Monthly Archives: February 2013

Fishermen look to White House – John Bullard, NOAA’s Northeast regional administrator based at Gloucester’s Blackburn Industrial Park, scoffed at that idea.

By default and past experience, what slim hope remains to relieve the declared federal fisheries disaster before it consumes the surviving core of the groundfishing fleet in Gloucester and other New England ports has shifted from lepcohanadership at the Commerce Department to the White House.  ”I have not heard one word about fisheries from the president,”said Paul “Sasquatch” Cohan, the Gloucester fisherman who announced at the Warren meeting in Gloucester that he had nothing left to fight with. “I wouldn’t give up, but now I have to give up,” said Cohan, who operated a gillnet day boat. Read more

China says U.S. measures on shrimps against WTO rules

BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) —Chinas Ministry of Commerce (MOCsaid Wednesday that measures taken by  the United States over warm water  shrimps from China are against World  Trade Organization (WTO) rules. Read more

BEAUFORT NC Grayden Paul Bridge piling damaged by F/V Alex Marie, Point Pleasant, N.J

BEAUFORT — A vessel that broke free late Saturday from the dock where it was tied up caused structural damage to the Grayden Paul Bridge beneath the waterline. Read more

Capsized boat still afloat. Talk of a father and fishermen hiring a dive team to investigate and retrieve – video

fishing vessel miss allyFather wants search for missing N.S. fishermen to resume

 The father of one of the fishermen believed to have perished after their boat overturned off the coast of Nova Scotia in a storm is asking rescue teams not to give up their search for the five missing men. 6:47 PM ET Watch video

Community of missing N.S. fishermen ‘broken’ – ‘It’s been really tough’

Residents of a southwestern Nova Scotia community where five young fishermen were lost at sea are “broken” as they deal with the news that the search has been called off, said a Baptist pastor.Please Come Home

“I was with one of the family members last evening when that news came and of course, they’re broken and in very much pain,” said Phil Williams, pastor of the Calvary United Baptist Church in Lower Woods Harbour.

“As one old fisherman told me yesterday — who has been through times like these himself — he said with tears running down his cheeks, ‘We will get through this.'” Sadly, read more

Coast Guard medevacs fisherman near St. Paul, Alaska

uscg logoANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew forward deployed to St. Paul Island medevaced a fisherman with circulatory complications from a fishing vessel 60 miles southwest of the island Tuesday. Read more

How much worm digging is too much worm digging for a clam flat?

Proposed state legislation would close some clam flats to worm diggers when clam digging is suspended for conservation reasons. Video here

Tribes, cable groups protest plan for tidal-power project

The tribes are concerned the turbines will interfere with fishing; cable interests say lines in the area could be damaged. The first draft of the study concluded the turbines would not interfere with tribal fishing in part because “the size of the project would be very small relative to the fishing area. There is no current use of the project site as a commercial salmon fishery.” Read more

California fishermen in 2012 caught most Chinook salmon since 2005

The 2012 king salmon commercial fishing season was the best in California in nearly a decade, according to a new report that also offers hope for good trolling in 2013. Read more

BP agreement could cut oil spill fines

bp projectsafeBP has won an agreement from the Justice Department that there will be no penalties on the barrels of crude oil the company was able to recapture during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, effectively cutting the company’s potential Clean Water Act fines by as much as $900 million, or even up to $3.5 billion. Read more

EPA official quits amid e-mail scrutiny

A senior Environmental Protection Agency official overseeing states in the West and Great Plains resigned Friday, amid intense congressional scrutiny over how EPA appointees have used personal e-mail addresses to conduct official business. Former EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson had come under scrutiny for sending e-mails under the alias Richard Windsor, an account she named after her family dog. Now members of Congress are probing why acting EPA administrator Bob Perciasepe sent an e-mail to agency colleagues regarding hydraulic fracking from a personal account. Read more

Japan-based bank to back Cape Wind

Cape Wind is poised to take another step in securing the financial underpinnings for its proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm. The company will tap the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ as the lead bank in securing debt for the project, Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said at a renewable power finance conference last week in New York.   Read more

Senator Warren hears the fears of a community poised to lose it all, the fishing community

An airing of grievances and an airing of fears rained down on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren Tuesday in her first meeting with the fishing community since she took office last month. The grievances were those of business people, descendants of the nation’s earliest industry, who in one form of another had made their way harvesting the sea, but now find themselves trapped by government edicts and policy said to be posing as biology, according to Vito Giacalone, the local port’s best known and connected leader. Read more

Search called off for missing Nova Scotia fishermen

Forty hours after an “exhaustive search” began for five young fishermen whose vessel capsized in turbulent seas off Liverpool on Sunday night, it ended. Read more

FV Miss Ally Woods Harbour NS.  Skipper Katlin Nickerson, Billy Hatfield, Joel Hopkins, Cole Nickerson, Tyson Townsend.

New England groundfishermen are taking the gloves off in the fight for survival

logo175 Fishermen to Congress: Failed Government Policies Caused the Fishing Crisis, We’ve Done Nothing Wrong

 “The forced transition of our New England groundfish fishery to catch  share management and hard TACs came with all sorts of rosy promises of  resource abundance and economic stability,” they write. They also noted  that many businesses were unable to survive the transition.
 Rather than producing the promised benefits, the transfer of the  groundfishery to sector management has led to a prolonged period of  economic instability. “There is no stability. There are only repeated,  record reductions in catch limits. Prosperity is a discarded dream.”
 They blame the current state of the groundfishery on failed government  management, writing: “Three weeks ago, NMFS Regional Administrator John  Bullard told us at the Council meeting that this was our day of  reckoning. This is not our day of reckoning – we’ve done nothing wrong  to reckon. We didn’t cause this problem.” Instead, they maintain that  the government does not have the science and data necessary to properly  manage the fishery. “For too long we’ve been subjected to the volatility  and futility of pretending to know the unknowable.”
“For nearly a decade now our fishery has fished at or below every  catch limit set by the government on every stock. We lived within their  quotas, but it is now our businesses, our families and our communities  that will be paying the price.”
“Government cannot expect our industry to continue to be subjected to  drastic cuts in allowable catches while placing additional,  government-imposed expenses upon us.”
They noted that, as the current catch share management system was  being implemented, the Northeast Seafood Coalition publicly made clear  that adequate federal funding and catch allocations would be needed for  the system to properly function. They added: “Sure enough, here we are –  less than 3 years after sector implementation – and the agency is  telling us there is not enough money to monitor or enough fish to  sustain our fishery. It’s difficult for many of us to believe that this  was just a coincidence.”  Read more and read the original letters with the signing fishermen

So theres this new petition floating around to Close the NMFS Northeast Regional Office!

Dear Chairwoman Mikulski and members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations:
On January 26, 2013, the Associated Press reported that John Bullard, the Northeast Regional Administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), stated, “failures by fishery managers are ultimately to blame for weak stocks that haven’t rebounded.” The AP went on to quote Mr. Bullard as saying, “we set the rules and clearly the rules have failed. There’s no other conclusion.”
•We commend Mr. Bullard for his honest, direct and accurate description of the current reality.
Mr. Bullard also commented on changes in the workplace, “A plant shuts down. A person who’s worked there for 30 years all of the sudden goes to the factory door and it’s closed. You learn a new trade and you adapt…People adapt and they survive.” As fishermen, we are owners and employees of small businesses, and we fully understand the difficulties and pain that Mr. Bullard describes.
•We believe that just as there are consequences for failures in business, so too should there be consequences for failures in government. Read more  Link to the Petitionphoto,

Everyone here knows the five men who set out to do what generations before them have done. Faith is tangible by Phonse Jessome

Please Come HomeWoods Harbour – People who draw from the sea for a living know the sea sometimes takes back. Today the toll is more than many in this community can bear.

For while faith is in abundance on this wharf, hope is not. It is a word being repeated over and over. Yet it sounds more like a curse than a prayer. For as soon as it is raised by one it is cut down by another.

Can there be hope for five fellow fishermen lost at sea in a winter gale?  Five men of faith whose boat toppled in waves that loomed like living mountains in the night. Read more

Doing their research: Siskiyou County officials study Coos Bay salmon project

Eyed-egg injection is a process by which salmon eggs are incubated for several months in a hatchery (or other controlled setting) until the eggs begin to develop an eye – an indicator that the egg is within a few weeks of becoming a free swimming fish – and then taken to a stream and planted under gravel in the natural streambed where it will finish its development. The process was pioneered by fisheries biologists in Alaska as a method to help rebuild decimated fish populations, and has shown relatively high success rates there. Read more

Pew’s “ocean saving” efforts for the rest of the world

The Pew Oceans Commission was such  smashing success for the US ocean that they are now applying it to the world. Perhaps they’ll do the solar system next, then maybe the universe? It’s really security making to know that those people with all that money are on the side of nature and Mother Earth, isn’t it? BLUE CHARITY BUSINESS… IN BRUSSELS 2013 – Week 7  What a week! Read more

Nature Notes: Maryland seafood

blue crabONE OF THE PERKS of living in Maryland is having fresh seafood available throughout the year. The Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic coast are noted for blue crabs, oysters, rockfish, bluefish and flounder. But did you know that some of the other seafood you may be enjoying may also come from Maryland?  Read more

Gulf of Mexico fish farms move another step closer to reality

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, which advises the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service on fish and fishing in the Gulf, recently approved the final draft of its proposed rule to regulating offshore Gulf marine aquaculture. After some more federal review and an expected public comment period this summer, the idea is that sometime next year businesses could begin applying for permits to establish red snapper, grouper and other finfish-farms in Gulf federal waters, which in Louisiana extend from three to 200 miles offshore. Read more

Horseshoe crab debate pinches N.J. lawman, environmentalists

Last month, New Jersey state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, a Democrat who represents parts of Cape May and Cumberland counties, introduced legislation that would lift a ban on harvesting horseshoe crabs that’s been in place since 2008. Van Drew’s bill would face strong opposition from environmental groups. It is in committee in both houses of the Legislature, and no vote has been scheduled. “The moratorium might be sexy and cool,” Van Drew said recently, “but it just doesn’t make sense.” “A lot of these people who supported the ban never even saw a horseshoe crab in their life,” he said. “It was just so cool to say, ‘Oh, boy, we’re saving the environment.’ ” Read more

Possible a new fault was opened up from BP disaster in Gulf, says oceanographer — “Potential for an indefinite release of oil”? (thank you Kristine)

A persistent, mysterious “oil sheen” in the Gulf of Mexico near the site of BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster grew to more than seven-miles long and one-mile wide during a recent stretch of calm seas, based on aerial observations made by a former NASA physicist turned environmental activist. Read more

Minuscule amounts of medicines in rivers and streams can alter the biology and behavior of fish and other marine animals.

The findings, published online Thursday in the journal Science, add to the mounting evidence that minuscule amounts of pharmaceuticals are environmental contaminants can alter the biology and behavior of fish and other marine animals. ‘‘I think people are starting to understand that pharmaceuticals are environmental contaminants,’’ said Dana Kolpin, a researcher for the U.S. Geological Survey who is familiar with the study. Read more

Fishing’s decline looms; will fish consumers notice?

GLOUCESTER, Mass. — His city’s best fishing days are long past it, but lifelong Gloucester resident Ron Gilson still sees what once was when he drives past what remains. “This is the lowest point,” he declared on a(AP Photo/Charles Krupa) February day. “Tomorrow will be lower.” “They’re (govt) going to wipe it out!” said Gilson. “The only thing that’s going to be the same is the ocean you’re looking at.” In May, New England’s fishermen will again see a cut to the number of fish they can catch, this time so deeply that the historic industry’s existence is threatened from Rhode Island to Maine. But as hard as the cuts are likely to hit fishing communities, local seafood eaters may not notice at all. In the region’s markets, grocery stores and restaurants, imported fish dominate, and the cuts make that less likely to change. Read more

NOAA’s fishing policies under investigation

After issuing a series of investigative reports exposing excessive enforcement on the part of federal fisheries agents, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General has now turned to auditing how NOAA carried out and implemented policies that have transformed fisheries into commodity markets — and are being blamed for job losses and consolidation throughout the industry. Read more

Editorial: Rollover quota spotlights absurd 2013 cod cuts

Bullard’s own interpretation — backed by NOAA’s general counsel, Lois Schiffer, and her shady law enforcement gang — of the Magnuson-Steven Act, which suggests he had no option to extend the current year’s 22-pecent interim cut for a second year.  That stand is widely refuted by the Gloucester-based Northeast Seafood Coalition, and by several members of Congress, which put the Magnuson-Stevens’ mandates in place and urged Bullard to reconsider. Read more

Updated, Corrected. Search continues for five Nova Scotia fishermen, F/V Miss Ally capsized in heavy winds and high seas

Fishing Vessel Miss Ally

LIVERPOOL, Nova Scotia, Feb. 18 (UPI) — Rescue crews searched Monday for five men whose commercial fishing boat  capsized in heavy winds and high seas of Nova Scotia, authorities said. The 44-foot boat ran into trouble Sunday night as it contended with 26- to  33-foot waves and hurricane-force winds about 75 miles southeast of Liverpool,  the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. UPI

Family of missing Nova Scotia fisherman losing hope Helicopter spots overturned vessel and life-raft

The father of one of the five men missing off the south shore of Nova Scotia says he is losing hope his son will be found alive after the fishing boat he was on capsized late Sunday night. “I don’t have any hope right now,” George Hopkins told CBC News. His son, 27-year-old Joel Hopkins, is the father of two young children. “I’m a fisherman myself, so I realize what’s going on. I would think they would have found him by now. Every hour the chances are less.” Read more

Search continues for missing fishermen

Read more

US Coast Guard assisting in long-range search for missing Canadian fishermen

Watchstanders at the 1st Coast Guard District in Boston received a request from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax on Monday to assist in locating the 45-foot fishing vessel Miss Ally, homeported in Nova Scotia, whose crew was beset by weather and were having difficulty returning to port in Halifax. Read more



I Need a Site! In early days of manhunt, Christopher Dorner sought ride to Mexico from San Diego fishermen: report

A week before his final fiery shootout with California authorities, fugitive  cop-killer Christopher  Dorner tried to sweet talk some San Diego fisherman into giving him a ride  to Mexico, according to a local report. The visit surprised the fishermen because the wharf caters to commercial  fishing boats, not tourists. “I’ve been down here for 40 years and he’s the first guy that came down here  and asked for a ride,” local troller Roy Sherman told NBC Bay Area. Read more

Judge dismisses Humane Society lawsuit that opposed killing sea lions at Bonneville Dam

A U.S. District Court judge in Oregon today dismissed the Humane Society of the United States’ challenge to the government’s plan to kill salmon-munching California sea lions at Bonneville Dam. Judge Michael Simon issued the 44-page opinion earlier today. The National Marine Fisheries Service “did not act arbitrarily or capriciously” when it re-authorized Oregon, Washington and Idaho’s ongoing program to kill sea lions, Simon wrote. The states first applied for lethal take in 2006, which led to on-and-off legal challenges.  Read more