Fishing Vessel Crew rescued by Irish Coast Guard after Grounding on Inis Mór

Five crew members were rescued by the Irish Coast Guard after their fishing vessel ran aground on the northern side of Inis Mór, on the Aran Islands. The emergency call was received by the Valentia Coast Guard shortly before 5am this morning. The 21-metre fishing vessel had five crew members on board who initially abandoned the vessel into a life raft. Shannon-based Coast Guard Helicopter R115, Aran Islands RNLI lifeboat, and North Aran Coast Guard Unit were all immediately dispatched to the scene to assist with the rescue operation. more, >>click to read<< 18:57

Regional council says it won’t tighten fishing regulations in Bristol Bay red king crab savings area

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will not move forward with a request to close the Bristol Bay red king crab savings area to all commercial fishing. At its February meeting, the regulatory council looked at the effectiveness of closing the 4,000-square-nautical-mile section of the eastern Bering Sea to commercial trawl, pot and longline fishing, but decided not to tighten regulations in the area. The savings box was established in 1996 as a haven for the massive crab species. It is already permanently closed to bottom trawling, but it remains open to midwater, or pelagic trawlers, pot fishing and longlining. Non-pelagic, known as bottom trawling, is allowed in a small section within the savings area — known as the savings subarea — when crabbers are harvesting the species. The council also evaluated a pot gear closure of a large section in the eastern portion of Bristol Bay, known as Area 512, to address drops in the Bristol Bay red king crab stock. All trawling is already prohibited in that area. more, >>click to read<< 12:38

‘He refuses to retire’: 82-year-old Iain Boyd’s thriving Ullapool Smokehouse

In the early stages of the now 82-year-old’s career, he spent a great deal of time lobster fishing, scallop diving and mussel farming. It’s a passion that has never dwindled through the decades. Even when Iain went on to work in the oil business, he still “yearned to be involved” in the fishing trade, so much so that his downtime was spent smoking kippers, mackerel, haddock and salmon. “He spent many years perfecting a traditional artisan method [to smoking salmon] before starting up the smokehouse about 20 years ago,” says daughter Louise. The smokehouse in question is Ullapool Smokehouse which is, of course, based in the picturesque fishing village of Ullapool. More specifically, in Morefield Indstrial Estate. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 10:10

Competitive Maine elver fishing lottery offers most licenses since 2013

Sixteen people will gain entry in this year’s intense bid for one of the most lucrative fish stocks in the state, but the success rate is still very low. Kyle Dodge has been pining for an elver fishing license for 10 years. The young glass eels go for over $2,000 a pound these days; some Mainers make more than $200,000 a year drawing the tiny, transparent creatures from local waters. The window to apply closes Monday, and all Dodge can do is cross her fingers. But she’s hopeful that this upcoming season she might finally start setting her net. “I just want to put my feet in the river, know that I am able to fish – know that it’s mine to do,” she said. more, >>click to read<< 08:21

Suffolk teenager chooses career as a fisherman to keep town’s proud tradition alive

A teenage fisherman is hoping to inspire other youngsters to follow in his footsteps after launching his own £300,000 vessel into the North Sea. Alex Wightman, 18, from Lowestoft in Suffolk still believes there is a future in fishing despite government figures showing a decline in registered fishing boats in the UK. His boat, the 10 metre-long Emma Claire, named after his mother, is thought to be the first new vessel in the town’s inshore fleet for nearly 20 years. “Anybody my age, especially coming in to the fishing industry, would absolutely die to have a boat like this.” Alex hails from a fishing family, with his brother Max, 23, and dad Steve also fishing off the east coast. Video, photos, more, >>click to read<< 06:47

Lobster tagged in New Brunswick caught over 250 kilometres away in Maine

Emily Blacklock was scrolling through social media when she spotted a video of a Maine fisherman hauling in an unexpected catch, a lobster with a tag from her research team found hundreds of kilometres away from where it was attached in New Brunswick. “All of a sudden I saw one of our blue tags, so I ended up messaging him,” she said. “We all know it’s possible that lobsters go from the Bay of Fundy to the Gulf of Maine, but the chance of him being the one to catch that lobster and make a video was fantastic.” Blacklock, a PhD candidate at the University of New Brunswick, is part of a team of researchers trying to find a way to identify the age of lobsters. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 16:49

Louisiana LNG Could Be ‘Nail in the Coffin’ for Local Fishermen

Phillip Dyson has been a commercial fisherman in Cameron, Louisiana for 49 years. His father fished before him, and his son and grandson also fish, shrimp, and oyster in the brackish waters where the Calcasieu River empties out into the Gulf of Mexico. Even his great-grandson is getting into the family trade. “Always in Cameron,” Dyson said. Even in a state famous for its seafood, Cameron once stood out. A few decades ago, Cameron was the largest producer of seafood in the entire country, hauling in hundreds of millions of pounds of fish, shrimp, and oysters each year. But those days are long gone. Cameron Parish is still home to a dwindling number of commercial fishermen. Two decades ago, there were around 250 commercial fishing vessels in Cameron. “We’re down to about 16 now,” Commercial fishermen in southwest Louisiana say that the growth of LNG is putting them out of business. They are particularly outraged at Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass LNG facility, which sits at the mouth of the Calcasieu River on the Gulf of Mexico. The facility has been flaring on and off for the better part of two years, hobbled by persistent equipment malfunctions. Noise and air pollution have made life difficult for nearby residents. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 14:46

Sunken Harpswell fishing boat leaking oil, owner needs to take action

An 80-foot-long fishing boat is sitting at the bottom of New Meadows River in Harpswell, and it’s causing concern. It’s been underwater for 51 days. Harpswell Harbormaster Paul Plummer says they don’t exactly know how it sunk, but it happened during the historic January storms. Plummer says the current owner needs to step up. “The owner of the ship is responsible for whatever happens,” Plummer said. That includes the fee of removing that boat from the water and towing it piece by piece. Photos, Video, more, >>click to read<< 11:24

NOAA postpones controversial bottom trawling experiment in Alaska’s Northern Bering Sea

The project, called the Northern Bering Sea Effects of Trawling Study, or NETS, has been envisioned as an experiment to examine impacts of commercial bottom trawling in an area of the Bering Sea where it is currently banned. Bottom trawling is a method of fish harvesting that uses nets to sweep the seafloor. While it is prohibited in the Northern Bering Sea, the shift in fish populations caused by climate change may build pressure for bottom trawling there in the future, according to the study plan. The study has been designed as a multiyear project to start as early as this August. It was to be conducted by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service, also known as the National Marine Fisheries Service. News of the decision came in an emailed letter from Janet Coit, director of NOAA Fisheries, to tribal organizations that had expressed opposition to the project. more, >>click to read<< 09:52

Coastal rebuilding in ‘limbo’ as residents await answers

Bailey Island lobsterman and building contractor Guy Baker would like to rebuild the large wharf on his property that was torn to pieces in January’s coastal storms, but there are several unknowns. Nearly six weeks after back-to-back storms struck the Maine coast on Wednesday, Jan. 10, and Saturday, Jan. 13, the Harpswell resident still doesn’t know what sort of emergency funding he will receive, if any, to rebuild. He doesn’t know how long the town might give him to replace a generations-old structure that didn’t conform to current building codes. Baker doesn’t know what replacing the wharf would cost, or how long he’d have to wait for a specialty contractor to take on the job. He assumes prices have skyrocketed as property owners rush to repair millions of dollars’ worth of damage along the Maine coast. Baker isn’t alone. more, >>click to read<< 08:34

Coast Guard Refuses to Enforce California’s New Environmental Regulation

The state of California is once again proving that it is a far-left outlier, and now even the U.S. Coast Guard won’t enforce one of the state’s outrageous new regulations because of “safety concerns” waiting to befall ships at sea. The Coast Guard sent an official letter dated Feb. 21 to the California Air Resources Board to inform state officials that the branch will not penalize ships for lacking a new diesel exhaust particulate filter on their engines as required by a new state regulation. Adm. Sugimoto also pointed out that the diesel particulate filters (diesel exhaust particulate filter) called for by the CARB have not been approved for use by the Coast Guard or the federal government. more, >>click to read<< 07:06

Commercial Fishermen in Alaska Find Suspected Spy Balloon, FBI Investigation Pending

Commercial fishermen off the coast of Alaska have stumbled upon what could be a significant find—a suspected spy balloon, sparking immediate interest from U.S. officials. The object, believed to resemble those used in foreign surveillance activities, is now en route to the shore, escorted by the fishermen who discovered it. This incident has generated considerable attention, with the FBI preparing to conduct a thorough investigation upon its arrival. The unexpected discovery occurred when the fishermen noticed an unusual object floating off the coast. Initial photographs sent to local law enforcement caught the eye of federal officials, prompting an urgent request for the object to be brought to land. more, >>click to read<< 18:18

Maine lobstermen made more money in 2023 despite catching fewest lobster in 15 years

Maine lobstermen raked in $464.4 million at the docks last year, rebounding from the worst year the fishery had seen in a decade, according to an annual report from the Maine Department of Marine Resources released Friday. The dwindling number of landings isn’t necessarily a surprise, though. State officials and members of the lobstering community say the decrease reflects the impacts of high costs to operate the fishery last year. And the dip in poundage indicates how lobstermen navigated the challenging obstacles.“Fishermen are now very strategic about how they fish. Expenses are through the roof, so you can’t afford to be out if you’re not making money,” said Patrice McCarron, a lobsterman and policy director with the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. more, >>click to read<< 16:26

Commercial fisheries landings increased more than $25 million in value in 2023

Preliminary numbers for commercial seafood landings in 2023 released today show a strong year for the industry, with commercial fishermen earning $611,277,692 — an increase of $25 million — for 204,684,775 pounds of seafood brought in to state docks. Despite a warming Gulf of Maine, intense storms and the damage to working waterfronts and lower lobster landings, “the Maine seafood industry continues to be a powerful economic engine for our state,” said Governor Janet Mills. Statewide, 93,734,116 pounds of lobsters landed on docks for a $461,371,720 value, an increase of about $72 million. The value represents what is paid at the docks to fishermen, dollars that flow throughout local communities and the state’s overall economy. Stonington is the top port for commercial seafood value this year, bringing in $47.37 million of value, and the second port, behind Portland, for pounds — 13.98 million. more, >>click to read<< 12:54

On fisheries, Australia must be prepared for New Zealand as opponent rather than ally

On February 1, senior Australian and New Zealand ministers signed a Joint Statement of Cooperation, acknowledging the long history of collaboration between the two nations. The same week, New Zealand rejected an Australian proposal on sustainable fishing at the annual fisheries meeting of nations that fish in the high seas of the South Pacific. The move has driven a wedge between these traditional allies. At stake was an agreement by those nations to protect 70% of special and vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as ancient corals, from destructive fishing practices like bottom-trawling. Until December 2023, NZ was jointly leading the work to implement this agreement with Australia. But New Zealand’s new government, a coalition of conservative parties, rejected the proposed restrictions, citing concerns about jobs and development. more, >>click to read<< 10:53

Put rules in writing to fix Maritime elver fishery’s enforcement problem, say businesses

Representatives of the $45-million Maritime elver fishery are calling on the federal government to implement enforceable regulations for moderate livelihood fishing by Indigenous people. They told a Senate committee in Ottawa Thursday the failure to define or regulate moderate livelihood rights by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is one reason for the uncontrolled harvest of baby eels on dozens of rivers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. “Among these poachers are First Nations unwilling to work with DFO to access the fishery under a banner of moderate livelihood rights, backed by organized crime, specifically biker gangs and foreign smuggling networks. Our once peaceful industry has recently faced violent disruption,” said Genna Carey, a commercial licence holder speaking on behalf of the Canadian Committee for a Sustainable Eel Fishery, an industry group. more, >>click to read<< 09:29

Two fishermen have lucky escape after losing consciousness from toxic fumes – from rotting fish

Two fishermen had a lucky escape after being overcome by toxic fumes created by a combination of rotting fish and seawater on board their fishing vessel shortly after leaving the port of Clogherhead almost 18 months ago, an investigation has revealed. A report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board outlined how the two experienced fishermen lost consciousness after entering a tank on board their trawler. The incident occurred on board F/V Ardent at around 3.15pm on October 31, 2022 shortly after it had departed from Port Oriel, Clogherhead, Co Louth. The first casualty was observed experiencing spasms while lying on the floor of the tank, while waiting for emergency services to arrive with breathing apparatus. more >>click to read<< 08:34

Floating offshore wind experts say they want to coexist with Maine lobstermen, but lobstermen say no thanks

Lobstermen asked pointed questions Thursday about a planned offshore floating wind array that they fear will take away fishing grounds and potentially disrupt the species they rely on to make a living. “Offshore wind overall we have a lot of issues with,” Virginia Olsen, political director of the Maine Lobstering Union said. “We know it will be industrializing our ocean and as fishermen we just don’t want to see that happen.” During the Thursday presentation, state officials and consultants working on the floating array emphasized they want to work toward “coexistence” between the new technology and the fishing industry. But that didn’t sit well with some of the lobstermen, who said they don’t want to co-exist with the turbines. more, >>click to read<< 06:50

B.C. seeks $6 million in properties allegedly tied to illegal crab-sales scheme

The B.C. government is seeking forfeiture of properties valued at more than $6 million that it alleges were tied to a scheme to sell illegally crabs that were meant for food for First Nations. In a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court, the province alleges that two commercial properties in Richmond, a house in Vancouver and a pickup truck, are the instruments and proceeds of “unlawful activity” linked to the illegal crab-sales scheme. Named in the suit are Jamin Chiong, who sold the crab to seafood wholesaler Million Ocean Seafood Ltd., and the owners of that company, Tsz Wah Fok, Peng Lin and Tak Yi Tong. None of those named in the suit have responded and the allegations have not been proven in court. more, >>click to read<< 18:47

Leap year 21st birthday bash finally comes around for retired Dongara crayfisherman Chocka

Bill Kearns has reached a milestone a little later than most. The retired cray fisherman from the small coastal town of Dongara, 350 kilometres north of Perth, is celebrating his 21st birthday. But age can be deceiving. Mr Kearns, known around town as “Chocka”, was born on the 29th of February, 1940. It makes him 84 years old this year, but being born on a leap year means his real birth date only comes up every four years. He spent almost 30 years working on boats and still loves getting out on the water. “Now I’m just recreational fishing, with a couple of pots to catch a few crays,” he said. Photos, vide, more, >>click to read<< 12:44

Offshore Wind Lease Areas Impede on Historic Fishing Grounds

In announcing its decision Monday (the initial deadline for comment), BOEM said it received requests from tribal nations and stakeholders to provide more time to review and comment on the lengthy environmental document. The decision also came on the 40th anniversary of COA’s incorporation. “When we started in 1984, the ocean was the dumping capital of the world. We worked really hard to clean it up and in 2000 we ended ocean dumping. (That’s) the power of the people,” Cindy Zipf, COA executive director, said. Since then, the Atlantic Ocean has thrived, she added. “We’ve seen majestic animals and (the) bounty of what she (the ocean) provides (us) free,” Zipf said. “What’s the return now? There’s a bunch of people that want to industrialize the ocean to claim some green energy revolution, but the facts aren’t there. We don’t see them.” more, by Gina G. Scala, >>click to read<< 10:41

A sunken historic fishing boat is leaking fuel off Maine’s coast

Harpswell officials are working to raise a historic 83-foot fishing boat that’s been leaking oil in the New Meadows River after it was sunk by one of the twin storms that hit Maine’s coast in January. But it’s unclear who would pay for that work or how quickly it could happen. It’s also questionable whether a new owner would be able to save the boat once it’s recovered, although a relative of its original owner is making a longshot effort to do so. First built in 1949 by Newbert & Wallace in Thomaston, the Jacob Pike was a refrigerated vessel used to fish for and transport sardines. After the collapse of Maine’s sardine industry in the 1950s, the vessel was used to transport lobster, then pogies. more, >>click to read<< 09:30

Female-run fishing businesses are keeping the industry alive in Gloucester, Mass.

A few local business owners in Gloucester are hoping to expand the image of who is a fisherman. Melissa and Donna Marshall are two of those women. They own Cape Ann Fresh Catch, the largest community-supported fishery in the country. Donna started working with the CSF in 2009 when it was founded. When Melissa took the reins, she expanded Cape Ann Fresh Catch to include a smokehouse, Twin Light Smokehouse. Smoking fish is another way that the CSF can reduce waste. Owner Tessa Browne started Cape Ann Lobstermen in 2017 as a wholesaler of live lobsters and crabs. Video, more, >>click to read<< 08:09

Maine Fishermen’s Forum begins Thursday at Samoset in Rockport: shellfish, wind power, working waterfront access

Patrick Keliher, Commission of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, will be the keynote speaker at 70th annual meeting of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, March 1, at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, in Rockport. The Fishermen’s Forum, now in its 49th year, begins Thursday, Feb. 29, with seminars and the trade show, and continues through Saturday, culminating with an annual dance. The Maine Fishermen’s Forum is a three-day annual event held over the first weekend in March at the Samoset Resort. The Forum brings together fishermen, sea farmers, gear suppliers, state and federal scientists and regulators, and other stakeholders for education, collaboration, commerce, and more. The trade show and seminars are free to attend. more, >>click to read<< 07:03

Vancouver Island fishermen to be honored for daring sea rescue

As Ryan Planes was in the middle of setting out his fishing gear off the West Coast of Vancouver Island in October, he noticed a bright orange speck about half a kilometre away. Upon first glance, he mistook it for ocean debris. Then, as he peered through his binoculars, he identified a life-raft, with a man waving a paddle, signalling for help. A few moments later, the man set off what was his last flare. The crew of five people on the Ocean Sunset, including Capt. John Planes (Ryan’s uncle), had found a mariner who had been adrift at sea on a life raft for almost two weeks. more, >>click to read<< 16:40

Snow crab stock projected to remain healthy, for the most part, in 2024

Fisheries and Oceans Canada released its annual stock assessment on snow crab Tuesday in St. John’s, and the data indicates the stock remains on par with last year with no major changes.  That means the stock is projected to remain healthy for the majority of fishing areas around the province, with one exception. The 2HJ zone off the east coast of Labrador remains in the cautious zone, similar to last year’s assessment.  But the positive news may be a result of an ocean cooling period that happened between 2012 and 2018.  Snow crab flourish in colder water, allowing young crab the ability to grow to exploitable age and size. That’s between nine and 13 years old with a shell size of over 94 mm for males. Female crab cannot be retained by harvesters.  more, >>click to read<< 15:06

Coast Guard, good Samaritans assist disabled fishing vessel crew off Barnegat Light, New Jersey 

 The Coast Guard and good Samaritans assisted four mariners Tuesday after the 64-foot commercial fishing vessel F/V Monica became disabled about 85 miles from the New Jersey coast. F/V Monica was reported to be experiencing transmission issues and a Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB) crew safely towed the vessel to Lighthouse Marina, in Barnegat Light. Good Samaritans aboard the nearby commercial F/V Alexandria Dawn heard the distress call and diverted to help. The F/V Alexandria Dawn crew arrived on scene and initiated a tow of the F/V Monica towards Barnegat Light. 3 photos, more, >>click to read<< 13:29

Shane Jones reviewing rollout of cameras on commercial fishing boats

Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is reviewing the rollout of cameras on commercial fishing boats, saying he wants fisheries management to be “better, more focused and robust”. He said he wanted to know how it could be paid for and how the camera footage could be used as a way of enhancing management outcomes. “We don’t have government-mandated cameras in other people’s workplaces so I think we need to think very carefully as we progress down this path,” said Helson. Jones said it was important that the privacy dimensions of using camera footage are highly guarded. more, >>click to read<< 11:41

‘Struggling’ UK fishermen going out of business over red tape

Fishermen on smaller boat fishing fleets catching pollack have said they are going out of business after their allowance for the species was cut to zero over concerns for stocks. The Government has launched a £6million scheme to help, with the money to be available as match-funding via grants run by the Marine Management Organisation. Fishers using hand and pole line will be fast tracked under the scheme, but pollack fishermen who are part of the smaller 10m fleet, most of whom are based in south west England have been selling their boats. They say their livelihoods have been cut off, thus ending generations of fishing in south coast communities. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 09:55

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 74′ Steel Scalloper/Dragger, Caterpillar 3412

To review specifications, information, and 38 photos’,>click here<, To see all the boats in this series, >click here< 08:29