Daily Archives: December 8, 2022

Jersey: Fears grow for missing fishermen who vanished along with their boat

Hopes are fading for the crew of a fishing boat who went missing off the coast of Jersey in the early hours of this morning. A major search has been under way throughout the day after a trawler collided with a cargo ship and sent three people overboard.  Specialist divers have been involved in a search and rescue operation, but it has been suspended for the night. Efforts will resume in the morning around the area where the fishing vessel L’Ecume II disappeared in 40-metre-deep water. One of the missing men has been named locally as Michael Michieli, the skipper of the Jersey-registered vessel. It struck the Commodore Goodwill, a 120m freight carrier with a tonnage of 11,166, at around 5.30am this morning. >click to read< 19:24

Maine Republicans want to end tax breaks over lobster bans

Legislation expected to be filed by the GOP minority for consideration in the next session would prevent Whole Foods, or other groups that ban lobster sales from getting tax breaks available to Maine businesses. Last week, Whole Foods announced plans to stop selling lobster caught in the Gulf of Maine at hundreds of its retail stores across the country. During the Tuesday briefing on the proposal, Republican lawmakers framed the issue as one of survival for the state’s storied lobster industry, which they say is struggling amid labor costs, foreign competition and costly federal regulations aimed at preventing whales from becoming entangled in fishing gear. >click to read< 14:54

Bering Sea crab collapse spurs push for stronger conservation measures

For Bering Sea crabber Gretar Gudmundsson, December is a month for preparing his two boats for the winter harvest season. But not this year. For the first time, the winter snow crab season has been scuttled. The move has upended seasonal rhythms, and the financial stability of a crab fleet already slammed by a two-year shutdown of the fall harvest of red king crab. “We didn’t ship up any groceries. We didn’t recruit any crew. We’re not laying on fuel. Nothing is happening,” Gudmundsson said. Crabbers are pressing for more restrictions on pollock fleets, which deploy large cone-shaped trawl nets to scoop up more than 3.2 billion pounds annually of this fish in the biggest single-species harvest in North America. >click to read< 11:55

Fisheries minister pushes for joint Canada-U.S. management of depleted Atlantic mackerel stock

“We don’t support the fact that we had closures because the stock was in critical condition and the United States were fishing essentially that same stock,” Canada’s Fisheries and Oceans Minister Joyce Murray told a parliamentary committee Friday. Murray’s remarks are a more public stance on what has been a quiet effort by Canada to persuade the United States to jointly manage a species both countries say is in trouble. Murray said she expressed her concerns in a virtual meeting earlier on Dec. 2 with her U.S. counterpart, Richard Spinrad, who leads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA. “He wants to invoke the precautionary principle, which in my view, wasn’t happening adequately. We agreed that we share our approach to this and in two months there will be meetings between NOAA and DFO to discuss our assessments and build a better approach to rebuilding mackerel.” >click to read< 10:03

California’s Dungeness crab season delayed yet again, this time until Dec. 30

California Fish and Wildlife officials on Wednesday evening announced another postponement in the commercial Dungeness crab season for the entire state coast — the third delay this season. There are two geographically based reasons behind the decision: From the Sonoma/Mendocino County line south to the Mexican border, a risk assessment undertaken Wednesday determined there is still a high concentration of migrating whales that could get tangled in fishing gear. It’s the fourth consecutive year of delays to protect the humpbacks. On the far north coast, whales have moved south from Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties, but state officials said testing of crabs caught in these waters showed low meat quality, hence the continued ban there. >click to read< 08:56

Commentary: Fishing rules are strangling honest, hard-working, blue-collar fishermen

I’m not a fortune teller; I’m just a fisherman. I have no vested interest, other than it’s a job. My job employs thousands, and that keeps those lives turning. When the last fish is landed, it’s all over. Men and women will not and should not go to sea and risk their lives for nothing. I truly wish people with any sense at all would stand up and push against this. But they’ve created a problem where there wasn’t one, and the chain that binds us all will break shortly. Video, >click to read< 08:03

Wreck of trawler which collided with Condor freight ship ‘located on seabed’

The wreck of the trawler involved in a collision with the Commodore Goodwill has been located on the seabed in up to 50 metres of water, according to the head of the Jersey Fishermen’s Association. The vessel went down off the west coast after colliding with the freight ship at about 5.30am. Jersey Coastguard has confirmed that the vessel has sunk. A major search and rescue operation involving more than a dozen boats and aircraft is under way for three missing fishermen. >click to read< 07:03