Monthly Archives: December 2015

Southern California crab fishermen given all-clear in toxin scare

crab_picIn another sign that fresh crab meat soon may end up on Sacramento dinner plates, state officials announced Thursday that crabs caught along the Southern California coast are no longer so infused with toxins that they’re unsafe to eat. But the Northern California crab fishery – where most of the region gets its fresh crab – remains closed because of a massive  off the coast. On Thursday, state health and wildlife officials announced that meat from crab caught south of the Piedras Blancas Light Station in San Luis Obispo County “no longer poses a, Read the article here 20:40

More absurdness from the Division of Marine Fisheries

NCDMF_trnsprntOn January 1 we will have imposed on commercial fishermen (those who fish with nets) and people who like fresh seafood bought either from the local fish market or prepared in a local restaurant an example of the worst kind of government. That is, the imposition of regulations for the sake of regulation, without valid or reliable science or even common sense. The Division of Marine Fisheries will impose absurd regulations on the catching of in North Carolina’s coastal waters. The purpose of the regulations, plus the mission of the DMF in general in recent years, could be said to extinguish commercial fishing in the state’s waters. Read the article here 20:14

Alaska Supreme Court rules setnet ban initiative unconstitutional – calls initiative a “give-away program”

judgementThe Alaska Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling on Thursday, declaring a ballot initiative to ban setnets in certain areas of the state unconstitutional. Calling the initiative a “give-away program” that was designed to appeal to the self-interests of non-commercial fishermen, the court issued an opinion on Thursday that put an end to a lengthy legal process that began in late 2013. The initiative would have almost exclusively impacted the Kenai Peninsula, where 735 setnet permits are registered alongside a large guided angler industry. Alaska residents hold more than 80 percent of the permits. Read the article here 17:19

Over-regulation threatens New England fishing industry

yNew Hampshire fishermen locked horns with a federal agency this year over fishing regulations and mandatory costs they said would put them out of business for good. The fight ultimately led to a federal lawsuit filed in December against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the nation’s fisheries. The suit challenged the legality of NOAA’s intent to make fishermen pay for observers to monitor their compliance with federal regulations. Fishermen said it was unfair they would be forced to pay for their own policing.  Read the article here 11:25

EU Discard ban extended to haddock, langoustines and prawns

eu discard banA ban designed to end the “wasteful” practice of throwing dead fish back into the sea is set to cover key stocks such as haddock. The discard ban has already been in place for 12 months for pelagic species like mackerel and herring. But at the start of the new year on Friday, the ban will apply to some other stocks such as haddock, langoustines and prawns. It means fishermen will have to land their whole catch of those stocks, rather than throwing any unmarketable fish overboard. Read the article here 11:04

American Samoa: It’s happening, purse seiners are tying up

purse seiners amsamAt least 14 US purse seiners out of 37 that are licensed to fish under the US South Pacific Tuna Treaty are idling their operations following a directive from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that all US vessels in the Western Pacific Ocean under the Treaty are to cease operations as of December 31st. That prohibition is to remain in effect until the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), issues licenses for 2016, which hinges on a new agreement with the Parties to the Nauru Agreement. Read the article here 10:29

Ocean City Inlet threatened by continual influx of sand, sediment

Though it’s been getting progressively worse — especially after Hurricane Sandy — local officials, first gathered by Del. Mary Beth Carozza at a meeting at the Marlin Club this past spring, are working towards a solution for shoaling at the Ocean City Inlet. The Inlet serves both commercial and recreational boating interests, but it was the departure of a commercial fishing fleet helmed by Joe Letts from Ocean City waters in favor of New Jersey earlier this year, due to ease of access, that led to the issue’s prominence. Read the article here 09:29

Crab fishing boats remain in dock as season closure continues

dungenesscrabWhile Dungeness and Rock Crab are off the table, fishermen are losing a source of income.   “It’s our life, it really is. Everything revolves around the crab and the boat,” says Lori French, a local fisherman’s wife and the Vice President of Central Coast Women for Fisheries.   The delayed crab season has taken a toll on French’s family.   “We are living off of savings,” says French. “I don’t think when the press release went out we thought we would be looking at the new year without working and fishing, and here we are at the new year.” Video,  Read the article here 09:06

Countries rush for an upper hand in Antarctica; nations focused on commercial opportunities

untitled-1 antarcticaOn a glacier-filled island with fjords and elephant seals, Russia has built Antarctica’s first Orthodox church on a hill overlooking its research base, transporting the logs all the way from Siberia. Less than an hour away by snowmobile, Chinese laborers have updated the Great Wall Station, a linchpin in China’s plan to operate five bases on Antarctica, complete with an indoor badminton court, domes to protect satellite stations and sleeping quarters for 150 people.  Not to be outdone, India’s futuristic new Bharathi base, built on stilts using 134 interlocking shipping containers, resembles a spaceship. Turkey and Iran have announced plans to build bases, too. Read the article here 19:08

2015 mullet season catch is down drastically

mullet fishLike a lot of Floridians weary of warm weather, the local fishing industry is praying for a little cool. But for the people who catch them, the businesses that sell them and for those planning to expand Southwest Florida’s mullet fishery into a sustainable industry, the record-setting warm winter is a much bigger issue than not being able to wear a favorite sweater or trade sandals for boots. This time last year, the A.P. Bell Fish Co. in Cortez was awash in the collective catch of striped mullet, with president Karen Bell ordering more ice to keep the fish fresh and wondering what she was going to do with them all. Read the article here 18:26

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 71′ Duckworth Aft Pilothouse Longliner with Shelter Deck

Specifications, information and 14 photo’s  click here   To see all the boats in this series, Click here 13:34ll4034_01

New Southern Flounder restrictions came from acrimonious debate

flounder-southernNew restrictions on catching southern flounder that go into effect in North Carolina on Friday were the product of an acrimonious debate. Local media outlets report that conservationists and people who fish recreationally are generally in favor of the rules, which they say are meant to reduce the number of fish caught and replenish the population of the fish. Commercial fishermen oppose the restrictions, saying fears about the flounder population are unfounded.  Read the article here 12:15

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for December 28, 2015

North Carolina Fisheries Association weekly updateClick here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 11:43

Havyard live fish carrier delivered to Norsk Fisketransport

Picture-1Havyard Ship Technology has delivered its newbuild fish carrier, Namsos, to owner Norsk Fisketransport (NFT). The contract for the building of Namsos, a Havyard 587 Live Fish Carrier design, was signed in November 2013.Børge Lorentzsen, deputy CEO of NFT, said: “Havyard 587’s hull and propulsion system are also very economical in terms of fuel consumption. We can carry three times as much salmon with Havtrans and Namsos as older boats without having to use more fuel.” Read the article here 11:18

Giant squid makes rare appearance in Japanese port

A giant squid that wandered into a Japanese port has been guided back out to sea almost a week after it was spotted, giving enthusiasts and experts a rare glimpse of the mysterious creature. The massive invertebrate, four metres (13 feet) in length, was discovered by fishermen on December 24 at a port in the city of Toyama on Japan’s northwestern coast. It was later guided by a diver into deeper seas.  Read the rest here 09:19

Mayor Jon Mitchell: New Bedford would be great home for Northeast Fisheries Science Center

If NOAA Fisheries should decide to move the Northeast Fisheries Science Center out of Woods Hole, Mayor Jon Mitchell said New Bedford would be just right for a new home. Mitchell calls the city “the best place in the Northeast by far.” For about a year, the Commerce Department, which contains NOAA, has been assessing the adequacy and the condition of the various buildings that constitute the laboratory. NOAA spokeswoman Teri Frady said repairs, renovations or replacement are all possible options and any definitive direction is still a long way off. Read the article here 08:00

Fishermen ready for crab season

crab%20boatFishermen admit the delay is inconvenient, and came at an inopportune time, but are realistic about the delay, and know it’s just part of the industry. “It’s nothing new to us,” said Brett Webb, a Port Orford port commissioner and fisherman. “Anyone who doesn’t expect a delay should probably reconsider their expectations.” Bernie Lindley, a Brookings-Harbor fisherman, said the season may still prove to be a difficult one for fishermen on the south coast, as much of the crab is expected to be up in the Coos Bay area. Read the article here 22:23

Crab fishermen look to black cod for New Year’s boost

With the crab season shut down since before its November start, there may be another fish in the sea to help the crabbers start 2016 off right: black cod. “Everybody’s going to be fishing black cod now, and there’s only so much quota of black cod to be caught,” Moss Landing fisherman Roger Whitney said. Most local crab fishermen said they’ve never fished for black cod before. But black cod fishermen who call the fish their staple are worried it’s going to have a domino effect on their catch. Read the article here 20:58

El Nino and global warming create a surplus of doomsday headlines

NOAA ScientistAccording to a new NOAA report issued December 28, the current status of the El Niño that is driving the much-hyped ‘extreme weather’ may be the third-strongest since 1950. A far cry from being the worst El Niño in history that numerous media outlets are thundering and desperately trying to tie to global warming. Under NOAA’s El Niño Advisory system, they state that warmer-than-normal equatorial sea surface temperatures (SST) will continue across most of the Pacific Ocean and will “transition to normal SST conditions in the spring or early summer 2016.” In fact, NOAA says the current El Niño event we are seeing has already peaked, and it isn’t the monster many mainstream media (MSM) outlets would have you believe. Read the article here 17:44

Coast Guard rescues fisherman in Oregon Inlet, NC

450x338_q95  fv eagleThe Coast Guard rescued a man suffering back pain Tuesday from a fishing vessel near Oregon Inlet. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders were notified Monday at 10 p.m. of the 60-foot fishing vessel Eagle with a 39-year-old man aboard suffering back pain. Due to inclement weather, rescue was postponed until the morning. A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew launched Tuesday at 6:17 a.m. from Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet and arrived on scene at 8:10 a.m. Read the rest here 14:15

Maine’s long lobster fishing season is affecting scallop prices

mkMany New England lobstermen are still fishing deep into December this year because of unseasonably warm weather and an abundance of the critters, and Maine’s beloved scallops are a little harder to come by as a result. The extra fishing hasn’t done much to change the price of lobsters, which are selling in the range of $8 to $10 per pound in Maine, typical for this time of year, when Canada is also hauling in large catches. But some lobstermen in Maine, the biggest lobster-producing state, also fish for scallops and haven’t made the transition to the winter scalloping season because lobster fishing is still strong. Read the article here 11:51

La Creole II skipper praises the work of Whitby shipbuilders

la creole 2Sometimes in life things can work so well, that it’s hard to improve them. Nick Bright, of Brown and Bright Shellfish, feels that way about his new boat La Creole II, recently completed by Parkol. A crab and lobster fishing boat, which is an almost identical build to his first one that Parkol built 10 years earlier. Now he is the proud owner of 14.95m vivier crabber which can keep up to 15 tonnes of shellfish alive. Nick is based in Brixham and fishes mainly from Holland, Denmark, Lowestoft and Scotland. Read the article here 11:31

New England States prepare to review new rules for herring fishery

atlantic herringThe new year will soon be here, and with it comes a new round of significant changes to the rules governing the herring fishery. Next week, the Department of Marine Resources will hold a public hearing on what is known as “Draft Amendment 3 to the Interstate Management Plan for Atlantic Herring.” Hearings are also scheduled in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. According to the ASMFC, the new rules would affect the inshore Gulf of Maine — called Area 1A — herring fishery to reflect changes in both the herring resource and the fishery itself. Read the article here 08:30

Natural Resources Defense Council and the Ocean Conservancy – Ocean acidification poses threat to lobsters

lobsterThe Nature Climate Change study, which was led by researchers at the environmental groups the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Ocean Conservancy, set out to go beyond global models by identifying local risk factors. “They weren’t previously factored into the conversation,” Lisa Suatoni, senior scientist at the NRDC and a co-author of the report, said. “There are a lot more places at risk than conventional wisdom tells us.” Those places include New England and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Pacific Northwest, where the effects of acidification have already caused serious problems. Read the article here 08:01

US tuna boats could lose licenses on January 1st

The chief executive of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement says the US tuna fleet has till the end of the month to pay up or lose its fishing license. Transform Aqorau says under the vessel day scheme agreement the fleet has to pay US$17 million dollars per quarter for fishing days but it may come up short for its payments for the first quarter of 2016. Mr Aqorau says the shortfall is an internal issue stemming from the Pago Pago based fleet of fishing vessels which have taken on more days than they can afford. Read the article here 18:48

The NOAA Oversight Project – Fisherman’s FOIA’s Squeeze NOAA

email3From Dutch Harbor to the Old Harbor Float in Petersburg, from Gloucester and all the way round to Corpus Christi, wherever Americans untied their boats to fish in the decades since the Magnuson Act passed, fishermen had to take on science, politics, and NOAA. Some of you spent your shore time up to your knees in fish politics dividing the stock or arguing with managers about areas or days at sea. Because you engaged in politics, new generations of kids setting and hauling gear can still catch fish. Sort of– Sit down, put a mug up, and read this expose. You will be shocked. Read the article here 16:28

Icicle vessel runs aground

s_topTEMP325x350-8230Icicle Seafoods’ The/Gordon Jensen struck rocks on Saturday and the U.S. Coast Guard had to escort the damaged vessel to Ketchikan for repairs. Coast Guard public relations Petty Officer Meredith Manning said Tuesday the cause of the incident is still under investigation and no injuries were reported. Manning said the vessel ran aground near Bella Bella, 172 miles southeast of Prince Rupert. Read the article here 14:09

NMFS Announces 2016-2018 Regs for Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass

nmfs_logoNOAA Fisheries NMFS announces the 2016-2018 regulations for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The summer flounder catch limit is reduced by 30 percent (from 23 million lbs to 16 million lbs) due to 4 years of below average recruitment (young fish entering the fishery). The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has requested a stock assessment update for next year. The scup catch limit is slightly reduced compared to 2015 levels, but is still well above recent catch. Read the rest here 12:45

New regs for Tuesday: Imports, small banks and commercial fishing

NOAA-LogoThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is finalizing a rule to establish a single standard for what’s considered a small commercial fishing business.  Any commercial fishing business with 11 million in annual gross receipts will be considered a small business. The $11 million standard will be used in analyses required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act in place of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) current standards of $20.5 million, $5.5 million, and $7.5 million for the finfish, shellfish and other marine fishing sectors of the U.S. commercial fishing industry, respectively. Read the article here    Read the pdf here 12:16

Fishermen on the Hook to Pay for Their Own Regulators

Few professions are as significant to New England’s economy and history as fishing. Yet the ranks of groundfish fishermen have dwindled so much that we’re now an endangered species. The causes are many—but the one now threatening us with extinction is the federal government. Along with one other plaintiff, I’m suing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to stop it from sinking New England’s groundfish industry for good. Read the article here by David Goethel. 09:11