Category Archives: Featured

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

‘Our boys deserve more time’ – “This is unacceptable! This is absolutely the wrong decision! It is too soon!”

The father of one of the two men aboard a fishing vessel lost in waters off southern Labrador is appealing to the Canadian Coast Guard to reverse its decision to change its mission from one of search and rescue to recovery. Local fishermen began the search, which was later joined by the Coast Guard and aircraft at the direction of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Halifax.,, Dwight Russell said the family learned of Coast Guard’s plans Sunday evening. “But as I write this, the Coast Guard has informed our families that they are pulling out and changing the mission from search & rescue to recovery, and operational control will be turned over to the RCMP. >click to read< 08:36

Hurricane Ida: Commercial fishers in Louisiana – “That’s our living. I have nothing to fall back on,,,

“I was just trying to save every little thing I could and ended up losing it anyway,” Darrel Domangue said. “It’s hard to leave when you got nothing else. I know other people will say it’s just material things, but to us poor people, the material things is all we got besides one another. That’s our living.” Domangue didn’t have insurance on his home, boat or bait shop. “I have nothing to fall back on, and I have no education,”,, “I don’t think a minimum wage job is going to help me rebuild my house. I’m going to have to find some way, some how. photos, >click to read< 07:11

DMR briefs legislature on impact of NOAA’s new lobstering rules, options for appeal

On September 14, the Maine Legislature’s Committee on Marine Resources met and discussed the impact new rules recently released by the NOAA will have on Maine’s lobster industry, as well as the state’s legal options for appealing the rules.,, The new rules not only close nearly 1,000 square miles to lobstering between October and January, a time of year when lobster prices are at their highest, but changes the kind of gear lobstermen can use. Also discussed were threats to the right whale posed by Canada. As Keliher pointed out, the NMFS’ biological opinion noted that even if Maine is 100% successful in taking steps to protect right whales, whales will continue to go extinct if they continue to be hurt in Canada. Keliher also stated that he has had conversations with the head of> NOAA, Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D < who hasn’t yet had a meeting with the Canadian government, but has agreed to raise the issue of including state representatives in Canadian affairs. Keliher also said NOAA’s head considers these conversations to be a government-to-government issue. He stated he disagrees and continues to press the issue. >click to read< 15:51

Why Offshore Wind Farms Face Lawsuits – The American Coalition for Ocean Protection

Nantucket residents have filed a landmark lawsuit over federal approval of Vineyard Wind, the first industrial scale offshore wind project in the U.S. Federal law protects existing ocean uses: commercial fishing, vessel traffic, the viewshed, and endangered species from new energy projects. Since federal approvals of all offshore wind projects will likely use the same flawed process, a court win for this lawsuit may stop all the projects. Specifically, Ackrats is the group filing the complaint and is concerned about Vineyard Wind’s negative impact on the North Atlantic right whale, “one of the most critically endangered species on the entire planet.” Those Nantucket residents are not alone. Beach communities from North Carolina to Maine and the Great Lakes joined together to form the American Coalition for Ocean Protection. >click to read< 16:13

Historic fishing vessel Lydia Eva wins golden ticket to star in a Hollywood movie!

A floating museum is set to play a starring role in a Hollywood movie. The Lydia Eva has arrived in Lyme Regis ready to play the passenger steamer that brings young Willy to England,,, The 91-year-old vessel, usually moored at Great Yarmouth’s South Quay, was towed by tug at the movie makers’ expense to the south coast, a journey of four days. Acting ship’s manager Ernie Artis said she was likely to be there until at least the end of October. Mr Artis said when they were first approached about casting the ship they thought it was a hoax. photos, >click to read< 09:38

Aim High! Turning an elderly trawler into a purse seiner

After an eight-month rebuild, working to plans developed by Coprexma, former trawler Commodore, has become a purse seiner launched at the end of July in Le Guilvinec. Now SanTiago is about to join the fleet in Saint-Guénolé, where it will land sardines and anchovies caught in the Bay of Audierne and off Douarnenez. Work began on the 15.87 metre  5.56 metre beam boat at the end of 2020 at the Hénaff shipyard, which had just completed Les Antilles II. Most of the work to transform the old wooden trawler consisted of modernising the working deck and gunwales to improve crew comfort and adapt to the requirements of its new role. Photos, >click to read<  18:53

Windfarms: Fishermen don’t want them, but Wheat Farmers do!!!

Back in March, Chris Wiley passed a long day in his tractor sowing wheat. He had the controls set to automatic steering and scanned social media. He did not like what he found. In post after post, people raged about a renewable energy project that would put wind turbines and solar development in the Horse Heaven Hills where he farms.,,, “This is a community of survivors, forgotten by the world and ever shrinking, but not going anywhere anytime soon. And lately we are feeling rather betrayed by our neighbors in the Tri Cities,” Wiley wrote. “Shame on you for condemning construction on a ridge while hoping to someday build a mansion on the very same hill. Shame on you for being this upset about something that, at very most, would be a slight change to your backyard view. Because this same thing would be an absolute, life-changing blessing to your neighboring community.” >click to read< 11:44

N.J. commercial and recreational fishing groups aligning against coming offshore wind farms – ‘This is our farmland’

Capt. Hank Lackner docked a 100-foot trawler in Cape May on a recent day after unloading a catch of squid that might end up as calamari on someone’s plate just about anywhere in the United States. Lackner fears that offshore wind farms coming to the waters off the New Jersey coast in the next few years could threaten his business. Other commercial and recreational anglers, along with the Recreational Fishing Alliance, a political action organization, share his concerns. Jim Donofrio, founder of the RFA, and one of the most outspoken critics of offshore wind, says the industry creates too many issues for fishing that haven’t been fully addressed. “We want them gone,” Donofrio said. >click to read< 07:55

Community rallies support for lobster fisherman seriously injured while working on lobster boat

Julie Smith is taking things day by day. Her fiancée, Andrew Saulnier, has a long road ahead of him after the 24-year-old fisherman was seriously injured onboard on a lobster boat Saturday morning. The 24-year-old Saulnier was taken to the Yarmouth Regional Hospital before being airlifted to the QEII in Halifax, where Smith, who is six months pregnant, remains by his side. She says he is communicating and is now able to eat again. “They had to amputate his left leg above the knee, and they were thinking that they might have to amputate the right, but it’s looking way better, so they’re holding off on that,” Smith said. >click to read< – >click here for “Helping Andrew and his Family” fundraiser< 08:16

Seacor Power: Coast Guard points to early survivors as search continues, with updates from the Gulf this evening

Evening came to Port Fourchon on Thursday with still no word on the fate of a dozen missing crewmembers from a capsized lift boat seven miles offshore, though officials suggested for the first time that human life may still remain aboard the Seacor Power. U.S. Coast Guard officials said the observations of rescuers who were scrambling to save the crew hours into the aftermath of the disaster Tuesday caused the agency believe at least   two members who had survived the capsizing were still on board. >click to read<  Coast Guard saw five crew members on hull of Seacor Power Tuesday; 2 went back into vessel – A team of divers contracted by the U.S. Coast Guard headed to the wreckage site Thursday,,, As of Thursday, a total of six crewmembers aboard the Seacor Power had been rescued, and the body of 63-year-old captain David Ledet had been recovered. The remaining 12 members are unaccounted for, including the two who were on the hull late Tuesday and said they were going back inside. >click to read<God please bring him home’ – The niece of Gregory Walcott, 62, of Abbeville, said her family holds out hope that her uncle is among the survivors in an air pocket awaiting rescue. “Knowing him,” Crystal Randle said Thursday afternoon, “he’s worrying about us.” >click to read< 21:46

Women of New Bedford’s Waterfront

Captain Jessica Walker, 34, first stepped foot on a commercial fishing vessel, which happened to be the Legacy, when she was 19. The college history major was looking for a summer job and this one was far from “potato country”, the place in Northern Maine she called home. She started with summer trips that eventually became full-time work. She worked her way up to mate and learned everything from the boat owner and previous captain, David Wilhelmsen. When he stepped down, Walker assumed the role of captain in the summer of 2013. Further up in the harbor, fishing vessel Reliance was docked earlier in the week for maintenance before departing for the next scalloping trip. Two men with welding helmets sat on the deck repairing the metal gear while Crystal Vaughan stood up in the wheelhouse attending to inventory. 21 photos, >click to read< 10:20

Grand Isle scrambles to clean up after freak storm: “It was like a baby hurricane”

Businesses, residents and town workers in Grand Isle scrambled Wednesday to pump out water and clear debris ahead of a second batch of bad weather expected to blow through the island by about 3 p.m.  Grand Isle was hit suddenly by a violent storm Tuesday afternoon with wind gusts of up to 90 mph and rain that flooded streets, sank boats, stripped shingles off of roofs and threw trash cans and other unsecured personal property around, said Mayor David Camardelle. photo’s >click to read< 14:34

1 dead after capsized vessel caught in ‘microburst’ of bad weather off the Louisiana coast; 12 still missing, 6 rescued – The Coast Guard searched for 12 people missing off the coast of Louisiana on Wednesday,,, Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson III confirmed the missing crew members were on board the Seacor Power before it flipped over miles south of Port Fourchon. Capt. Ronald Dufrene said his offshore trawler Mister Jug was among the shrimp boats that struggled to survive the storm. >click to read<

SPECIAL REPORT: Winds of change – Developers grease the skids to ingratiate themselves and minimize negative reception

Rural onshore windfarms have long been a subject of much debate, Windfarm developers have found that their financial contributions to local communities, like sports clubs, local organizations and projects, have helped to ingratiate themselves with the locals and minimize negative reception. HUH! Between these generous handouts and potential legal challenges, many developers of windfarms have found the projects an expensive business. But now the sector has spotted another option on the horizon – literally. Offshore wind farms. The biggest criticism of the offshore wind  energy sector in Ireland so far has come from fishing interests, Patrick Murphy of the Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation told Southern Star recently that the commandeering of sites at sea by windfarm developers today is akin to the land grabs from the native Americans in the 19th century. >click to read< 12:59

Innovative Monkfish Catcher Vessel Built in Brazil

High-quality monkfish in southern of Brazil is is driving a local fishing company to build the very first fishing vessel in the country for this fishery. Blaze I’s construction is currently approaching completion and it is expected to start fishing in the second half of 2021. For two decades, seafood company Blaze has been providing premium products to European, Asian, and African markets. Despite the solid commercial relationship with the Portuguese and French customers that the company has built since the beginning, it has been suffering over the past three years with the closure of European markets to the Brazilian fish due to sanitary concerns. That was one of the reasons why Blaze decided to invest in its own boat. According to José da Silveira Jr., one of the owners, the company’s expectation is to obtain a European certification. photos, >click to read< 15:29

Lower and middle class Americans will pay for the Biden Administration offshore wind power “plan”

Last week, the Biden administration announced “a bold set of actions” that it said will “catalyze” the installation of 30,000 megawatts of new offshore wind capacity by 2030. A White House fact sheet claimed the offshore push will create “good-paying union jobs” and “strengthen the domestic supply chain.” One problem: It didn’t contain a single mention of electricity prices or ratepayers. The reason for the omission is obvious: President Biden’s offshore-wind scheme will be terrible for consumers. >click to read<,,, Offshore wind is a bad deal for the marine environment, ratepayers and taxpayers. Biden’s plan should be torpedoed before it leaves the harbor. 17:28

Changing environment may be to blame for reduced fish populations – Seals, Professor? Regulatory changes?

A new study aimed at determining how best to boost recovery of Atlantic cod has researchers pondering whether ongoing fishing and environmental changes, rather than evolution, are behind failed recovery of many stressed fish populations. (Seal predation?!!) Research published Monday, April 5 by Rutgers University, including genetic sequencing of this iconic species, offers major implications for ocean conservation, says Malin Pinsky, an associate professor in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “Fish populations around the world have collapsed and many have not recovered,” said Pinsky. >click to read 09:43

A campaign to bring 100-year-old steam trawler Viola back home to Yorkshire from an island off Antarctica

Resting on the ex-whaling station Grytviken in South Georgia, an island south east of the Falkland Islands, the now-rusted Viola has only snow-capped mountains and albatrosses for company on the sub-Antarctic isle. But over in Hull, a campaigning group called the Viola Trust is hoping to raise £3m to bring the Viola back home,,, Despite her rust and age, the Viola is in surprisingly good condition. She is the oldest steam trawler in the world with her engines still intact. >click to read< 14:46

Fishermen: “Sea-life in Dublin Bay facing wipe-out” from offshore wind farm surveys

More than 40 fishermen claim marine surveys are damaging fish and wildlife. The surveys are being done as part of offshore wind farms. Fisherman Paddy Macaulay told us that a previous windfarm survey on the seabed in 2011 “destroyed everything on the seabed”. He said: “All life that we sustain our living from was gone for two and a half years, and slowly it came back”. As part of the offshore licence, companies behind the wind farms are required to engage (seat at the table, Pilgrims?) with the fishermen who claim that is not happening. Fisherman Sean Ryan said: “This is only the survey phase when they go into the construction phase,,, >click to read< 13:55

ITS TIME FOR A FISHING INDUSTRY BUY OUT BY OFFSHORE WIND

If Offshore wind farm companies want the commercial fishing industry to support the construction of massive wind farms on their long time historical fishing grounds, then those companies must offer a vessel buy out option to fishermen before they are put out of business by these same wind developers.,,, While the Biden administration is busy throwing billions of dollars to people who aren’t even citizens, how about throwing a few billion to the commercial fishermen that your green new deal is about to destroy. If multi national corporations are allowed to just prance right into our territorial waters and take them over from the local fishermen leaving them bankrupt and out of work, then the federal government ought to own up to the damage it is creating to the fishing industry and create a voluntary buy out program, jointly financed by them and of course the Windmill companies,,, >click to read< By Jim Lovgren  21:37

Renewal programme continues as Courageous joins local fleet

Skipper Ian Shearer and his partners Christopher Irvine, James Johnson and Malcolm Reid sailed into their home port of Symbister on Saturday after crossing the North Sea from Hvide Sande in Denmark where the vessel was built. The new vessel replaces the previous Courageous, formally known as the Guardian Angell, which they had bought from Yell in 2015. The move enabled the young fishing partnership, four men were aged between 17 and 25 at the time, to get a foothold in the local industry. The fifth shareholder in the company is local fishing agent LHD. >click to read< 14:37

1 dead, another presumed dead after fishing boat capsizes off Cape Breton

Four crew members from the Tyhawk fishing vessel were rescued from the water Saturday evening and taken to hospital. But one, identified by community members as Seth Monahan, died. The vessel’s captain, Craig Sock, is missing and presumed dead after an unsuccessful overnight search.  The Tyhawk belongs to the Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, according to band councillor Ruth Levi. She said Monahan was originally from  nearby Metepenagiag, N.B., and had been living in Elsipogtog for many years. He had two young children, she said. Levi described Sock as a “gentle soul” who loved hockey. He was known as “Jumbo” to his friends. >click to read< 20:42

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

“DFO operates in denial of Reality”- Scientist says seal predation not having a significant impact on spawning cod stocks 

Instead, Karen Dwyer, weighing in on the contentious debate over the health of cod stocks, said Thursday that environmental factors and a limited supply of the cod’s primary food source — capelin — are more to blame.,, Trinity Bay fisherman Keith Smith said DFO continues to downplay the impact of seal predation on cod. “It’s like DFO operate in denial of reality,” Smith said. “Fishing mortality is at an all-time low while natural mortality, likely led by the growing seal population that consumes vast amounts of both capelin and cod, remains high,”,,, >click to read<  11:04

John Gillett: Fishery mismanaged while people go hungry

Canada is doing the world a big injustice by mismanaging our Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries. If our fisheries were managed right, we could supply a million tonnes of fish protein to the world and still have enough for our own country. Canada refusing to address the predation of millions of tonnes of fish a year by 10 million seals is criminal to me. Canada, under the UN food security program, has an obligation to share food with the world, not let it be wasted by not controlling the seals that are destroying what fish harvesters harvest and causing an ecological marine disaster. >click to read<  09:10

#ShowUsTheRope – Blamed for Right Whale Entanglements, Lobstermen say Show us the rope!

Snow Cone has triggered an outcry of frustration from fishermen, who say they’re being unfairly blamed for the decline of the critically endangered species. On Wednesday, March 10, a team from Provincetown’s Center for Coastal Studies freed Snow Cone from 300 feet of rope. The center described the team’s success on its Facebook page, and used a photo from an aerial survey that shows the whale and the telltale rope from 1,000 feet in the air. “So, I remember seeing this,” said Nick Muto. The Facebook post said the retrieved rope likely came from a fishery, but there was no close-up picture. “So my hashtag, #ShowUsTheRope, is me trying to lay it right on the Center for Coastal Studies,” >click to read< 20:06

‘You can’t touch the union boat’- Former Fishery Officer alleges DFO kept 2012 Katrina Charlene conviction quiet

The Katrina Charlene and the crab quota it was built to fish have been in the news for almost 20 years for their connection to the FFAW. The story made national news in February when a Fishery Officer alleged DFO kept quiet a conviction against the trawler, so as to not embarrass the union. Today, there’s news the quota sold recently for $1 million, a fraction of its estimated value, to Conne River First Nation. The boat and quota have been sold, but questions remain. What happened to the tens of millions of dollars generated by the crab quota? Fisherman’s Road lays out the story as it’s never been told. First of a three-part series. By Ryan Cleary >click to read<  11:59

“Every crack was a stab in my heart,” – The Death of the Kaiki, Greece’s Traditional Fishing Boat

He sits sad-eyed on a bench in front of the Neos Pyrgos pier in North Evia, watching some of the few remaining kaikia go to and fro. Just a few years ago, his own kaiki was tied there next to them. Tzevelekos’ beloved boat was one of about 13,000 kaikia which have been deliberately destroyed since 1994, after a European Union directive called for the demolition of the small wooden fishing boats,, The directive aims at putting a stop to   overfishing,,, “Every crack was a stab in my heart,” said Dimitris Livanos of Agiopyrgos, also in North Evia, describing the boat demolition that he was forced to witness. The Traditional Boat Association of Greece is a private organization which is making concerted efforts to save traditional boats from extinction. “There are about 15,000 fishing boats left, based on the number of current licenses. We don’t know how many of these are traditional,” says Nikos Kavallieros, president of the Association. >click to read< 11:53

Seven crewmen remain aboard a stranded fishing trawler off Cork coast

Several crew members of a fishing trawler that’s drifting without power off the Cork coast are to remain on board the vessel overnight, with high winds and rough seas anticipated. The fishing vessel raised the alarm this morning when it lost power off the coast of Castletownbere, and it’s understood other trawlers in the area tried to offer assistance. An update from Rescue 115 reads: “The seven crew want to remain with the vessel at this time. Numerous other vessels on route,,, >click to read< 17:41

Rescue 115 has now returned to base after making two trips to the casualty vessel>click to read<

A “Must Read” for Media and Politicians – Seeing the bigger picture on right whales

Someone should point out to the media that the right whale population has shown dramatic growth from the 1990s up until the last few years, when birth rates leveled off. Without a doubt, 2017 to 2019 was a terrible time period for them,,, It is irresponsible for any scientist or oceanographer to take an extreme year (2017) and say that the population is headed to extinction. The bigger picture shows a much more hopeful story. By Jack Merrill, >click to read< 10:27