Category Archives: Western Pacific

Western Pacific Fishery Management Council Meeting in Wailea, Maui, June 11-13, 2018

Location: Wailea Beach Resort, 3700 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, Maui. >click to read< 16:52

Three New Species Of Warm-Blooded Fish Discovered

Scientists have found three more species of a fish that – despite what we are taught at school – are fully warm-blooded. The species in question are large deep-sea fish known as opah, and are found in many oceans around the planet. A few years ago, the opah made headlines when it was revealed to be the first fully warm-blooded fish species ever discovered. Living in the frigid waters of the deep ocean, it warms its blood by continuously flapping its fins to generate heat. This keeps the fish’s core temperature at about 4 to 5°C (7.2-9°F) >click to read<16:22

Justice Department fines 2 Hawaii commercial fishing companies over illegal discharge

Two Honolulu-based commercial fishing companies have been ordered to pay civil fines after they discharged oily bilge waste into the Pacific Ocean. Under a settlement reached with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Coast Guard, Triple Dragon, LLC, its company manager and vessel operator have been ordered to pay fines totaling $25,500 for violations of the Clean Water Act and the Coast Guard’s spill prevention and pollution control regulations. The other company, Capt. Millions III, its manager and vessel operator were ordered to pay fines totaling $22,000 for the same violations. >click to read<18:18

20K-Pound Fresh Fish Catch Helps San Diego Maritime Industry

Thousands of pounds of fish were offloaded Thursday in Point Loma, an occurrence that happens a few times a month in San Diego but is part of an evolving maritime industry. The Port of San Diego is highlighting the commercial fishing industry for “Maritime Month.” Many of the fishermen who work in San Diego have been a part of the local fishing industry for generations and spend weeks at a time at sea. On Thursday, four of those fishermen aboard the boat “Anthony G” used forklifts to unload about 20-thousand pounds of swordfish, tuna, manchong and other fresh catches at Driscoll’s Wharf in Point Loma. Video, >click to read<16:47

2017 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries NMFS is pleased to present the 2017 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries managed under the science-based framework established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). The 2017 report highlights the work toward the goal of maximizing fishing opportunities while ensuring the sustainability of fisheries and fishing communities. Due to the combined efforts of NOAA Fisheries, the eight regional fishery management councils, and other partners, three previously overfished stocks were rebuilt and the number of stocks listed as overfished is at a new all-time low. >click to read<16:04

Tuna Industry Faces a Price-Fixing Scandal as Bumble Bee CEO Faces Criminal Charges

Price-fixing allegations have rocked the food world for the second time this year, as the CEO of Bumble Bee Foods is facing criminal charges for allegedly working to eliminate competition in the packaged seafood industry. Christopher Lischewski has been charged with one count of price fixing. That follows earlier similar charges against three StarKist tuna executives. One, who served as senior vice president for sales, pleaded guilty last year. Two other Bumble Bee executives have already pleaded guilty to price-fixing, and the company itself agreed to pay a $25 million fine for the same offense last year. >click to read<14:27

Senate Should Confirm Barry Myers to Lead NOAA

NOAA – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – needs its leader! President Trump nominated Barry Lee Myers, the CEO of AccuWeather, to the post in mid-October. The Senate Commerce Committee has twice advanced Myers’ nomination to the full Senate. All that’s needed to fill this important job is a majority vote on the Senate floor, which both Democrats and Republicans expect to happen. Unfortunately, partisan politics keeps getting in the way, delaying the vote. >click to read<10:06

Hawaii’s commercial swordfish fleet shut down for rest of year

Hawaii’s commercial swordfish fleet has been shut down for the rest of the year following a court order aimed at protecting endangered loggerhead sea turtles. The National Marine Fisheries Service closed the Hawaii shallow-set longline fishery in a move heralded Wednesday by conservation groups that sued for the turtle protections. Under the court order the swordfish fishery will close, and a new biological assessment will determine what the limit will be next year. “It’s a good result for all parties,” said Jim Cook, board member with the Hawaii Longline Association. >click to read<10:51

AFT Holdings to Withdraw from Direct Investment in Tuna Vessels

AFT Holdings, Inc. today announced its intent this year to withdraw its direct investment in the U.S. Flagged Ocean Global and Sea Global Fleet of Tuna Seiners. Going forward, the international investment group will focus its resources on its current portfolio of companies, as well as in creating new opportunities in the functional and healthy food space. In 2007, AFT and its principals were one of the original investors to commit to the resurgence of the U.S. Tuna Fleet in the Western Central Pacific. In 2006, the U.S. Fleet had been reduced to 13 vessels,,, >click here to read<19:27

Commercial Fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone – What was being caught and where back to 1950

What is the status of commercial fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, the waters from 3 to 200 miles off our coastline? Generally speaking – something that the “bureaucrats in charge” have developed a great deal of facility in doing – it’s pretty good. Since the National Marine Fisheries Service started getting serious about tracking commercial landings (or at making those landings readily accessible) in 1950, the total weight of our domestic landings has increased from 4.9 billion to 9.8 billion pounds. The value of those landings, when corrected for inflation, has increased from $3.3 billion to $5.2 billion, almost as good. Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA >click to read<17:03

Billfish Conservation Act: Hawaii seafood wholesalers fear Congress could block mainland marlin exports

Last year, Garden & Valley Isle Seafood, Inc. exported roughly 300,000 pounds of freshly-caught marlin to the mainland. The sales added up to nearly $1.5 million worth of striped marlin, blue marlin and spearfish to wholesalers, supermarkets, chefs and restaurants. Hawaii seafood exporters fear those sales may soon suffer serious slowdowns – more specifically, that Congress is about to pull the plug on that lucrative mainland marlin market.  Bills in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House call for amending the Billfish Conservation Act to prevent the commercial export of marlin caught in Hawaiian waters to the mainland. >click to read<10:08

President Trump to make decision on monuments by April 16

President Donald Trump has until April 16th to either follow his Interior secretary’s recommendations to relax fishing restrictions in marine monuments key for American Samoa and Atlantic coast fishermen or let a court challenge to the monuments proceed. A federal court has agreed to allow Atlantic fishermen and lobstermen to proceed with a lawsuit that seeks to reverse Obama-era protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument off the New England coast. But the case could have a direct bearing on when or how American Samoa’s tuna industry gets relief from fishing restrictions in the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll marine monuments. >click to read<16:02

A 28-year-old fisherman from outside Ho Chi Minh City saved lives as F/V Princess Hawaii sank

Khanh Huynh has been a commercial fisherman since he was 12 years old. For the past six years, he’s been living on a fishing boat in Hawaii, catching premium ahi tuna for some of the world’s most discerning consumers. The 28-year-old fisherman from outside Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, recently saved the lives of two Americans and helped rescue five others after the fishing vessel he was working on sank hundreds of miles off Hawaii’s Big Island. But Huynh isn’t the captain. A federal observer who was one of eight people on the boat said the Vietnamese worker was in charge of the vessel from the time it left port to when it sank. >click to read<09:56

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

Wife says federal fishery observer on sunken boat ‘traumatized’

The wife of a federal observer who was aboard the fishing vessel that sank off the coast of Hawaii Island over the weekend said Wednesday that her husband, a humorous adventurer and outdoorsman, was shaken by the dramatic event. Steve Dysart was mostly uninjured, though “he said he has some bruises, some bumps, that sort of thing,” Sherri Dysart said. “He said sometimes he’s quite traumatized, but he’s able to come in and out of that. He sounded shaky, but in good spirits and thankful for the other crew members, they all worked as a team.” >click to read<07:31

Coast Guard locates 8 people in life raft over 400 miles north of Hawaii

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point located a life raft with eight people aboard from the fishing vessel Princess Hawaii over 400 miles north of the Big Island, Sunday evening. The Hercules crew will remain on scene as long as fuel is available and the crew of the commercial fishing vessel Commander is en route to pick up the crew. The Princess Hawaii reportedly had a captain, six crewmembers and an observer from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aboard and was fishing within 20 miles of its sister ship, the Commander. >click to read< 09:08

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

US fisheries’ leader Oliver asserts ‘business-minded’ stance

The US’ top regulatory authority on fishing used his first appearance ever at a Seafood Expo North America (SENA) conference on Sunday to describe how he was reshaping the mission at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create more of a pro-business environment. Commercial fishermen largely applauded the Donald Trump administration’s selection of Chris Oliver to serve as NOAA’s assistant administrator of fisheries in June 2017. >click to read< 09:41

The US Senate needs to support the AMERICAN FISHERIES ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT, S1322

To all, My name is Joel Hovanesian and I am a commercial fisherman who resides in RI but have held a CT. licence for some 30 years. I have a small inshore vessel now after selling my offshore boat in 2010. I have been dealing with Mike Gambardella since he started in the Borough. I want to bring an issue forward and give insight to some thoughts. I have been an outspoken critic of the way we have been managing our fisheries here in New England and other places on the Eastern Seaboard. We all recognize the fact that regulations need to be in place for obvious reasons, however as often happens when the Federal Government gets involved with things, they have a tendency to take on a life of their own. >click to read<13:36

What a disappointment. It seems Senator Markey is still holding out on Bill S1322, American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act

What a disappointment. I just got a call from Bruce Schactler of the National Seafood Marketing Coalition, and it seems Senator Markey is still holding out on Bill S1322…the American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act. Senator, I have always supported you because you were there for us with regards to fisherman. I am a retired Captain and we have met in the past. I have reached out to you many times recently regarding this important bill by Senator Sullivan of Alaska who has a bill that we want passed, and expect you to support. Sam Parisi>click to read< 21:15

Zinke promises to ‘partner’ with oil industry, as offshore drilling opponents push back

Opponents of the Trump administration’s offshore drilling proposals pressed their case as a first 60-day public comment period drew to a close this week. Meanwhile Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, speaking at a Houston energy industry conference Tuesday, talked up the offshore plan and other administration moves to streamline drilling and infrastructure permits. The Department of Interior, Zinke said, “should be in the business of being a partner” with industry. >click to read<10:11

Gloucester again at center of drilling fight, along with everyone from every coast.

In the late-1970s, an unlikely alliance between environmentalists and commercial fishermen in this storied seaport helped block plans to open up Georges Bank to oil exploration — an effort that ultimately led to a federal moratorium on offshore drilling. Georges Bank, a shallow and turbulent fish spawning ground southeast of Cape Ann and 100 miles east of Cape Cod, has been fished for more than 350 years.,,, In Gloucester, those who fought similar efforts a generation ago are confident the city can again win a David vs. Goliath battle with energy companies. >click to read< The non-stop articles about the opposition to drilling is overwhelming. No one wants it. Wind farms are the real threat.  14:05

Nil’s Stolpe writes, The Magnuson-Stevens amendment I want under the Christmas tree

OVERFISHING! This has become one of the oceans branch of the doom and gloom prognisticator’s (aka Environmental Non Governmental Organizations or ENGOs) principal calls for alms. To wit, they have collectively raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from big business-supported foundations and trusting members of the public to persecute (generally commercial) fishermen who they preach are the cause of “overfishing,” the major threat to the sanctity of the oceans. (I’ll note here that the Pew “Charitable” Trusts was the multibillion dollar foundation that initiated the war on fishermen.) This purposeful misuse of the term “overfishing” has been one of the most subtle and most effective weapons in the anti-fishing activists’ arsenal. Nils Stolpe FishNetUSA >click to read< 18:00

What Does the Jones Act Mean for Offshore Wind?

The Block Island Wind Farm, a 30-megawatt wind farm located just off the coast of Rhode Island, began operations in December 2016, fulfilling the goal of the project’s developer, Deepwater Wind LLC, to build America’s first offshore wind farm. The Block Island Wind Farm consists of only five wind turbines and is tiny in comparison to the large offshore wind farms operating off the coasts of Europe, but Deepwater Wind is planning larger wind farms off the coasts of New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland and New Jersey. Other developers are doing the same with other projects up and down the East Coast of the United States. >click to read< 14:37

Alaska Fishing Delegation Heads To Washington

Representatives of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and the Alaska Marine Conservation Council– both members of the nationalFishing Communities Coalition (FCC) – were in Washington, DC, this week urging lawmakers to resist shortsighted efforts to weaken fishing communities by undermining key Magnuson-Stevens Act accountability provisions.,,, “The MSA is working in Alaska and around the country because all sectors adhere to scientifically-sound annual catch limits. >click to read<09:54

HR 200 – 24 Fishing Groups from Around the Nation Call for Magnuson-Stevens Act Reforms

Twenty-four members of Saving Seafood’s National Coalition for Fishing Communities (NCFC) are calling on Congress to enact broad reforms to the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), including allowing for greater flexibility in how stocks are rebuilt and changes to how new management programs are implemented. The proposals, delivered in a letter to Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan, would, according to the signers, lead to a reauthorization that “allows for both sustainable fisheries management, and the long-term preservation of our nation’s fishing communities.” >click to read< 13:22 

Fire-stricken Fishing Vessel Grounds in the Samoan Islands

A fire-stricken commercial fishing vessel that had been adrift in the Pacific for more than three months has run aground in the Samoan Islands on Monday. The 88-foot Taiwanese-flagged Chu Zai Fa No. 1 reportedly caught fire in international waters on November 4, 2017 and remained adrift until this week, when it grounded in Leone Bay about 300-yards off the western part of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa. The fire forced the Chu Zai Fa No. 1 crew to abandon ship, and most were rescued by a Korean-flagged vessel and brought to Fiji aboard a sister fishing vessel. The master and one crewmember are said to be missing. >click to read< 13:26

A new push to deregulate America’s oceans and backcountry

Recent decisions at the Interior and Commerce departments are opening the doors for more commercial exploitation of US fisheries and land resources. Advocates say the changes finally allow local voices to be heard. Critics say science is being ignored in favor of industry.,, But while these lands and waters may belong to every American, some feel particularly invested, including the roughnecks, loggers, fishermen, hunters, snowmobilers, and miners who eke out tough livings from rough but beautiful surroundings. Many of them, like New Hampshire boat owner, biologist, and former fishery council member Ellen Goethel, have watched resources grow increasingly off-limits under what she calls a “one-size-fits-all” conservation approach implemented by the Obama administration. >click to read< 11:48

NMFS Lists Oceanic Whitetip Shark as Threatened Species

On January 30, 2018, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a final rule listing the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharinus lonigmanus) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This final listing rule is the culmination of NMFS’ analysis following the 2015 petition filed by Defenders of Wildlife,,, This listing may impact U.S. longline and purse seine fisheries in the Northwest Atlantic, Hawaii, American Samoa, and elsewhere throughout the species’ range, as the species is susceptible to incidental capture as bycatch. >click to read< 09:30

H.R. 200 – More than one way to manage the nation’s fisheries

For the first time ever, reauthorization of the nation’s overarching marine fishery management law will take into account concerns of America’s recreational anglers. In mid-December, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources approved H.R. 200, a bill sponsored by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, amending the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. While the vast majority of the public hails progress on the bill as long overdue, an unusual coalition of environmentalists and commercial fishing entities has roundly condemned it, feverishly depicting the bill as an attack on the oceans and a threat to the future of the nation’s marine resources. >click here to read< 20:57