Daily Archives: November 20, 2016

ODFW and ODA close crabbing along large part of Oregon coast

dungenesscrabThe Oregon Department of Agriculture and ODFW announced Friday recreational and commercial bay crabbing from Tillamook Head to the California border is closed due to elevated levels of domoic acid. Officials say they found elevated domoic acid levels in the viscera of Dungeness crab collected between Cascade Head and Cape Falcon. This triggered a biotoxin closure. The closure includes harvesting Dungeness and red rock crab in bays and estuaries, off docks, piers, jetties, and the ocean. The coastal areas outside of where the domoic acid was found are closed out of precaution while officials process more samples. The additional sample results could allow ODFW and the Department of Agriculture to reopen some areas and open the ocean crab fisheries, which are scheduled to open December 1. Read the rest here 17:36

The sinking and recovery/salvage of F/V Captain Jeff

The Coast Guard and local responders rescued 6 people Sunday from a 72-foot scallop boat sinking five miles off New Bedford. The survivors were taken into New Bedford to be evaluated by awaiting emergency services personnel. There were no reported injuries. “The Coast Guard is grateful for the responsiveness and dedication of our interagency partners in Buzzards Bay,” said Lt. Jarrod Pomajzl, the command center chief at Sector Southeastern New England. “Everything they bring to the table improves the search and rescue system, and today they helped save six lives.” Commercial salvage has been arranged.  The cause of the sinking is under investigation. The Captain Jeff is home-ported in New Bern, North Carolina. View 11 photos here 16:52

The latest weapon in the fight against illegal fishing? Artificial intelligence

3000-electronic-monitoringFacial recognition software is most commonly known as a tool to help police identify a suspected criminal by using machine learning algorithms to analyze his or her face against a database of thousands or millions of other faces. The larger the database, with a greater variety of facial features, the smarter and more successful the software becomes – effectively learning from its mistakes to improve its accuracy. Now, this type of artificial intelligence is starting to be used in fighting a specific but pervasive type of crime – illegal fishing. Rather than picking out faces, the software tracks the movement of fishing boats to root out illegal behavior. And soon, using a twist on facial recognition, it may be able to recognize when a boat’s haul includes endangered and protected fish. The latest effort to use artificial intelligence to fight illegal fishing is coming from New York-based The Nature Conservancy (TNC), which launched a contest on Kaggle – a crowdsourcing site based in San Francisco that uses competitions to advance data science –earlier this week. TNC hopes the winning team will write software to identify specific species of fish. The program will run on cameras, called electronic monitors, which are installed on fishing boats,,, Read the rest here 15:32

Coast Guard saves 6 from scalloper sinking off New Bedford, MA

coast guardThe Coast Guard and local responders rescued 6 people Sunday from a 72-foot scallop boat sinking five miles off New Bedford. A person aboard the scallop boat, Captain Jeff, used a VHF radio at 9:30 a.m. to hail watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England, in Woods Hole, and report their boat was taking on water. A 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Menemsha and a helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod responded to help. The Buzzards Bay Task Force also responded to help the six people. Once on scene, a rescue swimmer deployed from the helicopter onto the Captain Jeff with dewatering equipment to control the flooding. After the Coast Guard rescue swimmer realized the dewatering equipment was not working, he assisted all six people off the scallop boat and aboard a task force boat. The survivors were taken into New Bedford to be evaluated by awaiting emergency services personnel. There were no reported injuries. The Captain Jeff is currently still sinking and adrift in New Bedford Harbor. Commercial salvage has been arranged. The cause of the sinking is under investigation. The Captain Jeff is homeported in New Bern, North Carolina. Link 13:48

“Fire in the Water” – Book about history of commercial fishing in Florida published

Through firsthand accounts, “Fire in the Water” chronicles an exciting and unique slice of early Florida coastal history that might have otherwise been lost. It was written by Terry L. Howard and Donald E. Root, and was released by Adventure in Discovery, Jupiter, on Nov 7. Howard and Root will be at Vero Beach Book Center, 392 21st St. Vero Beach, on Nov 28 at 6 p.m. for a book signing. Using rare historical photos and firsthand accounts of five survivors, this book chronicles waterfront and commercial fishing life on Florida’s east coast and along the Indian River Lagoon. It centers on Cape Canaveral and Fort Pierce from early in the 20th century to the 1994 Florida net ban. It is filled with colorful sea stories and memories of earlier times. Howard and Root draw from their own commercial fishing experiences. Read the rest here 13:36

If you are tired of the morning commute and office life, watch this salmon troller working and start packing. 

Almost everyone who has ever fished has wanted to make money fishing. Some of these people become guides, some fish tournaments, but a special breed become commercial fisherman. There are many different types of commercial fishing but some of the most skilled and unique are the salmon trollers. Instead of nets, trollers use an expanded version of the hook and line method. The type of troller in the video is a power troller. They use hydraulic power to raise and lower gurdies with steel wire that multiple hooks are attached to. Power trollers are allowed to use four lines total and as many hooks as they want. Trolling wire is marked at 1, 1 1/2, or 2 fathom intervals where the leaders are snapped on. The four lines will have a mixture of bait, metal spoons, plastic hoochies, and plugs attached depending on a myriad of factors including target species, depth, and the fisherman’s personal preference. I should note before everyone buys plane tickets, that you can’t just come up and start fishing. Video, read the rest here 12:49

Sockeye forecast adds concern to Board of Fisheries process

adfg-logoUpper Cook Inlet salmon fishery stakeholders should be concerned with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s 2017 sockeye forecast for many reasons — not the least of which is that the predicted low harvest will inject even more economic and allocation concerns into the debate when the Board of Fisheries meets in February. This past week, the Alaska Journal of Commerce reported that Fish and Game is forecasting a return of 4 million sockeye salmon, with an expected commercial harvest of 1.7 million — about 1.2 million fish less than the 20-year average harvest. Based on 2016 prices, a harvest of 1.7 million sockeye would be worth $10.4 million to Upper Cook Inlet commercial fishermen, which is roughly half the value of this year’s harvest of 2.4 million fish. For the fish board, which sets fishery regulations, seeing a low sockeye forecast ahead of an Upper Cook Inlet meeting is akin to the economy taking a dive right before a presidential election. Each side will have its own theory as to who or what has caused the decline — and that certainly will color the debate at the Board of Fisheries meeting. Read the rest here 09:39

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/ Long Beach Coast Guard Radios Aren’t Working — Public Advised to Contact Them By Phone

coast guardLOS ANGELES − Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach is experiencing a temporary degradation in channel 16 VHF/ Radio communication capabilities throughout the Santa Barbara and Channel Islands areas. Communication pathways have been impacted due to loss of service through Bald Mountain Radio Tower Range. All mariners operating in the Santa Barbara or Channel Islands area are urged to contact the Coast Guard through alternative means. The main line of communication for Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/ Long Beach will be (310)521-3801. Mariners experiencing emergency situations can also contact Coast Guard Station Channel Islands at (805) 895-5727 or Coast Guard Station Morro Bay at (805) 772-2167. link 08:51