The President vetoed a bill that would have decimated family fisheries and the ocean

Thanks to a last-minute veto by President Donald Trump on January 1, dozens of American family fishing businesses will be saved from going out of business, and the ocean ecosystem will be better protected—both of which were being threatened by a bill that was more rhetoric than science. In mid-December, Congress passed S. 906, the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act. The legislation would have phased out the use of drift gillnets, the only proven commercially viable way to catch swordfish, and would have effectively closed the West Coast swordfish fishery. This comes amidst particular uncertainty for fishermen in the region, who were already facing daunting challenges. >click to read< 09:15

Three fishermen saved after shrimp boat sinks off North Topsail Beach

On Dec. 30, Lawrence Hansley and two others headed out to sea with Hansley’s shrimp boat, Salty Boy. It’d been six or seven months since he was on the inlet. While out on the water, the team entered a channel not far off NTB. “We went through a set of buoys, and I know we had to line up for the red buoys, but we didn’t see the red buoy,” said Hansley. That’s when they were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. The boat touched the bottom of the seafloor, coming up onto a sand bar, and ran aground. >video, click to read< 08:10

North Pacific pollock fleet preps for season after tough 2020

Skipper Kevin Ganley spent most of the summer and fall pulling a massive trawl net through the Bering Sea in a long slow search for pollock, a staple of McDonald’s fish sandwiches. The fish proved very hard to find. “We just scratched and scratched and scratched,” Ganley recalls. “It was survival mode.” Ganley’s boat is part of a fleet of largely Washington-based trawlers that have had a difficult year as they joined in North America’s largest single-species seafood harvest. >click to read< 19:28

Mid-Atlantic Council Flirts With Overfishing

The relationship between the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and overfishing goes back a long way. In 1999, the Council adopted a summer flounder quota that had just an 18 percent probability of preventing overfishing, an action that led to the landmark court decision in Natural Resources Defense Council v. Daley, which established the principal that, to pass legal muster, a fishery management measure must have at least a 50 percent probability of achieving its conservation goals. Immediately after the court handed down that decision, the Council divorced itself from any management measure that might condone overfishing, and spent nearly two decades successfully rebuilding and conserving once-overfished stocks. At one point in the early 2010s, it was the only one of the eight regional fishery management councils that had completely ended overfishing, and didn’t preside over any overfished stocks. >click to read< 14:36

23 people charged in lobster pound ransacking in southwest N.S.

Yarmouth provincial court will be cramped on March 29. That’s when 23 people are due to appear on charges related to the ransacking of a Middle West Pubnico lobster pound on Oct. 13. The pound held lobster caught by the self-regulated Sipekne’katik moderate livelihood fishery in St. Mary’s Bay. Mi’kmaq fisherman Jason Marr barricaded himself in the pound with the catch he’d been unloading there during the night of Oct. 13 after a large crowd of commercial fishermen arrived. >click to read< 13:06

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 88′ Master Marine Steel Scalloper, Cat 3412, Kort nozzle, 2 Detroit gensets

To review specifications, and information, and 16 photos, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here<11:39

F/V Chief William Saulis – New ROV brought in as search for missing fishermen continues

RCMP searchers are deploying a new remote operated underwater vehicle in their ongoing search for the missing crew of the scallop dragger Chief William Saulis. According to a police news release, the Nova Scotia RCMP got the ROV, which is equipped with a “Tritech Gemini multi-beam sonar,” from RCMP in British Columbia. “This equipment is newer technology then what has previously been used and will assist members in the search for the sunken vessel,”>click to read< 07:40

It’s good to see crab season finally underway

The people who make up the commercial crabbing fleet work in some of the worst weather Mother Nature can throw at them. And this year is proving to be no different. The area is experiencing some pretty heavy rainfall, and during the first part of this week, there was also a high wind warning and a high surf advisory. Crabbing is generally a lucrative fishery, but they certainly earn their pay. We offer prayers for a safe and bountiful harvest for all of them. Speaking of the fishing industry,,, >click to read< 07:14

From Congressman Huffmans friends on MSA Re-Auth! – Healthier, Climate-Ready Fisheries on the Menu for Congress

The Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), our federal fisheries law, has not been reauthorized since 2006. And with a robust new draft bill to amend it, House lawmakers are breathing new life into the conversation about managing our nation’s fisheries. Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA-2), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife, and fellow subcommittee member Representative Ed Case (D-HI-1), released the draft bill in December to reauthorize and update the MSA. It seeks to address the changing needs of sustainable fisheries and coastal communities, including tackling new challenges–like climate change and its drastic impacts on marine ecosystems. >click to read< 06:15

Lifejackets for Lobstermen Project works to get PFDs on every fisherman

From 2000-2016, the Centers for Disease Control charted 204 commercial fishing fatalities from falls overboard. None of the fishermen recovered were wearing a lifejacket, and 108 of the fishermen’s bodies were never found, according to a report of the Lifejacket Project, which was launched to identify solutions and increase fishermen’s interest in wearing lifejackets. In its recently published, 20-page summary report, the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing chronicles stories from the Lifejackets for Lobstermen Project and provides examples of the fishing community’s interest and engagement with the project. >click to read< 05:46

Low fuel prices may have saved Gulf Coast shrimpers

Texas shrimpers had a painfully low amount of shrimp harvested in the Gulf in 2020. It dropped from an annual average of 45-50 million pounds of shrimp to 38 million pounds. Yet in the beginning stages of a new year, there is interesting news about what actually happened. According to Andrea Hance with the Texas Shrimp Association, “We actually ended the year on a fairy positive note and it’s kind of hard to believe,,, video, >click to read< 16:48

COVID-19 restaurant downturn, health risks pack double blow to tribal fishers, salmon business

On the 147-mile stretch of the Columbia from Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam, the only commercial fishing allowed is by the four Columbia Plateau tribes that signed treaties with the federal government in 1855. The treaties ensure the fishing rights of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. Despite those treaties, dwindling salmon runs have forced the tribes to strike a delicate balance between their rights to the salmon, other commercial and recreational fishers, and protecting the environment. >click to read< 14:25

Public Information Sessions for Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Proposed Rule Begin Tonight

To give the public an opportunity to learn about the proposed rule and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, we are holding 4 public information sessions. The information sessions run from 6:30-9 pm,,, We will be opening the sessions at 6 pm for troubleshooting, so please log on early. The sessions are focused on the proposed requirements for particular areas, though you may attend any session, and ask questions about any area. Tuesday, January 12: Rhode Island, Southern Massachusetts, LMA3, Wednesday, January 13: Outer Cape Massachusetts, LMA1 Massachusetts and LMA1 New Hampshire, Tuesday, January 19: Maine, southern focus ,Wednesday, January 20: Maine, northern focus. >click to read, and for links< 12:15

Capt. Willard Hamilton Norris, Deltaville’s Last Active Wooden Boat Builder Passes Away at 94

The Bay region lost a boatbuilding icon on Jan. 7 as Capt. Willard Hamilton Norris, 94, of Deltaville passed away. Norris built boats past age 90, best-known for his deadrise workboats. In a 2017 Chesapeake Bay Magazine story, he said he hoped to continue building until he was 100. During the    heyday of planked wooden deadrise workboats on the Chesapeake Bay, Willard was born in 1927 to a traditional boatbuilding family on Lovers Lane  in Deltaville.,,, With the help of his wife Shirley, he built his first “paid to build” boat in the footprint of his soon to be living room and used the profits from the boat to complete his home. >click to read< 10:29

Sen. Peter Micciche is again moving to establish a buyback program for set-net permits in Cook Inlet

The program would reduce the number of commercial set-net fishermen on the east side of the inlet. Proponents of the bill, like Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association Director Ken Coleman, say that’s to reduce pressure and create a more sustainable fishery in an area that’s been under stress for years. “Our thought was if we could reduce our numbers, then those who would be left behind in a reduction scenario, assuming that some people would leave the fishing community, that those that are left behind would have a better chance for ongoing financial viability,” he said. >click to read< 09:46

Post-Brexit trade: Fish prices ‘collapsing’ in Scotland as red tape hits UK exports to EU

Post-Brexit red tape is causing some UK exports to the EU to grind to a halt, industry bodies have warned, as the new rules that came into force at New Year begin to bite. One fish exporter said on Monday that prices were “collapsing” in the Scottish port of Peterhead, amid reports that seafood prices fell by as much as 80% due to “export blockages”. >click to read< 08:55

Del Norte County commercial fishermen will drop their pots Thursday

The first Dungeness crab of the season is expected to hit Citizens Dock on Saturday,,, Following a meeting Monday morning, fishermen in Oregon and California and wholesalers agreed on $2.75 per pound of Dungeness crab,,, Seafood processors, including Pacific Choice Seafood, Bornsteins Seafoods and Hallmark Fisheries had offered $2.50 per pound,,, The discussion Monday involved fishermen in Brookings, Crescent City, Trinidad, Eureka and Fort Bragg, Shepherd said. Fishermen agreed to set their pots starting at 8 a.m. Thursday for a 48-hour soak and bring their catch in on Saturday, he said. >click to read< 07:39

Rough Seas Delaying Crab Pot Deployment – A gale warning from the Eureka office of the National Weather Service, in effect now until 3 a.m. Wednesday from Point St. George to Cape Mendocino, states “strong winds will cause hazardous seas which could capsize or damage vessels and reduce visibility.” >click to read<

Renewables and unions: Biden rounds out energy Cabinet

President-elect Joe Biden closed out his Cabinet picks last week with the choice of Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) for Commerce secretary and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for Labor secretary,,, Offshore wind insiders say Raimondo appears to be an answer to the growing friction between a burgeoning renewable sector and the fishermen who have long been the ocean’s dominant users.,, Raimondo would oversee NOAA Fisheries, a critical gatekeeper to the growing line of offshore wind projects awaiting approval from the incoming Biden government. >click to read< 17:08

Qualified Applicants Sought for the New England Fishery Management Council

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is seeking qualified individuals for nomination to the upcoming open seat on the New England Fishery Management Council. Candidates, by reason of their occupational or other experience, scientific expertise, or training, must be knowledgeable and experienced in ways related to fishery resources of New England. Qualified female and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. Nomination application kits will be made available upon request and are due to DMF by the end of the day on Friday, February 5, 2021. >click to read< 13:19

How a Mi’kmaq nation found prosperity and a seafood empire

The urban Mi’kmaq reservation, on the southern edge of Sydney, N.S., used to be the kind of place many in Cape Breton avoided. It was seen by outsiders, unfairly, as rough, poor and unwelcoming to business. Chief Terry Paul, “They all used to avoid this place. Now, they’re all here. They have businesses here. Even the taxis wait for their fares.” This month, the remarkable four-decade-long transformation of the community reached a new milestone with Membertou’s co-ownership of the largest shellfish producer in North America, Clearwater Seafoods. >click to read< 11:56

As Rockall Simmers, McConalogue’s Department Accused of “Chaotic” Response to Brexit Permits

Only a fraction of the entire Irish fleet has been given permits to continued access to British waters – albeit with a reduced quota as a result of Brexit. “Rockall is not the only issue – the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine had no plan B,” Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation chief executive Patrick Murphy has said. Mr Murphy described the past week as “chaotic”, and said he was shocked at how unprepared the department was. Mr McConalogue’s department has confirmed that only 141 vessels out of the full list of 1900 Irish vessel have been given temporary permits to date. >click to read< 09:31

New Bedford: The Codfather should get a Trump Pardon

Anyone who really knows Carlos Rafael and all the good he’s done will most likely agree with me that he’s worthy of a presidential pardon. He was convicted on federal charges that he bilked fishing regulations to increase his profits. Anyone who really knows Carlos Rafael understands the thousands of local families who depended on the capital and labor that his fleet created, sustaining generations of fishermen, workers’ salaries, the fish house jobholders, lumpers, ice-packers, fuel suppliers,,, by Phil Paleologos, >click to read< 08:22

NL Groundfish Industry Development Council can’t support federal cod stock rebuilding program

The Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council says it can’t support the federal government’s recently announced cod stock rebuilding plan, saying it’s overly restrictive and will not enable the industry to rebuild as the cod stock rebuilds. Jim Baird, chair of the NL-GIDC, wants to see further surveys done based around the impact of seals and capelin stocks, adding the entire plan appears to be based around limiting the catch for harvesters and not other sources which could be impeding the development of cod stocks. >click to read< 22:32

What happened to Nicholas Fudge, also known as “Duffy” on Wicked Tuna? 

Reality TV shows are known to make fans fall in love with the stars. It is common for fans to get to know the celebs as real people as they go along with them in their adventures. Therefore, when one of them dies mysteriously, the loss is felt deeply. The death of Duffy left all his fans shaken and in grief. Of course, fans wanted to know what happened to their favourite fisherman. >click to read< 15:41

Russia Sells Deep Sea Crab Quota

On the fourth attempt, the Russian government has found a fishing company willing to buy deep-sea crab quotas, but Far Eastern fishermen expect this will be a hollow victory. Deep-sea crab quotas have been a headache for the Russian authorities for the past year. The Federal Agency for Fisheries ran three auctions since October of 2019, but each time with no bidders. The idea of selling crab quotas through auctions have been consistently criticised by Russian fishermen, as wreaking havoc on the entire industry. >click to read< 12:28

Coronavirus: Covid-19 discovered in second group of Russian mariners

The 11 cases of Covid-19 were discovered in a group of 190 mariners who flew into the city from Russia on Wednesday to work on fishing boats in New Zealand waters. The group was originally scheduled to arrive in November, but was delayed after more than 30 Covid infections emerged in the first group of 137 Russian and Ukrainian mariners who arrived in October. The approximately $1.2 million isolation cost for the second group of mariners will be met by the fishing companies where they will work, which include Sealord and Independent Fisheries. >click to read< 11:16

‘We experienced a hard border’ – post Brexit fishing tensions surface

A fishing vessel from the deep south arrived to unload its catch in a port at the other end of the island this weekend. According to representatives of Northern Ireland’s fishing sector, the example of the Rachel Jay from Skibbereen, Co Cork, arriving into Lisahally, Co Derry, is an example of “where there is a will, there is a way” response to Brexit. And they are calling for the Irish Government to reciprocate the gesture. >click to read< 09:15

Fishermen rescued, fuel, debris spilled near Anna Maria Island

The Coast Guard rescued three fishermen from a 70-foot commercial fishing vessel that took on water Friday evening two miles west of Anna Maria Island. The fishermen are “OK,” according to boat owner Joe Versaggi, of Tampa-based Versaggi Shrimp Corp. But pieces of the Warrior, along with some fuel, continued to wash up on Anna Maria Island’s beaches this afternoon, floating south past Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach and reaching Longboat Key. While the Coast Guard reported earlier today that the hull of the vessel appeared intact, some of the 7,000 gallons of diesel fuel was reported leaking. photos, >click to read< 07:35

TecnoPesca Argentina’s New Freezer Trawler Prototype

TecnoPesca Argentina (TPA) has been developing of a new design for a freezer trawler to replace a 50-year-old boat operating in the Argentine red shrimp fishery in Patagonia. The new trawler, which is still waiting for its substitute license, has to keep the same fishing capacity of the previous vessel. ‘That’s our biggest challenge. There’s an equation that includes several parameters, including engine power and storage capacity, and we have to meet all of these requirements,’ TPA’s director Enrique Godoy said. photo’s, >click to read< 13:38

Deadline to Apply for Seafood Trade Relief Program Coming Up

“U.S. fishermen affected by retaliatory tariffs need to file an application for this program by Friday, Jan. 15,” said Richard Fordyce, Administrator for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “We still have funding available, and these direct payments will help them recover from the effects of retaliatory tariffs on their ability to make a living.” STRP is available for the following types of seafood: Atka mackerel, Crab (Dungeness, King, Snow, Southern Tanner, Flounder, Geoduck, Goosefish, Herrings, Lobster, Pacific Cod, Pacific Ocean Perch, Pollock, Sablefish, Salmon, Sole, Squid, Tuna, Turbot. To apply, visit farmers.gov/seafood or call 877-508-8364. >click to read< 12:20