Monthly Archives: July 2017

Fluke-catching quota costing fishermen thousands

Dozens of commercial fishermen say they are losing out on pay after they reached their state-imposed limit on how many fluke they are allowed to catch. Captain Roy Diehl says he and dozens of other commercial fluke fishermen are docked because they caught their allowed quota for the July-August season just two weeks after it opened. He says he blames the 30 percent quota reduction set by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission for this year. “What it does is it takes seven weeks of income out of everybody’s paycheck for the year,” says Diehl. “It’s pretty tough because there’s a lot of fluke out there and we can’t have them.” Video, read the story here 22:51

Commercial fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet open again as sockeye run continues

Commercial fishing resumed in Upper Cook Inlet this weekend. The Department of Fish and Game made the announcement Friday after fishing had been closed for the prior week. Commercial fisheries manager Pat Shields says the numbers of sockeye entering the Kenai river have been ticking up all week. “We’ve been continuing to closely monitor sockeye salmon passage into the Kenai river. The last few days have seen increased passage. It came down a bit Thursday, but 72,000 on Wednesday. Friday’s count in the Kenai through 7 a.m. is the highest morning count we’ve had this year. So we expect simliar passage (as) the last few days. We now can project that we’re going to end up in the goal range for Kenai river, which is 900,000 to 1.1 million. click here to read the story 22:19

Uncertain salmon season launches in Bodega Bay

The rising hum of activity in the port of Bodega Bay over recent days reveals an unexpected level of interest in the commercial salmon season that starts Tuesday, despite a 3-month delay and what’s been an extremely grim outlook for the beleaguered fishery. A large proportion of the local fleet has been gearing up to head out to open ocean, ready to drop their lines and test the waters. But the satisfied, even boisterous enthusiasm that once characterized the marinas during pre-seasons past has diminished during years of struggle in the fishing industry, some say. A time that once carried the promise of hard work and dependable results now brims with uncertainty. click here to read the story 21:20

Beverly fishermen throttle-up at annual Lobster Boat Races

If Mike Malewicki seemed like he was in a rush, there’s a good reason why. The skipper of the Janie M. defended his title as the fastest lobster boat captain in the area at the 22nd annual Beverly Lobster Boat Races, July 30, off Woodbury Point. For the second year in a row, the Janie M. stole the show. The Beverly-based boat took top honors winning two of the six races, completing a pair of the quarter-mile free-for-all runs with equal aplomb. “It was fun,” said Malewicki, moments before leaving to pick up some bait for his next haul. “It’s a tradition, that’s the reason we keep doing it. If nobody shows up they won’t have it, but hopefully next year there will be a few more boats.” Built in Essex, the Janie M. is a 37-year-old wooden vessel with a 300-horsepower John Deere engine, which gives it its added gusto. click here to see 15 photos and read the story 18:54

Swimming eagle rescued by Maine lobstermen

In the annals of odd lobster-fishing tales, the one that unfolded aboard the “Theresa Anne” for John Chipman Jr. and his sternman, Kevin Meaney, last week is a one for the ages. Not only did the duo get an up-close look at a swimming bald eagle on July 27, they also took the opportunity to offer the eagle a helping hand. Their actions likely saved the eagle’s life, according to the wildlife biologist who serves as Maine’s bird group leader. Chipman, who lives in Birch Harbor, said he has been on the water for 45 years, and had never seen a bald eagle swimming in the Atlantic Ocean before, When he spotted the eagle struggling through the water off Schoodic Island last week, he knew it needed help. click here to read the story 16:55

Boat owner admits safety breaches following death of Northumberland fishermen

The owner of a boat on which two Northumberland fishermen died of carbon monoxide poisoning has pleaded guilty to breaching safety laws. Mark Arries, 26, and Edward Ide, 21, were found dead on the fishing vessel Eshcol as it was moored in Whitby harbour in January 2014. The pair were using the grill of a gas cooker to warm the boat overnight as they slept. A trial is being held at Leeds Crown Court to determine if boat owner Timothy Bowman-Davies was aware that the crew were using the cooker as a heating source. Bowman-Davies, 44, from Haverford West, Pembrokeshire, admitted failing to ensure that the ship was operated safely and that work equipment was maintained efficiently. click here to read the story 13:39

As Stonington’s fishermen age, a new effort to preserve their memories

Half of the people that walked into the tent at the Stonington Town Dock Sunday afternoon, it seemed, could point out a relative in one of the photos on the wall. A collection of snapshots of a centuries-old fishing tradition in Stonington brought back members of the traditional fishing families — and some newcomers — to the old days, and carried a message for the present. Walter John Roderick stood in front of a picture of his father, Geal “Bait” Roderick, and his seven brothers, reflecting on the shrinking family of fishermen. “There’s fewer people left in the industry,” he said, counting six living members of the Roderick family still fishing and comparing it to the 60 family members once working on boats in the 1940s. “We were the kids,” he said. “Now I’m going to be 70 next month.” click here to read the story 10:47

More than a ton of shrimp seized from illegal shrimpers, as another one swims away!

The inshore shrimp season is currently closed in most of Louisiana, but the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says it busted three shrimpers on two separate boats skimming for shrimp Thursday.  Agents cited Daniel Palmisano, 32, of Marrero, John Friedman Jr., 66, and Steve Rodi, 54, both of Buras, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season. A total of 2,355 pounds of shrimp were seized by the agents and sold at the dock to the highest bidder, the department said. click here to read the story 10:07  Illegal shrimper jumps in water, swims away from agents – A Montegut man who fled twice from authorities, including Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents, turned himself in to the Lafourche and Terrebonne Sheriff’s Offices Thursday, the state agency reported. Mel Guidry, 37, had outstanding warrants for using butterfly nets during a closed season, taking commercial fish without a commercial license, commercial gear license and commercial vessel license, failing to tag butterfly nets while unattended, improper running lights, misrepresentation during issuance of a misdemeanor, flight from an officer and failing to complete trip tickets by a fishermen. click here to read the story

Hearing: Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convene the hearing titled “Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: NOAA and Council Perspectives” at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 1, 2017. This hearing is the first in a series to examine the state of our nation’s fishery laws and guide the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Witnesses: – Mr. Christopher Oliver, Assistant Administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, – Dr. John Quinn, Chair, Council Coordination Committee and Northeast Fishery Management Council Hearing Details: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 10:00 a.m. Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on link 09:20

FFAW proposes buyout for 3Ps fishers

Last October, the union submitted a proposal to the provincial and federal governments for funding to retire fishing licenses in that region. According to briefing documents for the provincial fisheries minister, the FFAW proposal submitted Oct. 18 in 2016 said the overall program target is to retire 110 enterprises, 90 percent of which will be under 40 ft. enterprises. The cost estimated, and budget proposed by FFAW, for the program would be just over $13 million. click here to read the story 09:04

Steel Team | Part One: Fire and a rented boat can’t stop this crew, Part Two, Troubles mount, but the crew goes fishing

Three Sheets Northwest contributor Mark Aberle was invited for a short stint of fishing in Southeast Alaska. As happens, the story would have some interesting challenges that needed to be surmounted before the “Steel Team” could get out on the water. Here’s part one: Two 58-foot purse seiners and a fiberglass tender shared the same city dock pier in Craig, Alaska on the evening of May 20. The steel hulled Julia Kae had completed her run up from Ballard a few weeks prior. For the 60-year-old captain and owner Steve Demmert it was an annual ritual. On that May evening, no one was aboard the Julia Kae, the other seiner, the Pacific Lady, or the fiberglass hulled fish packer Seaborne. At some point in the early hours of the 21st, a fire started aboard the Seaborne. click here to read part one  08:14

Steel Team | Part Two: Troubles mount, but the crew goes fishing – In Part One, the crew is devastated by a fire aboard the seiner Julia Kae, but manages to get on the water after renting a new-to-them boat with a set of its own problems and quirks, the Defender. click here to read Part Two 

Two more North Atlantic right whales found dead on Newfoundland’s west coast

Two more dead whales have washed ashore on Newfoundland’s west coast. The federal fisheries department says the discoveries bring the total of confirmed North Atlantic right whale deaths to at least nine. The department says one of the animals had not been counted amongst the previous eight right whale carcasses that have been spotted in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in recent weeks. Officials didn’t immediately say when the carcasses washed ashore. click here to read the story 20:39

Best boot? A commercial fisherman’s likes and dislikes.

After six weeks away from home fishing in Bristol Bay, you’d think I would have larger concerns than what to wear on my feet. However, as go the feet, so go I. Consequently, here’s my rundown of my likes and dislikes when it comes to boots. No doubt in Bristol Bay, hip boots and Xtratufs ruled my world. Xtratufs are the foot gear of choice for most commercial fishermen working the deck of a boat. They’re a good boot, but much of the reason they are so popular is marketing. The cannery stores carry Xtratufs exclusively. The reality is that though they are well made, Xtratufs have little ankle support. They are soft, and woe to the fisherman who drops an anchor on his toe. click here to read the story 15:49

2 West Coast commercial fishing vessel mishaps included in NTBS Safer Seas Digest 2016

The National Transportation Safety Board cited two mishaps involving vessels around Ventura Harbor among 27 marine-related boating accidents as part of its Safer Seas Digest 2016. The agency’s annual report, released online Thursday, is part of an effort to help improve safety in the boating industry. “We hope that (the report) continues to help the marine industry discuss and address the safety issues confronting it,” said Robert Sumwalt, the NTSB’s acting chairman, in the 2016 Safer Seas Digest.The mishaps mentioned in the report include a July 29, 2015, collision in which the captain of a commercial fishing boat, Ferrigno Boy, lost control of the boat as it maneuvered near the Ventura Harbor Boatyard. The 70-foot-long squid boat hit the docks there. No one was injured in the accident. click here to read the story 14:22 To read the report click here

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Summer Meeting in Alexandria, Virginia – August 1 – 3, 2017

Starts August 1, 2017 12:00 am Ends August 3, 2017 12:00 am. Location The Westin Alexandria, 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; 703.253.8600 For ease of access, all Board/Section meeting documents have been combined into three documents – Main Meeting Materials1 click here.  (which includes all of the main meeting materials for August 1 through the American Eel Board on August 2); Main Meeting Materials 2 click here  (which inlcudes main meeting materials for Atlantic Menhaden Board all meetings on August 3)  and Supplemental Meeting Materials click here  (which include all Board supplemental materials with the exception of the Shad & River Herring Board). Links to individual board/committee materials can be found below. Board meeting proceedings will be broadcast daily via webinar beginning August 1st at 9:45 a.m. and continuing daily until the conclusion of the meeting (expected to be 4:30 p.m.) on Thursday, August 3rd. click here for webinar link 13:36

Senators move to combat illegal seafood import activities

Senator Thad Cochran is pushing a bill in appropriations to reactivate federal monitoring of illegal activities involving shrimp exports to the United States.  Previously the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2018 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act. It includes a Cochran-added provision that directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to lift the stay imposed by the Obama administration that excludes shrimp from the Seafood Import Monitoring Program.  click here to read the story 12:25

Sole survivor of fishing boat tragedy reveals how he swam to shore in only a pair of tracksuit bottoms and a faulty life jacket

He was the sole survivor of a fishing boat tragedy that claimed the lives of his three crew-mates. Now Lachlann Armstrong has revealed for the first time how he cheated death when the Louisa sank off the coast of the Hebrides in April last year. His electrifying testimony describes how, wearing nothing but a pair of tracksuit trousers and a faulty life jacket, he swam for his life, battling in complete darkness through water just a few degrees above freezing, toward a shore he could not even see.,,, He spoke of the terrifying moment the crew awoke to the boat sinking and the panic when they realised the emergency vessel (raft) wouldn’t inflate. click here to read the story 11:34

Popular Notre Dame beach turned into salvage spot for damaged vessel

A tour boat operator in Little Burnt Bay is astounded that a company has been allowed to built a temporary road on a popular public beach, at the height of tourist season, to tow in a damaged boat. The fishing vessel Straits Foam was damaged in this year’s harsh ice conditions in Notre Dame Bay, and had been adrift outside the Bay of Exploits for seven weeks, says Graham Wood, who runs Mussel Bed Tours. The work to bring that boat in to shore and salvage it includes building a temporary road from the beach out to the boat to tow it in to shore.  “The first word that came to mind was ‘horrified.'” click here to read the story 10:28

Tonight: Captain Greg Mayer gears up for more bluefin action on ‘Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks’

As National Geographic is about to premiere its fourth season of Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks Sunday, July 30 at 10 p.m., the Outer Banks of North Carolina face a lot of unknowns. It’s likely that many OBX vacationers won’t be able to tune in tonight, at least not from Hatteras or Ocracroke islands, which have been out of power for days because of a mishap involving an electrical cable near Bonner Bridge. Visitors have been evacuated from both islands, so as they modify their vacation plans, they’ll have to catch the bluefin TV action on the mainland. This season on Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks, the captains head to the deep waters of the ocean looking for that competition-winning payday. A few captains head south from the waters of Gloucester, Massachusetts, to go head to head with the North Carolina captains. All of them have the bluefin in mind. click here to read the story 10:00

It’s a waiting game for this year’s Fraser River pink salmon run

For this year’s Fraser River pink salmon run, the commercial boats hoping to fish in local waters are stuck in a wait-and-see scenario. With run numbers remaining low, the Pacific Salmon Commission’s Fraser River Panel has kept the fishing season closed in both the U.S. and Canadian waters near the mouth of the Canadian River. It’s unclear at this point whether the run is just late or will be much weaker than expected, said Pete Granger, a local reef net fisherman. If it turns out to be a weak run, it will be the second consecutive one for Fraser River pink salmon. click here to read the story 09:03

What’s next for the ‘Codfather’?

The “Codfather” quashed any hopes for high courtroom drama when he pleaded guilty in March to falsifying fish quotas, false labeling of fish species, conspiracy and tax evasion, 28 counts in all. The real action is behind the scenes, as federal and defense attorneys wrestle over the fate of New Bedford fishing mogul Carlos Rafael’s fishing empire, said to be one of the largest groundfish fleets in the nation. It’s something Cape fishermen, and fishermen all over New England, are debating and watching closely. click here to read the story 08:36

A salmon rare to this part of the world has been caught in another Donegal river

A salmon rare to this part of the world has been caught on the River Crana in Buncrana. The Pink Salmon (also known as a Humpback Salmon) was landed by well-known local angler Mickey McGrory. Abiding by the law, the fish was handed over to Irish Fisheries Ireland (IFI) inspector Peter Kelly. Pat Kane, from the Buncrana Anglers Association, said Pink Salmon in Irish waters was “very rare.” He added: “Nobody knows when the last one would have been caught, although there are ‘rumors’ one was landed by a Greencastle trawler in Lough Foyle in the 1980s. Anglers in the south of the county recently caught the rare salmon in the Drowes river. click here to read the story 14:16

Fishermen’s group pushes wearing Personal Flotation Devices

The Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association says the use of personal flotation devices in the commercial fishing industry is growing, but more work needs to be done. Melanie Sonnenberg, the association’s program manager, said she wasn’t surprised by the Transportation Safety Board’s latest push for mandatory use of personal flotation devices in the industry, a popular topic for years. “There’s been a great push with working with suppliers to develop products that are much more commercial fishing friendly,” she said. “We’ve seen a culture shift here in the industry. click here to read the story 12:34

64th Blessing of the Fleet ceremonies set for Sunday in Stonington, Connecticut

The 64th annual Blessing of the Fleet in the borough will honor local fishermen who have died at sea with traditional remembrances and prayers and, for the first time, an exhibit of artifacts and photographs from local fishing boats. The Blessing is slated for Sunday, although festivities kick off today with the Blessing of the Fleet 5k road race at 6 p.m. in the borough. Each year, the event focuses on commemorating fishermen who died at sea, with special prayers for the safety and success of current fishermen, said Georgia Crowley, who co-chairs the event with her husband, Mike, and Ellie Dunn, all members of St. Mary Church in the borough. click here to read the story 11:55

Lobster Boats Ready to Race in Beverly on Sunday

It’s that time of year, when local fishermen get all revved up to compete in Lobster Boat Races. The 23rd annual regatta, which will be held Sunday, July 30, at 2 p.m. off Woodbury Point, is always a festive affair, bringing out an impressive array of vessels both old and new. Skipper Mike Malewicki’s vessel, the Janie M., stole the show last year. The Beverly-based boat took top honors in four of six races, culminating with an exciting free-for- all finish down the quarter-mile course. In previous years, the race has drawn as many as a dozen boats. Last year’s event was a somewhat intimate affair by way of comparison with only four boats participating. But no matter the turnout, the dedicated group of fishermen still manages to put on a great show for the spectators that line Lynch Park. Photo’s, click here to read the story 11:24

Myrtle Beach Shrimper enters the political ring

Mike Hobeika says his family was the third family to settle in Myrtle Beach many, many years ago. He grew up in a small motel on Ocean Boulevard and the city of years ago was his stomping grounds. Now, he wants to help lead the city that he has loved his entire lifetime and a city, he says, that has lost its way. Hobeika has decided to enter the race for one of the three city council seats up for grabs this November.,, Sitting on his shrimp boat along the Intracoastal Waterway, Hobeika said he’s just a hard working guy who wants Myrtle Beach to be the safe, thriving city it once was. click here to read the story 10:50

Bristol Bay red salmon run smashes records

Millions of fish and sinking boats: It was a record-breaking year for the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery. The Western Alaska commercial fishery — which produces 40 percent of the world’s harvest of sockeyes — had a stellar harvest, with record-breaking catches and a high price for fishermen at the docks. A total run of almost 59 million fish had been counted in the region as of Thursday, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. That doesn’t top the record total run of 62 million caught in 1980, but it’s still among the top five since managers began keeping records in 1952, according to Fish and Game area management biologist Tim Sands.,, But there were still challenges as processors, dealing with the influx of fish, put limits on fishermen during the height of the season. click here to read the story 09:48

Garnish fisherman back to sea six weeks after boat sinks

Just over six weeks after their fishing boat hit a sunker and sank near Brunette Island, off the Burin Peninsula, Preston Grandy and his wife Tonia are getting the vessel ready for the fishing season. “I didn’t think we would get her back from Brunette, let alone six weeks later to have her all redone and back fishing.” It was thanks to the help of others, as well, she said. click here to read the story 09:14

Zeldin: Long Island fishermen in real need of relief

On Long Island, so much of our economy and way of life are connected to the water around us. Fishing is a treasured part of our identities as Long Islanders. Yet today, the current flaws in the management of our fisheries isn’t just raising costs for commercial fishermen and charter boat captains- it also hurts all the small businesses in the coastal economy, including restaurants, bait & tackle shops, hotels, and gas stations. Quite candidly, it is also making this pastime just nowhere near as much fun as it used to be either. As the Representative for New York’s First Congressional District, which is almost entirely surrounded by water, I am committed to supporting our fishermen and ensuring this tradition is preserved for generations to come. click here to read the story 08:34

Commercial fishing boat runs aground off the coast of Cayucos

A commercial fishing vessel out of Morro Bay was returning to port when it ran aground early Friday morning near Point Estero off the coast of Cayucos. Nobody aboard was injured and there were no reports of significant water pollution or damage to the vessel, said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney. Harbor Patrol Supervisor Becka Kelly said the boat had been fishing about 40 miles off shore for slime eels. She said exhaustion and patchy fog may have been a factor in the ship running aground. click here to read the story 18:15