Tag Archives: United States

Why every American should care that diesel prices are surging across the country

To many Americans, including politicians, diesel prices are so removed from their version of reality that they often dismiss the importance of diesel to the U.S. and global economies. Today’s truckstop retail diesel prices hit a new record of $5.32/gallon. However, diesel is the fuel that drives the economy and leaves major industries vulnerable to cost shocks. Without diesel fuel, the U.S. economy would collapse in a matter of days. Our supply chains would completely shrivel, almost overnight. Trucks use it to haul our goods across the country. Of all Class 8 trucks (the big ones), 97% use diesel. A world without diesel would mean that our grocery stores and restaurants would run out of food, retail store shelves would be empty, and hospitals would run out of medical supplies. But that is just scratching the surface. Farmers use diesel to power most of their machinery. Nearly every fishing vessel around the world uses diesel for power. Without diesel, our fishing food supply chain would collapse. >click to read< 17:39

Despite war ban, Russian seafood could enter the US anyway

Fishing is big business in Russia, one closely linked to the Kremlin and President Vladimir Putin’s projection of power at sea. The country is one of the world’s top seafood producers and was the eighth-largest exporter to the United States last year, with more than $1.2bn worth of sales, the bulk of it king crab. But it is unknown exactly how much manages to land in the US by way of China, which sent another $1.7bn in fish to the US last year. Nor does the Biden administration’s ban require companies importing from China to find out. But the same species is also harvested in Russia in similar amounts, and once processed and imported from China, fills an important gap in the US market. In lieu of tracing the country of origin, US producers rely on the name recognition of Alaska pollock to signal where the fish was caught. >click to read< 17:31

The value of Canadian lobster exports has skyrocketed driving the wharf price toward a record high

Two weeks ago, at wharfs in Nova Scotia, the price of lobster was the highest it has ever been. Stewart Lamont, managing director of Tangier Lobster Company, a live lobster exporter in Nova Scotia, said the shore price for lobster, the amount fishermen get from buyers, was $18 a pound. That’s more than double the regular pre-pandemic price. It has since gone down due to a drop in exports and higher supply. Lamont said this week lobster was around $12 to $12.50 a pound. While high prices mean more money for lobster exporters and fishermen, Lamont said he is scared that if lobster becomes too expensive, people and businesses will simply stop buying it. >click to read< 10:52

The Clean Water Act, passed into law 50 years ago, has fallen well short of its goals

Nearly half of the rivers and streams across the U.S. are considered too polluted to meet quality standards for swimming, recreation, aquatic life, fish consumption or as drinking water sources. The Environmental Integrity Project, a nonpartisan nonprofit formed by former Environmental Protection Agency attorneys, published a report that found alarming results of water quality tests in all 50 states. More than 700,000 miles of waterways, about 51 percent of assessed river and stream miles, are impaired by pollution. That’s in addition to another 55 percent of lake acres and 26 percent of estuary miles. >click to read< 16:49

U.S. Bans Russian Seafood, Alcohol in Downgrade of Russia’s Trade Status

The United States will join the European Union and Group of Seven (G7) countries in downgrading Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status, President Joe Biden announced Friday. As part of a new executive order from Biden, the administration will also ban alcohol, seafood and diamonds from Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, which is currently in its third week. The move is part of a series of actions by the U.S. and Western nations to chip away at Russia’s economy through sanctions and bans. >click to read< 11:15

Despite Ukraine invasion, the U.S. and Russia are still working together to solve salmon mysteries

Tensions continue to simmer between Moscow and Washington in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In many respects, the divide between East and West is deepening: Oil companies are canceling partnerships with Russian firms. State legislators are calling for the state’s sovereign wealth fund to dump Russian investments. President Joe Biden announced Tuesday the U.S. would close its airspace to Russian aircraft. But the United States and Russia are continuing to work together on at least one issue: salmon. >click to read< 10:10

Canadian lobster exports have biggest year ever, topping $3.2B last year

The value of Canadian lobster exports topped $3.2 billion last year, the highest ever and more than $700 million higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to new trade data. Soaring sales of Canadian frozen and processed lobster in the United States during 2021 accounted for most of the increase. “We had a very strong bounce back from the pandemic as people ate premium protein that they bought in grocery stores. They wanted healthy food, they wanted safe food and they wanted a treat. So they buy lobster,” said Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada, an industry trade group. >click to read< 07:57

Ghost of seal hunt haunts Canadian trucker blockades over COVID-19 testing

Canadian cattle and pigs fed grain from the United States are going hungry. Some cattle and pigs en route from Canada to finishing and slaughter in the U.S. may be stuck aboard trucks. Behind the chaos lurks the ghosts of past political impasses over cod fishing quotas and the Atlantic Canadian seal hunt. What the long depleted Atlantic Canadian cod stocks and the nearly moribund seal hunt have to do with horn-honking truckers, cattle and pigs mooing and oinking with hunger pangs, and widespread public and political exasperation,,, You see where this is going, eh? >click to read< 19:36

U.S. lobster set to feed another Chinese New Year as demand booms

The week-long holiday, commonly known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year, is typically one of the busiest times for the U.S. lobster business. Appetite for the crustaceans remains strong in China this year, despite pandemic-related challenges to transportation and logistics, according to U.S. lobster industry members. “I have orders every day. Whether I can get them all on the airplanes every day becomes a question,” Bill Bruns, operations manager at The Lobster Co. >click to read< 08:16

Where Did All the Mackerel Go?

Summer in Atlantic Canada can be unreliable, emerging reluctantly from the damp cold of spring. But a sure sign of its arrival is the sudden presence of Atlantic Mackerel, Slipping away is already something of a mackerel specialty as they dart from their winter habitat, in the deep water along the continental shelf stretching from Nova Scotia to North Carolina, to their inshore summer spawning grounds. For the so-called northern contingent, from which the Canadian catch is derived, these spawning grounds are in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence; for their southern counterparts, summer is spent on the mid-Atlantic coast up to the Gulf of Maine. >click to read< 09:55

COVID-19 saves right whales by sinking cruise ships

Canada created the Shediac ship restricted zone in April 2020 just a couple weeks before Holland America’s Zaandam was scheduled to sail through that zone on a shipping lane used only seasonally by cruise ships as a shortcut to Quebec City. However, a COVID-19 no-sail order in March 2020 superseded that restriction. Consequently, there was not one Canadian ship right whale strike death in two years and only one Canadian crab entanglement death,,, Zero whales were killed by lobster gear. There has not been one death from lobster gear in the U.S. and only a couple in Canada in over 20 years but the Center for Biological Diversity, with no supporting data, claims the whales are going extinct based on lobster entanglements. >click to read< By Jim O’Connell 07:31

U.S. puts restrictions on Mexican boats over illegal fishing

The U.S. government is putting restrictions on Mexican fishing boats entering U.S. ports over allegations that the Mexican government has failed to prevent illegal fishing in U.S. waters. Starting Feb. 7, all Mexican fishing boats in the Gulf of Mexico will be prohibited from entering U.S. ports. “This is an example of how rampant illegal fishing is in Mexico,” said Alejandro Olivera with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Mexican fisheries enforcement has been weakened since the start of this administration.” >click to read< 09:50

Alaskan fishing fleet catching huge proportion of B.C. salmon

As salmon runs in British Columbia hit record lows, commercial fisheries along the Alaska panhandle are catching a growing share of salmon bound for B.C. rivers, according to a new technical report. The report, which includes a detailed analysis on each B.C. salmon species caught in Southeast Alaskan interception fisheries, was commissioned by Watershed Watch Salmon Society and SkeenaWild Conservation Trust and comes as Canada and the United States begin their annual review of bilateral management under the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Many of B.C.’s largest salmon runs pass through Alaskan waters on their way home to spawn in Canadian rivers. >click to read< 11:50

NOAA/DFO Officials on Risk Reduction and Protections for North Atlantic Right Whales

In December, NOAA Fisheries held another productive biannual engagement with officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada to discuss ongoing efforts by both countries to protect and recover North Atlantic right whales,,,  While this was the last of the 2021 biannual meetings with Canada on this topic, it was my first as the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries. Both of our countries face the same challenge >click to read<,-Read about her background, >click here< 10:53

DFO Policy Puts Harvester Lives and Livelihoods at Risk

A new ‘weak rope’ gear policy being implemented in Newfoundland and Labrador will have negative implications for fish harvesters in this province, including risks to safety, an unknown cost burden, and significant potential for increased environmental waste. Weak rope measures are being implemented with the goal of preventing right whale entanglements. While these entanglements may be a concern for fisheries in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, there has never been a right whale entanglement in the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery.,, “The death of one right whale could have a disastrous impact on seafood exports to the United States. Fish harvesters know this and will gladly take all reasonable steps to protect the species and their livelihoods but implementing this policy without any due diligence is entirely unreasonable,” >click to read< 10:55

How Grand Bank made the ‘Grandy dory’ a Newfoundland icon

During the late 1800s and all of the 1900s, the small boat of choice along the south and southwest coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador was the dory.,, Simeon Lowell of Salisbury Point, Mass., is credited with inventing the dory in 1793. Over the ensuing decades these small, shallow draft, flat bottom boats measuring five to seven metres long, became so popular and were in such demand for fishing along the eastern seaboard that eventually “dory factories,” where they were mass-produced, were established. Around the same time schooners from Nova Scotia also took advantage of the lucrative fishing on our offshore banks followed by our own fishermen in 1891, led by Samuel Harris and at least 16 other schooner owners from Grand Bank. photos >click to read< 11:28

Birth of the Eagle: How a Nazi training ship found its way to the Coast Guard Academy

The three-masted vessel that appeared in the harbor the morning of July 12, 1946, looked like something out of New London’s past, but it belonged to the future. Nearly 300 feet long with a graceful steel hull painted white, it was rigged as a barque: square sails on the foremast and mainmast, fore and aft sails on the mizzen mast. The ship docked at Fort Trumbull and was later inspected by 1,200 curious people. Seventy-five years ago this week, New London got a first look at what would become one of its enduring symbols: the Coast Guard barque Eagle. The arrival fit a pattern of events that defined 1946: the tying up of loose ends from World War II. photos, >click to read< 10:16

US Embargo Hits Mexican Shrimp Industry Hard

The United States has suspended certification of wild-caught Mexican shrimp, preventing producers from export part of their production to the USA. Already financially weakened Mexican shrimp exporters are confident that the decision will be reversed soon, but have concerns about the severe economic consequences. US inspectors identified non-conformities in the turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in dozens of fishing gears inspected at Sonora, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Campeche ports. News of the embargo was received with concern by the shrimp fishermen all over Mexico. ‘But we haven’t felt any impact yet, given that we had already exported all stocks and we’re now waiting for the next shrimp season to start in September,’ >photos, click to read< 13:13

Its National Shrimp Day! The Incredible Health Benefits Of Eating This Seafood

National Shrimp Day is celebrated each year on May 10 to recognize America’s favorite seafood. It is estimated that an average American consumes around 15.5 pounds of seafood annually, out of which 4 pounds is shrimp. There are more than 2,000 different species of shrimp found all over the world from the tropics to the Antarctic Ocean. The most common shrimp species in the United States include Gulf Brown Shrimp, Gulf Pink Shrimp, and Gulf White Shrimp. >click to read< 08:33

US shuts off Mexico shrimp imports

Mexico said Friday it will try to regain U.S. certification for shrimp exports, after the country lost its registration because of inadequate protections for sea turtles. Mexico’s agriculture department said it will take corrective measures and carry out training to ensure Mexican trawl-net shrimp boats don’t sweep up sea turtles as by-catch. The Department of State said the U.S. ban coincides with the closure of Mexico’s shrimp fishing season. >click to read< 13:30

2021 Yukon River Chinook salmon run will likely be small, according to forecast

Somewhere between 42,000 and 77,000 Canadian-origin fish are anticipated to make the journey from the Bering Sea this year, Alaska and Yukon experts told attendees during the Yukon River Panel’s pre-season meeting on Tuesday. The most likely run size would be 57,000, they said. That’s smaller than the pre season outlooks for 2020 and 2019, and both those years ended disastrously when it came to getting enough salmon across the border. Under an international treaty, Canada and the U.S. are supposed to work together to ensure at least 42,500 fish make it to their spawning waters in Yukon. That spawning escapement goal hasn’t been met since 2018, last year only about 33,000 Chinook made it. >click to read< 13:21

Working Waterfronts: Development threatens Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River fishing industry

The Great Lakes’ commercial fishery is nothing like what it was a hundred years ago. But from Lake Superior to Lake Ontario to the St. Lawrence River, there are still people who make their living catching and selling fish. However, they face increasing competition from hotels, condos and other developments for loading and docking space along the shoreline. One example,, The Minor family has been a long standing fishing family, they’re now in their third generation. And they recently had the experience of coming back from a day of fishing, and found that the place that they’ve been unloading fish for generations was suddenly unavailable, because there was new construction for a cruise ship dock going in. >click to read< 16:34

Georges Bank haddock – Canada, U.S. agree to slash quota by 45%

Canada and the United States have agreed to a large quota cut for the haddock stock that straddles their shared fishing grounds on Georges Bank south of Nova Scotia. Committee records from 2019 and 2020 show the Georges Bank haddock population is still healthy, but on the decline as the “extraordinarily strong” population hatched in 2013 is caught or dies off. COVID-19 curtailed or cancelled scientific surveys on Georges Bank in 2020. “We have no analytical model on haddock, had no U.S. surveys,,, >click to read< 21:05

EU backs U.S. lobster trade deal

Thanksgiving just got a little bit better for the Maine lobster industry. The European Union parliament on Thursday approved a mini trade deal with the United States, which includes the elimination of customs duties on U.S. lobster imports. The passage with 638 votes for, 45 against and 11 abstentions was the last major political step for the deal to come into effect. As a result, the 27-nation EU will drop its 8% tariff on U.S. lobsters for the next five years and work to make the move permanent. >click to read< 06:35

Lobsters Are A Prawn In The Trade Wars

American lobster and lobster fishers got caught in a trade war being fought on multiple fronts. The United States is battling China on one major front and the European Union (EU) on another, but as is typical in trade wars, it’s lobster production in another country that’s winning the war. In this case, Canada. If that weren’t enough, tariffs are the root cause of the trade war, but not in the way you might think. China’s tariffs on U.S. lobsters are in retaliation for President Trump’s China tariffs over intellectual property. The EU didn’t raise its tariffs on U.S. lobster, but rather lowered them on Canadian ones as part of their free trade agreement. In other words, U.S. lobsters were never meant to be the target of either Chinese or EU,,, How the lobster trade war started isn’t nearly as interesting as the efforts to stop it. >click to read< 10:28

Fishing industry slump demonstrates vulnerability of food security in Coronavirus crisis

Measures are needed to avoid a worldwide Covid-19 slump in agriculture and food production, such as already exists in the fishing industry. Fishing fleets and fish farmers were among the hardest hit by COVID-19, and not just in Ireland. Businesses in the United States and elsewhere supplying high-value food products like lobster and other crustaceans to restaurants in China have also been crippled by the pandemic.,, Demand for seafood slumped dramatically. Many Irish trawlers are now tied up at the piers, with their crews having handed out free fish,,, >click to read< 14:59

New Bedford Remains Top Money Port in the United States

Scallops continue to be king in the Port of New Bedford. The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday released its 2018 report on commercial fishing. For the 19th consecutive year, the Port of New Bedford was the most lucrative port in the nation, with its total catch of seafood valued at $431 million. Dutch Harbor, Alaska landed the most fish for the 22nd consecutive year, more than 763 million pounds. >click to read< 10:10

Fisheries of the U.S. Report for 2018 Shows Strong Year for Fishermen – According to the Fisheries of the United States report, which is compiled by NOAA using data and analysis not immediately available at the same end of a fishing year, U.S. highest value species groups in 2018 included lobster ($684 million), crabs ($645 million), salmon ($598 million), scallops ($541 million), and shrimp ($496 million). >click to read<

The Risk of Ship Strikes: Maine Congressional Delegation Ask Feds To Shift Focus Of Right Whale Protections

In a letter to top officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this week, the delegation calls on the agency to provide more information about reducing the risk of ship strikes off the United States and Canada – strikes that they say are as much a threat to the whales’ survival as entanglement with lobster fishing gear. >click to read< 10:13

  Most likely Carnival Cruise Lines is responsible for 18+ Right Whale deaths in the past 3 year, at which rate they would soon be extinct>click to read<

The small change that meant big losses for Nova Scotia lobstermen

A sixteenth of an inch doesn’t seem like much. But it added up to a whole lot for Nova Scotia lobstermen in December 1989. A new law had been passed in the United States that increased the minimum allowable size of lobsters for import, by that seemingly insignificant margin. “That might not sound like much of a change to a non-fisherman,” he explained. “But in reality, it means as much as a quarter-pound increase in weight.” Video, >click to read< 10:37

U.S., China Reach Substantial ‘Phase One’ Trade Deal

The U.S. and China agreed on the outlines of a partial trade accord Friday that President Donald Trump said he and China’s Xi Jinping could sign as soon as next month. As part of the deal, China would significantly step up purchases of U.S. agricultural commodities, agree to certain intellectual-property measures and concessions related to financial services and currency,  The agreement marks the largest breakthrough in the 18-month trade war that has hurt the economies of both nations. Importantly, Trump said the deal was the first phase of a broader agreement. >click to read< 16:34