Daily Archives: August 5, 2016

‘Deadliest Catch’ Contract Renewals For Captains Sig Hansen, Bill Wichrowski, Others Due This Year

four captainsContract renewals are coming up for Deadliest Catch Season 13. Several of the veteran captains who fans have come to know and adore are due to sign on for another season, but will any of them back out? On the Season 12 finale, Sig was told by the doctor in Anchorage that if he wants to prolong his life, he needs to make serious lifestyle changes. Work-related stress and smoking cigarettes were the reasons of his heart attack. As a commercial fisherman, stress is unavoidable. Will this culminate in Sig not renewing his contract for another season of Deadliest Catch. Capt. Bill Wichrowski was asked about his thoughts regarding the contract renewals in an interview this week. He says that not just anyone on the cast can keep the Discovery series afloat with the kind of ratings it’s seen. “Well, I don’t think just any group of guys can make this happen. Phil [Harris] was one of the original guys and we lost Phil and Phil’s still as much a part of the show as some of the guys on the show,” Read the rest here 18:48

Fish and Game cuts gold king crab quota despite lack of data

crab9Despite industry claims of a fishery in “robust condition,” golden king crab, long the most stable of all the commercial shellfish species in the Bering Sea, has taken a steep cut in the quota in the western district, to 2.235 million pounds, down from 2.98 million, a 25 percent drop because of declines in all indicators, including size, weight, and catch, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The season opened Aug. 1 in both districts, separated near Atka Island. The eastern quota is unchanged at 3.310 million pounds. The decline has been gradually occurring for at least the past four years, according to shellfish biologist Miranda Westphal, of Fish and Game in Unalaska. But you wouldn’t have thought the fishery’s future was anything but bright, if you only listened to the gold crabbers’ efforts to boost the quotas a couple of years ago, with claims of a “surplus” by their lobbyist who criticized the regulators who failed to vote his way. Read the story here 16:26

This blueberry-cured red salmon captures the best of Alaska’s wild bounty

blueberry cured salmonWhen I first mentioned to some Alaska friends that I was heading to Cordova for the first time, the oohs and ahhs were unanimous. “It’s a very special place,” one lifelong Alaskan assured me. “Magical,” another sighed. Coming from Alaskans who already live in a stunningly beautiful part of the world, I was definitely intrigued. Tasting wild salmon fresh from the water, we didn’t think it could get any better. But then we met the gillnetters, a diverse community of fishermen, many whose families have been in the area for decades, including Tony Hoover, an artist-fisherman and the son of one of Alaska’s most revered artists, John Hoover. Aside from the wild salmon, what do these families eat? I wanted to know. Author: Kim Sunée, Read the story here, and check out the recipe! 14:46

Longstanding fisheries act doesn’t need changing says Hogarth and Murawski, Sam Parisi disagrees

hogarth-murawskiThose who catch ocean fish, dine on the country’s marine bounty or simply appreciate the remarkable improvement in the state of America’s fisheries can thank the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. From its passage in 1976, the nation’s premier fisheries law has been remarkably free of the party politics so often exhibited these days. And that’s exactly why we need to be careful about some current initiatives to change it. As we approach the transition to a new administration, however, a number of proposals have emerged to revise the law or change its administrative guidelines. Unfortunately, these would loosen effective protections that have been so successful in eliminating overfishing and rebuilding stocks. Read the rest here    Fishermen take another hit. NOAA wins again. How can you beat them? It seems like the deck is stacked against fishermen. Take the case in New Hampshire (”Judge rules for government in monitoring suit,” July 29). The judge ruled under the law he does not have to take into account any other scientific data. In other words, what NOAA research vessels say is the bottom line. First of all, ask a real fishermen with 20 or more years experience if those on the NOAA research vessel know what they are doing. They will tell you perhaps not. If the judge was ruling because of the way the law is written, then we need to change the law .It has been more than 50 years since the Magnuson-Stevens Act was passed. A lot has changed. We need to review the act and if necessary modify it, or our fishermen will never be able to beat NOAA in a court of law. Sam Parisi  Gloucester 14:20

Northwest Fishing Communities Find Economic Power Doing Business Together

Six port communities on Oregon’s rocky southwestern coast are taking their seafood-rich economy into their own hands. More than 80 percent of the state’s catch travels frozen to places like China for processing before working its way back to Oregon and other dinner plates. The lack of local and regional links in global seafood supply chains is the problem that the Southwestern Oregon Food Systems Collaborative is working to change. Its strategy is to build new locally-owned, mutual-aid supply chains — or value chains — across great market gaps that have grown in the wake of the region’s near-total focus on global commodity exports. The approach is showing signs of success in southwestern Oregon. It also shows real potential for transitioning so many other, mostly rural places now caught between past economies of resource extraction and future economies of resource conservation.  Read the rest here 12:36

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries: Dealers will no longer need permit for pound-netted flounder

NCDMF_trnsprntThe state’s marine fisheries division has rescinded a regulation requiring seafood dealers to hold a special permit to buy flounder from pound net fishermen and to report those landings daily. Instead, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will require fishermen who hold pound net permits and are participating in the flounder pound net fishery to report their daily landings of flounder to the division. The daily reporting requirement will begin Sept. 1. The division will mail information about this new permit condition to pound net permit holders who have reported flounder landings in the past five years. The information will be sent by Aug. 5. Additionally, the division will schedule meetings to explain the new permit and reporting requirements to pound net fishermen. Dates, times and locations of these meetings will be announced once they are set. Read the rest here 12:20

Ex-Parties to the Nauru agreement CEO says fish money wont last

eight_col_transform_aqorauMembers of the Parties to the Nauru agreement are reaping large returns off fishing vessel licenses but the PNA says the windfall won’t last forever. The eight member countries of the PNA and Tokelau employ a vessel day scheme which charges foreign ships at least US$8,000 a day to fish in their waters. High demand for the limited number of fishing days has sparked a bidding war between companies with some paying as much as US$16,000 per day. The outgoing CEO of the PNA, Transform Aqorau, said the demand reveals the value that could be obtained from fisheries but it would not last forever. Dr Aqorau also adds those who want to change the vessel day scheme should think carefully. Read the rest here 11:58

Mississippi fishermen busted with more than three tons of illegally caught shrimp in Louisiana waters

20864012-mmmainA Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agent Tuesday busted four Mississippi men with more than three tons of shrimp caught illegally in Louisiana waters, the agency reported. According to the department, Senior Agent Brett Nabors received a complaint about a boat actively shrimping in Lake Borgne near the Rigolets. After arriving in the area at 8:10 a.m., Nabors says he saw a boat with its nets in the water. He ordered the captain to retrieve his nets, and saw shrimp and bycatch in the closed tails of the trawls, the department reported. Nabors then cited Joe Tran, 48, Duc Le, 48, Tri Le, 55, and Phung Hoang, 59, for trawling in a closed season. He seized 6,100 pounds of shrimp, and sold them to the highest bidder. Using skimmers in a closed season brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail and forfeiture of anything seized. Read the rest here 11:30

Cuomo: New York will take legal action to block EPA L.I. Sound dredge dumping rule

2016_0804_cuomo-530x330New York State will take legal action against the United States Environmental Protection Agency to prevent the designation of new permanent open water disposal sites off the coast of eastern Long Island, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today at a press conference at Sunken Meadow State Park. The governor today released a letter signed by more than 30 federal, state and local elected officials, providing notice to President Barack Obama and EPA officials that the state will take necessary steps to block the EPA from issuing a rule allowing dredged materials from Connecticut to be dumped in the eastern region of the Long Island Sound. “The Long Island Sound is one of New York’s greatest natural treasures and a vital component of Long Island’s tourism industry,” Cuomo said. New York has spent “billions and billions of dollars” to clean up and protect the Sound, Cuomo said. (So. Lets just fill it up with wind farms!) Read the rest here 09:49

Fishermen Oppose National Marine Monument Off New England

112_sr_ct_blumenthal_richardA plan announced Thursday that would designate a unique undersea area 150 miles off the New England coast as the nation’s first Atlantic marine national monument was met with immediate opposition from commercial fishermen. The proposal would dramatically restrict commercial fishing in that area and is drawing fierce opposition from commercial fisherman like Stonington’s Bobby Guzzo, who owns and operates two boats “That’s just the government trying to take all our water,” Guzzo said Thursday from aboard his fishing vessel. “I’m dead set against it.” Joseph Gilbert’s Empire Fisheries operates four fishing boats out of Stonington, and he also has problems with the proposed undersea sanctuary. “Fishermen are conservationists, too,” Gilbert said, explaining that he believes the proposal “is well intentioned” but simply “goes too far” without considering the impact on commercial fishing operations and supplies of fish for consumers. “A lot of these areas are protected already,” Gilbert said. Read the rest here 08:45