Monthly Archives: June 2017

New York DEC Will Talk About Licensing With Commercial Fishermen This Fall

State lawmakers said this week that they have persuaded the State Department of Environmental Conservation to meet with commercial fishermen to talk about expanding how many new commercial fishing licenses are issued. The DEC has agreed to meet with fishermen this fall to discuss revising the state’s policy on the transfer of licenses from one fisherman to another, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said this week. The agreement comes on the heels of lawmakers derailing a DEC request for a new three-year extension to existing commercial licensing guidelines, instead granting only a one-year extension contingent on DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos and other agency officials meeting with fishermen to talk about the policy. click here to read the story 21:57

Mt. Sinai, 87-foot trawler, added to Manasquan Inlet Reef

The first planned vessel sinking on the new Manasquan Inlet Reef was completed on Tuesday. Mt. Sinai, an 87-foot trawler donated by Roy Diehl of Belford and the Belford Fisherman’s Cooperative, was sunk in about 75 feet of water, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP said the towing and preparation expenses for the vessel were sponsored by the Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association. The Manasquan Inlet Reef site starts about 1.2 miles offshore of Point Pleasant Beach. The entire area of ocean floor set aside to build the reef is nearly a square mile. The boundary lies within two miles of the beach and is in 67 to 75-foot water depths click here to read the story 21:17

Year-round harvesters offer up option to N.L. shrimp plants

The Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP) says it can help supply shrimp to plants in this province hurt by recent quota cuts. “Canada’s year-round shrimp harvesters would welcome supplying whole, frozen-at-sea shrimp for cooking and peeling by shore-based shrimp processing plants in NL,” CAPP executive director Bruce Chapman said in a news release Tuesday. Much of the shrimp caught by the year-round shrimp harvesters is unavailable. The larger shrimp is packed for use in sushi and sashimi restaurants in Japan, the release states, while the medium-sized shrimp that is cooked and packaged on board goes to Scandinavia and Asia. A portion of the catch, however, consists of small size whole shrimp that is sold to shore-based cooking and peeling operations. click here to read the story 16:41

Lake harvests are likely more fruitful than we knew

Harvests from freshwater fisheries such as the Great Lakes could total more than 12 million tons a year globally and contribute more to global food supplies and economies than previous estimates indicate, according to a study published today by Michigan State University and the U.S. Geological Survey.,,  Freshwater ecosystems across the planet provide valuable services, such as drinking water, hydropower, irrigation for agriculture and economically important recreation and tourism. The USGS, Michigan State University and partners estimated the 2011 fish harvest from over 246,000 lakes worldwide. They found that the harvest was 18.5 billion pounds, or the weight of more than a million large African elephants. click here to read the story 15:31

Dakota Creek Industries trying to make things right in eyes of Congress

Dakota Creek Industries owner Mike Nelson and his staff have been looking for ways to appease federal lawmakers following the mistake the company made in building the $75 million fishing vessel America’s Finest. The mistake — using too much foreign-formed steel in the vessel’s hull — requires a waiver from the U.S. Congress in order for the ship to fish domestically. The waiver would be for the Jones Act, which requires domestic fishing vessels be built in the U.S. These days, Nelson glances frequently at his cell phone hoping for good news concerning his company’s lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. click here to read the story 12:12

Coast Guard medevacs fisherman from fishing vessel south of Long Island

Coast Guard crews medevaced a man from a fishing vessel 30-miles south of Shinnecock Inlet, New York, Monday evening. Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Shrike, an 87-foot patrol boat, were notified around 8:00 p.m., that a 34-year old man aboard a nearby fishing vessel, the Cameron Scott, had suffered a head injury after he was struck with a heavy cable earlier in the day. The Shrike launched their cutter smallboat with two Coast Guard EMS-trained personnel aboard. They arrived on scene at approximately 8:30 p.m., and boarded the Cameron Scott to render assistance. Watchstanders at Sector Long Island Sound also launched a Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to assist. At approximately 10:00 p.m., the aircrew arrived on scene, hoisted the injured man, and transported him to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for further care. The mans current medical condition is unknown. click here for video -USCG- 11:48


Tribute to Redgeway Russell thrown overboard in a bottle washes up exactly where he’d want it to

When Corinna Russell’s father died in 2015, she did something he probably wouldn’t have approved of. She agreed to take his place aboard the Northern Swan, a small crab fishing boat launched out of their hometown, William’s Harbour, on the south coast of Labrador. “I don’t think Dad would have been too impressed at that moment. I think he would have been nervous.” The 2016 crab season was the first in many years without Redgeway Russell on deck. The younger Russell says it was difficult for all hands. “The whole crab season was very emotional for me,” she said, “I tried my hardest to fill his shoes — pretty big shoes to fill.” At the end of the season, Russell and the rest of the crew decided to do something special for her father. Crewmate Pamela Penney penned a tribute to her old friend, rolled it up in a bottle, and asked his daughter to throw it out to sea. One year later — on Father’s Day — they learned the bottle had landed in Ireland.  click here to read the story and see the message 09:57


Blown Deadlines Weaken Hawaii’s Voice On Federal Fishery Management Council

Hawaii will soon have less influence in setting national policies that affect everything from commercial fishing to endangered species in nearly 1.5 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean. Gov. David Ige’s administration twice missed deadlines to submit to federal officials a list of names to fill two at-large terms that expire in August on the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. The seats have historically been held by Hawaii residents. Instead, they will be filled from the lists provided by the governors of American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. Guam, the other U.S. territory represented on the council, did not nominate anyone. click here to read the story 08:40

Maine man gets three days in jail for shooting seal

A Warren man pleaded guilty on Monday to shooting a seal off the coast of Acadia National Park last fall, according to federal prosecutors. Joseph A. Martin, 54, was sentenced to serve three days behind bars and was ordered by federal Magistrate Judge John C. Nivison to pay a $1,000 fine for shooting the animal, which is protected by the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. Martin was acting as captain of a fishing boat on Oct. 10, 2016 when multiple seals approached the vessel, federal officials said Monday in a news release. Martin was fishing off the coast of Acadia National Park, which stretches from Schoodic Point to Isle Au Haut, officials said. click here to read the story 20:49

Trapped On The Ocean Floor: A Stunning Tale Of Maritime Survival

Cape Sable in Nova Scotia has been the scene of many hundreds of shipwrecks over the centuries.  According to one reliable chronicler of the days of sail, that number is close to 340.  I remember the story of one such wreck that stands out for the extraordinary tale of suffering and survival it contains.  We will tell the tale of the wreck of the schooner Cod Seeker, which went down on May 9, 1877. The Cod Seeker was a two-masted fishing vessel built at Clyde River, Nova Scotia, in 1877; after being provisioned and fitted at Halifax, it embarked on its first cruise with a crew of 13 and a captain named Philip Brown.  Codfish was her object; then as now, the cod industry was a key part of the economy of the area. But the ship ran into rough seas near Baccaro Light and capsized a few days after leaving Halifax. click here to read the story 17:18

Blue Crabs Crest Tipping Point – Maryland and Virginia may limit harvest for the remainder of the season

After almost three decades of effort, Maryland’s treasured Chesapeake Bay crustacean, the blue crab, has achieved a major scientific benchmark. The number of spawning females has at last reached the minimum target level for optimum species viability: 215 million sooks. The 2017 Winter Dredge Survey put the female population at well over the minimum, 254 million, an impressive 31 percent increase from the prior year. This is an important moment, as just four years ago (and five years prior to that), the female crab population had been ­driven to dangerous, even population-collapse, levels.,, To protect overall numbers, the Maryland, Virginia and Potomac River Fisheries Commission has proposed shortening the crabbing season and imposing stricter bushel limits on female crabs. No changes to male crab limits were proposed. click here to read the story 16:25

NOAA opens public comment period – National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments

NOAA opens public comment period on Sec. 4(b) in Executive Order 13795 focused on National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments NOAA is soliciting comment on National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments designated or expanded since April 28, 2007, during a 30-day public comment period, which will open June 26, 2017, to assist the Secretary of Commerce in his review under section 4(b) of the Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13795, “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” (signed April 28, 2017). There are a total of six National Marine Sanctuaries expanded and five Marine National Monuments designated or expanded since April 28, 2007, that are a part of this review (see table 1). NOAA is asking the public to focus their comments, for this 30-day comment period, on those criteria outlined in Section 4(b)(i) of EO 13795: Click here to read the notice. 15:47

FISH-NL advises Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc to cancel 2017 sentinel cod program 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 26th, 2017 The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has written federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc recommending that he cancel the 2017 sentinel cod program. The federal government first introduced sentinel or test fisheries for cod in the mid-1990s, the moratoria years, to keep a first-hand check of the health of stocks in the absence of commercial fisheries. It has never been adjusted to account for or to incorporate the impacts of commercial activity. The program involves upwards of roughly 70 fixed, test fishery sites, costing taxpayers an estimated $1.1 million a year. Funds are also raised from the sale of cod caught in the sentinel fisheries, an estimated 350 tonnes, but it’s not known where that money goes. click here to read the press release and letter 15:06

Feds interview Tangier watermen, look into oyster sales records in Crisfield

Officers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service visited several watermen on Tangier Island and seafood businesses in Crisfield last week as part of an investigation they are conducting related to oysters. Federal officials would not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, saying that’s their policy. But Wyn Hornbuckle, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, did confirm “federal law enforcement activity” in Crisfield and Tangier last Wednesday. Tangier Mayor James “Ooker” Eskridge said the officials came in two boats and a helicopter; at first, he said, he thought President Donald Trump had arrived. click here to read the story 12:05

DFO will talk to Nova Scotia about growing number of Marine Protected Areas

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will meet with the province to discuss its concerns about the growing numbers of marine protected areas being designated off Nova Scotia, a department spokesman says. In April, the province asked Ottawa to stop making additional designations until other provinces and territories reach the same numbers achieved off Nova Scotia. The McNeil government is concerned the creation of more marine protected areas will have a negative impact on Nova Scotia’s economy. Marine-protected designations restrict human activities like fishing and offshore energy development. click here to read the story 11:30

Meet one of Grimsby’s last-remaining active fishermen and step on board his boat

Casting his weary eyes over the sparse setting of Grimsby Fish Docks, the face of jovial fisherman, Darren Kenyon, crumples into a frown. When I look around it’s depressing – absolutely depressing. When you look at the current situation, you have all of these buildings being knocked down and no one investing any money into the jobs,” he says.,,, In a location which has seen some of the most drastic industrial change in the county over the past 40 years, few have witnessed that change more explicitly than Darren has; his plot on the North Quay lies just a few yards away from the bases of Dong Energy and E.ON’s Humber Gateway Offshore Windfarm. click here to read the story 10:52

Gloucester: As fleet shrinks, so has blessing ceremony

A fleet of pleasure boats blessed on a sunny Sunday afternoon replaced the fishing vessels that once lined Gloucester’s Outer Harbor during St. Peter’s Fiesta. “The fleet is a mere shadow of what it was 50, 60 years ago,” Gloucester native Mike Gilardi said. The Rev. Jim Achadinha, the pastor of the Catholic community of Gloucester and Rockport, and Bishop Mark O’Connell, the bishop of the North Region of the Archdiocese of Boston, blessed the fleets on Sunday at 3. The few remaining authentic fishing vessels of the Gloucester fleet didn’t come to Stacy Boulevard for the blessing and haven’t for years. Achadinha estimated the last time was 15 years ago. click here to read the story 08:48

Photos – State-of-the-art longliner for Narooma nears completion

The state-of-the-art commercial longlining vessel being built for the Abbott family of Narooma is nearing completion at an Adelaide shipyard. The three siblings, Ryan, Todd and Hayley, still only in their 20s, have invested heavily in the multi-million-dollar vessel because they believe in the sustainability of the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery and the demand for their top-quality fish continues to grow unabated. Other than a couple of 25-metre crayfishing boats operating in Western Australia, it will be one of the largest commercial fishing boats built in Australia, he said. click here for photo’s and read the article 07:46

‘Deadliest Catch’ Star Sig Hansen Is A Grandfather, Just Days After Walking Other Daughter Down Aisle!

Just over a year after suffering a near fatal heart attack and spending a lot of time in courts with a recent lawsuit from his only biological child, and a recent arrest related to some drunken behavior during an Uber ride, Deadliest Catch favorite, Sig Hansen, has now become a grandfather to a baby girl. But that is not all that Sig’s been up to lately! He also walked his other daughter and fellow Deadliest Catch star, Mandy Hansen, down the aisle when Mandy married Sig’s deckhand and Deadliest Catch star Clark Pederson. What are all of the details of Sig’s whirlwind two weeks? click here for photo’s, read the story  12:41

Maine institutions collaborating to build a greener lobster boat

Students at the Landing School have built nearly 400 boats since the school was founded in 1978. But nothing quite like the one the school is about to start on, a 21-foot, ocean-ready test model called a “proof of concept” for what the engineers call a “low-impact commercial trimaran” but which is known colloquially as a “green lobster boat.” “It’s like a skiff on top of a canoe, with two small canoes at the back of the skiff,” said Richard Schuhmann, the president of the Landing School. “It looks like a Batmobile in a way.” That’s the view from bow or stern. In the water and viewed from the side, it will look fairly similar to a classic lobster boat, a shape that conjures up Maine as neatly as a L.L. Bean hunting shoe and, the hope is, meets the desire expressed by many of the lobstermen consulted: that it be “pretty.” From design to materials, this boat is intended to have a smaller carbon footprint, burning less fuel than the busy lobster boats already working in Maine’s waters. click here to read the story, view 8 images 09:34

A 1945 ship, restored and ready to work another salmon run in Bristol Bay

When Jim Henry first saw Dolphin, an 80-foot power scow, on the beach at Portland in 2006, he knew he had to have it. Built in 1945 by Maritime Shipyards in Seattle for the Alaska Packers Association’s cannery, the old tender had been sitting there five years. In its prime, Dolphin had served the sailboat salmon fishing industry in Bristol Bay by towing the vessels out of port and later loading their catch on its open deck for transport to the canneries.,, Old wooden boats could be a problem, but Henry grew up around those vessels on Peaks Island in Casco Bay off the Maine coast. His Scottish ancestors came to the area a few hundred years ago as political prisoners and settled on Peaks and nearby islands, working as fishermen. Henry’s been working in commercial fishing since he was 12 years old. click here to read the story 08:38

Jockeying to control Rafael’s fishing rights ramps up

John Bullard can’t escape Carlos Rafael. People stop the Northeast Regional Administrator for NOAA in the hallway daily trying to pry any information they can about 13 Rafael fishing permits that may be surrendered as part of a plea agreement the New Bedford fishing tycoon agreed to at the end of March. “People come up to talk to me every day on this case. It’s of intense interest,” Bullard said. “I’m looking forward to a day when nobody talks to me about this case.” Sentencing for Rafael is scheduled for July 28. The date has already been delayed once, but it’s likely when the fate of the permits will be decided. The date hasn’t prevented politicians and organizations from already jockeying for position to acquire the permits up for forfeiture after Rafael pleaded guilty to 28 counts including falsifying fishing quotas, false labeling, conspiracy and tax evasion. click here to read the story 07:43

Block Island Wind Farm May Have Killed Young Humpback Whale

The carcass of a young humpback whale washed ashore Friday morning in Jamestown, Rhode Island, causing experts to think that a nearby offshore wind turbine may be to blame. Rescue workers and two veterinarians from a nearby aquarium collected samples from the dead whale, and suspect that the nearby Block Island offshore wind farm could be responsible for the whale’s death. Noise from the turbine allegedly hampers the sonar that whales use to navigate and communicate. “If necropsy shows that a perfectly healthy whale beached itself where offshore wind turbines do exist, they need to really check what kind of sound these things are putting out,” Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association who regularly discusses the impacts of noise on marine mammals, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “There have been an unusual amount of strandings this year.” click here to read the story 18:17

Sharks have been a major disruption for fishermen off the Outer Banks this year

Sharks are chomping the catch of the day. Fishing off the Outer Banks has been great this year, especially with big hauls of tuna. But boat captains are losing from one or two to 20 fish a day to the opportunistic predators. Able to smell, hear or sense the struggling fish from miles away, sharks come like a pack of wolves. In some cases, anglers are reeling in nothing but the head. “You can’t even get a fish to the boat,” said Jack Graham, first mate on the Fintastic, a charter boat based at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. “You get a bite and look back and there’s just a big cloud of blood.”Sharks are taking the catch along with thousands of dollars in fishing gear, he said. click here to read the story 16:00

Shanghai customs finds over 1 ton of cocaine hidden inside shipment of frozen mackerel

SHANGHAI: When a shipment of 20 tons of “Pacific mackerel” arrived in Shanghai last November, customs officers thought that they smelled something fishy. Packed in the container along with the frozen fish was more than 1.1 tons of cocaine stuffed inside 276 cartons. The bust, which was only announced recently, is the biggest cocaine smuggling haul found by Chinese customs officers in recent years, Shanghai Daily reports. The goods were on their way from South America to Cambodia, stopping in Shanghai to be transferred. In order to catch the criminals receiving this illicit shipment, authorities repackaged the cartons and allowed the mackerel to go on to Cambodia. Once it reached Phnom Penh, a Chinese unit cooperated with Cambodian police to arrest four suspects — two Vietnamese-Canadians and two Vietnamese. Three other suspects were able to escape and are on the run. link 14:19

Falmouth Lifeboat celebrates its 150th anniversary

Falmouth’s first lifeboat arrived 150 years ago and since then the town’s volunteer crews have been on more than 2,500 shouts saving 440 lives. This year Falmouth Lifeboat station celebrates its 150th anniversary with a whole host of events which look back at its history as well as looking at its future with a new fundraising appeal. To mark the occasion Simon Culliford, deputy lifeboat press officer, and David Barnicoat, master mariner, former lifeboat volunteer and retired pilot, have written a book about the lifeboat’s history, which has been used to put this article together. The book celebrates the people and the lifeboats that are part of the history of Falmouth Lifeboat Station. Falmouth is now one of 14 stations in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and has an inshore and all weather lifeboat – which can operate up to 100 miles out to sea. click here to read the story. Good story, great images! Happy Birthday!13:00

F/V Flyin Tiger catches fire in the Dillingham boat harbor

The drift boat Flyin Tiger caught fire at the Dillingham boat harbor late Thursday morning. The fire was put out quickly, and there were no injuries. Volunteer firefighter Ron Bowers was one of the first on the scene. “When we first pulled up, heavy smoke was coming out of the wheel house of the boat. A couple other boats were rafted in the neighborhood, and we were very concerned about that. We found a couple guys, crew members, that were trying to put it out. They’d inhaled a little smoke, so we got them taken care of,” says Bowers. click here to read the story, more images 10:35

DFO concerned by deaths of 5 endangered North Atlantic Right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is working with marine mammal experts, scientists, and fishery officers from across Atlantic Canada to determine what has caused the recent deaths of several rare North Atlantic Right whales in eastern Canada. At least five dead Right whales have been seen recently in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This situation is very concerning. The cause of death is unknown at this time and DFO is committed to finding out what happened to these animals and to protecting this species. DFO is reaching out for assistance from a broad range of expertise from the Marine Animal Response Society, the Canadian Whale Institute and wildlife pathology veterinarians from the Atlantic Veterinary College and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative to find answers. DFO is also working with partners including Transport Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the USA’s National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (as this is a cross border issue) and commercial area fishermen. click here to read the press release 09:21

Fishermen, regulators disagree over cause of Brunswick fish kill

As a massive vacuum truck from Clean Harbors traveled along the shoreline near Simpsons Point midweek to clean up rotting pogies, local fishermen were battling what they say was a raft of misinformation put forth by the state about how and why those pogies were dumped from a local fishing vessel on June 6. On Tuesday, a day after residents of the Simpsons Point area asked town councilors to help pay for a professional cleanup of the fish, local lobsterman Steve Anderson posted a 10-minute video on YouTube, taking local media to task for only reporting part of the story and excoriating the Maine Department of Marine Resources for a quota system Anderson said simply doesn’t work.,,, But Jeff Nichols, spokesman for the DMR, said Friday that Anderson “got a lot of things wrong,” click here to read the story 08:35

Brunswick Maine fish kill. The Real Story, not that Fake News here to watch the video

State and Federal Authorities’ visit to fish house remains a mystery

Business appeared to be carrying on as usual Friday at Lou-Joe’s Fresh Seafood, a day after agents from the Internal Revenue Service and two other government agencies visited the small fish processing plant. Workers were cutting fish on Friday inside the 3,800-square-foot plant at 24 Washburn St., New Bedford, near where Interstate 195 crosses the Acushnet River. Fish trucks were coming and going from the loading docks. An employee in the office said he was not the owner and declined to comment on the situation. On Thursday, about a dozen officials from the IRS, Massachusetts Environmental Police, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration visited the plant. click here to read the story 21:50