Monthly Archives: September 2016

A Clean Sweep On The Ocean Floor

Most of the reporting in the media about commercial fishing and declining stocks in the Northeast dwells on how dire the situation has become with the fault generally attributed to fishermen and “overfishing.” The view on the waterfront is very different however. Fishermen have long maintained that there is a huge disconnect between what they see on the water and the conclusions derived from the NOAA surveys and stock assessments. Their claims have been dismissed as self-serving. Now it seems the fishermen have a strong case. On a recent bottom trawl survey, a typical industry net caught four times as many flatfish as the rig used on the government trawl surveys. Written by Don Cuddy, program director at the Center for Sustainable Fisheries Read the story here 17:17

Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted bluefin tuna spawning habitat in Gulf of Mexico

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was one of the largest environmental disasters in history, releasing roughly 4 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. For Atlantic bluefin tuna, it occurred at the worst time of year, during peak spawning season, when eggs and larval fish that are particularly vulnerable to environmental stressors exist in mass quantity. In a study (click here)published in Nature: Scientific Reports, scientists from Stanford and NOAA provide the best yet analysis of how the 2010 breeding season might have been impacted by the oil spill. Although the spill encompassed a relatively small proportion of the bluefin tuna spawning grounds, which extend throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico, the authors showed the cumulative oiled tuna habitat was roughly 3.1 million square miles, representing the potential for a significant impact on eggs and larval bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico. Read the story here 13:43

Critics of Gill Nets Trying to Drive Fishery Offshore

ffaw-signThe Inshore Director for the FFAW says the latest allegations against the use of gill nets is nothing but an attempt to drive the industry offshore. Bill Broderick says the fishery has changed since its early beginnings in the province. He says if we’re going to build an industry we need to build it around a focus on quality rather than quantity. Former politician John Efford came out against the use of gill nets in commercial fishing because he says it affects the quality of the fish. Broderick says that allegation is an attempt to squeeze out the little guy. He says when the moratorium was called the conventional wisdom was if you shut down the capelin fishery, kill and the seals and stop using gill nets it would lead to utopia and we know now this was wrong. Link 13:22

Northern Gulf of Maine State Waters Exempted Scallop Fishery Meeting Scheduled

ngom-scallop-mngmnt-areaThe Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) will take public comment on a possible state waters exempted scallop fishery in the Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) scallop management area. A meeting is scheduled for: 5PM – 7PM Thursday, October 20, 2016 Annisquam River Marine Fisheries Station 30 Emerson Ave., Gloucester, MA. DMF was petitioned to apply for a state waters exempted fishery in the NGOM scallop management area (Figure 1). The petition requests an allowance for both Limited Access General Category – Northern Gulf of Maine (LAGC-NGOM) and Limited Access General Category – Individual Fishing Quota (LAGC-IFQ) permit holders to continue fishing for scallops in the MA state waters portion of the NGOM after the NGOM TAC is harvested. Federal regulations allow that “(a) state may be eligible for a state waters exemption if it has a scallop fishery and a scallop conservation program that does not jeopardize the biomass and fishing mortality/effort limit objectives of the Scallop FMP” (50 CFR §648.54(a). The Commonwealth’s primary scalloping grounds exist in Cape Cod Bay and along the backside of the Cape. A secondary state waters scallop fishery is conducted in Ipswich Bay, which is included in the NGOM scallop management area. DMF Statistical Areas 1-4 equate to the Massachusetts state waters portion of the NGOM (Figure 2). DMF will consider all comments (written comments must be received by 5PM on Friday, October 21st) in making a final decision whether or not to submit a request for a NGOM state waters exempted scallop fishery for the 2017 fishing year. NMFS has final approval of any request made. 12:26

Welsh Fishermen to Tackle Safety at Sea Issues

638_shutterstock_196524308Seafish and the Welsh fishing industry’s deep concern over fishing safety, and the high number of tragic deaths of fishermen at sea this year, has led to a joint initiative to raise awareness and improve the safety of Welsh fishing vessels and fishermen whilst working at sea. Regional fishermen’s associations in Wales are being invited to meet and discuss key health & safety issues facing the fleet and identify practical, workable solutions. The recent tragic loss of the Harvester off Milford Haven has emphasised the need for an industry wide response and it is hoped that the meeting may lead to the formation of an industry-lead Fishing Safety Committee, or Forum, that addresses safety issues on behalf of the Welsh fleet to achieve zero fishing-related deaths in Wales. The first meeting of the fisherman’s associations to discuss fishing safety is due to take place on 4th October 2016 in Builth Wells. Read the rest here 11:43

Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony to honor fishermen Sunday, in Morehead City

57ed347510c48-imageEach October, as the N.C. Seafood Festival comes to a close, fishermen and their families are honored during the Blessing of the Fleet. This year’s ceremony is at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at the N.C. State Port, 113 Arendell St., in Morehead City. Fishermen spend long, hard days on the water providing a living for their families, and the ceremony draws attention to the work that these men and women provide for their community.  “Every year we gather at the Blessing to honor the men and women who continue to work the water, along with their fathers and grandfathers who went before them,” said Jonathan Robinson, of Atlantic. He is a fisherman, county commissioner and member of the Carteret County Fishermen’s Association. “It is a very special time to those of us who are part of this industry. We hope that somehow this service will inspire the next generation to hold on to this way of life. Read the story here 10:59

Someone sank a Maine lobsterman’s boat intentionally . Twice

me_maine_marine_patrolThe Maine Marine Patrol is investigating the sinking of a Port Clyde lobsterman’s boat on Wednesday, just days after the owner had repaired the boat after an earlier sinking on Aug. 17. Tony Hooper, 37, said his lobster boat was released from its mooring overnight, with hoses and bilge wires cut, and left to wash up on a nearby island. The sinking comes little more than a month after an earlier incident when his boat was found 30 feet underwater. “I’m doing all I can to keep my wits about me,” he said. “This is getting ridiculous.” Hooper said he had already lost around $30,000 to repairs for the boat after the first incident and weeks spent off the water. This time, he said he was lucky to have found the boat beached on a nearby island at low tide, with water in the engine. He said he does not know how much these new repairs will cost. “I’ve been losing traps all season,” Hooper said. “I’ve always had a little bit of a problem before, but not to this extent.” Read the story here 09:38

Three Chinese Fishermen Dead in S.Korea Coastguard Confrontation

Three Chinese fishermen were killed on Thursday in a fire that broke out on their boat when South Korean coastguard men trying to apprehend them for illegal fishing threw flash grenades into a room they were hiding in, a South Korean official said. Disputes over illegal fishing are an irritant in relations between China and U.S. ally South Korea, even as their economic relations grow close. They also share concern about North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile programmes. The three men were believed to have suffocated, a coastguard official in the South Korean port city of Mokpo said, adding that the incident was being investigated. The fire broke out in the boat’s steering room, the official, who is not authorised to speak with media and declined to be identified, told Reuters by telephone. South Korean authorities were questioning the 14 surviving crew and coastguard members involved in the operation, the official added. China’s Foreign Ministry said it had lodged a protest with Seoul about the incident. Read the story here 08:54

Seven fishermen towed to safety after 15 hours

Seven fishermen have been towed to safety after a 15-hour operation to rescue an Orkney fishing vessel. The crew of Scotland’s only emergency Coastguard tug helped the stricken 89ft (27m) Kirkwall-registered Russa Taign, which broke down west of Westray. The crew raised the alarm at 18:20 on Thursday but a rescue attempt by a nearby boat failed after a tow snapped. The emergency tug crew were able to fasten a tow and led the Russa Taign back to Kirkwall at 10:00 on Friday. The crew of the Stromness Lifeboat also responded to the Russa Taign’s distress call after it reported losing engine power 12 miles west of Noup Head in winds approaching gale-force. Read the story here 08:29

Real Reality – Men in the water on Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove

dungeon-cove-cg-alertLast nights showing of Dungeon Cove brought reality to the forefront of the viewing public when they interjected the tragedy of the fishing vessel Eagle III into the program. The Coast Guard put an alert out over the radio advising of three men in the water and they ask all mariners to keep an eye out for them and report any sightings. We posted some of the heartbreaking articles here, and the comments made by many were of shock, sadness, and despair as fishermen and friends reacted. Of course, there was also generosity through fundraisers to bring aid for those left behind and prayers. Lots of prayers. It’s what we do. This reality show is as close to it as it comes, and the emotion of the people America is watching is on display, uninhibited. This is the link to the articles we posted, and this link takes you to an article with a short video trailer. The Coast Guard alert is hair raising like it always is. Reality. 20:46

Final BP seafood settlement payments a milestone

Deepwater-Horizon-April-21-2010.-REUTERSBP’s oil spill settlement with private individuals and businesses hit a major milestone this week as the court-appointed claims administrator announced the final round of payments to those most directly affected by the 2010 disaster, fishermen and seafood businesses. The third and last round of payments in the settlement’s $2.3 billion seafood compensation fund totals $520 million, and claims administrator Patrick Juneau said payment letters will go out next week. He says that will provide a major influx of money into the coastal economy for shrimpers, crabbers, oystermen and fin fishermen. Juneau, whom BP once accused of “hijacking” the settlement and barraged with personal attacks for the balance of two years, says this final step is a hard-earned result of BP and plaintiff’s lawyers turning over a new leaf and working together. But a coalition of fishing leaders called GO Fish remains disappointed with the slow pace of claims payments. There was also a hiccup last December when hundreds of fishing claimants were identified as potential fraud cases, a mistake that scared people on Christmas Eve and wasn’t resolved for several months. Read the story here 18:57

Culvert design aimed at saving salmon in Langley Township

salmon-culvert-bcNat Cicuto carefully picks his way down the gravel slope on the south side of the new 86 Avenue culvert to reach the bank of Yorkson creek. It’s a grey, rainy day, and the muddy water is moving fast through the just-installed precast concrete box beneath the road that connects 204 Street to 205B Street. Cicuto, president of the Yorkson Watershed Enhancement Society, has to raise his voice to be heard over the sound. “This is huge,” he says, smiling. “We’re gaining about 100 metres of spawning habitat.” The replacement for the old culvert under the road has opened up the waterway and comes with fish baffles inside that will serve as habitat for wild Pacific coho salmon, he explains. Cicuto calls it a “history-making design” that will protect the fish from people and predators. Video, read the rest here 18:13

Canada Plays Leadership Role in Protecting Key Fish Stocks and Ecosystems in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

nafo-areaCanada expressed its strong support for science advice and strict management measures that protect straddling fish stocks in the Northwest Atlantic at the 38th annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) in Varadero, Cuba last week. Quick Facts – The Canadian quota for 2+3KLMNO Greenland halibut in waters off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador was set at 5,478 tonnes for 2017, which is a rollover from 2016. –  The Canadian quota for 3LN redfish in waters off the east coast of the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador was increased by 1,619 tonnes to 6,049 tonnes for both 2017 and 2018. –  The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) is an international regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) founded in 1979. NAFO’s overall purpose is to help its members work together and share knowledge to effectively manage and conserve the straddling fishery resources of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Read the press release here  16:56

Construction of subsea power cable for Cutler Naval Communications Station has Scallopers concerned

machias%20cable%20_op_1_cp__1475116720456_6326345_ver1-0Fishermen in Machias Bay are on alert as the construction of a subsea power cable is set to get underway. Some met with representatives from the Navy and firms involved in the project in East Machias Monday night to clarify the final plan. “We’ve been in contact with the fishing community starting and throughout the design and environmental review process—so prior to the award of the project,” Kari Moore an environmental planner with the Navy said. Fishermen are worried about how the cable will be classified. They fear it will restrict fishing in parts of the bay. Their primary concern: dredging for scallops in a prime location. “If it gets classified a certain way as a cable area itself, we will lose a lot of bottom, but it’s not a safety concern where it’s buried,” said fisherman Michael E. Murphy. Video, read the story here 14:53

It’s time to talk crab season projections – NPFMC to meet to approve catch limits, discuss management plan

red-king-crab-2432px-608x400The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will meet in Anchorage from Oct. 5-11 to overview crab season projections, hear further discussions of halibut management, and decide what to do about a recent federal appeals court decision that will require more attention to salmon management. The council will approve catch limits for the 2016-17 crab fisheries and review the stock assessment for the last year. Stocks for both snow crab and Bairdi Tanner crab were down according to surveys in 2016, and stakeholders are holding their breath to see if the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will need to close fisheries if abundance doesn’t meet the department thresholds. The crab fishing management plan, or FMP, requires federal scientists to set an overfishing limit, or OFL, and an acceptable biological catch, or ABC. Based on these numbers, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will determine a total allowable catch, or TAC, under its joint management with the council. Read the story here 14:13

Shell Canada offshore drilling incident too close for comfort in area near rich fishing grounds

When heaving waters in the North Atlantic wrenched a string of massive steel pipes from a drilling ship off Nova Scotia’s coast, one of the 20-tonne sections of the plummeting coil struck the seabed just 12 metres from the top of an undersea oil exploration well. The distance is one of several details in a Shell Canada accident report received through access to information legislation, prompting critics to say the entire incident was too close for comfort in an area near one of Atlantic Canada’s richest fishing grounds of the Scotian Shelf. A summary report by the regulator issued earlier this year had said a heavier portion of the drilling system fell 22 metres from the wellhead, but didn’t mention the closer distance of pipes that are coiled and criss-crossed through an area of seabed the size of three football fields in length and breadth. Read the story here 12:32

Missing fish catch data? Not necessarily a problem, new study says

university_of_washington_seal-svgRecording how many fish are caught is one important requirement to measure the well-being of a fish stock — if scientists know the number of fish taken from the ocean, they can adjust management of that fishery to keep it from being overfished. Missing , however, are rampant, causing concern that fisheries around the world are overfished. A new study by University of Washington scientists finds that in many cases, this isn’t true. Specifically, misreporting caught fish doesn’t always translate to overfishing. The study was published online this month in the journal Fish and Fisheries. “While quantifying total catch is important for understanding how much is removed from the system, it is possible to manage sustainably even if we don’t know those numbers,” said lead author Merrill Rudd, a UW doctoral student in aquatic and fishery sciences. “This paper shows there are some situations where, just because there is unreported catch, it doesn’t mean we are overfishing.” Read the article here 11:56

St. George lobsterman charged in sinking of rival’s boat

me_maine_marine_patrolAccording to documents filed in Knox County Unified Court, Alan B. Norwood, 47, of St. George, was charged with aggravated criminal mischief, class C, for allegedly paying two others, Vincent Hilt, 22, of Vinalhaven, and Devin Meklin, 20, of Warren, to sink a boat owned by another lobsterman, Josh Hupper. In interviews at Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Hilt and Meklin admitted to stealing the skiff and using it to get out to Hupper’s boat, which they then sank. They said Norwood had offered them $500 to sink the boat. Both have been charged with aggravated criminal mischief and theft. Norwood had told the Marine Patrol that he did not pay anyone to sink Hupper’s boat. A search warrant was issued Sept. 9 for the Marine Patrol to examine cell phone records,,, Read the story here 11:27

Dungeness crab get qualified thumbs-up in tests for domoic acid

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The fate of the Dungeness crab season will hang on the test results coming out of an East Bay lab. With the beginning of the season approaching in November, the California Department of Public Health has begun safety tests on Dungeness crab a few weeks earlier than usual. Dungeness crab samples collected from Crescent City (Del Norte County) all the way down to Monterey are filing in to the Food and Drug Laboratory Branch in Richmond, where they are tested for domoic acid, the naturally occurring but potentially devastating neurotoxin that wreaked havoc on last year’s season. So far, results are normal for this time of year, said Patrick Kennelly, chief of food safety at the state health department — even though crabs from four of six regions are testing positive for domoic acid. But you can be sure that crabbers, as well as officials from the departments of public health and fish and wildlife, are watching the results closely, with Dungeness crab season due to start Nov. 5 for recreational fishers and Nov. 15 for commercial crabbers. Read the story here 09:42

Four fishermen rescued by fishing boat off Newfoundland when boat burns

Four fishermen are safe today after a rescue at sea from a burning boat about 50 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland’s northern peninsula. The fishermen from the Atlantic Provider were brought back to Port aux Choix Wednesday afternoon on board the fishing vessel Avalon Voyager. The Avalon Voyager was close by when the distress call was issued and steamed to the aid of the burning vessel. Capt. Liam Mather of the rescue co-ordination centre says a cormorant helicopter was sent from Gander but didn’t participate in the rescue. He says the helicopter returned to its base after the Avalon Voyager took the fishermen on board. Link 08:10

Fishermen, state, in flux after circuit court overturns state control of Cook Inlet salmon

09282016_erik-huebsch_mcchesney-300x200In Cook Inlet, managing the salmon runs for commercial, sport and subsistence interests is so controversial, it’s often called a fish war. A group of commercial fishermen who think the state is mismanaging the fisheries, have won the latest battle. A three-judge panel at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that the area needs federal oversight. But no one knows exactly what that will mean. The United Cook Inlet Drift Association and the Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund say that instead of addressing habitat problems or fighting invasive species that eat salmon in Cook Inlet – the state simply restricted commercial fishing. So the fishing groups sued the National Marine Fisheries Service. They argued against a 2011 decision to remove several Alaska salmon fisheries — including Cook Inlet — from federal management and transfer the responsibility of managing salmon to the state.  A three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. For commercial fishermen like Brian Harrison, in Homer, the court’s decision is a victory. But, he’s not sure what to expect going forward. Read the story here 18:53

Commercial Fishermen Question Obama’s Ocean ‘Monument’ Preserve

f-viking%20village%20fleet“All commercial fishing is excluded from the area, but fisheries in the top 10 to 20 feet, no way in the world they’re going to impact the bottom,” pointed out Nils Stolpe, communications director of the association. Such is the case for a lot of the Barnegat Light-based boats, he said, for example, longliners and some hook-and-line tuna boats. “They’re fishing 3 miles up above all of this on the ocean floor.” “Longliners are probably affected more than any of our other fisheries up there” by the declaration, said Ernie Panacek, general manager at Viking Village Commercial Seafood Producers in Barnegat Light. “Our bottom longlining boats and surface longlining for sword and tuna boats are going to be affected up there.” Golden tilefish is found on the bottom and tuna and sword on the surface, “and they’re banning all commercial fishing,” Panacek noted. “It’s not a big area, necessarily, but my biggest concern is an expansion of this national monument just like they did in Hawaii,” he added. Panacek said fishermen have done “extensive work” with the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Council and the Garden State Seafood Association to protect deep-sea coral reefs and sea mounts in the North Atlantic, and were awarded for it. “And now President Obama had to step ahead and do this; I don’t understand,” Panacek said. The federal Magnuson Stevens Act has been managing these areas “and they have been managed properly,” he said. Read the story here 17:47

Invader green crabs from Europe threaten havoc in Puget Sound

20160914_gd_green_crab-550x440Emily Grason and Sean McDonald trudge through the mud of San Juan Island’s Westcott Bay on the hunt for something they hope not to find: A 3-inch menace: the European green crab. In late August, a single adult male was found for the first time in Washington’s inland sea. University of Washington researchers responded, arriving at the location of that first sighting  with hundreds of traps in tow. “It might seem like it’s crazy for us to have such an intense trapping effort for just a single crab being found. One crab, what’s the big deal?” says Emily Grason, project coordinator for the Washington Sea Grant Crab Team. “But these crabs do tend to show up in numbers and where there’s one, there’s often more.” Video, read the story here 17:24

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 44ft. 11in. Fiberglass Crab/Groundfish, 375HP, John Deere Diesel

8093%2001Specifications, information and 24 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 15:10

Temporary restraining order against the State in southern flounder lawsuit

57ebd4a356e5a-imageSuperior Court Judge John Nobles issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday during a hearing in superior court against the state enjoining officials from going forward with new southern flounder fishery regulations. Groups fighting the new regulations had requested a preliminary injunction. But the judge went with the TRO because not all of the defendants had been notified of the action. The next hearing date is to be announced, but officials hope to have it the week starting Monday, Oct. 10. Commercial fishermen and supporters of the civil action were present in the courtroom. Read the story here 13:40

Investigation may lead to charges in the Nathan Carman “Chicken Pox’’ boat sinking

A multi-state investigation is underway into Nathan Carman and the disappearance of his mother while on a tuna fishing trip with him, a trip that authorities said took them farther out to sea than Linda Carman wanted. The mother and her 22-year-old son were aboard the son’s 32-foot aluminium boat, the “Chicken Pox’’ when it began to take on water Sept. 18 and sank near Block Canyon, an area in the Atlantic Ocean about 100 miles off New York. It has been reported (His Mother Inherited $21 Million After the Murder of Her Father) Nathan Carman told Coast Guard investigators he deployed the ship’s lifeboat, but when he turned to look for his mother, she was gone, and he never saw his mother again. The mystery deepened Tuesday after revelations that authorities had searched Carman’s Vernon, Vt., home. Rhode Island authorities wrote in court papers seeking the search warrant that repairs that Carman was making to the boat himself rendered the vessel unsafe. Read the story here 12:44

Marine Harvest Canada sues Alexandra Morton for trespassing on fish farms

alexandra-mortonAquaculture company Marine Harvest Canada has filed a lawsuit against activist and independent biologist Alexandra Morton for allegedly trespassing on three of their salmon farms on the B.C. coast last month. Morton spent the summer visiting salmon farms — uninvited — aboard the R/V Martin Sheen owned by the group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, looking for a controversial virus prevalent in salmon farms. In the lawsuit, Marine Harvest alleges she and others trespassed on their Glacier Falls, Midsummer Island and Sonora Island operations without permission and intentionally tampered with the equipment. At two facilities, they’re accused of violating biosecurity procedures. The group is also accused of flying a drone and diving at one facility, putting an object in the water at another and ignoring Marine Harvest’s instruction to leave. Read the story here 09:57

Federal Government has signalled it would consider a shark cull on the NSW north coast

As shark attack victim Cooper Allen recovers in Lismore Hospital, the Federal Government has signaled it would consider a shark cull on the NSW north coast. Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg’s statement comes as the State Government announces a further three- month trial of shark-spotting drones and additional drum lines for the area. He said he was open to proposals for a cull of great white sharks. Culling great whites would need federal approval because they are a vulnerable species. Read the rest here 09:26

New England: Twin trawl survey validates industry concerns with NOAA assessment

Fishermen in New England do not believe that the survey vessel used by NOAA is catching fish in amounts comparable to what they haul up and have long questioned the fishing gear NOAA employs. To address these doubts a Rhode Island captain, Chris Roebuck went out and towed two nets simultaneously to compare the different gear types. here is what he found. Watch the video here 08:41

Commercial fishing closures in Port Stephens will be lifted

williamstown-afb-closureThe closures were put in place in September last year after it was revealed that toxic fire fighting foam used at the nearby Williamtown RAAF Base had for years been contaminating the surrounding environment. Similar voluntary bans were put in place in the Hunter River. On Tuesday the deputy director of primary industries, Geoff Allan, said the closures would be lifted after advice provided by the Williamtown Contamination Expert Panel. “Reopening Tilligerry Creek and Fullerton Cove to both commercial and recreational fishers was recommended by the Williamtown Expert Panel and follows the Commonwealth’s Human Health Risk Assessment and the enHealth Guideline review,” Dr Allan said in a statement. “These fishing closures have been in place since September 2015 and were implemented while testing and analysis of seafood in the vicinity was undertaken, to determine the level of impact in the Hunter and Port Stephens waterways.” An ongoing restriction will be placed on dusky flathead caught in the Hunter River for commercial fishers. “The public can be confident that seafood for sale is safe to eat,” he said. Read the rest here 19:37

Records show man rescued at sea was slay suspect

Court records show that a Vermont man who spent a week on a life raft in the Atlantic Ocean before he was rescued recently was a suspect in the unsolved 2013 killing of his grandfather in Connecticut. Nathan Carman, of Vernon, Vermont, was rescued Sunday. His mother, Linda Carman, of Middletown, Connecticut, is still missing and presumed dead. Nathan Carmen told the Coast Guard he and his mother were on his fishing boat when it sank. Documents obtained by The Hartford Courant show that Nathan Carman was investigated in the fatal shooting of 87-year-old John Chakalos. According to a search warrant, Carman was the last person known to see his grandfather alive on Dec. 20, 2013, because he had dinner with him at his home in Windsor, Connecticut. Chakalos was found dead the next morning. Read more here 18:59

Scottish fishermen fear they will lose out after voting for Brexit

peterhead-trawlerJames Stevens has spent 37 years fishing out of Peterhead. When he began, some 450 boats frequently filled the granite harbour on Scotland’s rugged northeast coast. Today only about 100 trawlers regularly leave Peterhead to ply their trade in the North Sea. Like almost everyone in Peterhead, Stevens blames the European Union – and particularly the unpopular common fisheries policy – for his industry’s decline. In June, the skipper of the Harvest Hope voted for Brexit “for my children and my grandchildren”. Stevens is “chuffed” that the UK will be leaving the EU, but his pleasure is tinged with a note of concern. He is worried that fishing could become a bargaining chip for both the UK and Scottish governments during the Brexit negotiations. “There is concern that we will be sold down the river again by government,” says fisherman Peter Bruce. He would like to see article 50 – the mechanism to trigger Britain’s formal exit talks with the EU – invoked quickly but that is unlikely. Read the story here 17:27

Maine lobstermen’s group weighs in on death of entangled whale

right-whale-statsThere are signs the ropes were from fishing gear not used for lobstering, an official says, as others discuss regulations that protect the endangered animal. The death of a 45-ton right whale found entangled in fishing line about 12 miles off the Maine coast over the weekend has caught the attention of the Maine lobster industry even though it’s not clear whether the whale’s demise was related to lobster fishing. The right whale is endangered and protected by the federal government. Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, said preliminary indications appear to show that the ropes found on the whale were much larger than those typically used by lobstermen. The larger ropes would instead more often be found in deep-sea fishing, she said. Read the story here 17:18

NMFS Announces Proposed Rule to Protect Deep-Sea Corals in the Mid-Atlantic

noaa nmfs logoOn September 26, 2016, NOAA Fisheries announced a proposed rule to designate a deep-sea coral protection area in the Mid-Atlantic. The area extends from the continental shelf/slope break off the Mid-Atlantic states (New York to North Carolina) to the border of the Exclusive Economic Zone.  If finalized, this proposed rule would be the first nationally to protect deep-sea corals under the new deep sea coral discretionary provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The public has until November 1 to comment on this proposed rule, either online or by mail. It should be noted that 11 years ago, the New England Fishery Management Council used the essential fish habitat provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to protect deep-sea corals located in two offshore canyon areas (Lydonia and Oceanographer) through an amendment to the Monkfish Fishery Management Plan. “This would protect 15 deep-sea canyons in a total area of about 24 million acres, about the size of Virginia, or about 20 times the size of the Grand Canyon National Park,” said John Bullard, regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region. Read the Proposed rule, request for comments here 17:01

Fishermen looking to derail Bay of Fundy tidal project head to court

An ambitious plan to lower two massive turbines into the Bay of Fundy, where they will be tested against the awesome power of the world’s highest tides, has hit more legal turbulence. A group of Nova Scotia fishermen will seek a court order to suspend the Cape Sharp Tidal project until a judge can review the case early next year. The 175-member Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association confirmed Sept. 27 that it will head to court Oct. 20 to seek a stay of a June decision by Nova Scotia’s environment minister to approve the project’s test phase. “It’s is critically important,” spokesman Colin Sproul said in an interview.  “If that turbine goes in the water in the Bay of Fundy (this fall) …. it will never be removed. That’s why it’s so critical for our case for the stay application to pass.” Read the story here 16:32

Nova Scotia’s ancient cold-water corals protected by fishing ban

some-of-the-corals-live-for-a-thousand-years-this-model-shows-what-they-look-likeFisheries and Oceans Canada says its decision to protect more than 9,000 square kilometres of ocean bottom off Nova Scotia will have a minimal impact on the province’s fishing industry and a major impact in saving ancient cold water corals. Canada is banning all forms of bottom fishing in two areas:  Forty-nine square kilometres in the Jordan Basin 100 kilometres west of Nova Scotia, and Nine thousand square kilometres in two underwater canyons — Corsair and Georges canyons farther from the coast, by Georges Bank. The corals can live for 1,000 years. The protections are part of the federal government commitment to protect 10 per cent of Canada’s oceans by 2020.  The change bans people from lobster and crab-trap fishing on the bottom, trawl dragging, using a gill net, and hook-and-line fishing that uses anchors. MacDonald said only seven lobster fishermen had catches in the Jordan Basin area closer to shore. Read the rest here 10:34

Annual Irish Groundfish Survey Now Under Way

 RV Celtic ExplorerThe Marine Institute’s annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS2016) began off the North West Coast on Sunday 25 September, continuing till Thursday 6 October, in fulfilment of Ireland’s Common Fisheries Policy obligations. IGFS2016 is a demersal trawl survey consisting of a minimum of 45 fishing hauls each of 30 minutes’ duration. Fishing in 2016 is taking place within a two-nautical-mile radius of positions indicated in Marine Notice No 41 of 2016, available to read or download HERE. The survey is being conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (Callsign EIGB), which will display all appropriate lights and signals throughout and is also listening on VHF Channel 16. The Celtic Explorer will be towing a high headline GOV 36/47 demersal trawl during fishing operations. The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a two-nautical-mile area around the tow points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period outlined above. Read the rest here 09:52

North Carolina Counties and fishermen’s associations file lawsuit over flounder supplement

north_carolina_flagSeveral coastal counties have joined with commercial fishermen in litigation against the State of North Carolina regarding last year’s decision by the Marine Fisheries Commission to adopt new regulations on the southern flounder fishery by using the “Supplement” process. The complaint was filed on Sept. 23 in Carteret County Superior Civil Court in Beaufort. The plaintiffs include NCFA Inc., the Carteret County Fisherman’s Association Inc., Carteret County, Dare County and Hyde County. Defendants served with the complaint are the secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, the director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries and all members of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission. The practical effect of the litigation is to stop the closure of the recreational and commercial southern flounder fisheries, scheduled to take effect this fall. Read the story here 08:53

Lake Erie captain ordered to use GPS after pleading guilty to multiple counts under the Fisheries Act

kimmy-sue-lake-erieA Leamington commercial fishing boat captain with decades of sailing experience in Lake Erie has agreed to have his boat’s movements monitored by GPS during the next two years. Paolo Adragna, 50, pleaded guilty to multiple counts under the Fisheries Act in a Chatham court Monday, as part of a joint submission that he also pay $18,000 in fines and the family company, 149561 Ontario Limited, was assessed another $2,000 in fines for illegal fishing operations in 2015. Charges against the defendant’s elderly parents, who were jointly charged, were withdrawn. Crown attorney Demetrius Kappos said the defendant was the captain of the vessel Kimmy Sue and a director in the family business that holds two commercial food fishing licences to take fish from zones 1 and 2 in Lake Erie. Kappos said ministry staff conducted an inspection of the Kimmy Sue at the Port of Kingsville on Oct. 1, 2015 and found several trays containing undersized gill nets, a breach of a licensing condition. Read the story here 08:01

Fishing Catch Share restructure a ‘shambles’ in New South Wales!

i-can-t-keep-calm-cuz-i-m-going-insaneAttempts to prepare fishers for the share trading program of the NSW fishing industry restructure are a shambles says a local industry representative. Clarence River Fishermen’s Cooperative general manager Danielle Adams, attended a mock or pre-trading share program session in Maclean on Tuesday, where she said it was obvious the NSW Department of Primary Industries was clueless about the direction it was taking the industry. “Most attendees including myself left the session disappointed, angrier, dismayed, some distraught, and with many more questions than when we came,” Ms Adams said. The sessions were part of border-to-border training for fishers to prepare them for the opening of share trading. “The trainer was not from DPI/Fisheries, an obvious ploy to avoid having to answer pertinent questions,” she said. She said the inclusion of mental health line numbers in the DPI’s literature showed the department was aware of impacts it could have. “On seeking further clarification individuals were told to call Beyond Blue or a mental health line,” she said.  “Imagine calling the DPI line to gain clarification on your financial future and being told they don’t have the answers but being given a mental health number to call instead – they are aware of the toll this process is taking. Read the story here 20:09

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for September 26, 2016

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 19:18

NFL Hall-of-Famer Warren Sapp’s Tuna Thrill. He’s coming back to P.E.I for more!

warren-sapp-love-his-tunaNFL Hall-of-Famer and former Super Bowl champion Warren Sapp appears to have enjoyed his trip to P.E.I., posting pictures of his tuna fishing excursion off North Lake to his Instagram account. More photos, Read the story here 17:46

N.C. Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Bass Fishing

stripersA North Carolina fisherman pleaded guilty Monday to the illegal harvest and sale of Atlantic striped bass in federal waters in 2010. The Justice Department said the charges against Dewey Willis Jr. of Newport, N.C., stemmed from an multi-defendant investigation involving 13 other commercial fishermen. As described in a written notice of Willis’s pleas, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received a tip regarding the fishermen’s alleged illegal activities involving striped bass, and directed the U.S. Coast Guard to board the fishing vessel Lady Samaira in February 2010. Willis and the other fishermen onboard were charged with violating the Lacey Act, a federal law that prohibits individuals from transporting, selling or buying fish and wildlife harvested illegally. Now that he was entered a guilty plea, Willis faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Read the rest here 17:15

Burn the gillnets?

cod-fish-852As we move ever closer to a revival of the commercial cod fishery, insiders say it’s essential the focus be on quality over quantity, and that means there may be no place for the controversial gillnet. That was one of the messages delivered Monday in St. John’s to members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, and no one said it more forcefully than John Efford. “Take every gillnet in Newfoundland and have a bonfire,” Efford, a former provincial and federal politician with deep ties to the fishery, told the committee. The committee is studying the northern cod stock, and preparing for a day when the resource is once again healthy enough to sustain a large-scale commercial fishery. There’s different opinions on when that might be, but there appears to be unanimous support for a fishery that delivers premium quality products to the marketplace, therefore yielding the highest possible price for those who take part. Efford says there’s no place for gillnets in such a fishery because quality suffers, and the market will not tolerate it. Read the story here 16:16

FISH-NL: Fish harvesters in Port de Grave curious to see what will come of a push to form alternative to the FFAW.

2016-09-26-07-21-02-com-a00-27092016-port-de-grave-arThe union drive so far is getting some serious looks. Hundreds of harvesters attended meetings held last week in Corner Brook and Clarenville. Frustrations hinge on a variety of issues that have come up in the industry. One man on the wharf pointed to various fees in place and the exorbitant compensation for union management and staff. On the flipside of that, a pension for harvesters amounts to selling off their enterprise when they’re ready to leave the sea. Meanwhile, those who continue to harvest are finding it difficult to compete against boats owned by plant operators and even the union itself. There’s also some general dissatisfaction over cod licenses granting harvesters the right to catch 2,000-3,000 pounds per week. “Why would a 65-foot or a 70-foot boat go out and get that, and pay a crew? There’s nothing there to do it. And that’s what really stirred all this up, is when the cod fishery came out. People weren’t consulted about it. Two or three (people) higher up in the union come out with all this planning, and there’s no consultations done with fishers … Read the story here 13:30

Five things Steve Crocker told the standing committee on fisheries and oceans

2016-05-27-03-35-38-tel%20a09-10032016-minister%20steve-crockerProvincial Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods Minister Steve Crocker appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans this morning at the Sheraton Hotel, St John’s. His presentation was part of the committee’s study on the northern cod stock, which stretches from the Grand Banks to the south coast of Labrador.  Newfoundland and Labrador has an extremely small share of the current global cod market. Currently, the Newfoundland and Labrador cod fishery primarily produces single frozen fillets and portions in the form of loins and tails,,, The management of forage species such as caplin can be better integrated with the management objective for cod, and the impact of competitors and predators such as seals could also be considered,,, Read the rest here 13:11

This 43-foot dead whale was trucked through downtown Portland

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is investigating how an endangered right whale found floating off the Maine coast Friday became entangled in fishing gear that probably caused its death. Jennifer Goebel, a spokeswoman for NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Region in Gloucester, Massachusetts, confirmed Sunday evening that fishing gear ropes were the most likely cause of the North Atlantic right whale’s demise. Goebel said NOAA will try to identify the gear’s owner, but she was uncertain whether punitive action would be taken. If the owner can be identified, NOAA could use the incident to raise public awareness and develop strategies for preventing future occurrences. Read the story here 12:33

Environmental group dislikes new rule for listing, delisting or reclassification under the Endangered Species Act

angry enviroThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries finalized a rule Monday that changes the process by which species are petitioned for listing, delisting or reclassification under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under the rule, first proposed in May 2015, petitioners will be required to notify each state wildlife agency where a species is located at least 30 days before submitting a petition to the federal government. The delay will gives states an opportunity to provide agencies with pertinent information on the species. The new rule also restricts the number of species that can be petitioned for at one time. Under the rule, only one species is allowed per petition. The Center for Biological Diversity was quick to slam the rule, calling it an “impediment” to using the Endangered Species Act. “These new restrictions on citizen petitions are nothing more than a gift to industries and right-wing states that are hostile to endangered species,” Brett Hartl, the group’s director of endangered species policy, said in a statement. Read the story here 10:34

What Quota? Hawaii Longliners Are Fishing For Ahi Again

ahi-tuna406x250Hawaii’s longline fishermen are back at sea in search of more ahi after extending their quota limit through an agreement with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The 2016 season had ended early, as it has for the past few years, when the longline fleet in late July hit its 3,554-ton limit for bigeye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific. The deal between Quota Management Inc. President Khang Dang and Northern Marianas Gov. Ralph Torres involves paying the territory $250,000 for 1,000 tons of its 2,000-ton limit. Under the agreement, QMI can assign its rights and obligations to the Hawaii Longline Association, a wholly owned subsidiary of QMI. The association is a nonprofit trade group formed to support the $100 million commercial longline fisheries industry, which includes a fleet of roughly 140 vessels ported in Honolulu. (the author seem to have an axe to grind) Read the story here 09:53

A New England story goes Australian – Fishing industries under pressure

Atlantic-Cod-Dieter-CraasmannThe cod isn’t just a fish to David Goethel. It’s his identity, his ticket to middle class life, his link to a historic industry. “I paid for my education, my wife’s education, my house, my kids’ education; my slice of America was paid for on cod,” said Goethel, a 30-year veteran of waters that once teemed with New England’s signature fish. But on a chilly, windy Saturday in April, after 12 hours out in the Gulf of Maine, he has caught exactly two cod, and he feels far removed from the 1990s, when he could catch 2,000 pounds in a day. The US fishing fleet has dwindled from more than 120,000 vessels in 1996 to about 75,000 today, the Coast Guard says. For the fishermen of the northeastern US – not all of whom accept the scientific consensus on climate change, and many of whom bristle at government regulations stemming from it – whether to stick with fishing, adapt to the changing ocean or leave the business is a constant worry. Robert Bradfield was one of the East Coast’s most endangered species, a Rhode Island lobsterman, until he pulled his traps out of the water for the last time about a decade ago. Read the rest here 09:30

U.S. Coast Guard confirms one missing boater from Middletown has been found safe

nathan-carmen-found-aliveThe U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed that one of two Middletown missing boaters has been found alive. Nathan Carman was found Sunday drifting at sea by a freighter. He was in good condition and was coming back to an undisclosed port. There was no information about the whereabouts of his mother, Linda. “Good to go,” Coast Guard representatives said.  He was not suffering from life threatening injuries, which is why he’s staying on the freighter. He was found on a four person inflatable life raft that is required safety equipment The family has been notified. Saturday night, friends held a vigil for the Carman’s at Linda’s home. For about a week, the Coast Guard searched roughly 60,000 square miles for  Linda Carman and her son Nathan. Read the story here 20:48

Ushering industrial aquaculture into the Pacific Islands Region EEZ is anything but sustainable

NOAA ScientistRight now, anyone can throw a cage into the open ocean within the Economic Enterprise Zone and begin an aquaculture operation, said Joshua DeMello, of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. The beginning of that aquaculture management program for the Pacific Islands Region is in the works, under the eye of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service and in conjunction with Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. The entities are preparing a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) analyzing the possible environmental impacts of the proposed management program and alternatives. “The purpose of it is to develop a management program to support sustainable, economically sound aquaculture in the Pacific Island Region,” DeMello said. The PEIS process looks at options for permit duration, whether cages should be metal or net pens, and allowable species. But ushering industrial aquaculture into the EEZ is anything but sustainable, poses a threat to the environment and could impact commercial fishing, according to a biologist. Read the story here 20:13

Oops. Shrimp boat raises Holy Hell at the St. Simons Island pier!

A shrimp boat out of South Carolina apparently tried to stop at the St. Simons Island pier late Saturday afternoon to sell shrimp, but the sales pitch didn’t go as planned. The boat is called the High Tide, and was registered out of Hilton Head Island, S.C. The boat got its nets tangled in the railing and caused damage to the western tip of the structure. Shark fisherman Jacob Key said the shrimp boat stopped on the eastern tip of the pier, and the shrimper began handing over buckets of shrimp to a woman he knew on the pier, with plans to sell them to the anglers and sightseers there. But this caused a commotion with the anglers’ fishing lines, and the boat relocated to the south tip of the T-shaped pier. The boat was on the shore side of the pier on the western tip when its net became entangled in a light post. The trawler booms were down and the net and boom tore down several yards of railing, two light posts and a new fish-cleaning table. Read the rest here 18:25

Baseball mourns Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez – Killed with two others in boating tragedy

57e8226776fb2-imageJose Fernandez escaped from Cuba by boat on his fourth try as a teenager, and when his mother fell into the Yucatan Channel during the journey, he jumped in and pulled her out. Fernandez’s heroic backstory made his death early Sunday that much more heart-wrenching. The charismatic Miami Marlins ace was killed in a boating accident at age 24. Fernandez and two other people died when their 32-foot vessel slammed into a jetty off Miami Beach, authorities said. Authorities didn’t know the time of the crash. The capsized boat was found shortly after 3 a.m. “It does appear that speed was involved due to the impact and the severity of it,” Veloz said. “It does appear to be that they were coming at full speed when they encountered the jetty, and the accident happened.” The boat was owned by a friend of Fernandez. Read the story here 17:46:17

New book explores rise and ongoing value of commercial fishing in Whatcom County

newcoverJoshua Stilts grew up in Bellingham the son of a commercial fisher, but never got hooked on fishing himself. Instead, he pursued his interest in journalism. “Telling other people’s stories is what I was passionate about,” said Stilts, who now lives in Seattle. He recently combined his interest in storytelling with his family ties to fishing by writing “Whatcom Fish Tales: A Historical Look at the County’s Seafood Industry.” Stilts described his book as the first overview of the history of commercial fishing in the county for a general audience. His book is more than a personal memoir or a fishing company profile, but less than an academic history on the subject. Read the rest here 17:17

Four New Papers Link Solar Activity, Natural Ocean Cycles To Climate – And Find Warmer Temps During 1700s, 1800s

sun-earthAs of mid-September, there have already been 77 peer-reviewed scientific papers authored by several hundred scientists linking solar activity to climate change.  There were 43 as of the end of June, as seen here. In other words, there have been 34 more papers linking solar forcing to climate change made available online just since July. This publication rate for 2016 is slightly ahead of the pace of published papers linking solar forcing to climate change for  2015 (95 Solar-Climate papers ) and 2014 (93 Solar-Climate papers). At this rate, it is likely that a list of 300+ scientific papers linking solar forcing to climate change will have been made available between 2014 and 2016. In addition, there have already been 41 papers published in science journals this year linking natural oceanic oscillations (i.e., ENSO, NAO, AMO, PDO) to climate changes. There were 27 such papers as of the end of June. The solar-ocean oscillation climate connection has gained widespread acceptance in the scientific community. For example, see “35 New Scientific Publications Confirm Ocean Cycles, Sun Are the Main Climate DriversRead the rest here 15:36

Herrera Beutler-backed bill to kill sea lions gains traction

381713_301237193241596_1999984487_nA measure backed by U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, allowing for the killing of sea lions to protect endangered fish, is gaining momentum in Congress. The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act, co-sponsored by Oregon’s Democratic U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, was approved by the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday. The bill allows tribal members and fish managers to remove California sea lions from specific areas to protect salmon, steelhead and other native fish that are considered threatened. “Salmon are central to our way of life in the Pacific Northwest, but right now sea lion predation is posing a serious threat to our salmon populations,” Herrera Beutler said in a statement. “Significant resources are invested to ensure their survival, but we’re being poor stewards of these resources if we don’t also manage the threat of an exploding sea lion population.” Read the rest here 14:35

Bill to limit presidential powers to designate monuments

screen_shot_2014-09-26_at_11-11-34_am-0Key US Senators are trying to limit presidential power to designate sweeping national monuments on land and water—an issue that hit home with American Samoa’s fishing industry in the last few years. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Lisa Murkowski and Arizona Senator Jeff Flake have introduced separate bills to curb presidential power under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The law gives the president, sweeping power to designate hundreds of thousands of square miles of ocean and millions of acres of land, as national monuments. President Obama established in 2009, and expanded in 2014, the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument—the largest marine protected area in the world…covering 370,000 square nautical miles, and encompassing important fishing areas for American Samoa’s fishing industry. Read the rest here 13:57

Tasmania’s rock lobster fishermen fight a wave of red tape

tasmanian lobster fishermanTasmania’s rock lobster fishermen are a hardy bunch, weathering everything from wild storms to toxic algal blooms, but they have been blindsided by a wave of costly red tape. Third- and fourth-generation rock lobster fishermen who have built an $85 million-a-year trade, mostly via exports to Asia, say new regulations at both state and federal levels threaten chaos. Changes to state regulations proposed from March next year will force rock lobster fishermen to unload their catch in the same area it is caught. While designed to prevent fishermen taking extra lobsters from capped catch areas on their journey home, fishermen say the rule will force them to unload hundreds of kilometres away from their home ports and buyers. Like other fishing industries, they also face massive hikes — up to 116 per cent — in marine safety compliance fees, due to a federal takeover of the role by the ­Australian Maritime Safety Authority. They believed the state change was a lazy means of making policing easier for fisheries management. “We are not criminals and we shouldn’t be treated like criminals,” said Mr Parker’s brother and fellow rock lobster fisherman, John Parker. A submission by the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fisherman’s Association describes the state changes as “overly bureaucratic, burdensome and punitive”, as well as unjustified, given there was no evidence of a compliance problem. Read the rest here 11:11

The government wants more offshore fish farms, but no one is biting

Off the coast of San Diego, America’s eighth largest city, commercial fishermen harvest about 1,100 metric tons of seafood from the Pacific every year. That sounds like a lot. But it isn’t much to Don Kent, who says he can do better with just one fish farm. If Kent gets his way, he would raise 5,000 metric tons of yellowtail jack and white sea bass in a grid of net pens measuring about a square mile, anchored four miles off San Diego in federal waters. The species are prized in Southern California sushi restaurants, which now serve their customers imported fish almost exclusively, most of it from China, Japan, Greece or Chile. The US imports about 91% of its seafood. Whether consumers know it or not, about half of that is farmed in aquaculture facilities much like the one Kent wants to build. While the federal government has permitted shellfish farming for years, it didn’t allow farming of finfish such as bass and salmon until earlier this year. Read the story here 10:41