Daily Archives: September 16, 2016

World’s oldest fishhook found on Okinawa

fishhooks_16x9_2There’s no telling what kinds of fishermen’s tales they told, but the early modern humans who lived on tiny Okinawa Island between mainland Japan and Taiwan nearly 30,000 years ago are the world’s oldest known anglers. Now, archaeologists have discovered the oldest known fishhooks in a limestone cave in the island’s interior, dating back nearly 23,000 years. The fishhooks, all carved from shells, were found in Sakitari Cave, which was occupied seasonally by fishermen taking advantage of the downstream migrations of crabs and freshwater snails. Unlike their mainland counterparts, who fashioned tools and beads out of shells and stones, the ancient people of Okinawa Island used shells almost exclusively. Japanese archaeologists excavating the cave discovered both a finished and an unfinished fishhook that had been carved and ground from sea snail shells. By radiocarbon dating pieces of charcoal found in the same layer as the fishhooks, the researchers determined the hooks were between 22,380 and 22,770 years old. Read the rest here 19:46

Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) called it!

Bishop called it. President Obama designated the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean this week–off the coast of Cape Cod. Once again, the President made a huge decision without consulting anyone he really needed to, especially fishermen. Click HERE to view Chairman Bishop’s op-ed predicting the administration’s assault on lobster rolls. 16:57

UK Overseas Territories Marine Protection Areas to double in four years

sir-nobody-our-oceansSpeaking ahead of “Our Ocean” conference in Washington DC, Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan announced plans to double the area of ocean under marine protection around the UK Overseas Territories to around four million square kilometers, greater than the landmass of India. This will involve the permanent closure of an additional one million square kilometers of ocean to commercial fishing, to preserve important marine life. The UK will pledge £20 million over the next four years to support the implementation, management, surveillance and crucially the enforcement of these new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, the two-day Our Ocean conference will bring together governments, scientists, business leaders and NGOs from around the world to tackle threats to the ocean, including from marine pollution and the climate. Read the story here 16:20

New England fishermen consider whether to fight Atlantic monument designation

canyons-seamountsFishermen in New England say President Barack Obama needlessly dealt a big blow to their industry when he created the Atlantic Ocean’s first marine national monument and circumvented the existing process for protecting fisheries. The new Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument consists of nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains off the New England coast. The designation will close the area to commercial fishermen, who go there primarily for lobster, red crab, squid, whiting, butterfish, swordfish and tuna. After Thursday’s announcement, fishermen pondered their next move: sue, lobby Congress to change the plan or relocate. It’s hard to move, they said, because other fishermen would likely already be fishing where they would want to go. They said the designation process wasn’t transparent and the administration should have let the New England Fishery Management Council, which is charged with regulating the region’s fisheries, finish working on the coral protection measures it’s considering. Read the story here 14:20

Free lifejackets with satellite tracking devices for Plymouth fishermen?

15511260-largeFishermen could soon be issued with free lifejackets featuring personal satellite tracking devices which could help save lives. Plymouth City Council is considering applying to a European fund for money to buy jackets equipped with locator beacons. Cllr Tudor Evans, Labour Party leader, will table a motion on the subject at Monday’s full council meeting. “These things save lives,” Cllr Evans said. “We spend a lot of money on safe cycling and safe walking, and that’s all very good on land, but there’s money available to improve the possibility of saving fishermen’s lives. “As we are a massive fishing industry here, we thought it would be a good idea and it seems to have gone down well.” “The important thing about this is they improve the prospect of being found in the water,” he said. Read the story here 12:59

Hawaii’s Longline Fishing industry pushes back following questions about labor practices

Allegations of harsh treatment of workers in Hawaii’s longline fishing fleet  have made headlines nationally. Now, the industry is defending itself, one day after a grocery store chain stopped buying tuna from Hawaii’s fish auction. There are 140 longline boats and 700 fishermen in Hawaii’s fishing fleet. The undocumented workers’ employment is legal. “It’s a very in-demand job for them,” Hawaii Longline Association president Sean Martin said. University of Hawaii professor Uli Kozok interprets for Indonesian fishermen. He’s heard complaints of physical abuse aboard the boats. “They’re quite a few stories that I’ve heard where fishermen were beaten by the captain or by the first officer,” he said. He said fishermen complain of insufficient food and third-world working conditions. Martin thinks the allegations are unfounded. “It’s a long ways from slave labor and human trafficking,” he said. Read the story here 11:25

US Labor Dept. to look at conditions affecting foreign workers on American fishing vessels in Hawaii

Labor Department official said the agency is “deeply disturbed” by news reports about the long hours, low wages and inhumane living conditions suffered by up to 700 workers from Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands. The official said the agency was reaching out to other U.S  government agencies to try to figure out what to do about it. “The Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that workers are treated with respect, fairness, and dignity,” said Labor Department spokesperson Jason Surbey in an emailed statement. A widely published report by the Associated Press found that some workers are held in prison-like captivity at the piers of Honolulu and San Francisco when the ships are being unloaded. When at sea, the AP reported, they work up to 20 hours a day at wages as low as 70 cents an hour. Read the story here 11:07

Todays Roundup of East Coast Marine Monument Entries. The list will grow.

It is a very sad day for the New England fishing industry following the Presidents announcement that he pretty much made fishery management irrelevant when he created his enviro gift to every ENGO known to man. There are many articles about it, and we will post the ones with various politicians that represent their fishing constituents, and from members of the industry in the press. 09:49

‘Sad day’ for the fishing industry following marine monument designation – click here   Tarr: Marine monument punishes fishermen – click here  Quit crabbing: Obama creates major no-go zone for fishermen in the Atlantic – click here  Fishermen upset over creation of Atlantic’s first monument – click here  Obama: ‘Oceans key to protecting planet from climate change’ click here

Cuomo starts master plan for wind power off LI coast

cape-wind-power-farm-b1The Cuomo administration on Thursday started creating a master plan to harness some of the world’s strongest offshore winds. The state’s Long Island Power Authority and the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority have identified six potential wind energy areas for New York, including one that would stretch across the length of the Hamptons. The Cuomo administration, however, said no decisions on locating wind farms have yet been made. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the energy planning will include input from utilities, environmentalists, groups, coastal communities, commercial fishermen and the maritime industry. The state’s Offshore Wind Master Plan will be due by the end of 2017. Read the story here 08:45

Obama declared the first National Marine Monument in the Atlantic Ocean, and I helped!

blumenthal-go-to-hellRoll the tape! Click on the image to watch. 06:28