Monthly Archives: January 2016

Disease in herring threatens broader food web

0131_KSLO_HerringTiny herring eggs and larvae are eaten by a multitude of invertebrates, such as crabs and amphipods. They are also important to fish, such as juvenile salmon and smelt, as well as numerous marine and diving birds. As herring grow into juveniles and adults, they enter into the larger food web, including numerous marine mammals, from harbor seals to orcas; vast numbers of birds, from tufted puffins to great blue herons; and a wide variety of fish, from Chinook salmon to halibut. Paul Hershberger, research fisheries biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, has been studying diseases of herring at his lab on Marrowstone Island near Port Townsend. Read the article here 21:22

WICKED TUNA: Season Five Premiere on Nat Geo Brings New Challenges, (Video)

This Monday, top-rated series WICKED TUNA is returning to National Geographic Channel for Season Five. Some of the captains are still struggling, with a rough winter season not putting cash in their boats, as fans watched on spin-off series “Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks.” But, Captain Dave Marciano of the Hard Merchandise has plans to pull in the major haul again this season. It won’t be only Captain Dave Marciano striving to prove something this season, however, so he’d better be ready for some competition! Captain Dave Carraro of the had an embarrassing third-place finish last season, Video, Read the rest here 20:16

5 rescued from sinking fishing boat off the coast of Yarmouth

canadian coast guardA Coast Guard ship rescued five people from a fishing boat early Sunday morning after they reported the vessel was sinking 16 nautical miles, or about 30 kilometres, off the coast of Yarmouth, N.S.  A spokesman for Joint Task Force Atlantic says the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax received a mayday distress call from the  around 11:30 Saturday night. Cpt. Cameron Hillier says JRCC Halifax dispatched a Cormorant helicopter and a Hercules aircraft from 14-wing Greenwood to help with the rescue efforts. He says the group was reported safe and sound at around 1:30 a.m. Read the rest here 16:20

North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland Oregon, Feb 1thru 9, 2016

Blue NPFMC SidebarThe Council will meet the week of February 1, 2016 at the Benson Hotel, 309 Southwest Broadway in Portland, Oregon. The AGENDA and SCHEDULE are available and will be updated as documents become available. The Council’s meeting will be broadcast live beginning their first day via Adobe Connect HERE. Motions will be posted following the meeting. 15:26

Video – Samson ropes live up to their biblical name

blue%20ropeInside a nondescript industrial building on Thornton Street, workers are tending complex machinery that turns wispy skeins of synthetic fiber into ropes robust enough to tie down a seagoing cargo ship or a Mississippi River barge. The workers are at Samson Rope Technologies, a company that can trace its ancestry back to at least the 1880s. During that decade, company founder James P. Tolman patented a rope-braiding machine for his Massachusetts company. After he adopted the name Samson Cordage, Tolman registered a trademark that shows biblical strongman Samson grappling with a lion. The company still uses that trademark today, and outgoing CEO Tony Bon says it’s the oldest such trademark still in use. Read the article here 08:47

Alaska commercial halibut quota goes up for first time in 15 years

wrangellAlaska halibut stocks are showing signs of an uptick, and for the first time in 15 years, commercial fishermen’s catches will not be slashed this year. Fishery managers on Friday set the coastwide Pacific halibut harvest at 29.89 million pounds, a . Because halibut paid more than $6 a pound at the docks last year, even a small increase can be lucrative. Bowen said it could push the price for halibut quota share to $60 a pound in major fishing region. That equates to $90,000 for a small lot of 1,500 pounds. Read the article here 08:14

‘Criminalising fishermen is one of the most appalling things any Government or body could do to its own people.’

THE criminalisation of fishermen who are simply trying to make a living has got to stop, according to Cllr Michael Collins. The independent councillor tabled a motion calling on the Minister for the Marine, Simon Coveney, to change the laws that are currently being challenged in the High Court.  Speaking at Monday’s meeting of the Western Committee of Cork County Council, Cllr Collins pointed out that two brothers – the owner and the skipper of the Tea Rose trawler that operates out of Castletownbere – are in the process of testing the legality of the Domestic Points Regulations system, which was introduced under the Common Fisheries Policy. Read the rest here 18:17

Marine Sanctuaries – Abrolhos Islands fishing ban fails to boost fish population, study finds

Creating a no-take fishing zone in the Houtman Abrolhos Islands has not consistently boosted the populations of some of its most popular fish, a long-term study has found. The research by a group of West Australian scientists challenges the conventional wisdom that marine sanctuaries allow more and bigger fish to flourish. It also raises the possibility that poachers or environmental factors — such as the marine heatwave that affected the area several years ago — are also affecting the populations of fish which are supposed to be protected,,, Read the article here 16:37

In Court – FFAW questions fishermen’s reading skills in compensation agreement trial

More questions are being raised about the line of questioning during an ongoing trial involving a group of fishermen from the Northern Peninsula and the FFAW. A group of fishermen, including Conway Caines, are in court arguing their right to compensation, but the line of questioning from the FFAW’s lawyers has ruffled a few feathers. Jason Sullivan told VOCM Open Line with Paddy Daly that questioning a person’s ability to read and understand the written word should not be brought into question. Listen, Read the rest here 13:32

Western Pacific – NMFS allows longliners to fish within 12 miles from shore

3249961In a decision issued today, the US National Marine Fisheries Service has allowed locally based longliners to fish within 12 miles from shore.  The federal agency approved a recommendation by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council to amend the Large vessel Prohibited Area, (LVPA) which currently restircts longliners to fish 50 miles out.  Read the rest here  – American Samoa wants to be part of fish negotiations Read the rest here Pago Pago feels the effects of idle fishing boats Read the rest here 12:04

Rare orange lobster unexpectedly found in Iowa!

R-C--rare-orange-lobster-photo2-jpgHy-Vee workers made an unusual discovery in their perishable distribution center — a rare orange lobster. The female lobster weighed in at about 2.7 pounds. She was discovered in a recent shipment of seafood brought to the Hy-Vee center. Hy-Vee spokeswoman Tara Deering-Hansen said they are exploring options for a permanent home for the lobster nicknamed R.C.  They are looking for a place where she will be well cared for and possibly be on display for the public to see. Read the post here 11:12

Port Clyde lobsterman recounts how he rescued fellow fishermen

A Port Clyde fisherman is being credited with saving the lives of two fellow lobstermen after their boat caught fire four miles south of Port Clyde. Gerry Cushman was out on the water Thursday morning at around 10 a.m. when he heard a distress call from the Miss Lynn. The mayday call said there was an engine fire. Cushman realized he was only about three miles away from the boat and he rushed to the area. Video, read the rest here

Halibut commission boosts coast-wide catch limit

pacific_halibutThe International Pacific Halibut Commission Friday approved an increase in halibut catch limits for most of the coast. The joint U.S. and Canadian body oversees management of the prized bottom fish from California to Alaska. The commission held its annual meeting in Juneau last week. Commissioners approved a coast-wide catch of just under 30 million pounds for 2016. That’s an increase of two point two percent from last year’s limits. Commissioner chair Jim Balsiger of Juneau said the decisions were not easy to make. Read the post here 09:59

Maine Shrimp Hitting Market Thanks to Spawning Study

Despite a moratorium on the northern Maine shrimp fishing season for the third consecutive year, a few wholesale buyers, restaurants, and markets could have some Maine shrimp on their hands — and plates — this winter, due to a scientific study currently underway throughout the state.,, As part of the program, four shrimp trawlers and two trappers are collecting northern shrimp samples for biologists until mid-April, in order to study the timing of the egg hatch and the size, gender and developmental stage of the shrimp. Those shrimp not used for the sample are allowed to be sold. The sampling program allows participating fishermen to land a total of just over 48,500 pounds of shrimp from the Gulf of Maine. Read the post here 09:04

SouthCoast sector managers detail fishing costs

AR-160129405.jpg&MaxW=650Managers of area fishery sectors on Friday said many local groundfish boats could face daily charges of $125 or less-frequent charges of about $500, to pay for government-mandated monitoring of their catches. Sector 9 manager Stephanie Rafael-DeMello and Sector 13 manager John Haran both said they negotiated with East West Technical Services, which has an office in Narragansett, R.I., for catch-monitoring services for which fishermen expect to begin paying around March 1. Rafael-DeMello said the negotiated price was “just under $500 a day,” per boat. But because regulators randomly select boats for monitoring, she said, Sector 9 will spread the cost evenly, charging boats a flat rate of $125 per sea day in order to foot the overall costs of monitoring, which will apply only to about 20 percent of trips. Read the article here 08:49

Lump sum payments never promised to scallop fishermen, says FFAW

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union says it never promised lump sum payouts from a compensation fund for scallop fishermen from the Strait of Belle Isle. Union representative Jason Spingle took the stand Friday, in a lawsuit brought by 71 fish harvesters from the Great Northern Peninsula and south coast of Labrador. He told the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador that talks about compensation began in 2011. Nalcor agreed in 2014 to pay $2.6 million to compensate fish harvesters. The union argues that the money is to be paid out over 30 years,,, Read the rest here 17:19

Local Boat Heads South For ‘Wicked Tuna’

With the severe storm passed and the snotty seas subsided, the Ocean City-based sportfishing boat “Foolish Pleasures” with Captain Dale Lisi and crew left the resort area on Monday for the Outer Banks in North Carolina to begin preparing for the latest season of “Wicked Tuna.” Lisi and the “Foolish Pleasures” based at the Ocean City Fishing Center in West Ocean City were chosen as one of a handful to participate in and appear on the latest season of “Wicked Tuna.” Read the article here 16:45

‘AN UNGODLY SOUND’ – Eagle III boat captain recalls harrowing experience

The Eagle III’s wheelhouse was filled with frigid sea water and Glenn Burkhow was fully submerged, swishing around like a piece of clothing inside a washer. Desperately needing air, Burkhow saw a pocket and pushed his mouth to it, sucking in deeply with his lips. He got a small gulp, then tried to get another, only to suck in a lung full of salt water. Then he felt a hole in the bottom of the boat at the top of his head. He pushed toward the opening and burst out of the water, filling his lungs with a desperate gasp. Read the article here 14:45

Blue crabs poised to make comeback in Delaware – Oysters problematic

Last spring and summer, crabs were in short supply, and combined with other factors, prices for them peaked at more than $300 a bushel. Crabs are a summer delicacy in Delaware, but last year’s prices meant many restaurants and consumers had to cut back – and in some cases do without. But there is good news growing in the sands of the Delaware and other nearby waterways: The crabs are coming back. Delaware’s projected forecast for the 2016 blue crab harvest is just over 4 million pounds, up 1 million pounds from last year’s projection. That should be good news both for the state’s commercial fishers and for consumers. Read the article here 12:42

Seal cull not yet warranted despite large salmon diet say researchers

Harbour seals off B.C.’s South Coast may consume up to 60 per cent of the Strait of Georgia’s young chinook and coho salmon every year, according to UBC research. Growing concerns about B.C.’s salmon numbers has focused on orca populations and rising water temperatures in the past, but this study suggests the dramatic increase in the harbour seal population in recent decades may play a role as well. Still, the connection between low salmon stocks and a large harbour seal population is not clear enough to warrant a seal cull, scientists warn. Read the foolishness here  10:49


Mass. Senate approves lobster processing bill

The state Senate on Thursday approved legislation allowing the processing and sale of frozen, in-shell lobster parts in the state. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, updates a 1997 law that prohibits wholesalers in Massachusetts from selling frozen, shell-on lobster tails in the state. The law was intended to curb mutilations of undersized lobsters. Supporters including the Massachusetts Lobster Association say lifting the restrictions will give the lobster industry a boost by opening markets and helping develop a viable local processing market. Read the article here 10:07

Video – Coast Guard medevacs fisherman 75 miles off Cape May, NJ

The Coast Guard medevaced a fisherman 75 miles southeast of Cape May, New Jersey, Thursday. The 43-year-old man was fishing with three other people aboard the 80-foot fishing boat Starbrite when he started experiencing difficulty breathing and numbness of his extremities. A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, New Jersey, arrived on scene at approximately 11 a.m. The helicopter crew hoisted the man and transferred him to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, Maryland. Watch the video here 09:20

Gulf of Alaska fishermen to council: don’t experiment with our fisheries

A majority of Gulf of Alaska groundfish trawlers will voluntarily suspend fishing in order to attend the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland, Oregon the first week in February. They are concerned that the recent State of Alaska proposal to restructure their fisheries would seriously harm their livelihoods and the economies of their fishery dependent communities. “This is really quite unique,” said Julie Bonney, executive director of the Alaska Groundfish Data Bank based in Kodiak, Alaska, in a press release. “Fishermen agreeing to stand down, essentially losing income, in order to make this trip to provide their input demonstrates just how important this change in management is to the fishing industry.” Read the article here 08:28

Fishing industry fighting cost of at-sea monitors

AR-160129405.jpg&MaxW=650Fishermen are opposing new catch-monitoring costs that could take effect March 1, as a judge’s ruling this week gave the industry a setback in efforts to block the transition from government funding. John Haran of Dartmouth, manager of a local fishery sector, said in December that transferring the regulatory costs to the fishing industry could put more than 40 local groundfishing boats out of business. Local fishing industry tycoon Carlos Rafael said the costs — potentially about $700 per monitored trip — could mean repeated expenses of $14,000 across 20 groundfishing boats in his fleet. Read the article here 07:50

Crabbers boiling about delayed payments for 2016 catch

Crab fishermen selling their catch to Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company say they have been given only a portion of the money owed to them for the second year in a row — leaving some more than a $100,000 short. Now a number of fishermen are reportedly leaving Jessie’s to sell their catch elsewhere. The reason for the stall in payment has been an issue with the line of credit coming to Jessie’s owner Don Alber, according to fishermen who had been in contact with Alber. Alber has not responded to multiple attempts to reach him by phone. Read the article here 20:06

UPDATED: Fishermen denied request to stop at-sea monitor costs

A judge has denied a request from East Coast fishermen to stop the federal government’s plan to hand them the cost of at-sea monitoring. Fishermen of New England food species such as cod and haddock will have to start paying the cost of at-sea monitors March 1 under new rules. Monitors collect data to help determine future fishing quotas and can cost about $800 per day. The challenge was the subject of a hearing at U.S. District Court in Concord last week. Judge Joseph Laplante denied the request Wednesday, saying it’s barred under the law.  Read the rest here 16:01

Seven US seafood associations speak out against shark fin lawsuit

scales_of_justice_2Seven fishing associations have filed an amici brief in support of a proposition to overturn California’s shark fin possession ban in the Chinatown Neighborhood Association, et al. v. case, said in a release. The Sustainable Fisheries Association, Rhode Island Fisherman’s Alliance, Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, Garden State Seafood Association, North Carolina Fisheries Association, Virginia Seafood Council and America Scallop Association take the position that the ban frustrates the purpose of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA). The Plaintiffs’ suit claims California’s shark fin law directly affects the fisheries of abundant, sustainably federally managed shark species. Read the rest here  15:39

Fishermen rescued from water off Port Clyde while boat burns

792057_boat-fire_2 (1)Two fishermen who jumped overboard from their burning boat Thursday morning about 4 miles south of Port Clyde were rescued by the crew of another boat. The U.S. Coast Guard received a distress call around 10 a.m. from the two men who had been aboard the fishing vessel Miss Lynn, reporting that the boat’s engine room was on fire, the Coast Guard announced shortly after noon. Read the rest here 14:36

International Pacific Halibut Commission tackles catch limits in Juneau meeting

alaska-halibut__frontThe commission manages fishing and research on the valuable bottom fish from Alaska to California. IPHC scientist Ian Stewart this week presented some more optimistic news on the status of halibut. “The bottom line for this year is that we can see some positive trends both in the data and in the stock assessment models,” Stewart said. “The stock appears to be stabilizing at a coast-wide level and the more years that we’ve see this play out, the more certain we become of that.” Read the article here 12:35

Camp Lejeune officials and fishermen exchange concerns about fishing risks

Officials from FISHING-MEETING-IN-SNEADS-FERRY-pic-jpgCamp Lejeune met with dozens of commercial fishermen at the Sneads Ferry Community Center Wednesday evening to discuss and exchange concerns about possible risks in a part of the New River. At issue is a 2012 to 2014 study that turned up more than 7,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance and debris from the waters alongside Camp Lejeune’s K-2 range. For now, the base says it will put up signs warning against activities that would disturb the bottom of the river–activities like clam raking, crabbing, and anchoring. Read the article here 11:02