Monthly Archives: February 2020

Right Whale Case Alright To Proceed Past Motion To Dismiss

The self-proclaimed activist “Prince of Whales,” Richard Strahan, received a partial victory this week in his lawsuit alleging that Massachusetts’ regulations requiring lobster fisherman to use certain gear violate the Endangered Species Act. On February 7, 2020, United States District Judge Talwani granted in part and denied in part the motion to dismiss.,,  The Court noted that these allegations do not prove that Massachusetts-regulated VBRs have killed or injured right whales, but are sufficient at the early stage in the case to survive a motion to dismiss. The Court went on to dismiss Strahan’s other two counts. >click to read< 09:58

As both sides crank up the rhetoric, UK to outline post-Brexit trade vision. France warns both sides could ‘rip each other apart’

The UK is expected to contest the bloc’s demands that Britain stick closely to EU rules in exchange for access to European markets. It comes as France has warned that the two parties risk tearing themselves apart during the talks,, On Sunday the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian used strong language while predicting that tense negotiations lie ahead.,, The EU wants to keep access to British waters for European fishing boats, and leaders have suggested the issue will be linked to other matters such as financial services in the upcoming talks. >click to read< 08:46

Menhaden regulations have plagued lawmakers for decades.

Every year, the drama has followed the same lines. Some lawmakers and environmentalists concerned about the health of the valuable fishery, the only one managed by the legislature rather than regulators, push to transfer its management to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. The industry and its unionized fishermen, concerned that regulators will cramp their business, push back. It’s been perhaps the state’s dullest political tug-of-war. But then, this winter, it ended when Omega Protein, the Reedville-based Canadian company that is the largest single player in the U.S. menhaden industry, told a Senate panel that it supported legislation to hand over fishery management to the VMRC. >click to read< 07:39

International Scientific Expedition to probe Pacific salmon survival

“While we recognize that ocean and climate conditions are major factors regulating salmon abundances, the mechanisms regulating abundances in the ocean are not known,” B.C. scientists Richard Beamish and Brian Riddell,, Scientists are seeking to provide more accurate forecasts of salmon returns during what Beamish and Riddell say might be the most difficult time in recent history for stewardship of Pacific salmon.,, The survey takes place as B.C. fishermen fear disastrous returns this year following poor returns for much of the coast last year. >click to read< 18:56

Governor Brown Calls for Tearing Out Snake River Dams. Washington Reps Are Outraged!

Brown said removing the four lower Snake River dams in Washington state is the most certain way to boost salmon and steelhead recovery in the Columbia Basin. She sent a letter to Washington’s Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee this week, offering her support — and outraging Washington state’s three Republican U.S. congressional representatives. “Gov. Brown’s position is not only misguided, it is shocking and extreme,” said Reps. Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Jaime Herrera Beutler, in a joint statement Friday afternoon. >click to read< 13:14

The last of the seafaring life at the Boston Fish Pier

The workday starts before first light at the Boston Fish Pier, a vestige of a blue-collar Boston now surrounded by acres of gleaming glass towers, hotels, and condo buildings. What once defined the South Boston Waterfront is now an outlier, an oddity in fact. It is fair to ask, why is it still here? But also, would Boston be truly Boston if it were not? ,,, Still, questions about the pier’s future loom. In December, the abrupt closure of the No Name restaurant, the wharf’s oldest and most famed tenant, photo’s, >click to read<or >here< 11:16

Video: A sea of obstacles imperil American Samoa’s tuna industry

Locally based fishermen who supply the lone Starkist tuna cannery in American Samoa are facing a perfect storm of obstacles that are threatening their economic survival. A battle is now on in the U.S. territory to fend off those looming challenges, from rising fuel costs to international competition.,, Carlos Sanchez is a veteran longliner, but he’s in the process of giving it up. “All my boats are for sale. I have seven boats, and they are for sale.” You have no hope for the industry? “We have no help for the industry!…” Video, >click to read< 08:43

Maine BEP begins public testimony on Nordic Aquafarms’ land-based fish farm application

The Board of Environmental Protection held more than eight hours of public hearings on Nordic Aquafarms’ land-based fish farm application for the first two days of its review. On the first day, Tuesday, the board considered financial capacity and water usage. A crowd made up mostly of opponents packed the Hutchinson Center to watch testimony from Nordic representatives and intervenorsat the Feb. 11 meeting. Later that night, members of the public had a chance to address the board about their concerns. >click to read< 07:57

Fishing protest in Royal Square – Unite and Keep Fighting!

More than a hundred fishermen marched in protest yesterday to the Royal Square, where they were promised ‘political intervention’ to overhaul a historic fishing treaty to allow the Island to take back control of its territorial waters. Many clad in their oilskins and dry-suits, they said they feared for their livelihoods as an increasing number of French boats competed with Jersey vessels for depleting stocks of brown crab and lobster. Sirens and air horns sounded in the Royal Square, where Environment Minister John Young vowed that action would be taken. >click to read< 17:51

From Gloucester NMFS protest, 2009, Fishermen Unite and Keep Fighting –  >click to watch<

Columbia River Salmon Rules Set

The directors of the Washington and Oregon departments of Fish and Wildlife reached an agreement this week on allocations and gear types for Columbia River salmon fisheries in 2020. The Washington and Oregon Fish and Wildlife commissions earlier this year delegated development of 2020 Columbia River fisheries to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Director Curt Melcher and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind.  >click to read< 12:10

WPFMC: Notice of 2020 Public Meetings

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council announces the following public meetings on fisheries management in offshore waters of Hawai’i, American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Pacific Remote Island Areas (PRIAs). Unless otherwise noted, the meetings will be held at the Council office, 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu. For more information and complete agendas, go to www.wpcouncil.org, email [email protected], fax (808) 522-8226 or phone (808) 522-8220. All times listed are local island times. >click to read< 11:01

‘In shock’: Coronavirus sidelines Southeast Alaska dive fishermen

The coronavirus that emerged in late 2019 has infected more than 60,000 people, mostly in China. Though there haven’t been any confirmed cases in Alaska yet, some Alaskans, namely geoduck clam fishermen are feeling ripple effects from the epidemic.,, Though geoducks are native to the Western Hemisphere, Doherty said 95 percent of the catch gets sent across the Pacific. >click to read< 08:24

‘Invisible oil’ from Deepwater Horizon spill may have reached the Florida Keys, possibly as far as North Carolina

Nearly a decade after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history killed 11 people and dumped 200 million gallons of crude into the ocean, researchers found discrepancies in the satellite footprint that was used to establish fisheries closures and data from sampling and field tests. They concluded that the real extent of the BP oil spill may have been 30 percent larger than originally estimated.,,,  “We realized that the satellite footprint and the fisheries closure areas didn’t capture the full extent of the spill, and that the impact on marine life may have been overlooked,“ >click to read< 07:40

The Voice Of The Lobster

Over in the Tweetiverse, someone was all boo-hoo about the eeevil effects of “climate change” that he claimed had “already occurred”. He referenced a publication from a once-noble organization that sadly has drunk the “CLIMATE EMERGENCY” koolaid, National Geographic. So I read it, and the only thing in that, other than what “might” and “probably” and “could” occur at some uncertain time in the future, was a mention of “oceanic heatwaves” in Maine and surroundings, viz: “The U.S. is already grappling with climate change’s heavy costs, like when a powerful ocean heatwave struck the Northeast and devastated the region’s lobster fishery.” As a long-time commercial fisherman, that piqued my interest. So I looked to see what I could find out. >click to read< 05:56

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for February 14, 2020

Legislative updates, Bill updates, Calendar, >Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 17:33

A massive fine for fishing in an MPA off the coast of Haida Gwaii

Michael Bullock, captain of the commercial halibut fishing vessel Hopefull, has been hit was fines totalling $45,000 after he was convicted of illegally fishing in the protected sponge reefs off the coast of Haida Gwaii. Bullock was ordered by the court to pay $20,000 for illegal activity prohibited under the Hecate Marine Protection Act and ordered an additional fine, under the Fisheries Act of $25,000 for possessing illegally caught fish. The final conviction on Oct. 15, 2019 made it the first such case under the Oceans Act. >click to read< 16:14

Blue Acceleration: Capitalism’s Growing Assault on the Oceans

“The Blue Acceleration: The Trajectory of Human Expansion into the Ocean,” published in January in the journal One Earth, describes and graphs capital’s growing drive to industrialize the oceans and sea beds. Commercial activity in the oceans is expanding rapidly, and “considerable investments … are driving growth in existing industries and the emergence of new ones, spanning an increasingly diverse range of activities.”,, The authors believe that the blue acceleration marks the beginning of “a new phase in humanity’s relationship with the biosphere, where the ocean is not only crucial for sustaining global development trajectories but is being fundamentally changed in the process.”  >click to read< 13:44

Thanks for all the fish: a wild salmon story

I live in a place that’s wedded to salmon. Hundreds of local people in this town of 5,000 are commercial salmon fishermen, scores more fish for themselves or work in an industry tied to salmon. So it makes sense that the local calendar runs on these fish. Schools break up in late May so families can prepare for the salmon season. The ebb and flow of boats from the harbour and local boatyards follow salmon. Tourists do too, thronging into town just as the fish start filling local rivers.It might be odd that Homer calls itself the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World” when it’s salmon that truly captures locals’ hearts. Halibut are dun-coloured flatfish; we think of them as meat that swims. photos, >click to read< 09:12

California: Fewer Whales Entangled As Crab Fishermen Face Financial Struggle

Crab fishers are frustrated by recent closures, and CDFW is working with stakeholders and fishermen to come up with an economic plan that can help fishers deal with the changing industry. “We are seeing that the closures affect smaller operators disproportionately,”,,, Dick Ogg is a commercial fisherman out of Bodega Bay, California. His single-boat company is considered a medium-sized operation in the area because he catches many species. In addition to crabbing, Ogg shifts with the seasons to fish salmon, black cod, and albacore as well. This allows him to have income throughout the year. He humbly calls himself a “newbie”, having only been a commercial fisherman for 21 years. >click to read< 07:05

F/V New Age: Captain lands vessel at Belford Seafood Co-op after salvage operation, including the fish!

Chris Winkler was not on his boat the New Age when it became distressed off the coast of Fire Island Wednesday morning. The boat began to take on water and the crew radioed for help,,,  “First thing, you know, ‘Hey, are my guys all right?’ And that’s all I needed to hear was that they were all right. That changed everything from that point on,” Winkler says. “ But with the crew present and accounted for – Winkler realized that he could salvage the New Age. So, with the help of his brother-in-law Matt Fabrizio, Video, >click to read< Archives: F/V New Age, >click< 05:44

Coronavirus: Florida Keys Spiny Lobster Fishing Industry Hit Hard

Spiny lobster is Florida’s most valuable seafood. But the fishermen in the Keys were already having a lousy year. Then came the coronavirus. “The price crashed $4 in a day,” said George Niles, who fishes out of Stock Island. Bill Kelly from the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association said the price went from about $10.50 a pound off the boat to $6. >click to read< 19:22

Coast Guard suspends search after radio beacon alert, debris found off NC coast

The Coast Guard suspended its search on Thursday after an unregistered emergency position indicating radio beacon alert lead responders to debris approximately 126 miles southeast off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina. There were no additional signs of distress reported or vessels known to be overdue in the area. >click to read< 14:36

  Coast Guard search underway after radio beacon alert and debris found off Wilmington, North Carolina -The Coast Guard is searching for a possible missing vessel after being alerted by an unregistered emergency position indicating radio beacon and finding debris approximately 126 miles southeast of Wilmington, Tuesday morning.  >click to read<

Another wild night at Happy Jack’s! “Happy Jacks Saloon: The Last Morro Bay Fisherman’s Dive”

Bob “2-Beer” Bullnair refuses to listen to reason, especially if he’s into his third beer. 2-Beer works exclusively for Rafe Monk, captain of the Mary Anne. He is around my height of just under 6 feet, but at least 200 beans of non-defined farm-boy strength that is the awe of fellow fishermen, for 2-Beer will outwork, out-lift and outlast anybody on the waterfront. Editor’s Note: The following series of tales from behind the bar, “Happy Jacks Saloon: The Last Morro Bay Fisherman’s Dive,” >click to read< 13:10

Tom Sewid has applied for a commercial licence to hunt seals and sea lions!

While there is money to be made from selling seal meat and fur, Tom Sewid, a director for Pacific Balance Marine Management (PBMM), said the main reason for resurrecting the hunt in B.C. is to protect salmon stocks. “We’ve all identified that we’re losing our salmon due to overfishing, urban sprawl and many other compounding factors, but the biggest one being the overpopulation of seals and sea lions,”. For years, commercial fishermen have pointed to harbour seals as one of the culprits in declining salmon stocks in the Strait of Georgia and sea lions for declines in herring. A recent scientific study appears to back them up. >click to read< 10:28

The Conservation Law Foundation petition’s NOAA to prohibit Atlantic cod fishing

The petition, filed with NOAA regional offices in Gloucester and with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in Washington, invokes the first article of the Magnuson Stevens Act, the law governing federal fisheries, which stipulates that overfishing must end immediately and that the fish stock be rebuilt as quickly as possible. (MMPA has wrecked that!) “There’s a fairly damning record of the agency (NOAA Fisheries, also known as the National Marine Fisheries Service) approving (New England Fishery Management) Council plans it should have known were not likely to end overfishing, and were not likely to put cod stocks on any rebuilding timeline,” said Peter Shelley, (who supports him) senior counsel for the foundation.  >click to read< The image is cod, destroyed and wasted by seals, 08:35

DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher: NMFS didn’t give the state’s plan credit for all of its whale protections

The state Department of Marine Resources believes that its right whale plan, with its range of lobster fishing restrictions meant to avoid gear entanglements, clocks in right around the 60 percent risk reduction target sought by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Federal regulators – who determined that the state plan reduced risk by just 52 percent – failed to give Maine credit for all its proposed protection measures, as well as those enacted since the last federal right whale review in 2014, Marine Resources Commissioner Pat Keliher said Wednesday. >click to read< 07:15

Maine Lobstermen Dismayed By Fed’s Push For More Gear Changes To Protect Endangered Whale>click to read<

F/V New Age Owner Desperately Trying to Save Sinking Boat

The owner of the New Age, a commercial fishing vessel from Montauk that took on water Wednesday morning, forcing its crew to evacuate the boat 25 nautical miles south of Fire Island, raced to his boat and is now aboard, heading for a New Jersey port in an effort to save it. Chris Winkler of Montauk, the boat’s owner, had just landed at J.F.K. Airport after a two-week vacation with his girlfriend, Tracy Stoloff, when he received a call from the Coast Guard that his crew had been forced overboard. “The first question out of Chris’s mouth when he was talking to the Coast Guard is ‘How is my crew? Where is my crew?’ ” >click to read< 06:03

Gloucester Police Department investigating apparent attempt to sink family’s fishing vessels

Officers responding to a report of vandalism at Captain Joe’s Marina at 95 East Main St. found three boats with holes drilled into their hulls, according to the Gloucester Police Department. Police say a vandal cut the padlock off of a cabin door on one vessel and sabotaged an array of pumps, causing thousands of dollars in damage. Mark Ring, chairman of the Gloucester Fisheries Commission, says he is shocked and baffled by the incident because the boats belong to two well-respected brothers. Video, >click to read<19:36

Three rescued from sinking Montauk fishing vessel taking on water

Three crew members were rescued from a Montauk-based fishing vessel that took on water early Wednesday off Fire Island, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The spokesman, P.O. 3rd Class John Hightower, identified the vessel as the 45-foot New Age, based in Montauk, and said its crew sent a distress call at 4:35 a.m., saying they were taking on water about 25 nautical miles south of Fire Island Inlet.>click to read< 17:06

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 50′ Fibreglass Stern Trawler, 425HP Volvo, Northern Lights 12 kw Generator

Specifications, information and 7 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here< 13:57