Daily Archives: November 25, 2016

Northern cod plan kept from harvesters, FISH-NL’s Ryan Cleary says, FFAW Fires Back

ryan-cleary-st-john-sAlmost six months after the FFAW and a number of seafood processors pitched it to the federal government, the breakaway group says it has obtained a copy of the 2016 Northern Cod Management Plan. Ottawa approved the plan in early August. Despite numerous public requests, the FFAW refused to release a copy to its membership, FISH-NL said in a news release Friday. “The stewardship plan is the most important document involving northern cod since the 1992 moratorium and not only weren’t fish harvesters consulted, the final plan was kept secret from them,” FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary said. Harvesters around the province have complained they weren’t consulted before the plan was handed down. Read the rest here. FFAW Press Release – Today, FISHNL’s Ryan Cleary called into question whether there should be an inshore northern cod fishery. Read the press release here 13:58

Provincial investment ‘absolutely necessary’ for massive Placentia Bay $230-million aquaculture project

aqua-maof-group-marystown-sea-cagesThe companies behind a massive aquaculture project proposed for say government investment is “absolutely necessary,” but Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Steve Crocker says the province will not be rushed into a decision. A spokesman for Grieg NL Nurseries and Grieg NL Seafarms told CBC News Thursday that an equity share in the $230-million project will be a “safe” investment for the province. “This is an excellent investment which will grow and pay the province back tenfold in both taxation and employment,” said Greig’s Perry Power.When asked if the project’s sanctioning hinges on an infusion of government money, Power said “my understanding has always been, in the position that I’m in, that the province’s involvement is absolutely necessary.” Grieg wants to construct the world’s largest salmon hatchery in Marystown, and create 11 “escape-proof” cage sites in Placentia Bay. Read the rest here 13:04

The real reason why you’re suddenly seeing whales in N.J. and N.Y. waters

menhadenWhales. They’ve been seemingly everywhere. Breaching just past the sandbars in Asbury Park. Swimming past groups of surfers in Rockaway Beach. Besides inspiring a chorus of oohs and aahs, the increase in sightings is adding a blubbery new wrinkle to a raging debate over a far smaller fish: the Atlantic menhaden. It’s the menhaden, also known as “bunker” — clumsy, multidinous, slow swimming virtual floating hamburgers — that those whales are chasing. But the story of why Atlantic menhaden is suddenly so plentiful is a complicated — and controversial — one, pitting environmentalists and anglers against commercial fishing operations, with both sides claiming science is on their side. Read the story here 12:33

Acclaimed British Biologist Birdwatcher Charged with Spying on Houseguests

courtney-stevenSteven Courtney — an acclaimed British biologist formerly associated with UCSB’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) — faces up to four years in prison for allegedly installing multiple hidden cameras in the bedroom and shower of a Montecito house he sublet to acquaintances. Last month, a tenant called the police after finding a miniature camera disguised as a household electronic device in the house she rented from Courtney, who is 61. A subsequent police search of Courtney’s computer and cell phone files showed he had been viewing the footage for apparent sexual gratification for about a year, police said. Courtney was not formally employed by the NCEAS, but he had rented a desk at its downtown collaborative space for two years; as such, he was granted adjunct status. After the case was filed, said Ben Halpern, the center’s director, he immediately severed ties with him. According to Courtney’s LinkedIn page, he also has offices in Washington, D.C. He has held leadership roles at nonprofits that seek to influence public policy. He is also an ardent birdwatcher, among other things! Read the rest here 10:07

What’s on a real roll? Demand for the Maine lobster

The demand for lobster is on a roll — often literally. And that is helping to keep the price that Maine lobstermen are getting for their catch near historic highs. The annual per-pound price first rose above $4 in 2004 and stayed there through 2007, then fell sharply during the recession. In 2015, annual price paid to Maine lobstermen reached $4.09 a pound, the first time it had topped the $4 mark since 2007. This year, dockside prices for lobster have been close to or above the $4 level throughout the summer and fall, when most lobster is caught and prices usually dip to reflect the ample supply. Isle au Haut lobsterman Payson Barter said that he has been getting prices this fall that are “about the same” as those in 2015. He sells his catch to Little Bay Lobster in Stonington for $4 to $5 per pound. He said the relatively warm water this fall has helped increase the number of lobsters close to shore but that the crustaceans are now making their seasonal migration farther out to sea. Read the rest here 09:29

Crabbing halted off Oregon coast

oregon-dept-agricultureState agriculture officials in Oregon have shut down commercial and recreational crabbing along the entire coast because of high levels of domoic acid found in the crabs’ flesh. The says the ban includes the harvest of Dungeness and red rock crab in bays and estuaries, off docks, piers, jetties and in the ocean. Consumption of domoic acid can result in dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe cases can result in memory loss and death. Closure of the crab season last year along the Pacific coast due to domoic acid contamination caused crabbers to lose millions. Despite the delay, crab and shellfish products sold in retail markets and restaurants remain safe for consumers. Link 08:40

Glow-in-the-dark rope a lifesaver at sea, Halifax maker says

night-saver-ropeMatthew Moore is no stranger to the Atlantic Ocean where he spent many days fishing for fun as he grew up in Halifax. But he has also seen just how treacherous the sea can be. When he was 20, he lost a friend to it. That tragedy instilled in Mr. Moore a keen interest in marine safety. He serviced lifesaving appliances such as life rafts and lifebuoys (personal flotation devices with a buoyant rope attached) on the East Coast before moving to New Zealand to run a marine-safety company for several years. When Mr. Moore heard about a Swiss-made synthetic, luminescent fibre, a light bulb went on. He secured the sole rights to that material and, along with his father, developed a buoyant rope that glows in the dark. With it, he’s hoping to propel his company, Canada Rope and Twine Ltd., to commercial success while saving lives at the same time. Read the story here 08:14