Category Archives: Featured

Before Fiberglas – British Columbia & Wahl Boatyard

In the early 1900’s with the pushing through of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway from Edmonton to Prince Rupert, the Canadian government promoted land grants and settlements up the coast of British Columbia. Many Scandinavians took advantage of the opportunity and moved their families to Canada’s west coast. Fishing and logging were the staples of the economic engine at the time, and boats were needed for both as well as for transportation between coastal communities. Many of these settlers chose to build their own boats. In the early 1920’s, Ed Wahl moved his family from Norway and settled in Port Essington, a small community on the west coast situated due west of Edmonton and south of Prince Rupert, near the mouth of the Skeena River. photos, links, >click to read< 10:38

Dungeness crab season might not open for Thanksgiving again

New state regulations may mean that Dungeness crabs won’t be in stores in time for Thanksgiving. The rules, aimed at preventing entanglements    “I want to make sure it’s understood what kind of effort we’re putting into it as fishermen and how effective we’ve been,” said Dick Ogg, a Bodega Bay fisherman and a member of the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group that developed the rules. He said that fishermen have worked hard to make sure their gear is set up better to lower risk. “We’ve really reduced our interaction and entanglement rates.” Ogg said there is a lot of anxiety in the fishing fleet about what will happen with the coming season and whether they should start gearing up for a Nov. 15 opening or whether it will be delayed. >click to read< 10:01

Ropeless fishing gear won’t save whales

If you live in one of California’s historic fishing communities like Bodega Bay, (or Coastal New England) you’ve probably heard the term “ropeless” crab fishing gear. That’s the new buzzword for equipment being promoted by environmental groups to solve the perceived problem of whale interactions with fishing gear. These groups have convinced the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to adopt onerous new regulations that will force crab fishermen to adopt expensive, impractical and unproven fishing gear that will put most of us out of business. The truth, however, is something different.  How do we know this? Both the East Coast lobster fishery and the West Coast Dungeness crab fishery, each of which are made up of thousands of independent fishermen, have tested the pop-up ropeless gear and found it to be faulty. >click to read< 09:54

Big white shrimp return to Lake Pontchartrain in big numbers

People who like big shrimp are rejoicing. That’s because some of the biggest white shrimp many have seen are now showing up in Lake Pontchartrain. Old-timers say it’s like the good all days. Shrimp like they’ve never seen before in Lake Pontchartrain instead of offshore, and they credit a number of factors. “These shrimp are primo the best we’ve seen around here since 2010,” said shrimper Paul Newton, >Video, click to read< 11:42

Fishing Company under Fire for Keeping Coronavirus Infected Crew at Sea for Three Weeks

Despite crew members developing flu-like symptoms one by one, Júlíus Geirmundsson didn’t return to harbour until it needed to refuel last Sunday, after three weeks at sea. During refuelling, the crew was tested for COVID-19 but left again for the fishing grounds before the results were in. They returned as soon as it was discovered that the majority of the crew had contracted COVID-19.,,  Hákon Blöndal, the ship’s first engineer, called out the fishing company’s explanation,, “This isn’t the whole story, and people have to grow a pair and admit their mistakes,” >click to read< 15:38

Scores more wind turbines proposed for Long Island’s South Shore

Scores more 600-foot tall wind turbines would be built off Jones Beach under a new proposal. Norwegian energy conglomerate Equinor has bid to create another 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind power for New York state and Long Island with two projects. One, which would connect to the local electric grid in Nassau County, would more than double the number of turbines off Long Island to some 200. A second would be built around 50 miles from Montauk Point and connect to the state grid in Queens. The plan would also include conducting assembly work in Brooklyn. >click to read<  10:42

How an Ill-Fated Fishing Voyage Helped Us Understand Coronavirus

F/V American Dynasty, a commercial trawler, departed Seattle one day in May to fish for hake off the Washington coast. Before leaving, its 122 crew members were screened for the coronavirus using the highly accurate polymerase chain reaction (P.C.R.) method, and all the results came back negative. But because those tests are “good but not perfect,” they missed at least one case: Somehow SARS-CoV-2 found its way on board. When a crew member fell seriously ill, the vessel returned to port, and almost everyone was tested for the virus again,,, The finding is believed to be the first direct evidence that antibodies protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans, and it offers clues about what sort of concentrations might be needed to confer immunity. >click to read< 10:24

New F/V Ocean Challenge a massive boost to Skerries

The arrival of a brand new state of the art whitefish trawler at the outlying community of Out Skerries has been described as a major boost to the small community by skipper Leslie Hughson. Built at Mooney Boats yard in Killybegs the Ocean Challenge arrived in Lerwick at the weekend before heading to her home port of Skerries for the naming ceremony on Sunday. Back in Lerwick on Monday to take on gear ahead of fishing trials later this week, Hughson said sailing the new vessel home to Skerries had been a “proud moment”. >click to read< 09:31

Fisherman charged in 2018 scallop boat slaying ruled mentally incompetent

A Newport News man charged with killing a fellow fisherman two years ago on a scallop boat off the coast of Massachusetts has been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial. Franklin Meave faces life in prison on a federal charge of killing Javier Rangel Sosa, 54, a well-liked fisherman,, On Sept. 18, 2018, the Captain Billy Haver, an 83-foot fishing boat, left its York County dock with a crew of seven to dredge scallops off the Massachusetts coast. Sosa was the boat’s chief mate; Meave was a hired hand. Five days later,,, “Mayday, mayday, mayday,” the boat’s captain said,, “We have a man gone crazy here on the boat, man,” he said when the Coast Guard responded. “One man, I don’t know if he’s dead or what. But one of the crew members went crazy, and he started hitting people in the head with a hammer. >click to read< 14:50,  Six articles, starting in September 24, 2018, >click to read<

Chance remark leads to movie role. “You guys with the movies or something?” Then something happened. Something always happens.

It happens to commercial fishermen of a certain age. Fishermen of a certain pedigree. After a lifetime on the water, they begin to view their world through a different prism, one that assembles the puzzle pieces in just the right way.,, Within the next fortnight, Bob Morris will turn 63. He still lobsters out of Pigeon Cove,,, He watched as a group of people walked toward him.  “They were young people, all clad in black,” he said. As they passed, he gave them a little shot. Nothing serious. Just the type of dig that passes for a friendly introduction along the docks. “You guys with the movies or something?” “In fact we are,” said Matthew Balzer. Balzer is the writer and director of a film called “The Catch.” A nice video trailer!   >click to read< 13:55

To fight climate change, should we mine the deep sea?

Ancient rocks lie across vast fields miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Far from people, but not entirely out of reach, they contain metals such as cobalt, used in batteries for technology like electric cars. They are numerous, about the size of meatballs or potatoes, and formed over millions of years. These stones may hold a key to fighting climate change, according to a contingent of entrepreneurs who want to mine them. To wean the world off fossil fuels that worsen global warming, scientists say, will require a lot of batteries. Opponents argue that rushing into deep-sea mining risks destroying a pristine wilderness,,, Skeptics of the industry believe it is better to focus on improving mining conditions on land.  >click to read< 17:25

Coronavirus Tie-Up: NI Fishermen offered money to stop fishing

Northern Ireland’s fishing fleet is to be offered money to stop fishing as markets for its produce shrink due to Covid. A £1.7m pot is available to fishermen who wish to stop fishing for six weeks. They can apply to either of two “tie-up” periods between mid-October and the end of November. The closure of pubs, restaurants and workplaces across Europe has seen a big reduction in demand for full prawns and scampi – NI’s main exports. The cash will help will crew costs, mortgage payments on boats, insurance and harbour fees. >click to read< 10:35

Sam Parisi: Remembering the F/V Andrea Gail, and the loved ones left behind

On October 28,10991, we lost six fishermen during the Perfect Storm aboard the F/V Andrea Gail. Captain Billy Tyne, David Sullivan, and Robert  Shatford of Gloucester, Dale Murphy and Michael Moran, both of Bradenton Beach, Florida, and Clifford Pierre of New York City. My heart goes out to those families, and loved ones, may they not be forgotten. I can still remember the boat and the owner Bob Brown, also called “Suicide” Brown. He was the first lobsterman to fish off the Canyons over a hundred miles from land with his forty five foot lobster boat. >click to read<  17:24

New “Gadget”? Underwater noisemaker to scare away seals at Ballard Locks

On a recent morning, after some acrobatics and horsing around, a seal cruising the locks suddenly took an all-business turn. When it resurfaced, it was with a mouth crammed full of coho. The Hiram Chittenden Locks, built more than 100 years ago, allow navigable access from the freshwater of Lake Washington and Lake Union to Puget Sound. But the locks also inadvertently created an attraction for seals. The concrete chute of the locks concentrates salmon, making easy pickings. As salmon runs have declined in Puget Sound, a range of methods has been tried over the years to shut down the buffet. Underwater firecrackers, pingers, even Fake Willy, a faux orca that used to be lowered into the channel in an attempt to scare off seals and sea lions. Now a new gadget is being tested at the locks, intended to startle seals to deter them. >click to leave< 20:20

Video: U.S. Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy medevac fisherman from commercial fishing vessel off Hawaii

The Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy successfully medevaced a 73-year-old fisherman from the 84-foot commercial fishing vessel Lady Alice 150 miles east of Hilo, Friday. At 7:37 a.m., Monday, the owner of the Lady Alice notified JRCC watchstanders that the master of the vessel appeared to be suffering symptoms of a stroke. The mariners aboard provided medication to the patient and were instructed by JRCC watchstanders to monitor his condition and maintain scheduled communication. Duty flight surgeons from the Coast Guard and Air Force were consulted and recommended sending Air Force pararescue jumpers from the 129th Rescue Wing to the vessel before the mariner’s condition deteriorated. Video  >click to read<  10:22

Community gathers for sunset memorial honoring Captain Wayne Magwood

Friends and family gathered on Thursday night to remember the loss of Lowcountry shrimper, Captain Wayne Magwood. Dozens gathered at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park to share stories, pray and walk the pier. When the group reached the end of the pier, they dropped flowers into the water. Moving forward, it’s Magwood’s legacy that will keep the community going. A boat parade in his honor is scheduled for this Saturday, October 3rd. Video >Click to read< 07:56

Retired Arbroath boat builder reunited with renovated luxury ship he made almost 50 years ago

Harry Simpson, 68, former owner of MacKay Boat Builders, welcomed the Nova Spero into the town’s marina on Monday afternoon. The vessel, built in 1972, has since been turned into a luxury passenger ship, which overcame difficult conditions to berth in the marina on its way to the Forth. The crew and passengers stopped off in Angus after strong winds trapped them in Peterhead on Sunday. Harry, who waited at the harbour to welcome the ship home, was only an apprentice when he helped construct the vessel.,, “I did everything from laying the keel, the planking, the frames, the lofting, then to the fitting out. I was involved in all the bits and pieces, everything. That’s how I learned my trade.” photos, >click to read< 10:02

Cruises around Scotland on board Nova Spero – Skarvlines – photos, >click to read<

Vineyard Wind project has opposition, with considerable opposition among conservationists

I read with great interest “The power of wind” point of view (Sept. 21) by Allie McCandless. The writer enthusiastically defends the Vineyard Wind Project as one that will launch Massachusetts “into a clean future.” In fact, the Vineyard Wind project has raised considerable opposition among conservationists. The 84 projected wind turbines would install two 220,000-volt alternative current submarine cables, seriously disturbing the underwater ecosystem and the fishing industry by generating heat, noise and possibly disturbing the electromagnetic field.,, There is a powerful lobby behind the wind turbine industry. There is also a growing worldwide conservation movement that has taken stock of the issues caused by already installed wind,,, By Marie Huet, >click to read< 15:46

NEFMC will vote Sept. 30 on changing requirements for groundfish monitoring, fishermen have mixed responses

Commercial fisherman Randy Cushman walks on top of his boat where he measures fish in front of electronic monitoring cameras, pictured to the right. Cushman is among a handful of New England fishermen who use electronic monitoring instead of a traditional human observer to track what they catch and discard.  The New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC) is scheduled to vote on changes to its groundfish management plan at a virtual meeting Sept. 30, culminating four years of research. “If we’re going to have accurate stock assessments, we need 100 percent coverage under this management system,” said Cushman. But, the prospect of increased monitoring concerns Terry Alexander, a fisherman who represents Maine on the NEFMC and operates his 62-foot boat out of Massachusetts. >click to read< 10:57

‘Ain’t no hurricane going to stop Joe Patti’s’ – Shrimp boat captains docked behind Joe Patti’s devastated

Joe Patti’s Seafood bore a beating, but the iconic Pensacola seafood market expects to survive the hit dealt by Hurricane Sally. “We got it on the chin,” However, it’s likely a different story for the fishing boat fleet that docks behind the Joe Patti’s warehouse. Seven of the nine shrimp boats — which are primarily captained by Vietnamese immigrants, many of whom lack maritime insurance — were ravaged by the hurricane. Standing on the wharf behind Joe Patti’s on Tuesday morning, it looked like a battleship had turned its guns on the small fishing fleet. Where there had been docks, scraps of driftwood bobbed in the shallow water. Shrimp boats with punctured hauls sat on the bottom of the harbor. 45 photos, >click to read< 08:44

Asian carp processing facility might be headed to North Peoria

A former government adviser and official, Brian Colgan, leads a company that intends to convert a 4,000-square-foot building at 8606 N. Pioneer Road into an Asian carp processing, packaging and distribution facility. There the fish would be fashioned into bait for domestic crab, crawfish and lobster harvesters on all coasts. “Our company, Colgan Carp Solutions Inc., by creating these markets and working with others in the area who want to do the same, can drive up demand, can reduce the population in the Illinois River and hopefully create some jobs, economic opportunity and show that there’s a market-driven strategy for invasive-species management,” Colgan said. >click to read< 11:33

Application deadline extended for fish harvester benefits program – will have until Oct. 5th

Fishers financially impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic have two extra weeks to apply for the federal government’s Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program. The original Sept. 21 deadline is now extended to 3 p.m. on Oct. 5 for self employed harvesters to submit their applications online. In a press release Sept. 18, Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan encouraged anyone who thinks they may be eligible to visit the DFO website and learn how to apply. >click to read< 17:44

Fishermen accused of poaching in a Marine Reserve using gear stolen from fellow crabbers

Two North Coast fishermen face criminal charges after allegedly poaching crab in the protected Cape Falcon Marine Reserve using gear stolen from fellow crabbers. Scott Edward Giles, 39, most recently of Ilwaco, Washington, and deckhand Travis Richard Westerlund, 34, of Astoria, face multiple criminal charges, including theft, criminal mischief, unlawful take and fishing in a prohibited area, following an indictment in August.  Given the amount of stolen gear found in his possession, Giles, the captain of the commercial fishing vessel The Baranof, faces felony theft charges. The pots were marked with a variety of paint colors, leading investigators to conclude they had been stolen from other fishermen. The pots were later tracked back to seven different commercial crabbers between Astoria and Newport.,, >click to read< 17:10

A longtime shrimper says he plans to ride out Hurricane Sally

A longtime shrimper says he plans to ride out Hurricane Sally on his boat, just like he has with storms for the past 40 years. “I’m joined now by Ronald Fran who is a longtime shrimper, and you’ve ridden out hurricanes for the last forty years right here on this shrimp boat. WDSU Reporter Jennifer Crockett has his story. >click to watch the video< 08:32

A Stunning Transformation: More Than a New Shell

Like many fishermen, Justin Yager has a strong interest in responsible harvesting. Similarly, he saw the common sense of rebuilding the Gulf shrimper BJ Thomas after the boat had a serious fire at Newport, Oregon. Built in 1976 at Marine Builders in Mobile, Alabama the boat found its way to the west coast where Justin’s wife, Sara’s grandfather, owned it for some time before selling it on to the next generation. Justin fished the boat for a few years with the crab and shrimp permits that the couple also purchased from Sara’s grandfather. The fire was the impetus for the rebuild that the owners had planned for the boat. ‘We cut off the bow, part of the stern, and the house. We took it right down to the engine room and the fish holds he explained. photos, >click to read< 12:05

Longtime shrimper Wayne Magwood identified as pedestrian killed in Mount Pleasant crash

A longtime shrimp boat captain who recently retired from his trade was killed when a dump truck overturned Friday morning in Mount Pleasant, authorities have confirmed. Edwin “Wayne” Magwood, 67, of Mount Pleasant, died at 10:13 a.m. at Coleman Boulevard and Mill Street of blunt force injuries suffered in the crash, according to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office. Magwood was a pedestrian, the Coroner’s Office said. >click to read< 08:14

Longtime shrimper and vessel retire from Shem Creek – Winds are blowing in a new direction for a historic shrimping vessel that has been a fixture on Shem Creek for more than 30 years. The Winds of Fortune, a staple of Shem Creek’s maritime history, has sold. Wayne Magwood, longtime shrimper and captain, originally purchased the vessel in 1987 and hauled it to the Lowcountry from Alabama. Three decades later, it’s now departing from its dock after being scooped up by a seafood distributor from Holden Beach, N.C. >click to read<

NOAA Fisheries Needs to Declare Fishery Disaster for Northeast Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries needs to declare a fishery disaster for the north Atlantic fisheries of the east coast due to complications caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Due to government shutdowns of the primary market for US seafood, the restaurants, the fishing industry has been suffering not from a shortage of fish, but from a shortage of markets to sell them. 70% of the sea food consumed in the United States is sold in restaurants, the Corona pandemic has caused complete shutdowns of indoor dining in many states or reduced capacity seating in others. This has resulted in no demand for fresh local US caught fish, a very perishable product, and the resultant low prices that haven’t been seen in 50 years. By Jim Lovgren,  >click to read< 07:38

Coast Guard crew rescues fisherman from surf near South Beach State Park

A Coast Guardsman swam from shore to rescue a fisherman from the surf near South Beach State Park early Tuesday morning after his vessel ran aground and began taking on water. The fisherman was forced to abandon ship after the vessel began breaking apart in 10-foot surf. At approximately 11:40 p.m., Coast Guard Sector North Bend watchstanders received the initial mayday call from a fisherman over VHF-FM radio. The lone mariner aboard a 44-foot commercial fishing vessel, F/V Legend, Commercial Fisherman Matt Davney requested assistance, reporting he was on the south jetty at Newport. >click to read< 14:53

Coast Guardsman swims from shore to rescue mariner south of Newport – A Coast Guardsman swam from shore to rescue a fisherman from the surf near South Beach State Park early Tuesday morning after his vessel ran aground and began taking on water. The Coast Guard said the fisherman was forced to abandon ship after the vessel began breaking apart in 10-foot surf. 3 photos, >click to read< 10:36

Teenager helps land Utqiagvik’s first whale of fall season

“Jen, you wanna harpoon?” She hesitated, not knowing where to throw it. While captain Donovan maneuvered the boat closer, Gatten and Adams coached the teenager on where to shoot the darting gun. “Three feet behind the blowhole, straight down,” captain Donovan said. “She just put a money shot right on the whale, which rolled the whale right over,” captain Donovan said later that week. “It was pretty awesome to see.” The catch: a   36-foot, 1-inch, young male bowhead that community members will subsist on over the next year. When the four boats docked by the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory runway in the evening with a whale in tow, more than 150 cars sat waiting on shore to help butcher the animal and take home a share of meat, Michael Donovan said.  “ Whaling is equal opportunity, as far as Michael Donovan is concerned. “The ladies are just as tough as men,” >click to read< 11:13

Why Brexit will be fishing industry’s salvation

When I am out and about in Grimsby, the most commonly asked question I get is: “When are we going to get our fishing waters back, and are we going to get them back?” I say to my constituents: “Yes, absolutely.” Grimsby’s association with the fishing industry goes back centuries, but the modern industry started in the 1800s. By 1900, 10 per cent of all the fish eaten in the UK was landed in Grimsby. What fishing brought to Grimsby was wealth, investment into the docks and a direct train link to London. That was the power of the fishing industry to us. Unfortunately, that industry has been taken away from us, first because of the cod wars with Iceland, impact of the Common Fisheries Policy,,, By Lia Nici >click to read< 08:20