Monthly Archives: December 2020

Coronavirus has hit commercial fishing hard

With restaurants and supply chains disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic, two-fifths of commercial fishers from Maine to North Carolina did not go fishing earlier this year, a new study shows. The study, which covers March to June and included 258 fishers, also examined data on fish landings and found that the catch for some species, such as squid and scallops, decreased compared with previous years. The catch for other species, such as black sea bass and haddock, was on par with or higher than previous years, suggesting that many fishermen fished as much as they had been before the pandemic, while earning less income. “They may have kept fishing to pay their bills or crew, or to maintain their livelihoods or their quotas until markets rebound,” >click to read< 13:32

DFO has a new plan for northern cod stocks. It doesn’t include more fishing

The rebuilding plan, made public with little fanfare on Dec. 21 after years in development, outlines the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s objectives to boost fish numbers and the management techniques it intends to use to measure any progress starting in 2021. Northern cod numbers have ticked upwards since the 1992 moratorium brought harvesting and processing to a screeching halt. A small stewardship fishery now exists, with 1,865 licence holders allotted a maximum harvest of around 12,000 tonnes of cod in 2020. But 28 years later, stocks remain well below pre-moratorium levels, and in DFO terminology, remain squarely in a “critical zone.” >click to read< 11:15

Cornish fishermen betrayed by Boris’ Brexit deal – What Changes for French Fishermen?

The Cornish Fish Producers’ Organisation shares its reaction to the UK’s Brexit trade deal. On Tuesday 29th December members of the Cornish Fish Producers’ Organisation (CFPO) met to discuss the long-awaited Brexit trade deal. Despite the UK Government hailing the deal as a success, Cornish fishermen have been left feeling betrayed by Boris Johnson, as it now appears key promises made to the industry have been broken. Paul Trebilcock, CEO of the CFPO – representing the interests of hundreds of fishermen across Cornwall – explains why his members have been left reeling from the  deal,, >click to read<  BREXIT DEAL: What Changes for French Fishermen – Following intense negotiations, an agreement was finally reached with the United Kingdom, which preserves the activity of French and European fishermen in British waters. The agreement specifies that France has until June 1, 2026 to gradually achieve a 25% reduction in its fishing quotas in British waters. France has obtained preservation of access within 6/12 miles as well as in the exclusive economic zone until that date. This also concerns species that are not under quotas, such as sea bass, squid or scallops. >click to read< 10:46

Coast Guard medevacs an injured fisherman 80 miles northeast of Dutch Harbor, Alaska

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew based out of Air Station Kodiak and deployed aboard Cutter Alex Haley, hoisted the man from the vessel Magnus Martens after he suffered a severe leg injury. He was flown to Cold Bay and placed in the care of awaiting Guardian Flight Alaska personnel for further transport to Anchorage. The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, also based out of Kodiak, received initial notification about the injured man while on patrol in the Bering Sea in the vicinity of Unimak Island. >click to read< 09:09

Obituary: Michael Tarasevich III, of South Kingstown, passed away unexpectedly

Born in Glen Cove, New York, he was the son of Michael  Tarasevich, Jr. and the late Margaret (Peg) M. (Monahan) Tarasevich. He attended the University of Rhode Island earning his Bachelor of Science in Geology. After college Mike started working as a commercial fisherman and eventually became the captain and owner of the commercial vessel F/V Black Sheep.  He spent 20 years working out of Point Judith, as well as Newport. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Michael’s name to The Point Judith Fisherman Memorial Foundation. >click to read< 08:24

Looks like it could be Happy New Year, Shrimpers! Georgia Shrimp Season Extended Into 2021

Georgia’s commercial and recreational shrimpers will have more time this season to harvest food shrimp after the state Department of Natural Resources extended the shrimping season Monday. State law normally closes the shrimp fishery Dec. 31, but the Commissioner of Natural Resources can lengthen the season if data show shrimp are abundant and likely to rebound the following year, explained Eddie Leonard, a biologist with DNR’s Coastal Resources Division, which manages marine fisheries in Georgia. This season in Georgia, there are 213 licensed commercial shrimp trawlers and 15 licensed commercial cast-net shrimpers. >click to read< 07:13

Coast guard vessel with platform to help with search for missing scallop dragger

The Canadian Coast Guard has deployed a vessel with a platform to help search the Bay of Fundy for a scallop dragger that went missing two weeks ago. The coast guard vessel left Dartmouth on Wednesday and should arrive in Digby, N.S., by Friday, according to a release from the Nova Scotia RCMP. From there, the RCMP’s underwater recovery team will be able to perform sonar exploration in the area in search of the Chief William Saulis. The fishing vessel with six men on board sent out an emergency beacon near Delaps Cove, N.S., in the early morning of Dec. 15. >click to read< 19:09

What? No Fresh Oregon Crab? Oregon crab fleet remains in port 2 weeks after open of Dungeness season

The commercial Dungeness crab season, Oregon’s most valuable fishery, opened at 12:01 a.m. on December 16. Two weeks later, the fleet remains tied up in port as crabbers and processors squabble over a price. Both Pacific Seafood and Hallmark Fishers have offered $2.50 per pound. Crabbers started at $3.30 but reduced their offer to $3.20 earlier this week. So far, no deal. And that means: so far, no fresh Oregon Dungeness crab. Crab boat captains have speculated that processors have decreased demand due to restaurant closures,,, >click to read< 17:05

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 38′ Flowers Lobster Boat, 450HP Cummins

To review specifications, and information, and 10 photos, December 2020 – New engine gear, shatt cutlass bearing, prop, new deck, new rope locker and lobster tanks, all new Imron hull coating, new fuel tank, new hatches, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here<12:15

Proposed Modifications revealed to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan

Today, we released our proposed modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan to further reduce the impacts of entanglement in fishing gear on right whales in U.S. waters.,,, In 2021, the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team will be asked to recommend risk reduction measures for other Atlantic trap/pot and gillnet fisheries. We opened a public comment period on both of these documents. >click to read<  Statement from Commissioner Keliher on Today’s Proposed Whale Regulation Announcement by NOAA>click to read< 10:58

Russian fishing vessel Onega capsizes in Barents Sea – Search and rescue operation completed

Seventeen sailors are still missing after the sinking of a Russian ship on Monday in the northern Barents Sea. “According to preliminary data, a rescue buoy was activated on the sunken vessel”, added Russian authorities. In its latest statement issued on Monday, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) indicated that one rescue vessel was already on site and that three others were “on their way to conduct search and rescue operations”. >click to read< ,, Search and rescue operation after sinking of Onega fishing vessel in Barents Sea completed – Rosmorrechflot – “The active phase of the search and rescue operation in the aftermath of the sinking of the Onega vessel was completed at 3:00 p.m. Moscow time on December 30,” the agency spokesperson said, adding that the vessels taking part in the search effort are now returning to base. >click to read< 10:02

Safe Coast Seafoods preps for crab

The Chinook Observer spoke with Safe Coast Seafoods general manager Shannon Schafer, Pucci Foods CEO Chris Lam and Safe Coast Seafoods vice president of sales Max Boland about their plans as the new owners of Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Co. When do you anticipate the official re-opening? Schafer: “We plan on being open this crab season.” Are there any plans to change the name (from Jessie’s Ilwaco fish Co.)? Schafer: “Safe Coast Seafoods has purchased the Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Co. assets. We will be operating under the Safe Coast Seafoods brand.” What are the next steps before the business can resume operations? >click to read< 09:00

Teamwork triumphs over trouble

Preparation met opportunity last week off Cape San Blas, when a team of first responders plucked a group of longline grouper fishermen off a boat sinking in rough waters on Christmas Eve morning. No trips to hospitals were needed for the captain and four crew members of the F/V Miss Adley, following the rescue Thursday morning, Dec. 24 by members of South Gulf County Volunteer Fire Department’s water safety and rescue team of first responders. >click to read< 07:15

RCMP locate debris ‘consistent’ with section of missing F/V Chief William Saulis

Nova Scotia RCMP have located debris that appears to be “consistent” with a small section of the scallop fishing vessel that has been lost in the Bay of Fundy for two weeks. In a news release, RCMP said that their air services team searched roughly 100 kilometres of coastline from Digby Gut to Harbourville by helicopter on Monday.  During that search, they located debris that is “consistent with a small section of the upper portion of the Chief William Saulis.” >click to read< 14:14

Bristol Bay sockeye a high point in the state’s unpredictable salmon season

More than 58 million sockeye salmon returned to Bristol Bay this summer. It’s another in a series of enormous runs to the fishery. The commercial harvest was just as impressive,,, many other areas of the state were far below their forecast. Across all species, the value of the state’s commercial salmon season dropped more than 50% from last year — 56% below last year. 2020 was valued at $295.2 million, while last year was valued at $673.4 million. Harvests were also down by 44%. >click to read< 12:42

A Guide to the Wild Amount of Drama That Has Rocked “Deadliest Catch” since 2005

Since Deadliest Catch premiered in 2005, arrests, addiction and untimely deaths have left their mark on the long-running reality show about the dangerous business of deep-sea crab fishing. But perhaps because of the very nature of the job at hand, the drama over 16 seasons hasn’t been  confined to the adventures unfolding at sea. The crew of the F/V Summer Bay now has to say goodbye to deck boss Nick McGlashan,,, His death comes barely four months after Mahlon Reyes, a 38-year-old deckhand on the Seabrook,,, As far as tragedy goes, Deadliest Catch already seemed to hit bottom just five years in when Phil Harris,,, photos, >click to read< 09:40

Commercial Fisherman Larry H. Robbins has passed away

Larry Harold Robbins, 45, left this world too soon Dec. 21, 2020. Your wings were ready, but our hearts were not; Heaven has gained an amazing soul and we love you big, big. He spent his entire life fishing, scalloping and spent this previous summer on a lobster boat with his son, Larry, who he loved more than life itself and took such great pride in him. Larry was able to share his love for the sea with Little Larry, which is now instilled in him. Larry has spent his adult life on many different boats, from Maine to Alaska, which was his love of life at sea. >click to read< 08:02

Five Days Into Commercial Dungeness Season, Seafood Buyers, Fishermen Haggle Over Price

Though California’s commercial Dungeness season opened five days ago, Crescent City’s commercial fleet has yet to drop pots as fishermen and buyers haggle over price. Fishermen are asking for $3.25 per pound while Pacific Choice Seafoods, of Eureka, is offering $2.50 per pound, Rick Shepherd, Crescent City Commercial Fisherman’s Association,,, “Pacific Choice has stayed on $2.50 and the boats in Oregon and California have not accepted that offer,” Shepherd said, adding that fishermen continue to negotiate with buyers. >click to read< 07:07

RCMP resumes aerial search, C.G. planning sonar exploration for missing F/V Chief William Saulis fishermen

The search will take place about 100 kilometres off the coast from Digby Gut to Harbourville by helicopter, according to a news release. The scallop vessel sank in the early hours of Dec. 15 off the coast of Delaps Cove. The Nova Scotia RCMP and the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team are currently in the planning stages of a partnership with the Canadian Coast Guard to provide a platform which will assist in recovery efforts, including sonar exploration. >click to read< 15:44

Nick McGlashan, ‘Deadliest Catch’ Fisherman Dead at 33

According to the Discovery website, McGlashan was a 7th generation fisherman who grew up in Akutan, Alaska. He started crabbing at the age of 13 on his father Bruce’s boat. His father was a longtime friend of Deadliest Catch star “Wild” Bill Wichrowski and in 2011, McGlashan was hired by Wichrowski to work on the Kodiak. He went on to head the crew on Wichrowski’s Cape Caution and then later the Summer Bay. >click to read< 11:15

Brexit: What does the trade deal mean for fisheries? All the Fish related bits in the Brexit deal to read at your leisure: Articles 1-19

Contrary to many dire predictions, we finally have a Brexit trade deal, and with it an agreement on how the UK and EU will manage shared fisheries into the future. The fishing industry has experienced an unusually high profile since the Brexit referendum, but this reached dizzy heights over the last few months of 2020, as disagreements over fishing quotas and access were said to be the final barrier to a wider agreement. So now that the deal has been landed, how does the catch measure up? >click to read<  All the Fish related bits in the Brexit deal to read at your leisure: Articles 1-19. – Article FISH.1: Sovereign rights of coastal States exercised by the Parties. The Parties affirm that sovereign rights of coastal States exercised by the Parties for the purpose of exploring, exploiting,,, >click to read< 08:40

Neglected safety gear on fishing boats endanger fishermen – If it’s not maintained, it’s likely not going to work

“It’s one thing to go out and buy all this for your vessel, but if it’s not maintained it’s likely not going to work for you when you need it,” said Matthew Duffy, a safety adviser with the association. Duffy has seen survival suits full of holes, rotted ropes, and life rings tied so tightly they couldn’t be used.     “We did a man-overboard drill where we got the crew involved and they got their immersion suits out,” said Duffy. “One crew member opened it up and there was a squirrels’ nest in one of them, you know, chewed right through the suit,,, >click to read< 07:40

17 fishermen feared dead, two rescued after Russian trawler sinks in the Barents Sea

The fishing boat Onega, sank near the Novoya Zemlya archipelago with 19 people on board, local news outlets reported, citing the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. The ministry attributed the incident to the formation of too much ice on the vessel. >click to read< , 17 fishermen feared dead after boat sinks in Arctic Russia – Seventeen fishermen were missing and feared dead on Monday after a Russian boat capsized during a storm and sank in the freezing waters of the Barents Sea. Officials said that two people had been rescued during a search-and-rescue operation, but that bad weather conditions had complicated efforts to find survivors. >click to read< 06:23

Legislation to help next generation of young fishermen passes in Congress

Congress passed bipartisan legislation on Dec. 20 that would establish a national program to train and educate the next generation of commercial fishermen. It must be signed by President Donald Trump before becoming law. The Young Fishermen’s Development Act, H.R. 1240, would create $2,000,000 in yearly grant funding, which would be dispensed to various organizations to provide mentorship and learning opportunities to fishermen just starting in the industry. >click to read< 12:19

Australian Lobster Sector Claws Back Trade After China Ban

Australia’s rock lobster exports are worth half a billion US dollars a year — and in normal times, 94 percent of them go to China. But all that changed a few weeks ago, when Beijing imposed a near-total import ban on lobster, part of a broader politically charged “shadow trade war”. “It has affected us drastically,” third-generation fisherman Fedele Camarda told AFP. “Our income has been reduced considerably.”,,,  local authorities recently changed legislation to allow commercial rock lobster fishers to sell large quantities from the back of their boats,,, >click to read< 10:40

As the New Year is on the horizon, please consider implementation of a U.S. Fish Bill

Greetings to all commercial fishermen, fish processors, equipment suppliers, politicians, and citizens, that are interested and supportive of creation of a U.S. Fish Bill. I mentioned it in a letter to the editor, Letter: Can a fish bill, like Farm Bill, aid fishermen? on January 9, 2015, and have continued posting about, hoping the idea will gain industry wide support. I have tried to get our local politicians to help me draft a U.S Fish Bill, which would serve the U.S Fishing Industry, like the U.S. Farm Bill does for the agriculture industry. >click to read< Sam Parisi, Gloucester 09:11

New Jersey seafood workers aim to ensure they’ll be among first round getting COVID-19 vaccine

The New Jersey Seafood Coalition told Gov. Phil Murphy in the Dec. 17 letter that the crews on New Jersey’s commercial fishing vessels help ensure food security. “All Americans depend on these women and men to harvest, process, and distribute healthy foods,” the coalition wrote. “Effective vaccination of food industry workers will help vital food industry supply chains, including our own, continue to function during what appears to be a resurgence of this dangerous virus.” >click to read< 18;15

European Union is dropping tariffs on American lobster

President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation that finalizes an agreement with the European Union to eliminate tariffs on live and frozen lobster from the United States. In 2017, a trade agreement eliminated tariffs on live lobsters from Canada and slowly reduced and eliminated tariffs of frozen and processed Canadian lobster. At the same time, American lobster exports faced tariffs as high as 30% in the European Union. The new agreement will reduce tariffs on live and frozen U.S. lobsters to 0%, retroactive to Aug. 1. Video, >click to read< 11:24

Brexit fishing outrage – UK Fishing Industry Disappointed By Brexit Deal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier on Thursday that Britain had agreed a “reasonable” five-and-half-year transition period with the EU over fisheries, longer than the three years it wanted but shorter than the 14 years the EU had originally asked for. “The industry will be bitterly disappointed that there is not more of definitive break,” Barrie Deas, NFFO, >click to read< 09:40

Brexit fishing outrage as UK will never be FULLY in control of its waters like Norway – Britain will never be fully in control of its waters like Norway, not even after the transition period agreed in the Brexit trade deal, it has emerged. Despite Downing Street calling a “mutual compromise”, it does seem Mr Johnson capitulated on one of the most contentious areas of the talks: fishing rights. >click to read<

The Nova Scotia lobster fishery fight – Year in Review

Sept. 17, the Sipekne’katik First Nation launched a self-regulated lobster fishery outside the federally-regulated commercial fishing season. On Sept. 18, two people are arrested on assault charges following confrontations between Mi’kmaq and non-Indigenous fishers on the wharf of the self-regulated fishery in Weymouth, N.S. This was the beginning of a showdown that would spark solidarity rallies across the country. “We all have Indigenous blood. We always worked side by side. The Acadians are not racist. We know they (Indigenous fishers) have rights, but we can’t respect what’s happening in St. Mary’s Bay.  Video, >click to read< 08:29