Daily Archives: August 17, 2016

Next Dungeness crab season remains murky while fishermen are optimistic

dungeoness crab seasonAfter an algae-produced neurotoxin significantly curtailed the last Dungeness crab season, commercial anglers are glad to hear that the upcoming season won’t be spoiled — at least not to the same extent. “We’re not going to see closures of the entire state,” said Raphael Kudela, an ocean sciences professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Ben Platt, a crab fishermen who docks his boat at Pillar Point Harbor, said in email to the Review that he and others were feeling optimistic that the domoic acid would not interfere with the start of this year’s season. “We are all hopeful that our season will start as normal on Nov. 15 in Central California based on the overall cooler water temperatures off our coast,” he wrote. “We were able to have a limited season last spring and get people used to buying and eating crab again. “Many of our fishing families were able to get back to work and start paying their bills again,” he said. Read the story here 19:35

R.I. Clammer Dan Briggs concerned about wastewater plant chlorine killing steamers in Narragansett Bay

chlorine clams narr riDan Briggs is afraid he’s losing his job. That explains his angry posts to social media this summer. His venting, however, isn’t doing anything to solve the problem, but at least his boss doesn’t mind. For the past 20 years, the South Kingstown resident has run a one-man commercial operation that sells streamers — dug by hand, with help from a short rake — from tidal areas throughout Narragansett Bay. The soft-shell clams he’s digging up now — far fewer than he was a dozen years ago — often don’t look right, at least when it comes to the color of their shells. He stopped eating his own catch several years ago. “I know this is bad advertising for my business, but I want the bay cleaned up,” said Briggs, who comes from a long line of quahoggers and diggers. “I just want a cleaner bay, a better protected bay, so I can keep my job and sell high-quality shellfish. But we don’t care about cleaning up spots; we just cover our asses and close them to shellfishing.” “Chlorine is killing them,” Briggs said. “There must be other ways to treat our sewage than dump it in the bay. I’m not a scientist, but there must be a better way to collect and treat our sewage.” Read this important article here 15:08

UNO awarded $232,500 grant to design device that protects sea turtles from being captured in small shrimping nets

11918020-mmmainThe University of New Orleans has been awarded a $232,500 grant to design a device that protects sea turtles from being captured in small shrimping nets. Federal law has long required shrimpers to use turtle excluder devices, or TEDS, in their nets, but the technology has been limited to use by shrimpers using vessels longer than 25-feet with nets designed for fishing deeper waters. Associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, Martin O’Connell, says shrimpers using smaller nets in shallower waters inshore have no options that enable them to keep the shrimp in and the turtles out. Most sea turtle species have been classified as threatened or endangered since 1978. Data suggests the primary cause of sea turtle death is incidental capture in U.S. shrimp trawls. Link 14:36

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 35′ Young Bros. Tuna, 460HP 6 Cylinder Lugger,5 KW Northern Lights Genset

tn4184_03Specifications, information and 17 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:09

Fishermen catch a 1,076 pound Mako, second-largest shark ever from Nova Scotia waters

screen-shot-2016-08-17-at-9-53-23-amIt was a big year for the Lockeport Sea Derby with big sharks and a big turnout. There were a few records set including the biggest shark to ever be caught at the derby and a record number of people attending the event. Dylan Foote, co-ordinator of the event – which was celebrating it’s 25th year – said the derby was the most successful to date. A Mako shark caught during the derby was the second largest recorded shark ever caught in Nova Scotia waters at 1,076 pounds.  It was only three pounds lighter than a shark caught in Yarmouth many years ago. “I wish we could have beat it,” said Foote. Lobsterman Marshal Bower, captain of the High Interest out of Lockeport, caught the 11-foot, 10-inch shark. Department of Fisheries and Oceans staff cut open the belly and found two seals and a porpoise. The DFO officials said a shark that size could swim 70 kilometres per hour.  Read the story here 11:21

How Cat Poop Is Killing the Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals

monk-seal-pup-toxo-4-640x371Colonies of feral cats are thriving in neighborhoods all over Oahu, from the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus to Waianae’s homeless encampment, in alleys behind hotels and along trails in the mountains. But it’s not the smells or caterwauling that is of primary concern to scientists.  The biggest issue, federal and state scientists said, is the cats’ unique ability to spread toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that has killed at least eight critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals, two spinner dolphins, nene geese and native birds over the past 15 years.  The problem is pitting scientists trying to save threatened marine mammals and other creatures against animal rights activists trying to save abandoned cats. “You need to stop it at the source, and that means preventing cats from defecating in the environment, whether it’s in the hills or on the beaches,” said Michelle Barbieri, a wildlife veterinary medical officer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. Read the story here 10:24

Groups to file a lawsuit against the EPA following salmon die-off

salmon die off-lawsuitThree environmental groups and two commercial fishing advocacy groups say they will file a lawsuit against the federal government over heat-related fish kills in the Columbia River Basin in the Pacific Northwest. The groups on Monday sent a 60-day notice of their intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for what the groups say are violations of the Clean Water Act. The groups say 250,000 adult sockeye salmon died in 2015 due to high temperatures in the Columbia River and lower Snake River. Idaho Rivers United, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and the other groups say a die-off could happen again. The groups say the federal agency has failed to create a plan to control water temperatures. Read the rest here 09:43

Louisiana: Shrimp season starts slowly in local waters

shrimper in dulac laFall shrimp season has gotten off to a slow start in area waters, fishermen and wholesalers say. The season opened at 6 Monday morning in Louisiana’s inshore waters, within three miles of the coast. east of the Atchafalaya River.Prices have been low in recent years, now about 80-90 cents per pound for small shrimp and $1.50 a pound for larger ones at the sheds. In past years, before a wave of farm-raised shrimp drove down prices, local fishermen could earn as much as $4.50 a pound for larger shrimp. Former commercial shrimper Timmy Melancon was born and raised in Leeville. He built his boat 35 years ago, but now the small hauls and low prices have made him lay off commercial shrimping. On Tuesday, he brought in a 200-pound haul of live shrimp that will mostly be used for fishing bait, and he even gave some away to family and friends since the prices are so low. Guy Duet, who owns the boat Mr. Magoo, had a little more luck shrimping north of Grand Isle. Duet and his crew hauled in about 1,200 pounds of shrimp, but they were mostly small. Read the story here   09:03

Coast Guard rescues 4 Fishermen off Maine coast

The Coast Guard rescued four fishermen Wednesday morning after the fishing vessel Lydia & Maya started taking on water about 40 miles south of Southwest Harbor, Maine. At about midnight, Coast Guard Sector Northern New England watchstanders received a broken transmission from a crew member aboard the 71-foot vessel saying they were taking on water. Shortly after, an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon alert was sounded, notifying watchstanders the crew was in the water. Coast Guard Station Southwest Harbor launched a 47-foot boat crew, and Air Station Cape Cod launched a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew.  Using the EPIRB distress signal to locate the fishermen, the helicopter crew arrived on scene at about 2 a.m. to find four people in a life raft shooting off flares and using a signal light. The rescue swimmer was deployed, and all four fishermen were airlifted into the helicopter. The crew was suffering mild hypothermic conditions. They were taken to Bar Harbor airport to awaiting Emergency Medical Services. The condition of the fishing vessel is still under investigation.  Link 07:21