Category Archives: Western Pacific

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

Swordfish season could re-open later this year

A sudden end to the “Swordfish Season” for Hawaii long-liners, but not because the fish stock is running low. Instead, it is because of run-ins with another ocean creature. “This year the swordfish industry is closed, it closed about two weeks ago,” stated Eric Kingma the Executive Director for the Hawaii long line Association.  But those boat had to suddenly shutdown because of 17 loggerhead turtles, which are an endangered species. Video, >click to read<11:13

Sen. Marco Rubio Reintroduces Bipartisan Bill to Promote U.S. Shark Conservation

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) reintroduced the Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act (S. 1008), bicameral legislation that recognizes the sustainable and economically-valuable fishing practices of U.S. shark fishermen and promotes U.S. standards for shark conservation and humane harvest abroad. >click to read<11:19

After an initial patch of rough seas, Fishing Vessel St. Jude is reeling in prized albacore, and accolades

ST. JUDE is the patron saint of lost causes. It wasn’t the name Joyce and Joe Malley would have chosen for the spanking-new 95-foot fishing vessel they bought in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1990, but it’s considered bad luck to change a boat’s name. In retrospect, a little heavenly protection might have helped. Buying the St. Jude took all they had, and then some. >click to read<11:18

Turtle conservation rules cut Hawaii’s swordfish season short for 2nd year in a row

Swordfish season typically run through the month of June. But the 15 boats that make up Hawaii’s shallow-set longline fleet are sidelined for now. That’s because a law protecting endangered sea turtles has cut Hawaii’s commercial season short for the second year in a row. Earlier this week, fisherman hooked a loggerhead turtle ― the 17th one of the year. By law, that interaction brought the fleet’s season to an abrupt end. >video, click to read<10:53

Why Japan risked condemnation to restart commercial whaling

Fishermen in the village of Taiji are counting the days until July, when they will be able to hunt large, fatty minke whales commercially for the first time in decades. The community, which faces the Pacific coast of central Japan, is still haunted by its moment in the international spotlight 10 years ago, when the documentary “The Cove” criticized its dolphin culls and attracted a flood of activists. Yet, a sense of optimism is spreading. “The availability of more types of whales will make more people interested” in eating the meat, predicted Shinichi Shiozaki, who sells processed whale products. “It’s a good thing.” >click to read<13:14

Reintroduced Shark Trade Bill Promotes Successful U.S. Conservation Policies at Policies at Global Level

The Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act of 2019 – A bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. House advances global shark conservation by ensuring that all shark and ray products imported into the United States meet the same high ethical and sustainability standards required of American fishermen. The bill has broad support from conservation groups, zoos, aquariums and the fishing industry. >click to read<13:14

Tsunami death toll rises as rescue efforts expand along the Indonesia coast

The death toll from a tsunami that hit the coast of Indonesia after a volcanic eruption rose above 370 on Monday, as rescuers dug through rubble with heavy machinery and bare hands along an expanding section of coastline affected by the deadly waves.  More than 120 people are still missing, and more than 1,400 were injured when the tsunami struck the Indonesia islands of Java and Sumatra almost without warning late Saturday, shortly after the Anak Krakatau volcano erupted in the Sunda Strait dividing the islands. Earlier on Monday morning, Indonesia’s Disaster Management Agency had put the death toll at 281. But the agency later said 373 people were confirmed dead, 1,459 injured and 128 missing. >click to read<10:41

10 Indonesian nationals caught trying to smuggle shark fins from Hawaii plead guilty

The fishermen accused of trying to smuggle nearly 1,000 shark fins out of Hawaii changed their plead in court Friday to guilty. Federal investigators say the 10 Indonesian nationals were caught last month after trying to sneak the shark fins through Honolulu’s airport. They were all working aboard the Japanese-flagged fishing vessel Kyoshin Maru and were part of an extensive shark fining operation. >click to read<14:12

Wisdom the albatross: World’s oldest known bird lays another egg

The world’s oldest known bird is set to become a mother again – after raising at least 30 other youngsters. Wisdom the albatross has laid another egg at her nest site in Midway Atoll National Wildlife refuge on a tiny island about 1,200 miles northwest of Hawaii, in the Pacific Ocean. Biologists believe Wisdom is at least 68 years old, forcing them to re-evaluate the age which they expected albatrosses to live to. Albatross mate for life, but will recouple if a partner dies. The current age of her mate Akeakamai is not known, but the pair have been together since 2006. >click to read<21:39

Response to fishing vessel fire in American Samoa continues, investigation underway

The Coast Guard in American Samoa is continuing to investigate the loss of the commercial fishing vessel Jeanette Friday. “The vessel poses minimal risk to residents and the environment,” said Lt. Al Blaisdell, supervisor, Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa. “Due to the depth of water, we understand there will be no salvage attempted. Any fuel remaining aboard if released will dissipate quickly. We are continuing with our investigation into the cause of the fire and the sinking.” Personnel from the MSD began interviews with the crew Thursday. Additional members from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu arrived Thursday to assist. The team will also interview the firefighters, tugboat crew and others to determine the cause of the fire, sinking, and timeline of events. >click to read<10:44

Fishing boat burns in American Samoa harbour

A fishing vessel was on fire in Pago Pago harbour in American Samoa today. The purse seiner, Jeanette, which only docked two days ago and reportedly had still to unload its cargo, was smoking at the wharf this morning. Initial attempts were made to fight the fire while it was docked but the vessel was later towed out into the harbour and it appeared to still be burning late into the afternoon. >linkCoast Guard, local agencies respond to vessel fire in American Samoa – >click to read< 13:45

To our valued readers here at Fishery Nation.

To our valued readers here at Fishery Nation. You have probably noticed recently there have been no postings on our website. I’m sorry to say that I have recently taken ill and have been hospitalized for the past week in the intensive care unit of my local hospital.
As you know, I’ve made it a priority in my life to keep you all informed on the goings on in our commercial fisheries here in the US and also abroad with stories and information that we feel is important to you, and also stories of interest. For the past seven years we have fulfilled this goal 365 days a year, every single day!
Please bear with me as we get through this situation and I am able to get back on my feet and continue what has become my passion, and mission in life, to keep the commercial fishermen informed and up to date as to the goings on in your industry.
If all goes well this will be a short period of time and I’ll soon be on my feet and able to get back at it.
Thank you one and all for your support and understanding. God bless you all, stay safe out there and please stay in touch with us.

Sincerely,

Borehead

Western Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Garapan, Saipan October 23-24, 2018

174th Council Meeting – CNMI Date: October 23-24, 2018 Time: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Location: Fiesta Resort and Spa, Garapan, Saipan, CNMI – 174th CM Agenda >click to read<17:09

Coast Guard medevaced 62-year-old Captain off fishing vessel 82-miles north of Kahului

The Coast Guard successfully medevaced a 62-year-old mariner off a fishing vessel 82-miles north of Kahului, Wednesday. At 1:15 p.m., Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a call from the owner of the 82-foot fishing vessel Pacific Star reporting the captain was experiencing a medical emergency. A duty flight surgeon was consulted, determined the captain was displaying symptoms of a stroke and recommended a medevac to a higher level of medical care. Video, >click to read<21:12

A life at sea – A swordfishing pioneer remembered

Legendary swordfish and tuna boat captain Warren Cannon passed away recently after a body surfing accident in St. Augustine. On Saturday, Sept. 29, Cannon’s ashes were scattered in the water off Longboat Pass and his adventurous life was then celebrated at the Swordfish Grill in Cortez.,,, “My dad started when he was about 17 in Cortez with Walter Bell, who gave him his first break running the Rachel Belle. He met my mother when he was 29. They started their swordfish empire, and he quickly became, arguably, the best swordfish captain everPhoto’s,>click to read<08:51

Legendary swordfish captain remembered – “I needed to remind him all the time that we won the Civil War,” Tom Ring said. “But I’ve always said that if I was flat broke and needed to make a trip to earn some money, he’d be the guy. He just had the feel for it. He’d stick his nose out the window and sniff. A half mile later, he’d sniff again and maybe make a correction. It was like he could smell it.” >click to read< 10/4/2016 09:36

Chairman’s Death Comes At Crucial Time For Western Pacific Fishery Management Council

The unexpected death this summer of Edwin Ebisui has left the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council with an empty seat and a decision to make on who should take over as its permanent chairman. The leadership void comes at a crucial time for the council, which has been pushing the Trump administration to open up protected waters to commercial fishing. “You can be sure there is all kinds of lobbying going on right now,” said Rick Gaffney, a former council member and head of the Hawaii Fishing and Boating Association.,,, Ebisui, 67, was a Honolulu lawyer who fished commercially for bottomfish such as onaga and opakapaka. He was also a strong advocate for Hawaii’s $100 million tuna industry during his tenure on the council. >click to read<09:55

American Samoa tuna fishing industry “is almost gone”

Guest speakers at the American Samoa Chamber of Commerce meeting last night, Hyong Park and Frank Barron, both long serving members of the purse seiner and longliner fishing industries provided a sobering but realistic view of American Samoa’s fishing industry. “It’s almost gone”, remarked Frank Barron. The GM of Purse Seiner Services cited several reasons why the long term future of purse seiner fishing vessels in American Samoa is coming to an end. “The cost is fishing in Pacific waters is driving boats out of business”. He noted that the cost of fishing licenses had risen from $100,000 annually to $1.8 million in some instances. Fishing in neighboring island home waters costs $15,000 per day with no guarantee of a catch. >click to read<11:57

Condition “Zulu” – Fishermen feel vacating the ports ahead of a tropical storm could be dangerous

For the City and County of Honolulu, the Coast Guard anticipated implementing condition “Zulu” by 6 a.m. Tuesday. If that happens, both Honolulu and Kalaeloa harbors will be shut down and all vessels must be evacuated, unless they have permission to stay in port.  As of Monday night, Coast Guard officials said they were closely watching Olivia’s track before making any changes to port conditions. With Olivia approaching, some fishing boat owners say they would feel safer staying in the harbor than out at sea. “We are concerned for our fisherman, for their safety, and for their livelihoods. These boats are their lives. To put them into any more immediate danger is more troubling to me,” said Michael Goto, auction manager with the United Fishing Agency. >click to read<15:10

Coast Guard sets port condition ZULU for Hawaii, Maui, Honolulu Counties ahead of Hurricane Olivia – >click to read<

Hawaii longline fishing operator fined $475K for Clean Water Act violations

The complaint, filed today in the U.S. District Court for Hawaii, alleges five causes of action against six defendants, including Azure Fishery LLC company managersHanh Thi Nguyen and Khang Nguyen Dang, company member and prior owner Tuan Hoang, vessel operator Andy Hoang and current owner Linh Fishery LLC. In addition to the willful, oil discharges from the Jaxon T (now known as the St. Joseph) into the ocean offshore of Hawaii, the complaint alleges that the defendants failed to provide sufficient capacity to retain all oily mixtures on board. Also, the defendants routinely pumped a combination of fuel oil, lubricating oils, water, and other fluids from the vessel’s engine room bilge into the Pacific Ocean rather than retain the waste on board. >click to read<09:00

Practice, confidence key to breaking down a fish

I stepped tentatively into the fish-cutting arena guided by the patient, capable Ashley Watts, owner and operator of Local I‘a, which purchases fish from Oahu small-boat fishermen and sells them direct to restaurants and retail customers. Watts reaches the public via farmers markets and through a subscription program called a CSF, or community-supported fishery. Before taking me to the cutting board, Watts arranged for us to watch a master fish cutter at work. Talk about mastery of a craft. Self-taught Rodel Agonoy, who has been breaking down fish for 13 years, tackled a 110-pound yellowfin ahi caught by Kekoa Seward of Hawaii Kai, separating the meat from the spine and quartering it into giant fillets in about 3-1/2 minutes. Video, >click to read<21:10

Senate MSA reauthorization a step back for fishing communities

In July, the House passed H.R. 200 the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act,” a much needed update of federal fisheries law that allows for both sustainable fisheries management and the long-term preservation of our nation’s fishing communities. Unfortunately, its counterpart bill making its way through the Senate would likely have the opposite effect. The Senate bill, S.1520, or the “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018,” introduces changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA)—the main law governing U.S. fisheries—that would impose increasingly burdensome regulations on American fishermen and undermine H.R. 200’s goal of increasing flexibility in fisheries management. >click to read<17:51

U.S. Rep Darren Soto’s Billfish Conservation Act cuts consumer access to sustainable fresh seafood

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is disappointed that America’s seafood consumers may soon be deprived of sustainably harvested domestic marlin products should President Trump sign legislation to prohibit interstate commerce of billfish (not including swordfish) landed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. Darren Soto ’s (D-Fla.), passed the House on June 26 and the Senate on July 30 and is now headed to the president. “It is upsetting, in this era of tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and the $12 billion US seafood trade deficit, that highly monitored US Pacific Island fishing and seafood communities may suffer hardship should this legislation become law,” notes Kitty M. Simonds, executive director of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. >click to read<10:34

Sam Parisi: HR-200 was passed in the House and will now move on to the Senate. Push Your Senators!

There has been a lot of those for and against the bill, and after reading the forty-nine pages of the bill and trying to consume it, I have come to the conclusion that over all it is a move in the right direction. The enactment of the 200 mile limit was needed because of foreign fisherman from other countries were destroying our Fisheries and our government at that time had no jurisdiction, Japanese and Russian Factory Ships were invading our waters using small mesh netting scooping up small fish like haddock, cod, flounder, and other bottom dwelling species. I say this because while fishing for whiting off the Canyons near Cape Cod I saw in front of me and fishing along side of me, those factory ships. >click to read<17:48

Opinion: Fisheries act is a chance to build trust

There’s a little something for everyone to hate in the House’s proposed renewal of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Commercial fishermen feel it gives too much to recreational fishermen and environmentalists. Recreational fishermen say it goes too easy on their commercial counterparts, and the environmental lobby says the measure, which passed the House last week along largely partisan lines, will undo years of progress in restoring fish stocks. We are left with what we have had for decades — a pitched battle among competing interests, with no end in sight. Congress must do better to help guarantee that the science behind management decisions is sound and easily understandable. >click to read<19:25

Seafood Industry should Organize, File National Class Action Lawsuit Against Anti-Commercial Fishing 501(C)’s, private companies

Every Seafood Industry related trade association in America should join hands and file a National Class Action Lawsuit  against certain 501(C) organizations and private companies that have de-humanized the Commercial Fishermen in the United States by reducing the non-boaters share of the Federal Fishery Resources. The lawsuit should be filed in the District of Columbia Federal Court on behalf of the hundreds of millions of non-boaters who depend on access to the nations fish at restaurants and retail markets through the labors of Commercial Fishermen. By Bob Jones >click to read<08:32

The MSA and Don Young’s partisan dilemma

“We must remain committed to the bipartisan, bicameral tradition of fisheries management,” Rep. Don Young wrote last Sunday, “and my legislation accomplishes just that.” He was referring to the reauthorization of Magnuson-Stevens Act. But when the House passed it on Wednesday, only nine Democrats voted in favor of it. Which explains why, in the same opinion piece, Young complained about “the hyper-partisan mentality” his “Democratic colleagues subscribe to.” Like the breakup of a marriage, there are two sides to this story. The reason why Young is arguing from both might be that he was caught in the middle. >click to read<09:00

Fishing tradition clashes with enforcement

Johnny “Atulai” Taitano just wants to fish. In the last 60 years, he’s been arrested officially and unofficially 38 times, Taitano said. On Thursday, Taitano had yet another run-in with Port Authority of Guam police who contend his net fishing is in violation of Port policies that ban net fishing in the Hagåtña boat basin. “They’re confiscating the fish, the nets, the boats. It’s sad. I’m a fisherman,” Taitano said. While out catching fish that he was to sell to a local restaurant, Taitano said, Port Police called his group of fishermen back to shore. >click to read<11:11

House of Representatives – Debate and Passage of HR-200

July 11, 2018 House Session The House meets with debate scheduled on a fisheries management bill sponsored by Rep. Don Young of Alaska. >click to watch<20:52

House votes to overhaul fishery management law – “I’m proud to say that my bill protects our commercial and recreational fisheries’ interests and allow councils to do their jobs in a more streamlined and effective manner,” Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the bill’s sponsor, said on the House floor. >click to read<21:41

Partisanship shouldn’t undermine our fisheries

Partisan rancor may be standard operating procedure for most of Washington, but let’s not allow it to unravel the progress we’ve made for our country’s vital fisheries.,,, The current reauthorization legislation on the table, H.R. 200, reauthorizes the MSA for the first time in over a decade. It has the needed type of collaborative, stakeholder-driven support that previous successful reauthorization efforts enjoyed. That’s because this reauthorization wasn’t created overnight — it has been carefully developed over the past five years with input from experts in fisheries’ science, commercial and recreational fishing groups, and a wide array of regional perspectives. >click to read< for various posts on the reauthorization >click here<06:25