Trouble brewing if Royal Greenland doesn’t start buying crab from under 40’ fleet: SEA-NL

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) says enterprise owners in the under 40’ fleet warn there will be trouble if Quin-Sea/Royal Greenland doesn’t start buying snow crab from them, and processing companies are not reined in. “Forget tie-up, someone could be strung up,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “The 2023 crab dispute is not over yet, and tensions will boil over unless the union stands up for its members, and the provincial government supports small-boat fishermen against the foreign country trying to drive them under.” >click to read press release< 07:26

Westport: Clear skies grace annual Blessing of the Fleet

A steady onshore breeze carried the smell of salt air over the assembled crowd at the Westport Fisherman’s Monument on Sunday as civilians, emergency personnel and Coast Guardsmen gathered to remember those claimed by the sea over the years. More than 50 fishermen and Coast Guardsmen from the area had set out and not returned, given over to the ocean, and that afternoon, the community gathered to remember them. “It means everything. Our job is to protect the fleet,” said surfman and bosun’s mate Petty Office 2nd Class Victoria True, a Coast Guardsman at Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor, who read the list of the Coast Guardsmen who had died at sea. “It’s our community too. We’ve got their backs.” Photos, >click to read< 20:09

Fish fight over West Coast licences and quota resurfaces at federal committee

A parliamentary committee investigating whether corporations and foreign owners have a stranglehold on Canadian fisheries is experiencing a serious case of deja vu. Witnesses speaking about the dire straits faced by commercial fish harvesters and coastal communities on the West Coast are raising the same issues first presented to the Standing Committee of Fisheries and Oceans (FOPO) starting in 2018.Independent operators, First Nations and young fishers are being squeezed out by  skyrocketing prices for commercial fishing licences and quota, a set share of the allowable catch, witnesses told the committee at ongoing meetings starting May 8. >click to read< 15:23

ASP Retaliatory Clawbacks Harm Crab Resource

FFAW-Unifor is calling for the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans as well as the provincial departments responsible for seafood processing regulation to take action against companies who are throwing environmental management protections out in an effort to retaliate monetarily against snow crab harvesters. Specifically, companies have unilaterally thrown out a longstanding conservation rule that states a 20% tolerance limit on under 4” snow crab size and implemented a 5% tolerance limit. The actions are the latest in a string of bad-faith business tactics and proof that federal and provincial intervention is required to ensure companies operate in a way that protects the important snow crab resource and the communities that rely on it. >click to read the press release< 12:52

A strong seal products industry is good for Canada: Senator Manning

Seal fur and leather are transformed into a variety of clothing items, accessories and home furnishings. Seal fats and oils, high in Omega-3 fatty acids, are used in health supplements. Seal meat is sold in various cuts for human and animal consumption. Encouragingly, new and emerging markets for seal products are being tested, including the use of seal bait in fishing. However, vocal anti-sealing campaigns and Europe’s ill-founded 2009 ban on the importation and sale of seal products have hampered the industry’s growth. Less demand for those products drove down their value. And as sealing became less profitable, participation in Canada’s annual seal harvest decreased. In the meantime, the seal population in the Atlantic has been growing and growing. Canada is now trying to grasp what effect more seals in the sea is having on fisheries, fish stocks and the ocean ecosystem at large.  >click to read< 11:30

Blue Float Energy’s offshore wind farm opposed by Port Macdonnell community due to fishing, tourism concerns

A small coastal community in regional South Australia is ramping up its opposition to a proposed offshore wind farm off the state’s south-east coast.  Renewable energy company Blue Float Energy has lodged plans for a 77-turbine wind farm off the coast of Port Macdonnell which would generate 1.1 gigawatts of clean energy. The proposal has already met resistance from Port Macdonnell residents where the local economy relies on commercial fishing and seaside tourism. Local fishers say the proposed area for the wind turbines, 8-20 kilometres offshore, is where many catch their lobster, with fears any exclusion zone placed around the turbines would make areas inaccessible. They are also concerned about any environmental impacts on lobster, despite no studies yet taking place. >click to read< 10:12

Biloxi: See photos as the 94th Blessing of the Fleet rings in the start of shrimping season

The sun was shining and the humidity was at a minimum as the shrimping season officially kicked off Sunday with the 94th annual Blessing of the Fleet in Biloxi. Two boats, the Captain Justin and Gunsmoke, were honored for their decorations with Captain Justin receiving first place in the boat decorating contest and Gunsmoke receiving the second place award. “Shrimp season is open. The blue economy is extremely important to the gulf coast,” said Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, who was briefly in attendance. “Literally we help feed not only Mississippi, but the world.” Lots of photos of boats and happy people! >click to view< 09:01

P.E.I. bait company puts seal meat plans on ice, fearing U.S. fallout

Bait Masters Inc. started producing bait sausages in its $1.4-million facility in Nine Mile Creek in April 2021, using a mix of fish, fish oil and other organic matter inside a biodegradable casing. In March, the company did a test run of sausages using a seal-mackerel mix and the results were promising. However, as word spread that the bait would contain seal byproducts, that triggered some red flags in the fishing industry because of U.S. rules around the seal harvest, laid out in the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act. Prevost received an email that was being circulated to people in the lobster industry, warning of the implications if seal were to be used in trap bait. Photos, >click to read< 07:29

Memorial Day – Thank you for our freedom

Joy as new Altaire is launched in Denmark

The new 80 metre Altaire LK429 was launched at the Danish shipyard Karstensens Skibsværft, in Skagen, at the weekend. A large group of crew, family members, friends and invited guests travelled to Denmark for the occasion. The large pelagic trawler was ordered in December 2020 and will based at the Collafirth Pier. At 79.95 metres in length and a beam of 16.60 metres, Altaire is powered by a Wärtsilä 12V31 main engine driving a two-speed gearbox and a 4200mm propeller. 2 photos, >click to read< 17:01

Fishing area closed after North Atlantic right whale sighting set to reopen this week

A lucrative lobster fishing area in the Maritimes is set to reopen this week after a sighting of North Atlantic right whales shuttered the fishery just weeks into the spring season. The endangered whales were spotted earlier this month in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, northeast of Prince Edward Island’s Malpeque and Cascumpec Bays. The sighting triggered a 15-day closure of popular lobster fishing grounds — part of Lobster Fishing Area 24. The federal Fisheries Department says the fishing area is set to reopen Friday. But it says two surveillance flights are required before the area reopens to fish harvesters to determine whether whales are still present.   >click to read< 13:32

Commercial shrimpers adjusting to new spring fishing season

Three commercial pot shrimp fishery areas near Ketchikan are closed or set to close as fishermen approach area-specific spot shrimp harvest limits about two weeks after the fishery opened May 15. Fishermen targeting spot shrimp with pot gear this month are testing new waters after the Board of Fisheries during its 2022 rule-setting process voted to change the pot shrimp season start date from Oct. 1 to May 15; the fishery had occurred during fall and winter months since the mid-1900s. “It changed some of the players slightly, some of the people that typically fish in October are unavailable in the spring,” Meredith said. “You’ve got some new people on the grounds that weren’t available to do it in October that are now participating in May.” Meredith said that most of the fishermen who have been long-time pot shrimp fishermen “expected it to be a little different.” >click to read< 11:38

New South Wales: Stop the prawn farming, save the commercial fishermen

I’m Elih Brooks. 5th generation baker fisherman in Yamba. I currently work on ocean trawlers catching king prawns on the FV Little River. I’m starting this petition to help our river fishermen as they haven’t been able to get to work this season or for at least 2 years at this rate, mainly due to prawn farming. Some of these fishermen are family friends and it hurts me to see how much they’re struggling and everyone else is literally in the same boat. These people are like the rest of us, they have mortgages, families to provide for and so much more it’s disgusting to see that our government isn’t doing nothing about it and I want to change that with these signatures so please help our FISHERMEN !!! >click to sign the petition< 10:46

Deepwater Horizon settlement projects surpass $1B

A milestone was surpassed this year when projects funded through the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement exceeded $1 billion, Blankenship said. ADCNR Deepwater Horizon Restoration Coordinator Amy Hunter and her staff oversee the projects funded by the settlement. “The big takeaway is we have $1 billion, $29 million in projects underway in Mobile and Baldwin counties that we are managing through our Deepwater Horizon Section,” Blankenship said. “That is 176 individual projects. That’s a lot of money and a lot of work going on. We have six people in that section, and they’re doing a very good job of managing projects that will make generational changes on the Gulf Coast. >click to read< 09:56

Baby eels remain one of America’s most valuable fish after strong year in Maine

Baby eels, called elvers, are often worth more than $2,000 per pound because of how valuable they are to Asian aquaculture companies. That makes them one of the most valuable fish species in the U.S. They’re raised to maturity so they can be used in Japanese food, some of which is sold in the U.S. in unagi dishes at sushi restaurants. The elvers have again been worth more than $2,000 per pound at the docks this year, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources. South Carolina is the only other state in the country with a fishing industry for baby eels, and that state’s fishery is much smaller. >click to read< 09:12

Wind Farm Protesters March in Ocean City

Opposition to the wind farm has been mounting following more than 30 whale deaths along the East Coast that critics have blamed on sonar mapping of the seabed that is needed for construction of the project. However, government agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection say the recent deaths of whales, dolphins and other marine creatures in New Jersey and other coastal states have nothing to do with the wind farm work. They say evidence shows that most of the whales were struck and killed by shipping traffic. Opponents reject those claims, though. During Saturday’s protest, speakers pointed the finger at the wind farm for the whale deaths and warned of other possible dire impacts that the project could have on the Jersey Shore’s environment, the tourism industry and commercial fishing operations. Photos, Video, >click to read< 07:55

Nils Stolpe: It’s not the fault of the wind industry??? Sophistry is the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving.

The “We’re for ocean wind power, the Hell with the rest of the oceans” claque have been yammering their “it’s not the fault of the wind industry” chant ever since an unprecedented number of whales and dolphins started washing up on New York and New Jersey beaches. Since December of this past year, when each of these incidents (was?) turned into a media event, it has been inevitably accompanied by some government (from Washington or Trenton) official, some (oddly enough, almost assuredly Democratic) legislator, some presumed objective scientist (doing an on-camera or recorded interview) with his or her hand held out for her or his share of what are very likely going to be billions of state, federal or wind industry research dollars, or some so-called environmentalist with the same goal. Just about all of them are insistently proclaiming “there is no proof that sonar testing (or any other testing being done by/for the wind industry) kills whales and/or dolphins.” >click to read< 18:55

These are Alaska’s priorities for fishery management council

Based on discussions with a diverse range of user groups, delegations from our coastal communities, fishermen, processor representatives and other Alaskans, it is clear our fisheries are facing a number of challenges.  These challenges include unprecedented declines in Bering Sea crab stocks and ongoing low harvestable levels of Pacific cod and other economically valuable stocks that are causing economic hardship for fishery participants and affected communities.  We also heard ongoing concerns about the impacts of federal fisheries on key species like halibut, salmon, and crab.  This input was valuable to better understand the issues and to identify priorities and potential solutions. >click to read< 16:01

Green Gold Rush: What happened to Maine’s once-robust sea urchin industry?

In the United States’ easternmost city, you’ll find Paul Cox and his crew working early on the water. In late winter, they’re after a spikey, green, and otherwise inedible sea creature (besides the gonads): the green sea urchin. Alone and in often murky water that requires a flashlight, he scoops hundreds of pounds of sea urchin into yellow nets. His crew, Paul and Jevin, sort the urchin above water. Cox said he started to dive for sea urchin in the ’90s, not long before the state cut off any new licenses to prospective fishermen. After the ’90s, no one could get a new sea urchin license. Now everyone who dives for urchin is in their 60s and 70s, with little hope on the horizon for new licenses seeing how the sea urchin has lost so much of its habitat because of climate change and invasive species.  Photos,Video, >click to read< 10:54

Cape May County to fight Ørsted, Ocean Wind 1, 2

“At first, the County of Cape May was interested in trying to work with Ørsted to find a way forward, perhaps with some modifications to the project to reduce visual, environmental and economic impacts,” Commission Director Len Desiderio said in a release issued by the county. “We would like to see land-based offshore wind facilities and supply-chain infrastructure built here in New Jersey, since that would create good opportunities for trade workers and others. But we cannot sit quietly by as hundreds of windmills are installed off our beaches as state and federal government agencies ignore our legitimate and serious concerns. “As time went by, it became clear that Ørsted was not interested in finding any compromise,” Desiderio said. “It is clear to us now that the approach among this foreign corporation and their partners in the state and federal governments is to build these things as fast as they can despite the potential for devastating environmental and economic impacts. >click to read< 09:42

Death-trap trawler crew must be paid and allowed to go home, ITF says

Fishers on a 50-year-old trawler should not be made to go back to sea, even to sail to a repair yard, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is demanding of a vessel which has been so poorly maintained it has become death trap. The fishing vessel Santa Isabel (IMO 7224540), flying under the Belize flag, has been detained by maritime authorities in the port of Vigo in northern Spain since 10 May 2023, after the ITF drew attention to its appalling state, as well as the intolerable conditions for crew observed by the ITF inspector. The ITF became involved before the Santa Isabel arrived in Vigo when some of the crew asked for help through FishSupport, a network of inspectors and union contacts who have the knowledge and experience to assist fishers. The fishers had not been paid and feared they would be sent home without pay when the ship arrived in Spain to unload its catch. They requested anonymity because they were scared of reprisals by the ship’s owners.  Photos, >click to read< 08:43

UK fishing industry gets green light to hire more overseas workers

Ministers have quietly agreed to allow more overseas workers to join the UK fishing industry, as the sector struggles with labour shortages and post-Brexit export regulations. Share fishermen, trawler skippers and deckhands on large fishing vessels are to be added to the government’s shortage occupation list, a scheme which allows UK employers to pay overseas workers about 80 per cent of the usual wage in certain industries.  The opening of the UK’s doors to more overseas fishermen is a tacit recognition that Brexit has not generated the boom in the sector that had been promised by Boris Johnson and other Leave campaigners at the time of the 2016 referendum. >click to read < 07:52

N.L. group wants increase in northern cod catch from Minister Murray

We could use a bit more cod. That’s the message the Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council (NLGIDC) is sending to Joyce Murray, Canada’s minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Jim Baird is chair of the council, whose members include the Fish Food and Allied Workers union and inshore processors, including Barry Group, Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Co., Beothic Fish Processors and Fogo Island Co-operative Society. He told SaltWire members of the council want the minister to allow a harvest of 17,000 tonnes, or more, of northern cod from the stewardship fishery in zones 2J3KL, along the northeast coast of the province. >click to read <  19:06

Two Maine Lobstermen Have Licenses Suspended for Violating Marine Resource Laws

Two Maine lobstermen have had their licenses suspended by the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) for violating laws intended to protect harvesters’ property and to sustain the lobster resource. As a result of an investigation led by Maine Marine Patrol Officer Kaelyn Kuni, Calvin Pinkham, 55 of Steuben, was charged in 2022 for stealing a total of 59 lobster traps belonging to seven other fishermen, a violation known as trap molesting. Rodney Genthner, 38 of Friendship, has had his license suspended for six-years after an investigation led by Maine Marine Patrol Officer Brandon Sperling in 2022 discovered that he was in possession of traps belonging to two other harvesters. >click to read the rest< 15:28

Canadian Coast Guard Plans to Order Up to 61 Small Vessels

Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, on Thursday announced $2.5 billion CAD (roughly $1.8 billion USD) for the construction of up to 61 new small vessels and the ongoing replacement of small craft, barges and workboats within the Canadian Coast guard fleet. “This is a critical investment that will help modernize the Canadian Coast Guard’s small vessel fleet,” Murray said. “We are making sure the Canadian Coast Guard has the equipment it needs to keep Canadians and Canada’s waterways safe, while also creating good-paying jobs across the country.” >click to read< 13:29

BC fishing industry’s ‘Christmas season’ – it’s time for spot prawns

It’s time to fire up the barbie: Spot prawn season has arrived. “It’s the Christmas of the fishing season,” says Jennifer Gidora, operations manager at Finest At Sea Ocean Products in James Bay. Prawns caught daily by the company’s vessel Nordic Spirit, under Capt. Alec Fraumeni, land at Fisherman’s Wharf and are delivered across the street to the store. Spot prawns, with a season that often runs four to six weeks, have a “cult-like following,” Gidora said of the excitement surrounding the fishery. Prices have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, Wednesday’s price was $34 per pound for live prawns and $60 per pound for fresh prawn tails. >click this to read< 11:36

First Lawsuit Over Whales and Wind Dismissed

A federal district judge in Massachusetts has rejected an effort to stop an offshore wind project near Nantucket Island on the basis of danger to whales, apparently the first court test of similar claims being raised against wind turbine proposals along the U.S. eastern seaboard, including here in Virginia. On May 17, U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani granted a motion for summary judgement to the federal agency that approved the Vineyard Wind One project.  With a planned 84 turbines, the project is about half the size of Dominion Energy Virginia’s planned project off Virginia Beach.  Both are just the first phases of larger planned buildouts. The same judge is hearing the other cases, with the two from fishing interests now combined. >click to read< 09:47

Diversification – Rebuilding the inshore fishery and regaining control – Ryan Everard

It is too bad the young, educated people in the inshore have been forced out of the apprenticeship program for the last 30 years when the people on larger boats had a choice. The fishery would be in a much different state today if they had to have a choice. I’m going outside the box and throwing myself out there, but, when people say it’s impossible to represent three different groups, I beg to differ because I have seen it done since 2005, when the PFHCB involuntary forced me out of the program (not out of the boat) because I couldn’t survive on 10k during a hypothetical fishing season that was removed from the industry in 1997. (Besides for new entrants that they should have been trying to retain). >click to read< 08:53

Tuna buyer puts his faith and his base in Cundy’s Harbor

Seth Richards, tuna buyer, is back where he got his start, at Holbrook’s Wharf in Cundy’s Harbor. More than three decades ago, as a teenager, he got a job buying sea urchins for Maguro America. The urchins he acquired were processed at Holbrook’s Wharf. “There was a big urchin boom” at the time, Richards said. His work involved meeting boats in harbors such as Mackerel Cove and Cundy’s Harbor. He would help unload the urchin boats and then transport the catch to Holbrook’s. “Right here at Holbrook’s,” he recalled, while standing on the wharf that is now home to his new business. “We would bring them here for processing. This was the main place.” >click to read< 07:47

Fishing group’s list of over 100 reports of incidents and concerns since 2021 marine die-offs

Since October 2021, fishermen have been battling for the region’s ecosystem after swathes of dead crabs, lobsters, and shellfish washed up on beaches. Environmentalists and fishermen fought for answers – with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs eventually launching a probe.While the initial Defra report said an algal bloom was the most likely cause, further investigations found that a “novel pathogen” was most likely to blame. Independent marine and university experts as well as the fishermen believed dredging on the Tees unearthed historical toxins leading to the mass die off – but this has also been ruled out by the authorities.  Incident reports listed by the NEFC, and what a sad list it is, >click to read< 21:34