Monthly Archives: July 2016

Restrictions on tap for southern New England lobster fishery

lobster-sizeNew restrictions are on tap for the region’s historic lobster fishery, which is grappling with an unprecedented decline. Scientists have said lobsters off southern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut have declined in the face of the warming ocean. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering ways to help preserve the species, and a report from the commission says one way to preserve lobsters could be to increase the minimum harvesting size. The commission’s lobster board might take action on the issue Thursday. “The biggest challenge I see is trying to establish an appropriate goal to manage the fishery in the face of what the scientists are telling us is the decline caused by ocean warming,” said Dan McKiernan, a member of the lobster board. Read the rest here 15:43

Back in the game: boat building returns to Harbour Grace

nellie-cWith a crack of a champagne bottle on the hull, a longtime Newfoundland fishing family launched a brand new boat on July 28. Roy Careen of Point Lance had the vessel built for the skipper, his son Christopher. The launch of the Nellie C., named for both Roy’s mother and his wife’s mother, was a special moment for the Careens but an even prouder moment for the owners of Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises (HGOE). The last vessel built in the Harbour Grace facility was back in 2005. General Manager of HGOE, Paul Lannon, said he and his group took over the business in 2013 and right away saw opportunities to get into boat building. “There’s a growing demand for new fishing vessels of various sizes because of changes to regulations in the industry and people fishing different species, so yards are very busy throughout the Maritimes and Atlantic Canada,” said Lannon. Read the rest here 12:46

Chatham Coast Guard crew medevacs injured fisherman

coast guardCoast Guard Station Chatham crewmembers medevaced an injured fisherman Saturday night near the entrance of Great Round Shoal. A person aboard the fishing boat Illusion, which was about 30 miles east of Nantucket en route to its homeport of New Bedford, contacted Coast Guard watchstanders Saturday and reported a crewmember suffered a severe hand laceration and required immediate medical attention.  A response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Chatham launched with two fire department EMTs aboard to rendezvous with Illusion and aid the fisherman. The Coast Guard and fishing boat met at the entrance of Great Round Shoal where the injured fisherman was transferred aboard the Coast Guard boat. The EMTs provided the man care while he was transported to Saquatucket Harbor to awaiting emergency medical services personnel. Link 12:05

PETA wishes Warren Sapp well after shark attack, sends (delicious cruelty-free) fake lobster

163-1440_zoomWarren Sapp was bitten by what appeared to be a nurse shark while hunting lobster off the Florida Keys on Wednesday. The former University of Miami and NFL star will be getting at least one get-well card. And some fake lobster. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, best known as PETA, said it was not only sending its best wishes to Sapp via a card, but would also send him some “delicious cruelty-free vegan lobster” for his enjoyment. Also, PETA appears fond of football puns. “We heard about your interception of a defensive shark’s lobster dinner,” PETA wrote in its response to Sapp according to an email sent to the Miami Herald. “We wanted to pass along some delicious cruelty-free vegan lobster in the hope that it’s a winner with you and yours. Read the rest here, and eat more lobster! 11:15

Retired trawler to be first artificial reef piece

artificial reefAn artificial reef project aimed at boosting red snapper populations in South Texas waters hit a major milestone earlier this week with the issuance of a final permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The recipient was Friends of RGV Reef, which may now proceed with sinking the reef’s first vessel. Gary Glick, the group’s president, said the retired trawler Gulf Explorer will be sent to the bottom in state waters 13.75 nautical miles north of the South Padre Island jetties and eight nautical miles offshore, likely next month. The group got a good deal on the 30-ton shrimper — plus a retired ocean-going tugboat also slated for sinking — from Billy Kennon of Marine Salvage & Services Inc. in Port Isabel, Glick said. Read the story here 10:57

Aquarium scientist helps lead effort to designate Marine National Monument

Mystic Aquarium Senior Research Scientist Peter AusterAn effort being led in part by Mystic Aquarium Senior Research Scientist Peter Auster is working to get President Barack Obama to designate a 4,000-square-nautical-mile area of ocean off Cape Cod as a Marine National Monument, which would be the first in the Atlantic Ocean. Located 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod, it is also a place that Auster said companies are beginning to show interest in mining the seamounts for precious metals. Designation of the area as a national monument would prevent “commercial extraction activities” such as mining, oil and gas drilling, as well as commercial fishing. Activities such as recreational angling, whale watching and boating would be permitted. Working with environmental groups, they are working to get the designation request to Obama to sign before he leaves office. Read the rest here 10:28

The unusual, mysterious American eel

eelI recently watched a man fishing in the Arkansas River at Little Rock who caught an American eel. When he set the hook, the angler was pleased with the reaction. The fish surged away, stripping line against the drag. The man grunted and cranked, smiling all the while. When the 2 1/2-foot fish was finally beached, the man’s demeanor abruptly changed. I doubt he could have been more horror-stricken had he landed a 20-foot anaconda. He dropped his rod, ran to his pickup, extracted a .357 revolver and proceeded to plug the “beast.” When the gun was empty, he smiled again, turned to me and said matter of factly, “I hate @#$+& eels.” For 23 centuries, man speculated on the origin of the eel. Aristotle was convinced that eels rose spontaneously from mud. Roman scholar Pliny the Elder believed young eels came from bits of skin adults rubbed off on rocks. Scandinavians postulated that another fish, the Aalmutter, was the “eel mother,” while Italian fishermen espoused the idea that eels copulated with water snakes. In early America, it was generally assumed that eels arose spontaneously from horse hairs that fell in the water. Read the rest here  10:02

‘Horrible’ season: North Coast crabbers haul in third of average catch

AR-160739983.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667Asked to describe this year’s nine-week commercial Dungeness crab season that should have lasted seven months, Eureka-based crab fisherman Jubal Hall was quite frank. “It was garbage,” he said. “It was horrible.” Hall, 40, is now on his way to Alaska to make up for his losses by fishing on the notoriously dangerous waters of the Bering Sea. While it’s not his preference, Hall said he needs to be able to make up for the financial losses that this year’s dismally short crab season and a second job on the side could not.“I’m broke,” he said. “I’m going up to Alaska because that’s what I’ve got to do to survive.” The Dungeness crab season on California’s North Coast was the hardest hit by toxic algae blooms that have persisted now for over a year straight. Read the story here 09:46

From sea to sale: Fishermen skip processors, go straight to buyers

15540209Many of the salmon that wind up in the nets of the fishing vessel Ounce have their buyer’s name on them from the moment they come out of the sea. Out in Cook Inlet, Chuck Lindsay and his business partner Hannah Heimbuch will haul in silver, red and chum salmon from their drift gillnets and sort them for clients in Alaska and elsewhere. Though most of them will cross the dock at one of the area’s processors, about one-fifth will be carefully packed into a cooler in the back of Lindsay’s truck and delivered to his customers’ doors. Lindsay, a co-owner of Kenai Wild Salmon Co. with Heimbuch, has directly marketed part of his catch to customers for the past three years. Once the boat has docked for the day, if he and his partner are not fishing the next day, they will deliver the fish in the morning. The fish is always delivered within 12 hours, he said. Read the rest here 08:11

Officials are calling off the search for the fishing vessel Alaska Juris.

360x255_q75The U.S. Coast Guard released a statement Saturday saying it’s believed that the ship sank in approximately 5,400 feet of water. A problem in the engine room Tuesday led to flooding on board the Alaska Juris, forcing the crew to abandon ship. All 46 crew members were rescued by good Samaritan ships, and there were no injuries. The Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Fishing Company of Alaska coordinated a search of the area northwest of Adak, Alaska, where the fishing vessel Alaska Juris was last seen. There was no sign of the ship. Unrecoverable diesel sheen was located in the search area believed to be from the Alaska Juris. The cause of the fishing vessel Alaska Juris sinking is under investigation. Link 03:15

LifeWear Donates Manufacturing “Seconds” to Local Rhode Island Fishing Industry

51zAduOgNALLifeWear Technologies of North Kingstown, the leading supplier of both branded and private label sports medicine products, has found a unique way to support the local fishing industry and reduce waste. LifeWear is now taking high quality CryoMAX ice packs, that for a variety of reasons don’t meet LifeWear’s standards for its consumer products, and donating them to local commercial fishermen. The donation program, first proposed by Congressman Jim Langevin, diverts these ice packs from the local landfill and helps reduce costs for local seafood vendors. The CryoMAX cold packs are manufactured at LifeWear’s factory at Quonset Point and are sold throughout the country in Walmart, CVS and other national chains. Approximately 2 percent of ice packs produced do not pass LifeWear’s stringent quality control standards. These “seconds” may have insufficient pressure, air bubbles, are improperly cut or have other deficiencies that make them unsuitable for consumers products. While perfectly good ice packs, these seconds were usually discarded. Read the story here 15:38

Enviro’s Complain Top Federal Fisheries Official Shouldn’t Be Meddling In Marine Monument Debate

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National MonumentAn environmental group has filed a complaint with federal officials over Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council Executive Director Kitty Simonds’ role in orchestrating opposition to the proposed expansion of the marine monument around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Marjorie Ziegler, executive director of the Conservation Council for Hawaii, says Simonds is providing “the advocacy and the lobbying campaign” against the proposal to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. “It’s totally inappropriate for Kitty Simonds in her official capacity as executive director of Wespac – a taxpayer, federally funded entity – to play such a prominent role in an aggressive lobbying effort to generate public and political opposition to the proposed expansion,” Ziegler said Friday in an interview. The Conservation Council of Hawaii’s complaint was sent Friday to David Smith, deputy inspector general in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Inspector General, and Lois Schiffer, general counsel for the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. Read the story here 14:40

NOAA’s Next Big Thing? Ocean Noise – Cracking down on noise-making activities in the ocean. $$$$!

noaa ear muff scientistThe ocean has gotten noisier for decades, with man-made racket from oil drilling, shipping and construction linked to signs of stress in marine life that include beached whales and baby crabs with scrambled navigational signals. The United States aims to change that as a federal agency prepares a plan that could force reductions in noise-making activities, including oil exploration, dredging and shipping off the nation’s coast. “We’ve been worried about ocean noise for decades, since the 1970s,” said Richard Merrick, chief science adviser to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fisheries agency and a key author of the agency’s more detailed 10-year plan to be released publicly later this year. “The question is, what should we do now?” The draft plan calls for developing noise limits and setting up a standardised listening system. It would also call for the creation of an online archive of noise data that could hold thousands of hours of recordings, which scientists could then cross-reference against data on where marine life congregates. Read the rest here 13:54

Harpswell Lobstermen Sound Off on Industry, Legacy

Lands End 012Lobstering brings nearly a half a billion dollars to the shores of Maine, according to the Department of Marine Resources. Harpswell is especially recognized for lobstering, and one local lobsterman estimates that there could be as many as 500 lobstermen and women residing in the town. “I learn something every day and to tell you that I know what the next move with the lobsters would be, I’d be lying,” said Jim Merryman, who has been a lobsterman since he was eight years old. “I’m constantly learning and trying to figure things out, if anybody ever tells you that I’ve got this figured out he’d be lying too.” Read the story here 12:16

No sign of abandoned trawler Alaska Juris in Bering Sea recovery effort

360x255_q75A tug is searching an area of the Bering Sea for an abandoned fishing vessel, which was still afloat Tuesday after its crew of 46 abandoned ship, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Coast Guard Petty Officer John-Paul Rios said the 229-foot Alaska Juris hasn’t been seen by crew members of the tug Resolve Pioneer, which was contracted to retrieve the trawler.  The tugboat reached the area, about 150 miles northwest of Adak, on Thursday evening but found only poor weather conditions. “Obviously, due to the weather and the heavy fog, there wasn’t that much they could do,” Rios said. The Alaska Juris has been unoccupied since Tuesday morning, when crew members reported flooding in the vessel’s engine room, donned survival suits and departed the ship in a trio of life-rafts. Four merchant ships helped rescue the crew. Read the rest here 10:32

Author Alan Stein Says US Commerce FOIA Lawsuit Yielded Results

commerceA federal lawsuit moved the U.S. Department of Commerce to hand over thousands of pages of withheld documents needed to write a book, the lawyer of an environmental activist and author said Thursday. Writer, fisherman and environmental activist Alan Stein sued the Commerce Department under the Freedom of Information and Administrative Procedures Acts in July 2015. He claimed the department and two of its agencies — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Office of the Inspector General — had stonewalled his requests for documents he needed for a book he was writing. Last year, Stein told Courthouse News (click here)  the planned book required materials from an investigation of Arne Fuglvog, a former fishing vessel operator and fisheries official who spent time in prison for making false statements in fishing quota reports. Read the rest here 08:12 Read  The NOAA Oversight Project – Fisherman’s FOIA’s Squeeze NOAA, to see the that James Balsiger, the acting head of the National Marine Fisheries Service, was going to be replaced by fisherman/ Senate staffer Arne Fuglvog who favored catch shares or scientist Brian Rothschild who did not. Click here

Court Rules Against Local Fishermen, Upholds Job-Killing Government Mandate

Today, the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire dismissed the lawsuit filed by Plaintiffs David Goethel and Northeast Fishery Sector 13 against the U.S. Department of Commerce. In December 2015, the Department of Commerce ordered that fishermen who fish for cod, flounder and certain other fish in the Northeast United States not only must carry National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) enforcement contractors known as “at-sea monitors” on their vessels during fishing trips, but must pay out-of-pocket for the cost of those monitors.  This “industry funding” requirement would devastate the Northeast fishing industry, at the price of many jobs and livelihoods.  The District Court’s order allows that requirement to remain in place. The Court found that the fishermen’s suit was untimely and that the requirement that monitors be funded by the fishermen was authorized by law. “I am very disappointed by this decision,” said Goethel.  “I’ve made a living fishing in New England for more than 30 years, but I can’t afford to fish if I have to pay for at-sea monitors.  I’m grateful to Cause of Action Institute for joining the fight, and I hope that the rule of law will win in the end.” “The fishermen in my sector can’t sustain this industry funding requirement,” said Northeast Fishery Sector 13 Manager John Haran. “They’ll have to try other fisheries, if they can keep fishing at all.” “While we respect the District Court and its decision, it appears that decision is contrary to the law and facts,” said Alfred J. Lechner, Jr., President and CEO of Cause of Action Institute and a former federal judge.  “In the end, the federal government is overextending its regulatory power and is destroying an industry. We intend to study the decision and consider further action.” link 18:55

Rio History: Stingrays and Giant Mantas of the Gulf of Mexico

Yes, there are stingrays along the beaches of Padre Island …and yes, people do get stuck by them.  Stingrays are actually a specialized branch-off of early sharks. They will eat almost anything they can catch, including clams, crabs and shrimp. The females are the largest, sometimes measuring six feet wide when fully mature. They are generally docile sea animals often found lying on the bottom in shallow water where they blend extremely well with their surroundings. And this is where they are most dangerous to fishermen and swimmer for they can be easily provoked if accidentally stepped on.  Serrated spines and a poison gland, located near the base of the tail, can inflict a painful wound. The venom is a fairly potent nerve toxin that affects the heart and there are recorded cases of victims suffering a heart attack when stung in the chest area. According to the official autopsy, naturalist Steve Irwin’s death was caused by the trauma of the barb piercing his heart and he probably died before experiencing any effect of the ray’s poisonous venom. Does this mean all ray victims will die? No. In fact most people recover with few or any side effects. Read the rest here 18:34

Nova Scotia fishermen win back right to operate as Local 4 of Maritime Fishermen’s Union

pro_union_bumper_sticker-r5386e95db31e4d338255c00df66cb141_v9wht_8byvr_324A Nova Scotia fishermen’s local has won a court case to get back its union accreditation. “It means we can get back to the business of representing our fishermen on fishermen issues instead of spending, as we did, almost two years battling to maintain our organization’s accreditation,” said Gordon Beaton, president of Local 4 of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union on Friday. That battle began when the province’s fisheries and aquaculture minister informed the local that its membership was too small and revoked its accreditation. The minister at the time was Queens-Shelburne MLA Sterling Belliveau. Beaton’s group represents about 45 people who fish in Region 1, which stretches from Pugwash to Cape North. That’s a small portion of the 600 or so fishermen in the region. Under the 2011 Fish Harvester Organizations Support Regulations, the local needed 100 members or 15 per cent of the fishermen in the area. However, the court found that Local 4 was accredited in 2002 under an earlier act. It was nearly 10 years later that the new legislation, with membership minimums, came into effect. It also included a grandfather provision for organizations accredited under the old legislation. Read the rest here 18:09

NOAA Determines Porbeagle Sharks Not Threatened or Endangered

porbeagle sharkEarlier this year, we published a positive 90-day finding in response to petitions to list porbeagle sharks (Lamna nasus).  A comprehensive status review, including an Extinction Risk Analysis, was completed by a group of NOAA Fisheries biologists with expertise related to porbeagle sharks. In the status review, two Distinct Population Segments of porbeagle sharks were identified – North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere (southern Atlantic, southern Indian, southern Pacific, and Antarctic Oceans).  The status review was peer reviewed by external (non-NOAA) experts.  Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, including the status review report, and taking into account ongoing efforts to protect these species, we have determined that porbeagle sharks do not warrant listing at this time. Read the rest here For more information please see the Federal Register Notice 17:05

Alaska Nonprofit in Conflict with the Villagers It’s Supposed to Serve

5292268979_a0cea96a22_zCoastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) in Southwest Alaska is at odds with the villages it was created to serve after shutting down its commercial salmon operation. CVRF is one of six coastal development quota groups (CDQs) created by the federal government back in the Nineties to boost the Western Alaskan economy. The idea was that the CDQs would use earnings from federal fisheries, royalties, and investments to invest in the local economy by creating employment opportunities and growth, particularly surrounding small-scale commercial fisheries. They achieve this in part by offering subsidies for commercial fisheries, loans for residents to purchase boats and outboards, building or improving fish processing facilities, and improving fish handling infrastructure. Aside from commercial fishing, CDQs also create internships with business partners, offer training, and create jobs with government agencies.  The CVRF board felt that one village, Quinhagak, received an unfair advantage in its subsidies for its salmon operation. They shut down the operation but still continue to offer other benefits. What the CVRF board did not anticipate was that closing this operation would have downstream effects not only on Quinhagak, but also the surrounding villages. Read the rest here 16:27

Gulf of Carpentaria trawl operators on track to cut bycatch by one third with new prawn net devices

7669612-3x2-700x467Trawler operators in the Gulf of Carpentaria believe they’re on track to achieving an ambitious target of cutting bycatch by 30 per cent in three years. The northern prawn fishery’s been offering cash incentives to promote and develop new ideas for limiting the amount of non-target species caught in prawn nets. Trawler skipper Jamie Ball admitted he was worried at first about potential prawn losses when trialling a new bycatch reduction device on board his fishing vessel, Xanadu. But after measuring and comparing catches in separate nets over a two-week period, the skipper and his crew were convinced the industry was on a winner. “I was a bit hesitant ’cause I thought ‘oh well is it losing prawn as well?” Read the story here 13:34

Former Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo evades questions about alleged sexual relationship with staff member

hunter-tootooHunter Tootoo, Nunavut MP and former fisheries minister, evaded questions this morning about allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a female junior staff member. Tootoo abruptly resigned his cabinet post and stepped down from the Liberal caucus late in May to seek treatment for alcohol addiction. A Globe and Mail report Thursday cited anonymous sources who say Tootoo was involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a staff member. In an interview with Kevin Kablutsiak on CBC Nunavut’s morning show Qulliq, Tootoo did not directly address questions about the allegations. “I know that there’s lots of rumours and allegations out there,” he said. Read the rest here 13:06

Stikine sockeye run is the best return in a decade

untitled Stikine KingsWhile the King salmon run for gill netters turned out to be worse than preseason estimates, the opposite holds true for sockeye. The state managed sockeye fishery began June 13. Biologists predicted a strong run but were cautious for the first few weeks to let more King salmon into the Stikine River. They limited openings to two days a week and prohibited fishing near the river’s opening. After most of the Stikine Kings passed, managers saw that the sockeye run was coming in strong. Troy Thynes is the Area Management biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game based in Petersburg. “Sockeye’s are looking pretty good this year, at least locally,” Thynes said. “We’re fairly certain that we’re going to exceed preseason expectations. Especially with the Taltan River component of the run that came in really, really strong.” Stikine sockeye are shared equally between the U.S. and Canada because the river runs through both countries. It’s part of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Canada has taken about 69,000 sockeye and U.S. fishermen 66,000. Audio, read the rest here 12:33

NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp- shark bit while lobster fishing and the photo is not for the squeamish

imrs.wdpI haven’t done much (translation: any) lobstering, but I’d imagine that there’s some possibility of getting pinched by one of those large claws, which sounds like it could be painful. I’d take that any day, though, over getting bitten by a shark. Warren Sapp probably would as well, but it happened to him anyway on Wednesday. The former Buccaneers star was in the act of pulling a crustacean from waters near the Florida Keys when a shark apparently decided that he looked pretty tasty in his own right. The result was a very nasty gash on Sapp’s left arm, near his elbow. The charter company he hired that day posted a photo of the gory aftermath to its Instagram page (warning: not for the squeamish). Photo’s, read the rest here 11:57

Well connected NY energy czar to recuse himself from LI wind farm meetings

New York’s chairman of energy and financeNew York’s chairman of energy and finance will exclude himself from meetings with the world’s largest offshore wind-energy developer about a wind farm off Long Island because of an investment he has in a Goldman Sachs subsidiary that owns a large stake in the company. As the state leads the wind farm plan, Richard Kauffman said he would recuse himself from future dealings with a Danish company, Dong Energy, after Newsday inquired about the investment in June. Kauffman, dubbed the state’s first energy czar, oversees and manages New York State’s “entire energy portfolio,” including the Long Island Power Authority, the state Department of Public Service and the New York Power Authority. Kauffman also is chairman of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which last month announced it will take over as the lead agency to pursue lease rights for an 81,000-acre offshore wind farm 19 miles from Long Beach. LIPA initiated the project in 2008 and formed a partnership with Con Edison and the New York Power Authority to pursue lease rights, a task NYSERDA has overtaken. Read the rest here 11:32

NY officers seize undersized lobsters from Price Chopper

CoecN8sUsAQWlJ5The Department of Environmental Conservation says Thursday an investigation was launched in March when officers found short lobsters at two Price Chopper stores in Binghamton. On Tuesday, officers found 820 lobsters, or 15 percent of the inventory, were undersized at the Schenectady distribution center. The retailer could be fined up to $100 for each lobster. Price Chopper spokeswoman Mona Golub said the company’s Cape Cod lobster supplier violated its product specification, and the retailer has since switched to another supplier. DEC donated the seized lobsters to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York in Latham. Link 10:43

Recreational fishermen can target cod starting Monday

charter, cod restrictions, yankee freedomAs of Monday, recreational anglers will get a chance to reacquaint themselves with the much-coveted Gulf of Maine cod when federal fishing restrictions for the species are lifted until the end of September. The bag limit for the iconic species, whose stock NOAA Fisheries maintains is in freefall, will be one cod per fisherman per day. (Anglers are mentioning the huge numbers of cod they have to throw back.) The anglers’ comments are representative of the overall narrative of local fishermen — commercial, recreational and lobstermen — who continue to insist they are seeing far more cod in the water than the scientists at NOAA Fisheries say are there. It is a disconnect that, in many ways, has come to define the plight of the commercial fishing industry and its lack of trust in the science that comes out of NOAA Fisheries. They hear one thing in the stock assessments. They see another with their eyes when they’re out on the water. Read the story here 09:16

New York State DEC Adopts Regulations for the Atlantic Ocean Surfclam Fishery

clammer-lori-anne-jj-e1428161550201New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the adoption of regulations for the Atlantic Ocean surfclam fishery to ensure consistency with the harvest management measures of the State’s Atlantic Ocean Surfclam Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The regulations take effect immediately. “These regulations will help promote the sustainability of the surfclam fishery and economic viability of its traditional New York-based fishing interests by ensuring that the distribution of fishing quota is fair for all participants,” Commissioner Seggos said. An apparent loophole in the surfclam vessel replacement regulations has allowed one or more vessels to catch more than one IFQ in a year. This regulation closes this regulatory loophole that has allowed multiple individual fishing quotas to be fished by one or more vessels which has negatively impacted fishing businesses with vessels limited to one individual fishing quota. Read the rest here 08:24

An optimistic outlook for fall lobster fishery in LFA 25

2016-07-28-05-00-53-Fall%20lobsterThe president of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association thinks the way the spring lobster fishery finished off bodes well for the fall fishery which is due to open Aug. 9. “There is really heavy, heavy demand,” Craig Avery noted. Avery, who fishes spring lobster out of Northport, saw prices start off at $5.25 and $5.75 a pound for canners and markets respectively. By the end of the season he was getting $7.75 across the board while some buyers to the eastern end of the province were paying $8.00 a pound for canners and $8.25 a pound for markets. “I don’t see any reason why the price shouldn’t stay the same as where it finished this spring,” Avery commented. He pointed out the Lobster Fishing Area 25 is pretty well “the only show in Canada,” when it comes to fall lobster. Read the story here 20:09

NRDC Enviro: Obama Administration is on the verge of weakening the nations fisheries regulations!

ObamaThe U.S. has been a global leader in confronting and effectively tackling the overexploitation of its ocean fisheries. While there’s work still be done—more than three dozen fish populations or stocks (out of 233) remain overfished—American fisheries today are among the most sustainable in the world. Yet, with the job unfinished, the Obama Administration is on the verge of weakening fisheries regulations. Last month, enviro 44 organizations wrote to the president opposing these rollbacks. The changes would represent the first significant weakening of the country’s ocean fisheries policy since 1996, when important conservation provisions were enacted into law. NOAA Fisheries, the agency that regulates U.S. fisheries, is proposing to revise the regulations that implement the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act—the nation’s ocean fisheries law—saying that this will give managers more flexibility to handle current fishery management challenges. Read the rest here 19:39 Read this,  National Marine Fisheries Service Proposes Weakening Magnuson-Stevens Act Regulations click here

Commercial fishers ‘gutted’ by govt reforms

b88236129z1_20160727153715_000gjg8g9l12-0-r7llj547930vq8h9mm2_t620Commercial fishers gathered in Coffs Harbour from across the state in protest against fisheries reforms. More than 80 fishermen from Hawkesbury River to as far north as the Tweed rallied at the Jetty foreshores on Tuesday and Wednesday to garner public support to fight the reforms. Fishermen like Allan Bodycote, of the Clarence Valley, say the State Government’s Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program will cripple their businesses because they will need to buy back their right to continue their current catch quotas. “We’ve got active fishers here who have been actively fishing up to 35 years in the game and come 2017, we believe we won’t have access to the shares to continue fishing because there is not enough shares to go around,” Mr Bodycote said. “We are buying our jobs back, how many times do you have to buy your job?” Read the rest here 17:04

Louisiana seafood industry told to think beyond daily catch

fsw001_amber_big1Leather made of tuna skin. Canned seafood marketed to tourists as souvenirs. Dried shrimp shells sold as a soup seasoning or used to extract chitin, a protein that has various agricultural, industrial and medical uses. Those were a few potential revenue generators for Louisiana’s seafood industry that were suggested Wednesday by Thor Sigfusson, an Icelandic entrepreneur who founded an incubator to connect businesses in the seafood industry. The effort, called the Iceland Ocean Cluster, focuses on developing innovative ideas within the fishing industry and new uses for the daily catch. “We have a scarcity of these natural proteins in the world, and these are absolutely the best proteins you can have,” Sigfusson told state leaders and seafood industry officials in New Orleans during a two-day visit. Read the story here 13:37

Marine Accident Investigation Branch reveals shocking UK fishermen death toll

s300_MAIBlogoHiResThe UK’s fishing fleet is suffering from one of its deadliest periods in a decade with more deaths recorded here than in Alaskan waters where reality TV show the ‘Deadliest Catch’ is filmed. Nine fishermen’s lives have been lost at sea in the first six months of this year in six different incidents, a worryingly high figure for this stage in the year and there is concern this number could rise. Now more dangerous than Alaska, recognised for its treacherous waters as part of the reality television series ‘Deadliest Catch’, the UK has seen an increase of 29% on 2015 full year figures (seven fishermen lost their lives), as reported by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) today in its 2015 Annual Report. The MAIB’s Annual Report for 2015 comes as Seafish also warns that the summer months (June to September) are when commercial fishermen are more likely to have a non fatal accident which leads to major injury when working at sea.  A common misperception is that these accidents are more likely to happen during bad weather during the winter months. Read the rest here 13:18

Ryan Cleary says Newfoundland and Labrador fishermen want him to set up a new union

ryan-cleary-becomes-a-toryA former MP from Newfoundland and Labrador says fishermen are asking them to help organize a new union that would be a rival to the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union. Ryan Cleary says he’s never seen fish harvesters so angry and disillusioned with the FFAW, which currently represents them. “The common theme is that fishermen aren’t happy with the representation. In a lot of ways, the fishermen see the FFAW as having evolved into a corporation, more concerned with feeding itself than looking after the fishermen it’s charged with representing.” Cleary says fishermen have many reasons for wanting to break from the FFAW. He cites a recent lawsuit that scallop fishermen on the Northern Peninsula launched against the union over compensation money from Nalcor, which the fishermen won. Read the story here 11:44

Sad News: Larry the Lobster has died on his journey home. (I think they killed ‘im!)

160721_wplg_larry_lobster_16x9_992Larry the Lobster gained fame after it was spared from a boiling pot in Florida, but Maine officials say the crustacean didn’t make it to retirement.  A rescue group had stepped forward to save the lobster after the restaurant owner called a TV station in Florida last week to show off the lobster’s unusual size. It was estimated to be between 60 and 110 years old. It’s not clear what killed the lobster. It was packed in a Styrofoam clamshell with seaweed and frozen gel packs. Watch the video showing how they packed him here 11:19

Salmon gillnetting to resume Aug. 7 in the Columbia River

columbia river gillnettersNine nights of gillnetting in the lower Columbia River between Warrior Rock and Beacon Rock will begin Aug. 7. The commercial fleet will fish Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Aug. 26, according to regulations adopted today in Vancouver by the Columbia River Compact. Nine-inch-minimum-mesh nets will be required. Robin Ehlke, assistant Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the netters are projected to catch 2,200 fall chinook in the first week, 7,500 in the second week and 19,700 in the third week. Read the rest here 10:06

Growth And Diversity Mark 25 Years Of Fishermen’s Alliance

 cchfaWhen local shellfishermen wanted help setting up a meeting with officials from the state division of marine fisheries to discuss changes in regulations governing quahog size, they turned to an unlikely source: The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. Until fairly recently, few would have made a connection between the Alliance and shellfish. Last year, however, the West Chatham-based organization invested in a 20 percent ownership stake in Aquaculture Researcher Corporation in Dennis, helping save a company that provides dozens of communities with seed shellfish and becoming a player in the Cape’s commercial shellfishing industry. The move is in many ways emblematic of how the Alliance has evolved and grown in the 25 years since it was founded as the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association.  Read the rest here 09:20

United Fishermen of Alaska launch survey for fishermen’s input on habitat

ufa logoThe United Fishermen of Alaska launched its Salmon Habitat Information Project on Tuesday in an effort to keep fishermen and the organization more connected with habitat information across the state. The initiative kicks off with a survey to gain more information from fishermen about habitat conditions in their home fishing grounds and how they would engage with the organization, said Lindsey Bloom, the program manager and a UFA board member. The survey asks fishermen about what conditions they observe in their local environments. One question asks about the words fishermen use to describe salmon habitat, from “spawning bed” to “open ocean,” and another asks how well the taker feels Alaska is managing its salmon populations. The other part is to touch base with how fishermen want to be engaged. As technology has changed, fishermen may use cell phones, text or email, so the UFA wants to stay updated on how to reach them. “We’re launching with the survey because we want to get a better idea of what fishermen really care about, where their strongest interests lie, and how they want to be engaged, and how do they want to be contacted,” Bloom said. Read the rest here 08:39

Where are the herring? Unalaska’s seine fishery remains on hold

pacific herringThe commercial herring fishery is on hold in Unalaska — because no one can find the fish. The herring season opened more than a week ago. So far, fishermen haven’t had any luck, even with a spotter pilot searching from above. “There’s been no appreciable harvest at all,” said Frank Kelty on the Unalaska Fisheries Report. “The fish appear to be well offshore and in very deep water where the seiners can’t get to them.” Kelty said three or four seiners are registered to fish this season, while no one has registered to use gillnet gear. If the herring show up, Dutch Harbor fishermen will be able to harvest 2,166 tons. But until then, the seiners are on standby. Read the rest here Listen to the report here 08:01

Worm harvesters angered by ANP enforcement actions

20140123_113747.xml-20070327_clam_digger_1As Acadia National Park celebrates its 100th anniversary, a simmering dispute over worm and clam harvesting on the intertidal zone flats bordering park lands is coming to a boil.Last fall, a park ranger allegedly confiscated one digger’s clam harvest and summoned him for taking clams from the flats inside the park boundaries. This spring, another ranger forced a worm harvester to dump his day’s take of bloodworms and leave the flats or face a summons. Ellsworth worm digger Kenny Webber said he had started his day harvesting worms off Frazer Point and “worked around down by the old Navy base on Schoodic Point,” where he encountered the park ranger who made him return his take to the flats. “I lost a day’s pay,” Webber said. “I had a hundred dollars worth.” On Saturday, some two dozen members of the Independent Maine Marine Worm Harvesters Association met at Skeet Seavey’s ER Baits shop in Hancock to discuss what they see as a power grab by the park administration and to map out a response. “It’s a bad situation, the power the government’s trying to grab,” Hampden worm digger Peter Pellerin said. “We have to stand up.” Read the story here 21:30

Akaka, Ariyoshi challenge expansion of Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument

Schatz mapGovernment, community and business leaders rallied together at the state Capitol on Tuesday to address their opposition to the proposed expansion of a national marine monument. Among those who spoke at the rally were former Hawaii Gov. George Ariyoshi, former U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawaii, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Peter Apo and other community and business organizations. On June 15, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, sent a proposal to President Barack Obama to expand Papahanaumokuakea, a fishing sanctuary and Marine National Monument, from 140,000 square miles to 583,000 square miles. If the expansion is implemented, PMNM will be the largest marine conservation in the world. During the rally, concerns against the expansion were shared that included the federal government’s rush to begin the project and the lack of effort in gathering the public’s opinion. “I feel it’s unconscionable for us to enact a new policy of expanding the Papahanaumokuakea without proper transparency,” Akaka said. “The people of Hawaii need to know what this is all about and they need to respond to it.” Read the rest here 19:53

Researchers use the North Atlantic Oscillation as a predictive tool for managing Gulf of Maine Cod

27-researchersuIn recent decades, the plight of Atlantic cod off the coast of New England has been front-page news. Since the 1980s in particular, the once-seemingly inexhaustible stocks of Gadus morhua—one of the most important fisheries in North America—have declined dramatically. In 2008, a formal assessment forecasted that stocks would rebound, but by 2012, they were once again on the verge of collapse. Two years later, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration instituted an unprecedented six-month closure of the entire Gulf of Maine cod fishery to allow stocks to recover. While overfishing is one known culprit, a new study co-authored by researchers at UC Santa Barbara and Columbia University finds that the climatological phenomenon known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is also a factor. And it contributes in a predictable way that may enable fishery managers to protect cod stocks from future collapse. Read the rest here 17:37

Critical Report into the sinking of the Fishing Vessel Majestic off Shetland

Screen-Shot-2016-07-27-at-11.47.38-604x400The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has found that the crew of Majestic did nothing to stop the flooding in the engine room prior to abandoning the vessel. In its report into the sinking off Shetland, it said that although the engine room’s bilge alarm sounded in the wheelhouse, it was not heard because the skipper and his brother were working on deck. The crew of the 16 metre wooden potter abandoned into a life raft and were rescued by a nearby fishing vessel. Neither of them were injured. Both were lifelong fishermen. Majestic subsequently drifted, and sank just two metres from a gas pipeline off the Point of Fethaland on 21 January 2016. Read the rest here 14:36

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: AMT Marine 55ft. Crabber, 440HP, 6 Cylinder Cummins

7772_002Specifications, information and 45 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 13:18

Recovery plan underway for fishing vessel abandoned by crew of 46

360x255_q75A fishing vessel abandoned by its crew of 46 in the Bering Sea when it took on water Tuesday remained afloat Wednesday morning as plans were made for a possible recovery, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Lt. Joseph Schlosser, a command duty officer with the Coast Guard’s District 17 command center, said the Alaska Juris remained in the same area where it was abandoned at about noon Tuesday, more than 150 miles northwest of Adak in Alaska’s western Aleutian Islands. “She’s floating down by the bow, with a 5-degree list to port,” Schlosser said. The crew of the Alaska Juris reported flooding in the engine room Tuesday, then donned survival suits and left the ship in three rafts. Schlosser said a private company, Resolve Marine Group, has been contracted to recover the 229-foot trawler. The tugboat Resolve Pioneer is en route to the scene but not expected to arrive until Thursday. Read the story here 12:30

A shrimp apocalypse? Anything is possible, says DFO scientist

maineshrimp_courtesyofC_SchmidtA scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is defending its bleak assessment of shrimp stocks off Newfoundland’s northeast coast and Labrador, and is blaming the resurgent codfish – which feed on shrimp – as a “driving factor.”  Katherine Skanes is also firing back at those questioning the status of the stock. “When the biomass was going up, they had confidence in our survey. Then when the biomass goes down, they lose confidence,” she said. Jaws dropped this past spring after DFO’s annual northern shrimp assessment revealed that the “fishable” biomass in Area 6 had declined by a staggering 41 per cent between 2014 and 2015. DFO blames environmental conditions and predation for the decline. Read the story here 10:46

Diesel stove likely cause of boat fire

IMG_8534-500x333A 32-foot commercial fishing boat caught fire early Monday morning (07-25-16) in ANB Harbor. The F/V American Express, a gillnetter, was tied up on the outer side of the transient float. Fire Chief Dave Miller says the department received a 911 call at 1:04 AM. “The boat was totally involved. Everything in flames. We responded to that scene with two of our engines, engine 1 and ladder 2, and about ten of our volunteers responded also,” says Miller. When they arrived, Miller says the boat’s crew and others were already at work putting the fire out with the hoses on the dock.  The American Express is owned by Bret Hanson and home ported in Bellingham, Washington. No one was aboard at the time of the blaze. Miller estimates the damages could total $100,000 or even more. Upon investigation, he believes the fire started as a result of a leaking diesel stove. Read the story here 08:50

Bay of Fundy Fishermen taking Nova Scotia provincial government to court over the tidal industry

tidal turbinesThe Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association (BFIFA) filed a formal application July 25 asking the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to review and quash a decision by the provincial minister of Environment. In late June Margaret Miller approved the environmental effects monitoring program for the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) and Cape Sharp Tidal Venture, effectively allowing the installation of two tidal turbines in the Minas Passage. Colin Sproul, fisherman and spokesperson with BFIFA, says the association is confident the court will recognize the same problems he sees with the minister’s decisions. “There is a wealth of information that was overlooked by the minister in making her decision,” said Sproul. “We are in a situation now where the province of Nova Scotia is involved in legal action against fishermen. Fishermen are on the side of conservation and the government is on the side of industry – this is a dangerous precedent for the environment of Nova Scotia.” Read the rest here 08:12

Video release: Coast Guard, good Samaritans rescue 46 mariners 690 miles west of Dutch Harbor, Alaska

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Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak aircrews, along with good Samaritans, rescue 46 crew members from life rafts after they abandoned ship approximately 690 miles west of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, July 26, 2016. The 220-foot fishing vessel Alaska Juris began taking on water near Kiska Island. All 46 crew members were transferred to good Samaritan vessels Spar Canis and Vienna Express to be transported to Adak, Alaska. Click on photo. 07:20

46 Crew members abandon sinking Fishing Vessel in Alaskan Waters

Two Good Samaritan ships were helping rescue 46 crew members who abandoned a sinking fishing vessel in Alaska’s Aleutian Island chain, Coast Guard officials said Tuesday. There were no reported injuries to the crew members, who had donned survival suits and then huddled in three large life rafts awaiting rescue after the 220-foot Alaska Juris started taking on water late Tuesday morning. The plan was to have the 46 people transfer to the Good Samaritan ships, the Spar Canis and the Vienna Express, Petty Officer Lauren Steenson said. The crew would be transported to a port, but she said it wasn’t immediately known where they would be taken. The Coast Guard also diverted the cutter Midgett and dispatched two C-130 transport planes and two helicopters from Kodiak to the site of the sinking ship, located near Kiska Island, which is about 690 miles west of Dutch Harbor, one of the nation’s busiest fishing ports. Read the story here 23:14

Four crew-members safe as Homer Seiner remains capsized off Alaska Peninsula

coast guardFour crew-members escaped safely when their fishing boat rolled over near the Alaska Peninsula on Friday. “So just before 8 p.m. this past Friday, our district watch standers received an EPIRB alert of a 41-foot fishing vessel, Carmelina, located approximately 35 nautical miles west of Kodiak Island,” said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Kelly Parker in Kodiak. “The vessel had capsized with four people on board. The crew of the good Samaritan vessel Spartan recovered all four people from the Carmelina, and all survivors were reported in good condition.” The Carmelina is owned by Willie Creamer of Homer, according to the state’s commercial fisheries database. Parker said the Carmelina remains capsized, with its seine net anchoring it to some rocks in Jute Bay. Read the rest here 21:53

Coast Guard rescue boat, helicopter crew rescue fisherman off Monomoy Island, Mass.

coast guardCoast Guard Station Chatham and Air Station Cape Cod crews teamed up to rescue a fisherman Tuesday four miles east of Monomoy Island. A crewmember aboard the fishing boat Godzilla III sent a radio hail for help to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England. The crewmember reported a man aboard was experiencing chest pain and in need of immediate medical attention.  A 42-foot response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Chatham, who were already underway in Lewis Bay for a law enforcement patrol, immediately diverted to meet up with Godzilla III.  An MH-60 helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod was also diverted from their flight to help. Once on scene, the response boat crew took the man aboard the Coast Guard boat to make for a safer hoisting platform for medevac by helicopter.  The aircrew hoisted the man into the helicopter and took him to Barnstable Municipal Airport, where his care was transferred to local emergency medical service personnel. Link 19:16

Australian Southern bluefin tuna boom reaps reward for east coast fishermen

 southern bluefinSouthern bluefin tuna fishermen along the east coast are making the most of a booming Japanese market. Aquaculture quotas in South Australia are being leased to the east coast long-line fishery as it proves more efficient and profitable. Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Association chief executive Brian Jeffries said operators were cashing in on the rejuvenated fishery and South-East Asia demand. “The catch on the east coast of southern bluefin has gone from 30 tonnes about three to four years ago to almost 600 tonnes this year,” he said. “That’s a major diversification of the use of the quota from fish farming in South Australia to long lining on the east coast.” The shift from aquaculture to wild-caught tuna is driven by profitability, as well as a relaxation over the regulation around the way catch quota can be distributed. Read the rest here 18:59

Brooks Falls – Katmai National Park, Alaska – Click to watch live!

Brooks Falls - Katmai National Park, Alaska

You are watching exclusive LIVE footage from Alaska’s Brooks River in Katmai National Park. Every year over a hundred Brown Bears descend on a mile long stretch of Brooks River to feast on the largest Sockeye Salmon run in the world. 14:53

Gaspereau River fishermen worried the fish may not make it up the river if turbines are in the water

tidal turbinesSome fishermen along the Gaspereau River are concerned how tidal turbines could affect a local fishery. There are 14 active square net licences in the Gaspereau and Melanson area issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Those fishermen catch Gaspereau, a species of herring, when they swim up the river from the Bay of Fundy in April and May. On Monday night at the Gaspereau Community Hall, people in the area had their chance to speak to FORCE (Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy), the organization behind the tidal turbine project. “We want to have some meaningful dialogue with Cape Sharp and FORCE about this project they’re undertaking,” said Chris Gertridge, with the Gaspereau Fishermen’s Association. “We have a lot of questions as to why we’re never consulted.” Read the rest here 14:24

Why Is This Indicted Seafood Mogul Still Buying More Fishing Boats?

carlos rafaelCarlos “the Codfather” Rafael is not letting his upcoming federal trial for mislabeling seafood slow down his massive commercial-fishing business. While fishermen across New England marvel at how Rafael is allowed to continue working while facing a 27-count indictment, public records suggest that the indicted seafood mogul might even be expanding his fleet of more than 40 vessels. Documents filed with the Massachusetts secretary of state’s office show that on May 16, Rafael’s wife, Conceicao, created a company called Nemesis LLC with the mission “to engage in fishing and shellfishing of every nature and description.” Then, on June 24, two days after Rafael’s lawyer appeared in court to schedule his January 2017 trial date, Nemesis bought a fishing vessel previously called the Jamie & Ashley. Read the story here 12:19

Minister defends LIFO decision, northern shrimp stocks under pressure linked to rebounding cod stock

LeBlancThe federal fisheries minister stands by his recent decision to scrap the Last In, First Out policy and reduce the northern shrimp quota, while also indicating some news is on the way concerning northern cod. Speaking with reporters in Bay de Verde Monday following an announcement about funding for small craft harbours, Dominic LeBlanc said he worked with the information he had and consulted with federal and provincial politicians before electing to scrap LIFO. The decision fell in line with the recommendation of an advisory panel that consulted with the public and presented a report to the minister. Later when asked by The Compass about the potential return of a groundfish harvest, LeBlanc acknowledged he has received some advice suggesting areas where northern shrimp stocks are under pressure can be linked to a rebounding cod stock. Read the rest here 10:41

Queensland fishers see red over fisheries management green paper

queenslandThe Queensland Government has put forward its vision for the future of the state’s fisheries amid industry concerns the most significant reforms in two decades are being stymied due to a lack of funds and political will. The Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) said the release of a green paper was a ‘longtime coming’ and lacked the technical and policy detail to address the regulatory reforms promised to commercial fishers. A comprehensive fisheries management review and report was completed in 2014 by independent consultants, M-RAG Asia Pacific, after consultation meetings at 20 ports around Queensland. Fisheries minister Leanne Donaldson has defended the delay in overhauling Queensland’s ‘cumbersome and inefficient’ fisheries management regime. Two audio clips, read the rest here 10:00

Undercover sting operation off Sandwich nets alleged Striped Bass poachers

On Sunday night a small fleet of four boats motored out into Cape Cod Bay. The 50-foot Massachusetts Environmental Police patrol boat Thomas Paine, two smaller patrol boats and an undercover surveillance vessel joined a much larger fleet of well over 60 vessels fishing on a striped bass hot spot off Scorton Creek in Sandwich some time before midnight. Environmental Police were acting on tips from commercial and recreational striped bass fishermen that commercial fishermen were engaging in a practice called front loading, catching striped bass in advance of midnight on Mondays and Thursdays and storing them on board their vessel to sell as if they’d caught them the next day. Five commercial fishermen from the Cape and one from Belchertown were fined more than $1,000 in total, according to Moran. A total of $3,000 in fishing gear was confiscated. The fishermen were given civil citations for fishing during a commercial striped bass closure, possession of striped bass without a clipped fin and possession of an amount of fish over the daily limit for recreational fishermen. Read the story here 09:08