Tag Archives: R/V Henry B. Bigelow

Georges Bank said to be ‘paved with fluke! Fishermen Assail NOAA Quotas – Schumer fears major job losses

Commercial fishermen on the draggers seen offshore last week took advantage of calmer seas and the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s raising of the daily limit on fluke from 70 to 210 pounds. The higher limit was in effect from Dec. 18 through Friday as the state’s annual quota for the fish, highly sought by commercial and recreational fishermen alike, had not been reached.,, Mark Phillips, who fishes on the F/V Illusion out of Greenport, was once among the largest harvesters of fluke in the state, landing a few hundred thousand pounds per year, by his count. The problem, Mr. Phillips said, is that stock assessments are inaccurate because NOAA conducts surveys — such as with its ship the Henry B. Bigelow, which collects data in waters from Maine to North Carolina — when fluke are migrating from undersea canyons to inshore waters. Read the story here 14:49

A Clean Sweep On The Ocean Floor

Most of the reporting in the media about commercial fishing and declining stocks in the Northeast dwells on how dire the situation has become with the fault generally attributed to fishermen and “overfishing.” The view on the waterfront is very different however. Fishermen have long maintained that there is a huge disconnect between what they see on the water and the conclusions derived from the NOAA surveys and stock assessments. Their claims have been dismissed as self-serving. Now it seems the fishermen have a strong case. On a recent bottom trawl survey, a typical industry net caught four times as many flatfish as the rig used on the government trawl surveys. Written by Don Cuddy, program director at the Center for Sustainable Fisheries Read the story here 17:17

Bigelow Breakdown – Fish Survey at Risk of Skewed Data?

Even before mechanics found deeply pitted bearings near crankshafts in its generators, problems that could have led to catastrophic engine failure, the Henry B. Bigelow was running more than a month behind. Now, the government research vessel is embarking on its annual spring voyage later than ever before, a delay that could have serious consequences for scientists’ ability to assess the health of some of the 52 fish stocks they survey, from the waters off North Carolina to the eastern reaches of the Gulf of Maine. The Bigelow typically leaves Newport in March for the spring survey, but this year was delayed by routine maintenance for more than a month. When it finally left its shipyard in Brooklyn, N.Y., last month, it had to return to port to ride out a nor’easter. Then the mechanics discovered the problem in its generators, and the ship didn’t depart until last Friday. Read the rest here   11:28