Daily Archives: November 18, 2016

Jewell Announces Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Plan for 2017-2022

jewell3_small-jpg-306x313After considering more than 3.3 million public comments and holding 36 public meetings, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Hopper today released the final plan to guide future energy development for the Nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for 2017-2022. The plan takes a balanced approach to best meet the nation’s energy needs by including areas offshore with high resource potential and mature infrastructure while protecting regions with critical ecological resources. The Proposed Final Program offers 11 potential lease sales in four planning areas – 10 sales in the portions of three Gulf of Mexico Program Areas that are not under moratorium and one sale off the coast of Alaska in the Cook Inlet Program Area.Areas off the Atlantic coast are not included in this program. After an extensive public input process, the lease sale that was proposed in the Draft Proposed Program in the Mid- and South Atlantic area was removed during the earlier Proposed Program stage of the process due to current market dynamics, strong local opposition and conflicts with competing commercial and military ocean uses. Read the press release here   16:32

‘Alarm bells ringing’ as Queensland Fisheries Minister responds to scallop stock collapse

6123326-3x2-700x467A stock assessment of scallops has revealed critically low numbers off the Queensland coast, just 6 per cent of their original biomass. Catches in the past year are at the lowest level since records began almost 40 years ago. Queensland’s Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne, only six days into the portfolio after the departure of former minister Leanne Donaldson, admits the situation is so dire, the Government had considered imposing a total ban. Instead, it had opted to permanently close a number of ‘replenishment areas’, covering 11 per cent of the scallop grounds, that were due to reopen in January. An annual spawning closure from May 1 to October 31 would also be introduced in an urgent bid to rebuild stocks. Keeping these closed and implementing winter closures were expected to impact on up to 40 per cent of the annual catch, based on recent fishing history. Read the story here 16:04

Former Deadliest Catch Star Beaten Almost to Death. Then His Big Brother Found The Attackers

Jake Harris, best known as a reality TV fisherman on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” was involved in a brutal mugging this past Saturday in Washington state that left the star with a cracked skull and close to death. Though the police had some information about the attack, they weren’t acting fast enough for Harris’s brother, Josh. Josh Harris, looking to avenge his brother’s violent attack, took matters into his own hands. Josh, upset by a lack of action from the police, asked the community for help. And the community responded. Josh, armed with names, published his information and posted the their photos online. Video, read the rest here 15:32

Alaska’s 2016 commercial salmon season harvest down 15 million fish

adfg-logoNew reviews of Alaska’s 2016 commercial salmon season confirm that it was a rough year for the industry, with the overall harvest of 112.6 million fish having an estimated value of $406.4 million. A year ago the combined harvest of all five species of Pacific salmon in Alaska waters came in at 263.5 million fish worth an estimated $414.2 million. Humpies were the real culprit, even in an even year, coming in way below forecast, so that the overall statewide catch of 39.4 million pinks was worth an estimated $37.8 million, compared with 190.5 million pinks worth $132 million a year ago. In overviews released in early November, Alaska Department of Fish and Game confirmed that preliminary ex-vessel value of salmon harvested in Area M totaled $27,730,204 for a commercial harvest of 9.6 million fish, including 15,345 Chinook, 5,981,217 sockeye, 260,922 coho, 2,883,577 pink and 513,338 chum salmon. The ex vessel value information was generated from fish tickets and does not include postseason adjustments paid to fishermen. Read the rest here 14:35

The History Of Dungeness Crab Season In San Francisco

Dungeness crab season is back and in full effect! After a lengthy ban on commercial fishing of the delectable little crustaceans in California, dungeness crab season got back underway this week and restored a cherished San Francisco tradition of chowing down locally caught crab for Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Okay, so there’s a little toxic acid in their guts. The government says the crabs are safe to eat now To celebrate the return of this outrageously delicious seafood that it is outrageously hard to dig out of its shell, the Broke-Ass Fish, Game and Wildlife Commission looks back with fondness on the 170-year history of dungeness crab season in San Francisco. 1848 – CRAB FISHING TAKES OFFRead the rest here 14:09

Dozens of Icelandic Fishermen Charged with Tax Fraud

th8kvtxc4nFifty-seven Icelandic fishermen, who worked for Icelandic fisheries abroad, are suspected of having failed to pay income tax in Iceland, where they resided, Fréttatíminn reports. Their cases comprise more than half of the 108 tax fraud cases connected to the Panama Papers, which are under investigation by the Directorate of Tax Investigation in Iceland. The Directorate has filed charges in a majority of the fishermen’s cases, which are now in the hands of a district prosecutor. The fishermen worked for Icelandic fisheries in Africa, among others, but lived in Iceland. In some cases, tax evasions are believed to amount to tens of millions of krónur. Read the rest here 11:24

Chinese owners vow to rebuild Eastern Passage lobster plant

tom-henneberryThe Chinese owners of the Capital Seafoods plant in Eastern Passage, N.S., say they will repair and rebuild the lobster processing facility damaged in a spectacular fire Wednesday night. “We will carry on. We will be better and stronger, I’m sure,” company manager Jack Liu said Thursday. The fire destroyed the company’s lobster processing facility, he said, but did not affect the live shipment area, which will continue operate. Liu spoke to CBC News minutes after touching down at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, en route to the plant to check out the damage first hand. On the down side the fire destroyed large amounts of bait stored at the facility for traps intended for the upcoming lobster season. “Myself, I had 14,000, 15,000 pounds in there,” lobster fisherman Tom Henneberry said. “It’s terrible. A week before the season, a lot of fishermen put bait in there yesterday and the day before.” Read the story here 10:25

N.J. Recreational fishermen push for pots off state’s artificial reefs

636149770486053072-reefsRecreational fishing clubs and divers threw their support behind special management zone status for 13 reef sites at the Mid-Atlantic Marine Fisheries Council public hearing held Wednesday in Toms River. The designation could prohibit the use of any gear on the reefs except hook and line and spear fishing, and the taking of fish by hand. In other words, it would eliminate fish traps principally used by commercial fishermen. A couple lobster men spoke their opposition to any plan that would deny them use of the ocean floor. Greg DiDomenico, the head of the commercial fishing trade group Garden State Seafood Association, said he didn’t doubt the existence of gear conflicts on the reefs but would like to see a compromise made instead. Read the story here 09:45

New Stormline study reveals what people think of us, based on our jobs

gen-kurilecA new study has revealed what people are likely to think of us, based on our job. Using Google autocomplete suggestions for 131 professions, the results reveal a somewhat depressing – and sometimes funny – snapshot of how we perceive one another. The study, launched by Stormline to challenge negative job stereotyping, revealed: Developers are grumpy, designers are pretentious and project managers are important – according to the data Bloggers and YouTubers are viewed as annoying, while writers are viewed as depressed. Case Study – Genevieve Kurilec, commercial fishing captain. Read the rest here 09:18

North Carolina Wildlife Federation angling for tougher NC rules on shrimp trawlers

shrimp-petitionThe state Marine Fisheries Commission is considering a petition from the North Carolina Wildlife Federation to adopt regulations for shrimp trawlers operating in coastal sounds that would reduce the size of their nets, limit how long nets could be pulled in the water, permit shrimping only three days per week and eliminate night-time shrimping. The goal of the changes, according to Wildlife Federation officials, is to protect fish nurseries.”We have found doing the research – looking at the science, looking at the data and doing the analysis – that we are losing too many fish to shrimp trawling,” David Knight, a policy consultant for the Wildlife Federation, told the commission. “It’s kind of crazy that it comes up now because we just passed, last year, the shrimp plan,” commission Chairman Sammy Corbett said. One of the proposals would cut the length of the head rope attached to the top of a trawler net from 220 feet to 90 feet, among other restriction. Video, read the rest here 07:57