Daily Archives: November 10, 2016

Coast Guard conducts boardings, returns vessels to port for safety violations in Hawaii

coast-guard-hawaiiThe crew of the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) terminated the voyages of the commercial fishing vessels Azure, Capt. Millions III and Capt. Danny for hazardous safety conditions during boardings off Honolulu Harbor in early November. Of the 10 total boardings, the crew terminated the voyages of three fishing vessels and issued 39 notices of violation, including two fisheries violations, two potential marine pollution violations and 35 safety violations. Partnering with the Galveston Island during the boardings were two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents bringing their expansive knowledge and fisheries expertise. Of the three fishing vessels whose voyages were terminated by the Galveston Island crew, the boarding team found multiple discrepancies, including excessive volatile fuel, multiple five-gallon buckets of oily water, oily water in the bilge, lack of a sound-producing device, lack of a record log book for training and drills as well as inoperable bilge and general alarms. In one case, a non-U.S. citizen was found to be serving as master of a U.S. documented vessel.  Read the rest here 20:33

Video Release: Coast Guard conducts long-range medevac 230 miles northwest of St. Paul, Alaska

blue-north-medevacA Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, forward deployed to Forward Operating Location Cold Bay, medevaced an injured fisherman off the 173-foot commercial fishing vessel Blue North approximately 230 miles northwest of St. Paul, Alaska, Wednesday evening. The Jayhawk crew hoisted the 41-year-old man and transferred him to an awaiting Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules airplane crew in St. Paul who transported him to Anchorage for medical care. Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders received a maritime medevac request from the crew of the Blue North Wednesday afternoon.  The vessel’s operator reported a crewmember had injured his neck while working aboard the vessel.  Watchstanders consulted the duty flight surgeon who recommended the medevac. The Blue North was approximately 285 miles northwest of St. Paul at the time of notification and the crew was instructed by watchstanders to transit toward St. Paul in order to be in hoist range of the helicopter aircrew. Video, Read the rest here 19:54

Astoria gillnetters, recreational anglers renew battle – Kitzhaber salmon plan getting tough review

ar-161119972-jpgmaxw600More than 100 people filled Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s meeting room Wednesday as the state wildlife commission heard testimony on the status of Columbia River salmon and steelhead runs and how they are harvested by commercial and sport anglers. The commission won’t take additional action on the recommendations until December, but the argument is hot and divisive. Recreational anglers, including fishing guides and led by the Coastal Conservation Association, are furious at the proposal and consider it a betrayal of the four-year transition plan agreed to by Oregon and Washington state. Dozens of them piled into the meeting room, many wearing red CCA hats and sporting stickers proclaiming “No broken promises.” In a letter to commission members, CCA Oregon Chairman Dave Schamp said it would be irresponsible to allow the gillnet fleet’s continued use of “archaic and destructive gear.” He and others believe beach and purse seines are a viable alternative to gillnets. Commercial fishers strongly disagree. Read the story here, and read Kitzhaber salmon plan getting tough review – Read the story here 15:20

Fish Harvester Tonia Grandy believes it’s time for change in representation.

Many of the problems in the province’s fishery can be traced back to the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union, the Garnish fish harvester surmises. She hopes that change will come in the form of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL). The Ryan Cleary-led group currently leading a charge to breakaway from FFAW-Unifor and form a new union that solely represents fish harvesters in the province has her full support, she said. FFAW-Unifor represents fish harvesters and fish plant workers. “This is a union for the fishermen, by the fishermen,” she said of FISH-NL. “This is something I believes in, and I’ve got my time and effort put into this a hundred per cent – a hundred per cent. We needs someone who is going to stand up and who is going to get the fishermen their fair share of quota.” Read the story here 14:49

The election has enviro groups all worked up! – Reactions to Trump victory trickle in from seafood industry

donald-trump-1Seafood companies and industry groups have begun to issue statements and responses to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Trump has said little about the seafood industry directly, but he has expressed favor for policies that reduce environmental barriers preventing the further development American industry, which may lead to changes in the management of U.S. fisheries. Trump has also taken a strong stand against free-trade agreements, and if he acts on pledges to scuttle the Trans-Pacific Partnership framework, add tariffs on Chinese imports and renegotiate or withdraw from the North America Free Trade Agreement, it will likely have an significant effect on the global seafood trade.,, Fred Krupp, the president of nonprofit advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), posted his thoughts on the election in a blog post on EDF’s website. “The election of Donald Trump has profoundly altered the landscape in which environmentalists work. While environmental issues weren’t central to the campaign, President-elect Trump took positions during the campaign that were directly counter to ours — and contradicted by science,” Krupp wrote. “We are still assessing the challenges that lie ahead, but this much is clear: The next few years will bring some big fights and also some unpredictable fluidity.” World Wildlife Fund President and CEO Carter Roberts also issued a statement,,, Read the story here 13:53

Drug tests for fishing boat crew members

urine_sample_drug-test_agathos_labsSome fishing boat crew members will have to be drug and alcohol tested under proposed law changes. Transport Minister Simon Bridges has introduced the bill and says it means commercial maritime operators must have drug and alcohol management plans that include random testing for crew members carrying out “sensitive activities”. Maritime New Zealand will oversee the management plans and will have the power to do its own testing if it needs to. “Many commercial maritime operators already have a drug and alcohol management plan,” Mr Bridges said on Thursday. “Making this a legal requirement will help ensure crews are consistently well protected.” link 13:24

Utilizing sound technology, scientists assess northern shrimp population along the Maine Coast

shrimpThis winter, a small fleet of Maine fishermen will head out to hunt for northern shrimp, even though the fishery itself has been closed for three years. They won’t be landing the New England delicacy so it can be eaten. The fishermen will use acoustic transducers, and a few nets and traps, to help the Gulf of Maine Research Institute learn where these small pink crustaceans congregate in our near-shore waters over the winter, where they lay their eggs. Using sound waves to survey a species as small as shrimp is a new challenge for scientists. “We have found low-frequency sound waves are good at detecting big fish, like cod, and high frequencies are good at detecting small organisms like shrimp,” said research associate Adam Baukus of GMRI. “The technology allows us to cover a lot more of the ocean than we can with trawls or traps alone. With sound, we can do 40 miles at a time. … Traditional (trawl) surveys are lucky to cover a quarter mile.” Read the story here 11:34

Kodiak earn distinction as top halibut port this season

alaska-halibut__frontAlaska’s halibut season wrapped up Monday with continued strong prices and 97 percent of the statewide quota of 17.51 million pounds caught by the commercial fleet. Surprisingly, more than a quarter of the 461,125 pounds left in the water was in Area 2C, Southeast Alaska, where ex-vessel prices ranged between $6 and $7 per pound and fishermen reported the best fishing in many years, with a larger size average. Another 151,681 uncaught pounds came from the eastern and western Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea combined, and 103,417 pounds came from Area 3B, western Gulf Of Alaska. Even at the conservative estimate of $6.25 per pound statewide, that comes to $2.9 million left in the water. In Homer, the price never dropped below $6 per pound, and for a considerable stretch of the spring and summer was as high as $7 to $7.50 per pound. Read the rest here 10:37

Fishermen’s Strike Could Start Tonight

fishing_workA strike of 3,500 Icelandic fishermen will begin tonight at 11 pm unless an agreement can be reached between them and Fisheries Iceland by that time, RÚV reports. The negotiating parties will meet with the state negotiator at 1:30 pm in a final attempt to prevent a strike. Garðar Helgason, head of Fisheries Iceland, told RUV he is cautiously optimistic an agreement can be reached in time. The head of the Fishermen’s Association, Valmundur Valmundsson, could not be reached for comment. If no agreement is reached, this would be the first fishermen’s strike in 15 years. There are three ships fishing in the Barents Sea. It would take them three to four days to reach harbor in Iceland. An agreement has been reached regarding the price of fish, which was the largest bone of contention. link 09:25

Oyster reef now closed after reopening for first time in 54 years

cwl3cs7xyaegnra_1478778207963_6994443_ver1-0Officials with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources announced the Biloxi Bay oyster reef was closed for fishing beginning Wednesday (Nov. 9) due to excessive localized rainfall. The closure was announced for the V “A” area that includes Biloxi Bay and Shearwater reefs.  Biloxi Bay reopened for harvesting earlier this month for the first time in 54 years after water quality reached an acceptable standard to inspectors. On the first day of reopening, the Department of Marine Resources reported 46 boats, including five recreational and 31 commercial, pulled in 441 sacks of oysters. For more information, call the Oyster Hotline at (228) 374-5167 or 1-800-385-5902 link 09:06

Uncovering the secret lives of bay scallops – Fisherman Todd Corayer

7fcf337007d41645afe93877921f1d52Saturday last opened another sagging season steeped in stories of great harvests, piles of bushels of glistening shells and an aging promise of a paycheck by noon. While the fleet worked hard October bottom offshore, baymen rowed dories and sailed skiffs to drag dredges with rusty iron teeth meant for scanning sandy bottom teeming with shellfish that swim. The season was a savior for working men and women who relied on some endless bounty but history shows natural cycles, habitat degradation and the heavy hand of man all pressed on a tiny mollusk, the bay scallop.,, All those big houses trimmed in “Hey, Look At Me Outside White”, the ones with fine lawns of thick manicured grass sloping right to the bay, thoroughly soaked with nitrogen-based fertilizer to support canvas cocktail party shoes and beliefs that turfing Nature’s intentions for habitat and sustenance is the best decision, well they are polluting our waters and contributing to the demise of bay scallops. Todd Corayer is a lifelong fisherman who lives not far from the Saugatucket River with his wife, who supports his fishing mainly to get him out of the house and a young son who regularly catches more fish than him. Read the story here 08:36

Bay of Fundy lobster fishermen pleased with quality, size of catches

bay-of-fundy-lobster-boatTwo days into the fall lobster season and Bay of Fundy fishermen coming ashore at the Dipper Harbour wharf Wednesday night said they are encouraged by what they’re seeing. Fishermen set off early Tuesday morning to set their fall traps in lobster fishing areas 36, 37, and 38. Those areas span from Grand Manan to Alma in a season which will continue until Jan. 14. On the first night of bringing in his catch, Bill Verbeek is happy with what is coming out of the water. “It was very good today, we had a real good day,” he said after unloading. Lobsters in the area were looking firm and full and sizes were also encouraging, he said. “A majority are between 1-2.5 pounds,” said Verbeek, but he said his boat was often pulling three to five pound lobsters also. Read the rest here 07:49