Daily Archives: August 18, 2016

Poor production of pink salmon mystifies

15590825Weather patterns contributed to a screwy sockeye run in 2015, and this year the same is happening to pinks, the second-largest salmon harvest in Alaska. In 2016, commercial fishermen have only harvested 8 million pinks as of Aug. 15 in Prince William Sound, the state’s largest pink run. Only one-third are hatchery fish, a marked turn from last years’ massive pink haul of 96 million in the Sound, a 20-year record-breaker over 93 million pinks in 2003. Of these, 80 percent were hatchery fish. Southeast Alaska’s run is doing as badly with only 13.4 million harvested, less than half the already-substandard forecast of 34 million fish. Dan Gray, the area management biologist for Southeast Alaska’s commercial fisheries, said he and fishermen both are stumped as to the poor run’s nature, but seem to think the warm Gulf of Alaska “blob” of 2015, which raised surface temperatures 2 degrees Celsius, has some impact. “Maybe it wasn’t the best thing for high sea survival,” he said. Hope for a midseason pickup in returns is dim. Read the rest here 21:07

Fisherman’s widow sought to have fishing vessel seized before it sank

US_District_Court_SealThe firm that owns a fishing vessel that sank early Wednesday miles off Mount Desert Island is being sued by the widow of a Westbrook man who died in 2013 after he fell overboard from the vessel during a fishing trip, according to federal court documents. Marcia J. Gorham of Westbrook filed suit against the firm that owns the vessel, Lydia & Maya Inc., in May 2015, according to information posted online in the document database. In the complaint, Gorham alleges that her husband, Martin J. Gorham, died as a result of “the carelessness, negligence and recklessness” of the owners of the Lydia & Maya fishing vessel, which she claims was unseaworthy at the time of her husband’s death off Cape Ann, Massachusetts, on Dec. 19, 2013. Martin Gorham’s mother, Barbara A. Foster, told the Boston Herald in December 2013 that her son had been working on the deck of the Lydia and Maya at around noon when he fell overboard in rough seas without a life jacket. Read the rest here 19:13

Video Report: Why Brexit may be the best thing for Britain’s fishing industry

fishingboats1The world was shocked when, in June, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Many believe the severance will negatively affect Britain’s economy, but the fishing industry expects benefits — including increased profitability, poverty relief and elimination of what some fishermen see as harmful restrictions. From southwest England, special correspondent Jennifer Glasse has the story. The June vote to leave may have surprised many there, but it came as welcome news to the island nation’s fishermen. They have long complained about European Union rules, and now they’re hoping Brexit will help them revitalize a fishing industry they say was damaged by E.U. policy. MIKE SHARP, Skipper, “Emilia Jane”: We have all the Dutch, and the French, and the Belgian fishermen, and mainly the Spanish as well coming to land to take our fish out of our waters, which we want to — you know, I think we still can let them come in, but we can decide how many comes in. Read the rest, watch the video click here 17:50

All For Sustainability, But Not Monument Expansion

marine-monument-protest-16-640x427Fish and the ocean are significant to Hawaii’s history and culture. Whether it was fishing from shore or getting a half pound of poke, fish was always apart of my life and now it’s my livelihood. When I first heard of the Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument Sanctuary I thought it was a great idea. Protecting the fish, habitats and other marine life is something I stand for. But as I found out more about it, I completely changed my mind. The trend now is to be sustainable — eat sustainable foods and drive cars with sustainable energies. Our Hawaii fishing fleet is an example of fishing sustainably with federal observers onboard, uniquely developed fishing gear and world-renowned handling practices. Strict quotas and GPS tracking on every boat make it nearly impossible to hide anything. Read the rest here 17:26

A fitting honor for fishermen – The rededication of the Newburyport Fishermen’s Memorial on Sept. 5.

Veterans of the community’s working waterfront are joining forces to ensure that the upcoming rededication of the fishermen’s monument will pay adequate homage to those who lost their lives at sea. Kate Yeomans, the riverfront educator who wrote a book on the loss of fishermen two decades ago, has been retained as a consultant to the rededication of the Fishermen’s Memorial on Sept. 5. And Paul Hogg, harbormaster and former commercial fisherman, has been supervising the refurbishment of the monument itself. The ceremony, beginning at 9:30 a.m., will commemorate the anniversary of the loss of the fishing vessel Heather Lynne II, a Newburyport-based fishing boat that crossed paths with a tug and barge in the early morning hours off Cape Ann on Sept. 5, 1996. The fishing boat capsized, leading to the loss of the three crewmen. “The re-dedication is an important moment because it honors these men,” said Yeomans, a onetime journalist who wrote the 2003 book, “Dead Men Tapping: The End of the Heather Lynn II.” Read the story here 15:52

The Pew Calls for Two-Year Ban on Commercial Fishing in Last Effort to Save the Bluefin Tuna

The Pacific bluefin tuna could become extinct if a two-year ban on commercial fishing is not enacted, according to an environmental group. A a recent meeting in Japan, the Pew Charitable Trusts Global Tuna Conservation Program, it was revealed that the current bluefin tuna population is at just 2.6 of it historic size. The stock assessment concluded the world’s largest tuna fishery – located in the western and central Pacific – has been fished down more than 97 percent. “Scientific estimates have indicated that the population of Pacific bluefin tuna is severely depleted. Still, the governments,,, Amanda Nickerson Pew Populations of both Pacific and Atlantic bluefin have been in decline since the 196os.  Read the rest here 14:32

Mass Div. of Marine Fisheries benefits from NOAA $240K grant to study leatherback sea turtles off Cape Cod

noaa cashNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries $240,398 to study leatherback sea turtles off Cape Cod in areas considered to be dense with fishing gear, according to NOAA. The work is expected to provide critical animal behavior and habitat data needed to develop fishing gear that would help address significant leatherback entanglement problems in Massachusetts, according to a statement from NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region. The award is part of $5.4 million in grants from NOAA in 2016 in all coastal regions to help in the recovery of endangered and threatened marine species. Link 14:12

Lobster Council of Canada working with European governments to combat threat to live lobster imports

 lobsterThe discovery of several dozen live lobsters in Swedish waters earlier this year is jeopardizing future imports to Europe from North America. In Canada, there is work being done to prevent that move. Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada, says the organization has been working on this issue for months. “We just want everyone to be aware that it is being attacked very aggressively,” he said. The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management is spearheading a drive to stop the import of live lobsters from North American exporters. It has asked the European Union to bar these imports. The agency considers the American lobster an alien species in Swedish waters and has satated the lobsters’ presence could introduce new and “very serious diseases and parasites that may affect domestic European lobster and other shellfish.”  Read the rest here 10:30

New Bedford Dock-U-Mentaries Film Series continues with Of the Sea: Fishermen, Seafood & Sustainability

AR-160819601.jpg&MaxW=650The Dock-U-Mentaries Film Series continues with Of the Sea: Fishermen, Seafood & Sustainability a new documentary film by Mischa Hedges. In the film, we learn from California fishermen about the salmon, black cod, sea urchin, crab and squid fisheries, and the challenges they face. Film maker Mischa Hedges will introduce the film and lead a discussion following the screening. Dock-U-Mentaries is presented by New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, and the Working Waterfront Festival. All programs are open to the public and presented free of charge. See the film at 7 p.m., Aug. 19 at the Corson Maritime Learning Center, 33 William St., New Bedford. Link  Watch the film trailer here  09:52

U.S. National Transportation Safety Board Report – Lessons Learned on Fatigue, Voyage Planning, Communication

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its annual compendium of marine accidents and the lessons learned from them. Safer Seas Digest 2015 (click here for the report) examines 29 major marine casualty investigations the agency closed in 2015. The 72-page report lists some of the lessons learned from the investigations, such as better voyage planning, the need for effective communications and recognizing the peril of crew fatigue. FISHING VESSELS – Blazer page 12, Christopher’s Joy page14, Juno 16 Pacific Queen 18 Savannah Ray 20 Titan 22, MULTIPLE VESSELS – American Dynasty and Winnipeg 26 Eastport Pier (Ada C. Lore, Double Trouble 2, and  Medric II) 28 Flag Gangos and  Pamisos  30 Gloria May and Capt Le 32 Krystal Sea/Cordova Provider and Sycamore  34 Mesabi Miner and  Hollyhock  36 Summer Wind and  Miss Susan Tow 38 Read the rest here 08:40