Daily Archives: July 19, 2016

SMAST wins patent on 3D counting, measuring fish on deck of a boat

smastA newly patented 3-D photograph system developed at the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology soon may greatly add to scientists’ knowledge about ocean fish populations, the school announced Tuesday. The device, the work of now-retired dean Dr. Brian Rothschild and graduate student Glenn Chamberlain, includes two digital cameras and a reference frame. Using a common technique called stereo photogrammetry, the device essentially uses 3-D images to map the surface of the fish. The reference frame will permit the monitoring not only of the number of fish, but their size. The fish can be on the deck, or in a net, and the data obtained can be stored permanently, Rothschild said. “The concept is very simple,” Rothschild said, and the parts are easily obtainable commercially; the two cameras cost about $500, he said. “We built one and it did work,” he said. Read the rest here 20:32

Pew Calls for 2 year moratorium on Commercial Fishing of Pacific Bluefin Tuna

pacific bluefin tunaThe Pew Charitable Trusts today called for a two-year moratorium on commercial fishing of the highly depleted Pacific bluefin tuna. In this year’s stock assessment, scientists found that the population is at just 2.6 percent of its historic size and that overall fishing mortality remains up to three times higher than is sustainable. Despite that dire state, the two international bodies that manage Pacific bluefin—the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, which met this month in California, and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, which meets in December in Fiji—have failed for several years to agree on a Pacific-wide recovery plan that will end overfishing and return the population to healthy levels. Projections from the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean show that under current conditions, the catch limits now in place have a less than 1 percent chance of successfully rebuilding the population over the next 20 years. Read the rest here 16:27

More Skeena River fish escaping North Coast fishermen in 2016

30657princerupertsockeyesalmonfisheryCF-MR201408195c-BPfiles-6webThe fishing season has had a grim opening. While the season opened earlier than in recent years, fisherman are having a poor harvest in the Skeena River. The Skeena Tyee test fishery, a gillnetter that collects data for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to determine the amount of sockeye salmon that escape the fishery, reported higher than average levels of escapement on July 8-9. The Northern Representative for the United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union (UFAWU), Joy Thorkelson, said only 7,000 fish were caught and there were 230 boats out fishing. Area 4, in the Skeena, is tracking well but people have different theories about why so many fish bypassed those fishermen. “We don’t know if it was deep or the fishermen weren’t fishing in the right areas. We don’t know what happened. There was lots of escapement and they should have caught way more than they did,” she said. Read the rest here 13:39

Inquest into deaths of French fishermen on Bugaled Breizh is delayed

bb2An inquest into the deaths of French fishermen whose boat sank off the Lizard peninsula 12 years ago will be delayed until January. Cornwall coroner Emma Carlyon announced today that she would most likely start the inquest on how the Bugaled Breizh sank in the new year. It was initially due to be held in September but has been delayed while more evidence is gathered, a preliminary hearing in Truro was told. The trawler from Loctudy, Brittany, sank 14 miles from Lizard Point in January 2004. The families of the fishermen claim the boat was pulled under after tangling its nets with a submarine during a Nato exercise, although this has always been disputed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Read the rest here 12:15

Direct-buy seafood still finding its sea legs

newfoundland buy directBeing allowed to do something and being able to do it are two different things. Buying seafood direct from a fisherman for personal use is no longer against the law in Newfoundland and Labrador, since the provincial government’s announcement in September 2015. Yet direct sales (not through a processing plant or established retailer) are still not the everyday for most — both buyers and sellers. There are fish harvesters interested in exploring direct sales and potential customers abound, but the challenge is connecting one with the other. Blaine Edwards has offered some help through From the Wharf (fromthewharf.com), an online marketplace bringing fish harvesters and seafood lovers together. Read the rest here 12:01

Actual press release: “Policy makers and ecologists must develop a more constructive dialogue to save the planet”

the end is nearFrom the talk not action department and TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN comes this laughable press release: Dublin, Ireland, Tuesday July 19, 2016 – An international consensus demands human impacts on the environment “sustain”, “maintain”, “conserve”, “protect”, “safeguard”, and “secure” it, keeping it within “safe ecological limits”. But, a new Trinity College Dublin-led study that assembled an international team of environmental scientists shows that policy makers have little idea what these terms mean or how to connect them to a wealth of ecological data and ideas.,,“There’s a lot of discussion about “tipping points” — the idea that there are boundaries beyond which, if we push nature it will collapse.,, The more likely alternative is not a sudden change, but a progressive loss of fisheries, croplands, damage to all our natural worlds. A wrong view of nature can have disastrous consequences.” Read the post here 11:43

Listen to the Bristol Bay Fisheries Report, July 18, 2016

IMG_1234The total run to Bristol Bay through Sunday is now 41.2 million. Sunday was another two million fish day, with 1.5 million landed and 500,000 counted as escapement. Will this run reach or surpass the preaseason forecasts? (ADF&G – 46 million / FRI – 51.9 million) Naknek-Kvichak Sunday harvest: 809,000 (821 sockeye avg. per drift delivery) Ugashik: 308,000 (1205) Egegik: 291,000 (857)Nushagak: 186,000 (589) Togiak had the day off.  On tonight’s program, Egegik fisherman and BBFA board member David Kopra reacts to a price posted by Icicle Seafoods of .75/lb for sockeye, plus a .15/lb chilling bonus. (Icicle also says chums .40/lb, kings $1.25/lb, pinks .23/lb, silvers .55/lb.) One longtime Trident Seafoods fisherman says his company offered the same for reds. (Like to share what your companies have posted?  Email Dave or Molly or call 907-842-5281.)  Plus, FRI’s Curry Cunningham breaks down the district runs, and weighs in on what tail that Naknek Kvichak district may, or may not, see this week. Listen to the report here 10:59

Qikiqtaaluk Corp. may lose $2M as a result of cuts to shrimp quota in Nova Scotia

f-v-saputiQikiqtaaluk Corporation, which had one of its vessels damaged earlier this year from striking ice, is now concerned reductions to the Northern shrimp quota for offshore trawlers in Nova Scotia will hurt its bottom line even more. The quota reduction mainly affects companies in Nova Scotia. However, Qikiqtaaluk, the biggest fishing company in Nunavut, also fishes those waters during the winter months. “Having this other announcement is another blow,” said Harry Flaherty, president and CEO of Qikiqtaaluk Corporation. Qikiqtaaluk lost approximately $4 million when the F/V Saputi struck ice in February. It had to be shipped to Poland for repairs and the company also lost months of valuable fishing time, said Flaherty. Now, the Fisheries and Oceans Canada announcement on quote reductions means Qikiqtaaluk may lose an additional $2 million in shrimp stock, said Flaherty. Read the rest here 09:59

Fishing Vessel Runs Aground at Woods Hole

F/V  Hope & SydneyA 67-foot steel-hulled fishing vessel went aground in Woods Hole passage late Monday morning. No injuries were reported after the vessel, named Hope & Sydney, from Point Judith struck Middle Ledge. At 3:15 p.m., the large vessel was still aground at the point where the main channel known to mariners as The Straight branches off to a secondary channel known as Broadway. The ledge is marked by a fixed day mark and a large green floating buoy. “Everybody’s accounted for and safe,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class LaNola Stone. “There is no fuel in the water. They’re just waiting for the tide to float it off.” Link 09:30

Monster shark fishing tournaments face growing pressure to reform

block island shark tournamentIt’s 4am at the dock on Block Island, a teardrop-shaped New England vacation spot situated off Rhode Island, and tempers are fraying among fishermen competing in one of the region’s growing number of big money “monster” shark fishing tournaments. At the previous night’s pre-competition gathering, one fisherman tore off his shirt and hurled it at the organizers, enraged at what he saw as an insufficient prize pot. Then, on the opening morning of a two-day contest to reel in the largest shark, anger flares from a very different source. The Guardian is supposed to join the boat skippered by Peter Brancaleone, last year’s winner of the Block Island Giant Shark Tournament and rotund star of the TV show Shark Hunters. But one of his crew isn’t happy, believing that this reporter is a government spy planted to spread allegations of cheating against Brancaleone. “Either he gets off the boat or I do,” the crew member says. “If he sees us pushing 16 sharks off the side of the boat, what do you think this British fuck is going to tell people? Get him off the boat.” Read the story here 08:47

The mysterious case of the drug-smuggling fishermen

_90434175_bcce0019-8b25-4a76-bcc3-434379c07879In 2011, a group of men from the Isle of Wight was given a combined 104-year prison sentence for masterminding a £53m drug smuggling operation. Does new evidence suggest they were innocent? “It’s like living in a ridiculous police drama,” Sue Beere says. Her husband Jonathan Beere is serving 24 years in a high-security prison in the Midlands, convicted of organising a complex operation to smuggle a quarter of a tonne of cocaine into the UK. She vividly remembers the day police came to arrest him in January 2011: “They literally came through the door in the morning… a troop of men.” Two of the other men, skipper Jamie Green and Zoran Dresic, also received 24-year sentences, while Daniel Payne received 18 years and Scott Birtwistle 14. They had been charged with conspiring to import Class A drugs. Now a new lawyer, Emily Bolton, is working on their case. She founded the Innocence Project New Orleans in the US, which has so far freed 25 prisoners, and has recently set up a new charity in the UK – the Centre for Criminal Appeals – to specialise in miscarriage of justice investigations. Read the story here 07:45