Monthly Archives: May 2018

One step closer to a vote: Labour Relations Board orders hearing into FISH-NL’s application for certification

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) welcomes a decision by the province’s Labour Relations Board to order a hearing into its application for certification. “We’re one step closer to a vote,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “But we need all hands to contribute to our Go Fund Me campaign to build the legal fund that’s critical to pushing this over the top.” Glenn Branton, CEO of the Labour Relations Board, wrote a notification earlier today to all parties involved in FISH-NL’s application. “The issue to be decided at the hearing will be which fishers should be included in the unit for the purpose of the Board deciding whether a certification vote should be held,” he wrote. >click to read<15:29

America’s Finest vessel gets 2nd House waiver

The U.S. House, for a second time, has passed a waiver for the fishing vessel America’s Finest, but a path through the U.S. Senate still remains uncertain. A waiver for the $75 million trawler, which is necessary to allow the ship to work in U.S. waters, was included in the National Defense Authorization Act that cleared the House on Thursday morning. “It passed the House, but that and two bucks will get us a cup of coffee,” Dakota Creek Industries Vice President Mike Nelson told the American Thursday.,, But efforts to push a waiver through the Senate have failed so far. >click to read<10:42

Newfoundland and Labrador seeks markets for seal products

Governments, organizations promote diversification of products to create more markets nationally and internationally – Cull the seals, save the cod. It’s a popular refrain, heard most loudly in Newfoundland and Labrador around this time of year as the Canadian commercial seal hunt is drawing to a close and as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) releases quotas for cod and other groundfish species. The list of countries banning the import of seal products altogether climbed to 35 on the eve of the hunt last month when India — a country of 1.3 billion — joined the likes of the United States, Russia, Mexico and all of Europe. >click to read<09:41

P.E.I. Lobster fishermen confused and frustrated over prices

Lobster fishermen are expressing frustration with prices for their catch at the wharf this spring being about the same as they were 16 years ago. “The harvesters of Prince Edward Island are experiencing a season that is both confusing and frustrating,” the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association said in a news release issued early Friday morning. With the spring season coming up to the midway mark, the PEIFA says prices at the wharf in 2018 are comparable to what was being paid in 2002. >click to read<09:03

Feds limit chinook fishery to help resident killer whale recovery

The federal government is closing some recreational and commercial chinook fisheries on the West Coast in an effort to help save endangered southern resident killer whales. Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Thursday that a lack of prey for the whales is one of the critical factors affecting their recovery. There are just 76 of the whales left and LeBlanc said in a news release that a reduction in the total chinook fishery of 25 to 35 per cent will help conserve the orca’s main food source. The closures will be in the Juan de Fuca Strait and around portions of the Gulf Islands, the department said in the release. >click to read<08:26

Waste Water Treatment Plants: Mussels off the coast of Seattle test positive for opioids

As more and more American communities grapple with opioid addiction, the human toll of the epidemic has grown in both scope and severity. And now, scientists at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have found evidence that drug’s impact has literally flowed downstream to affect marine life, as well.,,, In three of the 18 locations, the mussels then tested positive for trace amounts of oxycodone. How, you ask? When humans ingest opioids like oxycodone, they ultimately end up excreting traces of the drugs into the toilet. Those chemicals then end up in wastewater. And while many contaminants are filtered out of wastewater before it’s released into the oceans, wastewater management systems can’t entirely filter out drugs. Thus, opioids, antidepressants, the common chemotherapy drug Melphalan — the mussels tested positive for all of them. >click to read<08:04

P.E.I. lobster buyers vote to suspend collecting lobster levy

Island lobster buyers are not collecting the one cent per pound levy this year, but fishermen will continue to pay theirs. P.E.I. was the first province in the region to introduce the two cent levy in 2016. The levy took one cent per pound from Island fishermen for lobster they brought in and another cent per pound from the buyers. The money was used for marketing lobster products with the fishermen’s levy going toward the Lobster Fishers Marketing Board and the buyer’s share to the P.E.I. Lobster Marketing Authority Inc. Francis Morrissey, former acting president of the P.E.I. Lobster Marketing Authority Inc., said buyers voted earlier this year to suspend collecting the levy in 2018. >click to read<22:53

Low Copper River sockeye returns leave state mulling closures

Initially poor runs of sockeye salmon on the Copper River have prompted the state to cancel at least one window for commercial fishing from the river, with future opportunities being reassessed based on tracking data. The state Department of Fish and Game issued a Wednesday statement closing a planned Thursday window for Copper River commercial fishing, but allowing a subsistence fishing window on the same day to continue. The statement cited sonar data from Miles Lake as a key factor in the closure. >click to read<19:16

Justice Department fines 2 Hawaii commercial fishing companies over illegal discharge

Two Honolulu-based commercial fishing companies have been ordered to pay civil fines after they discharged oily bilge waste into the Pacific Ocean. Under a settlement reached with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Coast Guard, Triple Dragon, LLC, its company manager and vessel operator have been ordered to pay fines totaling $25,500 for violations of the Clean Water Act and the Coast Guard’s spill prevention and pollution control regulations. The other company, Capt. Millions III, its manager and vessel operator were ordered to pay fines totaling $22,000 for the same violations. >click to read<18:18

World First: LNG-Fueled Fishing Trawler Powered by MAN D&T

MAN Diesel & Turbo was picked to provide a complete propulsion package and fuel-gas system for the world’s first fishing vessel with LNG propulsion, an 86-m newbuild purse-seiner dubbed ‘Libas’ to be built by Cemre Shipyard in Istanbul. Libas will feature a MAN 6L51/60DF main engine, Renk gearbox, MAN Alpha propeller system and MAN Cryo LNG fuel-gas system with a 350 cu. m. tank. Liegruppen, the Norwegian fishing group, has ordered the vessel, while compatriot, Salt Ship Design, has provided the design. >click to read<16:18

Playing with a “Full Deck”? Scientists say fish feel pain. It could lead to major changes in the fishing industry.

Fish feel pain. Read that sentence again: Fish feel pain. The idea that fish suffer runs counter to almost everything Americans have been taught about creatures of the sea. That their brains are not complex enough to experience pain. That their behaviors when stressed — such as wriggling violently on a hook — are just unconscious reactions, disconnected from the suffering of sentient beings. That they’re, more or less, unfeeling little meat sticks that don’t deserve animal welfare protections. Greg Abrams, a longtime commercial fisherman in Florida, perhaps best sums up the classic American attitude about fish and their potential to suffer: “God put these animals on the earth for us to survive on,” he says. “Whoever’s coming out with ‘fish are tortured’ or ‘fish feel pain,’ they’re not playing with a full deck. I don’t want to be rude.” >click to read<13:48

Crew of sunken ‘Ocean Way’ was unprepared for emergency

On the morning of 3 March 2017, the twin-rigged trawler Ocean Way foundered 18 nautical miles north-east of Lerwick, Scotland, after suffering a flood in its aft compartment/accommodation space. The flood was almost certainly the result of hull damage caused when the port trawl door struck the hull during recovery of the gear. Despite the crew’s efforts to bring the flooding under control using fixed and portable pumps, the ingress of water exceeded the pumping effort and Ocean Way succumbed to overwhelming down flooding when the open accommodation space escape hatch submerged. >click to read<12:37

Turf War: Eastern Shore lobster fishermen say vandalism, threats continuing

Jason Keating had a buoy on the hauler Saturday morning when another lobster boat steamed slowly by with eight people aboard. “You move your (expletive) gear right now you (expletive),” was shouted at him, among other things, from Colin McKay’s passing cape islander. Keating recorded the interaction with a video camera he’d purchased the night before. In fact at least four of Little Harbour’s eleven fishermen have begun carrying video cameras to record their interactions on the water with McKay. “I bought the camera to protect myself,” said Keating. Graphic Video, >click to read<10:31

 

Maryland congressman seeks reassurance on impact of offshore wind

An amendment to legislation has been passed that requests the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study the effects of offshore wind projects on wildlife offshore Maryland.
The House Committee on Appropriations marked up the FY19 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill earlier in May. Congressman Andy Harris authored, and the committee passed, an amendment ordering the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “to study the effects of offshore wind projects on marine mammals and fish, as well as the need for any mitigation measures.” >click to read<09:30

Illegal fishing drives early shutdown of elver fishery

The Department of Marine Resources announced Wednesday afternoon that it will shut down the elver fishery two weeks early “because of illegal sales which jeopardize the department’s ability to manage the fishery.” The department will use its emergency rulemaking authority to close the season. The elver fishing season will close at 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 24. The season was scheduled to end at noon on Thursday, June 7. Under the regulation, licensed harvesters may not fish for or take elvers after 6 a.m. on May 24, but may possess and sell elvers until noon on that day. Licensed dealers may purchase elvers until noon on May 24, and may possess legally purchased elvers until 6 a.m. on May 29. >click to read<08:34

‘Just one more nail in the coffin,’ Fishermen react to Vineyard Wind announcement

Ed Anthen-Washburn, the Director of The New Bedford Port Authority, received a constant stream of calls Wednesday afternoon after the announcements of offshore winf contracts.,,,”I think its fair to say to say the general reaction in the fishing industry is shock,” Anthes-Washburn said.,, The Vineyard Wind award for the power purchase agreement with Massachusetts was the worst-case scenario for Rhode Island commercial fishing vessels, for all squid vessels and really for the worlds calamari supply,” said Meghan Lapp, a fisheries liason for Seafreeze Ltd, which owns vessels that harvest squid, mackerel, butterfish, and herring. Lapp said Rhode Island lands more squid than the rest of the East Coast combined. >click to read< 00:08

‘Deadliest Catch’ star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle. The Seattle Times reports the 52-year-old “Deadliest Catch” star pleaded guilty Wednesday. Under the plea deal, a property destruction charge was dismissed. Prosecutors also recommended the assault conviction be dropped and the case dismissed if Hansen complies with court conditions for a year. But Judge Edward McKenna wasn’t ready to agree with that recommendation. He postponed sentencing and ordered Hansen to undergo a new alcohol evaluation. >click to read<19:52

P.E.I.: North Lake fishermen offer $10K fishermen offer $10K reward on lost traps

Fishermen in North Lake, P.E.I., are offering a $10,000 reward in the hope that it will elicit tips from the public regarding 240 traps lost earlier this month. According to RCMP, sometime between noon on Saturday, May 12, and the early morning on Monday, May 14, lines on the 240 traps were cut. Police estimate the traps were worth about $31,000. >click to read<18:49

Two big wind farms to rise off coast of Martha’s Vineyard

State officials and utility executives Wednesday picked the first company to build a wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts, a project with as many as 100 turbines 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. Vineyard Wind, a joint venture of New England utility Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, beat out a proposal from Bay State Wind, a joint venture owned by Eversource Energy and Danish energy giant Orsted. Meanwhile, the Deepwater project will be known as Revolution Wind and is about 12 miles south of the Vineyard. It would be 10 times the size of Deepwater’s five-turbine project off Block Island, >click to read< 16:50

Fight over America’s Finest vessel part of bigger processor battle

The mothershippers are fighting with the groundfish shoreplants in a politicized Bering Sea commercial fishing tussle reaching all the way to Washington, D.C. The battle over Pacific cod pits the factory trawlers of the Amendment 80 fleet against Alaska shoreplants and local governments. And in February, it pitted two local governments against each other. A delegation of municipal and business leaders from Anacortes, Wash., traveled to the Aleutian Islands to ask the Unalaska City Council to reverse itself but didn’t change anybody’s mind. The brand spanking new factory trawler America’s Finest remains stranded in an Anacortes, Wash., shipyard, unable to fish in the United States because it hasn’t received a waiver from the Jones Act. >click to read<15:54

NY Dems’ Anti-Energy Policies Forced New Yorkers To Pay 46 Times More For Power

Natural gas prices in the New York City region skyrocketed in January, costing New Yorkers roughly 46 times more than the 2017 average for the area, according to a Tuesday report from the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA). Despite neighboring natural gas-rich Pennsylvania, New York residents pay 44 percent more for energy than the national average. A lack of transportation infrastructure between the two states has effectively cut off New Yorkers from a large supply of fuel. (because we’re gonna have wind farms!) Due largely to a lack of oil and gas infrastructure, much of New England was forced to rely on imported natural gas from Russia to keep neighborhoods heated during over the winter. >click to read<14:20

New England: Members Of Commercial Fishing Industry Oppose Proposed Changes To Herring Fishery

Commercial fishing companies are against proposed changes to the Atlantic herring fishery management plan. The New England Fisheries Management Council wants to establish a new process for setting the sustainable harvest limit, referred to as the “acceptable biological catch.” That control rule, which is set every three years, would be in place for a longer period of time. The Town Dock, a Rhode Island-based seafood dealer and processor, said in a statement changing that rule would be problematic for the fishery. >click to read<13:50

Nearly 200 NC Fishermen Travel To Raleigh For Second Annual Seafood Lobby Day

Today, commercial fishermen will forego a day working on the water and instead work the halls of the Legislative Building for the 2nd Annual Seafood Lobby Day. The event, coordinated by North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), provides an opportunity for legislators to meet the individuals that provide fresh, NC-caught seafood to their communities across the state and to hear directly from commercial fishermen about the challenges they face. Nearly 200 fishermen from up and down the coast traveled to Raleigh for the event. >click to read<12:34

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 37′ Repco Lobster/Tuna, 300HP, 6 Cylinder John Deere, price reduced!

Specifications, information and 5 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here<12:03

Rammed or shooting the gap? Salmon seiners clash in Prince William Sound criminal case

An unusual criminal case in Cordova that centers on a violent fishing boat collision two years ago is expected to wrap up without jail time. The June 2016 crash between seiners in a Prince William Sound cove near Whittier revealed a dark side of Alaska’s multimillion-dollar pink salmon fishery. Kami Cabana, the 25-year-old third-generation fisherman at the helm of the Chugach Pearl, faced first-degree felony assault charges for what prosecutors called an intentional ramming. Her attorney argued it was Jason Long, the Cordova-based skipper of the Temptation, who was actually at fault: He tried to force his way through a lineup of boats with a dangerous maneuver. Video, >click to read< 11:08

Maine: New halibut rules aim to keep fishery open

The Maine Department of Marine Resources has reminded harvesters with an Atlantic halibut endorsement of new state regulations designed to keep the state compliant with federal rules. The new state rules, enacted in April as emergency regulations and scheduled to become permanent in June, are designed to prevent state licensed harvesters from exceeding the allowable catch limit in state waters and contributing to an overage for the combined state and federal fishery. >click to read<10:26

Offshore Wind: Deepwater In Too Deep?

It looked so good at first blush. It checked all the hot boxes — Green. Alternate Energy. Zero carbon footprint. We would end our dependence on fossil fuel, the developers promised. But when folks in East Hampton started taking a closer look at a proposed Deepwater Wind project off the coast of Montauk, the negatives began outweighing the positives for a lot of people who felt they would be adversely affected, especially those in the fishing community. The erosion of support occurred gradually. During the election, the victorious Democratic candidates favored the development of the wind farm though the Republican challengers didn’t. But recreational and commercial fishermen, some armed with data from wind farms in Europe, reported that the wind turbines are detrimental to fish and fatal to migratory birds. >click to read<09:20

Coast Guard monitors efforts to confirm location of sunken vessel in Willapa Bay

Coast Guard personnel continue to monitor the response to the report of the overdue fishing vessel Kelli J after a boat crew contracted through the vessel owner’s insurance company located a large unknown object in the area of a previously sighted pollution and debris in the water of Willapa Bay, Tuesday. Global Diving and Salvage personnel have been contracted by the insurance company to dive on and identify the object Wednesday, and assess what actions can be taken for potential salvage. Around 3:35 p.m. on Saturday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received a report that the operator of the Kelli J was overdue from a fishing trip. The report came from the vessel operator’s wife, who stated he was due to return at 12:30 p.m. that day and confirmed his vehicle was still at a Nahcotta marina with no vessel in sight. >click to read<23:39

If courts are ever going to strike down an illegal national monument, this’ll be it

Often, it seems the federal government has it out for the English language. The President and federal agencies routinely twist the words in statutes beyond recognition. For instance, PLF has long challenged EPA’s bizarre claim that dry land is “water” under the Clean Water Act. The government’s no fan of consistency, so it should come as little surprise that the President also claims the ocean is “land” when that suits his purposes. In Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, et al. v. Ross, PLF is challenging the designation of 5,000 square miles of ocean as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, under a statute that expressly limits designations to “land owned or controlled by the Federal Government.” The government has moved to dismiss that case arguing that the President can essentially do whatever he wants, the language of the statute be damned. Today, we filed our response to that motion. In our brief we explain that: Pacific Legal Foundation >click to read<21:52

WWF Warns All Fish May Go Extinct Within Next 30 Years

In a world where the global population is close to 7.5 billion people, you can expect that the demand for food is similarly climbing at an exponential rate. The more people there, the more mouths there are to feed. One of the industries that is suffering from this increase in demand for food is the fishing industry – and in return, people are turning towards unsustainable fishing methods. The WWF warns us of a looming collapse of the ocean’s various ecosystems in the next thirty years if this kind of dangerous fishing practices continue. In a 2006 study published by Worm, et. al., >click to read<16:23

November 2, 2006 – Seafood May Be Gone by 2048, Study Says – >click to read< From FishnetUSA – This was the Pew produced headline that got extensive media play starting in November of 2006. “Unless humans act now, seafood may disappear by 2048, concludes the lead author of a new study that paints a grim picture for ocean and human health.,, >click to read<