Versatile Inshore Boat for the Basque Country Fleet

Although the general trend in the fishing sector in the Basque Country and the rest of Spain is to export or decommission, some owners from the town of Arminza, in the province of Vizcaya (north of Bilbao), decided to build a new vessel. Made of GRP, Beti Itsasoko has a 14-metre length and a beam of 5 metres, it has a number of features that set it apart from the boats with which it shares its fishing grounds. To begin with, it has an unusual modern design for Spanish waters, with an inverted bow, designed for more comfortable operation by minimising pounding as it cuts through the waves. On the other hand, the vessel measures 14,7gt and is configured to have two independent engines, which gives it greater maneuverability as each drives its own shaft, propellers and rudder. It also has a capacity for 8000 litres of fuel and a hold with space for almost 9 tonnes of fish in the chilled fishroom. Photos, more, >>click ti Read<< 16:66

Crab harvesters heading back to Confederation Building on Monday morning, Efford says

John Efford, the unofficial leader of a fisheries union protest that has gripped Newfoundland and Labrador’s seafood industry, says crab harvesters will be back to protesting on Monday morning. In a Facebook post on Thursday evening, Efford called on harvesters to meet outside Confederation Building at 7 a.m. NT on Monday to protest for a better deal to start the lucrative snow crab season, along with other demands. Efford called on harvesters from all over the province to head to St. John’s to begin protests. The main crux of the protest relates to the ongoing dispute over the crab season. The FFAW and the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) have exchanged barbs in recent days, accusing each other of spreading misinformation. more, >>click to read<< 12:35

An ocean of ambition

One by one, a trustee listed the assets up for sale: eight commercial fishing vessels and 48 federal fishing permits. It was a fire-sale liquidation for bankrupt Blue Harvest Fisheries — one of New England’s largest seafood companies — and the largest bundle of groundfish permits in recent history to come available on the market. Bids, the trustee announced, would start at $10 million. Cassie Canastra was first to act: “$11 million,” she said, without skipping a beat.  There was a brief pause, as a team representing O’Hara Corporation, part owner of New Bedford-based scallop giant Eastern Fisheries, huddled to discuss their options. They raised the bid to $11.25 million. “$12 million,” Canastra responded, showing no sign of relenting. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 11:03

Higgins, Nehls Introduce the Save Our Shrimpers Act

Congressmen Clay Higgins (R-LA) and Troy Nehls (R-TX) introduced the Save Our Shrimpers Act of 2024, which would prohibit federal funds from being made available to International Financial Institutions (IFIs) that subsidize foreign activity relating to shrimp farming, shrimp processing, or the export of shrimp to the United States. Due to a rise in foreign seafood dumping and increased operational expenses, our nation’s domestic shrimpers are struggling to stay in business. Recent reports found that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to finance foreign shrimp farm operations through IFIs, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), contributing to the challenges facing the domestic shrimp industry. more, >>click to read<< 09:27

California’s ocean salmon fishing season closed for second year in a row

California’s commercial and recreational ocean salmon fishing season is set to be closed for the second consecutive year, another blow to the state’s beleaguered industry suffering from the combined fallout of drought, climate disruption and deteriorating ocean conditions. Already, a new request is underway for yet another federal disaster declaration to help alleviate some of the wide economic damage from the closure, affecting not just the fleet but many associated businesses that depend on the fishery, one of the state’s most lucrative. Many fishermen, already resigned to a severely limited season if any at all due to depleted stocks, had backed the full closure. “For nine months now, we’ll probably be without income. When you look at overall impact, it’s significant. Do we want the closure? Obviously, no. Is it necessary? Yes,” said Dick Ogg, a Bodega Bay commercial fisherman and president of the Bodega Bay Fishermen’s Marketing Association. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:43

ASP attempts to post price to break ranks, Commitee turns down offer that further erodes harvester share

Companies continue to spread misinformation in an effort to cause controversy and mistrust between fellow harvesters. “Today, ASP relayed a verbal offer via our Mediator and before our Committee was event able to convene, plants began to advise harvesters that a price had been set for them to go fishing. This is the equivalent of posting a price without a collective agreement. And it’s completely, unequivocally, unacceptable,” says FFAW-Unifor President Greg Pretty. “Harvesters are advised not to fish until an agreement is signed, and the only source that will come from is the Union’s official channels,” Pretty says. more, >>click to read<<  06:43

Accusing union of refusing all offers, ASP warns crab tie-up will soon have an economic whammy

Association of Seafood Producers executive director Jeff Loder says the current crab tie-up is getting to a point where it is going to negatively affect the market for the rest of the season — and other fisheries after that. It’s been nearly a week since the snow crab season was scheduled to begin. Fish harvesters have tied up their boats, however, refusing to fish under the pricing formula that an independent panel set just before the start of the season. Loder said it’s lining up to be a repeat of last season, in which harvesters tied up their boats for six weeks. “We are now reaching the point where [we] were to last year where there will be negative implications if the crab fishery does not start,” he told reporters Thursday. Video, more, >>click to read<< 17:43

OFFSHORE WIND AND WHALES – A collection of articles from By Jim Lovgren

After over forty-five years as a commercial fisherman out of Point Pleasant NJ, I sold my boat the Shadowfax, and retired, moving to California. My experience as a fisherman began in the early 1970’s, and I observed and learned an encyclopedia of knowledge concerning fishing, the environment, and fishery management, including politics. As I observed the continuing massacre and the lies denying them by government and media puppets, I under took an effort to expose the truth concerning offshore wind. The following articles are listed in order of their appearance in, and are best understood by reading them in order. Just click on the title of an article you’d like to read. more, >>click to read<< 15:09

Growing Interest in Fishing for Crab

In The Netherlands there is a cautious but growing interest for crab fishing. Since January 2023 there are five vessels commercially fishing on North Sea crab (Cancer pagurus), all operating from northern ports such as Den Oever and Lauwersoog. In 2010 there was just one vessel fishing on North Sea crab. A year later another, Orion UK-163, made a start but finished within one year. In general, enthusiasm was quite low, but the last couple of years, as vessel owners seek to broaden operating patterns and to avoid restrictive measures, a few small-scale fishermen are showing interest. This is also because a number of Irish and English crabbers have been operating the German Bight above the Dutch Wadden islands for some years. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 13:51

Search ceased for missing fisherman Jason Hollows in Hawke’s Bay

The search for missing fisherman Jason Hollows has been officially suspended 10 days after he went overboard off the coast of Hawke’s Bay. There has been an extensive search for Hollows, a 54-year-old fisherman from Otago, since he went overboard on Easter Monday (April 1) about 11km off Waimārama. He was reported missing about 8pm that night. He had been onboard a fishing boat the Pacific Challenger. more, >>click to read<< 10:51

Local fishermen speak out against proposed bill seeking further restrictions on commercial fishing

For Zack Robinson, fishing isn’t just a job. “The ocean’s my life,” he said. Robinson has been gillnetting for 15 years, catching halibut and seabass. “Gillnetting is my passion. I love it. There are a lot of misconceptions about net fishing. It’s not a dirty fishery like they say it is. We are not the bad guys, and that hurts, to work so hard and to be told you’re no good,” Robinson said. He says that if Assembly Bill 2220 passes, it would threaten his livelihood. “Any more regulation might take us out completely. “People don’t stop eating halibut or swordfish, what they do is they’ll get it from another source,” Hyman said. Kimberly Ray suggests gill-netters can find another way to fish. more, >>click to read<< 09:35

Foreign seafood could be banned at Louisiana schools

Students could be guaranteed domestic catch when seafood is on the school menu if a proposal before the Louisiana Legislature becomes law. The state House approved a bill Tuesday that would prohibit any public or private schools that receive state money from serving foreign seafood to students. House Bill 429, sponsored by Rep. Marcus Bryant, D-New Iberia, passed in a 94-7 vote with bipartisan support. It will next head to the Senate for consideration. An influx of cheap foreign catch, imported mostly from South America and Asia, has flooded Louisiana restaurants and retailers. Consumers are either oblivious to it or mistakenly believe they’re eating local fare because of deceptive labeling practices, according to the Louisiana Shrimp Association. more, >>click to read<< 07:54

Project Nujio’qonik: In megaproject-weary Newfoundland, a massive hydrogen operation has some on edge

A multibillion-dollar megaproject in Newfoundland is one step closer to becoming Canada’s first commercial green hydrogen operation, but some in the country’s easternmost province wonder whether their government has learned from its mistakes. The first two phases of development would involve windfarms of at least 150 turbines built on Newfoundland’s Port au Port Peninsula and in the nearby Codroy Valley, on the island’s west coast. Those turbines would power a hydrogen and ammonia production plant, to be built in Stephenville, N.L., located about 145 kilometres northeast of Codroy. The experimental project would exploit a massive rural area of Newfoundland as a testing ground for the benefit of a private company, said Nick Mercer, an assistant environmental science professor at the University of Prince Edward Island. more, >>click to read<< 06:50

Crab harvesters’ union calls for price formula set out in past provincial report

With their boats tied up and crab pots still on dry land, fish harvesters and union officials are calling on the Newfoundland and Labrador government to revisit a 2023 report that sets out what they say is a fair way forward for the snow crab fishery. At a news conference in St. John’s on Wednesday, Fish, Food & Allied Workers union president Greg Pretty pointed to a report last year from the province’s fish price-setting strategic review team, chaired by Glenn Blackwood. Pretty says the pricing formula set out in that report, which followed a six-week tie-up last season, would give harvesters a fair market share. Glen Winslow, a St. John’s harvester who was part of the bargaining committee, says the formula set out in Blackwood’s report would have allowed for a larger share for harvesters if the markets had performed better. “The Blackwood formula would have fixed all our problems, but it was thrown out at the last minute.” Video, more, >>click to read<< 18:24

Crab Harvesters Demand Fair Share

JOHN’S, NL – FFAW-Unifor is not surprised by provincial government’s decision to approve the World Energy GH2 project’s environmental assessment and ultimately green light the project. On February 28th, 2024, before the approval announcement by Minister Bernard Davis on April 9thand despite continued reassurance from World Energy GH2 that the project was entirely privately funded, the Government of Canada announced a $128 million-dollar federal loan to support the development. It was very clear from federal Minister Seamus O’Regan’s announcement on that date that there is significant political will, and a great sense of urgency, to move the project forward. FFAW met with Minister Davis twice in March to amplify the concerns of fish harvesters and the continuous aversion by World Energy to work collaboratively with FFAW-Unifor towards meaningful consultation. The harvesting sector is not being engaged as a major stakeholder nor as an industry that will inevitably be impacted, and this divergence is creating a great deal of frustration and mistrust for the project. more, >>click to read<< 14:35

Crew School provides a reality sea trial for commercial fishing wanabees

Along Gig Harbor’s waterfront, this vocational trend is gently materializing in the form of a newly organized Crew School for potential commercial fishermen — and women. During March, seven people completed this hands-on training program that essentially offers a reality-based test drive for those interested in commercial fishing aboard a 58-foot purse seiner. Lifelong local fisherman and purse seine captain Gregg Lovrovich is program lead and creator of the crew-in-training curriculum. He coaches rookies through knot skills, gear maintenance, net setting/handling, safety and survival skills, not to mention the realities of living for months in a 58-foot space with 3-4 crew members who get all too familiar with one another. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 13:04

California – Crabbers likely to use new gear next season

Typically, the Commercial crab season starts Nov. 15, but the 2023-24 season was delayed for a fifth year in a row and eventually postponed to start in January 2024. The short season could spell change to come for fishermen since Salmon season might be on the chopping block next. David Lowe, a captain of the Jacqueline L. fishing vessel in Pillar Point Harbor, said it wasn’t the best season but his team will be experimenting with netless pop-up gear for the next season. “There’s 14 boats here that are [experimenting with pop-up gear],” said Lowe. “They’re going to see how it goes this year, because of all the whale and turtle entanglements.” more, >>click to read<< 10:49

Lobster harvesters in Atlantic Canada to vote on increasing minimum legal size this year

At stake is maintaining access to the United States market. “It will be an individual vote. That’s a big decision that every single enterprise and owner has to look at from their own business,” said Heather Mulock, executive director of the Coldwater Lobster Association, which represents fishermen in lobster fishing area 34 (LFA 34). In late May or June, the 979 licence holders in the area will be asked to vote on whether to match increases in allowable U.S. catch measurements that will come into effect Jan. 1, 2025, and again in 2027. Live Canadian lobster that fall under the new limits would not be allowed into the U.S. That includes bonded shipments of lobster under the new minimum in the U.S., according to an information package sent to fishermen in southwestern Nova Scotia. That could block trucking of “undersized” Canadian lobster across the border for flights to Asia from airports in Boston or New York. more, >>click to read<< 08: 57

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 141′ RSW Steel Stern Trawler, 1650HP CAT

To review specifications, information, and 43 photos’, Video, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series, >click here< 07:33

Gay Fish Company to hold Blessing of the Fleet ceremony, public welcome

Since 1948, the Gay Fish Company on St. Helena Island has been fishing, shrimping, processing, and selling local seafood to thousands of customers from all over the country, and the world. After 76 years in business, you would be hard pressed to find many other families in the Lowcountry who are more synonymous with the shrimping and fishing industry. To do something special for the commercial fishermen that are docked there, and to raise awareness for the industry to the public, the family-owned seafood company is hosting its first ever Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony on April 27th, and the public is welcome to attend. more, >>click to read<< 06:22

Floating device would likely not have saved fisherman, inquiry hears

A fisherman who fell overboard from a local whitefish trawler is unlikely to have survived even if he had worn his personal flotation device (PFD) correctly, an inquiry into his death heard on Tuesday. Edison Lacaste died after falling into the water while carrying out repairs to fishing gear on the twin rigger Copious in the early hours of 18 February 2021. The crew instantly responded to the incident by throwing a floating mooring rope but the 45-year-old Philippine national became unresponsive within two to three minutes. The second day of a Fatal Accident Inquiry held at Lerwick Sheriff Court also heard that the owners of the fishing vessel, 60 North Fishing (Shetland) Ltd, had complied with all necessary maritime health and safety requirements, and had held and recorded man overboard drills on a regular basis. more, >>click to read<< 16:17

Crab tie-up means plant workers turn to income support, says Opposition critic

After weeks of protesting, including shutting down Confederation Building, fish harvesters scored big with concessions on who they could sell their catches to. The situation soured soon after, when the new crab price formula was revealed. Put forward by the Association for Seafood Producers, the floor price is set at $2.60 per pound and the harvester’s share is set at 37 per cent of market value above $8 per pound. Harvesters are refusing to go out on the water with the current formula. Bonavista MHA Craig Pardy called the situation unfortunate and said he’d hoped to avoid a repeat of last year, when there was a six-week delay to the start of the season. Pardy said he’s heard that more than 50 Bonavista plant workers have had their EI support elapse and are now without income. more, >>click to read<< 14:02

NOAA/NMFS Ignores Dangerous Sound Levels from Pile Driving – By Jim Lovgren

A new recently released report from Rand Acoustics, LLC scientifically documented that the stated sound levels created by the pile driving of wind turbine stanchions into the seafloor is much louder than the NOAA approved levels. In a study dated November 2, 2023, the researchers used acoustic listening devises to record the underwater sounds being created from piledriving by the crane ship “Orion” in the Vineyard wind BOEM lease area OCS-A 0501 southwest of Nantucket Island. Prior to this research, Rand Acoustics documented the underwater sound levels being produced by some of the research vessels using sonar and seismic devises to examine and document the seafloor prior to turbine construction. This research proved that the sound levels produced by these research vessels exceeded the stated sound levels approved by NOAA/NMFS to protect marine mammals and resulted in the documentary film “Thrown to the wind”.  more, >>click to read<< 11:28

Silver Bay Seafoods and Peter Pan Seafoods Announce Valdez Acquisition and 2024 Operational Plan

Silver Bay Seafoods and Peter Pan Seafoods announced today that the agreement for Silver Bay to acquire Peter Pan’s Valdez facility has been finalized and that Silver Bay plans to operate the Peter Pan facilities in Port Moller and Dillingham for the 2024 salmon season. Shifting operations of the two facilities to SBS is a component of a larger restructuring, still being finalized, in which Silver Bay would acquire Peter Pan’s processing facilities and support sites after the 2024 salmon season. Peter Pan will remain active in conducting the remaining activities needed to close out 2023 operations, including sales and accounting functions. Both companies are committed to a seamless transition and ensuring minimal disruption to fishermen, communities, and employees. more, >>click to read<< 10:21

New Design Scalloper offers Economic Operation

Although the original brief had been for a sister vessel to Eternal Light, which has been fishing successfully since its delivery in 2019 to Fraserburgh company Whitelink Seafoods, the choice went to a new design scalloper that would provide more deck and gear space, better crew conditions and greater economy. The new design, developed with Macduff Ship Design to incorporate a more efficient hull form and a new stern gear package designed to improve fuel efficiency. The 19.98-metre Eternal Promise has a beam of 7.40 metres and a fishroom capable of holding 33 tonnes of bagged scallops. This is an addition to Whitelink’s growing fleet and is designed to operate year-round in UK waters. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 09:03

Accused poachers ‘cannot pretend to hide,’ says province’s top court

New Brunswick’s highest court has shed light on an important decision it made in a lawsuit against alleged poachers accused of stealing baby eels. The Court of Appeal delivered its reasons late last month why it had ordered the province’s registrar of motor vehicles to turn over the names of 115 vehicle owners to Rothesay businesswoman Mary Ann Holland, the owner of Brunswick Aquaculture Limited and Alder Seafood Limited. Her lawyer Barry Morrison argued in a filing last month that Holland and her staff had witnessed dozens of people illegally catching lucrative baby eels in river estuaries in the spring of 2023 after Ottawa had closed the fishery. more, >>click to read<< 07:53

Lawmakers support new fees on Louisiana seafood dealers who import foreign catch

House Bill 748, sponsored by Rep. Jessica Domangue, R-Houma, would raise the state’s imported seafood safety fee from a flat $100 per year to a 0.1 percent assessment on the company’s gross revenue. The proposal marks the freshman lawmaker’s first bill, which Domangue, the daughter of a commercial fisherman, called “very special” for its ability to protect the domestic seafood industry. It cleared the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment with unanimous support and will head to the House floor for consideration. Imported seafood has become so ubiquitous in Louisiana and across the nation that it has decimated the once-thriving domestic fishing industry. The low cost and ample availability of foreign catch has put negative pressure on local product prices, making it near impossible for those in the Louisiana commercial fishing industry to stay above water profit wise. more, >>click to read<< 06:36

DFO appears to break own laws by allowing sale of commercial licences involved in alleged illegal controlling agreement

“DFO may be breaking the very fishing laws it is mandated to enforce,” says Ryan Cleary, an inshore fishery activist who has brought a number of alleged controlling agreements to DFO’s attention. The controversy surrounds La Scie-based fisherman Jimmy Lee Foss who went public earlier this year with allegations he was in a controlling agreement with Robin Quinlan of Quinlan Brothers Ltd. Foss purchased the Ocean Surfer II and suite of commercial licences in April 2022 with a $3.8-million loan from the CIBC — a deal he alleges was arranged and co-signed by Quinlan. Foss said the investigator told him a request would be made for his commercial licenses to be frozen until the probe was complete, but DFO licensing branch forwarded him a letter late last week to say that wouldn’t be the case. Foss fears the licence will end up back in Quinlan’s hands. more, >>click to read<< 20:22

Overspreading Since the Seventies

NOAA Fisheries has been overspreading their nets since they changed from a side trawler to stern trawler back in the 1970s! On the Delaware side trawler, the wires were put together on the side of the boat and on NOAA’s Stern Trawler Bigelow, the wires are off the stern of the boat which is 32 feet apart. This is causing NOAA’s over-spread nets. Now NOAA has been working with a restrictor-rope on the doors, to stop the doors from over spreading the nets. more, >>click to read<< By Rocky Novello

Skipper recalls man overboard incident as fatal accident inquiry begins

The Skipper of a local whitefish trawler told an inquiry at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Monday how he was unable to hold on to a fellow crewman who fell overboard while carrying out repairs. The body of Edison Lacaste was recovered from the waters by the Sumburgh based search and rescue helicopter 30 miles southeast of Sumburgh in February 2021. During the first day of a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of the 45-year-old Philippine national, skipper of the Copious LK 985 Andrew White recalled the events that led to the tragic loss. The twin rigger was hauling its nets in the early hours of 18 February, when the crew became aware that a hammer lock on one of the wires attached to the net had failed and needed to be replaced. more, >>click to read<< 14:50