Daily Archives: August 8, 2016

Fisherman convicted after driving at fishery officer

judgementA Tauranga commercial fisherman has been convicted and fined $3000 for deliberately driving his vehicle at a fishery officer who had signalled for him to pull over. Bruce William Clifford Roberts, a 50-year-old commercial fisherman, was driving his 4×4 from Port Ohope in March this year when a fishery officer, who was standing approximately 100m away from Roberts’ car, indicated to him to pull over. Roberts was convicted for behaving in a threatening manner towards a fishery officer and fined $3000 plus $130 courts costs when he appeared in the Whakatane District Court on August 3. He also had to pay a $1500 redemption fee for the return of the forfeit vehicle used in the offence. The sentencing judge took into account Roberts’ early guilty plea and other mitigating factors including a restorative justice conference at which Roberts apologised to the fishery officer involved. Read the rest here 19:30

At the helm: Master shipwright keeping South Sound maritime tradition afloat

After quick working trips in Maryland, Tacoma and recently Croatia, Michael Vlahovich often finds peace onboard the Commencement. He’s sat at the helm of the 90-year-old fishing boat often. “Rain or shine, this is the place I’ll be,” the 66-year-old master shipwright said of his favorite place on the boat. Despite its age, the Commencement is Vlahovich’s baby. For 70 years, Croatian net fisherman, much like Vlahovich’s Croatian immigrant parents, used the vessel in Washington and Alaska before it was retired and Vlahovich adopted it for rehabilitation in 1996. He’s worked on keeping it ship shape ever since. The Commencement is 65 feet of bright white wood that Vlahovich and members of his nonprofit, the Coastal Heritage Alliance, have painted and restored since it became the organization’s flagship in 2003. Read the story here with six images, and a video 16:31

Why Green Crabs Are Invading the East Coast

green-crabsIn the Gulf of Maine, as elsewhere in the world, many species are feeling the pressure brought on by climate change. A changing environment makes them more susceptible to one existential threat: invasive species. This, in turn, is having a huge impact on the local fishing industry that employs tens of thousands of people in the area, and provides seafood to the local restaurants that Maine is famous for. In short, the health of the Maine economy largely depends on the health of the Gulf of Maine, and the marine species that have made it their home. But invasive species like green crabs are coming in and wreaking havoc. Foreign species are defined as invasive when they cause the displacement of an endemic one. In the Gulf of Maine, that includes eelgrass, blue mussels, oysters, and many other types of shellfish. Invaders disrupt the trophic hierarchy,, Read the story here 15:35

10-year pilot project: On-board processing of Hake discussed by Regional District of Mount Waddington board

pacific whiting hakePlans for a 10-year pilot project, which will allow on-board processing of Hake, was discussed at the July 19 Regional District of Mount Waddington board meeting after copies of two letters were received. “As you know we are committed to shore based processing in BC. While this pilot program may be for Hake only, we have members who, under certain conditions, can process Hake in the north and south,” said Kim Olsen, president of UFAWU-Unifor in a letter to Neil Davis, regional manager, ground fish, Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “We oppose the possibility of losing work for them or any other shore-based plant,” Davis said. “In addition, we see this as a foot in the door for the trawl fishery of BC being turned over to a fleet of factory ships,” he continued. Read the rest here 15:00

Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union News Release: Improvements to Northern Cod Fishery are a Step in the Right Direction

ffaw sullivanSt. Johns – The one-year management approach for the 2016 2J3KL Stewardship Cod fishery signals a new chapter in rebuilding the cod fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador. The improvements in the approach for the 2016 fishery, announced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) last week, includes a lengthened season with opportunities to harvest more cod. According to data from DFO, the Northern cod spawning stock biomass has increased from 20,000 tonnes in 1997 to 300,000 tonnes today. “Rebuilding the cod fishery will bring with it many challenges and opportunities,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union. “This new approach will provide harvesters with an increased opportunity to harvest and will give the processing sector opportunities to market more sustainable, high quality cod.” Read the press release here 11:34

Stacey Marshall Tabor – ‘I just want to run a boat’ – Millbrook First Nation human rights ruling appeal dismissed

stacey-marshall-taborA Nova Scotian Mi’kmaq woman who won a human rights complaint against her community says she “feels vindicated” after a federal court dismissed an attempt by the Millbrook band to overturn the tribunal’s decision. Stacey Marshall Tabor has spent the past decade years fighting the band for her right to work in the local fishing industry and says as a parent, she felt she had to make a stand. “I put myself in a position that I had to stand up for these women, for all these young girls,” she said. “I have a daughter, she’s watching me 24-7. What if I had bowed down and said, ‘oh yeah, ok you can shove me around.’ Wouldn’t have looked good, would it, as a mother.” “I just want to run a boat and I want to have full access like every other man in that fishery to the fisheries,” she said. Read the story here 11:02

Better science and data, not catch shares

csf logoWith the exception of three mini-seasons (2012-2014) the red snapper fishery in the South Atlantic has been effectively closed for over six years. By most accounts from fishermen, red snapper are very plentiful – they are routinely encountered while fishermen target other species and divers report large schools. Yet, the stock assessment presented to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in June says that red snapper are still overfished and that overfishing is still occurring. This despite a lot of uncertainty about the data used in the assessment. Give the SAFMC credit for not accepting the assessment and asking its Scientific and Statistical Committee to reexamine the assessment and stock status determination this fall. The ongoing saga of the red snapper fishery highlights the fact that stock assessments can be flawed because of the lack of good biological and historical abundance information. In other words, much better science and data on our fisheries is needed. Instead of devoting adequate financial resources into stock assessments, NOAA has spent about $160 million over the last six years pushing its National Catch Share Policy in an effort to privatize fisheries. Studies have shown that catch share programs hurt fishing communities by destroying jobs and don’t provide any biological benefit to fisheries. 10:36

Queensland Government extends fishers “Catch Share” buyout period

1450255765427The state government has extended applications for fishing business buyout payments until September 2 2016 following strong interest from commercial fishers. Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Lands and Water, Niall Blair, said the decision follows feedback from the industry. “Over the last few weeks, there has been a steady increase in applications by fishers for the $20,000 fishing business buyouts available under the Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program,” the minister said. “This extension will now give fishers more time to consider their options under the Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program and if they wish, apply for a $20,000 fishing business buyout. Laurieton-based commercial fisher Paul Moody says this latest decision only exemplifies how ‘ridiculous this scheme really is’. “I don’t know why they are doing it (extending the application period). It appears that the government is making it up as they go along,” he said. Read the rest here 09:45

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for August 8, 2016

North Carolina Fisheries AssociationClick here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 09:15

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Virginia Beach, VA August 8 – 11, 2016

MAFMC-SidebarThe public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s April meeting to be held at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 3001 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, Telephone 757-213-3000.  Council Meeting Agenda, For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest Click here 07:12