Monthly Archives: December 2022

Fisherman planning on setting 60k lobsters loose in the Thames

A Fisherman plans to put 60,000 lobsters into the Thames Estuary next year as part of his mission to revive a historic industry. Gary Humm, 47, is determined to make the Essex coastal town of Brightlingsea once again a hub of lobster fishing. He intends to put around 5,000 a month into the waters in 2023. He hopes they will breed and once again provide a source of livelihood for people on this stretch of the English coast. >click to read< 18:00

Lifeboatman of 60 years ‘dumbfounded’ to receive British Empire Medal

Helping to save lives at sea for more than 60 years means he is no stranger to thank you’s. But Cromer 93-year-old Edwin Luckin said he was bowled over when he heard he would receive a particularly big ‘thank you’ – a British Empire Medal. Mr Luckin, who is known to everyone as Ted, has been included on the official list of New Year’s honours for his services to maritime safety. He said: “I was dumbfounded when it came through. My daughter got onto me and said ‘my mother would have been proud of you’.” Mr Luckin said the BEM – awarded for meritorious community service worthy of recognition by the Crown – was a great honour and a nice way to round out a long career of involvement with Cromer’s RNLI station. Photos, >click to read< 13:03

Maine lobstermen: The other endangered species?

When President Biden signs the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill into law, Maine’s lobster industry will take a six-year step back from the brink thanks to the efforts of Maine’s congressional delegation which secured a last-minute addition that put further restrictions to protect endangered right whales on hold. “The pause doesn’t mean this is over,” said Boothbay’s Troy Plummer, member of Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) board of directors and lobster boat operator for nine years. “Everything is status quo until 2028, but we’ll have to do our homework,” said Boothbay Harbor’s Clive Farrin, lobsterman for more than 20 years and past president of Downeast Lobstermen’s Association.  >click to read< 10:10

Captain Peter Parisi, the last of three generations of Gloucester fishermen, has passed away

Captain Peter Parisi fished all his life. He passed away, unexpectedly, at age 64. Back in 1991 he was going to go shipmate with Captain Billy Tyne, Jr, on the swordfish boat F/V Andrea Gail. Fate was on his side when he got a toothache and called Billy to cancel. No one survived, He was my youngest brother along with my brother Captain James Parisi, who died ten years ago at the age of seventy. I have one brother left, Mike Parisi, who had at one time owned the Three Lantern Ship Supply. I am so sorry to lose them. My heart goes out to them, may they rest in peace. Sam Parisi. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made. 09:00

Transportation Safety Board calls for greater attention to safety in commercial fishing

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is calling for greater attention to safety on commercial fishing vessels as the industry remains one of the most dangerous in the country. Over the last two decades, there has been an average of nearly a dozen deaths per year. The most recent was Christian Atwood, who went overboard from a lobster boat on Boxing Day off Cape Sable Island, N.S.. The TSB is investigating that case. Glenn Budden, senior marine investigator for the organization, said there have been some improvements over the past few years, such as subsidies to buy safety equipment, but he’d like to see more done. >click to read< 07:24

Storm seas hampers Dungeness crab harvest for North Bay consumers

The latest hitch in the thrice-delayed crab season for the North Bay is the weather forecast, with encroaching storms making the Saturday season opener miserable if not outright hazardous for the crab fleet. “We have a collision of two masses,” meteorologist Rick Canepa said. Bodega Bay crab fisherman Dick Ogg labeled the forecast “treacherous.” The series of storms could make the “first reasonable” day to go to sea and lay crab pots to Jan. 3, Ogg said. As for heading out Saturday, “Some guys will try. It’s possible. God bless ‘em,” Ogg said. “But even if they get the crab, it may not reach the market until (January) second.” Sal Svedise, general manager of Santa Rosa Seafood, agreed. >click to read< 18:05

Doug Dixon, Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, Receives King Neptune Award

To recognize his life-long contribution to the North Pacific Fishing Industry and his countless hours of community service, the Norwegian Commercial Club (NCC) presented John Douglas Dixon, Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, with its highest honor, the King Neptune Award, during the 70th Annual Fishermen’s Night in December. In 1977, when the king crab biomass and value rose dramatically, Dixon headed north to MARCO Shipyard to Seattle to design and build crab boats. He was able to guide fishermen on what they wanted in their new boats. Mr. Dixon worked with Norwegian-American fishing pioneers of the day, including highliners and their vessels like the F/V NORTHWESTERN of Deadliest Catch fame, together with sales of the multitude of different types of hydraulic machinery MARCO invented. >click to read< 13:04

Follow the Science? US Ignored Own Scientists’ Warning in Backing Atlantic Wind Farm

US government scientists warned federal regulators the South Fork offshore wind farm near the Rhode Island coast threatened the Southern New England Cod, a species so venerated in the region a wooden carving of it hangs in the Massachusetts state house. The warnings were delivered in unpublished correspondence weeks before Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management authorized the 12-turbine South Fork plan in November 2021. And they serve to underscore the potential ecological consequences and environmental tradeoff of a coming offshore wind boom along the US East Coast. President Joe Biden wants the US to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by the end of the decade. >click to read< 10:15

Crab season opens with frustration in San Mateo County – late start and half pots

Commercial crab fishing out of Half Moon Bay will open at midnight on New Year’s Eve following several delays over concerns about humpback whales in the area but a late start on top of other restrictions have cut into profits for frustrated local fishers. Local fishermen like Brittany Binkley, who fishes out of Pillar Point Harbor with her husband Adam Johnson, are worried the combination of the late start and half pots will make it difficult to turn a profit. Daniel Thoresen, who also fishes out of Pillar Point, said he is frustrated because he and his crew are not sure how much the crab will sell for and the delayed season pushed the fishermen deeper into winter. >click to read< 08:33

‘It’s heartbreaking’: Mother mourns son lost at sea on Boxing Day

At 8 a.m. on Boxing Day, Carmella Newell received a terrible call. On the other end of the line, her son Christian’s girlfriend was crying. Christian had gone overboard early that morning while fishing for lobster off Cape Sable Island, N.S., she said. Other than that, the family didn’t know what had happened. It wasn’t until the next day that the reality of what had happened sank in. As soon as news of Christian’s disappearance became public, Newell said she began to receive messages of support, including from the other crew members who had been on board the fishing boat. “It was heartbreaking, they tried to save him and they couldn’t.” The crew was struck by tragedy again this week. The boat’s captain had a heart attack hours after the search was called off. He remains in hospital in Yarmouth.  >click to read< 18:14

Support continues for family, community after fisherman lost at sea in southwestern NS

Efforts are ongoing to support the family, the community and the fishing industry as people grieve the loss of a young lobster fisherman in southwestern Nova Scotia. Christian Atwood, 27, was lost at sea after going overboard during a Dec. 26 fishing trip. Losses like this hit fishing communities extremely hard – and such is the case once again in a region of the province where virtually everyone has some sort of connection to the fishing industry – be it directly, or indirectly – through family, friends, employment or otherwise. An organization that promotes the physical safety of those in the fishing industry is now also focusing on people’s mental well-being during this time of heartache and loss. Fish Safe NS has stepped up to help organize and coordinate counseling and grief sessions for the fishermen’s family and the community. >click to read< 16:33

Dungies beyond crabbers’ grasp

The delay in starting the crab season, now stretching into its first month,,, “People have no idea how much money Dungeness crab bring into Newport,” said Casey Cooper, a third-generation fisherman who was rigging the steel-hulled Leslie Lee with crab pots at Newport’s International Terminal. “From car dealers to grocery stores, everybody’s waiting for this huge annual infusion of cash.” Businessman Dean Fleck of England Marine supplies the crab fleet with rope, buoys, crab pots and other fishing gear. He said the delay is being felt up and down the waterfront, where hundreds of workers from deckhands to processors are idled. He claimed each dollar generated by crab fishing is “brand new” to the local economy, with the potential to rebound seven times. >click to read< 15:41

Personal Locator Beacons improve the chance of rescue at sea

A PLB is a personal electronic device that transmits a survivor’s location on or in the water to the Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking system during an emergency. It’s designed to be carried in a person’s life vest (or elsewhere on their body) and manually activated when the wearer is in distress. PLBs continuously update a survivor’s location. New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration and remembrance. Three years ago, on December 31, 2019, as the new year was being rung in across the lower 48 states, a tragedy was playing out in icy Alaskan waters. F/V Scandies Rose, with seven crew members aboard, capsized and sank before reaching safety. >click to read< Then, there is survivor John Aldridge, a crewmember of the 44-foot lobster vessel Anna Mary was last seen aboard the boat during his watch relief at 9 p.m., Tuesday, while the vessel was underway off Montauk, N.Y. How many times have you read of or heard of a fisherman going overboard, only to watch an unsuccessful chain of events involving fruitless search and rescue operations to see them become possible recovery operations, and predictably, abandoned after a period of time, dictated by estimates of rate of survival and sea conditions? Way too many.

Crab season to begin Saturday but price talks could delay start

Crabbers are still negotiating with fish processors over the price per pound of crab, and by the first week of January, they might have a deal, said Harrison Ibach, president of the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association. He added that he could not speculate on what the price would be, but that it would likely not be as high as last season’s $4.75 per pound. “It’s a very soft seafood market at the moment. I guess you could say it’s probably due to economic conditions, the cost of living is extremely high,” Ibach said. “There’s not been a lot of consumption of domestic seafood or seafood in general.” >click to read< 11:26

F/V L’Ecume II: Search for missing Jersey fisherman ‘will continue’

The search for a missing fisherman whose trawler sank off Jersey will continue, the government has said. Jersey-based L’Ecume II sank after colliding with a Condor freight ferry on 8 December. The bodies of the two crew members, Jervis Baligat and Larry Simyunn, have been recovered, but skipper Michael Michieli has not been found. Deputy Chief Minister Kirsten Morel said next steps in the search were being considered. “There’s a range of options including further exploration of L’Ecume with divers or it is possible we may also need to look at the potential for raising the vessel,” >click to read< 09:25

Rough Sea Conditions Hamper Efforts to Salvage Fishing Boat at Santa Cruz Island

Efforts to salvage a commercial fishing boat that ran aground on Santa Cruz Island earlier this month have been halted by stormy weather, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Speranza Marie, carrying 16,000 pounds of squid and some 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, hit the shoreline near Chinese Harbor at about 2 a.m. on Dec. 15. Six crew members were on board, and all were rescued without injury by another fishing boat. Efforts have been underway since then to salvage the vessel, which is owned by Ocean Angel VI LLC. >click to read< 07:57

Condolences pour in for N.S. fisherman lost at sea: ‘It’s heart-wrenching’

A Nova Scotian community, along with people and fishers across the province and beyond, are mourning a fisherman who was lost at sea after what has been described as a “freak accident.”  The man, whom RCMP have identified as 27-year-old Christian Atwood of Barrington, is presumed to have drowned after he went overboard Boxing Day morning about 11 kilometres south of Cape Sable Island, just off the province’s southernmost tip. Halifax’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre received a mayday about a man overboard at 8:21 a.m. that day. The statement also wished a speedy recovery to the vessel’s captain, who suffered a heart attack and was recently transferred to Halifax. “Christian’s family wishes to thank everyone for their prayers at this time and ask for continued prayer to bring him home,” the statement said. The association also shared a trust account for Atwood’s son. Donations can be made at [email protected] >click to read< 18:55

Offshore Wind Farms Could Cause ‘Cataclysmic Destruction’ Of Ecosystems

Wind energy, cheap electricity from the elements. Surely a great idea? But has it just become a cash cow for big industry and governments, with precious little benefit to citizens – and, ironically, all at the expense of the natural world? I’ve written many times over the years about the potential for ecological damage caused by badly planned wind farms, particularly large offshore developments, the detrimental effects of which have been vastly underestimated. Now, as the industry expands at an alarming pace, we disregard the evidence at our peril. >click to read< By Jason Endfield 13:29

Fishing boat catches fire at Newport dock

The Newport Fire Department was dispatched to a marine fire at 7:16 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 22, aboard the fishing vessel Nordic Valor, which was tied up at Port Dock 3 on Yaquina Bay. A deckhand checking on the boat opened the door to the cabin and smoke poured out, according to a press release issued by the fire department. When firefighters arrived on scene, they found the vessel filled with smoke and heat. The fire started in the galley area of the vessel and was burning in hidden voids between the inner walls and the outer hull. The F/V Nordic Valor was tied up just across from the Chelsea Rose, an historic fishing vessel that now functions solely as a floating fish market. >click to read< 12:00

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 52″x18″ Steel Dragger, 3406 Cat, with Permits

To review specifications, information, and 15 photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< 11:00

Council has 4 months to fix Cook Inlet salmon fishery management plan

The future of the Cook Inlet salmon fishery is again in the air as the North Pacific Fishery Management Council debates how to manage it after a federal court ruled that it has to write a new plan. It’s been six years since a federal court ruled that the council’s decision to remove Cook Inlet from a federal management plan and defer entirely to the state was illegal. The council initially decided to remove Cook Inlet in 2012, a decision that the United Cook Inlet Drift Association challenged in court. In 2016, the court agreed with the association, ordering the council to create a new federal management plan that includes the federal waters of Cook Inlet. >click to read< 09:47

State Papers: Royal Navy submarine dragged Irish fishing trawler backwards for 1.6km before breaking free

Britain attempted to claim State immunity in an attempt to recover a valuable towed sonar array from a Royal Navy attack submarine which detached after snagging in the nets of an Irish fishing trawler. The fishing boat was subsequently dragged backwards for 1.6km before breaking free. Confidential Department of Foreign Affairs documents revealed that civil servants felt an agreed settlement between the British Embassy and the trawler skipper involved was preferable to the matters coming before the Irish courts. The incident occurred 40km east of Skerries, Co Dublin at 7.20pm on September 12, 1989 when an Irish trawler, MV Contestor, alerted the Shannon-based Marine Rescue Centre.  >click to read< 08:05

Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery Now Open Statewide

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will open the commercial Dungeness crab fishery statewide on Dec. 31, 2022. Fishing Zones 3-6 (all areas south of the Sonoma/Mendocino county Line) will open under a 50 percent trap reduction on Dec. 31, 2022 at 12:01 a.m., with a 64-hour gear setting period beginning on Dec. 28, 2022 at 8:01 a.m. This trap reduction will help reduce risk of entanglement as humpback whales continue to migrate to winter breeding grounds. Commercial Dungeness crab vessels operating in Fishing Zones 3-6 must understand and comply with the restrictions by reviewing the CDFW Declaration. >click to read< 07:20

Electronic vessel trackers coming for lobster fishers

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) announced that all commercial lobster permit holders with a federal lobster trap permit will be required to install a vessel tracking device beginning in the spring. DMF will cover the costs of the first three years for the 300 eligible vessels that fish from Massachusetts ports. “We expect to cover the costs of each eligible owner’s purchase, installation, and data plan for around $1,500,” the announcement reads. “Up to five different vendors are expected to offer devices for sale to the industry this winter. Eligible permit holders will be allowed to choose the approved tracking device that best fits their business.” >click to read< 18:33

Lost fisherman: Hearts are heavy as lobster fishery sees tragedy in southwestern NS

Hearts are heavy once again in fishing communities in southwestern Nova Scotia – and throughout the province – as people grieve another tragedy to befall the lobster and fishing industry. A Monday, Dec. 26, fishing trip resulted in the loss of a young fisherman who went overboard that morning off Cape Sable Island. Family members put up posts about their missing loved one as did community members, expressing their heartache and sadness. “Yesterday, Dec. 26th, 2022, the lobster industry lost one of their own. Christian Lee Atwood aged 27 years was lost,” read one post on Tuesday morning. >click to read< 13:45

SEA-NL calls on Ottawa to lift moratorium on Atlantic mackerel

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador is calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to lift the moratorium on Atlantic mackerel in 2023 and establish a quota at least equal to the United States. “DFO’s decision earlier this year to slap a moratorium on the Atlantic mackerel fishery while American fishermen continued to fish the same stock — combined with relatively weak science, and then even less data without fishermen on the water — was wrong from the get-go,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s executive director. >click to read< 12:48

Search suspended for fisherman who went overboard off Cape Sable Island

The search for a fisherman who went overboard Boxing Day morning off Cape Sable Island in Nova Scotia has been suspended. The search effort was called off at noon AT Tuesday, according to spokesperson Lt.-Cmdr. Len Hickey of the Halifax’s Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre. It will be handed off to the RCMP as a missing persons case, said Lt.-Cmdr. Len Hickey, spokesperson for Halifax’s Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre. The man went overboard from a 12-metre fishing vessel — the Little Weasel Too — while fishing for lobster in the Cape Sable Island area. There were three people on board the boat. >click to read< 12:00

California Jobs Boom Anticipated Following Offshore Wind Auction

The efforts are, however, creating clashes with fishing fleets fretful not only of losing hunting grounds, but of broader impacts on their quarry from the new approach to renewables generation. “We’re going to throw billions of dollars into something that we don’t really know what the impact is going to be,” said Dick Ogg, a commercial fisherman of crab, albacore, black cod and rockfish. He’s based out of Bodega Bay but chases salmon from the state’s North Coast south to Morro Bay, which is another quiet part of California where an infrastructure boom is planned to get electricity from offshore wind turbines to land-based power customers. “We’d like to see a project that is smaller.” Fishing fleets nationally are angry about what they say is a lack of consultation with them by wind developers and by the federal government, with hundreds of lobstermen in Maine attending protests about plans there. Tribes, too, say their members are being ignored. >click to read< 11:13

Massachusetts fishermen question impact offshore wind farms will have on their industry

The federal government has established seven wind lease areas for developments, and Vineyard Wind is already under construction, set to be producing energy by late next year or early 2024. And development won’t stop there, said state Rep. Jeffrey Roy, D-Franklin, with Commonwealth Wind and Mayflower Wind joining Vineyard Wind south of Martha’s Vineyard.  “We really don’t have a choice,” Roy said. But Edward Barrett, president of the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership, who’s been in the industry for more than 45 years, said the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a federal government agency that determines the wind leases, has “a deaf ear” to the concerns of fishermen.  “What impact will that have? Well, no one’s really figured that one out and if it has a negative impact,” Barrett said, “then I’m the one who’s gonna have to pay for that through reductions in my catch allocations.” >click to read< 09:14

Iconic fishing trawler with exciting history could return to Grimsby’s waters following restoration

An infamous trawler which played a key role in the fishing industry heyday, bringing home the world’s biggest catch, and then used as the base for a formerly illegal pirate radio station could be brought back to its home waters of Grimsby. Home to independent and now legitimate radio station, Radio Caroline, the Ross Revenge trawler – sister ship to the Ross Tiger – began fishing out of Grimsby in 1963 and brought home record catches of fish, including the world record of 218 tonnes of Icelandic cod in 1976, which sold for over £75,000. Photos, >click to read< 08:19