Daily Archives: November 15, 2016

East Hampton Fisheries Committee Pushes For Economic Study Of Local Fishing Industry

Cornell Cooperative Extension and the East Hampton Fisheries Committeefleet-study are looking for money to study how much the fishing industry contributes to the local economy. The research would be conducted by John Scotti and Emerson Hasbrouck, educators at Cornell Cooperative Extension. It would focus on the social, historic and economic impacts of the industry, as well as its future, and cost an estimated $100,000. The study would involve reaching out to businesses like hardware stores that sell equipment used in commercial fishing, as well as studying how and where fishing takes place. Brad Loewen, who chairs the East Hampton Town Fisheries Committee, Mr. Hasbrouck and Mr. Scotti discussed the proposed study at a Southampton Town Board work session on Thursday, November 10. Mr. Hasbrouck said the study could also be used by East End towns to apply for grants to rebuild docks or roads related to the industry. Read the story here 16:55

Quake-struck communities still cut off

Some quake-stricken settlements along the closed section of State Highway 1 are beginning their third day without water, power or a route out. Ward, with a population of fewer than 1000, and Kēkerengū, which is home to just a few dozen people, were among some of the communities worst-affected by Monday’s 7.5-magnitude earthquake – suffering not just substantial physical damage, but also finding themselves cut off from the rest of the South Island after the Transport Agency was forced to close a huge swathe of the highway either side of Kaikoura. There were other striking new features of the landscape – down at Ward beach, some local fishermen were studying the coastal rock shelf, which they estimated had been raised nearly two metres by the force of the quake. Above the new high tide line was a band of newly-exposed rock, covered in rapidly drying seaweed. Read the story here 16:27

Northern shrimp season canceled for 2017

In response to the depleted condition of the northern shrimp resource, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section extended the moratorium on commercial fishing for the 2017 fishing season. The Section also approved a 53 metric ton research set aside to allow for the continued collection of biological data. The 2016 Stock Status Report for Gulf of Maine Northern Shrimp indicates abundance and biomass indices for 2012 through 2016 are the lowest on record of the 33-year time series. Recruitment indices for the 2010 through 2015 year classes are also poor and include the three smallest year classes on record. As a result, the 2012 through 2016 indices of harvestable biomass are the lowest on record. Read the rest here The 2016 Stock Status Report is available, click here  15:52

Updated: Body of overboard fisherman found on Hatteras Island

cape_hatteras_mapThe body of a fisherman who fell overboard Monday morning was found hours later on Hatteras Island. U.S. Coast Guard officials say crews were launched around 11 a.m. The 50-year-old fell overboard from the 70-foot fishing vessel Lady Kimberly of Beaufort, N.C. about noon as he was hauling in shrimp nets, said Coast Guard spokeswoman Corinne Zilnicki. Two hours later, the National Park Service informed the Coast Guard that the man’s body had been recovered on Hatteras Island by local law enforcement. Authorities have not yet identified the fisherman. link 14:44

Foreign Investors Buying up Nova Scotia Inshore Lobster Fishery?

1632_lobster%20licensesForeign investors may soon be illegally buying up Nova Scotia’s iconic lobster fishery, according to the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters’ Federation. “The government is moving too slowly to deal with this problem. We need urgent action.” Federation President Christian Brun said. The Federation released a newspaper ad (pictured) from Losterbayshopper.com offering to purchase their lobster licences in Nova Scotia’s most lucrative fishing areas on behalf of foreign buyers.  “This is against Atlantic Canadian policy in the Fisheries; the only person who can own an inshore lobster fishing licence is a Canadian inshore fisherman; someone who lives in a fishing community and goes to work on a fishing boat which he or she owns and operates,” Mr Brun said. “Domestic and international investors are breaking the law and advertising it in newspapers!” Read the story here 14:12

The shark hunters of the Hebrides

They were hunted in Scottish water for at least 200 years, chiefly for the gallons of valuable oil found in their livers. Basking sharks became a lucrative catch with fragile island communities often investing heavily in the equipment required to land one of the beasts, which typically measure 30ft long. Naturalist Gavin Maxwell, author of Ring of Bright Water, was amongst Scotland’s most prolific shark hunters after buying the Isle of Soay off Skye following World War Two and setting up a processing plant to handle the lucrative liver oil, known as squalene. It is said that the average-sized basking shark contains around 400kg to 500kg of oil, then used for lighting and now more commonly found in cosmetics and toiletries, with the butter-coloured liver making up a quarter of its body weight. Read the story here 13:47

Fines issued in Cape Breton fishery case

alewives-gaspereauFines amounting to $24,000 and one-year prohibitions were issued Monday after 10 accused pleaded guilty to fishery violations. A total of 42 charges were laid but most were dismissed after the accused entered guilty pleas Monday. All of the charges related to the fishing of gaspereau which is primarily used by lobster fishermen as bait for their traps. Pleading guilty to a single count of obstructing fish way were Stephen J. Munden, 31, King Edward Street, Glace Bay; John Christopher Borden, 42, MacLean Street, Donkin; James Stephen Murrant, 46, Donkin Highway; Carson James Sullivan, 25, Reserve Avenue, Glace Bay; Michael Terrance Borden, 20, Donkin Highway; and James Christopher Borden, 18, MacLean Street, Donkin. Read the rest here 10:24

Bahamas Considers Granting Commercial Fishing Rights to Chinese

baha-mmap-mdThe Bahamas government recently floated a proposal to give Chinese investors commercial fishing rights. Minister of Agriculture & Marine Resources, V. Alfred Gray authorized the Bahamas ambassador to China in writing to pursue talks with the Chinese. Gray’s letter was leaked and published in the Nassau Guardian. The Bahamian Embassy in China also produced a draft summary of the proposal for discussion purposes. The ambassador, Paul Gomez, broached the matter with the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and the Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation (BREEF) at an event this past October. The draft report prepared in July by the Bahamian Embassy in China calls for the creation of up to 100 partnerships with “the government of the People’s Republic of China or its substantial representatives.” Read the rest here 10:02

California Commercial crabbers still hope for relief from previous season

ar-161119792-jpgmaxh400maxw667Commercial crab fishing opens Tuesday, but fishermen are still reeling from last year’s abysmal season and haven’t seen any sign of the hoped-for federal emergency funds Gov. Jerry Brown requested from the Department of Commerce. In February, Brown wrote a letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, asking her to declare a fishery resource disaster. He sought federal help in offsetting the $48.3 million loss to the industry after crab fishing was put on hold due to toxin contamination. Dungeness crab is one of the highest valued commercial fisheries in California,” he wrote. “Declaring a commercial failure will enable the fishing communities affected by the closure to receive essential economic assistance.” “We’re all far behind,” said Vicki Crow, a crab vendor at Moss Landing Harbor. Crow, 60, has been in the fishing industry most of her adult life, starting at around age 20 with commercial abalone and sea urchin diving. Now she sells crab from a dock at the harbor. “It’s just been really bad for us,” she said. Read the story here 08:24