Monthly Archives: March 2016

Lawsuit Challenges FDA’s Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon

ExaminerApr272013GMSalmon_largeA coalition of environmental, consumer, and commercial and recreational fishing organizations has sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving the first-ever genetically engineered (GE) food animal, an Atlantic salmon engineered to grow quickly. “FDA’s decision is as unlawful as it is irresponsible,” said George Kimbrell, senior attorney for Center for Food Safety and co-counsel for the plaintiffs. “This case is about protecting our fisheries and ocean ecosystems from the foreseeable harms of the first-ever GE fish, harms FDA refused to even consider, let alone prevent. But it’s also about the future of our food: FDA should not, and cannot, responsibly regulate this GE animal, nor any future GE animals, by treating them as drugs under a 1938 law.” Read the article, Click here 17:15

Zombie-generating crab parasites pose intriguing mysteries

Nobody knows how the parasitic barnacles create zombie crabs. King crabs, already otherworldly-looking creatures, grow even stranger when barnacles invade them. The insides of infected crabs become filled with green, branching tendrils that resemble plant roots more than anything. Barnacles are marine animals with outer shells, related to crabs and lobsters. Typically, they live on rocks or the sides of boats, filtering food out of the water. However, Briarosaccus barnacles infect king crabs, turning them into “zombie” crabs that raise and nurture the parasite’s eggs. The mechanisms behind this control are unknown. SitNews  Read the article, Click here 15:06

Specially Trained Environmental Conservation Dog Helps Catch Illegal Fishermen

Four men are facing illegal fishing charges after Environmental Conservation police, with the help of a K-9 team, located 38 illegally caught striped bass hidden along the banks of the Housatonic River. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said that EnCon police received an anonymous complaint Tuesday about four people fishing in the Housatonic River off River Road who may have been illegally catching fish. Read the rest, Click here 14:26

Pacific Islands moving away from vessel day scheme

purse seiners amsamUS tuna boat owners have decried the policy of the Pacific island countries which are party to the US South Pacific Tuna Treaty to charge for fishing days rather than the amount of fish caught under the treaty. The Parties to the Nauru Agreemen (PNA) , the grouping of countries with the largest exclusive economic zones where US purse seiners fish came up with the vessel day scheme  promoting it as a  more equitable way for the islands to be paid for their resource. While there’s an interim agreement in place for tuna boats to resume fishing in Pacific island waters,,Read the rest, click here 14:15

Larger expected king run loosens restrictions on setnets, drifters

15235484Commercial fishermen in Upper Cook Inlet will be somewhat freer to fish at the outset of the 2016 season thanks to a larger projected king salmon run. For the past few years, Alaska Department of Fish & Game commercial fisheries managers have had to work around restrictions on their fisheries because of low king salmon runs to the stream systems across Upper Cook Inlet. However, with a projected late-run return of 30,000 king salmon to the Kenai River and improved runs to the Deshka and Little Susitna rivers, managers will be able to operate under normal restrictions, according to the 2016 Upper Cook Inlet commercial salmon fisheries outlook. “This will be the first year we’ve had the luxury of operating those fisheries without the restrictions,” Read the article, click here 13:09

Final Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge plan still irks Chatham officials

502px-US-FishAndWildlifeService-Logo.svgTown officials are considering possible litigation or legislative relief after the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on Wednesday released the final version of a new management plan for Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, including a disputed claim that the federal government has the right to manage fisheries on the Nantucket Sound side of the island. “The town feels strongly that this is an example of federal overreach where there isn’t the logic or the need for it,” said Jeffrey Dykens, chairman of the Chatham Board of Selectmen. In its draft plans, the wildlife service claimed it has the right to regulate fisheries — and banned many types of traditional fishing gear — within a 3,000-acre area of ocean below the low-water mark. Read the rest here 10:25

Tributes paid to “visionary” skipper and head of north-east fishing dynasty

andrew tait passing tributeThe head of a north-east fishing dynasty has been described as “visionary” who helped shape the modern industry after losing his brave battle with illness. Andrew Tait skippered his family’s vessels for four decades before becoming an ambassador and champion for the fleet. The 77-year-old – who was known to family and friends as “Andra” – was chairman of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association (SPFA) for six years and spent almost his entire working life as one of its directors. And – along with brothers Willie and Robert – their pioneering decision to invest heavily in large purse-seine vessels to fish for herring and mackerel reaped huge dividends. Read the article here 08:44

Dungeness crab finally arrives at SF docks

7905083_1451438847.5963Seaworn crabbers began hitting the docks at Fisherman’s Wharf on Wednesday evening, their boats crawling with spindly hard-shelled Dungeness doomed to a future going down the gullets of hungry seafood lovers. But, judging by the first haul, crab season could be shortened dramatically by slim pickings. The first batch of crab in the long-delayed commercial season was brought in mostly by small boats — the big ones aren’t expected back until Thursday night — but seafood companies were eager to buy the tasty crustaceans. Video, Read the story here 08:00

Louisiana Shrimpers Look To Technology To Increase Profits

472463119Bobby and Christine Lovell are shrimpers in St. Bernard Parish. It’s hard work and in the past they never knew how much money they were going to make. “A lot of people struggled last year with the price of the shrimp and they are still struggling today because the price… is so low,” says Lovell. Last year they decided to invest thousands of dollars into new technology for their boat. They bought a new flash freezer with the help of some grants. Much of the good shrimping happens in the fall, and last fall they were able to freeze their shrimp right away, so they could sell it whenever. Read the article here 07:08

Spreading misinformation about our fisheries

cfsf 1Anyone knowledgeable about the commercial fisheries of the United States will find nothing original in the op-ed piece recently submitted to the New York Times by the environmental organization Oceana. Even its title ‘A Knockout Blow for American Fish Stocks’ is misleading. American fish stocks are healthy. NOAA’S annual report to Congress, submitted at the end of 2014 showed that only twenty-six of the three hundred and eight fish stocks assessed were subject to overfishing. ‘Overfishing’ occurs when too many fish are removed from a population to produce maximum sustainable yield. As a scientific term it is quite misleading, carrying, as it does, the clear implication that low stock assessments result solely from fishing pressure; whereas ‘overfishing’ can result from a number of other factors, such as changes in water temperature or salinity, degraded habitat and increased predation. Read the article here 21:20

Coast Guard dewaters 2 sinking fishing boats, rescues crews off Massachusetts

The U.S. Coast Guard says it rescued crews from two sinking fishing boats off the coast of Massachusetts. The Coast Guard said it responded to two separate rescue calls on Wednesday from boats that were taking on water. It says the first call came in around 4:30 a.m. from the vessel Silver Fox about seven miles southeast of Monomoy Island. Crews arrived with dewatering pumps and escorted Silver Fox to Hyannis Harbor by 9 a.m. Meanwhile, a call came in around 6:45 a.m. from the crew of Christina Eleni near Gloucester Harbor. Crews brought Christina Eleni to the Gloucester state fish pier safely. Read the rest here, –  watch video here 20:45

New Zealand: Jamie Briggs calls for seal cull in Coorong and Lower Lakes

Politicians and council mayors have called for the state government to act on the exploding new_zealand_fur_seal1342749164719 population New Zealand fur seal in the Coorong and Lower Lakes. Federal Member for Mayo Jamie Briggs wrote to minister Jay Weatherill asking for the state government to consider population management of seals because of the impact on commercial fishing operators. “While I appreciate it is a difficult political decision to engage in population management, I believe the time has arrived where this must be undertaken,” Mr Briggs said. He said the sustainability of businesses and the local environment were at risk. Read the rest here 17:05

Lobster Boat Passes from One Generation to the Next in Friendship

67810bA lobster boat with a long history of plying the waters around the Friendship peninsula will stay in the fishing community, changing hands from one generation to another, thanks to a generous donation. Bill Ambrose, of North Yarmouth, the boat’s previous owner and a frequent visitor to his family’s cottage in Friendship, wanted to pass his historic fishing vessel, Caroline, on to a young lobsterman.  Bill Ambrose passed away in September 2015 at the age of 77, from pancreatic cancer.  Prior to his passing, he met Taylah Reed, a freshman at Medomak Valley High School, through Reed’s grandfather, Henry Thompson Sr. Read the rest here 14:36

Number of NH groundfishermen continues to decline

The number of New Hampshire boats fishing for groundfish has continued to decline, with only five full-time groundfishermen left in the state. Fishermen have been catching haddock, cod and flounder off the coast and selling it in New Hampshire for centuries. But fishermen said that quotas and regulations over the past decade that are meant to protect groundfish have made it almost impossible to make a living. The regulations have also affected other fishermen. At Tuesday’s regional meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council, some complained they were unable to catch herring to use as bait because they were in the same area as regulated groundfish. Video, Read the rest here 13:08

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 37′ Repco Lobster boat Cat 3208T

lb4094_01Specifications, information and 7 photo’s  click here  To see all the boats in this series, Click here 11:39

A Maine lobster fishing community confronts their changing climate

Over the past 40 years, some lobstermen in South Thomaston, Maine, say that they could “set their watches” by the start of the lobster shedding event each season. In 2012, though, extreme warm ocean temperatures—an ocean heat wave—combined with early and repeated lobster shedding. The obvious changes in lobsters during this event galvanized many lobstermen to take the impacts of climate change seriously. More than 127 million pounds of lobsters were caught in 2012—an increase of approximately 18 million pounds over 2011, but prices for the larger-than-expected catch were the second-lowest on record—second only to the Great Depression year of 1939. The price drop caused hardship and anguish in the lobstering community and beyond. Video, Read the rest here 10:55

LIFO (Last in-First out) numbers need a closer look: economist

hi-shrimp-852Debate around the last in, first out (LIFO) policy for the allocation of shrimp quotas rages, even as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans begins to re-evaluate applying its quota cuts to inshore fishermen before any larger, year-round enterprises. At the Comfort Inn in St. John’s Tuesday afternoon, made a presentation at a gathering of the St. John’s Board of Trade, saying more study would help any facts-based debate and decision-making around LIFO. He told his audience, based on figures available, he would expect the province’s GDP to fall $540 for every tonne of shrimp transferred from the year-round fleet to the inshore fishery. Read the rest here 09:20

Strong sockeye run for Upper Cook Inlet, weaker run for Lower Cook Inlet

The Upper Cook Inlet commercial fishing industry will see a spike in sockeye salmon harvest this year, if the Alaska Department of Fish & Game’s forecast holds true. Fish & Game forecast a total of 7.1 million sockeye salmon to return to the Upper Cook Inlet streams and rivers, with 4.1 million allocated to commercial harvest. That number is about 1.1 million more than the 20-year average and about 1 million more than the total commercial harvest in 2015. Most of the increase will be fish headed for the Kenai River, which will see approximately one million more sockeye salmon than the 20-year average, according to Fish & Game’s forecast. Read the rest here 08:27

A “Shotgun Start”: Bay Area crab fisherman race out to sea

dungenesscrabCommercial fishermen raced to their boats and headed out to sea to catch Dungeness crab Tuesday after a few caught Saturday and tested over the weekend passed a quality test. Fresh crab should reach markets by Thursday, according to one major processor in San Francisco. “It was a shotgun start,” said Larry Collins, president of the Crab Boat Owners Association in San Francisco. “We ran out of the hall and jumped on the boats once we got the price.” Crabs that were caught Saturday were tested yesterday for quality on Monday. Read the rest here 16:07

Search for F/V Patty AJ skipper Jerry Barkley suspended

56f2d4455baaa.imageSix days have passed since the Patty AJ capsized in the Coos Bay channel near buoy 5, and the search for its missing skipper has ended. Now the task of raising the ship has begun, and a commercial salvage operation is currently underway to lift the vessel off the bottom of the bay and tow it into shallow water. The Coast Guard looked for Jerry Barkley, the replacement captain for the 62-foot steel fishing vessel, for 12 hours before suspending the search. Lt. Kevin St. Pierre said a survival model was used to help them decide how long the search should go on, which included what clothes Barkley was wearing and the water temperature. Read the rest here 15:27

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for March 28, 2016

ncfa 3 finished

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 13:14

Deadliest Catch Roundup – Season 12 – Various articles leading up to tonight’s Season Premier

‘Deadliest Catch’ Returns With A New Captain And A Life-Threatening Emergency At Sea Click here – ‘Deadliest Catch’ Sneak Peek: Meet the Newest Captain! Click here  A look inside the ‘Deadliest Catch’ Click for video Deadliest Catch’s Hansen says survival was a coin toss Click here Meet the youngest captain ever to appear on ‘Deadliest Catch’ Click here  INTERVIEW: Capt. Johnathan Hillstrand readies for big storms on ‘Deadliest Catch’ Click here 11:23

Open Letter to Presidential Candidates on Saving the Oceans: Industrial Fishing Must Be Banned to Stave Off Wholesale Disaster

stock-vector-chowderhead-character-with-frown-and-hands-on-hips-176939927Danny Quintana, founder of the Global High Seas Marine Preserve, is making a direct plea to the Presidential Candidates to take up an issue that is vital to the survival of billions around the world. While the job of altering the existence of national life globally to stave off climate change is in full swing, the task that will immediately effect the whole planet, and in real time as we watch, is to stop the practice of industrial fishing in oceans around the world. Here is an Open Letter to the Presidential Candidates from Danny Quintana, whose Global High Seas Marine Preserve Foundation is calling for the immediate cessation of industrial fishing and for U.S. to ratify the Laws of the Seas Treaty and push for amendments with the other signatories. Read it here 10:48

Commercials get nine hours to fish lower Columbia on Tuesday

Nine hours of commercial fishing for spring chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River will begin at noon on Tuesday. The Columbia River Compact today approved the commercial fishery, which will be from the mouth of the river to Beacon Rock using 4.25-inch mesh nets. Robin Ehlke, assistant Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the net fleet is expected to catch about 1,200 spring salmon. That number is projected to include 900 upper-Columbia-Snake chinook and 300 from the Willamette and other lower Columbia tributaries, she said. Read the rest here 10:12

Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail: Evelyn S. still making history

A new Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail offers opportunity to explore the past, present and future of the lakes through the lens of fish and fishing (See Part 1, series introduction). In this article, we visit South Haven and the Michigan Maritime Museum to explore commercial fishing heritage of west Michigan as told through the historic commercial fishing vessel, Evelyn S. The Evelyn S. was built in 1939 by Sturgeon Bay Boat Works William Selman Fisheries of Manistique, Mich. She fits the typical wooden gill net fish tug design so prevalent on the waters during this period. Read the rest here 09:56

Ottawa to temporarily suspend LIFO policy, shrimp fishery in Area 6 to be temporarily suspended

hi-shrimp-852A significant fisheries announcement is set to be made Tuesday that will see the “last in, first out” (LIFO) policy in the shrimp fishery temporarily suspended by the federal government.  A seven-person panel will be appointed to study that policy that has come under heavy criticism from local politicians and fishermen, who say it unfairly hinders small inshore boats because they were last to enter the fishery. The shrimp fishery in areas four and five will continue as planned, but area six — off southern Labrador and northern Newfoundland — will be suspended pending the panel’s report. Read the rest here 08:42

Maine congressional delegation asks Obama to rebuff ban on lobster exports to EU

10-lobsters1Maine’s congressional delegation on Monday asked the Obama administration to resist efforts to ban the import of live Maine lobsters by European Union countries, saying the discovery of American lobsters in Swedish waters doesn’t warrant such harsh measures. “Since only a small number of Maine lobsters have been found in foreign waters, we believe regulators should take a more finely tuned approach before calling this an ‘invasion,'” Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin wrote in the letter. Read the rest here 08:08

Opinion: Cashes Ledge decision a victory for open government

cashes ledge closedThe decision by the Obama administration to pass on a proposal to make a large swath of the Gulf of Maine a national monument is not only a victory for fishermen. It’s also a win for those who favor open government. News came late last week that the administration would not, in fact, use the federal Antiquities Act to make the area around Cashes Ledge a permanent “maritime national monument” by executive decree. The environmental lobby is not abandoning its efforts. Read the rest here 07:49

Sitka tribe asks state regulators to shut down commercial herring fishery

SitkaSacRoeFishing-Photo-by-Mike-Baines--jpgSitka Tribe of Alaska is asking state fishing regulators to end the current commercial harvest of herring near the Southeast community, saying too many of the tiny fish are being caught and it’s hurting the tribe’s traditional reliance on herring eggs. Tribal chairman Mike Baines wrote a letter to Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotton today asking that he “cease any additional attempt” by the commercial fishing division to allow more herring to be caught in the Sitka sac roe herring fishery. A Fish and Game update on the Sitka Sound herring fishery on Saturday said approximately 10,050 tons had been harvested since this season started on March 17. That leaves about 4,690 tons left to be harvested.  Read the rest here  19:06

Aging oil rigs spark debate: removal or reef?

Twenty-three rigs sit in federal waters off California’s coast, nearing the end of their life spans. BOEM expects them to soon stop producing oil — and, technically, federal leases require companies to completely remove decommissioned rigs. The California Marine Resources Legacy Act provides a loophole, allowing companies an exemption if there is a “net” environmental benefit to leaving the rigs as reefs. To proponents, the option is a win-win: The fish get to live, and companies will donate some of their significant savings to marine conservation. The debate often centers on a scientific question: Do rigs provide beneficial habitat, or do they just attract marine life passing through? Read the rest here 16:54

Cooking Carlos in Canada while Boris Worm wants surveillance for all!

boris_worm_thCarlos Rafael posted a $1-million bond earlier this month to get out of jail and now he’s back in the fish business. Rafael’s a New England seafood legend whose life story reads like a movie script. His cautionary tale also helps explain why Dalhousie University scientist Boris Worm wants fishing vessels to be tracked more closely. But I’ll get back to that later. Rafael, born 63 years ago in Portugal’s Azorean Islands, is a legend in the New England fishing industry. He owns more than 40 vessels and has been described in U.S. media reports as a “pillar” of the seafood industry in New Bedford, Mass. Rafael’s defence team says he’s a good guy. He helped his mom and dad fix their home on the island of Corvo. He hosts an annual island fundraising meal for orphans — and for widows too, I’m sure. Read the rest here 13:30

Silver Bay Seafoods in American Samoa to recruit for their Summer Seafood Processing

silver-bay-seafoodAbout 200 job seekers turned up at the Tradewinds Saturday to learn about job opportunities offered by Silver Bay Seafoods in Alaska, an integrated processor of frozen salmon for domestic and export markets. Two company reps are in the territory to recruit for their Summer Seafood Processing. Most of those who turned up were young people, several of whom are currently working at the canneries. Silver Bay Seafoods is looking for manpower from anywhere it can and has extended job offers to non-US states and foreign countries using special immigration provisions. Link 11:19

United Nations negotiations begin today in New York to rescue ocean life

unitednationslogoIt took a decade to get to the negotiating table, and it could easily take another to finish the job, but UN talks in New York to safeguard life in the high seas finally begin in earnest Monday. The stakes could hardly be higher, experts and diplomats agree. Oceans produce half the oxygen we breathe, regulate the weather, and provide humanity’s single largest source of protein. Without them, Earth would be just another barren rock in the Universe. And yet humanity has harvested marine species upon which we depend to the edge of extinction, and used the seas as a collective garbage dump. Climate change, meanwhile, has altered the ocean’s basic chemistry in ways that raise the specter of a mass extinction that scientists say is already underway. Read the rest here 10:24

Protesting the shrimp cuts to the inshore fleet – Time to start fighting, (Ret) Capt. Wilfred Bartlett

hi-shrimp-852From the letter: We lost our cod fishery because of stupidity but we kept on fishing capelin which is the main food supply of the cod plus most everything else in the ocean, as well as the sea birds. We keep dragging on the spawning grounds, we still have foreigners fishing on the Grand Banks breaking every rule in the book and getting off scot free, while our boats have to stay ashore. The reason I attended the rally in St. John’s was I thought to myself this is the last stand, with the troubles in the industry only getting worst, the shrimp fishery is a prime example of David and Goliath, where we are always battling the big boys, the foreigners and other provinces who all want the valuable resource that is adjacent to our coastal communities, a resource that is rightfully ours. Read the letter here 08:25

Fishermen hold Science hostage, demand $45,000 in ransom claim the Feds

48643802.cachedTwo fishermen who found a piece of scientific equipment off the coast of Monterey are holding it hostage, interfering with international research, and demanding $45,000 ransom for its return, the federal government claims in court. The United States sued Daniel Sherer, Patrick Anderson and their business, A&S Fisheries, in Federal Court on Friday, accusing them of holding government property “de facto hostage” and causing irreparable harm to an international research project. The “oceanographic mooring buoy,” known as Scientific Mooring MS1, was one of several anchored to the seafloor to record data on the velocity, temperature, salinity and sediment concentration of ocean currents. Read the rest here 08:00

California bans commercial crab fishing due to excessive radiation in seafood? Really?

squirelIn November of last year, California state officials placed an indefinite hold on the commercial crab season, in order to protect public health. The reason given by the state was dangerously high levels of algal toxins in the bodies of the crabs. But according to New York radio station 95.1 FM (SuperStation 95), insiders from the California Fish and Game Commission have revealed that the real reason for the ban was dangerously high levels of radioactivity resulting from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. I’ve heard it all now! Read the rest here 12:10

Environmental Defense Fund — Monitoring isn’t the fisherman’s enemy

The port of New Bedford has been rocked by allegations of widespread and longstanding corruption by one of the industry’s biggest players. It is understandable that shocked fishermen, regulators, and community leaders are casting around for causes and solutions. Some have contorted the facts to fit their arguments against sector management. The truth, however, is that this alleged criminal misconduct started decades before the transition to sectors, and exploited a far older management flaw: the lack of sufficient monitoring in the fishery. It is a key reason why the fishery continues to be in crisis and in the headlines; and in the wake of this latest scandal it must be urgently addressed. Read the rest here 09:49

For He is risen

he is risen

The Cover Up Of The Texas American Eel – Part Two by Jason Fregia

texas american eel logoEarly this year I started a petition to have the Texas American Eel put on the Commercial Fishing list here in Texas after Texas and Parks and Wildlife would not allow me to Petition the for a rule change.allow me to Petition the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission for a rule change. They actually denied me before even filing the Petition with the commission when I was asking how, so I could file. The Petition Clause protects the Right to Petition all branches and agencies of Government for action. They consider my asking how as my actual petition which was clearly a violation of my civil rights, The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states. Read the rest here 21:46

Bristol Bay fishermen prepare for quality mandates

The coming mandate for higher quality fish deliveries in Bristol Bay could be particularly difficult for watershed residents, but some have said it could also be good news in the long term. At least one Bristol Bay processor, Icicle Seafoods, has told fishermen that they’ll stop buying dry fish in a few years after phasing in quality requirements, and more are expected to follow. Right now, the decision to ice or not is left to individual fishermen. Incentives help encourage chilling fish, but an individual can try to catch more fish to make up the price difference, and different fishermen make different choices. A quality mandate by even one processor will shift that, although fishermen may still have a range of options, from icing with slush bags or insulated holds, Read the rest here 12:33

Report suggests snow crab in decline

canadian snow crabJamie Rose hopes the numbers are as wrong as he thinks they are. That was the St. Anthony fisherman’s reaction to a snow crab report that was recently released by the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat. The annual report examined fishing areas 2HJ3KLNOP4R and it paints a bleak future for the upcoming season. The index-based report suggests exploitable biomass – large male crab – has declined to its lowest observed level in the last two decades of study, dropping from a highpoint of nearly 70 in the mid-‘90s to a all time low of around 10. Recruitment appears to have bottomed out. The index level is sitting around three points, which dropped from around 15 over the last five years. Read the rest here 11:26

Price, and not crab, on the table: Buyers, commercial fishermen discussing rates

dungenesscrabCrab pots were set off the coast of Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay Friday and will be offered to buyers seeking to determine how much meat the crustaceans will yield, said Jim Anderson, a crabber and member of the state’s Dungeness Crab Task Force. With forecasts predicting poor ocean conditions for this weekend’s kickoff to an abnormally short season, Anderson said the annual process of determining how meaty the crab are isn’t expected to set fishermen back too far. “On Monday they’ll have an understanding of what the crab looks like and then set the price. Then sometime shortly thereafter we’ll go fishing,” Anderson said. “We always do this to give them some kind of idea of what the value of the crab is. We waited this long, we surely don’t want to go harvest bad crab for the consumer.” Read the article here 08:45

Prosecutors get extension of deadline to indict New Bedford fishing magnate Carlos Rafael

carlos rafaelProsecutors have received an extension of the deadline to indict local fishing magnate Carlos Rafael, a U.S. District Court spokesperson confirmed Friday. The length of the deadline’s extension was not disclosed. Rafael, 63, was arrested Feb. 26 on charges of conspiracy and submitting falsified records to the government, after federal authorities raided the building on New Bedford’s waterfront. He was released March 2 on a $1 million bond, with conditions including a monitoring bracelet and nightly curfew at his Dartmouth home. Read the story here 07:29

New manual outlines steps for fishermen, communities to take in crisis

56f4bf85b3416.imageThe concept first began to crystallize in Angela Sanfilippo’s mind about four years ago, when the president of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association realized she needed to start putting some things down on paper. Sanfilippo, both in her roles with fishing-based community groups and her own experience as a wife, daughter and sister of fishermen, had helped develop a series of protocols to help fishermen avoid calamities on the water and help the Gloucester fishing community deal with fishing tragedies when they occur. “I just thought that we should start putting these things in writing because we’re not going to be around forever,” Sanfilippo said. Thus was born the idea that burst into reality yesterday when the Fishing Partnership Support Services unveiled its RESCUES manual in an event at the U.S. Coast Guard’s Station Gloucester. Read the rest here  22:50

The Saga continues on ‘Deadliest Catch’ “It’s official: Elliott’s out, Jake’s in!

elliott-neese-new-2600Capt. Elliott Neese is officially off “Deadliest Catch” season 12 and Capt. Jake Anderson will take over the Saga. According to a tweet by Discovery, Neese won’t be on this season. The network wrote on Twitter Thursday: “It’s official: Elliott’s out, Jake’s in: 5 days til #DeadliestCatch”. In an interview Elliott gave recently, he said he wasn’t going to be on “Deadliest Catch” so he could focus on himself after his stint in rehab. Last year he battled serious alcohol and drug problems and it affected his work aboard the F/V Saga. He was seen throwing temper tantrums and taking his frustrations out on the crew. Video, Read the rest here 19:24

Nunavut fisheries casting a net for federal infrastructure money

nuliajukNunavut fisheries say the Liberal budget is giving them renewed hope for much needed money and infrastructure to stimulate their growing industry. The budget offered some good news and some bad news for the territory’s fisheries including money for development, training and research although Inuit fisheries are still not included in some programs aimed at First Nations fisheries. “Firstly the strengthening of the Northern Economic Development — that’s good news from a Nunavut perspective,” said Jerry Ward, chair of the Nunavut Offshore Allocation Holders Association, which represents Nunavut’s offshore fishing industry. Read the rest here 15:42

Environmentalists Wield Powerful Endangered Species Act to Kill Jobs

Think fish when you read this. From the article: The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) is a radical environmental legal action group that’s known for frequently suing to block commercial, industrial, and personal activities in an effort to “save the environment,” regardless of who gets hurt. One of the group’s leaders and co-founders, Kieran Suckling, was a well-known activist in the 1980s and has been linked to vandalism and sabotage group Earth First! From its inception, CBD has sought ways to permanently stop natural resource use, and with the help of environmental attorneys, CBD has successfully weaponized the Endangered Species Act (ESA) against ranchers, loggers, miners, (fishermen) and human activity in general. Read the rest here 13:51

BREAKING – Cashes Ledge dropped from National Marine Monument plan

cashes ledge closedThe proposal to place a National Marine Monument around the area of Cashes Ledge about 80 miles off of Cape Ann has been “taken off the table,” members of the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality told fishing stakeholders Thursday at a meeting in Boston. The Obama administration’s decision not to use the Antiquities Act to designate the area of Cashes Ledge as a Marine National Monument is a victory for fishing stakeholders and others who characterized the proposal — pushed largely by environmentalists and conservationists — as an end-run around the existing fisheries management system and wholly unnecessary given the existing protections already afforded the area that currently is closed to commercial fishing. Read the rest here 11:31

Halibut season opens; SE fleet already lands 260,000 lbs.

alaska-halibut__frontA little more than three days into the 2016 halibut season, Area 2C, Southeast Alaska, has had the fleet hitting it the hardest. Nearly 260,000 pounds had been landed in Southeast, compared to less than 50,000 in Area 3A, Central Gulf of Alaska, and no activity in other areas of the state. The state-wide directed commercial halibut quota is just over 17 million pounds. Prices have started about where they left off last year, with Kodiak reportedly at $6.25 for fish under 20 pounds, $6.50 for fish 20 to 40 pounds, and $6.85 for fish 40 pounds and up. Read the rest here 10:06

‘A slap in the face’: Ferry’s inability to haul commercial trucks gets negative reactions

The announcement of the new high-speed ferry service between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine, now expected to restart in mid-June, is not the cat’s meow to some. No commercial trucks will be allowed on board, said Bay Ferries president and CEO Mark MacDonald at a briefing in Halifax. “It’s disappointing,” said Nathan Blades of Sable Fish Packers of Shelburne, who is also president of the Nova Scotia Fish Packers Association. “That link has traditionally been considered a valuable one for the seafood industry and getting fresh fish to U.S. markets is extremely important to securing that market. It’s a slap in the face to Nova Scotia business.” Read the rest here 09:17

Bay Area crab fishermen prepare for Saturday’s long overdue season opener

The crab pots were piled eight high along the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor dock Wednesday afternoon as Dungeness crab fisherman loaded boats in preparation for Saturday’s long overdue commercial crab fishery opener. After a five-month delay due to the presence of domoic acid, a potentially deadly neurotoxin that had been found in crabs, state health officials determined the crabs “no longer pose a significant human health risk.”  Some have decided it’s not worth the effort this late in the season. As others loaded crab pots onto boats in the Santa Cruz Harbor, longtime crab fisherman Stan Bruno of Santa Cruz was packing up his gear to store it for the summer. Read the rest here 08:26

Dogfish Neck? Cape Skate? Pollock Peninsula? – Cape fishermen anticipated cod collapse

AR-160327185.jpg&MaxW=650Can this still be Cape Cod without the cod? There still is cod, and they’re still being caught, but the stocks have collapsed and that was further underlined this week when a Georges Bank quota cut of 62 percent to 762 metric tons was proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Management Council on Monday. That follows an earlier massive cut during the last three-year management period – totaling a 95-percent reduction over the last four years. Outer Cape fishermen are ahead of the curve – most have already abandoned cod. Read the rest here 07:53

Nova Scotia to enforce mandatory life-jacket rules for fishermen

robert-culling-nate-king-fishermen-life-jacketsOfficials with Nova Scotia’s Labour Department will be hitting wharves and docks in 2016 to remind commercial fishermen that wearing a life-jacket at sea is the law in this province. “We are going to be seeing what the compliance level is and offering advice as to what they should wear, showing them the products that are out for personal floatation devices and let them know about our regulations,” said Tom LeBlanc, the department’s northern regional director.  The campaign will start on the Northumberland Strait and western Cape Breton. Read the rest here 19:53

Crab fishing – handling and releasing wolffish

Crab fishermen! Wolffish are at risk. You can contribute to their recovery. If you catch some by accident, handle them carefully and release them as quickly as possible. 17:43

Victoria Co. snow crab fishermen could be hit hardest by quota cuts

Crab traps wait on the wharf at Glace BaySnow crab fishermen in the waters off Cape Breton are preparing for a leaner season this year, with quota cuts approved or proposed in both the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. While most fishermen know the fishery is cyclical and they need to take fewer crab when the stock is low, those in Crab Fishing Areas 20 to 22 – which covers the Atlantic side of the island, along the Cabot Trail from Glace Bay to Bay St. Lawrence – are facing a steep cut that could be as high as 45 per cent. What’s more, the subsea cable for the Maritime Link,,  Read the article here 17:14

That Sinking Feeling – The effort to keep Humboldt Bay’s derelict boats from going under

news1-magnumThe sinking of the Dennis Gayle is a success story, perhaps not to boatmakers or historians, but to the people and creatures that call Humboldt Bay home. On the morning of Feb. 28, someone at the Humboldt Bay Forest Products Dock in Fields Landing noticed the Dennis Gayle, which had been moored there for years, was gone. The wood-hulled ship, a repurposed Naval vessel that was once the last boat to whale out of Humboldt Bay before the practice was banned in the 1970s, was lying at the bottom of the bay. No one yet knows exactly why it sank — a sprung plank in the hull is everyone’s best guess — but it didn’t surprise anyone. The Dennis Gayle had been ready to go underwater for years. Read the rest here 15:17

An assortment of today’s offshore energy article’s, titles, and links – Are you losing your grounds?

New York – A Commitment To Wind Energy – Click here  Martha’s Vineyard – DONG Energy meets and greets Islanders – Click here  New Jersey – Fishermen’s Energy Ocean Wind Project Tries Again for Governor’s Approval – Click here  New York – Interior Department designates area 11 miles off Long Beach coast – Click here  California – US Considers 800-MW Floating Wind Farm in California – Click here  Bay of Fundy – Fundy tidal energy study to look at seabirds, lobster, acoustic environment – Click here Yarmouth, N.S. – Developers of proposed wind power project off Yarmouth will consult with fisheries, others, company says – Click here  14:51

New Quota Closes Norton Sound Commercial Crab Fishery

red-king-crab-2432px-608x400Norton Sound’s commercial crab fishery closed Thursday. In the first season shortened by a new quota, winter fishermen harvested the allowed 41,376 pounds of red king crab in just over a month. Jim Menard is the area manager for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He said the Board of Fisheries imposed the new quota to better balance the winter and summer crab catches. The quota shrunk the winter season by several months and cut the harvest by more than half, compared to last year’s record-breaking haul. Still, Menard said commercial crabbers have had a lucrative winter. Read the rest here 13:57

Togiak fisherman ordered to pay $25,000 for 2015 violations

img_0316__2_A Togiak man has pleaded guilty to fishing in a closed period and failing to register in the district. Kevin Harless, 53, a repeat offender, has been ordered to pay $25,000 for the violations. The F/V Good Deal still sits in the state trooper yard in Dillingham where it was impounded last summer. On July 2, Kevin Harless was caught salmon fishing nearly a nautical mile south of the Togiak River Section line, and he was not registered to fish in the Togiak District either. Law enforcement pounced, seized his vessel, and ended his season. Audio, Read the rest here 12:54

As fish farming grows, so does pollution from farming crops for fish feed, study suggests

atlantic-salmonIn an effort to make fish farming more sustainable, the aquaculture industry has been cutting back on feed made of other fish and replacing it with plant-based alternatives. But a new study warns that may make the fish less healthy to eat and have negative impacts on the environment. Many fish species that are farmed, including Atlantic salmon, the most farmed fish in Canada, are carnivores that eat feed traditionally based on fish meal and fish oil. Environmental advocates such as Greenpeace have criticized the practice as unsustainable, as wild fish that could be used to feed people or maintain wild populations need to be caught in order to produce the fish food. Read the rest here 10:20