Water police not told of missing trawler for four days, WA inquest hears

An inquest has heard there were critical delays in police being notified about a missing prawn trawler that sank off the Pilbara coast in 2015, resulting in three deaths. A coronial inquest has begun in Perth into how Murray Turner, 57, Chad Fairley, 30, and Mason Carter, 26, died. Mr Turner’s trawler, the Returner, sank about 20 kilometres off the Karratha coast in July 2015. The inquest heard police were only notified about the missing vessel almost five days after it stopped communicating with the Department of Fisheries’ monitoring system, which is primarily used as a surveillance and compliance tool. click here to read the story 08:35

Bryan Schroder, U.S. Attorney for Alaska, and the case of the missing fisherman

Bryan Schroder, a veteran federal prosecutor in Alaska, was nominated Friday by President Donald Trump to be the U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska. Schroder has been the acting head of the Alaska district since Karen Loeffler stepped down after being asked to resign by the Administration. He had served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney and Criminal Chief for the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Alaska since 2005. A retired U.S. Coast Guard Captain, Schroder is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the University of Washington School of Law.,, In a recent case that Schroder handled, a Port Graham couple has been charged with faking the death of a man who was facing prison time on another count to which he had already plead guilty. click here to red the story 07:59

Girlfriend Helped Him Fake Death at Sea to Avoid Jail –  The indictment says Rodriguez sent a flurry of Facebook messages to plant the seeds of the fabricated emergency. click here to read the story 09:12

Northeast Seafood Coalition – Gov. Charlie Baker confirmed, attending annual fundraiser

When fishermen and supporters gather for the Northeast Seafood Coalition’s annual fundraiser Thursday night, they will be joined by one of their highest-profile backers. Gov. Charlie Baker has confirmed he will be on hand for the coalition’s gala, slated to begin at 6 p.m. at The Gloucester House restaurant. There, participants will raise money through ticket sales and a live auction to help the industry gain new inroads for developing effective science in tandem with federal and state regulators, all while sampling seafood caught in the previous 24 hours. “We see this event as the start of a push to obtain the science consultants and the help that we need,” said John Bell, the former Gloucester mayor who is a coalition co-founder and serves as head of its board of directors. (They may have a few tickets left!)  click here to read the story 20:45

Bristol Bay fisherman-restaurateur buys catch back from processor to sell in Monterey eatery

Sam Mercurio skippers the f/v Quick Silver, a Bristol Bay drift boat fishing for Alaska General Seafoods. He is also part-owner of a Italian seafood restaurant in Monterey, California called Domenico’s On the Wharf. Mercurio has fished in Bristol Bay for 39 years, and has co-owned Domenico’s for eleven years. After each fishing season, he buys thousands of pounds of salmon from AGS to be sold in his restaurant—salmon he helped supply to the processor as a fisherman. “It’s wild and natural, and it’s ours; it’s mine, you know what I mean,” said Mercurio on taking ownership of the wild caught product. “I buy direct from Alaska General Seafoods. They put up a pack for me all filleted and vacuum packed, and we ship them to Seattle from Naknek, and they ship them to the restaurant when I need them.” click here to listen/read the story 15:49

Coast Guard to enforce U.S. pot laws on water – Federal law supersedes state laws

Smoking marijuana on a boat in federally patrolled waters remains illegal, in spite of the recent decriminalization of pot in New Hampshire and its legalization in Maine and Massachusetts, warned U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Andrew Barresi. “The Coast Guard still enforces federal law, which has not changed,” Barresi said. “Federal law says it’s illegal, in any quantities.” And there’s no exemption for medical marijuana, said Barresi about federal law, which supersedes state laws.,,, But too few people know pot laws on land differ from laws on the water, Barresi said.  “It’s important for people to know,” he said. “We don’t want them to be surprised by it.” click here to read the story 14:36

Families hope inquest into Pilbara prawn trawler deaths will lead to industry reform

The families of two fishermen presumed dead after their prawn trawler sunk off the Pilbara coast two years ago say they are apprehensive of a coronial inquest starting on Monday. The Returner sank in mid July 2015 off the Pilbara coast, killing 57-year-old skipper Murray Turner, Chad Fairley, 30, and Mason Carter, 26. An extensive search located the vessel and the body of the skipper, but the two younger crewman were never recovered.  Tomorrow, the WA’s Coroner’s Court will begin examining what caused the trawler to sink and the circumstances surrounding the men’s deaths. click here to read the story 11:25

Sea Lion II fishing boat beached in front of Bayshore Club – Captain okay – fell asleep

Sea Lion II runs aground. Captain told onlookers he fell asleep and woke up marooned on the beach. A great photo article, click here for images They were hoping to re-float her, but it was not to be. ‘Via con dios’ Sea Lion II…. click here to see the images. 10:18

Maine lobstermen serve booming world market

From trade deals in Europe and China, to the price per pound customers pay at the dock for their nightly dinner, York is a microcosm for both the uber international and the uber local sides of the lobster industry. And local lobstermen serving both markets are just pleased to see the lobsters here are finally shedding their shells and are getting hungry, filling traps that up until now have been pretty light due to colder than usual ocean temperatures during June and early July.,,, Jeff White, president of the York Lobstermen’s Association, said this season is “more like 20 years ago. You never expected to get anything until the middle of July. Why is it different? I really don’t know. The lobsters know and they’re not telling. click here to read the story 09:10

Our View: Cooper rightly pans offshore drilling

Gov. Roy Cooper was right on the mark last week in declaring his staunch opposition to opening up North Carolina’s coast to offshore drilling.  Cooper made the announcement Thursday on the beach at Fort Macon State Park in Cataret County, one day before the deadline for elected officials to submit comment on the Trump administration’s request for companies to perform seismic testing under the Atlantic Ocean. Gov. Roy Cooper was right on the mark last week in declaring his staunch opposition to opening up North Carolina’s coast to offshore drilling. Cooper joins Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in opposing any plan to drill for oil and gas off the Atlantic coastline. click here to read the op-ed 08:08

Coast Guard medevacs injured fisherman near Martha’s Vineyard

A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod crew medevaced an injured fisherman Saturday afternoon from Muskeget Channel between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. At around 1:30 p.m. the 75-foot fishing vessel Perception notified Coast Guard watchstanders that a crewmember had fallen and sustained injuries and was in need of medical attention. An Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter was already in the air and diverted to assist. The aircrew arrived on scene and hoisted the fisherman off Perception at around 2:15 p.m. They then flew to Hyannis Airport and transferred the patient to awaiting Emergency Medical Services personnel at around 2:45 p.m. The fisherman was then brought to Cape Cod Hospital for further care.  -USCG- click for video 21:43

The fascinating history of sea serpent sightings in the Humber and North Sea

Newspaper reports dating back as far as the 1920s detail mysterious creatures spotted by trawlermen.,,, The story began in August 1922, when on Wednesday, August 30, a Grimsby steam trawler named CHANDOS, had a run-in with a sea serpent in the North Sea, 35 miles out from Spurn Point. The crew, who had sailed from Grimsby that morning, believed that they were initially seeing two brown sails from two inshore fishing boats, so approached them at a steady rate of knots. click here to read the story 12:37

The man who destroyed the West Coast rock lobster

It took only 14 years for Cape Town businessman Arnold Bengis to decimate one of South Africa’s most treasured marine species. Now he is being made to pay by a US court‚ which has ordered the 81-year-old to cough up $37-million (about R483-million) for pillaging thousands of tons of rock lobster. South Africa will be the first foreign government in the world to be compensated under a 117-year-old US law‚ the Lacey Act‚ which regulates imports of protected species.,,, Former DAFF head of fisheries Horst Kleinschmidt‚ who testified in the District Court in 2004 about Bengis’s fishing activities‚ quoted research that suggested that free-falling rock lobster stocks “immediately stabilised” after his operation was stopped. click here to read the story 11:53

Legendary Beaufort waterman caught the big one when ‘Forrest Gump’ came to town

Jimmie Lee Stanley was all but born in the river, and he was surf fishing for black drum, flounder and speckled trout the weekend before he died. He passed away in June in Beaufort, where he born, like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was only 63. Stanley could hunt and fish and shrimp with the best of them, and cook what he brought home — always the more the merrier.,,, But his biggest catch was an odd one. It’s one he loved with all his heart. It happened when his 65-foot wooden hull shrimp boat, the Miss Sherri was plucked from a sea of trawlers by Hollywood directors to be christened the Jenny in the blockbuster movie, “Forrest Gump.” click here to read the story 11:00

Government will review Supreme Court order on $250M Placentia Bay project: minister

The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador on Thursday overturned the provincial government’s decision to release a quarter-billion dollar salmon farming project in Placentia Bay from further environmental assessment. Justice Gillian Butler ruled on July 20 that Perry Trimper, then the environment and climate change minister, “lacked jurisdiction” to release the project from a full environmental assessment, and that an environmental impact statement had to be completed. The impact statement would have required an ecosystem and population study of the wild salmon in Placentia Bay, as well as a contingency plan and extensive public consultation. click here to read the story 09:56

Will banning trade in fins help endangered sharks? Experts are divided

The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act of 2017, introduced before Congress on March 9, would terminate the possession and trade of shark fins in all 50 U.S. states and 16 territories. Activists and advocacy groups often cheer these bans as a way to protect sharks. Internationally about 70 of the planet’s 400-plus shark species now face extinction, often due to overfishing. However, some experts argue that better tracking to determine whether imported fins were caught sustainably, followed by trade restrictions on those that weren’t, represent the best steps toward saving threatened shark species. Some go so far as to argue that a U.S. trade ban may do more harm than good, by crushing a domestic industry that exports sustainably caught fins to markets in Asia and allowing less-sustainable fisheries to take up the slack. click here to read the story 08:54

Kentucky State Fish and Wildlife Department seeking input on entrepreneurial solutions for Asian carp problem

Asian carp swim by the millions in Kentucky’s waterways, threatening to crowd out native fish in some of the state’s most cherished fishing destinations – including Kentucky and Barkley lakes in the west. With an absence of predators and little natural controls available for these invasive species, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the state Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are seeking public input on a plan to limit the explosive growth of Asian carp populations while providing a valuable protein source for people. State officials will evaluate a potential public/private partnership to boost the emerging Asian carp fish processing business in Kentucky. State support of entrepreneurs could include hiring commercial anglers and rental of necessary equipment; supplying freezer space in warehouses; purchasing catches during low demand times; and cash incentives, among other potential solutions. click here to read the story 08:30

Tasmanian fishermen fed up with seal relocation into other fishing grounds

The relocation of problem seals from fish farms to the state’s North-West is causing anger among commercial fishers, who say their nets are being plundered by increasingly aggressive seals and their catches are significantly down. The transporting of seals away from salmon farms began in the 1990s as a temporary way of providing respite until better pen security measures were introduced. But almost 30 years later, a frustrated band of small mesh net fishermen say they have had enough and it is time for the State Government to stop rogue seals being moved away from pens and into other fishing grounds.  “Relocating hungry seals from one enterprise to another is akin to moving a problem wild dog from one sheep farm to another.” click here to read the story 08:09

My Turn: Ben Landry: Have honest discussion on fishing

In his July 7 column (“Opinions on changes toquota are divided”), Capt. Dave Monti makes multiple inaccurate claims about the biology and management of menhaden — claims that someone who advises menhaden regulators at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission should know do not conform to the latest menhaden science. Mr. Monti mischaracterizes the health of the Atlantic menhaden stock when he says it is “on the rebound, due to the first-ever catch quota put into place in 2012.” As an ASMFC advisor, Mr. Monti should know that the 2012 catch quota was based on a stock assessment, later determined to be faulty, that showed menhaden was being overfished. That later-disproven science led the commission to unnecessarily slash menhaden catch rates by 20 percent, hurting those who make their living in the fishery. click here to read the rest, it gets better! 19:24

Tokyo’s proposal to cap saury catch tanks after neighbors slam it as unfair

The North Pacific Fisheries Commission held its annual meeting earlier this month to discuss an international framework to prevent overfishing. But its eight members were ultimately unable to agree on individual quotas for Pacific saury, a popular seasonal fish, amid strong opposition from China and other players. Tokyo had proposed annual caps of 242,000 tons on Japan’s catch, 191,000 tons for Taiwan and 47,000 tons for China. State-run China Central Television reported that Japan blamed China for the shrinking stock of saury, and said Tokyo’s proposal was “irrational” and unfairly tough on its neighbor. Chinese microblogging site Weibo erupted with disapproving posts. Users questioned why Japan should be allowed five times the catch when its population was just one-thirteenth of China’s, while others said Japan’s own problems with overfishing tuna gave it “no right to criticize other countries.” click here to read the story 18:18

Coast Guard crews work diligently to keep fishing boat afloat in the Gulf

Additional Coast Guard crews have been sent to keep flooding at bay aboard a commercial fishing vessel with four people aboard, 30 miles northeast of Port Aransas, Friday. A Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and a Station Port Aransas response boat crew each delivered dewatering pumps earlier in the morning, after the 95-foot Miss Tina II reported that they were taking on water. At 4:27 a.m., the captain of the Miss Tina II contacted Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi watchstanders to report the vessel was taking on water and was in need of assistance. Another aircrew returned to provide another dewatering pump later in the morning. A total of four dewatering pumps were delivered to the vessel and were keeping up with the ingress of water. A Station Port O’Connor response boat crew relieved the Port Aransas crew and the Coast Guard patrol boat was diverted to assist. The Tin Can, the sister boat of the Miss Tina II, is towing the boat to Palacios. The Station Port O’Connor response boat crew is escorting both boats. -USCG- 16:19

Study: Sea Level Rise Revised Downward

If I had not looked past the headline of the press report on a new study, I would have just filed it under “It’s worse than we thought”. A new study in Nature reported on July 17 carried the following headlines: “Satellite snafu masked true sea-level rise for decades” “Revised tallies confirm that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating as the Earth warms and ice sheets thaw.” When I read that, I (like everyone else) assumed that corrections to the satellite sea level data since 1993 have now led to a revised trend toward faster (not slower) sea level rise. Right? Wrong. click here to read the story

Sea Level Rise Accelerating? Not. – This question all revolves around whether the rate of sea level rise is relatively steady, or whether it is accelerating … so how do we tell the difference? click here to read the story 13:21

Shrinking northern shrimp catch sparks worry for one of Eastern Canada’s most important fisheries

The northern shrimp population in the Gulf of St. Lawrence has dropped by 50 per cent in the past 10 years, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Commercial fishermen brought in roughly 30 per cent fewer shrimp between 2015 and 2016. While the exact portrait of what is happening with shrimp stocks may be complex, the warming temperatures of the Gulf of St. Lawrence have been fingered as a potential problem for northern shrimp, a cold-water-loving shrimp species found in the northwest Atlantic. Another factor is the increasing number of redfish, also known as the ocean perch, a species that prefers warmer temperatures. Redfish compete with the shrimp for food when they are young, and feed on them when they are older. click here to read the story 11:08

140,000 live Canadian lobster sold to China in 24 hours

Chinese buyers snapped up more than 140,000 live Canadian lobsters within 24 hours last week through a Beijing-based online retailer, and the demand can only grow, says a New Brunswick supplier. The live lobsters came from a variety of sources for the sale July 14 on jd.com, one of the largest e-commerce websites in the world. According to a news release from the company, the surge in lobster purchases was part of a sale promoting fresh food from Canada, which also included cherries and blueberries among the offerings. click here to read the story 10:30

Pacific Seafood Processor’s Association seeks probe into America’s Finest foreign steel

The trade group representing Alaska’s onshore fish processing plants is challenging a request for an exemption to a federal law limiting the amount of foreign steel allowed in fishing vessel construction. The Pacific Seafood Processor’s Association has major issues with the request for a Jones Act waiver sought by Fisherman’s Finest, the owner of the embattled flatfish factory trawler American’s Finest, and its builder, the Washington shipyard Dakota Creek Industries. The 261-foot vessel is nearly complete at a cost of at least $60 million, and cannot fish in U.S. waters without the waivers. PSPA’s members include Unisea and Westward in Unalaska, and most of the other fish processors in Alaska. click here to read the story 09:52

Australia Seeks to Extend Commercial Fishing in Protected Waters

Australia plans to allow fishing across 80 percent of its protected maritime sanctuaries, the government said on Friday in a proposal that would vastly extend commercial activity in the world’s largest marine-reserves network. If the plan, backed by the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, is approved by Parliament, it would be the first time a nation has scaled back its regulations in protected maritime areas. The move could potentially set a precedent for other countries, including the United States, which are considering similar reversals. (enviro’s are opposed) “This is a huge step backwards for marine protection,” said Richard Leck, head of oceans for WWF-Australia, an affiliate of the World Wildlife Fund. click here to read the story 09:00

FISHY BUSINESS: There are plenty of fish in the sea

“The ocean has been over-fished, there are only a few more years of fish out there; and then they will all be gone.” “There simply are not any more fish in the sea, they have all been taken!” “The Northeast fishing industry is dead, they have fished themselves out of business.“ These are all common statements one might hear about commercial fishing in the Northeast, although each represents a misunderstanding of the situation. In fact, today these statements are just plain wrong. The Northeast ground fishing industry is in real trouble and has been for some time, which is true. The trouble is not the result of lack of fish. As Fishy Business often points out, the real culprits are poor fishery management by the federal government, incomplete fish stock assessments and bad science. click here to read the story 21:14

Wind farm officials hear fishermen’s pleas, Deepwater Now Exploring New Cable Route

In response to strong opposition from commercial fishermen who fear a disruption of their work and destruction of fish habitat, officials of Deepwater Wind, a Rhode Island company that plans to construct a 15-turbine wind farm approximately 30 miles off Montauk, are exploring an alternative to an initial plan to route the installation’s transmission cable through Gardiner’s Bay. At an April meeting of the East Hampton Town Trustees, several fishermen voiced those concerns to Clint Plummer, Deepwater Wind’s vice president of development, should the transmission cable be laid to make landfall in Gardiner’s Bay. click here to read the story 20:25

A big harvest + a buck a pound: Bristol Bay 2017 will be one for the books

Mother Nature sent way more sockeye back to Bristol Bay than was expected, and many fishermen recorded their top seasons ever. As other fisheries fall short, the market is eager for all the fish the Bay can provide, so the fleet goes home with a better price, too. The ex-vessel value may be the highest since early 90s.The Bristol Bay run is not over yet, with word Monday that the Kvichak River seemed to finally “pop”, but this year’s fishery is shaping up to be one of the largest ever and certainly one of the most valuable in a long time.,,, “We are really happy to see several processors posting $1/lb base price – especially considering the base price just 2 years ago was .50 cents,” said Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association executive director Becky Martello. “With much of the fleet now chilling and bleeding, it means that our fishermen can get upwards of $1.25/pound. That’s good news for the fleet and the fishery.” click here to read the story 17:51

Gov. Roy Cooper: No drilling off N.C. coast; ‘not worth it’

Gov. Roy Cooper said he will oppose seismic testing and drilling off the North Carolina coast during a statement at Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach Thursday. In April, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aiming to expand off-shore drilling in parts of the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, including North Carolina. Cooper is at odds with Trump’s order, and the governor argued off-shore drilling poses an economic risk to tourism and commercial fishing with no clear benefits for the state. The federal government has North Carolina on the list of potential off-shore drilling locations, and Friday is the deadline for seismic testing click here to read the story 16:16

NOAA locates F/V Destination wreckage, Coast Guard hearing set for August

Two NOAA ships, en route to scientific missions in Alaskan waters, helped locate the missing fishing vessel Destination at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation. The Destination and its six crew members were lost February 11, 2017, while fishing for Opilio crab (snow crab) northwest of St. George, Alaska. NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson, a fisheries survey vessel, conducted the first survey from April 30 through May 1. The Dyson used its multibeam echo sounder to search the area around the last known position of the Destination. While the ship was not able to positively identify any contacts, it did narrow the search area. A second survey by NOAA Ship Fairweather, a hydrographic survey vessel, was conducted on July 8 and 9. The Fairweather used its multibeam sonar, designed for seafloor mapping and object detection, to locate the Destination in approximately 250 feet of water. click here to read the press release 13:51