Lobster fishermen create wall of empty traps at protest against closures

Nearly 500 fishermen brought empty lobster traps to Caraquet on Thursday to protest against the closure of fishing areas in the Gulf of St. Lawrence while endangered whales swim there. The protest came after another round of fishing area closures was announced by Ottawa this week because five North American right whales were spotted between Miscou and the Gaspé Peninsula. “We’ve never entangled one in lobster gear in these areas, ever,” said Carl Allen, president of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union, who organized the protest. Allen said the closures not only hurt fishermen and processing plant workers but also local economies on the Acadian Peninsula. >click to read<22:03

Congress : National Marine Fisheries Service, Destroying Fishermen and their Communities, The fifty million dollar question.

6/14/2018 – Please read, and sign the Petition By Joel Hovanesian, Thank you. Fisheries observers work aboard commercial fishing vessels during fishing trips. They collect information on catch, both kept and discarded, as well as biological data and information on gear and fishing operations over a range of commercial fisheries. These data are used extensively by researchers and fishery managers to better understand the condition of fishery stocks, fishing businesses, and fishing operations. These are NOAA’s words. The reality of the situation is far different. While many fishing businesses have been destroyed by the policies of the National Marine Fisheries Service and many more just hanging on we need to look at the reality of what is truly going on and questions need to be asked. >click to read and sign the petition< 21:00

Horrible timing

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game was Wednesday lobbying Alaska residents to buy Chitina dipnet permits to fish the Copper River even as the troubled, 2018 return of sockeye salmon to that big, muddy drainage was fading so badly that Cordova commercial fishermen pleaded to have the dipnet fishery shut down. “As of today sonar counts are well below projected counts and remain below the minimum threshold of 360,000 sockeye salmon for spawning escapements,” the Cordova District Fishermen United said in a letter to state officials. “In light of the weak early run component, restrictive closures on commercial fishing openers, and no noticeable increase in counts at the sonar currently, it is in the best interest of our sockeye runs to close the Copper River personal use and sport fisheries.” >click to read<18:26

Tuna ruined his life, then saved it

Nobody knows more about the ups and downs of the fish industry than Dennis Gore. Riding high, he was one of the most successful tuna buyers in the world. At the bottom, he was bankrupt, depressed and loathed by commercial fishing captains he couldn’t afford to pay. At one point, his Rainbow Connections company was “doing $9 million in sales a year, mostly selling bluefin to Japan.” On the other end, he was sitting in his living room, “smoking pot and listening to the Grateful Dead.”For years Gore refused to talk about it. “I’ve kept all this inside of me for so long, and it’s been eating at me,” he said while sitting on a picnic table at O’Neal’s Sea Harvest in this sleepy little fishing and boat-building village. >click to read<16:30

Why this super ship is making enemies in Alaska and on Capitol Hill

A few weeks ago, Helena Park reluctantly repainted her brand new, $75-million, fishing boat to mask its name, “America’s Finest.” It no longer seemed appropriate since the vessel might never fish in American waters. “There’s no ‘finest’ in America anymore. It will be someone else’s ‘finest.’” says Park, who’s the CEO of Fishermen’s Finest, a Washington-based fishing company. The ship’s troubles started when Park’s company made powerful enemies in Alaska and on Capitol Hill. Remote coastal communities that rely on fish processing plants for employment are worried ultra-modern fishing ships like America’s Finest, with its own on-board factory that can process over 500,000 pounds of fish a day, will make them obsolete. Along with rival fishing companies and Alaska’s representatives in the Senate, they’ve devised a strategy to stop America’s Finest from ever leaving the shipyard — using an obscure, century-old law called the Jones Act. Video, >click to read<13:50