Monthly Archives: February 2013

Will calamari, RI’s superb squid, be the state’s official appetizer?

“Squid,” said a State House press release regarding the bill, “Is to Rhode Island what lobster is to Maine, or cod to Massachusetts.” Read more here

Federal fisheries official tells shrimpers that new turtle rules are coming

500x333_Logger_ted_01“I’m just being straightforward with you guys, candid, these new TED requirements are coming,” Michael Barnett, a fisheries biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service, told the suddenly raucous crowd. “At this point, I think it’s safe to say it’s not a matter of if, it’s when.”  Read more here

Protecting Fish from Antidepressants by Using New Wastewater Treatment Technique

Researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have developed a new technique to prevent pharmaceutical residues from entering waterways and harming wildlife. Read more here

Pacific salmon named B.C.’s official fish

Three B.C. organizations working for the sustainability of BC’s watersheds are applauding a Bill introduced last week to designate Pacific salmon as an official B.C. emblem. Read more here

Small crabs, slow fishing reported in Bering Sea

Deckhands reporting back to Homer have told stories of fishing on a 30-crab-per-pot average, which would not even cover fuel expenses with crab that average less than one and a half pounds each. Read more here

Letter – Glosta Pride facing NOAA’s best shot – Stuart Diamond, Rockport, Ma

manatthewheelOnce, there was a sturdy fraternity of brothers who traversed the watery part of the world in boats. Stuart  Diamond, Rockport, Ma. Read more here

Maine Fishermen’s Forum starts today in Rockport

38th Annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum The 2013 Forum will be held on February 28, March 1st, & 2nd at the Samoset Resort. Read more here at the Forum Home Page

Your View: Bullard has a responsibility to the law – Meghan Lapp

In recent weeks, with utter destruction facing the New England groundfish fleet, newly appointed NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard, whom it was hoped by many would be a responsive voice of reason in the midst of governmental and scientific uncertainty and chaos, has instead used it to further demean and dismantle this nation’s hardworking families. Read more here

Editorial: NOAA ‘Camelot’ confab cries out for accountability

It’s hard not to laugh at NOAA law enforcement’s role-playing workshop in which highly-paid and supposedly adult lawyers imagined themselves as “knights,” “merchants,” or “dreamer-minstrels” in the days of Camelot. Read more here

Bycatch alert system growing for fourth year

sct logoNEW BEDFORD — New fishing grounds are being added to the highly successful system developed by UMass to avoid catching yellowtail flounder in the Northeast, it was announced Wednesday. Dr. Brian Rothschild, dean emeritus of the UMass School for Marine Science and Technology, said the program “has reduced the ratio of yellowtail to scallops and because of that it has been an economic boon to the fishery.” Read more here

MSC certification for Atlantic spiny dogfish expands

Following the success of the certification of the US east coast North Atlantic fishery for spiny dogfish to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard as a sustainable and well-managed fishery in August, 2012, the fishery has expanded the scope of certification to cover the remaining offshore areas of five states in the region: Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.  Read more here

Two panel seats for the International Pacific Halibut Commision open

A call for nominations was originally put out early last year. However, the National Marine Fisheries Service decided to reissue the call for nominations in February. Read more here

Leatherback turtle sinking toward extinction says new study

NOAA Fisheries says it has worked with the U.S. shrimp trawling industry to implement Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) and has instituted a number of regulations to help protect the leatherback from accidental,,,,,Read more here

18-year-old survives 28 days adrift

An 18-year-old who worked in a seaside hotel in Panama happily took up an offer by two friends to join them on a fishing trip and earn some extra cash. Read more here

New Protections for White Shark Effective March 1

White sharks off California’s coast will receive additional protection beginning March 1, the date it becomes a candidate species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). Read more here

Greater Federal, State Roles Sought to Help Develop Offshore Wind Potential

More than two years after the Interior Department launched an initiative to speed up and simplify its permitting process, there are still no commercial-scale wind projects up and running in federal waters. Read more here

Meghan Lapp, Jim Kendall, Speak about New England’s Ground Fish situation.

The New England fishing business has been hurting for years as catching limits continue to decrease sharply. Read more – video

Texas officials balk at shorter red snapper season

Texas Parks and Wildlife commissioners are displeased with a proposal by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to limit recreational fishing season for red snapper in federal waters to somewhere between 11 and 27 days. Read more

California’s new no-fishing zones appear to be working, scientists say

“So far, so good,” said Mark Carr, a professor of marine biology at UC Santa Cruz. “There have been economic losses to fishermen,” said Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations in San Francisco. “A lot of these were unnecessary. They could have been done more carefully.”   Read more


Nova Scotia company ships live crab worldwide

Frozen snow crab harvested off the coast of Nova Scotia has fed the masses for decades, but shipping the product live has long been thought impossible due to low survival rates. That was until NovaCan Live Seafood Ltd. came along with an entirely new ship-to-shore-to-dinner table process that has put another Nova Scotia seafood product in stores worldwide. Read more

Catch shares tied to cod losses – State fisheries chief cites lack of controls under NOAA system

The 2010 catch share commodification of the Northeast groundfishery, hailed by advocates including NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco as a sure path to restoring overfished stocks and profitability for the fleet, has had the opposite effect on Gulf of Maine cod, according to the state’s director of marine fisheries.

The habit of bigger offshore boats to accumulate catch shares in Gulf of Maine cod and capitalize on pulses of the cod with landings far larger than 800 pounds has “significantly contributed to declines in local abundance” of the essential fish for the day boats, state fisheries chief Paul Diodati said in a memo sent Feb. 5 to the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission and obtained by the Times. Read more here


Long Island, NY – LaValle Bill to Help Commercial Fishermen Unanimously Passes Senate (fuel saver!)

Sen. Ken LaValle said his bill  (S.1762) allows fishermen, for example, to catch three times the daily catch limit on Monday and two times the limit on Wednesday and then stay off the water until the following Monday when a consecutive period of seven days is complete. The bill also allows individuals with different fishing licenses to go out and catch each of their daily limits from the same boat (currently prohibited). Read more here

John Furlong – cbc The Fisheries Broadcast discussing the EU’s seal ban based on “moral” grounds

Canada begins the long and challenging process of trying to get the European Union’s ban on seal products overturned. Listen

Also the story of the Tragedy of the Florizel, 95 years ago. The radio broadcast, with feedback from listeners. I now have the link to the show in my favorites.


Coast Guard: Budget cuts to limit flights, patrols

uscg logoAdm. Robert J. Papp said Wednesday that emergencies will be a priority. He didn’t say how many patrol hours would be cut under what’s known as sequestration – Read more

Maintaining Maine’s scallop fishery By Robin Alden, Special to the BDN

Of course, it hasn’t been perfect. But after this year, some fishermen and some managers realize that this is, inevitably, the start of a process of fishermen and the state agency sharing information and managing this resource together for the long haul and to great benefit. Read more here

My Turn: Weigh in on Board of Fish Proposal 243 By MICHAEL BAINES

At its Statewide Finfish meeting in March, the Board of Fish (BoF) will consider the Board generated Proposal 243, which would add Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) to the State’s Forage Fish Management Plan (FFMP). Read more here

Proposed net pen legislation dies in committee

PORT TOWNSEND — Proposed legislation that would allow coastal counties to forbid marine aquaculture net-pen facilities died in committee last week, dashing hopes of Jefferson County commissioners who had wanted to ban the industry.

Read more here

Coast Guard rescues three near Grays Harbor, Washington

uscg logoCoast Guard Sector Columbia River recieved a distress call from the crew of the 58-foot crabbing vessel Persistence at 8:50 p.m.  The crew reported they were taking on water approximately 5 miles northwest of the Grays Harbor bar and
were low on fuel for their dewatering pump. Read more here

Governor Scott pushes for Apalachicola Bay funding to aid oyster industry

Gov. Rick Scott traveled to Franklin County on Monday to tout $3 million in proposed funding to help restore the Apalachicola River system and the oyster industry that relies on it. Read more here

Regulatory, environmental changes on Maine fishermen’s forum agenda

ROCKPORT, Maine — The bizarre 2012 lobster fishing season may be over, but discussion of what happened and what might be done to prevent a repeat will figure prominently in the lineup of topics featured this week at the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum. The forum, which organizers say typically attracts between 2,000 and 3,000 attendees each year, is scheduled from Thursday, Feb. 28, through Saturday, March 2, at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. Read more

Questioning the Captain’s decision

What were they doing out there is those weather conditions?
It’s a question being asked over and over again in communities from Neils  Harbour to Wood Harbour, as Nova Scotians try to come to grips with the  death of five young fishermen.
At the same time, that same question was asked repeatedly at a U.S. Coast  Guard board of inquiry in Portsmouth, Virginia into the sinking of the tall ship  HMS Bounty.
Under scrutiny: the actions of a captain barely out of high school and a  captain who had decades of experience sailing the high seas.  Read more

New England offshore wind planning offers lessons for Great Lakes

When Scandia, a Norwegian wind company, announced its plans to install 200 turbines in Lake Michigan four miles from the tourist town of Ludington, Michigan, in 2009, they likely didn’t anticipate the controversy that would erupt. A similar brouhaha unfolded over the past decade in Nantucket Sound, off the southern coast of Cape Cod, over a proposed 468 MW wind farm known as Cape Wind. Residents of the area spent nine years fighting the project before the Interior Department approved it in 2010. Conservationists have their own set of what-ifs, as do commercial fishers.  A systematic mapping approach could help them meet their goals as well, said Sally McGee, who directs the Northeast Marine Program for the Nature Conservancy and serves on the New England Fishery Management Council, the major regional planning body for the fishing industry. Read more here

NOAA’s retreat to ‘Camelot’ – FOIA Docs spotlight $288,500 ‘workshop’ agenda

Last May, a month after a special judicial master’s second report on misdeeds by NOAA enforcement lawyers had been delivered to the secretary of commerce, NOAA General Counsel Lois Schiffer led her national staff of 145 lawyers on a three day training program in Philadelphia at a cost of $288,500, according to documents released to the Times under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. – The conference featured a self-understanding exercise led by vocational placement company to determine what roles in a fictional medieval kingdom the lawyers imagined themselves playing — “bishop,” “benevolent ruler,” “shepard,” “black knight,” “scientist,” “discoverer,” “merchant,” “prime minister,” “engineer-builder,” “dreamer-minstrel,” “white knight” and “doctor.” Read more here



Commercial fishing industry alive and well in Steveston BC

Steveston Harbour Authority is the largest commercial fishing harbour in the country and is by far the most significant of the 571 harbour authorities in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ harbour authority program. We are home to more than 350 commercial fishing vessels and have state of the art unloading, storage and moorage facilities and provide direct and indirect employment to many people in the area. Read more here

UFA seeks legal action against KRSA — Commercial fishing group alleges sportfishing association eavesdropped on teleconference

United Fishermen of Alaska leadership says the organization is prepared to see the process through as it awaits response in pursuit of recourse to its allegations that someone at the Kenai River Sportfishing Association eavesdropped on a teleconference of a UFA board of directors meeting. “We intend to follow it through to some sort of logical and final conclusion,” said Bruce Wallace, interim president of UFA, a commercial fishing trade association representing 34 member organizations in Alaska. Read more

Young Rye NH fisherman reels in National Geographic viewers

THE National Geographic show “Wicked Tuna” are already making plans to visit Rye Harbor this summer to spend a day at sea with one of the show’s local stars. Tyler McLaughlin, 25, has been fishing out of Rye Harbor during the summers since he was a child. Two years ago, after graduating from Nichols College, he purchased his own boat, the Pin Wheel, and began a career as a tuna fisherman. – Read more

Lawmaker attacks oil companies’ ‘free’ drilling in gulf

Once upon a time, the price of oil was so low — dropping under $11 a barrel in late 1998 — that Congress agreed that big oil companies needed incentives to drill for oil in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. So in 1995 it ordered the Interior Department to waive royalties on virtually all of the oil and natural gas that would come out of wells drilled between 1996 and 2000. Read more

Nova Scotia Fishing industry concerned about plans for undersea coal mine

The mine could create as many as 300 direct mining jobs, and the undersea  facility is believed to have enough coal to remain operational for at least 50  years. However, local fishermen are concerned that the method used to transport the  coal may kill their local industry. Last year, Xstrata revealed it planned to  transport the coal via barges, which would traverse local fishing grounds, to  waiting ships.  Read more   

NOAA shielding key legal document – “That information is attorney-client privileged!” Ciaran Clayton, NOAA’s director of communications

The legal document underpinning the decision of NOAA’s regional administrator against easing the 77 percent cod limit cuts seen as a death knell for the industry starting May 1 will not be shared with the public, the agency has advised the Times. According to NOAA officials, the office of NOAA General Counsel Lois Schiffer submitted a legal brief to Gloucester-based Northeast Regional Administrator John Bullard last month that gave the legal reasoning behind his decision against allowing the Northeast groundfishery, declared a disaster in September by the acting commerce secretary, to be allowed a second year of interim emergency relief from extreme cutbacks in Gulf of Maine cod. Read more


Miss Ally’s final voyage recalled

Fisherman Sandy Stoddard

It was with fair winds that Woods Harbour fisherman Sandy Stoddard left the Port LaTour wharf on Sunday, Feb. 10 bound for the fishing grounds along the Scotian Shelf. “The weather was good,” said the veteran fisherman. “We had perfect weather for four or five days.”Stoddard, aboard the Logan and Morgan, his son Chrisjon on the Benji and Sisters, as well as Katlin Nickerson and the crew of the Miss Ally were among the boats on the fishing grounds that week.  “Others were fishing to the east of us in an area known as the edge,” said Stoddard. “We were in the Gully. The Miss Ally was about 110 to 115 miles away to the southwest.” Read more

Japan will never stop whaling – minister

Hayashi, a graduate of the prestigious Kennedy School at Harvard  University who first entered parliament in 1995, said Japan was  tired of being lectured by nations whose own culinary cultures can  seem a little off-colour. ‘In some countries they eat dogs, like Korea. In Australia they eat kangaroos. We don’t eat those animals, but we don’t stop them from doing that because we understand that’s their culture,’ Hayashi said in fluent English. Read more

Genetic study pursues elusive goal: How many humpbacks existed before whaling?

Scientists from Stanford University, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Museum of Natural History, and other organizations are closing in on the answer to an important conservation question: how many humpback whales once existed in the North Atlantic? Read more

Japan to take part in International Boston Seafood Show

BOSTON —Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will be setting up a Japan Pavilion at the upcoming International Boston Seafood Show 2013 (IBSS), North America’s largest seafood trade event, to be held from March 10-12, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Read more


Two opposing views of the Gulf Red Snapper Fishery

John Sackton —   Feb 11, 2013 — A new allocation fight is taking place in the Gulf of Mexico with recreational charters, backed by the Coastal Conservation Association, preparing to steamroller commercial interests, and further restrict dologomestic red snapper from restaurant menus. Read more here

TOM ADAMS -Mr. Sackton’s recent analysis of the red snapper allocation fight that appeared in the recent  News and  website is woefully inaccurate. First and foremost, Mr. Sackton pits two specifically named organizations – the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and Gulf of Mexico Reef Shareholders Alliance – as being at opposite ends of the allocation battle for Gulf of Mexico red snapper. Read more here

Americam Samoa – Albacore fishery management under review Western Pacific Fishery Management Council

The American Samoa longline fishery is the second largest fishery in the US Pacific Islands. The fishery is based almost entirely on fishing for South Pacific albacore caught for the American Samoa canning industry, with only a small domestic market, and limited access to overseas markets. This South Pacific albacore is also important to the central South Pacific countries neighboring American Samoa, which also supply the American Samoa canning and fish processing industry.

Catches of South Pacific albacore by all fleets south of the equator have more than doubled in the past decade and are currently about 90 percent of maximum sustainable yield. This is due primarily to the doubling of vessels from China fishing under access agreements with the Solomon Islands and switching by Taiwanese longliners from targeting bigeye to albacore. Read more

Woods Harbour, N.S., plans funerals for missing fishermen

Families in Woods Harbour, N.S., are preparing funerals and memorial services for the five fishermen lost at sea after their fishing boat capsized on Feb. 17 in rough weather. Read more, watch video

New Jersey may get some reprieve on reduced flounder catch

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, a compact of East Coast states that regulates migratory fish, is considering an addendum to the fishery management plan to allow sharing between states. Such a management technique has been used on commercial fisheries but never for the recreational sector, said Interstate Fisheries Management Plan Director Toni Kerns of the ASMFC.  Read more

A Rich heritage: “All I wanted to do was build boats”

photo credit fenceviewer.comTREMONT – “I built boats from the time I could walk,” says Robert “Chummy” Rich. “Most of them wouldn’t float. If they did, they’d float upside down.”

If you are a wooden boat nut like I am, you’ll enjoy this article. Lots of Maine humor and history. Read more

Maine Voices: Plight of cod fishery should serve as wake-up call for policymakers By Peter Shelley, CLF

By Peter Shelley, senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation — Before New England’s most important fishery collapses completely and takes our codfish with it, solutions must start with the facts at hand: Many of New England’s groundfish, particularly Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank cod, are at historically low levels and may be in complete collapse. Read more

Not so fast, Councilor

Cod, NOAA, and Existence

Fishermen’s troubles are a direct result of mismanagement: inadequate science, unreasonable Maximum Sustainable Yield-crisis centric regulations, NOAA’s single species approach to a complex multi-species fishery, and then, of course, our beloved “returning profitability to fishermen” catch shares, a disastrous campaign to privatize and turn the fish resource into a Wall Street commodity at the expense and demise of working fishermen.  Additionally, NOAA has traditionally ignored environmental factors, such as climate change, predation, and natural cycles, focusing solely on managing the fishermen, not the fish in their environment. If this cod stock is indeed “collapsing”, it is certainly not due to “over harvesting”—the groundfish managers’ Total Allowable Catch has been under-harvested for years, sometimes by 75%, but consistently underfished by at least 50%.

Unemployed? How ’bout a sweet gig at World Wildelife Fund!

World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world’s leading conservation organization, seeks a Director of Seafood Engagement for Business and Industry. No mention of salary, though. Read more

We Paid for the Research, So Let’s See It – make public, without charge, all scientific papers

The Obama administration is right to direct federal agencies to make public, without charge, all scientific papers reporting on research financed by the government. In a memorandum issued on Friday, John Holdren, the president’s science adviser, directed federal agencies with more than $100 million in annual research and development expenditures to develop plans for making the published results of almost all the research freely available to everyone within one year of publication. Read more

American Samoa – Singapore-Based Shipping Company to Pay $2.2 Million for Covering up Oil Pollution

uscg logoAccording to the plea agreement, including a joint factual statement, the company operated the vessel Southern Lily 2 in American Samoa.  On June 22, 2012, the vessel was boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard for a routine inspection.  During the inspection the Coast Guard discovered that the ship’s oil water separator was not functioning.  The Coast Guard learned that the device had not been functioning for several months and, at the direction of the chief and second engineer, the oily waste water had been being discharged overboard in violation of international law. Read more

Petition urges NOAA Gloucester shutdown

With the regulated industry facing a virtual implosion based on a disputed legal ruling, an online petition campaign has been initiated to pressure Congress to close NOAA’s nearly new headquarters for the Northeast region in Blackburn Industrial Park and use the annual agency’s regional payroll — pegged at about $15 million a year — to provide relief for a recognized “economic disaster” in the groundfishery. Read more here

From the Deckboss

A leadership change at Icicle, Can hatcheries help?, Larger salmon haul expected this year.

Read more here, and as always, read the comments!

Timeline | Tragedy at Sea

The search for five young Nova Scotia fishermen, believed to have perished when their fishing boat overturned in rough waters about 12-hours steam off Nova Scotia, gripped the country and threw a small Nova Scotia commufishing vessel miss allynity’s grief into the spotlight.
A week of exhaustive aerial and underwater searches found no sign of the young men’s bodies. The search came to an end on Sunday — one week after the men went missing — after a dive team search the capsized vessel, the Miss Ally, and turned up nothing.  Timeline here  Video

Northeast Region Bulletin: ATLANTIC HERRING FISHERY Reduction in Area 1A Quota

Effective Date: March 27, 2013 Due to an overage in herring management Area 1A in 2011, we have adjusted the 2013 sub-ACL (annual catch limit/quota) in Area 1A. These sub-ACLs will be revised later in the year with the new 2013 sub-ACLs currently being developed by the New England Fishery Management Council. Read the Bulletin here

I’ve been getting lots of emails asking about that Close the NMFS Regional Office Petition!

My mail box is loaded with emails from people looking for the link to sign the petition! Here it is.

Dear Chairwoman Mikulski and members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations:

Disclaimer! neither supports, nor opposes this petiton.
We are providing information that is publicly available

Sea stories beckon large audience as Fishers hook the crowd with talent (they can very taleted!)

Wet Dog Cafe was full to the brim with diners Friday night; there was a waiting list to snag a table. Waiters weaved in between patrons, carrying trays laden with burgers and beverages. But Tele Aadsen’s soft voice rang clear as a bell above the low buzz of laughter and clink of dishes. It was the 16th annual FisherPoets Gathering soft voice rang clear as a bell above the low buzz of laughter and clink of dishes. It was the 16th annual FisherPoets Gathering, a weekend that saw about 70 commercial fishermen and women assemble from across the country in Astoria to read poetry, tell stories and sing songs about their occupations. Read more

John Bullard – No guarantees that fish stocks will come back

The big question is: Why has this happened? Over the years, quotas have been gradually reduced, but still the fish aren’t coming back as expected. It isn’t simply a case of overfishing. There are environmental forces at play such as predation from recovered populations of dogfish and seals, changes in ocean water temperature and increases in ocean acidity. So, while it may not be totally on the fishermen’s shoulders, it will be the fishermen who will have to pay the price. Read more

Please let NOAA know how you feel about them expanding their power and sanctuaries. Its not all rainbows and unicorns!

To provide public comment (must be received by March 1, 2013)

There are three ways to provide public comment: 1. Attend a Public Scoping Meeting (see below)  all these have already occurred

2. Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NOS-2012-0228external link, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. Note: this site will be down for maintenance Feb 16-18, 2013

3. Mail: Maria Brown, Sanctuary Superintendent, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 991 Marine Drive, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129

or!submitComment;D=NOAA-NOS-2012-0228-0001  (this link seems easier to upload documents)