Daily Archives: August 6, 2016

Selling out Fishermen so the Tourists can catch the fish! Commercial license Buyout, Round II

1450255765427On Monday the Queensland Government begins a second round of voluntary licence buybacks for commercial anglers, following the introduction of the state’s three new net-free fishing zones on November 1 last year. The government aimed to buyback 46 licences, but only secured 27 during the first round. Four of those were from Mackay-area fishermen, one was from Cairns and 22 from Rockhampton. While only commercial fishermen operating within the areas of the three net-free zones were offered the buyback last time, this second round will offer remuneration to license-holders from within and adjacent to the zones. State fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson said there had been detailed consultation with stakeholders about it. “We have delivered on our promise to implement net-free zones and to take advantage of the tourism potential of fishery resources,” she said. “If funds permit, the voluntary buyback scheme may then be extended to commercial net fishers in other areas.” Read the rest here 17:00

WWF aims to buy second commercial shark fishing licence

negative__positive___wwf_panda_by_hpfil-d5mthkwWWF Australia bought and retired a $100,000 shark fishing licence on the Great Barrier Reef last month. They called for donations to cover the cost and so much was donated — from more than 30 countries — that they are now looking to purchase a second licence. will now try to raise $200,000 to purchase and retire a second N4 licence that caught more than 280,000 kg of shark between 1999 and 2006. “By preventing both licences from returning to shark fishing we can save about 20,000 sharks each year, including endangered hammerheads,” she said. Read the rest here  15:54

Agencies Mull Options to Prepare for Future Domoic Acid Events

CDPH-Crab-Testing-7In 2015/2016, there was an unprecedented bloom of a single-celled plant called Pseudo-nitzschia in ocean waters, which resulted in  elevated levels of domoic acid in Dungeness crab and rock crab. The elevated levels of domoic acid in crab along the West Coast impacted California fisheries from Santa Barbara to the Oregon Border. The conditions that support the growth of Pseudo-nitzschia are impossible to predict, but tend to be more common in the warmer months of the year. Crustaceans, fish and shellfish are capable of accumulating elevated levels of domoic acid in their viscera and muscle tissue. Domoic acid was discovered in California in 1991.  Shortly after, in 1993, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) initiated its marine biotoxin monitoring program and now, through a network of volunteers, routinely collects phytoplankton and bivalve shellfish samples from a number of sampling sites along the coast year-round. Read the rest here 15:41

Sandy Smith: California Marine monument plan threatens local fishing industry

Sandy-SmithA new proposal being circulated among lawmakers hopes to convince President Obama to use his executive power to designate seamounts — underwater mountains — as marine monuments off the coast of California. On the surface, that may sound like a good idea, but a deeper review of the proposal reveals that it threatens to curtail commercial fisheries as well — and that’s not good for Ventura County. Commercial fishing operations based at the Port of Hueneme, Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard and the Ventura Harbor serve as foundations of our local economy. Our local fishermen and fish processors rely on these extremely productive fishing grounds, including seamounts, to produce millions of pounds of seafood every year, including tuna, mackerel and market squid. Closure of these areas to fishing would inflict serious harm to the industry and our communities. Read the rest here 14:59

The sensible changes needed for the Magnuson Stevens Act Reauthorization

CSF board member Dick GrachekA quote from the article Longstanding fisheries act doesn’t need changing says Hogarth and Murawskiclick here   “Much of our recent success has stemmed from quick action and firm timetables for rebuilding, and that approach has clearly worked.”

Dick Grachek writes, Well No, that’s not quite true… Allowable Catch Quotas are still shrinking each year for most fisheries in spite of NOAA’s declarations of eliminating “overfishing” because the stock population recovery is not living up to unrealistic timelines perhaps? And more than half of the local family fishing operations have been eliminated. Fishing ports along with shoreside support businesses are disappearing. So what exactly is the authors’ idea of having clearly worked? Read the rest here 13:41


Fraser River sockeye run may be a no-go for local fishermen

0806SockeyeRunPhotoWith fish counts remaining extremely low, it’s looking less likely that local commercial and tribal fishermen will get a chance to catch Fraser River sockeye salmon this summer. Fishermen in Canada and the U.S. have been waiting for the green light from the Pacific Salmon Commission to begin fishing for sockeye that are returning to the Fraser River in lower British Columbia. In its most recent assessment on Friday, Aug. 5, the sockeye run remains below expectations and the river remains warmer than normal, both factors in not opening the run. It’s not a surprising result, but still disappointing to fishermen like Pete Granger, who works for Lummi Island Wild. This is a crucial part of the run and if the numbers don’t improve in the next couple of weeks, the season will be lost, he said. Read the story here

Two St. Mary’s watermen, notary charged in theft of rockfish permit probe

040715bwTwo St. Mary’s watermen and a woman working as a notary were charged Friday through summonses with criminal offenses in court papers alleging they took part in the fraudulent transfer of fishing permits that had been issued to a hospitalized quadriplegic. Robert M. Lumpkins, a 62-year-old Piney Point resident, earned about $10,000 during the 2015-2016 season by obtaining the striped bass allocation permit that originally belonged David Odonnell McKenney, who was admitted to a hospital early last September and died two months later, according to the charging papers filed this week by Maryland Natural Resources Police. Lumpkins and 28-year-old Ryan Marshall Edwards, also of Piney Point, were charged by a court commissioner with perjury, making a false entry to a public record and the theft of McKenney’s permits. Charges of counterfeiting a public seal and misconduct in office were filed against Sharon Lea Hammett, 63, of Leonardtown. Read the rest here 10:04

Getting to Know the Fishermen Behind the Boats at Meet the Fleet

re_meetthefleet_kids_lobsterMost of the time the Menemsha dock is a quiet place, Captain Wes Brighton said. Fishermen come and go, unloading their catch and setting up to set sail. But on Thursday evening, the dock was bustling with people chatting with fishermen, learning how to fillet, racing crabs and slurping down oysters during the second annual Meet the Fleet. Organized by the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust, Meet the Fleet was created to draw attention to the Vineyard’s fishing industry and raise money for the organization. Funds go to help start a permit bank, create loans for new fishermen, and change restrictive legislation. This year’s event was in honor of Luke Gurney, a commercial conch fisherman who was swept overboard in June and died. John Keene, the president of the Fishermen’s Preservation Trust, said the absence of Mr. Gurney’s boat, No Regrets, was a noticeable difference this year. Read the story here 09:16

DFO crackdown in northern B.C. – “They’re screwing us.”

tom-hlavac-acting-regional-director-for-conservation-and-protection-pacific-regionCommercial fishermen on B.C.’s North Coast are upset by what they’re calling an unprecedented and unfair Fisheries and Oceans Canada crackdown. Chris Peterson, a skipper who has been fishing commercially off the coast of Prince Rupert for 40 years, says the DFO has gone too far. “I have never seen anything like this,” Peterson said of the extra enforcement officers. “There were 17 of them on one boat last week — 17!”  Most of the fishermen point to July 27 as the beginning of the conflict. That’s the day Hartley Bay Band Council Chief and fisherman Arnold Clifton was boarded by two DFO officers. “I was in the washroom on the boat when all hell broke loose,” Clifton recalled, describing rude treatment from the officers.  He was fined, and then boarded again two days later, this time by even more DFO officials. Read the story here, with audio clip 08:10