Category Archives: Caribbean

NTSB to Host Roundtable on Fishing Vessel Safety

National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy is set to host a virtual roundtable next month on improving fishing vessel safety. The commercial fishing industry remains largely uninspected and is a marine sector of concern.,, The roundtable will feature government officials, industry leaders, fishing vessel operators, safety experts and survivors of fishing vessel accidents to discuss what can be done to address commercial fishing safety concerns, implement NTSB safety recommendations and improve the safety of fishing operations in the U.S. >click to read< – The roundtable is set to take place October 14, 2021. More details can be found here. 13:27

U.S. Coast Guard responds to Haiti for humanitarian aid following 7.2 earthquake

Haitian’s government requested Coast Guard assistance following a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. The Coast Guard committed numbers of air and surface assets to help in transporting medical personnel and supplies, and transporting critically injured citizens to facilities needing a higher level of care in Port au Prince, Haiti. Photos, >click to read< 19:39

Huffman and Case Introduce Legislation to Reauthorize Magnuson-Stevens Act

Jared Huffman D-CA, and Ed Case D-HI introduce the Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act. The following is a statement from Eric Schwaab, Senior Vice President, Ecosystems and Oceans, and a former administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service at NOAA under the Obama administration. “The Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act, introduced today by Reps. Huffman and Case, brings much-needed attention to key challenges facing modern fisheries management. We fully support the bill’s goal to strengthen the MSA by arming fisheries managers with tools that can better address some of the most significant problems facing the sustainable future of U.S. fisheries, including threats from climate change. >click to read< 18:28

F/V Falling Star reportedly was not carrying an EPIRB aboard the vessel

Glenn Tuttle, co-manager of boatwatch.org, says men on the ill-fated Falling Star lobster fishing vessel could all have been rescued had the boat been equipped with an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB). Ten of the 15-member crew were rescued Thursday and the other five are now said to be dead. F/V Falling Star was returning from dry docking/routine maintenance overseas when it went missing on July 6. According to Tuttle, had there been an EPIRB installed on the vessel more men could have been saved. >click to read< 08:07

Five F/V Falling Star fishermen have died at sea

Kingston, Jamaica – Observer online sources have confirmed that five of the fifteen crew members who were onboard the Falling Star lobster fishing vessel all died at sea. The source said that four of the men went down with the vessel and died, after it made a sudden rollover 30 miles west of Pedro Bank. The 11 remaining crew members, including the captain of the Falling Star, boarded a skiff. >click to read<, At some point while they were floating around, the captain died and had to be thrown overboard. The ten men who were rescued on Thursday by a commercial ship that had left Kingston for Guatemala are receiving medical attention.  >link< 19:46

F/V Falling Star: 10 missing crew members have been found and rescued

At least 10 of the 15 Honduran crew members from the Falling Star lobster fishing vessel, who had been reported missing at sea last week Tuesday, are now rescued. Five members of the crew are still unaccounted for, but the Jamaica Observer understands that the 10 were found in one of two life-saving rafts that were on the vessel before it sank, giving hope that the others could be alive. >click to read< 07:07

Audit fishing vessels operating in Jamaica following the worst seafaring incident in nearly 60 years

Maybe because its entire crew was Honduran, the disappearance last week of the fishing vessel, F/V Falling Star, appears to have evoked little emotion among Jamaicans. Yet, the loss of the vessel’s 15 hands, if, indeed, there are no survivors, would represent, perhaps, the island’s worst seafaring incident in nearly 60 years, since the Snowboy tragedy of 1963. Forty men, 39 Jamaicans and their Australian captain, went down with Snowboy in the seas in the vicinity of the Pedro Banks, a series of Jamaican-owned cays off the island’s southwest coast. >click to read< 11:19

There is hope! Missing F/V Falling Star crew identified, could be on a 12-man raft and a 12-man skiff

This was the optimistic view of Glenn Tuttle, co-manager of Boatwatch.org, an international network of resources to aid mariners that are missing or overdue, adding that they could be “floating around anywhere”. The missing Hondurans have been identified as Sergio Green Castro, Domingo Peri Suazo, Dilson Omar Suazo, Geraldo Martinez, Jose Victor Calsido, Dayton Sabino Martinez, Geraldo Alvarez Castillo, Jose Marcelo Castro, Edson Alejandro Castillo, Jose Angel Suazo, Claudio Castro, Henry Morales, Leonidas Martinez, Lander Nuñez, and Victor Manuel Castillo, according to Boatwatch.org. The family of the missing people are trying to locate a company in Jamaica that can actually fly out there with a plane that can go out miles over the ocean and carry enough fuel to conduct a proper search,” >click to read< 13:05

Hope is fading – 15 fishermen heading to Jamaica presumed dead at sea

A multiagency search was still under way late Sunday for the F/V Fallen Star fishing boat that set sail from Honduras but disappeared in the vicinity of the Pedro Cays. Fifteen Honduran fishermen were said to be on board. The boat was reportedly laden with lobster traps. >click to read<– Fifteen Honduran fishermen who were on their way to Jamaica for the lobster fishing season are presumed dead after their boat went missing at sea. The boat, linked to Rainforest Seafoods, has been missing since Friday, law enforcement officials have revealed. >click to read< 08:37

Jamaican lobster fishing vessel with 15 onboard missing since Tuesday

A search is ongoing for a Jamaican vessel with 15 people onboard that has been missing since Tuesday afternoon. The lobster fishing vessel, Falling Star, is owned by Rainforest Seafoods, according to reports reaching Observer Online. According to reports, the lobster fishing vessel was returning from dry routine maintenance overseas, when it stopped sending tracking signals on Tuesday afternoon, July 6. >click to read< 16:27

H.R. 3697: Van Drew and Don Young introduce a bill introduce a bill reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-2nd, joined Alaskan Rep. Don Young, a Republican, to introduce a bill reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery and Conservation Management Act on Thursday. But the bill would make changes to the law that some environmentalists fear may result in taking more fish than is sustainable. Among other things, the reauthorization would change how fishery councils determine fishery stock rebuilding timeframes, giving the public a greater role in the development of science and fishery management plans. In a statement, Van Drew said H.R. 3697 “ensures that we have healthy fisheries, keep anglers in the water and keep fishermen fishing.” >click to read< 09:10

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg sets port condition Whiskey for Port of Tampa for Hurricane Elsa

Effective 12 p.m. Friday, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port set port condition Whiskey for the ports of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Manatee, and Ft. Myers due to the expectation of sustained gale force winds of 25 mph and gusts up to 40 mph generated from Hurricane Elsa that may arrive within 72 hours. These ports and facilities are currently open to all commercial traffic and all transfer operations may continue while Whiskey remains in effect. Sustained winds between 39 and 73 mph are possible within 72 hours. For information on Hurricane Elsa progress and hurricane preparedness, please  >click to read<  12:55

Commerce Department Announces 2021 Appointments to the Regional Fishery Management Councils

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced the appointment of 31 members to the regional fishery management councils that partner with NOAA Fisheries to manage marine fishery resources. Established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, councils are responsible for developing region-specific fishery management plans that safeguard and enhance the nation’s fisheries resources. Each year, the Secretary of Commerce appoints approximately one-third of the total 72 appointed members to the eight,,, >click here to read< 15:03

Raimondo picks Janet Coit, a source of trusted counsel, to lead the National Marine Fisheries Service

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Coit’s former boss in the Rhode Island State House, announced the selection of Coit to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries office.,, But the work of the fisheries service is getting even harder as it’s faced with stepping into a brewing fight over coastal waters between fishermen and the developers of offshore wind farms. Coit wouldn’t say much about the expectations for her new job in Washington as she waited for the official word to come down from the Commerce Department. But she was certain that offshore wind will be in the mix. “That’s going to be such a hot-button issue that I’m heading into,” she said.  >click to read<16:46

Coast Guard, CDC: We’ll change mask rule, but for now won’t enforce masks on fishing boats, commercial vessels, ferries

The Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Coast Guard, reversing their position from less than a month ago, said the federal agencies will no longer enforce its rule for wearing a mask in “outdoor areas of transportation conveyances or while outdoors at transportation hubs.” That means commercial vessels like cruise ships, ferries, fishing boats, and charters won’t require passengers to mask up for those who are outdoors. And people don’t have to wear masks at “transportation conveyances,” such as train stations. To be clear, the rule still exists, but the agencies will not enforce it. Earlier this year at a fishing conference, Sen. Dan Sullivan called the fishing crew mask rule “stupid.” >click to read< 20: 14

The bird people are willing to let them die for Offshore Wind Farms. The responsible wind farms, that is!

There is no shame when it comes to ignorance! “Renewable energy sources, including wind power, are essential to saving the lives of countless birds, in addition to saving our coasts.” – As the country takes stock of the first months of the Biden Administration, the waters of New England are playing host to the epicenter of one of the major climate commitments made shortly after the president took office. The largest U.S. offshore wind project to date, Vineyard Wind, has received the green light to start building off the coast of Massachusetts, promising to deliver 800 megawatts of energy to over 800,000 homes. As conservation organizations that are committed to the protection of birds and the ecosystems,,, >click to read< 08:42

Nature is not a Whore!!!

We have incredible fishing grounds on our East Coast!!! Why destroy a renewable sustainable Resource??? Molesting these grounds by dumping massive amounts of construction materials on them is insane!!! Keep in mind the many rules the EPA has against ocean dumping!!! Not to mention the likely hood of them turning into a Dumping Ground after they become useless… Out of sight out of mind!!! What wonderful habitat the Turbine bases will make for the Green Crabs ocean Locust!!! We can’t forget about the Whales… The European Wind Farms do not see a significant Whale migration… What aren’t they saying??? >click to read< 09:41

Lobsterman: A day in the life

“Let Her Go” is oversized for Frenchtown’s small harbor, so Ledee bases her in Red Hook, where his day begins in darkness. Rising at 3 a.m., he packs hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, curried chicken for lunch and a cooler of drinks for himself and his mate, 19-year-old Kyle LaPlace. Lobsters and fish support him and his brother Gregory, who co-owns the business, as well as the men who crew with him, build the fish traps, survey and repair the boat and provide dock space. It’s a complete microeconomy. “Fishing has been good to me,” Ledee says. 18 photos,  >click to read< 07:50

Fishing industry unimpressed with Biden Harris’s NOAA/NMFS climate crisis notions. (Offshore Wind Farms, either!)

President Biden ordered NOAA to collect information from a wide range of groups on increasing the resilience of fisheries as part of his plan to address climate change and to protect 30% of U.S. ocean areas by the year 2030. The NOAA directive is included in the sweeping executive order Biden signed his first week in office that made “the climate crisis” a centerpiece of his presidency. “Fisheries, protected resources, habitats and ecosystem are being affected by climate change,” acting NOAA Fisheries chief Paul Doremus said at the beginning of yesterday’s conference call. >click to read< 07:55

Gina M. Raimondo Sworn in as 40th U.S. Secretary of Commerce

Gina M. Raimondo was sworn in as the 40th U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Secretary Raimondo was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris after a bipartisan vote of 84-15 in the United States Senate. In her role as Secretary of Commerce, Raimondo will lead a key agency focused on promoting economic growth, >click to read<11:20

‘Mask police’: Commercial fishermen, watermen required to wear masks on boats via Biden, Coast Guard COVID orders

The U.S. Coast Guard is requiring masks be worn on commercial fishing boats and other vessels as part of President Joe Biden’s executive orders mandating face coverings on federally regulated transportation vehicles.,, Now, they are also going to be enforced on watermen and those working on fishing boats, according to the Coast Guard. U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st,  said mandating the mask on watermen and fishermen working outdoors is burdensome, goes against the science of how of and where COVID is spread and could require masks to be worn at all times on boats,  including while sleeping. >click to read< 19:10

Congressman Harris Asks for Clarification on Mask Mandate for Small Craft Fishing Vessels – The Coast Guard has issued guidance that all commercial fishing vessel occupants will be required to wear masks, and that they will enforce this mandate. >click to read<

6 Ocean Priorities for the Biden Administration from the Environmentalist

Since President-elect Biden was voted into office last November, he and his team have been sharing what they want to accomplish in their first 100 days in office.,, In the midst of any political transition, it is easy for environmental issues to be pushed aside in the name of more “urgent” issues.  Fortunately, the new administration has given us promising signals that environmental action is high on their to-do list. Here are six things that must be prioritized in the coming weeks and months,,, >click to read< 09:48

As Commerce Secretary, Raimondo to play key role in offshore wind.

In the selection of Gina Raimondo as the next U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the offshore wind industry would get a champion in Washington. What influence she could bring to bear for the emerging energy sector remains to be seen, but if confirmed to her new position in the Biden cabinet, Raimondo would oversee federal fisheries regulators who have raised some of the concerns about potential negative impacts of erecting what could be many hundreds of wind turbines in the ocean waters off southern New England. >click to read<09:45

Coronavirus: Coast Guard offers extension on credentials, medical certificates, and course approvals

Coast Guard officials have announced an extension of merchant marine credential endorsements, medical certificates and course approvals to meet challenges caused by the global novel coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the Coast Guard advised that due to these changes there may be a backlog in the processing of credentials and course approvals, especially near the end of the extension dates.,, Under the Coast Guard’s current statutory authority, the expiration dates of merchant mariner credentials may be extended for no more than one year. >click to read< 14:34

Legislation to help next generation of young fishermen passes in Congress

Congress passed bipartisan legislation on Dec. 20 that would establish a national program to train and educate the next generation of commercial fishermen. It must be signed by President Donald Trump before becoming law. The Young Fishermen’s Development Act, H.R. 1240, would create $2,000,000 in yearly grant funding, which would be dispensed to various organizations to provide mentorship and learning opportunities to fishermen just starting in the industry. >click to read< 12:19

Commercial fisherman Michael Foy free from British Virgin Islands jail after plea deal

After a five-month ordeal in which he was imprisoned in British Virgin Islands, Stafford fisherman Michael Foy accepted a plea deal Friday and is free to go, aside from paying a $4,000 fine. Foy, 60, was arrested June 8 by British Virgin Islands custom officials and charged with illegal entry for violating the islands’ COVID-19 curfew. He was subsequently charged with unregistered and unlicensed fishing, and failure to arrive at a customs port.  “The goal all along was to bring Michael (Foy) home. This was an acceptable decision for all parties. He can start putting this whole ordeal behind him,” >click to read< 08:50

Statement from the Director of Public Prosecution On the Case Commissioner of Police v Michael Foy – We wish to inform the public that Defendant Michael Foy changed his plea before the Magistrate’s Court on 28th October, 2020. To provide some background, on 8th June, 2020, the Defendant Mr. Micheal Foy was apprehended in Territorial waters off of Norman Island by Her Majesty’s Customs.,, >click to read<  11/4/20 14:32

George E. Lineham of Sanbornville NH has passed away

On the Evening of Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, George Edward Lineham died quietly in his Sanbornville, N.H. home. He was surrounded by the presence and love of his family as he passed. In 1952, George entered the U.S. Army as a Paratrooper in the #187 Airborne Division, in the Korean War. After returning home to Rhode Island, from his dedicated time in the service, George married his sweetie, Lucy. Together, they brought three sons into this world. Stephen Edward “Beanie,” John Robert “Bobby,” and David Alan “Porky.” Through his hard work and experience, and the footsteps of his father, George earned his Masters Plumbing and Masters Electrician licenses at an uncommonly young age. George continued to thirst for new business ventures, this man grew no moss! He passed the septic business onto his sons. From there George decided to give the commercial fishing business a try with his oldest son Stephen as his first mate. >click to read< 11:43

Commercial Fisherman Captain Michael Foy still jailed in British Virgin Islands after two charges dismissed

The Magistrates Court in the British Virgin Islands dismissed the illegal fishing charges against Stafford fisherman Michael Foy, according to his family and attorneys. The court did not dismiss the illegal entry charge and he’s scheduled to stand trial on that charge Oct. 27.,, “It’s definitely a small win on the charges and a big win on the monetary fines. The illegal entry carries a small fine and up to a year in prison, so we definitely want to win that one,” said Kimberly Kelly, Foy’s sister. “I’m just really praying they release him on bail. It will be a lot easier for all of us to prepare during the next 18 days if he were out of prison.” >click to read< 17:16

After months in jail, United States Commercial Fisherman Michael Foy goes to trial

On June 9, Michael Foy, a United States fisherman who had been detained aboard his commercial fishing vessel the previous morning, sat in an interview room in the Road Town Police Station, trying to explain what he was doing in Virgin Islands waters. In his telling, Mr. Foy wasn’t aware that the territory’s borders were closed and that he could be breaking the law by waiting near Norman Island for documentation that he said would allow him to re-enter the US. “That’s what all this is about: … I had nowhere to go,” Mr. Foy said during the recorded interview. Nearly four months later and after attracting the attention of two US congressman and one senator,,, Mr. Foy’s trial began Monday in Magistrates’ Court. >click to read< 09:41

Senators Introduce Legislation to Establish Offshore Aquaculture Standards

Senators Wicker-R, Schatz -D and Rubio -R introduced legislation, the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act (S. 4723) in the U.S. Senate. The bipartisan AQUAA Act, which has companion legislation in the U.S. House, would support development of an offshore aquaculture industry in the U.S. to increase the production of sustainable seafood and establish new economic opportunities in federal waters. >click to read< 13:43

 First Nations, commercial fishermen demands end to B.C. salmon farms – A broad coalition of First Nations leaders, wilderness tourism operators, environmental NGOs and commercial and sport fishing organizations gathered in North Vancouver Sept. 22 demanding the federal government fulfill recommendations of the Cohen Commission to immediately remove open-net salmon farms from the Discovery Islands, and abolish all others from BC waters by 2025. >click to read<