Category Archives: National

Lobster Industry Innovator Passes Away

Riverdale Mills Corporation announces with great sadness the passing of company founder, owner, and retired CEO James Knott, Sr. Mr. Knott was 88. Great innovators make their mark by challenging the status quo and finding new ways to do things better. James Knott, Sr. unequivocally fit this category as a profoundly influential innovator, whose products help millions of people. From spending summers in Gloucester, MA, Knott saw firsthand how much time and money lobster fishermen spent fixing their wooden traps. He was convinced there had to be a better way. Knott set out to build a more durable lobster trap to keep fishermen on the water making a living, instead of regularly onshore repairing their traps or building new ones. >click to read<17:56

Small processors carve out a market in Bristol Bay

Standing in a shipping container that’s been converted into essentially a salmon butchery. Sandy Alvarez is filleting a sockeye. People regularly admire her technique but she said the secret behind it is practice. “Well you know people who comment they wish they could do that I usually laughingly tell them. ‘Try doing 1,500 fish for 10 years you probably can!’” Almost a decade ago Alvarez and her husband, a commercial fisherman, set up a little processing plant near their summer home in Naknek. Alvarez’s husband fishes for sockeye and drops off a bit of his catch to his wife who then processes it. Then he sells the rest of his salmon to a larger seafood company. That is pretty typical for small seafood processors in the region. >click to read<22:20

Dixon McGlohon, 27- ‘Wicked Tuna’ Fish buyer city’s 11th overdose of year

Lucas Pina, general manager at the Lynn-based North Atlantic Traders, sent a text message to company buyer and driver Dixon McGlohon of Gloucester on Tuesday afternoon, thanking him for putting so much extra effort into the job. “I just told him, ‘Thanks for stepping up,'” Pina said Thursday, “and he responded, ‘Just doing my job.’ Now that’s class, and that’s the kind of guy he was.” Just a few hours later, McGlohon, known for his appearances on the National Geographic reality TV show “Wicked Tuna,” was pronounced dead at the age of 27, thought by police and Fire Department responders to be Gloucester’s latest victim in the ongoing opioid crisis. Police and the Essex District Attorney’s office are still awaiting a confirmed cause of death from the office of the state medical examiner. >click to read<19:06

Scientists and fishermen team up to help save North Atlantic right whale

Whale researchers and fishermen are out at sea together on a two-week mission, combining efforts to help save the endangered north Atlantic right whale. These two worlds have usually stayed far apart, but for the first time scientists are onboard a crab boat to do their field work. Crab fisherman Martin Noel, captain of the Jean-Denis Noel boat in Shippagan, agreed to take scientists out in the gulf to help them carry out their research this year. “We don’t want to be called whale killers,” Noel said. “We want to be called fishermen that are implicated in the solution.” All season, fishermen begged Ottawa to involve them in fisheries management. They felt the federal government was imposing overly strict measures without consultation with industry. >click to read<09:28

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 44’11” Fiberglass Crabber, 8 Cylinder Detroit

Specifications, information and 21 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<15:19

EDITORIAL: All aboard for saving right whales

There are good reasons why there haven’t been any right whale deaths in waters around the Atlantic provinces this year. It’s due to a combination of good luck and good management. Last year, an alarming number of endangered whales died — 13 in Canadian waters and five more off the U.S. The bodies of another two whales have shown up in American waters this year, while several whale rescues from entanglements were carried out in the Bay of Fundy.,,, Something had to be done. Last year, Ottawa ordered ships to reduce speed in Atlantic waters to help the slow-moving marine mammals avoid collisions. Fishermen were asked to reduce rope and other gear in the water to lessen the chances of entanglements. >click to read<15:22

Bay State Wind alters proposal to allow more distance between turbines

According to Lauren Burm, the head of public affairs for Bay State Wind, after speaking with “key stakeholders including the fishing community,” the company altered its proposal in terms of spacing between turbines to a nautical mile in rows running east to west.. “Based on their helpful feedback we have adjusted our layout to better accommodate fishing patterns and vessel transiting through the wind farm, while also maintaining efficiency and maximizing power production,” Burm said. Those within the industry disagree that the adjustment by Bay State Wind, a partnership between Orstead and Eversource, helps fishermen navigate.“There’s no way a mile spacing would result in a safe transit,” New Bedford scalloper Eric Hansen said. >click to read<08:48

Book to be published! PORT BLISS – Five men, one woman, each going to sea seeking answers.

Imagine if you will, a paraplegic who traded his position as captain of a commercial shrimping vessel for a wheelchair at the tender age of 22 – now in his 60’s. For Bill Allen, a spinal cord injury from 40 years ago was life changing to say the least…”Why God?” Along came Faye Passanisi, who accidentally joined a commercial fishing group. A few months later, she was noticed by Bill for her inspirational daily posts on social media – as well as the fact that she grew up in the oldest seaport in America. Bill saw all the right emotions in her and invited her to co-write PORT BLISS, along with another fantastic story teller – JW Gooding. John has authored a book, Pack your Seabag and has many years working in and on the water with lots of stories to tell. And he tells them well, keeps you wanting more.PORT BLISS is the writing debut for both Bill Allen and Faye Passanisi. This was a dream of Bill’s for several years and has finally come to fruition. >click to read<19:29

Trollers call for Murkowski’s aid with treaty

“You take our fish, you take our lives!” This is the fourth time salmon trollers have taken to the streets during the 2018 season to protest proposed cuts to the chinook harvest in the Pacific Salmon Treaty. In May, trollers gathered outside Sitka’s Centennial Building prior to the start of a state salmon symposium hosted by ADF&G Commissioner Sam Cotten. When Governor Bill Walker visited Sitka in June, dozens of fishing vessels paraded up and down the harbor, asking that Walker refuse to sign the treaty, if it forced Alaska trollers to trade a share of the king salmon harvest to Canada, to protect endangered stocks in Washington. Trollers then organized a rally in Sitka’s harbor prior to the start of the July 1 opener, where one fisherman symbolically used a flare to burn his boat payments. >click to read<17:41

The clock is ticking,,, Endangered Salmon Prevention Act to remove problem sea lions faces time crunch

A bill making its way through the U.S. Senate would allow the states and tribal interests to remove problem sea lions in the Columbia River, including by lethal force, to reduce predation on endangered salmon and steelhead. However, the timeline for the passage of this legislation is growing very short.,, The bill was passed out of committee last week and will be addressed by the full senate soon, but there is a time constraint. If the bill is not passed before Congress adjourns for the year, its future is uncertain. SB 3119 represents the best effort to date to amend the MMPA since its inception to allow stronger management of problem sea lions. It specifically targets animals that take up positions at pinch-points where salmon are forced to concentrate and are easy prey for the pinnipeds. >click to read<10:36

Why the U.S. Needs More Worker-Owned Companies

The gap in wealth in the United States between the ultrawealthy and everyone else has reached its widest point in decades. One way to narrow the divide is through the use of worker buyouts, in which ownership of a company transfers from a single person or a small number of people to the workers of the company. Currently, about 10% of Americans hold equity stakes in their workplaces.,,,  Worker buyouts are particularly likely to blossom in industries with organized workers who transition to union cooperatives. Last year 400 members of IAM Maine Lobstering Union bought the wholesale operation of Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound and turned it into a worker-owned cooperative called Lobster 207. >click to read<07:59

Jaws of life (Release the Kracken!)

“Conserving our planet one fish at a time.” You do a double-take when you see the sign. Because Randy Hupp’s a commercial fisherman. But he is serious about this. What he’s started, from his home in La Mesa, is not just a program to throw back fish from fishing boats — fish that are too young to be eaten, or too old, or too endangered — but to make sure they survive the throw-back. Because from the depths he fishes at, the fish get the bends, the excruciating decompression sickness fish and divers alike suffer if they come up from depth too quickly.,,  “So I got this idea to somehow grab each fish by the mouth, take him off the hook, clamp him to a weighted line, and send him back down to 150, maybe 300 feet.” >click to read<14:42

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 43′ Fiberglass Scalloper with Ma. CAP, CAT 3406, 12 KW Northern Lights

Specifications, information and 6 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here<12:50

Potent drugs found in West Coast sewage threaten chinook, study reveals

A Seattle expert in environmental contaminants who has linked sewage flushes into Washington state estuaries to higher juvenile chinook salmon death rates suspects human drugs found in fish put them at risk. James Meador of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration (NOAA) said he believes pharmaceuticals found in the contaminated water — such as amphetamines and antidepressants — are in part to blame. These drugs and chemicals pass through human digestive systems — and some are flushed directly down the toilet.,, He tested 49 fish for 150 pharmaceuticals, personal care products and industrial chemicals. >click to read<14:08

Always Top Quality! Your Seafreeze Ltd. Price Sheet for August 2018 Has Arrived!

Contact our sales team today @ 401 295 2585 or 800 732 273 For the complete price list from Seafreeze Ltd., >Click here< – We are Direct to the Source-We are Fishermen-We are Seafreeze Ltd! >Click here< to visit our website! 09:55

Celebrating the U.S. Coast Guard’s 228th Anniversary

“You can kick this old service around, tear it to pieces, scream from the house-tops that it is worthless, ought to be abolished or transferred to the Navy, have the people in it fighting among themselves and working at cross purposes and it bobs up serenely bigger and stronger than ever.” – Cmdr. Russell R. Waesche, Sr.  As the quote by World War II Commandant Russell Waesche indicates, the evolution of the United States Coast Guard provides a unique study in organizational history. This August (4th) marks the 228th birthday of an agency that has endured through the absorption of other agencies and their missions, personnel, offices and assets. In spite of multiple reorganizations and departmental transfers, the service has expanded in range and mission set.  >click to read<

With no transgender emoji, #ClawsOutForTrans hijacks the new lobster icon

The lobster has become an unlikely ally in the transgender community’s push to be represented by a pictoral icon, as calls mount for greater online and media visibility. British activist Charlie Craggs created the hashtag #ClawsOutForTrans to protest that the red crustacean was among 157 new emojis launched in February – while the blue, pink and white transgender flag was not.  “It is important, when there is so much discussion on the internet around trans issues, that there is an emoji to represent this,” Jennie Kermode, chairwoman of Trans Media Watch, >click to read<11:22

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 69.3” Steel Trawler/Gillnetter, KT19-M Cummins Diesel, auxiliarys, Permit available

Specifications, information and 5 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here<14:22

Fishing documentary “Dead in the Water” wins film prize

Filmmaker David Wittkower knew he had to do something or his commercial fishing documentary “Dead in the Water” might indeed be dead in the water. Following eight months of showings throughout Massachusetts and other parts of coastal New England, Wittkower’s film, which traces the erosion of the once-proud Gloucester groundfish fleet, was largely rejected by most of the film festivals the director tried to enter. The over-arching criticism was that the film lacked balance, failing to properly include the perspective of federal fishing regulators — most specifically NOAA Fisheries — and environmentalists as the counterpoint to the already powerful message of an industry in trouble. >click to read<09:18

$600 ‘prehistoric’ king crab, anyone? Now at Fontainebleau Miami Beach

For those who like to splurge into the deep — in the sea and their wallets — have we got a deal for you. Just $600 will buy you and your feeding crew a rare delicacy: an 8-pound Norwegian red king crab. The Fontainebleau resort in Miami Beach has received a small, annual allotment of the live crabs, dubbed “prehistoric luxury shellfish” by the resort’s PR agency. Caught from the icy waters of the Barents Sea off Norway’s northern coast, the crabs that arrived this week weigh 5 to 8 pounds and can feed up to five people. The shipment of live crabs and langoustines (jumbo European prawns in shells that resemble lobster) are kept in special “Waterworld” tanks of seawater in the resort’s basement. >click to read<18:08

Devastating report has seafood dealer on his heels, angry – U.S. senator calls for an investigation

A national seafood distributor is defending its reputation as sales plummet after The Associated Press found it was not living up to a guarantee that all of its seafood was wild, sustainable, traceable and caught by local fishermen. Sea To Table owner Sean Dimin said most problems identified by the AP were honest mistakes or the result of miscommunication, and some supporters came to his defense. But four former employees said they raised concerns about mislabeling, the blending of imports and deceptive marketing practices years ago, and were ignored or silenced. A U.S. senator has called for an investigation, and a community-supported fishery filed cease-and-desist orders, demanding Sea To Table stop deceptive marketing. >click to read<13:25

FISHY BUSINESS: A personal look at Scituate fishing

I have been writing Fishy Business about the commercial fishing industry and other maritime topics for a number of years and until now have never referred to myself. This column is different because our commercial fishing industry in Scituate is on the cusp of extinction; which is very personal to me. In this case, “commercial fishing” is referring to the finfish (or groundfish) fleet and the few boats that drag for shellfish. For now, the lobster fleet is doing well, but those businesses face their own perils to be discussed another time.,, There are many factors that are leading to the end of commercial fishing in Scituate and in many other small ports. By Christian Putnam >click to read<09:43

SHOCKER: National Geographic admits they were wrong about “starving polar bear” video

Dr. Susan Crockford says in an essay: Remember that video of an emaciated Baffin Island polar bear that went viral last December? In an unexpected follow-up (“Starving-Polar-Bear Photographer Recalls What Went Wrong“; National Geographic, August 2018 issue), photographer Cristina Mittermeier makes some astonishing admissions that might just make you sick. It turns out they didn’t just come across the dying bear the day it was filmed: it was spotted at least two days earlier by Paul Nicklen. He must have had a satellite phone with him when he saw the bear but the only call he made was to his film crew — he made no attempt to find a local conservation officer to euthanize the bear, which would have been the right thing to do.,,>click to read<15:41

The Jones Act and Offshore Wind in Light of the Aeolus Energy Announcement

A potential sea change came with the recent announcement from Aeolus Energy Partners that the renewable installation and operation company was investing in a fleet of Jones Act-compliant vessels dedicated to the offshore wind industry. Long a barrier to entry for foreign and domestic prospectors alike, the Jones Act, a portion of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, holds: “A vessel may not provide any part of the transportation of merchandize by water, or by land and water, between points in the United States to which the coastwise laws apply, either directly or via a foreign port [unless the vessel was] built in and documented under the laws of the United States and owned by person who are citizens of the United States.” >click to read<15:03

A profound threat to our fisheries, the ocean habitat, and our way of life. Please read and sign this important petition

Dear Secretary Zinke: We participate, either directly or indirectly, in a wide range of commercial fisheries in the New York-New Jersey Bight. The Bight is the geographic indentation along the Atlantic Coast extending northeasterly from Southern New Jersey to the eastern tip of Long Island. We write to express our concern and opposition to the proposed wind energy lease areas the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has put out for “Call” in the New York-New Jersey Bight. We have appreciated your outreach to our industry over the past year, and hope we can continue a constructive dialogue. At the same time, we want to make sure you understand that the risks to our industry from poorly-planned offshore wind energy development are immense. If you were to draw a bulls-eye where our historic Mid-Atlantic fishing grounds are on a map, the bulls-eye would include the Hudson North and Hudson South Areas identified by the State of New York, and the Fairways North and Fairways South areas that BOEM unilaterally and subsequently added to the Call. This is a profound threat to our fisheries, the ocean habitat more generally, and our way of life. >click here to read and sign the petition<12:33

Pingree Helps Lead Effort to Provide Trade Relief to Fishermen

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) has signed on as an original cosponsor of legislation that Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) introduced today to provide disaster relief to fishermen who have been harmed by the repercussions of the Trump Administration’s trade actions. “Farmers haven’t been the only ones to suffer the consequences of the Trump Administration’s sloppy trade actions. The bill would provide disaster relief for commercial fishery failures due to tariffs imposed by the United States or another country. >click to read<18:12

Council for Sustainable Fishing – SAFMC Efforts to decrease the number of charter and headboats

Charter and headboat operators are now living one of these horror movies as the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council once again moves forward with limiting the number of for-hire snapper-grouper permits, this time through Snapper-Grouper Amendment 47. And now the SAFMC is not just talking about limiting the number of charter and headboats, they are now talking about decreasing the number. This has nothing to do with fishery sustainability. A limited-entry fishery is the first step toward a catch share fishery, one that will set up a “stock market” for permits. >click to read, comment<14:21

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 45′ x 17′ Novi Lobster/Scalloper/Gillnet, Permits, John Deere 6125FM, NGOM Scallop

Specifications, information and 15 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here<13:18

USDA Rolls Out Trade Aid – Trump Administration Details One-Time Aid Programs to Help Farmers Facing Tariff Pains

Under a plan announced Tuesday by the Trump administration, farmers growing soybeans, corn, sorghum, wheat, cotton, milk and hogs will be able to apply for tariff aid payments sometime this fall to offset the impact of lost trade markets. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, stressing that President Donald Trump continues to support U.S. farmers, announced an aid package of up to $12 billion for agriculture, which will be available through three separate programs.  Perdue called the trade response “a short-term solution” that would give President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals that would end the retaliatory tariffs.  Perdue said the $12 billion figure “is directly in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of illegal tariffs on agriculture.” >click to read<21:43

Trump officials drafted plans to eliminate marine monument off New England

Senior U.S. Department of Interior officials prepared last fall to eliminate the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the Atlantic coast—even as they had yet to agree on the public justifications for doing so, according to newly disclosed internal documents. Interior last week accidentally released thousands of pages of unredacted internal emails in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.,, In a 22 August 2017 email, Interior official Randy Bowman, who led the monument review process, drafted two proposals: one in which Trump would revoke the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts monument and the other in which he would amend the proclamation to remove restrictions on commercial fishing. On 14 September, Bowman suggested in an email that impacts to the fishing industry were not a major consideration in revoking the monument’s status. >click to read<18:26