Monthly Archives: May 2019

Huge sea search for skipper Dom

A huge search operation got under way on Friday morning after the popular skipper of a fishing vessel went missing in the water some miles off the Wexford Coast. Dom Sinnott (45) set sail from Rosslare Harbour on board the Ellie Adhamh at some time around 1.30 a.m. on Friday morning and it is believed he entered the water at some stage between then and 5.30 a.m. when his fellow crew members issued the mayday call. This is the second tragedy to have struck the vessel within the space of a week. The previous Sunday, a colleague of Mr Sinnott’s, Viktor Sokolovskij, lost his life when he fell between the trawler and the pier in Rosslare.>click to read<20:01

Gray Whales – NOAA declares ‘unusual mortality event’ after at least 70 West Coast strandings this spring

The declaration by NOAA — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — kicks in a provision of federal law that provides funding to help scientists figure out the cause of such die-offs of marine mammals, from whales and dolphins in the Pacific or Atlantic to manatees off Florida. So far this year, at least 70 gray whales have been found stranded and dead along the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska — the most in nearly 20 years, scientists from NOAA said Friday. >click to read<17:06

Wind farm critics step up efforts – Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott launch website,

In the Town of East Hampton’s easternmost hamlet, Montauk commercial fishermen say the proposed South Fork Wind Farm may destroy their livelihood, citing potential disruptions to fish populations and migration patterns as well as the danger to navigation represented by its 15 turbines, each of them hundreds of feet tall and driven deep into the ocean floor. At the other end of the town, many Wainscott residents are upset that Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind has identified the ocean beach at the end of Beach Lane as the preferred site to land the wind farm’s export cable. A group called Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott has launched a website,, which lays out a mission statement, action plan, and petition opposing the site. >click to read<15:52

Epic catch brings tons of fresh fish to the Central Coast

Salmon are running in epic numbers this year off the Central Coast, and that means lots of fresh fish for commercial fishermen and hungry customers.
This year’s salmon season, which started commercially on May 1, is the best local fishermen have seen in 20 years.  “It’s like Christmas for us,” DeGarimore said. “This is the biggest salmon catch we’ve had in the past two decades. We’re all really excited to see the boats coming in. Tourists are taking photos. Salmon are beautiful fish, and they make spectacular fillets. >click to read<15:14

Seal bait returns crab catch rates comparable to squid, MUN study reveals

A new study from Memorial University has found that seal bait can be used to catch snow crab. The study, first conducted as a student thesis by Tomas Araya-Schmidt at Memorial University in 2017, found that seal fat, used as bait for crab, returned catch rates comparable to squid, the traditional bait used by snow crab harvesters.,,,  Five different types of bait were compared in the study, using harp seal and minke whale: seal fat, seal fat with skin, seal meat with bone, whale fat with skin and whale meat with fat. But it was only seal fat and seal fat with skin that produced catch rates similar to squid.>click to read<14:04

Fisheries panel raises concerns about proposed flounder reduction

The Carteret County Marine Fisheries Advisory Board convened for the first time since February of last year to discuss what they feel is a misguided attempt to save the southern flounder population. At the end of the Wednesday meeting at the county administration building, board members decided to send a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper and other state figures. At issue is a portion of the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 2 of the plan recommends a 62% reduction in catch of southern flounder the first year, followed by a 72% reduction the following year.
The first year begins this fall. >click to read< 12:53

Information on Southern Flounder Amendment – >Click here< for info, and to submit a written comment

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 31, 2019

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< Everyone in NC that has an interest in the Southern Flounder fishery (Restaurant, Consumer, Commercial or Recreational) is encouraged to attend the meetings that are scheduled for next week. 12:25  Information on Southern Flounder Amendment – >Click here< for info, and to submit a written comment

FISH-NL – an allegation of collusion among processing companies

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is asking the federal Competition Bureau to investigate an allegation of collusion involving fish processing companies on the Great Northern Peninsula. “The charge is incredibly serious, and must be investigated,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. Roland Genge, a well-known and respected fisherman from Port Saunders, sold his northern shrimp in past years to QuinSea Fisheries, but recently decided to change buyers and sell to the Corner Brook-based Barry Group. >click to read<11:48

Last-ditch battle is underway to save Columbia River salmon, steelhead from determined predator

“In a lot of ways, the fight to save the Columbia River as we know it is going to be won and lost on Lake Roosevelt.” The enemy: northern pike.,,, The aggressive fish with razor-like teeth ended up in the Pend Oreille River sometime in the past decade – and kept going. This is bad news for the Columbia River’s salmon, trout, steelhead and other fish. Because the northern pike are big, determined predators. They’ll eat anything they can, including ducks. >click to read<11:00

The gear is coming ashore in Southwestern N.S. as lobster season draws to a close

Lobster fishermen in southwestern Nova Scotia are landing traps, buoys, rope and anchors by the boatload this week as May 31 marks the end of the six-month lobster season. The season opened on Dec. 1 after a five-day weather delay for fishermen in Lobster Fishing Areas 33 and 34, with a record opening shore price of $7 a pound that jumped to $9 by mid-December, peaked at $11 in April, and is expected to close at $7. Bernie Berry, president of the Coldwater Lobster Association said overall if it ends up being a decent season, it’ll be mostly because of the price. The price was important as catches do appear to be down, according to what fishermen have been reporting. >Photo’s, click to read<09:55

Winter skate are dying in huge numbers, a new scientific paper points the finger at a big herd of seals

A “striking conservation success” in Atlantic Canada has turned into a “serious conservation problem” as rebounding grey seal herds threaten depleted bottom-feeding fish in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, according to a new research paper from Canadian and U.S. scientists. The focus is on the winter skate, a little-known shark relative with a flat body and a long tail. “It’s quite dire. The skate have declined by 98 per cent since the mid-80s,” said Doug Swain, a federal fisheries scientist based in Moncton, N.B. The paper concludes grey seals are the likely cause of an “unprecedented” winter skate annual adult mortality rate of between 65 and 70 per cent. >click to read<09:20

Lobster boat slams into Sustainable Marine Energy tidal platform at Grand Passage

Charles Comeau was steaming the P’tit Charles II out of Grand Passage near dawn on Wednesday for one of the last hauls of the season. “I didn’t see it before the last 10 or 20 seconds but it was too late,” Comeau said Thursday. Directly in front of him was a tidal generating platform. He hit it at nearly 10 knots, or 18 km/h, and brought up solid. Comeau was slammed against the boat’s dash and his crewman was tossed onto the deck. “We’re lucky nobody got seriously hurt,” said the captain of 35 years.,,, He’s now calling for better lighting on the Sustainable Marine Energy tidal platform. >click to read<08:36

A robotic crab-cutting machine nabbed a U.S. patent — and a St. John’s team invented it

The granting of a patent for a fast — and fancy — way to butcher crab has global fish processors knocking on the door of the St. John’s-based Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI).  “We’re doing something that nobody else in the world is doing,” said Robert Verge, managing director of CCFI. “It’s a very significant development, not just because of the patent, but because this is a real breakthrough in fish processing technology worldwide.”> Video, click to read<20:20

Morganza opening may drown the livelihoods of thousands of Gulf fishermen

Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser is supporting a Gulf-wide coalition that wants FEMA to declare a state of emergency specific to Gulf seafood and its related industries. This comes as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prepares to open the Morganza Spillway, sending fresh water into a fragile ecosystem that is home to a wide variety of Gulf seafood.,,, “The opening of the Morganza Spillway will cause severe damage to the Atchafalaya Basin, our nation’s largest estuary,” said Nungesser. “The opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway earlier this year already has negatively impacted seafood in lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne, as well as fisheries in Mississippi. >click to read<18:31

OUT TO CATCH THE LAST FISH? Fisheries “expert’s” anti-fisherman rhetoric gets taken to task!

“…most fishermen always want to catch more fish, regardless of how many there are.” This quote from the fisheries “expert” in the article, Warming waters spark marine migration, fish wars >click to read<on the warming ocean, and Joel’s subsequent comment, “And here in lies the problem. Look at what this cubical entrenched pencil pushing empty suit thinks of fishermen. Folks like this need to be taken to task”, inspired a re-post of this anti-fishing propaganda article, OUT TO CATCH THE LAST FISH? It’s a few years old, but sadly, as current as ever!  To be a fisherman, these days, is to have first-hand knowledge of bias and mindless prejudice. Manipulating commercial fishing to save the stocks from “endangerment” and worse, has often been job justification for the political and personal agenda-driven, obsequious, career-climbing government fisheries “scientists” and managers. “Destructive” commercial fishing is also a handy foil for corporate style environmental groups’ fund raising efforts; and diminishing the importance of domestic commercial fishing is also a necessary step in the energy industry’s march into the sea. >click to read< Thank you, Dick.17:02

Port of Newport Commission aiming higher….

The Newport Port Commission and their new port General Manager Paula Miranda tackled a number of high profile issues during the port’s monthly port commission meeting this week. Topping the agenda was taking on the port’s financial situation – the need for higher revenues in order to help the port grow in stature and market share and to better accommodate the fishing fleet, private recreation boating facilities and R/V visitors – not to mention keeping the NOAA operations and Hatfield Marine Science Center happy as well. First off, the port commission is expected to raise moorage (dock) rates just about across the board.  >click to read<11:37

2019 Shrimp season seems promising according to SCDNR

Commercial shrimp trawling opened in all legal South Carolina waters Wednesday morning. Hopes are much higher for this year to bring a plentiful harvest after a disappointing 2018.  January 2018 brought an unusually cold period that killed a majority of white shrimp in South Carolina waters. This delayed the opening of shrimp season to mid-June instead of the usual opening of around mid- to late- May. >click to read<11:06

Freshwater in the Mississippi Sound Causing Concern for Shrimp Season

The Department of Marine Resources typically opens our state’s shrimp season during the first week of June every year. What’s different this season? There’s freshwater flushing out into the Mississippi Sound because of the twice-opened Bonnet Carre Spillway to alleviate flooding. Now, local fishermen are concerned over how the reduced salinity will impact Mississippi’s shrimp harvest. >click to read<10:39

Shrimp season comes with fears of uncertainty – Most of the people we spoke with were worried that the freshwater incursion from the Bonnet Carré Spillway would hurt the Mississippi shrimp season. >Video, click to read<

Nancy Glen tragedy: New crane contributed to sinking which killed two fishermen

Experts from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said the horror sinking of the prawn trawler happened on its last trawl of the day near her home port. The report, published today, also details the desperate battle for survival by John Miller, who tried to save his crewmates Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk in vain. As a result of the double fatality, the MAIB has made recommendations to introduce stability criteria for small vessels across the industry – which have been accepted by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). >click to read<09:56

Nancy Glen report and flyer published – Capsize and sinking of a prawn trawler in Lower Loch Fyne, Scotland with the loss of 2 lives. Published 30 May 2019 From: Marine Accident Investigation Branch >click to read<

The Western Flyer – Restoration continues on historic boat made famous by Steinbeck book

It’s a story that keeps getting better as it is told. The Western Flyer fishing boat — made famous by John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts, who chartered it in 1940 for a marine biological collecting trip to the Sea of Cortez in Baja California — is being restored at Shipwrights Co-Op in Port Townsend, Washington. “The historic restoration is well underway,” said Chris Chase, project director for the Western Flyer Foundation, the parent organization for the project. “It’s alive. People are working every day. It smells fresh.” >click to read<09:18

Lifejackets for Lobstermen back on SouthCoast in June

Lifejackets for Lobstermen is making its way back to the SouthCoast. The program travels between ports in Maine and Massachusetts in vans, letting lobster and fishermen try on different life jackets and purchase one at a 50 percent discount. The Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (NEC) developed the program after a study showed that in a large portion of lobster fishing deaths, recovered victims weren’t wearing life jackets.,,,will be returning in early June on the following dates and at the following locations, >click to read<08:51

Promising news on pink salmon disaster relief funds

Dear Friends and Neighbors, As the season is either underway or close at hand for many of you, I wanted to provide a short update about where we are with the 2016 pink salmon disaster relief funding. I believe we have some promising news. Thanks in part to outreach from people like yourselves, Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office has been putting a lot of pressure on the federal level to expedite the release of the grant funding. It appears to be having some effect. As I write this, it is Tuesday, May 28, according to new information, NOAA is aiming to release the grant funding to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) by this upcoming Saturday, June 1. Rep. Louise Stutes >click to read<19:37

Maine Voices: Proposal to revive Maine Aqua Ventus offshore wind project does not pass the smell test

Staff Writer Kevin Miller’s May 16 news article about the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee’s public hearing on L.D. 994 misses key issues – including the fact that L.D. 994 has been put forward as “emergency legislation” and could be considered an overreach of power by the Legislature. Regardless whether one is for or against the Maine Aqua Ventus project, citizens should be outraged by this attempt to subvert the Public Utilities Commission’s order to re-open and review the term sheet. >click to read< 18:45

Fishery observer survey seeks answers for high turnover

Many of Alaska’s (and the nation’s) commercial fisheries depend on observers having a place on board, but fewer than a fifth of them feel appreciated by the industry, according to a new survey. Fishery observers sail on vessels with fishermen in federal waters and keep track of catch and bycatch and take biological samples throughout trips. Managers use this information to evaluate stocks and manage fisheries. The job can be tough, requiring up to a month at a time on the water in rough conditions, and turnover can be high. The survey, conducted by the National Marine Fishery Service in 2016, asked 553 observers why they did the job and what their experiences have been like. >click to read<16:13

Alternate web page created for information and public comment on southern flounder management proposals

An alternate webpage has been established for the public to access information and submit public comment on Draft Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. The alternate Information on Southern Flounder Amendment page >click<was created due to continued technical problems with the Division of Marine Fisheries website that has caused intermittent failures. The division is continuing to work with the Department of Information Technology to correct these issues, which are affecting websites statewide. >click to read, with links<15:22

Royal Canadian Mint Honors Canadians who Landed at Juno Beach 75 years ago

The Royal Canadian Mint has launched a $2 circulation coin honoring the Canadians who, landing in Normandy, France 75 years ago, helped establish the Allied foothold that would lead to the liberation of Western Europe.  This coin was unveiled on Monday at the Moncton Garrison, home to the 37 Brigade of the North Shore Regiment (New Brunswick) whose troops were among the 13 Canadian regiments landing at Juno Beach on June 6, 1944. “Like all Canadian soldiers landing at Juno Beach on June 6, 1944, the North Shore men fought valiantly and suffered heavy losses in securing their landing objectives at the end of D-Day,” said North Shore Regiment Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Renald Dufour. >click to read<14:44

New trawler hits the water – and it was made in Grimsby!

The first Grimsby-built trawler has been launched into the water from the port’s overhauled slipways. Docks-based shipbuilder Harris and Garrod’s latest creation, Margaret Mary, was carefully lowered into Port of Grimsby East on Tuesday by the centre-piece of the £1.9 million makeover, the 17m high, 200-tonne hoist. The under 10m vessel, almost as tall as it is long to maximize returns from its catching category criteria, was a four-month build by the Humber Quay South team, with a cockle vessel for a Boston operator sandwiched in between. >click to read<14:10

Del Norte honors fishermen

Following services for men and women who gave their lives for their country, a smaller gathering rang the bell and called out the names of those whose occupation was no less treacherous.  Linda Tvetan who, along with her daughter-in-law Angel Tomasini, organized the Fishermen’s Memorial noted that since Crescent City is a fishing community it made sense to honor those who were lost at sea on Memorial Day. Being a fisherman is tough and back-breaking. >click to read<13:35

Harbor improvement grant lacks fishermen support: Frustration boiling over about Pillar Point Harbor control, decision-making

While seeking funds to update one of the most productive commercial fishing ports in the state, the San Mateo County Harbor District is receiving pushback from a group of fishermen who say they no longer trust the district has their best intentions at heart. On April 28, the district applied for a $3.4 million grant from the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER), to help fund road and pier improvements at Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay. >click to read<12:50

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 45′ Guilmond Lobster Boat, 6 Cylinder Cummins

Specifications, information and 14 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<12:11