Category Archives: National

Wind farms: Where are all of the ocean saviors?

The precautionary principle has deep roots finding expression in sayings such as ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ or ‘better safe than sorry’. The use of the precautionary principle in ecosystem management is especially important,,, Repeated failures of management highlighted by the collapse of northern cod off Canada, the California sardine fishery, and herring, sandeels, blue whiting and capelin stocks in the North Sea have demonstrated the need for this approach in order to help address scientific uncertainty. Yet when it comes to protecting huge swaths of ocean,,, Clog our near shore and offshore waters with hulking (approaching 1,000 feet tall today, who knows what’s in store for tomorrow?) structures supporting huge rotors with tips moving through the air at velocities approaching 200 miles per hour? So what? Festoon our sea beds with electrical cables carrying huge amounts of electricity, And what of undersea server farms,,, >click to read< 15:43 Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA. © 2021 Nils E. Stolpe, July 31

Fishermen in NCLA Video Explain the Need to Reel in NOAA’s at-Sea Monitor Rule

The New Civil Liberties Alliance released a video today outlining why it is unconstitutional to force Atlantic herring fishermen to fund government-mandated monitors at sea. It is “the equivalent of having a cop in your car who’s policing you while you drive, and you have to pay his salary out of your own pocket,” said Meghan Lapp, Fisheries Liaison & General Manager for Seafreeze, Ltd. about the rule being challenged in Relentless Inc., et al. v. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, et al. NCLA, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group, represents these private fishing companies,,, The at-sea monitor  mandate, issued in 2018, is unlawfully “industry-funded.” >click to read< 08:50

New book tour: Where Have All The Shrimp Boats Gone? Captain Woody Collins visits Colleton Museum

“I ran five different shrimp boats during my career,” said Collins, speaking to those in attendance on Saturday. “My book tells the story of how the shrimping industry started, and offers my conclusions about how we got to present day.” The book published in 2020 and offers 300-photos over 300-pages as a visual reference to the past. “In 1980 the shrimping industry peaked in the Lowcountry and we had 1500-boats licensed to shrimp,” said Collins. “The decline in boats after that was drastic with 750-boats in 1985, 350-boats in 1990 and then down to 150-boats by 1995. That process took about a year and a half, and I’m probably the least likely guy to write a book,” he said. “I went to Sicily to do research on this book since an immigrant named Salvatore Solicito came here and brought the idea of netting from the back of a boat,” >click to read< 20:15

HEY POLITICIANS !!! The levelized cost of floating offshore wind farms – It is a financial disaster.

Last year, I wrote a blog post setting out the financial situation of Hywind, the UK’s first commercial floating offshore windfarm, and indeed the first in the world. It was an ugly tale, with a hugely lossmaking operation kept in the black only by a vast transfer of subsidies. However, Hywind has recently published its second set of financial results since it became fully operational,,, Situated off Peterhead, in what appears to be something of a sweet spot for wind, yadda. yadda, Meanwhile its costs are extraordinarily high. We already knew that its capital cost, at £8.9m/MW. was around three times the that of fixed offshore wind. But its opex costs are also much higher, >click to read<, Also a follow up article: “Clues to the levelised cost of tidal stream” – Yesterday, I set out the levelised cost of floating offshore wind turbines. In this article, I will look at what we know about the levelised cost of tidal stream energy, and show that it is probably even higher. >click to read< 15:32

Spiny lobster season kicks off amid an unexplained population drop

The Caribbean spiny lobster commercial fishery in Florida average more than 5 million pounds per year,,, Valued at more than $40 million, the spiny lobster fishery is the second most lucrative commercial fishery in the state, behind shrimp.,, Since the 1990s, the population of the Caribbean spiny lobster has decreased 20%, which matters, not only to fisheries and spiny lobsters, but also to the entire food chain of Florida’s waters. “They’re a main food item for every other organism in the Florida Keys. Everything wants to eat little lobsters from snapper, grouper, even some herons. Matthews said while the American lobster is a “mean, nasty animal” not afraid to “fight to the death,” the Caribbean spiny lobsters are just the opposite. “They love to be in groups. They defend each other, and they are very social animals. >click to read< 12:04

Whales, Warming and Offshore Wind Farms – Lobstering is under attack

As Rep. Billy Bob  Faulkingham described it, three seemingly combined forces are aligned and have put the bull’s-eye on the men and women in Maine whose lives depend on lobstering, whales, warming and wind power. The right whale protection consortium has heightened its efforts to alter nearly every aspect of Maine’s primary fishing industry by pushing the federal fisheries agencies to limit, reduce and even eliminate the fishing methods currently employed in the local waters and the Gulf of Maine,,, At best, the supposed science is leaning toward saving whales, with little regard for the men and women who are active conservationists every day while doing their jobs. The warming water folks, often the same groups and agencies that are involved with the right whale restrictions, also want to promote bureaucratic rules that will severely impact all forms of fishing. >click to read< 11:06

Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 30, 2021

It’s the final Fisheries Report of the 2021 season! Each summer, Alaskans take to the rivers, bays and oceans to subsistence fish. Some head out to set nets, others may use dip nets, all to stock up on enough fresh fish to last the winter.,, The late sockeye run to the Chignik River may be on track to meet its low-end escapement, but the early run likely won’t hit the mark. The Chinook run hasn’t reached its escapement, either. Commercial fishermen only had three openers to target pink and chum salmon in the inner bays. But lots of people spent the summer tendering in Bristol Bay. There will be one final daily run summary posted online Monday August 2nd, and the final season summary will be available mid-September. >click to read< 08:32

Occupational Change! From Wall St. to the T.V. Tuna Fleet!

Tuna fisherman Captain Bobby Earl was fishing off the coast of North Carolina last summer when his boat exploded, a saga that the Baysider chronicles in this season of Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks, a fishing reality show. While Earl counts escaping the blazing boat as among “the most surreal experience[s] of my life,” the Wall Street manager turned commercial fisherman has had a rather unusual life trajectory. Earl was born and raised in Bayside, Queens, before rising through the ranks on Wall Street. When the housing market crashed in 2008, Earl got fired from his job as a regional manager for Bank of America investments. 2008 changed my life too. >click to read< 11:44

Could B.C. commercial salmon fishery closures affect Southeast Alaska?

Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the federal agency that manages Canada’s fisheries, effectively ended the 2021 commercial salmon season on the West Coast in late June. Canada’s fishing industry was stunned, says B.C. Seafood Alliance Executive Director Christina Burridge. “First Nations have harvested salmon forever. And post-contact, salmon canneries are what in the sense built this province. To be now in this situation seems really tragic to me.” The closure came just weeks after Canada announced a more than half-a-billion dollar plan to revitalize its flagging Pacific salmon stocks in B.C. and Yukon Territory.,, The Chinook on the transboundary rivers Unuk and Chilkat are among the current Southeast stocks of concern.  >click to read< 10:11

Who is Jim Pattison? Empire builder and billionaire

At 92 he heads a sprawling empire spanning everything from farm equipment to groceries to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Pattison is 92, a billionaire many times over, and still helms as chief executive and chairman the company he founded in 1961: the Jim Pattison Group. It would be difficult to find a Canadian entrepreneur with more diverse business holdings. The Jim Pattison Group, owned 100-per cent by Pattison himself, is an umbrella company covering businesses in industries spanning agricultural equipment, signs, packaging, groceries, wine, West Coast fishing, and forestry. He even owns the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! franchise and Guinness World Records. According to Pattison, his group of companies recorded total sales of $12.7 billion in 2020, while employing 51,000 workers, and doing business in 95 countries. >click to read< 09:09

Iconic sardine carrier restoration larger than first predicted

When Campbell “Buzz” Scott embarked on restoring Pauline, a 1948 sardine carrier, he knew it was going to be a bit of a project. Scott and the nonprofit OceansWide have dreams of reviving the 83-foot vessel and repurposing it for educational programs, as well as it being a launching pad for the organization’s remotely operated underwater vehicle. But Scott’s initial assessment was off. Pauline doesn’t need a revival; it needs a resurrection.  “This is going to be a total rebuild with the exception of the keel and a few of the other timbers, which are still original from 1948,”,, “At the time, we thought we could get away with a few planks and a new engine and putting a new topside on,” Scott said. While painting the boat, they found a rotted plank, which led to finding another and another. >click to read< 08:12

A Perfect Pairing. A Q&A session with John Deere and Mike Blocher of North River Boats

North River Boats in Roseburg, Oregon is one of the largest heavy-gauge aluminum boat manufacturers in the United States with an estimated 10,000 vessels plying the water today. The company continues to diversify, adding the legendary Bristol Bay hull to its lineup. John Deere: What led to the building of this new commercial fishing vessel? Mike Blocher: We build heavy-gauge aluminum boats. During an International Workboat Show, we were approached to build a bay boat. Our general manager and I traveled to Bristol Bay and started looking at boats, talking with fishermen, and found out what worked and what did not. JD: What did you find out? MB: Bristol Bay is unlike any other commercial fishery,,, >click to read< 11:06

Doomed to Extinction? Where have all the codfish in the Gulf of Maine gone?!!

The commercial fishermen have all been given a personal quota for cod. If they reach their quota, they need to purchase or lease more quota from someone who has extra. The price to “lease” these fish in order to catch them can be exorbitant. Cod has become a commodity on the market being bought or hoarded by non-fishermen to make money off the backs of the active fishermen,,, And then there are the seals. Yes, harbor seals, gray seals and harp seals. Seals would not normally be feeding on large amounts of cod, but we have protected the seal population for decades without regard to the rest of the environment. The result is unmistakably a huge explosion in the seal population within the Gulf of Maine. So, are the cod doomed to extinction?  >click to read< 07:50

Flawed rescue? – Franklin D. Roosevelt asked for plans for a low dam. Joe Biden wants windmills

“The federal role in damming the Columbia tied in well with the New Deal belief that the government should stimulate economic recovery by putting people to work and encouraging the creation of public utilities,” records a National Park Service history of the river’s Grand Coulee dam. “Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected president of the United States in 1932, asked for plans for a low dam with foundations strong enough to support a higher dam  later, one that would back water up to the Canadian border.” (President Joe Biden’s efforts to grow offshore wind) No thought was given to the river’s salmon. “Of all the impacts that caused extinctions of Columbia River Basin salmon and steelhead, dams were the most significant. “The dam wiped out runs that spawned in tributaries that drained into the Columbia from that point, river mile 596, to the headwaters, a distance of 645 river miles. Adding the tributary miles where salmon spawned nearly doubled the distance.  >click to read< 14:36

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 49’11″X19′ Novi Lobster/Gillnetter, Cat 3306, Substantial Price Reduction

To review specifications, information, and 26 photos, >click here< , To see all the boats in this series >click here< 11:50

Biden Harris Admin scheme to buy off/ buy out, displace the fishing industry for offshore wind farms!

The Biden administration is considering ways to ensure the U.S. commercial fishing industry is paid for any losses it incurs from the planned expansion of offshore wind power in the Atlantic Ocean, according to state and federal officials involved in the matter. Discussions between state and federal officials, which participants described as being at a very early stage, are aimed at addressing the top threat to President Joe Biden’s efforts to grow offshore wind, a centerpiece of his clean energy agenda to fight climate change. Commercial fishing fleets have vehemently opposed offshore wind projects,,, >click to read< 09:55

Alaska Supreme Court upholds $20,000 fine for Metlakatla fisherman in fishing rights case

The Alaska Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a Metlakatla fisherman who was fined for fishing without the proper permits. The case is part of a long-running dispute over tribal sovereignty. In 2014, U.S. Coast Guard officers reported a Metlakatla tribal member fishing in a closed area without a state commercial fishing permit. When they boarded the boat they found a few dozen coho salmon, which the skipper reportedly said he intended to sell. Metlakatla resident John Scudero Jr. was cited for three commercial fishing violations and fined $20,000 after a one-day trial the following year. >click to read< 08:27

Nothing Green Here! Offshore wind farm turbines could number 30,000 globally by 2030

The price of offshore wind turbines,,, Turbines are up to 70% steel, which is made from recycled or newly extracted iron, which is processed from ores. These ores are removed from rocks by blasting causing disruption to the natural environment, and often from sites with cultural significance to indigenous people. The mined ores are then transported by large trucks, crushed, refined, processed and shipped. Whether it’s emissions from machines processing and transporting the ores or air and water contaminants released during extraction, mining creates pollution. Converting the iron into steel also contributes to climate change. Globally, the iron and steel industry is responsible for 11% of CO₂ emissions. Steel plates are shipped and then rolled into curved sections, people and machines weld these to form long tubes, which are loaded onto vessels, transported to sea and assembled,,, processes which are largely powered by fossil fuels. >click to read< 16:05

Some setnetters ask state to reopen limited fishery

Commercial setnet fishermen in Cook Inlet had their season cut short last week. When the Alaska Department of Fish and Game closed the Kenai River to sportfishing for king salmon, it closed the east setnet fishery completely. Some of them had only had a handful of openers. There are still plenty of sockeye in the water, which are the main fish the commercial fleet harvests, and setnetters are making some last-ditch plays to try to save some of their season. Ted Crookston, who has been setnetting on the Salamatof beach for nearly six decades, is asking the Board of Fisheries to at least open the setnets in a narrow strip just offshore—out to 600 feet below mean high tide.,, “We’re sitting here on the beach and catastrophically denied access to anything and you’re saying that it’s justified—it’s not,” >click to read< 13:48

No Crabs, No Scallops: Seafood Is Vanishing From Menus in U.S.

Prices went “crazy,” says Mike Price, who co-owns the Greenwich Village restaurant, and so he yanked them off the menu. Over in Napa Valley, Phil Tessier, the executive chef at a popular spot called PRESS, did the same. And in Atlanta, at the tapas joint the Iberian Pig, chef Josue Pena didn’t stop at scallops. The Alaskan halibut and blue crab are gone, too. That last one was a killer, Pena says. Crab croquettes had become a signature dish. “People were like ‘what’s up?’” But, he says, with wholesale costs soaring like they are, “the price we had to charge to be profitable was almost insulting.” For restaurants across the U.S., the re-opening from Covid lockdown has been anything but easy. >click to read< 11:47

Warming rivers in US West killing fish, imperiling industry

Salmon fisherman Mike Hudson sits on the bow of his boat at the Berkeley, Calif., Marina on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Baby salmon are dying by the thousands in one river and an entire run of endangered salmon could be wiped out in another. The plummeting catch has led to skyrocketing retail prices for salmon, hurting customers who say they can no longer afford the $35 per pound of fish, said Hudson, who has spent the last 25 years catching and selling salmon at farmers’ markets in Berkeley. “An extreme set of cascading climate events is pushing us into this crisis situation,” said Jordan Traverso, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Wildlife and Fish. 14 photos, >click to read< 10:03

Huffman and Case Introduce Legislation to Reauthorize Magnuson-Stevens Act

Jared Huffman D-CA, and Ed Case D-HI introduce the Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act. The following is a statement from Eric Schwaab, Senior Vice President, Ecosystems and Oceans, and a former administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service at NOAA under the Obama administration. “The Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act, introduced today by Reps. Huffman and Case, brings much-needed attention to key challenges facing modern fisheries management. We fully support the bill’s goal to strengthen the MSA by arming fisheries managers with tools that can better address some of the most significant problems facing the sustainable future of U.S. fisheries, including threats from climate change. >click to read< 18:28

Scallop fishermen and industry advocates call for changes to proposed NY Bight offshore wind farm area’s

In an online call with Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) officials, industry representatives highlighted the need for a buffer zone to protect the most valuable scallop area in the Mid-Atlantic and expressed concern over environmental and fisheries impacts of offshore wind development generally. Proposed lease areas need to be thoroughly re-evaluated to reduce impacts to scallops and scallop fishermen, who operate in the most valuable federally managed fishery. >click to read< 13:36

Fake ‘Green’ Energy: So Much Spent On Wind & Solar For So Little Return

Wind and solar are not just costly they are entirely useless. Never in the field of energy generation has so much been spent, by so many, for so little return. Forget the colossal and endless subsidies, forget the community division, forget the environmental destruction and landfills full of toxic blades and panels and start with the fact that wind and solar are simply incapable of delivering electricity as and when we need it. On that score, we’ll hand over to John Hinderaker for a look at wind and solar power’s utterly pathetic performance in the USA. At AmericanExperiment.org, my colleague Isaac Orr deals a double-barreled blow to the fantasy of “green” energy. First, after all of the hype surrounding wind and solar energy, where did Americans actually get their energy in 2020? >click to read< 09:20

Maine Fishermen slow offshore wind farm development – Keep Fighting

Actions by Maine fishermen directly affected the process of offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine with a bill signed into law on July 7 by Governor Janet Mills. The measure was a response to plans that surfaced last year for a 16-square-mile, 12-turbine wind farm, called a “research array,” off the southern coast of Maine. Proponents promised good jobs and cheap, green electricity. Fishermen weren’t so sure. They envisioned wind farms springing up throughout the Gulf of Maine, harming marine life and damaging coastal communities. “We as fishermen work and take care of the water,” said Virginia Olsen, a Maine Lobstering Union director who lives in Stonington. “We feel these things will get dumped on the water and then someone will say, ‘Just leave them there, it’ll be a coral reef.’ But it will just be trash left for us.” >click to read< 16:55

‘This film is a love letter to Gloucester’ – Sundance winner ‘CODA’ premieres before local crowd

The charms of Gloucester exploded on the big screen at the local unveiling of the film “CODA,” a four-time winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The special event Thursday evening, intended for those who worked or assisted in some way with the film, turned out to be “the” premiere after director Sian Heder learned that the West Coast screening was canceled.,, Heder thanked everyone involved in the film and the support of her family. “You don’t make a movie alone, and this was not an easy film to make,” she told the full house. “All this fishing stuff is such a crazy undertaking.” >click to read< 09:35

How the U.S. Fishing Fleet Served the Navy and Coast Guard in WWII

In the early days of World War II, demand skyrocketed for vessels to fill the needs of the U.S. sea services. The Coast Guard was no exception as they competed with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army for new construction as well as privately owned ships. Facing a high demand for vessels, the service turned to the U.S. fishing industry as a source for its cutters. These emergency acquisitions included East Coast trawlers, whalers from both coasts, and East Coast menhaden fishing vessels, such as the Emergency Manning vessel Dow (WYP 353). During World War I and World War II, the menhaden fishing fleet became a ready reserve for the Navy and Coast Guard. Both services needed small, shallow draft vessels for coastal convoy escort, mine planting, minesweeping, and anti-submarine net tending duty. Many of these vessels were purchased or leased, while others were loaned to naval forces by fishing businesses as their contribution to the war effort. >click to read< 18:28

A Day in the Life of Maine Lobsterman, Mike Sargent, in his own words.

“A lot of people think it’s like Deadliest Catch,” Mike Sargent says with a laugh. But his days are very different from the high-stakes drama of a reality show. Learn about what it takes to bring lobster from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to your plate with a day in the life of Sargent, in his own words. 3 am: I’ll get up and check the weather forecast. I’ll check the marine buoy data, see if there’s any inclement weather coming or going. If we’re all good to go, I will message my crew, say, “Yep, we’re set to go today.” They’re usually up and at ’em anyway, so I have them on standby. And then, I pack my lunch and head to the wharf. 4 am: I meet my crew down at the wharf,,, >click to read< 16:41

Bristol Bay Fishermen Donate Salmon To Yukon River Villages responding to lack of subsistence salmon fishing

Around 10,000 pounds of Bristol Bay chum and Chinook salmon are scheduled to arrive in a Lower Yukon River hub on July 23. The fish will then be distributed to surrounding villages. The donation is in response to a lack of subsistence salmon fishing on the Yukon River this summer, following record low salmon runs and tight fishing restrictions. A nonprofit called SeaShare has partnered with commercial fish processors in Bristol Bay to donate the salmon to Lower Yukon communities.  >click to read< 08:17

Stonington fishermen fight for their livelihoods: The fleet’s past, present and tenuous future

While they have weathered storms, the loss of 41 fleet members at sea, declining catches and restrictions on how much fish they can land, the aging group of mostly men who make up the Town Dock Fleet now face a set of new challenges that threatens their future and that of the state’s last surviving commercial fleet. These include the difficulty of luring young people into a grueling but potentially lucrative occupation and the leasing of vast areas of their fishing grounds to offshore wind energy companies that plan to erect hundreds of massive turbines. >click to read< 09:17