age

Research professor Rick Wahle and graduate student Carl Huntsberger are testing a technique at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center to determine the age of lobsters. Unlike fish, mollusks and trees, Wahle says lobsters and other crustaceans molt—or cast off their skeletons thereby discarding external signs of growth. That means a lobster’s age is estimated on size, but it’s a rough determination because ocean conditions affect the crustacean’s growth rate. Not knowing a lobster’s age is problematic for scientists and fishery managers seeking to measure the health of the fishery and the sustainability of the stock. Continue reading the story here 10:06

Fisherman’s Strike Ends: “We Had A Gun To Our Heads”, Says Union Leader

The strike that went on for about two months has finally drawn to a close, but one union official says the deal was reached after the Minister of Fisheries essentially threatened to enact a law forcing the fishermen back to work. RÚV reports that the vote to go back to work was a close one: 52.4% voted in favour, with 46.9% voting against, and only 53.7% of eligible fishermen took part in the vote. As to be expected from such a close vote, opinion was mixed amongst fishermen reporters spoke to. A great many were simply pleased to be back to work, while many others were still unsatisfied with the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement. Continue reading the story here 09:10

The Five Trillion Dollar Plan to Save the Arctic Ice

Just in case you thought the climate community had run out of absurd ideas to waste taxpayer’s money, here is an academic plan to rebuild Arctic ice, by deploying 100 million wind turbines into the Arctic Ocean. Save the Arctic with $5 trillion of floating, wind-powered ice machines, researchers recommend With the Arctic warming faster than anywhere else on Earth, a new scientific paper is proposing a radical scheme to thicken the ice cap: millions upon millions of autonomous ice machines. Specifically, between 10 and 100 million floating, wind-powered pumps designed to spray water over sea ice during the winter. In the most ambitious version of the plan, 100 million devices would be deployed across the Arctic,,, Continue to read the absurdity here! 12:33

White spot threat: is fishing finished in Queensland?

The Logan River white spot epidemic could destroy all mainland fishing in Queensland, including a big slice of the Cooloola Coast seafood and tourism economy, industry leader Kev Reibel has warned. A Queensland Seafood Industry Association board member and Tin Can Bay trawler operator, Mr Reibel said the threat was credible and immediate. “To say we are worried would be something of an understatement,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Gympie Times on Sunday. “We don’t know if it can be stopped and we don’t know its boundaries within the crustaceans, or even if it has any boundaries. If it affects crabs, that’s another industry and another tourism factor wiped out. He backed claims by industry environmental adviser and Bay net fishing operator Joe McLeod that the apparently unstoppable virus is a threat to the food chains which sustain all kinds of fin fishing. Mr McLeod said the plankton that kicked off the fin fish food chain included juvenile prawns and other crustaceans. “If they’re not there, there is nothing for the fish to eat,” Mr McLeod said yesterday. Both said there was a fearful lack of knowledge of the virus’ boundaries, especially with the crustacean group.  Continue reading the story here 09:32

Ireland should follow Britain out of the EU

County Donegal skippers like Michael Callaghan have long learned to contend with rasping North Atlantic gales and 30-foot waves — but nothing prepared them for the political shock of Brexit, and the threat it would pose to their livelihoods. Trapped in port by an approaching storm, the 44-year-old trawlerman has time to lament what he sees as bleak prospects for the Irish fishing industry. His latest haul of Atlantic horse mackerel was caught to the north, in Scottish waters, and his survival depends on continued access to those lucrative British fishing grounds. As he unloads a silver stream of fish into a chute from his 51-meter trawler, the Pacelli, he explains he has little hope of Irish politicians coming to his rescue, as Brexit raises existential questions about where he can catch and sell his fish. “Fisheries isn’t of huge economic value to Ireland Inc., so there’s no appetite in Dublin to look after coastal communities, especially fishermen,” he says, as he offers a tour of the boat. “We’d have to leave the EU to wrangle any of our power back.” Continue reading the story here 13:49

Todays Nuttery: Rogue Fishing Ops Call for Enforcement Led by U.S. Navy, a Primary Tenet of Global High Seas Marine Preserve

Pressure on coastal fisheries, from overfishing and pollution, is pushing more and more fishing trawlers into the high seas or to illegally poach on territories with no ability to enforcement their 200-mile territorial limits. One of the primary tenets of the Global High Sea Marine Preserve, a non-profit dedicated to saving the oceans founded by Danny Quintana, is to ban industrial fishing in international waters for the United States Navy to take lead role with other maritime forces to enforce the ban. The Law of the Seas Treaty needs to be renegotiated and approved by the United States Senate to facilitate such an eventuality.,, According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of endangered species, 1,414 species of fish, or 5 percent of the world’s known species, are at risk for extinction. While habitat loss and pollution are significant factors in the decline of these species, the greatest threat by far is overfishing. (wow!) Continue reading the stuff here 11:32

Grundens Deck-Boss Boot wins Miami Boat Show Innovation Award

Grundéns, producer of the world’s leading foul weather gear, was recognized with an Innovation Award today at the 2017 Miami Boat Show for its new 15-inch Deck-Boss Boot. The boot, which will be available at retail locations in April 2017, is Grundéns’ first foray into performance footwear for professional fishermen. “We are elated to receive this honor and overwhelming positive reaction for our new boot,” said Mike Jackson , Grundéns president. “For more than two years, we worked hard to design a boot for fishermen on decks around the world, from Alaska to the Bahamas.” Read more about Deck-Boss Boots, and see more images here 14:17

Update – Sweden’s Request to Ban American Lobster in the EU Risks Violating the Rules of the WTO

In July 2016, we reported that the Swedish Government had requested that the European Union impose a ban on imports of U.S./Canadian live lobster (Homarus americanus). Sweden argues that Homarus americanus should be designated an “alien invasive species” under EU law because it is not native to the EU, it poses serious risks to European lobsters through the spreading of disease, and because once the American lobster is established, it will be impossible to eradicate. An expert group of the European Commission’s Directorate of Environment, the Scientific Forum on Invasive Alien Species, has assessed Sweden’s request in terms of the sufficiency of the scientific evidence presented. In September 2016, it confirmed the validity of the risk assessment and found there was enough evidence to move forward with a full scientific review of Sweden’s request. This broader review of the request to ban live American lobster in the EU is expected to be completed by spring 2017, at the earliest. If that review approves the request, the motion would go to the full European Commission for a final vote. Continue reading the article here 10:25

It’s a shark-eat-shark world off Bermagui, New South Wales

When you’re on the food chain, there’s always something bigger than you – even if you’re an apex predator it seems. A video shot by Bermagui commercial fisherman Jason Moyce shows the result of when a 150kg whaler shark caught on his line is seen as an easy meal for something much bigger. Mr Moyce was fishing off Cuttagee Beach Friday morning when he got more than he bargained for – or perhaps it could be said he got a lot less. The whaler had a large chunk missing, seemingly made by a single bite. In Mr Moyce’s opinion it was likely a tiger shark who enjoyed the easy meal. “It was a fresh bite, only a matter of hours,” he said. Continue reading the story here 09:35

Furuno’s Multi-Beam Sonar reaches new depths

The DFF3D Multi-Beam Sonar brings you the ability to see the underwater world all around your vessel in real time. Fish targets are shown in 3D within the water column, allowing you to pinpoint fishing hot spots and mark them as waypoints for later. Amazingly, the waypoint contains the depth data, so you’ll know right where to drop your line! With the triple beam sounder, you can even watch the fish swim from one side of the boat to the other. With the addition of the DFF3D, Furuno’s NavNet TZtouch and TZtouch2 MFD’s have just become your most valuable tool for finding and catching more fish! Read the article here 09:02

Fight for fishermen – European Union bid to grab UK fish stocks under Brexit revealed

Leaked reports claimed this week that MEPs in the European Parliament are drafting provisions to be included in the final Brexit agreement – including legislation that Britain should not be allowed an “increase to the UK’s share of fishing opportunities for jointly fished stocks”. EU countries want fishing rules which apply to all member states to continue to apply to Britain’s waters after the divorce. As such, the fish in Britain’s territory would be seen as a ‘shared resource’. The suggestion Britain could be overruled by the EU – once the split becomes official – has angered British politicians. Outraged Mike Hookem said Britain’s waters must return to “UK control regardless of what the EU want”. Continue reading the story here 06:54

Study: Seismic Testing Disrupts Fish Behavior

Almost anyone who’s thrown a hook in the water to catch a fish in a quiet atmosphere probably knows intuitively that loud noises spook them: you don’t scream at fish to bite, after all, you wait patiently. But intuition isn’t science, and seismic airguns don’t make just any loud noise, so when University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences doctoral student Avery Paxton and some colleagues got the opportunity to do some real science on an issue that’s germane to the hot topic of oil and gas exploration by seismic surveys, they jumped at the chance. What they found, back in September 2014 when they did a study during a U.S. Geological Survey seismic mapping effort in the Atlantic Ocean off Beaufort Inlet, not only confirmed intuition, but surprised them in its degree: 78 percent of the fish on a reef near the seismic survey “went missing,” compared to counts at the same time the three previous days during the evening hours, the peak time for fish, such as snapper, grouper and angelfish, to gather there. Continue reading the article here 10:27

National Weather Service suffers ‘catastrophic’ outage, stops sending forecasts, warnings

On a day when a blizzard was pasting Maine and northern California faced a dire flooding threat, several of the National Weather Service’s primary systems for sending out alerts to the public failed for nearly three hours. Between approximately 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time Monday, products from the Weather Service stopped disseminating over the internet, including forecasts, warnings and current conditions. At about 4 p.m. Monday, a Weather Service spokesperson said the “system just came back up” and that more information about the cause of the outage was forthcoming. During the outage, the Weather Service’s public-facing website, Weather.gov, no longer posted updated information. Ryan Hickman, chief technology officer for AllisonHouse, a weather data provider, called the situation “catastrophic.” Continue reading the story here 08:53

Remembering the World’s Most Famous Sea Captain

Phil Harris died on Feb. 9, 2010 — but his spirit lives on. Fans and friends from around the world mourned the loss of their favorite TV sea captain when he died seven years ago today, on Feb. 9, 2010. Without him, “Deadliest Catch” may not have caught on with millions of TV viewers around the globe. None of us can order Alaskan king crab without thinking of him and the men he worked with, and the near-death experiences they endure doing their jobs. No screenwriter could have come up with a character Captain Phil, and no Hollywood set can match the setting the film crews captured in the long-running hit TV series. Without Captain Phil, though, none of it would have been possible. “Deadliest Catch,” which debuted in 2005 on the Discovery Channel, helped change the direction of reality TV. Continue reading the story here 17:31

Skipper knew he came across something special when he landed this rare and exotic Slipper Lobster

The extremely rare Slipper Lobster was found recently off Ros a Mhil near the Aran Islands and is now being cared for by Galway Atlantaquaria. This is the first recorded landing of this species this far into the Atlantic north. Slipper Lobsters are bottom dwelling creatures usually found throughout the Mediterranean. Over the last decade there has been a couple of reports of the species being caught off Kerry and a pregnant Slipper lobster was landed off Cork in 2007. Skipper John Connolly of the ‘Connacht Ranger’ from Kilronan on Inis Mor, and landed this exotic catch off Ros a Mhil. The Skipper knew he had landed something rare and so he contacted the Marine Institute to report his find. Read the story here 14:44

Open Letter to George Soros, Help Us Kill Industrial Fishing

Dear Mr. Soros: The Global High Seas Marine Preserve, when established, will effectively ban industrial and commercial fishing in international waters and thus allow stocks of major marine predators and other species to return in numbers sufficient to permit “some” fishing. My name is Danny Quintana and I conceived of the idea of the GHSMP when writing my latest book, Space & Ocean Exploration: The Alternative to the Military-Industrial Complex. During research for the book I realized how dire the situation of ocean wildlife had become in the last 50 years during a technological boom in the fishing industry and the sushi craze which is still in full swing throughout much of the world. Read the rest here (if you can stand it!) 08:30

Fishing For Litter: We’ve got ‘healthier’ fish after success of the sea litter scheme

It may be a load of rubbish but for the fishing industry, the discarded waste being piled up at harbours across Scotland is netting them a prize catch. Fishing boats once dumped junk they hauled up in their nets back overboard. Now they bag the refuse and take it to port to be disposed of. The Fishing For Litter scheme has just reached the milestone of pulling 1000 tonnes of potentially dangerous refuse from the seabed. Jimmy Buchan, who starred in the BBC TV series Trawler-men, documenting the work of fishermen, said: “When we first started it, we would maybe lift a tonne of rubbish in a trip but I know it is working because now we hardly fill the bottom of a bag. “What we have done means that we are having an environmentally positive effect.” Read the story here 12:07

Killer virus that devastated Gold Coast prawn farmers is on the doorstep of Moreton Bay’s multimillion-dollar fishing industry.

More than 100 wild prawns just south of the Logan River in Southern Moreton Bay have tested positive to the virus responsible for the deadly white spot disease. The virus can kill whole ponds of prawns within days and experts fear it could easily spread to other crustaceans such as mud crabs and Moreton Bay bugs. Announcing the positive testing of 108 wild prawns yesterday, Biosecurity Queensland confirmed the outbreak that ravaged prawn farmers for the past two months had been found outside the Logan River for the first time. Griffith University ecologist Professor Michelle Burford said the disease could move into the main part of Moreton Bay, threatening a large chunk of Queensland’s $120 million wild-caught fishing industry. “There is every potential for the disease to move into other areas,” Prof Burford said. Read the story here 09:41

New Man Overboard Prevention and Sea Survival Course for Fishermen

A ground breaking new pilot training course for fishermen aimed at preventing man overboard incidents and improving survival and recovery procedures has just been completed at the RNLI’s Training College in Poole, Dorset. The RNLI, working in conjunction with the UK fishing industry, has developed the two-day training course to better reflect real-life sea conditions so as to ensure fishermen are fully aware of the dangers and challenges of man overboard situations. The training pilot featured a variety of different scenarios, including enabling the participants to compare the differences of being in the water with and without survival gear. The challenges of recovering a man overboard wearing a personal flotation device were also practised, including self-recovery for the single boat fisherman and for those who work as part of a crew. Skipper Peter Bruce from the fishing vessel Budding Rose, who took part in the training, said that the two day course had been incredibly useful. “I hope that I can pass on some of the knowledge gained to my own crew and I believe that fishermen’s training should change to be more in line with the environment we work in,” he said. Read the story here 10:23

Boris Worm The Jellyfish Guy says New York turns into some kind of modern Venice with Sea Level Rise

Coastal communities, including those in Newfoundland and Labrador, could be drowned by significant sea level rise before the end of the century according to a new report released by the U.S. government (NOAA). Boris Worm, a marine scientist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S., says a report by the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests sea levels could rise by 2.5 metres by the year 2100. “They were asking the question, how will any given amount of sea level rise be felt in the U.S. and what are the likely scenarios for sea level rise given current emissions,” he told CBC Radio’s The Broadcast. “They’ve come up with a range of projections, and the notable thing here is that that range of projections is a lot larger than it used to be.” Worm said less than a decade ago, the expectation was between one and two feet of sea level rise by the end of the century.  “They’ve now corrected this and said it’s going to be a lot more, and it could be up to 8.2 feet,” he said. “If that comes true, it means New York turns into some kind of modern Venice, Venice turns to some kind of Atlantis, and I don’t know what it means for Newfoundland … it really means a complete rethinking of how we live close to the coast.” Read the story here 13:45

Massive monster sharks ‘as big as two buses’ still roaming seas, claim experts

Megalodons are huge prehistoric sharks measuring a massive 18 metres in length with razor sharp seven-inch teeth. That makes them almost twice as long as the average bus. Fossils of the gigantic beasts suggest the megalodon resembled a larger version of the modern day great white shark. But some accounts appear to prove that the real-life Jaws still exists today. Dr Karl Shuker, a leading cryptozoologist, has dedicated his life to finding and researching animals thought to be extinct or non-existent. “Unusually large, unidentified sharks are still being reported from time to time.” A video which surfaced in 2016 shows what looked like a 60-foot shark illuminated in the darkness of the sea. It was apparently filmed in the Japan’s Suruga Bay, deep down in the ocean beyond the reach of sunlight. The video sparked speculation that these absolutely massive behemoths could still be in the seas today. Video, Read the story here 11:54

Greenpeace Criticizes Contracting Onboard Monitoring Cameras and Analysis to Trident

Should a commercial fishing company be made responsible for monitoring what goes on board the commercial fishing vessels? Greenpeace leader Russel Norman says, it is like “the fox guarding the henhouses”. Greenpeace has criticized Ministry for Primary Industries for rolling out cameras on fishing vessel which is supplied as well as monitored by Trident for the fishing industry. The company is owned by Sanford and thirteen other seafood and fishing companies in New Zealand. The news was confirmed by Nathan Guy, the minister for MPI. So it is clear that indeed the fishing industry is responsible for analyzing the video surveillance that comes from its own trawlers and reports any suspicious behavior to the regulators. Executive Director of Greenpeace New Zealand, Russel Norman says that makes things worse as the government has given out the contract and analyzing task to the industry with Nathan Guy and Prime Minister John Key defending it. link  11:17

NOAA Says Its Hot As Ever? A NOAA Whistle Blower Turns The Heat Up On Them!!

A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015. The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data. It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr Bates devised. The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers. Read the full story here 20:55

SmartCatch: Net Management for Reducing Bycatch

SmartCatch is an IoT solution to a common problem faced by fishermen around the world: Bycatch. Bycatch refers to all of the unintended marine life that gets caught in a fisherman’s nets in addition to the target species. The SmartCatch system consists of three parts: DigiCatch, SmartNet, and DataCloud. DigiCatch is a real-time, remote-control HD camera and sensor system that stays in the net, allowing fishermen to monitor exactly what’s in their catch. SmartNet is a smart release system that allows fishermen to release rejected marine life in their trawl nets without pulling the net aboard. More information here 16:30

Fishermen fear a catch during negotiations over Brexit

Fishermen around the Kent coast are fearing for the survival of the industry after Brexit as they do not believe the government will deliver a clean break with the EU. The Thanet Fishermen’s Association and Whitstable Fishermen’s Association have thrown their weight behind a 90 page document by Fishing for Leave, an independent campaign aiming for withdrawal from existing EU fishing regulations in order to regain control over the country’s fishing waters and rejuvenate the industry. “When we went into the common market, we had the largest fish stocks and the largest fleet,” explains Mr West, who owns West Whelks on Whitstable harbour. “Now we have the smallest fish fleet and the smallest stocks left as our waters have been abused by other countries. “A lot of people that set the quotas are sitting in an office and haven’t got a clue about how our industry works. We’re told we are allowed to catch haddock, when we haven’t seen a haddock in almost 50 years. Read the story here 12:07

Fish Industry Says Tighter Monitoring Will Hurt Business

Several seafood and restaurant industry groups sued the National Marine Fisheries Service over its plan to more closely monitor where market-bound fish are coming from to thwart those who profit from illegal catches. In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, (Click here to read the complaint) the plaintiff associations claim the new policy would increase the costs incurred by their members and that those costs would further hurt their businesses when they were, of necessity, passed on to consumers. The fisheries service believes a large amount of the fish and other sea life consumed by Americans is being caught by illegal means or in ways that flout conservation and sustainable fishery management practices. For instance, plaintiff Alfa Seafood, a family-owned seafood importer and distributor located in Miami, Florida, claims they would need to hire three additional employees in order to comply with the Rule, which they say would cost them $195,000 per year, including benefits. If the cost of production were to go up, the cost of fish and other seafood to the consumer would also rise, Alfa says. Read the story here 10:53

Australian shark fin export sales showing signs of recovery

A West Australian seafood exporter says sales of shark fins are finally starting to pick up again, after a strong push from environmental groups to ban the global shark fin trade hit the industry hard. The long-standing calls from environmental groups stem from a concern of the sustainability of shark stocks and the prevalence of illegal finning. But fish processor Adam Soumelidis, who runs Great Southern Seafoods in Albany on the south-coast of Western Australia, said Australia had been unfairly dragged down in the bad press on shark fishing. He said while it was a relief that sales were recovering, industry needed to lobby more to make sure fin sales stayed afloat. “Now we’re just slowly, slowly starting to filter in through into the market.” Mr Soumelidis attributed the gradual increase to a better understanding of Australian fishing regulations. “Our practices aren’t like the rest of the world. We don’t fin the sharks and throw them back in,” he said. “Our practices are the whole fish comes in and it gets used. Read the story here 14:36

Fishing industry warns against “trading away” rights in Brexit negotiations

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation says there must be “no trading away” of UK fishing rights amid the Brexit process. It comes after yesterday’s white paper on leaving the EU was published. It shows in 2015, EU skippers caught over six times more fish in UK waters than British fishermen caught in Europe. The government paper also makes mention of a “mutually beneficial deal” for both parties post-Brexit. Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation welcomes the Prime Minister’s stated approach to the Brexit negotiations as one of anticipating success. Delivery of the White Paper vision of a world leading food industry is an ambition fully shared by the fishing sector. Read the story here 11:15

Two get death, 12 get life over Barguna fishermen murders

A Barguna court awarded death sentence to two accused in a case filed over the murder of two fishermen by drowning in the district. The court also gave life imprisonment to 12 others. Another suspect was given a seven-year prison sentence. The verdict was announced by Barguna Additional District and Sessions Judge Md Abu Taher on Monday, reports bdnews24.com. Sixteen fishermen had set out on a trawler to fish in the Bay of Bengal on Feb 14, 2010, said Assistant Public Prosecutor Akhtaruzzaman Bahadur qoting the case details. “Two of the fishermen were drowned after they were convinced a local ‘prophet’ could resurrect the dead,” he said. (lets just try this theory, right?)  The victims were Barguna Sadar Upazila residents ‘Aynal’, 24, and ‘Farooq’, 40. A total of fifteen suspects have been convicted over their deaths. Read the rest here 14:37

Monster winter storm expected to churn up 50-foot waves in the open Atlantic

A monster winter storm is taking shape along the East Coast this week, and the National Weather Service is calling for 50-foot waves in the Atlantic by Tuesday. That’s not just a shot-in-the-dark — if you add up all of the forecast data, there’s over a 90 percent chance that wave heights will exceed 30 feet. This storm is the same trough of low pressure that dipped into the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday and dropped a few inches of snow in the D.C. area. On Monday morning, the storm was just 1005 millibars — barely a low pressure system at all. But over the next 48 hours, the storm is expected to drop to 968 millibars. On its southern side, winds will easily reach Category 1 hurricane-strength. That will churn up waves of 16 meters, which is around 50 feet — at least that’s what the Ocean Prediction Center is forecasting. They’re calling the storm “extremely dangerous low pressure.” Click here for more imagery 13:55

Five fishermen rescued from trawler before it sank off Irish coast

Five crew members had to be rescued from a trawler after it ran aground off Balbriggan in north Dublin early this morning. The 12 metre vessel became disabled at sea and was blown ashore, becoming lodged on a sandbank. The alarm was raised at 5.20am and Dublin coastguard coordinated the rescue. One inshore lifeboat and two all-weather lifeboats were sent to the scene. The Rescue 116 Coast guard helicopter was also involved in the operation. This morning the boat, called the Atlantic Osprey, could be seen half submerged in the sea south of Balbriggan. The wooden hull vessel had been fishing for razor clams when the incident occurred. Read the rest of the story here 16:02

Further proof El Niños are fueled by deep-sea geological heat flow

The 2014-2017 El Niño “warm blob” was likely created, maintained, and partially recharged on two separate occasions by massive pulses of super-heated and chemically charged seawater from deep-sea geological features in the western North Pacific Ocean. This strongly supports the theory all El Niños are naturally occurring and geological in origin. Climate change / global warming had nothing to do with generating, rewarming, intensifying, or increasing the frequency of the 2014-2017 El Niño or any previous El Niño. If proven correct, this would revolutionize climatology and key aspects of many interrelated sciences such as oceanography, marine biology, glaciology, biogeochemistry, and most importantly meteorology. Information supporting a geological origin of El Niños is diverse, reliable, and can be placed into five general categories as follows,,, Read the article here 13:19

The idea that “the public” will use Global Fishing Watch seems doubtful

At John Kerry’s 2014 “Our Ocean” conference, a tuxedoed Leonardo DiCaprio introduced a new technology that promised to end illegal fishing across the globe. Global Fishing Watch boasted real-time monitoring of the world’s ships. This machine-learning spy tool was the result of a collaboration between the conservation advocacy organization Oceana, the satellite surveillance firm SkyTruth, and Google. After it collects and maps vessel location data transmitted from onboard satellite tracking devices, the program organizes all data points on a user-friendly Internet platform. For the first time in history, all fishing activity is recorded–even on the high seas that lie outside national jurisdictions. With Global Fishing Watch’s all-seeing gaze, states can adjudicate crimes to which they were previously blind. But the idea that “the public” will use Global Fishing Watch seems doubtful. The web platform lacks common features without which vigilantes would need a lot of training: pop-ups of helpful tips on what to watch for, alerts to specific hot-spots, built-in reporting mechanisms, or forums for users to share their experiences. Worse, those who the technology could most benefit–local fishers forced to compete with larger illegal ships–often do not have access to a decent Internet connection. If Global Fishing Watch is unlikely to be used by ordinary citizens of the countries most affected by illegal fishing, why is it marketed like a neighborhood watch tool? Read the story here 11:27

Autonomous Ships – If Rolls-Royce has its way, commercial vessels will soon have no crew on board

It’s midnight on the North Atlantic, where a massive container ship receives the latest weather report. There’s a nasty storm brewing ahead. Quietly, the ship changes course and speed, to skirt the worst of it and ensure an on-time arrival at its destination. The ship’s owners and the harbormaster at its next port of call are advised of the revised route. And as it nears shore, the giant ship must correct course once again, this time to steer clear of a fishing vessel off its starboard bow. Just another day for trans-Atlantic shipping, it might seem. In fact, it’s not. You see, this ship has no one aboard. It’s commanded from an operating center on the other side of the world, where technicians are monitoring and controlling this vessel and others like it through a satellite data link—that is, when the ship isn’t just controlling itself. Although robotic ships of this sort are some ways off in the future, it’s not a question of if they will happen but when. Read the story here 09:47

Fishing chiefs insist the industry is doing all it can to adhere to the discard ban

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) insisted fishers were doing “everything possible” to comply with the rules following claims by conservation group WWF the ban is being undermined by poor enforcement. SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: “No-one hates discarding more than our fishermen, who are making a comprehensive effort to comply with this largely unworkable regulation. “Fishermen are doing everything possible to adhere to the rules, and industry and government are working closely together to develop more selective types of fishing gear that will reduce discarding even further. “Installing cameras on fishing vessels is no more than a side show and the presence or absence of them will not solve the problem. The real issue is getting the rules right and the proper refinements in place.” Read the rest here 16:57

Queensland Prawn importers under investigation for biosecurity breach

A number of prawn suppliers and importers are under investigation for not meeting biosecurity measures in the time leading up to a disease outbreak. The Department of Agriculture and Water Services had been investigating the suppliers and importers since August 2016, five months before it became public that white spot disease had been detected in Queensland. Since December five prawn farms had tested positive for the virus, which causes a high death rate in the crustacean, and the import of green prawns had been banned indefinitely. The maximum penalty if the suppliers and importers are found to have been illegally importing goods for a commercial advantage under the Biosecurity Act 2015 is 10 years in prison or $360,000 or both. Read the story here 10:06

International Pacific Halibut Commission approves increases in halibut catch limits

Most parts of the Pacific coastline will see an increase in commercial and charter fishing catch limits for halibut this year. The International Pacific Halibut Commission Friday approved a coast-wide catch limit of 31.4 million pounds of the valuable bottom fish. That’s an increase from just under 30 million pounds last year. Several parts of the coast were facing catch limit cuts based on alternatives presented by IPHC scientists. However, commissioners voted to boost harvest limits instead of making reductions. There was some disagreement about the BC catch limit this year. Listen to the audio report or read it here 19:11