Category Archives: Caribbean

UPDATED: American fisherman detained entering British Virgin Islands – New Jersey delegation aware

An American longline fishing boat captain has been in jail for a month after he was detained in the British Virgin Islands on June 8 for traveling into BVI waters during coronavirus border closures. Now he is facing criminal charges and a monthslong wait in a sweltering island prison cell. Michael Foy, who lives in Puerto Rico and left the island May 29 on a fishing expedition, was initially detained for illegal entry into the British Virgin Islands, but at his June hearing he was also unexpectedly charged with illegal fishing. >click to read< 13:21

New Jersey Senators write Deputy Governor on fisherman’s arrest – “We are aware that our constituent, Michael Foy, has been detained in Tortola and have been in communication with the State Department and the [United States] Embassy in Barbados regarding the case,” according to the June 30 letter signed by Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez and Congressman Andy Kim. >click to read< 10:09 7/11/20

SURVEY: Please Help Extreme Gloucester Fishing: Restructure, Retool, Retrain, Revive and Reunite the U.S. Commercial Fisheries

Extreme Gloucester Fishing Commercial Industry Training Center is doing a U.S. Commercial Fisheries Survey – Please help Extreme Gloucester Fishing with our efforts to Restructure, Retool, Retrain, Revive and Reunite the U.S. Commercial Fisheries Take the Survey. 1. Do commercial fishermen care about their industry? 2. Should fish be owned before they are caught?, 3.,,,  >click to read<, and please leave comments or suggestions, and connect with others to get things started! Thank you, Captain Joseph Sanfilippo 10:30

#FishermensLivesMatter: Until this pandemic is over, say no to fishery observers being placed on fishing vessels

On July 1st the Trump Administration’s agency, NOAA will require that fishing vessels resume taking fishery observers on their fishing trips. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic these activities have been suspended for almost three months due to the danger of spreading the deadly disease among the
fishing industry and their families. Fishery observers are required by National Marine Fishery Service regulations to observe commercial fishing operations in almost all of our countries fisheries based on various criteria that include likelihood of interaction with marine mammals or other protected species, amount of bycatch in each fishery, adherence to regulations, and anything else they can justify to support this huge taxpayer money gobbling con game they have created. >click to read< by Jim Lovgren #FishermensLivesMatter 22:27

An East Coast Perspective on Coronavirus Impacts

This was initially to be about how the New Jersey commercial fishing industry was coping with the coronavirus crisis. However, there is a seemingly infinite number of websites running commentaries on the national and/or international aspects of the ongoing pandemic in general and, surprisingly, as it specifically applies to and as it affects commercial fishing and the seafood industry. Considering this, sharing more than an overview of what the New Jersey industry, or at least that part of it that I have been in touch with, would probably not have much of an impact. But happily, at this point it seems that U.S. consumers aren’t really as averse to preparing quality seafood at home (when it isn’t available or is only limitedly available elsewhere) as most of us have believed. >click to read< By Nils Stolpe 12:05

Fighting for fishermen on a bi-partisan, bi-coastal basis during Coronavirus crisis – Senator Ed Markey

Restaurants have shuttered and large export markets have been disrupted. Fishermen have lost access to critical points of sale and sources of income. With a decreased demand for fresh seafood, many boats sit idle in port. Meanwhile, boat payments are due and families need to be fed. In the U.S. Senate, I have been fighting on a bipartisan basis alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to secure dedicated economic assistance for the fishing and seafood industries in COVID-19 economic relief packages. Thankfully, this bi-coastal effort got results. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted into law on March 27, included $300 million in assistance for fishery participants and $9.5 billion for affected agricultural producers. >click to read< 12:22

After two weeks, the Coast Guard, and good Samaritan rescue 2 men – presumed lost at sea

The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan rescued two fishermen, Monday, who were presumed lost at sea, 23 miles northeast of Cat Island, Bahamas. Rescued were Domingo Jimenez, 45, and Ramon Castillo, 29, both from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Coast Guard Sector San Juan watchstanders received a report from the good Samaritan vessel Signet Intruder crew reporting they were flagged down by two people in a vessel, who reported to have been adrift for approximately two weeks. The watchstanders directed the launch of an OPBAT Jayhawk helicopter crew to assist. “These two men were presumed lost at sea but were found and safely rescued because a good Samaritan spotted them,” Video, >click to read< 18:48

Commerce Secretary Announces $300 Million CARES Act Allocation – NOAA will disburse funds through partners

As a next step, NOAA Fisheries will use these allocations (see below) to make awards to our partners—the interstate marine fisheries commissions, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—to disburse funds to address direct or indirect fishery-related losses as well as subsistence, cultural, or ceremonial impacts related to COVID-19. “We are going to rely primarily on our partners at the interstate marine fishery commissions during the award process because they have a demonstrated track record of disbursing funds provided to them quickly and effectively,” said Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. Read the Summary of Allocations, and review the question and answer section. Q. Who should affected fishermen and communities contact about accessing this funding?  >click to read< 11:00

U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Availability of $1.5 Billion in CARES Act Funds to Aid Communities Impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications from eligible grantees for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance) intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.,, On March 27, 2020, President Donald J. Trump signed the $2 trillion CARES Act into law. The CARES Act provides EDA with $1.5 billion of which $1.467 billion is available for grant making. The remaining funds will be transferred to cover salaries and expenses and oversight activities. >click to read< 12:54

Senate Democrats, Greens Seek Climate Mandates In Federal Stimulus Bills

Senate Democrats and environmentalists want to tack climate change mandates onto proposed federal aid to major airlines and cruise lines reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to the House and Senate leadership, eight Senate Democrats said last week that any financial assistance to the travel industry “should be paired with requirements that companies act in a more responsible fashion” by reducing their carbon footprint. “Climate change damages will wreak havoc on a scale even greater than the coronavirus,” said the Friday letter headed by the Center for Biological Diversity. Democrats who signed the letter were Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Jeffrey Merkley of Oregon, Cory A. Booker of New Jersey, Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Tina Smith of Minnesota and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. >click to read< 10:12

Small Business Relief Tracker: Funding, Grants And Resources For Business Owners Grappling With Coronavirus

Some 30 million American small businesses are high on the coronavirus’ list of victims. Nearly half of these companies say the pandemic is to blame for unprecedented revenue declines, and with no clear end in sight, the possibility of temporary closures has become a reality for many. In an effort to help business owners find financial relief, we’ve rounded up all of the government agencies, private companies and nonprofit organizations that are extending support. We’ll be adding to this list as the situation develops, so check back for updates. >click to read< 13:01

Tell Your Congressmen and Senators: Our US Fishing Industry Faces The Coronavirus Disaster

With the Coronavirus being spread around the world and nations reacting to this threat in many different ways, from doing nothing, to closing the borders and full quarantines, the unintended effects of such government actions have yet to be fully felt. Granted the stock market has lost 30% in value in just 3 weeks time, the average American really doesn’t feel that unless he is living on his investment returns. With the closing of schools, and restaurants and any places of public gatherings an enormous crisis is being created because many people are being put out of work and some of them may not have a business to come back to when the crisis is over. The Coronavirus may topple an empire if we let it. >click to read< 06:17

“Looking Back”: The Keep Fishermen Fishing Rally

Measured by any meaningful criteria the Keep Fishermen Fishing rally held on the steps of the Capitol on March 21 was a stunning success. It was attended by thousands of fishermen from as far away as Alaska, twenty one Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, and at least a half a dozen other VIPs made room in their busy schedules to come out and address the people who attended. From the most conservative of the conservatives to the most liberal of the liberals, these politically divergent speakers had one message; fix the Magnuson Act and bring back the balance between conservation and harvest. For the second time at the national level recreational and commercial fishermen – no matter what fisheries they participated in, no matter what their disagreements on allocation or lesser issues were, and no matter where they were from – were standing together and demanding a return to the original intent of the Magnuson Act;,,, >click to read< 08:09

“With a bit of prodding by some valued colleagues”, we will be launching a series “Looking Back”

A few of us were conversing, and the topic of resurrecting’s some of the posts, pages, and information of the past to gauge the changes and improvement’s achieved though the past few decades of fishery management and sacrifice, or if there have been any improvements at all! Nils Stolpe, Jim Lovgren, and I thought perhaps these various posts and articles would give an indication of how the domestic fishing is doing! Both of these gentlemen are exceptional writers, with exceptional knowledge of the domestic fishing industry and they have been featured here many times. We hope people revisit these articles, and for many of the newer fishermen in the industry today, this may be the first exposure to this interesting, and valuable info, and other stories. We’ll kick it off with “With a bit of prodding by some valued colleagues,”  >click to read< 13:07

Managing A Lucrative Resource In The Face Of Climate Change

Conservationists and commercial fishing industry leaders came together on the need to restructure the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to adequately consider climate impacts during a panel discussion in Honolulu. But that was about it for the common ground they found during the last stop on U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman’s nationwide “listening tour” on reforming the MSA. The panelists, which also included state and federal officials, had diverging views on the effectiveness of marine national monuments like Papahanaumokuakea and whether the eight regional councils that the law set up to manage fishery resources nationally should have designated seats to ensure representation from environmental, indigenous and scientific interests as well as the commercial fishing industry. >click to read< 10:38

What ever happened to HR-200? I have no interest in these people reauthorizing anything.

Stranded lobsters and missing wedding dresses: The coronavirus is a daily reminder of China’s global reach

All along the western Australian coast, a backlog of rock lobsters are stuck waiting in their tanks, as their main market remains all but closed. In New Jersey, a boutique has been unable to fill all its wedding dress orders. A small business owner in London can’t source enough human hair extensions, wigs and weaves for its online sales. The deadly novel coronavirus that has devastated the Chinese economy is having a ripple effect across the globe. The food we eat, the work we do and the clothes we wear — many are daily reminders of the vital role China plays in the global economy. >click to read< 08:27

New Bedford Remains Top Money Port in the United States

Scallops continue to be king in the Port of New Bedford. The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday released its 2018 report on commercial fishing. For the 19th consecutive year, the Port of New Bedford was the most lucrative port in the nation, with its total catch of seafood valued at $431 million. Dutch Harbor, Alaska landed the most fish for the 22nd consecutive year, more than 763 million pounds. >click to read< 10:10

Fisheries of the U.S. Report for 2018 Shows Strong Year for Fishermen – According to the Fisheries of the United States report, which is compiled by NOAA using data and analysis not immediately available at the same end of a fishing year, U.S. highest value species groups in 2018 included lobster ($684 million), crabs ($645 million), salmon ($598 million), scallops ($541 million), and shrimp ($496 million). >click to read<

Coronavirus: With China’s Borders Closed to Imported Live Seafood, Local Fishermen Feel the Pinch

As the number of the sick and the dead continue to rise alarmingly in China, the economic effects of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak were felt in the Santa Barbara Harbor.,,, “Santa Barbara brings in $4 million to $5 million a season,” said Chris Voss, president of Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara. The prized crustacean had been stockpiled for China’s late January Lunar New Year festivities, he said, from New England to Australia. When China closed its borders to live-animal foodstuffs about 10 days ago, everyone was hit. >click to read< 10:21

Full Committee Markup, Legislative Hearing on Sustainable Fisheries

The Committee on Natural Resources will hold a markup on Wednesday, Jan. 15. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, our Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee will hold a legislative hearing on six bills that make our oceans and fisheries more sustainable in the face of manmade threats. The Committee’s full schedule and witness lists are available below. As with all hearings and markups, these events are open to media and the public.  >click to read< 07:37

Fishery FUNDD Act: Reps. Palazzo and Huffman Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Federal Fisheries Disaster Relief Program

Representatives Steven Palazzo (MS-4) and Jared Huffman (CA-2) have introduced the Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations Act (Fishery FUNDD Act), which will improve the federal fishery disaster process and ensure more timely disaster relief for impacted communities.  The Fishery FUNDD Act would set a timeline for the federal government to respond to a fishery disaster request, and set a timeline for disbursal of appropriated funds following a disaster. >click to read< 14:05

Bycatch – From problem to opportunity. Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

For as long as I have been involved in the commercial fishing industry, and that’s going back for what is approaching forty years, there has been a widespread feeling that “things would be better if this industry were administratively housed in the Department of Agriculture (DOA).” Whether at the state level, in state waters within three miles of the coastline, or the federal level beyond three miles, there’s always been a sort of wistful “wouldn’t it be great if we were over there” view of the DOA, and the reasons for this aren’t awfully difficult to fathom. The Department of Agriculture, no matter whether state or federal, is mostly focused on promotion, and fisheries agencies, no matter the level, are regulatory in nature, in organization and in attitude. This is glaringly obvious with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the federal fisheries agency, which in recent years has become almost totally focused to the virtual exclusion of anything else on limiting – rather than enhancing – the commercial production of fish and shellfish. >click to read< 15:06

Sam Parisi: Its 2020 and time to move this industry forward!

Here we are again, at the end of the year, and decade for that matter, as 2019 is ending, and its time to move forward. As some of my fellow Fisherynation readers know, I am motivated to try improving the U.S. fishing industry for our country’s working U.S. fishermen. I have reached out to my Senators Markey, and Warren, and also to Congressman Moulton to help draft a US Fish Bill. This is an opportunity for everyone in this ridiculously diverse industry from sea urchin, and scallop divers, to clam dredgers, and every faction of the industry, traditional, and exotic, to have personal input into a bill built for you, built by you, and built by your fellow industry members. >click to read< 16:50

“I did not give up hope. I just kept on searching,”- Boat captain rescues lost Whitehouse fishermen

Seven fishermen who were lost at sea for more than a week were reunited with families in Whitehouse, Westmoreland, yesterday after being saved by a seaman who refused to give up on his rescue mission. What was expected to be an uneventful three-day trip to the Pedro Cays turned out be a nightmare for seasoned fishermen Wilton Swaby, Patrick Gooden, Ricardo Samuels, Ian Wright, Clive Tomlinson, Eyverth Blair and Alvin Blair.,,, Oniel Jones, captain of the rescue vessel, recounted sailing “about 150 miles out to sea” on his vessel, Lady Felicia. >click to read< 08:38

Warren proposes ‘Blue New Deal’ to protect oceans. Where Warren’s Blue New Deal Falls Short

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Tuesday proposed a “Blue New Deal” plan in what she calls an effort to protect oceans and rebuild the economy associated with oceans. The proposal was influenced by a question from an oyster farmer at the CNN presidential town hall on the climate crisis in September,,,“I said I would, and I meant it,,, >click to read< 11:03

An Environmental Lawyer Explains Where Elizabeth Warren’s Blue New Deal Falls Short – Warren’s plan does recommend folding the US into the United Nations Law of the Sea treaty,,,, Furthermore, the Blue New Deal aims to rebuild America’s fisheries, an effort that “would support an additional 500,000 jobs and generate an additional $31 billion in sales impacts,” >click to read< 11:09

New Environmental Defence Fund Report Details Actions Needed to Create Climate-Ready Fisheries

“Even with the necessary actions to control emissions and investments to reduce carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, changes in the ocean already underway will continue and even accelerate,” said Eric Schwaab, senior vice president for EDF Oceans.,,,  The five pathways articulated in the report focus on steps that can and must be taken by governments, NGOs, fisher organizations, academia and multilateral organizations in order to create greater resilience and sustainability of fisheries. The pathways include: >click to read< 06:57

Fishermen Desperate for Hurricane Irma Disaster Relief

U.S. Virgin Islands fishermen aired their grievances at a public meeting held by the St. Thomas/St. John Fisherman’s Association on Monday, where they were told the $10.7 million received from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to rebuild the territory’s fishing industry is still not ready to be disbursed to individual fishermen. Fisherman’s Association Chairman Julian Magras said promises made to the association have not been followed through. “To say that we have a concrete update on where the money is, we do not,”  >click to read< 10:00

Rbdf Arrests Dominican Poachers With Huge Catch

Dominican poachers who were arrested by Royal Bahamas Defence Force officials and the US Coast Guard this week were carrying some 30,000 pounds of illegally harvested marine products. On Wednesday, HMBS Cascarilla under the command of Senior Lieutenant Samantha Hart along with the US Coast Guard arrested 17 suspected poachers on board the 76-foot Gerchard II in waters near the Cochinos Bank. The seized boat came into port yesterday at the RBDF Coral Harbour Base.  >click to read< 17:26

A reminder from Sam Parisi to those interested in creating and implementing a U.S. Fish Bill

Greetings to all commercial fishermen, fish processors, equipment suppliers, politicians, and citizens, that are interested and supportive of creation of the U.S. Fish Bill. It is important that we create an atmosphere of unity and inclusion for all to reach out to their political representation, and inform them of need for a major Bill supporting all segments of the U.S. Fishing industry, and ask that they get involved. I am asking Senator Bruce Tarr, and Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante to attend. The meeting will be held at the Gloucester City Hall November 21 at 7 pm. For developing info, and input of idea’s, please call me!  Thank you, and best regards! Sam Parisi, Gloucester Mass. at 978 491 7722 06:45

Seized Dominican boats to be allocated to Dorian-impacted fishers

The boats that the government seized from Dominican poachers over the years are being allocated to fishermen from Abaco and Grand Bahama who have been impacted by Hurricane Dorian, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Michael Pintard revealed. Pintard said the majority of the nearly three dozen apprehended vessels will be given to Bahamian fishers who lost their boats and livelihoods during the passage of the Category 5 storm more than two months ago. >click to read<  21:51

Bahamas’ $75 Million Spiny Lobster Fishery Has Been Set Back Years In The Wake Of Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian, which battered the Bahamas between September 1st and 3rd 2019, has devastated the islands’ $75 million Caribbean spiny lobster fishery. The vital economic sector, which employs more than 9,000 Bahamians, will take years to rebuild from the category-5 hurricane.,,, A Post-Disaster Damage and Needs Assessment carried out by the Food and Agriculture Organization during October 2019, confirmed that nearly 80% of the fisheries sector and its supporting infrastructure, including lobster and conch collection centres in Grand Bahama and Abaco, ranged from being significantly damaged to completely destroyed. >click to read<  11:28

Congress considering safety, climate change for fisheries

Congress is getting involved in fisheries in a couple key areas: safety and climate change. The FISH SAFE Act, and, Climate Ready Fisheries Act of 2019. Republican Rep. Don Young is leading a bipartisan effort along with Rep. Jared Golden (D, Maine) to improve safety, introducing the Funding Instruction for Safety Health, and Security Avoids Fishing Emergencies Act.,,, The most recent climate change legislation, also bipartisan, was introduced by Rep. Joe Cunningham, (D- S.C), and is co-sponsored by Reps Brian Mast (R-Fla.), Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) and Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), and is meant to help “low country” fishermen, but the impact, should it pass, would presumably help fishermen nation-wide. >click to read< 21:51