Category Archives: National

BilloTheWisp – The Obscene Profitability of Wind Power

Due to the pandemic and the virtual shutdown of the national economy the day-ahead wholesale price of electricity has plummeted. But one group of producers has no worries. The subsidy payments received by generators classed as “renewable” dwarf these market prices. Here I’ll just deal with the most outrageous and costly i.e. windfarms. Today almost all wind-farms are subsidised by the now defunct Renewable Obligation scheme (RO). This was replaced in 2017 with Contracts for Difference(CfD) which is arguably even more costly and inflexible than its predecessor. ,, The companies running these wind-farms are over-joyed at their profitability. Truly when comes to acting as money making machines all other unsubsidized generation capacity pales by comparison. >click to read< >Wrecking the Seabed with Offshore Wind, Part1-5<19:56

Big white shrimp return to Lake Pontchartrain in big numbers

People who like big shrimp are rejoicing. That’s because some of the biggest white shrimp many have seen are now showing up in Lake Pontchartrain. Old-timers say it’s like the good all days. Shrimp like they’ve never seen before in Lake Pontchartrain instead of offshore, and they credit a number of factors. “These shrimp are primo the best we’ve seen around here since 2010,” said shrimper Paul Newton, >Video, click to read< 11:42

Man charged in fishing vessel slaying was accused of domestic abuse, immigration violation

It wasn’t clear what spurred the Sept. 23 attack. One crew member later told investigators he heard yelling, rounded a corner, was struck three times in the back of the head and fell. He looked up from the deck, he said, and saw a fellow crew member, Franklin “Freddy” Meave Vazquez Jr., 27, of Newport News, holding a knife in one hand and a hammer in the other. The boat’s chief mate, Javier Rangel Sosa, 54, of Newport News, lay on the deck nearby, blood rushing from his mouth. “He already cut the antenna or something off,” the captain relayed over the radio.,, A nearby German cruise ship, the Mein Schiff 6, got to the scallop boat first. >click to read< 09:02

Coronavirus: Maine Fishermen’s Forum board of directors has canceled the 2021 event

“There is no possible way that we can protect our forum participants in such a tight environment, due to COVID-19 and required safety restrictions,” Steve Train, a lobster fisherman on Casco Bay’s Long Island and president of the forum’s board of directors, wrote in an Oct. 21 letter to commercial fishermen and posted to the forum’s website. The letter added, “The board intends to continue serving the commercial fishing industry throughout 2021. We will be meeting soon to discuss options, and will share more details as they become available.” >click to read< >mainefishermensforum.org< 08:02

What Would a British Columbia Seal and Sea Lion Cull Actually Entail?

Cast an eye upon Canada’s Pacific coast and it shouldn’t take long to spot its most ubiquitous marine mammal, the harbor seal. At least 100,000 are thought to occupy the coves and nearshore waters along British Columbia’s coast. You may view seals with wonder, as evidence of a productive marine ecosystem on the doorstep of civilization. Or, just as easily, as a ravenous predator gobbling up the same fish populations sought by humans. Enter a divisive proposal to cull the seals and sea lions. Enough time has been spent studying the species’ impact on fish stocks, advocates of the cull say: it’s time to cut them back. >click to read< 11:42

Study: Captive-bred salmon in wild may do more harm than good

Releasing captive-bred Atlantic salmon into the ocean, a long-standing practice to boost stocks for commercial fishing, reduces the rate at which wild populations reproduce and may ultimately do more harm than good, researchers cautioned Wednesday. On average, salmon born in hatcheries in Ireland’s Burrishoole catchment only produced a third as many offspring in the North Atlantic compared to wild fish, according to a study in the Royal Society’s biological research journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. It has long been assumed that wild and captive-born fish were “ecologically equivalent,” but the new research shows otherwise. Fish reared for any period of their life in an aquaculture environment, it turns out, somehow change compared to their wild counterparts. >click to read< 11:13

Would Biden bring offshore wind to the West Coast?

Offshore wind supporters say Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden could be a deciding factor in a long-standing battle if he’s elected: bringing the first turbines to the West Coast. The idea of mooring turbines onto floating platforms in California’s deep waters has been in the works since the Obama administration, when Interior Department officials responded to unsolicited proposals from wind companies by mapping three potential areas for turbine construction and asking for comment on their viability. If completed, the plan could have major implications for the state’s emission profile and the offshore wind industry, which to date has largely been focused along the U.S. East Coast. >click to read< 09:36

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 41′ Libby Lobster Boat, 750HP, Iveco Diesel

To review specifications, and information, and 10 photos, >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<12:56

Scores more wind turbines proposed for Long Island’s South Shore

Scores more 600-foot tall wind turbines would be built off Jones Beach under a new proposal. Norwegian energy conglomerate Equinor has bid to create another 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind power for New York state and Long Island with two projects. One, which would connect to the local electric grid in Nassau County, would more than double the number of turbines off Long Island to some 200. A second would be built around 50 miles from Montauk Point and connect to the state grid in Queens. The plan would also include conducting assembly work in Brooklyn. >click to read<  10:42

Bellingham Dockside Market – From Tide to Table

Rain had been in the forecast, but as my fella and I strolled from the Squalicum Harbor parking lot to Gate 5 shortly before noon last Saturday to attend the soft opening of the Bellingham Dockside Market, glimpses of blue sky belied the prediction of inclement weather. As we joined a stream of other masked shoppers eager to support the new hub that makes it possible for local fisher-folks to collectively sell their catch directly from their boats or adjacent to the dock, By the time we made our way to the F/V Ocean Swell, the crew had sold out of fresh tuna and ling cod but still had plenty of black cod—also known as sablefish—for $6.50 per pound. >click to read< 09:27

Zone B waits to present recommendation

Even though a deadline to present a state plan designed to minimize potential harm to right whales is fast approaching, members of the Zone B Lobster Management Council asked Department of Marine Resources officials to check numbers for the area 6-12 miles offshore before agreeing to a plan specific to that fishing zone. “The timeline is short,” said DMR Commissioner Pat Keliher,,, While most members of the Zone B council seemed in favor of the subcommittee’s recommendations, there was some hesitation.   “I support thisit would work for me,” said Howland. “I’d hate to railroad it if there are some concerns. This is better than it could be, but it doesn’t sound like it’s ideal for some guys.”,, “There’s a side of me that feels like this is getting stuffed down my throat,” said council member James Hanscom after asking if the decision could be tabled.  >click to read< 08:09

Coast Guard medevacs fisherman 100 miles off Cold Bay, Alaska

The Coast Guard medevaced a man from a fishing vessel Tuesday approximately 100 miles northwest of Cold Bay. An Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the man at 6:55 a.m. and transferred him to awaiting emergency medical services in Cold Bay for further transport to Anchorage. Watchstanders in the 17th District command center in Juneau received the request for the medevac from the fishing vessel Defender at approximately 7 p.m. Monday for a 26 year-old crew member who was experiencing eye and head pain. >click to read< 21:11

CARES Act Funding Available for Maryland Fishing Industry

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces applications will be available Nov. 4 for economic relief funds for the commercial seafood industry through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), for those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application will be available to eligible members of the seafood industry on the Maryland OneStop website. The deadline to apply is Feb. 28, 2021. >click to read< 16:20

Seafood Billionaire Donates To Trump

In the southwest corner of Alaska, next to a line of islands that point across the Bering Sea, sits Bristol Bay, home to one of the most plentiful salmon runs on earth. Nearly 20 years ago, a Canadian company named Northern Dynasty Minerals, started planning for a gold and copper mine nearby, which it has said would create jobs.  While the Canadian company was eager to extract riches from the ground, Chuck Bundrant, the billionaire founder of Trident Seafoods was apparently concerned about how the mine would affect his ability to extract riches from the sea.  “It poses a significant risk to the many families, businesses, and communities that rely upon the natural resources of Bristol Bay,” >click to read< 13:29

How an Ill-Fated Fishing Voyage Helped Us Understand Coronavirus

F/V American Dynasty, a commercial trawler, departed Seattle one day in May to fish for hake off the Washington coast. Before leaving, its 122 crew members were screened for the coronavirus using the highly accurate polymerase chain reaction (P.C.R.) method, and all the results came back negative. But because those tests are “good but not perfect,” they missed at least one case: Somehow SARS-CoV-2 found its way on board. When a crew member fell seriously ill, the vessel returned to port, and almost everyone was tested for the virus again,,, The finding is believed to be the first direct evidence that antibodies protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans, and it offers clues about what sort of concentrations might be needed to confer immunity. >click to read< 10:24

Despite an uncertain start to the fishery’s season, Maine lobster rolls on as the industry pivoted to new markets

Stonington lobster fisherman John Williams usually hauls his boat out in February for annual maintenance and paint in preparation for the start of the spring fishing season. “Then COVID started,”  The health emergency was worsening and the economy shutting down. That included one of the lobster industry’s biggest markets — restaurants. The large cruise ship and casino markets also slammed shut. International freight and shipping to China, emerging as a large consumer of lobster, had nearly stopped. “I got thinking about it and said, ‘This doesn’t look very good. We won’t have any market,’” Williams says. >click to read<  10:31

Spanish freezer trawler on fire in South Atlantic

Freezer trawler FIGARO on Oct 19 is reported on fire in South Atlantic some 12 nm off Angola coast, 23 north of Lobito Port, Angola. No other information available at the moment. As of 0700 UTC Oct 19 AIS was still on. Waiting for updates. Crew should include dozens of fishermen, because it’s a fishing vessel, and a factory. Freezer trawler FIGARO, IMO 8905725, GT 741, flag Spain. >click to read< 08:47

R.I., feds spending $5.2 million to rebuild 3 sagging piers at Port of Galilee

The Port of Galilee is an economic engine for Rhode Island, bringing in $66 million in seafood last year and supporting 200 commercial fishermen and other businesses in the fishing industry. But Rhode Island’s largest fishing port has been looking the worse for wear for a long time now. Bulkheads are rotting, piers are sagging and asphalt is crumbling. In the latest effort to address the problems, the state is set to begin work on a $5.2-million project to rebuild three 40-year-old piers,, No matter how much is invested in dockside facilities to process and package seafood, if the piers aren’t up to par, it makes it difficult to offload the catch, said Meghan Lapp, general manager of Seafreeze Shoreside,,, “The docks are the lifeblood of the port,” she said. >click to read< 10:41

Podcast: FV-Tuna.com Capt. Dave Carraro previews Wicked Tuna Outer Banks season finale

Capt. Dave Carraro has been a mainstay and a fan favorite on National Geographic’s hit series, Wicked Tuna, which chronicles the lives of commercial bluefin tuna fishermen in America’s oldest seaport – Gloucester, Massachusettes. He is the legendary captain of the FV-Tuna.com, and has an unprecedented five wins on Wicked Tuna. Carraro’s repeated success and highly competitive nature sometimes put him at odds with the rest of the fleet, but he is notoriously more interested in catching fish than making friends. Listen to the podcast! >click to read< 10:03

French fishermen could pay to fish British waters after Brexit

According to an expert, French fishermen could be forced to pay to fish in British waters after Brexit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson could bill the French President Emmanuel Macron millions each year for fishermen who want access to our waters. A deal over fisheries could be struck between Johnson and Macron, but only if the French President backs down on his demands. “When I’ve talked to fishermen and the British fishing industry, they said they don’t want it all. The truth is, they can’t catch it all, the fleet isn’t big enough. >click to read< 08:49

Japan is planning to release millions of gallons of treated radioactive water from Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean

The release likely won’t occur for another two years and could take decades to complete,,, Dumping the water into the ocean threatens to hurt Japan’s relationship with South Korea, and comes despite opposition from environmental groups and the local fishing industry, which is still struggling to recover from the disaster. The release of the water “could deal a fatal blow to the future of Japanese fishery,” said Hiroshi Kishi, the chairman of the Federation of Japan Fisheries Cooperatives. “We absolutely oppose to the release of the water.” >click to read< 16:13

The CARES Act: Lengthy Process, Little to Show for Connecticut Fisheries

Nearly seven months after the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law, eligible fisheries and related businesses can apply for $1.8 million in economic aid through the CARES Assistance to Fishery Participants (CAAFP) program. Connecticut is part of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), which also includes Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. From the $300 million, 31 entities received funding. Connecticut’s allocation was $1.8 million, the 9th lowest on the list. Rhode Island received $3.3 million,,, >click to read< 09:58

Documents Reveal ‘Catastrophic Impact’ Right Whale Protections Could Have On Lobster Industry

Newly released documents by Maine’s Department of Resources are providing a glimpse of what federal action to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales could look like — including the closure of extensive areas of offshore ocean to lobstering. In an August letter to the head of the agency that reviews proposed federal regulations, DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher asked for a meeting to go over options for reducing the risk of right whales becoming dangerously entangled in lobster trap gear and rope. That was after conversations with the federal Northeast Fisheries Science Center that brought to light a proposal that could put big swaths of ocean off-limits to lobstering in federal waters known as Lobster Conservation Management Areas, or LCMAs. >click to read< 18:46

Fisherman medevac’d from shrimp boat 15 miles off Baffin Bay, Texas

The Coast Guard medevac’d a 58-year-old male from a fishing vessel 15 miles off Baffin Bay, Texas, Thursday evening. Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi watchstanders received a report at 8:30 p.m. Thursday from the crew of the Los Nietos, a 77-foot fishing vessel, stating a crewmember suffered a head injury. >video, click to read< 13:51

“Kicking Lightly” Arthur Jones celebrates 101st birthday

Longtime Queen Anne’s County resident Arthur “Kicking Lightly” Jones of Grasonville celebrated his 101st birthday,, Arthur would also begin working in the seafood industry, mostly at the Kent Narrows — where he was employed for at least 53 years — serving as a foreman at several packing houses that once existed there, managing oyster and clam harvests from the Chesapeake Bay. He met many waterman, and other people, who always asked, “How are you doing?” He’d respond, “Just kickin’, lightly.” From that expression, he earned the nickname “Kickin’ Lightly,” which he is still known by today. He also has been known as Captain Arthur, although he was not a waterman.>click to read< 12:11

It’s Important! N.J. cleared to provide $11M in relief for sinking fishing industry

Months after the pandemic rocked New Jersey’s fishing industry, millions of dollars in federal coronavirus relief is set to finally flow to the anglers that need it. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has approved New Jersey’s plan to spend $11.3 million in federal fisheries relief, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-6th Dist., announced Tuesday. The approval allows state authorities to begin distributing the money, which was allocated to the state as part of the $2 trillion CARES Act that became law in March. >click to read< 09:25

Coronavirus Quarantine Period Shapes Unique Season For Deadliest Catch Fishermen

Today marks the opener for the 2020 red king crab fishing season. The beginning of the king crab season is always a busy time in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor,,, Despite the influx of fishermen and television crews, this season was a little quieter than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic and local mitigation protocol that required most fishermen to quarantine for two weeks.  Blake Smithmeyer, the greenhorn on the Summer Bay,, Smithmeyer said he was working as a chef at a restaurant in Tacoma, Washington, before his friend, Landon Cheney, the engineer on the Summer Bay, received the call that ended up bringing Smithmeyer to Dutch Harbor. >click to read< 07:52

Portland Fish Exchange seeks a bailout – If it closes, it could be the death knell for the groundfish industry in the state

The Portland Fish Exchange, the city-operated fish auction, is losing about $30,000 a month and is asking another city agency to help bail it out through the middle of next year. The daily auction, where fishermen sell their catch to buyers from seafood wholesalers and processors, has cut losses somewhat over the past few years and has made slight adjustments to cut expenses, said Tom Valleau, chairman of the Fish Exchange board. But fish landings plummeted this summer, mostly likely the because of disruptions caused by the pandemic, and the losses accelerated, Valleau said. >click to read< 10:59

Large Scale Fin-Fish and Aquatic Farms Could Hamper Maine Aquaculture Industry

As proposed, the Nordic Aquafarms project would raise more than 72 million pounds of salmon annually on its 56acre campus in Belfast, Maine. The site would utilize about 5,200 gallons of water per minute, a combination of both saltwater taken from the nearby Gulf of Maine and freshwater obtained from groundwater wells, city-owned aquifers and reservoirs. The permit application indicates the facility would discharge more than 7 million gallons of filtered wastewater into the Belfast Bay each day. It’s that last figure that concerns many local residents. Marsden Brewer is a commercial fisherman and scallop farmer who also serves as president of the Maine Aquaculture Co-op. Brewer was one of more than a dozen fishermen and fish farmers who spoke out against the Nordic project at a statewide hearing this spring. “After years of misuse, we’re finally starting to see a lot of good things happening in this bay,” Brewer says. >click to read< 09:56

Bering Sea Crab harvests set: Kings still in decline, snow and Tanner see bump

Commercial fishermen will be allowed to harvest a total of 45 million pounds of snow crab from the Bering Sea waters this year, with 4.5 million of that set aside for Community Development Quota groups and the rest for individual fishing quota, or IFQ, holders. That’s about 34 percent larger than the limit last season, which was also an increase over the previous year. Bering Sea Crabbers Association Executive Director Jamie Goen said that’s good news for the fleet. However, members of the fleet also think that TAC could have been a lot higher had the National Marine Fisheries Service been able to conduct its regular surveys. >click to read< 08:29