Monthly Archives: October 2015

IPHC staff reflect on 2015 season, decisions, with Joe Viechnicki

pacific_halibutA little over a month from now, the International Pacific Halibut Commission will meet to start considering catch limits for next season. IPHC executive director Bruce Leaman and visited Petersburg this week and met with commercial fishermen. Joe Viechnicki sat down with the two and asked Stewart about what he’s heard about this past season. IPHC staff will be presenting preliminary numbers for next year’s catch to the commission at an interim meeting in Seattle December 1st and 2nd. Audio here, duration: 11:37 14:31

Indictment in BP claims scam reads like a movie

The federal indictment of seven people accused of defrauding the BP claims process includes evidence that reads like a script from a movie. Fraud, conspiracy, dead people and a dog filing for a piece of billions in BP money. Those are all allegations spelled out in Thursday’s 95 count indictment. Prosecutors call it the biggest BP disaster identity theft case to date. The indictment alleges among the more than 40,000 client claims submitted, one was for Lucy Lu who turned out to be a dog. Five other names submitted had died before the 2010 oil spill. Read the rest here Seven indicted in largest BP fraud identity theft case to dateRelated article here 13:54

Red Snapper Fisherman Charged with Illegal Gear in State Waters

logol f&w Enforcement agents cited Seven P. Rhoto, 37, for using bandit gear in state waters.  Bandit gear is allowed to be used in federal waters and is normally used by federally permitted reef fish holders, but is illegal in Louisiana water. Agents observed a vessel using bandit gear fishing for red snapper near the mouth of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish.  Upon inspection of the vessel, agents found Rhoto in possession of 1,088 pounds of red snapper, 44 pounds of lane snapper and 17 pounds of white trout. Read the rest here 12:45

Fishermen raise funds for removed Comox soccer player opposed to fish farms

5-SOCCER-CONTROVERSYA group of commercial fishermen gathered at the Comox Fisherman’s Wharf Thursday to present 14-year-old Freyja Reed with a trust fund cheque for $2000. They’re throwing their support behind the young soccer player over the backlash she received for speaking out against her team’s sponsor Marine Harvest, one of the largest fish farming companies in the world. “We want our youth to know if you do stand up for something you strongly believe in, people are going to listen,” said commercial fisherman and trust fund organizer Travis Hird. Video, Read the rest here 12:10

COUNTERPOINT: Who’ll police fish farms? – Kathaleen Milan, Sable River

In Lunenburg on Monday, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell announced that aquaculture regulations have gone from two pages to 60. While much has been added, there is still no solid commitment to enforcement, and no mention of increasing the number of inspectors, how many more boats will be needed, nor how many bottom samples or random fish samples will be done. No announcement of millions of dollars to pay for all this new enforcement that will be required. It’s hard not to be cynical,,, Read the rest here 09:47

Gulf warming study based on bad science, stakeholders say

cod-fishThe study, performed by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and appearing in the journal Science, concluded the Gulf of Maine’s surface water is warming more rapidly than 99.9 percent of the rest of the world’s oceans and that climate change is a contributing factor to the demise of the cod stock.  “My first question was whether any part of the study started out to understand the true status of Gulf of Maine cod or if they just assumed that the data from the assessment — which we contend is consistently wrong — is fact,” said Vito Giacalone, policy director for the Gloucester-based Northeast Seafood Coalition. “I was told it was the latter.” Read the rest here 08:39

The beloved boat that came home after the war

58950campbellriverSoyokazeWar stories are often told on Remembrance Day, but they are not always about heroes or significant battles. A war story can take place where no battles are fought, as on Canada’s west coast where the Canadian military was preparing for a possible attack from Japan just prior to World War II. As a result of this fear and the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, hundreds of Japanese Canadians were interred in camps in the belief that they posed a threat to Canada’s security, and their possessions were taken from them. One such story is right in our own backyard. Read the rest here 07:44

Monterey Bay anchovy numbers in decline, groups say

Geoff Shester, the California program manager for the conservation group Oceana, said, “The problem is we know anchovy goes way up and way down. What was a sustainable level of fishing back then, might be wiping out the population now.” “I’ve been fishing anchovies since 1959, and I don’t see any problem with the anchovies for the whales,” said fisherman Neil Guglielmo of Monterey. “Perhaps this is the time of year the whales move or El Nino, but the fact that we’re scaring whales or catching their food source is ridiculous.” Read the rest here 18:40

Astoria drops below Newport in commercial catch

EP-151029749.jpg&MaxW=600Astoria slipped below Newport last year as the dominant West Coast port for commercial fishing. Newport landed 124 million pounds of commercial fish, the 11th highest mark by quantity in the nation, while Astoria netted 122 million pounds, the 12th highest. Westport, Washington, came in at 100 million pounds, or 13th highest. The catch figures were released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which compiles an annual fisheries report that includes the quantity and value of commercial fishery landings. Read the rest here 16:58

Fishermen obeyed their quotas, so why did Maine cod stocks collapse?

NOAA ScientistDr. Andrew Pershing from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), lead author of the study released Thursday in Science, explained for the first time why cod stocks in the Gulf of Maine have decreased to 3 to 4 percent of sustainable levels, despite numerous harvesting restrictions in 2010 by fisheries managers. Fisheries published strict quota limits for fishermen without accounting for ocean warming in the Gulf of Maine,,, By not accounting for such an influential change, fisheries set quota ceilings that were too high and inadvertently endorsed severe overfishing. Read the rest here  13:09

Friday Tomfoolery with Captain Paul Watson

Why We Need to Stop Masking the Reality of Animal Cruelty With Language – Paul Watson. For many years, I have been annoyed at some of the terminology used in our societies in reference to our brutal treatment of animals. The first word that needs to go is the word “harvest,” when used in reference to the killing of animals. And he’s off! So begins a journey into the things that just piss him off, to the point of scorn such as sustainable fisheries, for there is no such thing! Sometimes the word “fish” is replaced by the word “product.”  Read the rest here 12:11 

Turf War: Lobster fishermen charged after confrontation with First Nations

Anthony Peter-Paul expected his first season as a lobster fisherman to be tough and profitable, but it turned into a situation where, he says, he “felt helpless.” The St. Thomas University student, and Pabineau First Nation man, spent the 2015 season fishing lobster in the Bay of Chaleur with a first-time licence-holder, also from Pabineau. It started off with a fishermen’s meeting which they have every year at Stonehaven,” said Peter-Paul. Read the rest here 11:11

The unknown, the unsolved and the unexplained … Part 2

88066forkssinkingboatThe year 1952 was not a good year for fishermen. Not because the fishing was bad, but because people were going fishing and never coming home again. Richard H. Dill had been a resident of the West End for a number of years and recently had moved to Port Angeles. On a Sunday morning in May 1952 Tyler Hobucket spotted Dill’s fishing boat, the Terrine, off LaPush — it was running in circles. George Lewis, owner of the troller Destiny had last spoken with Dill on Friday, via his ship radio. At the time Dill was north of Grays Harbor and he told Lewis he was heading,,, Read the rest here 10:09

Britain’s youngest fishing boat captain has to be rescued… again

He is Britain’s youngest fishing boat captain, who just last week won an award for saving the lives of three of his crew when his boat sank in rough seas. But now Jake Bowman-Davies, 17, has had to be rescued yet again, after crashing a vessel for the second time this year. The teenager, from Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, wrecked another of his father’s fishing boats, worth around £300,000, this week when his boat collided with rocks in the darkness. Read the rest here 09:26

USCG focuses on crab fishing safety

carouselAs Dungeness crab fishing is the most deadly of all West Coast commercial fisheries, U.S. Coast Guard fishing vessel safety experts will be visiting Northern California fishing ports in early November ahead of the fishing season, to help reduce the number of deaths, injuries and accidents. The season is scheduled to begin at midnight on 14 November for the central coast (Avila-Morro Bay to the mouth of the Russian River) and 1 December for the northern coast (Russian River to the Oregon border). Coast Guard personnel will be on the docks in ports from Monterey to Crescent City on 3-5 November to help identify and mitigate safety hazards in the crab fleet.  Read the rest here 08:51

Scientists: Warming ocean factor in collapse of Gulf of Maine cod fishery

cod-fish-852The scientists behind the Science report say the warming of the Gulf of Maine, which accelerated from 2004 to 2013, reduced cod’s capacity to rebound from fishing pressure. The report gives credence to the idea — supported by advocacy groups, fishing managers and even some fishermen — that climate change has played a role in cod’s collapse. The lead author of the study, Andrew Pershing of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, said the gulf is warming at a rate 99 percent faster than anywhere else in the world, and as a result, too many of the fish aren’t living past age 4. Cod can live to be older than 20. Read the rest here 07:58

New Jersey & New York Fishermen United in Opposition to Port Ambrose LNG

lovgrenThe Port Ambrose proposal threatens their way of life and would begin harmful industrialization of the ocean and limit their access. ” The area that they are proposing to use are important fishing grounds for fluke and squid. Generations of fishermen have been working these areas for 300 years. Putting an LNG terminal on traditional fishing is taking money out fisherman’s wallet and into the pockets of greedy gas company.  We will not stand for it.” –  Captain James Lovgren, Spokesman for the Fisherman’s Dock Co-op, Pt. Pleaseant, Read the rest here 19:46

Hastily assembled meeting gets New Hampshire Fishermen face to face with NOAA Administrator Sullivan

While no promises for action were made by the official — Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association — those who met with her said they appreciated the hour and a half sit-down she gave them at the Ashworth by the Sea Hotel. “I said (to Sullivan) I felt that I’m very patriotic, I love my country, but I feel my government has completely failed us in New Hampshire and in the fishing industry, and the public process has been non-existent,” said Ellen Goethel, Hampton marine biologist and wife of commercial fisherman David Goethel. Read the rest here 19:01

Warming waters a major factor in the collapse of New England cod, study finds

newstudywarmPershing and colleagues from GMRI, the University of Maine, Stony Brook University, the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, including the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, found that increasing water temperatures reduce the number of new cod produced by spawning females. Their study also suggests that warming waters led to fewer young fish surviving to adulthood. Read the rest here 18:04

NOAA insists it is under no obligation to deliver controversial climate research docs to our Representatives.

The US government’s main climate research agency has refused a request by House Republicans to release key documents concerning the controversial issue of whether or not there has been a “pause” in global warming. Despite being a public, taxpayer-funded institution, the NOAA insists that it is under no obligation to provide the research papers (sound familiar?), as demanded in a subpoena by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) Gosh. What vital information of national secrecy importance could NOAA possibly have to hide? Read the rest here  and here and here 17:00

ENGO’s with big money influence decision making on fisheries

wolf-in-sheeps-clothing-scaled500-e1371562470325There were repeated statements made at last week’s meeting of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council that the US Government regulations are hurting the whole fishing industry, from boat owners to fishermen to canneries and the communities they operate in. Hawaii Council member Michael Goto said, “When international regulations cause a fishery to close, I don’t see how we can convince other nations to abide by our standards.  Goto told KHJ News that many of the regulations hurting fisheries are the result of lobbying by non government and environmental groups. Audio, Read the rest here 15:25

National Marine Fisheries Service yearbook of fishery statistics for the United States for 2014 is here!

nmfs_logoThe report provides data on U.S. recreational catch and commercial fisheries landings and value as well as other aspects of U.S. commercial fishing. In addition, data are reported on the U.S. fishery processing industry, imports and exports of fishery-related products, and domestic supply and per capita consumption of fishery products. The NMFS Fisheries Statistics Division in Silver Spring, MD, managed the collection and compilation of recreational statistics, in cooperation with various States and Interstate Fisheries Commissions, and tabulated and prepared all data for publication. Read the report here 13:39

Bodies confirmed as missing fishermen of the Fishing Vessel Jubilee

The three bodies pulled from a Canterbury shipwreck have been confirmed as the missing fishermen from FV Jubilee. Canterbury police search and rescuers said the men were understood to be on board at the time the ship sank. The men had been missing since they sent out a distress signal on October 18 after they were caught in a brutal storm. Fishermen Jared Reese Husband, Paul Russell Bennett and Terry Donald Booth were on board. Inspector Craig McKay said it was a “exceptional result” to be able to return the missing men to their families. Read the rest here 11:18

Fishing Company Charged Over $1 Million in Oil Spill Penalties

In its complaint, filed today along with the lodging of a consent decree in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, the United States alleges that the Tri-Marine companies are liable for the October 2014 oil spill from their 230-foot commercial , into Pago Pago Harbor in American Samoa and related violations of the Coast Guard’s spill prevention regulations.  After the Capt. Vincent Gann returned to Pago Pago Harbor from a two-month fishing voyage, it struck two moored fishing vessels while maneuvering in the harbor on Oct. 16, 2014.  Read the rest here 10:53

Three Catcher/Processor Crew Cited for Assaulting Fellow Crewmember in Bering Sea

Alaska Wildlife Officers issued citations to three crewmembers aboard the F/V Katie Ann, fishing in the in the Bering Sea. 20-year-old Tyler Wootan, 20-year-old Douglas Moimoi, and 18-year-old Sunia Moimoi were cited for assaulting and punching a fellow crewmember while out on the boat commercial fishing near the remote port island of St. Paul. These citations followed a similar citation on 36-year-old Toumante Dia, that was issued for a Monday assault aboard the vessel. That citation was for also assaulting a fellow crewmember. Read the rest here 09:57

Fishing remains huge part of Ron Rosse’s life

ron rosse stone crabA Lee County native who was introduced to fishing at a very young age, continues his passion near Captiva Island where his earliest memories were formed – building stone crab traps. “We used to build them out of wood. That was the norm for years and still is for a lot of people now,” Ron Rosse said. Over the years it was discovered that wood does not last long due to worms eating through the material. “Once they get into the trap, there is no getting them out,” he said. Read the rest here  09:01

Our View: Fishery science will make all the difference

On Tuesday, the top administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, visited New Bedford to meet with local members of the fishing community and spoke in a way that suggests the regulators understand the industry’s perspective. “We are committed to working with the best science and trying to find the right way forward to sustain the health of the fisheries and the fishing community,” she said following a closed-door meeting, a harbor tour and a discussion at the School for Marine Science and Technology in the South End. Read the rest here 08:34

Letter: Romeo Theken has worked hard for the fishing industry

As members of Gloucester’s fishing industry and waterfront economy, we are writing in strong support of Sefatia Romeo Theken’s election for mayor. Since Sefatia has been in office, we have seen her move aggressively to promote and provide assistance to the industry.,, We are grateful for Sefatia’s tireless efforts on behalf of the waterfront community and of the entire city. We look forward to a resurgence of our seaport under her leadership.  Russell Sherman – FV Lady Jane, Monte Rome – Intershell, Sheree Zizik – Cruiseport Read the rest here  07:54

Trawlers may convert to pot gear for cod catches

One of the tools being talked about to help trawlers reduce salmon and halibut bycatch is the opportunity to voluntarily convert to pot gear to catch Pacific cod. It’s an option being discussed by fishery managers as they craft a trawl bycatch reduction plan for the Gulf of Alaska. Sam Cunningham, “The reason someone might be interested in using pot gear, and the reason is that it would have lower bycatch of prohibited species of Chinook salmon and halibut, and when those species are caught incidentally they would be less likely to die because they are caught in pot gear.” Listen, and read the rest here  17:51

The former High Liner Foods fish plant in Burin has avoided the wrecking ball.

article high liner plantAfter roughly two years of negotiations with the Nova Scotia-based company, the town has acquired the facility. The acquisition means the building won’t meet the same fate as Ocean Choice International’s fish plant in Marystown, which closed just a few months prior to High Liner in early 2012 and was demolished this year. The fish plant was essentially turned over to the town for free, according to Mayor Kevin Lundrigan, although $10 was required to change hands to make the deal official. Read the rest here 16:49