Category Archives: National

Hurricane Irma Strengthens Into a Category 3; Potential Threat to the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Bahamas and the United States

Hurricane Irma could pose a serious threat for many days to come and all interests from the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico to the Bahamas and the U.S. East Coast should continue to monitor its progress very closely. The center of Irma is located 885 miles east of the Leeward Islands and is moving just south of due west at about 15 mph. On Sunday morning, Irma strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane. Uncertainty remains surrounding where Irma will track beyond five days due to the complex interaction of Irma with the upper-level weather pattern expected late this week in the western Atlantic and the eastern United States. click here to read the story   click here to read National Hurricane Center Forecast Discussion14:59

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts

President Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration. The list is here and there are two positions with NOAA, and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, along with other nominations for various agencies. James Bridenstine of Oklahoma to be Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Mr. Bridenstine was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First Congressional District. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Timothy Gallaudet of California to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. Dr. Gallaudet is a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy whose most recent assignment was Oceanographer of the Navy and Commander of the Navy Meteorology and Oceanography Command. click here to read the list 10:35

Lobster tradition targeted

At churches from Maine and Maryland to Mississippi, the annual community supper means one thing: lobsters. To animal-welfare activists, that’s a problem. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the prominent advocacy group, has honed its focus on one beloved tradition in Episcopal churches across the country: the lobster boil. The animal-welfare group sent a letter Aug. 25 to Bishop Michael Curry, the presiding bishop and primate who leads the nationwide church, asking him to end the practice of lobster dinners in favor of something more vegetarian. hmm. shocking. click here to read the story 16:29

Case Study: Fishing Vessel Corrosion Protection

Oxifree TM198 is 100 percent environmentally friendly corrosion inhibitor supplied by Corrosion Solutions Norway AS. After a simple pretreatment, TM198 can be applied on structures using an applicator gun. The application is fast and efficient and can even be applied to live equipment eliminating the need for a shutdown. M/S Endre Dyrøy is the first vessel in Norway to have been applied with this unique corrosion inhibitor at 30 different objects/points. Most of the treated points had clear signs of corrosion, whereas some points were treated before they were corroded. Despite the fact that the vessel is well taken care of, part corrosion is a general problem that occurs on this type of vessel as these often operate in tough environments characterized by high humidity and salt. click here to read the story, see more photo’s 14:00

Hurricane Irma holding steady as Category 3 storm in Atlantic

Hurricane Irma was holding steady Friday morning (Sept. 1) as a Category 3 storm in the Atlantic, forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said. It’s unclear what impacts Irma might pose to land. Models are notoriously unreliable more than five days away, and Irma is not expected to near the Leeward Islands until sometime next week. The Leeward Islands are part of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea. As of Friday morning, the storm was about 840 miles northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands and about 1,665 miles east of the Leeward Islands. It’s moving northwest at 12 mph. It’s expected to turn west again Friday night, followed by a turn to the west-southwest on Saturday. click here to read the advisory 08:29

Bristol County Sheriff’s Dept. captain charged with smuggling in Rafael case

A captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office was arrested and charged late Wednesday in connection with helping Carlos Rafael, the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing businesses in the U.S., smuggle the profits of his illegal overfishing scheme to Portugal, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. James Melo, 45, of Dartmouth, was charged with one count each of bulk cash smuggling, structuring and conspiracy. He was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond following his appearance in federal court in Boston late this afternoon, authorities said in a news release. click here to read the story 10:37

NIOSH regional reports highlight top dangers in commercial fishing industry

Vessel disasters and falls overboard are the primary hazards experienced by workers in commercial fishing – an industry with a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average – according to a recent NIOSH analysis of four U.S. regions. NIOSH reviewed overall commercial fishing fatalities in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and the East and West Coasts from 2010 to 2014. Researchers found that 184 fatalities occurred in the four regions: Alaska recorded 45, the West Coast had 30, the East Coast reported 60 and the Gulf of Mexico experienced 49. Vessel disasters (capsizes, fires, groundings, sinking) accounted for the most deaths with 80, followed by falls overboard with 53. Other categories included onboard, onshore and diving. click here to read the story 23:24

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 40′ Young Bros. Lobster/Tuna, 6 Cylinder Detroit 6-V-92, North Lights – 8 KW Genset

Specifications, information and 29 photos click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:51

Federal Judge Evokes Dr. Seuss in Upholding Seafood Regulations

Invoking Dr. Seuss, a federal judge on Monday quoted from the 1960 classic “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” to uphold a regulatory regime intended to cut down on seafood fraud and protect U.S. fishers from unfair competition. Despite a challenge to the rule by a slew of U.S. seafood importers, harvesters and processors, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta found that the traceability rule, which requires importers to document the supply chain of imports from their origin to their arrival in the U.S., was lawfully implemented by the National Marine Fisheries Service. click here to read the story 18:32

Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program – 2017 Awards

NOAA Fisheries has awarded more than $2.3 million to partners around the country to support innovative bycatch reduction research projects through its . Bycatch of various species–fish, marine mammals, or turtles–can have significant biological, economic, and social impacts. Preventing and reducing bycatch is a shared goal of fisheries managers, the fishing industry, and the environmental community. click here to read the notice 14:10

Houston: Coast Guard responds after Hurricane Harvey

U.S. Coast Guard continues to conduct urban search and rescue in the greater Houston area. Coast Guard aircrews conducted two medical transfers of two critical patients from local hospitals to Memorial Herman Hospital medical center Sunday night. “Our crews have been operating non-stop,” said Capt. Kevin Oditt, Coast Guard Incident Commander. “This is an all hands on deck event bringing crews from all over the nation to help with our response.” click here to read the story  click here for more images13:14

Bonackers vs. Big Wind – Cuomo’s preposterous renewable-energy plan threatens Long Island’s fishing industry

Nat Miller and Jim Bennett didn’t have much time to chat. It was about 8:45 on a sunny Sunday morning in early May, and they were loading their gear onto two boats—a 20-foot skiff with a 115-horsepower outboard, and an 18-foot sharpie with a 50-horse outboard—at Lazy Point, on the southern edge of Napeague Bay, on the South Fork of Long Island. “We are working against the wind and the tide,” Miller said as he shook my hand.,, If Governor Andrew Cuomo gets his way, though, they and other commercial fishermen on the South Fork may need to look for a new line of work.,,, Deepwater Wind and D. E. Shaw have close ties to the NRDC and to Cuomo.  click here to read the story 19:11

Opioid Crisis Taking Toll On Maine Lobster Industry

The nation’s opioid crisis has hit hard in Maine, where at least one person died every day last year of drug overdoses. It’s also penetrated the state’s lobster industry. Some fishermen are suffering in silence in a community that rarely asks for help. Josh Kane has spent more than 15 years fishing off the coast of Maine. For 10 of those years, he struggled with an opioid addiction as his fellow lobstermen looked the other way. In Washington County, economic leaders say the impact of the opioid epidemic on the lobster industry could easily affect an entire generation. “If you look around a coastal town, you have a sense of the value of the catch coming in,” Rudelitch said. “That new roof, that investment that should have come from a series of good years, just isn’t.” click here to read the story 15:16

Fishing Bycatch Regulations Pass Judge’s Sniff Test

Federal regulators ducked a conservation-minded challenge Thursday concerning rules meant to minimize fishing bycatch. The National Marine Fisheries Service adopted the rules in question two years ago, with approval from the D.C. Circuit. Though the rules requires fishing vessels to occasionally have a biologist document the amount of fish caught and discarded, the group Oceana complained in a federal complaint that the infrequency of such observation undermines its efficacy as a serious check on fishing abuses. U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle sided with the agency Thursday at summary judgment, saying the issue comes down to how the Fisheries Service allocates its funding for NMFS, short for standardized bycatch reporting methodology. click here to read the story 09:02

The Pie Analogy – Fleet consolidation and loss of fishing jobs a hot topic at MSA hearing

Senator Dan Sullivan brought his Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard to Soldotna on Wednesday for a hearing on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. One theme was addressed by many of the dozen invited experts who testified. Fleet consolidation is a predictable outcome of limited access privilege fisheries, or LAPs in the acronym-filled parlance of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, or MSA. A limited access fishery is one that has been privatized in some way. For example, in the Bering Sea, the crab fishery was rationalized more than 10 years ago, resulting in a fleet today that is just a fraction the size it was before privatization.,,, In his testimony, Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten asked that Congress not take any action that would further consolidation. click here to read the story 08:32

Vessel monitoring technology partnership makes tracking more accurate

Accurate vessel monitoring is now easier with a technology offering that combines monitoring with a transponder. exactEarth’s exactTrax small vessel monitoring technology is now incorporated into the VMS Track-Pro, the newest Class B AIS transponder from Weatherdock. Purpose-built VMS Track-Pro is thought to be the world’s first single-bracket, battery powered and purpose-built AIS-based tracking solution. It is designed to be a secure, easy-to-use, and cost-effective solution for tracking fishing vessels and other small crafts. VMS Track-Pro was developed with extensive input and feedback from fishermen, as well as detailed analysis of homeland security requirements. click here to read the story 17:56

Canada, U.S. launch joint investigation into deaths of 13 right whales

The United States and Canada are launching a joint investigation into the deaths of the endangered North Atlantic right whales, after the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared the die-off an “unusual mortality event,” or UME, on Thursday night. Confirmation of the investigation came on Friday, during a phone conference involving representatives of NOAA and Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). According to NOAA officials, a UME declaration is only triggered when there is significant die-off in a population and one that demands a significant response. click here to read the story 15:59

James McCauley shares memories in new memoir ‘In My Wake’

James McCauley has spent most of his life on the water. About four years ago, after his wife, Joan, suffered a stroke and he began taking care of her, McCauley decided to sit down and write his memories of commercial fishing, by hand, on yellow legal pads. Those afternoons spent writing led to his memoir, “In My Wake,” which he published this year. The book recounts his career and draws from years of logs kept on his vessels, but “a lot of it is just memory,” he said.,,, McCauley was the owner and operator of two boats, the F/V Jerry & Jimmy and F/V Alliance. He helped develop the marine fisheries program at the University of Rhode Island, where he taught from 1970-74, and was the president and chairman of the board of the Point Judith Fishermen’s Cooperative Association from 1985-95. click here to read the story 11:25

Fish pie – Everyone wants a piece

Representatives of the haves and have-nots of American ocean fisheries gathered in a packed college classroom here on Wednesday to offer Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, their ideas on what he could do with the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. The now 40-year-old federal fisheries legislation is the legacy of the late and revered Alaska Sen.Ted Stevens.,,, And there is no doubt the MSA has problems when it comes to dealing with recreational fishing. Anglers, charter-boat operators, commercial fishermen and environmental groups are at the moment all in a Gulf of Mexico scrum fighting over red snapper. It is in many ways a tussle that almost makes the long-running fish war in Cook Inlet look tame. click here to read the story 08:25

Interior secretary won’t eliminate any national monuments

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he’s recommending that none of 27 national monuments carved from wilderness and ocean and under review by the Trump administration be eliminated. But there would be changes to a “handful,” he said. Zinke told The Associated Press that unspecified boundary adjustments for some monuments designated over the past four decades will be included in the recommendations he planned to give President Donald Trump on Thursday. None of the sites would revert to new ownership, he said, while public access for uses such as hunting, fishing or grazing would be maintained or restored. click here to read the story 12:39

Another chance to prosper

It began quietly, this year’s white shrimp season, on Friday. If you know how to look for the rhythms of the bayous, you could see the boats heading out, some Thursday night, some even earlier. On those vessels large and small ride the cultural lifeblood of this region, one of the things that makes us different from everywhere else. Commercial fishing is seen by many as a relic of the past, but the dollars that it pumps into the local economy is anything but yesterday’s news. The boats are so much more than boats. They are in essence the equivalent of family-owned stores. click here to read the story 17:16

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 42′ Provincial Fiberglass Lobster/Tuna, 400HP, 6 Cylinder Volvo

Specifications, information and 3 photos click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 14:19

Magnuson Reauthorization, let’s get it right this time – Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

When the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) became law 0n April 13, 1976, one of its primary selling points, along with reserving the fish and shellfish in our coastal waters out to two hundred miles for U.S. fishermen, was that the eight regional Fishery Management Councils that it established had as voting members both government employees who were involved in fisheries management and private citizens who were knowledgeable about fisheries. Ideally this made for balanced decision making, allowing for both the official view of what’s going on in particular fisheries and the on-the-water observations of people with an actual working knowledge of the fisheries, and with the Secretary of Commerce required to sign off on any fishery management actions. (It’s important to note that this was well before supposed environmental crises were supporting a multi-billion dollar industry.) click here to read this article. 12:21

Modern Fish Act: boon to recreational fishing or risk to U.S. fishery?

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act sets strict, scientifically adjusted, annual catch limits on U.S. commercial, charter and recreational fisheries in order to sustain saltwater fish stocks, and is seen as a model of fishery management globally. The Modern Fish Act (MFA), a bill introduced in the U.S. House in April, would do away with limits on recreational fishermen, who argue they have no impact on fishery stocks. Environmentalists, however, say the MFA introduces legal loopholes that would allow for uncontrolled fishing at potentially unsustainable levels that could cause stocks to crash. Critics also say that the MFA muddies the waters between federal and state management, and allows political and economic considerations to override science in management decisions. The bill is still moving through Congress, and its chances for passage are presently unknown. click here to read the story 08:55

Trump team nears decision on national monuments

As Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke approaches the 24 August deadline for his recommendations to President Donald Trump on whether to alter dozens of national monuments, conservation proponents say it remains all but impossible to predict which sites the administration could target for reductions or even wholesale elimination.,,, Obama created the first Atlantic marine monument in 2016 when he designated nearly 5,000 square miles for preservation off the coast of Massachusetts.,, The Boston Globe reported that Zinke appeared sympathetic while meeting with about 20 representatives of New England’s seafood industry. “When your area of access continues to be reduced and reduced … it just makes us noncompetitive,” Zinke said at the time. “The president’s priority is jobs, and we need to make it clear that we have a long-term approach to make sure that fishing fleets are healthy.” click here to read the story 11:38

Congress Picks Sides on Trump Plan to Expand Offshore Drilling

President Donald Trump’s plan to expand offshore oil drilling spurred dueling letters from members of Congress last week, 118 of whom say the plan is critical for U.S. energy security, while 69 others doubt it — plus nearly 18,000 letters of public comment, most of them opposing expanded drilling. Only 6 percent of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf is available for leasing to oil and gas drillers from 2017 to 2022, under a drilling plan completed in the final days of President Barack Obama’s presidency. The shelf is 1.7 billion acres of submerged federal land from 3 nautical miles off the coastline, state-regulated waters, to 200 nautical miles out. click here to read the story 11:06

Coast Guard makes a push to curb harbor oil spills

Coast Guard Lt. Lynn Schrayshuen along with Marine Science Technician Third Class John Northrup peered into the dark water alongside Coal Pocket Pier at the city waterfront, looking for the tell-tale rainbow sheen of an oil spill. On this recent morning, they came up pretty much empty, with the exception of a small patch of oil alongside the hull of a fishing boat, too little and too dispersed after time elapsed to make an effective sample. It is not always this good. The previous morning, Northrup said, there were three spills that he discovered. In past years, there have been spills of hundreds of gallons of oil. Sometimes the Department of Environmental Protection or the Coast Guard can trace the spills, but oftentimes not. click here to read the story 18:41

Using Satellite Communication on Your Boat

When you’re offshore and waiting for your next bite, the cloak of isolation can be your best friend. But sometimes you can’t afford to be “dark” from your business or family for long stretches, so most captains opt for some type of satellite communication. There are a lot of options, but the trick is knowing what equipment you need and how to manage it.,,When you buy satellite service, you’re paying for the bandwidth and speed at sea. At home, 20 mbps is a good streaming rate. At sea, 1 or 2 mbps is tops. And it can cost as much as $1,000 per gigabyte. “Update a website like CNN,” says Comyns, “and you’ve used 2 megabytes. Suddenly your browsing adds up to real money.” click here to read the story 11:06

A Global Fish War is Coming

Nearly two decades into the 21st Century, it has become clear the world has limited resources and the last area of expansion is the oceans. Battles over politics and ideologies may be supplanted by fights over resources as nations struggle for economic and food security. These new conflicts already have begun—over fish. The demand for fish as a protein source is increasing. The global population today is 7.5 billion people, and is expected to be 9.7 billion by 2050, with the largest growth coming in Africa and Asia. Fish consumption has increased from an average of 9.9 kilograms per person in the 1960s to 19.7 kilograms in 2013 with estimates for 2014 and 2015 above 20 kilograms. The ten most productive species are fully fished and demand continues to rise in regions generally with little governance and many disputed boundaries. click here to read the story 17:36

Fish Stocks And Our Balance Of Payments

Our balance of payments is overly burdened by our consumption of seafood: We import approximately 90% of the seafood that we eat. Given our natural resources, we should be net exporters of seafood. The total value of edible and non-edible fishery imports in the United States was $35.8 billion in 2016. The total value of edible and non-edible exports was $21.3 billion. The imbalance does not imply only a shipment of dollars abroad. It also implies a number of jobs exported, a number of jobs that could be created in this country, were we not to import that much more seafood than we export.,,, The reason for the imbalance in our accounts with other nations is not due to lack of fish in our waters. Not to put too fine a point on it, the imbalance is due to rules and regulations imposed by our National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that prevent our fishermen from catching fish. click here to read the article by Carmine Gorga 09:21