Category Archives: National

Former Obama Official: Bureaucrats Manipulate Climate Stats To Influence Policy

A former member of the Obama administration claims Washington D.C. often uses “misleading” news releases about climate data to influence public opinion. Former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin told The Wall Street Journal Monday that bureaucrats within former President Barack Obama’s administration spun scientific data to manipulate public opinion. “What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” Koonin said, referring to elements within the Obama administration he said were responsible for manipulating climate data.,,  Press officers work with scientists within agencies like the National Oceanic Administration (NOAA) and NASA and are responsible for crafting misleading press releases on climate, he added. Koonin is not the only one claiming wrongdoing. House lawmakers with the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, for instance, recently jumpstarted an investigation into NOAA after a whistleblower said agency scientists rushed a landmark global warming study to influence policymakers. Click here to read the rest, and click here to watch the video 16:06

Seafood groups praise Trump’s “Buy American” executive order

President Donald Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order has been positively received by some U.S. seafood trade groups, who say it will help the domestic seafood industry. Representatives of industry groups in Alaska and the U.S. states on the Gulf of Mexico said the executive order will help them create jobs for Americans.“In order to promote economic and national security and to help stimulate economic growth, create good jobs at decent wages, strengthen our middle class, and support the American manufacturing and defense industrial bases, it shall be the policy of the executive branch to maximize…through terms and conditions of federal financial assistance awards and federal procurements, the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States,” the order states. click here to read the story 09:58

Animal rights industry never has to take bait

A few years ago my wife and I took two of my boys to the Northern Territory and were lucky enough to be given extensive access to the Tiwi Islands by the local land council. It was a rare privilege and I learnt much, but the thing I did not expect to learn had nothing to do with the culture of the local Tiwi Islanders at Bathurst and Melville Islands or the progress they were making at Tiwi College. What stuck with me were the photographs on the walls of the Barramundi Lodge showing World War II GIs, in the hundreds, swimming during shore leave. Today the waters of the Tiwi Islands are so infested with saltwater crocodiles that the Aboriginal kids we met would not dare swim beyond knee deep at their pristine beach. Across the NT coastline and in most of the Top End’s saltwater rivers, swimming is strictly off the agenda. Croc watching is big tourism business and crocs make great copy for the local newspaper, the NT News. But as the Tiwi elders told us, it was not always this way. In the days when crocodiles were hunted for food by the Tiwis and for skins by white hunters, it was not nearly so dangerous to enjoy the tropical waters of the Territory. Croc hunting was banned in the Territory in 1964, in Western Australia in 1962 and in Queensland in 1974. Populations have boomed and croc distributions widened dramatically since. So it is with sharks today. click here to read the article. 14:16 Sadly, the link redirects to subscribe. It worked earlier. This shark article explains the sharks today problem. ‘There’s no shark increase’: Fisheries minister ignores Federal government’s call for cull click here to read the story 20:14  

Historic Great Lakes fishing tug Palmer dismantled at former Azarian Marina

A crew from Vassh Excavating and Grading began work Friday to dismantle the historic Palmer, a 90-year-old commercial fishing boat. The Great Lakes fishing tug was carved out of the ice on the Root River in January after the boat sank at its slip at the Pugh Marina in late December near the State Street Bridge. The crew began work to demolish the 47-foot long, 13-foot-wide Palmer by hauling debris out of the boat. After they complete their work, only the metal shell of the Palmer will remain. Once all the boat’s debris has been removed, the shell will be hauled from the former Azarian Marina site off Water Street. When demolishing the boat, Vassh’s crew began to uncover a treasure trove of historic items, including three steering wheels in nearly perfect condition, eight porthole windows, a lamp from 1896, various old wood carvings and books from the 1920s. They also located the original 1926 lights, a Case motor and Twin Disc transmission. click here to see images, video, and read the story  13:24

A Response – Speak plain English: Scientists can do a better job talking to fishermen

I have just read your recent article by Brett Favaro, director of the Fisheries Sciences at Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute. “Speak plain English, Scientists can do a better job talking to fishermen, CBC News”. It mirrors what the scientists at the Northeast Science Center at Woodshole have concluded. They are hiring someone to do exactly that, translate between the scientists and the fishermen. I can’t believe that so many brilliant scientists could be so very “intellectually challenged” and arrogant.
I have spent my entire adult life fluctuating between fishing and science. My husband is a full time commercial fisherman and my youngest son is a PhD bio mathematician. They understand each other perfectly well. My son fished with his father from the age of 12. He understands fishing and how to listen and how to explain science.
In my opinion the problem is not that the fishermen do not understand the scientists. It is that the scientists no longer understand fishing. The program that you need to add to the curriculum is a year on the back deck learning the ins and outs of actual fishing. How to garner the best data possible from a working fishing vessel. What we have lost is the ability of the scientist to really listen to the fishermen and value their observations.
We should take a lesson from the renown scientist, Henry Bigelow, who spent most of his working career on the back deck of fishing vessels and paying fishermen for their knowledge. Listening to their observations and carefully cataloging them.
Ellen Goethel
Biologist/Owner Explore the Ocean World,LLC
Hampton, NH USA 19:35

U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Decision on Reg That Will Put 60 Percent of New England Ground Fishermen Out of Business

On Friday, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court’s ruling last summer that a lawsuit filed by Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) on behalf of Plaintiffs David Goethel and Northeast Fishery Sector 13 against the U.S. Department of Commerce should be dismissed. In its opinion, the Court found that the fishermen’s suit was untimely and therefore did not consider the Plaintiff’s legal arguments that requiring fishermen to pay for monitors is against the law.  However, in a rare move, the judges highlighted the devastating economic impacts of the regulation in question, and urged Congress to clarify the law and who should pay for the at-sea monitors. “I am disappointed by the decision,” Goethel said. “But I’m hopeful that Congress will heed the Court’s direction and clarify the law. It is the government’s obligation to pay for these at-sea monitors.,, Northeast Fishery Sector 13 Manager John Haran said, “I’m disappointed that timeliness of the case was the Court’s deciding factor and not the merits of our arguments. The fishermen in my sector can’t sustain this industry funding requirement and many will be put out of business if this mandate remains in place.” click here to read the story 14:37

Catch Shares? – Researchers Fear Industrialization of Maine Lobster Fleet

Unlike most fisheries in the world, the lobster industry is actually experiencing an unprecedented boom despite centuries of sustained harvesting. Last year, the lobster catch was a record 130 million pounds, marking the fifth straight year the annual catch went over 120 million pounds, and over six times more than the long-term average for the state. The recent lobster boom, according to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, is likely primarily due to warmer ocean temperatures as younger lobsters are reaching sexual maturity faster in warmer waters. But it’s also because, unlike the ground fishery, the state long ago took a proactive approach to conserving the resource. “There are some interesting differences between those two fisheries in terms of the regulations we put in place very early on in the lobster fishery,” said fisheries researcher Patrick Shepard at the Penobscot Marine Museum’s “Our Evolving Fisheries History Conference” in Belfast on April 8, “but there are also some interesting parallels to what might be happening as far as technological advances.” click here to read the article 13:49

Judge says Butt Out! Environmentalists Can’t Help Defend Fishing Rules

Three environmental groups cannot join the U.S. government to defend against a challenge to an Obama administration rule requiring seafood companies to report the origin of the fish they sell, a federal judge ruled (click to open). The National Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity and Oceana asked the court on March 7 to join the government in defending a suit from a group of fishing companies challenging the seafood traceability rule, which requires companies to disclose on a government form the vessel or collection point of origin for their fish. The companies say the rule will make seafood more expensive. The environmentalists say it is critical to protecting fish populations from illegal fishing. The environmentalists made specific arguments in support of the rule, telling U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta that reversal would affect their daily lives. Lol! affect their daily lives? What lives! click here to read the story 10:07

Is the United States ready for offshore aquaculture?

Harlon Pearce walks muck-booted past processors gutting wild drum and red snapper to showcase a half-full new 5,000-square-foot (500-square-meter) freezer he hopes will someday house a fresh boom of marine fish. Harlon’s LA Fish sits just across the railroad tracks from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, perfectly positioned to ship fish out of Louisiana. As president of the New Orleans–based Gulf Seafood Institute, seafood supplier Pearce is a big fish himself in these parts, connected to fishermen, federal agencies, restaurateurs and even the oil industry. He knows better than anyone that wild fisheries alone can’t supply U.S. consumers’ growing demand for fish. Which is why he’s doing his best to bring everyone to the table to achieve one goal: farming the Gulf of Mexico. click here to read the story 16:31

The Massachusetts fishing fleet confronts an opioid problem

A reputation for drug use has long followed the Massachusetts fishing fleet, whose fiercely independent crews often return to port flush with cash and ready to exhale after long and dangerous trips. Some fishermen link that reputation to a rugged cowboy culture; others to the pain medication taken by men and women whose bodies are battered by the job. But now, as opioid deaths rise relentlessly in Massachusetts, fishing captains from Cape Ann to Buzzards Bay are beginning to stock their boats with naloxone, a drug that reverses overdoses and is commonly sold under the trademark Narcan. click here to continue reading the story 09:46

He is Risen!

Helping US Shrimpers, New Trump order might hit India’s shrimp exports

The $5.5-billion Indian seafoodexport market might face new restrictions in America. The new Donald Trump government, in an executive order, is set to enforce countervailing duties strictly on countries held to be dumping goods. America is the major importer of Indian seafood, with a share of 28.5 per cent in 2015-16, for 153,695 tonnes worth $1.3 billion. Frozen shrimp is the principal item of export to the US, with a share of 94 per cent in value terms. Another executive order directs their department of commerce and the Office of the US Trade representative to examine every form of trade abuse and non-reciprocal practice that contribute to the US’ large and persistent trade deficit, largest of any major nation in 2016 at $500 billion. Within 90 days, both these agencies are to give a comprehensive report to the President on the causes. “The US is the only country which is imposing an anti-dumping duty on Indian shrimp, to give level playing to its producers. click to continue reading the story 19:30

Big Read! – The Blood of the Crab

Meghan Owings plucks a horseshoe crab out of a tank and bends its helmet-shaped shell in half to reveal a soft white membrane. Owings inserts a needle and draws a bit of blood. “See how blue it is,” she says, holding the syringe up to the light. It really is. The liquid shines cerulean in the tube. When she’s done with the show and tell, Owings squirts the contents of the syringe back into the tank. I gasp. “That’s thousands of dollars!” I exclaim, and can’t help but think of the scene in Annie Hall when Woody Allen is trying cocaine for the first time and accidentally sneezes, blowing the coke everywhere. I’m not crazy for my concern. The cost of crab blood has been quoted as high as $14,000 per quart. click here to read the article 17:58

House Bill Aims to Help Young People Enter Commercial Fishing Industry

A bipartisan bill has been introduced by the House of Representatives to establish the first national program to help young men and women enter the commercial fishing industry. The legislation, introduced by Congressmen Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Don Young (R-AK), would provide up to $2 million a year in grant funding through NOAA’s Sea Grant Program. “This bill is designed to allow the next generation of fishermen, or people who want to get into the fishing industry, to receive training to become successful businessmen or women,” said John Pappalardo, the CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. Representatives from the Alliance will head to Washington D.C. later this month to join other groups from the Fishing Communities Coalition to lobby lawmakers. “We will be walking Capitol Hill for a couple of days talking about this bill,” Pappalardo said. click here to read the story 16:26

New Jersey continues to fight summer flounder cuts

New Jersey’s fight against approved summer flounder measures hangs in the balance, and a meeting next month could prove critical for flounder fishermen. The state’s Marine Fisheries Council met Thursday evening at the Galloway Township branch of the Atlantic County Library in part to discuss its strategy in opposing a federal regulatory commission’s decision to cut this year’s summer flounder catch by 30 percent. “I’m getting questions every day,” said Dick Herb, the council’s chairman. “We just don’t know what’s going to happen there.” There’s a lot of things going on behind the scenes,” he added. Earlier this year, the state council voted to go out of compliance with the federal measures, which could trigger a pivotal decision by new Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross following a federal regulatory meeting in May, Herb said. click here to read the story 09:54

Who gets the fish? Support H.R. 200 – The “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act”

Capt. Chuck Guilford has been searching the waters of the Gulf of Mexico for the bounty of the sea for 41 years. When Guilford started his career as charter boat captain and commercial fisherman there wasn’t a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and he said the fisherman handled the fishery themselves. Now Guilford feels as if he has no control. He used to go to the meetings of the NMFS as far away as Washington D.C., but he’s missed the last two. “I haven’t attended last two meetings because it was a waste of my dollars and my time,” Guilford said. “I have finally come to the conclusion after 10 years of attending meeting, that when the Marine Fisheries Council has a meeting they have already decided what they are going to do.” Some of Guilford’s concerns may soon be answered. The “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act” or H.R. 200 would amend the “Magnuson-Stevens Act” which is currently the law of the fisheries. The amendment would have NMFS take in account the economic costs of regulation, allow for greater community involvement, greater transparency in procedure and collected data, a limitation on future catch-share programs, and independent privately funded fish stock assessment to be used when available. click here to read this article, and contact your representative and TELL them to support HR 200 07:24

InnovaSea Systems Inc. has raised $15 million for farming fish in the open ocean

Boston-based InnovaSea Systems Inc. has raised $15 million to develop an all-in-one system for farming fish in the open ocean, an approach that the company and its partners say is vital to a sustainable future for the seafood industry. InnovaSea was formed in 2015 from the merger of Maine’s Ocean Farm Technologies Inc. and another company out of Seattle, Washington. Both companies made large underwater pens to contain fish while they grow big enough to harvest for food. The new funding comes from Cuna Del Mar, an investment firm focused on open-ocean aquaculture. Cuna Del Mar formed InnovaSea after buying a stake in each of its predecessor companies. continue reading the article here 13:28 (you may need to register, easy enough)

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 49ft.x27ft. Crab/Lobster vessel, 6 Cylinder Cat C-18

Specifications, information and 30 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:05

Crossing the Bar – David C. DuBois of Mattapoisett, founder and principal owner of Marine Safety Consultants, Inc

David C. DuBois, 69, of Mattapoisett passed away suddenly on Saturday April 8, 2017 while finishing a good round of golf with a close friend on a beautiful spring day. He was the loving husband of Patricia “Trish” (Chandler) DuBois. Born in Waterville, Maine, the son of Marie (Dionne) DuBois of Torrington, CT and the late Joseph DuBois, he lived in the South Coast area for many years. David was a graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy. He later served in the Coast Guard for 11 years until his discharge as Lieutenant Commander in 1980.  He was the founder and principal owner of Marine Safety Consultants, Inc. in Fairhaven, where he was still active in running the day-to-day business. He was proud of his professional achievements, but more proud to include many of those associates in his close group of friends. David was known for his generosity to others. He loved people and helped many throughout his life. He had a personal relationship with everyone he met. click here to read the notice 08:02

On this Day: April 12,1977: “Mother ship of the Russian fishing fleet” seized by Coast Guard off Nantucket

On this day in 1977, a so-called “mother ship of the Russian fishing fleet” off New England was taken to Boston to join another Soviet vessel under guard at the Boston Coast Guard Station for suspicion of violating the new US 200-mile fishing limit. The 503-foot refrigerator-transport vessel Antanas Snechkus (shown below) was seized 100 miles southeast of Nantucket with 100 tons of fish believed to have been caught illegally under the new limit, which took effect March 1, 1977. A day before the Antanas Snechkus was seized, the Coast Guard boarded the 275-foot Russian trawler Taras Shevchenko about 240 miles southeast of Boston and 75 miles inside the limit under direct orders from President Jimmy Carter. click here to read the story 06:33

Japan embraces Russ George’s scheme for iron fertilization

Russ George is semi-famous for dumping over 100 metric tons of iron dust, iron sulfate fertilizer and iron oxide into the sea off British Columbia, Canada in 2012. The act, he claims, spurred a plankton bloom that fed a huge surge in pink salmon returns the following year and in chum salmon returns in 2016 – the difference in years reflecting the different lifecycles of the species. The plan sought to replicate the effect of the eruption of Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutians, which also deposited iron-rich dust and spurred a plankton bloom. Sequestering carbon – in the hard shells of diatoms that sink to the ocean floor – was a supposed secondary benefit. However, George’s experiment, undertaken with the backing of a Native American (First Nations) group, the Haida in the village of Old Masset, and carried out as a corporate activity of the “Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation,” was deemed a rogue experiment. click here to read the story 15:36  click here to read  “Japanese Salmon Fisheries In Historic Collapse Help On The Way” 15:40

U.S. imposes new seafood import rules – DFO says it’s too soon to know what fisheries in Canada will be affected

The United States is now requiring proof that its seafood imports are harvested in a way that minimizes harm to marine mammals like whales — and that has concerned some members of Atlantic Canada’s fishing industry. As of Monday, countries had to submit a list of fisheries measures in place to limit by-catch and gear entanglements with whales, turtles, porpoises and seals. The U.S. wants standards comparable to those imposed on American fisheries.,, “It could be a big problem,” said Bernie Berry, president of the Coldwater Lobster Association, a group representing fishermen in Canada’s most lucrative lobster fishing areas in southwest Nova Scotia.,, “It could be a big problem,” said Bernie Berry, president of the Coldwater Lobster Association, a group representing fishermen in Canada’s most lucrative lobster fishing areas in southwest Nova Scotia. click here to read the story 12:07

‘Deadliest Catch’ Faces Its Own Extinction – The crabs are missing in the Bering Sea, and the series may soon have nothing to film.

If Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” is in trouble, it’s climate change – not ratings – that may hasten the show’s demise. Over the last year, temperatures rose about four degrees in the Bering Sea, which is 50 times the global average. As filming began for the 13th season of “Deadliest Catch,” which premieres Tuesday night, the show’s fishermen had to contend with a serious problem: With warming waters, the crabs have moved elsewhere. “The first thing that you need in order to film a show about crab fishing are the crabs,” said executive producer R. Decker Watson, Jr. “If the crabs don’t show up, then we’re all out of business.” The Alaska Department of Fish and Game sets an annual quota system on crab fishing, depending on a survey they take in the spring and summer. This past year, they found that half the crab was missing, and quotas were cut across the board.“We didn’t know if we were even going to be on the water long enough to film the 20 hours of ‘Deadliest Catch’ for the season,” Watson said. “It became a much more difficult fight for each skipper… It worries me for the future of the fishermen, they’re really having to fight to save their way of life. But it makes for great television.” Indeed, the fishermen’s struggle became a major part of the story this season. click here to read the story 20:03

Always Top Quality! Your Seafreeze Ltd. Preferred Price List for April  2017 Has Arrived!

Contact our sales team today @ 401 295 2585 or 800 732 273 Click here for the complete price list from Seafreeze Ltd. – We are Direct to the Source-We are Fishermen-We are Seafreeze Ltd!  Visit our website! 12:54

Montauk 1915: When the Village Was on the Arc of Fort Pond Bay

The wooden shacks composing this village had all been built around 1895 by people who did not own this land. They were squatters on this arc of the bay on land owned by the Long Island Rail Road. The railroad did not stop this village from being built. In fact, they encouraged it. Probably it was because money changed hands between these people and the railroad. The people were commercial fishermen and their families. And they brought in tons of fish from the sea to that single pier and paid for the railroad trains nearby to transport their daily haul of fish to the thriving markets in New York City.,, These fishermen were not even Americans. They were Canadians. They were out of port towns in Nova Scotia, a long way from home, and they had full holds of fish to bring to market. And here, along the arc of this bay, was this nearly abandoned railroad station in the middle of nowhere. There was even a long pier. They’d tie up and meet the stationmaster there. Yes, the tracks led 110 miles straight into Manhattan. A very interesting read! click here to read the story, and click the link to the Pelican The Single Worst Fishing Disaster in the History of Montauk 09:40

Defining our future Down East

William Chadwick’s speech captured first place at the NCTSA conference in Greensboro April 5, 2017. His speech is about government regulations and conservation groups putting local fishermen out of business in Down East Carteret County. Government regulations our killing our communities, schools and churches, this is not just a Down East issue, this is happening all along the east coast. 11:22

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 44′ 11″ x 8′ Novi Longliner, 500HP Cummins, 10 KW Genset, Permits Available

Specifications, information and 8 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 18:13

Advanced workboat propulsion controls unveiled

Twin Disc has introduced contactless sensors to its range of commercial-grade propulsion controls for workboats. The EC300 Power Commander now comes with magnetic, contactless hall-effect sensors for monitoring lever position. Twin Disc said this outlasts other electro-mechanical and potentiometer type sensors for longer shifting service life. Tests with the EC300 demonstrated that there was no single loss of lever position signal in four million cycles. Twin Disc said EC300 single and twin lever control heads have superior transmission and throttle handling because of the contactless sensors. Read the rest of the story here 17:52

NPFMC Shares Future of Electronic Monitoring Program with Fishermen

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is trying to figure out the best way to use video and camera technology for catch monitoring, and it’s on the brink of transitioning into a regulated program. Members of the council spoke at ComFish last week and elaborated on its efforts. Bill Tweit, council vice chair, explained they’ve been working on the partial coverage fleet – the vessels that get observer coverage only some of the time. “Again I think a lot of you are aware that when we restructured the observer program, we extended the size range of boats that are likely to be covered for catch monitoring purposes by an observer, and that’s definitely created some issues around how you fit a human observer onto a fairly small fishing boat, and we knew at the time that it was probably going to be a little problematic, so we’ve trying hard to provide electronic monitoring as an alternative to that.” continue reading the story here 16:59

Are Days at Sea the Answer?

Recently, the argument that, after the UK has left the EU, effort control (days at sea limits) could replace quotas as the main management tool in the mixed demersal fisheries, has been finding some currency. It is not difficult to see the appeal. At a stroke, the discard problem would be solved, as vessels could land everything that they catch. The messy business of quota management, with its fixed quota allocations, swaps, leasing, top-slicing etc. could be dispensed with overnight. Instead, vessels would be given an annual allocation of days at sea. Full stop. In some versions of the theory, quota shares are converted into effort shares, which admittedly makes things more complex than a flat-rate number of days for every vessel in the fleet. But before we take the leap of ditching the messy quota system let’s have a look at the other side of the coin. There are a few reasons why effort might not be the road that we want to go down. Here are some of the counter-arguments: Read the article here 12:55

Ray Hilborn study disputes previous findings on forage fish

A new study has been published today by a scientific group led by University of Washington fisheries researcher Ray Hilborn that disputes previous findings on the impact of human and natural predation on forage fish such as anchovies, sardines and herring. The study, published in the scientific journal Fisheries Research, found that human fishing for forage fish does not have as great an impact on the food chain as previously thought, given that humans typically catch fish of much larger size than those typically hunted and eaten by non-human species. The study also decouples the link between the size of forage fish populations and the populations of species that predate on forage fish. “What we found is that there is essentially no relationship between how many forage fish there are in the ocean and how well predators do in terms of whether the populations increase or decrease,” Hilborn said in a video explaining the study’s findings. Video, continue reading the story here 11:47

Congresswoman appeals the prohibition of American fisherman in National Marine Monuments

Congresswoman Aumua Amata has stressed  to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross the importance of removing the prohibition of American fisherman to fish in the waters of the National Marine Monuments. Aumua reports from Capitol Hill, “My conversation with Secretary Ross was about the need for American fishermen to be able to fish in waters that have been designated as Marine Monuments.“ While I think we can all agree about the importance of the National Marine Monuments, how they protect our pristine waters and coral reefs; the lack of consultation with the local American Samoan community and the fishing industry at large, has created detrimental effects on our economy. Read the rest here 08:28

Carlos Rafael’s guilty plea in federal court draws mixed reactions

There was a mixture of emotions and reactions among members of the local fishing industry over the guilty plea Carlos that “The Codfather” Rafael entered in Federal Court Thursday. Some expressed a certain amount of sympathy for Rafael in the highly regulated business. Some didn’t. This doesn’t come as a surprise,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. Ever since Carlos’ arrest became public it was clear the government had him dead to rights.” “The more important question is what will happen to the permits. That determination has been left up to NOAA. Jim Kendall, president of New Bedford Seafood Consulting, had the same concern about the permits. He noted that other boat owners have been stripped of their permits. “But I am not sure that it means anything for us,” he said. Read the story here 18:18

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: Atkinson & Yates 48′ Gillnetter, 300HP, 6 Cylinder Cummins

Specifications, information and 8 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:54

Prosecutor reviewing sex-abuse allegations against ‘Deadliest Catch’ star Sig Hansen

Snohomish County prosecutors are re-examining allegations that celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen sexually abused his toddler daughter nearly three decades ago, after the now 28-year-old woman recently went public with the claims against her estranged father. Deputy prosecutor Matthew Baldock last week informed an attorney for Melissa Eckstrom, Hansen’s estranged daughter, that Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe recently asked him to review the 1990 case file “to see if criminal charges are viable.” The prosecutor’s office declined to file charges against Hansen in the early 1990s after at least three reviews of the case. Under Washington law, sex crimes committed against children generally can be prosecuted up to the victim’s 30th birthday. Eckstrom turns 29 next month. continue reading the story here, and review Facts About Sig Hansen website here 10:53

A deadly epidemic: Addiction to opioids has put an entire generation at risk

Dr. Mary Dowd slid into a chair inside the Portland offices of Catholic Charities and surveyed the list of patients, all battling opioid addiction.,, Many people struggling with addiction find treatment and regain their lives. She sees it every day. Those are the lucky ones. But it’s the people she never gets to see who frustrate her. The ones who don’t make it. The ones who are dying in unprecedented numbers. They are dying in the potato fields of Aroostook County and the lobster-fishing harbors Down East. They are dying in the western Maine foothills where paper mill closures have sown economic anxiety. They are dying in cities like Portland and Lewiston and in the suburbs, where opioids are in plentiful supply. They are dying in New Bedford, Portsmouth, Anytown USA. I know this is not a fishing article, but it is a problem within every fishing community, not only ours. It’s a human tragedy. Read this story here 15:03

From maple syrup fraudsters to The Codfather – 5 of the Worst Criminals in Food History!

Like precious gem heists and exotic animal snatching, food crimes come with their fair share of high drama. The details of one seafood kingpin’s story are enough for an episode of The Sopranos: Federal agents disguised themselves as Russians and busted fisherman Carlos Rafael for a laundry list of crimes, including mislabeling his catch and selling thousands of pounds of fish under-the-table to a dealer in New York City. For our latest episode of Bite, our food politics podcast, we talked to journalist Ben Goldfarb about his recent Mother Jones feature about this fish tycoon, known as “The Codfather.” The interview with Goldfarb begins at 1:24. Listen to the audio, and read the story here 12:30

Shark Fins: Waste or Resource?

An article in the St. Augustine Record caught my eye on social media this week. Viewed as a winter resident of Florida the headline was quite shocking, especially since I have many times seen sharks hauled ashore by surf-fishing tourists and subsequently abused. By abuse I mean leaving the animal in the sand while relatives run to find cameras to record the grisly images for bragging rights, not at all concerned about the suffering of the shark and/or the fact that it needs water to be able to “breathe.” The header in the Record was even more worrisome: “Sale and trade of shark fins to continue in Florida, despite threat to ecosystem, tourism.” The Boston Globe-credited-photo leading the post was worse. continue reading the story here 14:17

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 42′ Sampson Lobster boat, 300HP, 6 Cylinder Cummins – Price Reduced!

Specifications, information and 35 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 11:59

Trump policies could mean big boon for Hawaii’s commercial fishermen and the enviro’s are upset!

The debate over fishing regulations at the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is heating up again. The council that helps outline rules for fishing in the federally protected area says it wants to work with the Trump Administration to ease restrictions there, making it easy for Hawaii’s commercial fishermen to work in waters around the monument. Environmental groups are demanding protections remain in place. Some are even calling for an investigation.  The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council – known as Wespac – is meeting at the Ala Moana Hotel through Thursday. At the same venue as the Wespac meeting, a coalition of environmentalists and conservationist came together on Tuesday to challenge the council’s position. Watch the video, read the story here 08:46

Estranged daughter sues ‘Deadliest Catch’ star Sig Hansen, alleging she was molested as a child

The estranged daughter of celebrity Alaskan crab boat captain and cable TV star Sig Hansen claims her father sexually abused her as a toddler, while her parents were divorcing nearly three decades ago, according to interviews and court records. As a result of the alleged abuse, Melissa Eckstrom, now a 28-year-old family law attorney in Seattle, contends in a lawsuit that she battled depression, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and other trauma throughout her childhood. She also claims that she still harbors memories of her father’s abuse of her as a 2-year-old in 1990. “I have memories … of being in a room alone with my father and crying out in pain,” Eckstrom stated in a court declaration. Read the story here. (I ain’t buying it) 10:06

U.S. Coast Guard avoids budget cuts

The U.S. Coast Guard will not see the budget cuts the Trump administration planned for the branch after a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers blocked the move. While President Donald Trump continues to push Congress to boost budgets for military branches managed by the Department of Defense, the administration sought to strip $1.3 billion in spending for the Coast Guard. The cut would have been equal to 12 percent of the branch’s budget. The Coast Guard is managed by the Department of Homeland Security. According to Defense News, the service received an “avalanche” of support from lawmakers from both major political parties after a letter signed by 23 senators protested any cuts. Hey! Washington isn’t broken after all! Read the story here 13:22

Rare Hawaiian seal drowns at NOAA-funded fish farm site

An endangered Hawaiian monk seal has died after wandering into a net pen and becoming trapped at a fish farm that was partially funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Hawaii. Officials with NOAA said Thursday the death of the 10-year-old monk seal happened at Blue Ocean Mariculture, the same fish farm that NOAA’s National Marine Fishery Service has been using for research in conjunction with a plan to expand aquaculture into federal waters around the Pacific. Ann Garrett, the service’s assistant regional administrator for protected resources, confirmed the farm was the same one used for the NOAA-funded research, but could not comment further on the agency’s involvement. NOAA is working on a plan to expand aquaculture into federals waters despite concerns by some environmental groups who say the industrial-scale farms could do more harm than good to overall fish stocks and ocean health. continue reading the story here 08:16

White House budget head: Reported Coast Guard cuts ‘not accurate’

President Trump’s budget director is insisting that a report that $1.3 billion would be cut from the Coast Guard’s budget is inaccurate, although the administration’s first spending outline does not include the data to back up the claim. The budget blueprint released early Thursday details a $54 billion bump in defense spending and a 6.8 percent increase for the Department of Homeland Security, which the Coast Guard falls under. Nowhere in the budget, however, is a mention of Coast Guard spending, which was initially identified by the White House as a way to partially fund an illegal immigration crackdown and border security. Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, told reporters on Wednesday that the reported cuts are “not accurate.” He pointed to the overall increase for DHS in the outline, and said its secretary, John Kelly, is allowed to allocate the money as he sees fit. Read the story here 11:36

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 86.7′ Steel Stern Trawler, CAT 3508, Lister-30 KW Genset, Price Reduced!

Specifications, information and 26 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 16:52

UPDATED: GOP Kicks Off Effort To Roll Back Obama’s Monument Designations

House lawmakers kicked off their effort to push back against national monuments designations, targeting the large swaths of ocean the Obama administration made off limits to fishing. “I don’t believe the Antiquities Act should have ever been applied to oceans,” Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young said during a Wednesday hearing on marine monument designations. “There was never intent of that.” Republicans on the House Committee on Natural Resources have long criticized former President Barack Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act to put millions of square miles off limits to commercial fishing with little to no input from locals.  New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, who couldn’t attend the hearing due to a snow storm, is a Democrat who represents a Massachusetts community dependent on fishing. Mitchell wants to change how national monuments are designated to include more local input. Mitchell was not a fan of Obama unilaterally designating the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in September. continue reading the story here 16:02

Fishing Industry Tells Committee Regulations Go Too Far – Allegations of bad science and lobbying by overzealous environmentalists dominated talks on marine sanctuary and monument designations during a Congressional hearing Wednesday. Read the story here 18:02

The Deliciously Fishy Case of the “Codfather”

The fake Russians met the Codfather on June 3, 2015, at an inconspicuous warehouse on South Front Street in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The Codfather’s lair is a green and white building with a peaked roof, fishing gear strewn across a fenced-in backyard, and the words “Carlos Seafood” stamped above the door. The distant gray line of the Atlantic Ocean is visible behind a towering garbage heap. In the 19th century, New Bedford’s sons voyaged aboard triple-masted ships in pursuit of sperm whales; now they chase cod, haddock, and scallops. Every year, more than $350 million worth of seafood passes through this waterfront, a significant slice of which is controlled by the Codfather, the most powerful fisherman in America’s most valuable seafood port. Big Read! continue reading the story here 07:56

Mitchell set to testify to Congress about impact of marine monument this morning

Weather permitting, Mayor Jon Mitchell on Wednesday will be in Washington giving testimony to Congress about an underwater marine monument which former President Obama created with a stroke of the pen in 2016 over the protests of the fishing community. The spans nearly 5,000 square miles 150 miles off Cape Cod, and it was hailed by environmentalists for preserving enormous underwater mountains and vast, deep canyons only now being explored. Three years earlier, an underwater remotely-operated vehicle sent back pictures of incredible life forms and geological features. The NRDC was among the leaders of many organizations that jumped at the opportunity to preserve the monument against human activity, fishing in particular. read the rest here 07:18

Oversight Hearing on Examining the Creation and Management of Marine Monuments and Sanctuaries Wednesday, March 15, 2017 10:00 AM

Oversight Hearing on: “Examining the Creation and Management of Marine Monuments and Sanctuaries”  Click here to read the memo  Witnesses and Testimony: Dr. John Bruno Professor, Department of Biology University of North Carolina, Mr. Chett Chiasson Executive Director Greater Lafourche Port Commission,  Mr. Brian Hallman Executive Director American Tunaboat Association, The Honorable Jon Mitchell Mayor City of New Bedford Click here @ 10:00am and listen to the hearing. 19:05

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for March 13, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 16:01

‘Deadliest Catch’ Season 13: Tragedy, Drama, And Is It End For Two Captains?

Discovery has announced that the Deadliest Catch Season 13 will be returning on April 11. This is the final season for at least one captain, possibly two. Compound it with the emotional tragedy of the Destination and temperatures that are four degrees warmer than last year, means that keeping focused and finding the crab is tougher than before. Captain Sig Hansen appears to be back, but for how long? Captain Jonathan Hillstrand? It appears that the weather has become dramatically warmer, four degrees warmer than last season. It matters a great deal as any of the previous crab hotspots are now gone. The crab have moved to new, more comfortable locations, and the captains, who are under pressure to achieve quotas, need to use all of their skills and instincts to figure out where the crab are located. Read the story here 12:48

Independent Kodiak Fisherman Addresses his Concerns to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Jim Balsiger

Dear Jim & Secretary Ross, Thank you, once again, for a response to my letters (19 October, 2016) re Trawl violations in the Gulf of Alaska.  I appreciated the website reference(NOAA OLE Enforcement-Actions) that allowed review of the NOVA and/or NOPS cases concluded before June 30, 2016.  I await review of the February report, as well. Obviously, since my letters and your responses, the NPFMC December session indefinitely postponed or tabled the GOA Trawl Bycatch program drafting.  One can only hope this matter of privatizing the groundfish which causes an extremely negative effect on other species (and fish segments) —such as halibut, and crab recovery in the GOA— has seen its end.,, Had it not been for congressional end-runs of former Senator Ted Stevens, two key things would not have happened. Read the letter here  Ludger W. Dochtermann  16:52

NOAA tests camera systems to monitor fish catch

When we think of technological innovators, most picture daring entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who make clever devices for their investors. However, in the Bering Sea and other waters off the coast of Alaska, NOAA Fisheries scientists are testing innovative technologies, tools and methods to keep U.S. fisheries strong and profitable. Together with the fishing industry, we have made real progress advancing the use of camera systems to monitor fish catch and identify the best ways to safely release unwanted species. These systems help us count fish both in the net and when it is hauled onto the deck of a fishing vessel. Our scientists have designed software applications to automate the process of identifying fish species and measure fish length. Until recently, obtaining this critical information for fisheries stock assessments was only possible with the help of a human observer. continue reading the story here 09:40

Cape officials push for Sea Grant program’s survival

Judith McDowell and Bob Rheault were both drawn to Washington this week for the same reason: They wanted to salvage a threatened federal program that plays a key role in Cape Cod’s marine-dependent industries. McDowell, the director of the Woods Hole Sea Grant program, and Rheault, the executive director of the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association, were hoping to save the national Sea Grant program from elimination. The Washington Post reported last week that the program’s $73 million budget is part of a proposed 18 percent cut to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. McDowell said she couldn’t comment on a budget cut she said hadn’t been officially released but was leaked to news organizations. But Rheault, who was making the rounds of congressional offices this week, was highly critical of the proposal to scrap Sea Grant, calling it a “job killer.” His time in D.C. revealed there might be a chance the program, which President Lyndon Johnson created in 1966, could be saved, Rheault said. read the story here 10:41

Sunday Night: Rockporter joins sixth season of ‘Wicked Tuna’

The intense work of Gloucester’s now famed blue-fin fishermen will be showcased again when the international hit television show “Wicked Tuna,” kicks off its sixth season Sunday night on the National Geographic channel. Gloucester Capt. Dave Carraro of the FV-Tuna.com once again won the competition last season, but just barely, with a total catch value of $104,785. Just $174 behind was Capt. Paul  Hebert, also of Gloucester, who at one time was part of Carraro’s crew. He now captains his own fishing vessel, the Wicked Pissah. “We won the last three of the five seasons, and this year we are going to have a bigger target on our back now more than ever before,” said Carraro of his crew. “We are the New England Patriots of the fleet.” The National Geographic series airs internationally in 171 countries and in 45 languages. continue reading the story here 09:21

Trump asked to remove all marine monument fishing prohibitions established by the past two administrations

The request is from the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Congressman Rob Bishop, and American Samoa’s Congresswoman Aumua Amata. The letter says prohibitions on commercial fishing in marine monuments, or reserves, has impacted the US fishing fleet as well as forcing one cannery operation in Pago Pago to close. According to the two Republicans, closing US waters to domestic fisheries is federal overreach and obstructs well managed, sustainable US fishing industries in favour of foreign counterparts. The letter says over half of US waters in the Pacific have been closed to commercial fishing by a stroke of the pen without specific evidence, socioeconomic analysis, or a deliberative and public process. Link 08:10

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

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 65′ DMR Fiberglass Offshore Lobster boat, Cat 3408TA, JD 30 KW Generator

Specifications, information and 25 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:23 Federal Area 1 Permit, 800 +/- lobster traps with rope and buoys available

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