Monthly Archives: July 2018

At Sea on Taiwan’s Last Fire-Fishing Boats

It’s pitch black on Taiwan’s waters, and in a few minutes, all hell will break loose. A boom and blaze of fire explode into the night sky, followed by the sour stench of sulphur. Thousands of tiny, ray-finned sardines suddenly leap out of the Pacific Ocean—in a wild, graceless dance—hurling themselves towards the scorching flames. Meanwhile, fishermen work feverishly to scoop them up, before they plunge back into the sea. The scene is utter chaos. Traditional sulphuric fire fishing is a century-plus-old practice found only in Jinshan, a sleepy little port city near the northern tip of Taiwan. >click to read<20:25

Lawmakers urge more FDA inspections of imported seafood, win approval

An effort to increase the amount of imported seafood the U.S. inspects for health issues has crossed a hurdle in the Senate. Louisiana’s two Republican senators, John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, won approval of a measure that would add $3.1 million the FDA’s budget for such testing. Shrimpers in Terrebonne and Lafourche, joined by their peers in other states, have pushed for the measure,, The group represents shrimp fishermen and processors in Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. Video >click to read<17:48

Once in a blue moon: Crabber catches rare all-blue blue crab

Jim McInteer and his crew mate Alan Payne knew they had captured an oddity the moment they pulled their crab pot from the York River last Tuesday. “We were excited about it,” says McInteer. “Alan yelled, ‘Come look at this crab!’ He very carefully took him out of the pot and then I could see exactly what it was — I’d read about how they occur every now and then, so we knew what we had.” McInteer, who at 73 has been crabbing commercially for 10 years and recreationally for decades, says he’s caught blue crabs “with blotches of white, and some other slight discolorations, but never a solid-blue blue crab.”Recognizing its rarity, they donated it to the laboratory of Professor Rom Lipcius, an expert in crustacean ecology at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science. >click to read<16:19

First two days of capelin fishery around Twillingate proving successful

By noon on July 30 the wharf outside Notre Dame Seafoods plant in Twillingate had piled up with long liners, delivery trucks and forklifts. Since Sunday, July 29, the capelin fishery around the shores of Notre Dame Bay has proved to be a successful year for harvesters in the area. It’s a complete 180 from last year’s capelin fishery, which was met with scarce signs and unachieved quotas. For fisherman Nelson Rideout, his 35,000 pound daily quota was achieved with one shot of the fishing gear into the water early Monday morning, June 30. >click to read<13:13

PHOTOS: Stonington’s 65th Blessing of the Fleet, a time to celebrate fishing fleet, remember those lost

The Rev. Dennis Perkins, the pastor of St. Michael and St. Mary churches, sprinkles holy water on a memorial wreath that was dropped into the waters of Fishers Island Sound by Peggy Krupinski just outside the Stonington breakwater at the 65th annual Blessing of the Fleet in Stonington. The wreath is in remembrance of fishermen lost at sea, a list that includes Walter Krupinski, Peggy’s husband, who died in 2015. >click to read<10:38

Vineyard Wind Appoints Crista Bank as Fisheries Liaison

Vineyard Wind today announced the appointment of Crista Bank as Fisheries Liaison. In this role, Bank will lead the project’s regional engagement with fishing industry representatives on Cape and Islands, the South Coast, Rhode Island, and along the East Coast. A fisheries scientist, Bank brings extensive local, regional, national and international experience and deep knowledge of marine science and fisheries issues to her role at Vineyard Wind. >click to read<10:15

Daughter’s lawsuit against ‘Deadliest Catch’ star Sig Hansen proceeds after appeals challenge

A child molestation lawsuit against Seattle-area resident and “Deadliest Catch” star Sig Hansen is allowed to proceed, the state Court of Appeals decided in a Monday ruling. Hansen is accused by his now-grown daughter, Melissa Eckstrom, of molesting her when she was about 2 years old, in 1990, in the wake of a bitter divorce with Eckstrom’s mother. Eckstrom filed a lawsuit against him in 2016 and a King County Superior Court judge denied Hansen’s motion to dismiss the case in 2017. The Division I Court of Appeals, after taking up the case in March 2017, upheld the Superior Court’s decision. Hansen said in a prepared statement that he plans to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. >click to read<09:26

Salvage efforts are underway for the F/V Pacific Knight

The owner of the F/V Pacific Knight is contracting with the private company Resolve Marine to salvage the 58-foot vessel that sank near Clark’s Point on Wednesday. The entire Nushagak commercial fishing district is closed because the wreck is leaking fuel. When the boat sank, it was carrying 1100 gallons of fuel. It is still unknown how much diesel and hydraulic fuel has spilled into the bay. Divers unsuccessfully attempted to stop the vessel leaking fuel over the weekend and again on today. They are scheduled to attempt another dive tonight to determine how much fuel is still on the ship and to pump off any that remains. >click to read<08:12

A colorful flotilla of boats passed through Green Harbor for Marshfield’s annual Blessing of the Fleet.

Festooned with American flags, balloons and streamers, a colorful flotilla of 72 commercial and recreational boats passed through Green Harbor for Marshfield’s annual Blessing of the Fleet. Mike Duane, president of the Marshfield Commercial Fisherman’s Association, led the parade of boats in the “Cygnet” up to the town pier. The REv. Carmichael used an aspergillum – a small, perforated container with a handle – to sprinkle holy water on the boats as they glided by. Each year, the blessing honors fisherman and boaters who have passed away. The 2018 Blessing was in honor of four fishermen: Ray Noyes, Bob Tobin, Rick Rosen and Richard Towers. >click to read<

10-foot white shark accidentally caught off Massachusetts coast – Utilized for Science

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy shared photos of a white shark, described as a 10-foot, 657-pound immature female, that was captured unintentionally on Saturday. The animal was caught and killed by a gill net, or a fishing device that hangs vertically to capture and trap fish by their gills. The shark was brought back to Scituate where scientists from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and NOAA New England could take samples for research purposes. An online report from “Massachusetts Sharks” said researchers found the remains of seal and a striped bass in the shark’s stomach. >click to read<17:20

As Asian Carp Invade Tennessee, State Asks Fishermen To Help Fight Back

The scale of the asian carp problem has gotten considerably worse in recent years as the invasive species moves further into Tennessee. The state Wildlife Resources Agency is developing a plan to keep the carp contained and eventually push them back. The agency is working with other states and the federal government to sponsor fishing tournaments, create incentives for commercial fishermen and test out new technology to keep the carp from spreading out of West Tennessee. The agency is funding a $500 thousand program to develop new markets for the carp beyond fertilizer, like getting more of them into restaurants. >click to read<15:26

Australian Maritime Safety Authority mandates float-free EPIRBS

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has announced that, as from 1 January 2021, it will be mandatory for certain types of commercial vessels to be fitted with float-free EPIRBs. According to AMSA, the change is in response to incidents in which commercial vessels sank quickly and the master and crew were unable to deploy an EPIRB in time. “If a vessel rapidly capsizes or sinks, the survival of the passengers and crew depends on the transmission of a distress signal,” said Brad Groves, AMSA general manager of standards. “A float-free auto-activating EPIRB can send a call for help within minutes of being submerged in water, without any action by the crew.” >click to read<14:53

2018 Victoria Classic Boat Festival highlights role of fishing boats of WWII

This year’s Victoria Classic Boat Festival (August 31 – September 2), looks back to the Second World War with WWII-era boats on display, a special floating exhibit, activities, and events surrounding the role of BC’s fishing vessels, yachts, and shipyards that played an important role on the “home front” of WWII. More than any other way the vessels from that period still afloat speak of the contribution they made to the war effort. They also tell the sad story of the hundreds of vessels swept up in the early war hysteria when the vessels owned by persons of Japanese descent were seized. The seiner Merry Chase, an example of such vessels on display at the 2018 Festival, started life under ownership of Canadians of Japanese descent. >click to read< The Maritime Museum of British Columbia, >click here<12:44

Commercial fishing in Igushik again closed due to fuel spill from F/V Pacific Knight

Fuel from the wreckage of the F/V Pacific Knight has reached the Igushik Section of the Nushagak commercial fishing district. That’s according to reports the Alaska Department of Fish and Game received today at 4 p.m. that people in the area smelled fuel and saw a sheen on the water. After the entire Nushagak District was closed in response to the fuel spill on Thursday, the Igushik Section only was reopened Friday. The Igushik Section will now close again at 6 p.m. today. >click to read<10:45

High-dollar sports fishing boat crashes into shrimp boat, sinks

A sports fishing boat worth more than $1 million crashed this weekend into a shrimping boat before sinking during a fishing tournament about 45 miles offshore from Port O’Connor. The crash of the 61-foot sports fishing boat, named Got ‘M On, was reported to the Coast Guard at 4:10 p.m. Saturday, assistant public affairs officer Kenneth Hawkins said Sunday. The Got ‘M On collided with a 79-foot shrimping boat named Lady Toni, the Coast Guard reported.,,, No one on the shrimping boat was in the water. No one was arrested or cited after the crash. Only minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, were reported, and no one was transported to a hospital. >click to read<10:08

Undersea Power Cables – Electromagnetic fields have complex and possibly harmful effects on the valuable brown crab.

Over the past 10 years, Scotland has installed thousands of offshore wind turbines in the North Sea and is starting to deploy marine energy devices that generate power from tides and waves. It’s a green energy push that is slowly being replicated in coastal areas the world over. Though these installations are reducing coastal threats such as oil spills, they have the potential to cause other, more subtle, problems for marine life. From each offshore wind and tidal turbine, power cables snake to shore, connecting to power banks, converters, and the wider electrical grid. But these electrified cables could have odd and unexpected effects on seafloor life. >click to read<08:43

Vineyard Wind, R.I. fishermen still at odds over turbines

At issue is minimizing impacts to fishing grounds for squid, lobster and other species that are critical to Rhode Island fishermen. Nearly four months into a review of its proposal by Rhode Island coastal regulators, Vineyard Wind has been unable to allay fears that its proposed offshore wind farm of up to 100 turbines would harm the state’s fishing industry.  With a key approval from the Coastal Resources Management Council at stake, the New Bedford-based company has agreed to a two-month extension  in an attempt to bridge the divide with agency staff and Rhode Island fishermen over the $2-billion project that would be built in 250 square miles of ocean south of Martha’s Vineyard. >click to read<23:54

Some lobster exporters are feeling the Chinese tariff pinch

The lobster pipeline from Maine to China shut down on July 5, however, when China hit U.S. lobsters with a 25 percent import tax in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on imported Chinese goods. Since then, Nadeau’s business, The Lobster Co., has not sold a lobster to China, despite daily phone calls and a trip to the Pearl River Delta to visit her Chinese customers last week.,,  But so far, lobstermen say they aren’t feeling the sting of Chinese tariffs. Their boat prices, which range from $3.50 to $4 a pound in different ports for shedders, are comparable to what they were getting at this time last year, they say, >click to read<21:39

Man found in Port Clyde Harbor identified as 56-year-old lobsterman

The Maine Marine Patrol is investigating the death of a 56-year-old lobsterman whose body was found Saturday morning near the Port Clyde Fishermen’s Cooperative, where he fished regularly, officials said. Sgt. Wesley Dean of the Maine Marine Patrol said good Samaritans tried to revive John Crane IV, a career lobsterman, around 6:20 a.m., but to no avail. “We don’t believe he was in the water for a very long time,” Dean said. He said it is not clear whether Crane drowned or had a medical issue, nor whether he might have fallen from his boat at the time. >click to read<19:37

$600 ‘prehistoric’ king crab, anyone? Now at Fontainebleau Miami Beach

For those who like to splurge into the deep — in the sea and their wallets — have we got a deal for you. Just $600 will buy you and your feeding crew a rare delicacy: an 8-pound Norwegian red king crab. The Fontainebleau resort in Miami Beach has received a small, annual allotment of the live crabs, dubbed “prehistoric luxury shellfish” by the resort’s PR agency. Caught from the icy waters of the Barents Sea off Norway’s northern coast, the crabs that arrived this week weigh 5 to 8 pounds and can feed up to five people. The shipment of live crabs and langoustines (jumbo European prawns in shells that resemble lobster) are kept in special “Waterworld” tanks of seawater in the resort’s basement. >click to read<18:08

EU Fisheries Deal With Morocco Sparks Criticism Over Inclusion Of Western Sahara Waters

A fresh legal row may be brewing over the EU’s trade links with Morocco, after the two sides finalised a controversial new fisheries agreement, following almost three months of negotiations. In a joint statement issued on July 20, the two sides said they had agreed on the content of a new sustainable fisheries agreement and that it would enter into force “as soon as possible”. The most contentious element of the agreement involves Western Sahara – the territory which has been occupied by Morocco since the mid-1970s. Morocco’s claim is not internationally recognized and the United Nations says the area is a non-self-governing territory. >click to read<17:21

Coast Guard Medevacs crewman from fishing vessel in Prince William Sound

Coast Guard Station Valdez crew members medevaced an 18-year-old male, suffering from a hand injury, from the fishing vessel Pacific Harvester in Prince William Sound, Thursday evening. The station’s crew, including an emergency trauma technician, treated the man’s hand while in transit to a Valdez pier where he was transferred to awaiting emergency medical service personnel for higher care. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center received a report from the master of the Pacific Harvester requesting a medevac for the crewmember who was suffering from a hand injury and displaying signs of shock.  >click to read<16:25

Devastating report has seafood dealer on his heels, angry – U.S. senator calls for an investigation

A national seafood distributor is defending its reputation as sales plummet after The Associated Press found it was not living up to a guarantee that all of its seafood was wild, sustainable, traceable and caught by local fishermen. Sea To Table owner Sean Dimin said most problems identified by the AP were honest mistakes or the result of miscommunication, and some supporters came to his defense. But four former employees said they raised concerns about mislabeling, the blending of imports and deceptive marketing practices years ago, and were ignored or silenced. A U.S. senator has called for an investigation, and a community-supported fishery filed cease-and-desist orders, demanding Sea To Table stop deceptive marketing. >click to read<13:25

New England: Centuries-old cod fishery had worst year in history in 2017

One of the most historic fisheries in the country hit an all-time low last year as cod fishermen continued to struggle with choking quotas and low abundance of the fish. Maine’s cod fishery has existed since at least the early 17th century, and it was once one of the strongest in the country. The fishery peaked at more than 21 million pounds of cod, a fish often used with the fish and chips dish, in 1991.,,, One reason for the collapse is that federal quotas for cod are so low many fishermen are just avoiding them altogether, said Terry Alexander, a veteran fisherman out of Portland and Boston. Cod fishermen typically also seek other species, such as haddock and flounder, and they must stop fishing altogether once they reach quota for cod, per the rules. >click to read<11:15

Residents learn about fishing, local offerings at Stonington open house

They all were visiting the open house hosted by the town’s fishermen at Gambardella’s Wholesale Seafood at the Town Dock on Saturday afternoon to get an inside look at the fishing industry and learn more about the seafood caught by local fishermen. Ed Emery, a third-generation fisherman, encouraged people to shop locally at the Town Dock for fresh fish,,,  Mike Gambardella, owner of Gambardella’s Wholesale Seafood, who came up with the idea for the event, said the fishermen want to show people how wild-caught, chemical-free, good seafood tastes.,,He also said they want to show how hard of a job it is to be a fisherman under so much regulation. He said scientists should listen to the fishermen who go out every day to the ocean and see what is out there. >click to read<09:46

Fishing is a family business – Three couples know everybody needs to pitch in to make a living

Long Island’s fishing families know how to adapt. They have to if they want to keep making their living from the water. Many have succumbed to the sea of quotas and regulations. Fewer and fewer are hanging on. In the past eight years, the number of commercial food fish licenses has dropped by double digits —11 percent — from 1,030 in 2018 to 916 so far this year, state data show.,, Most of the families still in commercial fishing run mom-and-operations, Brady said. “Some can go back 15 generations, some have been here since the ’70s,” she said, “and some are just starting out”  The Phillipses, the Osinskis, and the Lofstads. >click to read<08:51

Nearly 300 Sea Turtles Dead as Red Tide Plagues Southwest Florida

Hundreds of sea turtles have washed up dead along the southwest Florida coast as an ongoing red tide event persists in the waters. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has logged 287 sea turtle deaths since the virulent algal bloom started in October, the Associated Press reported. That figure is twice the average number of turtle deaths in those waters each year, Allen Foley of the commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute told the AP on Thursday.  Foley explained that the turtles get sick and die when their food gets contaminated by toxic bloom. >click to read<19:09

Shrimp boat worker found, accused of assaulting shipmates with sledge hammer

Lee County deputies arrested a shrimp boat worker who allegedly assaulted the boat’s captain and another worker with a sledge hammer before disappearing into the water off Fort Myers Beach on Monday, according to an incident report. Deputies led a search for Brandon Scerri, 23, after the boat docked outside of Trico Seafood on Fort Myers Beach and his shipmates reported that he had vanished. He was found “alive and well” Wednesday and was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery shortly after.  Scerri was taken to Lee County Jail, where he remains in custody. >click to read<13:13

Four P.E.I. fishermen net fines for illegal practices, charged under the federal Fisheries Act

Several lobster fishermen reeled in hefty fines Thursday for illegal fishing practices. The biggest hit was delivered to Eric Leard MacKinnon, 53, of Murray River. He was fined $28,200 and suspended the first day of the 2019 lobster fishing season after pleading guilty to hauling in 82 undersized lobsters. MacKinnon said he was prepared to pay the fine in full right away. He was nabbed on May 30 at Machon’s Point wharf following a routine inspection by fisheries’ officers. MacKinnon, like three other lobster fishermen appearing in provincial court in Georgetown Thursday, was charged under the federal Fisheries Act. >click to read<11:37

Harpswell lobster boat races returning Sunday

They’re back. The greatly missed and much-loved annual lobster boat races are returning to Harpswell on Sunday after a four-year hiatus. And it isn’t a day too soon. “The buzz around town has been insane,” said Larry Ward, the head of the Harpswell Lobster Boat Races Committee and a co-organizer of this year’s event. “It has been sorely missed.” The races, last held in 2013, begin at 10 a.m. in Pott’s Harbor. There will be 31 race classes, ranging from non-working boats to Novi boats, with first-, secondand third-place finishers. Ward said the race committee has secured more than $9,300 in cash, gift certificates and bank cards to award the winners. >click to read<11:16