Category Archives: National

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

NOAA Turns a Blind Eye – How manipulation and corruption are making a mockery of federal fisheries management

This question often comes up in discussions about the federal fisheries management process: Why are people who profit from the harvest and sale of America’s marine resources allowed to sit on management bodies that make regulations governing those resources? It’s a good question. The most contentious issue in the Gulf of Mexico is privatization of the red snapper fishery in which millions of dollars’ worth of a public resource was gifted to select commercial operators to harvest for their own personal profit. Gifted, for free. Yet, someone who owns red snapper shares can sit on the Gulf Council and vote on every aspect of that fishery. And one does. Over the past few years, certain members of the charter/for-hire sector have worked to launch a privatization program in which they, too, could own shares and use red snapper as their own. Yet, on the Gulf Council, people who own charter businesses and stand to directly benefit from the program are never required to recuse themselves from votes on that program. continue reading the article here 08:24

Dear Secretary Ross.

Dear Secretary Ross, As members of our nation’s fishing communities, we want to express our gratitude for making the attainment of maximum sustainable yield in our fisheries a priority for the Commence Department.  We are also most appreciative of your publicly stated goal to increase domestic seafood production, which is a priority of Saving Seafood’s National Coalition for Fishing Communities.  It is most encouraging that we have a Secretary of Commerce who understands the importance of sustainably harvested seafood. As you know, the U.S. fishing industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and is a vital economic engine for our coastal communities. The industry is ready and willing to work with you and your department to achieve the goals you have set forth for American fisheries, and we want to build a successful relationship between the Commerce Department and commercial fishermen.  We know it is within our means to sustainably increase harvests and achieve maximum sustainable yield. A vibrant fishing industry will pay dividends not only to the coastal communities, but also to the millions of consumers who rely on the nutritional benefits of domestic sustainable seafood. Please click here and sign the petition. 09:39

Always Top Quality! Your Seafreeze Ltd. Preferred Price List for March 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! 12:23

At Last, Greenpeace Admits to ‘Rhetorical Hyperbole’

A few years ago Greenpeace and allied groups chose my company, Resolute, Canada’s largest forest-products company, to be their next victim. They compiled a litany of outlandish assertions: We were “forest destroyers,” for example, aggravating climate change, and causing a “caribou death spiral and extinction” in Canada’s boreal habitat. Greenpeace harassed companies we do business with, threatening them with the same sort of smear campaign that they launched against us and even instigating cyber-attacks on their websites. And they bragged about the damage — $100 million, in Canadian dollars — that they claimed to have inflicted on our business. They were lying about our forestry practices, so we did something that none of the group’s other targets have yet found the wherewithal to do: We sued them, in Canada, for defamation and intentional interference with economic relations, and in the United States under RICO statutes. A funny thing happened when Greenpeace and allies were forced to account for their claims in court. continue reading the article here 18:35

Furuno’s new Multi-Beam Sonar

Furuno is proud to announce that it is bringing side-scanning capabilities to its flagship NavNetTZtouch and TZtouch2 MFDs with its latest network sensor called the DFF3D. This multi-beam Sonar takes the highly-desired capability to scan port to starboard under the vessel and adds Furuno’s commercial fisheries spin on it. This deep-water Sonar delivers a sidebar detection range of an unprecedented 650+ feet, while being able to see down to over 1,000 feet. The DFF3D utilizes a new, compact multi-beam transducer, along with Furuno’s own advanced signal processing, to produce eye-popping images that will help you find and track fish. The transducer and fairing block is only 14 inches long, which makes this a perfect fit for boats of all sizes. To top it off, the transducer features a built-in motion sensor, which keeps the images stable, even in rough seas. continue reading the article here 13:18

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 82ft Steel Dragger, 3412 Caterpillar

Specifications, information and 33 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:32

Wind energy is not the answer

Urban voters may like the idea of using more wind and solar energy, but the push for large-scale renewables is creating land-use conflicts in rural regions from Maryland to California and Ontario to Loch Ness. Since 2015, more than 120 government entities in about two dozen states have moved to reject or restrict the land-devouring, subsidy-fueled sprawl of the wind industry.,, If the wind lobby and their myriad allies at the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups acknowledge turbines’ negative effects on landscapes and rural quality of life, it would subvert their claims that wind energy is truly green.,, In New York, angry fishermen are suing to stop an offshore wind project that could be built in the heart of one of the best squid fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard.  Read the article here 09:44

On this Day in 1977: 200-mile fishing zone takes effect

On this day in 1977, a 200-mile territorial fishing zone took effect, with the waters off Cape Cod being one of the two areas where the Coast Guard focused its enforcement efforts. Coast Guard vessels also patrolled the rich fishing grounds near Kodiak, Alaska, to protect American fishermen from foreign competition. “Poachers illegally fishing U.S. waters or taking the wrong kind of fish can be seized,” United Press International reported. Foreign vessels were required to obtain permits to fish within 200 miles of the US coastline, while some coastal areas and species of fish were deemed off-limits altogether. The federal government warned other nations that Coast Guard patrol boats would not hesitate to board foreign fishing boats within the 200-mile limit to ensure compliance. scroll down the page to read the rest of the story here 08:29

Commerce Secretary Wibur Ross’ side project: Make America first on seafood

Wilbur Ross is expected to emerge as the Trump administration’s leading voice on trade after the Senate votes tonight to confirm him as Commerce Department secretary. He’s already singled out a surprising pet project: Reducing America’s reliance on seafood imports. “Given the enormity of our coastlines, given the enormity of our freshwater, I would like to try to figure out how we can become much more self-sufficient in fishing and perhaps even a net exporter,” the 79-year-old billionaire businessman said at his confirmation hearing in January. That would be a big job for anyone, since 85 percent, or some $20 billion, of seafood consumed in the U.S. comes from abroad. America is the second-largest seafood market after the 28-nation European Union, and the U.S. seafood industry runs an $11 billion trade deficit. continue reading the rest here 20:39

National Marine Fisheries Service Policy Directive – Catch Share Policy

PURPOSE The purpose of this policy is to encourage well-designed catch share programs to help maintain or rebuild fisheries, and sustain fishermen, communities and vibrant working waterfronts, including the cultural and resource access traditions that have been part of this country since its founding.  DEFINITION “Catch share” is a general term for several fishery management strategies that allocate a specific portion of the total allowable fishery catch to individuals, cooperatives, communities, or other entities. Each recipient of a catch share is directly accountable to stop fishing when its exclusive allocation is reached. The term includes specific programs defined in law such as “limited access privilege” (LAP) and “individual fishing quota” (IFQ) programs, and other exclusive allocative measures such as Territorial Use Rights Fisheries (TURFs) that grant an exclusive privilege to Continue reading this here 15:50

Senate confirms Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross won easy Senate confirmation as commerce secretary Monday night, giving President Trump his top trade official who will be charged with leveraging U.S. interests in trade relationships with China and Mexico. Ross was approved in a 72-27 vote.Ross was a key economic adviser during Trump’s campaign who strongly influenced his views on trade, including his opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement and the now-scrapped Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.,, Trump has said he will rely on Ross to renegotiate NAFTA with Mexico and Canada, a role that would normally be left to the U.S. trade representative. The relatively strong support from Democrats is a response to Ross’s skepticism of major trade deals, which they share. Read the article here 20:31

Dream of Offshore U.S. Wind Power May Be Too Ugly for Trump

Offshore wind companies have spent years struggling to convince skeptics that the future of U.S. energy should include giant windmills at sea. Their job just got a lot harder with the election of Donald J. Trump. The Republican president — who champions fossil fuels and called climate change a hoax — has mocked wind farms as ugly, overpriced and deadly to birds. His most virulent criticism targeted an 11-turbine offshore project planned near his Scottish golf resort that he derided as “ monstrous.” Companies trying to build in the U.S., including Dong Energy A/S and Statoil ASA, are hoping to change Trump’s mind. They plan to argue that installing Washington Monument-sized turbines along the Atlantic coast will help the president make good on campaign promises by creating thousands of jobs, boosting domestic manufacturing and restoring U.S. energy independence. continue reading the story here 12:47

US Coast Guard convenes Marine Board of Investigation into loss of F/V Destination

WASHINGTON- The U.S. Coast Guard has convened a Marine Board of Investigation into the loss of F/V Destination and its six crewmembers. A Marine Board of Investigation is the highest level of investigation in the Coast Guard. Upon completion of the investigation, the Board will issue a report to the commandant with the evidence collected, the facts established and its conclusions and recommendations. During the course of the MBI, panel members must decide: The factors that contributed to the accident,  Whether there is evidence that any act of misconduct, inattention to duty, negligence or willful violation of the law on the part of any licensed or certificated person contributed to the casualty.  Whether there is evidence that any Coast Guard personnel or any representative or employee of any other government agency or any other person caused or contributed to the casualty National Transportation Safety Board is participating alongside the Coast Guard in its investigation, but will produce an independent report with its own findings. Link  15:45

March 1 is Tax Deadline for some Farmers and Fishermen

Most Americans think of April 15 as the tax deadline, but for many farmers and fishermen, there’s another deadline and it’s almost here. Wednesday, March 1 is the 2017 deadline for taxpayers with income from farming and fishing to file their 2016 Form 1040 and pay the tax due to avoid making estimated tax payments. This rule generally applies if farming or fishing income was at least two-thirds of the total gross income in either the current or the preceding tax year. Since 2014, IRS Direct Pay has offered individual taxpayers an easy way to quickly pay the tax amount due or make quarterly estimated tax payments directly from checking or savings accounts without any fees or pre-registration. Continue reading the rest here with external links 13:55

TowBoatUS captains honored for saving lives

Ten TowBoatUS captains were honored by their peers for lifesaving actions at the annual BoatUS Towing Conference last week in San Diego. The captains serve TowBoatUS locations in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and North Carolina. The awards were given at the Feb.14-16 conference for actions they took last year. Meritorious Service Awards were given to eight recipients, including Capt. Clint Allen, TowBoatUS New Bedford, Mass.: rescued six crewmen from the 72-foot commercial scallop fishing vessel Captain Jeff after it began taking on water five miles south of New Bedford Harbor. Read the story here 08:53

Fishermen at odds over impact of Trump executive order

An executive order by President Donald Trump designed to radically cut back on federal regulations has spurred disagreement among fishermen about how it will affect them — and lawmakers and regulators aren’t sure what the answer is. Groups that represent both commercial and recreational fishermen are divided over whether Trump’s “one in, two out” approach to federal regulations will benefit their industry, harm it or not affect it at all.,, Several fishing groups, ranging from the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association to the Massachusetts Striped Bass Association, are joining Democratic Reps. Jared Huffman of California and Raul Grijalva of Arizona in asking Trump to rescind.,, Other industry interests, including the Fisheries Survival Fund, said the order will likely leave fisheries unaffected. The order would apply only to financially significant regulations, and that would not include things like opening fishing seasons and enforcing catch limits, said Drew Minkiewicz, an attorney for the fund. “All this talk about how you’re not going to be able to manage fisheries — not true, doesn’t apply, not going to happen,” he said. Read the full story here 15:04

The Sustainable Fisheries Act – January 11, 2000 Revisited

I’ve been reviewing my past writings to gauge which, if any, have aged gracefully and which haven’t. I’ll be redistributing those that I think were particularly noteworthy, either because they were – and perhaps still are – on target or because they weren’t – or aren’t. The following addresses some of the more onerous provisions of the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996, which at the time were being fully implemented. I’ll leave it up to you to determine whether I hit this nail on the head or not. I’d be really interested to hear what you think. Nils Stolpe.  From the article: Under the provisions of the federal Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA), at any point when the populations of each of these competing species aren’t at MSY they are considered to be “overfished” and stringent harvest restrictions implementing strict rebuilding schedules (to MSY) are mandated. By requiring that all species be at their MSY, our coastal waters are expected in the SFA to support a level of overall production that is ecologically impossible, and fishermen, both recreational and commercial, are expected to reduce their catch to meet this impossible standard. Continue reading the article here 14:45

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 55′ RI Marine Steel Offshore Lobster Boat with traps, permit

Specifications, information and 28 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:05

Insurance tips for fishing vessels – “Getting the Most Value When Buying Fishing Vessel Insurance”

It can be tricky to find the right protection coverage for fishing boats at the right price. How much a vessel is insured for is traditionally determined by a marine surveyor but boat owners also must protect against risk. A new guide called “Getting the Most Value When Buying Fishing Vessel Insurance” gives simple tips and outlines buying pitfalls. At least some boat owners new to the industry or new to owning boats  may not be fully aware of the responsibilities of a vessel owner  are under general maritime law and various versions of the Jones Act. Those two areas of law provide a high degree of protection not just to crew members but others who provide services to boats.  Audio report, read the rest here 19:04

Harvey Haddock on fisherman’s rights.

In light of the recent court decision in regard to the proposed New York windmill farm allowing the project to proceed despite its potential effects on long established fishing industries, this scene, excerpted from the in-progress novel, “Delusions of a Madman”, showcases an irreverent slice of life from the Fishermans Dock Co-op, which illuminates the question; What are a fisherman’s rights? On a cold windy morning at the Fishermans Dock Co-op, all the boats are in, and a couple of small groups of fishermen are scattered at the docks unloading spots, generally discussing the last few days of fishing, and invariably complaining about one regulation or another. Henry’s in a hurry to the office today, it seems the morning coffee has done its magic, and he needs to make a deposit for Alice and Lil, the office secretary’s. He hurries through the dock careful not to slip on the ice, and enters the warm office, heads right, passing  Alice sitting at her desk, and Lil, in the next room. “Again?” says Alice. Continue reading the story here 22:02

A look back at the evolution of Catch Shares

In 2010 CSF board member Nils Stolpe conducted some exhaustive research into catch shares as a management tool and given what has transpired since it is worth looking over his findings today. Here, for example is a prophetic quote from the NEFMC’S June 2010 Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 15 to the Council’s Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan :  “…consolidation measures like ITQs, but also more generally leasing and stacking, tend to have their negative impacts on those less powerful segments of the fishing industry, namely the crew, or the small business owners without a fleet of vessels or vertically integrated business. Those who are better able to take advantage of measures like leasing or stacking are then increasingly able to exert control in various markets, such as leasing quota, hiring crew, or even affecting prices that fishermen receive for their product. These kinds of changes, in turn, affect the structure of communities—through changing relations between people and shifts in dominant values—and affect the viability of fishing communities as some are disproportionally impacted by geographic shifts in fishing businesses.” That was about the scallop fleet but the impact is now decimating single boat owners in our New England groundfishery. The complete report (three papers) is included here 14:28

The Five Trillion Dollar Plan to Save the Arctic Ice

Just in case you thought the climate community had run out of absurd ideas to waste taxpayer’s money, here is an academic plan to rebuild Arctic ice, by deploying 100 million wind turbines into the Arctic Ocean. Save the Arctic with $5 trillion of floating, wind-powered ice machines, researchers recommend With the Arctic warming faster than anywhere else on Earth, a new scientific paper is proposing a radical scheme to thicken the ice cap: millions upon millions of autonomous ice machines. Specifically, between 10 and 100 million floating, wind-powered pumps designed to spray water over sea ice during the winter. In the most ambitious version of the plan, 100 million devices would be deployed across the Arctic,,, Continue to read the absurdity here! 12:33

For fisheries regulations, a Trump edict signals uncertainty

New England fishermen and conservationists fear one of President Trump’s executive orders will have disruptive effects on fisheries management, although it will not affect routine seasonal fisheries regulation, as some had initially feared. The order prompted a fiery letter three days later from two prominent Democratic congressmen pointing out it could have “devastating impacts on commercial and recreational fisheries and the businesses and communities they support.” “Effectively what it means is that nobody can do anything because agencies will have to stop doing major regulatory actions because you can’t comply with this order, which may be the point,” says a former top federal fisheries management official, Andrew Rosenberg, who is now director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Drew Minkiewicz, a Washington, D.C., lawyer representing larger Eastern Seaboard scallop fishermen, says fishermen need not be concerned about most regulations. “This executive order has zero impact on 99.9 percent of the fishing regulations going out, so people who are wondering if the fishing season will be delayed don’t need to,” he says. “It’s much ado about nothing.” Read the article here 08:39

Grundens Deck-Boss Boot wins Miami Boat Show Innovation Award

Grundéns, producer of the world’s leading foul weather gear, was recognized with an Innovation Award today at the 2017 Miami Boat Show for its new 15-inch Deck-Boss Boot. The boot, which will be available at retail locations in April 2017, is Grundéns’ first foray into performance footwear for professional fishermen. “We are elated to receive this honor and overwhelming positive reaction for our new boot,” said Mike Jackson , Grundéns president. “For more than two years, we worked hard to design a boot for fishermen on decks around the world, from Alaska to the Bahamas.” Read more about Deck-Boss Boots, and see more images here 14:17

Furuno’s Multi-Beam Sonar reaches new depths

The DFF3D Multi-Beam Sonar brings you the ability to see the underwater world all around your vessel in real time. Fish targets are shown in 3D within the water column, allowing you to pinpoint fishing hot spots and mark them as waypoints for later. Amazingly, the waypoint contains the depth data, so you’ll know right where to drop your line! With the triple beam sounder, you can even watch the fish swim from one side of the boat to the other. With the addition of the DFF3D, Furuno’s NavNet TZtouch and TZtouch2 MFD’s have just become your most valuable tool for finding and catching more fish! Read the article here 09:02

Kerrisdale Capital Slams Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd – Pebble Mine shares are ‘worthless’

A New York investment firm tore apart claims by the owners of the Pebble mine project that developing the prospect is economically viable in a no-holds-barred report released Feb. 14. Kerrisdale Capital called Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., “worthless” in its 21-page report, contending sources directly involved in evaluating Pebble before Anglo American walked away from the project in 2013, despite spending roughly $500 million on it, said Pebble would cost close to $13 billion to construct, not the $4.7 billion capital cost Northern Dynasty arrived at in its preliminary project assessment. “In the past decade, Northern Dynasty has hired at least two major engineering firms to prepare preliminary feasibility studies of Pebble laying out its economics in detail, yet it has failed to publish their findings — because they were damning,” Kerrisdale alleges. Continue reading the article here 11:27

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 44′ 11″ x 21′ Novi Lobster/Scallop, 350HP Mitsubishi, Permits Available

Specifications, information and 45 photo’s  click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:45

How sustainable seafood can harm coastal communities

Kai Ryssdal: Tell me the story of how this book came to be. Lee van der Voo: Sure. Actually, I had just written a story about seafood and was in a bar with a bunch of writers loudly complaining about how I was never going to do it again. Somebody heard me and bet me, on the spot, one beer that they could get me to do it. And they started telling me about a new policy push to make seafood more sustainable in America and how it was starting to have some really significant downstream consequences for coastal communities and people who fish. Ryssdal: Long story short, you lost the beer. Van der Voo: Yeah, I lost that bet. It was worth it. Ryssdal: Do me favor and define a term for me, because it’s kind of at the root of this whole book, this idea of “catch share.   Audio report, read the rest here 09:08

Environmentalists Spend Big Money to Put Commercial Fishing People Out of Work

In an industry where commerce depends solely on the catch, commercial fishing is one of the most volatile professions in the country. From market prices to weather patterns, there are many factors that could result in poor landings and scant pay check. On top of these factors, an environmental group has proposed drastic rule changes for the trawl industry that could shut down a the NC shrimping business completely. And they’re spending big money to do it. While they claimed the rules would have an impact on the captains and crews, the environmentalists left out the many jobs generated by the trawl industry. From the shrimp headers and dock hands, to the welders and marine mechanics, to the transport drivers and seafood distributors, as well as the administrative employees, North Carolina stands to lose big bucks if fresh shrimp is taken from our tables. Even bigger, the tourism industry – which is has been a huge economic supporter in distressed coastal communities – would certainly take a financial hit.A fishermen can never clock in and be assured of a good paycheck, but environmentalists sure can. According to John Hopkins University there is huge money in being an environmentalist. In 2016, a it was reported a “chief sustainability environmental executive” will earn an average of $166,000 annually, while a general operations managers will start at $95,150. Read the complete article here 14:41

National Weather Service suffers ‘catastrophic’ outage, stops sending forecasts, warnings

On a day when a blizzard was pasting Maine and northern California faced a dire flooding threat, several of the National Weather Service’s primary systems for sending out alerts to the public failed for nearly three hours. Between approximately 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time Monday, products from the Weather Service stopped disseminating over the internet, including forecasts, warnings and current conditions. At about 4 p.m. Monday, a Weather Service spokesperson said the “system just came back up” and that more information about the cause of the outage was forthcoming. During the outage, the Weather Service’s public-facing website, Weather.gov, no longer posted updated information. Ryan Hickman, chief technology officer for AllisonHouse, a weather data provider, called the situation “catastrophic.” Continue reading the story here 08:53

Bill would prohibit fish farming in US Great Lakes waters

A member of Congress is sponsoring a bill to prohibit fish farming in waters of the Great Lakes within the United States. Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan says poorly operated aquaculture facilities can increase pollution, destroy fish habitat, spread disease and introduce non-native species. Michigan has received proposals for net-like commercial fishing enclosures in the Great Lakes. There are none in U.S. Great Lakes waters at present, although Canada has allowed them. Kildee’s bill also would ban aquaculture on rivers designated as wild and scenic, unless the facilities are shown not to discharge pollutants into the rivers. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality recently granted a permit to expand a fish farm on the Au Sable River in Grayling. The Au Sable is a wild and scenic river. Link 10:30

Coast Guard searching for fishing vessel near St. George, Alaska

 A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane crew and two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews are responding to an electronic position indicating radio beacon alert from fishing vessel Destination approximately two miles northwest of St. George, Alaska, Saturday. Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders in Juneau received the alert this morning and launched the aircraft crews. Six people were aboard the vessel,  which is based in Seattle and often moors at Sand Point, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson, U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska. Sand Point is a community of about 975 people in the Aleutians East Borough.The HC-130 Hercules crew arrived on scene to commence search patterns at approximately 10:13 a.m. Two MH-60 Jayhawk crews arrived early Saturday afternoon to assist with the search. Two good Samaritan vessels, fishing vessels Silver Spray and Bering Rose, are assisting with the search. Citizens in St. George have assembled a search party to patrol the shoreline for any signs of the crew or vessel. The EPIRB has been recovered among a debris field containing buoys, a life ring from fishing vessel Destination and an oil sheen. “We are saturating the area with Coast Guard and good Samaritan assets and hoping for the best,” said Chief Petty Officer Joshua Ryan, Coast Guard 17th District watchstander. Weather on scene is reported as 30-mph winds, five to eight-foot seas and snowing. Air temperature is 20 degrees and sea temperature is 30 degrees. Link 22:36

Hollywood to begin filming new Coast Guard movie that no one will watch

A new action-thriller movie based on true experiences from a search-and-rescue unit is set to be the next Coast Guard movie that no one will actually watch, sources confirmed today. “The Impossible Rescue” stars actor Tom Hardy, whose acting credits include “Inception” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Sources say Hardy will be the main protagonist whose rescue efforts saved a bunch of people or whatever. Though the sources added that, what’s the point anyway since nobody will see a Coast Guard movie no matter who the fuck is in it. With Ashton Kutcher and Chris Pine already sporting lead roles in Coast Guard films and supporting roles with Kevin Costner and Casey Affleck, star power seems to have zero effect on audience draw, the sources said. Sources say the film’s cast will also include a generic white woman who will be a two-dimensional love interest, an up-and-coming young actor from some TV show you’ve never watched, while an aging actor that you’ve seen in a bunch of movies but can’t remember his goddamn name will play the unit’s commanding officer. Read the story here 09:41