Tag Archives: United Kingdom

F/V Joanna C: Fishermen deaths were accidental, inquest says

Two fisherman died accidentally when their trawler capsized and life raft failed to inflate, an inquest has concluded. The 45ft scalloping vessel capsized after getting snagged on whelk pots, the inquest at Hastings Coroner’s Court heard. Marine Accident Investigations Branch inspector Joanna Dorman told the jury: “We don’t know what would have happened had the life raft inflated. But we do know that it had an adverse effect on the chance of surviving.” Ms. Dorman also said the vessel had been modified since its last stability analysis in 1997, and that the stability was below the level it should have been. She described the vessel at the time of the accident as being “vulnerable” to capsizing. >click to read< 15:43

Naming ceremony for new fishing vessels held at Macduff

A special naming ceremony took place on the quays of Macduff Harbour celebrating the building of two new fishing trawlers – Endeavour V and Venture IV. Owned and operated by Whitehills-based brothers Peter and Mark Lovie and partners, these trawlers have the distinction of being the largest produced by Macduff Shipyards to date. The memorable day was organised by the Lovie family and included a large group of guests including many of the businesses involved in both the building and operation of the vessels. Photos, >click to read< 10:03

The day the Queen came to Hull’s Fish Dock

As the Royal train steamed slowly into the station, the sun shone suddenly through the grey clouds and misty rain that had darkened the day. The Queen’s first visit to Hull was made on Saturday May 18, 1957, and accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, she was cheered every step of the way. The city was the departure point for the Royal Yacht Britannia for the couple’s state visit to Denmark, but before that they spent a total of seven hours in the city. A highlight of the tour was a trip to the (St Andrew’s) Fish Dock. Bobbers were discharging the catch of the trawler Princess Elizabeth, and Prince Philip jumped from the dock on to the deck of the vessel to watch the fish being hauled out of the hold. >click to read< 21:11

Greenpeace UK blocked in Poole Harbour ahead of protest

Greenpeace UK has been thwarted in their attempts to extend its boulder barrier in the South West Deeps to block industrial fishing, which it says damages marine habitats by dragging heavy nets across the seafloor. On Thursday, September 8, activists and crew members attempting to load eight more boulders onto the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise while docked at Poole Quay were blocked after threats of legal action were allegedly made by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). It is understood, after the MMO liaised with Poole Harbour Commissioners, the gates to Bulwark Quay where the ship is berthed were locked. >click to read< 09:00

Seafaring Community Mourns Death of Queen Elizabeth II

MARITIME charities and the shipping community are mourning the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday. Queen Elizabeth II was the patron of more than 500 charitable organisations including Mission to Seafarers, The Seafarers’ Charity and the Sailor’s Society. She is today being remembered for her service to the maritime community and to the welfare of seafarers. The Merchant Navy Welfare Board paid tribute with a message highlighting the Queen’s work as Master of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets. >click to read< 06:59

New Build: Raising the Bar with Space and Comfort

The first impression is that there’s plenty of space on board, and Winter of Ladram really does have far more room to work and carry gear than any conventional crabber in the UK fleet. The working deck forward is enclosed under a shelterdeck that feels like a ballroom, with room to stack pots six high and a surprising amount of overhead height. Nobody’s going to have to worry about banging their head here. ‘This is a unique design and a new take on the south-west crabber, with much more security and comfort for the crew. This is a new generation of vessel. It also has ten berths on board so there’s space for researchers and others.’ Photos, >click to read< 13:21

Yorkshire fisherman says his livelihood is being ‘devastated’ by mass deaths

James Cole, Chair of Whitby Commercial Fishing Association, has been talking about the serious impact the crisis has had on the fishing industry. He said: “It has had a devastating effect on the turnover of shellfish from Whitby and Hartlepool as well.” One particular feature of the crisis has been the lack of brown crabs which have been “absolutely devastated” in number. Velvet Crabs, which Mr Cole says are a food source for many animals which live close to the shore have been “more or less wiped out on the shore grounds”.  The government has said the mass deaths were caused by a “naturally occurring harmful algal bloom”,,, >click to read< 10:35

UK Export Finance support unlocks new contract to export fishing boat to Ireland.

Family-owned shipbuilder, Parkol Marine Engineering, has announced the launch of its new vessel, F/V Green Isle, which on completion will sail to the west coast of Ireland from Middlesbrough, marking its expansion across the country. The boat is the second to be built as a result of a new £3m Bond support package from UK Export Finance (UKEF). The contract is the second exporting win for the business, with the first contract secured in 2020 for a 27-meter fishing trawler commissioned by Irish fishing company D&N Kirwan. >click to read< 15:55 Nice photo here, >click<

Shetland fishing industry ‘flung by the wayside’ for offshore wind farms

Addressing a session during the parliamentary Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum policy conference, Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) executive officer Daniel Lawson said his industry had “big concerns” over the UK’s plans for renewables off the islands. “All of the things we saw with the onset of oil, protection, partnership, working consideration, consultation, compensation, they’ve all been largely abandoned so far in this rush towards offshore wind development,” he told delegates. Mr Lawson said the organisation, which represents 115 member vessels, was dismayed by news of the latest round of offshore wind licensing as part of the Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind clearing process. >click to read< 09:55

Fishermen launch legal action over North East crustation deaths

Fishermen along the North East coast have told of taking up new jobs amid a fishing crisis which has threatened their livelihoods and seen dead crustaceans wash up along the shoreline. Paul Graves, a lifelong fisherman off the Teesside and North Yorkshire coast, has taken up extra jobs over the summer to earn a living while his fishing boat is tied up in Hartlepool Mr Graves, like many other fishermen in the area, have grown frustrated by a marine life crisis which has seen hundreds of dead crustaceans wash ashore along the coast. For Paul, he’s contemplated selling his boat, owned by his family for years, due to the uncertain future. “I tied the boat up and went and did seven weeks work for a cable company,” he said. photos, >click to read< 15:49

Thousands of pounds worth of fishing nets stolen in Caister

Over 10 days in August, two bins containing specialised sea bass nets were stolen from the back of fishing boats stationed at Caister beach car park. Jason Miller, a fisherman of 38 years, was one of the people affected. Mr Miller came to work on Thursday morning when he realised one of his bin nets had been stolen. A few days before, a bin containing his colleague’s nets were also taken. Mr Miller, 51, said the nets were worth more than their estimated value, as the vital equipment helped to secure their living. “To us, it’s mortgage payments, energy bills, meals and even school uniforms for our kids,” he said. >click to read< 08:42

Encouraging signs there will be plenty of ‘Brixham gold’ around

Traditionally, the summer is a quieter period for fishing and many boats will undertake their annual refits. These are now nearly all complete, and all the industry is gearing up for the busy season which will start in four to six weeks. The start of the busy period also coincides with the start of the cuttlefish season and this year there are encouraging signs that there is going to be plenty of ‘Brixham gold’ around. The cuttle is a particularly important fishery for Brixham as we can have somewhere in the region of £10,000,000 in total for a year across all the fishing vessels. >click to read< 14:33

Fishing fuel prices leading to labour concerns and supply issues

Fuel prices for fishing vessels have risen beyond what was predicted as the worst-case scenario in April, leading to some vessels being tied up and crews walking away, seafood sector insiders have warned. Seafish, the industry body for seafood, said that fuel prices which it had expected to peak at the level of 90p per litre (all tax excluded) for the sector were now close to £1 on average at ports. High fish prices on the first sale market were helping some fishers to mitigate the impacts of fuel price increases, but some crews were more vulnerable than others to changes, said the public body. These concerns were echoed by the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations’ chairman, Paul Gilson, who said in a statement that “the price has, for several weeks, been hovering around the point where it becomes no longer viable to go to sea because earnings no longer cover costs of which fuel is the most significant component”. >click to read< 13:49

Over 13,000 pounds of Lobster hauled into Provo on Season Opening

The Turks and Caicos luxury export is back in season as of Monday August 1st. Lobster season is officially open and TCI fisherman took advantage from the get go as a massive 13,000 pounds were caught on the very first day, and that was just the Providenciales tally. Victor Lewis was the big winner of the day with 2,103 pounds, followed by Leslie Amboise with1,877 pounds. The Fisheries Department said the turnout and excitement for the weighing was as high as usual for the reopening of lobster season. Photos, >click to read< 12:06

UK fishing minister in Shetland aims for post-Brexit opportunities in 2026

UK fishing minister Victoria Prentis said she has listened carefully to what fishermen and industry leaders have told her about one of the islands’ key industries. Following a two day visit to Shetland during which she was lobbied by salmon farmers and fishermen, Prentis and her team were left in no doubt of the significance the seafood industries play in the wellbeing of the isles. She acknowledged that the outcome of the Brexit negotiations wasn’t what fishermen had been promised and said that preparatory work for follow-up negotiations with the EU for the period beyond 2026 were already under way. “We have already started the long and detailed work starting to talk to the industry to make sure that when we arrive at the negotiations, we know exactly what we want and what we are asking for, and this visit is very much part of that preparatory work,” she said. >click to read< 17:54

Brussels approves plan to fund scrappage of trawlers

The European Commission’s plan to encourage some Irish trawler owners to scrap their fishing vessels has been described as “a necessary evil” by Irish fishing organisations. The commission has approved a €80 million Irish scheme that would help owners badly affected by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union to quit the industry. In order to qualify for the grant, which will be calculated on the gross tonnage of the fishing vessel, owners will not only have to stop fishing, but also to surrender their licence and scrap their boats. Some of the grants will have to shared with trawler crews, and crews will also be able to claim some tax reliefs. >click to read< 07:29

French and Jersey fishermen meet for first time since Harbour blockade

The meeting this month was the first since Norman and Breton fishing vessels blockaded the Harbour in May last year in a protest over post-Brexit fishing rights. Relations deteriorated to such an extent last summer that the UK sent two naval vessels to Jersey in response to the blockade and some French politicians threatened to cut off the Island’s electricity supply. The president of the Jersey Fishermen’s Association, Don Thompson, said the meetings were an important first step in improving relations with their French counterparts. ‘We invited the French fishermen and representatives to Jersey for this first meeting,’ Mr Thompson said. ‘We are working for solutions. Typical of fishermen, the meeting was very forthright. We got right to the point and did not hold back.’ >click to read< 10:20

Government accused of ‘cover up’ over Teesside mass crab deaths

But Defra has insisted joint investigations into the deaths were thorough. Unrest, debate and protests over huge piles of dead crustaceans on Teesside’s coastline have rumbled on since problems first started last autumn at Seaton Carew, South Gare, Redcar, Marske and Saltburn. An algal bloom was deemed to be the likely culprit by a Defra-led study. But this was countered by an independent report by Tim Deere-Jones after he was commissioned by those concerned in the fishing industry. High levels of a chemical pyridine were noted by Mr Deere-Jones’s report. Mr Deere-Jones’ report also said algal blooms did not occur naturally in our coastal waters in October because the temperatures were too low. >click to read< 10:35

Training for new recruits needs to be extended says Seafish.

Simon Potten, Head of Safety and Training, discusses how local engagement and more training could be the key to making the fishing industry safer. During Maritime Safety Week (4-8 July) which was a great platform for raising national awareness of safety in the commercial fishing industry. We have been supporting Maritime Safety Week since it was started by the Department for Transport in 2018. In those five years there have been 23 deaths on commercial fishing vessels in the UK. Unfortunately, most of them came in 2021 when we tragically lost 10 fishermen. The worst year in over a decade for lives lost. Which is why I think Maritime Safety Week is more important this year than ever before. So, what can we do to make the fishing industry safer? >click to continue< 12:13

F/V Nicola Faith: The deadly mistakes that led to the boat capsizing and killing three men

A report into the death of three men who died in the Nicola Faith sinking tragedy has been published. The deaths sent shockwaves through the fishing industry after the boat capsized and sank. Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, lost their lives on board the vessel after it left Conwy Harbour on January 27 last year. It later sunk 1.9 miles north of Rhos-on-Sea, near Colwyn Bay. The 58-page report, written by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) highlights a series of operational failings as Mr McGrath sought extra productivity in his bid to buy the boat outright. Here, below, we set out a timeline of events that led to the tragedy. It covers in detail the day of the boat’s disappearance and the subsequent search operation. >click to read< 12:40

Rising diesel prices push UK’s fishing industry to the brink

Trawlers and commercial fishers are now struggling under the weight of price rises that mean in many cases tens of thousands of pounds extra in diesel for a fishing trip leading to take-home pay that is below the minimum wage. The biggest trawler in Brixham, the Julie of Ladram, returned to harbour after seven days at sea earlier this month, and came close to making a loss. The captain, Sean Beck, took home just £440 for a week’s work – the equivalent of £2.60 an hour for being responsible for the ship and crew 24 hours a day. “It’s a stressful time for my family. And it’s stressful at sea – fishing’s not always great. As a skipper it’s a big responsibility to make the boat pay and make sure everybody gets a wage.”>click to read< 09:42

Family of Robert Morley ‘bemused’ by F/V Joanna C tragedy report

Robert Morley’s stepdad and mother said the outcome of an investigation into the sinking of the F/V Joanna C had not given them the “peace of mind” they hoped for. Barry and Jackie Woolford are awaiting the inquest into Robert’s death to clear up a number of “anomalies”. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch report described how Robert was thrown from the boat as it capsized and he hung onto a lifebuoy before he eventually drowned. “We lost our son but we’re really none the wiser as to why. We know how but we don’t know why. “There are anomalies which we want to ask about at the inquest.” >click to read< 19:33

F/V Nicola Faith: Fisherman’s ‘harsh working conditions’ revealed in investigation

Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were on board the Nicola Faith when it left Conwy Harbour on January 27, 2021. It capsized and sank 1.9 miles north of Rhos-on-Sea. A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch found skipper Carl McGrath pushed his crew harder than most in search of greater productivity. Aged 34, Mr McGrath had been the boat’s skipper for some three years. Previously a builder and steel fabricator, he had had no fishing experience prior to skippering the Nicola Faith. Despite this, he had completed all mandatory fishing industry safety training courses. Neither had Ross Ballantine, 39, any prior experience of fishing before taking a job on the Nicola Faith, on which he had been working for about eight months. The youngest crew member was Alan Minard, 20, who had been crewing on Nicola Faith for just two weeks. >click to read< 14:00

F/V Johanna C: Life raft failure blamed after fishermen deaths

Two fishermen died after their trawler capsized and their life raft failed to inflate, a report has said. Investigators said the failure of the life raft “impacted” the chances of two men surviving after they were thrown into the water when the Joanna C sank in November 2020. One of the men in the water died, but the other was later rescued. A third crew member drowned after being trapped in the sinking boat, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch said. MAIB chief inspector Andrew Moll said: “Unfortunately, Joanna C’s ‘float-free’ life raft arrangements did not work as expected. >click to read< 10:38

Fishing Fuel Costs at Tipping Point

Many fishing vessels are facing a cruel choice between tying-up or going to sea to make a loss. NFFO members are providing landings information that illustrate although reasonably healthy grossings are being made, after deductions for fuel earnings for crews are risible. In one example a vessel in the south-west made a landing worth £11,0489 but fuel costs swallowed £10,416. In another case, a landing of £44,176 and a fuel bill of £29,068 left £1516 to be shared amongst 8 crew. A third example was an inshore vessel after eight days fishing made £8706 but faced a fuel bill of £5234, leaving £927 for the crew. These examples illustrate that the current situation is unsustainable are at the point beyond which vessels will have to tie up. >click to read< 08:18

UK fishing industry reports Brexit woes

As well as the issue of quotas for wild-catch fisheries, the report finds, the UK’s seafood industry has been struggling with increased paperwork for exports to the European Union and labour shortages following new restrictions on recruiting staff from the EU. In winter 2021, the APPG on Fisheries released a survey to collate experiences of Brexit as reported by members of the fishing industry. Responses revealed significant and shared concerns around financial losses and the long-term viability of individual businesses, fishing fleets, and other parts of the industry including processors and transporters. >click to continue< 15:30

Fishermen seek greater understanding of wind farm impacts

Projects already in the pipeline could wreak havoc with key spawning and nursery grounds for important fish stocks, they warned today. According to Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA), there are major overlaps between proposed areas of offshore wind farm development and sensitive ecosystems for young fish. Several wind farm areas will impact the spawning and nursery grounds of Scotland’s most valuable pelagic fish stocks, such as mackerel, herring and blue whiting, the industry body added. SFA also pointed to research showing a negative impact on shellfish species from offshore turbines and associated cabling.  >click to read< 19:11

Lobsters Develop Malformations in The Presence of Submarine Power Cables

A European study recently revealed an example proving that submarine power cables can have undesirable consequences on marine animal species. The work focuses on lobster, some specimens of which may indeed present malformations. With the help of other European researchers, a laboratory at the St Abbs marine station (United Kingdom) carried out a very telling experiment. The scientists exposed no less than 4,000 lobster eggs to a level of electromagnetic field similar to those usually present near undersea cables. At the same time, they observed the development of another group of unexposed eggs. According to the results, lobsters exposed to the waves are three times more likely to suffer from malformations. >click to read< 12:26

Trawlermen fish firm crowned UK small business of the year

A Peterhead fish firm that switched from wholesale to e-commerce has landed the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Small Business of the Year 2022 award. Amity Fish Company, led by Jimmy Buchan, star of the BBC’s Trawlermen TV series, netted the overall prize at the event hosted by TV personalities Clare Balding and JJ Chalmers in Glasgow yesterday. During the pandemic, the business switched from exclusively supplying restaurants and the hospitality trade, to delivering seafood products directly to people in their homes. > click to read < 10:06

New fishing partnership enters industry

Brodie Ramsay, Jack Garrick, and Skipper John Williamson are joint owners of the 23-metre vessel, built in 1993. The sale of the vessel, including licences and quota, marks another chapter in the ongoing process of younger crews taking over. Twenty-year-old Ramsay, from Ollaberry, who has already been at the fishing for the last five years, said the move felt like a “good opportunity to get into the industry”.> click to read < 12:19