Tag Archives: Nature Conservancy

Canastra Brothers Offering $93 Million for ‘Codfather’s’ Fishing Fleet

One of the owners of the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction in New Bedford is shedding more light on a proposed deal to buy the “codfather’s” fishing fleet. Carlos Rafael has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for his illegal fishing scheme, and cannot be involved in the fishing industry during that time and three years after his release. In an exclusive interview with WBSM’s Phil Paleologos, Richard Canastra confirms he and his brother, Ray, have entered into a memorandum of agreement with Rafael to buy his business, Carlos Seafood, Inc, for $93 million. Video, click here to read the story 16:41

Deal between Rafael, Canastra brothers worth $93M, still needs government OK – While the Canastras and Rafael have agreed, the deal isn’t complete. NOAA and the U.S. Attorney haven’t taken a final position on the proposed sale, according to court documents click here to read the story21:03

Environmental group sues California over whale-killing gear

An environmental group sued the state of California on Tuesday for allegedly not doing enough to keep Dungeness crab fishery gear from killing protected whales. The Center for Biological Diversity filed its lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco, saying the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is liable for a surge in entanglements of endangered whales and sea turtles because it authorizes and manages operation of the fishery. click here to read the story 15:18

California crabbers use GPS to find whale-killing gear

Fisherman Jake Bunch leans over the side of the fishing boat “Sadie K,” spears his catch, and reels it aboard: an abandoned crab pot, dangling one limp lasagna noodle of kelp and dozens of feet of rope, just the kind of fishing gear that has been snaring an increasing number of whales off U.S. coasts. This year, Bunch is one of small number of commercial fishermen out of Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, and five other ports up and down California who headed to sea again after the West Coast’s Dungeness crab season ended this summer. The California fishermen are part of a new effort using their cellphones’ GPS and new software pinpointing areas where lost or abandoned crabbing gear has been spotted. They retrieve the gear for a payment — at Half Moon Bay, it’s $65 per pot —before the fishing ropes can snag a whale. click here to read the story 20:44

Lobstermen test new bait as hedge against herring price spikes

Two lobstering co-ops in Tenants Harbor and Port Clyde are working with The Nature Conservancy to see if they can freeze the alewives that bait their traps so successfully each spring to catch lobster at other times of the year. If it works, alewives could be the affordable bait they need when their usual favorite, Atlantic herring, is in short supply, such as it is again this summer. “It’s the second year in a row where we’ve had bait problems,” said Josh Miller, a 40-year-old lobsterman who belongs to the Tenants Harbor Lobstermen’s Co-op. “Most wharves are on (herring) rations. The prices have gone up 10 percent already. We started the season with prices that never dropped from last year, when we had a bait shortage. Bait is a huge issue.” click here to read the story 07:49

California fishermen, once blocked by conservationists, now work with them

Morro Bay, a town on California’s central coast, touts itself as a fishing community. Fishing has been vital for the town’s economy, but it collapsed at the turn of the century because of overfishing and subsequent federal regulation. Fishermen were offered some relief money for their losses, but the industry was left for dead. Now, things are on the upswing thanks to an unlikely partnership between local fishermen and environmental group The Nature Conservancy.,,, The Nature Conservancy, a powerful nonprofit, became interested in the area more than a decade ago. Known for buying up land to protect it from development, the group’s first strategy was to buy up about half of all the available groundfish licenses. click here to read the story. 09:49

At Sea, Under the Eyes of Cameras

Chris Brown has grown used to the five video cameras that record every move he and his two crew members make aboard the Proud Mary. Since installing the equipment in January on the 45-foot otter trawler, whenever Brown steams out of Galilee in search of flounder and other groundfish in the Atlantic Ocean waters off Rhode Island, the electronic monitoring system kicks on. Brown is one of three Rhode Island fishermen who have signed on to a program that is testing out electronic surveillance as an alternative to human monitors that the federal government requires to be on board one in every seven fishing trips in the Northeast in an effort to stamp out overfishing. The new program being led by The Nature Conservancy offers the potential for closer observation of commercial fishing, enhancing compliance with quotas and deterring misreporting. But not everyone has embraced electronic monitoring. Click here to read the story 10:51

The latest weapon in the fight against illegal fishing? Artificial intelligence

3000-electronic-monitoringFacial recognition software is most commonly known as a tool to help police identify a suspected criminal by using machine learning algorithms to analyze his or her face against a database of thousands or millions of other faces. The larger the database, with a greater variety of facial features, the smarter and more successful the software becomes – effectively learning from its mistakes to improve its accuracy. Now, this type of artificial intelligence is starting to be used in fighting a specific but pervasive type of crime – illegal fishing. Rather than picking out faces, the software tracks the movement of fishing boats to root out illegal behavior. And soon, using a twist on facial recognition, it may be able to recognize when a boat’s haul includes endangered and protected fish. The latest effort to use artificial intelligence to fight illegal fishing is coming from New York-based The Nature Conservancy (TNC), which launched a contest on Kaggle – a crowdsourcing site based in San Francisco that uses competitions to advance data science –earlier this week. TNC hopes the winning team will write software to identify specific species of fish. The program will run on cameras, called electronic monitors, which are installed on fishing boats,,, Read the rest here 15:32

Maine fishermen testing a ‘game-changer’ for protected cod in the Gulf of Maine

985021_891307-20160713_Ground-Fi4Like many Maine fishermen, Bryan Kelley faces a dilemma as he looks to diversify beyond the lobster that account for the bulk of his catch. To target pollock, which are relatively common in the Gulf of Maine, he has to fish in the same areas frequented by cod, a type of groundfish protected through strict federal catch limits. “We literally have to stay away from the codfish,” Kelley said while standing on his 40-foot boat moored in the Five Islands harbor of Georgetown. “I could fill this with codfish if I wanted to, but that wouldn’t help anybody in this sector and that is not why we are out here.” To help him catch the groundfish he wants and avoid the species he doesn’t, Kelley has begun experimenting with a contraption akin to a conventional fishing reel on steroids and with an electronic brain. The “automatic jigging machines” loaned to Kelley and a handful of other fishermen by The Nature Conservancy allow them to more accurately target the water column where pollock hang out and stay off the bottom where cod lurk. Read the rest here 07:49

South Shore ground fishermen skeptical of plan to use digital cameras for monitoring mandate

camera_view_of_skate_catchLongtime commercial fishermen from Marshfield and Scituate said the project to equip some groundfishing boats with digital cameras comes with numerous pitfalls, including cost burdens and concerns about how video footage would be used. Beginning this week, up to 20 groundfishermen from the Maine and Cape Cod will use three to four cameras to document fish handling on their vessels. At the end of each fishing trip, boat captains will send hard drives to third-party reviewers, who will view the footage and determine how much fish was discarded. The Nature Conservancy is overseeing the project and hailed it Tuesday as a “new era in fisheries monitoring” South Shore fisherman Ed Barrett questioned whether there would be any cost savings, saying the camera equipment would cost thousands of dollars. Read the rest here 10:06

Sector Groups turning to technology to meet monitoring mandate

camera_view_of_skate_catchNew England fishermen are starting to use digital cameras to document groundfish discards and prove they are fishing within established quotas, turning to technology for a method that may prove more cost effective than hiring human monitors. With support from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, The Nature Conservancy is overseeing a new project, which launches on Wednesday, June 1 and is being hailed as a “new era in fisheries monitoring.” Up to 20 groundfishermen from the Maine Coast Community Sector and Cape Cod’s Fixed Gear Sector will use three to four cameras to capture fish handling activity on the decks of their vessels. After completing their trips, crews will send hard drives to third party reviewers who watch the footage and quantify the amount of discarded fish.  Read the rest here 13:17

Con group buys $1m worth of groundfish quota

The wolf-in-sheeps-clothing-scaled500-e1371562470325 (MBFT) bought $1m worth of groundfish quota — 4.2m annual quota pounds — from the nonprofit Nature Conservancy which it plans to use to benefit the area’s fishermen, MBFT said in a release. As part of the agreement, MBFT, which was formed to protect central California fisheries in the Monterey, Moss Landing, and Santa Cruz harbors, plans to retain ownership of the quota. It will lease the fishing rights to fishermen “while working to improve the economic and environmental performance of the fishery,” the group said in the release. Read the rest here 17:08

Last Groundfish Permit Stays on Martha’s Vineyard, Though Unicorn Days Are Numbered

tj_greg_mayhew_menemsha_apr222013_1a_02The Nature Conservancy, working with the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust, has purchased the Island’s last historic groundfish permit, marking a major milestone in the trust’s efforts to develop a permit bank to support Island fishermen. The federal , also known as a groundfish permit, was held by Greg Mayhew, owner of the Unicorn, a legendary 75-foot dragger out of Menemsha. He declined to comment on the cost of the permit, saying only that prices for fishing permits can range from $20,000 to $2 million. Read the rest here 20:14

Do any of these issues, and notions bother you? Or is it only me?!!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is gathering leaders in science, activism, media and the seafood industry at its home-base in Monterey, California for two days of in-depth discussions on sustainable food — especially seafood — this week. The event, “Sustainable Foods Institute”. Issues: Consultant: Thai slave labor reports are real – Whiskas maker to get into aquaculture by 2020 – Paleo diet days numbered, says panelist – Atlantic bluefin tuna stock down 96% on management failure – Damanaki floats idea of US-EU-Japan collaboration on global fisheries protection – Stakeholders relay ‘blood and guts’ story of West Coast groundfish climb to sustainability – Aquarium pumping expertise into ASEAN sustainability efforts Read the rest here 14:43

Seafood Harvesters of America “National Outreach Days,” in Washington D.C.

On April 28th the Seafood Harvesters of America will converge on our elected representatives to stay the course on a broken Magnuson Stevens Act. As other groups call for flexibility, the primarily catch share fishery group wants to maintain rigidity! The Seafood Harvesters are aligned with the likes of the Pew Charitable Trust, EDF, and the Nature Conservancy.  House Resolution 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act will fix MSA.  This is not why this group is in D.C.  Read the rest here 10:33

Tom Dempsey Resigns from the NEFMC

dempsey I’m writing to tell you that I’ve accepted a new job and, for that reason, have resigned as a member of the New England Fishery Management Council.  I’ll be working with The Nature Conservancy’s Sustainable Fisheries Initiative in California,,, Read the rest here 08:24

Derelict crab gear is spotted by air, snagged at sea

By air and sea, environmental groups and the Quinault Indian Nation are spotting and retrieving derelict crab pots over 150 square miles of ocean, pots with lines that can ensnare gray and humpback whales and endanger boats.  Read the rest here

Alright Fishermen. Listen up! How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA

Think NOAA/NMFS!    How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA A new report was released today by the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, and it is damning. All this time that climate skeptics are accused of being in the employ of “big oil” is nothing more than a projection of their own greed. Read more here  Read the Senate.gov report  17:25

Creating a Safe Harbor for a Village Heritage

wolf-in-sheeps-clothing-scaled500-e1371562470325MORRO BAY, Calif. — Anyone seeking to learn about the fishing heritage of this port city, named for the huge rock that dominates its harbor, need only amble over to the “Liar’s Bench,” a sitting area along the Embarcadero for fishermen prone to telling tall tales.,,their brethren in Cape Cod?  The Liar’s bench. huh! Read more here  07:09 CLF and CLF Ventures: or we get rich by litigating the hostile takeover and trading away of public resources for corporate exploitation while claiming to save the planet.

Why are so many white men trying to save the planet without the rest of us?

superecomanJust the other day, the National Wildlife Federation announced its new president – a white male “whiz kid”. Last month, the Climate Reality Project, founded by Al Gore, replaced its female chief executive with a white man. Last November, the National Parks and Conservation Association replaced its veteran leader with another white male. The Union of Concerned Scientists is due to announce its new leader as early as next week. Spoiler alert: it’s not going to be a woman. Read more here  10:53

Walton Family Foundation Dumped $91.4 Million Into Greenwashing in 2012: Walmarting the Rivers and Oceans

smiley fishermanWalmart has been in the headlines in recent weeks after the retailer announced plans to keep its stores open this Thanksgiving, forcing Walmart employees to cancel many of their holiday plans. Walmart, the country’s largest retailer and employer, makes more than $17 billion in profits annually, so it has a lot of money to dump into “environmental” groups that serve its agenda of privatization of the public trust. The wealth of the Walton family totals over $144.7 billion – equal to that of 42% of Americans. must read [email protected]  17:22

Nature Conservancy aquires more ground fish permits

The New Hampshire Fisheries Sectors and The Nature Conservancy today announced an innovative new partnership that seeks to improve fisheries in the Gulf of Maine and sustain New Hampshire’s struggling ground fishing fleet. [email protected]

Maine conservation group receives largest land donation in its history

COLUMBIA FALLS, Maine — The Downeast Salmon Federation received the largest donation of land in its 30-year history in late December 2012, according to a press release. Read more

Lake Cathance is in the headwaters of the Denny’s River and has some of the most well-known landlocked salmon fishing in Maine, being the first to be stocked with the species in the state, according to the press release. “The lake is a tributary water source of Cobscook Bay, which is one of the most ecologically rich estuaries in North America,” Shaw added. The entire region is dependent on the natural resources of the area, he said, particularly recreational and commercial fisheries.

Fish council eyes lifting of closures- Conservation Law Foundation,Earthjustice, Nature Conservancy Will Sue

Fishery council member David Goethel, a Hampton, N.H., groundfisherman, said mortality closures have had enough time — 16 years — to prove themselves a wellspring for the stocks.

“We should be overflowing with groundfish; instead we have a disaster,” said Goethel, who said the closed areas should be opened.

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/topstories/x1684126854/Fish-council-eyes-lifting-of-closures