Daily Archives: July 29, 2022

It’s time to end the era of billion-dollar ‘sealords’ and heed the fishermen

The recent New Bedford Light/ProPublica investigative report, revealing how a billionaire Dutch family currently operates as the largest New England fish-quota owner, confirms what fishermen have been warning lawmakers for decades: that replacing independent fishermen with outside investment firms will undermine economic, social and environmental goals. However, these warnings extend well beyond New England. The report outlines how Bregal Equity, a multi-billion dollar private equity firm based in the European Union, maximizes fishing profits from their New England quota holdings by slashing costs and reducing income to captains and crew. Catch share programs have been implemented in Alaska, the West Coast, and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as internationally, where the next generation of independent fishermen are being systematically replaced by non-fishing, outside investors who follow in the wake of Bregal. >click to read< By Captain Ryan Bradley 15:57

Stonington: Bringing back tradition: Fallen fishermen to be honored at 69th Blessing of the Fleet

For the past two years, organizers of the annual Blessing of Fleet have kept long-standing traditions alive in a less social sense, hosting more abbreviated events and forgoing large crowds and booklet ad sales to be a good, safe community partner amid a global pandemic. The community pride and selfless efforts did not go unrecognized, and as the town prepares for the 69th annual Blessing of the Fleet in Stonington Borough on Sunday, organizers Georgia and Mike Crowley said the outpouring of support has been tremendous, leading to what is expected to be one of the largest and most attended programs ever. Photos, >click to read< 13:27

Rainstorm spells end for F/V Tiki

After 60 years at sea and a previous narrow escape from flooding, luck has run out for the fishing boat Tiki. Tiki was one of two boats swept from their moorings in Karitane on Tuesday during the downpour that caused disruption throughout the South. Both boats ended up on nearby Waikouaiti Beach. Retired fisherman Roger Bartlett said Tiki had “split open like a hard-boiled egg” and was beyond salvaging. During a flood in the same location in 1980, Tiki had been the only boat not swept out to sea. >click to read< 12:42

New Proposed Vessel Speed Regulations and New Draft Ropeless Gear Roadmap to Boost Protection of North Atlantic Right Whales

Today, NOAA Fisheries announced two important steps in a series of actions the agency is taking to protect and conserve North Atlantic right whales. We announced proposed changes to federal vessel speed regulations to further reduce the likelihood of right whale deaths and serious injuries that result from collisions with vessels. We also announced a new draft Ropeless Roadmap: A Strategy to Develop On-Demand Fishing. Both of these efforts are part of our North Atlantic Right Whale Road to Recovery, a strategy that encapsulates all of our ongoing work across the agency and in collaboration with our partners and stakeholders to conserve and rebuild the North Atlantic right whale population. >click to read< 11:03

Turf War – Newburyport fisherman ordered to stay away from counterpart

A “turf war” between two commercial fishing boat captains over dock space along the city’s waterfront has resulted in one being ordered to stay away from the other, according to Newburyport District Court records. Dean Holt, 55, of Pine Street, Newburyport, admitted a judge or jury could find him guilty of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery during his appearance in court July 23. Holt, according to court records, threw the other captain to the ground and kicked him during a scuffle in October. The altercation was the culmination of a lengthy disagreement between the two men over dock space. >click to read< 09:31

Local organization set to help fish harvesters switch to whalesafe gear

A Halifax-based organization has received $4.4 million from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Whalesafe Gear Adoption Fund to establish a program aimed at fish harvesters transition to safer equipment. The not-for-profit Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) received the funding to establish the CanFish gear lending program to help recover the North Atlantic Right Whale while sustaining commercial fisheries. Among its trial gear is rope on-demand which, according to their website, can be “used to leave something on the ocean floor and retrieve it at another time without leaving a persistent line in the water column.” >click to read< 08:15

Brussels approves plan to fund scrappage of trawlers

The European Commission’s plan to encourage some Irish trawler owners to scrap their fishing vessels has been described as “a necessary evil” by Irish fishing organisations. The commission has approved a €80 million Irish scheme that would help owners badly affected by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union to quit the industry. In order to qualify for the grant, which will be calculated on the gross tonnage of the fishing vessel, owners will not only have to stop fishing, but also to surrender their licence and scrap their boats. Some of the grants will have to shared with trawler crews, and crews will also be able to claim some tax reliefs. >click to read< 07:29