Monthly Archives: April 2019

Groundfish quota changes up for debate

The proposed rule, called Framework 58, calls for increasing the commercial quota for Georges Bank cod by 15 percent, Georges Bank haddock by 19 percent and Georges Bank winter flounder by 6 percent for the new fishing season that is set to begin Wednesday. It also includes a 1 percent increase for witch flounder. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the proposed rule, published in the Federal Register, calls for a whopping 50 percent cut to the annual catch limit for Georges Bank yellowtail flounder, a 1 percent reduction in the quota Gulf of Maine winter flounder and a 3 percent cut to the catch limit for Atlantic halibut. >click to read<22:43

Trump officials halt plans to expand offshore drilling

The Trump administration is hitting pause on its ambitious and controversial plans to expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic. Newly confirmed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said the agency has indefinitely sidelined its exploration of offshore drilling options as it grapples with a recent court order that blocks similar drilling in the Arctic. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Thursday, Bernhardt said the department has decided to wait on the outcome of appeals to the March case before deciding whether to move forward with additional drilling plans. >click to read<17:14

Opinion: We are an Alaska Native Corporation that backs Pebble Mine. Here’s why.

The proposed Pebble Mine places Alaska Peninsula Corporation in a unique and challenging position. Some shareholders oppose it, yet many support the economic benefits to community and personal well-being. Somehow through it all, we must strike balance.,,, There’s a common belief that resource development will kill the fishery. Unless one takes time to understand Alaska’s permitting process and proposed development at Pebble, one may likely continue to believe what certain environmental groups frequently publicize — worst case scenarios resulting from antiquated development standards of the past.  At APC, our leadership doesn’t have the luxury of making emotional decisions. Every aspect must be considered. >click to read< By Brad Angasan 16:20

MPAs – Canada to ban industrial activities inside marine-protected areas

Canada is banning industrial activities inside marine-protected areas (MPAs), including offshore oil and gas development and bottom-trawl fishing, but the prohibition won’t automatically apply to activities in fisheries conservation areas designated as marine refuges. The decision, effective Thursday, also bans ocean mining and ocean dumping in MPAs, which are being created to help meet an international commitment to protect 10 per cent of Canada’s ocean and coastal areas by 2020. >click to read<13:19

Lobster union fires co-op CEO

The Maine Lobster Union, Lobster 207, has fired longtime lobster dealer Warren Pettegrow as chief executive officer of its wholesale lobster co-op.
The firing was announced in an April 13 letter,,, According to the letter, Pettegrow’s employment as chief executive officer was “terminated” after “an internal investigation prompted by red flags reported by the company’s auditing team.” Reached for comment, Pettegrow emailed the following statement: “Lobster 207 circulated an announcement on April 13 that contains numerous false and defamatory statements about me and my conduct and loyalty to the lobstermen that I have worked with for many years. >click to read<

Portland waterfront rezoning moves forward, Fisherman’s Wharf project doesn’t

As the Portland Planning Board moves forward on changes that will restrict commercial development on Commercial Street, the project that prompted it is no longer in play. The $40 million Fisherman’s Wharf mixed-use project planned for Fisherman’s Wharf on Commercial Street by Bateman Partners LLC is completely withdrawn, spokesman Mark Robinson said Wednesday. Ken MacGowan, owner of Custom House Wharf, said, “As a property owner I feel like we’re not being heard anymore.” But others, including lobstermen Willis Spear and Bill Coppersmith, both of whom are on the Waterfront Working Committee, pressed the importance of preserving the working waterfront. >click to read<11:36

Maryland District 36 Delegation raises concerns over ‘War on the Shore’

When the four members of the District 36 delegation to the General Assembly got together for an annual breakfast sponsored by the Kent County Chamber of Commerce, discussions about this year’s recently completed legislative session led the lawmakers to talk about what Del. Jay Jacobs dubbed a “War on the Shore” and its leading industries, agriculture and seafood.,,, Rob Newberry, chairman of the Delmarva Fisheries Association, said from the audience that environmental groups clobbered the seafood industry this year.,, click to read<10:12

Beached fishing boat removed in pieces from Port San Luis beach

More than two months after a fishing boat washed ashore during a rough storm at Avila Beach in February, the vessel has been removed and Port San Luis is footing the bill. The Saturnia, the beached boat owned by Steven Snyder, was destroyed Wednesday and removed in chunks from the sand near Port San Luis. >Video, click to read< 09:28

4 charged with cutting dozens of rival lobstermen’s traps in Maine

The Maine Marine Patrol says four men face charges following an investigation of the cutting of a rival lobsterman’s traps. The agency said Wednesday that two lobstermen, 56-year-old Walter Foster, of Castine, and 22-year-old Nicholas Wood, of Penobscot, have been arraigned along with two crew members. They face multiple charges including molesting lobster gear. >click to read<08:42

2 N.S. lobster fishermen take licence fights with DFO to court

A second Nova Scotia fisherman with health issues is joining a legal fight to challenge federal fisheries rules that cap the number of years they can hire a replacement to catch lobster under their licences. Lawyer Richard Norman filed in Federal Court separate requests for judicial reviews on behalf of Dana Robinson of Parkers Cove, N.S., and Lester Martell of L’Ardoise, N.S., earlier this month…. Both men are challenging March 2019 decisions by the deputy minister of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to deny their requests to continue to use a substitute operator. >click to read<08:05

Declined for Alaska Board of Fisheries, Karl Johnstone says Legislature made a mistake

An allegation levied on the floor of the Alaska Legislature has opened old arguments about due process in cases of accused sexual harassment and misconduct. Last week, lawmakers meeting in joint session rejected Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s selection of Karl Johnstone for the Alaska Board of Fisheries. The rejection came after Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, D-Anchorage, said she had been contacted by two women who said Johnstone made “inappropriate and unwelcome sexual comments” to them while previously serving on the board.,, “There’s no truth to it at all. Zero truth,” Johnstone said Tuesday by phone. >click to read<20:01

Charter fishing fleet casts wary eye toward possible fishing cutbacks to save orcas

Pacific Northwesterners are undeniably fond of their endangered resident killer whales. Many locals are also fans of salmon fishing, a hobby that sustains charter fishing fleets in coastal harbors from Neah Bay, Washington, to Brookings, Oregon. But now there is a chance future fishing trips on the ocean could be curtailed to leave more food for the killer whales. Regulators are preparing to reassess the Pacific salmon harvest and an environmental lawsuit seeks more action to save orcas. >click to read<

New Hampshire Fishermen clean up 4 to 5 tons of debris from shore

The New Hampshire Commercial Fishermen’s Association once again helped clean up the shore earlier this month. For more than 28 years, the state’s fishermen have cleaned marine debris such as lobster traps and lines from the New Hampshire shoreline left there by the winter’s inclement weather.,,, More than 60 fishermen walked the coastline, gathering debris and taking it to either Rye or Hampton harbors to be deposited and crushed into dumpsters for disposal, said N.H. Commercial Fishermen’s Association President Erik Anderson.  >click to read<16:51

 

Maryland overfishing imperils rockfish population – Recreational anglers are largely responsible

“The recent stock assessment shows that early action is needed to slow the decline and restore this fishery to sustainable levels,” Virginia Marine Resources Commissioner Steven G. Bowman said in a statement.,,, Recreational anglers are largely responsible. Since 2008, they have killed eight times more striped bass than commercial fishermen, with Maryland anglers harvesting a huge haul: nearly three times the number of fish taken by Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware and North Carolina — combined. >click to read<14:49

Spotlight: First Asian carp industrial park in U.S. heralds triumph over invasive fish

The birth of an industrial park devoted to Asian carp processing in the southeastern U.S. state of Kentucky has added to hopes that its prowess in turning the bony fish into delicacy increases the odds of winning the battle against the invasive fish in the Mississippi River. On April 12, the International Fisheries Industrial Park, sitting on 64 acres of wooded land in Wickliffe City, Ballard County, came online. With the newly arrived Chinese makers of fish ball, smoked fish, dried fish, fish sauce and a manufacturer who turns fish guts into organic fertilizers, the industrial park achieves vertical processing integration and is waste-free. (a possible new lobster bait source!) >click to read<13:59

Historically high landings and uncertain prices bring a mixed bag ahead of 2019 Lobster season

The springtime lobster season in district 26a is getting ready to launch. “They’re getting the traps ready and bringing them down to the wharf,” said Wright, supervisor at the fish plant at Lismore wharf in Pictou County. “They’ll bait them on setting day, or maybe the day before and at 6 o’clock sharp the majority of them will be out on the water.” Thirty-two boats lined the floating dock at Lismore on a rainy Monday while captains and helpers attended a wharf meeting at the community centre less than a kilometre up the road. >click to read<13:28

Blessing of the Fleet is May 5 in Newport

The Newport Fishermen’s Wives will once again be sponsoring an event that has become a strong tradition in Newport’s fishing community called the Blessing of the Fleet.,,, This year’s blessing will be on Sunday, May 5, in conjunction with Newport Loyalty Day & Sea Fair Festival. The Newport Fishermen’s Wives are focusing this year’s events on the importance of safety. Fishing is the most dangerous occupation in the United States. The fisherman safety and survival training is essential to ensure fishermen can respond to emergencies while at sea and save lives. >click to read<12:52

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 59.9′ Gladding & Hearn Steel Dragger, Cat 3408, State/Federal Permits

Specifications, information and 5 photos >click here< The entire pilothouse was replaced, including systems, wiring, crew accommodation and electronics approximately two years ago. Galley, foc’sle area and pilothouse are all finished to yacht standards. All electronics and pilothouse systems new in the past two years. This vessel is in extremely good condition. To see all the boats in this series, >click here< 12:17

Alleging disability discrimination, lobster fisherman taking DFO to Federal Court

Longtime Nova Scotia lobster fisher Dana Robinson was hoping to pass on his fishing licence to his grandchildren. Robinson bought the licence to fish in Area 35 on the Bay of Fundy in 1998, more than 20 years after he began fishing at the age of 16. Today, chronic circulation problems in his legs necessitating a number of surgeries have left him medically unable to withstand the physical toll of being out on the vessel,,, But due to a federal owner-operator policy, the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has informed Robinson that if he can’t fish the licence himself, he must sell it. And even though Robinson estimates he could get around $3 million for the licence, he’s not interested. >click to read<11:43

House claws at lobster processing restrictions – State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr keeps clawing

State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr sometimes must feel as if the lobster gods are conspiring against him. The Gloucester legislator, on three occasions, has filed a bill in the state Senate to liberalize the Bay State’s lobster processing laws to allow in-state processing and the sale of frozen lobster parts.,, >click to read< –  House lawmakers agreed to a policy rider Tuesday as part of their deliberation on a $42.7 billion state budget that would allow authorized persons to process and sell frozen lobster parts in Massachusetts, building on a 2013 law that allowed the sale and processing of shell-on lobster tails that meet certain size requirements. Rep. William Straus, a Mattapoisett Democrat who offered the amendment >click to read<08:44

Editorial: Deals for Shem Creek docks worth a look

Mount Pleasant is poised to take a direct role in propping up the local seafood industry by buying the Wando dock at the mouth of the creek using town funds, then leasing the tie-ups back to shrimpers and the onshore facilities to seafood processors. The roughly 1-acre property would probably contain a public pocket park as well. At the same time, East Cooper Land Trust is applying for $1.3 million in Charleston County Greenbelt funds to improve and preserve the Geechie dock, also on Shem Creek. Assuming the funding is granted, the land trust would place a conservation easement on the property to ensure it continues to operate as a seafood dock. >click to read<07:57

Jared Golden asks feds to delay fishing restrictions that aim to protect whales

U.S. Rep Jared Golden, a Democrat who represents Maine’s 2nd District, on Tuesday asked federal officials to reconsider regulations meant to protect North Atlantic right whales. Maine lobstermen say the proposed changes would significantly harm their livelihoods. Golden said in a release that he is “deeply troubled” by the manner the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (TRT) plans to reduce right whale mortality by 60 percent to 80 percent, and by “the impact its actions may have on the future viability of our lobster fleet.” >click to read<22:50

FISH-NL calls on Ottawa for ice compensation for west coast harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on Ottawa to extend EI benefits for fish harvesters on Newfoundland’s west coast impacted by severe ice conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. “Some harvesters and their families are having a hard time of it. The heavy ice means they can’t go fishing, and the wolf is beating at the door,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, in calling for ice compensation in the form of an EI extension. >click to read<17:15

Commercial vessel a ‘total loss’ after Monday morning fire at Westport Marina

The commercial fishing vessel Mary Ann L was a total loss after it caught fire on Float 11 at the Westport Marina early Monday morning. South Beach Regional Fire Authority Chief Dennis Benn said the call came in at 2:45 a.m.; when responders arrived on the scene the vessel was about 5o percent involved in flame. “A good Samaritan was using a garden hose already on the dock, to protect a boat that was next to the burning vessel,” said Benn. At 02:45 this morning, we were dispatched to a commercial fishing vessel fire, on float 11 in Westport. >click to read<16:31

NEFMC Public Hearing Sessions for Limiting Entry to Federal For-Hire Groundfish Fishery

The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) has scheduled a series of public listening sessions throughout New England. The purpose of the sessions is to have preliminary public discussions on the possibility of developing an amendment to the Northeast Multispecies Groundfish FMP to establish a limited access program for the party and charter boat fishery. >click to read dates, time, and place< 15:55

North Uist brothers all at sea with new scallop vessel

Two North Uist-based brothers who founded a scallop fishing business a decade ago have bought a new vessel, thanks to a six-figure funding package. Konrad and Kamil Kosieradzki moved to North Uist from Poland following a one-year university placement on the island in 2004, and established K&K Fishing in 2009. “We’ve seen some challenges since establishing K&K Fishing ten years ago, including the fuel crisis in 2013, but we feel now is the right time to invest in our business.” >click to read<13:27

Bickering in D.C. holds up Florence relief for N.C. fishermen

Political infighting in Washington over Puerto Rico seems to be holding up needed relief for North Carolina victims of Hurricane Florence. Keith Bruno, whose business, Endurance Seafood, sustained devastating damage, said federal dollars could drastically speed up the pace of rebuilding and get his business back on track. “People get tired of asking if I’m back in business and they just forget about you,” >Video, click to read<11:40

Helicopter crew found safe on New Zealand island after crash

Three crewmen aboard a helicopter that crashed off the New Zealand coast while on a rescue mission were found alive on a remote island Tuesday after they were missing overnight. Rescue Coordination Centre spokesman Mark Dittmer said the men were found shortly before noon in their survival suits walking along a beach on uninhabited Auckland Island, some 500 kilometers (311 miles) southwest of the town of Invercargill where they’d left from 16 hours earlier.,,, The helicopter left Monday evening to evacuate a person aboard a fishing boat who needed urgent medical attention,,, >click to read<10:19

Shark Research Could Help Ga. Shrimpers

Shrimpers like William “Catfish” McClain have a shark problem. “They, well they just attack your nets and they eat holes everywhere in ’em,” he said. “And there’s nothing you can do to get rid of them.” Those nets are expensive, in the thousands of dollars each, and the sharks cost shrimpers in other ways.“It hurts us. It hurts the commercial fishermen, because like I say he works for two days, and then he’ll have to sew on his nets for two days. So that’s two days he’s not fishing,” said McClain. “And it causes a lot more work.” >click to read<09:59

Assessing the consequences of oil spills on commercial fish

Each spring, Northeast Arctic cod (Gadus morhua) travel from the Barents Sea to spawn further south along the Norwegian coast from Møre to Lofoten, releasing millions of eggs into the ocean. These eggs then begin their own journey, developing into fish larvae as they drift with the currents, north and east towards the Barents Sea. The journey is perilous and their chance of survival is small. For every million eggs, only about 800 larvae survive the first half year. Their fate depends on the movements and prevailing environmental conditions of the North Atlantic Current, >click to read<09:17