Offshore ‘slipper skippers’ and local monopolies target of new fishing industry study

If you have ever purchased fish at Fisherman’s Wharf, there’s a 50/50 chance the bulk of your money will make its way into the pockets of an investor, who may not even be able to pinpoint Steveston on a map. Such investors, both foreign and domestic, own government-issued quotas and licenses and lease them to fishers for a cut of the catch. Because profit margins for fishers are already razer thin, the extra costs of the quotas and licenses means young, new and independent fishers find it difficult to get a foothold in the industry. This regulatory system is being called into question by Fleetwood Port Kells Liberal MP Ken Hardie. Fishers have long complained about the ownership structure of licences and individual transferable quotas (ITQs), or catch shares,,>click to read<

Cocaine in the Water Is Hurting River Eels

The Earth’s waters are laced with drugs—from prescription and over-the counter medications, to caffeine, to antibiotics from personal care products. Marine environments are also tainted with illegal drugs, and a recent study demonstrates just how harmful these illicit substances can be to aquatic wildlife. As Michael Marshall reports for New Scientist, researchers in Italy have found that small amounts of cocaine in water can make eels hyperactive and cause significant muscle damage. >click to read<16:41

Dead plankton, stunned fish: the harms of man-made ocean noise

Human-caused ocean noise and its dangers to marine life are the focus of meetings at the United Nations this week, a victory for advocacy groups that have long warned of this problem. What are the causes of ocean noise? The main human activity that causes noise is maritime shipping. Among the loudest sounds are explosions aimed at demolishing offshore oil platforms, though these events are rare. Advocacy groups focus on seismic airguns, which are used by oil and gas interests to find reserves on the ocean floor. A boat tows 12-48 airguns at a time, each of which shoot loud blasts of compressed air.  >click to read<15:27

Sam Parisi – Why I will be listening to other candidates in the next election.

Greetings to those that read this. As a retired fisherman, I have tried to help those who still exist. As a third generation fisherman and a Democrat, I have helped both Senator Warren and Congressman Seth Moulton of Massachusetts. I have written them twice and asked for their input and support for a Fish Bill. I am sad to say neither one have answered my letters. I have donated my time and money and put up campaign signs for them and yet can not get them to respond to me. I am disappointed,,,, >click to read<13:59

Provincetown: The women behind the fishermen

Fishing has changed, but being the wife of a fisherman has not. The wives keep the books, paint buoys, and make sure permits are up to date. They give pep talks, and sometimes fish alongside their husbands when a crewman doesn’t show up. These women are the shore captains, the homemakers, and the mates on and off the boats. They encourage, support and value their husbands and the work they do. “Fishermen’s wives also support each other,” says Tasia Rego, whose husband, Mike, fishes off the Miss Lilly. “We are like families. We help each other. We understand the ups and downs of the business.” >click to read<11:24

The Incredible True Story of the Henrietta C.

That Monday opened with winds coming steady out of the east-northeast at 20 to 25, or kyowking, as they say on Virginia’s Tangier Island. It’s one of many old and strange words used by the people there: kyowking, or blowing hard. A day unfit for pleasure craft and weekend sailors. But April 24, 2017, was also a workday, and for 72 of the island’s watermen, that meant venturing out into the Chesapeake Bay to harvest its famed blue crabs.,, So it was that at five o’clock that blustery morning, Edward Vaughn Charnock and his son, Jason, slacked the lines on Ed’s workboat, the Henrietta C., and chugged west from the harbor in the predawn dark. >click to read<

Commerce Secretary allocates $200 million fishery disaster funding

Today, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross allocated $200 million in disaster funding appropriated by Congress to help fishermen and the businesses and communities that rely upon them to recover and rebuild following hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017. Funding has also been appropriated and allocated for the disasters that devastated the West Coast and Alaska fishermen from 2014 to 2017. >click to read<10:03

“A Good Diehl for Fishing” – Warren’s Senate Republican challenger Diehl unveils plan to help fleet

Geoff Diehl, the Republican challenger to incumbent U. S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, would retain Carlos Rafael’s forfeited groundfish permits in New Bedford and would push to repeal the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument, according to his plan to help the fishing industry. Diehl, a state representative from Whitman, is set to release the plan, “A Good Diehl for Fishing,” at campaign stops Thursday in New Bedford, Scituate and Gloucester.,, The Diehl fishing plan also calls for reducing the regulatory burden on commercial fishermen and finding “a balance between the necessary protections to ensure ocean preservation, and continuing to support the growth of a healthy marine industry across the state.” >click to read<09:14

Climate change moving fish north, threatening turf wars, study says

World conflict is likely to increase over access to fisheries, as species move north in response to a warming ocean, according to a Rutgers University study published last week in the journal Science. “Seventy or more countries will likely have to start sharing with their neighbors” in coming decades, said lead author Malin Pinsky, including the U.S., Canada and Mexico.,, Gregory DiDomenico, executive director of the Garden State Seafood Association, said northern states such as New York argue they should now get a larger allotment for their fishing industries. He said allotments, which are set by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, are based on the history of landings by state. >click to read<23:32

How a small town in Nova Scotia is taking a stand against deepwater drilling in the Atlantic

Less than 100 kilometers down the coast from Halifax sits the picturesque, historic fishing town of Lunenburg. Lining the streets is a kaleidoscope of colourful buildings which lead to the town hall, a red brick building in “old town.” Inside, a quiet rebellion is brewing. Lunenburg town council has decided to take a stand after the recent government approval of British Petroleum’s deepwater drilling project 300 kilometres off the Nova Scotia coast. In April, the oil giant began drilling the first of seven planned exploratory wells, some twice the depth of the Deepwater Horizon well, l, site of the largest marine oil spill in history in 2010. The explosion and sinking of the Transocean oil rig ravaged the Gulf of Mexico, leaking about 3.19 million barrels of oil from BP’s pipes into the ocean over 87 consecutive days.>click to read<19:53

Trump administration replaces Obama-era ocean policy

The Trump administration has revoked an environmental and economic management program for the United States’ coastal ecosystems and replaced it with a program that the president says “streamlines federal coordination.” The National Ocean Policy (NOP), created by an executive order by President Barack Obama in July 2010, established a comprehensive program to ensure the sustainability of the country’s coastal areas and the health of oceans and the Great Lakes. According to a White House news release issued Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s repeal of the 2010 executive order was done because of “excessive bureaucracy created by the previous administration,” citing the National Ocean Council’s 27 departments and agencies. >click to read<17:17

From the White House – Executive Order Regarding the Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States – >click to read<

Copper River crash will cost commercial fishermen millions

Copper River sockeye fishermen are facing historic low returns this year, prompting some commercial fisherman to target other species elsewhere in Prince William Sound, and leaving others waiting onshore in what is usually a profitable fishery to the tune of $15 million or more in ex-vessel value. Through mid-June, the commercial Copper River District drift gillnet fishery had landed just less than 26,000 sockeye salmon and a little more than 7,000 kings during three mid-May fishing periods. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game had expected a harvest this summer of nearly 1 million sockeye in the district, and about 13,000 kings. As the harvest stands now, it’s the second-lowest in the past 50 years. >click to read<16:21

Massachusetts Environmental Police recreational vessel inspection nets criminal summonses

On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, a Massachusetts Environmental Police Officer conducted a fisheries inspection of a recreational vessel at the boat ramp in Sandwich. The inspection of the vessel yielded 300 pounds of jumbo black sea bass, 73 pounds of large black sea bass, one short black sea bass, and 7 pounds of scup. The vessel operator presented the Officer with a New Hampshire commercial fishing permit and indicated he believed he could fish commercially in Massachusetts with said permit. The operator and his passengers were each issued criminal summonses for fishing commercially in Massachusetts without a Massachusetts commercial permit and possession over the legal limit of black sea bass. 15:37

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 48′ Aluminum Scalloper, (2) Detroit 871’s, 25 kW Genset, Federal permit available

Specifications, information and 5 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here<12:30

Boothbay Harbor kicked off lobster boat racing season Saturday, and in Rockland on Sunday

Maine’s summer lobster boat racing season opened last weekend with turnouts of nearly 50 boats both at Boothbay Harbor on Saturday and at Rockland on Sunday. Both races drew several new boats, including several from Downeast, and both events saw some impressive speed runs, though no records were broken. This year, race organizers established two classes for boats built primarily, or exclusively, to race rather than fish. >click to read<11:46

Fishermen Urge Regulators to Establish 50-Mile Buffer Zone for Herring Trawlers

Local fishermen and elected officials from across Cape Cod strongly urged fishery managers Tuesday to impose a strict 50 mile buffer zone for mid-water herring trawlers. At an overflow meeting in the Chatham Community Center, they said the vessels are wiping out the herring, negatively impacting the local fishing industry and related economies. The New England Fishery Management Council is considering changes in the rules that govern the trawlers and has been taking comments at various ports around New England. >click to read<11:05

Investigation results released after fatal herring boat sinking

The chain of events that led to a fishing boat sinking off Cape Lazo have been released. Back on March 6, 2017, the Miss Cory had been fishing for herring in the Strait of Georgia after sailing out of Comox for the fishery opening that day. The fishing boat was 19.5 metres in length, and based out of Prince Rupert. It had sent out a distress call around 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon, at a location around five and a half kilometres out from Cape Lazo. At the time of the sinking, four crew members were rescued by a nearby vessel, the Proud Venture. One person was unaccounted for and declared missing. >click to read<08:41

Man sentenced in scheme to skim money from Maine seafood company

A former seafood dealer was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to six months in federal prison for wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Jonathan F. Cowles, 48, of Honolulu, Hawaii, and formerly of Rowley, Massachusetts, also was ordered to pay nearly $360,000 in restitution to his former employer, Maine Coast Shellfish, LLC, a lobster wholesaler in York. That is the amount of money the company lost when Cowles had Maine Coast Shellfish ship 50,000 pounds of lobster to a customer in China whose identity he concealed and who never paid for the lobsters, according to court documents. >click to read<08:16

Drift fishermen hopeful for Wednesday’s Nushagak opener

Fishermen faced blustery bouts of rain Tuesday at Dillingham’s small boat harbor, but that’s not dampening their enthusiasm for Wednesday’s commercial drift net opener in the Nushagak and Igushik sections. Many drift boats plan to ride Tuesday night’s tide out into the bay for the first commercial drift gillnet opening from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday. “You saw it here – as soon as that announcement (went out at 9 a.m. Tuesday), there was boat after boat getting thrown in the water here. I would assume there’s going to be quite an interest in this opener,” said Logan Branstiter of the F/V B-Team. “(We’re going to) start looking around, looking for jumpers, looking for signs of fish and activity and hope you hope you set on them.” >click to read<07:26

A fisherman asks how to make disability insurance affordable

Q. I don’t have a lot of money left over after paying bills each month. I know I should buy disability insurance – I work in commercial fishing and my job gives me some short-term disability but I think I need more. How can I make the disability insurance more affordable without losing the benefits I could need? — Trying to do right. A. Good for you that you recognize the need to protect your most valuable asset – your ability to earn income. And if you think paying your bills is tough now, just imagine how much tougher it would be with no income. That’s why disability insurance is such a great investment. >click to read<18:39

11 shark fins, dismembered sharks found aboard boat near South Sound Creek

The U.S. Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission personnel seized 11 shark fins and dismembered sharks Monday that were found aboard a 40-foot commercial fishing boat near South Sound Creek, Coast Guard officials announced Tuesday in a news release.  Authorities said an FWC officer first spotted the boat, dubbed Miss Shell, off South Sound Creek because of its improper display of navigation lights.  Authorities said they found 11 shark fins and dismembered sharks aboard the boat. The boat was then escorted to Port Largo. The catch was seized and handed over to NOAA officials Tuesday. >click to read<16:15

DFO orders fisheries closure in Bay of Fundy after right whale sighting

The federal government announced Monday evening the first temporary fisheries closure in the Bay of Fundy as a result of a North Atlantic right whale sighting. The area, just east of Grand Manan, will be closed to fixed-gear fishing activities starting at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said in a statement. It said the closure, which affects lobster, crab, groundfish, herring and mackerel licenses, will remain in place until further notice. It’s believed to be the first closure of its kind ever in the bay, according to Laurence Cook, chairman of the Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association lobster advisory board. Cook was busy fielding calls and texts from “angry and upset” members after government informed the association around 6 p.m. Monday, he said. >click to read<11:42

Held Hostage: New Bedford Fishermen, Businesses losing out while waiting on NOAA

“If something doesn’t happen with groundfishing soon, it’s gone,” general manager of Hercules SLR John Reardon said. NOAA implemented the ban Nov.20 and has continued because of an overage calculated at 72,000 pounds of grey soul, according to multiple people who spoke Monday evening. The overage represents the amount of fish calculated by NOAA that Carlos Rafael misreported. He is serving a 46-month prison sentence, but the NOAA punishment aspect has held many along the waterfront hostage. >click to read<10:27

Conceived in a boat, born on the river: Mullet fishing is in Lonnie Head’s blood

At 79 and a fourth-generation Old Homosassa fisherman, Lonnie Head knows the waters of the canals and rivers and the gulf by heart. Still strong as an ox, he still goes out mullet fishing a few times a week in a boat he built himself, pulling in his nets full of fish like they’re weightless. Before the net ban in 1994 took away much of his and other commercial fishermen’s livelihood, Head fished nearly every day. “Fishing was all there was to do,” he said. “All Homosassa was was a fishing village … I started fishing with my daddy when I was 7 years old or younger. >click to read<09:01

Fishermen of Newport to Honor Ronnie Fatulli this Thursday

On Thursday, June 21, 2018, the Newport Lobster Shack and Fishermen of Newport will honor Ronnie Fatulli for his lifelong commitment to the commercial fishing industry of Newport, his love of the working waterfront and his successful efforts to insure a permanent commercial pier in the City of Newport. Business owners, locals and tourists alike are invited to join in the celebration at State Pier #9 located at 150 Long Warf, Newport, RI. The ceremony will begin promptly at 11:00AM and will feature speeches by Mayor Harry Winthrop, Director of the DEM, Janet Coit, Bill Palumbo and Alan Eagles. >click to read<08:04

Coast Guard medevacs injured fisherman 13 miles west of Grays Harbor

The Coast Guard medically evacuated an injured fisherman 13 miles west of the Grays Harbor, Washington, entrance, Monday morning. A Coast Guard boat crew aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Station Grays Harbor met up with with the commercial fishing vessel Myrna Lynn to transfer the 50-year-old injured fisherman to shore, and get him treated by emergency medical services for a severe hand injury and shock. Watchstanders at Sector Columbia River received the injury report via VHF-FM radio at 8:15 a.m., and directed the launch of the boat crew. The patient transfer between the Myrna Lynn and the boat crew occurred at 9 a.m. >link< -USCG-

Humpy invasion

While West Coast Americans – Alaskans among them – worry and fret about farmed Atlantic salmon escaping to invade the Pacific Ocean despite decades of failed stocking efforts aimed at helping them do so, the Norwegians, Scots and other Europeans are facing a real and significant problem with an invasive Pacific salmon – the ubiquitous Alaska humpy. The smallest of the Pacific salmon, the humpy – or pink salmon – is by far the most common species in the 49th state. Of the 224.6 million salmon caught in Alaska last year, 63 percent, some 114.6 million, were pinks, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.  And Northern Europeans are now worried the highly adaptable and voracious humpy could become a common species in their coastal waters. Blame the Russians. >click to read<15:52

Coast Guard searches for fisherman overboard 100 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana

The Coast Guard is searching for a 55 year-old man who reportedly fell overboard approximately 100 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana, Monday morning. Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a communications relay from the captain of the fishing vessel Captain Edwin at approximately 3 a.m. reporting that a crewmember had fallen overboard off a nearby fishing vessel, the Captain Kent, while it was at anchor. It was also reported that the man was not wearing a life jacket. -USCG- 12:56

It’s wild salmon health vs. money and jobs as B.C.’s fish farm fight comes to a head

For some, salmon farms are a blight on the landscape. Not for the way they look, but because of the threat they believe these large aquaculture operations pose to wild salmon. “We’re pretty confident this place will have to be dismantled,” says Ernest Alfred, pointing at the farm from the boat. “And I’ll be here to watch it.” The government is currently reviewing the leases of 20 fish farms that expire on June 20. Alfred and other opponents are upping the pressure on the NDP leadership in hopes they will commit to ending fish farming in the ocean. But supporters of the farms say that would be a huge blow to an industry worth billions of dollars to the province. >click to read<12:01

Meanwhile, in Scotland, A bid by the Scottish Government to resolve fierce arguments over how fish farms harm wild salmon has been dismissed as a public relations stunt by campaigners. The population of wild salmon in Scotland has fallen by 50 per cent from around 1.25 million in the 1960s to 600,000 in 2016. Angling groups point out that most of the decline is on the west coast, close to where salmon farms are located. >click to read<

Lobster fishermen comply with federal order and move traps to smaller area

Lobster fishermen aboard about 60 boats spent Sunday morning pulling traps from waters off Miscou Island in northeastern New Brunswick in order to comply with a zone closure put in place by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The closures in Lobster Fishing Area 23 were announced by the DFO on June 11, after five North Atlantic right whales were seen between Miscou and the Gaspe Peninsula. DFO boats were in the area monitoring the situation as the traps were hauled up. “There’s a very small block that they can kind of move into. They are limited on the amount of territory that is left for them so they’re all going to have to cram into what’s left I guess.” >click to read<10:16