Category Archives: International News

Fishing crew rescued 12 days after boat breaks down in Great Australian Bight

A fishing crew whose boat was adrift for almost a fortnight in the Great Australian Bight has made it safely back to land, days after running out of food and being forced to eat its seafood catch. But in a tragic twist, one of the five-member crew was informed of the death of a family member while the vessel was stranded at sea. The fishing vessel Silver Phoenix was today towed back to the wharf at Port Lincoln on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. The crew, which included a fisheries researcher from Canberra, spent 12 days drifting in the Southern Ocean after running into engine trouble in waters off the SA–WA border. “There was nobody else out there,” skipper Peter Woods said. >click to read<12:08

U.S. Coast Guard responds to over 700 false alerts in 2018, urges everyone to register beacons

After responding to over 700 false alerts in 2018, the Coast Guard is urging anyone with an emergency position indicating radio beacon to properly register their device. An EPIRB is a device that transmits a distress signal to a satellite system called Cospas-Sarsat. The satellites relay the signal to a network of ground units and ultimately to the Coast Guard and other emergency responders. Owners of commercial fishing vessels, uninspected passenger vessels that carry six or more people, and uninspected commercial vessels are legally required to carry an EPIRB. However, the Coast Guard recommends that every mariner who transits offshore or on long voyages should carry an EPIRB. >click to read<09:59

MPA’s: Trawlers allowed to fish in E.U. marine (un)protected areas – “We were surprised to find this,” said Boris Worm

Marine Protected Areas appear to not be particularly protected. At least not around Europe. A study released Thursday in the journal Science found that trawling efforts were about 36 per cent higher inside European Union Marine Protected Areas than it was outside of them. It also found that abundance of species often caught as bycatch in trawls, like sharks, skates and rays, was lower inside the heavily fished marine protected areas than outside. “We were surprised to find this,” said Boris Worm, a Dalhousie University marine ecologist who was also a senior author of the study. >click to read<19:45

Japan to pull out of IWC to resume commercial whaling

Japan has decided to pull out of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), officials told AFP on Thursday, as Tokyo reportedly gears up to resume commercial whaling activity next year. Such a move would spark international criticism against Japan over whale conservation and deepen the divide between anti- and pro-whaling countries. “We are considering all options” including the possibility of withdrawal from the 89-member IWC, Fisheries Agency official Yuki Morita told AFP. Another official at the foreign ministry confirmed “all options are on the table but nothing formal has been decided yet”. >click to read<17:10

The farm bill’s untold story: What did Congress do for fish sticks?

The farm bill that Congress passed last week will be known for many things. It increases subsidies for farmers and legalizes industrial hemp. But for Alaska, the bigger impact might be what the bill does for fish sticks served in school lunchrooms across America. The National School Lunch Program has for decades required school districts to buy American-made food. But that doesn’t always happen when it comes to fish. “There was a major loophole,” Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said. “Major. That allowed, for example, Russian-caught pollock, processed in China with phosphates, sent back to the United States for purchase in the U.S. school lunch program.”>click to read<

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 64′ RSW Seiner/Scalloper/Herring vessel, 422HP CAT, Northern Lights – 60 KW

Specifications, information and 3 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here<13:15

Namibia’s ‘firstborn’ fishing vessel christened

NAMIBIA’S first brand new purpose-built fishing vessel, the ‘Oshiveli’ (which means ‘firstborn’ in Oshiwambo), was officially named by fisheries minister Bernhard Esau at Walvis Bay yesterday. Oshiveli was built for Tunacor, to the tune of N$200 million, in Spain since October last year and arrived at Walvis Bay recently, way before its scheduled delivery early next year. It will “start working” as of the end of this month. Tunacor Group chairperson Sidney Martin said the ship’s customised capability to catch three different species of fish (hake, horse mackerel and monk) with just a change of gear,,, >click to read<11:14

No-guilt fishing is here: WA company invents plastic-free bait system

A West Australian company has developed new burley and lobster bait boxes to let anglers and crayfishers go plastic-free, paving the way for cleaner fishing in a plastic-filled world. And all the bait they use – mulies, mullet, tuna heads, prawns – is covered in plastic, be it bags or vacuum-sealed plastic liners.,, WA bait and seafood supplier Mendolia decided things had to change, came up with the idea of the bait blocks and partnered with Recfishwest to develop a product that did away with plastic bags and lining. Burley Boxes are made using waste from sardines, which Mendolia catch themselves, frozen inside a 1-kilogram biodegradable box the size of a house brick. >click to read<10:29

Open Season: It might be time to ‘seal’ a deal to help fishermen

According to local lobstermen, the fishing in Buzzards Bay suffers a lull in the heat of late summer but usually picks up again around Thanksgiving when the water cools. But that’s not the case this year, according to my own experience. I have a recreational lobster license, which allows me to run up to ten pots with a stipulation that the lobsters can’t be sold. I run those ten pots in the Bay from spring through December and fished them as late as mid-January last year, but I hauled them for the season on Tuesday. It stopped being fun. For November and early December, my harvest was less than half of what I caught last year during the same period. Some say that the increase in ocean temperatures, due to climate change, is chasing the lobsters North to colder waters but it’s my opinion that the populations of lobsters, like any other wildlife species, are cyclical with highs and lows. Wildlife numbers are never stagnant. >click to read<18:33

10 Indonesian nationals caught trying to smuggle shark fins from Hawaii plead guilty

The fishermen accused of trying to smuggle nearly 1,000 shark fins out of Hawaii changed their plead in court Friday to guilty. Federal investigators say the 10 Indonesian nationals were caught last month after trying to sneak the shark fins through Honolulu’s airport. They were all working aboard the Japanese-flagged fishing vessel Kyoshin Maru and were part of an extensive shark fining operation. >click to read<14:12

Ryan Zinke Is Leaving The Interior Department, Trump Tweets

Ryan Zinke is out as Secretary of the Interior.  Zinke will be leaving the Trump administration at the end of the year; his successor is expected to be announced next week. On Saturday morning President Trump tweeted that Zinke is leaving after serving for almost two years. He said Zinke has accomplished much during his tenure, and thanked him for his service. Zinke’s departure comes after a tumultuous two years at the department, marked by mounting allegations of misconduct in office. He also faced the prospect of congressional probes after newly-elected Democrats take majority control of the House. >click to read<10:55

The Jones Act’s Strange Bedfellows

A strange thing happened on December 6th, 2018, when President Donald Trump signed a waiver that allowed the American business, Fishermen’s Finest, to sail its 80.5-meter fishing boat, America’s Finest, out of a Washington State shipyard over objections from special interest labor unions and trade associations. The ship was held in the harbor because its hull was made with too much Dutch steel. This violated the century-old protectionist law, the Jones Act, a little-known law passed in 1920. Even many of those who are hurt by it are unfamiliar with how this cumbersome law that likely costs the American economy millions of dollars every year. >click to read<15:53

‘Fish don’t do borders’: Life on the Irish Sea after a hard Brexit

It is an overcast but dry December morning at Howth pier in north Co Dublin. John Lynch and his crew are preparing to take his trawler, the Eblana, out into the Irish Sea. The water is calm, for now. Our destination is a border, not a hard or soft border but a watery frontier. Lynch is bringing The Irish Times out to the Irish Sea border between what will be European Union and UK waters after Brexit. The boundary is just 30 nautical miles out, the equivalent of 34 miles on land. If the Brexit deal is not ratified by the time the UK is set to leave the EU on March 29th, 2019, this is the line beyond which Lynch must pull up his nets and stop fishing. >click to read<11:01

Port of New Bedford ranks No. 1 for 18th consecutive year

Death, taxes and New Bedford ranked as the most valuable fishing port in the country remain certainties in life. NOAA announced its annual fish landings data on Thursday for 2017, and for the 18th consecutive year the Port of New Bedford topped all others in terms of value. The port landed $389 million in 2017, more than $200 million more than Dutch Harbor, Alaska, which landed $173 million. Scallops accounted for 80 percent of the seafood landed in New Bedford.>click to read<15:23

Five shrimp fishermen rescued off Isla Mujeres

A crew of five local shrimp fishermen were plucked from the sea Monday after their boat began to sink. The Secretary of the Navy of Mexico says personnel from the Fifth Naval Region at Isla Mujeres were called for a rescue mission after the five crew members required assistance when their shrimp boat quickly began sinking.  The Kukulkan VI began to take on water while the crew were approximately 17 nautical miles (31 kilometers) north of Isla Mujeres. The Navy of Mexico responded to the emergency panic alert sent by those on board. >click to read<12:04

‘Tantamount to theft’: WA fishers sound off about government rock lobster intervention

Fishers have called the state government’s plans to take ownership of a significant chunk of WA’s rock lobster industry everything from the “next WA Inc” to “a great plan” set to solidify the industry’s future. After Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly formally announced the government’s “development package” on Monday, the Western Rock Lobster Council of WA was quick to sound off about their concerns with the proposal. >click to read<23:24

Seafood exporters worried as US plans to regulate imports

The new Seafood Import Monitoring Policy (SIMP) regulations of the US on shrimps and other marine products are giving India’s seafood sector the jitters as it sees a backlash on surging exports. Unless some effective steps have been taken by exporters, the move — which will be effective from January 1 — may impact 50 per cent of India’s shrimp production that is headed for the US. Seafood exporters have called for measures to strengthen the procedures for registration of aquaculture farms and fishing boats and linking them to certification to tackle traceability issues that affect clearance by health authorities abroad. >click to read<13:03

Can scientists build a blueprint for bluefin tuna?

For several years, biotech companies have been promising “clean” meat, “cell-based” meat, “cultured” meat – whatever you want to call it – as a way to enjoy the taste of chicken, pork and beef without the brutality of animal slaughter or the environmental damage of big agriculture. But what about fish? What about something as prized as buttery bluefin tuna, a delicacy that has become the forbidden fruit of the sea because of the many threats that have landed the fish on threatened and endangered species lists? Where are the Silicon Valley start-ups promising to free us from the guilt of gobbling down a finger of otoro sushi, the rich bluefin belly meat, without contributing to the decline of the fish or the decline of our own health via mercury that accumulates in the flesh of this apex predator?>click to read<07:51

Increasing seal population will not harm largest fish stocks in the Baltic

It has long been debated whether the seal predation of fish play a major role in the fish decline in the Baltic Sea compared to human fishing. The debate escalated worldwide since conservation efforts to protect seals and fish-eating birds resulted in increased number of them.  A new study taking into account human pressures on the environment, shows that the seals are not the main problem on commercial fish stocks in the open water of the Baltic Sea. “We currently have 30 000 grey seals in the Baltic Proper, but we can even have more than 100 000 seals and it will still not affect the amount of cod negatively as much as climate change, nutrient load and fisheries. (scratches head) >click to read<07:26

The calm before the storm – the fishermen waiting for Brexit

Newlyn looks the same as it always has. The Atlantic sweeps into the bay, gently rocking the boats moored there. The scent of fish rises from the docks and the market. St Michael’s Mount sits further round the bay, offering the perfect backdrop for a postcard. It doesn’t feel like a political hub, yet the town has been the subject of countless Brexit stories. It’s the perfect angle: a traditional industry which argues it’s been sold out again and again. Once more, it’s a bargaining chip on the negotiating table. And there are a lot of lives resting on that chip. Fishing was one of the strongest voices calling to leave Europe in 2016. Their demands were some of the clearest,,, >click to read<13:20

Tomorrow’s fishery

While fisheries biologists in the north are hard at work crunching numbers in an effort to develop their best guess at how many salmon will return to Alaska next year, Atlantic Sapphire is getting ready to load it first 800,000 salmon eggs into a massive, onshore “Bluehouse” in Florida. A “successful 90-day, on site hatchery trial has validated water quality and local conditions,” the Norwegian company said in a report to shareholders in mid-November.,,, The implications for Alaska commercial salmon fisheries are significant, but those who suggest the growing competition warrants some serious discussion as to how the 49th state retains value in its salmon resources are generally vilified as commercial fishery haters. >click to read<12:27

Campaign To Return WWI Steam Trawler

A group of trustees are seeking to return one of the only surviving steam trawlers used in the First World War. The Viola was built in East Yorkshire in 1906 and operated from Humber Dock as part of a fleet of boxing trawlers. However, after a career which included being used to defend the UK in the Great War and as a fishing vessel around the world, campaigners are now hoping to return the boat from a South Georgian beach to Hull, East Yorks. The trustees have since teamed up with a distillery, who have named their special brand of gin after the Viola. >click to read<11:24

Jack Spillane: NOAA – A rogue agency gets set to shut down another New Bedford fishery

Scott Lang has been around fisheries issues for a long time. Both when he was mayor and afterwards. In 2013, Lang helped organize the Center for Sustainable Fisheries as a grassroots lobbying group to try to make sure New Bedford fishermen were not totally forgotten by NOAA. He’s worked for the industry for a long time and seen a lot of arguments from both sides back-and-forth over the years. But until last week, he said he had never seen NOAA make a decision to close a fishery with no science behind it. Not even questionable science, as for years NOAA has used for New England groundfishing limits in the opinion of many. >click to read<09:42

Falklands’ fishing fleet latest incorporation F/V Argos Cies Open Day

The stern trawler F/V Argos Cies opened its doors at FIPASS to the general public last Sunday as it became the latest new-build to join the Falkland Islands fishing fleet. Members of the public were given a tour of ship, as were invited guests during a reception held in the evening. The newest addition to the Falklands’ fishing fleet F/V Argos Cies was launched in Vigo, Spain on October 17 in front of 260 invited guests. From Argos Group Ltd a number of Directors, Shareholders, family members and staff travelled to Vigo to mark the occasion. >click to read<11:14

When All Hell Breaks Loose: Years after Deepwater Horizon, Offshore Drilling Hazards Persist

This is part one of a three-part investigation into offshore drilling safety. >Read part two here. Read part three here.< They are known as the “last line of defense” against an offshore drilling blowout and uncontrolled spill. They are supposed to save the lives of oil workers and protect the environment. But, as the Trump Administration proposes weakening safety requirements for these critical defenses, a Project On Government Oversight investigation found that they are dangerously vulnerable to failure. In an emergency, the defenses known as “blowout preventers” are meant to choke off the flow of highly pressurized gas and oil rising through well pipes from deep beneath the ocean floor. However, far from being fail-safe, blowout preventers have failed in myriad and often unpredictable ways. So have the people responsible for maintaining and operating them. >click to read<17:42

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 65′ Fiberglass Longliner, Cummins 855TA, 40 KW Genset, Fed Permits available

Specifications, information and 35 photo’s >click here< Swordfish Directed, Shark Directed, Atlantic Tuna Longline available for an additional cost. To see all the boats in this series, >click here<12:06

CETA and Atlantic Canada’s fishery: From international trade to the outport stage

As trade grows between Canada and the European Union (EU), the results of this international partnership are washing ashore in fishing outports across the province. The fishery, which was historically the economic foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, is today an industry continuously beset by cuts, declines and uncertainties. But in recent years, words of hope and rebound are growing in the public discourse. With tariffs declining and opportunities arising, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU has the potential to play a key role in the livelihoods of harvesters and processors. >click to read<11:12

A “culture of acceptance”? Fishing fatalities prompt warning amid revelation working on boats more dangerous than mining

The owner of the largest fleet in Australia’s most valuable prawn fishery has called on industry to tackle its safety problems amid revelations fishing is about 25 times more dangerous to work in than mining and construction. Arthur Raptis said a “culture of acceptance” had led many to believe a series of fatal and other serious accidents in recent years was “just part of fishing”. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said five people are killed on fishing boats every year. Mr Raptis said his industry’s track record was “less than average” and unless attitudes changed, unnecessary deaths and serious injuries would continue to happen. >click to read<09:37

Shipwrecked fisherman forced to swim for 45 minutes after boat hit rocks and sank off Jersey’s coast

At 10.30 am on 30 July, a man in his mid-20s left La Collette Marina on his 6.25-metre open fishing boat, called Blue Pearl, to haul and reset his lobster pots. He then made his way to the first pot, near Demie de Pas, heading east towards La Rocque. After picking up his final string of pots, the skipper turned to the south-west and began dealing with the lobsters that he had caught. But minutes later the vessel struck a submerged rock about two-and-a-half miles from La Rocque and began listing heavily to its port side, before taking on water and capsizing. >click to read<18:58

‘Get the balance back’: Amid seal and sea lion boom, group calls for hunt on B.C. coast

For the first time in decades, a small-scale seal hunt is taking place on Canada’s West Coast — all in the hopes that it leads to the establishment of a commercial industry to help control booming seal and sea lion populations and protect the region’s fish stocks.,,, The hunting of seals and sea lions — which are collectively known as pinnipeds — has been banned on the West Coast for more than 40 years. It’s one reason their numbers have exploded along the entire Pacific coastline of North America.,,, Fisheries scientist Carl Walters, a professor emeritus with UBC, believes culling the regions sea lions and seals could dramatically boost salmon stocks. He points to numerous studies showing how pinniped populations have been increasing, while salmon numbers have been plummeting. >click to read<17:14