Daily Archives: July 22, 2021

Before she was Wild Alaskan, she was the F/V Shaman – and she ruled the King Crab fishery

Long before strippers gyrated for fishermen who boarded the Wild Alaskan for a night of fun, she was known as the F/V Shaman, one of the most profitable boats to ever throw pots in Alaskan waters. She had a million-dollar price tag when she was built in Tacoma in 1974, 110 feet long with a high wheelhouse. Made to shrimp and crab.  And boy did the Shaman crab. Tom Hendel and his brother worked on the crew back in the late 70’s, when the Shaman was in its glory days. Back then, as Kodiak fishermen are fond of saying, “Crab was king.” And it was. Some made millions in the Bering Sea. But other mariners were not so lucky. “I gotta tell you, guys were dying every day it seemed like, back in the 70s and 80s. >click to read< 22:41  >Click for Wild Alaskan posts back to July 5, 2014<

Connecticut: Organizers focused on ‘the important things’ ahead of 68th annual Blessing of the Fleet

Stonington – In late 1989, rescue teams and U.S. Coast Guard personnel spent more than 11 days combing 10,000 square miles of ocean off the coast of Nantucket using three aircraft carriers and two cutters following the disappearance of the Heidi Marie, a 72-foot commercial lobster boat out of Stonington that went missing just before Thanksgiving. The search teams found evidence of possible distress that was believed to have killed the boat’s five occupants, Capt. Mark Middleton and crew members Arthur Banks, Kenneth Raymond Gould, Michael Lane and Ray Morris. Their bodies were never found, but their story and the stories of other local fisherman who died will not be forgotten, thanks in part to a long-rooted tradition that will return this weekend when St. Mary Church in Stonington hosts its 68th annual Blessing of the Fleet. >click to read< 22:10

DFO’s sweeping salmon fishery closures leave workers reeling – Commercial fishers are paying the price,,,

“When we got that news, we’re like, shit, what do we do? And then there’s a little glimmer of hope, they didn’t say Area 4 was going to be closed for sure. That’s where I’m sitting now.” Carpenter, who is 54 years old, said waiting for the federal Fisheries and Oceans Department’s next move is a “huge gamble.” He said he has things he can do to earn money and fill his freezer if he can’t go out and fish but he’s worried about some of the older fishers who don’t have the same options. “What are they supposed to do? They’re going to go home, they may drink themselves to death or they may lose their marriages, their houses, sell everything. Who knows?” >click to read< 17:57

Derelict fishing vessel sinks off Point Whitehorn

The derelict 1930s fishing vessel sank off Point Whitehorn while being towed from Blaine Harbor to Bellingham. The Bligh Island, a 79-foot wooden hull purse seiner, had been in the Port of Bellingham’s custody since 2017. The port put the abandoned boat up for auction, but there were no bidders, port public affairs administrator Mike Hogan said.,, The boat sank in about 160 feet of water off Point Whitehorn at the end of Birch Bay. To Hogan’s knowledge, the vessel is the first boat owned by the Port of Bellingham to sink. >click to read< 16:21

Divide and Conquer – With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies

Try and imagine a campaign by environmental NGOs to end the use of ploughs in agriculture, on the basis that it’s damaging to the biodiversity of rural regions and wrecks natural habitats. The immediate question would be what effect such a limitation would have on the availability of food. Turn it around and apply that question to demersal trawling, and nobody in authority or at any ENGO seems to equate fish with food. Fishing in Europe (and the UK, where the political climate in this respect remains much the same) has been under a wholesale assault from organisations that have little love for fishermen, yet the fishing industry itself remains at odds with itself, frequently doing the work of fishing’s opponents for them. The tactics are now familiar, pick as a target a relatively small sector over which there are already deep divisions within the industry, and go from there to deepen the divides, play on old enmities and appeal to long-held prejudices, and nurture the tall poppy syndrome.  >click to read< 12:54

Scottish fish stocks not at peril from bigger catches

Fishers claim bigger, not smaller catches can boost key North Sea stocks and help the Scottish fleet avoid a potentially “devastating” blow from further quota cuts. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, wants to slash the total allowable catch for North Sea cod by 10.3% next year. Ices’ recommendation for west coast saithe, also known as coley, is for an even deeper cut, of 24%. At the same time, the organisation is advocating increases of 154% for North Sea and west coast haddock, as well as a 236% jump in the TAC for North Sea whiting. Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Elspeth Macdonald has previously described the overall advice package as “desperate news” , >click to read< 10:38

Stonington fishermen fight for their livelihoods: The fleet’s past, present and tenuous future

While they have weathered storms, the loss of 41 fleet members at sea, declining catches and restrictions on how much fish they can land, the aging group of mostly men who make up the Town Dock Fleet now face a set of new challenges that threatens their future and that of the state’s last surviving commercial fleet. These include the difficulty of luring young people into a grueling but potentially lucrative occupation and the leasing of vast areas of their fishing grounds to offshore wind energy companies that plan to erect hundreds of massive turbines. >click to read< 09:17

Crew escapes with their lives after F/V Mount Pavlof sinks near Ketchikan

Four fishermen escaped with their lives over the weekend after a seine vessel sank south of Ketchikan. Crewmembers from another fishing boat heard their distress call over the radio and arrived in time to rescue them. Around 3 a.m. Sunday, Pete Feenstra says he and a three-person crew were readying themselves for a salmon opener south of Ketchikan. Then he heard a mayday call from the radio. The Mount Pavlof, a fellow seiner, needed help. Feenstra says he looked at the navigation system aboard his 56-foot seiner, the Noble Provider, and saw that the vessel in distress was less than a mile away. And he knew what he had to do. Audio report, >click to listen/read<  08:09