Category Archives: National

Researchers aim to find where Pacific salmon spend their winters

An international team of scientists is heading to the Gulf of Alaska for a ground-breaking research survey to uncover the secret lives of Pacific salmon in the winter. Discoveries coming out of a 25-day research cruise using a trawler in the North Pacific are expected to help countries do a better job of managing, conserving and restoring salmon stocks, including improving forecasting of returns. “I say it’s the great black box because we basically lose track of the salmon after they leave our coastal waters,” said Brian Riddell, president and chief executive of the Vancouver-based Pacific Salmon Foundation, a key backer of the endeavour. The team is made up of six Canadian scientists, eight from Russia, three from the U.S., and one each from Japan and South Korea.>click to read<13:41

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 50′ Split Wheelhouse FBR Offshore Lobster, CAT 3406 B, Onan 8.5 kW Genset

Specifications, information and 9 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here< 11:35

NIOSH Announces Availability of $6 Million in Commercial Fishing Safety Research and Training Grants

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), announced the availability of $6 million dollars in grant funding for commercial fishing safety research and training. The grants, which are supported and administered by NIOSH, will provide funding to qualified individuals in academia, members of non-profit organizations, municipalities, and businesses involved in the fishing and maritime industries. The funding will support research on improving the occupational safety of workers in the commercial fishing industry and critical training for this high-risk occupation. >click to read<10:52

President Trump Signs Bipartisan Modern Fish Act Into Law

The Modern Fish Act was signed into law on December 31st, 2018, by President Donald Trump. Over 11 million Americans partake in recreational saltwater fishing—with the activity being heavily concentrated in the southeastern U.S. In what is being celebrated as a victory for recreational fishing and boating, this law will be bring much-needed clarification and reforms to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. While the bill is not entirely perfect, various stakeholders agree this new law will clarify any confusion previously inset in the law and bring recreational fishing management into the 21st century. The Modern Fish Act was passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate on December 17th, and by overwhelming approval in the House (350-11) on December 19th, 2018. >click to read<15:51

Coast Guard, good Samaritan search for 2 missing fishermen near Block Island, RI

The Coast Guard along with a good Samaritan are searching for two missing fishermen after the fishing boat Mistress capsized Tuesday morning off Block Island, Rhode Island. At approximately 1:30 a.m. the captain of the Mistress issued a mayday call stating the boat was taking on water near the Block Island Wind Farm. The fishing boat Captain Bligh was nearby and responded to the scene first. The crew of the Captain Bligh rescued one fisherman and reported that the Mistress had capsized, and two fishermen were missing. >click to read<09:36

Government shutdown, if it continues, could cost Alaska’s lucrative Bering Sea fisheries

Even if the shutdown does persist, the federal government will allow the Bering Sea fisheries to start as scheduled, with an initial opening for cod Jan. 1, and a second opening for pollock and other species Jan. 20. But the fisheries are heavily regulated, and before boats can start fishing, the federal government requires inspections of things like scales — for weighing fish — and monitoring equipment that tracks the number and types of fish being caught. And the National Marine Fisheries Service, which regulates the Bering Sea fisheries, isn’t doing those inspections during the shutdown. >click to read<20:16

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 45′ Millenium Marine Tuna/Longline

Specifications, information and 22 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here< Vessel cruises at 10 – 12 knots and 18 – 20 knots WOT. New L/P mini super spool 22 mile longline reel, beeper buoys available for additional $20,000. 14:20

Russell Wangersky – Farmed Salmon: Left behind

It sometimes feels that we’re perpetually jumping onto a ship just about the same time as everyone else is abandoning it. And nowhere does it seem more like that than in the aquaculture business. As the plans steamroller ahead for a new massive Placentia Bay open pen Atlantic salmon project with the provincial government (and key regulator) fully onside, it’s hard to ignore that many others are moving in the other direction. In the state of Washington, a large-scale fish escape saw that state announce a ban on Atlantic salmon pen farming and a wind-down of existing operations. (The salmon aquaculture business in Washington is back under the microscope this month after 800,000 juvenile salmon had to be destroyed because they were found to be carrying a strain of Piscine orthoreovirus, which is dangerous for wild stocks of salmon.) >click to read<

Catch Shares – Costs rise while values fall; season starts uncertain during shutdown

Fishermen in Alaska who own catch shares of halibut, sablefish and Bering Sea crab will pay more to the federal government to cover 2018 management and enforcement costs for those fisheries. ,, “The value of the halibut fishery was down 24 percent year over year, while sablefish was down 21 percent,” Greene said, adding that the decreases stemmed primarily from lower dock prices. ,,, Fish shutdown shaft-Hundreds of boats that are gearing up for the January start of some of Alaska’s largest fisheries could be stuck at the docks due to the government shutdown battle between President Donald Trump and Senate Democrats. >click to read<14:40

We Wish You a Very Merry Christmas!

A child calling Santa reached NORAD instead. Christmas Eve was never the same.

Col. Harry Shoup was a real by-the-book guy. At home, his two daughters were limited to phone calls of no more than three minutes (monitored by an egg timer) and were automatically grounded if they missed curfew by even a minute. At work, during his 28-year Air Force career, the decorated fighter pilot was known as a no-nonsense commander and stickler for rules. Which makes what happened that day in 1955 even more of a Christmas miracle. It was a December day in Colorado Springs when the phone rang on Col. Shoup’s desk. Not the black phone, the red phone. “When that phone rang, it was a big deal,” said Shoup’s daughter, Terri Van Keuren, 69, a retiree in Castle Rock, Colo. “It was the middle of the Cold War and that phone meant bad news.” >click to read<19:54

Bob Leith: Christmas Day 1776 – ‘Victory or death!’

After the British chased George Washington and the Continental Army away from the New York are, the colonial troops retreated across New Jersey looking for safe encampment. Thomas Paine, who marched with the army as a volunteer, wrote his Crisis pamphlet by the light of campfires at night on a drumhead. “These are the times that try men’s souls,,,,” described the bleak condition of Washington’s army. The army’s numbers were dwindling daily, there was not enough food, many of the soldiers were naked, and the men had not been paid. >click to read<14:34

House passes recreational fishery bill; Rep. Young votes against

Two days after the Senate voted unanimously to pass a revised version of the legislation U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) proposed, the House’s vote, too, was overwhelming. However, in the 350-11 tally one name stood out among the “No” votes: U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska).,, “After H.R. 200 passed out of the House in July, Congressman Young worked to ensure any fisheries legislation that gained support would have meaningful updates for both the recreational and commercial sectors,” >click to read<

Will “Willbilly” Hathaway – Ocean City Fisherman Leaves Legacy on Fishing Community

A significant impact was made by Will “Willbilly” Hathaway within a short amount of time within the Ocean City fishing community. Will was an experienced fisherman in Worcester County that carried on beyond his commercial fishing legacy. “It’s not how you want to start it off, but you set back out and try again. At least we know they’re here,” Hathaway said during a Wicked Tuna interview. Hathaway and friends, Captain Dale Lisi and Ed Gross would often comment on during their Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks interviews. Video, >click to read>12:39

Nine US States Seek to Stop Atlantic Seismic Testing

Attorneys general from nine U.S. states sued the Trump administration on Thursday to stop future seismic tests for oil and gas deposits off the East Coast, joining a lawsuit from environmentalists concerned the tests harm whales and dolphins. Seismic testing uses air gun blasts to map out what resources lie beneath the ocean. Conservationists say the testing, a precursor to oil drilling, can disorient marine animals that rely on fine-tuned hearing to navigate and find food. The tests lead to beachings of an endangered species, the North Atlantic right whale, they say. >click to read<11:09

U.S. Coast Guard responds to over 700 false alerts in 2018, urges everyone to register beacons

After responding to over 700 false alerts in 2018, the Coast Guard is urging anyone with an emergency position indicating radio beacon to properly register their device. An EPIRB is a device that transmits a distress signal to a satellite system called Cospas-Sarsat. The satellites relay the signal to a network of ground units and ultimately to the Coast Guard and other emergency responders. Owners of commercial fishing vessels, uninspected passenger vessels that carry six or more people, and uninspected commercial vessels are legally required to carry an EPIRB. However, the Coast Guard recommends that every mariner who transits offshore or on long voyages should carry an EPIRB. >click to read<09:59

MPA’s: Trawlers allowed to fish in E.U. marine (un)protected areas – “We were surprised to find this,” said Boris Worm

Marine Protected Areas appear to not be particularly protected. At least not around Europe. A study released Thursday in the journal Science found that trawling efforts were about 36 per cent higher inside European Union Marine Protected Areas than it was outside of them. It also found that abundance of species often caught as bycatch in trawls, like sharks, skates and rays, was lower inside the heavily fished marine protected areas than outside. “We were surprised to find this,” said Boris Worm, a Dalhousie University marine ecologist who was also a senior author of the study. >click to read<19:45

The farm bill’s untold story: What did Congress do for fish sticks?

The farm bill that Congress passed last week will be known for many things. It increases subsidies for farmers and legalizes industrial hemp. But for Alaska, the bigger impact might be what the bill does for fish sticks served in school lunchrooms across America. The National School Lunch Program has for decades required school districts to buy American-made food. But that doesn’t always happen when it comes to fish. “There was a major loophole,” Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said. “Major. That allowed, for example, Russian-caught pollock, processed in China with phosphates, sent back to the United States for purchase in the U.S. school lunch program.”>click to read<

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 64′ RSW Seiner/Scalloper/Herring vessel, 422HP CAT, Northern Lights – 60 KW

Specifications, information and 3 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here<13:15

Coast Guard assists sinking fishing boat 50 miles east of Cape May, NJ

The Coast Guard assisted three mariners after their ship began taking on water more than 50 miles off Cape May, New Jersey, Monday. Fifth District command center watchstanders in Portsmouth, Virginia, received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon alert from the 77-foot fishing trawler Capt Garland, but were unable to make contact with the crew after hailing them on VHF radio channel 16, Monday. >click to read<

Fishing overhaul draws praise from various sides, What are your thoughts?

An overhaul of federal fishing regulations approved Monday by the U.S. Senate is drawing praise from groups on competing sides of the long-running issue. The bill, which now heads to the House, was the subject of months of debate and compromise among lawmakers, commercial and recreational fishing interests and environmentalists. “Passage of the Modern Fish Act will boost our conservation efforts and benefit the local economies that depend on recreational fishing,” Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the bill’s sponsor, said in a news release. “I appreciate the hard work of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this bill passed, but there is still more work to be done. I look forward to continuing our efforts to modernize federal fishing policies on the Gulf Coast and to support our fishermen.”>click to read<09:57

Open Season: It might be time to ‘seal’ a deal to help fishermen

According to local lobstermen, the fishing in Buzzards Bay suffers a lull in the heat of late summer but usually picks up again around Thanksgiving when the water cools. But that’s not the case this year, according to my own experience. I have a recreational lobster license, which allows me to run up to ten pots with a stipulation that the lobsters can’t be sold. I run those ten pots in the Bay from spring through December and fished them as late as mid-January last year, but I hauled them for the season on Tuesday. It stopped being fun. For November and early December, my harvest was less than half of what I caught last year during the same period. Some say that the increase in ocean temperatures, due to climate change, is chasing the lobsters North to colder waters but it’s my opinion that the populations of lobsters, like any other wildlife species, are cyclical with highs and lows. Wildlife numbers are never stagnant. >click to read<18:33

Ryan Zinke Is Leaving The Interior Department, Trump Tweets

Ryan Zinke is out as Secretary of the Interior.  Zinke will be leaving the Trump administration at the end of the year; his successor is expected to be announced next week. On Saturday morning President Trump tweeted that Zinke is leaving after serving for almost two years. He said Zinke has accomplished much during his tenure, and thanked him for his service. Zinke’s departure comes after a tumultuous two years at the department, marked by mounting allegations of misconduct in office. He also faced the prospect of congressional probes after newly-elected Democrats take majority control of the House. >click to read<10:55

The Jones Act’s Strange Bedfellows

A strange thing happened on December 6th, 2018, when President Donald Trump signed a waiver that allowed the American business, Fishermen’s Finest, to sail its 80.5-meter fishing boat, America’s Finest, out of a Washington State shipyard over objections from special interest labor unions and trade associations. The ship was held in the harbor because its hull was made with too much Dutch steel. This violated the century-old protectionist law, the Jones Act, a little-known law passed in 1920. Even many of those who are hurt by it are unfamiliar with how this cumbersome law that likely costs the American economy millions of dollars every year. >click to read<15:53

NOAA Fisheries release two reports showing the number of landings and value of for U.S. fisheries

NOAA Fisheries has released Fisheries of the United States, 2017 >click to read< and Fisheries Economics of the United States, 2016 >click to read>. Fisheries of the United States provides data on commercial landings and value and recreational catch. It also includes data on the fish processing industry, aquaculture production, imports and exports, and per capita seafood consumption. Our Fisheries Economics of the United States reports analyzes the economic impact of fisheries and related sectors, including employment, sales, and value-added impacts to the broader economy. >click to read<16:08

Port of New Bedford ranks No. 1 for 18th consecutive year

Death, taxes and New Bedford ranked as the most valuable fishing port in the country remain certainties in life. NOAA announced its annual fish landings data on Thursday for 2017, and for the 18th consecutive year the Port of New Bedford topped all others in terms of value. The port landed $389 million in 2017, more than $200 million more than Dutch Harbor, Alaska, which landed $173 million. Scallops accounted for 80 percent of the seafood landed in New Bedford.>click to read<15:23

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< Vessel is in excellent condition. November 2017: Complete main engine rebuild. 14:09

New warm ocean Blob could affect Southeast winter weather, fisheries

The Blob could be back. Or, maybe it’s the Son of Blob. Either way, the warm water phenomenon first discovered in the North Pacific five years ago is slowly reemerging in the Gulf of Alaska. Although it doesn’t appear to be as strong as the original, it could still affect weather and fisheries in Southeast Alaska. Nick Bond is the Washington state climatologist who coined the name “the Blob” when he discovered the original patch of warm water emerging in late 2013. “For the Gulf of Alaska, I would say it’s mostly, if not entirely new,” Bond said. “It might be a little bit of a different story for the Bering Sea.” >click to read<

Seafood exporters worried as US plans to regulate imports

The new Seafood Import Monitoring Policy (SIMP) regulations of the US on shrimps and other marine products are giving India’s seafood sector the jitters as it sees a backlash on surging exports. Unless some effective steps have been taken by exporters, the move — which will be effective from January 1 — may impact 50 per cent of India’s shrimp production that is headed for the US. Seafood exporters have called for measures to strengthen the procedures for registration of aquaculture farms and fishing boats and linking them to certification to tackle traceability issues that affect clearance by health authorities abroad. >click to read<13:03

Can scientists build a blueprint for bluefin tuna?

For several years, biotech companies have been promising “clean” meat, “cell-based” meat, “cultured” meat – whatever you want to call it – as a way to enjoy the taste of chicken, pork and beef without the brutality of animal slaughter or the environmental damage of big agriculture. But what about fish? What about something as prized as buttery bluefin tuna, a delicacy that has become the forbidden fruit of the sea because of the many threats that have landed the fish on threatened and endangered species lists? Where are the Silicon Valley start-ups promising to free us from the guilt of gobbling down a finger of otoro sushi, the rich bluefin belly meat, without contributing to the decline of the fish or the decline of our own health via mercury that accumulates in the flesh of this apex predator?>click to read<07:51