Tag Archives: commercial fishermen

In Lobster Town U.S.A., When the industry suffers, the pain ripples.

Blaine Olsen, a lifelong lobsterman, was navigating his 30-foot boat off the coast of Stonington, Maine, when his sternman, who’s also his wife, yelled above the diesel engine’s din about the pittance the local cooperative was paying harvesters. He shot Ginny a doleful stare for a good five seconds. “Holy sh-t, man,” he said. “It costs us $600 a day to go out.” The dock price, $2.25 a pound for soft-shell lobsters, was half what it was a year ago, making it virtually impossible to earn a profit. The novel coronavirus has barely touched the public health of this corner of rural down east Maine, with Hancock County reporting just 16 cases and one death as of June 30. Its economic health is another matter,,, >click to read< 10:50

Fishermen stuck in the Falklands arrested after a fight at Dino’s Bar, will not derail rescue mission

Honoring a legacy: Commemorative tote honors Maine fishermen who died at sea

When Hayley Brown’s father Captain Joe Nickerson died at sea, she said she was in shock. And while the pain of losing her father is still with her, she’s getting creative to honor his legacy and support the causes he was truly passionate about. Nickerson and his crewmate Chris Pinkham were fishing aboard the boat named after Hayley, the Hayley Ann, off the coast of Portland when it capsized in January., Nickerson was the chairman of the Maine Coast Fisherman’s Association (MCFA), so Hayley teamed up with them and Sea Bags to create totes in memory of her father. All proceeds from the sale of the bags will support MCFA in advocating for Maine’s fishing communities and the next generation of fishermen in Maine. On Father’s Day, the MCFA introduced the totes. >Video, click to read< 18:21

Substance Abuse and Safety: Coast Guard Identifies Concerning Trend in Maritime Law Violations in Alaska

U.S. Coast Guard investigators and inspectors have identified a concerning trend throughout the state of Alaska, ranging from illegal drug use to unserviceable life saving equipment. Investigators at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage have observed an increase in the number of positive drug tests for non-credentialed mariners throughout the Arctic and Western Alaska., Another concerning trend observed by inspectors with the Coast Guard Marine Safety Task Force relates to unserviceable or missing life-saving equipment aboard commercial fishing vessels. From June 8 through 22, members of the task force removed 119 immersion suits during commercial fishing vessel exams in the King Salmon area because they were not in serviceable condition. >click to read< 19:44

Transportation Safety Board says ‘countless’ reports show fishermen need to wear PFDs, use EPIRB emergency beacons

Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigator Chris Morrow said it has concluded many times that fishermen need to wear personal flotation devices (PFDs) and they have to have emergency beacons on board. He said the investigation into the capsizing of the Ocean Star II lobster  boat found those to be consistent issues. An emergency beacon, known as an electronic position indicating radio beacon or EPIRB, might not have helped the crew aboard the Ocean Star II, but Morrow said they were in the water a long time without PFDs.,, On May 5, 2018, > Richard Moreau and Liz O’Connell <drowned after their small crabbing boat capsized near Port Medway, N.S.  >click to read< 14:40

Lucky 13, and the Latest Fishfinding Tech

Delivered from its Danish builder to owners in Orkney, Aalskere is the third trawler for Iain Harcus with the same name and number – keeping to the Orkney preference for a registration number that adds up to 13., Iain Harcus has fished for 20 years with the 33.90 metre Aalskere that was acquired in 2000, built as Vandal, photo’s,  >click to read< Aalskere’s wheelhouse has an uncluttered layout a single E Vejvad Hansen skipper’s chair at the centre    of Aalskere’s wheelhouse, facing a bank of 55-inch 4K monitors, supplemented by an overhead row of seven Neovo X24 monitors, plus six 19-inch screens at the aft wheelhouse trawl console. There are ten monitors altogether integrated into the Woodsons Quad view system, controlled using a trackball with a cursor that moves seamlessly from one screen to the next. Photo’s, >click to read< 15:46

Coronavirus: LI fishermen concerned about restart of onboard monitoring program

Some fishermen in Montauk this week said they plan to refuse to allow the federally mandated observers and monitors to board their boats, given the resurgence of COVID-19 around the country and the uncertainty around potential infection from observers, some of whom are housed in Hampton Bays, once considered a Long Island hot spot for the virus. The federal agency ordering the resumption of monitoring said it has enacted a series of safety protocols to protect fishermen and observers, including requiring that observers quarantine for 14 days before the start of a fishing trip. >click to read< 17:14

Displacement of fishermen? Offshore Wind Could Have Major Adverse Impact on Commercial Fisheries

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) draft supplemental environmental review for Vineyard Wind off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts indicates that offshore wind farms could have a major “adverse” impact on commercial fisheries.,, The study also notes concern that offshore wind turbines and transmission cables could entangle with fishing vessels and gear, and that wind farms could result in the temporary or permanent displacement of fishermen in certain areas.  >click to read< 13:02

N E looks to Europe to assess environmental impacts of offshore energy facilities – “In the next 20 years there will be more than 2,000 wind turbines off the coastline,” “We think there’s lots of potential for environmental benefit of putting offshore aquaculture together with offshore renewable — from an environmental point of view, but also from an economic point of view,” she said. “Sharing space is going to be the only way I think we can move forward in this industry,,, >click to read<

Coronavirus is making it difficult for Whatcom’s commercial fishing fleet this season

A new report from the Regional Economic Partnership at the Port of Bellingham indicates the local fishing fleet is dealing with a host of hurdles this summer, particularly for fishing boat captains who want to go to Alaska. Crew safety is proving to be particularly tough to figure out, as shown by the three American Seafoods fishing boats that had more than 100 crew members test positive for the virus after docking at Bellingham Cold Storage in late May and early June. The report surveyed 69 businesses tied to the industry, including 59 commercial fishing boats. >click to read< 09:11

Fresh fish market proposed for Oceanside harbor to sell Seafood direct to consumers!

A group of local commercial fishermen hopes to create a weekly market at the Oceanside harbor where they could sell their catch directly to consumers. The idea sprang up as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, which closed sit-down restaurants everywhere. That greatly reduced the fishermen’s sales and left them looking for new outlets. Some of them decided to cut out the middleman and try selling their products to people at the harbor.,, Among the issues to be decided is whether the market will be overseen by a board of directors, elected by the fishermen, that would establish rules and guidelines for the venture,,, >click to read< 10:41

Copper River fishermen gain another harvest

Commercial harvesters keen on those Copper River salmon got a fifth shot at those prized Chinooks and reds on Thursday, June 18, in a 12-hour opener announced by Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials in Cordova. Waters within the expanded Chinook salmon inside closure area were closed for the period. It has been, in no uncertain terms a real slow start, with several of those openers already cancelled because of a very slow run. Through Tuesday, June 16, a total of 1,665 deliveries to processors from four 12-hour openers in the Copper River had brought in some 5,751 kings, 71,370 sockeyes and 1,056 chums, a total of 78,177 fish. >click to read< 16:01

Lower prices, reduced markets ‘doesn’t make for good math’ – P.E.I. fishermen ask for four day season extension

The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) has asked for a four-day extension to the spring lobster season. The PEIFA made the request to the federal fisheries minister and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on June 16 to help offset the delayed start to the season. The season started two weeks late because of coronavirus and concerns over the safety of crews on boats, and questions over the demand and markets for lobster. According to the P.E.I. Lobster Marketing Board, about 200 fishermen have been dealing with quotas for most of the season, and prices are down substantially this year — most fishermen have been getting between $3.50 and $4.50 a pound for their catch.  >click to read< 21:57

“Things could’ve been way worse”: Spring lobster season nears end amid coronavirus, “Things are stabilizing”

The Maritime Fishermen’s Union predicted a gloomy forecast for the spring season with the pandemic’s safety concerns, crushed markets and reduced processing capacity. But fishermen are taking it “day-by-day,” says the union’s executive director. “Things could’ve been way worse,” says Martin Mallet. “At least our fishermen have had a chance to go out and catch part of their catch.” Restaurants reopening is also helping market demand increase. >click to read< 08:49

Here’s how to get a piece of $62.5 million in fish processors’ Coronavirus aid

It’s been two months since the federal government rolled out a $62.5-million aid package to support seafood processors affected by Coronavirus, and a $469 million program to aid fish harvesters. So far no one has seen a cent of funding from either package. Today, June 16, seafood processing companies are a little closer. Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, announced details of how the $62.5 million from the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF) will be divvied up across Canada, and how to apply. Of the $62.5 million, Atlantic Canada gets the lions’ share — $38.1 million.  Seafood processors in Quebec and Western Canada will also get a share of CSSF. >click to read< 14:48

With demands for an investigation, Skipper describes how local boats are pushed out of fishing grounds

James Anderson said the 27 metre long German-registered fishing boat Pesorsa Dos could have caused serious damage to the Alison Kay had she been successful in her alleged attempts of running a line through the Alison Kay’s propeller during an incident off the west coast of Shetland last week. Video footage of the confrontation was widely shared by fishermen on social media and picked up by a number of news organisations. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has been informed. Politicians and fishermen’s organisations have called for an investigation to be conducted. >click to read< 08:12

Belize Fishermen hold meeting over proposed lobster prices

As we reported last week, the fishermen are dissatisfied that there is a significant decrease in the price of lobster. This weekend fishermen from northern Belize met in Caye Caulker,,, “We know that the prices are very low and I could guarantee that the Government of Belize is not aware of this. This is just an advantage that the cooperatives are taking from all fishermen to bring down the prices but I think it’s time that the fishermen come united and send a message not only to the management of the cooperative or to the government. I want them to understand that we are not the stepson we are sons of this nation we are the second industry that every year we give the government more than $20 million to the government and I think it’s time that the government puts it’s hand inside this cooperative because there are many dirty things happening inside the cooperative >cick to read< 13:12

Long Island Coronavirus Hangover: Fishermen’s business remains in the doldrums even as restaurants reopen

While many local fishermen sell to local retailers, a steady local business even through the pandemic, the lion’s share of local fish go to companies that distribute to restaurants throughout the region and across the country. Three months of lockdowns over the coronavirus has backed up the market for the products, leaving warehouses for local frozen fish such as squid fully stocked, while drastically reducing demand for local clams and oysters..,, The summer  is normally a prime time for fishing trawlers that harvest squid, said Greenport commercial fisherman Mark Phillips, but the market has been backed up by months of shutdowns and a closure of some export markets, including to China. Phillips said he was hopeful the start of restaurant reopening increases demand for squid, his primary fishery right now. >click to read< 07:47

Fishermen’s Superstition’s: No bananas! No Whistling! But above all, it’s bad luck to be superstitious!

Luke Whittaker set out to learn whether there are superstitions that live on among local fishermen. Here’s what he heard. Jerry Matzen III, commercial fishermen “Hang your coffee cup mouth towards the stern so you don’t sink. And no whistling in the wheelhouse or cabin — otherwise you’ll whistle up a storm, like we are having today. I learned the coffee cup one from Kerry Suomela Sr. when I worked on the F/V Southern Cross and it always stuck with me.” Tim Teall, commercial fishermen “Well, to begin with, you never want to paint your boat green because it’ll beach itself in a storm. Never set a coffee cup or a bucket on the boat upside down — the boat will roll over! Don’t whistle in the wheelhouse, because it’ll make it get windy out. But above all, it’s bad luck to be superstitious!” >9 photos, click to read<10:41

Crew of Alaska bound factory fishing trawler worries after company rejects more Coronavirus screening

American Seafoods will forgo additional COVID-19 screening of the Ocean Rover factory trawler, a move that has some crew worried and wanting more assurances the disease has not found its way onto the Alaska-bound vessel. American Seafoods has been buffeted in the past two weeks by test results from crews of three other vessels unloading frozen fish in Bellingham. Testing positive: 94 crew on the American Dynasty, four on the American Triumph and 21 on the Northern Jaeger, findings that rattled the North Pacific seafood industry, which is struggling to keep the virus off boats and shore-based plants as the busy summer harvest season approaches. >click to read< 18:48

Fishermen post shocking video footage of ‘intolerable’ behaviour

Fishermen have described the conduct of Spanish gill-netters to the northwest of Shetland as “intolerable” after video footage was posted on social media showing a Spanish gill-netter allegedly attempting to run a rope through the propeller of a local whitefish trawler. This latest video evidence takes the ongoing skirmishes over access to fishing grounds to a new level and highlights why the local fishing industry is so keen to leave the European Union, and with it the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The battle between Spanish gill-netters and local trawler men has been ongoing for a long time with most local whitefish boats reporting over the years that they have been at the receiving end of attempts to drive them out of their traditional fishing grounds. >Video, click to read< 14:46

Golden and Graves introduce bi-partisan legislation to make disaster relief funds available to fishermen

In a bipartisan effort, Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) and Rep. Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) on Thursday introduced legislation to make additional disaster relief available to thousands of fishermen whose businesses are harmed by a pandemic. The legislation would amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act to allow fisheries disasters to be declared due to pandemic, such as Coronavirus. My bipartisan bill with Congressman Graves would make pandemics an allowable reason to declare a fisheries disaster, opening up a process to direct federal relief funds to affected fishing communities. >click to read< 11:55

Offshore wind to have major ‘adverse’ effects

Offshore wind farms could have a major “adverse” impact on commercial fisheries, according to a long-awaited analysis from the Interior Department released yesterday. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s draft supplemental environmental review for Vineyard Wind, the first anticipated large-scale wind project in the United States, arrives nearly a year after a final decision on the project was expected. BOEM delayed a final environmental analysis at the eleventh hour last summer and announced the launch of the supplemental review, arguing that the rapid expansion of offshore wind proposals and coastal state wind procurement policies necessitated a broader examination of wind’s foreseeable impacts >click to read< 14:37

RODA Receives NMFS Grant to Convene State of the Science Symposium on Fishing and Offshore Wind Interactions – The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) has received a $150,000 grant from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to aggregate existing knowledge, then convene a first-of-its-kind symposium on the current science regarding fisheries and offshore wind interactions. The project, “Understanding the State of the Science,” will advance agency, fishing industry, offshore wind energy developer, and public understanding of existing research on interactions between the two industries. >click to read<

City Officials Announce Financial Relief Plan For Crabbers Impacted By Pier 45 Fire

Mayor Breed, the San Francisco Port Commission and Supervisor Aaron Peskin said they hope the financial assistance will ensure that a crab season happens this year. Some have called it the biggest disaster the San Francisco fishing fleet has ever experienced. More than 30 crabbers lost 8,000 crab, shrimp, and black cod traps pots during the four-alarm fire that ravaged Pier 45 on the morning of May 23. Shed C, which housed the vast majority of the crabbing community’s pots, was engulfed in flames and completely destroyed. The fire essentially brought the local crab fishing industry to a halt. >click to read< 19:29

Mass Senators want an additional $500 Million in CARES Act Coronavirus Fisheries Assistance Funds

In their June 5 letter, the senators said $28 million in fisheries assistance already allocated to Massachusetts should be supplemented as the pandemic continues to affect demand through the summer month’s peak harvests. “Compared to the previous five-year average, in March and April of this year, Massachusetts bivalve shellfish landings lost 60 percent of their value, lobster landings lost 40 percent of their value, recreational head boats have been completely shut down, and seafood processors have lost their usual restaurant market,” the letter stated. >click to read< 11:25

Alaska’s Coronavirus plans for fishing communities are now being put to the test

In a normal fishing season, Dan Martin would fly straight from the Pacific Northwest to the Aleutian Islands, where his pollock trawler, the Commodore, would be waiting for him to take the wheel. But this year, the veteran skipper is stepping onboard in Seattle, where he, four crew and two federal fisheries observers are taking COVID-19 tests and hoisting a quarantine flag. Then they’ll squeeze onto the vessel for a week-long voyage to Alaska’s biggest fishing port, Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. “We might have to eat in shifts,” Martin quipped. “Because I don’t know that we can fit that many people at our galley table.” >click to read< 09:41

Good Karma! Catching two coloured lobsters, one blue and one calico, comes days after child saved from drowning

A fisherman for 42 years, Gary Robichaud was out fishing lobster with his three sons, Alex, Zachary and Sylvain, when they found a blue lobster in a trap. After celebrating that catch, taking pictures and posing with the bright blue lobster they were even more surprised when 15 minutes later another rare coloured crustacean was found trapped inside another trap. The market sized lobster was calico coloured, another rare catch for the fisherman. Asked if this had ever happened before, Robichaud said no. “It’s never happened to me,” he said of catching two rare coloured lobsters on the same day. But Robichaud said he will take it all as signs of the good luck he’s been experiencing including how things fell into place during the rescue of a 10-year-old boy May 29. >click to read< 20:00

Bad lobster season affects everyone in Cape Breton

At this time of year, the local fishing wharfs are feeling the effect of the coronavirus on their bottom line. Lobster fishers are facing the reality of an overseas market that has dried up causing prices to plummet to an all-time low.,, When lobster fishermen have a bad year, everyone suffers. Car dealerships can’t count on the fishermen up-dating their trucks at the end of the season. Those new trucks will remain on the lot. The local fishermen are a generous group who give readily to local causes. You can’t give what you don’t have. A bad season affects us all. What can we do to help out? Start by eating more lobster. When lobster is cheaper than ground beef, now is the time to get a good feed. Treat yourself to lobster every week until the season is over. Order a few extra dozen and freeze for the Christmas season. By Yvonne Kennedy, >click to read< 16:08

Cape Breton lobster fishermen struggle – ‘This is the first year I had to tell my fishermen I couldn’t move their product,’

There is a lack of demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the price for lobster has dropped to $4.25 a pound. In some areas, buyers are restricting the amount they purchase from fishermen. Marlene Brogan, the manager of Ballast Grounds Fisheries, a lobster buyer in North Sydney, said they’ve had to tell fishermen they can’t buy their catch some days. “We’ve been in business 21 years and this is the first year I had to tell my fishermen I couldn’t move their product,” said Brogan. She said there have been many days the fishermen at their wharf haven’t gone out to fish. >click to read< 14:19

‘Nothing is normal’: LFA 34 & 33 lobster fishery draws to a close in southwest N.S.

The commercial lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia and along the south shore, draws to a close May 31. Crews are bringing gear back ashore at the conclusion of a season that saw a promising start with catches and the price paid to fishermen, but then hit rough waters due to the coronavirus pandemic. “You wouldn’t believe the amount of people that are already hauled up. Some five days early or more,” said Yarmouth County fishing captain Shawn Muise, following a day of fishing on his vessel, Force Awakens, on May 29. “Nothing is normal.” “The season was going so well at the start. Finally the prices were reflecting the market. But when COVID started, and as the price started to drop, you could see it in the fishermen’s faces,” Lots of photos,  >click to read< 07:29

Alaska: Commercial fishermen struggle in coronavirus pandemic

“We tied the boat up, hoping and waiting for things to stabilize a little bit,” said Jim Hubbard, who has been commercial fishing for nearly 50 years. Hubbard’s vessel, Kruzof, has been docked for two months during the coronavirus pandemic. With many restaurants shut down or operating at a limited capacity, it wasn’t worth it to fish. “We learned that about 80% of our seafood goes to the restaurant trade and the species we target, more the commodity-based fish species. It’s really basically gutted our markets,” Hubbard said. “We’re not making money, tourist people aren’t making money, the restaurants aren’t making money, and it just keeps going down,” said Cory Harris. Harris owns the F/V Tribute and just returned to Seward from a recent fishing venture. He wants to make whatever money he can even if the prices aren’t great. >click to read< 11:05