Daily Archives: May 10, 2022

Faulty Autopilot, Empty Wheelhouse Led to Grounding off Georgia

A captain’s decision to turn on a recently-repaired autopilot and then leave the wheelhouse led to the grounding and sinking of a fishing vessel off Cumberland Island, Georgia, according to the NTSB. On June 7, two days before the casualty, the captain of the shrimp trawler F/V Sage Catherine Lane found that he couldn’t turn off the autopilot, and he had to unplug it to get back manual control. He tried to troubleshoot the issue,,, On June 9, 2021, the vessel was transiting outbound on the St. Marys River, making nine knots. The captain, who had 30 years of experience in commercial fishing. set the vessel’s autopilot, then answered a phone call and went below to his stateroom. >click to read< 18:25

Gulf Coast Seafood Alliance Supports Lawsuit Challenging Unlawful Red Grouper Quotas

Commercial fishermen and members of the Gulf of Mexico seafood industry have filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of a recent decision by NOAA Fisheries to reallocate red grouper quota to recreational fishermen at the expense of the commercial fishery. The Gulf Coast Seafood Alliance supports the efforts by the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance, Southern Offshore Fishing Association, and A.P. Bell Fish Company to challenge this decision, in an effort to restore a fair allocation for commercial fishermen. The lawsuit, filed late on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenges recent red grouper allocations approved by NOAA as part of Amendment 53 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read< 16:16

No incidents, but tension simmering as Lennox Island launches treaty fishery

“Everything went smooth and no trouble and it was a great day,” said Kyle Sark, captain of the lobster boat Way Point. The treaty fishers were able to set about 240 traps on Saturday, but plan to set 1,000 in what they say represents the “moderate livelihood” to which they are entitled. They said they have had trouble launching boats, because local boat-moving companies say non-Indigenous fishermen have threatened to boycott them. And with no understanding with DFO in place, it is raising tensions in the fishing community. PEIFA strongly advocates for peace on the water leaving any enforcement related to this unauthorized fishery to DFO and other authorities. >click to read< 15:19

Channel fishermen protest to ban supertrawlers, fly-shooters

Fishermen from the UK and France have met in the English Channel to protest against industrial fishing practices. Boats from Dover, Rye, Newhaven and Boulogne-sur-mer gathered in the Bassurelle Sandbank marine protected area. They called for politicians to ban supertrawlers and fly-shooting from protected Channel waters. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said vessels must follow UK sustainability rules. >click to read< 12:33

Ship strikes a cause of whale shark decline

Scientists are looking to better track whale sharks in New Zealand to determine how vulnerable they are to ship strikes after an international study found it may be the cause of their decline. The report, led by the Marine Biological Association of the UK and the University of Southampton, tracked 348 satellite-tagged whale sharks. The tags showed individual whale sharks, which are an endangered species, moving into shipping lanes and then sinking slowly to the sea floor, hundreds of metres below, backing the theory that they were struck by tankers or cargo vessels. >click to read< 10:36

Maine Lobstermen should see flexibility in enforcement of new NOAA gear rules

The deadline for lobstermen to comply with new regulations meant to protect North Atlantic Right Whales has come and gone. State officials estimate that 50% to 60% of federal lobster fishery permit holders are not yet fully compliant with new rules requiring either new “weak rope”  or plastic weak links be spliced into existing end lines. Supply chain issues are a big reason why. While they declined to move the May 1st deadline… NOAA recently announced they would allow a quote graduated enforcement effort that will focus on compliance assistance rather than civil penalties. Video, >click to read< 09:48

Happy National Shrimp Day! Here’s what to know about South Carolina shrimp

Every year on May 10, National Shrimp Day recognizes America’s favorite bite-sized seafood. If you’re a fan, today’s the day to make your favorite shrimp dish and learn more about how these little crustaceans are involved in South Carolina’s history and ecosystems. Commercial fishing in South Carolina is dominated by shrimpers whose trawlers can reach up to 85 feet in length or more. These boats can be multipurpose and can be used locally for both shrimping and crabbing as well as for line-fishing and trawling. Shrimping can be a tedious and at times, dangerous business. Yet, it remains to be a fundamental part of South Carolina life. >click to read< 08:08