Monthly Archives: May 2019

Fishing boat captain fined for polluting Alaska waters

A fishing boat captain who dumped sandblast waste into southeast Alaska waters was ordered to pay $10,000 and perform 40 hours of community service. Federal prosecutors say 32-year-old Brannon Finney of Bellingham, Washington, dumped waste to avoid a $1,460 disposal fee. U.S. Magistrate Judge Matthew Scoble on Wednesday also ordered 18 months of probation for Finney and a public apology. >click to read<18:50

Search for missing fisherman ‘a needle in a haystack’ say P.E.I. RCMP

RCMP and P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue wrapped up its search for the day for Jordan Hicken late Thursday afternoon with no sign of the missing P.E.I. fisherman. Hicken went overboard from his fishing boat off Naufrage, on the Island’s North Shore, early Tuesday morning. RCMP Staff Sgt. Howard Fitzpatrick said search and rescue teams are done for the day Thursday, and they are still figuring out how to proceed. >click to read<16:58

Rock lobster industry rejects new WA deal that would increase supply for local consumers

The draft agreement was struck in February after the Government was forced to back down on its previous plan to take control of more than 17 per cent of the industry. But despite three months of negotiations the Government and the Western Rock Lobster Council (WRLC) could not agree on a mechanism to deliver up to 315 tonnes of additional lobster for the WA market. Two proposals to deliver the additional domestic supplies were developed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the WRLC, the Government said. ‘Government has destroyed all goodwill’: Nahan >click to read<15:21

New York’s Prized Sea Scallop Faces Off Against Offshore Wind

Developers pushing to install massive wind turbines in the waters off New York and New Jersey have run into a delicate yet mighty foe: the Atlantic sea scallop.,,, “It’s an insane amount of ocean to occupy, and it will leave a trail of destruction,” said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association. >click to read<14:19

Our coastal communities are drowning, largely thanks to tradable quotas and licences.

British Columbia’s coastal communities, long dependent on fishing for their livelihoods, are in serious trouble: population down, youth retention down, incomes down, investment down, infrastructure down, health and well-being down. It’s now almost impossible for young people to enter the fishery because of the high cost of purchasing or leasing the Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) attached to most fishing licences. ITQs are permits to catch a certain quantity of fish, and can be freely traded or leased. Coastal communities that used to have dozens of fishermen now may have a handful at best. The boatbuilding, repair, and gear supply businesses are likewise disappearing.  How did this happen to our once prosperous coast?  East Coast, best coast?>click to read<12:32

The Jacob Pike

The Jacob Pike will be 70 years old this year, just like me. Happy birthday to us. But, unlike me, Robbie Begin, Linc Simmons and a crew headed by Tony Finnocchiaro, the Jacob Pike can be reconstructed. I’m afraid it would take more than a few new planks to help my career! The Jacob Pike is one of a batch of similarly designed vessels that have worked the Northeast coasts over the years. The wooden sardine carrier was built for Moses Bernard Pike of Lubec. Mr. Pike owned the Holmes Packing Company in Eastport. >click to read<11:50

Louisiana Bill Would Require Shrimp and Crawfish Country Of Origin Labeling on Restaurant Menus

Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements at 7 CFR Part 60 and 7 CFR Part 65require retailers to notify their customers of the country of origin of covered commodities,,, House Bill No. 335 would require Louisiana restaurants to label menus with the origins of shrimp and crawfish. The proposed law would require all restaurants that use a menu as a standard business practice and sell cooked or prepared crawfish or shrimp that originate outside of the U.S. to display on all menus the country of origin in letters no smaller than one-half inch in size, in English, immediately adjacent to the menu listing of the seafood item being sold. >click to read<10:13

How an invasive species or pig hide could solve Maine’s lobster bait crisis

Gulf of Maine lobstermen are casting around far and wide for new kinds of bait now that federal regulators have cut herring quotas by 70 percent. Possible solutions range from the mass importation of a nuisance fish from the Midwest, to manufactured baits, to pig hides. Fisheries managers estimate a 50-million pound “herring gap” in Maine over the next year. To help close it, they are turning to colleagues in Illinois. >click to read<09:33

From Carp to Pig-Hide: Bait Shortage Means Change for Lobsters’ Diet – (a lot more information in this article) >click to read<

Search for missing fisherman will be weather-dependent Thursday

RCMP say the extent of the search Thursday for missing fisherman Jordan Hicken will depend on the weather. Hicken, 22, from Montague, went overboard while fishing off Naufrage early Tuesday morning on his father’s boat the Plum Crazy, RCMP said. Poor conditions limited Wednesday’s search to the shorelines. Weather improved later in the day and had raised hopes of getting back on the water Thursday but RCMP say that decision will be made once conditions are known. >click to read<20:41

Ottawa to offer ice compensation to iced-in fishermen in N.L., Quebec

The federal government announced Wednesday it will provide emergency financial assistance to fish harvesters kept ashore by severe ice conditions in areas of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec. Up to $5 million in funding is being set aside for payments to eligible applicants who fish out of ports in the most ice-affected areas.,, The release notes that eligible applicants must be fish harvesters who had established and exhausted an Employment Insurance (EI) fishing benefits claim based on their fishing activity in 2018, who are not receiving or eligible for any EI benefits, and who fish out of ports in the identified ice-affected areas. >click to read<20:00

No monument changes planned, but up to Trump

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said Wednesday he has no plans for additional changes to national monuments,,, Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, said its disappointing the administration won’t enact the recommendation to allow commercial fishing at the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts monument off the New England coastline. That would reverse what she considers an unfair designation by President Barack Obama in 2016.,,,”It’s unfortunate that the secretary is unwilling to do anything at this time because these areas are extremely important for the domestic commercial fishing industry,” Brady said. “They are very fertile fishing grounds.”Zinke also recommended allowing commercial fishing at the Pacific Remote Islands National Monument in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and at the Rose Atoll National Monument in the Pacific Ocean near American Samoa. >click to read<19:11

Doherty: Pharmaceuticals are poisoning NJ’s water supply, putting families at risk. We must act now.

In response to reports demonstrating that the water supply is awash with pharmaceutical pollutants, Senator Michael Doherty (R-Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset) is renewing his call for action on legislation,,, The United States EPA, in a conjunction with Riverkeeper and Cornell University, have confirmed that the Hudson River is heavily-polluted by commonly-prescribed pharmaceuticals such as anti-depressants, blood pressure, and cholesterol medications.“If we don’t act now, generations of children could suffer from serious health problems, all because they drank contaminated water. Our commercial fishing industry could also collapse, delivering a huge blow to the economy. By refusing to address pharmaceutical pollution now, we are literally putting New Jersey’s future in jeopardy.” S-1653, would establish the “New Jersey Water Supply and Pharmaceutical Product Study Commission. >click to read<18:22

A shrimping standoff

The shrimp season officially opened off the Oregon coast on April 1, but local shrimp boats are still sitting idle at the docks because of a failure of the shrimpers and processing plants to come to terms on price. It’s not an unusual situation for local fisheries to become stalled over the price paid for the catch, but the reality is that it’s tough for all concerned — local fishermen, workers at fish plants that are sitting idle and owners of the fish plants themselves. Nobody makes money while the boats remain at the docks. To make matters worse, boats from out of the area,,, >click to read<16:42

Land Based In Name Only? Belfast lobstermen fear Nordic Aquafarms’ discharge pipes will harm fishery

Some Belfast lobster fishermen told the local Harbor Advisory Committee that they were concerned that dredging for installation of Nordic Aquafarms’ discharge and intake pipes along submerged lands could release mercury in the ocean sediment and pose a hazard to navigation. “The fishermen have concerns,” advisory committee member Dan Miller told the council. The committee doesn’t have any purview over Nordic Aquafarms’ proposal, he noted. “Our place is to ask you to make sure those concerns are in some way addressed by the appropriate agency.” >click to read<15:10

FISH-NL against proposals to grant Labrador harvesters 25% of northern cod quota; calls on FFAW-Unifor to reveal its stand

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is against proposals that could see 25 per cent of the northern cod quota allocated to harvesters from Labrador and processed there. “No one group or organization should be entitled to a percentage of the overall total allowable catch,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The inshore harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador as a whole must be the principle beneficiary of adjacent fish stocks.” >click to read<11:14

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 38′ Duffy Tuna/Charter/Lobster, 655HP, Northern Lights 7.5 KW auxiliary

Specifications, information and 14 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<10:44

The partners of Santaska have agreed to sale the cannery on the Egegik River in Alaska

FD Financial, Corp., part owner of Santaska, Inc., announces today that the Alaska cannery, Santaska, is on the block. It’s for sale. “We have had this valuable piece of property on the Egegik River in Alaska of some years now, and it’s time to move on.” Reluctantly, Rudy De La Garza CEO of FD Financial continues, “This was once one of the biggest salmon canneries in Alaska. The dream was to rebuild and open the cannery but,,, >click to read< >link to photo’s< 10:11

Fisherman search Wednesday will focus on the shore

With the Joint Rescue Centre handing over the search for P.E.I. fisherman Jordan Hicken to RCMP, the search Wednesday is expected to be focused on land. Hicken, a 23-year-old from Montague, went overboard while fishing off Naufrage early Tuesday morning. The coast guard had vessels on the water along with two aircraft, and as many as 60 local boats were involved in the search. The search was called off about 8 p.m. RCMP are taking it over as a missing person case. >click to read< 08:52

New York’s energy policy depends on an impossible fantasy

Last Wednesday, the Cuomo administration blocked construction of the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement project, a 24-mile gas pipeline that would run from New Jersey across New York Bay to near the Rockaways.,, was cheered by environmental groups,..Wind-energy projects, too, are facing fierce opposition.,,, What about offshore? Cuomo wants 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind installed in New York waters by 2035. But the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and other fishing groups are adamantly opposed,,,In short, renewables can’t replace natural gas. >click to read<20:58

Rep. Zeldin Blasts NY’s ASMFC Delegates for Failure to Deliver for NY Fishermen

Today, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) blasted New York’s delegates to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) following the conclusion of this month’s spring meeting, during which no progress was made in rectifying New York’s already inequitable quotas for species across the board, including Black Sea Bass, Striped Bass and Fluke. >click to read<19:10

Luciano: Could Asian carp help a desperate Maine lobster market?

Officials in Illinois and Maine hope to soon announce a breakthrough that in both states could help solve aquatic challenges and boost economics. The news could especially bring a boon to central Illinois. In Illinois, invasive Asian carp choke the Illinois River. In Maine, the lobster industry faces a crisis for a sudden lack of lobster bait. If all goes well, commercial fishers in Illinois soon could be harvesting and shipping tons of Asian carp to Maine. >click to read<

New Brunswick fishermen get $2M to test gear to prevent whale entanglements

Snow crab fishermen in northern New Brunswick are getting more than $2 million over three years to help test technologies aimed at reducing the risks of North Atlantic right whale entanglements in fishing gear.The funding for the Acadian Crabbers Association comes through the $400-million Atlantic Fisheries Fund, which is jointly funded by Ottawa and the region’s provincial governments. >click to read<17:08

Rep. Young fights fish farms

In his 46 years as Alaska’s lone representative in Congress, Don Young helped toss out foreign fishing fleets from Alaska waters with the onset of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976, and today he is intent on doing the same with offshore fish farms. The MSA established an ‘exclusive economic zone’ for US fleets fishing from three to 200 miles from shore. Young’s effort follows a push that began a year ago by over 120 aquaculture and food-related industries to have lawmakers introduce an Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act, which failed to get any traction. The campaign is organized under a new trade group called Stronger America Through Seafood and includes Cargill, Red Lobster, Pacific Seafoods and Seattle Fish Company.  >click to read<15:50

They’re just pouring money into it -“A Big Fugazi”: Why Fishermen Still Can’t Get Behind Offshore Wind

“This is going to affect every fisherman and fishes around these windmills,” Schneider says. “These crabs, these lobsters, seismic activity bothers them I believe and it’s not benefiting any one of us except a foreign company.” Schneider’s not alone. Fisherman along the Rhode Island and Massachusetts coast fear they could lose a significant portion of their catch. This is especially true for squid fishermen because the wind farm area will be constructed near their fishing grounds.,,,Dr. Kevin Stokesbury is a professor of fisheries oceanography at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He says the wind farms will be installed in a fairly large homogenous environment in the sea floor, which will change the environment. >click to read<13:29

Exploring Potential Changes in Bluefin Tuna Management

NOAA Fisheries announces the availability of a scoping document on Amendment 13 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan and our intent to prepare an environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act.  Issues and options paper The issues and options paper explores management options with a focus on: Refining the Individual Bluefin Quota Program. Reassessing share distribution and allocation of bluefin tuna quotas, including the potential elimination or phasing out of the Purse Seine category. Other regulatory provisions regarding the directed and incidental bluefin fisheries. >click to read<11:19

Efforts to plug oil leak in British WWII tanker torpedoed by U-boat off US coast

A team has been working to stop oil leaking from a British tanker sunk off the US coast during World War Two. The Coimbra was carrying more than two million gallons of oil when she was torpedoed in January 1942 by a German U-boat. She sank about 30 miles off the coast of Long Island, New York, and became one of 148 petrol tankers and other ships sunk by the U-boats near the coast. But in 2015 there were reports of what appeared to be an oil sheen in the area. >click to read<10:44

Oil Being Extracted from Tanker Sunk off Long Island Coast by German U-Boat in WWII – >Video, click to read<

50 boats, coast guard, searching for man overboard off P.E.I. North Shore

The Canadian Coast Guard, local fishermen, firefighters and police are searching off the North Shore of eastern P.E.I. for a fisherman who went overboard. Maj. Mark Norris, officer in charge of the Joint Rescue Centre in Halifax, said the call came in just before 5:30 a.m. about a man in his early 20s who went into the water near Naufrage. “There were quite a quite a few local vessels in the area at that point. There was about 40 vessels in the vicinity that commenced searching almost immediately,” said Norris. >click to read<09:45

Protected sea lions causing trouble at Northwest ports

A big rebound in the sea lion population along the West Coast in recent years has created a constant battle to wrangle the protected animals. They’re smart and fun to watch from a safe distance, but also noisy, smelly and proving to be a headache for some coastal marinas.  “It’s a free zoo kind of, just don’t pet ‘em!” observed Dennis Craig of Olympia,,, The flip side of these flippered fish fiends can be seen in the mounting bill to the marina, including the cost of busted docks, broken electric stanchions and lost business. >click to read<09:05

New Zealand: Regulatory approval of new innovative trawl technology

Fisheries New Zealand has approved the use of the Precision Seafood Harvesting (PSH) Modular Harvest System (MHS) in North Island inshore fisheries for snapper, tarakihi, trevally, red gurnard, and John dory with specific conditions. Stuart Anderson, Director Fisheries Management at Fisheries New Zealand, says innovation in the fishing industry is important to deliver sustainability benefits and is a key step in the journey to shift to higher value products. “In granting this approval Fisheries New Zealand is satisfied that this system performs at least as well as traditional mesh trawl nets, while ensuring sustainability benefits,” says Mr Anderson. >click to read<20:30

GoFundMe Established For Gravely Injured Hampton Bays Man

Matthew Raynor, 29, and a resident of Hampton Bays, was gravely injured in a diving accident doing just that near Towd Point in North Sea.  Matthew is a commercial fisherman, clammer, bayman, world traveler and photographer. According to Jonathan, his older brother by four years, “Matthew is a devotee of nature and is more comfortable and connected outdoors than indoors.” The accident occurred on April 18,,, >click to read<19:34

Jonathan established a GoFundMe page, Help Matthew Raynor recover from a spinal injury. >click here< and please donate if you can.