Monthly Archives: March 2018

‘The truth needed to come out’: A decade after the sinking of the Alaska Ranger, a survivor changes his story

On the 10th anniversary of the sinking of the Seattle-based fishing vessel, a survivor and key witness says he left out part of the story — an incident he believes had grave consequences. Rodney Lundy has a story to tell. He says he should have told it a lot sooner. As the Seattle-based Alaska Ranger prepared to head out to the Bering Sea to fish for Atka mackerel, Lundy, an assistant engineer, says he saw trouble. It was the evening of March 21, 2008, and Lundy says crew had stacked bundles of netting around one of two air vents.,,  Lundy wanted the gear moved. The conversation grew heated as fishmaster Satoshi Konno — leader of a small group of Japanese crew members — refused. >click to read<14:07

FISH-NL calls for independent investigation of ‘epic’ mismanagement of northern cod stock, relationship between DFO and FFAW

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says a dramatic decline in northern cod below 1992’s moratorium level reflects “epic” mismanagement that isn’t characteristic of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans with other fisheries across Canada. In that context, FISH-NL recommends Ottawa initiate an immediate, independent investigation of DFO management in the Newfoundland and Labrador region, and, more specifically, the department’s relationship with the FFAW-Unifor. >click to read<12:47

Man accused of redirecting $315,000 in grant funds for his own use

A Fairbanks man has been indicted for allegedly using more than $300,000 in federal grant money to attend flight school and to buy himself an airplane, real estate, firearms and online pornography. David Michael McGraw, 38, “willfully misapplied” the money while he was working as the finance director for the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council from 2010-14, according to a news release issued by the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Alaska. >click to read< 12:22

Enviro group concerned about decline in capelin abundance in N.L.

A national conservation organization is expressing concerns about what it says is a 70 per cent decline in capelin abundance over the last two years in Newfoundland and Labrador. A news release from WWF Canada says that while environmental factors are driving the decline, it cannot rule out fishing as another factor. It says due to limitations with its surveys, the Fisheries Department cannot accurately estimate the total number of capelin in the water, and therefore cannot conclude with certainty the impact fishing has had on the stock. >click to read<11:23

Petition to Reclassify: Fight begins over fate of leatherback sea turtle

Protected as endangered species for nearly half a century, their Atlantic population soon may lose that status, in what is becoming a fight between commercial fishermen and conservationists. The Blue Water Fishermen’s Association, which represents longline fishermen who catch swordfish, tuna and other big fish along the east coast, has petitioned the federal government to reclassify from endangered to threatened the northwest Atlantic population of leatherbacks,,, With the Pacific leatherback population crashing, they say the northwest Atlantic population should be classified separately so U.S. fishermen aren’t penalized for the failure of other countries to protect them. >click to read<09:36

Fisherman who sued feds thrilled about funding for at-sea monitoring

A commercial fisherman who sued the federal government over at-sea monitoring costs was thrilled Thursday when it was announced the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would fully fund the program under the omnibus government spending bill. David Goethel, of Hampton, said he learned about the funding Wednesday. “I’ve been sitting on this for 18 hours. I was like a cat that swallowed a canary. I didn’t want to spit out any feathers,” Goethel said Thursday afternoon. >click to read<09:01

Partnership expected to create Live Stor America with holding facilities in Portland, Seattle

Live Stor Ltd. of North Sydney has reached an agreement with Tennessee-based LIG Assets to establish two live lobster holding facilities in the U.S. The new facilities would be based in Portland, Me. and Seattle, Wash. Under the name, Live Stor America, a million-pound live holding system operation in both cities would support import and export of live seafood from the U.S., Europe and Asia. “LIGA is very fortunate to partner with Live Ship, a company that is certain to disrupt the seafood delivery industry and shares our corporate values,” LIG Assets chairman Aric Simons said in a release issued earlier this month.>click to read<21:09

Local fisherman, FGCU student finds message in a bottle at sea, collects $10,000 diamond

One month after jeweler Mark Loren dropped three messages in a bottle from a helicopter into the Gulf of Mexico, a local fisherman has claimed the first prize. Wesley Skinner, 22, a commercial fisherman and senior at Florida Gulf Coast University, spotted the light green glass bottle floating at sea, about 30 miles offshore northwest of Sanibel Island. The water was extremely calm that day, Skinner recalled, and after seeing an object bobbing in the water, asked the captain turn around so he could take a closer look. He didn’t immediately uncork the bottle, though,,, >click to read<18:22

Gone Fishing with the X-H1

For 2018 I have embarked on a new project telling the story of a year in the life of a local fisherman and his 10-metre trawler called the Rockhopper of Perceul. I live in the small fishing town of Dunbar on Scotland’s south east coast which boasts a small fishing fleet of twenty nine boats ranging from small creel boats up to medium size trawlers. The Rockhopper is one of two trawler / potters that work the seas off of Dunbar all year round. By Jeff Carter >click to read<14:48

Rep. Zeldin Slams ASMFC Black Sea Bass Allocation, Calls for Equitable Fishing Quotas

Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) issued the following statement following the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) proposed allocation for black sea bass for the 2018 season, which would unfairly cut New York State’s share by up to 12%, while other states will see their allocations grow: “With the vast majority of Long Island fishing taking place in waters shared with New Jersey and Connecticut, such as the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound, it is unfair that New York anglers are, once again, being penalized with smaller fishing quotas than neighboring states. >click to read<14:08

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross questions safety of seafood imports

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross addressed U.S. fisheries regulations and his concern about the quality of seafood imports with the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, 20 March, and he said he’s looking for NOAA Fisheries officials to work harder to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit.,, “It’s one of my pet peeves,” Ross said, when asked by U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Mississippi) what he planned to do to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit. “I hate the idea that with all the water surrounding us and all the water inland that we have a trade deficit in fish. >click to read<13:05

Shaheen Negotiates Full Federal Funding for At-Sea Monitoring Fees in Government Spending Bill

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after obtaining funding in the omnibus government spending bill that will prevent a burdensome and costly at-sea monitoring fee from being imposed on New Hampshire fishermen this year. The fee was previously paid for by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), but in recent years, the agency has shifted this significant financial burden on to fishermen. >click to read<11:00

Lobster: Don’t put us in same pot

FOREWARD: The spring fishers of P.E.I. include over 1,000 fleets from Tignish to East Point to Victoria. We are grateful for the support of local businesses and the general public who purchase our cold-water lobster each year. As with all goods and services, prices of lobster also fluctuate. However, one thing remains constant: Spring-caught lobster are hands-down the best quality lobster in North America, and when it comes to annual prices, the bar should be set by the highest quality product. We acknowledge that several factors also affect the price of lobster, such as CAD value, supply and demand. Our two articles are meant to provide clarity on the varying costs of P.E.I. lobster. Following is Part 1. >click to read<10:28

Coast Guard rescues 3 from grounded vessel in Peril Strait, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued three people after their fishing vessel grounded in Peril Strait, Wednesday. The Jayhawk helicopter crew landed on shore and embarked the three individuals. They were taken to Air Station Sitka in good condition. Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a mayday call via VHF Channel 16 from the 40-foot steel hull commercial fishing vessel EH crew asking for assistance after the vessel ran hard aground and began taking on water at Saook Point, approximately 30 miles north of Sitka. >click to read<09:10

Obama Banned Fishing In 5,000 Square Miles Of Rich Ocean — Fishermen Want It Back

A Washington, D.C., district court lifted a stay Wednesday on a fishing industry lawsuit to reverse a 5,000 square mile marine national monument created off New England’s coast in 2016. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument will ban fishing in an area roughly the size of Connecticut in less than a decade. Seafood and fishing trade groups are suing to rescind the monument former President Barack Obama crafted near the end of his 2nd term, to restore an area of ocean that has been an important source of lobster and fish for decades, according to the lawsuit. >click to read<18:29

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 55′ Fiberglass Dragger, 425HP Cummins, 20 KW Genset, Complete main engine rebuild

Specifications, information and 53 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here<17:38

More seals, sea lions endangering orcas

Re: “Ottawa spending millions to help endangered orcas” and “Washington state moves to protect endangered southern residents,” March 16. These articles failed to address a couple of noteworthy things regarding prey availability for resident orcas, more resources for local salmon enhancement being one of them. The southern resident orcas are facing increased competition for salmon in large part due to the increase in harbour seal and California sea lion populations since the enactment of the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972. >click to read<17:00

Seeking a viable fishery in Twillingate – Harvester and harbour master weigh in on state of shrimp fishery

With projected quota cuts to an already curtailed fishery, some shrimp harvesters say they will not even bother chasing the species this year. Perry Collins of Seldom on Fogo Island has harvested shrimp for over 10 years. He says if quotas go lower than they already are, there will be little to no profit in taking part in the shrimp fishery. “If the quota goes any lower … they may as well close it out all together,” Collins said. “With the time you take to gear up and change over from your other fisheries, it’s really not worth going after.” >click to read<14:09

Pacific Fishery Management Council Chooses Salmon Season Options

The Pacific Fishery Management Council has adopted for public review three alternatives for the 2018 salmon seasons off the West Coast of the United States. The Council will select a final alternative at its next meeting in Portland, Oregon April 6-11. Detailed information about season starting dates, areas open, and catch limits for all three alternatives are available on the Council’s website at >click to read< 12:20

Maine: Scallop fishermen near end of season

The Maine scallop fishing season opened during the first week of December and now, with two weeks or less remaining, reports on how good a season it has been are decidedly mixed. On the good side of the ledger, there seemed to be plenty of scallops, often in places where none have been seen for years, Melissa Smith, who coordinates scallop management for the Department of Marine Resources, said last week. >click to read<11:16

The Newfoundland Fishery Assassin

By David Boyd, Twillingate, Newfoundland. Our province, our fisheries are in the grip of a hellish nightmare. An assassin is on the loose. Let us begin. The Caplin biomass are in dire shape. So are our Wild Salmon – just a mere 30,000 striving to survive in south coast currents. Toxic fish farms have instead become the priority of politicians’ hearts. They permit fake fish proponents to rule our waters – spinning fishy tales and casting misery to our wild species. Oil, too, has become the politician’s potion. The smell of fish on their hands is dirty. The assassin’s cloak spreads further. >click to read< 09:52

Dan Webster Champions Sustainable Shark and Fisheries Trade Act

U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., is leading three other members of the Florida delegation in wanting the U.S. Commerce Department to increase regulation on the international shark trade. Webster’s office noted “the bill preserves U.S. commercial fishing jobs, a key component of our state and nation’s economy” and, taking a page from the World Trade Organization’s process for certifying importing shrimp, would have the U.S. Secretary of Commerce establish a three year certifying process for nations exporting shark products to the U.S. >click to read<09:15

Board of Fisheries nomination proves controversial

The nomination of a Kodiak-based fisherman to the Alaska Board of Fisheries has led to concern about an overrepresentation of commercial fisheries interests on the board. Governor Bill Walker recently recommended Duncan Fields for the Board of Fisheries to fill the seat left by Anchorage’s Alan Cain, whose term is up this year. Ricky Gease, the executive director of the Kenai River Sport Fishing Association, sees a need for that seat to go to someone with experience in Anchorage-based sports and personal use fishing. >click to read<21:24

The understandable anger of British fishermen

When the fisheries-rich countries of the North Atlantic applied to join the EEC in the early 1970s, it was an opportunity for ministers in Brussels that was too good to miss. To the nervous embarrassment of the Dutch, a last minute deal was pushed through that bolted the resources of national fishing grounds onto the scanty treaty provisions that covered trade in fish produce. It was a shoddy fix and, it turned out, a major scandal at least for one of the applicant states. Norway’s fisheries minister resigned in protest, and the Norwegians voted against accession. But the UK did not. In 1973, the country joined the Brussels club. Ted Heath’s people accepted the stitch up as a political price worth paying – one of many, it might be said. And thus was created the original sin behind UK membership. >click to read<19:26

Two dead whales wash up on the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada

It’s too soon to say what’s behind the death of a humpback whale that washed up on Nova Scotia’s Fundy Shore near the community of Ogilvie, N.S.  The humpback is one of two large whales found washed up along the Nova Scotia coast this weekend. “It would definitely take a pretty thorough examination to find out what might have killed it,” said Andrew Reid, response co-ordinator for the Marine Animal Response Society (MARS). He said his organization got the call about the carcass on the Bay of Fundy beach late Sunday. >click to read< 15:01

Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fishery’s sustainability designation suspended in wake of whale deaths

Canada’s lucrative Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fishery has had its certification as an environmentally sustainable fishery suspended. The London-based Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) announced Tuesday it was suspending the certification — a stamp of approval for consumers — because the fishery has been linked to North Atlantic right whale deaths. Twelve of the critically endangered whales died in the Gulf St. Lawrence last year, with necropsies performed on six. >click to read< 12:11

Australian Government winds back marine protections to support fishing industry

The Turnbull government will strip back highest-level protections in a host of sensitive marine areas, including critical waters near the Great Barrier Reef, saying it is protecting the environment while supporting fishing and tourism. But Labor has branded the changes “the largest removal of areas from conservation in history” and will seek to disallow the proposed regulation in Parliament.,,, Overall, 80 per cent of Australia’s marine park waters would be opened to commercial fishing, up from 63 percent. >click to read< 11:01

1910: A Cat, A Bulldog, and a Lobster Walk into a Harlem Restaurant…

This quirky animal tale of Old New York begins on a Sunday night in May 1910 when Gus, a brindle bulldog, walked into Fay’s restaurant at 255 West 125th Street in Harlem around 7 p.m. and sat down for dinner with his master. Gus was reportedly well behaved, so he was allowed to sit with his owner, Miss Rose Leland of 516 West 179th Street, as long as his leash was wrapped around her chair while they both ate their dinners. Outside on the sidewalk was an icebox, where live lobsters were kept. >click to read< 09:55

On 2-hour notice: Sitka herring fleet opts for ‘non-competitive’ fishery

The commercial sac roe herring fishery in Sitka Sound goes on two-hour notice tomorrow (Tuesday 3-20-18) at 7 a.m. That means the first opening could be as soon as two hours after that. But whenever fishing opens, it won’t be the full-throttle race to the grounds as in past years. Eric Coonradt, the state biologist who manages the fishery, following a pre-season meeting in Sitka Monday afternoon (3-19-18), confirmed that the permit holders have agreed to fish non-competitively, and to share the proceeds.>click to read<09:30

Coast Guard assists disabled fishing vessel 110 miles east of Cape Cod

Two aircraft out of U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod responded Sunday night to a distress call from a disabled fishing ship roughly 110 miles east of Cape Cod, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Andrew Barresi. The fishing vessel Captain Joe was without power and needed a battery to run a generator, Barresi said. Captain Joe’s sister ship, Orion, was about 50 miles away with a battery. >click to read<08:52