Maine researchers, students are sorting through muck and slugs to study baby scallops

People from each of these groups are collaborating with the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership and Colby College in the second year of a study meant to help identify how many young scallops there are off Maine’s coast, and where they’re living. The tiny, two-shelled juveniles, or spat, are uniquely important to fishermen who scoop wild scallops from the ocean floor and aquaculture farmers who raise them in contained areas. Unlike most aquaculture farmers who work with other species, scallop farmers can only grow their bounty from wild spat – the same spat that wild scallop fishermen need to feed the general population. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 12:50

Allowing Outside Buyers in Fishery Won’t Fix Issues in Processing Sector, Says Advocate

A longtime advocate for the inshore fishery says measures taken by the provincial government won’t do anything to break what he calls the “cartel” running the local processing sector. Harvesters are vowing to return to Confederation Building on Monday to rally for changes that will give them a greater share of the price fetched by crab and other species. The province is now allowing outside buyers to purchase product from harvesters, but Ryan Cleary told VOCM Open Line with Paddy Daly that doesn’t go far enough. more, >>click to read<< 10:44

Pioneering decarbonisation

Following his initial experience of the Pilothy project, a feasibility study into converting trawler Anita Conti to run on hydrogen, Loctudy trawler operator Julien Le Brun went back to naval architect Coprexma for another decarbonisation project. The 17.50-metre trawler L’Amour de la mer (ex-Magali) is to serve as a technological platform to test hybrid electric propulsion and equipment systems. The Startijenn Up project aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of existing decarbonisation options that can be integrated on board. The vessel will be outfitted with two Caterpillar generators, providing power to the electric propulsion motor, the electric winch motors and for on-board consumption. Depending on the requirement, consumption will be optimised by running on one or both groups. 100% electric mode can be used for part of the operations. more, >>click to read<< 09:20

Federal advisory group recommends curtailed Oregon ocean salmon fishing again; closing California season

Recommendations for the ocean salmon seasons off the coasts of Oregon, California and Washington were made last week with some OK news for some fishermen and devasting news for those in California. Once again. The Pacific Fishery Management Council — which oversees fishing along the West Coast — voted unanimously Wednesday to once again shut California’s commercial and recreational chinook salmon fisheries through the end of the year. Its recommendations are similar to those made in 2023, which was the first time such a closure occurred in 14 years. Oregon and Washington fared better – but still not very good. more, >>click to read<< 08:18

IS THE G.A.O. SLOWWALKING ITS INVESTIGATION OF OFFSHORE WIND IMPACTS? By Jim Lovgren

On June 15, 2023, Congressman Chris Smith issued a press release touting the acceptance by the General Accountability Office [GAO], of a request by the House Natural Resources Committee to investigate a wide range of issues related to the development of offshore wind. The Committee letter, signed by Chairman Bruce Westerman, was submitted on May 15 th , 2023, almost a year ago. I bring this up because the average time-length of most GAO investigations is three months. Which begs the question; Is the Biden administration “slow-walking” the GAO investigation? Slow-walking is the act of purposefully delaying action by stalling, stonewalling, making excuses of how hard it is to do, and other whiney efforts at delaying an investigation until it fails because it is too late. It is the bureaucrat’s favorite weapon of choice when forced to disclose vital information, that their politician benefactors don’t want exposed. more, >>click to read<< 06:10

NUTFA shuts down

The New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association (NUTFA), the only body dedicated to supporting small scale fishing in England and Wales, is to close down, according to director Jerry Percy. While it was always going to be a difficult decision to close, I’m not getting any younger and to be honest, I refuse to be party to what I see as the ongoing destruction of the under ten fleet,’ he said in a closing statement. ‘I think it is a tragedy that the 80% of the fleet that are under ten metres have been treated so shabbily by administrations going back decades that has in turn resulted in such a lack of fish on the inshore grounds, the almost complete lack of effective management especially in terms of effort, the deafening sound of cans being kicked down the road when exactly the opposite approach is needed, and the lip service paid to the under tens by other organisations.’Photos, more, >>click to read<< 19:35

Where Have All The Right Whales Gone?

Marine researchers have mapped the density of one of the most endangered large whale species worldwide, the North Atlantic right whale, using newly analyzed data to predict and help avoid whales’ harmful, even fatal, exposure to commercial fishing and vessel strikes. Duke University’s Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab led a collaboration of 11 institutions in the United States that pooled 17 years of available visual survey data covering 9.7 million square kilometers of the U.S. Atlantic – roughly the same area as the entire contiguous United States. more, >>click to read<< 16:37

Fishery council seeks more information before deciding on chum bycatch in Bering Sea pollock fishery

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council, which manages federal fisheries in Alaska, will continue to explore options for how to manage chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery. The council, facing rising pressure from western Alaska communities who depend on chum as a cornerstone of subsistence, released a statement Wednesday summarizing their decision from their April meeting. Dismal western Alaska salmon returns have reached crisis levels. And while the council listened to scores of harrowing testimonies recalling empty rivers and vacant fish camps, the council was also presented with research that suggested bycatch limits wouldn’t do much to help the crisis. “Available science indicates recent declines in chum salmon populations across many regions of the North Pacific, including Canada, Japan, Russia, Korea, and the U.S., appear to be driven by warmer water temperatures in both the marine and freshwater environments,” the council said in the statement. more, >>click to read<< 12:38

P.E.I. harbours face challenges with approach of lobster season

The spring lobster season on Prince Edward Island is just a few weeks away, but some harbours are facing challenges as Island fishermen prepare to head out and set their traps. At Malpeque Harbour, windy weather has slowed down efforts to clear the winding channel that they will take on setting day. “They’ve had a real hard time this year due to weather,” said fisherman Timothy Wall, who has been fishing for 30 years, following the occupation of his father and grandfather. “They’ve been on the site for two weeks already, and they can’t even get to the outside of the harbour, just the weather hasn’t been fit. Moving the harbour deeper into Malpeque Bay, where there is less moving sand, could be an option, said Wall, but there are no certain answers. Video, photos, more, >>click to read<< 11:12

A tribute to Herbert (Herbie) Jensen

Herb started commercial fishing at a young age with his Uncle Jerry Clock. From there he grew into his legacy as a Prince William Sound and Copper River Flats fisherman. When Herb was 18, he was drafted into the Vietnam War and spent 18 months on the front line until he was injured and sent back home. Shortly after he met Barb, they became friends and started dating when he was 21 and married her a year later. Together, over the course of 53 years they built a Copper River salmon cannery called Glacier Packing Co., and owned three gillnetters and three seine boats fishing the Copper River Flats, Prince William Sound, Kodiak, Togiak, and the Berring Sea until he retired in 2018. His happiest years were spent fishing with his family and crew who grew to be like family. more, >>click to read<< 09:02

Yukon River Panel hears fishing moratorium on Yukon River chinook may be ‘too little, too late’

A new international agreement on chinook salmon stoked at times emotional debate at the Yukon River Panel meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, this week, and while many appeared to approve of the pact, others seemed to cast doubts.  Duane Aucoin, a member of the Teslin Tlingit Council in the Yukon, said it’s taken the collapse of the chinook population to finally do something, but the natural world doesn’t work that way. “One thing we’re afraid of is, is this too little, too late?” he said. “Western policies, Western politics, Western science is what helped get us into this crisis, into this mess. Traditional knowledge will help get us out.” Photos, more, >>click to read<< 08:02

Historic Hastings fishing boat is removed from outside the station

The clinker built boat Dorothy Melinda had been on display on an island outside Hastings railway station for the past 15 years. It was the first thing visitors to Hastings see when they arrive in the town by rail. But Hastings Borough Council said the condition of the boat was seriously deteriorating and claimed it could become a potential hazard. In addition, the lease for the roundabout, which belongs to South Eastern Rail, had expired. She was due to be removed and demolished at the end of January, due to her deteriorating state, but local man Peter Carney launched a campaign to have her restored and put on display in Hastings old Town, setting up Go Fund Me appeal. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:00

Versatile Inshore Boat for the Basque Country Fleet

Although the general trend in the fishing sector in the Basque Country and the rest of Spain is to export or decommission, some owners from the town of Arminza, in the province of Vizcaya (north of Bilbao), decided to build a new vessel. Made of GRP, Beti Itsasoko has a 14-metre length and a beam of 5 metres, it has a number of features that set it apart from the boats with which it shares its fishing grounds. To begin with, it has an unusual modern design for Spanish waters, with an inverted bow, designed for more comfortable operation by minimising pounding as it cuts through the waves. On the other hand, the vessel measures 14,7gt and is configured to have two independent engines, which gives it greater maneuverability as each drives its own shaft, propellers and rudder. It also has a capacity for 8000 litres of fuel and a hold with space for almost 9 tonnes of fish in the chilled fishroom. Photos, more, >>click ti Read<< 16:66

Crab harvesters heading back to Confederation Building on Monday morning, Efford says

John Efford, the unofficial leader of a fisheries union protest that has gripped Newfoundland and Labrador’s seafood industry, says crab harvesters will be back to protesting on Monday morning. In a Facebook post on Thursday evening, Efford called on harvesters to meet outside Confederation Building at 7 a.m. NT on Monday to protest for a better deal to start the lucrative snow crab season, along with other demands. Efford called on harvesters from all over the province to head to St. John’s to begin protests. The main crux of the protest relates to the ongoing dispute over the crab season. The FFAW and the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) have exchanged barbs in recent days, accusing each other of spreading misinformation. more, >>click to read<< 12:35

An ocean of ambition

One by one, a trustee listed the assets up for sale: eight commercial fishing vessels and 48 federal fishing permits. It was a fire-sale liquidation for bankrupt Blue Harvest Fisheries — one of New England’s largest seafood companies — and the largest bundle of groundfish permits in recent history to come available on the market. Bids, the trustee announced, would start at $10 million. Cassie Canastra was first to act: “$11 million,” she said, without skipping a beat.  There was a brief pause, as a team representing O’Hara Corporation, part owner of New Bedford-based scallop giant Eastern Fisheries, huddled to discuss their options. They raised the bid to $11.25 million. “$12 million,” Canastra responded, showing no sign of relenting. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 11:03

Higgins, Nehls Introduce the Save Our Shrimpers Act

Congressmen Clay Higgins (R-LA) and Troy Nehls (R-TX) introduced the Save Our Shrimpers Act of 2024, which would prohibit federal funds from being made available to International Financial Institutions (IFIs) that subsidize foreign activity relating to shrimp farming, shrimp processing, or the export of shrimp to the United States. Due to a rise in foreign seafood dumping and increased operational expenses, our nation’s domestic shrimpers are struggling to stay in business. Recent reports found that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to finance foreign shrimp farm operations through IFIs, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), contributing to the challenges facing the domestic shrimp industry. more, >>click to read<< 09:27

California’s ocean salmon fishing season closed for second year in a row

California’s commercial and recreational ocean salmon fishing season is set to be closed for the second consecutive year, another blow to the state’s beleaguered industry suffering from the combined fallout of drought, climate disruption and deteriorating ocean conditions. Already, a new request is underway for yet another federal disaster declaration to help alleviate some of the wide economic damage from the closure, affecting not just the fleet but many associated businesses that depend on the fishery, one of the state’s most lucrative. Many fishermen, already resigned to a severely limited season if any at all due to depleted stocks, had backed the full closure. “For nine months now, we’ll probably be without income. When you look at overall impact, it’s significant. Do we want the closure? Obviously, no. Is it necessary? Yes,” said Dick Ogg, a Bodega Bay commercial fisherman and president of the Bodega Bay Fishermen’s Marketing Association. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:43

ASP attempts to post price to break ranks, Commitee turns down offer that further erodes harvester share

Companies continue to spread misinformation in an effort to cause controversy and mistrust between fellow harvesters. “Today, ASP relayed a verbal offer via our Mediator and before our Committee was event able to convene, plants began to advise harvesters that a price had been set for them to go fishing. This is the equivalent of posting a price without a collective agreement. And it’s completely, unequivocally, unacceptable,” says FFAW-Unifor President Greg Pretty. “Harvesters are advised not to fish until an agreement is signed, and the only source that will come from is the Union’s official channels,” Pretty says. more, >>click to read<<  06:43

Accusing union of refusing all offers, ASP warns crab tie-up will soon have an economic whammy

Association of Seafood Producers executive director Jeff Loder says the current crab tie-up is getting to a point where it is going to negatively affect the market for the rest of the season — and other fisheries after that. It’s been nearly a week since the snow crab season was scheduled to begin. Fish harvesters have tied up their boats, however, refusing to fish under the pricing formula that an independent panel set just before the start of the season. Loder said it’s lining up to be a repeat of last season, in which harvesters tied up their boats for six weeks. “We are now reaching the point where [we] were to last year where there will be negative implications if the crab fishery does not start,” he told reporters Thursday. Video, more, >>click to read<< 17:43

OFFSHORE WIND AND WHALES – A collection of articles from fisherynation.com By Jim Lovgren

After over forty-five years as a commercial fisherman out of Point Pleasant NJ, I sold my boat the Shadowfax, and retired, moving to California. My experience as a fisherman began in the early 1970’s, and I observed and learned an encyclopedia of knowledge concerning fishing, the environment, and fishery management, including politics. As I observed the continuing massacre and the lies denying them by government and media puppets, I under took an effort to expose the truth concerning offshore wind. The following articles are listed in order of their appearance in Fisherynation.com, and are best understood by reading them in order. Just click on the title of an article you’d like to read. more, >>click to read<< 15:09

Growing Interest in Fishing for Crab

In The Netherlands there is a cautious but growing interest for crab fishing. Since January 2023 there are five vessels commercially fishing on North Sea crab (Cancer pagurus), all operating from northern ports such as Den Oever and Lauwersoog. In 2010 there was just one vessel fishing on North Sea crab. A year later another, Orion UK-163, made a start but finished within one year. In general, enthusiasm was quite low, but the last couple of years, as vessel owners seek to broaden operating patterns and to avoid restrictive measures, a few small-scale fishermen are showing interest. This is also because a number of Irish and English crabbers have been operating the German Bight above the Dutch Wadden islands for some years. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 13:51

Search ceased for missing fisherman Jason Hollows in Hawke’s Bay

The search for missing fisherman Jason Hollows has been officially suspended 10 days after he went overboard off the coast of Hawke’s Bay. There has been an extensive search for Hollows, a 54-year-old fisherman from Otago, since he went overboard on Easter Monday (April 1) about 11km off Waimārama. He was reported missing about 8pm that night. He had been onboard a fishing boat the Pacific Challenger. more, >>click to read<< 10:51

Local fishermen speak out against proposed bill seeking further restrictions on commercial fishing

For Zack Robinson, fishing isn’t just a job. “The ocean’s my life,” he said. Robinson has been gillnetting for 15 years, catching halibut and seabass. “Gillnetting is my passion. I love it. There are a lot of misconceptions about net fishing. It’s not a dirty fishery like they say it is. We are not the bad guys, and that hurts, to work so hard and to be told you’re no good,” Robinson said. He says that if Assembly Bill 2220 passes, it would threaten his livelihood. “Any more regulation might take us out completely. “People don’t stop eating halibut or swordfish, what they do is they’ll get it from another source,” Hyman said. Kimberly Ray suggests gill-netters can find another way to fish. more, >>click to read<< 09:35

Foreign seafood could be banned at Louisiana schools

Students could be guaranteed domestic catch when seafood is on the school menu if a proposal before the Louisiana Legislature becomes law. The state House approved a bill Tuesday that would prohibit any public or private schools that receive state money from serving foreign seafood to students. House Bill 429, sponsored by Rep. Marcus Bryant, D-New Iberia, passed in a 94-7 vote with bipartisan support. It will next head to the Senate for consideration. An influx of cheap foreign catch, imported mostly from South America and Asia, has flooded Louisiana restaurants and retailers. Consumers are either oblivious to it or mistakenly believe they’re eating local fare because of deceptive labeling practices, according to the Louisiana Shrimp Association. more, >>click to read<< 07:54

Project Nujio’qonik: In megaproject-weary Newfoundland, a massive hydrogen operation has some on edge

A multibillion-dollar megaproject in Newfoundland is one step closer to becoming Canada’s first commercial green hydrogen operation, but some in the country’s easternmost province wonder whether their government has learned from its mistakes. The first two phases of development would involve windfarms of at least 150 turbines built on Newfoundland’s Port au Port Peninsula and in the nearby Codroy Valley, on the island’s west coast. Those turbines would power a hydrogen and ammonia production plant, to be built in Stephenville, N.L., located about 145 kilometres northeast of Codroy. The experimental project would exploit a massive rural area of Newfoundland as a testing ground for the benefit of a private company, said Nick Mercer, an assistant environmental science professor at the University of Prince Edward Island. more, >>click to read<< 06:50

Crab harvesters’ union calls for price formula set out in past provincial report

With their boats tied up and crab pots still on dry land, fish harvesters and union officials are calling on the Newfoundland and Labrador government to revisit a 2023 report that sets out what they say is a fair way forward for the snow crab fishery. At a news conference in St. John’s on Wednesday, Fish, Food & Allied Workers union president Greg Pretty pointed to a report last year from the province’s fish price-setting strategic review team, chaired by Glenn Blackwood. Pretty says the pricing formula set out in that report, which followed a six-week tie-up last season, would give harvesters a fair market share. Glen Winslow, a St. John’s harvester who was part of the bargaining committee, says the formula set out in Blackwood’s report would have allowed for a larger share for harvesters if the markets had performed better. “The Blackwood formula would have fixed all our problems, but it was thrown out at the last minute.” Video, more, >>click to read<< 18:24

Crab Harvesters Demand Fair Share

JOHN’S, NL – FFAW-Unifor is not surprised by provincial government’s decision to approve the World Energy GH2 project’s environmental assessment and ultimately green light the project. On February 28th, 2024, before the approval announcement by Minister Bernard Davis on April 9thand despite continued reassurance from World Energy GH2 that the project was entirely privately funded, the Government of Canada announced a $128 million-dollar federal loan to support the development. It was very clear from federal Minister Seamus O’Regan’s announcement on that date that there is significant political will, and a great sense of urgency, to move the project forward. FFAW met with Minister Davis twice in March to amplify the concerns of fish harvesters and the continuous aversion by World Energy to work collaboratively with FFAW-Unifor towards meaningful consultation. The harvesting sector is not being engaged as a major stakeholder nor as an industry that will inevitably be impacted, and this divergence is creating a great deal of frustration and mistrust for the project. more, >>click to read<< 14:35

Crew School provides a reality sea trial for commercial fishing wanabees

Along Gig Harbor’s waterfront, this vocational trend is gently materializing in the form of a newly organized Crew School for potential commercial fishermen — and women. During March, seven people completed this hands-on training program that essentially offers a reality-based test drive for those interested in commercial fishing aboard a 58-foot purse seiner. Lifelong local fisherman and purse seine captain Gregg Lovrovich is program lead and creator of the crew-in-training curriculum. He coaches rookies through knot skills, gear maintenance, net setting/handling, safety and survival skills, not to mention the realities of living for months in a 58-foot space with 3-4 crew members who get all too familiar with one another. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 13:04

California – Crabbers likely to use new gear next season

Typically, the Commercial crab season starts Nov. 15, but the 2023-24 season was delayed for a fifth year in a row and eventually postponed to start in January 2024. The short season could spell change to come for fishermen since Salmon season might be on the chopping block next. David Lowe, a captain of the Jacqueline L. fishing vessel in Pillar Point Harbor, said it wasn’t the best season but his team will be experimenting with netless pop-up gear for the next season. “There’s 14 boats here that are [experimenting with pop-up gear],” said Lowe. “They’re going to see how it goes this year, because of all the whale and turtle entanglements.” more, >>click to read<< 10:49

Lobster harvesters in Atlantic Canada to vote on increasing minimum legal size this year

At stake is maintaining access to the United States market. “It will be an individual vote. That’s a big decision that every single enterprise and owner has to look at from their own business,” said Heather Mulock, executive director of the Coldwater Lobster Association, which represents fishermen in lobster fishing area 34 (LFA 34). In late May or June, the 979 licence holders in the area will be asked to vote on whether to match increases in allowable U.S. catch measurements that will come into effect Jan. 1, 2025, and again in 2027. Live Canadian lobster that fall under the new limits would not be allowed into the U.S. That includes bonded shipments of lobster under the new minimum in the U.S., according to an information package sent to fishermen in southwestern Nova Scotia. That could block trucking of “undersized” Canadian lobster across the border for flights to Asia from airports in Boston or New York. more, >>click to read<< 08: 57