Daily Archives: July 27, 2016

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


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