Monthly Archives: April 2021

Mi’kmaq community angered at alleged government seizure of lobster traps

Federal fisheries officers seized 37 lobster traps that were set today by an Indigenous harvester. The Potlotek First Nation, located about 75 kilometres south of Sydney, N.S., issued a news release indicating the community had authorized the traps as part of its livelihood fishery.,, Earlier this year, federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan had said if bands haven’t negotiated agreements with Ottawa and received federal licences for moderate livelihood fisheries, then the government would enforce regulations. >click to read< 19:14

Family of fisherman lost in F/V Chief William Saulis tragedy denied death benefit, seek legislative change

Lori Phillips closes her eyes in a failed attempt to suppress tears. Her 29-year-old son was one of six crew members aboard the Chief William Saulis scallop dragger that sank off of the coast of Annapolis County’s Delaps Cove on Dec. 15, 2020.,, The Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia recently informed Phillips that there will be no lump sum payout to Cogswell’s family following his accidental death on the job. Phillips plans to appeal the decision. “His life mattered,” she said. She’s also set her sights on pushing for a change to the legislation in question. >click to read< 16:27

Athearn Marine Agency Weekend Special: 90′ Carrier/Tender, Twin 3408 Cat’s, 400,000 lb. RSW fish hold

To review specifications, information, and 61 photos of this vessel, >click here<, To see all the boats listed here with the Boat of the Week feature,  >click here< 15:01

Kathy Rawls named new director of N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries

When Kathy Rawls becomes the new director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries on May 1, she will have plenty of experience to draw on. Rawls has been with the Division for more than 25 years, the past seven as the Fisheries Management section chief. She also will be the first woman to head the agency since the Fisheries Commission Board became the Division of Commercial Fisheries in the late 1920s. “There are already a number of women in pivotal roles at the division, and I do feel a responsibility to represent them and other female colleagues, but I also know that gender is not part of the job description,” >click to read< 13:29

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for April 30, 2021

Legislative updates, Bill updates, Calendar, >Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<Congratulations!!! The North Carolina Fisheries Association would like to congratulate new N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director, Kathy Rawls. We look forward to working closely with Director Rawls in the future. Congratulations Kathy!!12:04

Does Biden have an ocean policy? – Climate change and ocean industrialization!

Days after taking office the president signed an executive order to fully conserve 30 percent of the nation’s land and 30 percent of its waters by 2030. One of the world’s strongest supporters of 30×30 is special presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry. Biden also pledged the U.S. will generate 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030.,,, To keep its quickly-evolving ocean strategy salty, the White House has put some top marine people in charge. They’ve brought in Jane Lubchenco, Climate Czar Gina McCathy, nominated NOAA Chief Scientist Rick Spinrad to lead NOAA, and Monica Medina as assistant secretary of State for Oceans, Environment and Science. >click to read< 10:49

Senator Rubio Brings Back the Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act

Rubio has been pushing the “Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act” since 2018 and he reintroduced it this week. The bill “would require any country that seeks to export shark, ray, and skate to the US to first demonstrate it has a system of science-based management to prevent overfishing and a prohibition on the practice of shark finning” and ensure other nations “must also receive certification from the NOAA that its fisheries management policies are on par with US practices” and modifies the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act. >click to read< 08:54

Zero chance of the UN intervening with peacekeepers to monitor Sipekne’katik lobster fishery

Queens University political scientist John McGarry said Chief Mike Sack might have “good political reasons” for making the request, but it won’t happen. “I’ll just put it bluntly: there is zero chance of the UN intervening with peacekeepers,” he said. McGarry said that’s due to several reasons, including that Canada would have to agree to the request and then invite peacekeepers in. “The Canadian government is not going to consent to that because that would mean it was incapable itself of looking after this issue, and that would be a profoundly embarrassing abdication of its responsibilities as a government, so it’s not going to agree to it,” he said. Failing that, the UN Security Council would have to pass,,, >click to read< 07:20

Obituary: Neil H. Brewer, of Freeman Twp, Maine, Commercial Fisherman

Neil “Pops” “Papa” Hugh Brewer, 71, of Freeman Twp., passed away April 25, 2021 at home with his family by his side after a long battle with cancer. He was born on June 27, 1949 a son of Carl “Bo” and Carrie Brewer in Boothbay Harbor. He attended school in Boothbay and became a commercial fisherman and a lobsterman after graduating high school. He worked many years on the boat side by side with his brothers and son, Keith. His heart was always on the water. He married Simone Cook on Nov. 6, 1971. In 1978 they moved to Freeman TWP on Cook Hill, where he lived the rest of his life. >click to read< 19:18

A “very black day for Britain” – Yorkshire’s last distant-water fishery has been scuppered

The failure to land a deal allowing the UK to fish in Norwegian sub-Arctic waters means the crew of the £52m Kirkella, which lands into Hull, has no work. UK Fisheries CEO Jane Sandell said they had been promised a “sea of opportunity, not the scuppering of an entire industry.” She said: “George Eustice owes our crews and the Humberside region an explanation as to why the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) was unable even to maintain the rights we have had to fish in Norwegian waters for decades, never mind land the boasts of a ‘Brexit Bonus’, which has turned to disaster. >click to read< 15:45

No Ocean Industrialization: Shut coal power plants would be ripe for new generation of small nuclear reactors

Recently shut U.S. coal-fired power plants could serve as sites for a new generation of small nuclear reactors, the head of the nation’s largest public power utility and a U.S. senator from West Virginia said on Wednesday. “I see those sites as very viable small modular reactor (SMR) sites,” Jeff Lyash, president and chief executive of the TVA,,, Shut coal power plants would be ripe for SMR development because of their available water resources and existing power grid connections, Lyash said. SMRs are regarded by some as a critical carbon-free technology that power grids will need to supplement intermittent sources like wind and solar.  >click to read< 13:52

Lobster season delayed on P.E.I.’s North Shore, now, Southern P.E.I. lobster crews as well

Setting day was scheduled for Friday, but that has been moved to Monday for lobster fishing area 24, which includes the North Shore of P.E.I. A decision on the opening for LFA 26A, which encompasses the southeastern shore from Point Prim to Victoria, is expected Thursday. Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, says delays are not uncommon, but fishermen were hoping for a good start this year after the season was delayed two weeks last year due to COVID-19. >click to read< – The opening of the spring lobster season is being delayed for southern Prince Edward Island because of high winds in the forecast, a day after a similar decision was made for North Shore boats. >click to read< 12:19

New York: $6.7 million in Coronavirus relief to marine fishing industries

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $6.7 million in relief aid is being distributed starting today to New York’s seafood, marine commercial, and for-hire fishing industries after excessive business losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New York State will distribute an additional $5.7 million in the coming months, for a total of $12.4 million, through the Marine Fisheries Relief Program, which administers federal funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. >click to read< From, >click to read< 11:40

Captain Edward Johnson Sears of Lower Wood’s Harbour, has passed away

Captain Edward Johnson Sears, 71, of Lower Wood’s Harbour, passed away on April 26, 2021 at Surf Lodge. Born on April 27, 1949 he was a son of the late Lindsey and Helen (Jeffery) Sears. In his younger years he enjoyed playing softball with friends and coworkers. Edward work as a fisherman for 50 plus years, he loved fishing and being on the open waters with his sons, grandsons and crew. He enjoyed spending time with his family at his cottage. Were ever Edward was he always had a grandchild, great grandchild, or his dog, Shania in tow.  >click to read< 11:14

Mainers rally to oppose offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine

Close to 500 Mainers gathered at the Civic Center in Augusta Wednesday, April 28 to oppose offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine. Fishermen voiced concerns regarding the unknown impacts to ocean ecosystems, marine habitats, and the fisheries,,, “Rome wasn’t built in a day and we will not stop offshore wind with one rally,” said Virginia Olson of the Maine Lobstermen’s Union, “Augusta knew fishermen were here today, they know we are paying attention, and they know we are asking to be heard. We voiced our legitimate concerns about the impacts that this development will have on the Gulf of Maine which has been our home and supported our fishing families for generations. We are not going to be pushed out of the way.” >click to read< 08:57

Made for Bristol Bay: A Conversation with Sockeye Salmon Guru Steve Kurian

In 2002, when Steve Kurian graduated from college in Pennsylvania, he moved west to Idaho to take a job in forest management. There, Steve rented an apartment from an old, crusty commercial Alaska fisherman who told stories of an ocean chocked-full of salmon, sea monsters and a real-son-of-a-buzzard white whale that ate one of his crewmembers the season before. Steve wasn’t quite shanghaied, but the old man’s stories were enough to make him quit his job and go setnetting in the Naknek district of Bristol Bay. His then girlfriend and now wife, Jenn—the two have been together since they were 15—got a job fishing a neighboring setnet. >click to read< 08:10

Opposing Ocean Industrialization, Maine fishermen, families protest offshore windmills

Hundreds of Maine fishermen and their families protested offshore windmills in Augusta Wednesday. Local fishermen say they’re under attack, and that offshore windmills could ruin their industry and put them out of work. “Today’s really our opportunity to plead for public support,” Maine commercial fisherman Christopher McIntire said. “We need the support of the state of Maine in order to save our historical fishing grounds from being bought up by oversea companies.” Maine fishermen are fighting against a proposed offshore wind farm. Video, photos, >click to read< 21:23

‘Tragedy of the Commons’ Will be the Fate of Marine Environment in Atlantic Offshore Wind Farms

Like the English commons, the Atlantic waters could take just so much ‘grazing’. The Canadian government finally recognized the cod fishery had crashed and closed it;,, Recognizing that fish could not be owned until they were caught, government regulators attempted to at least partially privatize fishing rights. So too, the waters in which they swim (Hague Line dividing CN and US waters in the Gulf of Maine and on Georges Bank.) It was that bottom and those waters that wind farm builders wanted “rights”.,,, So, the question arises “why don’t the fishing interests move to protect these sensitive marine habitats?They have tried without much success. >click to read< 18:43

Multiple challenges hamper commercial Dungeness crab season

The commercial Dungeness season in California opened late because the state’s Risk Assessment Mitigation Plan (RAMP), which is in full-force for the first time this season,,, “It’s a little bit tough right now,” said Dick Ogg, who has fished commercially out of Bodega Bay for more than 20 years. “That’s kind of an understatement.” Ogg is a member of the Dungeness Crab Gear Working Group, which contributed to the RAMP. Ogg says he and other vessel operators have come up with a variety of strategies to reduce the chances of migrating whales or endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles getting tangled up in gear. Ogg pulled his crab gear out early this year, deciding to put his energy into prepping for the salmon season. But he said for the vessels still at it, the higher market prices made up for low catches.  >click to read< 14:08

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 38′ Flowers Lobster boat, new Cummins 9 L Diesel, new gear, new shaft, new cutlass,,,

To review specifications, information, and 10 photos>click here< , To see all the boats in this series >click here<12:27

Lawsuit filed by Quinn Fisheries and Blue Harvest Fisheries against Carlos Rafael’s trustee and three arbitrators

Quinn Fisheries and Blue Harvest Fisheries filed a lawsuit last week against Carlos Rafael’s trustee and three arbitrators, alleging they are blocking a multimillion-dollar transaction of vessels and permits that was scheduled to happen April 16. The permits are for scallops and multi-species fish. The fishing seasons have already started or will soon start and because the transaction cannot be finalized, Quinn Fisheries and Blue Harvest state they will experience serious and irreparable financial harm. According to the 19-page complaint, Quinn Fisheries planned to transfer certain vessels and permits to Blue Harvest, and then purchase vessels and permits from Blue Harvest. >click to read< 11:08

The city of St. Augustine now has an official seafood: Wild-caught shrimp!

The move received unanimous support from commissioners, who adopted a resolution. “The historic San Sebastian River hosted an important chapter in U.S. maritime history,” the resolution says. “Northeast Florida is the birthplace and home to the U.S. commercial shrimping industry … innovators, including Mike ‘Sollecito’ Salvador, Salvatore Versaggi and Antonio Poli, moved to St. Augustine in the early 1920s to set up fish houses and shrimping fleets that supplied northern markets … the industry grew rapidly, and a boatbuilding enterprise began in St. Augustine that became a cultural and economic mainstay of the city for most of the 20th century. 22 photos, >click to read< 09:43

Ocean Industrialization: The Biden Administration vs. Atlantic fisheries

In its rush to burnish its green bona fides, the Biden administration is showering billions of dollars of subsidies onto European offshore wind developers, and in the process threatening both the environment and the livelihoods of Atlantic coast commercial fishermen. Big Wind — money-making corporations, not philanthropists — stands to earn big bucks. And for what? The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from building all of that offshore wind will be minuscule and will have no impact on world climate whatsoever. Instead, it is poised to wreck an entire industry and the thousands of jobs that commercial fisheries support. >click to read< 08:50

The people are Opposed to Offshore Wind in Cape May, N.J. – Anti Offshore Wind Farm protestors gather

They could not all go in to the meeting of the Cape May County Commissioners on Tuesday afternoon, but opponents of a planned offshore wind farm knew they were heard when the members of county government came out to them. Speaking to those gathered outside before returning to the commissioners meeting, commission Director Gerald Thornton said wind energy will cost consumers more and will not provide many jobs to local residents. >click to read<Anti-wind farm protestors gather in Cape May Courthouse – There were no chants or marching at a protest late Tuesday afternoon outside the Cape May County Administrative Building. Tricia Conte organized the demonstration. She also created the group Save our Shoreline which has over 4,000 members. >click to read< 07:55

Sig Hansen Opens Up About Deadliest Catch

The longtime boss of the F/V Northwestern still characterizes the crab season depicted in the epic 17th season of the Discovery Channel hit “Deadliest Catch” as the most calamitous one he’s ever endured. Aside from the thorny Coronavirus protocols that challenged any television production in 2020 and 2021, the crabbing crews faced another seemingly insurmountable obstacle that had nothing to do with making a TV show. For the first time ever, the captains and their crews were fishing blind,,, Hansen chats about it all, from the most grueling “Deadliest Catch” season ever, >click to read< 17:16

PFMC sets 2021 West Coast ocean salmon season dates

“There will be some restrictive commercial and recreational seasons this year along much of the coast,” said Council Chair Marc Gorelnik. “Forecasts for some Chinook and coho stocks are quite low, which made our job more challenging this year.” The council heard reports from commercial, recreational, and tribal representatives on the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ways the council could provide meaningful fishing opportunities and economic support for coastal communities. >click to read< 16:37

Probe in fatal boat fire still active

City police and federal arson investigators continued to search for clues Monday into the death of man on a fishing boat at the Port Angeles Boat Haven. The man, who has not been named by authorities, was found after a suspicious fire aboard the 30-foot Karen L early Sunday. Port Angeles police have not ruled out homicide or arson. The Port Angeles Fire Department said two people were sleeping on the boat when the fire was reported at 5:57 a.m. Sunday. One person escaped the fire without injury,,, Police interviewed the person who was on the boat when the fire started. >click to read< 15:29

Trial of four Mi’kmaw fishermen accused of illegal fishing begins next month in Nova Scotia

The trial of four Mi’kmaw fishermen accused of illegal fishing in September 2019 will begin next month in Nova Scotia provincial court. Ashton Joseph Bernard, 31, Arden Joseph Bernard, 22, Rayen Gage Frances, 22, and Zachery Cuevas Nicholas, 34, don’t dispute they were fishing in the lucrative Lobster Fishing Area 34 off southwestern Nova Scotia when the commercial season was closed. But the four men argue they had a treaty right to fish there during that time. The case involving the four fishermen also involves a fifth man, Michael Surette. Surette is not Indigenous so his case has been severed from the others. >click to read< 12:53

A push to boost commercial fishing industry, post-Coronavirus on Long Island

With the pandemics, the industry suffered on Long Island as restaurants all but shut down, wiping away an important client base for commercial fishing. As the economy continues to reopen,  Suffolk County  has launched a survey aimed at developing a real-time snapshot of the Long Island commercial fishing industry, which officials say has been “especially hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a press release from the county. The survey is available here. The information and data collected through the survey will highlight the needs of local fishermen and will guide and assist agencies in providing the resources necessary to continue to support a viable and sustainable fishing industry. >click to read< 11:48

They’re Ready! P.E.I. 2021 spring lobster season – ‘Things look a lot more positive this year than they were a year ago’

Last spring, as uncertainty due to Coronavirus, reined worldwide and the lobster industry struggled with a two-week delay to the season, securing workers and keeping them safe, and getting a fair price for harvesters.  “Plants weren’t ready to start production, they didn’t have PPE for the workers in the plants, they didn’t have enough workers for the plants,,, “The plants are ready, they have the workers in place for the most part, the PPE and the changes to the plants have already been done,”. McGeoghan said demand is high from China, Europe is opening up again and the U.S. demand is “steady.” >click to read< 10:14