Monthly Archives: January 2015

3 miles of illegal long line seized by South Texas Coast Guard crews

USCGLast night, Coast Guard Cutter Amberjack sighted multiple vessels moving at a high rate of speed southwards the maritime border. Unable to interdict the vessels, Amberjack returned to the vicinity of initial sighting, where crewmembers removed 700 yards of long line gear late last night and recovered an additional 4,400 yards this morning. The majority of the gear was found approximately 35 miles off the coast of South Texas. Read the rest here 22:17

N.C. Div. Marine Fisheries stock-assessment for southern flounder kicked back in Peer Review process

A stock-assessment report scheduled to go to the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission in mid-February that judged southern flounder as still being overfished and overharvested has been rejected by a peer-review board of three scientists who noted problems with the report and would not approve it, according to Dr. Louis Daniel, NCDMF’s executive director. Had the stock-assessment report been approved, the agency’s 2005 Southern Flounder Fisheries Management Plan would have mandated drastic action to end overfishing and overharvest, up to and including closing the fishery. Read the rest here 18:40

One Great Lakes invasive species may have found a niche

Can invasive species be good news – rather than bad – for native fish in the Great Lakes?  That sounds counterintuitive, but a new study shows that the invasive round goby has become an important food source for several native species, especially smallmouth bass, but with benefits also for yellow perch and walleye. The study calls the round goby “one of the most successful aquatic invaders” in the Great Lakes. Read the rest here 18:03

CF/V Poseidon Princess sinks, four rescued off southwest Nova Scotia

The crew of the Poseidon Princess called for help in the early morning hours, saying their boat was in danger of capsizing off the coast of West Pubnico. Morgan D’Entremont says his father Martin and the other two crew members, Lee and Oscar D’Entremont, who are Martin’s brothers, were injured. “They’re a little banged up,” Morgan D’Entremont said. The three crew members were able to get in a life raft, but the fourth person, a Fisheries Department observer who was taking samples on the Poseidon Princess, was not able to climb aboard. Read the rest here 17:14

Video: Conversations that Matter – B.C. fishing industry diminishes

This week Jim McIsaac of the BC Commercial Fishing Caucus says that since the restructuring of the commercial fishing industry in the 90s communities up and down the coast have been disenfranchised from the sector that was their lifeblood. This is episode 18 of a series of weekly videos produced by Stu McNish. Watch the video here 11:47

Remembering Vinalhaven’s past

About five years ago, while in New Jersey, Richard Burton stumbled upon hundreds of images of Vinalhaven, Maine. The images show fishermen from nearly a century ago taking to the Penobscot Bay waters in search of lobster and cod. The images show the same fishermen living out their daily lives, salting fish, repairing wagons and walking the countryside. Read the rest here, and see 26 images. 10:51

Butterfish: In search of a lost market

seafreeze vesselsFrom the late 1970s through the ’80s, the small, silver-colored butterfish was a high-flying commodity in Japan. Millions upon millions of pounds were bought and sold, and almost the entire harvest came off Rhode Island vessels. But as often happens with boom cycles, this one was followed by a bust,,, “There is no way we’re going to just flip a switch with this and be back in boom time,” said Glenn Goodwin, co-owner of SeaFreeze Ltd., a Rhode Island frozen seafood company based in North Kingstown and the Narragansett fishing village of Galilee. Read the rest here 09:53

Letter: West Coast fishermen under NOAA siege, too

clip_image002_001Much has been revealed about the heavy-handed tactics of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement during the era of Jane Lubchenco’s leadership. As a West Coast fisherman, I’ve always felt an uneasy sense of relief that it seemed mostly contained to the East Coast. But it’s important for the fishing industry not to forget what happened back then as history has a cruel way of repeating itself. After all the congressional hearings, special government overseers, and a multitude of unfavorable findings about NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement’s unscrupulous behavior, Read the rest here 09:12 Read about the Robinson Brothers here

Western Aleutian Steller Sea Lions Potentially Falling Prey To Sleeper Sharks

There has been plenty of money spent trying to figure out why the sea lion population in the Western Aleutians is not recovering. But nobody has put much money into studying sharks. The latest data from a study that implanted high-tech tags in the animals suggests that maybe they should. “In 15 out of the 17 instances we actually got the full data set, so we can tell what happened to those 15 animals, and, lo and behold, all 15 of those young sea lions died by predation,” Horning said. Read the rest here 21:21

Alaska halibut fishermen granted quota increase

alaska-halibut__frontFishermen in Alaska will have access to slightly more halibut this year than last. The International Pacific Halibut Commission voted Friday in Vancouver, British Columbia, for a total catch in Alaska of 21.215 million pounds, up from 19.705 million pounds in 2014. That’s the first time in a decade the commission has increased the catch. Read the rest here 20:23

NCFA Weekly Update for Jan. 30, 2015


On behalf of NCFA’s Board of Directors, Members and Staff, we offer our most sincere condolences and prayers to the family of Janice Smith. Read the NCFA Update here 17:02

Too many risks to drill off Virginia

Obama BPIT TAKES a lot of assumptions to conclude that offshore drilling will benefit Virginia:– That the Navy will reverse years of analysis and decide that drilling poses no danger to its training mission offshore or its installations onshore.– That oil companies won’t imperil Hampton Roads’ tourism and commercial fishing with a spill, as has happened everywhere else.– n That despite years of resistance, every state in America will now agree to simply hand over royalties to Virginia. — Read the rest here 15:46

New England Fishery Management Council reject expanded protections for herring

In a decision lauded by state regulators and decried by environmentalists, federal regulators ruled this week that a plan to extend greater conservation efforts to river herring is not necessary at this time. There is a need for more data to assess river herring and shad stocks, but the factors affecting the species include water quality and fish passage, which are difficult to address through federal management plans, said Jeff Nichols, a spokesman for the state Department of Marine Resources. Read the rest here 14:25

California wild salmon harvest continues to dwindle with drought

california-salmon-2014-20150129-001It’s still a little too early to tell for sure, but the news on the California wild salmon front is not good. A combination of low water levels in streams because of the drought and high summer temperatures resulted in a massive die-off of young salmon in Northern California. Read the rest here 13:57

N.C.Commercial fishing advocate Janice Smith’s legacy

The death of Janice Mason Smith, 84, of Atlantic this week leaves the community bereaved. A woman of great strength, perseverance and commitment to the people Down East, she was a lady of tremendous strength and determination but also great compassion. She gave without ceasing, often to those everyone else overlooked. Read the rest here 12:29 Community honors memory of Janice Mason Smith, 84 – Read the rest here 12:34

Crabbing by day, pouring beer by night

If you want to know what the new Half Moon Bay brew pub Cowboy Fishing Co. is all about, just read the writing on the wall. Painted on the side of the restaurant is the “Cowboy Code” — a simple set of 10 business rules: “Rule No. 1: Live each day with courage. Rule No. 2: Take pride in your work. Rule No. 3: Always finish what you start.”A huge fan of Western films, owner Tom McGuirk first took those rules to heart as the mantra of his commercial crabbing business, also called Cowboy Fishing. Read the rest here 09:10

Matthew P. Mullin, Environmental Defense Fund – We need cameras monitoring every fishing vessel

THOMAS FARRAGHER is absolutely right: If politicians, ranging from the governor to the attorney general to our congressional delegation, really want to help the fishing industry and save the fish, they need to listen to fishermen like Frank Mirarchi (An expert to reel in,” Metro, Jan. 17). Mirarchi and fishermen like him have seen the benefit of  on commercial vessels in New England for years. We need to see what is happening at sea — what is being caught and where, and what is being thrown overboard.  Read the rest here 08:55

NPFMC to focus on halibut bycatch, new P-cod fishery during February 2nd – 10th Meeting in Seattle

Blue NPFMC SidebarHalibut and cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutians Islands will be the focus for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council at its upcoming meeting, with some attention to the simmering issue of national monument designations that are chafing Alaska politicians and communities. The council will hold their first meeting of 2015 in Seattle Feb. 2-10. Read the rest here 08:35

DFO leaving nearly $1B unspent is ‘appalling’

Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay says the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans leaving $950 million unspent is ‘appalling’ and the money should have been used to benefit P.E.I. programs. However, federal Fisheries Minister and Egmont MP Gail Shea says that’s not accurate and MacAulay should know how the budget process works since he was once a cabinet minister. Read the rest here 08:15

Fishing stakeholders rejoin the battle on Gulf of Maine cod

Atlantic-Cod-Dieter-CraasmannThe NSC, in a statement of its opposition to retaining the original interim actions, said that rather than saving cod, the emergency measures will increase cod discards by almost 500 percent. “We’ve shut down the redfish fishery, crippled the pollock fishery, bankrupted the entire inshore fleet and knowingly implemented a management plan that increases discards from 2 percent to 500 percent in the hope we may conserve 200 metric tons of cod that are already accounted for in the recent cod assessment? All to benefit a nation?” the NSC said. Read the rest here 19:09

Marystown fish plant demolition hard to watch for former workers

Ocean Choice International is tearing down its plant in Marystown, which has been closed down since 2011, and some residents are sad to see the structure go. About 250 workers lost their jobs when OCI shut down its operations in the community. Phonse Rowlands worked at the plant for 40 years — his wife for 36. Read the rest here 14:33

ELLSWORTH, Me. As predicted, DMR will likely shorten the scallop season

When Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher took the advice of his Scallop Advisory Council last year and set a 70-day fishing season for this winter (just 50 days in Cobscook Bay) he warned fishermen that DMR was likely to cut the season short. At an SAC meeting in Ellsworth last Thursday, the chickens came home to roost, or at least they were visible from the coop. Read the rest here 13:30

Philippine tuna in 2015: Facing the new threat

Tuesday, January 27, was a lucky day for 40-year-old Wilson Manlunas. His fishing crew of five just landed 10 pieces of yellowfin tuna which, if the quality is good enough, could gross them P100,000 (US$2,250) after a 10-day fishing venture. Those kinds of days however are becoming few and far between. If things do not turn out well for them this year, Wilson fears more and more small tuna fishermen like him could lose their livelihood and their future. Read the rest here 13:15

Key West: Three admit to illegally taking lobster, fourth defendant still missing

A lobster-poaching investigation and legal case lasting more than five years hit its climax Monday when three Lower Keys commercial fishermen pleaded guilty in Key West federal court. A federal agent placed an electronic tracker aboard the men’s boat, the 32-foot Super Grouper, while it was docked in August 2009 at the Oceanside Marina on Stock Island. Information from the tracker was used by state and federal officers to follow the boat to several sites where illegal underwater structures, known as casitas, were placed to attract lobster. Read the rest here 12:36

UPDATED! Fisherman Joseph James Landry sentenced to 14 years in killing Phillip Boudreau in lobster dispute

A Cape Breton fisherman has been given a 14-year prison sentence for killing a man he said enraged him after cutting his lobster traps and threatening to burn his home. But the Nova Scotia Supreme Court gave Joseph James Landry about 2 1/2 years credit for time served in custody awaiting trial, meaning he would serve about 11 1/2 years. Landry was convicted by a jury in November of manslaughter in Phillip Boudreau’s death. Read the rest here 12:07

Editorial: Englund Marine is a community asset

Businesses like Englund Marine are a boon to a small town. Englund Marine’s health is directly related to the health of the coastwide fishing industry. When Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber stupidly and unilaterally curtailed gillnet fishing on the lower Columbia, Englund felt the pain of its longtime customers who ceased to invest in their boats. Kitzhaber’s ignorance reflects the myopic urban perspective on the natural resources economy. Read the rest here 11:01

Fishermen, lawmakers blast Atlantic Coast drilling plan – We’re against it

Obama BPMany New Jersey Shore-area fishermen and lawmakers oppose the Obama administration’s controversial new proposal to open an area off the Atlantic Coast to oil and gas drilling. The areas being mulled are located more than 50 miles off the coast of Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia, which they said is too close to the swift Gulf Stream current. “If there is any kind of spill it’ll carry it up here. We’re against it,” said Roy Diehl, director of the Belford Seafood Cooperative and member of the Garden State Seafood Association’s board of directors. Read the rest here 08:40

Bullard: The 200-pound trip limit for cod bycatch in the Gulf of Maine will remain in force

130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1NOAA fisheries will not modify or remove any of the restrictive emergency interim actions governing Gulf of Maine cod it instituted last November, NOAA Regional Administrator John K. Bullard said Wednesday. Bullard, speaking during a meeting of the New England Fisheries Management Council meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., told council members that: The 200-pound trip limit for cod bycatch in the Gulf of Maine will remain in force despite a variety of requests by fishing stakeholders for it to be increased or eliminated. Read the rest here 08:09

Fascinating new squid behaviour in nature

The squid is one creature that really needs technology to observe its incredible moods of colour and rapid movement. This is now firmly in place with a video camera that can be parcelled with the animal as it travels. The point of research in the case of this jumbo flying squid is to learn how it behaves naturally. Read the rest here 07:25

Public comment period open for Delaware aquaculture – fierce opposition from neighbors

The debate over aquaculture continues to grow in Sussex County over the future of the industry in the Inland Bays.,,There are eight locations proposed by DNREC, many of which have created . “We’re not going to be sharing,” he said. “Not sharing. When you’re going to put 118 acres-worth of aquaculture in this bay – that’s simply replacing the use of the bay and making it industrial rather than recreational.” Klinzing isn’t alone. Read the rest here 07:11