Daily Archives: February 1, 2013

Fish on Fridays – our native shrimp on the line at Steve Connolly Seafood goodmorninggloucester

The Fish on Fridays series is a collaboration between Gloucester photographers Kathy Chapman and Marty Luster. Look for various aspects of Gloucester’s centuries-old fishing industry highlighted here on Fridays. This week we photographed our native shrimp on the line at Steve Connolly Seafood. The shrimp catch is limited to Mondays and Wednesdays with nets out of the water by 2pm. Unfortunately, the season will only last a few weeks. Romeo, who purchases fish for Connolly, has some comments about his suppliers. Photos/Video here

Bonneville Power Administration: Making Senses of Salmon Runs

Portland, OR – While the vast majority of ESA-listed stocks have shown significant increases in abundance since their listings in the 1990s, the return numbers for each species vary greatly between individual years. Recent studies may help explain why.  State fishery managers last week released their preseason forecast for 2013 returns of salmon and steelhead to the Columbia River. After two years when salmon and steelhead returns were among the highest since recordkeeping began (see graph, Adult returns to Bonneville Dam), this year forecasts are down for some stocks. Read more

Safety Training Offered for Commercial Fishermen in Cordova

Cordova Times Staff: Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will offer a one-day fishing vessel safety and drill conductor course in Cordova on Saturday, February 16, 2013. The course will be held at the Pioneer Igloo in Cordova. This course meets the training requirements for commercial fishing vessels. It is available FREE to commercial fishermen thanks to funding from the USCG and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Read more

Shark Data Questioned At Hearing, “Amendment 5” to the Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan.

The goal of the limit, along with other measures NMFS is considering, is to protect dusky sharks, which continue to see an alleged population drop despite being a prohibited species. According to NMFS data, dusky sharks are at a critical population level. However, anglers weren’t subtle when it came to voicing their opinion on the data. “It’s all guesses and supposes,” said Merrill Campbell of Southern Connections Seafood. Read more

Local fish industry workers say new cod catch limits mean higher prices

“The prices are going up,” “You can count on that.”

“Whole cod is selling, wholesale, for $3.88 a pound today,” Bode said. “Fillets  used to sell for that price, not that long ago. The price of domestic seafood  will be too expensive for the normal family to buy. Everything will go to the  high-end restaurants. You won’t find the fish in the grocery stores.” Read more

N.H. senators speak out against fishing regulations – reintroducing legislation called the Saving Fishing Jobs Act

Senator Shaheen says that (cuts) would have a devastating impact on New Hampshire fishermen and she is pushing the commerce department to reconsider the catch limits. Ayotte is reintroducing legislation called the Saving Fishing Jobs Act, which would roll back what she called arbitrary regulations. Read more

NOAA Fisheries appoints first-ever research economist

Doug Lipton has become the first-ever senior research economist at NOAA Fisheries, the body has announced. In this new role, Lipton will provide leadership and strategic direction to the agency’s economics and social science research program. Read more The other senior scientists at Fisheries are Richard Methot, named in October 2012 as the new senior scientist for stock assessments,  Read more and Jason Link, named in December 2012 as the new senior scientist for ecosystem management. Read more

Fishermen saw cuts coming

When previous catch reductions have been rolled out by the New England Fishery Management Council, fishermen have reacted with some degree of anger. This time, though, the council’s announcement of a stiff drop in the allowable catch of cod and other groundfish has been met by many on the Cape with something else: resignation. Fisherman Greg Walinski of Dennisport was one who saw this coming, but he said there’s more to the problem than just overfishing. Read more

‘The fish aren’t there’? Industry isn’t buying it

But the fishing community continues to disbelieve the National Marine Fisheries Service when it says, in the voice of John Bullard, “The fish aren’t there.”

The fish have moved, they insist. Too-warm water during mild winters drove them to colder water. But a cold winter such as this one could bring them back almost overnight. February and March will tell, with the coldest water.

And if that happens, there’s trouble, because under the strict limits set by the New England Fishery Management Council this week, the low quotas for Gulf of Maine cod cannot be revisited for three years without a complete stock assessment.


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Editorial: More carp fishing

Before commercial fisheries can be contemplated, a sustained supply of the carp must be in place. Simply changing the regulations won’t guarantee that the fish go away, or even that their populations are reduced. Someone still would have to pony up the money for the processing plants. But the plants can’t come before the supply of fish. So first things first. The paradox, of course, is that once you start harvesting the fish for commercial purposes, there will need to be a steady supply of the fish for years to come. Read more

Editorial: Lawmakers must force NOAA’s hand on fisheries

10172769-largeYes, NOAA can show “scientific” data suggesting that these dire cuts — up to 77 percent for the Gulf of Maine cod catch – may be necessary. Yet, NOAA also had 2008 survey data that showed many of the cod stocks were already rebuilt. And remember that the latest data is off an assessment model that did not include any input from rank-and-file fishermen, meaning it’s no more credible than the admittedly bogus data used in the “Trawlgate” fiasco of 1999-2000, when NOAA conceded its statistics were hopelessly flawed, yet still used them to set stock limits. Read more

Letter: What does NOAAA suggest for fishermen? Captain Jim Ford, Gloucester

To the editor: This is an open letter to NOAA, northeast administrator John Bullard, and NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service: I am still in shock from Wednesday’s meeting. Read more

Boat owner disputes illegal ‘liner’ charge

manatthewheelThe owner of the Gloucester trawler Princess Laura, which faces civil charges for using an illegal “net liner” in its trawl net, said Thursday that the Coast Guard mistook some gillnet that had been picked up while hauling back on a groundfishing trip about 100 nautical miles east of Cape Ann for an illegal liner — or double netting system. Read more