Tag Archives: commercial fishing industry

An East Coast Perspective on Coronavirus Impacts

This was initially to be about how the New Jersey commercial fishing industry was coping with the coronavirus crisis. However, there is a seemingly infinite number of websites running commentaries on the national and/or international aspects of the ongoing pandemic in general and, surprisingly, as it specifically applies to and as it affects commercial fishing and the seafood industry. Considering this, sharing more than an overview of what the New Jersey industry, or at least that part of it that I have been in touch with, would probably not have much of an impact. But happily, at this point it seems that U.S. consumers aren’t really as averse to preparing quality seafood at home (when it isn’t available or is only limitedly available elsewhere) as most of us have believed. >click to read< By Nils Stolpe 12:05

Trump to to discuss commercial fishing while in Maine

President Donald Trump will hold a roundtable discussion with parties involved in the commercial fishing industry during his visit to Maine on Friday, according to a White House official. The president is slated to come to the Pine Tree State to visit the Puritan Medical Products facility in Guilford, which manufactures medical swabs used in coronavirus testing. The president is expected to discuss regulations and how to expand economic opportunities for the commercial fishing industry, according to the official. >click to read< 18:12

For troubled Outer Banks commercial fishing industry, Coronavirus is one more blow. Louisiana, too.

At the state and federal level, increasing regulatory requirements and catch quotas, fueled in part by aggressive lobbying of elected officials by the well-funded recreational fishing industry, have caused even more commercial fishermen to leave the industry. And now COVID-19 strikes another blow to the solar plexus of an industry that, no pun intended, can barely keep its collective heads above water. And interviews with two local operations — of distinctly different sizes — help shed light on how the COVID crisis has affected the Outer Banks’ commercial fisheries. Mark Vrablic of the Willie R Etheridge Seafood Company, one of the last remaining large-scale seafood distributors in Wanchese, minced no words when he described the losses created by the worldwide pandemic.  >click to read< 19:15

Shrimp industry in Louisiana hit hard by Coronavirus pandemic – Shrimp processors are shut down and the baskets that are usually filled are empty. Brown shrimp season started on Monday, and so far it hasn’t been good. “Absolutely terrible, last year I had 42 boats going out during brown shrimp season, this year I only have 9 boats,” said Craig Napoli, C&A Seafood. >click to read<

Mobile Coronavirus testing site now available for New Bedford’s commercial fishing industry

The Port of New Bedford has partnered with Southcoast Health to provide COVID-19 testing for the city’s commercial fishing industry. Beginning Friday, the Southcoast Mobile Health Van was on-site testing fishermen slated to leave port after their results would be made available. The mobile testing site, located along the port’s waterfront, is a trial run to see if there is an increased need for fishermen to be tested. The pilot will also help New Bedford and Southcoast Health prepare for expanded testing capabilities, including for targeted essential workers. >click to read< 08:09

Coronavirus: Commercial fishing industry on the ropes as pandemic-era shoppers avoid seafood

Fisherman Marty Scanlon has not returned to his Long Island home since leaving for North Carolina at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in New York. Scanlon, a longliner captain from Hauppauge left for North Carolina in early March — roughly the same time the first case of Covid-19 emerged in Manhattan. In the weeks that followed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered most businesses to close, effective March 22, casting a pall over New York City restaurants in a once-bustling culinary capital. Business for Scanlon has been brutal ever since.  “We basically don’t have the money to go home,” Scanlon said, over the phone. “We can’t go home til we pay our bills.” >click to read< 08:32

Coronavirus devastating commercial fishing industry

Lifelong commercial fisherman Mark Weaver had anticipated a bumper season for his family-run commercial fishery before the COVID-19 pandemic left the industry almost dead in the water. Now, he and the rest of Ontario’s commercial fishing industry are facing a bleak future that could leave them struggling just to survive. “I don’t know how we’re going to pay the bills,” Weaver said. While Lake Erie would normally be dotted with commercial fishing vessels at this time of year, their boats aren’t leaving the docks in Port Stanley, Wheatley and other Southwestern Ontario ports this spring since there’s nowhere to sell their catch. “It’s a total supply chain challenge and crisis that we’re in,” said Jane Graham, executive director of the Ontario Commercial Fisheries’ Association. April has been one of the “most productive fishing months of the year,” Graham said. And it looked like this April would have been just as productive, Weaver said. >click to read< 22:01

New Zealand rock lobster industry back in action with exports to China

The New Zealand lobster industry was among the first and hardest hit by Covid-19, with the export of live lobsters from New Zealand stopping in late January when China closed its restaurants and freight to the country was restricted. However, Te Anau-based Fiordland Lobster Company, which exports about 40 percent of New Zealand lobster to China, has started up again this week and its product will begin arriving in Shanghai this weekend. Lobster Exporters of New Zealand chairman Andrew Harvey confirmed lobster exports into China had resumed after “stopping dead” in late January. >click to read< 10:21

Commercial fishing industry in free fall as restaurants close, consumers hunker down and vessels tie up

The novel coronavirus pandemic has destroyed demand for seafood across a complicated U.S. supply chain, from luxury items such as lobster and crab, generally consumed at restaurants, to grocery staples sourced from the world’s fish farms. Now, with restaurants closed, many of the nation’s fisheries — across geography, species, gear types and management — have reported sales slumps as high as 95 percent. Boats from Honolulu to Buzzards Bay, Mass., are tied up dockside, with fisheries in the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska affected, throwing thousands of fishermen out of work and devastating coastal communities. >click to read< 16:52

What happened to Pensacola’s commercial fishing industry?

This industry began when it became possible to put in use a series of key elements which together made such a traffic practical and profitable. The “elements” began, of course, with the fish themselves, some of which had been a part of the economic backbone of the community from the beginning. The open sea was home to the fish, and while some of the works had to be performed some distance from land, netting and icing all were practical for the proper vessels. >click to read< 13:08

Doherty: Pharmaceuticals are poisoning NJ’s water supply, putting families at risk. We must act now.

In response to reports demonstrating that the water supply is awash with pharmaceutical pollutants, Senator Michael Doherty (R-Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset) is renewing his call for action on legislation,,, The United States EPA, in a conjunction with Riverkeeper and Cornell University, have confirmed that the Hudson River is heavily-polluted by commonly-prescribed pharmaceuticals such as anti-depressants, blood pressure, and cholesterol medications.“If we don’t act now, generations of children could suffer from serious health problems, all because they drank contaminated water. Our commercial fishing industry could also collapse, delivering a huge blow to the economy. By refusing to address pharmaceutical pollution now, we are literally putting New Jersey’s future in jeopardy.” S-1653, would establish the “New Jersey Water Supply and Pharmaceutical Product Study Commission. >click to read<18:22

Please support our local commercial fishermen

If you don’t think commercial fishermen are an endangered species – think again. I have been very vocal over the years about my feelings on the commercial fishing industry being in jeopardy, and highlighting the importance of just what an integral part the industry plays in not only the economy, but the infrastructure as a whole, not only in our town and coastal towns across America. As someone with deep ties to our community and the fishing community in particular, I am in a unique position working as a mate on a commercial fishing vessel, and being a journalist. I see so much firsthand that I hope the general public will take into account when I write about it. So here I go again, with more food for thought on an issue that is near and dear to my heart. Thank you for reading, Shelley Wigglesworth >click to read<16:43

Blended Waters: Seeing is believing – Life teaches us…if we let it

Almost everyone who knows the commercial fishing industry and what’s really involved in it would likely confer with what I share with you in Blended Waters. Wives, or girlfriends who try to keep the bills paid when the ocean’s as rough as a cobb or when the nor’easter blows relentlessly for days on end know that the daily forecast can make or break you so, when you’re the primary income producer in a family and you fish, you fish hard. You fish like you mean it otherwise, cut the engine and leave your keys on the washboard. >click to read< by Marsha Brown14:38

Red tide hurting commercial fishing industry

The red tide has decimated the commercial fishing industry off the coast in southern Florida, bringing it to a halt for those who fish the surf. Rich Vidulich’s sanctuary has turned into a toxic, deserted wasteland, choking out life as he knows it. “It’s 100% deterrent. You don’t catch pompano in this,” he said. It’s a depressant. It really is. It famishes you mentally.” Catching pompano is his identity. Video, >click to read<12:05

Fish out of water: A fishermen’s-eye view of the commercial fishing industry

We’ve all heard the complaints about commercial fishing: It’s unsustainable, its practices are cruel, and it’s ecologically damaging. Online, we can see horrible images of shark finning or clubbing seals or slaughtering whales. It’s easy to believe that commercial fishing is bad. But is it?,,, That’s a lot of eyes scrutinizing fishermen’s every move, and every commercial fisherman has to operate knowing their every practice will be examined. Over the years, formerly common fishing practices have been banned, fishing grounds have gained protected status, and increased regulations have made commercial fishing more difficult and less viable. Most of us will never know the day-to-day grind of the industry, but one local fishing team offered their point of view of the job they love. >click to read<08:55

Top Tax Tips for those in the Commercial Fishing Industry

It’s never too late to educate yourself and catch up with the tax (and accounting) requirements in certain industries, such as commercial fishing. The following article discusses some general principles and tax tips for clients or prospects in the commercial fishing industry. Self-employed status: A fisherman is considered self-employed (and not an employee) and required to pay SE tax if he/she meets the following conditions: Receives a share of the catch or proceeds from the catch, The share depends on the amount of the catch, Receives a share from a boat with an operating crew of normally fewer than 10 individuals, Generally, does not receive money from work other than a share of catch or proceeds, continues, >click to read<16:59

Adapt or die

Alaska needs to find ways to encourage innovation in the commercial fishing industry to head off declines in a struggling, one-time mainstay of the state economy, the former director of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute on Social and Economic Research (ISER) is warning. Presenting at the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade in Seattle this week, economist Gunnar Knapp, an expert on Alaska fisheries, warned that aquaculture is continuing its takeover of global markets and appears destined to push its technological advantage into the future.,,, Knapp’s prognosis for ever-changing salmon markets is unlikely to sit well with 49th state commercial fishermen mired in the 20th Century, and his latest presentation is unlikely to win him any new fans in-state with his suggestion that Alaska needs to find better ways to harvest wild fish.>click to read<11:36

First U.S. Offshore Wind Developer Acts on Fishing Gear

U.S. offshore wind developer Deepwater Wind has adopted a first-of-its-kind procedure designed to prevent impacts to commercial fishing gear from its activities. Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm is America’s first offshore wind farm, and the company is currently in active development on utility-scale wind farms to serve Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. The procedure was developed in close coordination with the commercial fishing industry and is based off extensive feedback from fishermen in ports up and down the Atlantic coast. Deepwater Wind believes that keeping fishermen informed is the key to preventing damage to fishing gear. >click to read<18:19

20K-Pound Fresh Fish Catch Helps San Diego Maritime Industry

Thousands of pounds of fish were offloaded Thursday in Point Loma, an occurrence that happens a few times a month in San Diego but is part of an evolving maritime industry. The Port of San Diego is highlighting the commercial fishing industry for “Maritime Month.” Many of the fishermen who work in San Diego have been a part of the local fishing industry for generations and spend weeks at a time at sea. On Thursday, four of those fishermen aboard the boat “Anthony G” used forklifts to unload about 20-thousand pounds of swordfish, tuna, manchong and other fresh catches at Driscoll’s Wharf in Point Loma. Video, >click to read<16:47

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

SMAST meeting brings fishing, offshore wind in the same room

Offshore wind developers spent the majority of a 3-hour meeting Monday attempting to win over the local commercial fishing industry. For much of he meeting, the fishermen in attendance rolled their eyes, scoffed at various PowerPoint slides and even went as far as to say offshore wind is unwanted. “Nobody wanted this,” one fisherman out of Point Judith said. “Nobody wanted problems.  We are assured there would be none. And here we are.” Twenty members of the Fisheries Working Group on Offshore Wind Energy sat around a table at SMAST East hoping to solve various issues between the two ocean-based industries. >click to read< 18:09 

Young captain bets on NJ’s commercial fishing industry with new boat

As the sun rose on the docks in Point Pleasant Thursday morning, a rare sight for many New Jersey longtime fisherman came into view: a new commercial fishing boat. “This is the first time I’ve ever been in a brand new boat, commercial, anyway. It’s a beautiful thing,” fisherman Charlie Burke said. The captain of the 54-foot, $2 million boat is Pat Fehily, 28, who drove it overnight on its maiden voyage from Maine, where it was built over 19 months. >click here to read, video<12:26

DEM gets $1.6M grant for Port of Galilee infrastructure improvements

The R.I. Department of Environmental Management has received a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to make critical port infrastructure improvements needed to support the region’s commercial fishing industry, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced Monday.,,, “President Trump has been clear about the urgent need to upgrade American infrastructure from coast to coast,” Ross said in a statement. “The completion of this project will help drive new opportunities to the local commercial fishing industry in the Port of Galilee.” click here to read the story 14:57

Hurricane Irma cuts Florida lobster harvest by half

A fresh catch of spiny lobster arrives dockside. But for marina owner Gary Graves, this delivery is too little, too late. “Basically, lobster fishing is pretty much over for us this year,”said Graves, who is vice president of Keys Fisheries wholesaler. Graves says Hurricane Irma dealt a severe blow when it hit Florida in September. Leaving a trail of wreckage on land, the storm also came just a month into lobster harvesting season. “We’re going to probably end up maybe 50 percent of a normal season the way it looks right now,” he said. click here to read the story 11:19

Members of commercial fishing industry experiencing high levels of psychological distress

Members of the commercial fishing industry are experiencing levels of psychological distress almost double that of the general population, new research has revealed. A survey conducted by Deakin University showed a 19 per cent rate of depression among commercial fishers, compared to the estimated national diagnosis of 10 per cent. Of the 1000 workers that responded to the 13-page survey, only 9 per cent of said they had experienced no bodily pain in the month prior, with 58 per cent saying they had experienced moderate to very severe pain. click here to read the story 16:39

Where Is America’s Next War? Alaska. And the enemy is not who you’d expect.

It’s war in the Gulf and the US Navy is on hand to protect us. No, not that Gulf! I’m talking about the Gulf of Alaska and it’s actually mock war — if, that is, you don’t happen to be a fin whale or a wild salmon. This May, the Navy will again sail its warships into the Gulf of Alaska.  There, they will engage in military maneuvers and possibly drop bombs, launch torpedoes and missiles, and engage in activities that stand a significant chance of poisoning those once-pristine waters, while it prepares for future battles elsewhere on the planet.  Think of it as a war against wildlife, an assault on the environment and local coastal communities. click here to continue reading the article 11:57

Fishing industry rattled as white spot disease breaks barriers

It was the outbreak they were expecting, but hoping would never come to pass. Concern and uncertainty seem to the prevailing moods amongst the Queensland commercial fishing industry, reeling from this week’s news that white spot disease had broken it’s containment in the Logan River and been detected in Moreton Bay. There’s also considerable frustration amongst members of the Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA), many of whom predicted the outbreak was a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’. “It definitely hasn’t been a good week for us,” says QSIA’s CEO Eric Perez. “There’s certainly a lot of concern about the impact this will have on the industry here, as well as the knock-on effects this will have on the wider community.” There appears to be no immediate threat to fisheries in the Gympie and Cooloola Cove regions, but tests are ongoing just to determine how far the disease has spread. continue reading the story here 11:16

Waldoboro Selectman Emphasizes Importance of Jobs, Commercial Fishing Industry in Run for House

Abden Simmons (Alexander Violo photo)Waldoboro selectman is hoping to parlay his time at the municipal level of government into a role in the Maine State Legislature. Abden Simmons, R-Waldoboro, is looking to represent House District 91, which includes Friendship, part of Union, and Washington in addition to Waldoboro. Simmons, who was elected to the Waldoboro Board of Selectmen in June 2015, said  he believes the Legislature needs to create favorable conditions for businesses, which, in turn, will lead to job creation. Another big part of Simmons’ focus is the commercial fishing industry. He believes the commercial fishing industry is an integral part of the state’s economy that deserves to be defended in the Legislature. “I want to make sure commercial fishing doesn’t get interfered with any more than it already is,” Simmons said. Simmons is the executive director of the Maine Elver Fisherman Association, and has spent time on the state’s shellfish advisory council, in addition to taking part in the governor’s task force on the invasive European green crab. Read the story here 16:36

Tips on how to get a job in the Alaska fishing business

Workers stack Sockeye salmon filets after being vacuum packed to be frozen at the Alitak Cannery in Alitak, AlaskaWork in the Alaska commercial fishing industry is a great way to save up a lot of money in a short amount of time. After the fishing season many employees use the time and money that they now have for college, to buy property, to start a new business, or to travel the world. The industry employs over 65,000 people every year, so there is plenty of room for newcomers to get a job. Work hours generally range from 12 to 16 hours a day, up to seven days a week. Typically processors make $750 to $1,500 a week. Fishermen earn around $1,000 to $2,500 a week (and sometimes more!). Besides the pay, many employers in the industry also offer free room and board and free round-trip airfare from the point of hire (usually Seattle, WA) to Alaska. Processing jobs are the easiest to get. Read the rest here 14:35

Catch Shares: Commercial fishers on Far South Coast want action on restructure

aust catch shares 2The restructure of the NSW commercial fishing industry is reaching an important milestone with companies and individuals having until tomorrow to decide on whether they take a $20,000 buy-out to exit the industry. NSW Labor called on the State Primary Industries Minister to suspend the restructure process until more information is on the table to assist fishers in making the right decision for themselves, their families, and for the sustainability of the industry in general. But Bermagui Fishermen’s Cooperative managing director Rocky Lagana was of the opposite view and said the three-year restructure process needed to reach a conclusion to afford those who wanted to remain some certainty. Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Mick Veitch however called it policy-on-the-run and said a hastily cobbled together Ministerial  press release the day after Labor’s call for a suspension made a few concessions without addressing the real concerns – which are the need for more information, more time and the need to hit the pause button. Read the story here 10:26

Fishermen-heavy crowd shows frustration with catch rules, monitoring costs at RI forum

AR-160419607A forum on the sustainability of the commercial fishing industry revealed significant frustration in a fisherman-heavy crowd and a few suggestions for future changes, but little tangible optimism, Thursday night at Rhode Island College. “Right now, there are more fish in the Atlantic Ocean than there was 20 or 30 years ago — we are just not allowed to catch them anymore,” said fisherman Mark Phillips, a New York native who has fished out of New Bedford for several decades. Phillips and New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel, who sued the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in December over catch monitoring costs, were the two fishermen on the forum’s six-person panel. Read the story here 05:53