Monthly Archives: January 2013
The Alaska State Legislature is considering a house resolution “opposing AquaBounty’s petition to produce ,” and calling for it to be labeled as “genetically modified” if it goes to market. Read more
Ocean fish farming is dirty business:
Fish waste and chemicals can flush straight into the open ocean. Fish can escape from farms and they can alter wild fish behavior, compete with wild fish and spread disease. Farmed fish usually eat food containing small wild fish. These small fish are an important food source for marine wildlife. An increase in factory fish farms can mean less food for marine wildlife. When fishmeal or oil isn’t used in fish feed, genetically modified soy is often substituted. Soy does not belong in the marine environment, and it can have various negative impacts. Tell the Council you want a fair process now. Read more Simply fill out the form here
Conservation organization Oceana has announced a “major litigation victory” that it says will require stronger accountability through catch monitoring for the New England groundfish fishery. The agreement reached on Jan. 30, with the federal government will require “accurate monitoring to enforce scientifically-based catch limits and help preserve healthy and sustainable ocean ecosystems,” according to Oceana. Read more
Recreational Fishing Alliance. As all saltwater fishermen are aware, President Bush signed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 on January 12, 2007. In the six years since this law governing management of our coastal fishing industry- recreational and commercial alike – was reenacted, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) has pointed out the complete absurdity of fisheries management stemming from both the rigid and inflexible requirements spelled out in this law, as well as the gross neglect by our federal government to meet Congress’s deadlines and requirements. Read more
Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders received a relayed request for assistance from Med Call Assist at 1:57 p.m. reporting that a 23-year-old crewmember aboard the North Sea was suffering from seizure-like symptoms and required medical assistance. Read more
JUNEAU, Alaska — Coast Guard crews and a good Samaritan assisted the crew of a 70-foot fishing vessel taking on water approximately five miles west of Fairweather Ground Wednesday Read more
UPDATE… 6:27 PM Wed. New England Fisheries Management Council recommends cutting Cod fishing limits in the Gulf of Maine by 77% and in George’s Bank by 55%. This is critical, fisherman say, because catching cod leads to catching other fish like haddock. They say the cuts are devastating. Watch video
Not a single commercial fisherman nor any representative from the food industry sits on the nine member Fish and Wildlife Commission to speak for an industry which accounts for 15,000 jobs in the Seattle area alone, according to a Port of Seattle study. No one speaks for the fish consumers which my family fishing business supplies at King County farmer’s markets, nor for the majority of state citizens who buy their local salmon at the fish counter. While they are excluded, the trophy-hunting Safari Club, the sport gear sales industry, fish farm advocates and other game-oriented groups all find seats at the fish and wildlife table, alongside nominal conservationists. Read more
New York Times “I do not deny the costs that are going to be paid by fishermen, families, communities. They are real. They will hurt.” The problem, he said, is not government inflexibility, as fishermen have suggested, but the lack of fish. “It’s midnight and getting darker when it comes to how many cod there are,” he said. “There isn’t enough cod for people to make a decent living.” But opponents said the limits would not help save the industry.
“Right now what we’ve got is a plan that guarantees the fishermen’s extinction and does nothing to ameliorate it,” David Goethel, a New Hampshire-based fisherman and biologist, said as he cast his vote against the plan.
Fishermen were furious with the result.“I’m leaving here in a coffin,” said Carlos Rafael, who owns a commercial fishing business in New Bedford, Mass. “With all these cuts, I won’t be able to keep half of my fleet working. I’ll have to cut down from 20 groundfish boats to maybe 5or 6.” Read more
Where were the regulators through all of this? Always one step behind and perennially ineffective. Federal law delegated to the New England Fishery Management Council authority to manage the fishery from 3 miles to 200 miles off the coast, but the council didn’t see its job as speaking up for fish. This body was dominated by fishing interests, so when faced with a choice of fishing now or cutting back the catch to assure the fishery’s future, the council’s decisions often favored the short term. With such decisions, collapse of the fishery was inevitable. When it happened in the late 1980s, it was brutal and swift. By the early 1990s, all agreed that something had to be done. The council reinvented its approach to fishery management.Read more
BOSTON — The U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA officials have issued a notice of violation for what they called a “significant fisheries infraction” after a Coast Guard crew boarded a Gloucester-based vessel Tuesday some 100 miles east of Cape Ann. Read more
The New England Fishery Management Council voted Wednesday night to cut the Gulf of Maine cod fishery limits by 77 percent for the 2013 fishing cycle and to extend similar cuts for the 2014 and 2015, dealing a dire blow to the region’s fishing industry. Why this should be so became a sub-theme of the day, with the phrase “regime shift” used frequently to suggest a braid of environmental and ecological alterations —including millions of lobster traps that take an unknown quantity of cod as by-catch, large volumes of herring which eat cod eggs and seals which feed on cod, as well as the various forms of global warming that emanate from and absorb into the seas. Read more
The scientific basis for the current “reference points” used for New England groundfish management has recently been questioned by respected scientists, industry members, and elected officials. The largest organization representing groundfishermen in New England, and the mayor of the nation’s most profitable seaport, have asked the New England Fishery Management Council to reconsider the calculation and use of the current reference points.
Because this issue is highly technical and development of the current reference points are the result of a unique history, Saving Seafood has undertaken this analysis to shed some light on the background behind these requests for reconsideration. Read the analysis
Chinook Salmon Research Plan and 2012 Symposium Draft Research Plan. Here
What is happening to the Northeast’s groundfishing industry is a natural disaster, just as devastating as a drought or a wildfire. But the federal government is just making it worse. Fishermen have been regulated under several regimes designed to rebuild the threatened stocks of cod and other species, while still allowing enough fishing for some fishermen to survive financially. Read more
Groundfishing meeting could make or break industry – WMTW video here
“PRESERVING OUR NATION’S FISHERIES FOR ALL AMERICA” P.O. Box 5490 Wakefield R.I. 02880 401-837-6932 [email protected]
January 29, 2013
The Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco Under Secretary of Commerce Administrator of NOAA 1401 Constitution Ave NW Room 5128 Washington DC 20230
Dear Dr. Lubchenco, Read more
Editorial: NOAA regional chief cannot ignore lawmakers’ call . Will he? Listen via webinar at todays NEFMC Meeting
First-year NOAA regional administrator John Bullard, who heads the regulation of fisheries from Maine through North Carolina from his perch in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration building in Gloucester’s Blackburn Industrial Park, says he doesn’t believe the Magnuson-Stevens Act allows the flexibility to extend the current Gulf of Maine cod limits, which cut 22 percent from fishermen’s allowable catch a year ago, for another year. Read more
REMINDER Attend the NEFMC Council Meeting – via WEBINAR Wednesday,January 30, 2013. 9:00 a.m. Register to Listen Live Register to Listen Live Register to Listen Live Register to Listen Live
After a painful recovery from a bacterial infection that nearly killed him, Peter Stilwell told his family in Pompano Beach he was finally ready to go back to sea and his first love: the deep-water hunt for swordfish.”He wanted to get his life back,” said Martin Stilwell, who dropped his 55-year-old brother at the train station last week so he could join the crew of a commercial longlining boat at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. “He had fishing in his blood.”But on his first day back at work in what is ranked as the nation’s most-dangerous profession, Stilwell disappeared without a life jacket from the deck of the 57-foot Fine Tuna. Read more
A 48-page report released today by a former state attorney general has found allegations of wrongdoing by Vito Giacalone in his role heading the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund “without merit” and with no “credible basis.”,,,,The investigation and report, filled with compliments and praise for Giacalone, in one place noting that his many admirers consider him a “genius” of foresight, was commissioned and financed by the preservation fund, for which Giacalone serves as president and executive director. Read more Todays Update January 30, 2013 Read more
Delegates voted unanimously Monday to reduce the commercial catch of Atlantic menhaden in Virginia waters by 20 percent, mirroring similar action last week in the Senate. Read more
US – NOAA Fisheries reminds the public there is a seasonal prohibition on fishing for or possession of red, black, tiger, yellowfin, and in Caribbean federal waters from 12:01 a.m., local time, 1 February through 30 April, 2013. This prohibition on possession does not apply to such grouper harvested and landed on shore prior to the closure. Read more
Believe it or not, there’s a Chesapeake Bay fish in even worse shape than the recovering striped bass, the troubled blue crab and even the imperiled bay oyster. The Atlantic sturgeon, pushed to the brink of extinction by overfishing and development, is little more than a memory in the Potomac River, ready for a spot in a museum. Read more, and treat yourself to the Wapo comments.
The few fishermen who still ply New England’s waters for cod, haddock and other groundfish are bracing for a double dose of bad news this week…..as expected, slash already reduced catch limits by another 70 percent to 80 percent to protect fish populations that scientists now say are much smaller than previously thought….”If the collective goal is to rebuild stocks … then if we don’t start looking at the causes of the problem, we are not going to find a solution.”…..”I don’t know why we should believe the science when three years ago they said the stocks were rebuilding,” Read more
As the debate looms over whether Gulf of Maine cod catch limits for 2013 and beyond should be cut by 90 percent or a mere 80 percent, I found myself drawn to a piece of writing that I submitted as part of my college application in 2002. Dramatically enough, it was titled “Extinction” and recapped my naive first 18 years of life as part of a small-boat New England fishing family. The essay started ominously enough by stating that “every year, New England’s fleet shrinks and approaches extinction.” Typically enough, for a pro-fisherman piece, it bashed government science for using incorrect data and ignoring fishermen’s observations, while bemoaning the days of 30-pound trip limits. However, it ended on a cautiously optimistic note highlighting the then-recent increase in cod trip limits to 400 pounds a day.
Looking back at this work, written more than a decade ago, I am dumbfounded to see that New England groundfish management has once again regressed. Today, I am deep into my pursuit of a PhD in fisheries stock assessment,,,,,,,,Read the rest
Hi Joey, I recently joined the Gloucester Writers Group. On Jan. 17th I attended my first meeting, The Inaugural Meeting of Fish Tales, Live Story Telling. I would like to share my story and pictures with your readers. Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon. Photos. Read more
January 28, 2013 (WASHINGTON) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) are calling on the Department of Commerce to reconsider its decision to require drastic quota reductions designed to end overfishing of Gulf of Maine cod and haddock in 2013. In a joint letter, the New Hampshire Senators called on the Department of Commerce to reconsider the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) decision which threatens the survival of New Hampshire’s fishing industry and the economic well-being of its coastal communities. Read more
FAIRBANKS — There will be no question whether subsistence fishermen on the Yukon River will be able to fish for early-run king salmon this summer. In an attempt to rebuild what has been a dwindling chinook run in recent years, the Alaska Board of Fisheries adopted a new regulation last week that will prohibit king salmon fishing on the first big pulse of fish that hit the Yukon River in early June. Read more
Commercial fishermen in Tennessee,,,,,yes, Tennessee, ask for wider net openings to catch Asian carp
MEMPHIS, Tennessee. “Asian carp are a gigantic problem, and it’s no secret that we need to remove as many as we can,” said Wilson. “People have looked at other options for getting rid of them like poisons or diseases that are specific to the carp, but most of those options are still many years down the road. If we don’t do something before then, it’ll be too late — and allowing commercial fishermen to take more of them could be the perfect solution for everyone.” Read more
It’s too early to gauge the legitimacy of the latest NOAA science and assessment of the Gulf of Maine cod stocks.,,,But given that the latest assessments may yield cuts in cod landing limits of up to 86 percent over the already diminished current year, NOAA and its New England Fishery Management Council owe it to all fishermen to do a thorough review of the methodology that’s gone into a study that could virtually wipe out the Northeast groundfishing industry for the new fishing year beginning May 1. Read more
McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish wrappers will carry the blue label of the Marine Stewardship Council, indicating that the wild-caught Alaska pollock the fast-food chain sells in its 14,000 outlets in the U.S. are being harvested in an environmentally sound manner. Fish McBites rolling out next month will also be wrapped in the packaging. What’s not to like about the announcement? Read more
The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition, which brings fishing industry and marketing officials from the five Gulf states together to promote the Gulf fishery, is working with retailers and restaurants nationwide to reclaim the market. The Gulf produces 70 percent of the nation’s oysters and 69 percent of its domestic shrimp, according to the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. Until recently, however, the states along the Gulf Coast did not work together to market seafood under one, unified brand. Read more
California pearls.Turns out the Golden State accounts for the vast majority of the U.S. sturgeon and caviar production.
ELVERTA, Calif. – With your flute of French Champagne this weekend, how about a little caviar on toast from California?,,,To the surprise of many would-be gourmands, the halcyon days of caviar are over. Most of the world’s production no longer comes from such exotic spots as Russia’s Volga River and western Asia’s Caspian Sea. Those supplies are almost completely depleted from pollution, poaching and overfishing of the caviar-egg-bearing sturgeon.,,,Instead, it turns out that Sacramento County, Calif., now is the epicenter of U.S. sturgeon and caviar production,,,Read more
There is a long and storied history of great supporters of fisheries and the fishing industry in Congress. The late Senator Warren Magnuson of Washington was a lover of the marine environment and helped pen the Marine Mammal Protection Act in order to protect the Orca whales of Puget Sound. Additionally,,,,,,,,Read more
The first fishery management plan approved after the passage of the original Magnuson Act in 1976 was the Alaska salmon FMP delegating that responsibility to the Department of Fish & Game. After revisions to what later became the Magnuson-Stevens Act were passed in 2006, all FMPs were required to be updated within five years to meet new requirements for setting annual catch limits and accountability measures….The result was the North Pacific Fishery Management Council amending the salmon FMP in 2011 to officially remove waters near Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound and the Alaska Peninsula from federal control. The only state-managed salmon fishery that officially remains within the federal FMP is the Southeast salmon troll fishery that must be managed in accord with the Pacific Salmon Treaty between the U.S. and Canada. Read more
NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard is searching for two overdue fishermen in the vicinity of Lonesome Bayou east of Pilot town, Sunday. Missing are Thanh Ha, owner of the boat, and Anthony Nguyen, crewmember. Read more
The US Coal Industry Wants to Boost Exports to Asia – Native American Tribes Stand in the Way – Lhaq’temish – People of the Sea
The gray waters of the Puget Sound are rough and scattered with white caps on this cold and wet October morning. The air is pungent with the low-tide smells of seaweed and salt. Schools of chum salmon are migrating from the Pacific into the Nooksack River to spawn. A handful of Lummi fishermen in small weather-beaten boats brave the driving rain and frigid gusts to reel in their nets, harvesting the fish as their ancestors have done for 175 generations… The Lummi have traditionally kept a low profile and declined to get openly involved in the political controversies of their white neighbors. But now tribe members are taking center stage in a fight that they believe is about the very existence of the fish that is so central to their traditional way of life. Coal, LNG, Energy exports. Read more
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Naushon terminated the voyage of the fishing vessel Snark near Sitka after discovering several safety issues aboard the vessel Friday. The crew of the Naushon escorted the 42-foot, wood hull fishing vessel Snark, with three people aboard, to Sitka Harbor. Read more
Published on Jan 26, 2013 At 05:30 just around high tide, J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp. Launched the F/V Northern Leader. The 184-foot high tech fishing vessel is capable of holding over 1000 tons of Cod. Deployed in the Bearing Sea, the Northern Leader is operated by 31 persons and can deploy a long line over 45 miles. With hooks every 4 feet, the total number the line can hold is around 76,000 individual hooks. It is powered with five Caterpillar generators supplying two 1000 Kilo Watt Schottle Z drive electric motors. The hold is refrigerated with 3, 150 hp compressors reducing the temperature down as low as -25 degrees F. As one of the most environmentally friendly fishing boats, it will take about 30 days to complete a catch. This boat will set a new trend in fishing. Watch video fore, Watch video aft.
2013 Yukon River Summer Salmon Fishery News Release # 1 Yukon Area Regulatory Changes Districts Affected: Yukon River Area. The Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) met in Anchorage from January 15 to January 20 to review regulatory fisheries proposals concerning the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim areas. Read the news release
The Internal Revenue Service announced today (Jan. 18, 2013) that it will issue guidance in the near future to provide relief from the estimated tax penalty for farmers and fishermen unable to file and pay their 2012 taxes by the March 1 deadline due to the delayed start for filing tax returns. Read more
“The Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance is dedicated to its mission of continuing to help create sustainable fisheries without putting licensed fishermen out of business.” Read the update
Continental divide? Building the Fishery Bridge from New England to Alaska – Sharing concerns for fisheries
Fishermen from Gloucester and Alaska fish drastically different areas during different times of the year, but one thing is for certain: They’re all in the same boat when it comes to defending and protecting an industry under siege from many sides. That was one of the messages echoed Friday when Katherine Carscallen, captain of the fishing vessel Sea Hawk based out of Dillingham, Alaska, met with Gloucester fishermen and supporters of the commercial fishermen at a get-together organized by Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association President Angela Sanfilippo. Read more here
ANCHORAGE — A new study presents evidence that salmon populations in Bristol Bay have surged and sagged wildly — for hundreds of years at a time — well before the first commercial fishing in Alaska. The research, published this month in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, summarized data collected and analyzed over the past 15 years by scientists in the U.S., Canada, Norway and China. Read more here
Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Ratz: Kodiak assemblies’ letter misses the protective mark by Stephen Taufen
January 26, 2013
In December, the Federal Register declared that the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council is proceeding on giving away federal fish resources to selected trawl recipients in the Gulf of Alaska. Homer, Kodiak, King Cove and Sand Point are among the most affected — all challenged to economically protect their fishery dependent coastal municipalities and boroughs.
The local city of Kodiak and the Kodiak Island Borough’s joint fishery work group has shown concern and help many meetings over the past seven months, listening to input from all sides. One must applaud when elected officials get highly involved; but that is only if they truly keep the public’s interests foremost. They could take a lesson from New Bedford’s former Mayor Lang’s firm stance about preserving fishing jobs and protecting the local economy against privatization forces. Read more
Come February, a federal fisheries council will continue to discuss catch-sharing programs in Alaska trawl fisheries – this time with a bigger voice from southwest fishermen. This winter the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC) has heard from concerned parties in the state’s south central ground fisheries, regarding a change over to catch sharing. Read more
Peter Steewell has been missing since about 5 p.m. Thursday when he fell from the 57-foot longliner Fine Tuna into seas of eight to nine feet and water that was about 73-degrees Fahrenheit. Winds were blowing at 35 mph, according to the Coast Guard. Read more
Sanctuaries do not regulate fishing, said Maria Brown, superintendent of the Cordell Bank sanctuary, noting that trawling would be allowed. Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, said in an interview that his industry already has “a good set of regulations” promulgated by the National Marine Fisheries agency. The proposed expansion covers an important commercial fishing area for salmon, crab and rockfish, he said. Grader said he wants to know if sustainable energy development, such as wind and wave energy generators, would be allowed in the expansion area. “We fully support renewable energy, we just don’t think it belongs in these waters,” Grader said. Onshore development would be needed to support such a system, he said. Read more
The US Secretary of Commerce has been requested to make changes to the federal rule which established the American Samoa National Marine Sanctuary. The Governor’s Office said local fishermen raised their concerns regarding the sanctuary rules because they say it limits their ability to earn a living. Read more Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary
The Maine Department of Marine Resources released a statement Friday indicating that the DMR commissioner will allow shrimp fishing from sunrise to 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, and Wednesday, Jan. 30. Shrimp trawlers in the Gulf of Maine are allowed to fish only two days a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, during the 2013 season, which began Jan. 23. Read more
McDonald’s announced this week that packaging on its Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and new fish nuggets, both made from pollock caught in the Bering Sea, will be stamped with a label that reads “Certified Sustainable Seafood.” What most customers won’t know is that Alaska pollock is a controversial fish among some village fishermen who blame the trawler fleet for wasting thousands of king salmon each year. Read more
Claiming his hands are tied legally, NOAA regional administrator John Bullard has rejected a nearly unanimous request by the New England Regional Fishery Management Council to give the inshore cod fishery centered on Gloucester a second year of interim relief from extreme cuts in landings. The interim action on Gulf of Maine cod for the 2012 fishing cycle, which ends April 30, reduced landing limits by 22 percent compared to the prior year, and the seafood coalition — later backed by the regional council — had hoped to extend that limit rate for another year, in part while questions are answered regarding the assessments. Read more
The crabbing vessel Senja departed the Westport, Wash., marina at approximately 6 a.m. on Jan. 14, 2013, with four people aboard, for a week-long crabbing excursion. On Jan. 15, at approximately 6 p.m., the crew began hauling and resetting crab pots, working for several hours. The captain of the vessel commented that the weather was very mild. Though it was dark, there were 2-3 foot swells, no wind, and excellent visibility. A crewmember fell overboard, suddenly and unexpectedly, entering the water headfirst,,,,,Read more
Tromsø, Norway – The world is responding to the opportunities of a “new ocean” as Arctic sea ice changes and global shipping increases the value of Arctic resources. “This is the age of Arctic shipping the great explorers dreamed of. We’ve been given a new ocean of possibilities – and dangers – and we need to do everything we can to prepare for both,” Lt. Gov. Treadwell said. Read more
Westcoast Halibut fishermen in the Pacific will see about a seven percent reduction in catch this year, less than many were expecting. The International Pacific Halibut Commission today set the coastwide catch from Northern California to the Bering Sea at 31.02 million pounds. Alaska’s portion of the catch is about 23 million pounds. Read more Documents and recordings of the meeting are available online.
McPollock, Yes, you’re all doing great!, Halibut harvesters catch a break. Read more, and read the comments.
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First episode. 1/22/2013
Upcoming Q&A episode. 1/26/2013
Northeast fishing chief: Devastating cuts coming – said blame for the situation goes to managers, because “we set the rules and clearly the rules have failed.”
But committees of the New England Fishery Management Council have already recommended massive cuts fishermen say will cause industry collapse. Read more
The offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico belong to the soverin nation of the United States of America. This government protects this property for the citizens of the United States. Here along the gulf coast we depend highly upon the gulf environment to provide millions of people with jobs surrounding the seafood and recreational fishing industry as well as the travel and vacation industries…..Crude oil produced from offshore oil & gas facilities contain a huge amount of harmful and toxic chemicals which can destroy ocean food chains as well as human life. Crude oil contains such harmful and deadly toxins such as N.O.R.M = naturally occuring radioactive = gama radiation material , Benzyne , Tolulene both of which are cancer causing agents as well as a vast number of other harmful and toxic chemicals, that are absorbed by the sea life and in turn consumed by us . Read more