Daily Archives: January 2, 2017

Selling shark fins is now banned in Rhode Island.

A law took effect Sunday that makes it a crime to own or sell a shark fin unless it’s used for scientific research or in preparing a shark for ordinary consumption. Rhode Island became the 11th state to ban shark fin sales when Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed legislation into law in June. Hawaii was the first in 2010. Shark fin soup is popular in Chinese cuisine but animal rights activists say the practice of slicing off a shark’s fin and leaving the fish to die is cruel. The Humane Society of the United States says the laws will help global shark populations recover. The ban is one of several state laws taking effect on the first day of the year. This is a law of waste. There is nothing conservative about throwing legal shark fins into the landfill.Link 20:21

On Strike!! West Coast Dungeness crab fleet remains tied up, Vow to Continue Fight for $3 Per Pound Wholesale Prices

From the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association: As of 10:00 AM January 2, 2017 the West Coast Dungeness crab fleet remains tied up. Nearly 1200 boats, captains and crews are holding coast wide for re-establishment of the $3.00/pound price for Dungeness Crabs. Background On Monday, December 26, 2016, one very large West Coast fishing industry conglomerate (Pacific Group) instructed its subsidiary Pacific Choice Seafood in Eureka, California to reduce the price paid to fishermen for Dungeness crabs from $3.00 per pound to $2.75 per pound. This attempt to lower the ex-vessel price for crabs was scheduled to take place upon the opening of District 7 (Point Arena to Humboldt Bay) on California’s Northern Coast. Many fishermen believed that Pacific Group picked what was perceived as the weak link in West Coast fishing communities as a way of causing cascading price reductions in all West Coast ports that are fishing crabs north of San Francisco. Other companies buying Dungeness crabs were taken by surprise by Pacific Group’s move to reduce prices paid to fishermen. Read the rest of the story here 18:51

Canada’s opening stance for NAFTA talks: Common ground, not confrontation

The Canadian government is signalling the approach it intends to take should Donald Trump make good on his promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. is laying out some starting principles such as co-operation instead of confrontation. In a lengthy interview, David MacNaughton expressed his desire to see the countries propose common-ground, common-sense ideas that improve the old agreement instead of flinging out hardball demands that could produce deep, drama-filled bargaining. “We have done an extensive amount of work (to prepare for this),” MacNaughton said in the year-end interview. “We have a good sense of what would be in Canada’s interest…. “(But) the areas we need to focus on — and I think we are focusing on — is where is it not just in Canada’s interest, but in Canada and the United States’ interest… “I think if we’re just blatantly trying to push something that works for us but doesn’t work for them, that’s not going to be… quite as easy.” Read the rest here 17:41

Red tide clears off Collier County, but stone crab catch still down

The red tide lingering on Florida’s Gulf coast last fall and this winter has cleared up in Collier County. Fish kills were reported in December in Collier, but the algae blooms that bring thousands of dead fish to shore and cause beachgoers to cough and sneeze have, for the most part, stayed north in Pinellas and Sarasota counties, according to a report Friday from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Clearer water would be good news for the price of stone crabs and for local stone crab fisherman, who were hammered early this season by a red tide that followed Hurricane Matthew in October. The fewer crabs caught, the higher the market price for Southwest Florida’s most popular seafood. Catch totals are still down in Goodland compared with typical years, said Damas Kirk, of Kirk Fish Co. “Red tide isn’t showing so much anymore, but I think it’s done some damage,” Kirk said. “I think the stone crabs are having a bit of a food supply issue and are starving somewhat.” Read the story here 15:50

Catch Shares – ‘I have no fingernails’: Paul’s distress as livelihood slips away

Those are the words of Illawarra commercial fisherman Paul Heron – spoken amid a heartfelt plea against planned NSW government changes that will likely see him without a job. Those reforms – part of the government’s Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program, announced last year – include the introduction of minimum shareholding from July 2017.  That means fishers must hold a certain number of shares to be endorsed to fish. “It is basically going to make a small fisher like me, with a young family and a mortgage – I am two years into my mortgage – we are basically going to lose our house,” he told the inquiry. Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair told the hearing he had listened to fishers up and down the NSW coast. “The change is difficult, the change is hard, but it is necessary to have an industry going into the future,” Mr Blair said. A man in a suit. Video, read the rest here, including Paul Heron’s submission to the Senate inquiry into commercial fishing in NSW. 14:42

North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission to decide shrimp trawling regulations

The New Year will begin with a decision that could impact the livelihood of area commercial fishermen. The five advisory committees to the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission will meet jointly on Jan. 17 in New Bern to receive public comment on a petition for rulemaking that would, if adopted, impact shrimp trawl fishing in most North Carolina waters. The petition asks the commission to designate all coastal fishing waters not already designated as nursery areas as special secondary nursery areas, including the ocean out to three miles. It also calls for establishing clear criteria for the opening of shrimp season and defining the type of gear and how and when gear may be used in special secondary nursery areas (SSNAs) during shrimp season. The petition is being opposed by the North Carolina Fisheries Association,,, Read the rest here 11:42

Legislation being drafted to make it easier for Maine Marine Patrol officers to secretly install tracking devices on fishing boats.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources is drafting legislation that would expand the authority of Marine Patrol officers to covertly install electronic surveillance devices on the boats of fishermen suspected of violating state fishing regulations. The proposal is similar to one that faltered in the Legislature two years ago and is a response to ongoing concerns that some lobstermen are fishing more traps than allowed or engaging in other tactics to skirt Maine’s strict fisheries laws. The proposal also coincides with high-profile turf wars or personal disputes between lobstermen last year that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost or damaged equipment. The language of the bill has not been released, and DMR officials declined to provide specifics until the legislation has been finalized, consistent with a LePage administration policy. But in a general outline, DMR spokesman Jeff Nichols said the proposal would ease restrictions on Marine Patrol officers when they want to install electronic tracking or surveillance equipment on boats as part of investigations. Read the story here 10:07

The latest craze in Japan is year-old used fisherman jeans!

No one breaks in a pair of jeans better than a man who breaks through the ocean. Now it seems a new obsession is sweeping the nation. No longer do people crave to spend their money on jeans meant for schoolgirls, instead they want to buy jeans that have been worn by fishermen for over a year. “Just think – you could be the proud owner of one of these pungent, salty pairs of pants!” {note from the editor: no problem, can I please get the uber-baggy jeans from that first guy on the left ;-)} The jeans come from the city of Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture. Fishermen are given free pairs of jeans to wear by the “Onomichi Denim Project ,” and the company takes them back after a year of being “aged” through their daily work. The jeans sell for up to 48,000 yen (US$408) each. Round up your old jeans, and read the rest here 09:31:12

Coast Guard rescues 1 fisherman aboard disabled crab vessel in Bellingham Bay

The Coast Guard rescued one mariner aboard a disabled vessel after he become disoriented in Bellingham Bay, Saturday. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound command center received a report from Station Bellingham of the disabled and adrift 27-foot crab in the shoals of Bellingham Bay with one person aboard at 3:05 p.m. The mariner was unable to give his exact position but was quickly located after Sector personnel tracked his location using his cell phone GPS signal. A Coast Guard Station Bellingham rescue boat crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium responded to the incident and safely removed the mariner from his vessel at 4:13 p.m. The mariner was reported to be in good condition and did not seek medical attention. The weather at the time of the rescue was 4-6 foot waves and 25-knot winds.  Link 08:52