Daily Archives: July 8, 2016

What we know about lampreys — the arctic bloodsuckers that swarm Alaska rivers by the millions

grayling lampreyLast summer lampreys fell from the sky in Fairbanks. It’s hard to decide which is more astonishing, the aerodynamic mystery of how they got in the sky to start with or the fact that Alaska has lots and lots of the gruesome, prehistoric, flesh-sucking terrors. Millions of them. Squiggling and lurking in every suitable waterway from Southeast to the Arctic Ocean. There’s no reason to stay out of the water on their account, however. Lampreys only latch onto people if they’re starving. And in Alaska, it’s the humans that eat lampreys, not vice versa. University of Alaska Museum of the North curator of fishes Andres Lopez finds the arctic lamprey a truly intriguing animal. Unchanged for nearly half a billion years, it’s a genuine living fossil. “It’s a jawless vertebrate,” he said. “It has a spinal cord, but no skeleton. Just cartilage. Its teeth are not real teeth, but keratin, more like your fingernails.” Read the story here 20:18

It Takes a Thief! $6,000 fishing gear theft under investigation in Gloucester

Lock_Cut(1)Gloucester police are investigating the theft of an estimated $6,000 worth of fishing gear and electronic equipment from a commercial fishing vessel docked off Harbor Loop. A commercial fisherman said that sometime between Tuesday and early Thursday, one or more intruders broke a padlock off the vessel’s wheelhouse and entered it, making off with a computerized mackerel fishing reel, mackerel hooks, the computer used with the reel, and an additional computer tablet, according to the report from Patrolman James Officer. Officer’s report indicates that the equipment is rare, with only seven known individual computer-reel systems operating out of Gloucester. The fisherman has estimated the reels and computer equipment losses at $4,500, with the hooks worth an estimated $1,500. Police said they are in the process of obtaining serial numbers and other identifying data. Link 18:54

How an ex-dockworker turned his passion for lobster into a $40 million business

After getting a taste of life as a dockworker when he was a teenager, Tom Adams was hooked. More than three decades later, 46-year-old Adams has climbed from earning $4.50 an hour to heading Maine Coast, the seafood distributor he founded in 2011 that generated $40 million in sales last year. “I got a little salt in my blood and ended up staying with it,” Adams said of his early education in the business, which included unloading boats, grading lobster and picking their meat. After years working with the same company that first hired him, Adams decided to part ways with the business and sell the considerable stake he’d built in it. While Adams declined to share an exact figure, he said the investors paid more than $1 million. As part of the deal, he signed a two-year non-compete, which prohibited him from working for a lobster company in the meantime. Video, read the rest here 18:04

Louisiana commercial crab fishermen will see conservation restrictions for next three years

blue-crabs-hopedalejpg-dc4bd1b64022cab0Louisiana took another step toward a commercial crabbing season Thursday after the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a proposal that would shut down crab fishing for 90 days over the next three years. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries crustacean biologist Jeff Marx told the commission Louisiana’s crab harvest is too high, and something needs to be done to protect the health of the fishery. “It’s not panic mode, but it is something we’re concerned about,” he said. Marx asked the commission to approve a department plan that would shut down all commercial crabbing for 30 days beginning the third Monday in February. The closure would be in effect in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Also restricted would be harvest of immature female crabs throughout the year, except for those that show signs of imminent molting. So-called “buster” crabs are important for the soft-shell-crab industry. Read the rest here 14:55

Helicopter Pesticide Spraying Continues Despite East Hampton Opposition

2014_0602_helicopter_spraying-500x330The Suffolk County Department of Public Works’ Division of Vector Control conducted aerial application of mosquito larvicides at salt marshes on the South Fork including Accabonac Harbor and Napeague yesterday. Weather permitting, the application is to continue today. The East Hampton Town Board adopted a resolution in 2007 opposing the use of methoprene and asking the county to cease using it. In 2014, citing the importance of commercial and recreational fishing to the local economy, the board reiterated its opposition, stating that methoprene “has not been adequately tested and found to be safe in aquatic and marine invertebrates, fish, and zooplankton.” Methoprene is moderately toxic to some fish and highly toxic to others, according to the National Pesticide Information Center, a cooperative venture of the Environmental Protection Agency and Oregon State University. It can accumulate in fish tissues, according to the center. It is “moderately toxic” to crustaceans such as shrimp, lobsters, and crayfish, the center says, and “very highly toxic” to freshwater invertebrates. Read the rest here 13:24

Marine Safety: The new ACR Electronics Firefly PRO rescue light

waterbugThe new Firefly PRO rescue lights by US-owned ACR Electronics are extremely bright, reliable LED strobe lights which, claims ACR, ensure the best chance of visually alerting rescue services for accurate location in an emergency. The powerful lights feature a long battery life and they are targeted at workers at offshore wind farms, in the oil and gas industries, deep sea fishing and other commercial sectors. Available in two versions for manual or water-activated operation, the SOLAS-approved lights use wide light emission LEDs to produce a 360 degree beam of light that is more than 41 candelas bright, allowing for visibility of over 3.5 miles. The compact new strobe lights operate continuously for more than 56 hours with standard alkaline batteries, or for 28 hours using the steady-on feature, due to a light output power management system featuring ACR’s new microprocessor and energy efficient electronics. Read the rest here 11:26

Who’s Behind A Stealth Ad Against The Marine Monument Expansion?

Screen-Shot-2016-07-07-at-7.53.37-PM-400x296The author seems to believe a stealth video created by an unknown source, most likely a very tiny group of individuals and citizens with a very meager budget, is outrageous, and destructive to a cause created by a billion dollar ENGO PEW, that has unlimited resources, paid soldiers, and a mega network of PEW spawned ENGO’s like Oceana, EDF! Burgeoning grass-root groups are ramping up their campaigns for and against the proposed expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument as President Obama weighs whether he should single-handedly create the world’s biggest marine reserve around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Civil Beat requested lists from both groups — Expand Papahanaumokuakea and Fishing Means Food — to better assess who actually backs the campaigns. Read the rest here 09:54

Can 1,500 Scientists All Be Wrong urging Obama to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument?

Director Kewalo Marine Lab Robert Richmond PhD2More than 1,500 scientists from around the world have signed a letter urging President Obama to use his executive authority to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. “There is a growing consensus among marine scientists that 30% of the oceans be set aside for adequate protection against human exploitation, yet only two percent presently benefits from full protection,” the letter said. The group said expanding the monument from the current 50-mile boundary to the full 200-mile allowable limit as proposed would be a “substantial step in the right direction, creating the largest reserve in the world.” Read the scientists’ letter to the president, along with a list of everyone who signed it. Read the rest here 09:00

Fishers balk at proposal to designate Pacific Ocean national monuments

AR-160709615.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667West Coast fishers, including those that supply Los Angeles and Long Beach with local seafood, are incensed at a “secret” proposal from environmentalists asking President Barack Obama to create new national monuments in the Pacific Ocean. Dozens of California fishing businesses and their representatives signed a letter this week asking Obama to ignore suggestions to block fishing in open-ocean areas rich with sea life by designating them as offshore marine monuments. Environmental groups made the proposal in a “secret effort” to lobby the president to declare that many Pacific Ocean seamounts, ridges and banks are national landmarks, according to the letter. The five-page environmental proposal, “The Case for Protecting California’s Seamounts, Ridges and Banks,” argues that these parts of the ocean should be preserved for scientific research. Seamounts and ridges are craggy underwater mountains, and banks are shallow areas near deep ocean drop-offs. “If this proposed action is taken, many local harvesters will be impacted. Loss of access to their fishing grounds, without a public process, will likely cause irreparable harm to the San Pedro fishing community and the consumers they serve.” Read the rest here 08:07