Category Archives: National

Coronavirus: NOAA Cancels Five Large-Scale Fishery Surveys

NOAA announced Friday that it will cancel five out of its six large-scale research surveys in Alaskan waters this year due to COVID-19. The canceled surveys include the Aleutian Islands bottom trawl survey, the eastern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the northern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the Bering Sea pollock acoustics survey, and the Fall Ecosystem Survey. The Alaska Longline Survey is not affected.  “We determined that there is no way to move forward with a survey plan that effectively minimizes risks to staff, crew, and the communities associated with the surveys. For instance, conducting the key groundfish and crab surveys in a limited timeframe would require extraordinarily long surveys, well beyond standard survey operations,” >click to read< 11:47

Con groups propose total lobster fishing ban

According to the Center for Biological Diversity and several other plaintiff conservation groups, the area “has increasingly become important right whale foraging and socializing habitat in recent years. The conservation groups filed their request last Friday, three weeks after the judge ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violated the federal Endangered Species Act when it continued to allow lobster fishing with gear that used fixed vertical buoy lines in which whales could become entangled. As a practical matter, a ban on the vertical lines that connect traps on the sea floor to marker buoys on the surface would amount to a total prohibition against lobster fishing in the area south of the two Massachusetts islands. While scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a few others have experimented with “ropeless” lobster trap gear (laughter and scorn, erupts from the crowd),,, >click to read< 09:18

Memorial Day: Remembering those that served. Thank You.

08:30

NPFMC meets online to resolve halibut issues

Federal fisheries managers met online in mid-May to approve emergency action necessitated by the impact of the novel coronavirus,, The session, announced in late April, allowed for harvests, processors and other fishing industry entities until one day in advance of the May 15 meeting to submit written comments through links on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s agenda on five emergency requests. Those requests ranged from allowing all holders of individual fishing quota to make temporary transfers of that quota to eligible hired masters during the pandemic to increasing IFQ end-of-year rollover provisions. The council approved the transfer for the rest of the 2020 season for quota shares owned by all halibut and sablefish IFQ holders, based on a request from 11 industry leaders. The council also recommended to the International Pacific Halibut Commission, a request from the halibut charter industry,,,>click to read< 18:34

Presidential order on aquaculture draws environmental concerns over proposed fish farm, like pollution and escapements?

The federal waters of the contiguous United States are free of aquaculture farms, but a new executive order from President Donald Trump could hasten attempts by fish farm companies to take the plunge. Southwest Florida could be at the forefront of the push for more farms as a pilot program works through a permitting process. Environmental groups worry the order will greenlight offshore operations, creating concentrated sources of pollution and putting wild species at risk. The executive order on Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth was signed May 7,,, Ocean Era, formerly Kampachi Farms, is waiting on permits for its pilot finfish farm, Velella Epsilon. The farm will be about 41 miles southwest of Sarasota in the Gulf of Mexico and raise 88,000 pounds of almaco jack fish each year. >click to read< 10:45

Fire Tears Through San Francisco’s Pier 45 Fishing Offices, Equipment at Fisherman’s Wharf

The four-alarm fire at San Francisco’s Pier 45 will put a real strain on the fish and crab industry that’s an important part of Fisherman’s Wharf. Several dozen fishing businesses are located on the rear of the pier, including offices, vehicles and equipment. Hundreds of thousands of crab pots were lost at a cost of more than $300 apiece, leading to a burned plastic smell in the area. The fishermen and crab fleet keeps most of their gear at Pier 45. “It’s a complete wipeout for the majority of the crab fleet there,” California Coast Crab Association President Ben Platt told KCBS Radio. >click to read or listen< 22:31

Here’s What Cast Members of ‘Wicked Tuna’ Make per Episode

The Wicked Tuna cast members’ salaries look a whole lot different than when the show kicked off back in 2012. And crew and deckhands always make far less than captains, or crew members who have risen to stardom either because the network saw potential, or their personalities stood out for TV. When it first aired, the crew reportedly pulled in between $2,000 and $3,000 per boat, per episode, separate from whatever fish they hauled in. As of 2019, that figure was up to $10,000 per episode — but some of the longstanding series stars may make up to $100,000 per show. >click to read< 17:46

This is very cool! Happy Birthday! Celebrate the Lobster Lady’s 100th birthday on TV

The Rockland Historical Society will bring its June program to everyone at home this year. The program will be a documentary film, “The Lobster Lady,” based on the lifelong career of Virginia Oliver who started lobstering with her older brother when she was eight years old. Oliver will turn 100 June 6. She is, no doubt, the oldest licensed lobster fishing person in Maine and probably the World. With 92 years of experience, Oliver is looking forward to starting a new season. She lobsters with her son, 77-year-old Max Oliver. Weather permitting, they go out three times a week. Both have their own traps. Oliver has 200 traps of her own. >click to read< 12:05

Alaska: Commercial fishermen struggle in coronavirus pandemic

“We tied the boat up, hoping and waiting for things to stabilize a little bit,” said Jim Hubbard, who has been commercial fishing for nearly 50 years. Hubbard’s vessel, Kruzof, has been docked for two months during the coronavirus pandemic. With many restaurants shut down or operating at a limited capacity, it wasn’t worth it to fish. “We learned that about 80% of our seafood goes to the restaurant trade and the species we target, more the commodity-based fish species. It’s really basically gutted our markets,” Hubbard said. “We’re not making money, tourist people aren’t making money, the restaurants aren’t making money, and it just keeps going down,” said Cory Harris. Harris owns the F/V Tribute and just returned to Seward from a recent fishing venture. He wants to make whatever money he can even if the prices aren’t great. >click to read< 11:05

Ireland: Warning fishing industry is on brink of collapse due to lack of Coronavirus support

Ireland’s €1.2 billion fishing industry is on the brink of collapse, according to industry representatives who say it has been decimated by the collapse in domestic and EU markets since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. But they also say the government’s lack of appropriate help could prove to be the final nail in the coffin. The representatives point to the fact that Agriculture Minister Michael Creed recently announced more money for harbour repairs than for packages to help fishermen and women. They also say a scheme he announced last week to help pay the costs of boats that can’t fish because of the crisis is “not fit for purpose”. >click to read< 10:25

BREAKING: Crews battle 4-alarm fire at San Francisco’s Pier 45 at Fisherman’s Wharf

Crews are battling an enormous fire a San Francisco warehouse on the city’s iconic Pier 45 at Fisherman’s Wharf Saturday morning. Firefighters told our sister station KGO-TV that additional structures and the SS Jeremiah O’Brien ship are threatened. The ship is one of two remaining fully functioning Liberty ships launched during World War II. It’s unclear what ignited the flames. Crews say no one has been hurt. The fire was first reported around 4:40 a.m. local time. As of 5:49 a.m., the fire department said crews were making progress on the flames. >click to read< 09:22

Buyers setting catch limits, processors struggle with labour shortages, ‘Lots of lobster, but we can’t bring them in’

“Pretty good catches so far. But almost everybody’s on a quota right now,” said Gerard Whalen, a long-time fisherman in Naufrage in eastern P.E.I. “We’re seeing lots of lobster, but we can’t bring them in.” “We just can’t get rid of them,” added Lucas Lesperance, who docks a few boats down from Whalen. Lesperance said he’s pulled up about 1,000 pounds of lobster some days, but his buyer has only been accepting 600-700 pounds.  According to P.E.I.’s Seafood Processors Association, that is the big problem across the industry. Executive director Jerry Gavin said Island processing plants — which rely heavily on temporary foreign workers — are about 200 workers short this season. >click to read< 17:23

Still slow going for Copper River opener, remains closed at least through Monday, May 25

Opening harvests of the 2020 Copper River commercial fishery, complicated by effort to keep the COVID-19 pandemic at bay, got off to a slow start for the first two 12-hour openers. The overall catch of Chinook and sockeye salmon came in way below forecast. The first two 12-hour periods brought processors an estimated 6,025 sockeyes and 3,255 king salmon, Copper River commercial fishery biologists said. The 372 deliveries from the first opener on May 14 included just 1,473 sockeyes and 1,552 Chinooks. Then on May 18, there were 412 deliveries, with 4,552 sockeyes and 1,703 Chinooks. The projected harvest for the second period alone had included 28,590 reds. >click to read< 16:16

Something Big is in the works at the Port of Toledo’s Shipyard, Repair work continues, unabated!

JH Kelly ironworker crews are close to half way through the job of constructing the port’s towering new work building. When completed later this year this year the $5.1 million, 90-foot tall structure will provide the yard with a contained, all weather environment to conduct painting, sandblasting, welding, and other work. Repair work at the Toledo yard has continued unabated despite the ongoing national health crisis and its impact on the larger economy. >click to read< 14:17

Hawaii Fish Council Urges Trump To Open Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument To Fishing

The council’s latest push comes on the heels of an executive order President Donald Trump signed on May 7 that’s meant to slash federal regulations and ease environmental burdens on American aquaculture and commercial fishing industries in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic. In an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, two of Trump’s top advisors, Joe Grogan and Peter Navarro, said the president’s new order would “help reduce pain in the grocery checkout line — and also strengthen U.S. food production against foreign competition.” A provision in Trump’s order calls on the nation’s eight regional fishery management councils to submit “a prioritized list of recommended actions to reduce burdens on domestic fishing and to increase production within sustainable fisheries.” Skeptics, including U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman,, Trump’s order gave each council 180 days to submit recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce. >click to read< 12:42

Boatbuilder Ralph Howard Sorensen Jr.

Ralph was born in Edmonds, WA, and maintained his home there, graduating from Edmonds High School in 1946. He attended Everett Community College before being called to serve his country in the Korean War,,, He went on to became an apprentice boat builder at Howard Anderson Boat House, which later became Anderson Marine next to the Edmonds ferry terminal. Ralph specialized in building commercial fishing boats. He started his own boat shop called Tidewater Boat Works, where he built gillnetters, trollers, seiners, and did repairs on sailboats or anything that floated and was made out of wood. >click to read< 09:07

Always NC Fresh! NC Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Launches New Campaign, NCFA Weekly Update for May 22, 2020

Glenn Skinner, Executive Director of NC Fisheries Association (NCFA) and NCCFRF Committee Member, stated, “The Always NC Fresh public relations campaign could not have come at a better time as many of our fishermen have been hit hard by the impacts of COVID-19.” Skinner added, “Commercial fishing has been a part of North Carolina’s coastal communities and economy for hundreds of years, and it was time for us to reintroduce our fishermen to the citizens of this great state. We have a great story to tell and we’re proud to be a part of this new campaign.” “Commercial fishermen are good people who are a fundamental part of the economy and way of life in North Carolina’s coastal communities,” said Brent Fulcher, NCFA Chairman.  >click to read< 08:04

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 22, 2020>click to read< to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<

For troubled Outer Banks commercial fishing industry, Coronavirus is one more blow. Louisiana, too.

At the state and federal level, increasing regulatory requirements and catch quotas, fueled in part by aggressive lobbying of elected officials by the well-funded recreational fishing industry, have caused even more commercial fishermen to leave the industry. And now COVID-19 strikes another blow to the solar plexus of an industry that, no pun intended, can barely keep its collective heads above water. And interviews with two local operations — of distinctly different sizes — help shed light on how the COVID crisis has affected the Outer Banks’ commercial fisheries. Mark Vrablic of the Willie R Etheridge Seafood Company, one of the last remaining large-scale seafood distributors in Wanchese, minced no words when he described the losses created by the worldwide pandemic.  >click to read< 19:15

Shrimp industry in Louisiana hit hard by Coronavirus pandemic – Shrimp processors are shut down and the baskets that are usually filled are empty. Brown shrimp season started on Monday, and so far it hasn’t been good. “Absolutely terrible, last year I had 42 boats going out during brown shrimp season, this year I only have 9 boats,” said Craig Napoli, C&A Seafood. >click to read<

Female Blue Crab Population Up In Chesapeake Bay, Juvenile Numbers Low

Chesapeake Bay blue crab population appears to have a healthy number of spawning-age female crabs, according to the 2020 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey. Maryland, Virginia and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission aims to conserve more than 70 million adult female crabs annually to ensure enough young crabs can be produced to sustain the population, a task that has now been achieved for the sixth consecutive year. This year’s survey estimates 141 million adult female crabs were conserved, which is above the long-term average of 126 million. The total amount of blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay in 2020 was 405 million crabs,,, >click to read< 14:56

Eight Projects Selected for S-K Funding – Here we go again! Fisherman get the shaft, thanks to NOAA

To those fisherman who put in an application for Saltonstall-Kennedy Program Funding money, I feel badly for you who were not selected. Again, NOAA gave the money to universities, foundations, and other special interests and not you, who it should be for. Unfortunately for those who applied, this has been going on for years under NOAA’s selection of those that apply. I believe when authored by Senators Leverett Saltonstall (R-Mass.) and John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) in 1954 to promote and market domestic seafood, that they didn’t think our fisherman would be left out. Two years ago, I was chosen by NOAA to serve on a panel to review those who applied.,, by Sam Parisi, >click to read< including the press release. 19:12

Port of Port Townsend: Marine trades plan for reopening in Phase 2

When the governor first announced his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, boat builders in Port Townsend put down their sanders, chisels and saws and headed home. But as the fishing season drew closer, and Alaskan towns began to institute two-week quarantines for incoming boats, crews scrambled to get their fishing vessels ready. On March 30, Gov. Jay Inslee said marine trades businesses could continue to work on commercial fishing vessels in addition to government and transportation vessels. “I don’t think there’s any debate that the marine trades have been essential workers throughout the closure,” said Eron Berg, director of the Port of Port Townsend. While the port scaled down haulouts, marine trades businesses scaled down to just working on commercial fishing vessels. ACI Boats, a boat construction company at the port’s boat yard, launched a newly built commercial fishing vessel that will head to Bristol Bay amid the pandemic. >click to read< 17:39

Brownsville: How Coronavirus pandemic is affecting shrimp producers

About two months ago, one of Andrea Hance’s boats came in with about 10,000 pounds of shrimp. Hance said on average the price of shrimp that they get from the boat is about $5, but buyers were not willing to pay that much. “They were coming back after they told us that they were not going to bid at all, you pressure them a little bit and then they said well we’ll give you a bid, but you’re not going to like it,” said Hance. “Well we ended up selling our shrimp for $3 a pound so we lost quite a bit of money on the last trip.” These are prices that John Keil Burnell, who is one of the owners of Shrimp Outlet in Brownsville, is seeing. Video, >click to read< 16:16

‘I’m not a quitter’: lobstermen turn to kelp farming in the face of climate crisis

Back from a day of scalloping, lobsterman Bob Baines has docked his boat, the FV Thrasher, at the Spruce Head Fishermans Co-op. His sternman, David McLellan, clad in waterproof overalls like Baines, shucks the last few hauls, tossing the meats into a bucket and the shells overboard. It’s the last week of scallop season, but there is a new venture on the horizon. Baines, 64, steers the Thrasher back out toward Hewett Island on Penobscot Bay to check on the underwater kelp farm that he “planted” in December. It’s a willowy structure made up of moorings, buoys and ropes that hovers 7ft underwater and spans 1,000ft wide, like a monster cat’s cradle. Baines is among the latest of 19 veteran lobstermen along the Maine coast who are applying their hard-earned expertise to kelp farming. >click to read< 12:46

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 50′ Fiberglass Stern Trawler, 425HP Volvo Diesel, Northern Lights 12 kw Generator

To review specifications, information and 23 photos, >click here< Vessel is in good condition. To see all the boats in this series, >click here< 11:44

‘We’re open’: Alaska businesses can operate at full capacity Friday, Dunleavy says

Alaska businesses can open at full capacity on Friday and sports can resume, Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Tuesday evening. “Friday, we’re open for business across the state of Alaska,” Dunleavy said at a news conference. Alaska will enter phase three and four of the government’s five-phase reopening plan at 8 a.m. Friday. That means restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses can fully open. All churches, libraries and museums can too. Sports and recreational activities can resume, Dunleavy said. It’s the governor’s latest major lift of coronavirus-related restrictions. Previously, certain businesses could only operate at 25% to 50% capacity. “It’ll all be open, just like it was prior to the virus,” Dunleavy said. >click to read< 10:29

The Lunacy of Global Seafood Supply Chains

Like all global supply chains right now, this one feels unstable and unsustainable. Most of the seafood we eat in America, even in Gloucester, the country’s oldest seaport, comes from overseas. Most of what local fishermen catch is sent elsewhere. “The models aren’t designed to feed local and regional markets,” Tolley says. Those famous fish sticks bearing the logo of a Gloucester fisherman? By the time they reach your frozen foods section, they’ve made an exhausting global journey, exported for processing, then reimported. Nearly 500 commercial boats fished out of Gloucester a decade ago. Today, there are two dozen. This reflects both the decades-long collapse in groundfish stocks—the cod and haddock that once abounded in the cold waters off Cape Ann—and ever-more-aggressive federal measures limiting who can fish and for how much. >click to read< 09:07

Captain David Vincent Haynie Sr., Reeadville Va.

David Vincent Haynie, Sr., age 81, of Reedville died Sunday, May 17 from complications of lung cancer. He was predeceased by his father and mother, Capt. E. Vincent Haynie and Frances Armsworthy Haynie. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, their children and grand children, family, and friends. His maritime career began at age 16 rowing the striker boat on his father’s menhaden fishing vessel in Lewes, DE. He owned and was captain on his trawler F/V Lady Jennifer operating from Texas to New Hampshire. He was a menhaden fish spotter from 1965 to 1974 and a well respected captain serving on numerous menhaden vessels for 31 years on the Chesapeake Bay, North Carolina and the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read< 07:56

Coronavirus: Hawaii Fishermen Are Stuck In Port As Federal Aid Falls Short

With tourism all but shut down due to Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s 14-day quarantine and restaurant service reduced to takeout for social distancing purposes, there’s less demand for fish. Prices have dwindled to the point where going out on the water can be more expensive for fishermen than the price of the catch coming in. State and federal governments have done little to help out, despite the fact that fish are a critical source of protein for the islands’ residents. “We are the largest food producing industry in the state by a tremendous margin,” said Michael Goto, who’s the auction manager for United Fishing Agency in Honolulu. “If we saw a complete shutdown of fishing effort that would be devastating.” >click to read< 16:23

Always Top Quality! Your Seafreeze Ltd. Price Sheet for May 2020 Has Arrived!

Contact our sales team today! To review the complete price list from Seafreeze Ltd., >Click here< – “The only thing we treat our fish with, is respect” Seafreeze Ltd! >Click here< to visit our website! 10:43

Key Word -“displaced”: New London wants state to fund new pier for displaced fishermen.

The city is calling on the Connecticut Port Authority to help establish a new home for two commercial fishing businesses being displaced from State Pier. The city says it’s found a spot on its waterfront for a new pier but doesn’t have the money to fund a project. Mayor Michael Passero is calling on the port authority to provide the funding. The fishermen — Montville-based Donna May Fisheries and Waterford-based Out of Our Shell Enterprises — are among the tenants of State Pier being displaced by a $157 million project to redevelop it into a staging and assembly hub for the offshore wind industry.  The redevelopment project is a partnership between the Connecticut Port Authority, Ørsted and Eversource. >click to read<  07:56