Monthly Archives: May 2019

Invasive mussels challenge commercial whitefish fishing in the Great Lakes

Denise Purvis’ family began fishing the waters of northern Lake Huron off Manitoulin Island in 1882. Over the years their operation came to expect the unpredictability of a livelihood dependent on the ability to capture wild fish. Purvis came back to the family business in the mid-1990s after college. Her return home coincided with the arrival of zebra and quagga mussels into the Great Lakes. The mussels have since become synonymous with the problem of invasive species in the Great Lakes. They’ve colonized the lakes and negatively impacted their ecology. For Purvis and the dwindling number of Great Lakes commercial whitefish fishers, the fishery has fallen on hard times. >Video, photo’s click to read<10:28

Alaska’s biggest ever commercial seaweed harvest is happening right now

The biggest commercial seaweed harvest in Alaska history is unfolding this week in waters off Kodiak, one slick blade of sugar kelp at a time. By the end of the two-week harvest, two Kodiak sea farmers expect to haul in a total of 150,000 to 200,000 pounds of kelp. This year’s harvest is at least three times larger than last year’s, said Lexa Meyers, who co-owns Kodiak Kelp Co. Subsistence seaweed harvests have been happening along Alaska’s coastline for millennia. But Alaska’s commercial seaweed industry is only a few years old, and growing fast. >click to read<10:04

By dint of hard work

It’s a story of being in the right place at the right time. But mostly, it’s a success story by dint of a long life of hard work. It shows on Capt. Willy Roe’s face. He’s earned his wrinkles and thinning hair. But there’s a cragginess, a waterman’s weathered visage that tells its own story of too much sun, frigid gales and choppy seas on the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and creeks. An official old-timer at 85, Roe still is working. >click to read<09:00

‘Get Off The Boat’ — Women In Commercial Fishing Industry Fight Sexual Harassment

When Robin McAllistar worked in the commercial fishing industry in the 1970s and 1980s, she was often the only woman on the boat. Once, she said she was stuck on a boat with a captain who was constantly drinking. She said he assaulted her in her room, and she had to fight him off. “I mean physically grappling and trying to get through and get out and get away,” she said. “I wasn’t raped, but that was only because I got out.” The next day, she hopped onto another boat to get away. Roughly 15% of commercial fishermen in Alaska are women. >click to read<20:23

‘We’re all her sons’: Harbour manager Sheila Eastman is like family to North Lake fishermen

Sheila Eastman is a statistician, an adviser, a traffic cop and sometimes even a nurse to hundreds of fishermen in North Lake, P.E.I. As the longtime harbour manager, she’s helped guide thousands of fishermen for almost two decades in and out of the second largest port in the province. Being responsible for the safe passage of 90 boats making three to four trips each day, she has a big job. And the fishermen have a deep respect and affection for her. “She’s the heartbeat of the harbour of North Lake,”,, >click to read<18:52

Lawsuit against Bristol Bay fish marketing group dismissed

The Bristol Bay Six case against Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association has been dismissed. Alaska Superior Court Judge Yvonne Lamoureux said that the association is within its rights to spend money fighting the Pebble Project, which the association feels could harm the fishery of Bristol Bay. The six fishermen who had sued had said that BBRSDA was working in areas far from its mission, spending some $250,000 of fishermen’s money on contracts with groups opposing the Pebble Project. >click to read<13:55

Mom of doomed Mary B II skipper calls him experienced seaman for whom safety was ‘paramount,’ contradicting other witnesses

In day five of the Coast Guard hearing into the January capsizing of the Mary B II fishing vessel, the mother of the captain described a man vastly different from the one depicted throughout the week by other witnesses. Mary B. Anderson, managing member of the Mary B II LLC, bought the former Bess Chet last fall, after her son, Stephen Biernacki, convinced her it would be a good business opportunity. >click to read<13:06

Gulf of Mexico: Containment System Complete at MC20 Oil Release Site

The U.S. Coast Guard and contractor Couvillion Group have successfully installed a containment system to capture oil leaking from Taylor Energy’s Mississippi Canyon 20 well, despite a lawsuit brought by Taylor to halt the intervention. The installation marks a major milestone in the USCG’s efforts to address the spill, which has been ongoing for 14 years. >click to read<11:18

‘It was like somebody pulled the plug on the drain’

Earlier this year, the San Francisco Port Commission commended a boat captain for safely delivering 23 passengers from danger during a “tidal event,” an honor so rare it hasn’t been bestowed in at least 20 years. Even more unusual is that many questions surrounding the event, which broke chains, nearly sunk a moored boat and endangered lives, remain unanswered. Commendations from the commission have been so infrequent that Port staff were unable to find records detailing when and why the last one was issued. Captain David Crumpler has become the first in recent memory. >click to read<09:15

Cleanup complete after fishing boat catches fire, washes ashore near Bandon

Crews including a helicopter have finished removing major debris left off the Oregon coast after a 64-foot fishing boat caught fire while at sea and later washed ashore. The crew abandoned the Ann Kathleen and was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. >click to read<The wood and fiberglass boat caught fire south of Bandon and washed ashore May 2 in a remote area of beach north of Floras Lake at low tide, according to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. >click to read<08:08

Fed up shrimpers may look to state for oversight

Missed payments, cash draws against the future and unpaid bills. Shrimp fishermen and plant workers from Newport to Eureka are feeling the financial pinch as a deadlock with processors continues. “They’ve got to get the plants open,” said Newport shrimper Ted Gibson, a key fisherman’s representative in price talks. “This is really hurting communities financially. I don’t think people have any idea how much money is not coming into Oregon because of this.” Unable to agree on a price for Pacific pink shrimp, some 60 boats are holding fast to the dock,,,>click to read<22:46

Brixham fishing crew honoured with first ever ‘Life Saver Award’ after miracle rescue

It was dark, it was cold, it was stormy with 70knot winds and waves 20ft high when young fisherman Reegan Green was lifted off his feet and washed overboard from a Brixham trawler 25 miles off the Devon coastline. Experienced air and sea rescue personnel who spent an hour looking for Reegan in the dark knew one thing – they had never before pulled a fishermen alive and conscious from the sea in similar conditions. But this time things were different. >click to read<18:01

A declaration to close Herring Area 1A – Effort Control Measures for June – September 2019

The Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), with the approval of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, has issued a declaration to close the commercial sea herring fishery in Management Area 1A during the period of June 1 – September 30 (Declaration Notice). During this period, it shall be unlawful to fish for, retain or land any sea herring taken from Management Area 1A without explicit authorization from DMF. The 2,000 pound incidental trip limit no longer applies. >click to read<15:50

Maine lobster fishery agrees to deep cuts to protect whales

After a long and difficult week in late April in which the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Mammal Take Reduction Team met to address protections for the endangered right whale, the Maine lobster fishery now has a sense of what the future holds. There were some hard battles along the way, in which we lobster industry advocates fought to ensure a viable Maine fishery, both for today’s lobstermen and for future generations. By Patrice McCarron >click to read<14:39

Competing interests – “The farmer and the cowman should be friends,” according to Richard Rodgers’ lyrics in “Oklahoma!” Can a similar peace pact be visited upon Maine’s lobstermen and the advocates of whale safety? >click to read<

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 17, 2019

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<13:28

BREAKING: Woman says she was hit in the face on Biernacki’s boat

A Toledo woman who says she was aboard a tuna boat piloted by Captain Stephen Biernacki last August has come forward to recount the man hitting her in the face with a microphone and trying to confine her to the boat’s bunk area after the two fought over a radio call she made to try to get another boat to take her back to shore. “He grabbed the mike and hit me in the chin with it and said, ‘you just lost your privileges,'” said Kelli Sullivan,,, >click to read<11:14

Widow recounts boat’s tragic trajectory – >click to read<

FISH-NL expects NDP to be tail that wags Liberal dog regarding inshore fishery

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the province’s New Democratic Party is positioned to force changes to the Liberal agenda, including $20 million targeted for seismic blasting, and sea-cage aquaculture off the south coast. “The NDP is poised to be a powerful tail within a minority government to wag the Liberal dog,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “We need that tail to follow through, and take a stand for the inshore fishery.” In response to a FISH-NL questionnaire leading up to the May 16th election, NDP Leader Alison Coffin outlined specific issues regarding the inshore fishery that “they will champion in the future.” >click to read<10:47

Fisherman pulls monster bass from Annapolis River after tidal station shutdown

According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, striped bass used to spawn in the Saint John, Annapolis and Shubenacadie river systems on the Bay of Fundy. The causeway built across the Annapolis River in 1960 and the Annapolis Royal Tidal Generating Station that opened in 1984 have been widely blamed for driving the fish from that river. Meanwhile the Saint John population dropped off after the Mactaquac Dam was built in 1968. But after decades of protests,,, >click to read<09:50

Alaskans enjoy the journey of the first Copper River salmon of the year

Thursday morning Skip Winfree from 10th & M Seafood climbed into an Alaska Central Express plane along with a Channel 2 crew to chase the salmon in Cordova. Excitement filled the air. After a 45 minute flight over snowcapped mountains the plane landed at one of the fishing capitols of Alaska. How many salmon would be caught? How big would the kings be this year? Text messages starting rolling in from fishermen with 60 North Seafoods. It was good news. click to read<09:22

Commercial fishermen gain skills for sea survival at annual training

To help save lives and prevent injuries, a group from Massachusetts is on a mission to travel around New England and train commercial fisherman on what to do in emergencies. They were in Tenants Harbor Thursday. “Anything you can do to make it better and that much safer for anybody by being out here is totally worth it.” “We’re giving them enough information to take back to their boat and share it with their shipmates, and then practice using it. Hopefully they are running the drills and using the equipment,” said safety training director, Ed Dennehy. >Video, click to read<08:10

How was the stone crab season? Good in the Keys, but rough in other parts of Florida

Florida Keys and Miami fishermen fared much better than their colleagues on the west coast of the state during this year’s stone crab season, but production varied depending on where they fished in South Florida, the head of the Keys commercial fishing trade association said. Wednesday was the last day of the eight-month season, which began in October. “Supply was good, prices were high and demand was strong,” said Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman’s Association. But a persistent red tide algae bloom that plagued the Gulf>click to read<16:48

Brownsville captain lands foot-long giant in Gulf

The phrase “jumbo shrimp” doesn’t really do it justice. The captain and owner of a Brownsville shrimp boat is showing off the biggest Asian tiger shrimp he’s ever seen, measuring 12.5 inches, which is probably within an inch or two of the maximum size of the species. Capt. Seth Sanders was trawling for white shrimp just west of the Atchafalaya Channel off the coast of Louisiana recently when his net brought up the monster female Asian tiger. >click to read<12:49

Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Bertie Armstrong to stand down

The leader of one of Scotland’s biggest fishing industry organisations has announced he is to step down after 14 years in the job. Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), will hand over to his successor in August. He will be replaced by Elspeth Macdonald, the deputy chief executive of Food Standards Scotland. Mr Armstrong said had had “lived and breathed” the industry. >link<12:32

Wind, waves hamper efforts to salvage grounded longliner

The 70-foot longliner Masonic remains on the rocks on the Spanish Islands, and rough seas and high winds may prevent salvage crews from recovering vessel itself, or the large quantity of fuel on board. The Masonic is in a bad spot. Hard aground on the rocks of the Spanish Islands, about 80 miles south of Sitka, the 1923 vintage longliner has been pushed on its side, and is being battered by waves and wind. Salvage crews were able to board the Masonic on May 8, just one day after it went aground, and plugged fuel vents. But since then no one’s been able to return to the Masonic, and the weather has been taking a huge toll on the boat. >audio report, click to read<11:41

Oil company’s seismic testing approval creates waves in Tasmanian fishing industry

Tasmania’s fishing industry is “astounded” seismic testing has been given the green light by a national petroleum authority in Bass Strait as part of exploration plans by an oil and gas company.,, Researchers from the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and Curtin University found in 2017 that noise from seismic airguns used for marine oil and gas exploration significantly increased mortality in scallops and zooplankton.  John Hammond, a longtime fisherman and chairman of the Tasmanian Scallop Association, said seismic testing would be “very destructive” >click to read<11:16

Long Island Sound boundary at Oyster Bay Harbor decided by courts

Baymen called on Oyster Bay officials to move jurisdiction markers for shellfishing beds at the boundary of the Long Island Sound as decided recently by a state appellate court. Last month, the New York State Appellate Court, Second Department, upheld a 2016 lower court decision in a lawsuit against the town that ruled the boundary of the Sound runs along a line from Rocky Point in Oyster Bay east to Whitewood Point on Lloyd Neck. At issue was who could shellfish in those waters. The case arose after Nassau County police ticketed independent fisherman Bryan C. Murphy in 2010 for shellfishing in those waters. >click to read<


SOLD OUT EVENT!!! Spreading Gloucester’s story

On Monday night, Angela Sanfilippo of the Fishermen’s Wives Association, longtime fisherman Al Cottone and former Gloucester Mayor John Bell — along with J.J. Bartlett of the Fishing Partnership Support Services — were the true centerpieces in a food-and-film gala that highlighted the plight of American commercial fishermen and the bounty that is Gloucester seafood. The sold-out event, titled From Sea to Sustainable Sea: Supporting American Wild Seafood, combined the Midwest premier of the Gloucester-centric fishing documentary “Dead in the Water” by Rockport native David Wittkower sandwiched between a cocktail hour and a seafood feast featuring Gloucester-landed monkfish, redfish, crabs, lobsters and other seafood delights. >click to read <09:29

Defining a Moderate Livelihood: Part 2

Bruce Wildsmith wonders what the Marshall decision really meant to the Department of Fisheries and Ocean when it was handed down by the Supreme Court of Canada in Sept. 1999. “It seemed like it wasn’t fully accepted on the face of it; on the face of it, Mi’kmaw had the right to go fish, period,” said Wildsmith, Marshall’s former lawyer and legal advisor for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs . “But from the DFO standpoint, ‘No, we have the right to regulate… >click to read<08:02

BREAKING: Doomed captain was responsible for at-sea mishaps, possible assault

The saga of a captain who appeared to be neither a proper master of his ships nor his own impulses is unfolding at a Coast Guard hearing in Newport, with testimony giving details about the man sleeping at the wheel, using marijuana, displaying intoxication and possibly assaulting another person aboard his boat. Investigators earlier in the week revealed Biernacki had methamphetamines and alcohol in his system when he died. >click to read<17:37

Hand on doomed Oregon boat texted, called wife before deathclick to read<08:38

Durango anglers set to head to Alaska for salmon run

The Copper River season takes off mid-May with the king salmon run.,,,  A month later, further southeast, Eric Macias and his crew will board the 58-foot Silver Wave, named after a shoal of shimmering coho. It also shares its name with the fish company that sells salmon in filets and cans in Southwest Colorado that Macias and his partner, MJ Carroll, run. “We come in at the end of the king run,” Macias said. “I’m a seiner, so I have a bigger boat, a bigger crew, and I catch a bigger volume of fish at one time.”>click to read<15:30