Tag Archives: commercial fishermen

Quinhagak commercial fishermen struggle after two years without a buyer

Several weeks ago, the financing fell through on a plan to bring the “Akutan,” a floating fish processing vessel, to Kuskokwim Bay. For the second summer in a row, fishermen in the coastal community of Quinhagak have nowhere to sell their catch; many in the village are now struggling to make ends meet. Timothy “Johnny Boy” Matthews doesn’t remember when he started fishing commercially.,, Matthews has a family of his own now. He bought his own limited entry permit a decade ago and spent his summers selling silvers to a newly opened processing plant in Platinum. It’s owned by Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF), a corporation that is supposed to use its Bering Sea fishing quota to support economic development in the area. But CVRF decided not to re-open its plant last year,,, Audio, read the story here 12:17

Meet Brendan Taylor, one of Foodstuffs’ ‘best’ commercial fishermen

He’s a top commercial fisherman who lives in south Auckland and works from a boat he built with his own hands. Brendan Taylor runs a business based in Manurewa that sees him catch and supply fresh fish to supermarket company Foodstuffs. He spent his childhood fishing for flounder with a small net on the Manukau Harbour.,,, Foodstuffs head of seafood David Jose says many people have the perception commercial fishing companies are “huge industrial operations” with large boats that trawl oceans. That’s not the case in New Zealand though, as he describes Taylor as one of the company’s best commercial fishermen. Video, click here to read the story 10:17

Feds threaten shutdown of N.J. Fluke fishery as showdown escalates

Call it the Great Flounder War of 2017. A simmering battle between New Jersey recreational fisherman and the federal agency governing fishing along the Atlantic Coast has now escalated — with potentially disastrous consequences for the fishermen. In a teleconference on Thursday morning, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) officially found New Jersey to be out of compliance with federal regulations.  The matter is now headed to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross for a final decision. If Ross agrees with the recommendation, both recreational and commercial fluke fishing could end up banned altogether in the Garden State. ,, And here’s where things get really sticky: If Sec. Ross finds New Jersey to be out of compliance, he’d have the option of imposing a moratorium on summer flounder fishing in the state — a moratorium that would also apply to commercial fishermen, who thus far have been in compliance with the feds. (Earlier this year, the state’s commercial fishermen agreed to lower fishing quotas imposed by ASMFC.)  click here to read the story 08:19

Last Man Standing: A Man and the River

Slicing across the tranquil Tennessee River, Leon Bivens looked across the dark blue expanse ahead — at the lights of the factories reflecting off the water and the steel and concrete bridges connecting the River City to destinations north. The 73-year-old’s calloused hands shrouded in yellow rubber gloves reached into the water and pulled on a line. A smattering of catfish and buffalo danced along the 100 hooks. “I love the river. The river is my life. I enjoy going to the river, putting down my lines, pulling them and catching fish, too. I really need to catch them, but I enjoy catching them anyhow. Ain’t I lucky,” Bivens said. For the past 59 years, Bivens has watched the changing world of the fishing industry from his boat’s wooden perch. He saw the rise in popularity of game fishing tournaments, the closing of mom-and-pop fish markets and the fall of independent commercial fishermen. click here to read the story 13:08

Golden fish

Update: This story was updated on May 21, 2017 to include new prices. In economic crisis, there is often opportunity. Commercial fishermen in Cordova, Alaska are at the moment worrying mightily about what the rest of their fishing season will bring given the prediction of a record weak-return of Copper River king season. But what the ocean gods have brought so far are sky-high prices for a higher than expected catch of a thought-to-be struggling run of fish. The first, 12-hour opening of the season was expected to result in the harvest of only a few hundred kings given a prediction of a weak return and fishing-area closures the Alaska Department of Fish and Game ordered to protect areas where kings have usually been caught in the past. Despite those closures, however, fishermen caught almost 1,900 of the big fish, a catch bigger than in last year’s opener. Most fishermen in the Cordova fleet of 500 gillnetters were reported to be getting dock prices of $10.30 per pound for king, but some were doing much better. click here to read the story 18:20

Commercial fishermen plan flotilla for Trump’s graduation speech at Coast Guard Academy

A group of fishermen will greet President Trump and send congratulations to graduating cadets from a flotilla on the Thames River during the United States Coast Guard Academy commencement today. “Our message is ‘make commercial fishing great again’ and it’s a congratulatory effort to say thank you to the Coast Guard class of 2017,” said Joel Hovanesian, of Wakefield, who is a member of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance.  The purpose of the flotilla is also to raise the President’s awareness of regulatory issues in the fishing industry, especially since one of the platforms he ran on was over-regulation and its burdensome effects on small businesses, said Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for Seafreeze Ltd., of North Kingstown. “Every single fishing vessel is a small, mobile corporation, so if he’s seeing 15 or 20 boats, he’s seeing 15 or 20 small businesses right there and there’s thousands of them along the East Coast,” she said. “In the fishing industry, we’re dealing with a lot of over regulation and we believe there’s a lot of things that could be done to make the industry thrive again.” click here to read the story 07:28

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Video, click here Local fishermen hope President Trump will help commercial fishing industry

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Gladstone Ports’ $100m pain over dredging class action challenge

The Gladstone Ports Corporation could face at least 200 court claims worth $100 million over its 2011 dredging. Law Essentials and Clyde and Co are working to form a class action for people “negatively impacted” by the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project. Law Essentials director and solicitor Chris Thompson said already they have signed 200 people within the seafood and tourism industry who lost money because of dredging operations in Gladstone’s Harbour. He said claims were worth “in excess of $100 million” and now he’s making a plea for anyone else affected to come forward. Of the 200 claimants, he said there were commercial fishermen and seafood suppliers from Gladstone, Hervey Bay, Mackay and as far as Brisbane and Sydney. click here to read the story 17:25

Progress made on invasive Asian carp in Kentucky thanks to Commercial Fishermen

Asian carp have been a big problem in our state. For years now, the KDFWR has worked with commercial fisherman, private fish processors and others in efforts to remove the Asian carp from our waters. Since 2015, three processors have been established, and their facilities have led to the harvest of more than 1.2 million pounds of Asian carp in 2015; more than 800,000 pounds from Kentucky and Barkley lakes. These processors are putting a big dent into this large population and are taking a fish that is unwanted in our waterways and putting them to use by processing them into food to ship overseas. In March, Two Rivers Fisheries in Wickliffe announced it was expanding. The plant doubled production in the past year, processing more than four million Asian carp to ship the fillets overseas and to use in fertilizers. click here to read the story 10:32

New Louisiana state sales tax law takes area’s commercial fishermen by surprise

The new schedule of items exempted from Louisiana sales taxes – and those which are not – includes loss of protection for people who buy antique airplanes and have other esoteric interests. But it also suspends, for now, the exemption on paying sales tax for commercial fishermen, on items like nets and other equipment essential to their trade. “Oh my God,” was the reaction offered by Trudy Luke of Houma, whose family buys crabs and seafood, and harvests the products as well.,, “Jay Morris doesn’t even know anything about the seafood industry nor does he care about Louisiana to do what he did,” said Kimberly Chauvin of the David Chauvin Seafood Company in Dulac, whose family also operates fishing vessels. “In my opinion, it’s time to let him know that we exist. I’m going to get all of his contact information. Then we need to flood his offices with emails and phone calls … We are one of the only industries that deal with the flood of imports year after year.” Click here to read the story 11:24

Trump supporters, protesters face off in noisy rival rallies at R.I. State House

Dueling rallies brought at least a thousand people to the Rhode Island State House grounds on Saturday to hail — or denounce — the presidency of Donald Trump, with Trump supporters chanting, “Build the wall, build the wall,” ,,,The pro-Trump rally in Providence was timed to coincide with similar rallies across the country led by Trump backers who felt compelled to publicly show that “real Americans” support the new president, despite the many controversies swirling around him. The Rhode Island event drew commercial fishermen from surrounding states — such as Gary Yearman of New London, Connecticut, and Dan Malone, of Stonington, Connecticut — who are pinning their hopes on Trump to ease regulations in their industry. “We’re here to try to gain some momentum, to possibility get a meeting with Mr. Trump or somebody that can take notice of the commercial fishing industry before they go out of business,” said Yearman, who estimated that 30 or 40 people, in his industry, from outside Rhode Island came to the rally. Read the story here 23:34

No sanctuary for fishermen

Sanctuaries are designated areas intended to provide a safe haven and protection. But for the watermen of the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding tributaries, the word “sanctuary” is more often associated with anguish. So when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries initiated the designation process for Mallows Bay – Potomac River on October 7 of 2015, the watermen of the Potomac River began to grow wary of their future. On February 1, an assorted group of commercial fishermen from all across the Northern Neck of Virginia met with Maryland commercial fishermen at Mundy Point at Pride of Virginia Seafood and Trucking, Inc. to form together as the newly named Potomac River Working Watermen Association (PRWWA). One month later, on March 2, they held their second meeting to discuss their plan of action in opposition of the Mallows Bay – Potomac River sanctuary proposal. continue reading the story here 14:35

Alaska fishing group flags concerns with income tax proposal

A trade group for Alaska commercial fishermen is flagging concerns with a state House proposal that would reinstitute a personal income tax. United Fishermen of Alaska says many fishermen will have “major difficulties” complying with withholding requirements on payments to fishing crew. Association leaders, in a letter to the House Finance Committee co-chairs, say withholding requirements would fall on skippers who don’t have the information they would need to estimate a crew member’s potential federal tax liability. The tax, as proposed, would be 15 percent of what a person owes the federal government in taxes. They raised other concerns, too. The association, which says it has not taken a position either way on the bill, suggested a fix that would treat fishermen the same as people who are self-employed. Link 16:15

Fish war on?

After the smallest Kenai River dipnet catch in eight years, there are hints that the little people of Alaska’s urban core might at last be arriving at the realization that they are the only ones who can protect their interest in Alaska salmon for dinner. A message populating on social media over the weekend was calling dipnetters to a “meeting at Cabela’s, Anchorage sunday evening from 6 to 7 concerning dipnetting and BOF. Pass it on.” BOF is the acronym for the Board of Fisheries for the state of Alaska. It is the entity that sets seasons and catch limits for commercial, sport and personal-use fisheries around the state. It will later this month take up the issue of management of Cook Inlet salmon, an always contentious matter in which the interests of average Alaskan  fishermen and women have historically proven secondary. To a large degree, fishery managers with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game say, this is simply unavoidable. Commercial fishermen working offshore in the Inlet get the first crack at returning salmon, and the commercial fishery is the big dog in the management scheme. Salmon managers use it to regulate the numbers of salmon getting into streams all around the region with the intent being to maximize the catch while still meeting spawning goals. Continue reading the article here 09:06

Nova Scotia’s deadliest industry slowly becomes safer

It is one of the most mundane tasks on a fishing boat: tying up the bumper balloons that prevent the vessel from crunching into the wharf when it docks. But for fisherman Mitch MacDonald it proved life-altering. For 10 years he fastened them with little problem. That is until last May, when his boat pitched unexpectedly and a balloon fell overboard, the rope sawing through his left index finger.  “It pretty much burnt right through my finger and took the end of my finger off overboard,” he said. MacDonald has not regained the full use of his hand. The injury cost him thousands of dollars in lost income as he had trouble holding onto things and couldn’t work the rest of the fishing season. He is not alone. In 2016 there were 224 injuries on fishing boats, according to the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, but good news is the numbers are declining. Six years ago 351 injuries were reported. Read the story here 08:37

Baltimore Canyon “urban sanctuary” off OC worries fishermen

Capt. Monty Hawkins of Morning Star Fishing in Ocean City said the protection of one small patch of ocean does nothing to protect the ocean environment as a whole. “We have to do a whole lot better than what we are doing,” Hawkins said. “But taking the Baltimore Canyon and protecting the area directly around it is incredibly distressing, these are areas filled with recreational fishermen and commercial fishermen.” While the designation is said to not impact recreational fishing, the unique designation has worried local politicians and fishermen alike, who believe that the sanctuary status could impact the local economy; whether by curbing recreational and tournament fishing or impacting commercial vessels. In Maryland, offshore commercial fishing brings in around $78.2 million annually, or roughly 35 percent of the average annual catch for the Mid-Atlantic Coastline, according to the National Aquarium’s proposal to the NOAA. Read the story here 16:22

Transportation Safety Board wants life-vests mandatory for commercial fishermen

The federal government should look at the success of seatbelt laws when it considers a recommendation that would require commercial fishermen to wear a life-jacket at all times while on deck, the head of the Transportation Safety Board says. The recommendation to make life-jackets mandatory was part of a report released Wednesday into the deadly capsizing of a 30-metre fishing trawler last year off the west coast of Vancouver Island. “There was a time when it was OK to drive a car and not wear a seatbelt,” Kathy Fox said following a news conference in suburban Vancouver. Three men died and one survived when the Caledonian turned over and sank shortly after it loaded what was to be its final haul of hake on Sept. 5, 2015. The person who survived was also the only one wearing a personal flotation device. Read the story here 12:15

Editorial: Fish and Wildlife must continue gillnetting on the Columbia

gillnetter, youngs bayIt was good to see at last week’s Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Salem that Lower Columbia River commercial fishermen still have a fire in the belly to preserve their way of life. Jobs that produce original economic value are increasingly precious things in rural America. Salmon have been a source of family income in places like Astoria, Warrenton and Ilwaco, Wash., for generations. Fishermen have invested lifetimes and life savings in the boats, gear, permits and expertise needed to carefully tend gillnets, which have been fine-tuned for more than a century to catch their intended targets while preserving naturally spawning salmon and other nontargeted species. Read the Op-ed here 14:24

The Quiet Fishing Town Near Austin That Seems Frozen In Time

Most Americans are very disconnected from the source of the food they eat. In Austin, we enjoy beef from cattle ranches and seafood from commercial fishermen that we never come into contact with. Fulton, Texas is a little fishing village about 188 miles directly south of Austin. Visitors to this pretty place can see fishing firsthand, and even do a little of their own. View this nice little photo article here 09:17

On the Columbia River Commercial fishermen are endangered

EP-160829929.jpg&MaxW=600It seems a bit odd that some of our neighbors should have to reintroduce themselves. But many new residents in our community don’t seem to know who they are. They are your fishermen. The vast majority of citizens are not recreational or commercial fishermen. We live on one of the world’s great rivers — once known as the world’s greatest salmon stream. Astoria also was once known as the salmon-canning capital of the world. But development of the Columbia River basin, and the era of hydroelectric dam building, eliminated all but around 40 percent of the Columbia’s existing salmon habitat. Our once great abundance of salmon is no longer what it was. But it’s not gone. Not by a long shot. Last year, the largest run of Chinook salmon since 1938 returned to the Columbia. This is still the greatest producer of Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, in the world. And if you like to eat salmon (I know I do), someone has to catch it for you. For most of us, that means we depend on commercial fishermen. Read the story here 09:49

I dream of a federal government that doesn’t overreach

Big-Government-Jefferson-QuoteMost people associate Cape Canaveral with NASA and the Kennedy Space Center, but many licensed commercial fishermen and crabbers in Merritt Island rely on the waters of Florida’s “Space Coast” to earn a living and to support their way of life. Our friendly federal government has decided to threaten that way of life, for reasons that leave much to be desired. A trip down memory lane to the “Space Age” provides background for this ongoing story of government overreach. In 1961, NASA announced its plan to acquire Florida land for the “Space Race” with the Soviet Union, and NASA received a great deal of submerged land in the Space Coast area from the state, including a well-known fishing spot known as “Mosquito Lagoon.” The took charge, and the government then created Merritt Island National Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore. At that time, the federal government respected the right to earn a living and it did not interfere with those making a living fishing the waters in those parks. Not so anymore, of course. Read the rest here 09:11

Nigel Farage to lead 60-boat armada up Thames in call for Brexit

Nigel-Farage-676588The Ukip leader revealed he will lead the fleet on a “small trawler” with Eurosceptic fishermen in protest against EU fishing quotas. Mr Farage told LBC Radio: “On June 15 I will be boarding a small trawler in Southend-on-Sea at 5am, so not much point going to bed really, and we will catch the flood tide, and there will be 60 boats in a flotilla coming up the Thames and we will arrive outside the Palace of Westminster at midday. “It will be big, visual and dramatic, and the demand will be clear – we want our waters back. “It’ll be commercial fishermen from all over, mostly from the east coast of England but some coming from further afield and if other political figures have got the stomach for it then they are very welcome to come and join me. Read the rest here 13:50

N.C Division of Marine Fisheries plans survey of commercial fishermen

NCDMF_trnsprntCommercial fishermen who fish in the Atlantic Ocean off of North Carolina may receive a questionnaire in the mail or by phone call in the coming weeks and months for an N.C Division of Marine Fisheries survey. The division plans to contact approximately 300 fishermen between now and August and ask them information about their fishing activity, perceptions, fishing expenses and demographics. The information gathered in the survey will be used to improve the state’s estimates of the economic impacts of commercial fishing and the effects of fishing regulations. It will also assist managers in making informed decisions on fisheries topics. Read the rest here  17:11

Safety Training for Commercial Fishermen in Montauk – 4/27/2016

Fishing-Partnership-e1399664524456.htmCommercial fishermen can take advantage of free safety training programs that will be offered next week at the Montauk Coast Guard Station. , a Massachusetts organization that supports the health and well-being of fishing families, will present a safety and survival training program on Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Coast Guard station on Star Island Road. On-board firefighting, man-overboard procedures, flooding and pump operations, flares and emergency positioning devices, survival suits, life raft equipment, helicopter hoist and rescue procedures, and first aid will be covered during the program. Read the rest here 16:22

New state sales tax law takes Louisiana commercial fishermen by surprise

5703bda68278a.imageThe new schedule of items exempted from Louisiana sales taxes – and those which are not – includes loss of protection for people who buy antique airplanes and have other esoteric interests. But it also suspends, for now, the exemption on paying sales tax for commercial fishermen, on items like nets and other equipment essential to their trade. “Oh my God,” was the reaction offered by Trudy Luke of Houma, whose family buys crabs and seafood, and harvests the products as well. The same law that imposes the sales tax on commercial fishermen exempts racehorses and a slew of farm equipment and supplies, including fertilizer and seeds. Crawfish and catfish farms also retain their sales tax exemption on feed and supplies. Read the rest here 08:14

Price, and not crab, on the table: Buyers, commercial fishermen discussing rates

dungenesscrabCrab pots were set off the coast of Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay Friday and will be offered to buyers seeking to determine how much meat the crustaceans will yield, said Jim Anderson, a crabber and member of the state’s Dungeness Crab Task Force. With forecasts predicting poor ocean conditions for this weekend’s kickoff to an abnormally short season, Anderson said the annual process of determining how meaty the crab are isn’t expected to set fishermen back too far. “On Monday they’ll have an understanding of what the crab looks like and then set the price. Then sometime shortly thereafter we’ll go fishing,” Anderson said. “We always do this to give them some kind of idea of what the value of the crab is. We waited this long, we surely don’t want to go harvest bad crab for the consumer.” Read the article here 08:45

Pillar Point Harbor bustles as crabbing opens: Commercial fishermen preparing for short Dungeness season

smdj_article_1776425160448_2Months behind schedule after California’s annual nearly $90 million Dungeness crabbing industry was shuttered this year, commercial fishermen are anxiously preparing for the season to open this weekend after state officials announced the delectable crustaceans are finally safe to eat. Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay is again a flurry of action with captains and their crews gearing up to reel in the year’s first commercially-caught crab as early as Saturday morning. Porter McHenry, captain of the Merva W and president of the Half Moon Bay Seafood Marketing Association, said he’s eager to put his crew to work and locals are rushing to get ready after being given just a week’s notice. Read the rest here 08:41

Camp Lejeune officials and fishermen exchange concerns about fishing risks

Officials from FISHING-MEETING-IN-SNEADS-FERRY-pic-jpgCamp Lejeune met with dozens of commercial fishermen at the Sneads Ferry Community Center Wednesday evening to discuss and exchange concerns about possible risks in a part of the New River. At issue is a 2012 to 2014 study that turned up more than 7,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance and debris from the waters alongside Camp Lejeune’s K-2 range. For now, the base says it will put up signs warning against activities that would disturb the bottom of the river–activities like clam raking, crabbing, and anchoring. Read the article here 11:02

Sportsmen, commercial fishermen disagree over Columbia River reforms

Three years ago, Washington and Oregon adopted the most sweeping reforms of lower Columbia River sport and commercial fishing policies since the 1930s. Saturday, in Vancouver, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission was told: By sportsmen, that the reforms are working and eventually the Columbia can be a world-class fishery rivaling Alaska. By gillnetters, that the reforms have serious flaws, promises made to the commercial fishing industry are not being met, and revisions are needed. Read the article here 21:18

Kasich understands plight of commercial fishermen – Stephen Joyce

I’d like to thank John Kasich for taking the time to meet with commercial and recreational small business owners at Yankee Coop in Seabrook , N.H. It was interesting listening to John ask questions in order to ascertain where the problems lie. There was a point where John readily understood the problem, it isn’t lack of fish, weather or climate change. It is Washington politics and the fact that no one at NOAA or the NMFS can be held accountable for the damages they have caused what is left of the N.H. fishing fleet. Read the rest here 19:47

Ocean City Inlet threatened by continual influx of sand, sediment

Though it’s been getting progressively worse — especially after Hurricane Sandy — local officials, first gathered by Del. Mary Beth Carozza at a meeting at the Marlin Club this past spring, are working towards a solution for shoaling at the Ocean City Inlet. The Inlet serves both commercial and recreational boating interests, but it was the departure of a commercial fishing fleet helmed by Joe Letts from Ocean City waters in favor of New Jersey earlier this year, due to ease of access, that led to the issue’s prominence. Read the article here 09:29