Category Archives: International News

Marine Accident Investigation Branch – Fishermen ‘worked to exhaustion’ before death in sinking

Martin Johnstone, Christopher Morrison and Paul Alliston died when the Louise went down in the Outer Hebrides in April last year. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) found a series of mistakes contributed to the sinking of the boat, while the emergency response was delayed by almost an hour. The Louisa’s four-man crew were asleep when the creel boat began taking on water at anchor off Mingulay. They had worked 20-hour shifts for four days before the sinking, sleeping between stringing creels and eating snacks as they went. An alarm intended to warn them about flooding had been disabled and they did not wake up until the Louisa was already sinking rapidly. The men abandoned the boat but were unable to inflate their faulty life raft. click here to read the story 20:56

Study Reviews Trawler Effects on Seabed

An international group has taken a close look at how different types of bottom trawling affect the seabed. It finds that all trawling is not created equal — the most benign type removes 6 percent of the animal and plant life on the seabed each time the net passes, while the most other methods remove closer to a third. A University of Washington professor is among the main authors on the study, led by Bangor University in the U.K. and published July 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The meta-analysis looks at 70 previous studies of bottom trawling, most in the Eastern U.S. and Western Europe. It looks across those studies to compare the effects on the seabed of four techniques: otter trawling, a common method that uses two “doors” towed vertically in the water or along the bottom to hold the net open; beam trawls, which hold the net open with a heavy metal beam; towed dredges, which drag a flat or toothed metal bar directly along the seafloor; and hydraulic dredges, which use water to loosen the seabed and collect animals that live in the sediment. click here to read the story 16:04

Choosing the best wet weather gear for your job

Finding and selecting the right wet weather gear will always depend on the task at hand. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. If you work in commercial fishing, for example, then heavy-duty clothing will likely be your best bet. This includes things like oilskins and rain-resistant PVC. But if you work in dairy farming – or just need extra layers for the colder months – then there is a variety of lightweight and mid-weight gear that could be better suited. It all depends on the amount of protection and flexibility you need. You must also consider mobility too. If you have an active job, like a farmer who’s on and off quad bikes all day, you’ll need to prioritise mobility and weight distribution over warmth. click here to read the article 14:07

Why Scotland’s Struggling Fishing Industry Backed Brexit, and Why Its Fishermen May Regret It

It’s 4 a.m., and the boat’s spotlights, affixed to both the wheelhouse and a spindly mast, illuminate the greasy deck. The Launch Out, a 60-foot prawn trawler based out of Pittenweem on Scotland’s east coast, mows through the waves on its way toward the fishing grounds. Inside the wheelhouse, the captain rolls matchstick-thin cigarettes and checks his course on the GPS. Below the deck, his two sons fumble with their yellow oilskins and ready their orange rubber boots. Outside, I watch as the ink-black sea slaps into the boat’s hull, rocking it like a cradle. The wooden deck creaks, the water fizzes, and the wind howls through the hood of my jacket. click here to read the story 11:54

Water police not told of missing trawler for four days, WA inquest hears

An inquest has heard there were critical delays in police being notified about a missing prawn trawler that sank off the Pilbara coast in 2015, resulting in three deaths. A coronial inquest has begun in Perth into how Murray Turner, 57, Chad Fairley, 30, and Mason Carter, 26, died. Mr Turner’s trawler, the Returner, sank about 20 kilometres off the Karratha coast in July 2015. The inquest heard police were only notified about the missing vessel almost five days after it stopped communicating with the Department of Fisheries’ monitoring system, which is primarily used as a surveillance and compliance tool. click here to read the story 08:35

Families hope inquest into Pilbara prawn trawler deaths will lead to industry reform

The families of two fishermen presumed dead after their prawn trawler sunk off the Pilbara coast two years ago say they are apprehensive of a coronial inquest starting on Monday. The Returner sank in mid July 2015 off the Pilbara coast, killing 57-year-old skipper Murray Turner, Chad Fairley, 30, and Mason Carter, 26. An extensive search located the vessel and the body of the skipper, but the two younger crewman were never recovered.  Tomorrow, the WA’s Coroner’s Court will begin examining what caused the trawler to sink and the circumstances surrounding the men’s deaths. click here to read the story 11:25

The fascinating history of sea serpent sightings in the Humber and North Sea

Newspaper reports dating back as far as the 1920s detail mysterious creatures spotted by trawlermen.,,, The story began in August 1922, when on Wednesday, August 30, a Grimsby steam trawler named CHANDOS, had a run-in with a sea serpent in the North Sea, 35 miles out from Spurn Point. The crew, who had sailed from Grimsby that morning, believed that they were initially seeing two brown sails from two inshore fishing boats, so approached them at a steady rate of knots. click here to read the story 12:37

The man who destroyed the West Coast rock lobster

It took only 14 years for Cape Town businessman Arnold Bengis to decimate one of South Africa’s most treasured marine species. Now he is being made to pay by a US court‚ which has ordered the 81-year-old to cough up $37-million (about R483-million) for pillaging thousands of tons of rock lobster. South Africa will be the first foreign government in the world to be compensated under a 117-year-old US law‚ the Lacey Act‚ which regulates imports of protected species.,,, Former DAFF head of fisheries Horst Kleinschmidt‚ who testified in the District Court in 2004 about Bengis’s fishing activities‚ quoted research that suggested that free-falling rock lobster stocks “immediately stabilised” after his operation was stopped. click here to read the story 11:53

Will banning trade in fins help endangered sharks? Experts are divided

The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act of 2017, introduced before Congress on March 9, would terminate the possession and trade of shark fins in all 50 U.S. states and 16 territories. Activists and advocacy groups often cheer these bans as a way to protect sharks. Internationally about 70 of the planet’s 400-plus shark species now face extinction, often due to overfishing. However, some experts argue that better tracking to determine whether imported fins were caught sustainably, followed by trade restrictions on those that weren’t, represent the best steps toward saving threatened shark species. Some go so far as to argue that a U.S. trade ban may do more harm than good, by crushing a domestic industry that exports sustainably caught fins to markets in Asia and allowing less-sustainable fisheries to take up the slack. click here to read the story 08:54

Tasmanian fishermen fed up with seal relocation into other fishing grounds

The relocation of problem seals from fish farms to the state’s North-West is causing anger among commercial fishers, who say their nets are being plundered by increasingly aggressive seals and their catches are significantly down. The transporting of seals away from salmon farms began in the 1990s as a temporary way of providing respite until better pen security measures were introduced. But almost 30 years later, a frustrated band of small mesh net fishermen say they have had enough and it is time for the State Government to stop rogue seals being moved away from pens and into other fishing grounds.  “Relocating hungry seals from one enterprise to another is akin to moving a problem wild dog from one sheep farm to another.” click here to read the story 08:09

Tokyo’s proposal to cap saury catch tanks after neighbors slam it as unfair

The North Pacific Fisheries Commission held its annual meeting earlier this month to discuss an international framework to prevent overfishing. But its eight members were ultimately unable to agree on individual quotas for Pacific saury, a popular seasonal fish, amid strong opposition from China and other players. Tokyo had proposed annual caps of 242,000 tons on Japan’s catch, 191,000 tons for Taiwan and 47,000 tons for China. State-run China Central Television reported that Japan blamed China for the shrinking stock of saury, and said Tokyo’s proposal was “irrational” and unfairly tough on its neighbor. Chinese microblogging site Weibo erupted with disapproving posts. Users questioned why Japan should be allowed five times the catch when its population was just one-thirteenth of China’s, while others said Japan’s own problems with overfishing tuna gave it “no right to criticize other countries.” click here to read the story 18:18

Study: Sea Level Rise Revised Downward

If I had not looked past the headline of the press report on a new study, I would have just filed it under “It’s worse than we thought”. A new study in Nature reported on July 17 carried the following headlines: “Satellite snafu masked true sea-level rise for decades” “Revised tallies confirm that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating as the Earth warms and ice sheets thaw.” When I read that, I (like everyone else) assumed that corrections to the satellite sea level data since 1993 have now led to a revised trend toward faster (not slower) sea level rise. Right? Wrong. click here to read the story

Sea Level Rise Accelerating? Not. – This question all revolves around whether the rate of sea level rise is relatively steady, or whether it is accelerating … so how do we tell the difference? click here to read the story 13:21

Australia Seeks to Extend Commercial Fishing in Protected Waters

Australia plans to allow fishing across 80 percent of its protected maritime sanctuaries, the government said on Friday in a proposal that would vastly extend commercial activity in the world’s largest marine-reserves network. If the plan, backed by the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, is approved by Parliament, it would be the first time a nation has scaled back its regulations in protected maritime areas. The move could potentially set a precedent for other countries, including the United States, which are considering similar reversals. (enviro’s are opposed) “This is a huge step backwards for marine protection,” said Richard Leck, head of oceans for WWF-Australia, an affiliate of the World Wildlife Fund. click here to read the story 09:00

North Sea cod gets MSC certification

At times during these moratorium years of the northern cod, people in this province have glanced at the North Sea to see how that cod stock was faring. Collapsed, recovered and collapsed again, North Sea cod over the years seemed on a different path than northern cod, and different methods were undertaken to attempt recovery and sustainability. On Wednesday, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) announced that North Sea cod has received its distinguished certification after the stock passed an independent assessment against the MSC’s strict standards.,,, “Since then the industry has worked with the Scottish Government and EU Fisheries Council to agree and implement a ‘Cod Recovery Plan’ that would nurse the stock back to health. “The plan linked the number of days fishing that boats were given to the conservation measures they signed up to. click here to read the story 17:42

US court opens way for SA to recoup $100m from former Hout Bay fish poaching magnate

CAPE TOWN – A New York court has opened the way for the South African government to recoup as much as $100 million from a former Hout Bay fishing magnate. Arnold Bengis served just under four years in a United States (US) prison for poaching and illegal importation of seafood into the US. Now, this South Africa’s government is going after him again, asking US authorities to attach his assets. A New York court last week agreed to resentence him. The boss of the now defunct , Bengis, was prominent in the Cape Town fishing industry for 40 years when he was sentenced in 2004 to 46 months in a US jail. click here to read the story 12:25

Fishermen in Dingle have landed a rare giant squid for the second time

A fishing crew in Kerry couldn’t believe their luck after they encountered a rare giant squid for the second time this year. The sprawling 5.5 metre Architeuthis landed in Dingle after it was caught by the Cu na Mara crew 150 miles west, on the Porcupine Bank.,,, Patrick Flannery, skipper of Cu na Mara, told RTÉ: “When we opened the net we couldn’t believe it, that it was another one. The lads were very excited. What are the chances of two in one year!” Video, click here to read the story 09:14

Electronic Monitoring – New fishing regulations bring opposition in Southland

Some southern fishermen say new government regulations for commercial fishing boats could be put small operators out of business. From October 6, new measures will be rolled in to ensure that all commercial fishing boats are fitted with both GPS equipment and cameras, to improve monitoring of catch levels and to help prevent any illegal activity. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the changes would protect the sustainability of New Zealand’s fisheries, and “give us arguably the most transparent and accountable commercial fishery anywhere in the world”. However, some southern fishermen fear the new rules could also bring about a range of negative consequences.  As well as the costs incurred from buying and maintaining the new equipment, it could also inadvertently reveal many fishermen’s jealously guarded marks (fishing spots). click here to read the story 15:59

The EU is making poor countries poorer

The EU likes to present itself as a global force for good, fostering aid and development in the world’s poorest societies. It boasts of its £12 billion aid programme, and calls itself “the most generous donor in the world”. It truly believes itself to be a kindlier world power than the United States, Russia, or China. As ever with the EU, the truth is much uglier. Eurosceptics have long known of the EU’s practice of dumping subsidised agricultural products on developing countries, especially Africa. In a rare case of progress, the EU now spends considerably less on these, and WTO members – including the EU – finally agreed to end export subsidies in 2015.,,, The EU also harms local fishing industries. Having instituted rigorous fishing quotas in Europe, the EU makes deals with various West African countries to allow its large trawlers to fish on a massive scale in those countries’ waters. click here to read the story 13:36

Rural America Keeps Rejecting Big Wind

The backlash against Big Wind continues. Indeed, entire states are now restricting or rejecting wind projects.,,, The backlash is so fierce that Big Wind has begun suing small towns to force them to accept wind projects. Since last October, NextEra Energy, the world’s biggest producer of wind energy, has filed lawsuits in federal and state courts against five rural governments, including the town of Hinton, Oklahoma, population: 3,000. NextEra is funding its courthouse mugging of small-town America with your tax dollars.,,, The backlash is happening offshore, too. In New York, the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and a boatload of fishermen and fishmongers have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent a wind project from being built on top of one of best squid and scallop fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard. click here to read the story 08:56

Bumper Tasmanian scallop season expected

The Tasmanian scallop season has kicked off with expectations that up to 5000 tonnes could be netted out of the Bass Strait Central Zone fishery this year. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority has initially set a total allowable catch of 3000 tonnes for the fishery this season. The season began on July 1 and runs until December 31. Under AFMA rules, a series of four triggers will allow the total allowable catch to increase when certain levels are achieved.,, Scallop Fishermen’s Association of Tasmania chief executive Bob Lister says the industry could be worth $6 million this year. “We are expecting the catch this year to be of high quality, very tasty, with a creamy scallop and a bright orange roe,” he said. click here to read the story 21:33

Why Irish fishers are right to be worried about the UK taking back control of its waters

Many warning alarms have already been raised over Brexit, but Irish fishers may suffer the most substantial blow yet in the fallout from the UK leaving the EU. Earlier this year, the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation flagged that Ireland will be denied hundreds of thousands of tonnes of its annual haul post-Brexit. The group’s point was a simple one. When Britain leaves the EU, Irish fishers will be barred from entering British waters they previously enjoying lucrative rights to access. British secretary of state Michael Gove confirmed Irish fishers’ worst fears recently when he said: “We are taking back control. We can decide the terms of access.” One lawyer, Dermot Conway, who specialises in maritime regulations, was straightforward in his assessment of the situation – Irish fishers should be very worried. click here to read the story 21:17

Fishermen Object – Fukushima’s tritiated water to be dumped into sea

Despite the objections of local fishermen, the tritium-tainted water stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be dumped into the sea, a top official at Tokyo Electric says. “The decision has already been made,” Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., said in a recent interview with the media. Tritium typically poses little risk to human health unless ingested in high amounts, and ocean discharges of diluted volumes of tritium-tainted water are a routine part of nuclear power plant operations. This is because it is a byproduct of nuclear operations but cannot be filtered out of water.,,, But fishermen who make their livelihoods from sea life near the plant are opposed to the releases because of how the potential ramifications will affect their lives. “Releasing (tritium) into the sea will create a new wave of unfounded rumors, making our efforts all for naught,” said Kanji Tachiya, head of a local fishermen cooperative. click here to read the story 13:24

A “mystery” – Pink Salmon warning after species found in Irish rivers

A non-native species of salmon has been found in rivers along the west coast of Ireland, causing concern among Irish fishing authorities. Inland Fisheries Ireland said the pink salmon, which are of Pacific origin, were found in rivers in Counties Galway, Mayo and Donegal. The fishing board said it was concerned about the impact the fish may have on Ireland’s Atlantic species. The pink salmon was also found earlier this month in Scotland. Pink Salmon, also known as humpback salmon, originate from the west coasts of the United States, Canada and northern Asia. click here to read the story  09:32

FAROE ISLANDS KEEP DAYS-AT-SEA INSTEAD OF QUOTAS

The Faroese Governments proposal to make relatively dramatic changes to the laws regulating fisheries in Faroe Islands will not go ahead. A proposal from the Government to adopt Quotas for the largest vessels in the Faroese fleet has been discussed in parliament however as there was no agreement on any aspects of the proposal it was dismissed by parliament.,,, The shelved Faroese government proposal was that larger vessels were to replace Days-at-Sea with Quotas. Absolutely no one within the Faroese fishing industry wanted to change from Days-at-Sea to a Quota system. The plan always intended that smaller boats out-with the above sizes would still operate under the current Days-at-Sea system.It was made very clear to the government that everybody in the fishing industry was angry at the proposal on quotas. click here to read the story 19:30

New Zealand – New digital fishing rules could cost thousands

All commercial fishing operators will have to invest thousands to install cameras and tracking devices on their boats, under new rules announced by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The push towards electronic monitoring of the industry follows concerns about widespread illegal practices, including the dumping of fish and misreporting of catch. The rules will not only apply for large trawl vessel, but all boats – even small ones – that are registered as being commercial.  The cost for the tracking systems, cameras and maintenance of the gear could cost as much as $20,000 per operator. The regulator also says where evidence of illegal activity is uncovered, it will be used for prosecutions. click here to read the story 08:16

Scotland: Innovative new Mair’s Pier to become fishing industry hub

Wednesday will be a proud day for everyone at Lerwick Port Authority when the largest single project the harbour has ever undertaken is officially opened by local MSP Tavish Scott. Mair’s Pier, named after the herring station based at the site in the 19th and early 20th centuries, is going to be used predominantly by the local fishing industry, but it will also provide berthing space for oil supply vessels and cruise ships. The £16.5 million investment forms part of a bold move by the port authority when it decided in 2014 to borrow £25 million from the Bank of Scotland to invest into three major projects.,,, “Whatever happens with Brexit, there is still going to be plenty of fish in the sea, it is of good quality and we are at the right location.” That view is very much echoed by local fishermen. Shetland Fishermen’s Association’s chief officer Simon Collins welcomed the new pier saying it comes at a good time for the industry. click here to read the story 10:00

Big Problems Ahead For Irish Fishermen

The first shots in the Brexit war are likely to affect fishing communities in Howth, Rush, Loughshinny, Skerries and Balbriggan where there are many families involved in fishing industry. It is estimated that for every crewman on board a boat, there are four people employed ashore in spin-off jobs. The County Leader spoke to prominent local fisherman, Ivan Wilde who operates out of Skerries who said, “The six to 12 mile exclusion zone won’t make that much of a difference to us, as we don’t fish there too much, but if they extend that to a 12 to 200 miles range, that would have a severe impact on local fishermen. We get approximately 60 per cent of our catch within that area.” We also contacted Clogherhead based fisherman, Barry Faulkner, who has three boats at sea and he fears that the Irish Sea will be split down the middle. click here to read the story 22:46

EU-Norway snow crab row could fuel oil tensions in Arctic

On the face of it, a relentless battle between the European Union and Norway in a remote part of the Arctic is about snow crabs. But the real fight may go beyond who gets to catch the modest crustaceans around Svalbard, a unique Norwegian archipelago in the Barents Sea. What is really at stake is oil, some experts say, and a coming race for the commodity of which there is a lot in the polar region. “No country wants to give up resources without receiving anything in return. That is the principle here too,” Norwegian Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg tells AFP. Norway, which is not a member of the EU, has slammed Brussels for authorizing European vessels from mainly Baltic nations to fish for crabs in the Svalbard area, saying it violates its national sovereignty. A Latvian ship has already paid the price. In January, a ship called “The Senator” was intercepted by Norwegian coast guards while crab fishing around Svalbard, and recently received a hefty fine. “What happened is totally new,” says Sandberg. “The EU is unabashed to make this kind of a decision without consulting us.”click here to read the story 13:48

Waste not, want not: Would you wear shoes made of fish?

A look at Jamie-Lee Cormier’s brightly coloured leather earrings and bracelets reveals something unexpected: the leather has scales. That’s because it’s made with Newfoundland cod leather. “Everyone’s always really amazed when they see it,” said the crafts producer who sells her products online. Though it may seem weird to Cormier’s Canadian customers, fish leather has been making a splash on international runways for a few years. Christian Dior, Prada and Nike have all been experimenting with fish leather products, from shoes to handbags. It’s part of a growing worldwide movement to reduce waste in commercial fisheries and to make more money using less fish. Biodiesel made from seal oil? click here to read the story 10:49

Scania powers up its marine engine range

Scania is launching a new six-cylinder 13-liter inline marine engine. The new engine, which combines new power levels ranging from 650 to 925 hp with reduced fuel consumption, consolidates Scania’s position as a leader in power-to-weight ratio. The engine is the second platform in Scania’s marine engine portfolio to use common rail XPI fuel injection technology to reach higher power levels and lower fuel consumption. XPI technology was first introduced in Scania’s marine engine range in 2015 when the 1,150 hp V8 engine was launched. However, the system has been used in its engines for trucks and industrial applications since 2007; As well as lowering fuel consumption and noise levels, the common-rail XPI fuel injection system also gives a faster engine response and a quicker torque build-up. The first appearance of the new, and powerful 13-liter engine will be on display at the Lobster Boat Races in Stonington, ME on July 9, 2017. click here to read the story 17:36