Monthly Archives: August 2017

Coast Guard capture images of daily operations in support of Hurricane Harvey

A recently rescued Texas resident overlooks the tarmac of Coast Guard Air Station Houston, Aug. 27, 2017. The Coast Guard partners with local Emergency Operations Centers and established an Incident Command Post to manage search and rescue operations. click here for more images 16:46

Fishing Vessel Owner Convicted for Oil and Garbage Offenses Off American Samoa

A fishing vessel company that operated in and around American Samoa was convicted and sentenced today for maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of oil and garbage, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Environment and Natural Resources Division and United States Attorney Channing D. Phillips. The company, Yuh Fa Fishery (Vanuatu) Co. Ltd., owned the Fishing Vessel (“F/V”) Yuh Fa No. 201, the vessel that was responsible for the pollution. click here to read the story 16:13

Lobstermen plagued by low catch, low prices

As the shedder, or soft shell, season winds down with higher value hard shell lobsters on the horizon, local lobstermen are hoping to turn what has so far been a dismal season around. Lobsters are in hiding, or so it seems to lobstermen. “I’d say we’ve caught about half the lobsters [than in recent years],” Stonington lobsterman Tony Bray said of the 2017 season. The Stonington Lobster Co-op, which buys a large proportion of the local catch, reported a 25 to 30 percent drop in volume over last year. “The lobsters are out there, so this is not likely reflective of a resource decline,” said Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries scientist Carla Guenther, who follows Department of Marine Resources data monitoring. “It may be reflective of a habitat shift as to where the lobsters are, and a behavior shift as a reaction to the colder water.” click here to read the story 15:16

The Legacy of the N.H.-Maine Lobster War and Why It May Wage On

“That’s the line we’d use. We probably used it a century or so, between the New Hampshire and fishermen.” That’s Jack Newick, a lifelong lobsterman from Dover. Newick says in the old days, if you were out at sea, all you had to do was imagine a straight line connecting the lighthouses– and that was the border. They called it the “lights on range.” Newick, the New Hampshire lobsterman, remembers how it started. “For some reason, one particular Maine fisherman, he was a mean, ornery son-of-a-gun and he called the state of Maine down to establish a line.”Maine game wardens responding to the call found a New Hampshire lobsterman named Ed Heaphy with lobsters in his boat that were illegal in Maine. But Heaphy, using the “lights on range” said he wasn’t in Maine, he was in New Hampshire. The wardens disagreed. Things escalated. Ed Heaphy’s shipmate, Brockie, had a loaded pistol. Audio report, read the story here 14:26

As Texas recovers from hurricane, Harvey moves north as tropical depression

Hurricane Harvey was downgraded to a tropical depression as it moved through Louisiana and Mississippi on Thursday. Now that much of Harvey has moved northeast of Texas, officials throughout the state are beginning to quantify just how destructive the storm, which has led to at least 38 deaths, has been. More than 32,000 people remained in shelters statewide, including nearly 19,000 in the Houston area. With the opening of Houston’s NRG Center to evacuees, another 30,000 beds are available, Gov. Greg Abbott said. He added that 210,000 people have registered with FEMA for emergency assistance. click here to read the story 13:14

“It Just Consumed Me”

Normally, not something you want a shark scientist to say. But Eric Stroud is talking about his chemistry-lab quest for the ultimate shark repellent, which he appears to have found. The questions that remain: Does it work on the great white, the ocean’s most fearsome predator? And can a couple of rookie entrepreneurs get it to market? There’s a house in Mossel Bay, South Africa, high on a hill overlooking the Indian Ocean, five hours east of Cape Town, where shark nerds from around the world come to live each year. I arrived this past June, after a long day on a small boat watching great whites chasing roped tuna heads. click here to read the story 12:00

Bristol County Sheriff’s Dept. captain charged with smuggling in Rafael case

A captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office was arrested and charged late Wednesday in connection with helping Carlos Rafael, the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing businesses in the U.S., smuggle the profits of his illegal overfishing scheme to Portugal, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. James Melo, 45, of Dartmouth, was charged with one count each of bulk cash smuggling, structuring and conspiracy. He was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond following his appearance in federal court in Boston late this afternoon, authorities said in a news release. click here to read the story 10:37

Lobster Being Stolen in Large Numbers From Commercial Traps

Some South Florida lobster fishermen say they’re suffering what they call an “organized and orchestrated effort” to steal their valuable lobsters. “It’s an epidemic,” said Mike Henry, who owns Bleaufish and catches lobsters exclusively for Fountainbleau Miami Beach. He says he’s seen substantial losses since the beginning of lobster season in early August. “These are not recreational divers taking our lobsters, but commercial divers systematically taking the lobster traps,” he said. video, click here to read the story 09:03

NIOSH regional reports highlight top dangers in commercial fishing industry

Vessel disasters and falls overboard are the primary hazards experienced by workers in commercial fishing – an industry with a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average – according to a recent NIOSH analysis of four U.S. regions. NIOSH reviewed overall commercial fishing fatalities in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and the East and West Coasts from 2010 to 2014. Researchers found that 184 fatalities occurred in the four regions: Alaska recorded 45, the West Coast had 30, the East Coast reported 60 and the Gulf of Mexico experienced 49. Vessel disasters (capsizes, fires, groundings, sinking) accounted for the most deaths with 80, followed by falls overboard with 53. Other categories included onboard, onshore and diving. click here to read the story 23:24

Cooperation between fishermen, regulators not just a fluke

Fisheries management is only as good as the science that it’s based upon. The better the science, the more effective the management. For the past three years, Point Judith fisherman Chris Roebuck has partnered with federal regulators to get a better handle on fish stocks, taking scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration out to sea on his 78-foot Western-rig stern trawler the Karen Elizabeth to help figure out where groundfish are and in what numbers. This summer’s trip wrapped up this week when the team of five researchers led by John Manderson, a senior ecosystem field scientist with NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, and a four-man crew headed by Roebuck returned to port in Galilee with new information on summer flounder, red hake and other species. click here to read the story 21:48

Coast Guard responding to a fishing vessel fire near Gabriola Island

Rescue crews are responding after a fishing boat caught fire off the coast of Gabriola Island. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre confirmed several rescue vessels were en route to the vessel, on the north side of Entrance Island about a kilometre northeast of Gabriola.,,, Sources say that five people aboard the 22-metre vessel “Sea Valley II” were transported safely click here to read the story 21:09

Vessel Fire near Gabriola Island – Update – A fishing vessel caught fire near Gabriola Island on the evening of Thursday, August 30, 2017. The vessel was under tow, moving from Petersburg, Alaska to Bellingham, Washington click here to read update 13:33

Bigelow won’t be around for the fall survey….who should do it? NEAMAP!

NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which operates and maintains the vessel, estimates that the ship will be back in service in early November, about two months later than originally estimated. In late July, a propulsion motor failed and the ship returned to port for repair, which was more extensive than initially thought and will require specialized parts. Several Northeast Fisheries Science Center research cruises have been affected. A beaked whale survey will be conducted later this year on the R/V Hugh Sharp, operated by the University of Delaware. The center is working with OMAO on options for using other NOAA ships for some or all of the annual fall bottom-trawl survey and the ecosystem monitoring cruise, which usually occur between September and late November. click here to read the story 14:30

New measures coming to protect right whales in Gulf of St. Lawrence: LeBlanc

As Canadian officials scramble to determine whether an endangered whale caught in fishing rope off Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula may have freed itself, federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc is promising a new set of rules around commercial fishing gear to protect the large marine mammals. A North Atlantic right whale was spotted entangled in ropes during a fly-over of the Gulf of St. Lawrence Monday, but LeBlanc said aerial and water patrols were unable to locate it Tuesday. LeBlanc said the federal government will usher in a new set of rules around fishing gear to improve the safety of whale migration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. click here to read the story 13:37

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 40′ Young Bros. Lobster/Tuna, 6 Cylinder Detroit 6-V-92, North Lights – 8 KW Genset

Specifications, information and 29 photos click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:51

Fuel leaking from sunken boat in Pass Christian Harbor

An accident in the Pass Christian Harbor left a boat underwater and a big mess to clean up. James “Catfish” Miller has been taking his boat out for shrimp and oysters since the early 90s. Overnight, the boat he relied on started taking on water and eventually landed partially submerged in the Pass Christian Harbor. This is something Miller said he never expected to see. “It’s like losing a family member when you see something like this happen. This is tragic, and I don’t wish this upon anybody,” said Miller. “This is my livelihood. It’s tough. No rest. I don’t know. I’ve been through a lot in life but this stuff.” video, click here to read the story 11:28

Marine feedlots and the tide against wild fish

In a time of eclipse, for the People of the Salmon the moment was catastrophic. At the height of their season for the most prized of wild salmon in the Salish Sea, Lummi fishermen south of Cypress Island hauled in several flaccid, broken-mouthed farm fish, the first of thousands of Atlantic salmon that had escaped from a failed pen. They knew something was terribly wrong. Days would pass before Cooke Aquaculture, a subsidiary of the international company responsible for the pen, would stop blaming the sun and moon, and admit to the full scale of the collapse.  click here to read the story

First Nations, environmentalists occupy salmon farm in British Columbia – A group of First Nations and environmentalists are occupying a salmon farm near Alert Bay, B.C., and say they won’t leave until the provincial and federal governments revoke permits for the facility. click here to read the story 10:43

Rhode Island Fishermen Express Concerns About Upcoming Stock Assessments And Fishing Limits

Fishermen who attended a meeting Monday in Point Judith about upcoming groundfish stock assessments are unhappy with the data collection process for those assessments. The Northeast Fisheries Science Center, the research arm of NOAA Fisheries in the region, talked with commercial and recreational fishermen as a part of a series of port outreach meetings to hear fishermen’s concerns and to figure out how the science center could work to address them. Patrick Duckworth, a commercial fisherman who attended the meeting, said regulators are using bad scientific methods to collect data and set fishing limits. click here to read the story 08:43:52

Carlos Rafael’s wife petitions for right to claim vessels

Two parties, including Carlos Rafael’s wife, filed petitions in district court claiming they possess rights to the property listed in the preliminary order of forfeiture, according to court documents submitted Monday. Conceicao Rafael, who is married to Carlos Rafael, laid out in 45 pages her “rights to certain property” listed in the preliminary order of forfeiture. In seven more pages, Joao Camara laid out his argument to the rights to Southern Crusader II, one of the 13 vessels listed in the preliminary order of forfeiture. Camara claims ownership through a company named R and C Fishing Corp. Both Conceicao and Camara, through their attorneys, argued the assets aren’t subject to forfeiture because “at the time of any illegal act” by the defendant neither was “privy to any illegal act.” click here to read the story 07:57

Federal Judge Evokes Dr. Seuss in Upholding Seafood Regulations

Invoking Dr. Seuss, a federal judge on Monday quoted from the 1960 classic “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” to uphold a regulatory regime intended to cut down on seafood fraud and protect U.S. fishers from unfair competition. Despite a challenge to the rule by a slew of U.S. seafood importers, harvesters and processors, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta found that the traceability rule, which requires importers to document the supply chain of imports from their origin to their arrival in the U.S., was lawfully implemented by the National Marine Fisheries Service. click here to read the story 18:32

NewYork State to close commercial fluke fishery Sept. 1

The notice by the Department of Environmental Conservation sent to commercial fluke permit holders Monday said the closure, enacted to preserve a fourth-quarter fishing period from October through December, “will remain in effect until further notice.”,,, Local fishermen say they had already been straining under an exceptionally low daily quota of just 50 pounds through most of the year, even though fluke have been relatively abundant this year. “I’m so angry,” said Mattituck fisherman Arthur Kretschmer, 61, who operates a bottom-fish trawler on the eastern Long Island Sound. Speaking of regulators he said, “These people have no clue how it affects people’s lives when they close down a fishery. We have nothing left to catch here.” click here to read the story 17:55

What It’s Really Like on a Wicked Tuna Fishing Boat

If you add it all up, the days and nights on the water, Captain TJ Ott has probably spent most of his 37 years on a boat. The captain of the 39-foot Hot Tuna is a bear of a man with a scraggly beard who loves the Grateful Dead, and he’ll be the first one to tell you without equivocation that his life as a commercial fisherman is a profession, but also a kind of addiction. All of it—the wind across the deck; the solitude of being out at a spot like Jeffreys Ledge in the Gulf of Maine; settled behind the wheel with a pair of Rottweilers named Reba and Ripple lounging at his heels, scanning the sonar screen—for a guy who grew up in the fishing community of Broad Channel, New York, it doesn’t get any better than this. click here to read the story 15:38

Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program – 2017 Awards

NOAA Fisheries has awarded more than $2.3 million to partners around the country to support innovative bycatch reduction research projects through its . Bycatch of various species–fish, marine mammals, or turtles–can have significant biological, economic, and social impacts. Preventing and reducing bycatch is a shared goal of fisheries managers, the fishing industry, and the environmental community. click here to read the notice 14:10

New Group Is Dedicated to Liberating Lobsters

The lobster heroes are here: Crustacean Liberation is a new advocacy group dedicated to saving one of the most overlooked and abused groups of animals: lobsters, crabs, shrimp, and other crustaceans. The organization, started by Robbie Ruderman of Miami, Florida, is just getting off the ground with lobster liberations. Its goals are to “set captured crustaceans free and to raise awareness about the obscenely cruel and barbaric treatment of these innocent, feeling beings,” says Ruderman. The group buys lobsters and then works as a team to release them into the wild.,,,“If you’ve ever seen a lobster or crab lowered into a pot of boiling water,,, I have! I’ve enjoyed the end results! click here to read this,,, story 12:37

Fishing fraternity lens its weight to camera implementation

The cost of rolling out monitoring cameras on their vessels is worrying Nelson’s smaller fishing operators who say the costs of installing them could push a number of them out of business. Nelson-based inshore fisherman Fin Horder estimated it could cost him $20,000 to install and maintain the equipment.could cost him $20,000 to install and maintain the equipment.,,An MPI regulatory impact statement on the IEMRS suggested the proposal may result in significant rationalisation of the industry. Anecdotal information during the consultation process indicated that the cost of cameras in particular could cause some fishers to exit the industry.  click here to read the story 10:56

Washington fish spill ‘a sad case of déjà vu,’ NL-CAR says

Leo White is shining a light on escapes of farmed fish here in Newfoundland after a recent incident at a Cooke Aquaculture site in Washington. White, a spokesperson the Newfoundland and Labrador Coalition for Aquaculture Reform (NL-CAR), said the escape of 305,000 Atlantic salmon on the west coast is “a sad case of déjà vu.”,,, “What has happened in Washington, and what continues to happen here in Newfoundland underscores the need for all new aquaculture proposals to complete a full environmental assessment,” White said. click here to read the story 09:55

Defeated – Sea Shepherd to suspend pursuit of Japanese whalers

Sea Shepherd, the environmental group famous for tracking, exposing and occasionally ramming Japanese whalers, says it can no longer compete with them on the high seas. In a statement Monday, the group’s founder Paul Watson said “Japan is now employing military surveillance to watch Sea Shepherd ship movements in real time by satellite,” making it nearly impossible for them to intercept them. “We cannot compete with their military grade technology.” But Watson said the combination of surveillance techniques, the passage of new anti-terrorism laws “specifically designed to condemn Sea Shepherd tactics,” and a threat by Japan to send military vessels to defend whalers was too much. click here to read the story 09:17

Boat captain admits ‘negligence’ in oil spill near Witless Bay reserve

The captain of the fishing vessel than ran aground Friday — spilling diesel near the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve — says the incident was due to “negligence” on his part. Capt. Joseph Swan, who declined an on-camera interview, told CBC News Monday he should have been awake when the incident happened, but it was the rocks grinding against the vessel Eyelander that woke him up. The 35 to 55 litres of diesel from a bilge pump on the boat that ended up in the water have been cleaned up, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The boat, which is from Fairhaven, Mass., ended up on the rock near Green Island on Friday morning, prompting a mayday call from the crew. All five people on board were transported safely to Bay Bulls by a rescue craft from the nearby West Aquarius oil here to read the story 08:37

Alaska Department of Public Safety reaches out to fishermen in effort to combat opioid abuse

Earlier this year, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker issued a disaster declaration to combat opioid abuse in the state. Since then, more time and resources have been dedicated to the issue. This summer, some of those efforts are aimed at getting the attention of the fishing community. “We haven’t had something of this magnitude before,” said Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, “It’s not just about fishermen, it’s about lumberjacks, it’s about concrete pourers and everyone else out there,” Though the letter was sent specifically to fishermen, the commissioners said its part of a wider effort, and they’re not singling out one industry. click here to read the story 22:38

Newlyn Fish Festival 2017 was the plaice to be in Cornwall today

Glorious sunshine shone down this Bank Holiday Monday as Newlyn Fish Festival capped off an eventful and memorable weekend in west Cornwall in style. The adored family event – which celebrates the sea, seafood and fishing while raising vital funds for the Fisherman’s Mission – returned for the 28th time and it will surely go down as one of the best in recent times. “It’s been a very enjoyable day”, said co-organiser Laurence Hartwell. “The weather has been beautiful and we’ve seen a great turn-out. A variety of things have been going on all across the harbour and it’s been great to see so many people enjoying themselves.” Demonstrations, taken by some of Cornwall’s best talents, were thoroughly enjoyed throughout the day.,, The annual Trawler Parade made for a spectacle once again as they sped out of the gaps. click here for photo’s read the story 17:52

Safe Harbor Bill Becomes Law, Ensures Legal Rights and Protection of Commercial Fishermen in Emergency Situations

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and Senator Ken LaValle today announced that Governor Cuomo signed their Safe Harbor Law on August 21. The bill provides commercial fishing vessels with safe harbor. Safe harbor means immunity from prosecution from State fishing regulations in certain emergency situations.,,, The Safe Harbor Law would apply when a commercial fisherman (1) encounters or is forecasted to encounter unsafe weather, (2) experiences a mechanical problem, that makes the continuation of the voyage unsafe and poses a risk to life and property, (3) experiences a significant medical emergency which requires immediate medical attention necessary to protect the health of any person on board, or (4) experiences loss of essential gear such as support systems that renders the vessel unable to remain at sea. click here to read the story 14:30