Category Archives: Western Pacific

Huffman Gets Bleak Input on Fisheries

On Oct. 5, North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman held a public meeting in Arcata to discuss updating the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the federal legislation that governs ocean fishing. Huffman brought together a roundtable of regional and local officials, a Humboldt State University professor and a few representatives of the local fishing industry to offer feedback on the failings — and successes — of the MSA.  >click to read< 10:22

Panel Of Third Graders To Dictate Nation’s Climate Change Policy

At a panel on climate change held yesterday, the Senate brought in a group of excited third graders for ideas on fighting climate change. “These kids have ideas and they are passionate, so we must listen to them,” said Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii. “There are no possible downsides to taking kids who have been told the world is ending by the public school system and allowing them to dictate national policies on important issues.” The kids came up with the following list so far, though they say they’re “just spitballing” and the ideas need some fleshing out,, >click to read<

Coast Guard rescues 6 fishermen and an observer from a fishing vessel on fire off Oahu

Six crew and an NOAA observer are safe following a Coast Guard rescue eight miles off Ko’Olina, Tuesday. A Coast Guard Station Honolulu 45-foot Response-Boat Medium crew rescued the crew of the fishing vessel Miss Emma from a liferaft after the ship reportedly caught fire. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Watchstanders received a mayday call on VHF-FM channel 16 at 4:29 p.m. reporting the crew was battling a vessel fire. Photo’s, >click to read< 06:56

Starkist Hit With $100M Fine in Seafood Price-Fixing Scheme

Starkist must pay a $100 million criminal fine for conspiring to fix packaged seafood prices, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, despite arguments it could bankrupt the company or cause its employees to lose jobs. “I think it’s in the interest of the economy not to bankrupt Starkist, but the court has the leverage to extend the payments out,”,,  Starkist general counsel and senior vice president Robert Scott Meece said the company has about 100 employees at its Pittsburgh headquarters and 2,100 working at a factory in American Samoa. “These employees have had this hanging over their heads for a long time,” >click to read< 12:00

Congressmen Ask Feds To Investigate Hawaii Tuna Money

Four members of Congress are requesting a federal investigation into a murky fund that’s connected to commercial tuna fishermen in Hawaii and three U.S. Pacific island territories. In a letter last week to Inspector General Peggy Gustafson, U.S. Reps. Ed Case of Hawaii, Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Jared Huffman of California and Gregorio Sablan of the Northern Mariana Islands asked for a comprehensive audit of the millions of dollars that have flowed through the Western Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Fund, stretching back to at least 2012. They have concerns about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s oversight and how the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council has doled out the money. >click to read< 16:57

Coast Guard rescues 25 fishermen and 12 Coast Guardsmen as boarded vessel capsizes and sinks

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 25 fishing boat crewmen and 12 Coast Guardsmen after the fishing boat they were aboard capsized and sank approximately 336 nautical miles southeast of Clipperton Island in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Wednesday. Coast Guardsmen were conducting a routine boarding of the 160-foot Ecuadorian fishing vessel Marujita when it began listing and became unsafe to remain aboard. Photo’s, >click to read< 08:55

2018 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries

Number of US fish stocks at sustainable levels remains near record high – Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the Status of U.S. Fisheries Annual Report to Congress, which details the status of 479 federally-managed stocks or stock complexes in the U.S. to identify which stocks are subject to overfishing, are overfished, or are rebuilt to sustainable levels. >click here to read a rundown of the report< To read the report, 2018 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries >click here<  15:26

To the Gloucester Fish Commission, I propose that you request Markey and Warren vote in favor of this new bill

MSA Reauthorization: To the Gloucester Fish Commission, I am asking you to vote in favor of H.R. 3697, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, co-sponsored by Congressman Don Young, and Congressman Jeff Van Drew.,,, I propose to you that you request that Senator Ed Markey, and Senator Liz Warren vote in favor of this new bill, and that they recognize the importance that the agency they fund, use other credible science from other sources, such as SMAST, and fisherman funded science. The agency holds all the cards, and by law does not have to consider any other science at all, let alone the what really could be the best available that is excluded by NOAA, by default. This is unacceptable moving forward. By Sam Parisi  >click to read< 14:35

San Diego-based tuna company selling boats, blames U.S. regulations

A large San Diego-based tuna fishing operation, responsible for a sizable chunk of the tuna eaten by U.S. consumers, says it is slashing the size of its fleet by more than half. South Pacific Tuna Corp. says it is selling eight of its 14 boats to foreign companies, eliminating more than 200 jobs, because of stifling U.S. regulations that it says make it difficult to earn a profit..,, The sale of the boats would mean a reduction of 70,000 tons of tuna from a U.S. company, meaning more Americans would be eating tuna caught by foreign operators, who are often criticized for poor labor practices. >click to read< 10:31

US tuna supplier Tri Marine sold to Bolton Group

Bolton Group, the Italy-based FMCG business, has reached an agreement with fellow tuna supplier Tri Marine of the US to acquire the remainder of the company. Milan-based Bolton has held a “significant” minority interest in the Tri Marine global business since 2013 and will now take 100% ownership, according to a statement, with both parties agreeing not to disclose the terms of a deal that was first mooted in April. Privately-held Tri Marine, which is engaged in the fishing, processing and distributing of tuna, will retain its name, while chief executive Renato Curto will continue to fulfil his role during a transition period. >click to read< 17:45

South Pacific Tuna Corporation cuts fleet by more than half

South Pacific Tuna Corporation announced yesterday that is selling more than half of its 14 U.S.-flagged purse seine fishing vessels to foreign operators, reducing its fleet to six by the end of the year. Approximately 12 U.S. captains and their crew will be relieved of duty. Additionally, the San Diego-based office and management team will be reduced to support the downsized fleet.,,, “Our fleet reduction is due in part to the U.S. government’s continued lack of support and the lack of interest in ratifying the 1988 South Pacific Tuna Treaty, renegotiated in 2016,” >click to read<

San Diego – Tuna fishing industry monument pays homage to those who served

Calling all past and present members of the tuna industry: It’s time to honor those who served in the industry with a plaque or paver at the Tuna Industry Monument in Point Loma. Located in the front of The Portuguese Historical Center since 2014, the large black monument made of granite pays homage to all those in the tuna industry. With about 85 names engraved on plaques, there is room for more to be added. >click to read<12:48

Council Responds to Honolulu Civil Beat Series, Acts on Hawai’i Fisheries and Protected Species

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council yesterday in Honolulu responded to the Honolulu Civil Beat’s three-part series suggesting members of the Council’s Executive Committee engaged in decision-making for self-profit. Vice Chair John Gourley (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or CNMI) said the Civil Beat articles implied that funding he received from the Sustainable Fisheries Fund for fish biosampling continued after he became a Council member. Honolulu Civil Beat statements about Gourley were included in a section titled “Conflicts of Interest.” >click to read<08:32

Contrary To Civil Beat Claims, Wespac Is Effective And Transparent

In a series of recent articles and an editorial, Honolulu Civil Beat made several allegations against the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, creating a false impression that council members and staff operate with “limited oversight” and violate federal law. Civil Beat called for an investigation into Council operations to address these purported issues. These claims of impropriety are baseless and ignore the myriad laws, regulations, and policies that council members and staff follow to properly implement the Magnuson-Stevens Act, our nation’s primary fisheries law, and related statutes. >click to read< By Taotasi Archie Soliai, Chair, Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council 17:46

Scientists Recommend Removing Catch Limits, Increasing Allocation Limits for US Pacific Territory Longline-Caught Bigeye Tuna

The Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council concluded a three day meeting today in Honolulu recommending bigeye tuna catch limits and allocation amounts for the US Participating Territories for the fishing years 2020 to 2023. This and other recommendations by the Council’s SSC will be considered by the Council at its 178th meeting in Honolulu on June 25-27. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, the Council has authority over fisheries seaward of state waters in Hawaiʻi and other US Pacific Islands. >click to read<17:09

A Fishery Management Proposal

Its frustrating to watch fish regulators on the various fishery management councils continuously cut back on fishermen allocations with no regard for how they will make up for the “scientific” decision that takes revenue from them. I have reached out to various politicians to create a Farm Bill for fishermen, which would be a huge undertaking for the Congress, and in the current political climate, it seems like an impossible task, even though it is needed. In the meantime, the mismanagement continues, and people are pushed closer to exit the industry, which is unacceptable. What I am proposing is to correct this and mitigate the damage caused by the cutback is legislation. This is what I would like to see. Sam Parisi >click to read<12:16

Wespac: Fisheries Management Council Needs To Be Fully Investigated

It’s time for a deep look into how the council is operating, particularly how it has been spending millions of dollars in grants and contracts. Secretive funds and wasteful projects. Conflicts of interest and political favoritism. Limited oversight and stonewalling administrators. Civil Beat’s recent three-part series “Reeling It In,” which helps lift the heavy lid on the murky operations of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, raises as many questions as it answers about a vital government agency that has swayed from its core mission. (Do they warrant investigation? Do other Councils?) >click to read<19:03

After over forty years of NOAA/NMFS management how are we really doing? Nils Stolpe

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act – I have seen the focus of government fisheries manage-ment increasingly shift away from the fishermen to the fish. The provisions of the Act as it was originally written were put in place to allow the U.S. fishing industry to regain control of the fisheries in the United States’ highly productive coastal waters,,, The legislation was singularly effective, so effective that within ten years or so of its passage the greatest portion of our domestic fish and shellfish production was being harvested by U.S. fishermen on U.S. vessels. This success was sold to the U.S. public – and the U.S. politicians – as an assault on the “sanctity” of our coastal waters by a burgeoning environmental industry that was (and still is) engaged in non-governmental empire building. This has resulted in a handful of multi-national ENGOs (Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations) that have become at least as influential as the fishing industry in national and international fisheries management. >click to read, and review the links and graphs<16:10

Conflicts, Lax Oversight Shroud This Secretive Fisheries Fund

In the past 10 years, millions of dollars have flowed through an obscure federal fund aimed at supporting commercial tuna fishermen in Hawaii and three U.S. Pacific island territories. But limited oversight, a process of awarding contracts mostly behind closed doors and a reluctance to produce public records about the fund have stymied efforts to find out how the money is being spent, who is receiving it and whether it’s being used in accordance with federal law, a Civil Beat investigation shows. >click to read<09:20

OUT TO CATCH THE LAST FISH? Fisheries “expert’s” anti-fisherman rhetoric gets taken to task!

“…most fishermen always want to catch more fish, regardless of how many there are.” This quote from the fisheries “expert” in the article, Warming waters spark marine migration, fish wars >click to read<on the warming ocean, and Joel’s subsequent comment, “And here in lies the problem. Look at what this cubical entrenched pencil pushing empty suit thinks of fishermen. Folks like this need to be taken to task”, inspired a re-post of this anti-fishing propaganda article, OUT TO CATCH THE LAST FISH? It’s a few years old, but sadly, as current as ever!  To be a fisherman, these days, is to have first-hand knowledge of bias and mindless prejudice. Manipulating commercial fishing to save the stocks from “endangerment” and worse, has often been job justification for the political and personal agenda-driven, obsequious, career-climbing government fisheries “scientists” and managers. “Destructive” commercial fishing is also a handy foil for corporate style environmental groups’ fund raising efforts; and diminishing the importance of domestic commercial fishing is also a necessary step in the energy industry’s march into the sea. >click to read< Thank you, Dick.17:02

How to wreck an industry – Catch shares lead to consolidation of Alaskan fisheries

A recent study documenting consolidation and specialization in Alaska’s fisheries over the past three decades illustrates a broader trend taking hold in coastal communities across the country. Catch share programs, a new fisheries management system, are turning fishing rights into tradable commodities, driving up the cost to fish and consolidating fishing rights into the hands of a few wealthy owners. For instance, in Alaska’s Bering Sea crab fishery, just four companies own 77 percent of the rights to fish a single crab species. >click to read<11:30

Our coastal communities are drowning, largely thanks to tradable quotas and licences.

British Columbia’s coastal communities, long dependent on fishing for their livelihoods, are in serious trouble: population down, youth retention down, incomes down, investment down, infrastructure down, health and well-being down. It’s now almost impossible for young people to enter the fishery because of the high cost of purchasing or leasing the Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) attached to most fishing licences. ITQs are permits to catch a certain quantity of fish, and can be freely traded or leased. Coastal communities that used to have dozens of fishermen now may have a handful at best. The boatbuilding, repair, and gear supply businesses are likewise disappearing.  How did this happen to our once prosperous coast?  East Coast, best coast?>click to read<12:32

Rep. Young fights fish farms

In his 46 years as Alaska’s lone representative in Congress, Don Young helped toss out foreign fishing fleets from Alaska waters with the onset of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976, and today he is intent on doing the same with offshore fish farms. The MSA established an ‘exclusive economic zone’ for US fleets fishing from three to 200 miles from shore. Young’s effort follows a push that began a year ago by over 120 aquaculture and food-related industries to have lawmakers introduce an Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act, which failed to get any traction. The campaign is organized under a new trade group called Stronger America Through Seafood and includes Cargill, Red Lobster, Pacific Seafoods and Seattle Fish Company.  >click to read<15:50

NOAA – Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management Implementation Plans by Region

NOAA Fisheries has released nine implementation plans that identify priority actions and milestones for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management nationally and regionally, including for Atlantic highly migratory species, for the next five years. Each plan identifies milestones for a specified geographic area. The milestones relate to six guiding principles laid out in the 2016 EBFM Policy and Road Map >click to read<13:03

Saving Fishing Into The Future, Rocky Novello

Most all fishermen in the U.S.A., are having the same problems in fishing which include: NOAA Fisheries which uses outdated science, and outdated fishing regulations, which should have been changed as our oceans were changing. The big environmentalist organizations, funded by big oil, who collectively spent hundreds of millions of dollars getting rid of many our fellow commercial fishermen from so many places. They did a great job.,,, >click tor read, and comments from others will appreciated<10:40

Putting the Brakes on finfish aquaculture in federal waters, Young Introduces Legislation to Protect Wild Fish Populations

Don Young, the Republican congressman for Alaska, has introduced the Keep Fin Fish Free Act, which would specifically prohibit federal agencies from permitting marine finfish aquaculture facilities in federal ocean waters, unless and until Congress passes a future law authorising such permits. “My legislation takes needed steps to prevent the unchecked spread of aquaculture operations by reigning in the federal bureaucracy and empowering Congress to determine where new aquaculture projects should be conducted.>click to read<08:52

Coast Guard medevacs fishing captain off Oahu

The Coast Guard successfully medevaced a fishing captain off his boat 55-miles northeast of Oahu, Thursday. An Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew hoisted the man from the 75-foot commercial fishing vessel, Lady Anna, and transported him to Queens Medical Center in Honolulu. He arrived in stable condition. >click to read<20:42

Please support our local commercial fishermen

If you don’t think commercial fishermen are an endangered species – think again. I have been very vocal over the years about my feelings on the commercial fishing industry being in jeopardy, and highlighting the importance of just what an integral part the industry plays in not only the economy, but the infrastructure as a whole, not only in our town and coastal towns across America. As someone with deep ties to our community and the fishing community in particular, I am in a unique position working as a mate on a commercial fishing vessel, and being a journalist. I see so much firsthand that I hope the general public will take into account when I write about it. So here I go again, with more food for thought on an issue that is near and dear to my heart. Thank you for reading, Shelley Wigglesworth >click to read<16:43

Coast Guard: Blaze on fishing vessel started during Customs inspection

A fire on a 40 (?)-foot fishing vessel Thursday apparently started when members of the crew were undergoing a routine Customs and Border Protection inspection and inadvertently left a stove burner on in the galley, officials said. The fire started about 1:30 p.m., and smoke pouring from the boat ― St. Peter ― could be seen from several blocks away. The Coast Guard said the fire started during a routine Customs inspection of the vessel. >2 video’s, click to read< 10:44

Tuna Fishermen Say Agencies Rejected Input on New Rules

Representing large net-fishing vessels in the Pacific Ocean, the American Tunaboat Association filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming government fishery regulators left industry experts in the dark about a forthcoming biological opinion that could limit commercial tuna operations. The complaint, filed by Baker Botts attorney Megan Berge in Washington, D.C., federal court, names as defendants Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS.  >click to read<21:43