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West Coast fishermen have few options against sea lions

With the lights of Moss Landing, California, twinkling in the distance, Captain Porter McHenry stood on the top deck of the Merva W, a large  Commercial fishing boat. Ocean water sprayed his face and dampened his thick brown beard. A third-generation fisherman, McHenry employs a crew of three. In the dead of the night, his yellow rain jacket was briefly illuminated as he ignited the long wick of an orange firecracker and chucked it over the side of the boat into the waves. Seconds later, a bright flash and boom broke the sea of darkness. >Click to read<  09:10

Walk scheduled to remember Lowcountry crabber

Friends and family of a Lowcountry crabber who drowned last week in Charleston Harbor will gather Friday night to remember him. Terrance Singleton, 30, went missing on July 24 from his pro-crabbing vessel. His disappearance was discovered when the Coast Guard Cutter Cormorant was headed out to conduct a training exercise and spotted his 20-foot crabbing boat off of Fort Johnson,,, Singleton operated T and J Seafood with other members of his family and was one of three crabbers in the family, his aunt, Marsha Singleton said. She said all that mattered to him was his two sons, ages 5 and 9, and crabbing. >click to read< 12:07

‘It was like somebody pulled the plug on the drain’

Earlier this year, the San Francisco Port Commission commended a boat captain for safely delivering 23 passengers from danger during a “tidal event,” an honor so rare it hasn’t been bestowed in at least 20 years. Even more unusual is that many questions surrounding the event, which broke chains, nearly sunk a moored boat and endangered lives, remain unanswered. Commendations from the commission have been so infrequent that Port staff were unable to find records detailing when and why the last one was issued. Captain David Crumpler has become the first in recent memory. >click to read<09:15

At Humboldt County Board of Supervisors – Blindsided Crabbers Congregate

As the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting got underway at its normal 9 a.m. start time, there was still a line of people extending out the front door,,, local crab fishermen who had shown up in force to support a resolution aimed at saving the local fishery from “devastating economic harm,” The threat comes in the form of a recent CBD – PCFFA settlement,,, “We were blindsided by this ruling,” said crab fisherman Zach Rotwein of Trinidad.,,, Pacific Choice Seafoods General Manager Rick Harris said his company recently made a $1.2 million investment,,, “This is a travesty and a disaster for the community,” said crab fisherman Patrick Davis, who owns two fishing boats and employs “eight or nine guys.” >click to read<22:49

California shifts water from farms, cities to fish.

Despite an epic last-minute compromise brokered by Gov. Jerry Brown, state water regulators voted Wednesday to reallocate billions of gallons of San Joaquin River water from farms and cities to revive struggling fish populations. After hours of testimony, the State Water Resources Control board voted to deliver hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water from the San Joaquin watershed to salmon, steelhead and other species that ply the fragile Delta. The vote will eventually take water from Valley farmers, who have blasted the plan as a “water grab,” as well as cities such as Modesto and San Francisco. >click to read<09:52

Pro and anti whaling nations brace for battle in Brazil

Pro- and anti-whaling nations are set for a showdown when the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meets in Brazil from Monday as Japan leads an assault on a three-decade old moratorium on commercial whale hunting. Tokyo heads into the biennial meeting as chair of the 88-nation body determined to shake-up what it says is a dysfunctional organization mired in dispute and unable to make key decisions. But Japan’s package of proposals, entitled “The Way Forward,” has left conservationists seething even before delegates have taken their seats at the 67th IWC meeting in the Brazilian surfing resort of Florianapolis. >click to read<17:59

Maine Men Sentenced for Illegally Trafficking American Eels

Today, William Sheldon was sentenced in federal district court in Portland, Maine, to six months in prison followed by three years supervised release for trafficking juvenile American eels, also called “elvers” or “glass eels,” in violation of the Lacey Act,, Sheldon was also ordered to pay a fine of $10,000, forfeit $33,200 in lieu of a truck he used during the crime, and may not possess a license to purchase or export elvers as a special condition of his supervised release. Also sentenced today for elver trafficking offenses was Timothy Lewis, who received a sentence of six months in prison followed by three years supervised release, with the special condition that he too may not possess a license to purchase or export elvers. Lewis was also ordered to pay a $2500 fine. Thomas Reno was also sentenced today to one year probation. >click to read<08:57

Massachusetts: Herring run in full swing along South Shore

Herring are filling local streams and rivers during their annual migration from the sea. Like salmon, herring live in salt water but travel to fresh water to spawn. In Pembroke, Herring Brook is full of fish fighting their way upstream to the top of a fish ladder that allows them to get around a dam at Glover Mill Pond. During the peak of the migration, it can see as many as 40,000 fish in one day. Video, photo’s >click to read<17:38

River herring return to Weymouth en masse – Thousands of herring were visible making their way towards the fish ladders in Jackson Square today. >click to read<22:51

Maine: Promising scallop aquaculture initiative gets $600K boost

The Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research awarded a $300,000 grant to CEI to investigate the economic viability of a Japanese scallop production technique that has been shown to grow scallops faster as well as produce larger yields of meat. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, announced Monday that FFAR, a nonprofit corporation established by the 2014 Farm Bill, awarded the $300,000 research grant to Hugh Cowperthwait of CEI, which is matching the award to double its impact. >click to read<13:10

Forum in Mystic focuses on the plight of local fishermen

Local third-generation fishermen are on the brink of losing their businesses because of over-regulation by the federal government, but the public can help by writing to their legislators and buying locally caught seafood.  That was the message of a public forum and panel discussion organized by Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, held Wednesday at the Mystic Luxury Cinemas. The forum began with a presentation from Meghan Lapp, an expert on the commercial fishing industry and its regulations.  “Fishermen are not anti-regulation, but when the regulatory burdens >click to read<08:35

Ocean perch stock rebuilt, could lead to more commercial fishing opportunities in 2019

Federal restrictions designed to protect Pacific ocean perch from overfishing have worked well enough for the Pacific Fishery Management Council to consider the fishery “rebuilt,” meaning it will relax restrictions. Once the new rules take effect in 2019 it should have significant economic value to the coast, experts say. “It’s a big deal for fisheries along the coast,” said Phil Anderson, who works with Ocean Gold Seafood in Westport and serves as chairman of the Pacific Fishery Management Council. click here to read the story 09:47

A fishing schooner called the Bluenose and Nova Scotian identity

A fishing and racing schooner is the most instantly recognizable public symbol of Nova Scotia. The Bluenose, it seems, is almost everywhere — from the Canadian dime to our licence plates and from beer label to tourist souvenirs. It remains as ubiquitous in Nova Scotia as the lighthouses on our shores and Sobeys and Tim Hortons in our towns and cities. Dubbed by admirers as “Queen of the North Atlantic,” she served as a working vessel, achieved fame as the fastest fishing schooner, and was wrecked at sea in 1946. She lived on as a symbol on the Canadian 10-cent piece and was commemorated by a replica, Bluenose II, built in 1963, and then reconstructed, through an arduous process, 40 years later. click here to read the story 11:20

Many fishermen believe Stokesbury saved the scallop industry

Well, I guess that I had better start writing some of this stuff down, as it seems that my memory is getting fuzzier by the day. Not an uncommon affliction for an old fisherman, who has been put ashore, but who still has enough recall to remember some things that are just too important to allow to fade into obscurity! I had been a scalloper out of New Bedford for 32 years, both as a deckhand, and as a captain of several high-line scalloper vessels. Over all those years there were several trips that stay relatively fresh in my mind’s eye, but one of the most important and fulfilling ones actually occurred after I came ashore. By Jim Kendall click here to read the story 21:55

Hawaiʻi nearshore fishery provides big benefits

Small-scale fisheries support the well-being of millions of people around the world—even in a well-developed economy such as Hawaiʻi’s, they provide important economic as well as social benefits. The total annual monetary value of the fishery is approximately $10.3 to $16.4 million. The non-commercial fishery in particular provides huge benefits to the community—non-commercial catch is around three times reported commercial catch and is worth $4.2 to $10 million more annually. However, the full benefits to Hawaiʻi also include the potential to provide over 7 million meals a year as well as less tangible but just as important benefits such as the perpetuation of culture, community cohesion and sharing knowledge with the next generation. click here to read the story 20:22

Commercial crabber calls out Al Gore on fake science, explains sea level hasn’t changed at all since 1970

In promotion of his latest film, “An Inconvenient Sequel,” former vice president and global warming activist Al Gore is still desperately trying to make the case that planet earth is heating up, and that only carbon taxes can fix it. But as per usual, he failed miserably during a recent CNN town hall with Anderson Cooper, during which a commercial crabber and local mayor explained that sea levels around his tiny island have remained the same for over half a century. James Eskridge oversees the day-to-day activities on Tangier Island, in Virginia, and he’s been fishing crab there for decades. He’s quite familiar with the tides, the currents, and various other elements in and around the coastal terrain. And other than an ongoing problem related to erosion, in which the shorelines of Tangier Island are progressively disappearing due to constant waves and storms, he says that everything is exactly the same as it’s always been, at least as far as ocean levels are concerned. click here to read the story 09:25

Industry expert Meghan Lapp says consumers have a role in saving local seafood

Finding fresh, locally caught fish isn’t easy, but if educated consumers are persistent, they will not only help local fishermen, they’ll also help rebuild weakened domestic seafood markets that have been deeply gouged by imports and regulations. Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for Seafreeze Ltd., a producer and trader of frozen seafood in North Kingstown, explained these points and more in her presentation, “Sea to Table: Bringing the Bounty of the Sea to You,” before an audience of about 40 people at the La Grua Center Thursday night. In attendance were state Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, First Selectman Rob Simmons and a number of longtime local fishermen. The Stonington Economic Development Commission sponsored Lapp’s presentation. click here to read the story 08:22

Local charter suspected of ‘high-grading’ prized halibut

Pacific Salmon Charters got an unexpected publicity boost earlier this month, when the crew of the Pacific Dream rescued passengers from a sunken boat. Last week, the company received not-so-welcome attention from state and federal game wardens. On Thursday, July 13, officers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife served a search warrant at the Pacific Salmon office at the Port of Ilwaco.  According to the warrant, Pacific Salmon crews are suspected of habitually “high-grading,” or catching more than the legal limit of fish, and keeping only the most desirable specimens. Investigators say they have evidence that Pacific Salmon Charters crews high-graded on at least two trips during the short spring halibut season. click here to read the story 13:06

New Jersey man convicted of attempted murder in fish boat shooting case – faces life in prison

A man who shot a Whitesboro woman aboard a fishing vessel docked at Lund’s Fisheries in October 2015 has been convicted of attempted murder, Cape May County Prosecutor Robert L. Taylor said. Ernest P. Davis, 44, also was convicted of possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose and hindering his own prosecution following a one-week trial in Cape May County Superior Court, Taylor said. On Oct. 3, 2015, Davis shot Doris Howell, 39, with a shotgun while aboard the fishing vessel “Storm,” which was docked in Lower Township. As a result of the shooting, Howell’s left foot and part of her calf were amputated, Taylor said.  Taylor said due to the charges and Davis’s criminal history, he faces a maximum of life imprisonment with an 85 percent parole disqualifier. click here to read the story 12:22

We should never allow offshore oil drilling near Myrtle Beach, BY Carol Coney

Jeffrey Nelson’s letter of May 9 tries to convey a sense of safety that new technology will bring to offshore drilling. He feels that underwater drilling platforms guided from miles away will somehow prevent oil spills. What he fails to mention is that technology quite often fails. Combine remote control with a platform many miles beneath the surface, and you are asking for disaster. Yet his premise is that if it is underwater and you can’t see it, it must be safe.Consider this: The Deepwater Horizon drilling platform was using proven technology and, according to the government investigation, failed because of human error and gross negligence. No amount of new technology will eliminate causes like that. Click here to read the op-ed 16:58

“Hero of the Seas” – Robin Alden wins more accolades

Robin Alden, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries’ executive director, has been recognized as a “Hero of the Seas,” as a winner of the international Peter Benchley Ocean Awards. Alden was recognized for her career working at the grassroots, engaging fishermen’s knowledge and participation to build sustainable, healthy coastal fisheries and fishing communities. The awards ceremony took place at a gala on Thursday, May 11, at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. “It is just unbelievable to have international recognition for Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries’ basic approach: that the knowledge fishermen have about the ecology they work in every day is important to a healthy fisheries and our communities,” Alden said in a statement last Friday. Click here to read the story 10:16

Fishermen hope bumper sticker gets Trump’s attention

For struggling Town Dock fishermen, President Trump’s promise to eliminate regulations and spur the economy means they might finally have success in their long fight to rescind the catch restrictions they say are not only unfair and based on bad science but are putting them out of business. So in an effort to attract Trump’s attention and help spread their message in Washington, they have printed up a bumper sticker that will be appearing on vehicles here in coming days. The sticker features a picture of Trump giving a thumbs-up next to a fishing boat with the slogan “Make Commercial Fishing Great Again,” a spin on Trump’s popular campaign slogan “Make America Great Again. (Mike) Gambardella said if fishermen just had the chance to explain the long-standing problem to Trump, “his head would spin.” Read the story here 20:36

3/29/2017 As a point of clarification from the article  that was posted in the newspaper in CT about the bumper stickers being made here, I need to clear something up. There was a reference to the state allocation issues and the disparity between the quota’s allowed southern states VS northern states. I, in no way shape or form am looking for the quota’s to be re distributed from the southern states to the northern states. The idea of this campaign is to shed light on the issues that affect us all. From south to north we are all affected by the unrelenting regulatory policies that have been moved forward by our out of control federal agencies that have miss managed our industry for decades. We are all suffering from the same problems, and now may be our last chance to bring these issues to light. We must ALL work TOGETHER to turn the tide so that ALL fishermen benefit regardless of where we reside, or where we fish. I hope this clears up any confusion about where we stand on this issue. Here’s to a prosperous future! Michael Gambardella 18:20

Too broke for boats, Cubans inflate condoms to find big fish

cuba-baloon-condom-fishingJuan Luis Rosello sat for three hours on the Malecon as the wind blew in from the Florida Straits, pushing the waves hard against the seawall of Havana’s coastal boulevard. As darkness settled and the wind switched direction, Rosello pulled four condoms from a satchel and began to blow them up. When the contraceptives were the size of balloons, the 47-year-old cafeteria worker tied them together by their ends, attached them to the end of a baited fishing line and set them floating on the tide until they reached the end of his 750-foot line. After six decades under U.S. embargo and Soviet-inspired central planning, Cubans have become masters at finding ingenious solutions with extremely limited resources. Few are as creative as what Havana’s fishermen call “balloon fishing,” a technique employing a couple of cents worth of condoms to pull fish worth an average month’s salary from the ocean. Read the story here 09:21

Sea Scallop Documentary To Be Screened At the 25th annual Woods Hole Film Festival August 3 at 6 PM

Over the past two decades, the unassuming sea scallop has brought on a quiet revolution in East Coast fisheries, one based on cooperation between fishermen, scientists, and government managers. In the 35-minute documentary “Sustaining Sea Scallops,” Woods Hole-based filmmakers Daniel Cojanu and Elise Hugus ask if this cooperative research approach could be the new model for beleaguered fisheries. Premiering at the 25th annual Woods Hole Film Festival on August 3 at 6 PM, with a repeat screening on August 5 at 7 PM before the feature documentary “The Memory of Fish,” “Sustaining Sea Scallops” tells a rare tale of renewal in a commercial fishery. The documentary brings audiences back to 1999, when fisheries closures and bankruptcy prompted the sea scallop industry to start funding research to improve catch efficiency, while simultaneously minimizing environmental impacts. Fifteen years later, the Atlantic sea scallop fishery is hailed as one of the most sustainable and lucrative in the world, with New Bedford ringing in as the highest-grossing port in the nation. Read the rest here 20:11

Rescue at sea

73314comox09JRCCPhoto-RescuenearKyuquot-11Sep16On Monday 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron was involved in a rescue mission on the west side of Vancouver Island. 442 Squadron was tasked by Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Victoria to assist the Canadian Coast Guard in a rescue of a “man overboard,” 13 nautical miles west of Kyuquot Channel. Canadian Coast Guard Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB) 507 located and rescued the man, who had fallen overboard from a small fishing vessel about three hours earlier. The man was subsequently hoisted aboard one of 442 Squadron’s CH-149 Cormorant helicopters, flown to Comox, then transported via ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital. No further details on the victim’s conditions, or his place of residence, were available at time of printing. link 21:41

North Pacific Fishery Management Council convenes in Kodiak with Gulf catch shares in focus

The trawl industry already loathes a recent alternative to a North Pacific Fishery Management Council plan. Now the council could add another. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will meet in Kodiak from June 6-14 to hear a discussion paper that has enraged the trawl industry since late 2015. A new proposal for “innovative policy,” as referred to in the paper, would give the first catch share allocations to Community Fishing Associations to prevent harmful impacts such as the job losses and high cost of entry that have occurred under previous such programs in halibut and crab. This is an official state position, and the North Pacific council holds a six-member majority of the 11-member body that governs federal Alaska waters. Gov. Bill Walker’s administration prioritizes coastal communities’ economic prospects during the state’s oil-driven financial calamity. Part of that stance concerns keeping the fishing industry, the state’s largest private employer, in Alaskan fishermen’s hands. Read the rest here 08:39

To avoid another massive fish kill in the Peconic, limits on bunker fishing lifted by “episodic event set aside program,”

2016_0401_bunker-1With unusually large numbers of bunker fish appearing in the Peconic River this spring, commercial fishermen will be allowed to net bunker in an effort to prevent the massive bunker kills seen last year, thanks to a ruling announced today by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The interstate commission, which limits how many fish can be caught each year, has agreed to add New York to a special program that allows greater numbers of bunker to be harvested in places where bunker are occurring in higher abundance than normal. The decision was made specifically to reduce the amount of bunker in the Peconic Estuary, where bunker have been reported in unusually large numbers since last month. Commercial fishermen will be allowed to use seine nets to capture bunker in the Peconic River. Up to one million pounds of bunker are allowed to be harvested under the episodic event set aside program. Read the rest here 14:25

CG36500 – Renovated rescue boat ready for the spotlight

Following an $18,000 renovation this fall at Chatham’s Pease Boatworks, the 36-foot wooden Coast Guard motor lifeboat is ready for the red carpet. The CG36500 is on the National Register of Historic Places, so stunt doubles were used in the new movie, “The Finest Hours,” which has its premiere tomorrow at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. While Andy Fitzgerald, the sole surviving crewman of what is hailed as the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history, and his wife, Gloria, are headed to that premiere, the real rescue boat that safely transported four Coast Guardsmen and 32 crewmen from a stricken tanker back from a hellish nor’easter will be on display at the Chatham Bars Inn Thursday night for a pre-release party. Read the article here 12:06

A sign from the sea – Big Pine Key trap washes ashore in Ireland

10557632_803371666457870_1836511594689907622_oRosemary Hill never knows what the sea will bring to her that day. She has a passion for beachcombing on the sandy strands next to her hometown of Waterville, a small fishing village in County Kerry, Ireland. In recent weeks, among other things, she’s found a multitude of tropical sea beans, a half-destroyed Christmas decoration and Hewlett-Packard printer ink cartridges. On Jan. 8, she discovered something intriguing: the top of a stone crab trap. “We don’t have these in Ireland,” she thought. And when she looked closely, she saw a name scratched into the surface: “J. Gates, Big Pine Key.” photo; Rosemary Hill, “Beachcombing in Kerry,”link  Read the article here 08:29

Salvadoran castaway hit with cannibalism suit, denies he ate his shipmate to stay alive

José Salvador Alvarenga’s story captivated the world nearly two years ago, when the Salvadoran-born fisherman was rescued in the South Pacific having spent 14 months adrift in a small fishing boat. But this week, Alvarenga’s heartwarming story – which has been turned into a book, “438 Days,” by the English journalist, Jonathan Franklin – took a grisly turn. Relatives of the man who he was shipwrecked with, Ezequiel Córdova Ríos, and who reportedly starved to death months into the ordeal, have filed a million-dollar lawsuit against Alvarenga alleging that he cannibalized,,, Read the article here 12:40

Film sheds light on years of controversy with Port and Fishermen at Fishermen’s Terminal

1800-terminal-1West Seattle filmmaker and Antioch University instructor, B. J. Bullert (Ph.D), has made a second film that examines “the news” created during a period when the Port of Seattle was being scrutinized by the media and fishermen for their management and policy decisions. The 23-minute film, “Fishermen’s Terminal Revisited: A Story of Survival” is a follow up to “Fishermen’s Terminal,” a film from 2005 that documents the backlash from fishermen as the Port allowed pleasure boats to moor alongside fishing boats at terminal. Read the article here 21:49