Daily Archives: August 7, 2016

WPFMC asks for transparent analysis of proposed marine monument expansion

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council on Wednesday agreed to a resolution that asks the U.S. government to address a suite of concerns before acting on the proposed expansion on the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument or MNM in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Council members Suzanne Case, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources chair, and Julie Leialoha, Conservation Council for Hawaii president, voted against the proposal. National Marine Fisheries Service or NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Administrator Michael Tosatto abstained. The resolution requests a “public, transparent, deliberative, documented and science-based process” to address the proposed expansion, which could prohibit fishing in two-thirds of the U.S. exclusive economic zone, i.e., waters out to 200 miles from shore, around Hawaii. The resolution is being sent to President Obama, the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the secretaries of Commerce, the Interior and State. Read the rest here 16:47

Historic fishing vessel refloated after it overturned in high winds – “she just keeled right over”!

_90701426_ba534480-5f08-40cb-b30b-420333c60358One person was taken to hospital when the Reaper, a 70ft vessel dating back to 1902, blew on to its side at Johnshaven Harbour. Firefighters from Inverbervie and Stonehaven had worked to pump water from the hull. Reaper is one of the few of its kind to have remained in a seagoing condition. The boat, which was re-fitted in 2004, is part of the core collection of the national historic ships fleet. Joan Paton, chairwoman of the Scottish Fisheries Museum Boats Club, said members of the public had been onboard when it was blown over. She said: “We were just opening the boat to the public, all was going very well, the boat was looking pristine, very clean and tidy. “Unfortunately, just a freak gust of wind caught the sail, a rope snapped and . Read the rest here 14:10

Transition to industry based surveys approved by NOAA. At last!

The announcement from NOAA on Tuesday that they will begin to transition the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s bottom trawl surveys from their research ship, the Henry B. Bigelow, to fishing industry vessels is a cause for celebration on the waterfront and represents a real opportunity to get the fishing industry in New England out of disaster mode. It is a bold decision but it is undoubtedly the correct one and, from an industry perspective, one that is long overdue. Science Center director Dr. Bill Karp deserves enormous credit for setting this process in motion. It is a clear signal that NOAA wants to build trust and transparency, qualities that have not always been in evidence in its long and difficult relationship with the commercial fishing industry in New England. Read the rest here 13:15

Fifteen Years Ago Lives Were Lost Aboard The Starbound- My Cousin Joe Marcantonio Speaks Out About The Events Which Took Place That Night

starboundThe Starbound sank 130 miles off Cape Ann August 5th, 2001. It was six months after that fateful night fifteen years ago today when my cousin Joe Marcantonio sat down at his computer and wrote down exactly what happened the night his herring boat was run down by the oil tanker Virgo and his three crewmembers were lost to the sea. Joe trusted me and our platform GoodMorningGloucester to tell the story that had been locked away and never been told to anyone for years. He wrote this account of the events that led up to the sinking of his boat so that his family and the families of his crewmembers would know exactly what happened. The sinking of Joe’s boat the Starbound happend 23 years after Joe had lost his own father to the sea in the sinking of the Gloucester Dragger the F/V Captain Cosmo. The entire crew including Joe’s father Captain Cosmo Marcantonio were lost at sea in September of 1978. 23 years later- ten years ago Joe would recount the events and what was racing through his mind. Joe writes-,,, Click here to read this great article here 12:47

Fishermen, scientists split on closures of triggerfish, amberjack

triggerfishOn any given day, charter boat captain Jeff Lassiter and his customers will catch dozens of gray triggerfish. Then they’ll toss them back in the water. “They’re dang near a nuisance,” But just two weeks before the scheduled Aug. 1 reopening date, national and state fishing officials changed their minds. Because of overfishing, NOAA Fisheries decided not to reopen triggerfish in federal waters this year, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) elected to follow suit. Officials said anglers already had met the allowable catch quota for the year, and to keep going would jeopardize the overall sustainability of the stock. NOAA also opted to not reopen amberjack for the same reasons, which means head boats and charter boat captains, which all have federal permits, will not be able to take customers out to fish for either species. Read the rest here 12:13

Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans Medevacs Diver from Fishing Vessel

1000w_q95A Coast Guard aircrew medevaced a 60-year-old-man suffering from signs of decompression sickness from a fishing vessel Friday evening. Jimmy Richard, 60, was aboard the Heavy Metal approximately 30 miles south of the Atchafalaya River when crewmembers requested Coast Guard assistance at 5:25 p.m. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders launched a Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter crew from to conduct the medevac and an HC-144 crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile to provide additional support. The MH-65 crew arrived on scene at 7:03 p.m. and hoisted Richard. Richard was taken to Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans and transferred by ambulance to West Jefferson Medical Center and was reported in stable condition. linkwatch video here 10:43

California Offshore National Marine Monuments Proposal Would Ban Commercial Fishing of SRB’s

Offshore_050119_beachmapMore than 40 West Coast commercial and recreational fishing groups, working in conjunction with the National Coalition for Fishing Communities, has written to the White House, the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior, and officials in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in opposition to the proposed designation of marine monuments off the coast of California that prohibit commercial fishing. A recent proposal called on President Obama to declare as National Monuments virtually all Pacific seamounts, ridges, and banks (SRB’s) off the California coast using his executive authority under the Antiquities Act. If enacted by executive order, these new monuments would permanently close virtually all of California’s offshore SRB’s to commercial fishing. Read the rest here 10:00

New England’s embattled fishermen – To the north, in the waters off Newfoundland, the cod are coming back

For more than 500 years, the iceberg-filled waters off Newfoundland’s craggy coast teemed with a seemingly endless supply of cod, so much that it sparked wars, drew immigrants from far away, and defined the rhythm of life. Here, cod have been so woven into the culture that most people refer to them simply as fish — as if there were no other. In the late 1960s, when times were good, local fishermen would catch some 800,000 metric tons a year of the olive-backed fish known as the northern cod. In the 1980s, their catch dropped by more than one-third, but the population still appeared relatively healthy. In 1987, the government estimated there were 940,000 metric tons of cod old enough to reproduce. For cod fishermen in New England, where federal authorities two years ago declared a similar moratorium on commercial catches, Newfoundland’s experience provides lessons in the consequences of poor management, the possible impact of climate change, the long years — even decades — it can take for the population to rebound. Read the story here 09:21