Category Archives: National

Alaska fishing industry weighs in on state’s $50m pandemic relief plan

A statewide commercial fishing industry group is asking the Dunleavy administration to justify its proposal on how to distribute $50 million dollars in federal pandemic relief for Alaska’s fishing industry. Federal guidance recommends allocating more than half of the CARES Act funds to seafood processors and just 5% to the charter fleet and lodges. But a draft released this month by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game recommends dividing the allocation evenly between sectors,, United Fishermen of Alaska, which represents the commercial fleet and processors, asked the agency to explain its rationale for boosting the charter fleet’s allocation at the expense of other sectors. UFA’s president Matt Alward signed a three-page letter to the commissioner’s office. >click to read< 12:50

Know Your Fisherman: Henriksen Fisheries

The bountiful waters of Lake Michigan surround Door County, making it home to a vibrant fishing community that dates back to the mid-1800s. That community today includes several larger commercial fishing operations, including Henriksen Fisheries. The fishermen, Charlie and Will Henriksen, along with two year-round and several part-time employees. Henriksen, who’s from the Chicago area, got his first taste of Door County fishing some 40 years ago when he was recruited to help ice fish one winter. He arrived in the county at age 20 to assist his father, who had bought an old hotel in Ellison Bay, and, as the story goes, he never left. >click to read< 11:34

Puffins Pummelled: Offshore Wind Turbines Annihilating Britain’s Seabirds: Entire Species Threatened

The offshore wind industry is already exacting a phenomenal toll on a whole range of seabirds in the waters surrounding Britain. However, if Boris Johnson’s plans to carpet Britain’s coasts with more of these things come to fruition, then expect to see the wholesale wipeout of entire species, including the iconic puffin. Puffins and other seabirds will be driven to extinction by Boris Johnson’s plan to power Britain with ‘limitless’ offshore wind energy by 2030, warns RSPB >click to read< 09:19

Supreme Court hears case in dispute over fisheries landings tax

Millions of dollars of fish landing taxes are at stake in a lawsuit now being deliberated by the Alaska Supreme Court,,  The court heard oral arguments Oct. 21 in a lawsuit brought against the State of Alaska by Seattle-based Fishermen’s Finest Inc. in which the company argues Alaska’s fishery resource landing tax violates a prohibition on taxes or fees levied against goods on the way to export in the U.S. Constitution. Jim Torgerson, an attorney for Fishermen’s Finest, argued that the fish harvested and processed in federal waters by the company’s catcher-processor vessels have started their journey to foreign markets when it arrives at Alaska ports but before being shipped worldwide.>click to read<11:27

California Lobster season debuts amid changing seafood industry

It’s California spiny lobster season, from October through mid-March. Local fishermen and seafood retailers are celebrating its arrival, announcing the happy news that prices are the lowest in many years and the supply plentiful. What’s changed? In recent years, more than 95 percent of these well-loved California crustaceans were shipped to China, leaving only high-priced, limited quantities for local consumption. Rumors circulated that some fishermen were contemplating suspending operations, discouraged by their lost markets. Then, just as quickly, attitudes changed, as reality sank in. “People have to eat. If we don’t fish, what are people going to eat?” >click to read< 09:40

Corey Arnold’s best shot: a horse and a cat go fishing for crab

Everyone looks forward to Halloween. You get a bunch of crabbers in a bar and it gets pretty crazy. I’d bought this horse-head costume in advance and, as we were cruising in to Dutch Harbor, my friend Matthew and I were trying out costumes. I took some pictures of him wearing the mask, then my cat came walking by and Matthew grabbed her. Kitty was seven months old. The captain had cats on the boat and I had decided to get one myself. I had gone to the pound looking for one with a mellow temperament, because I knew that, what with all the pots banging around and storms at sea, I didn’t want a pet who would be scared and hiding all the time. Corey Arnold, >click to read< 19:48

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: Turn Key 83′ RSW Offshore Lobster/Jonah Crab Business

To review specifications, and information, and 47 photos >click here<, To see all the boats in this series, >click here< 11:08

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

More ropeless fishing “experiments” happening on Eastern seaboard as industry leaders meet.

Sean Brillant, who works for the Canadian Wildlife Federation and is chair of the Ropeless Consortium, said they are approaching roughly 1,000 trials across the Eastern Seaboard, the bulk of which has been done in the last 12 months. “Two years ago, we were just getting laughed in our faces at the idea of doing this,” Brillant said. The methods being tested include techniques that allow a line to be stored with a trap at the ocean bottom, and then released to the surface only when a fisherman is ready to haul in their catch. The aim is to cut the risk that whales will be caught in long lengths of rope floating in the water. >click to read< 09:05

Hurricane Zeta Public Advisory

At 400 AM CDT, Zeta is moving toward the north-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h). A turn toward the north is expected soon, and a faster northward to north-northeastward motion is expected to begin later this morning. On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will approach the northern Gulf coast this morning and make landfall in southeastern Louisiana this afternoon. Zeta will move close to the Mississippi coast this evening, and move across the southeastern and eastern United States on Thursday. >click to read< 07:30 

OXE Diesel Outboards

No company has more diesel outboards than OXE Marine from Sweden, with five horsepower ratings, including 125, 150, 175, 200 and 300 hp. Each features a horizontally mounted engine, versus the vertically oriented powerheads specially designed for most outboards (Seven Marine being a notable exception). “A horizontally mounted engine offers inherently better lubrication and, as a result, a longer operating life,” says Pim Pelosi, chief marketing officer for OXE. Though the outboards are available to recreational boaters through a network of US dealers, the company is focusing on commercial fishing, law enforcement, rescue, military and towing, which demand long-term durability and are less price-sensitive. >click to read< 13:38

Has fish business become media fish politics?

While it is somewhat unusual for an Alaska mayor to write an opinion piece, I have been consistent in sharing my views on fisheries, Cordova’s single largest economic driver. I’m always striving to represent the opinions and needs of my community, even in rare cases where they may diverge somewhat from my own.,, What I have not shared is my deep concerns over the existential threats to our oceans and way of life, but perhaps a few reminders are in order this week, and my opinions regarding these are my own based upon my observations. While Alaska is famous for fish politics, I have trusted Laine Welch,, Laine’s column does a disservice to her readership,,, Respectfully, Clay Koplin, Citizen, Cordova >click to read< 12:02

Port Fourchon moves to Storm Phase 3, Recommended Evacuation as Zeta heads into the Gulf

The Port Fourchon area is anticipating more or less a direct hit from Zeta’s center of circulation sometime Wednesday evening. Fortunately, Tropical Storm Zeta is forecast to move quickly, lessening the length of time we receive severe impacts from wind and rain, but be prepared for significant storm surge outside of the levee system. >click to read< 10:58  Tropical Storm Zeta was entering the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday morning on its path toward landfall in Louisiana, forecasters said. It weakened after making landfall overnight in the Yucatan, but Zeta is expected to strengthen and regain its hurricane status Tuesday. It’s forecast to make landfall Wednesday in southeast Louisiana as a tropical storm or a Category 1 hurricane. >click to read< 11:04

Canada, U.S. researchers gathering virtually to report on right whales

Researchers from Canada and the U.S. are gathering virtually this week for an annual conference that focuses on an endangered whale species. The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium, which brings together academic researchers, government agencies, shipping and fishing industries and conservation organizations, is expected to release part of a yearly report card on how the whales are faring. ,, So far this year, one right whale has been found dead in U.S. with wounds that suggested a vessel strike. There have been no reported deaths in Canadian waters so far in 2020. >click to read< 09:40

Ronnie Max Andrews, 52, enjoyed a career as a commercial fisherman, has passed away

Ronnie was the son of Eyela Merrill Stouffer of Pensacola, Florida, and the late Ronald Clinton Andrews. Ronnie spent his adult life on the water as a commercial fisherman along the East Coast and spent much of that time in the Brunswick County area. He was a great fisherman and shrimper and will be missed by all who called him a friend. At the time of his death, Ronnie was a valued friend and crewman aboard the Capt. C.L. Holden out of Shallotte Point. >click to read< 17:44

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

‘Deplorable Circumstances’ for Coronavirus Infected Freezer Trawler Crew

They’re out at sea and unable to go anywhere, watch men falling ill, but the processing of the fish continues, and they keep fishing; it is windy,” Finnbogi Sveinbjörnsson, head of the Union of the Residents of the West Fjords, “As our vice chairman so appropriately phrased it, ‘Fishermen work as long as they’re able to stand,’ but this is no joking matter,” he adds. He is referring to an issue widely discussed in Iceland over the weekend, where one after another, the crew members of  the freezer trawler Júlíus Geirmundsson, owned by the fishing company Hraðfrystihúsið Gunnvör, fell ill while the trawler was out fishing and were denied the opportunity to return to harbor to be tested for COVID-19 until three weeks had gone by. >click to read< 08:53

BilloTheWisp – The Obscene Profitability of Wind Power

Due to the pandemic and the virtual shutdown of the national economy the day-ahead wholesale price of electricity has plummeted. But one group of producers has no worries. The subsidy payments received by generators classed as “renewable” dwarf these market prices. Here I’ll just deal with the most outrageous and costly i.e. windfarms. Today almost all wind-farms are subsidised by the now defunct Renewable Obligation scheme (RO). This was replaced in 2017 with Contracts for Difference(CfD) which is arguably even more costly and inflexible than its predecessor. ,, The companies running these wind-farms are over-joyed at their profitability. Truly when comes to acting as money making machines all other unsubsidized generation capacity pales by comparison. >click to read< >Wrecking the Seabed with Offshore Wind, Part1-5<19:56

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

Man charged in fishing vessel slaying was accused of domestic abuse, immigration violation

It wasn’t clear what spurred the Sept. 23 attack. One crew member later told investigators he heard yelling, rounded a corner, was struck three times in the back of the head and fell. He looked up from the deck, he said, and saw a fellow crew member, Franklin “Freddy” Meave Vazquez Jr., 27, of Newport News, holding a knife in one hand and a hammer in the other. The boat’s chief mate, Javier Rangel Sosa, 54, of Newport News, lay on the deck nearby, blood rushing from his mouth. “He already cut the antenna or something off,” the captain relayed over the radio.,, A nearby German cruise ship, the Mein Schiff 6, got to the scallop boat first. >click to read< 09:02

Coronavirus: Maine Fishermen’s Forum board of directors has canceled the 2021 event

“There is no possible way that we can protect our forum participants in such a tight environment, due to COVID-19 and required safety restrictions,” Steve Train, a lobster fisherman on Casco Bay’s Long Island and president of the forum’s board of directors, wrote in an Oct. 21 letter to commercial fishermen and posted to the forum’s website. The letter added, “The board intends to continue serving the commercial fishing industry throughout 2021. We will be meeting soon to discuss options, and will share more details as they become available.” >click to read< >mainefishermensforum.org< 08:02

What Would a British Columbia Seal and Sea Lion Cull Actually Entail?

Cast an eye upon Canada’s Pacific coast and it shouldn’t take long to spot its most ubiquitous marine mammal, the harbor seal. At least 100,000 are thought to occupy the coves and nearshore waters along British Columbia’s coast. You may view seals with wonder, as evidence of a productive marine ecosystem on the doorstep of civilization. Or, just as easily, as a ravenous predator gobbling up the same fish populations sought by humans. Enter a divisive proposal to cull the seals and sea lions. Enough time has been spent studying the species’ impact on fish stocks, advocates of the cull say: it’s time to cut them back. >click to read< 11:42

Study: Captive-bred salmon in wild may do more harm than good

Releasing captive-bred Atlantic salmon into the ocean, a long-standing practice to boost stocks for commercial fishing, reduces the rate at which wild populations reproduce and may ultimately do more harm than good, researchers cautioned Wednesday. On average, salmon born in hatcheries in Ireland’s Burrishoole catchment only produced a third as many offspring in the North Atlantic compared to wild fish, according to a study in the Royal Society’s biological research journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. It has long been assumed that wild and captive-born fish were “ecologically equivalent,” but the new research shows otherwise. Fish reared for any period of their life in an aquaculture environment, it turns out, somehow change compared to their wild counterparts. >click to read< 11:13

Would Biden bring offshore wind to the West Coast?

Offshore wind supporters say Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden could be a deciding factor in a long-standing battle if he’s elected: bringing the first turbines to the West Coast. The idea of mooring turbines onto floating platforms in California’s deep waters has been in the works since the Obama administration, when Interior Department officials responded to unsolicited proposals from wind companies by mapping three potential areas for turbine construction and asking for comment on their viability. If completed, the plan could have major implications for the state’s emission profile and the offshore wind industry, which to date has largely been focused along the U.S. East Coast. >click to read< 09:36

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 41′ Libby Lobster Boat, 750HP, Iveco Diesel

To review specifications, and information, and 10 photos, >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<12:56

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

Bellingham Dockside Market – From Tide to Table

Rain had been in the forecast, but as my fella and I strolled from the Squalicum Harbor parking lot to Gate 5 shortly before noon last Saturday to attend the soft opening of the Bellingham Dockside Market, glimpses of blue sky belied the prediction of inclement weather. As we joined a stream of other masked shoppers eager to support the new hub that makes it possible for local fisher-folks to collectively sell their catch directly from their boats or adjacent to the dock, By the time we made our way to the F/V Ocean Swell, the crew had sold out of fresh tuna and ling cod but still had plenty of black cod—also known as sablefish—for $6.50 per pound. >click to read< 09:27

Zone B waits to present recommendation

Even though a deadline to present a state plan designed to minimize potential harm to right whales is fast approaching, members of the Zone B Lobster Management Council asked Department of Marine Resources officials to check numbers for the area 6-12 miles offshore before agreeing to a plan specific to that fishing zone. “The timeline is short,” said DMR Commissioner Pat Keliher,,, While most members of the Zone B council seemed in favor of the subcommittee’s recommendations, there was some hesitation.   “I support thisit would work for me,” said Howland. “I’d hate to railroad it if there are some concerns. This is better than it could be, but it doesn’t sound like it’s ideal for some guys.”,, “There’s a side of me that feels like this is getting stuffed down my throat,” said council member James Hanscom after asking if the decision could be tabled.  >click to read< 08:09

Coast Guard medevacs fisherman 100 miles off Cold Bay, Alaska

The Coast Guard medevaced a man from a fishing vessel Tuesday approximately 100 miles northwest of Cold Bay. An Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the man at 6:55 a.m. and transferred him to awaiting emergency medical services in Cold Bay for further transport to Anchorage. Watchstanders in the 17th District command center in Juneau received the request for the medevac from the fishing vessel Defender at approximately 7 p.m. Monday for a 26 year-old crew member who was experiencing eye and head pain. >click to read< 21:11

CARES Act Funding Available for Maryland Fishing Industry

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces applications will be available Nov. 4 for economic relief funds for the commercial seafood industry through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), for those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application will be available to eligible members of the seafood industry on the Maryland OneStop website. The deadline to apply is Feb. 28, 2021. >click to read< 16:20