Monthly Archives: February 2016

Devastated salmon population likely to result in fishing restrictions

yubachinook_jakatzNorthern California’s commercial anglers are bracing for restrictions on the upcoming salmon-fishing season after federal regulators projected there are half as many  in the ocean compared to this time last year. Last week, the Pacific Fisheries Management Council released its annual population estimates for Chinook off the Pacific Coast. The council estimates about 300,000 adult fall-run salmon from the Sacramento River system are swimming off the coast this year. For the past several years, the forecasts have predicted more than 600,000 salmon. “It’s a 1-2-3 punch,” said Tim Sloane, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. Read the rest here 21:43

Louis Daniel, executive director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Resigns

The executive director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries abruptly stepped down from his job on Monday. Louis Daniel has led the agency since January 2014, through an occasionally tumultuous period that saw recreational and commercial fishing interests fighting. Last year Daniel was caught in the cross-fire over what steps should be taken to preserve the Southern Flounder. The announcement was made in an email from the Department of Environmental Resources general counsel to all employees. Counsel John Evans said in the email that Col. Jim Kelley will serve as acting director. Read the rest here 19:10

Zappa 1 tuna fishermen handed five-year suspension after guilty pleas

Three men who fished out of the Antigonish area are banned from the catch-and-release bluefin tuna fishery for five years after pleading guilty to a total of 27 charges of illegal fishing. George Boyle, the license holder and owner of the Zappa 1, along with crew members Dale Trenholm and Evan McDormand are prohibited from taking part in the commercial bluefin tuna fishery for two years as well.   Boyle, Trenholm and McDormand used gaffs and rope to remove a bluefin tuna from the water during a catch-and-release trip on October 7, 2014, according to an agreed statement of facts submitted in court on Monday. Read the rest here 18:36

Open-net pen salmon farms ending in Norway?

catface-mtn-1-jpgNorway’s salmon-farming industry is hitting a wall. Because salmon farming began earlier there than in B.C., I wanted to get a glimpse of where we might be headed if our industry continues on its current path. This is the reason I organized the Wild Salmon Delegation to Norway, which spent two weeks there this month. What we found is an industry beset by problems such as disease outbreaks, sea-lice infestations and farmed-salmon escapes. The situation in Norway is dire — one headline we saw read: “Five years left to save wild salmon.” Read the rest here 15:58

Environmental Defense Fund – New Bedford fish fraud case underscores need for greater NOAA monitoring

jwiersmaFrom the article: The Environmental Defense Fund in a statement on Friday said the arrest points to the need for greater monitoring by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees fishing within 200 nautical miles of the U.S. through the National Marine Fisheries Service. “This arrest and these allegations make it clear that NOAA must start an effective fishery monitoring system, not continue the underfunded program it has had in place for years,” said Joshua Wiersma, northeast fisheries manager for the Environmental Defense Fund.  Read the rest here Who is Joshua Wiersma? Read about him here  15:38

Fishermen plead guilty after finning 518 sharks

shark finsWhen Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents bust you with 496 fish over your daily limit, you can bet the penalty is going to be severe. It was for two men caught in April 2012 with 11 whole sharks and 2,073 shark fins, taken from another 518 fish. Rick Nguyen, 37, of Buras, and Hung Anh Tiet, 29, of Dallas, Texas, pled guilty last week to shark finning and harvesting more than their limit of sharks. Shark finning is an illegal practice of removing the fins, the most profitable part of the shark, and discarding the rest of the body overboard. Read the rest here 13:03

Maine Operation Game Thief – $11,000 Reward Offered for Jeffery’s Ledge trap molestation caper

Maine Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of $11,000 for information that helps authorities bring the person or people responsible for a major lobster trap molesting case near Jeffrey’s Ledge to justice. A Maine Marine Patrol investigation, which began Monday, February 22, revealed that approximately 200 lobster traps had been hauled by someone other than the license holders, the lobsters stolen, and the traps lowered to the bottom, some of which were not retrievable. Read the rest here 11:01

Prince Edward Island fishermen want dedicated cabinet minister

lobsterDM0811_468x521A dedicated minister and department of fisheries should be created to tackle the issues and challenges facing the second most important primary industry in the province, say Island fishermen. The call for separating the provincial Department of Agriculture and Fisheries was delivered during the annual meeting of the  Friday in the P.E.I Convention Centre in Charlottetown. “We definitely need our own minister because things move too fast in this industry and there are too many issues to deal with for a department that has two portfolios,” said president Craig Avery. “We have no problem with the current minister or deputy who are great people, but we need our own.” Read the rest here 10:17

‘Questioning our Changing Oceans’ panel discussion at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum

Forum2016colorThe Maine Fishermen’s Forum will be hosting a fishermen led event focused on fostering a salty discussion around climate change in fisheries. Headlined by Capt. Keith Coburn of the hit show Deadliest Catch and Capt. Buddy Guindon of the new breakout hit Big Fish, Texas, fishermen from around the world have been collected to talk about their experiences on the water and bring to light the issues Maine fishermen need to be thinking about when it comes to a shifting Gulf of Maine ecosystem. The Questioning our Changing Oceans event is sponsored in part by The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, The Environmental Defense Fund, The Island Institute, and The Nature Conservancy. Read the rest here 09:57

Monitor costs shift to fishermen Tuesday, fall out from Carlos Seafood, and EDF opportunists.

manatthewheelCape Ann lawmakers Bruce Tarr and Ann-Margaret Ferrante walked a thin line last week when they sat down and penned a letter to state Attorney General Maura Healey on the issue of at-sea monitoring. While the fishermen’s lawsuit has drawn the most attention, there is another that could prove equally as troubling to NOAA and the fishing industry: maritime environmental group Oceana’s lawsuit challenging NOAA Fisheries’ bycatch rule. The issue of monitoring burst back into the public arena on Friday, when federal agents — including those from NOAA Law Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service — raided the operations of Carlos Seafood,,, The arrests prompted a quick response from environmental groups seeking expanded monitor coverage for the groundfish fishery. Read the rest here 07:22

How a deckhand survived tragedy that claimed his friend

V0012908185--687237Dinh Nguyen knew he was going to drown. The 57-year-old fisherman was in a boat that was sinking off the coast 17 miles northwest of Ventura late Friday afternoon. He said the boat’s captain and his friend, Tra Nguyen, ended up tethered to the vessel and was dragged down with it. After scouring the ocean for 16 hours, Coast Guard officials called off the search for Tra Nguyen at 7:45 a.m. Saturday. A spokeswoman would neither comment on whether the missing boater was presumed dead nor confirm the man’s name. The names and story come from Dinh Nguyen and friends who confirmed his presence on the commercial fishing boat. He spoke early Saturday afternoon at Ventura Harbor, where his rescuers took him. Read the story here 10:40

P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association seeks better prices, more quotas

Better prices and increased quotas were a few of the topics discussed at the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association annual general meeting. The two day meeting held in Charlottetown featured speakers on seafood marketing, ongoing tuna and halibut research, and a report on lobster prices. “Fishermen expect a better price due to the low Canadian dollar this year, that always helps us, but it’s about supply and demand, hopefully looking forward to this spring for more money than we got last year,” said Bobby Jenkins, PEIFA vice president. Jenkins said increasing quotas remains a priority for this year.  Read the rest here 09:52

The affidavit in support of a criminal complaint charging CARLOS RAFAEL and DEBRA MESSIER

AFFIDAVIT OF SPECIAL AGENT RONALD MULLET … I submit this affidavit in support of a criminal complaint charging CARLOS RAFAEL AR-160229553.jpg&MaxW=315&MaxH=315and DEBRA MESSIER with a, making false entries in records with the intention of impeding and influencing the proper administration of matters within the jurisdiction of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA), and other federal agencies,,,, Get ready to read some mind blowing info. Read the affidavit here 09:16

Video – Dead body found on fishing boat in New Bedford

The U.S. Coast Guard and police are investigating after a body was found on a New Bedford fishing boat. The boat belongs to the so-called “cod father” Carlos Rafael, who was arrested Friday after a lengthy federal investigation. Emergency crews waited at the New Bedford State Pier Saturday afternoon for the arrival of Dinah Jane. The fishing boat was escorted by two Coast Guard boats as it came back to shore. It had left New Bedford Friday night around 9:30 p.m. for a scalloping trip, but the trip was cut short when the captain tried to wake up another crew member Read the rest here 19:11

West Coast sardine populations, long sinking, look even worse in forecast

pacific sardineSardines off the West Coast have continued on a steep decline, with populations this summer forecast to be down 93 percent from a 2007 peak, according to a draft assessment from the National Marine Fisheries Service. The sardines are a key forage food for sea lions, salmon and many other species, as well as a source of income for commercial fishermen. Last year, the sardine implosion was so severe that the Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to call off the season that was scheduled to start in July for West Coast fleets, including those in Washington state. Oceana shrew Geoff Shester throws his dogma into the conversation. Read the rest here 13:33

N.B. lobster plants had so much trouble finding workers they trashed thousands of kilos of shellfish

Despite unemployment rates hovering near double-digit territory, some New Brunswick lobster plants were so short-staffed last year that thousands of kilograms of lobster had to be thrown out. New Brunswick Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet said Wednesday he knows of one plant that had to discard about 1,360 kilograms of lobster because they couldn’t find enough staff to process the crustaceans. “I’m seeing companies having to throw away product because they just don’t have the manpower to process at peak times,” said Doucet. Read the rest here 11:08

Formal DFO plan for 2016 shrimp season may take until June

hi-shrimp-852It will be several weeks before the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is able to offer a formal plan for shrimp quotas for the 2016 season. Meanwhile, trawlers that are fishing in the area off southern Labrador will continue to fish until March 31, which is the end of their current season. Earlier this week the Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) called for an immediate cessation of fishing in the area, after they learned that preliminary estimates from DFO scientists showed a decline of about 40 percent of the shrimp biomass in that area. However, that’s not likely to happen. Read the rest here 09:30

New England: Fishermen say new cost will sink industry

AR-160209902.jpg&MaxW=315&MaxH=315Local ground fishermen will be forced by the government to pay for their own compliance monitoring as of March 1, a cost some say will destroy the fishing industry. Fishermen will need to pay for at-sea monitors to observe their compliance with federal regulations starting Tuesday, according to the National Oceanic and Administrative Administration, which regulates the country’s fisheries. Monitors are required to join fishermen on 24 percent of their fishing days, and fishermen will have to pay on 20 percent of their fishing days. Each of those days is expected to cost approximately $700, industry members have estimated. Read the rest here 08:56

Fishing mogul’s arrest ripples across New Bedford waterfront – What about the quota?

AR-160229553.jpg&MaxW=315&MaxH=315Frustration and sadness moved across the waterfront Friday as news spread that Carlos Rafael and his bookkeeper had been arrested by the Justice Department and charged with making false filings to the government as a means of skirting fisheries laws. One waterfront business manager who did not wish to be identified said that Friday was a “sad day” for the fishing industry, one that is going to hurt in a lot of ways. Seafood consultant James Kendall said he is worried about the effect Rafael’s arrest is going to have on the reputation of the city and its important fishing industry. Mayor Jon Mitchell, a former federal prosecutor, said he had read the affidavit from an undercover agent on the case. “Based on my experience if the allegations are true, then he’s going to federal prison for a long time,” he said. Read the rest here 08:23

Court taking another look at higher commercial fishing fees for nonresidents

The state will get another chance to defend its former practice of charging nonresidents two to three times as much as Californians for commercial fishing licenses. A panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled 2-1 in September that the California laws discriminated unconstitutionally against nonresidents by making it harder for them to pursue their occupation. But on Friday, the court said a majority of its judges had granted the state’s request to refer the case to an 11-judge panel for a new hearing. Read the rest here 20:42

“F… me – that would be some bad luck!” — Carlos Rafael : Excerpts from “The Case”

Following are excerpts from the affadavit of IRS Special Agent Ronald Mullett submitted in the of Carlos Rafael. “He [Michael] buys a lot of fish. You can become a laundromat. You’ll never find a better laundromat than this mother….” — Carlos Rafael. = = = “I could have to regret this to you [sic], because I don’t know you. You could be the IRS in here. This could be a cluster-f…. So I’m trusting you. The only thing is, I open myself because both of you is Russians and I don’t think they would have two Russians [posing as agents]. F… me – that would be some bad luck!” — Carlos Rafael,,, “Rafael said a lot! Read the rest here 18:51

Rafael arrested, feds posed as organized crime figures looking to buy him out

The owner of one of the largest commercial fishing businesses in the northeastern United States and his bookkeeper were arrested Friday on charges of conspiracy and submitting falsified records to the federal government to evade federal fishing quotas. The charges arose out of an undercover investigation in which federal agents posed as organized crime figures interested in buying the fishing business. Carlos Rafael, 64, and Debra Messier, 60, both of Dartmouth, were charged in a criminal complaint with submitting falsified records to the federal government and conspiracy. They are scheduled to appear in US District Court in Boston at 3:30 p.m. Read the rest here 14:04

Federal agents raid Carlos Seafood on New Bedford waterfront

AR-160229553.jpg&MaxW=315&MaxH=315Federal agents raided one of the best-known seafood wholesalers on the waterfront Friday morning, searching the business and removing documents. A reporter on site at Carlos Seafood Inc. on South Front Street said federal agents, including from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Coast Guard, were conducting a search inside the building. Agents also searched a pickup truck parked in front of the building, removing a box full of papers, as well as a briefcase, according to a reporter. Read the rest here 12:31

Crew of damaged Arctic fishing vessel F/V Saputi arrive in Iqaluit

roy-yetman-of-saputi-crewCrew members from the F/V Saputi shared a moment in prayer as they arrived in Iqaluit after a harrowing ordeal at sea that ended when their vessel limped ashore in Nuuk, Greenland, Tuesday. The F/V Saputi was fishing for turbot in the Davis Strait when it ran into ice Sunday night and began taking on water. “We’re still shaking,” said Duane Taylor, who was on board the Saputi, in the Iqaluit Airport Friday. Other crew members, including Todd Rumbole and Darren Hawkes, were at a loss for words. Read the rest, five photo’s here 11:05

Ecuadorian fishermen transporting cocaine for Mexican cartel operations

Ecuadorian fishermen are playing an important role in Mexican cartel operations by transporting cocaine via boat to Central America so the drug can then be transported to Mexico, and finally the U.S. At least 300 Ecuadorian fishermen have been arrested in Colombia, the United States and Guatemala over the past three years for their roles in  for Mexican cartels, Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio reported Tuesday. Gangsters have been intimidating and luring impoverished fishermen and their families into accepting risky business propositions in exchange for hefty sums of cash. Read the rest here 10:43

A UMaine grad student’s picture of a colorful tiny larval lobster wins National Science Foundation award

This photo made in summer 2015 and provided by Jesica Waller shows a three-week-old baby lobster at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine. Her photograph won a National Science Foundation visual media award and also appears in the March/April 2016 edition of Popular Science. Waller, who’s in her second year of a master’s program in marine biology at the University of Maine, is studying the effect of climate change scenarios on larval lobsters. Read the rest here 10:07

Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance fights NOAA over aqua farms

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA)  decision to approve industrial offshore fish farming last month in federally protected waters in the Gulf of Mexico is a strong concern in a “delicate and restricted estuarine system,” according to a leading non-profit fisherman’s organization. Eric Brazer, deputy director at the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance, told the Louisiana Record that there are strong concerns with constructing an aquaculture facility of unprecedented size. The suit alleges that in a bid to push offshore fish farming forward without a new law permitting it, and get around Congress, NOAA created a permitting scheme through the Gulf Council by exceeding its authority to regulate fishing under the MSA. Read the rest here 09:44

Another bump in “Ocean City Inlet” road – Commercial fishing operators say inlet’s all but closed to them as shoaling worsens

t1200-IMG_2261The January nor’easter, which wreaked havoc along the coast, also caused an increase in sediment into the already choking Ocean City Inlet, especially in the areas near buoys 10, 11 and 12. Two weeks ago the Capt. Frank ran aground and was stuck for six and a half hours, according to fisherman Joe Letts, and the Betty C, one of Letts’ clamming vessels, also ran aground but was able to free herself after an hour and a half. “I’m spending too much on the bottoms of my boats,” Letts said. “I don’t see why they can’t dig the S.O.B. to 20 feet and leave it alone. I’m over it. I’m in New Jersey now and am making money. Everybody’s leaving. Some of the biggest names in fishing are there and they’re tucking tail and running.” Read the rest here 09:15

FFAW, offshore shrimp fleet at odds, as LIFO raises its ugly head

2016-02-25-07-43-07-TEL-XXX-26022016-ShrimpDebate-SUBWith word of a severe drop in shrimp stock in the prime fishing grounds off southern Labrador, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW-Unifor) is asking for an immediate halt on shrimping in the area. But the FFAW represents inshore fleet and island processors, rather than the factory-freezer operations of the offshore fleet. And the Canadian Association of Prawn Producers, speaking for the larger-vessel operations, said Thursday the FFAW’s cries are an inappropriate reaction, while their reasoning is misleading. Read the rest here 08:40

Responses to fishing crises differ, Bob Borck, FV Belle J II

dungenesscrabFor some coastal residents, commercial fishing is in our blood. It’s how we support our families — producing healthful local food. Fishing is part of our economy and heritage. Today, California’s fishing communities face two crises. The first is the unprecedented closure of the crab fishery. We may or may not be able to fish for crab this season, depending on when our crab pass state tests. In the meantime, fishing families are suffering. The second crisis is the state of our salmon fisheries. The drought and the Bureau of Reclamation’s mismanagement of the Sacramento River, the backbone of California’s , have been disastrous for spawning salmon. Read the op-ed here 07:59

Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail: Katherine V a lone survivor and fishing legend

A Great Lakes gill net fish tug, the Katherine V was built in 1928 on the shores of northern Lake Huron in Rogers City by Native American builder Henry Vincent, and was fished by the Vogelheim family, who owned and operated the Katherine V from her launch until retirement in 1970. At 57 feet in length, entirely enclosed, and powered by a Kahlenberg 3-cylinder engine the tug is an example of late 19th and early 20th century Great Lakes commercial fishing vessels. Constructed of white oak, northern white cedar and cypress, the boat was eventually sheathed in steel and aluminum early in its fishing career to aide in fishing through the winter. Read the rest here 19:27

Herring fishery’s strength is in the sum of its parts, study finds

herring-1aA wise investor plays the financial market by maintaining a variety of stocks. In the long run, the whole portfolio will be more stable because of the diversity of the investments it contains. It’s this mindset that resource managers should adopt when considering Pacific herring, one of the most ecologically significant fish in Puget Sound and along the entire West Coast, argue the authors of a paper appearing in the January 2016 print edition of the journal Oecologia. Just like a financial portfolio contains shares from different companies, the diverse subpopulations of herring from different bays and beaches around Puget Sound collectively keep the total population more stable, the study’s authors found. Read the article here 18:17

Large vessel owners accuse FFAW of ‘double standard’ – Fishing industry divided on how to handle northern shrimp

A union call to shut down the lucrative shrimp fishery off the northeast coast of Newfoundland and the south coast of Labrador because of declining stocks has other players saying that goes too far.  It’s a politically charged debate, with roots in the battle between huge factory freezer trawlers and smaller inshore vessels, about who will get a share of the dwindling resource. “I’m nervous,” Twillingate harvester Brad Watkins told the Central Morning Show Thursday, saying a shutdown could drive brokers and buyers to other parts of the world. “That’s a very scary thing to be thinking about. I think they are jumping too fast here,” said Watkins. Read the rest here 16:02

Fish found in Washington’s Puget Sound are tripping on cocaine, Prozac, Advil, Benadryl, and Lipitor.

Unfortunately, there is no aquatic drug dealer responsible for it. Instead, the intoxication is the result of tainted discharge water. Pharmaceutical pollution could be to blame for the many drugs showing up in the tissues of juvenile Chinook salmon. Estuary waters near the sewage treatment plants were found to contain a cocktail of up to 81 different drugs, according to a new study out of the National Oceanie and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  There are several plausible theories about the Puget Sound’s high concentration of . Jim Meador, an environmental toxicologist at the NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, published a study that offered two options. Read the rest here 14:03

FFAW-Unifor NEWS RELEASE: Thousands of Jobs at Risk in Northern Shrimp Fishery

SHRIMP-master675Thursday, February 25, 2016 St. John’s – Thousands of harvesting and processing jobs in rural Newfoundland and Labrador may be lost if the current fisheries management policies for northern shrimp are maintained. The Fish Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor) is providing further details on the impact of sharp declines in the northern shrimp stock as outlined in Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) stock status report. “The implications of the stock status report, if they are confirmed, will be challenging if DFO’s quota allocation policies do not change,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the FFAW. Read the press release here 11:56

Labrador crew maintain their smiles despite heavily damaged Arctic vessel

The crew of a fishing vessel that ran into trouble in the Davis Strait is being praised for its quick thinking. “There was a few tense moments definitely on the ship,” said Maj. Rhonda Stephens of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax.  The F/V Saputi was fishing for turbot Sunday night when it ran into a piece of ice and began taking on water. Some of the 30 crew members are from Labrador. A Danish Coast Guard ship was able to reach the Saputi and the crew are now safe in Nuuk, Greenland. Photo’s, read the article here 09:40

Fisherman blames factory freezer trawlers for shrimp decline

SHRIMP-master675Roland Genge, a fishing boat captain and the deputy mayor of the town of Anchor Point on the Northern Peninsula, has been predicting a change for years, and believes someone should have known there would be damaging effects of trawlers on the inshore fishery. “I’ve been writing (about this) since 2008,” the 38-year veteran shrimp fisherman explained. “I told (the government) where it was going to be to today. “It’s devastating to our area. You’re going to kill all the communities with this.” Predictions of the state of the shrimp fishery were made public earlier this week when the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) in a press release (here) The union has been told the shrimp biomass is down about 40 per cent. Read the rest here 08:52

Breaking News: Fishing boat crew rescued after boat runs aground off Rockaway Beach

All seven crew members have been rescued from a fishing boat that ran aground off Rockaway Beach in Queens Thursday morning. They were taken off the boat using a basket from a Coast Guard helicopter above. They are uninjured and being treated near the scene. Around 2 a.m., a Coast Guard command center on Long Island received a distress call from the 76-foot scallop fishing vessel Carolina Queen III. It was taking on water with seven crewmembers aboard. It had run aground just off Rockaway Beach and Beach 59th Street, near the East Rockaway Inlet. Watch the video, read the rest here 08:24

NOAA At-sea monitoring suspended (for now) – To start again March 1, when boats must pay costs

bullard karpNOAA Fisheries exhausted its budgeted money for at-sea monitoring of Northeast fishing sector groundfish boats on Feb. 16 and has suspended all required monitoring until the fishing industry assumes monitoring costs on March 1.  The details of the suspension, which has not been publicly announced by NOAA, were contained in a Feb. 19 declaration filed by NOAA Regional Administrator John K. Bullard in the federal lawsuit New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel of Hampton filed against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Commerce and officials within those federal agencies. “On or about Feb. 16, the (Northeast Fisheries) Science Center became aware for the first time that recent updates did not include information for all completed trips … and that committed government funds to pay for ASMs had been exhausted,” Bullard wrote in his declaration. Read the rest here 08:06

Hampton Roads – 12 people lose fishing licenses following “serious violations”

Twelve people across Hampton Roads had their fishing license revoked for “serious violations” in January and February.  The Virginia Marine Resources Commission filed the violations at its January and February meetings, said spokeswoman Laurie Naismith. Violations include Convictions of giving a false statement/altering a fishing license, one count of failure to have an approved receptacle for sewage disposal on board an oyster harvesting vessel, failure to report mandatory harvest reports and three counts of forging a public document, and so on. Read the rest here 22:03

WAIT!! That Coast Guard boats under 36 feet life raft rule that has you runnin’ like a fool? Its on hold!

life raft largeNew life raft regulations for fishing boats no longer required – Less than two weeks ago, U.S. Coast Guard officials were in Petersburg explaining new safety requirements announced in January: that fishing boats under 36 feet would have to carry life rafts if traveling more than three miles off shore. The law was supposed to take effect Feb. 26. Also, larger boats over 36 feet needed to upgrade their life rings or floats to life rafts by Nov. 1. But all that’s changed. “It’s all been put on hold,” said Steve Ramp, Commercial Fishing Vessel Examiner for the Coast Guard based in Sitka. He said Congress decided to repeal the change in safety requirements earlier this month. Read the rest here 19:59

Complete video – Subcommittee Hearing – Magnuson-Stevens Act at 40: Successes, Challenges and the Path Forward

Theus-senate-seal will hold(held)  a hearing on the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the law that guides the management of federal fisheries, on Tuesday, February 23, at 2:30 p.m.The hearing will examine the fishery law’s successes, challenges, and future on the 40th anniversary of its enactment into law. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is currently revising a cornerstone of MSA implementation, known as National Standard 1, that prevents overfishing. The hearing will focus on that rulemaking and if revisions to the MSA are necessary.  Watch the video here  16:25

Tootoo urged to promote TPP and billions in seafood exports, briefings show

hunter-tootooFederal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Hunter Tootoo is being urged by his department in a new briefing documents to help it rebuild its scientific capacity after it was gutted by the former Harper government. The federal department, responsible for protecting Canada’s fisheries and oceans and promoting sustainable development, told Tootoo in the internal briefings that several of its divisions suffered more than $150 million in cuts to annual budgets under the former government, including a struggling Canadian Coast Guard service. At the same time, the briefing notes touted recent trade agreements, including the controversial , saying they were offering growth opportunities for Canadian fisheries exports. Read the article here 15:26

Marine Resources Committee approves stripped-down version of lobster license changes

pat&govsmLawmakers on the committee that handles marine resources issues voted Wednesday to make modest changes in the rules that control lobster fishing licenses in Maine, side-stepping a more controversial proposal for access to Maine’s most lucrative fishery. Members of the Marine Resources Committee voted 11-1 to increase the age for young people to finish a required apprenticeship program, and to take steps to verify the validity of hundreds of names on a license waiting list. The action was a compromise between attempts by the Department of Marine Resources to trim the waiting list without hurting the resource and established lobstermen, who were opposed to what they saw as a loss of control and the potential for overfishing. Read the rest here 14:38

Catch Shares: West coast groundfish management is disaster, say participants

The Pacific Groundfish Quota Program Workshop Workshop brought together nearly 200 people who had been involved in creating, implementing, or making a living under the program, to look at successes and failures in the past five years. Most found the program had both, but criticism was harsh at the two-day workshop, held in Portland a few months before the Pacific Council begins the program’s first five-year review. The workshop was also known as Santa Rosa III, the third workshop of stakeholders looking at performance. The first in the series was held in Santa Rosa near the start of the IFQ program. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), who implemented the program in 2011, offered a scorecard of three successes and five “causes for concern” since the program began. Others were more blunt. Read the article here 13:52

Electronic Monitoring: Different Fisheries Require Different Solutions

camera_view_of_skate_catchDan Falvey fishes aboard the 50-foot FV Magia out of Sitka, Alaska, for Pacific cod, black cod, and halibut. Alongside that boat two cameras lean out over the water, each pointed at the spot where the longline emerges from the deep. When the hydraulic winch kicks into gear and the line starts coming in, the cameras switch on, recording high-definition video of everything the fishermen pull out of the water. Knowing what species come out of the water, and how much of each, is key to managing fisheries sustainably. In many fisheries, boats are required to carry an observer onboard to record that data. Read the NOAA article here 11:54

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 65′ Steel RSW Offshore Lobster, 570HP CAT, John Deere 45 KW Generator


Specifications, information and 11 photo’s  click here  To see all the boats in this series, Click here 11:19

Improving the lobster industry – By Rep. Lydia Blume

When people across the world think of Maine, one of the first things that come to mind is lobster. Lobster and its fishery are central to the culture and the psyche of our state – especially our coastal communities. It is one of the major reasons people visit Maine and the lobster industry contributes greatly to our overall economy. Our  is special and the envy of the world. Lobstermen developed their own system of conservation measures to ensure the sustainability of the fishery long before the concept was common practice. It is well worth protecting and improving when needed. Why is this fishery so successful? There are three basic reasons. Read the rest here 10:10

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for Feb 22, 2016

NCFAClick here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 09:56

Pacific herring – Fish Fight in San Francisco Bay

In January, Nate Lee and his daughter Maya threw circular cast nets from the Ferry Point pier in Richmond and caught about sixty pounds of pacific herring. Several dozen other fishermen were fishing with similar gear, all filling buckets and coolers with the six-inch fish. But for Lee, Chin, and hundreds of small-scale recreational fishermen in the Bay Area, the rules may soon be changing. Currently, there is no limit on how many herring that recreational anglers can catch. And commercial fishermen want fishery managers to cinch down on what they see as growing competition for — and possibly a threat to — the same resource. Oceana’s Geoff Shester weighs in. Read the rest here 09:29

Event filled Summit for commercial fishermen set for Tuesday at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner

56ccb3954c055.imageLouisiana’s annual fisheries summit, designed to acquaint commercial fishers and others in the seafood business with new technologies and marketing techniques, is scheduled to open Tuesday morning . Held for the past three years in Houma, the event had its venue changed as a way of encouraging more of the state’s fishermen to attend. The summit will provide fishermen, dock owners, processors and other related businesses “an opportunity to network and obtain information on what’s happening in the commercial fishing and seafood industries.” It is sponsored by Sea Grant, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the LSU AgCenter, as a voluntary education program. Read the rest here 09:06

New Port of Brookings Harbor plant brings jobs

new-processing-plant-fraley-webThe new structure under construction at the Port of Brookings Harbor will soon allow seafood caught by commercial trawlers to be processed locally, creating about 25 new jobs. Located next to the cold storage facility on Lower Harbor Road, the facility is being built and will be operated by Brookings-based buyer B.C. Fisheries. It is scheduled to open in time for shrimp season. “Completion of the plant will be done around June, but we’ll be operational by April 15,” said Mike Manning, a port commissioner and owner of B.C. Fisheries, at a meeting Feb. 16. Processors will initially focus on cooking and peeling Oregon pink shrimp, sending the product to distributors on the West Coast. Read the rest here 08:38

Ayotte Questions NOAA Official on Burdensome Cost of At Sea Monitors for NH Fishermen


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – FFAW Calls for Immediate Halt to Northern Shrimp Fishery in Area 6

SHRIMP-master675St. John’s – The Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) is calling for an immediate halt to all northern shrimp fishing activity in Shrimp Fishing Area 6 (SFA6), which is located adjacent to the northeast coast of Newfoundland and the southeast coast of Labrador. The call for a halt is in response to reports that the fishable biomass for SFA6 has declined sharply over the past year. “If the reports we have received are accurate, then we are facing a very difficult situation in the northern shrimp fishery that will have significant consequences for harvesters, processing workers, and the communities and regions that depend upon the shrimp fishery,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the FFAW. Read the rest here 17:20

Gloucester gets $151,000 seaport grant to exhibit its seafood locally, regionally and nationally

manatthewheelThe Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council has announced $5.15 million in grant awards,,, Gloucester’s grant of $151,000 is focused on sustaining and improving the 40 percent of the city’s economy that relies on fishing, processing, shore-side services, and related businesses. It will allow the city to exhibit its seafood locally, regionally and nationally, and will support a branding campaign for “Gloucester Fresh Seafood.” Funding will also help the Fishermen’s Wives Association to procure additional contracts for Gloucester’s seafood with restaurants and institutions. Read the rest here 16:16

Video: Octopus tentacles shoot out of rock pool as fishermen use controversial fork method to catch creature

Fishermen have been accused of ‘brutal’ behaviour after a gruesome video showed them using FORKS to catch an octopus. However, some viewers claim the fishermen’s method is “natural”. The footage, shot in East Java, Indonesia, has had 23,000 hits but viewers are undecided on whether the alternative fishing method is “inhumane”. In the film, fishermen are seen digging up in a shallow rock pool, using a fork to work out where the water is deeper. They then insert food, believed to be chicken, on a line. As soon as a tentacle reaches up, they grab the animal and tug it up. Watch the video here 14:43

Radiation from Fukushima nuclear disaster not found in B.C. salmon

bc-radiation22nw1Five years after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, radioactive contaminants continue to circulate across the Pacific to Canada’s West Coast, but not at dangerous levels. A B.C. scientist monitoring fish for tell-tale traces of cesium-134 said the radionuclide, which is the fingerprint of the Fukushima disaster, has been found in seawater but not in recent samples taken from 156 salmon. Steelhead, Chinook, sockeye and pink salmon were collected by First Nations from locations spread along the B.C. coast last year as part of an ongoing monitoring program. In releasing the latest test results, Jay Cullen, with the ,,, Read the rest here 13:37

San Mateo County Harbor District board waives slip fees for crab fisherman – With a Hook!

dungenesscrabWith the closure of all commercial Dungeness crab fisheries statewide, the San Mateo County Harbor District board waived slip fees for its 39 permitted commercial crab fishermen who operate out of Pillar Point Harbor on the coast. The fishermen, however, would have to repay the waived fees if federal disaster relief becomes available. Commissioner Sabrina Brennan wanted to extend the fee waivers to recreational fisherman (Everyone gets a trophy?) as well and to extend it to three months rather than one. Read the article here 11:25

Let’s hope Alaska revenue solution isn’t too hard on ‘the other guy’

I keep hoping that the motto of the famous Anchorage bar Chilkoot Charlie’s, “We cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you,” can work out for me, but in these trying economic and political times, I’m a little concerned. It seems obvious that Alaska’s fiscal crisis will actually require a bit of sacrifice from all of us as well as action from the — so far pathetically unproductive and seemingly delusional — legislative majority. The governor, to his credit, has submitted legislation for a combination of budget cuts and revenue enhancements to bring us something that might resemble sustainable government. As an Alaskan, I’m hoping the  can find the gumption to act soon and wisely enough to stave off economic collapse. As a commercial fisherman, I’m hoping to escape targeting as “the other guy.” Read the rest here 11:05

Good Video – Distressed N.L. fishing vessel expected in Greenland this afternoon

2016-02-23-05-49-48-Screen%20Shot%202016-02-23%20at%206.39.39%20AMA YouTube video has been released, showing operations Monday to assist a fishing vessel in distress in the Davis Strait, about 270 miles northeast of Iqaluit. The Newfoundland fishing vessel, with about 30 people on board, hit ice and made a distress call Sunday night to the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax. On Monday afternoon, Major Rhonda Stevens of the Joint Task Force Atlantic said JRCC Halifax was working closely with Greenland authorities to have a Danish warship dispatched to provide further assistance to the crew. Watch the video, Read the rest here 10:02