Whales and license laws top lobster industry agenda

The blowy weather that made lobster fishing a hard chance recently might well have been a blessing in disguise. The wind and cold certainly have given shorebound Maine lobstermen a good chance to learn about the tempests engulfing their industry in the Legislature and the world of fisheries regulation. Already beset by limits on how they fish — trap numbers, trawl length, the kind and strength of rope used for groundlines and buoy end lines are all regulated in the name of conservation or protecting endangered northern right whales — lobstermen are waiting to see what new rules regulators may impose on the fishery. >click to read<11:45

Vineyard Wind project in RI moves forward

The future of the Rhode Island commercial fishing industry is hanging in the balance, as the proposal to build the massive Vineyard Wind project moved forward. The media was kicked out of a meeting between the Fisheries Advisory Board Thursday afternoon in Galilee that was presenting the proposed deal with Vineyard Wind to local fisherman that would mitigate the impacts of constructing the offshore $2 billion wind farm. “The clock is ticking,” said Rich Fuka. “They’re trying to expedite this project, and the fishing industry is going to be on the receiving end of a failure.”>click to read<10:50

Alaska fishing communities would take hit under Dunleavy proposal to end fish tax revenue-sharing

Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed legislation this week that would keep commercial fish tax revenue that has for years been shared with Alaska fishing communities in the state’s coffers instead, a move that mayors in some of those cities say would be devastating.At play are two taxes: Alaska’s fisheries business tax, and the fishery resource landing tax. Dunleavy’s legislation would repeal the fisheries business tax allocation to municipalities and repeal revenue sharing for the fishery resource landing tax. Those shared funds go to local governments in communities where fish processing and landings occur. >click to read<22:53

Eight years after Fukushima’s meltdown, the land is recovering, but public trust is not

Eight years after an earthquake, tsunami and one of the most severe nuclear accidents in history, the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima is getting back on its feet. Officials say the area’s fruits and vegetables are fine to eat. So is the catch from the Fukushima fishing boats. Radiation levels in the prefecture’s capital city, Fuku­shima, are comparable to the super-safe readings in places such as Hong Kong and London, monitors say. And a massive decontamination effort is still underway. But facts and spreadsheets supplied by the government are one thing. Rebuilding trust among locals may be significantly harder, thanks to a culture of coverups and denials that contributed to the nuclear accident and continues to dog Japan’s efforts to restart its nuclear industry,.. >click to read<21:22

State of Crabbing in Norton Sound: Less Sea Ice, Fewer Crabs — and Fewer Crabbers

The commercial quota for winter Norton Sound crabbers this season is just over 12,000 pounds: less than half of the amount last winter, and about a third of the 2017 quota. The 150,600-pound quota for the year is broken down into 8% for winter, 7.5% for subsistence, and the remainder is for summer. That equals 12,048 lbs. for commercial and 11,295 lbs. for subsistence or CDQ fishery. Justin Leon, the assistant area management biologist for the Arctic area, based in Nome, explains the decrease has a lot to do with the latest trawl survey results from the Norton Sound. >click to read<19:34

New Video Shows Impacts of Offshore Wind On U.K. Fishermen

A new video, Winds of Change, released today by the Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF), documents how the arrival of offshore wind blindsided U.K. fishermen, and how the wind farms have permanently changed their traditional fishing grounds and how they make their livelihoods. Last year, two members of FSF traveled to the United Kingdom to learn how fishermen in Ramsgate, England and Aberdeen, Scotland have been impacted by offshore wind development. Those lessons are documented in Winds of Change. “As offshore wind moves forward here in the U.S., it’s essential that it’s able to co-exist with the fishing communities that have depended on these waters for generations,” said Andrew Minkiewicz, an attorney for FSF. “We must learn from the experiences of European fishermen if we want to avoid the same pitfalls and make the best decisions for American fishermen and offshore wind developers.” >click to read<19:14

Winds of Change – >click to watch<

Coast Guard, NOAA terminate voyage for illegal fishing in Tortugas Ecological Reserve

The Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration terminated the voyage of the 83-foot commercial fishing vessel, Lady Kristie, with three people aboard Thursday after discovering multiple violations near Tortugas Ecological Reserve. Fishing in an ecological reserve violates NOAA regulations. At approximately 12:30 a.m. the Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo (WPC-1112) crew detected the Lady Kristie within a protected area. >click to read<17:08

A return to sea – Crab fishermen thread storms to bring home the catch

The anticipation of pain is often worse than the pain itself. I should know this; I’ve been here before. Working for Tony Pettis and other Newport crab skippers for over a decade, I’ve had plenty of chances to listen to the howl of wind and marinate in my own anxious brine, full of questions — the chief ones being, “are we really going to leave into this weather, and can I keep my lunch down?” I should have had enough practice in just letting things be, but it’s hard. >click to read<16:37

Fish processor testifies against RCMP over Shippagan riots that destroyed his plant

A Moncton court has begun hearing a lawsuit against the RCMP that alleges the force didn’t do its job during the 2003 riots in Shippagan that destroyed the Daley Brothers fish plant and warehouse, several crab fishing boats and hundreds of traps. Hundreds of angry fishermen from the Acadian Peninsula descended on Shippagan in May 2003 to protest against the federal government’s move to reduce their crab quotas to recognize First Nations’ right to live off fishing. >click to read<14:47

Monterey Bay fishermen catch salmon as far away as Alaska. A proposed copper mine there poses a local threat.

Tom DiMaggio is 96 years old and blessed with a full head neatly combed white hair and a warm handshake. A fisherman for his whole career, he’s been retired for over 20 years and remains a vibrant member of the fishing community – only these days, the community is far from the dock and instead gathers at the East Village Coffee Lounge in Monterey to while away weekday mornings, sipping espresso and swapping stories.,,Commercial fishing is an unpredictable profession in many ways, though the two greatest uncertainties are how many fish are caught and how much those fish sell for. The nature of the job means many fishermen want to surround themselves with a crew they can trust, which often means family. Ask the East Village table of old-school fishermen how they got started, and they all have a similar answer:, >click to read<14:00

Maine’s lobster industry braces for ‘catastrophic’ cuts to bait fish catch

For the second year in a row, federal regulators have dramatically reduced the amount of Atlantic herring fishermen can haul after scientists counted far fewer juvenile Atlantic herring in the waters from Canada to New Jersey. While determining that Atlantic herring, the chief bait used by lobstermen, is not overfished, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said “recruitment” — the number of juvenile herring — is so low that on Friday they finalized a rule reducing by more than half the amount of Atlantic herring that fishermen may catch in 2019, from 50,000 metric tons to 21,000 metric tons. >click to read<12:14

DFO ‘complacent’ on fish kills at Nova Scotia’s turbines, biologist says

A former Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientist is accusing his former employer of skewing research to allow for the continued operation of Nova Scotia Power’s Annapolis Tidal Turbine. “The Fisheries Act says you shouldn’t destroy fisheries habitat,” said Michael Dadswell, On Wednesday, members of a Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat panel tasked with reviewing existing scientific literature to help determine whether the tidal turbine is violating the Fisheries Act were supposed meet at Acadia University to review their draft report. >click to read<20:01

Seafood Giant Agrees to $23M in Upgrades to Reduce Coolant Leaks, EPA Says

Trident Seafoods Corporation, one of the largest seafood processing companies in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, will spend up to $23 million to reduce coolant leaks from refrigerators and other equipment and to improve compliance; the company will also pay a $900,000 fine. Trident agreed to the settlement with the EPA and the US Department of Justice to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. The EPA says Trident violated the Act by failing to promptly repair leaks of the refrigerant R-22, an ozone-depleting hydrocholorofluorocarbon (HCFC). This allowed its appliances to leak refrigerant at high rates for thousands of days, releasing over 200,000 pounds,,,, Trident will retrofit or retire 23 refrigeration appliances used on 14 marine vessels to use an alternative refrigerant that does not harm the ozone layer compared to typical refrigerants. >click to read<18:12

FISH-NL pleased with DFO move to increase seal licences; first step in addressing population

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is encouraged that Fisheries and Oceans has finally moved to increase the number of  — the first step to combating the massive population. DFO issued an advisory to harvesters earlier today to say that new applications for commercial assistant sealers will be considered.,,, The Harp seal population in the northwest Atlantic was last estimated in 2012 at 7.4 million animals — almost six times what it was in the 1970s.,,, Groups in British Columbia have called for a cull of the estimated 110,000 harbour seals and sea lions off that province for the impact they’re having on Pacific salmon stocks. >click to read<16:36

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 47′ MDI Gillnet/Lobster, CAT 3406, Permit available

Specifications, information and 24 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<12:12

Northern shrimp stock plunges off the coast of Labrador

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ latest northern shrimp assessment shows a dramatic drop in the offshore Labrador stock, with a slight increase for the inshore fishery in Newfoundland. New data from DFO Monday reveal a 46 per cent drop in the fishable biomass — defined as the weight of all the shrimp larger than 17 millimetres — between 2017 and 2018 in Shrimp Fishing Area 4, along Labrador’s northernmost coast, to 42,100 tonnes. Heading south down Labrador’s coast to Shrimp Fishing Area 5, the biomass has dropped 43 per cent, to 80,100 tonnes. >click to read<

Feds release Puget Sound steelhead recovery plan

The National Marine Fisheries Service has drafted a recovery plan for Puget Sound steelhead, including those from the Skagit River. The fisheries service, which is a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is taking public comment on the plan through March 28. A recovery plan is required for any species protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. >click to read<10:53

Barnhill opens Got Ice, Inc.

Eddie Barnhill, a third generation Pine Island fisherman, has sold his boats and traps and started a new business, Got Ice, Inc. The Barnhill family has been fishing from Pine Island since Eddie Barn-hill’s grandfather, Alfred Barnhill, arrived here from Punta Gorda. His father, Edward Sr., also fished his entire life and that was Eddie’s plan to fish until he turned the business over to his sons. >click to read<10:15

FISH-NL: Escalating war between fish processors/buyers exposes fact inshore harvesters have been ‘royally screwed’ on price of fish

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the existing system of setting fish prices in the province is broken beyond repair, and must be scuttled. “What’s absolutely clear from the escalating fight between processors and buyers is that inshore harvesters have been getting royally screwed on the price of fish,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. On Jan. 2, the Seafood Processors of Newfoundland and Labrador (SPONL) — representing 15 small, mostly lobster processors/buyers with a combined export value of roughly $40 million — lodged a complaint against Royal Greenland with the federal Competition Bureau, and asked for an intervention. >click to read<22:02

Let’s Take a Closer Look at This Big Fish Farm Proposal for the Samoa Peninsula

There have been lots of ideas in recent years for how to maximize the economic potential of Humboldt Bay. “More cruise ships!” some suggested. “More oysters!” “Less-restrictive zoning!” “How about a new railroad or two?” But as far as we can tell, no one even dreamed of suggesting that the Samoa peninsula could host one of the world’s largest indoor fish farms. No one imagined that Redwood Marine Terminal II, a contaminated brownfield site still littered with the rubble of an abandoned pulp mill, could be chosen to house a 600,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art aquaculture facility capable of supplying the West Coast with nearly 60 million tons pounds of fish per year. That concept, and the Norwegian company that plans to bring it to fruition, found us. >click to read<20:20

Small shrimp biomass increase off Newfoundland’s northeast coast

The latest news about the state of the northern shrimp stock in key Shrimp Fishing Area 6 off the province’s northeast coast is a bit more uplifting this year than about the same time last year. Last year the news was grim — this year, although the shrimp stock remains listed in the critical zone, the fishable biomass has increased by three per cent between 2017 and 2018, and there’s a 27 per cent increase in spawning stock biomass between 2017 and 2018. >click to read<19:33

What I learned working with misfits, oddballs and hardened fisherman

I’ve always had a strange fascination with challenge and adventure. It’s a cliché, I know, but it has led me on some interesting journeys. Sometimes these journeys give me fragments of insight into the sneaky mysteries of life. For these reasons, I signed up to spend six weeks on a commercial fishing vessel last winter. I had never been to sea before, but – thanks to a family friend – I was able to get a job on one of the largest Black Cod fishing operations in the world. I left in early January, sailing the stormy winter waters of northern British Columbia near the Alaskan border. I joined a 13-person crew – 12 men and one woman – on a ship that was capable of handling hurricane-like weather. Brandon Kornelson >click to read<18:16

Why Japan risked condemnation to restart commercial whaling

Fishermen in the village of Taiji are counting the days until July, when they will be able to hunt large, fatty minke whales commercially for the first time in decades. The community, which faces the Pacific coast of central Japan, is still haunted by its moment in the international spotlight 10 years ago, when the documentary “The Cove” criticized its dolphin culls and attracted a flood of activists. Yet, a sense of optimism is spreading. “The availability of more types of whales will make more people interested” in eating the meat, predicted Shinichi Shiozaki, who sells processed whale products. “It’s a good thing.” >click to read<13:14

Charles Schnacker, Come to the Edge: Arrival and Survival in Del Norte County

Charles Schnacker reveals an intense tenacity and love for fishing, one that goes deeper than profit. But his essay also reveals hidden gems about scarcity and abundance in Del Norte County: I was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and I grew up in Idaho—Lewiston, Craigmount, Nez Perce. And then we moved here in 1984, when I was in grade school. I enrolled in Crescent Elk. Then I went to Del Norte High but transferred to Sunset High School because they let me use math classes as my electives, and I really liked math.  When we first moved out here my mom, my dad, me, my five brothers, Grandma, three cousins, two aunts and two uncles lived at Pacific Shores, near Kellogg Beach. We camped out on the dunes for two months until my dad got a job at Las Palmas Trailer Park.  We lived there for a short time in one of the trailers until we bought a house on Cooper in the 700 block. It was the first house I remember my family owning.  I liked it here. I grew up fishing. My dad started out beach fishing for smelt at night and for perch during the day. Then he bought a boat and crabbed. I pretty much did the same thing. >click to read<12:27

Lobster’s underbelly is as tough as industrial rubber

Flip a lobster on its back, and you’ll see that the underside of its tail is split in segments connected by a translucent membrane that appears rather vulnerable when compared with the armor-like carapace that shields the rest of the crustacean. But engineers at MIT and elsewhere have found that this soft membrane is surprisingly tough, with a microscopic, layered, plywood-like structure that makes it remarkably tolerant to scrapes and cuts. This deceptively tough film protects the lobster’s belly as the animal scuttles across the rocky seafloor. >click to read<11:10

Coast Guard medevacs man from fishing vessel 201 miles north of St. Paul, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, forward-deployed to St. Paul, medevaced a man from the fishing vessel Kari Marie approximately 201 miles north of St. Paul, Alaska, Monday. District 17 Command Center watchstanders received notification from the fishing vessel Pacific Mariner. They were relaying communications for the fishing vessel Kari Marie for a crew member that was reported to have suffered a compound fracture while aboard the vessel. >click to read<09:27

Commercial Fisherman George Mendonsa, whose Times Square kiss became an iconic photo, dies at 95

George Mendonsa never doubted that he was the sailor in Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photo from Times Square, when news broke in 1945 that Japan had surrendered and World War II was ending. Eisenstaedt shot four quick frames of Mr. Mendonsa kissing a stranger, Greta Zimmer Friedman, and a photo of their brief embrace became one of the era’s most iconic images. It was unforgettable for Mr. Mendonsa, too. “This moment put magic into my life,” he told the Globe in 1988. Mr. Mendonsa, a well-known commercial fisherman in Rhode Island, was 95 when he died early Sunday from complications of falling a short time earlier in an assisted living center. He had lived in Middletown, R.I., most of his life and would have turned 96 Tuesday. >click to read<21:30

Lucky number 7: Seventh right whale calf spotted off Atlantic coast

One by one, the critically endangered right whales here for this winter’s calving season are delivering new babies that raise optimism among whale researchers. A seventh North Atlantic right whale calf was confirmed this weekend off the Georgia coast, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries. “Every calf that gets us closer to 10 or a dozen is very encouraging,” said Jim Hain, senior scientist and project coordinator for the Marineland Right Whale Project. The newest mom is Pico, or No. 3270. She’s a 17-year-old whale whose last known calf was born in 2011. >click to read<20:48

Fisheries official says 2018 saw a ‘reasonably good return’ despite low numbers

The number of sockeye salmon that made it up the Fraser River last fall was lower than originally predicted, prompting a conservation group to blame the federal fisheries regulator for allowing the area to be overfished. “This year, it was the lowest run or spawning return they’ve seen on record on this cycle,” Greg Taylor told CBC Radio’s Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce. “They were very disappointing,” said Taylor, a senior fisheries advisor for the Watershed Watch Salmon Society.,,, A DFO representative told Joyce on Thursday that, while the numbers were lower than predicted, the return numbers were not out of the ordinary >click to read<20:14

Connecticut’s Commercial Fishermen Express Interest In Two Bills

Two bills that could have a big impact on Connecticut’s multi-million dollar commercial fishing business were the subject of an Environment Committee public hearing Friday. The legislation would allow commercial fishermen to take one day’s catch and bring them across state lines — to Rhode Island and New York — not just Connecticut. The other bill would “prohibit the possession and trade of shark fins in the state.” The aim is to protect sharks from skinning for trade but commercial fishermen are worried that the bill may lead to a complete ban on shark. >click to read<18:30