Category Archives: National

Inside the secret, million-dollar world of baby eel trafficking

In the parking lot of an Irving gas station in Aulac, N.B., not far from the Nova Scotia border, Curtis Kiley popped the trunk of a Toyota Corolla. Inside was a white bucket containing what looked like a giant hairball, the type that might be pulled from a bathtub drain. Except it was alive — a wriggling, slithering mess. This was just an initial sample Kiley had brought to show a prospective black-market buyer, a woman he knew only through text message as “Danielle.” He was ultimately hoping to unload up to 300 kilograms of the tiny creatures, a huge haul worth $1.3 million on the open market, but one he was offering at a steep discount. Moments later, Kiley’s world turned from dollar signs to handcuffs. >click to read<10:40

Bristol Bay fishermen renew call for input on Pebble Mine as commercial fishing season opens

Commercial fishing season is underway in Bristol Bay; but instead of focusing all their attention on their catches, fishermen are focused on the future the Pebble Mine could have on their livelihood. The public comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement closes July 1. “Our industry in Bristol Bay is in the fight of our lives against relentless attempts by the Pebble Limited Partnership, fueled by a ‘dig baby dig’ attitude from the US Army Corps of Engineers, to develop the world’s largest and most dangerous open pit mine at the headwaters of our fishery,” >click to read<. a lot of info, and some links to comment. 16:55

Western Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Honolulu, HI, June 25-27, 2019

Time: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Location: YWCA Fuller Hall, Honolulu, HI. 178th CM Summary of Action Items, 178th CM WPRFMC Agenda
178th CM FR Notice Can’t make it to the Laniakea YWCA Fuller Hall for the 178 CM? You can listen to the meeting online by clicking the link: https://wprfmc.webex.com/join/info.wpcouncilnoaa.gov08:58

This discovery could be the key to managing New England’s cod population

Although the species is managed as a single population, cod in the Gulf of Maine can be divided into two genetically-distinct groups. And according to a new study, understanding the unique behavior and lifecycles of these two groups may be the key to creating a better management strategy. “The current stock assessments for Gulf of Maine cod assume that the population is one single, homogeneous unit,” Dean says. “All stock assessment models have to make gross oversimplifications. But sometimes those simplifications can create inaccuracies.” click to read<21:39

Commercial Fisherman John Christian “Chris” Strawser

John Christian “Chris” Strawser, 64, of Glen Rock, Pa., formerly of Wanchese, NC, passed away Wednesday, June 19, 2019, doing what he loved, aboard the longline fishing vessel, Alexandra Dawn.,,, He attended the United States Military Academy West Point and the University of Maryland. Mating on the F/V Lollypop with Captain Chick Craddock, Chris fell in love with fishing and the sea. When Captain Chick retired and sold the boat, Chris determined to attain his own commercial fishing boat, and name it the F/V Lollipop,,, Chris left behind his best friend, soulmate and beloved wife of 20 years, Marilyn Strawser. Other survivors include his four daughters >click to read<21:28

Making the Cut! – Former Wilsonian featured on “Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks”

As a boy, Daniel Blanks fished all the little farm ponds around Wilson County. On Sunday night, Blanks will be featured on the popular National Geographic television series “Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks” as he and commercial fishing partner Zack Shackleton angle for bluefin tuna 40 miles off the North Carolina coast in the Atlantic Ocean.,, Then this year, the “Wicked Tuna” producers were looking for new captains. Blanks’ girlfriend sent in an application to “Wicked Tuna” hoping to get on the show. “We were kind of joking about it saying they would never pick a little boat like us to be on and sure enough, they called us,” >click to read<08:41  9 p.m. Sunday

Are the House of Representatives Anti Real Sience? Golden’s effort to withhold whale protection money fails

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 345-84 to kill the amendment to the U.S. Department of Commerce spending bill. The proposed budget rider was also supported by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District.,,, California Rep. Jared Huffman, a fellow Democrat who is the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources’s wildlife committee, spoke against the amendment, arguing the tool used to build the right whale protection plan was built on the best available scientific information. “Defunding it undermines consensus-based, conservation decision-making process,” Huffman testified. “It would set a dangerous precedent … and have impacts on other industries, fisheries and the North Atlantic right whale.” >click to read<12:18  How the House of Representatives voted. >click to read<

Small locator device could save fishermen stranded at sea

Commercial fishing ranks among the most dangerous professions, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Between 2000 and 2013, more than 660 American fishermen died at sea, of whom nearly one-third fell overboard. The small GPS devices, which cost a couple of hundred dollars, transmit an alert message using satellite frequencies to NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard.  >click to read<09:39

MSA reauthorization still stalled with 2018 House bill expired

More than a decade has passed since the last reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act was signed into law, but the latest effort has stalled in Congress. The act, originally passed in 1974, is the nation’s landmark legislation on federal fisheries policy. In the intervening years, Congress has passed a number of reauthorizations, most recently in 2006, tweaking language and adding provisions. The House passed HR 200, sponsored by Rep. Don Young, in July 2018. However, it never progressed through the Senate and thus expired at the end of the 115th Congress. >click to read<11:13

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 38′ Northern Bay Lobster/Tuna, 6 Cylinder Iveco,

Specifications, information and 8 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<13:43

Belfast Conflict Waves A ‘Red Flag’ For Dutch Firm Looking To Add A Third Fish Farm In Maine

The Dutch entrepreneur who would like to build a land-based yellowtail fish farm somewhere in Maine said that the relentless opposition that some have shown to Nordic Aquafarms’ proposed Belfast salmon farm has made him proceed here with caution. Ohad Maiman of Kingfish Zeeland said in a phone interview last week that company officials believe they have found two viable sites on the Maine coast after reviewing 22. But he does not want to identify those communities yet in hopes of avoiding the same kind of response that Nordic, a Norwegian-based company that is working to build a $500 million facility, has grappled with since announcing its plans in January 2018. >click to read<11:13

Renewables ‘Transition’ Terminated: With Their Subsidies Slashed, the Honeymoon for Wind & Solar is Over

Like a bride jilted at the altar, the wind and solar ‘industries’ are moaning about what could have been.,,, It was, of course, a ‘green’ wet dream. Now, reality has started to bite. With an inevitability, all of its own. For some strange reason, the places that led the charge with mandates, targets and massive subsidies to wind and solar, all appear to be the first to unwind those very same policies – simply because they were never sustainable, in the first place. Faced with rocketing power prices and grids on the brink of collapse, European states have slashed subsidies and are building new coal-fired plants and refurbishing old ones. >click to read<14:01

PROPULSION: The OXE Diesel Outboard Arrives

As Trace Laborde, Marine Manager for Laborde Products, said, “The OXE diesel is the complete package, a true diesel engine. It’s great for any maritime application that requires fuel efficiency, simple maintenance, compliance with all European and EPA Tier 3 regulations, and unmatched performance. There is no other choice than the OXE diesel.” That’s high praise, predictably coming from one of OXE’s authorized North American distributors, but in this case, the talk is matched by this OEM’s proven performance. The OXE was recently approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as the first and only Tier 3 diesel outboard for commercial use. >click to read< 12:47

US Coast Guard acted properly – Chang

National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang is claiming that the US Coast Guard followed correct procedures in the case involving the five Jamaican fishermen who claimed they were subjected to inhumane treatment after being detained in 2017. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is seeking compensation for four of the fishermen, claimed they were stripped naked, chained to the decks of US Coast Guard vessels, made to lie in faeces and had their boat burned. On Sunday night Dr. Chang told RJR News that the fishermen did not file a complaint about their alleged mistreatment by the U.S. Coast Guard. He claimed that the Coast Guard “responded within (the) legal framework of our agreement with the US Government and we had no complaint from the men involved prior to this report.”>click to read<08:31

Eric Schwaab Comes Aboard as New Head of EDF’s Oceans Program

“Eric was critical to the success we achieved during my time as NOAA Administrator,” said Dr. Jane Lubchenco, University Distinguished Professor, Oregon State University and former EDF Board Trustee. “His unflappable get-it-done approach makes him notably effective working with a range of stakeholders from fishermen to global leaders.” As head of NMFS, Schwaab led the transformation of U.S. fisheries management including widespread adoption of science-based catch limits and catch shares. EDF was a leading advocate for these reforms, which have driven a dramatic recovery of fish populations and increased catch and profits for fishermen. >click tp read<10:02

Happy Fathers Day to the Fishermen Fathers at Sea Today

Happy Fathers Day to those fathers that are at sea today, providing for their family’s, and providing us with fresh seafood. Thank you. 10:00

‘Wicked Tuna’ captains re-up for 9th season

The hit National Geographic series “Wicked Tuna” has been renewed for a ninth season, and the finale of season eight airs this Sunday, June 16, at 9 p.m. in an extended 90-minute episode “The Final Tail.” “Wicked Tuna,” which is filmed on location in Gloucester and the surrounding waters, airs internationally on National Geographic in 171 countries and in 43 languages.  The producers have found that this television series has hooked millions of viewers not only from the region but from around the world. Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken knows the city benefits from this wave of notoriety. “It’s great for the city as it continues to put us on the map,” she said. >click to read<22:03

ACLU Alleges Coast Guard Detained and Abused Fishermen

One night in the fall of 2017, four Jamaican fishermen set out into the Caribbean from the village of Half Moon Bay. As a lawsuit filed today describes it, their quest for tuna and snapper was supposed to last about two days. Then they disappeared. Five weeks later, those men—Robert Dexter Weir, Patrick Wayne Ferguson, Luther Fian Patterson, and David Roderick Williams—reemerged in Miami, covered in burns and blisters, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. United States Coast Guard officers had snatched them off their boat on suspicion of marijuana smuggling, then held them at sea for more than a month, shuffling them among various vessels en route to the U.S. to face trial, alleges the ACLU, which is suing the Coast Guard on the men’s behalf. >click to read<18:47   Weir v. U.S. – Complaint – >click to read<

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 47′ Steel Stern Trawler, CAT 3406B, With State, Federal Permits

Specifications, information and 7 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<10:56

Letter: More awareness needed of fish farms

To the editor: I went to the screening of “Lobster Wars” that occurred at the Cape Ann Museum on June 4. In the panel discussion after the movie, Larry Stepenuck was the only one who brought up the devastating effects and disturbances on the lobstermen and fishermen by the fish farms. These polluting enterprises and associated infrastructure take out huge chunks of the ocean that the fishermen and lobsermen could otherwise fish in (both vertically and horizontally). What’s left is getting slimmer all the time. Here, NOAA wants the lobstermen to develop ropeless lobster traps in order to protect the right whales. Meanwhile, NOAA and the Army Corps of Engineers turned around last year and awarded one of the Saltonstall-Kennedy grants to the development of a fish farm in the Critical Zone. A must read by Sue Waller, Rockport. >click to read<14:13

60-Day Notice of Intent to Sue NOAA under the Endangered Species Act Regarding Sea Grant’s Funding of Offshore Aquaculture Projects – >click to read<

Top brass exit Nature Conservancy amid sexual harassment investigation

#MeToo strikes again. This time it is within the world’s leading conservation organization, the Nature Conservancy. The first to exit the organization due to an investigation into sexual harassment and workplace misconduct were Mark Burget, head of the group’s North American operations, and Kacky Andrews, who led global programs.,,, Well, hold on. There’s more. Friday CEO Tercek resigned, just a week after McPeek’s exit.,,, Tercek joined The Nature Conservancy in 2008 from Goldman Sachs. (surely an environmentalist!),,, I’ll end with a little nugget I found. Friday Mary Kay, Inc., an original glass ceiling breaker among corporations offering opportunities to women, announced it has partnered with the Nature Conservancy in a program called the Texas Fisheries & Coastal Resilience Program. >click to read<18:27

Mary Kay Inc. Partners with The Nature Conservancy to Advance Sustainable Fishing in Gulf of Mexico – Mary Kay Inc., an international leader in corporate and social responsibility, today announced its partnership with The Nature Con – >click to read<

Drenched US documented its second-wettest May on record

While the continental United States recorded its wettest 12-month period in recorded history this year, historic flooding and record-shattering rainfall amounts landed May 2019 as the second-wettest month in the United States. Precipitation across the contiguous U.S. that accumulated over the June 2018 to May 2019 12-month period shattered the previous record for any 12-month period with 37.68 inches, 7.73 inches above average. “The previous June-May record was 35.47 inches and occurred from June 1982 to May 1983. The previous all-time 12-month record was 36.20 inches and occurred from May 2018 to April 2019,” Reppert said. (not a mention of climate change!)>click to read<14:42

Chill Wind Of Reality Blows Through The Green Energy Lobby

In recent weeks, some observers of the energy scene have been wondering if the long honeymoon of the renewables industry might finally have come to an end.,,, This is all very different to a couple of years ago when the wind industry and newspapers started shouting, in unison, that a new era of offshore wind was on the way. While a few spoilsports pointed out that there was almost certainly less to these announcements than met the eye, and wondered how exactly these alleged cost savings were to be achieved, the hype continued unabated. ,,, All this means that many environmentalists have pinned their hopes on offshore wind. There’s plenty of space out at sea, there are no neighbors to object, and the industry is saying that prices are going to drop through the floor. >click to read<13:08

North Pacific fish council enters Pebble debate, over state’s objections

The state of Alaska believes the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is overstepping its bounds, by weighing in on the Pebble Mine Project in Bristol Bay. A proposed comment letter drafted by the Council prompted a strong reaction from the state, during the Council’s June meeting in Sitka. During its Sitka meeting Wednesday morning (6-5-19), the Council reviewed a letter it planned to send to the Army Corps of Engineers commenting on the draft environmental impact statement — or DEIS — of the Pebble Mine. >Audio clip, click to read<08:54

Judge finds Shinnecock tribe member guilty of illegal fishing

A Southampton Town judge on Wednesday found a Shinnecock Indian Nation member guilty of a single count of failing to have the proper state license to fish for baby eels but found him not guilty on two other counts.  In acquitting former tribal trustee David Taobi Silva of the primary charges of possessing 247 baby eels beyond allowable limits, Town Court Justice Gary Weber found the search and seizure of Silva’s catch by state Department of Environmental officers “was not proven to be constitutional.”  He was found guilty of failing to have a marine commercial food fishing license and the use of a fyke fishing net in the harvest of eels. >click to read<16:36

D-Day: June 6, 1944

Inside General Eisenhower’s Sleepless Night Ahead of the D-Day Invasion – >click to read< On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied soliders arrived on the beaches of Normandy, France for the largest seaborn invasion in world history. “D-Day,” as it’s now referred, was a major tactical victory against the Nazis in Europe during World War II, and it is remembered as one of the most courageous operations in the history of international warfare.In photos: Nations mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion ->click here to review< >click to read/view<14:42

Pink salmon disaster relief grant delayed to July 1

Dear Friends and Neighbors, I wanted to keep everyone in the loop regarding the follow-up to my pink salmon disaster relief update in last Friday’s paper. As I write this, it is Wednesday morning, June 5. It was anticipated that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) might release grant funding to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) for distribution by this past Saturday. I reached out to Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office on Monday to see if, in fact, that had occurred. The Senator’s office had contacted NOAA at the start-of-business on Monday and, disappointingly, the federal agency again failed to act by the June 1 deadline. >click to read<12:57

Organizations threaten NOAA with lawsuit over industrial ocean fish farm funding

Friends of the Earth and Center for Food Safety today formally accused the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of violating the Endangered Species Act. The groups sent a letter to NOAA notifying them of their intent to sue over NOAA’s Sea Grant program which has funded an industrial ocean fish farm in violation of federal law.  In October 2018, Sea Grant awarded a federal grant to a floating factory farm for non-native Steelhead trout off the coast of New Hampshire. According to a limited number of records gathered pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request, these funds were provided without fulfillment of Endangered Species Act mandates. >click to read<10:55

NOAA accused over funding for industrial ocean fish farm – >click to read<

D-Day confidential: How four Canadian soldiers made it through their longest day

A fisherman, a farmer, a labourer and a civil servant were among the thousands who fought in the Allied invasion that turned the tide of the Second World War. For decades, the records of what they did sat in American archives, unheard. These are their stories.,,,  To sign up, Private Henry Churchill, (in the center), sold his lobster fishing licence and twice walked 19 kilometres from his hometown, Port Maitland, N.S., to the nearest recruiting office in Yarmouth. A paratrooper, he would drop into Normandy with 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, ahead of the seaborne assault. Sapper Schaupmeyer was the third of the seven children of German immigrants farming near Edmonton. He and two brothers enlisted,,, >click to read<16:04

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 36′ Calvin Beal Lobster/Tuna, 350HP Volvo TAMD 73EDC

Specifications, information and 38 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<14:00