Daily Archives: August 10, 2016

What’s Fishy About the Feds’ Salmon Promises?

5327439069_3439b17201_bAs federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc was in West Vancouver Tuesday, promising that his government would act on all 75 recommendations from the 2012 Cohen Commission into the decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon, independent biologist Alexandra Morton was sailing into friendly waters on northern Vancouver Island and casting doubt on the government’s intentions. There is no substance to it,” said Morton, pointing out that LeBlanc has avoided any commitment to act on the Cohen recommendation to separate promotion of aquaculture from its duty to protect wild salmon or to put the brakes on the salmon farming industry. The progress report, delivered by LeBlanc, noted that Fisheries and Oceans  oversight of salmon farming meshes with the department’s mandate and LeBlanc said at the news conference that DFO has a responsibility to promote the sustainable use of “fish resources in a way that is good for the local economy.” That does not go down well with Morton, a thorn in the side of the salmon farming industry and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for decades. Read the story here 20:22

Frustrated fishermen meet with new NC fisheries director Braxton Davis

571799c73c25c.imageAbout 50 exasperated, even angry, commercial fishermen gathered Monday to meet the new director of the North Carolina agency that governs how these watermen make a living. They came to the Dare County offices from towns east and west of the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds, ranging from Hatteras Village to Elizabeth City. They came to voice frustrations and ask questions about what they believe are unfair and arbitrary regulations that shrink their livelihood. Southern flounder harvest restrictions and sea turtle conservation efforts were sore points. Sea turtles are best with “taters and onions,” said Sharon Peele Kennedy, a member of the board of directors for Outer Banks Catch, a group that advocates for local fishing and seafood. This fight is old for fishermen on the Outer Banks, but their opponent has a new face, Braxton Davis, who in April became director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries and the Division of Coastal Management after the last director resigned. Davis was not tanned. His hair was neatly coiffed and he wore a button-down collared shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He said he’s experienced in coastal issues, but acknowledged his fishing experience was limited to occasional recreational trips. Read the rest here 19:04

Baker-Polito Administration announces launch of Seafood Marketing Program

Charlie Baker, Karyn PolitoThe Baker-Polito Administration today announced the launch of a seafood marketing program aimed to increase awareness and demand for local seafood products and support Massachusetts’ fishing and seafood industries. The Massachusetts Seafood Marketing Program kicked off its formal marketing efforts this weekend, participating in the 5th annual Boston Seafood Festival at the Boston Fish Pier and sponsoring a Cambridge chef’s participation in a national cooking competition in New Orleans.  “Through the Seafood Marketing Program, we will work with commercial fishermen, seafood processors, retailers, restaurants and fishing communities to promote the sale of sustainably-harvested Massachusetts seafood products both locally and in markets around the world,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is committed to ensuring the future viability of the Commonwealth’s commercial fishing industry and creating a vibrant food economy in Massachusetts. Read the rest here 18:53

New Port of Garibaldi tenant, Tillamook Bay Seafoods, to sell fresh, canned and frozen local fish and shellfish

tillamook seafoodsLast summer, the Port of Garibaldi oversaw improvements to Commercial Avenue where it connects to a new pier, including undergrounding utilities and prepping the area for sidewalks, in hopes of making the area attractive to future tenants. This summer, Tillamook Bay Seafoods is one of the first to sign a lease to operate a business on the commercial wharf. “We’re hoping to have at least part of the building finished by Jan. 1,” said Jeremy Coon, who co-owns Tillamook Bay Seafoods as well as a commercial crab boat, with his brother Jesse Coon. The business will occupy a 100-foot-by-140-foot lot on the northeast corner of the new pier. “We should have a crab-holding facility and a roof on it by then.” However, this summer, Coon will settle for a new fish hoist. And thanks to a grant from Rural Development Initiatives, he’ll get one soon. Read the story here 15:03

Seafood Buyers Visit the Source at Viking Village

f-Wegmans%20TrinityThe Wegmans supermarket chain chooses seafood from Barnegat Light for 20 stores in the tri-state area. One recent summer Monday, Viking Village Commercial Seafood Producers hosted a visit from several Wegmans officials, who were there as guests of purchasers Trinity Seafood of Lakewood. “Wegmans is proud to say their fish comes from Barnegat Light,” reported Trinity General Manager Mike Carson. “They have some of the highest-quality seafood on the Eastern Seaboard.” Carson said Trinity is Wegmans’ primary local seafood vendor, and is able to supply the chain with quality products caught close to the stores. “For instance, we get a lot of oysters from Cape May, clams out of Sandy Hook, and we do a lot of monkfish, scallops, sword, albacore, mahi and flounder between Point Pleasant and Viking Village,” he said. Ron Vreeland, director of operations at Viking Village, led a tour of the facilities at the dock and outlined sustainable fishing practices. Read the story here 13:45

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 34′ Fiberglass Duffy Tuna/Lobster, 220HP, 6 Cylinder John Deere

tn4165_01Specifications, information and 8 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:45

Maritime Fishermen’s Union invests $300k in lighter life jackets to save lives

andre-landryNew Brunswick lobster fishermen were handed free life jackets on the first day of lobster season, with the hopes of getting more of them to actually wear the life-savers. The fishermen’s union started handing out the jackets, estimated to be worth approximately $300 each, to about a thousand fishermen in Southeastern New Brunswick. The move is an effort by the union to get its fishermen to take safety more seriously. Despite repeated boating accidents, some fatal, getting fishermen to wear life jackets on the job has been a constant struggle — especially when it comes to the older generation. “It’s still difficult,” said  Christian Brun, executive director of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union. Read the rest here 12:02

$1.25 Million Judgment Awarded to Injured Fisherman

justiceAttorney Matthew Shaffer obtained a $1.25 million dollar judgement from a federal district court in Galveston, Texas for his client, a commercial fisherman. The 54-year-old worker from Palacios, Texas was tying lines on a commercial fishing boat when he became trapped in marsh wetlands. He injured his knees and legs trying to free himself, but his boat and Captain abandoned him in the wetlands. Attorney Matthew Shaffer filed suit on behalf of the worker against the vessel owner and employer, alleging negligence under the Jones Act and failure to provide maintenance and cure benefits. “This worker was literally abandoned by the boat and its owner,” says Shaffer. “They left him injured and alone and failed to assist him in any form after he was injured. The employer has failed to pay for medical treatment or even pay for meager daily maintenance to keep a roof over our client’s head and food in his belly. We are so pleased that the Court ruled in his favor. We will continue to use all our efforts to obtain justice for this deserving worker.”  Link 11:25

The Blob That Cooked the Pacific

Beginning in late 2013, a bewildering patch of warm water formed in the Gulf of Alaska. A stubborn atmospheric high-pressure system, nicknamed the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge,” was keeping storms at bay. Just as blowing across hot coffee frees heat, winds usually churn and cool the sea’s surface. Instead, heat within this shifting mass, which University of Washington climatologist Nick Bond dubbed “the blob,” built up and morphed into a wider patch along North America’s West Coast, where it met warm-water masses creeping north. Sea temperatures in some places rose seven degrees Fahrenheit higher than average. Some patches of ocean were hotter than ever recorded. At its peak the warm water covered about 3.5 million square miles from Mexico to Alaska, an area larger than the contiguous United States. Read the story here 10:40

One of Sheepshead Bay’s last fishing boat captains says he’ll go down with the ships

sapanara charter captainTo Robert Sapanara, the sea is friend and foe, but his passion for it remains undeterred. “There are no words to describe how breathtaking the ocean can be, and I’ve seen it at its best and I’ve seen it at its worst, and I love them both,” said Sapanara, 50, the captain of the 110-foot-long Brooklyn VI fishing boat, docked between voyages at Pier 6 in Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay. On a good excursion, his customers— recreational fishers—can easily fill their buckets with the day’s catch; at other times, the fish don’t bite as readily. “Fish aren’t trees, but have heads and tails,” said Sapanara, who has steered his vessel as far as 100 miles from the shore to catch fresh tuna. For about a dozen years, the married father of two sons has worked five days a week as a marine oiler at the Staten Island Ferry’s maintenance operations in order to score health insurance. Read the story here 09:57

Awesome Underwater Footage of a White Shark Eating a Grey Seal

shark eats grey sealResearchers at the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy snagged video this week of a white shark swimming with her meal. That’s right, the shark is a she. And she is carrying the remains of a grey seal. The shark was later identified by Marine Fisheries Biologist John Chisholm as an 11-foot female first seen last year. The footage was captured by Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, who used a GoPro. Watch the video here 09:25