Monthly Archives: April 2015

Coast Guard lifts vessel draft restrictions at Oregon Inlet, NC

The Coast Guard lifted restrictions and enforcement of the regulated navigation area Thursday at Oregon Inlet between Bodie and Pea Islands. The captain of the port for Sector North Carolina lifted vessel draft restrictions and enforcement of the regulated navigation area at the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge in Oregon Inlet as outlined in 33 Code of Federal Regulations 165.520. Read the rest here  22:20

Massachusetts Lobstermen go back to work after three-month closure

green harborJust a few weeks ago, Green Harbor was mostly empty just a few weeks –  aside from the unoccupied mooring balls dotting the water. But the harbor has suddenly come back alive. Lobster boats teeming with traps and buoys sit ready to go, while captains prepare their equipment on the pier. After a three-month closure, the lobstermen are finally back in business. “We’re just ready to get back out and work,” said lobsterman Scott Leddin, who keeps his boat Decisive in Green Harbor. Read the rest here

Canada lobster fishery delayed; Maine prices start to drop

While Maine lobster prices have been high throughout the winter and spring because of rough weather conditions, they started to decline this week in anticipation of the Canadian lobster fishery opening soon. However, the Canadian lobster opening has been delayed because of harsh, icy conditions. Meanwhile, in Maine,,, Read the rest here 18:49

Board of Fisheries seat open again after Ruffner rejection

Editorial note: this article has been updated. Roberta Quintavell possesses a certificate from Harvard School of Business’s Program for Management Development in 2001. It is not a degree.  Gov. Bill Walker has yet another appointment to make to a shorthanded Board of Fisheries, and this time the Legislature won’t be in the equation. After the second of his two board nominations failed to replace resigned chairman Karl Johnstone, Walker will have to appoint a new name from a long list of applicants by May 19. Read the rest here 16:16

Newburyport pair’s custom fishing rods used on ‘Wicked Tuna’

reel easy custom rodsEvery TV show needs its support team that works behind the cameras, and a small Newburyport company finds itself supplying Reel Easy custom rods to a series that focuses on catching the huge Atlantic bluefin tuna. Ed Fontes and his son, Jeff, make the custom rods that are used on the show “Wicked Tuna,” a reality series about commercial fishermen based in Gloucester who fish for the tuna. The show covers their work in the North Atlantic. Read the rest here 15:26

Canadian government announces funding to improve commercial fishing safety

The Canadian government has announced a new Commercial Fishing Safety component of the Government of Canada’s Boating Safety Contribution Program. Under this new component, up to $300,000 per year for the next three years will be available to support education and awareness initiatives that promote safe boating practices onboard small commercial fishing vessels across Canada. Read the rest here 14:58

Gloucester Fleet readies for ‘Year of No Cod’

paul vitale 2012The 2015 season will dawn at 12:01 a.m. Friday, bringing with it all of the uncertainty and angst that have become the Gloucester inshore fleet’s constant seagoing companion. Same stuff, different season. Vitale was asked what his plan was once he got his boat seaworthy. “Plan?” he said, sounding a little like former Colts coach Jim Mora when asked about making the playoffs. “There really is no way to plan. The way things are going, you can’t really plan because they just keep changing everything.” It’s familiar refrain along the Gloucester waterfront. Video Read the rest here 11:32

Russian trawler’s demise spurs questions from U.S. competitors.

MSC-LogoSeattle-based pollock producers say the sinking of a Russian trawler with dozens of fatalities earlier this month raises disturbing questions about a Sea of Okhotsk fishery that has a sustainable fishing certification through the Marine Stewardship Council. Russian criminal investigators are looking into allegations that the ship, called Dalny Vostok, had numerous safety violations and went to sea with illegal crew from Myanmar who lacked work permits. It sank April 1, leaving 65 dead and 12 missing among its crew of 132, according to reports,,, Read the rest here 10:35

Commercial Fishermen Unified Against Gulf Red Snapper Takeover

Commercial fishermen throughout the United States have stood up and opposed the plan by the Gulf of Mexico state managers to take over red snapper management and eliminate the commercial quota system. “It’s incredible the response we’ve gotten,” said Buddy Guindon, Executive Director of the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance based in Galveston, TX. “From Alaska to Maine, California to South Carolina, our brother and sister commercial fishermen have united ,,, Read the rest here 09:30

Revolutionary range and resolution with new Simrad HALO pulse compression radar

Navico Commercial Marine Division today announced the launch of Simrad HALO Pulse Compression Radar, the world’s most affordable solid-state, open-array radar system with pulse compression technology for non-SOLAS applications aboard commercial vessels. Combining the advantages of Simrad FMCW Broadband Radar™ and traditional pulse radar systems, HALO radar detects targets as close as 20 feet (6 metres) – well within pulse radar’s short-range “blind spot” – while delivering exceptional long-range performance up to 72 nautical miles. Read the rest here 08:58

Our view: New fishing limits another blow to the New England fishing industry

cod-fish-852One might think that the lifting of the emergency cod regulations imposed by NOAA last November would bring sighs of relief across the Gloucester waterfront and elsewhere as the new commercial fishing year dawns Friday. But there is little relief and there are no cheers being heard among groundfishermen here and elsewhere across the North Shore and New England. For in lifting a number of the area closures that kept many fishing boats tied to the docks late last year, NOAA and the New England Fishery Management Council have replaced those rules,,, Read the rest here 08:43

House committee takes up fisheries bill today

The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources will take up a bill Thursday that could potentially change the way fisheries are managed in the U.S. through an amendment to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Yes. For the better! “We’ve been working for seven years to get some flexibility in the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” (Pam) Anderson said. “It’s desperately needed.” Read the rest here 08:08

Whale Entanglements Up on the West Coast, Fishermen take the Lead!

A record number of whales are becoming ensnared in fishing gear, including a killer whale that died last week north of Fort Bragg, according to federal data released Tuesday by environmental groups. “The fishermen really want to understand the reasons for these whale entanglements and gear interactions,” said Rachelle Fisher, administrator of California’s Dungeness Crab Task Force. “The fishermen I talk to say nobody wants to entangle whales.” Read the rest here  17:06

Stone-crab harvest looks healthy, prices booming

stone crab season, kevin wadlowFishermen are still pulling traps in the final two weeks of stone-crab season, but early indications suggest a step toward a return to normal harvests. “Late-season production has stepped up which could bring us close to a number in the range of a normal season,” Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association, said Tuesday. Stone-crab season opens Oct. 15 and closes May 15. Last season’s commercial harvest of a reported 1.9 million pounds of claws (the only part of stone crabs harvested),,, Read the rest here 14:41

Coast Guard medevacs fisherman 37 miles off Manasquan Inlet, NJ

The Coast Guard medevaced a fisherman Wednesday approximately 37 miles east of Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey. Crew members from the 45-foot fishing boat Vengeance notified watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay on VHF marine radio channel 16 at 9:27 a.m., stating one of their crew members was experiencing seizure-like symptoms. Read the rest here 14:20

Liberal fisheries bill a total betrayal – Wendy Watson Smith

Changes to the Fisheries Act that the Liberals are trying to push through will be devastating for coastal communities and do not resemble at all the recommendations of an exhaustive panel study conducted by Doelle-Lahey. Cooke Aquaculture is preparing to restock a site at Jordan Bay that just suffered a massive fish kill. Meanwhile, communities are living with dead and diseased fish on their shores, displaced lobster fishers, dead zones in their harbours that do not recover, equipment debris tangled in lobster traps and polluted harbours. photo  Read the rest here 13:28

Fisherman dies after being pulled from commercial boat in San Pedro

A man died after being pulled off a small commercial fishing boat Tuesday at the rock breakwater near the Los Angeles Harbor Lighthouse in San Pedro, but it was not clear how he was hurt. Port police say they received a distress call from the boat. Firefighters were dispatched at 1:21 p.m. where they found an unconscious man on the boat, near the San Pedro harbor entrance, said Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Read the rest here 13:09

Inside the ‘brain’ of PH maritime law enforcement ops

MANILA, Philippines – “This, ladies and gentlemen, is the command center. Welcome aboard,” the navy officer told reporters Tuesday afternoon, April 28, as he ushered them into the most important room in the newly-inaugurated National Coast Watch (NCW) Center in Manila. No cameras were allowed inside the facility built and primarily funded by the Americans. Read the rest here 12:54

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 140′ Raised Foc’sle Mid Water Trawler, (2) CATS D399’s, Federal Permits

dr3859_01For specifications, and information and 7 photos of the vessel, click here  To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:29

Anticipation Builds as Copper River Salmon Season Approaches

The Copper River Salmon run kicks off the wild salmon season in the Prince William Sound region of Alaska, delighting diners in top restaurants across the United States. Beginning in April, fishermen begin gearing up their boats for another season on the Copper River. Renowned for its remarkable flavor and high Omega-3 content, the Copper River Sockeye run lasts from mid-May until August and continues into the fall when the Copper River Coho salmon run begins. Read the rest here 09:13

Michigan commercial fishing harvest’s value rises in 2014

The commercial fishing industry’s total catch last year in Michigan was down slightly, but its cash value was up. Officials say the total harvest was 200,000 pounds below that of 2013. But the gross dockside value rose $300,000, or more than 5 percent. That’s largely because of a jump in the wholesale price of whitefish. The popular species’ value has risen more than 50 percent in the past two years. Read the rest here 08:27

Newfoundland & Labrador’s Northern Shrimp Inshore Fleet: a lesson in the importance of small scale fisheries.

cropped-small-scales-banner1Small scale fisheries are crucial for the social and economic well-being of coastal communities. But when push comes to shove, we need data to back up the sentiment. In the case of Newfoundland and Labrador’s (NL) Northern Shrimp inshore fleet, the shove came in the form of DFO allocations of a declining resource. In 2014, the inshore fleet allocation was cut 26% from 2013 levels while offshore allocation was cut by just 5%. Northern shrimp cuts to the inshore will hurt coastal communities throughout the province,,, Read the rest here 21:28

Movement grows in Alaska against halibut bycatch

alaska-halibut__frontAcross the state, letters and resolutions supporting the reduction of halibut bycatch caps in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) fisheries are surfacing — calling attention to a widespread and diverse movement for change. As directed halibut fisheries in the Bering Sea have reached crisis-level lows, bycatch limits on that same species remains at its decades-long level of 7.3 million pounds. Despite some voluntary bycatch reductions by the fleet, BSAI fisheries killed and discarded seven times more halibut (animals, not pounds) in 2014 than the directed fishery landed in that same region. Read the rest here 19:32

Rep. Antonio F.D. Cabral seeks $450,000 for SMAST project

smast“SMAST is an innovative leader for fisheries research and I’m proud to have won state funds for SMAST to continue its independent research on groundfish populations,” said Cabral, also in a news release. “At a time when the commercial fishing industry is experiencing unprecedented consolidation, these funds couldn’t be more important. “Right now, NOAA’s data on fish populations is the only information that’s used to set annual catch limits,” Cabral said. “We need independent research and these state dollars will produce it.” Read the rest here 18:55

NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center scientists to conduct Gulf of Alaska/Eastern Bering Sea Surveys

NOAA has chartered three commercial fishing vessels for the Gulf of Alaska survey. F/V Sea Storm, F/V Alaska Provider, and R/V Cape Flattery – will conduct standard 15-minute bottom trawl hauls at 800 preassigned stations using specially-designed nets with small meshes to capture a wide range of fishes and invertebrates. Two vessels – F/V Alaska Knight and F/V Vesteraalen – will survey the Bering Sea shelf. photo credit Read the rest here 18:14

FFAW and WWF sign agreement to ensure sustainable future cod fishery

An agreement signed Tuesday by Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest fisheries workers union and the World Wildlife Fund of Canada is expected to breathe new life into Newfoundland and Labrador’s moribund northern cod fishery.  The Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada jointly signed off on the Fisheries Improvement Project at a meeting at FFAW headquarters in St. John’s. “We’re no longer going to be defined by July 2, 1992,” said FFAW President Keith Sullivan. “Today is about a focus on the future.” Read the rest here 15:27

Latest dispute over alewives in St. Croix River may lead to independent review

The LePage administration wants to create a working group to examine the scientific arguments over alewives in the St. Croix River as a way to defuse the latest flare-up in a debate over the fish that has raged for two decades. Yet Monday’s hours-long legislative hearing showed that alewives – a type of river herring occupying a critical niche in the  – remain divisive even though they have yet to return to the St. Croix in large numbers. Read the rest here 15:09

Maine Native Americans want deal with state on commercial fishing

Maine’s American Indian tribes want state officials to come to the table for a potentially wide-reaching agreement about the way the tribes harvest commercial fish. Passamaquoddy legislative Rep. Matthew Dana says members of Maine’s tribes have fished for thousands of years and deserve a bigger role in state decision making. His bill would allow for cooperative management of lucrative marine species such as lobsters, clams and baby eels. Read the rest here 14:43

NOAA report may underestimate the decline of Northeast groundfish industry

CSF BOOMDan Georgiana has taken a look at NOAA’s report on the state of the multispecies fishery and drawn his own conclusions. The report follows: The “2013 Final Report on the Performance of the Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish) Fishery (May 2013 – April 2014)” by NOAA’s Northeast Fishery Science Center shows continued decline in almost all measures for the Northeast Groundfishing industry in Fishing Year 2013. The accuracy of the Report is not in question but its employment of legal definitions for active groundfishing vessels and trips may underestimate the declines in this fishery.  Read the rest here 12:03

P.E.I. Lobster fishing opening date still unclear

The earliest Prince Edward Island lobster fishermen will be setting traps for the spring fishery is Monday, May 4, according to the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. However, Association president Craig Avery says boats on the South shore of the Island may have to wait longer than that because, as Avery told CBC Monday, most of the harbours from East Point to Victoria are still iced in. Read the rest here 11:39