Monthly Archives: August 2015

PEER urges Obama to unilaterally create national marine monuments

thCAWQFEFIThe announcement by PEER came hours before the president was scheduled to arrive in Alaska, with environmental groups accusing him of hypocrisy for allowing oil drilling in the U.S. Arctic Ocean while simultaneously pushing for reduced global greenhouse gas emissions. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility announced  Monday that more than 100,000 people had signed an online petition requesting that Obama use his executive powers to create marine monuments in Alaska to help protect iconic Alaska animals such as polar bears, and public servants,,, Red the rest here 22:06

Coast Guard rescues 3 from sunken fishing vessel

The fishing vessel Richie Rich is partially submerged 12 miles southwest of Point Au Fer in the Gulf of Mexico, Aug. 31, 2015MORGAN CITY, La. – The Coast Guard rescued three individuals from a 75-foot fishing vessel that sank approximately 12 miles southwest of Point Au Fer in the Gulf of Mexico, Monday. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders were notified by a passing helicopter of a fishing vessel, F/V Richie Rich, sinking with two life-rafts in the water. Watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Morgan City 29-foot response boat crew and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans. The survivors were located in a life raft after they fired off a flare. Read the rest here 20:00

Judge rules against Oceana, Greenpeace in Stellar sea lion lawsuit over increased Aleutians fishing

A US judge ruled against the US arms of Oceana and Greenpeace in a lawsuit in which the NGOs sought declaratory and injunctive relief against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), US Department of Commerce, and others, challenging recent authorization of increased industrial fishing in the western and central Aleutian Islands. Oceana and Greenpeace argued the defendants, groups involved in the federal groundfish fishery, violate the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Read the rest here 18:17

NEFMC Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting Sept 1, 2015 – Listen Live

NEFMC SidebarThe public is invited to listen in to the September 1, 2015 Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting (SSC). It is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Boston Logan Airport, 100 Boardman Street. Webinar Registration: For online access to the meeting – Click here to register and listen,  The webinar will be activated beginning at 8:00 a.m. and end at approximately 6:00 p.m. EST. Click here to read the Agenda. For more info, Click here 16:57

Pew Enviro Groups eye Marine National Monuments protections for Cashes Ledge, canyons, seamounts off Cape Cod

Enviro groups this week plan to call for sprawling areas in the Gulf of Maine and off Cape Cod and Rhode Island to be declared the first “marine national monument” on the eastern seaboard. A January 2009 presidential proclamation established three Pacific Marine National Monuments. Now the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and partners like the National Geographic Society, Pew Charitable Trusts and the Natural Resources Defense Council are seeking protections for the Closed Area in the Gulf of Maine and the New England Canyons and Seamounts off the Cape – areas CLF describes as “deep sea treasures.” Read the rest here 16:17

Britain’s hard-toiling fishermen are cast and crew of Channel 4’s new fishing documentary series The Catch

briton the catchRugged, taciturn and fearless, fishermen are the last-action heroes of the high seas. Or so gung-ho documentaries such as Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch encourage us to believe. “A lot of these shows are built around sensationalizing the danger,” says Incledon, who gained his sea-legs filming Lifeboat Rescue for the BBC in 1999. “The reality of what fishermen do and how they interact is far more interesting. They are a tight-knit bunch and don’t trust outsiders. They’re incredibly superstitious: no women on board, don’t cut sandwiches into triangles, never say ‘rabbit’ [old sea lore dictates that mere mention of the word will bring ill fortune].” Read the rest here 13:44

It’s Florida lobster season; here’s how to cook them

There seems to be no debate among Florida lobster aficionados concerning how to cook this delicacy of the sea. You have got to grill them,” said restaurateur Frank Chivas. “There is no other way.” But Chivas and his longtime friend Tom Pritchard, the creative force behind many of his restaurants, disagreed on the next step. Chivas, a Florida native who has spent weeks at a time diving and fishing in Lobsterland, a.k.a. the Florida Keys, had another idea. “I like to cut them in half, then put the meat side down first,” he said. “You let them cook for a few minutes,,, Read the rest here 12:42

Paul LePage doesn’t want National Monument designations for Gulf of Maine

No FishingRepublican Gov. Paul LePage  is expressing his disapproval of a proposal to designate areas within the Gulf of Maine as a National Maritime Monument. This specific proposal  for the Gulf of Maine would designate Cashes Ledge and undersea canyons and seamounts as a National Maritime Monument, according to a statement from LePage’s office. The change, according to the statement, would impact fishermen from a variety of sectors, including offshore lobstermen, tuna fishermen, herring fishermen and groundfish fishermen. “These serve only one purpose — excluding commercial fishing activity from certain segments of the ocean.” Read the rest here 11:34

Captain’s Death Rattles a Marina in New Jersey

Mr. Andresen's 40-foot boat, known as El Jefe, right

Mr. Andresen’s 40-foot boat, known as El Jefe, right

He was a retired construction worker who turned his fishing hobby into a low-pressure business, taking a delight in almost anything he brought back. Unshackled from the industry’s harsh economy, he came and went on his own hours, defying some of the mantras of professional trawling. There are no sick days. Never get on the water alone. Tom Andresen, 59, was on the water alone last week when something went wrong. The stern of his 40-foot boat, known as El Jefe, tipped backward just off the Sandy Hook peninsula. In an instant, the calm waters swallowed it, Read the rest here 11:01

Scientists describe new giant clam species from depths off Canada’s Atlantic coast

Canadian scientists have described a new species of giant file clam, originally collected from deep waters off Newfoundland 30 years ago. The giant file clam, about 9 to 15 cm long, is two to three times larger than a regular file clam (so-named because of the sharp ridges on the shell surface). This creature attaches to steep, rocky outcrops in canyons that are home to other deepwater species such as cold-water corals. Read the rest here 10:47

It was ‘going to turn ugly’ – Equalize P.E.I., N.L. tuna quotas, says MP Gerry Byrne

Gerry Byrne says his province’s tuna quota should climb from 13 per cent to a quarter of the catch following a decision  earlier this spring by the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea. Shea changed the rules when she divided a 20 per cent increase in the Gulf of St. Lawrence halibut quota equally between the Atlantic provinces. That decision increased Newfoundland’s halibut quota by 9 per cent and gave P.E.I. an 87 per cent boost. “These are the rules that we didn’t ask for, they were created for us. Forgive us for asking those rules to be enforced across the board,” said Byrne. Read the rest here 08:07

Six years after the Montara oil spill, those who suffered most still seek compensation

A fisherman who stumbled upon some pools of oil in the Timor Sea says he first thought his boat was leaking. Then he looked around and it was everywhere: a thick coating over the water’s surface.  “I thought I’d spilt some oil out of the boat, but then it was all around me. There was a lot of it, there was no doubt about that,” the fisherman said. “It was so far away from everyone at the time, nobody really noticed it, the public didn’t notice it.” The oil was leaking from an oil well off the West Australian coast. Read the rest here 13:36

N.J.’s push for offshore wind farms loses steam

A few years ago, New Jersey’s political leaders laid out a vision: acres of giant wind turbines, rising like a modern flotilla in the Atlantic, their white blades spun by ocean gusts, generating clean renewable energy just beyond the horizon at the Jersey Shore.  and other state policymakers set ambitious goals to develop New Jersey’s huge potential as a leader in offshore wind energy. But due to a combination of factors, New Jersey’s bid to become a trailblazer in offshore wind energy appears to have stalled. Read the rest here 12:31

Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance Weekly Update, Aug 30, 2015

rifa logoThe Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance is dedicated to its mission of continuing to help create sustainable fisheries without putting licensed fishermen out of business.” Read the update here To read all the updates, click here 11:04

Governor Lolo Moliga relays American Samoa Tuna Industry concerns to Coast Guard

Governor Lolo Moliga has asked that the US Coast Guard inform the American Samoa Fisheries Task Force whenever a fishing boat is held for longer than 24 hours. And that the canneries routinely are frustrated in their fish procurement operations when boat owners or reefer carrier owners refuse to deliver to American Samoa out of concern for what they perceive to be over zealous Coast Guard boarding parties and inspections. The effect of this he said is that fish that could come to our canneries are lost to other markets that are not guarded by the Coast Guard. The governor told the Admiral this is disturbing on multiple levels. Read the rest here 10:36

Peru plans to start its main fishing season a month earlier to lock in anchovy catches in case El Niño intensifies

An updated official El Niño forecast, scheduled for release on Monday, is expected to paint a clearer picture of potential impacts late this year. The last forecast for a “strong” El Niño said the phenomena might become “extraordinary” in the summer, which starts in December in the southern hemisphere. Ghezzi said his ministry could ease rules on commercial fishing because of El Niño and will likely move the start of the anchovy season to October from November. “We want to put in place adaptive policies for industrial fishing in order to reduce the impacts of El Nino.” Read the rest here 09:02

Controversial proposal for managing the southern flounder fishery is on hold

A controversial proposal for managing the southern flounder fishery is on hold after apparent legislative concern over the process being used to potentially implement changes to the existing plan. The item was pulled from the agenda of last week’s meeting of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission after the commission received a letter from Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Donald Van der Vaart in reference to a letter he had received from several legislators asking that he rescind the commission’s authority to adopt a supplement to the state’s Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. Read the rest here 08:00

North coast of Washington reopens to crab fishing

dungenesscrabThe recreational and commercial Dungeness crab fisheries on the northern coast of Washington is to reopen effective immediately, state shellfish managers announced Aug. 28. Earlier this month, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) closed crabbing on the northern coast – from Point Chehalis north to the Queets River – when levels of marine toxins posed a threat to public health. That area, including Grays Harbor, is now open. Ayres noted that the use of crab pots is prohibited after Sept. 15, when the commercial fishery ends. Read the rest here 21:46

Closure – Body of sunken El Jefe boat captain recovered

The body of the captain of a fishing boat that sank earlier this week in the Ambrose Channel was recovered Friday afternoon, authorities said. A private dive team found the body of, captain of the fishing vessel El Jefe, in the cabin of the 40-foot boat, said Capt. Steve Jones, a spokesman for the New Jersey State Police. The El Jefe, which periodically docks in the Belford section of Middletown, sank Tuesday evening, prompting multiple marine agencies to launch a search for the ship and its passengers. Read the rest here 11:10

‘Godzilla’ El Nino Is Awakening, and Headed Toward California

godzilla1Rising temperatures in the Pacific Ocean continue to reinforce the brewing El Nino “Godzilla” that forecasters said Thursday could rival the strongest on record. According to the latest climate update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there is a 90 percent chance that El Nino will continue through winter as conditions are similar to prior El Nino years that brought massive amounts of rainfall to California. While forecasters are wary to predict the exact impact El Nino could have this fall because of a persistent,,, Read the rest here 10:59

Analysis: France looks at night rescues to lift partial wind farm fishing ban

fishing-boats_Dieppe_Normandy-France_isamiga76-20150826120522189Fishermen in France are vehemently opposed to an offshore wind project under development off Le Treport. Commercial fishing within offshore wind installations is banned in most of Europe, with the notable exceptions of Denmark and the UK. The GNC has so far recommended that fishing be allowed in the Fecamp, Courseulles-sur-Mer and St-Nazaire projects, all awarded to EMF, within certain constraints. At Fecamp for example, the GNC recommends that trawling be allowed, but not within 200 metres of the rows of turbines, and no fishing of any kind where the inter-array cables converge around the substation. Read the rest here 10:29

FWC to finalize barracuda rules

State fishery managers will give final approval this week to fishing regulations that will finally set commercial bag limits on barracuda. The vote comes after Florida Keys fishing guides, captains and recreational anglers have been calling for years for commercial limits on what they call one of the most important flats fish. Currently there is no limit on the harvest of barracuda. There is a two-fish-per-day recreational bag limit. Read the rest here 10:16

Hurricane Katrina turned this guy into a seafood mogul

It’s a spring day on the Louisiana bayou, and Bozidar “Bo” Jakov Cibilic is hauling in a metal crate of oysters. Cibilic grew up on the water, and on a good day he brings in 15,000 pounds. Things haven’t always been this way. The industry took a beating after Hurricane Katrina, and while Cibilic’s boat survived, he had to put business on hold for six months because the oyster beds were damaged during the storm. During that time, he did odd jobs and some work for the state, which contracted fisherman to test the seabed for pollution. Still, Cibilic, 25, was lucky. His boat, which was built by his father 25 years ago, had been stored in a marina so it withstood the storm. Read the rest here 10:01

“Kelly Ann”–Fisherman catches First Tuna–Eats the Heart

heartA fisherman on the “Kelly Ann” was fishing for haddock, but instead caught a 800 lb. tuna.  The Tradition is that you must eat your first tuna’s heart. More photos here 09:15

Ex-capitol security head charged with “illegally” arresting fishermen in Bantayan Island.

A former security officer of the Cebu provincial government and 11 others are facing complaints before the Office of the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor for allegedly “illegally” arresting fishermen in Bantayan Island. Loy Anthony Madrigal and other 11 respondents were sued by Donato Villaceran, the boat captain of the fishermen whom the former illegally apprehended while in the waters off Kinatarcan, Santa Fe town in Bantayan Island last Wednesday. Madrigal, who is a resident of Kanagahan, San Remigio, is the founder of the Guardian of the Seas, an anti-illegal fishing group composed of fishermen in northern Cebu. Read the rest here 09:01

Small boat Pacific cod fishery to open Sept. 1

Summer fishing in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands is winding down, and smaller catcher vessels will have access to an extra 1,700 metric tons of Pacific cod this fall after some quota went unused by other fleets. Krista Milani, from the National Marine Fisheries Service, said her agency typically reallocates unused Pacific cod quota to the smaller fleet toward the end of each summer. Catcher vessels less than 60 feet in length using hook and line gear are only allocated quota for the A season, which begins in January each year,,, Read the rest here 08:26

‘It’s really wicked bittersweet’ – Fair Wind, Billy!

55e12ecb70b93.imageWell, they could have just laid him out atop a wooden pyre and lit him up like a viking, but that might have been a tad extreme even for Bill Skrobacz’ friends at the Crow’s Nest. In his 63rd year, after more than four decades of being whipsawed by the life of a commercial fisherman, William Dixon Skrobacz has had enough. He’s had enough of the physical rigors of fishing that have gnarled his hands and hobbled and scarred his legs. He’s had enough of NOAA regulations up the ying and last winter’s snow up the yang. The view from where Skrobacz stands (or in this case, sits) is simple: He did not leave fishing; fishing left him, or perhaps more accurately, was ripped away by suffocating layers of bureaucracy and regulations that have stranded him with fewer places to fish and not enough fish to carve out a living. Read the rest here 08:01

Video – New Study Busts Myths Around Undersize Snapper Catch

New Zealand fishing industry leaders say an unprecedented 12 month has dispelled the myths around how many undersize snapper are being caught and returned to the sea. The new data collected by the Ministry for Primary Industries shows the commercial fishing impact on young snapper is much less than previously thought. “The myth was that our boats were returning as much as half of their catch to the sea because it was undersize. This new study has shown that’s simply not true.” Read the rest here 21:08

Things got hot for the guy’s on the Gretchen Marie off Jeffreys Ledge – Coast Guard responds

gretchen marieCoast Guard crews from Station South Portland, Maine, and Air Station Cape Cod responded to a report of a fishing boat fire Wednesday, about six miles from Jeffreys Ledge, a fishing area which stretches from the coast of Rockport to just southeast of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. A crewmember aboard the 40-foot fishing boat Gretchen Marie contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England at about 7:40 p.m. Wednesday reporting a fire onboard and heavy smoke in Gretchen Marie’s pilothouse. Two men were aboard the vessel. The Gretchen Marie crew had put out the engine fire with their onboard fire-fighting equipment. Read the rest here 17:28

Can cusk survive the ‘fish bends’? So far, we have determined that they can!

cusk survive the fish bendsI have been working with commercial fishermen in the Maine lobster fishery to test if cusk can survive ‘the fish bend’s’So far, we have determined that cusk can survive if they are returned to the depth where they are captured. we have determined to test if cusk can survive ‘the fish bend’s’ despite all of the trauma they experience when brought to the surface. These lobstermen have been conducting experiments during normal fishing operations to collect data on the ability of cusk to survive. If a fisherman catches a cusk,,,  Read the rest here 16:23