Monthly Archives: October 2020

Gloucester: Open Door, fishing vessel win food security grants

The Open Door and a Gloucester fishing company will share in $5.9 million in state grants to help ensure a secure food supply chain for Massachusetts residents,,, The Open Door, which operates food pantries in Gloucester and Ipswich and other food delivery services, received $201,073,,, Also, the Russo Fishing Co., which operates the F/V Miss Trish, received $95,000 to develop an automated fish-gutting and conveyor system on the deck of the vessel to reduce the amount of time its catch remains on deck. The award to the Russo Fishing Co. is one of eight to seafood harvesters, producers and processors, as well as aquaculture operations throughout the state. The inclusion of fishing industry elements among the grant awards was a key point of emphasis, according to state Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester. >click to read< 16:10

RCMP release persons of interest photos and video in Nova Scotia lobster pound arson investigation

Near midnight on Oct. 16 and into the early morning hours of Oct. 17 the Yarmouth County RCMP and numerous fire departments responded to a fire at the pound. The building, which was unoccupied, was destroyed. “The investigation has determined the fire to be suspicious,” reads an Oct. 30 RCMP media release.,, In an initial media release the RCMP distributed on Oct. 17, the police said a man was is in hospital with life threatening injuries believed related to the fire. He had also been referred to as a person of interest. >video, photos, click to read< 14:59

Nova Scotia lobster pound fire called suspicious – man in hospital with life-threatening injuries  >click to read<

Alaska fishing industry weighs in on state’s $50m pandemic relief plan

A statewide commercial fishing industry group is asking the Dunleavy administration to justify its proposal on how to distribute $50 million dollars in federal pandemic relief for Alaska’s fishing industry. Federal guidance recommends allocating more than half of the CARES Act funds to seafood processors and just 5% to the charter fleet and lodges. But a draft released this month by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game recommends dividing the allocation evenly between sectors,, United Fishermen of Alaska, which represents the commercial fleet and processors, asked the agency to explain its rationale for boosting the charter fleet’s allocation at the expense of other sectors. UFA’s president Matt Alward signed a three-page letter to the commissioner’s office. >click to read< 12:50

Know Your Fisherman: Henriksen Fisheries

The bountiful waters of Lake Michigan surround Door County, making it home to a vibrant fishing community that dates back to the mid-1800s. That community today includes several larger commercial fishing operations, including Henriksen Fisheries. The fishermen, Charlie and Will Henriksen, along with two year-round and several part-time employees. Henriksen, who’s from the Chicago area, got his first taste of Door County fishing some 40 years ago when he was recruited to help ice fish one winter. He arrived in the county at age 20 to assist his father, who had bought an old hotel in Ellison Bay, and, as the story goes, he never left. >click to read< 11:34

A Day in the Life: Fourth Generation Puget Sound Crabber Whatcom Fisherman Kaegan Gudmundson

Kaegan Gudmundson knows he will soon depart Blaine Harbor on his small commercial crabbing boat Njordor, named after the Norse God. His vessel, at 25 feet, is one of the smaller boats in the fishery. He often operates a one-man crew and never has more than one other person crabbing with him. His boat is built for speed over size, allowing him to quickly travel between his pot locations. Gudmundson’s days start at 4:30 a.m. with coffee and breakfast before heading to the harbor. >click to read< 10:30

Puffins Pummelled: Offshore Wind Turbines Annihilating Britain’s Seabirds: Entire Species Threatened

The offshore wind industry is already exacting a phenomenal toll on a whole range of seabirds in the waters surrounding Britain. However, if Boris Johnson’s plans to carpet Britain’s coasts with more of these things come to fruition, then expect to see the wholesale wipeout of entire species, including the iconic puffin. Puffins and other seabirds will be driven to extinction by Boris Johnson’s plan to power Britain with ‘limitless’ offshore wind energy by 2030, warns RSPB >click to read< 09:19

Kenai legislators ask for fishery disaster declaration

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Legislative Delegation sent a letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Wednesday urging him to declare a state economic disaster for the Upper Cook Inlet fisheries and provide for a recovery plan. The industry saw an 82% reduction in the 10-year average ex-vessel value – a measure of the monetary worth of commercial fish landings. The request from legislators comes two weeks after the Kenai Peninsula Borough unanimously issued a declaration of a local disaster for the 2020 Cook Inlet Commercial Salmon Fishing Season. Kenai Peninsula legislators hope Gov. Dunleavy will follow suit. “Commercial fishermen in Upper Cook Inlet experienced one of the worst seasons on record,”,, >click to read< 08:46

California crabbing rules a concern says North Coast fisherman

Local crab fisherman Mike Cunningham said he’s spoken with fishermen across the West Coast who take issue with the new rules. “We always look to avoid entanglements with whales,” Cunningham said. “The biggest problem (with the new rules) is that they are talking about closing massive areas to fishing. You could have an entanglement problem near Monterey, and the director (of Fish and Wildlife) could close the waters from Monterey up past Humboldt.” There are six fishing zones along the state’s coast. “The director now has the authority to do anything at any time,” Cunningham said. “Now, sometimes, it may just be a fleet advisory or warning, but it could go all the way to closing the entire coast to crab fishing.” The new rules stem from a lawsuit filed against the state by the Center for Biological Diversity, settled in 2019, >click to read< 19:48

A new current in the Nova Scotia lobster dispute – Local First Nation says Sipekne’katik did not consult them before launching

The ongoing dispute over Indigenous fishing rights in Nova Scotia has seen a new player emerge to add to the troubled waters. This time however, it might be seen as veiled criticism by one band of the actions of the other.,, The new player in the dispute is the local Bear River Mi’kmaw band who are actually the band closest to St Mary’s Bay in southwestern Nova Scotia. On the other hand, the Sipekne’katik who are at the heart of the dispute, are based over 250 km away in the central part of the province. >click to read< 14:30

Mi’kmaw band raises concerns about Sipekne’katik lobster fishery – In a letter sent to media and addressed to federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack and other Indigenous leaders, Bear River Chief Carol Dee Potter said her community has fished St. Marys Bay “since time immemorial,” but they’ve recently been disrupted. “Over the last few weeks, our fishers have been forced out of this area due to the ongoing dispute,” >click to read<

Supreme Court hears case in dispute over fisheries landings tax

Millions of dollars of fish landing taxes are at stake in a lawsuit now being deliberated by the Alaska Supreme Court,,  The court heard oral arguments Oct. 21 in a lawsuit brought against the State of Alaska by Seattle-based Fishermen’s Finest Inc. in which the company argues Alaska’s fishery resource landing tax violates a prohibition on taxes or fees levied against goods on the way to export in the U.S. Constitution. Jim Torgerson, an attorney for Fishermen’s Finest, argued that the fish harvested and processed in federal waters by the company’s catcher-processor vessels have started their journey to foreign markets when it arrives at Alaska ports but before being shipped worldwide.>click to read<11:27

Before Fiberglas – British Columbia & Wahl Boatyard

In the early 1900’s with the pushing through of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway from Edmonton to Prince Rupert, the Canadian government promoted land grants and settlements up the coast of British Columbia. Many Scandinavians took advantage of the opportunity and moved their families to Canada’s west coast. Fishing and logging were the staples of the economic engine at the time, and boats were needed for both as well as for transportation between coastal communities. Many of these settlers chose to build their own boats. In the early 1920’s, Ed Wahl moved his family from Norway and settled in Port Essington, a small community on the west coast situated due west of Edmonton and south of Prince Rupert, near the mouth of the Skeena River. photos, links, >click to read< 10:38

California Lobster season debuts amid changing seafood industry

It’s California spiny lobster season, from October through mid-March. Local fishermen and seafood retailers are celebrating its arrival, announcing the happy news that prices are the lowest in many years and the supply plentiful. What’s changed? In recent years, more than 95 percent of these well-loved California crustaceans were shipped to China, leaving only high-priced, limited quantities for local consumption. Rumors circulated that some fishermen were contemplating suspending operations, discouraged by their lost markets. Then, just as quickly, attitudes changed, as reality sank in. “People have to eat. If we don’t fish, what are people going to eat?” >click to read< 09:40

Moving Forward on Lobster Fishery Means Addressing Access and Conservation

In 1999, the Supreme Court’s Marshall decision recognized that Mi’kmaq First Nations have had, and continue to have, a treaty right to catch and sell fish. As a result, First Nations have been increasing their presence in the fishery over the past 20 years. Now, more than 20 years later, this remains a stumbling block, as new “moderate livelihood” Indigenous fisheries are emerging. Further, these new fisheries have another crucial angle – First Nations are developing their own fishery management and conservation plans, making this about Indigenous self-governance as well as about catching lobsters. Indeed, what we’re seeing unfolding off the coast of Nova Scotia touches on two themes that come up worldwide: who sets the rules for conservation of resources, and who has access to harvesting that resource. >click to read< 08:33

Corey Arnold’s best shot: a horse and a cat go fishing for crab

Everyone looks forward to Halloween. You get a bunch of crabbers in a bar and it gets pretty crazy. I’d bought this horse-head costume in advance and, as we were cruising in to Dutch Harbor, my friend Matthew and I were trying out costumes. I took some pictures of him wearing the mask, then my cat came walking by and Matthew grabbed her. Kitty was seven months old. The captain had cats on the boat and I had decided to get one myself. I had gone to the pound looking for one with a mellow temperament, because I knew that, what with all the pots banging around and storms at sea, I didn’t want a pet who would be scared and hiding all the time. Corey Arnold, >click to read< 19:48

Bend couple puts out commercial fishing boat fire

When she saw the smoke rising off a boat docked at the Port of Alsea, Amanda Wold made joke about someone “hiding out there smoking a big joint,” she said. “It started out slow, then it started to billow, and then it flamed.” A battery on a commercial crabbing boat was on fire. Amanda and her husband, Justin Wold, of Bend, sprang into action, calling 911 and searching for a fire extinguisher. While the owner of the fire extinguisher hasn’t come forward, the owner of the burning boat, Pat Kemmish, was grateful for the Wolds’ quick response. “It’s my livelihood,” Kemmish said of the boat. >click to read< 16:51

Five Unions Press Charges Against Fishing Company following Coronavirus Outbreak Aboard Fishing Vessel

Five unions are joining forces to press charged against a captain and fishing company for keeping a crew of 25 at sea for three weeks despite a COVID-19 outbreak on board. Twenty-three of the 25 crew members became infected by the novel coronavirus in the outbreak, many developing serious symptoms. The ship stayed out at sea for several weeks contrary to guidelines from authorities and many ill crew members kept working. The five unions are pressing charges against the captain of the freezer trawler Júlíus Geirmundsson, on which the incident occurred, as well as against the fishing company that runs the ship, Hraðfrystihúsið Gunnvör. >click to read< 14:33

Membertou First Nation Chief Paul leaves Assembly of Mi’kmaq Chiefs in split over moderate livelihood

Chief Terry Paul has stepped down from the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs due to a disagreement over how moderate livelihood negotiations are being conducted. Paul, who is chief of Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton, had served as the fisheries lead for the assembly’s negotiation arm called the Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative (KMKNO). Negotiations fell apart last week between that body and Fisheries and Oceans Canada over the implementation of a moderate livelihood fishery by the Mi’kmaw. Paul said Wednesday that the KMKNO is not adequately representing all of the province’s first nations. “I feel that not all the communities are being treated the same way,” >click to read< 13:34

Snow crab fishing rights: First Nations leaders say they’ll drop court action if government agrees to mediated settlement

The chiefs of Madawaska and Tobique First Nations say they have been seeking to exercise their treaty right to fish snow crab for 25 years, and point to volatile protests over lobster fishing as an example of the consequences of letting such disputes go unresolved. “Our Aboriginal right to engage in the fishery is not being recognized, the consequence of that is playing out before us in Nova Scotia,” Tobique Chief Ross Perley said in a news release Tuesday. >click to read< 12:04

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: Turn Key 83′ RSW Offshore Lobster/Jonah Crab Business

To review specifications, and information, and 47 photos >click here<, To see all the boats in this series, >click here< 11:08

Dungeness crab season might not open for Thanksgiving again

New state regulations may mean that Dungeness crabs won’t be in stores in time for Thanksgiving. The rules, aimed at preventing entanglements    “I want to make sure it’s understood what kind of effort we’re putting into it as fishermen and how effective we’ve been,” said Dick Ogg, a Bodega Bay fisherman and a member of the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group that developed the rules. He said that fishermen have worked hard to make sure their gear is set up better to lower risk. “We’ve really reduced our interaction and entanglement rates.” Ogg said there is a lot of anxiety in the fishing fleet about what will happen with the coming season and whether they should start gearing up for a Nov. 15 opening or whether it will be delayed. >click to read< 10:01

More ropeless fishing “experiments” happening on Eastern seaboard as industry leaders meet.

Sean Brillant, who works for the Canadian Wildlife Federation and is chair of the Ropeless Consortium, said they are approaching roughly 1,000 trials across the Eastern Seaboard, the bulk of which has been done in the last 12 months. “Two years ago, we were just getting laughed in our faces at the idea of doing this,” Brillant said. The methods being tested include techniques that allow a line to be stored with a trap at the ocean bottom, and then released to the surface only when a fisherman is ready to haul in their catch. The aim is to cut the risk that whales will be caught in long lengths of rope floating in the water. >click to read< 09:05

Hurricane Zeta Public Advisory

At 400 AM CDT, Zeta is moving toward the north-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h). A turn toward the north is expected soon, and a faster northward to north-northeastward motion is expected to begin later this morning. On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will approach the northern Gulf coast this morning and make landfall in southeastern Louisiana this afternoon. Zeta will move close to the Mississippi coast this evening, and move across the southeastern and eastern United States on Thursday. >click to read< 07:30 

Mi’kmaw fisherman intends to fight illegal fishing charges

Ashton Bernard, 30, of Eskasoni First Nation, said in a telephone interview Monday he will rely on the 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Donald Marshall Jr. case., A subsequent clarification of the court’s decision, however, also affirmed Ottawa’s right to regulate the fishery to ensure conservation of the resource. Bernard said he believes the first portion of the Supreme Court decision will prevail. “I wasn’t going to wait around for the government to tell us when to fish or not.”I told the boys, ‘Let’s go out and see how it goes,’ and now we’re into court.” >click to read< 17:10

Gondan Delivers Stern Trawler to Prestfjord

Spanish shipbuilder Gondan said it delivered the factory freezing stern trawler Sunderøy. It is one of the most advanced vessels of its kind, which will be operated by Prestfjord AS, one of Norway’s largest fishing and fish farm owners. Built in steel with aluminum superstructure, the stern trawler will operate in Arctic areas, in the Barents Sea and Svalbard waters. >click to read< 15:24

OXE Diesel Outboards

No company has more diesel outboards than OXE Marine from Sweden, with five horsepower ratings, including 125, 150, 175, 200 and 300 hp. Each features a horizontally mounted engine, versus the vertically oriented powerheads specially designed for most outboards (Seven Marine being a notable exception). “A horizontally mounted engine offers inherently better lubrication and, as a result, a longer operating life,” says Pim Pelosi, chief marketing officer for OXE. Though the outboards are available to recreational boaters through a network of US dealers, the company is focusing on commercial fishing, law enforcement, rescue, military and towing, which demand long-term durability and are less price-sensitive. >click to read< 13:38

Has fish business become media fish politics?

While it is somewhat unusual for an Alaska mayor to write an opinion piece, I have been consistent in sharing my views on fisheries, Cordova’s single largest economic driver. I’m always striving to represent the opinions and needs of my community, even in rare cases where they may diverge somewhat from my own.,, What I have not shared is my deep concerns over the existential threats to our oceans and way of life, but perhaps a few reminders are in order this week, and my opinions regarding these are my own based upon my observations. While Alaska is famous for fish politics, I have trusted Laine Welch,, Laine’s column does a disservice to her readership,,, Respectfully, Clay Koplin, Citizen, Cordova >click to read< 12:02

Port Fourchon moves to Storm Phase 3, Recommended Evacuation as Zeta heads into the Gulf

The Port Fourchon area is anticipating more or less a direct hit from Zeta’s center of circulation sometime Wednesday evening. Fortunately, Tropical Storm Zeta is forecast to move quickly, lessening the length of time we receive severe impacts from wind and rain, but be prepared for significant storm surge outside of the levee system. >click to read< 10:58  Tropical Storm Zeta was entering the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday morning on its path toward landfall in Louisiana, forecasters said. It weakened after making landfall overnight in the Yucatan, but Zeta is expected to strengthen and regain its hurricane status Tuesday. It’s forecast to make landfall Wednesday in southeast Louisiana as a tropical storm or a Category 1 hurricane. >click to read< 11:04

Canada, U.S. researchers gathering virtually to report on right whales

Researchers from Canada and the U.S. are gathering virtually this week for an annual conference that focuses on an endangered whale species. The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium, which brings together academic researchers, government agencies, shipping and fishing industries and conservation organizations, is expected to release part of a yearly report card on how the whales are faring. ,, So far this year, one right whale has been found dead in U.S. with wounds that suggested a vessel strike. There have been no reported deaths in Canadian waters so far in 2020. >click to read< 09:40

Bryan Bruce – Deal or no deal?

“Jobs, investment and new technology will flow from Nissui’s investment in seafood enterprise Sealord and Sealord’s quota will be 100% owned by Te Ohu Kai Moana “ Shane Jones press release 4/12 /2000 Twenty years later “Sealord is using Russian crew for their deep water vessels over New Zealanders because of a lack of “trained and qualified fishers in New Zealand”. CEO Sealord Doug Paulin 1 News 22 Oct 2020 So.. why haven’t young New Zealanders been trained to do this work over the last 20 years? >click to read< 08:38

B.C.’s commercial halibut season extended three weeks due to pandemic caused market disruptions

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) said the closure, normally scheduled for Nov. 15, will now fall on Dec. 7 for the 2020 season. All groundfish hook-and-line harvesters wanting to participate in the extended halibut season will need to have the conditions of their licence amended prior to fishing past the original November closure. Additional sector-specific instructions on how to request the amendment will be forthcoming,, Meanwhile, costs to harvest, process and ship products have escalated as the sector tries to meet COVID-19 safety protocols. >click to read< 20:53