Category Archives: National

Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act of 2018 – bill nets solutions for overfishing

A new bipartisan bill introduced in U.S. Congress this month encourages a science-based approach to significantly reduce the overfishing and unsustainable trade of sharks, rays and skates around the world and prevent shark finning. The Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act of 2018 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Daniel Webster, R-FL, and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA, along with co-sponsors Rep. Bill Posey, R-FL, Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO, and Rep. Walter Jones, R-NC., >click to read<09:39

Jesus Christ Our Lord is Risen

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Proposed Magnuson Stevens changes are reasonable – Support HR-200

“Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill” Macbeth,Act III, Scene II I am wondering how much commercial fishermen know about acting? At a guess I’d say probably as much, or as little, as most actors know about commercial fishing, even award winning ones. This thought arose following the recent appearance in these pages of an opinion piece>click to read Rep Keating, defend the Magnuson Act< on fishery management by a member of the acting profession in an attempt to wield political influence. The thespian in question is also an Ocean board member, a well funded environmental group antithetical to America’s oldest industry. By Don Cuddy, >click to read< 19:35

Prominent Shrimper found guilty of federal charges

A Tybee Island shrimper and member of a prominent local family was convicted by a federal jury on multiple counts of false statements, mail fraud and money laundering. Michael Brian Anderson, who’s family owns of Scuba Steve’s Seafood on Highway 80, submitted multiple false claims saying he was losing thousands of dollars in his shrimping business. Investigators say Anderson wanted federal money to deal with his losses and cheated the government out of over $800,000. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Anderson claimed to Customs & Border Protection his shrimping business expenses for 2005 to 2007 were more than $24 million. >click to read<11:56

Iconic in Alaska, classic Xtratuf boot gets a redesign

Xtratuf has launched a redesigned version of the classic dirt-brown Legacy boot that overwhelmingly outfits sport and commercial fishermen throughout Alaska. Purists needn’t fear, said Bo Thai, associate project manager for Xtratuf. The traditional Legacy will remain in the brand’s line for those who think the boot is fine just the way it’s always been. To eliminate this classic boot would be foolhardy, he added, as it still represents the majority of the company’s sales. Still, the company now has the technology to create a better product,,, >click to read<20:44

Carp Conundrum: Too Many Fish, Not Enough Fishermen

Two Rivers Fisheries in west Kentucky has more than doubled its Asian carp processing since it opened in 2013. Employees at the Wickliffe fishery are working on a load of silver carp caught by contracted commercial fishermen. The crates of fish represent a small amount of the more two million pounds that Two Rivers processes. “We need at least 10 groups of full-time commercial fishermen, ”,,,  “I’ve got fishermen here that are making $2,000 to $3,000 a week… We are trying to get people to start fishing for this fish because this fish is here to stay and we are here to stay.” >click to read<16:22

CoA Institute Lawsuit Prompts Archivist to Examine Potential Record Destruction at NOAA

Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) filed a lawsuit last summer against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) seeking copies of electronic records created through the agency’s Google-based email platform. These types of records are commonly known as “instant messages.” The Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests at issue (available here and here) also sought formal agency guidance on the retention of “Google Chat” or “Google Hangouts” messages. We had already learned, through earlier investigation, that at least one internal NOAA handbook, dating from March 2012, instructed agency employees to treat all chat messages as “off the record,” raising concerns about potential unlawful record destruction at NOAA. >click to read< 15:22

“Dead in the Water” – Documentary on Plight of N.E. Ground Fishermen to be Screened in 4 Maine Towns

Maine residents will have an opportunity soon to witness the devastating impacts of federal regulations on the lives of New England ground fishermen, as seen through the eyes of a documentary filmmaker with a long record of acclaimed work. David Wittkower’s “Dead in the Water” will be shown at four Maine community theaters in April.  It will be shown in Kittery, Waterville, Boothbay Harbor. and in Belfast. The 7 p.m. screenings will be followed by a question period and panel discussion featuring local, New England commercial fishermen and the film makers. For location information, >click to read<18:31

NOAA, NGOs debate effects of ocean farms on wildlife, Litigation may be deterring investors

Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico have been open to fish farming for two years, but no farms yet exist. In January 2016, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service issued a rule that would let companies apply for 10-year permits to farm fish in federal waters of the Gulf, with five-year renewals thereafter.,, Paul W. Zajicek, executive director of the National Aquaculture Association, suspects companies interested in starting offshore farms are waiting for results of a federal lawsuit against the fisheries service.,, Those behind the lawsuit say NOAA’s fisheries service is trying to regulate aquaculture as fishing but lacks authority to expand into aquaculture. >click to read<21:43

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 43′ Donelle Tuna Boat, 6 Cylinder Cummins QSC8.3 Diesel

Specifications, information and 33 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here<13:05

SA government targets lobster poacher’s US trust millions after conviction

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) will be making use of diplomatic channels and legal remedies to access the funds in an international fishing kingpin’s trusts held in Jersey. Between 1987 and 2000, Arnold Bengis was responsible for poaching West Coast rock lobster and illegally importing it into the US, resulting in a decline in rock lobster numbers. The 81-year-old was convicted by the New York Southern District Court last year for poaching West Coast rock lobster and was ordered to forfeit $67m to DAFF. Bengis refused to comply with the restitution order by cleverly shielding his assets in foreign trusts. >click to read<11:17

Why have Americans stopped eating turtle?

America has a food diversity problem. Chicken, pork, and beef account for many of the animal proteins found on our dinner table—the product of decades of agricultural industrialization—and this has left us with cheaper but more limited options at the butcher’s counter. Once a year we all sit down to eat turkey, but when was the last time you had snipe, mutton, or rabbit? Perhaps the mightiest protein to fall out of favor, though, is turtle. From the earliest colonial days, Americans were smitten with this four-legged reptile, and turtle soup—its most common preparation—was a restaurant norm into the 1970s and ’80s, a dish exuding luxury status. But today, turtle has almost completely disappeared from our diet. What happened? >click to read<18:01

Twenty-One Bad Things About Wind Energy — and Three Reasons Why

Trying to pin down the arguments of wind promoters is a bit like trying to grab a greased balloon. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, it morphs into a different story and escapes your grasp. Let’s take a quick highlight review of how things have evolved with merchandising industrial wind energy.,, Wind energy was abandoned for most commercial and industrial applications, well over a hundred years ago. Even in the late 1800s it was totally inconsistent with our burgeoning, more modern needs for power.,,, The claim that wind energy is “green” or “environmentally friendly” is laugh-out-loud hilarious – except for the fact that the reality is not funny at all.>click to read< 18:51

Stormy horizons – Salmon farms

Good news for Alaska commercial fishermen: Salmon last year ranked as the favorite fish at Japanese conveyor-belt sushi restaurants for the sixth year in a row, according to a survey by seafood processor Maruha Nichiro. Bad news for Alaska fishermen: “Ninety percent of that salmon is imported from Chile and Norway, but its popularity is now spurring domestic fish farming,” Nikkei Asian Review reported earlier this month. The report of Japanese domestic fishing farming might be the worst news of all. >click to read<09:02

Support local seafood before it’s too late

“Fishermen are the farmers of sea,” (March 17), states fisheries liaison Meghan Lapp in the documentary “Fishing Wars: Drowning in Regulation.” Oppressive federal regulations, inaccurate science and low quotas are crushing commercial fishing in Stonington and other communities. Fish stocks are at healthy levels, yet 90 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported. And 97 percent of those imports are not inspected by the FDA. Are you worried yet? I am. >click to read< 08:18

IPHC commissioners hope to find middle ground on catch limits

In January, disagreements on the International Pacific Halibut Commission came to a head. U.S. and Canadian commissioners are in agreement on one thing, halibut stocks are on the decline. But when it came to divvying up the catch between U.S. and Canadian waters, commissioners were at an impasse. The fundamental disagreement comes down to whether halibut should be allocated solely based on the science or if social and economic considerations should also play a role. Next month commissioners will begin that conversation. >click to read<11:54

No rescue by Congress for $75M fishing boat in Anacortes that can’t fish in U.S. waters

A state-of-the-art $75 million factory trawler moored at an Anacortes dock is called “America’s Finest,” but that name could end up being a cruel irony for the shipyard and fishing company that hoped to put it to work. The still-unfinished vessel is not allowed to dip a net in U.S. waters because the hull contains too much steel modified overseas. A congressional waiver to overcome that failed to make it into the $1.3 trillion spending bill signed Friday by President Donald Trump. Mike Nelson, vice president of Dakota Creek Industries Anacortes, said the failure to gain >click to read<22:59

This Weekend: Anti-Fishing Protests to Hit 38 Cities!

This weekend, in honor of World Day for the End of Fishing, PETA supporters in 38 North American cities—from Boston and Vancouver to Mexico City and Honolulu—will gather outside restaurants that still serve sea animals and cover themselves with fishing nets beneath a banner that demands, “End Fishing!” PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that the commercial fishing industry drags fish from their ocean homes in huge nets,, yadda yadda, >click to read<21:34

Fisherman who sued feds thrilled about funding for at-sea monitoring

A commercial fisherman who sued the federal government over at-sea monitoring costs was thrilled Thursday when it was announced the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would fully fund the program under the omnibus government spending bill. David Goethel, of Hampton, said he learned about the funding Wednesday. “I’ve been sitting on this for 18 hours. I was like a cat that swallowed a canary. I didn’t want to spit out any feathers,” Goethel said Thursday afternoon. >click to read<09:01

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross questions safety of seafood imports

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross addressed U.S. fisheries regulations and his concern about the quality of seafood imports with the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, 20 March, and he said he’s looking for NOAA Fisheries officials to work harder to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit.,, “It’s one of my pet peeves,” Ross said, when asked by U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Mississippi) what he planned to do to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit. “I hate the idea that with all the water surrounding us and all the water inland that we have a trade deficit in fish. >click to read<13:05

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 55′ Fiberglass Dragger, 425HP Cummins, 20 KW Genset, Complete main engine rebuild

Specifications, information and 53 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here<17:38

Dan Webster Champions Sustainable Shark and Fisheries Trade Act

U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., is leading three other members of the Florida delegation in wanting the U.S. Commerce Department to increase regulation on the international shark trade. Webster’s office noted “the bill preserves U.S. commercial fishing jobs, a key component of our state and nation’s economy” and, taking a page from the World Trade Organization’s process for certifying importing shrimp, would have the U.S. Secretary of Commerce establish a three year certifying process for nations exporting shark products to the U.S. >click to read<09:15

1910: A Cat, A Bulldog, and a Lobster Walk into a Harlem Restaurant…

This quirky animal tale of Old New York begins on a Sunday night in May 1910 when Gus, a brindle bulldog, walked into Fay’s restaurant at 255 West 125th Street in Harlem around 7 p.m. and sat down for dinner with his master. Gus was reportedly well behaved, so he was allowed to sit with his owner, Miss Rose Leland of 516 West 179th Street, as long as his leash was wrapped around her chair while they both ate their dinners. Outside on the sidewalk was an icebox, where live lobsters were kept. >click to read< 09:55

Uninformed vs. Science: The story of swordfish in the Northwest Atlantic is complex and subject to many versions of revisionist histories.

Every once in a while you read something that is so wrong, it sticks with you. A recent statement by the American Sportfish Association, (ASA), published in the Fishing Wire, met and exceeded the mark of just plain wrong. And to compound the affront, several marginalized groups threw in their support for good measure. I know better than to bark at the moon but here goes,,,Uninformed vs. Science. By Edward Gaw >click to read< 14:53

How To Butcher a Whole Tuna: Every Cut of Fish Explained

Yuji Haraguchi is a butcher and owner of the fish market Osakana. In this episode of Beautiful Butchery, Haraguchi shows Bon Appétit how to butcher a whole tuna and explains every cut of fish you would see at sushi restaurants. He breaks down the tuna into back loin, belly loin, pelvic fins, bones, and collars. From there, the cuts are broken down into saku blocks, sashimi, toro, chu-toro, sinews, sankaku, akami, tuna tartare, and aburi. >click to watch<12:34

EDF tells NOAA Get multiple buyers for Carlos Rafaels assets, more monitoring

Jim Kendall chuckled as he attempted to grasp the words to describe a letter crafted by Environmental Defense Fund, which it sent to NOAA.,,, The letter pitches two strategies to NOAA in handling the permits and punishment linked to Rafael,,, EDF suggests that NOAA should require multiple buyers of Rafael’s assets and require monitoring of his vessels while also establishing funding for the monitoring. >click to read< 18:41

The Whale Pass Case: Southeast Alaska fishermen illegally caught $35,000 worth of sea cucumbers, troopers say

The lure of lucrative echinoderms may have proved too strong for three Southeast fishermen. The trio, all from Naukati Bay on Prince of Wales Island, face criminal charges after pilfering nearly four tons of sea cucumbers from a Whale Pass scientific preserve that’s been off limits to fishing for decades, Alaska Wildlife Troopers say.,, The Whale Pass case started in December after other divers noticed the three men bringing in large loads of sea cucumbers,,, “They’re like, how in the world is this guy catching more than us? We don’t even see him out here. Something isn’t right,” >click to read< 20:06

Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Failure to Protect Pacific Humpback Whales Threatened by Fishing Gear, Ship Strikes, Oil Spills

The Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network and Wishtoyo Foundation today sued the Trump administration for failing to protect humpback whale habitat in the Pacific Ocean, where the animals face threats from fisheries, ship strikes and oil spills. Today’s lawsuit, filed in federal district court in San Francisco, aims to force the National Marine Fisheries Service to follow the Endangered Species Act’s requirement to designate critical habitat within one year of listing a species as threatened or endangered and not authorize actions that,,, >click to read< 16:12

NEPA: Taming The Environmental Beast That Was Meant To Be A Watchdog

What was first proposed by Congress as a modest law to assess the environmental impact of highway construction and other publicly owned projects, has grown into a bureaucratic monster, the likes of which no one ever imagined. Nearly a half-century ago, before major federal environmental laws existed, Congress wanted to ensure that all federal agencies consider the environmental impact of their actions. This well intended action led to passage of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). However Congress didn’t envision how a seemingly modest watchdog law would become the regulatory monster that it is today. >click to read< 14:49

The phytoplankton decline, is there anything to it?

We have been told that the phytoplankton population is declining rapidly around the world and, of course, the cause is climate change. Phytoplankton is the base of the ocean food chain and it accounts for about half of global primary productivity or organic matter creation (Boyce, Lewis and Worm 2010). Phytoplankton is the major consumer of carbon dioxide, the dreaded demon trace gas, and the major producer of oxygen. So, first question, is the estimated decline in phytoplankton accurate, significant or unusual? Second question, if the decline is real, are the measurements long term enough to show it is not a natural occurrence? What is the natural variability and how do we know man-made climate change is to blame? Let’s investigate this. >click to read< 12:10