Category Archives: Western Pacific

SURVEY: Please Help Extreme Gloucester Fishing: Restructure, Retool, Retrain, Revive and Reunite the U.S. Commercial Fisheries

Extreme Gloucester Fishing Commercial Industry Training Center is doing a U.S. Commercial Fisheries Survey – Please help Extreme Gloucester Fishing with our efforts to Restructure, Retool, Retrain, Revive and Reunite the U.S. Commercial Fisheries Take the Survey. 1. Do commercial fishermen care about their industry? 2. Should fish be owned before they are caught?, 3.,,,  >click to read<, and please leave comments or suggestions, and connect with others to get things started! Thank you, Captain Joseph Sanfilippo 10:30

Honolulu mayor announces new ‘fish-to-dish’ program to help Hawaii’s struggling fishing industry

“We have an incredible longline fishing industry,” said Caldwell during a news conference at Pier 38, “and local fishermen who go out every day in grueling conditions, catching fish and bringing it back to feed our residents and visitors.” But the longline fishing industry has lost an estimated $10 million, or about 60% in revenue, since mid-March lockdowns went into effect due to the pandemic, Caldwell said. In an effort to help, he said the city is committing $2.6 million in federal coronavirus funds to help the fishing industry get back on its feet. The “fish-to-dish” program will work in partnership with the Hawaii Longline Association, the United Fishing Agency, which runs the fish auction, and Hawaii Seafood Council to distribute fish to the community.>click to read< 08:23

#FishermensLivesMatter: Until this pandemic is over, say no to fishery observers being placed on fishing vessels

On July 1st the Trump Administration’s agency, NOAA will require that fishing vessels resume taking fishery observers on their fishing trips. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic these activities have been suspended for almost three months due to the danger of spreading the deadly disease among the
fishing industry and their families. Fishery observers are required by National Marine Fishery Service regulations to observe commercial fishing operations in almost all of our countries fisheries based on various criteria that include likelihood of interaction with marine mammals or other protected species, amount of bycatch in each fishery, adherence to regulations, and anything else they can justify to support this huge taxpayer money gobbling con game they have created. >click to read< by Jim Lovgren #FishermensLivesMatter 22:27

Hawaii’s impact from Corona-Local Fishermen

Aloha Kakou, I am a small commercial fishing/charter boat owner and wanted to bring awareness to our local micro-industry’s condition due to Coronavirus and lack of need for our product. I saw a report regarding the Hawaii long-liner fishing industry, but wanted to express how our local independent fishing and charter boat business have been gravely impacted. So many local fishermen whos sole income is from fishing and selling their catches as well as the charter fishing industry have lost 90-100% of their income due to tourism shutdown and Covid restrictions. >click to read< Mahalo for your time and interest in this information. Capt. Jerry Gillgren, F/V Jovan Lee 16:05

An East Coast Perspective on Coronavirus Impacts

This was initially to be about how the New Jersey commercial fishing industry was coping with the coronavirus crisis. However, there is a seemingly infinite number of websites running commentaries on the national and/or international aspects of the ongoing pandemic in general and, surprisingly, as it specifically applies to and as it affects commercial fishing and the seafood industry. Considering this, sharing more than an overview of what the New Jersey industry, or at least that part of it that I have been in touch with, would probably not have much of an impact. But happily, at this point it seems that U.S. consumers aren’t really as averse to preparing quality seafood at home (when it isn’t available or is only limitedly available elsewhere) as most of us have believed. >click to read< By Nils Stolpe 12:05

Bottom Fish Heritage: Pew said we should give up our permits, because we’re gonna be put of business anyway,,,

 

In this week’s spotlight video, Kauai fisherman Jonathan Hurd remembers how the fishing community assisted in research in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands but were phased out with the designation of the monument, “The government offered us a formula of how to buy us out, which was based on previous gross and previous fishing trips, which we didn’t make any money on anyways, so obviously they didn’t pay us enough money for giving up that right to be able to fish there.” 12:39

Fighting for fishermen on a bi-partisan, bi-coastal basis during Coronavirus crisis – Senator Ed Markey

Restaurants have shuttered and large export markets have been disrupted. Fishermen have lost access to critical points of sale and sources of income. With a decreased demand for fresh seafood, many boats sit idle in port. Meanwhile, boat payments are due and families need to be fed. In the U.S. Senate, I have been fighting on a bipartisan basis alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to secure dedicated economic assistance for the fishing and seafood industries in COVID-19 economic relief packages. Thankfully, this bi-coastal effort got results. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted into law on March 27, included $300 million in assistance for fishery participants and $9.5 billion for affected agricultural producers. >click to read< 12:22

Fishermen’s Superstition’s: No bananas! No Whistling! But above all, it’s bad luck to be superstitious!

Luke Whittaker set out to learn whether there are superstitions that live on among local fishermen. Here’s what he heard. Jerry Matzen III, commercial fishermen “Hang your coffee cup mouth towards the stern so you don’t sink. And no whistling in the wheelhouse or cabin — otherwise you’ll whistle up a storm, like we are having today. I learned the coffee cup one from Kerry Suomela Sr. when I worked on the F/V Southern Cross and it always stuck with me.” Tim Teall, commercial fishermen “Well, to begin with, you never want to paint your boat green because it’ll beach itself in a storm. Never set a coffee cup or a bucket on the boat upside down — the boat will roll over! Don’t whistle in the wheelhouse, because it’ll make it get windy out. But above all, it’s bad luck to be superstitious!” >9 photos, click to read<10:41

Oregon Fishing Industry Tells Lawmakers Of Economic Hardships – Murkowski pushes for an another Billion in federal fisheries relief funds

The coronavirus has hit Oregon’s commercial fishing industry hard. That was the message to state lawmakers during a recent meeting of the House Interim Committee on Natural Resources. Anthony Dal Ponte is with Pacific Seafood, which is based in Clackamas and has several facilities on the Oregon coast. He said the company had to lay off more than 500 employees after their restaurant and hospitality industry markets dried up virtually overnight. >click to read<  Meanwhile, Murkowski pushes for an additional $1 billion in federal fisheries relief funds – Additional money could    be on the way for the fishing industry. Senator Lisa Murkowski said that she is working to add more fisheries funding in the next round of pandemic relief legislation. “As we think about the impact to our fisheries, $50 million is not going to be sufficient to address the need,” she said. “I have been working with colleagues to urge us in this next round of relief to include $1 billion in fishery assistance funds.” >click to read< 15:07

NOAA – Their mission

Back in the sixties when I was fishing with my dad we would fish about a one hundred miles east of New Bedford for whiting in the spring. We had a ninety foot dragger. And there were Russian vessels there that were three hundred foot  and they were using a small mesh net that caught everything in the water. At the time there was no 200 mile limit. The Russians and other foreign vessels could come into our waters and were restricted to within fifteen miles of our coast. Today  no one knows how much damage they did but our fisherman would eventually pay the price. Finally in 1978, we enacted the 200 mile limit. That was great so we thought, but we created a monster. That being NOAA. >click to read< Thank You, Sam Parisi 08:52

Two survivors of 42 days adrift at sea struggle to return home to Marshall Islands

Two Marshallese men who survived a six-week, 1,640km drift are well and awaiting their return home from Weno, an island in Micronesia. A third man, who was in the boat when it left Marshall Islands on April 2, reportedly jumped into the sea 17 days into the 42-day open ocean drift. Earlier this week, the Micronesian government’s patrol vessel transported the two men from isolated Namoluk Atoll to Weno for medical check ups. “The sea was rough and my husband kept telling Junior to remain on the boat, but he jumped from the front end of the boat,” she said of her phone call. >click to read< 08:42

Hawaii Fish Council Urges Trump To Open Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument To Fishing

The council’s latest push comes on the heels of an executive order President Donald Trump signed on May 7 that’s meant to slash federal regulations and ease environmental burdens on American aquaculture and commercial fishing industries in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic. In an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, two of Trump’s top advisors, Joe Grogan and Peter Navarro, said the president’s new order would “help reduce pain in the grocery checkout line — and also strengthen U.S. food production against foreign competition.” A provision in Trump’s order calls on the nation’s eight regional fishery management councils to submit “a prioritized list of recommended actions to reduce burdens on domestic fishing and to increase production within sustainable fisheries.” Skeptics, including U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman,, Trump’s order gave each council 180 days to submit recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce. >click to read< 12:42

Eight Projects Selected for S-K Funding – Here we go again! Fisherman get the shaft, thanks to NOAA

To those fisherman who put in an application for Saltonstall-Kennedy Program Funding money, I feel badly for you who were not selected. Again, NOAA gave the money to universities, foundations, and other special interests and not you, who it should be for. Unfortunately for those who applied, this has been going on for years under NOAA’s selection of those that apply. I believe when authored by Senators Leverett Saltonstall (R-Mass.) and John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) in 1954 to promote and market domestic seafood, that they didn’t think our fisherman would be left out. Two years ago, I was chosen by NOAA to serve on a panel to review those who applied.,, by Sam Parisi, >click to read< including the press release. 19:12

Coronavirus: Hawaii Fishermen Are Stuck In Port As Federal Aid Falls Short

With tourism all but shut down due to Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s 14-day quarantine and restaurant service reduced to takeout for social distancing purposes, there’s less demand for fish. Prices have dwindled to the point where going out on the water can be more expensive for fishermen than the price of the catch coming in. State and federal governments have done little to help out, despite the fact that fish are a critical source of protein for the islands’ residents. “We are the largest food producing industry in the state by a tremendous margin,” said Michael Goto, who’s the auction manager for United Fishing Agency in Honolulu. “If we saw a complete shutdown of fishing effort that would be devastating.” >click to read< 16:23

‘Baboom!’ St. Jude returns with 48 tons of tuna and no restaurant market thanks to coronavirus so they are selling it at Seattle’s docks

When the tuna boat St. Jude motored out of Anacortes in November for fishing grounds 5,000 miles away in the South Pacific, few people outside of microbiology labs had ever heard the word “coronavirus.” By the time the 95-foot vessel docked in Seattle this month, the microbe had shaken the entire world and turned the seafood business upside down. “Baboom!” said owner and captain Joe Malley, who returned from the six-month voyage to find the primary market for his high-quality albacore had vanished. “Who could have anticipated this?” >click to read< 11:19

Trump Executive Order Opens the Door for Massive Industrial Fish Farms in Oceans

Last week, the Trump administration announced an executive order opening the door for large-scale fish farming. That order, as reported by the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN), is designed at its core to expand the scope and facilities for aquaculture. What that likely means is a reduction in regulations, and the creation of large offshore fish farms.,, While offshore fish farms would be a boon to major seafood corporations, smaller fishermen would be harmed by it in several ways. Those environmental effects could deplete the health of wild waters, which fishermen depend on. They could also flood the market with cheaper farmed fish, harming the demand for more sustainably caught seafood.  >click to read< 08:04

Commerce Secretary Announces $300 Million CARES Act Allocation – NOAA will disburse funds through partners

As a next step, NOAA Fisheries will use these allocations (see below) to make awards to our partners—the interstate marine fisheries commissions, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—to disburse funds to address direct or indirect fishery-related losses as well as subsistence, cultural, or ceremonial impacts related to COVID-19. “We are going to rely primarily on our partners at the interstate marine fishery commissions during the award process because they have a demonstrated track record of disbursing funds provided to them quickly and effectively,” said Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. Read the Summary of Allocations, and review the question and answer section. Q. Who should affected fishermen and communities contact about accessing this funding?  >click to read< 11:00

President Donald J. Trump Executive Order Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to strengthen the American economy; improve the competitiveness of American industry; ensure food security; provide environmentally safe and sustainable seafood; support American workers; ensure coordinated, predictable, and transparent Federal actions; and remove unnecessary regulatory burdens, it is hereby ordered as follows: DONALD J. TRUMP, THE WHITE HOUSE, May 7, 2020. >click to read<

President Donald J. Trump Is Working to Secure America’s Seafood Supply Chain and Bring Jobs Home>click to read< 17:54

U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Availability of $1.5 Billion in CARES Act Funds to Aid Communities Impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications from eligible grantees for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance) intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.,, On March 27, 2020, President Donald J. Trump signed the $2 trillion CARES Act into law. The CARES Act provides EDA with $1.5 billion of which $1.467 billion is available for grant making. The remaining funds will be transferred to cover salaries and expenses and oversight activities. >click to read< 12:54

With Coronavirus pandemic ravaging our country, temporary relaxation of fishery regulations is urged to help fishing industry

Thanks to our Senators and Congressmen who worked to get specific aid to the fishing industry, that has been hit particularly hard by the closure of restaurants, where 70 per cent of seafood in this country is consumed. Fishermen and wholesalers have had to adapt on the fly and find other ways to market their product to various degrees of success. The closure of so many vital aspects of our domestic economy will have effects that will still be felt a long time after the Virus is tamed.,, I am requesting that NMFS immediately contact the various management councils and commissions to request that special meetings [webinars] of fishery advisory panels be held to discuss the pro’s and cons of this idea, and what fisheries could benefit.,,, By Jim Lovgren. >click to read< 20:48

Coronavirus: Letter from 200+ US seafood industry stakeholders to Trump Administration

March 24, 2020, Dear President Trump.  We write as participants in America’s seafood supply chain, a critical component of the country’s domestic food infrastructure and one of the major economic drivers in our country’s coastal communities and states. Empty restaurants, cafes, and dining halls are a visible reminder of the ongoing, unprecedented public health efforts to blunt the spread of COVID-19. The livelihoods of the chefs, cooks, servers, and other staff are obvious and direct casualties of those government efforts. The economic disruption caused by forced restaurant closures and active encouragement for Americans to “shelter in place,” however, extend far beyond the food service sector. >click to read< 19:37

Coronavirus: Fishing coalition seeks $4B in federal aid to cover lost restaurant sales

Commercial fishing industry members say they’re trying to stay afloat while the demand for fish dwindles as restaurants are reduced to take-out only amidst the coronavirus health crisis. Saving Seafood, a national coalition of seafood harvesters that includes New Jersey members, is now turning to the federal government for $4 billion in financial help.  “We have to manage our expectations right now. This is a national issue and it’s not going to be solved in a day or two,” said Greg DiDomenico, executive director of the Garden State Seafood Association, a commercial trades group that’s also a part of the Saving Seafood national coalition.  >click to read< 18:28

Senate Democrats, Greens Seek Climate Mandates In Federal Stimulus Bills

Senate Democrats and environmentalists want to tack climate change mandates onto proposed federal aid to major airlines and cruise lines reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to the House and Senate leadership, eight Senate Democrats said last week that any financial assistance to the travel industry “should be paired with requirements that companies act in a more responsible fashion” by reducing their carbon footprint. “Climate change damages will wreak havoc on a scale even greater than the coronavirus,” said the Friday letter headed by the Center for Biological Diversity. Democrats who signed the letter were Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Jeffrey Merkley of Oregon, Cory A. Booker of New Jersey, Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Tina Smith of Minnesota and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. >click to read< 10:12

Coronavirus: The country is shutting down. Shutdown NOAA’s Fisheries Observer Program, nationally. Right Now.

I am writing this editorial today as a responsible, conscientious American fishermen and citizen, in complete disbelief of the irresponsibility of a U.S. government agency during the current international coronavirus crisis. While the nation is in national emergency mode, states are closing public spaces, schools, universities, daycares, restaurants, encouraging social distancing, putting people in quarantine, outlawing large gatherings, and taking unprecedented emergency measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, NOAA Fisheries is pursuing the complete opposite when it comes to the fishing industry and ignoring all public safety precautions. more by Hank Lackner, F/V Jason and Danielle >click to read<06:03

Coronavirus: As Canned Tuna Fly Off Shelves, Operations of US Boats Are Compromised

Consumers bracing against Covid-19 have raised demands not only for health and safety products but also for many food staples, including tuna. StarKist Samoa, located in the US Territory of American Samoa, supplies tuna for the US market. “The StarKist Samoa operation relies on the US tuna fishermen, and direct fish deliveries to the cannery are a major component of our business model,” said StarKist Samoa in a statement today. “We have seen an increase in sales that has been attributed to the Covid-19 impact, and we are doing our best to keep up with the demand. >click to read< 10:35

Tell Your Congressmen and Senators: Our US Fishing Industry Faces The Coronavirus Disaster

With the Coronavirus being spread around the world and nations reacting to this threat in many different ways, from doing nothing, to closing the borders and full quarantines, the unintended effects of such government actions have yet to be fully felt. Granted the stock market has lost 30% in value in just 3 weeks time, the average American really doesn’t feel that unless he is living on his investment returns. With the closing of schools, and restaurants and any places of public gatherings an enormous crisis is being created because many people are being put out of work and some of them may not have a business to come back to when the crisis is over. The Coronavirus may topple an empire if we let it. >click to read< 06:17

“Looking Back”: The Keep Fishermen Fishing Rally

Measured by any meaningful criteria the Keep Fishermen Fishing rally held on the steps of the Capitol on March 21 was a stunning success. It was attended by thousands of fishermen from as far away as Alaska, twenty one Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, and at least a half a dozen other VIPs made room in their busy schedules to come out and address the people who attended. From the most conservative of the conservatives to the most liberal of the liberals, these politically divergent speakers had one message; fix the Magnuson Act and bring back the balance between conservation and harvest. For the second time at the national level recreational and commercial fishermen – no matter what fisheries they participated in, no matter what their disagreements on allocation or lesser issues were, and no matter where they were from – were standing together and demanding a return to the original intent of the Magnuson Act;,,, >click to read< 08:09

A year in the life of a tuna boat helicopter pilot

I had 25 minutes of fuel on board and no place to land except our boat or the sea. As I got closer, I could clearly see the boat heaving in the swell. My eyes were wide as I flew the approach and, with concentration levels dialled up, I stuck it to the pad as trained. My mechanic ran out to strap the machine down. He got the first one on and I rolled the throttle back to ground idle. I could taste the sea spray off the bow. I was flying off tuna boats and loving it! more. >click to read< 13:10

Fukushima Fishermen Aim to Expand Catches for Survival

Fishery operators in Fukushima Prefecture, home to the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, are set to expand their catches, aiming to shore up a local fishing industry that has struggled with unfounded rumors about radiation contamination. There are concerns that an expansion of catches may trigger a price collapse but fears of a possible decline of the industry are seen outweighing such considerations. photo’s,  more>click to read< 14:53

“With a bit of prodding by some valued colleagues”, we will be launching a series “Looking Back”

A few of us were conversing, and the topic of resurrecting’s some of the posts, pages, and information of the past to gauge the changes and improvement’s achieved though the past few decades of fishery management and sacrifice, or if there have been any improvements at all! Nils Stolpe, Jim Lovgren, and I thought perhaps these various posts and articles would give an indication of how the domestic fishing is doing! Both of these gentlemen are exceptional writers, with exceptional knowledge of the domestic fishing industry and they have been featured here many times. We hope people revisit these articles, and for many of the newer fishermen in the industry today, this may be the first exposure to this interesting, and valuable info, and other stories. We’ll kick it off with “With a bit of prodding by some valued colleagues,”  >click to read< 13:07