Tag Archives: environmental groups

Feds authorize 5-day period for ropeless lobster fishing in Massachusetts Bay

Federal officials gave Massachusetts lobstermen a temporary exemption Tuesday to allow them to use ropeless lobster gear in a restricted area of the Massachusetts Bay through Saturday after state regulators rejected a similar proposal earlier this month. The exempted fishing permit was issued to a group of lobstermen organized under the name “Pioneers for a Thoughtful Coexistence,” who had asked regulators to allow them to set as many as 200 ropeless traps in areas along the South Shore, where lobster fishing is closed three months a year. >click to read< 07:48

Maine lobster industry fights lawsuit that aims to shut down fishery

While Maine’s lobster industry has been fighting an offensive legal battle against impending rules to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales, it also is playing defense in a case brought by environmentalists that seeks to shut down the lobster fishery entirely. Lobster industry groups are intervening in a case brought in Washington, D.C.’s U.S. District Court by the Center for Biological Diversity and other plaintiffs that argues the new federal restrictions aren’t adequate, and that the fishery’s continued operation poses an existential threat to the whales. >click to read< 19:15

Maine’s lobster industry is in a fight for its survival

In October, a U.S. District Court judge in Bangor had ruled that there was reason to question the federal government’s decision to close this prime lobstering area for four months this winter. When an appeals court overturned this decision in November, lobstermen who had already set traps in this area were forced to dangerously hurry and take them up, creating economic hardship for those who invested in gear, rigged up and were already fishing in these productive waters. For Maine’s lobster industry, this is another frustrating example of one step forward, two steps back. This latest court ruling, however, is just the tip of the iceberg that threatens to sink the fishery. >click to read< 09:57

Richard “Max” Strahan attempted to intervene in right whale case with court injunction

An animal rights activist made a late attempt to try and stop the industry from being allowed to use vertical buoy ropes.  Richard “Max” Strahan tried to intervene at the beginning of the month in the federal right whale court case that holds the future of the lobster industry in its hands, but the activist’s attempt was rejected by a judge less than a week later.  Strahan filed his motion on May 8 and claimed that the only way the industry would stop using the ropes is by a court-ordered injunction. >click to read< 16:03

MPA Fishing Ban: Another Industry Sell-Out,,, For what? Big Wind, or Conservation?!!

The NFFO has hit back at the Marine Management Organisation’s announced intention to outlaw towed gears in the Dogger Bank SAC and the majority of three other offshore MPAs, describing the move as a ‘further sell-out of fishing’. Describing the announcement as a shocking development, ‘Not even lightweight seine nets are to be permitted,,, The proposals amount to a further sell-out of fishing. It augers ominously for other areas and for fishing communities in our increasingly crowded seas.’ Many will now be asking what has changed. They will also be asking how the government can permit the development of four of the largest wind farms in the world on the same site but take such a sledgehammer to fishing. >click to read< 14:47

Bottom trawling ban for key UK fishing sites

The Marine Management Organisation says it plans to safeguard fishing areas in Dogger Bank and South Dorset by completely banning bottom trawling. The sites are already designated as protected areas,,, Greenpeace recently dropped concrete blocks on to Dogger Bank. The MMO is consulting on proposed by-laws prohibiting bottom-towed gear on the sites. The consultation runs to 28 March 2021.,,, The NFFO described the proposals as having delivered “a sledgehammer to fishing”. “This punishing reversal comes on the back of the government’s failure to deliver on fishing in the Brexit negotiations, and damaging delays in the export of fish and shellfish. >click to read< 13:55

‘If they put in that mine, it would really crush the economy we have’: Proposed Alaskan mine threatens salmon, environmentalists say

Some residents of Haines, Alaska, are refusing to participate in public consultations about a proposed mine near the community.  B.C.-based Constantine Metal Resources wants public input for its Palmer project. ,,, “We have a nice little town here, and it’s got a pretty solid diversified economy and if they put in that mine, it would really crush the economy we have,” said Rafe McGuire, a commercial fisherman in Haines. >click to read< 08:51

Hydroelectric dams and fish are possible if we’re willing to talk it out

We are now almost 30 years into federal court battles over the management of the Columbia and Snake rivers, both of national concern. Federal judges are making decisions over the “right” management of the river systems. None of them is a dam operator. This is probably the most complex natural resource issue in the Western U.S., if not the entire country. Environmental groups have teamed up to tie it all up repeatedly in the slow federal court system to force a decision that moves only in their direction. They don’t care about the rest of us — the folks who love the working river system FDR started and we use today in so many ways. by Jeff Sayre >click to read< 10:26

9 U.S. environmental groups seeking Canadian snow crab import ban, stronger right whale protections

“We do believe that, at this point, at least Canadian snow crab needs to be banned from the United States,” said Sarah Uhlemann, program director of the Seattle-based Center for Biological Diversity. Uhlemann was one of nine conservation groups who signed a letter sent Tuesday to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) urging it to “press the Canadian government to immediately strengthen right whale protections, in order to avoid an import ban and to help save the species from extinction.”  >click to read< 07:35

13 years ago, the Nature Conservancy desperately wanted to protect groundfish. Now it wants you to eat them

In 2006, the crash of the groundfish population — bottom-dwelling fish like petrale sole, chilipepper rockfish and sand dabs that used to be common on Bay Area tables — led the Nature Conservancy to buy up 13 fishing permits and some California fishermen’s vessels. The state worked with a handful of the state’s remaining groundfish trawlers to change how they fish and protect vulnerable habitat. Now that groundfish populations have rebounded, the Nature Conservancy wants the public to know they’re OK to eat again. >click to read< (if you don’t get propaganda sick) 10:27

Lobstermen threatened with the extinction of their way of life

The word “extinction” has been thrown around a lot lately by environmental groups,,, Large, well-funded, out-of-state environmental groups would have you believe that these whales are going extinct and that Maine fishing gear entanglement is a major reason why. These groups have proposed things like ropeless fishing and refuse to believe that ideas like this are not practical in Maine. Can you imagine how a fisherman could set his 20- to 30-trap trawl into water 300 to 400 feet deep, not knowing where any of his competitors’ trawls might have been set days before? >click to read< 11:37

The best available science? – Backing lobstermen, Rep. Golden seeks to withhold funds for right whale protections

“The federal government is asking Maine lobstermen to make huge sacrifices without clear evidence that those sacrifices will have any positive impact on right whales,” Golden wrote in a statement Wednesday. “I’ve joined lobstermen to voice our concerns and now it’s time for action. Golden said it is important to help the right whale, but he joined the Maine lobster industry and Maine’s fishing managers in a common refrain: the federal government has no conclusive proof that right whales are getting hurt or killed by entanglement in Maine lobster gear. >click to read> 09:46

Leatherback sea turtles likely to go extinct under Trump administration policy, lawsuit argues

Leatherback sea turtles are likely to be “effectively extinct within 20 years” if two new federal permits for fishing off the coast of California go into effect, environmental groups claim in a new lawsuit. In April, the Trump administration granted new two-year “exempted fishing permits” to two California-based vessels in what are currently protected waters.,,, National Marine Fisheries Service,,, the federal agency said the permits “are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.” The longline fishing will have to halt immediately if “one mortality of a leatherback sea turtle is observed.>click to read<14:03

Big Green – The Handmaiden Of Big Oil

It is part of the green fairy tale that skepticism only exists because the oil companies are funding it.  So I did some digging and the reality turns out to be just the opposite.,,, The central vehicle for moving these green billion dollars goes by a perfectly descriptive name — the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative or OGCI., started in 2014, shortly after the famous Chesapeake Energy scandal. Chesapeake’s CEO was caught giving the Sierra Club millions,,,With a billion bucks in funding, it may well be the biggest outfit in Big Green (not counting the green governments).However, I also found that EDF is actively engaged with corporations, via its EDF+Business arm. >click to read<19:15

Maryland District 36 Delegation raises concerns over ‘War on the Shore’

When the four members of the District 36 delegation to the General Assembly got together for an annual breakfast sponsored by the Kent County Chamber of Commerce, discussions about this year’s recently completed legislative session led the lawmakers to talk about what Del. Jay Jacobs dubbed a “War on the Shore” and its leading industries, agriculture and seafood.,,, Rob Newberry, chairman of the Delmarva Fisheries Association, said from the audience that environmental groups clobbered the seafood industry this year.,, click to read<10:12

Seamounts and canyons: It seems fishermen can’t win

In general, sad to say, commercial fishermen are not well-regarded and struggle for respect. They don’t have powerful lobbyists or image makers and are so independent and competitive by nature that they don’t work well together. As such they are easily defeated politically when opposed by environmental groups with plenty of capital and connections. The headlong rush to deploy wind turbines offshore from here down to Delaware is now gathering momentum. From the deck of a fishing vessel that prospect is akin to a Plains Indian catching a first glimpse of smoke on the horizon, rising from an Iron Horse. <click to read>

Bayou La Batre – Coastal Alabama Citizens Rise Up And Defeat Job-Killing Eco-Tourism Ordinance

Fearing the loss of both their livelihood and their way of life, residents of Bayou La Batre, Alabama, banded together earlier this summer and scuttled a city ordinance crafted to promote eco-tourism. Located along the Gulf Coast, a few miles southwest of Mobile, Bayou La Batre is a fishing village with a vibrant seafood-processing industry. The city of 2,500 souls has survived Hurricane Katrina and other unpleasant visitors from the tropics. But a 200-page zoning proposal developed by the city’s planning commission with assistance from the Southeast Alabama Regional Planning Commission (SARPC) and environmental groups triggered a storm of protest that sent the city’s mayor and his supporters running for cover. >click to read<12:04

Kristjan Loftsson’s company is the last one in the world still hunting fin whales. His credo: “If it’s sustainable, you hunt.”

Mr. Loftsson, 75, is the world’s last commercial hunter of fin whales. He has been denounced by environmental groups and his boats have been sunk by radical activists, but his business is legal here because Iceland doesn’t recognize the international moratorium on commercial whaling. Mr. Loftsson likes to say that whale blood runs in his veins. For Mr. Loftsson and his supporters, whaling is no different than agriculture or fisheries. “If it’s sustainable, you hunt,” he said. >click to read<10:48

Fishermen suit against Atlantic marine monument moves ahead

The fishing groups sued to challenge the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument created by President Barack Obama in 2016. It’s a 5,000-square-mile area off of New England that contains fragile deep sea corals and vulnerable species of marine life such as right whales. The fishermen’s lawsuit had been put on hold by a review of national monuments ordered by President Donald Trump’s administration in April 2017. But a coalition of environmental groups is also intervening in the case in an attempt to keep the monument area preserved. >click to read<13:20

April Showdown Looming for Battle Over Atlantic Ocean Monument – >click to read<

Marine Stewardship Council Under Scrutiny Over Bycatch

On Thursday, a coalition of environmental groups accused the world’s largest certification agency for sustainably sourced seafood of “allowing fisheries with widely unacceptable impacts to be certified.” The coalition, which included Greenpeace and the Environmental Justice Foundation, said that the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) urgently needs to improve its Fisheries Standard, a document that specifies which fisheries may be deemed sustainable,,, >click here to read< 09:22

Omega Protein Employees and Supporters Call for Fisheries Managers To Protect Menhaden Jobs

457 Omega Protein employees and supporters have signed a petition urging the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to protect the jobs created by the Atlantic menhaden fishery. The petition, part of the public comment process for Amendment 3 to the Atlantic Menhaden Interstate Fishery Management Plan, provides the Commission with the perspectives of those whose livelihoods would be most affected by any new restrictions on the menhaden fishery, and contrasts the outside pressure generated by international environmental groups and individuals who do not live in one of the 15 Atlantic coastal states. The Omega Protein petition, addressed to the ASMFC’s Atlantic Menhaden Fishery Management Plan Coordinator Megan Ware, calls for the ASMFC to continue its current menhaden management approach until its scientific advisers finish their ongoing work developing menhaden-specific ecological reference points. Some environmental groups are advocating for interim reference points that reduce catch levels by up to 80 percent. click here to read the story 20:29

D.B. Pleschner: Nearshore anchovy abundance not proof fishery is collapsing

Recently, Dr. William Sydeman of the Farallon Institute, published a study claiming that the abundance of anchovy near shore — especially in places like Monterey — is evidence that the population is collapsing. Sydeman’s logic is based on an old argument that collapsed populations always shrink inshore. But there’s one big problem with that theory — it’s unsupported by scientific evidence.,,,  The bottom line: environmental groups with an anti-fishing agenda are already gearing up to hot-box the Pacific Fishery Management Council in spring 2018, lobbying for a steep reduction in anchovy harvest limits, employing whatever colorful, sensational pictures they can paint. click here to read the story 20:58

Appologetic Taiwan EPA head in hot water with animal rights and environmental groups for eating shark fin soup!

The head of the Environmental Protection Administration Lee Ying-yuan found himself in hot water with animal and environmental groups Sunday, after he was caught eating shark fin soup. Political pundit Windson posted photos online of a lunch with members of the political and business communities that both he and Lee attended. One photo shows a bowl of shark fin soup, a delicacy that environmental and animal rights groups have tried to ban. Windson has since deleted the post.Lee confirmed Monday that he had eaten the shark fin soup served during the lunch, saying that at first he had hesitated. Lee said he was invited to the lunch at the last minute and arrived twenty minutes late and that he and his family members did not normally eat shark fin. He said that in the future he would proactively remind fellow dining participants not to order the controversial menu item in order to protect the environment. link 09:11

Trump team wants State Dept. to disclose how much of your money it sends to international environmental groups

Donald Trump’s presidential transition team has asked State Department officials to disclose how much money it provides each year to international environmental groups. It’s the latest example of how the incoming administration is reassessing the U.S. government’s approach to tackling climate change and other environmental priorities. As part of a list of questions posed last week to the department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, according to multiple people familiar with the matter, the Trump landing team asked, “How much does the Department of State contribute annually to international environmental organizations in which the department participates?” Although some State Department officials found the question about funding for environmental groups troubling, one senior official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because transition communications are confidential, said the requests from the transition team have been appropriate. “They are legitimately looking at the organization of things here at Foggy Bottom,,, Read the rest here 16:16

Fishermen upset over extension of ban

vaquita-400x266With only six months remaining in a two-year ban on all fishing activities in the vicinity of the port town of San Felipe, Baja California, there is now disagreement between fishermen and environmental groups over what happens next. Fishing techniques had become a threat to the vaquita, whose numbers have declined to an estimated 60, because they are caught along with the totoaba, a fish species whose swim bladder is a delicacy in China. The two-year federal program was intended to give the marine mammals a respite started in April 2015. As its end draws near, environmental organizations have asked authorities for broader controls on the illegal totoaba fishing and the creation of a safe zone for the vaquita. Read the story here 14:59

Well, he did it, but we knew he would. Obama just destroyed more fishermen and supporting businesses

President Obama will designate a section of the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Cod on Thursday as a national monument, banning commercial fishing in the area by 2023 in an effort to protect the region’s ecosystem. The move, which the president will formally announce at the Third Annual Our Ocean Conference in Washington, won praise Wednesday from environmental groups but drew condemnation from the fishing industry. White House officials emphasized the reduced size of the area of the national monument as a balance between between conservation and creating a “sustainable environment for the fishing industry going forward.” Read the story here, and here . more will be added. 07:45

Will Obama fence off more of the ocean? US fishermen are fearful

American fishermen are deeply fearful that the Obama White House could cut them off as early as this week from major fishing areas of the U.S. continental shelf on both coasts, further restricting one of the most highly regulated fishing industries in the world. At stake are millions of dollars in fishing revenue and hundreds of jobs — and in some parts of the country, the survival of an embattled way of life that has persisted for centuries but is facing environmentalist pressures unlike anything before. “This totally affects us, but we don’t know what’s going on,” one fishing boat owner, who asked to remain anonymous, told Fox News. “We are just out of the loop. No one even wants to say what effect it will have.” “They are throwing all fishermen under the bus, along with their supporting industries”. Behind-the-scenes maneuvering to get influential Democratic legislators to support such new preservation areas publicly — a tough call, since the affected fishermen are also constituents. So far, many of the Democrats are keeping a low profile. One exception has been U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Blumenthal was backed by some 40 environmental groups — but not by many of his neighboring Democratic Senate colleagues. Read the story here 14:10

A Fish And Wildlife Seat Up For Grabs, With High Stakes

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Openings on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission have sport fishing groups eyeing an opportunity to gain a voice while some environmental groups worry they’ll lose one. Two members are up for reappointment and another seat is vacant on the commission, which sets natural resource policies ranging from hunting and fishing rules to last year’s decision to remove gray wolves from the endangered list. Recreational anglers hope one of their longtime advocates, Liz Hamilton, can become one of the seven members of the commission, which they say has tilted too far toward commercial fishing interests. Hamilton runs the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association. She submitted a letter of interest to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown earlier this summer expressing her interest in joining the commission. It included endorsements from Sen. Ron Wyden and Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader, along with several prominent figures from the sport fishing community. Environmental groups are supporting the reappointment of Greg Wolley, who they consider one of the commission’s strongest voice for conservation. He is also the first and only African-American member of the commission. Read the story here 10:14

National Marine Monuments: N.E. Marine Preserve Proposal Ignites Debate Over Fishing

Proposals to create a vast national marine preserve off the New England coast are generating a whirlpool of debate that’s sucking in commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, environmentalists, multistate bureaucrats and politicians. Environmental groups are calling on President Obama to use his executive powers to establish a 6,180-square-mile New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts national monument. They insist it would protect a unique and ecologically critical marine environment lying about 150 miles off New England’s shores. If Obama heeds those calls, virtually all fishing and commercial operations such as oil and undersea mining would be banned within the new national preserve. The controversy has exposed deep fault lines between commercial fishermen fiercely opposed to new federal restrictions on their industry and many recreational anglers who argue the preserve would benefit fishing in the region. Read the article here 18:03

Fishers balk at proposal to designate Pacific Ocean national monuments

AR-160709615.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667West Coast fishers, including those that supply Los Angeles and Long Beach with local seafood, are incensed at a “secret” proposal from environmentalists asking President Barack Obama to create new national monuments in the Pacific Ocean. Dozens of California fishing businesses and their representatives signed a letter this week asking Obama to ignore suggestions to block fishing in open-ocean areas rich with sea life by designating them as offshore marine monuments. Environmental groups made the proposal in a “secret effort” to lobby the president to declare that many Pacific Ocean seamounts, ridges and banks are national landmarks, according to the letter. The five-page environmental proposal, “The Case for Protecting California’s Seamounts, Ridges and Banks,” argues that these parts of the ocean should be preserved for scientific research. Seamounts and ridges are craggy underwater mountains, and banks are shallow areas near deep ocean drop-offs. “If this proposed action is taken, many local harvesters will be impacted. Loss of access to their fishing grounds, without a public process, will likely cause irreparable harm to the San Pedro fishing community and the consumers they serve.” Read the rest here 08:07