Monthly Archives: October 2017

Cape Groups say Stop wiping out herring close to shore

Herring loom large in the history of Cape Cod — it’s no coincidence that pretty much all of our towns have a “Herring River,” nor that one of the first public positions created in Colonial days was “herring warden,” charged with overseeing one of the community’s most important economic resources… In an effort to preserve the species, we have stopped people from scooping up so much as a single herring from our runs. Yet millions of river herring are killed just offshore and denied the chance to reproduce. It makes no sense.This is only one reason the Association to Preserve Cape Cod and the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance have come together to call on federal regulators to create a buffer zone around the Cape to stop midwater herring trawling in our waters. click here to read the story 21:59:

Coast Guard, partner agencies search for missing fisherman in the Gulf

The Coast Guard is searching for a missing man who was last seen aboard a fishing vessel approximately 37 miles southwest of Morgan City, Louisiana, at approximately 10:30 p.m. Sunday. The missing man is reported to be Vietnamese and wearing a t-shirt and sweat pants. The vessel identified through inquiry is F/V Miss Quinh Chi II. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received the report of the missing person at approximately 11:30 p.m. and directed the launch of Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile to search for the man. Marine units from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office are also on scene searching for the man. –USCG– 15:34

Professor Ray Hilborn has a message for Congress: Overfishing is over

To his detractors, fisheries professor Ray Hilborn is an “overfishing denier,” a scientist who’s all too eager to accept money from industry groups to pay for his pro-fishing research. To his backers, he’s a hero, a respected researcher who can always be counted on to challenge environmental groups that want to limit fishing. Love him or hate him, there’s little doubt that the outspoken Hilborn has attained an international profile and that he has found a way to win big-time attention in fishing circles. His next stop is Capitol Hill. Tomorrow, Hilborn, a professor of aquatic and fishery sciences at the University of Washington, will appear before a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation panel, getting another chance to argue his case that overfishing is no longer a concern for the United States. click here to read the story 13:59

North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium – scientists say Right whales could be 20 years away from certain extinction

Scientists at an annual meeting for North Atlantic right whales estimate the species has a little over two decades left to survive unless changes are made immediately. The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium’s annual meeting was held in Halifax on Sunday, and all of the scientists spoke with a sense of urgency about the fate of these whales. This summer, at least 15 right whales died in Canadian and U.S. waters and scientists at the conference stressed that human activity is the primary cause of death for all right whales. click here to read the story 11:21

Biologists: Fisheries at Risk as Bills Target Science-Based Conservation – Reauth hearing tomorrow

Are fish the next casualties in the war on science? A group of distinguished marine scientists, including a former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), apparently think so. More than 200 scientists have signed a letter addressed to the United States Congress opposing efforts to weaken the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the 1976 law that governs management of U.S. fisheries and is credited with preventing the collapse of fish stocks. Conservation group Oceana released the letter on Monday, October 23, the day before a Senate subcommittee holds a hearing on the Act.  click here to read the story 10:05

Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: Fisheries Science – U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convene the hearing titled “Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: Fisheries Science,” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. The hearing is the fourth of the series and will focus on the state of our nation’s fisheries and the science that supports sustainable management. click here for details 

Zombait! Maine inventor’s device puts the wiggle back in dead bait fish

The product, appropriately named Zombait, is a hinged tube with a battery-powered motor inside that can be stuffed down the throat of dead bait to make it wiggle back and forth, simulating the swimming motion of a live fish. The idea is to trick big fish into thinking they’re going after live prey. Zombait is the brain child of entrepreneur and veteran tuna fisherman Rink Varian, who lives in Phippsburg. Varian dreamed up the idea for a lure that reanimates dead bait during a slow day of bluefin tuna fishing, which he attributed to a lack of live mackerel on his boat. He wondered if there might be a way to bring those dead mackerel “back to life.” click here to read the story 08:26

Little hope in latest evaluations of codfish – NEFMC SSC Meeting, October 23-24, 2017, Live Streaming Information

The completed operational assessments to help determine 2018-2020 groundfish quotas do not appear to be any more optimistic about the state of Gulf of Maine cod than those that effectively shuttered the fishery in the fall of 2014. The New England Fishery Management Council’s science and statistical committee is set to meet Monday and Tuesday in Boston to review the assessments for 19 groundfish species and finalize its catch recommendations to the full council.   click here to read the story 07:31

NEFMC SSC Meeting, October 23-24, 2017, Live Streaming Information –  Meeting materials (click here) Online access to the meeting (click here)

B.C. crab and prawn fishermen dispute Port of Vancouver no-go zones – will force them from where they’ve long fished

Crab fisherman Stewart McDonald is steaming mad that he may soon be prevented by the Port of Vancouver from dropping crab traps around Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, where he’s fished for more than two decades.,, On Friday, the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s largest port, confirmed it has made changes to its information guide, which provides rules for where vessels — like McDonald’s fishing boat — can travel. A port spokesman said the changes were needed because the waters were getting crowded with recreational boaters. click here to read the story 12:26

F/V Dianne – Four fishermen still missing after second day of police searches

Police divers have been unable to find any of the four missing crew members after a second day scouring sunken fishing trawler Dianne off the central Queensland coast. Gladstone Patrol Inspector Darren Somerville said divers cleared the vessel and its immediate surroundings of debris but could not find any find any sign of the four fishermen. “Obviously the timeframe for survival expired some time ago, and that timeframe was whether they were in the vessel or even if they were in the water,” he said. click here to read the story 12:03

A fishing schooner called the Bluenose and Nova Scotian identity

A fishing and racing schooner is the most instantly recognizable public symbol of Nova Scotia. The Bluenose, it seems, is almost everywhere — from the Canadian dime to our licence plates and from beer label to tourist souvenirs. It remains as ubiquitous in Nova Scotia as the lighthouses on our shores and Sobeys and Tim Hortons in our towns and cities. Dubbed by admirers as “Queen of the North Atlantic,” she served as a working vessel, achieved fame as the fastest fishing schooner, and was wrecked at sea in 1946. She lived on as a symbol on the Canadian 10-cent piece and was commemorated by a replica, Bluenose II, built in 1963, and then reconstructed, through an arduous process, 40 years later. click here to read the story 11:20

Whale scholars, lobstermen, conservationists and government officials converge in Halifax – Right whale deaths called ‘apocalyptic’

The focus of this year’s annual meeting of North Atlantic right whale researchers has been altered in light of 15 of the critically endangered marine mammals being found dead this year in waters off eastern Canada and the U.S. The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium said the goal of this year’s meeting is to explain the science behind the “mortality crisis” to members of government who will be there. The consortium also said the purpose of this year’s meeting is to form an international working group to look at the big picture when it comes to right whales, instead of managing problems region by region. click here to read the story

Right whale deaths called ‘apocalyptic – Whale scholars, lobstermen, conservationists and government officials converge today in Nova Scotia to save right whales. Among the commercial lobstermen at the right whale symposium today is John Haviland, of the South Shore Lobster Fishermen’s Association,,, click here to read the story 09:12

DFO’s Inaugural Citizen Science Cod Project – creates cod assessment data, community involvement

Notwithstanding a car that perpetually reeked of fish, Madelyn Swackhamer is singing the praises of her summer job. The 17-year-old from Bareneed, Conception Bay North, was one of 40 high school students hired by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) for its inaugural Citizen Science Cod Project.,, The pilot project involved having pairs of students located at 20 landing wharves in communities on the Northeast Avalon, Conception Bay, Trinity Bay, Bonavista Bay and Notre Dame Bay throughout the course of the province’s summer and fall recreational food fisheries. The students were charged with recording data on how many fish are being caught, the length of each fish, and the arrival and departure of participating vessels. click here to read the story 22:06

Why ‘normal’ salmon don’t get as many parasites

New research reveals the inherent ability of salmon to avoid infection through their first line of defense—behavior. In the rapidly growing fish-farming industry, parasite outbreaks cause production inefficiencies, poor welfare for billions of fish, and negative consequences for wild populations when diseases spread. “Parasite outbreaks in wild fish have been induced by farmed fish in major farming systems, such as sea lice infestations on wild salmon in Europe and North America,” says Tim Dempster, associate professor in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne. click here to read the story 15:25

NEFMC commitee votes to protect corals in Gulf of Maine

Federal regulars have decided to protect two areas in the Gulf of Maine that are home to slow-growing corals. The protected areas encompass almost 40 square miles and are called Outer Schoodic Ridge and Mt. Desert Rock. The areas would still be open to lobster fishing but not to bottom trawling. A committee of the New England Fishery Management Council voted on the protections on Thursday. click here to read the story 14:43

F/V Pacific Paradise: Responders unsuccessful in removing grounded fishing vessel off Honolulu

Responders were unsuccessful in removing the grounded 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Paradise off Waikiki, Friday. Marine salvage company Cates International crews utilized a tug with 8” plasma towline and chain from both the bow and stern of the fishing vessel in the attempt to break it free from the coral reef. “Salvage teams attempted various removal procedures on both on the bow and stern and although the vessel had movement during the process, it remains aground,” said Capt. Michael Long, commander, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu and captain of the port. “Our Coast Guard teams will reassess with all our partners this weekend to prepare future removal plans.  click here to read the story 14:00

Fishery Reform Post Brexit -New technology may allow regulation by effort rather than quotas

Among the few certainties of Brexit, one is that we will need a new, bespoke, British fisheries policy. The prime minister has confirmed that we will be leaving the Common Fisheries Policy. The fishing industry, though a small part of the economy, is highly symbolic, having been cheaply betrayed on entry into the European Union, when we donated to our EU partners the chance to fish a vast sea area. On leaving, Britain will control not only its 12-mile territorial waters, but also its 200-mile exclusive economic zone. This is a golden opportunity to learn from the management of fisheries around the world and design a system of exploiting our fish that is sustainable, conservationist and profitable. ITQ? or Days at Sea? click here to read the story 12:18

Red Lobster Criticized For Decimating Biscuit Populations Along Cheddar Bay

CHEDDAR BAY, ME—Warning that local stocks had been depleted to dangerous levels, environmentalists criticized Red Lobster on Wednesday for its part in decimating biscuit populations along Cheddar Bay. “It’s no coincidence that the biscuit population has dropped an alarming 84 percent since Red Lobster was founded in 1968,” said Roger Gross, researcher at the Marine & Environmental Research Institute, adding that the rate at which Red Lobster has been harvesting biscuits from the bay was unsustainable, click here to read the rest 11:44

Fears UK fishing industry losing out on £230 million and 2,700 jobs

The number of people employed in the UK fishing industry is officially falling and so too is the quantity of fish being landed in the UK. While prices are up, there is still concern amongst many in the industry about how much value the UK derives from its own fleet and fish quota. Figures exclusively leaked to ITV News show publicly for the first time precisely how little benefit the UK gains from some of its own fishing fleet.  Many “British” boats are foreign owned and, as the statistics show, some of these never land a single fish in the UK. Video, click here to read the story 11:25

This Wing Will Fly! Wing Trawling System Wins Ocean Exchange Neptune Award

The Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Orcelle (R) and the Ocean Exchange Neptune Awards of $100,000 Each Were Given to Atlas Energy Systems and Wing Trawling System for Innovative Solutions That Support Zero Emissions and Sustainable Oceans. The winner of the Ocean Exchange Neptune Award in the amount of $100,000 USD is Wing Trawling System or WTS (USA-AL). This system can be adapted to existing commercial shrimp boats to reduce unwanted finfish by-catch by 60%+, while allowing a 20% increase in shrimp capture, and has shown 35% reduction in fuel consumption. The WTS looks like an airplane wing that flies just over the sea floor and holds the net open, eliminating the heavy sea floor contact of the trawl doors. The system was created and field-tested with six design generations by WTS founder, who has 49 years experience as a shrimper and many years experience as a mechanical designer. click here to read the story visit wingtrawlingsystem.com

Seized lobster destined for Chinese buyers

The lobsters seized in a Monday raid at Halifax Stanfield international airport were purchased by a Chinese company for export to Asia. Pierre Boissonault, a manager for Guang Da International, said Friday that 5,400 pounds of his company’s lobster was seized at the airport on Monday by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada before it could be shipped to China. He also confirmed that the company’s facility in Belliveaus Cove was raided as part of an investigation by Fisheries and Oceans into illegally purchased lobster. click here to read the story 09:10

Two bodies recovered from sunken F/V Dianne, debris hampering police diver search

Police divers could only spend 13 minutes underwater at a time on Saturday and the last dive was conducted about 4.30pm. The police vessel Conroy was expected to bring the bodies back to Gladstone for formal identification on Saturday night, before heading back out to guard the scene until the morning. “We’re still clearing debris from the wheelhouse and just starting to get below,” Inspector Somerville said. click here to read the story 08:40

Foss Hired to Remove Grounded Fishing Vessel Off Waikiki – New Concerns about Foreign Fishermen

Foss Maritime has been hired to remove the grounded fishing vessel Pacific Paradise from a reef off Waikiki after repeated attempts to refloat the vessel by commercial salvage companies have failed. The 79-foot Pacific Paradise ran aground on 10 October about 1,000 feet off Waikiki’s Kaimana Beach, and the vessel has remained stuck there ever since. Several attempts have been made by commercial salvage companies to tow the vessel, but each time the operation has been unsuccessful. click here to read the story 18:34

Hawaii boat crash spurs new concerns about foreign fishermen – while transporting foreign fishermen to work in Hawaii’s commercial fishing industry has raised new questions about the safety and working conditions for foreign laborers in this unique U.S. fleet. click here to read the story 

U.S. lobster fishing vessel caught trapping lobster in Canadian waters

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans intercepted a vessel fishing illegally in Canadian waters and reported it to U.S. authorities, an official confirmed Friday. The incident occurred Thursday near the coastal border of New Brunswick and Maine. “Our fishery officers intercepted a U.S. lobster fishing vessel that was fishing illegally within our Canadian fisheries waters about midday Oct. 19,” said Todd Somerville, area chief for conservation and protection in southwest New Brunswick. “We intercepted the vessel. At that point fishery officers board the vessel and then they initiate their investigation. Because it was a U.S. vessel, we do reach out to U.S. law enforcement. … They also responded.” click here to read the story 15:34

NOAA Fisheries Recommends Actions to Help Right Whales

Coming at the end of a devastating summer for right whales, the North Atlantic Right Whale Five-Year Review and its list of recommended actions to promote right whale recovery is particularly timely.,, In July 2016, we initiated this Review, as we do every five years, to make sure that species are accurately listed as “endangered” or “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Our Five-Year Review is now complete and provides updates on the right whale population in U.S. waters. The Five-Year Review recommends, not surprisingly, that North Atlantic right whales continue to be listed as endangered, and confirms that they experiencing: click here to read the recommendations 13:06

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for October 20, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates Click here, for older updates listed as NCFA click here 12:50

Reassessed: More than half a million gallons of oil spilled in Gulf near Lousisiana

The U.S. Coast Guard has reassessed an oil spill that happened Oct. 13 (click here) near Venice Louisiana. While initial reports were thought to be at about 400,000 gallons of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico, LLOG, the company which owns the pipleine, estimates that 16,000 barrels were spilled — approximately 672,000 gallons of spilled oil. The oil discharge from a damaged pipeline approximately 40 miles south east of Venice, Louisiana. click here to read the story 11:51

FISH-NL and FFAW still at odds over harvester numbers

There is still no official list, no final count of Newfoundland and Labrador inshore fish harvesters for the purposes of determining if there will be a vote on a breakaway union. Leaders with the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union have disputed who has a better total count on harvesters — one truly representative of inshore industry participation. The numbers being floated are very different, by thousands of individuals. click here to read the story 10:37

Eco-Warriors Once Used Old Tires In A Failed Attempt To Create An Artificial Reef

Divers are removing hundreds of old tires and debris environmentalists dumped off the coast of Southern California 30 years ago to help create an artificial barrier reef. Diving crews began cleaning up the mess earlier this month, according to the California Coastal Commission. Activist Rodolphe Streichenberger dumped the refuse in the bay in 1988 to establish an experimental, artificial reef – he fought for years to prevent its cleanup. click here to read the story ‘It just looks like a pile of trash’: Boat crew hauls tire reef out of the sea off Newport click here to read the story 09:37

Board of Fisheries declines request to cap Kodiak sockeye harvest

The Board of Fisheries won’t take up an out-of-cycle request to cap Kodiak sockeye salmon harvests during certain periods of the season, though it won’t be the last time the issue comes up. The board declined to accept an agenda change request that proposed a new management plan for the commercial purse seine fishery in the Kodiak Management Area setting weekly and seasonal limits on sockeye salmon harvest. The request, submitted by the United Cook Inlet Drift Association, raises concerns brought to light in a recent Alaska Department of Fish and Game genetic study showing that Kodiak seiners catch hundreds of thousands of Cook Inlet-bound sockeye salmon during the summer. click here to read the story 08:57

Sunken fishing trawler Dianne found by searchers off Queensland coast

Police say they have found the commercial fishing trawler Dianne in which six men are believed to have drowned when it sank in heavy seas on Monday night. The sea cucumber fishing boat was detected by sonar about two to three nautical miles off Round Hill Headland, near Seventeen Seventy. Police confirmed the discovery in a statement released just after 6:00pm today. Water Police will remain at the scene overnight and a full recovery operation will commence tomorrow morning. Twelve boats were involved in today’s operation, along with a helicopter and several vehicles that patrolled the shoreline. At least one of the boats was fitted with side scan sonar, using soundwaves to detect any possible man-made items under the water.  click here to read the story 08:36