Daily Archives: October 11, 2016

BOMBSHELL REPORT! More than half of the fish and shellfish landed from UK EEZ caught by European fishing boats.

berti armstrong-sffBrexit has been welcomed as a “sea of opportunity” for Scottish fishers after a new report revealed foreign boats took out 58% of fish and shellfish from UK coastal waters – a catch worth up to £400million a year, it was claimed. The report found that EU boats caught around 650,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish in UK’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between 2012 and 2014. In contrast, UK fishing boats fishing in EU waters landed on average 90,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish – worth only about £100million. The report, produced by the NAFC Marine Centre UHI in Shetland, found that more than half – 51% – of the fish and shellfish landed from the Scottish part of the EEZ was caught by European fishing boats. The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) claimed that exit from the EU will “enable the UK to assert control over its 200-mile EEZ”, which means that foreign vessels could not then fish in the zone without express consent. The body added that the report was a “bombshell” and urged the UK and Scottish Government to work together “to ensure that the best possible deal is reached for our hardworking fishermen”. Read the rest here 19:41

Playing Politics? NOAA: Red snapper data can’t be shared with states

sobeckA letter written late last month by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates  that if red snapper are ultimately removed from federal oversight to be managed by the five Gulf states, much of the data currently collected on the species by NOAA — including stock assessments — would not be shared with the states. The letter dated Sept. 22 from Eileen Sobeck to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Charlie Melancon contradicts what Rep. Garret Graves — the author of H.R. 3094 that would strip red snapper from federal oversight and award it to the Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority — has said about how potential costs associated with stock assessments and data collection for snapper will be covered if his legislation becomes law. But Graves said the letter is just another in a long list of allegations brought by the LDWF in an attempt to derail the bill. “The reality is this: NOAA is going to go out there and do fish surveys, and they don’t have any idea what type of fish is going to come up in that net or on that long line, so for them to suggest that they’re going to pretend that some fish isn’t there and another fish is there is completely bogus,” Graves said. “And if NOAA is going to jump in and play these political games with Charlie (Melancon), have at it. Y’all enjoy your next two and a half months of playing games because y’all are gone. It’s just continued silliness and obviously has no merit.” Read the story here 17:28

First U.S. Offshore Wind Plant Costs $17,600 Per Home Powered

wind-energyAmerica’s first offshore wind power plant will cost about $17,600 dollars to build per home it will power. Three miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, the wind farm is supposed to generate enough energy to power 17,000 homes, but will cost $300 million to build five turbines. This cost is just to build the turbines, not to operate them. The extremely high cost of offshore wind doesn’t worry environmentalists and progressives however, because, as Salon.com says about the project, “it’s the precedent that counts.” Despite the extremely high cost, federal officials want to power a whopping 23 million homes with offshore wind by the year 2050. Read the rest here 15:18

In a small marine community in Maine, Lobsters Are Keeping Students in School

Three hours from Portland, Maine, and two hours from the state capital of Augusta, picturesque Deer Isle has two towns on it (Deer Isle and Stonington), a combined year-round population of about 2,500 people, and not a single fast-food chain—or any chain store for that matter. Those who live beyond the narrow, turquoise suspension bridge connecting Deer Isle to the mainland are called PFAs (“people from away”), even if they work or attend school on the island. At the southern end of the predominantly middle-class, overwhelmingly white island lies a small but bustling harbor. In 2015, Stonington port brought in $63.8 million worth of lobster, landing it the title of Maine’s no. 1 commercial fishing port. The influence of maritime culture is evident at every turn: The local convenience store opens at 3:30 a.m. in the summers to accommodate early-to-rise fishermen.,,But getting young people to stay in school is another story. At the island’s only high school, Deer Isle-Stonington High School (DISHS), there has been a sense among some students that school is just standing in the way of going off and making money, and some of their parents see school as basically a lousy babysitter. Read the story here 14:38

Coast Guard battles to reopen Georgia ports after hurricane Matthew

When Hurricane Matthew hit the Georgia coastline over the weekend, high winds damaged navigational signs and buoys, shutting down the state’s busiest ports. Now, the Coast Guard is working to reopen ports in Savannah and Brunswick. Tuesday, the Coast Guard was battling through damage to navigational aids, infrastructure and vessels along the waterways. Before the ports can reopen, they’ll have to fix 50 navigational aids and several major navigational buoys that were damaged, destroyed or moved by the storm. Ten boat crews from Georgia, Florida and South Carolina are leading the efforts in repairing these aids.Two 225-foot Seagoing Buoy Tenders, the Cutter Anvil from Miami and the Cutter Cypress from Pensacola are also headed to Savannah to help recovery efforts. Images, Read the rest here 14:04

Two Close Calls!

close-call-2It was a close call for the crew of a small fishing boat in West Cork recently when a much larger boat steamrollered passed them with just a whisker of space keeping them safe. The crew of the inshore potter Celtic Dawn were hauling pots off the West Cork coast when a Spanish vessel approached at a rapid pace and did not appear to see the little fishing boat at work. The Castletownbere crew were saved by a matter of metres, and the captain of the fishing boat was non-too-impressed by the encounter. Watch the video here  THIS is the moment a nuclear submarine surfaced next to a pair of stunned fishermen as they were out catching crabs. Video filmed on the men’s mobile phones captures the moments after the colossal vessel broke the surface next to their tiny dinghy. Watch the video here 12:22

The ‘great Brexit betrayal’! PM’s plan to adopt EU laws blasted by furious fishermen

theresa-mayAhead of the Conservative Party conference last week, Theresa May set out her proposal for a Great Repeal Bill to end the supremacy of Brussels’ law over UK legislation on the day Britain leaves the EU. But, despite returning lawmaking sovereignty to Westminster, the Bill will also convert existing EU law into domestic law in a bid to ensure continuity. Fishing For Leave have voiced their anger at the Prime Minister’s approach to overturning Brussels’ rule, fearing it could mean British fishermen will still be subject to the “disastrous” EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) even outside the bloc. The group have declared the Great Repeal Bill should be of “dire concern” and will represent an “unacceptable sell out of Brexit”. Video, read the story here  11:46

First in Maine, Now in Massachusetts. Toxic algae outbreak halts shellfishing in Buzzards Bay, Mount Hope Bay

domoic-acid-massThe state’s Division of Marine Fisheries has banned shellfishing in the west side of Buzzards Bay and in Mount Hope Bay because of a breakout of toxic algae late last week. The ban affects all SouthCoast towns and cities. “As a result of the closure, digging, harvesting, collecting and/or attempting to dig, harvest or collect shellfish, and the possession of shellfish, is prohibited in Bourne, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Falmouth, Gosnold, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Swansea and Westport,” the state said in a press release. The trouble concerns a toxic kind of phytoplankton termed Pseudo-Nitzschia. This algae can produce domoic acid, a biotoxin that concentrates in filter-feeding shellfish. Read the story here 08:37

Is Environmental Defense Fund Controlling Louisiana’s Department Of Wildlife And Fisheries?

By now our readers are surely familiar with the very strange behavior of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries secretary Charlie Melancon with respect to his opposition to a bill brought by most of Louisiana’s congressional delegation that would put individual Gulf states, rather than the federal government, in control of the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re not up to speed on Melancon’s antics and escalating feud with a key member of the delegation, Baton Rouge congressman Garret Graves, we offered a primer here. Most of the speculation you may have seen involves the idea that several of the larger commercial fishing concerns along the Gulf coast, who benefit from a crony-capitalist scheme wherein shares of the red snapper market have been allocated based on incumbency – the owners of those concerns have been given the moniker “Sea Lords” since the red snapper catch largely resembles a feudal system of sorts – have essentially bought Melancon and his opposition to the bill Graves is proposing is a product of that purchase. Graves’ idea to put the state in charge of the red snapper fishery would break up the current allocation scheme and put the Sea Lords out of commission in Louisiana, or at least make their incumbency a matter which would be up for grabs. Read the story here 08:10