Fishermen question settlement that could net convicted ‘Codfather’ millions

This week, Rafael was hit with more than $3 million in fines and a lifetime ban as part of a settlement agreement in a civil case brought against him by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But under the terms of that deal, Rafael could walk out of prison two years from now a multimillionaire. Although the settlement required he sell off his vessels, fishing permits and the valuable fishing quota that comes with them, Rafael may keep the proceeds — and he is marketing his fleet to the highest bidder. > click to read< 22:53

Sam Parisi remembers the Captain and Crew of the F/V Capt. Cozmo

Forty one years ago, Gloucester fishing family’s lost six fishermen, Cosmo Marcantonio, know as Capt. Cosmo, along with five other Gloucester crew members ranging in ages from sixty to twenty one, due to an unexpected storm. The vessel sank about one hundred and eighty miles east of Cape Cod. Normally in September, the weather at that time year is pretty good, not like the winter months. I grew up with Cosmo, >click to read< 22:09

‘They’re flat broke’: Salmon fishermen demand disaster relief for failed season

The Pacific Salmon Commission is forecasting a total return of only 447,000 sockeye salmon to the Fraser, one of the world’s richest salmon rivers, this year. “This is the lowest run size ever estimated since estimates began in 1893, and lower than the previous record for lowest run size of 858,000 observed in 2016,” its report read.,, “Many of them are in debt because they got the boat and gear ready for the season and they [invested] quite heavily in doing that. And then they put fuel in their boats and went to the fishing grounds and then caught nothing.” >click to read< 15:24

Two men arrested for being in possession of 38 striped bass, exceeding their limit by 37!

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Law Enforcement today announced the arrest of Robert Majors, age 41, of Bristol and Peter Parente, age 53, of West Greenwich. The two men were arrested yesterday by DEM environmental police officers for being in possession of 38 striped bass. Both are Massachusetts commercial fishermen and were charged with 37 counts of exceeding the daily possession limit of one fish per day,,,  The practice of taking striped bass from Rhode Island state waters and/or from the EEZ, and selling them in Massachusetts, is prohibited. >click to read<  14:23

Seals are overfishing at unsustainable rates! Gulf of St. Lawrence cod extinction ‘highly probable,’

“At the current abundance of grey seals in this ecosystem, recovery of this cod population does not appear to be possible, and its extinction is highly probable,” the report says. DFO fish biologist Doug Swain said the cod population is now about five per cent of levels in the 1980s, and the downward spiral is accelerating despite a moratorium on a directed cod fishery in the Gulf since 2009. The problem is an “extremely high” and “unsustainable” death rate for cod five years or older. >click to read< 11:29

Catch Shares? NOAA Seeks Comments on a Control Date for the American Lobster Fishery

NOAA is seeking comments on a control date (a date that may be used to establish eligibility) of April 29, 2019 for the American lobster fishery, as we consider ways to reduce threats of entanglement by fixed-gear fisheries to North Atlantic right whales.,,, Following the TRT meeting the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Lobster Management Board established a control date of April 29, 2019, and recommended that NOAA Fisheries do the same for federal waters. We are notifying the public that we may develop a future rulemaking to complement any actions taken by the Commission, and that future participation in the fishery may be based on participation as of April 29, 2019. >click to read< 10:39

California king salmon rebounds after drought

Reeling in a fish “feels good every time,” but this year has been surprisingly good,,, Commercial salmon catches have surpassed official preseason forecasts by about 50%, said Kandice Morgenstern, a marine scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Harvests have been particularly strong in Morro Bay, Monterey and San Francisco, but weaker along California’s northern coast. This year’s adult salmon are the first class to benefit from record rainfall that filled California rivers and streams in early 2017, making it easier for juvenile chinook to migrate to the Pacific Ocean, where they grow into full-size fish. Photo’s, >click to read< 09:50

West Coast fishermen have few options against sea lions

With the lights of Moss Landing, California, twinkling in the distance, Captain Porter McHenry stood on the top deck of the Merva W, a large  Commercial fishing boat. Ocean water sprayed his face and dampened his thick brown beard. A third-generation fisherman, McHenry employs a crew of three. In the dead of the night, his yellow rain jacket was briefly illuminated as he ignited the long wick of an orange firecracker and chucked it over the side of the boat into the waves. Seconds later, a bright flash and boom broke the sea of darkness. >Click to read<  09:10

BOURNE: Lobstermen seek help in protecting right whales, Testimony cites burden on local industry.

Commercial lobstermen urged federal regulators Wednesday to take Canada to task for its failure to protect North Atlantic right whales and to remember that local lobstermen carrier a heavier burden of regulation than others in U.S. waters. “We as lobstermen do not want to see harm come to the right whale,” Plymouth lobsterman Tom O’Reilly said at a public forum at Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, the eighth in a series of meetings held this month,,, >click to read<08:40

Gloucester: Lobstermen push against whale rules – ‘We’ve borne the brunt’

The evening began with a presentation from NOAA Fisheries’ Mike Asaro and Colleen Coogan that offered a historical backdrop on the status of the North Atlantic right whale stock and an explanation of the specific protectionist measures adopted in April by the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team.,, In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, lobstermen are tasked with reducing their vertical lines by 30 percent. In Maine, where there has been significant pushback by state officials and the nation’s most formidable lobster fleet, the target is significantly higher — 50 percent. Then came the comment period and the usual choosing of the sides. Photo’s,  >click to read< 22:04

Troubling questions, concerns raised about off-shore wind farms

Oceanographer Jon Hare listed the effects of offshore wind development on the marine environment. There’s disturbance to the sea floor during installation of turbine platforms.,,,“Putting a pile into the sediment in essence is habitat alteration,” said Hare, a science and research director with Northeast Fisheries Science Center.,,The questions about offshore wind, of course, aren’t limited to the $2.8-billion Vineyard Wind project,,,,but there are more than a dozen proposals in the works all along the Atlantic Coast and plans for the Great Lakes and the West Coast. >click to read< 21:06

PCFFA Reacts to News of Jeopardy Finding for Salmon, Southern Resident Killer Whales

As reported today in the LA Times, the National Marine Fisheries Service determined in an important draft biological opinion [link to the document here] that the changes to California’s Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) operations championed by the Department of the Interior would result in jeopardy to spring and winter run Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and southern resident killer whales (SRKW). The draft opinion was transmitted to the Department of the Interior, which immediately convened a team of outside lawyers and scientific staff from its own agencies to adulterate NMFS science and suppress the document’s findings. >click to read< 20:18

Wind turbines and radar mix poorly

Vineyard Wind’s 84-turbine wind farm, slated for an Atlantic lease area about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, effectively had the rug pulled out from underneath it August 9, when the Department of the Interior announced the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) would hold off signing a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and re-examine potential impacts posed by the project. Radar was not specifically cited as something the feds would take a second look at. However, weather and aeronautical radar are all well-documented as being adversely affected by wind turbines, and a handful of studies show marine radar is also hampered by wind turbines. >click to read< 18:17

Long Island Fishermen sound off on plan for commercial fishing permit system

Fishermen from across Long Island sounded off about the states draft plan to overhaul the commercial fisheries licensing system, with some outraged at the prospect of losing long held permits. Two dozen fishermen showed up at the Bishop Molloy Recreational center in Point Lookout Tuesday to weigh in on the plan drafted by Maine fisheries consultant George LaPoint,,, >Click to read<17:41

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 105′ Steel Midwater/Shrimp Freezer Trawler, Cat Powered

Specifications, information and 25 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<15:46

Latin America Reckons With a Fish-Farming Boom, industry cannot be allowed to harm ocean habitats

For a region plagued by stop-and-go growth, aquaculture is a boon. But problems have followed plenty. The blue revolution may not be as damaging to the environment as the one that reinvented global agriculture (farmed fish consume far less feed and energy than chickens, pigs or cattle do), but algae blooms, pests and pathogens, and overuse of antibiotics do a lot of dirty work. Chile repeatedly has seen huge schools of farmed fish break out of pens into the open ocean, where they threaten to overrun wild species and spread new diseases. >click to read< 14:58

Fishermen’s groups seek candidates’ stance on Nova Scotia pulp effluent

In a joint statement released Monday, the coalition, representing the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board, Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association, Maritime Fishermen’s Union and Pictou Landing First Nation, says it will be seeking the position of all local federal election candidates on Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent pipeline. The coalition maintains the pipe would, on a daily basis, release between 65 and 87 million litres of effluent into the Northumberland Strait, “one of our most important commercial fishing areas.”,,, It points out the area falls under the Canadian Fisheries Act and is the jurisdiction of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. >click to read< 12:49

Florida Keys Eight no-fishing zones proposed in the Keys to protect threatened corals and marine life

Federal environmental regulators Tuesday unveiled major new proposals to protect marine life and corals that would limit fishing, restrict what cruise ships can dump at sea and regulate the boats on which many people live near shore.,,, And in a move that will likely cause controversy in the fishing industry, NOAA, the federal agency that oversees the waters surrounding the island chain, called for adding eight more zones in Keys waters where both commercial fishing) and recreational angling would be prohibited. >click to read< 10:12

Gerald Podschies: Angry Brixham trawler skipper calls for MP to ‘stand down and force a by-election’

I voted for you in the last general election,,, As you know, 54% of your constituents who voted in the referendum voted for Brexit. Not one kind of Brexit or another, just Brexit. Nothing more nothing less.,, In my 40 plus years as a fisherman, I have struggled under the jackboot of the CFP [Common Fisheries Policy]. Had to stand by as more and more European boats were granted access to our waters and decimated our fisheries whilst we had to go elsewhere. Watched as once thriving fishing ports we visited fell into decline and British boats were decommissioned, cut up for scrap or burnt. Powerful writing, Captain. >click to read< 09:26

Have you caught a Pacific pink salmon in England? The Environment Agency would love to hear from you!

Up until recently, catching a Pacific pink salmon was as rare as netting a red herring. However in 2017 unprecedented numbers of this species were reported within inshore coastal waters and rivers in Scotland and England. In Scotland, pink salmon were found to have spawned successfully,,, Seven pink salmon were subsequently recorded by anglers in or close to English rivers.,,, Owing to the two year life cycle of this species, 2019 will be the first year that we can expect to see these fish return in numbers. >click to read< 08:41

P.E.I. company testing new bait for lobster and crab fishery

Bait Masters Inc. is testing the new product in the fall crab and lobster fishery on P.E.I. “The new bait is a mix of fish and other organic matters in a biodegradable casing,” said Wally MacPhee, co-owner of the company. “It reduces the amount of pelagic fish used in the bait process. We’re hoping to reduce it by 50 percent per piece so it would be a help with sustainability.” Mackerel and herring, the traditional bait used by the lobster fishery on P.E.I., has become increasingly more expensive and difficult for Island fishermen to find. >click to read< 07:39

The ‘Codfather’ was a seafood kingpin, until fake Russian mobsters took him down.

Though he estimated his net worth at $10 million to $25 million, he still walked the creaky, bait-scented wharves in flannel shirts and worn jeans every day, barking out commands and alternating between foul-mouthed English and rapid-fire Portuguese as he chain-smoked Winston cigarettes and monitored the day’s catch. That all changed in 2016, when federal authorities revealed that Carlos Rafael was at the center of a sprawling criminal investigation involving fake Russian mobsters, fraudulent haddock and duffel bags of cash. >click to read< 14:37

A page of stories about the case, like this one, “F… me – that would be some bad luck!” — Carlos Rafael : Excerpts from “The Case”>click to read<

These folks need a hand. Help get F/V Miss Addie back going. Please help if you can.

This morning we woke up to the worst thing … Randy shrimp boat sunk this is his only source of income and we need to get the boat up and running before fall shrimp … Miss Addie shrimp boat resurrection. Hard working family needs help rescuing shrimping boat. Main source of income, just trying to survive. Any help would be greatly appreciated. >click to read< please help if you can. Fundraiser by Brittany Mitchum 12:34

200 pounds of shrimp stolen from boat in Cameron Parish

A Hackberry man is under arrest after 200 pounds of shrimp were stolen from a boat in Cameron Parish, authorities said. Cameron Parish Sheriff Ron Johnson said in a news release that the theft was reported on Friday. Joseph Keith Portie Jr., 27, has been arrested on one count of possession of stolen things. Bond is set at $1,500. Johnson said some of the shrimp have been recovered. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible. >click to read< 12:03

6 to 9 p.m. tonight in Gloucester at GARFO headquarters, Forum focuses on whale protection rules

The eight-community traveling road show to gather public comment on new protections for the imperiled North Atlantic right whales hits the city Tuesday evening and is expected to draw a big crowd at NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office in Blackburn Industrial Park. The Gloucester session, set to run from 6 to 9 p.m. at the GARFO headquarters at 55 Great Republic Drive, is the seventh of the eight scoping meetings and the first of two in Massachusetts.The other is scheduled for the next night in Bourne. >click to read< 11:35

Major restrictions imposed on Isle of Man queen scallop fishing

Fishing for the shellfish – which is a key income generator for Manx fishermen – has been restricted to one area off the east coast,.. The move follows a 40% reduction in the volume of scallops that can be caught. An annual survey showed stocks were at their lowest since 1993, although that figure was disputed by fishermen. >click to read< 11:16

Salmon cannon could restore the population in the Upper Columbia

A so-called salmon cannon could restore salmon populations in parts of the upper Columbia river that have not seen the fish in 90 years.The salmon cannon is actually a fish-propelling system made by a Seattle company called Whooshh Innovations, which uses a series of tubes and computers to gently detour the salmon around dams,   “In truth, the fish aren’t shot anywhere. The fish actually swim in on their own, and they are then sorted into a tube that’s misted inside so it’s very slick and air pressure gently movies them up and over the dam,” >click to read<10:16

2 views on Vineyard Wind delay

In the letter below to two Trump cabinet secretaries, Markey, Kennedy, and others adopt a far more moderate stance, imploring two cabinet secretaries to find a way for fishing and offshore wind to coexist in “mixed-use regions offshore.” Meanwhile, the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, which represents fishing interests, applauded the Trump administration for slowing the process down and gathering more data.  >click to read<

The latest spill: fuel valve to blame for power outage on Hibernia oil platform

A low fuel supply to the equipment that keeps the electricity on is being blamed for causing the power outage that resulted in an estimated 2,200 litres of oil spilling into the Atlantic Ocean from the Hibernia platform over the weekend — just 48 hours after production at the site resumed following an earlier spill. The latest spill happened when the power went out on the oil production platform, prompting the sprinkler system to activate. >click to read< 08:19

Enviros sue Trump Administration for Failing to Protect Endangered West Coast Orcas

Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today for ignoring a legal petition to protect critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales in the heart of their Salish Sea habitat. Today’s lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington by the Center for Biological Diversity and Orca Relief Citizens’ Alliance (ORCA), follows news that three more of these starving orcas are presumed dead, dropping their population to just 73. >click to read< 18:12