Category Archives: International News

Eight years after Fukushima’s meltdown, the land is recovering, but public trust is not

Eight years after an earthquake, tsunami and one of the most severe nuclear accidents in history, the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima is getting back on its feet. Officials say the area’s fruits and vegetables are fine to eat. So is the catch from the Fukushima fishing boats. Radiation levels in the prefecture’s capital city, Fuku­shima, are comparable to the super-safe readings in places such as Hong Kong and London, monitors say. And a massive decontamination effort is still underway. But facts and spreadsheets supplied by the government are one thing. Rebuilding trust among locals may be significantly harder, thanks to a culture of coverups and denials that contributed to the nuclear accident and continues to dog Japan’s efforts to restart its nuclear industry,.. >click to read<21:22

New Video Shows Impacts of Offshore Wind On U.K. Fishermen

A new video, Winds of Change, released today by the Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF), documents how the arrival of offshore wind blindsided U.K. fishermen, and how the wind farms have permanently changed their traditional fishing grounds and how they make their livelihoods. Last year, two members of FSF traveled to the United Kingdom to learn how fishermen in Ramsgate, England and Aberdeen, Scotland have been impacted by offshore wind development. Those lessons are documented in Winds of Change. “As offshore wind moves forward here in the U.S., it’s essential that it’s able to co-exist with the fishing communities that have depended on these waters for generations,” said Andrew Minkiewicz, an attorney for FSF. “We must learn from the experiences of European fishermen if we want to avoid the same pitfalls and make the best decisions for American fishermen and offshore wind developers.” >click to read<19:14

Winds of Change – >click to watch<

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Why Japan risked condemnation to restart commercial whaling

Fishermen in the village of Taiji are counting the days until July, when they will be able to hunt large, fatty minke whales commercially for the first time in decades. The community, which faces the Pacific coast of central Japan, is still haunted by its moment in the international spotlight 10 years ago, when the documentary “The Cove” criticized its dolphin culls and attracted a flood of activists. Yet, a sense of optimism is spreading. “The availability of more types of whales will make more people interested” in eating the meat, predicted Shinichi Shiozaki, who sells processed whale products. “It’s a good thing.” >click to read<13:14

Commercial Fisherman George Mendonsa, whose Times Square kiss became an iconic photo, dies at 95

George Mendonsa never doubted that he was the sailor in Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photo from Times Square, when news broke in 1945 that Japan had surrendered and World War II was ending. Eisenstaedt shot four quick frames of Mr. Mendonsa kissing a stranger, Greta Zimmer Friedman, and a photo of their brief embrace became one of the era’s most iconic images. It was unforgettable for Mr. Mendonsa, too. “This moment put magic into my life,” he told the Globe in 1988. Mr. Mendonsa, a well-known commercial fisherman in Rhode Island, was 95 when he died early Sunday from complications of falling a short time earlier in an assisted living center. He had lived in Middletown, R.I., most of his life and would have turned 96 Tuesday. >click to read<21:30

B.C.-led international expedition to probe ailing Pacific salmon stocks

An unprecedented international collaboration could revolutionize salmon science and fisheries management, return forecasting and even hatchery output. Nineteen scientists from Russia, Canada, the United States, Japan and South Korea are set to probe the secret lives of five Pacific salmon species with a four-week grid search and test fishery across the Gulf of Alaska. The expedition begins next week aboard the Russian research ship MV Professor Kaganovsky. “We know virtually nothing about what happens to salmon once they leave near-shore waters in the Salish Sea,” said expedition organizer Dick Beamish. >click to read<13:56

Dutch trawler industry furious as Brussels votes to ban pulse fishing

Dutch fishermen have reacted furiously to Brussels’ decision to phase out pulse fishing, a form of trawling using electric currents.‘Lies and emotion have beaten science,’ fishermen’s organisations said after the vote. ‘The European Council, the European Commission and the European parliament have been misled by the lies and emotional campaign fought by French environmental organisation Bloom.’In total, 42 Dutch trawlers will have to stop pulse fishing this year and 42 can continue until 2021. The agreement also states that six trawlers can continue to use the technique for research purposes.,, >click to read<20:42

Tussling for tuna: Costa Rican fishermen want more access to a local tuna

Robert Nunes is a commercial fisherman who actively defends his peers in Costa Rica’s commercial fishing industry. He volunteers a lot of his time with Mauricio Gonzalez, director of the Camera de Palangreros (or the chamber of longliners) traveling the country lobbying for fisherman’s rights. Longlining is a type of fishing that boats set miles of hooks across the ocean and is not selective in what type of fish takes the bait placed on a hook. This has caused grief among many different groups who support, sharks, marlin, and sailfish that some people consider bycatch to a longline boat. The longline sector does not consider these species bycatch as the total catch is utilized and nothing gets wasted.>click to read<18:50

Sustainability: a flawed concept for fisheries management?

The concept of sustainable fishing is well ingrained in marine conservation and marine governance. However, I argue that the concept is deeply flawed; ecologically, socially and economically. Sustainability is strongly related, both historically and currently, to maximum long-term economic exploitation of a system. Counter-intuitively, in fisheries, achieving this economic exploitation often relies on government subsidies. While many fish populations are not sustainably fished biologically, even ‘sustainably harvesting’ fish results in major ecological changes to marine systems. These changes create unknown damage to ecosystem processes, including carbon capture potential of the ocean. The spatial scale of commercial fishing processes can also lead to social and food security issues in local, coastal communities that rely on fish for dietary needs. A radical alternative proposal is provided to the current situation.,,, MSY, however, has been a mainstay of fisheries policy since the term was introduced in 1954 (Schaefer, 1954), and is covered in many basic ecological textbooks (e.g., Begon et al., 2006). The concept is simple: By Richard Stafford>click to read<21:13

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European Fishermen Brace for Brexit – British fishermen may end up having Europe’s richest waters all to themselves. But who’s going to eat all the fish?

The Jannetje Cornelis fishing trawler was built two years ago in Spain. It’s owned by a company in the Netherlands and its crew is largely Dutch. Its home port and registration are in the English city of Hull. And it frequently sells its catch in France, from where it’s typically trucked to Holland for processing before being shipped to supermarkets in Italy and Spain. “We go where the fish is, and this time of year it’s in the English Channel,” skipper Peter de Boor says as a light snow falls over the docks of the French port of Boulogne-sur-Mer,,, >click to read<19:14

Brussels recommends legal action against Netherlands over pulse fishing permits

Civil servants in Brussels are recommending that legal action be taken against the Netherlands for breaking the rules on pulse fishing, campaign group Bloom said on Monday, quoting a letter from the European Commission. French marine lobby group Bloom made a complaint against the Dutch fishing industry last year. It claims 70 of the 84 Dutch pulse fishing permits were obtained illegally under the pretext of carrying out scientific research. >click to read<19:21

Another Government Shutdown Could Sink Scallop Fishery Profits

The world is smitten with scallops. Their subtle sweetness and firm but somehow delicate bite has many wanting more. When I previously worked in seafood sales, I couldn’t believe how much chefs in Los Angeles would pay to put the great New Bedford sea scallop on their menus. We’re talking over $35 per pound for the big ones. I’d think to myself, “These chefs know there are scallops in the Pacific, right?” >click to read<15:39

Convicted deputy now suing ‘Codfather’ for $600,000

A trip that was meant to end with Antonio Freitas asking his girlfriend to marry him in France, instead resulted in the former Bristol County deputy getting convicted of a felony and now filing a $600,000 lawsuit against Carlos Rafael. Rafael’s web of crimes entangled Freitas and a captain at the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, but Freitas is claiming his association with the fishing mogul was far worse than what a jury convicted him of. >click to read<

 

N.S. lobster fishing industry delegation heading to Tasmania for study trip

Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell is leading a fishing industry delegation to Tasmania in February on a trip that will cost taxpayers about $100,000. The purpose of the weeklong trip is to examine marine protected areas, aquaculture and a quality standards program used by Australia’s southern rock lobster industry. The province is contributing $5,000 toward the travel costs of 13 industry representatives plus the expenses of five government officials, including Colwell. >click to read<13:53

Cod mortality – Northern cod’s fate not the same as southern cousins

There are some fundamental differences between northern cod and their southern gulf cousins that could save the former from extinction, says Dalhousie University professor Jeff Hutchings. That will be a relief to anybody who saw newly published research that predicts Atlantic cod in the Gulf of St. Lawrence could be extinct by 2050.,,, There are a couple of fundamental differences in the two cod populations, Hutchings said, that make the situations difficult to compare. For one, southern gulf cod are being eaten by grey seals, while northern cod are affected by harp seals — a much smaller animal. >click to read<17:50

‘What Happened in Craig’: True crime novel delves into unsolved fishing-boat murders

It’s been 37 years, and the unsolved murder of eight family and crew members on a fishing boat in Craig, Alaska, is still the subject of conjecture among fishermen, legal analysts, crime followers and conspiracy theorists. Seattle author Leland Hale has now published a true crime account, based on his extensive research, of what happened on that day in early September 1982 and in the months and years of investigation and trials that followed. >click to read<10:16

Western Australia lobster families rally for industry’s future after government’s ‘cray grab’ announcement

WA lobster families took to the steps of Parliament House on Sunday to raise their concerns over the government’s plan to seize a sizeable portion of their catch. Over a 100 people stuck the sticker “Fishing Families Matter” over their clothes, and some spray-painted it onto their surfboards and sticks. Ana Paratore opted for a more creative approach to voice support for her second-generation crayfisherman husband, James. She stuck the sticker on her pregnant belly to show that the coming generation would also be impacted. >click to read<08:42

New Cat® C13B engine delivers more power in a compact, lightweight design that allows OEMs to downsize engine platforms

The new Cat® C13B leverages a proven, reliable core engine with over 109 million off-highway field hours combined with design improvements to create customer value, allowing OEMs to downsize their engine platforms, lower installation costs and maximize uptime. The 12.5-liter engine features a patented non-EGR aftertreatment system to meet EU Stage V and U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emission standards and is available in multiple power ratings from 340 kW (456 hp) to 430 kW (577 hp) with peak torque reaching 2634 Nm (1943 lb.-ft.). >click to read<15:08

ITQ’s: A crash course – How feds let fishing privileges be sucked up by big money, much of it foreign.

Wild fisheries are humankind’s greatest single source of protein. They are fully renewable, we don’t have to till soil, plant seeds, apply fertilizer or pesticide, water them or feed them; we just have to manage the harvest. As global populations continue to grow, much is at stake as we determine who benefits from the greatest renewable food resource. At home who benefits from fish harvested in B.C.’s waters? (or anywhere?) You’d be logical in thinking the answer is mostly people who make the B.C. coast their home and who fish for a living.  And you’d be wrong. >click to read<14:39

PETA lobster complaint not being prosecuted

The Hancock County District Attorney’s Office has decided not to pursue a complaint against Maine Fair Trade Lobster in Prospect Harbor filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). “Mr. [District Attorney Matt] Foster concluded that a precedent from 2013 in District 6 (Knox County), where a nearly identical claim was made by PETA against another lobster processing facility using the same, or similar processing methods as Maine Fair Trade Lobster currently uses, supported the decision not to prosecute,” >click to read<10:52

This Lobster Trap Aims to Protect Endangered Whales — and Fishers’ Livelihoods

So a team of conservation-minded engineers set about finding a solution for the problem of right whale entanglements—while also keeping in mind the needs of lobster fishing families. The winners of last year’s Make for the Planet Borneo hackathon at the 5th annual International Marine Conservation Congress came up with a device they dubbed the Lobster Lift. Here’s how it works: At its essence,,,, >click to read<12:03

Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy

The Global Wind Energy Council recently released its latest report, excitedly boasting that ‘the proliferation of wind energy into the global power market continues at a furious pace, after it was revealed that more than 54 gigawatts of clean renewable wind power was installed across the global market last year’.,,, Here’s a quiz; no conferring. To the nearest whole number, what percentage of the world’s energy consumption was supplied by wind power in 2014, the last year for which there are reliable figures? Was it 20 per cent, 10 per cent or 5 per cent? None of the above: it was 0 per cent. That is to say, to the nearest whole number, there is still no wind power on Earth. >click to read<09:48

FISH-NL renews call for halt to seismic testing – ‘If plankton isn’t protected you might as well say goodbye to the fish’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is once again calling on the Canada/Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) to suspend offshore seismic work in light of new research that reveals plankton productivity has plunged. The research by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) doesn’t link the dramatic and persistent drop in plankton to seismic activity, but other research has found the intense acoustic signals may damage the critical elements of the food chain. “It’s highly coincidental that as seismic activity ramped up plankton productivity plunged,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Seismic activity may be necessary for offshore oil and gas development, but it must not come at the expense of our wild fisheries and marine ecosystem — cutting off our nose to spite our face.” >click to read<10:43

Riding Alongside One of the World’s Last Whaling Tribes

An up-close look at the Lamalerans of Indonesia, one of the last hunter-gatherer societies on the planet Baleo! Baleo! — “The hunt is on!” The cry resounded through the village. A minute before, a motorboat had raced into the bay, and its crew had screamed the signal to the men on the beach, who themselves had taken up the cry. Now every man, woman, and child who had heard their alarm was adding a voice to the shouted relay, until all fifteen hundred souls in the ramshackle houses and surrounding jungle chorused that the sperm whales had been sighted. >click to read<10:02

EDITORIAL: Change tack to save lives

At this time of year, we tend to focus our attention on road deaths, particularly the role drinking and driving plays in them. But as a province and a region surrounded by oceans and dotted with lakes, it is also vital to consider the dangers that lurk on the water as opposed to roads. The fact is, quite a few people die while working or enjoying leisure time on waterways. In its annual report, the Canadian Red Cross released unofficial numbers showing that there were 39 water-related deaths in Atlantic Canada in 2018. Nova Scotia’s share of that total was 16. Some of the deaths were related to commercial fishing while others occurred while people were involved in recreational fishing, boating and swimming at lakes and on beaches. >click to read<07:17

Researchers aim to find where Pacific salmon spend their winters

An international team of scientists is heading to the Gulf of Alaska for a ground-breaking research survey to uncover the secret lives of Pacific salmon in the winter. Discoveries coming out of a 25-day research cruise using a trawler in the North Pacific are expected to help countries do a better job of managing, conserving and restoring salmon stocks, including improving forecasting of returns. “I say it’s the great black box because we basically lose track of the salmon after they leave our coastal waters,” said Brian Riddell, president and chief executive of the Vancouver-based Pacific Salmon Foundation, a key backer of the endeavour. The team is made up of six Canadian scientists, eight from Russia, three from the U.S., and one each from Japan and South Korea.>click to read<13:41

‘Only the beginning’: waking up to the great lobster grab of 2019

Governments do sneaky things at Christmas. They put out bad policy when the media is distracted, in holiday mode and under-resourced, in the hope no one will thoroughly analyse ideas that need intense scrutiny and research. Massive, damaging cuts are couched in language designed to appeal to voters and con busy reporters. Last year, it was cuts to regional education. Almost exactly twelve months later Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly released this gem: Boost for WA jobs and local lobster supply from WA’s most iconic fishery. Sounds terrific. And with the agreement of the crayfishing industry: “Western Rock Lobster (Council), have agreed on an innovative industry development package that will substantially grow the industry to provide more benefits to the Western Australian community.” Nothing to see here. Only good news. The truth begins to emerge,,, >click to read<13:16

Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence cod could be extinct by mid-century: report

There is a high probability that Atlantic cod will be locally extinct in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence by mid-century — even with no commercial fishing, according to a new report. The paper, published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, says the death rate now stands at 50 per cent for adult Gulf cod five years and older.  The likely culprit? Grey seals. “That high a natural mortality is not sustainable,” says Doug Swain, a federal Fisheries Department scientist who co-authored the study. >click to read<10:12

Japanese bluefin tuna sold at auction for record $4.4m

A giant bluefin has been tuna was sold for a record 333.6 million yen ($A4.4 million) in the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s new fish market. The 278-kilogram tuna, valued at 1.2 million yen per kilogram, was caught in Oma, one of the best tuna fishing grounds in Japan, on the northern tip of main island Honshu. It was bought by Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Sushi Zanmai, a major sushi restaurant chain. “I did not expect it to be that expensive. However, since I was able to buy a good one, I’d like customers to try it,” Kimura told reporters. >click to read<22:51