Monthly Archives: January 2018

Coast Guard rescues 5 fishermen from flooding fishing vessel

Coast Guard crews rescued five fisherman, who had to abandon ship due to flooding while west of Cape Alava, Wednesday. A 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Quillayute River safely took the fishermen aboard and transported them to Coast Guard Station Neah Bay with no reported medical concerns. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received a report at 1:14 p.m. the 87-foot fishing vessel Sunnfjord was flooding and with all their dewatering pumps running the crew was unable to keep up with the rising water. >click to read< 21:43

Wrangell reflects on the sea, loss with proposed Mariners’ Memorial

A group of mostly fishermen is fundraising to build a mariners’ memorial in Wrangell. Organizers say it’s a way to remember those lost at sea. Gig Decker has been a commercial fisherman and diver for decades. “Every single year, for 33 years of commercial diving, I got the hell scared out of me and I came close to drowning,” Decker says. Decker and others are fundraising to build a $300,000 memorial at Heritage Harbor in Wrangell. So far, they have 200 members offering local support. Board members are soliciting larger corporate and foundation donations as well. >click to read< 21:06

Education key to electronic reporting, monitoring systems

In a perfect world, Steve Kennelly sees the New England Fishery transitioning to electronic reporting within the next year. “There’s no reason why that group can’t be formed pretty soon,” the director of IC Independent Consulting said. The next step would be implementing electronic monitoring within 3 to 4 years. “It’s silly to talk anywhere beyond five years out” because of how fast technology continues to evolve, Kennelly said. The New England Fishery Management Council, which concluded two days of meetings on Wednesday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, resides in an imperfect world, though. >click here to read< 18:34 

For first time in 60 years, spring-run Chinook salmon reproduce in San Joaquin River

As work to restore the San Joaquin River continues, scientists are seeing promising signs that salmon can thrive in the river as hatchery fish reach new milestones. A recent breakthrough came in fall 2017, when spring-run Chinook salmon created their nests, called redds, in the deeper and colder parts of the river below Friant Dam. The fish successfully spawned, laying eggs that incubated and hatched into tiny fry as the sexually mature fish died, part of the species’ unusual life cycle. >click here to read< 15:16

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 40′ Webbers Cove Lobster/Scalloper, 405HP Cummins QL9 Diesel

Specifications, information and 10 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here< 14:30

A raft of issues makes life harder for important fishery – Crabbers need community support as problems mount

The past several crab seasons can’t be described as all bad. For example, as recently as 2014-15, ex-vessel prices reached $4.50 a pound to fishermen in December, spiking to $9 just before Asian new year celebrations. Levels of the marine toxin domoic acid, which have occasionally been elevated, have not appeared to shake consumer confidence in crab. They remain a coveted culinary treat on both side of the Pacific Ocean. Crabbers in Washington and Oregon totaled $52.4 million in sales last year; crab remain a bright spot for the commercial fishing industry. Poke into this rosy picture a little, however, and serious concerns emerge. >click here to read< 12:53

Kodiak trawl fleet ends protest, negotiates higher price

The Kodiak trawl fleet ended its protest over the price the fleet had been offered for its pollock harvest. The fleet ended its protest on Sunday after successfully negotiating a higher price from processors, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported . After an eight-day stand-down by the fleet, all of the town’s processors offered a price of 11 cents per pound for pollock under a thousand grams. The negotiated price is up from the previous offering of 10 cents per pound for fish a thousand grams and under. >click here to read< 11:06

NEFMC: Final Action on Deep-Sea Coral Amendment; Comments on Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling in North Atlantic

The New England Fishery Management Council has taken final action on its Omnibus Deep-Sea Coral Amendment and voted to submit the document to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for review and approval.,,, The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is soliciting comments through March 9, 2018 on its Draft National 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which includes the North and Mid-Atlantic Planning Areas. The Council agreed to send a letter to BOEM recommending exclusion of these two areasfrom the five-year plan because oil and gas exploration and extraction activities in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf involve inappropriate risks that “may harm living marine resources,,, >click here to read< 10:45

Highest Hurdle For Deepwater May Be Winning The Trust Of The Region’s Fishing Community

Deepwater Wind faces two years of review by some 20 state and federal agencies, and millions of dollars in scientific survey work covering hundreds of square miles of the ocean, to answer the questions the agencies will pepper them with about the wind farm’s effect on the ocean around it.,, Part of the federal process that the company must follow, in attempting to show that the 15 wind turbines they want to build in the ocean east of Block Island can coexist with those who make a living at sea, requires that they appoint a “fisheries representative” >click here to read< 09:47

Two Bay of Islands men fined for poaching, banned from fishing

Two men from Humber Arm South convicted of illegally harvesting lobster won’t be doing any fishing of any sort for a while. Leonard Stephen Greene, 60, and Paul Locke, 54, entered guilty pleas to poaching crustaceans when they appeared at provincial court in Corner Brook for what was supposed to be a joint trial this week.,, Greene also pleaded guilty to fishing for snow crab, without being authorized by a licence for that species, in May 2016. Locke entered a guilty plea to one offence, namely possessing illegally caught lobster in late June 2017. >click here to read< 08:45

Fish farm caused Atlantic salmon spill, state says, then tried to hide how bad it was

Cooke Aquaculture Pacific vastly underrepresented the scope of a catastrophic Atlantic salmon net-pen spill at its Cypress Island farm last August and misled the public and regulators about the cause, according to a new report by state investigators that blames the pen collapse on company negligence. The investigation found that Cooke lowballed the number of escaped fish by more than half, and did not do essential maintenance at its farm, causing the escape. The company also misled agencies about the seriousness and cause of an earlier mishap,,, >click here to read< 20:26

Coast Guard rescues 4 fishermen from the water after boat capsizes near Eastport, Maine

The Coast Guard rescued four people Tuesday after a 14-foot skiff capsized in Deep Cove near Eastport, Maine, sending five people into the 39 degree water. A good Samaritan called 911 at about 2 p.m. to report the capsize, and said four people were in the water in need of rescue and a fifth had swam to shore. The information was relayed to the watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Eastport who immediately launched a 29-foot response boat crew to help. >USCG click<

Man swims to shore, gets help for stranded boaters near Eastport – According to the Coast Guard, the five people were heading to shore from a scalloping boat moored in Deep Cove. >click to read< 19:42

Feds vote to protect more corals in Atlantic Ocean

Federal fishing regulators on Tuesday approved a compromise they said would expand the amount of coral habitat preserved in the Atlantic Ocean while also protecting fishing interests. The New England Fishery Management Council voted on coral protections in an area south of Georges Bank, which is one of the most important commercial fishing areas in the Northeast. The decision came about seven months after the council approved protections in another key New England fishing area, the Gulf of Maine, in June. >click here to read< 17:50 

Lake Michigan has become dramatically clearer in last 20 years — but at a steep cost

Decades ago, Lake Michigan teemed with nutrients and green algae, casting a brownish-green hue that resembled the mouth of an inland river rather than a vast, open-water lake. Back then, the lake’s swampy complexion was less than inviting to swimmers and kayakers, but it supported a robust fishing industry as several commercial companies trawled for perch, and sport fishermen cast their lines for trout. But in the past 20 years, Lake Michigan has undergone a dramatic transformation. >click here to read< 16:38

FISH-NL issues warning to DFO on changes to harvester registration in Atlantic Canada; NL system not working

“The Professional Fish Harvester Certification Board (PFHCB) is not working here in terms of a conflict of interest with the FFAW-Unifor, and it’s not working for people attempting to enter the fishery,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “DFO should not give the PFHCB any more authority than it already has, review its relationship with the FFAW-Unifor for conflict of interest, and insist that the Board modernize its qualifying criteria.” DFO is looking for feedback on proposed changes to the requirements for fish harvester registration in Atlantic Canada. The deadline for feedback is Wednesday, Jan. 31st. >click here to read<14:54

Mass Environmental Police confiscate Scallops over permitted limit on Carlos Rafael vessel

The Massachusetts Environmental Police confiscated 120 pounds of scallops off a Carlos Rafael fishing vessel on Sunday, according to Major Pat Moran. The scallops at being held with their final destination to be determined by the National Marine Fisheries Service, environmental police said. Officers boarded the fishing vessel Dinah Jane, owned by Rafael, on Sunday to conduct a marine fisheries inspection. >click here to read< 14:17

Norwegian company to build large, land-based salmon farm in Belfast

A Norway company intends to build a land-based salmon farm in Belfast, initially investing $150 million and creating 60 jobs within two years. Nordic Aquafarms, an international developer of land-based aquaculture, has signed agreements to purchase 40 acres on the outskirts of Belfast, where it will build one of the world’s largest land-based salmon farms, according to a release from the city.,,, It chose Maine because of the state’s pristine environment, cold water conditions,,, >click here to read< 13:06

Eel of Fortune

Against a backdrop of competing cultural and commercial interests, Canadian regulators will soon spin the wheel on the future of the little-understood American eel. Lighting the hissing naphtha lamp mounted at the front of his metal canoe, Kerry Prosper prepares for a midsummer eel hunt on Nova Scotia’s Pomquet Harbour. It’s just past sunset, and the conditions are perfect, with warm air gently rolling off the bay and smoothing the water’s surface to glass. Prosper timed tonight’s trip with the new moon; eels get skittish when there’s too much light. Even lightning scares them into hiding. >click here to read< 10:54 

Plan details NY state’s vision for offshore wind energy

New York state on Monday released the blueprints for a plan to harness the power of wind through offshore farms.,,, Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says the extensive report was long-awaited.,,, “We need to move forward with renewable energy, and stop the oil and gas drilling that is planned for the East Coast.”,,, Bonnie Brady, from the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, said in a statement to News 12, “Through eminent domain, they are taking away historic fishing grounds and now they are destroying it in the name of green energy. The only green here is about making money.”>click here to read< 10:25

Commentary: CCA, GOP to blame for proposed license change – “redefining a commercial fisherman.”

Imagine you hold a state license in your profession, say as a general contractor. Then you start a side business that takes off. Maybe it’s a restaurant or a consulting business. Soon, it accounts for more than half of your income. At the same time, your original business continues to thrive while providing a valuable service and an irreplaceable part the family income.,, Then the State of North Carolina comes knocking, demands to audit your financial records and informs you that since you no longer earn more than 50 percent of your income from your “licensed” profession, you are no longer a general contractor. >click here to read< 09:31

“The Plight of the Right Whale” – What’s causing right whale decline?

There is no argument that the North Atlantic Right Whale is in dire straits. Dr. Mark Baumgartner, a biologist from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, gave a compelling presentation on “The Plight of the Right Whale” this past Tuesday evening, Jan. 23, at the Vineyard Gazette office. Since it was advertised, it was well attended. One point of interest was that the right whales were making a healthy comeback, a two-decade period of modest annual growth; the population rebounded from 270 living whales in 1992 to 483 in 2010. From 2010,,, >click here to read< 21:12

Crab season: ‘Fishermen just needed to go fishing’ while skinny crab adds stress

The opening of the commercial crab season is traditionally December 1, but this year it was delayed to ensure quality and to work out negotiations between fishermen and processors over price.
While crabbers in Newport agreed to a $2.75 starting price, we were told Friday the offer was not accepted by the majority of west coast fishermen. >click here to read< 16:54

Skinny crabs add stress on local business owners – Scattered crabbing vessels dotted the horizon from Klipsan Beach and along the southwestern Washington coast last Monday. It was the start of the new commercial crabbing season — and possibly, sellers hope, the rebounding of the local market. Pacific Northwest crabbers have already lost over one and a half months’ worth of the crab season. >click here to read<

Seven Rescued from Kiribati Ferry

The fishing vessel FV Lomalo has picked up seven survivors in a dinghy from the missing Kiribati ferry – 300 kilometers (190 miles) south-east of Nauru. The people on board the dinghy were three men – two aged in their 20s and one aged 34 – and four women – three in their 20s and one aged 14. They are understood to be in reasonable health.,, The 17-meter (56-foot) inter-island ferry, with an estimated 50 people on board, was due in to Betio, Tarawa, more than a week ago. >click here to read< 16:07 

New England Fishery Management Council meeting January 30-31, 2018 in Portsmouth, NH

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at the Sheraton Harborside, Portsmouth, NH . To read the final agenda, click here Register for webinar click here to listen live 14:34

BEYOND EXPECTATIONS: Fishermen donating more than $600,000 – and counting – to charities and causes through Live Well Challenge

The Live Well Challenge continues to exceed expectations, with people taking the plunge in one way or another in southwestern Nova Scotia and beyond, raising in excess of half a million dollars for numerous charities and causes in just over a week. And the dollar amount continues to climb steadily as people continue to take the plunge and nominate others to do the same. The Live Well Challenge was initiated by Cape Sable Island fisherman Todd Newell on Jan. 17 on social media as a way to help the families of the Pubnico Head house fire that claimed the lives of four children, and to also help other local charities, causes and organizations. >click here to read< 13:56

Jeanne Moser to be Shaheen’s guest for Trump speech

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, announced Friday she will bring Jeanne Moser of East Kingston as her guest for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, Jan. 30 in Washington. Moser has been working with her husband Jim to call for federal support to combat the opioid epidemic. Their son Adam died at age 27 as the result of a Fentanyl overdose. >click here to read< 12:01

NYS offshore wind energy plan envisions $6 billion industry by 2028

New York State on Monday is to release an exhaustive master plan for offshore wind energy that foresees up to 5,000 people employed in and around a $6 billion industry by 2028, with annual health benefits from reduced emissions valued at up to $400 million. The Cuomo administration plan also makes clear that while offshore wind representing 2,400 megawatts and hundreds of turbines will be in the waters south of Long Island, none is expected to be visible from shore. >click here to read< 11:13

Necropsy planned for Right Whale found off Virginia

Researchers planned to conduct a necropsy Sunday on the carcass of a North Atlantic right whale that was discovered on Friday about 100 miles off the coast of Virginia, according to a statement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report  of the dead whale first came in Jan 22, and NOAA officials confirmed that it was a right whale through a photo two days later.  The photo suggested the whale was alive and swimming before it became entangled in a fishing line. >click here to read<10:32 

A day at sea – Cod, skate, discards and an observer

It’s cold, dark and slippery at 2 a.m. at the Gloucester pier, and as most people are in bed or just going home from a late night out, Capt. Al Cottone is trying to start his engine and prepare his fishing vessel, the Sabrina Maria, for a day out at sea. The Sabrina Maria is a member of Gloucester’s day fishing fleet, now hovering around 12 boats of what used to be a much larger contingent. This morning Cottone is taking the 42-foot trawler out around Stellwagen Bank, about 15 miles southeast of Gloucester, to trawl for cod, haddock and other groundfish as he skims the coast. >click here to read< 21:18

Whitehouse asks Narragansett fisherman to join him at State of the Union

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s guest of honor at the State of the Union Tuesday will be a Narragansett fisherman with four decades fishing out of Point Judith. Whitehouse on Saturday announced his choice to join him Tuesday night in Washington as Chris Brown, president of the Rhode Island Commercial Fishermen’s Association. In a news release, Whitehouse said his pick comes weeks after President Donald Trump moved to expand oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic Coast — a move that the senator says will imperil the Rhode Island commercial fishing industry and its coastal economy. >click here to read<15:28