Daily Archives: November 22, 2016

Cape Sable Island fisherman reflects on industry changes of past 65 years

cape-sable-island-fisherman-clifford-babe-gorehamThere’s been a world of change since Cape Sable Island fisherman Clifford (Babe) Goreham first started out in the lobster fishing industry 65 years ago. A native of Woods Harbour, Goreham began his fishing career at 15 aboard the deck of a boat owned by the late Johnny Adams, a war veteran. “After the first year I came to Cape Island and went hired for three years, then got a rig of my own,” recalled Goreham in an interview. The new, 36-foot wooden Cape Islander was named Little Jerry after Goreham’s first son, and cost $1,375 complete, he said.  It was the early 1950s and a personal lobster licence that cost 25 cents was all you needed to get into the industry.  Lobsters were selling for about 25 cents a pound. “We would save them in crates until they reached 50 cents and then sell,” says Goreham. “Since then we’ve come a long way,” he says. “When I started I just had a compass to go by, no radar. Then we finally got a radar, then a loran.” Read the story here 17:18

Tidal turbine in Bay of Fundy generating the most expensive electricity ever produced in Nova Scotia

tidal turbinesNova Scotia hailed North America’s first successful grid-connected tidal turbine Tuesday with a ceremonial flipping of a switch at a substation outside Parrsboro. The electricity being generated is some of the most expensive ever produced in Nova Scotia, costing $530 per megawatt hour versus the current average of $60 per megawatt hour. Not everyone is pleased. Protestors stationed outside the event were a reminder that not everyone is convinced. Some fishermen in the Bay of Fundy have gone to court to try and reverse the provincial permit that allowed the deployment. They say it poses a threat to the lobster fishery, a claim the province and Cape Sharp Tidal dismiss. Read the rest here 16:14

Sheriffs Deputy accused alongside ‘Codfather’ reportedly told investigators of cash smuggling

antonio freitasA sheriff’s deputy accused of cash smuggling alongside scallops magnate Carlos ‘Codfather’ Rafael reportedly admitted his actions to investigators, court records show. Rafael’s lawyers argue that because the deputy, Antonio Freitas, allegedly made incriminating statements to officials, trying the cases together would jeopardize Rafael’s constitutional rights. They have asked for a judge to agree to hold the two trials separately.  Freitas is accused of having received $17,500 in bulk cash from Rafael and on Feb. 5, 2016, allegedly divided that money between himself and his fiancé and flew to Portugal without declaring it. The funds were later deposited into a Portuguese bank account controlled by Rafael, the indictment states. According to the recent motion made by Rafael’s lawyers, Freitas detailed his role in the cash smuggling when questioned by officers. Read the story here 14:12

Sportfishing boat builder appointed to Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission

Oregon Fish and Wildlife CommissionJim Bittle of Central Point, owner of Willie Boats, Inc., in Medford, has been nominated by Gov. Kate Brown to replace Jason Atkinson of Jacksonville on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. Atkinson has asked to be replaced. His term expires in 2019. Bittle, known for his business savvy, leadership and advocacy for fish and sportfishing, has owned Willie Boats, Inc., since the 2007 passing of its founder, Willie Illingworth. His appointment has already been applauded by sportfishing leaders as a balance to another Gov. Brown appointee last year, Bruce Buckmaster of Astoria, a long-time supporter of commercial fishing. Also up for reappointment are commissioners Greg Wolley of Portland and Laura Anderson of Newport. The Oregon Senate is scheduled to consider their confirmations in December. link 13:35

RI Fishermen, Scientists Study Impact Of Offshore Wind Farm On Fisheries

img_3713Every month for the past four and a half years, Captain Rodman Sykes has sailed out toward the Block Island Sound with his crew and a small group of scientists. They tow a fish net and scrape the seafloor twice in three different locations: within the area of the Block Island Wind Farm and in areas close to it for reference. “Mostly skates, there’s a sea bass and a few small scup, sea robins, dog fish,” Sykes says aloud as he stands over the fish to inspect them each time his crew brings up the net and releases the catch. “Not much else, but a good sample. So we’ll go on to the next station.” While Sykes redirects his vessel to the next sampling area, scientists get right to work: sorting fish by species, taking their weight, and measuring their length. Together these scientists and fishermen make up the research team hired by Deepwater Wind to collect data to understand the wind farm’s impacts to fish and shellfish. Sykes says at first that didn’t sit well with a small group of fishermen. “I had guys question me about ‘why are you working for the wind farm?’” recalls Sykes. “I told them, ‘I am not working for the wind farm, I am working for the fishing community.’” Read the story here 10:40

Putting safety at sea first with man-overboard drills

With the start of the commercial lobster fishery on the south shore just days away, safety at sea messages are being delivered to local wharves by the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia and industry partners through man overboard drills and demonstrations. “The overboard drills are done under the heading, Are you ready?” said Stewart Franck, executive director of the Fisheries Safety Association and a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP). “We want people to think as they are going through their vessels to check their safety gear, their safety equipment and safety supplies. Do a self-check on health and safety.” Make sure safety equipment such as life rings and overboard ladders are easily accessible and not entangled in rope or gear, advises Franck. “The first time you go to use it isn’t the time to find out that you can’t get at it,” he said. “You can waste valuable time getting to equipment.” Read the story here 09:29

Close ports to Sea Shepherd or risk sharing guilt for its vigilantism

Sea Shepherd is again heading into dangerous territory. Last week’s announcement that its new $12 million custom-built Ocean Warrior (watch video here) has arrived here for a Southern Ocean incursion this summer is disturbing. Ship captain Adam Meyerson is boasting the group’s new vessel is a game changer because of its increased speed, long-range fuel tanks, helicopter landing pad and 20,000 litres-per-minute water cannon. Sea Shepherd is once more aiming to engage in close combat with the Japanese research fleet. That puts this group in the cate­gory of an environmental non-state combatant. It’s in an inter­national area engaged in the use of force, with actions close to vigilantism. It enjoys the reputation of piracy, but for quasi public rather than private ends. The International Court of Justice judgment in the whaling case two years ago was a hollow victory for environmental activists. The court didn’t rule that what the Japanese were doing was commercial whaling. Nor did it say that issuing permits to take whales by lethal means for scientific research was illegal. This left open the option of a new Japanese scientific whaling program. Read the rest here 08:56

Crab season in full gear: Commercial season off to good start at Pillar Point Harbor

dungeness-crabOne week after the long-anticipated commercial Dungeness crab season roared to life, hundreds of fishermen and crustacean-craving customers are eagerly indulging in the multi-million dollar industry. State wildlife officials gave the thumbs up for commercial fishermen to begin reeling in crab pots Nov. 15, just in time to satiate a Thanksgiving market. A rainy opening weekend was initially feared to keep customers who buy directly off the boat at bay. Fortunately, gray skies were not a deterrent to those who’ve waited more than a year for fresh crab, said commercial fisherman Barry Day, who reflected on the first weekend of the season. “The leadup to it, I was sitting in the coffee shop thinking, ‘aw, they’re still all scared and there might be a couple of people.’ But I came up here and I fell off my god damn chair. It was raining and we still got bombed. People, people, people! And I’m so grateful for that. I thought wow, the people are back. It’s fantastic,” Day said. “Even in the rain, we were all dripping and wow, totally awesome.” Read the story here 08:10