Category Archives: Western Pacific

6 Ocean Priorities for the Biden Administration from the Environmentalist

Since President-elect Biden was voted into office last November, he and his team have been sharing what they want to accomplish in their first 100 days in office.,, In the midst of any political transition, it is easy for environmental issues to be pushed aside in the name of more “urgent” issues.  Fortunately, the new administration has given us promising signals that environmental action is high on their to-do list. Here are six things that must be prioritized in the coming weeks and months,,, >click to read< 09:48

As Commerce Secretary, Raimondo to play key role in offshore wind.

In the selection of Gina Raimondo as the next U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the offshore wind industry would get a champion in Washington. What influence she could bring to bear for the emerging energy sector remains to be seen, but if confirmed to her new position in the Biden cabinet, Raimondo would oversee federal fisheries regulators who have raised some of the concerns about potential negative impacts of erecting what could be many hundreds of wind turbines in the ocean waters off southern New England. >click to read<09:45

Stocks head for weekly loss as economy’s coronavirus pain deepens – Seafood industry hit hard

A federal report says the coronavirus pandemic has taken away about a third of the commercial fishing industry’s revenue. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says revenues from catch brought to the docks by commercial fishermen fell 29% over the course of the first seven months of the year. The report says revenues declined every month from March to July, including a 45% decrease in July. The NOAA report says the seafood industry at large has been hit hard by restaurant closures, social distancing protocols and the need for safety measures. >click to read< 09:15

Deadline to Apply for Seafood Trade Relief Program Coming Up

“U.S. fishermen affected by retaliatory tariffs need to file an application for this program by Friday, Jan. 15,” said Richard Fordyce, Administrator for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “We still have funding available, and these direct payments will help them recover from the effects of retaliatory tariffs on their ability to make a living.” STRP is available for the following types of seafood: Atka mackerel, Crab (Dungeness, King, Snow, Southern Tanner, Flounder, Geoduck, Goosefish, Herrings, Lobster, Pacific Cod, Pacific Ocean Perch, Pollock, Sablefish, Salmon, Sole, Squid, Tuna, Turbot. To apply, visit farmers.gov/seafood or call 877-508-8364. >click to read< 12:20

Coronavirus: Coast Guard offers extension on credentials, medical certificates, and course approvals

Coast Guard officials have announced an extension of merchant marine credential endorsements, medical certificates and course approvals to meet challenges caused by the global novel coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the Coast Guard advised that due to these changes there may be a backlog in the processing of credentials and course approvals, especially near the end of the extension dates.,, Under the Coast Guard’s current statutory authority, the expiration dates of merchant mariner credentials may be extended for no more than one year. >click to read< 14:34

Legislation to help next generation of young fishermen passes in Congress

Congress passed bipartisan legislation on Dec. 20 that would establish a national program to train and educate the next generation of commercial fishermen. It must be signed by President Donald Trump before becoming law. The Young Fishermen’s Development Act, H.R. 1240, would create $2,000,000 in yearly grant funding, which would be dispensed to various organizations to provide mentorship and learning opportunities to fishermen just starting in the industry. >click to read< 12:19

As the New Year is on the horizon, please consider implementation of a U.S. Fish Bill

Greetings to all commercial fishermen, fish processors, equipment suppliers, politicians, and citizens, that are interested and supportive of creation of a U.S. Fish Bill. I mentioned it in a letter to the editor, Letter: Can a fish bill, like Farm Bill, aid fishermen? on January 9, 2015, and have continued posting about, hoping the idea will gain industry wide support. I have tried to get our local politicians to help me draft a U.S Fish Bill, which would serve the U.S Fishing Industry, like the U.S. Farm Bill does for the agriculture industry. >click to read< Sam Parisi, Gloucester 09:11

Report on Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations Act, S. 2346

Purpose of the Bill: The purpose of S. 2346, the Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations Act, is to clarify and expedite the disaster declaration process, establish certain deadlines for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), reduce delays, and clarify eligibility for assistance to ensure that charter, recreational, and Tribal fishers have access to disaster funds. Additionally, the bill would provide employment opportunities for fishery employees displaced by a fishery disaster by prioritizing their hiring to undertake restoration, conservation, and other fishery rebuilding activities funded by disaster relief funds. >click to read< 09:22

Joseph Anthony Gann of San Diego has passed away

Joseph was born in the fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts, on December 19, 1925. He then moved to San Diego in 1926 at the age of one, with his parents Vincent and Nazare, and his two brothers Vincent and Edmond. Joe’s sister Lillian was born a few years later. His father built and operated a commercial fishing clipper.,,  Joe then entered the fishing business with his brother Edmond and formed their company Caribbean Marine Service Co. Inc.; they soon became successful tuna-fishing fleet owners.,,,  Joe went to congress to fight the 200-mile limit, and then in the 1970’s, along with Julius Zolezzi, he went to Samoa to facilitate the Fishing Treaty between the United States and Samoa. >click to read< 13:44

Courts Need To Stop Presidents From Calling Oceans ‘National Monuments’ To Illegally Put Them Off-Limits

In Lewis Carroll’s classic “Through the Looking Glass,” Humpty Dumpty says to the befuddled protagonist, Alice, “When I use a word … it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.” Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association v. Ross, a pending cert petition filed by my colleagues at Pacific Legal Foundation, asks the justices to resolve a curious circuit court split to clarify that the ocean is not land, up is not down, and words have meaning. In 2016, President Barack Obama made one such designation: 3.2 million acres of the Atlantic Ocean south of Cape Cod, beyond our nation’s territorial waters. How Did We Get Here?  >click to read< 09:45, Where are we headed?  The ocean under Biden -“Big picture, a return to science on how we approach the ocean and ocean policy,,,  Early steps include naming John Kerry as a cabinet-level climate czar and pledging to reenter the Paris Climate Accord that he signed. Climate change,,, >click to read< 09:56

Are Temperatures and Sea Levels Rising Dangerously? Hardly

There are two widely held climate-change beliefs that are simply not accurate. The first is that there has been a statistically significant warming trend in the U.S. over the last 20 years. The second is that average ocean levels are rising alarmingly due to man-made global warming. Neither of these perspectives is true; yet both remain important, nonetheless, since both are loaded with very expensive public policy implications. To refute the first view, we turn to data generated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the relevant years under discussion. >click to read< 14:24

UPDATED: Search suspended – Coast Guard, partners search for missing fisherman off Big Island

Multiple rescue crews are searching for a 32 year-old male who is reported to have fallen overboard late Wednesday. At 4:50 p.m., Wednesday, Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a phone call from the master of the commercial fishing vessel F/V Sea Goddess reporting the situation. Sector Honolulu watchstanders immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched rescue crews including partner agency assets. >click to read< 21:50

Fishing workshop upskills in Mauke

Forty-one keen fishermen including five women took part in a fishing workshop on the island of Mauke last week. Mauke’s fisheries officer Tai George was happy to see the women participate in the course. “It’s good more people are showing an interest; the mamas also learnt to repair and make fishing nets,” he said. The Cook Islands Fishing Association in partnership with the Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR) conducted the workshop over three days. Practical sessions included engine/outboard motor maintenance, trailer repairs, fishing techniques,,, >click to read< 11:51

To fight climate change, should we mine the deep sea?

Ancient rocks lie across vast fields miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Far from people, but not entirely out of reach, they contain metals such as cobalt, used in batteries for technology like electric cars. They are numerous, about the size of meatballs or potatoes, and formed over millions of years. These stones may hold a key to fighting climate change, according to a contingent of entrepreneurs who want to mine them. To wean the world off fossil fuels that worsen global warming, scientists say, will require a lot of batteries. Opponents argue that rushing into deep-sea mining risks destroying a pristine wilderness,,, Skeptics of the industry believe it is better to focus on improving mining conditions on land.  >click to read< 17:25

Video: U.S. Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy medevac fisherman from commercial fishing vessel off Hawaii

The Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy successfully medevaced a 73-year-old fisherman from the 84-foot commercial fishing vessel Lady Alice 150 miles east of Hilo, Friday. At 7:37 a.m., Monday, the owner of the Lady Alice notified JRCC watchstanders that the master of the vessel appeared to be suffering symptoms of a stroke. The mariners aboard provided medication to the patient and were instructed by JRCC watchstanders to monitor his condition and maintain scheduled communication. Duty flight surgeons from the Coast Guard and Air Force were consulted and recommended sending Air Force pararescue jumpers from the 129th Rescue Wing to the vessel before the mariner’s condition deteriorated. Video  >click to read<  10:22

Senators Introduce Legislation to Establish Offshore Aquaculture Standards

Senators Wicker-R, Schatz -D and Rubio -R introduced legislation, the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act (S. 4723) in the U.S. Senate. The bipartisan AQUAA Act, which has companion legislation in the U.S. House, would support development of an offshore aquaculture industry in the U.S. to increase the production of sustainable seafood and establish new economic opportunities in federal waters. >click to read< 13:43

 First Nations, commercial fishermen demands end to B.C. salmon farms – A broad coalition of First Nations leaders, wilderness tourism operators, environmental NGOs and commercial and sport fishing organizations gathered in North Vancouver Sept. 22 demanding the federal government fulfill recommendations of the Cohen Commission to immediately remove open-net salmon farms from the Discovery Islands, and abolish all others from BC waters by 2025. >click to read<

Seafood Trade Relief Program: USDA tweaks farm assistance program to fund fishermen hurt by U.S. China trade war

Jeremy Leighton is a dive fisherman based in Ketchikan. But it’s not just geoduck fishermen. Frances Leach heads up United Fishermen of Alaska, a fishing industry group. “China seems to be one of the biggest markets for a lot of our seafood products in Alaska. And not just buying them for consumption, but also processing. We send a lot of seafood over to China to be processed,” Leach said. Now, Leighton and thousands of other U.S. fishermen could be eligible for a new program designed to help fishermen hurt by the tariff on seafood. It’s an Agriculture Department initiative called the Seafood Trade Relief Program. U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan said it’s a new twist on an old trade war strategy. “There have been long standing U.S. Department of Agriculture programs that provide relief to farmers, when their products exported are hit with retaliatory tariffs,” Sullivan said. >click to read< 10:21

Good Morning! We celebrate our eighth birthday today.

Good Morning! It’s our birthday today. We’ve calculated some statistics from the back side of the website, to give a little insight Into the past eight years. In the past eight years, we’ve had 8,186, 234 visits. Our best day ever, 72, 221! We’ve posted 27, 725 posts, which are trails to articles collected daily, inventoried, categorized, and shared around the globe. We have tried to provide an accurate snapshot of the industry, continuously updated, daily, for eight years, which is ninety six months, and an average of 289 posts per month, which comes up to 9.6 posts per day, as an average day. We have posted 839 pages, (example), this, and this, and this, submitted from fishermen, former fishermen and industry representatives from around the world. This is the page with our first four posts on our first day.  We have so many people to thank, including one gentleman that never forgets us, and Cousin Patty. We will pay you back someday! Thank you! Carol, and Bore-head 007. Time to set out for our first tow of the day! 08:15

Commercial Tuna Fisherman Pete Battaglia and dozens of others working in the tuna industry are stuck in American Samoa

Battaglia is a long-time navigator in the tuna industry and runs U.S. boats out of American Samoa, which along with being a U.S. territory is also one of our country’s tuna hubs. While Battaglia and his crew were out at sea at the beginning of March, the COVID-19 pandemic led to new travel restrictions across the world. The fishermen returned to port to find customs agents in hazmat gear and commercial travel suspended to and from the island. Weeks have now turned into months and their family members fear their return could be well past Christmas. >click to read< 07:20

A Letter to NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Chris Oliver about the resumption of Observer coverage

Mr. Oliver. Recently you sent out an announcement about the resumption of Observer coverage set to begin on August 14th in fisheries where coverage had been suspended due to the Corona virus outbreak for the last 5 months. Personally I find your reasons for the resumption of observer coverage to be not only reckless, but dangerous to the health and safety of the American fishermen who make their living from the sea.,, Yet you, in your infinite bureaucratic knowledge of what is right and what is wrong, think that at this time it is vitally important that observers be placed on fishing vessels where they can endanger the health of not only the crewmen but their families. Interestingly, you have not put your own employees at risk. You have cancelled trawl survey’s for the remainder of this year so as not to risk their exposure to this lethal disease. This despite the fact that the NOAA trawl survey vessels are state of the art, and their crew could actually be quarantined before a trip to assure their safety. I’m sure they would be happy to collect two weeks of pay for sitting around watching TV somewhere. >click to read< 15:05

A message from Chris Oliver on National-Level Observer Waiver Criteria; Redeployment in Northeast To Begin

To improve transparency in our approach to observer deployment, we have established national-level criteria for vessels to be waived (released) from observer or at-sea monitor coverage. Going forward, observer or monitor coverage may be waived, for both full and partial-coverage fisheries, on a trip-specific basis if one of the following two criteria are met: (1) Observers or at-sea monitors are not available for deployment; or (2) The observer providers cannot meet the safety protocols imposed by a state on commercial fishing crew or by the vessel or vessel company on its crew. Within our limited authority, our efforts are intended to ensure observers and monitors are following the same safety protocols that fishermen are following. >click to read< 17:50

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