Monthly Archives: November 2021

Meet the families working to keep fisheries alive on Lake Ontario and Lake Erie

Lake Erie fisherman Tim Martin knows that his business has helped strengthen local food systems. He and his four family members harvest and process their own fish, then sell it at their retail location in Port Burwell, Ont. During the pandemic, when global supply chains buckled and grocery store shelves were wiped clean, the family was able to stay in business. They experienced a heavy rush of local customers, most of whom, Martin says, have become loyal regulars. Yet in Port Burwell, where the Martins have operated for more than 30 years, they are the only permanent commercial fishing business that remains. Deteriorating infrastructure on the waterfront and a high cost of entry into the fishery fails to support any aspiring newcomers. Here are three families still working in the Great Lakes commercial fishing industry in Ontario,,, photos, >click to read< 09:23

Right whale coalition calls for moratorium of offshore wind farm turbines

A local citizens group has announced the creation of the Save Right Whales Coalition, which is determined to stop offshore wind turbine projects that members say could harm whales. “Any species whose numbers are this low requires that we not take any additional action that could harm these whales,” political and environmental author and activist Michael Shellenberger said of the endangered North Atlantic right whales. “Particularly given that we have an abundance of nuclear and natural gas resources that would provide a sufficient alternative to these large industrial wind turbines.” >click to read< 13:49

Setting sail on a fishing voyage of discovery

Matty and Ally, who are cousins, alternate between who is lead skipper for each trip, and this time around Matty, 41, was in charge. “When possible, we prefer to shoot the trawl when it is daylight, as the mackerel tend to shoal closer together during the day, and it is also safer for the crew,” he said. As the flickering light of dawn gradually took hold over a grey-ruffled sea, the 10 other crew members scrambled down to the lower stern deck to prepare the trawl for shooting. It is a complicated task; shackles were attached here and there, ropes prepared, and the tail-end of the net was hauled up from the winch by a specially designed crane, before being hung over the stern. >click to read< 10:09

Nova Scotia: Stakeholders Share Thoughts On Potential Price of Lobster

So far the window for the season to open early in LFA 33 and 34 has closed, they’re reassessing conditions this weekend. Brazil Rock 33/34 Lobster Association Executive Director Dan Fleck discussed potential prices this year and the demand for local lobster. “There’s lots of rumours and I’ve heard different prices from different areas that are open, it’s looking good,” says Fleck. “I do know that the demand around the world is great for lobster, LFA 33 and 34 lobster.” >click to read< 09:16

‘French fishermen want direct talks with Jersey’

Chris Le Masurier, of the Jersey Oyster Company, who delivered produce to St Malo yesterday, said that the fishers were protesting against the political process going through the EU and UK rather than being settled locally.,, ‘I was delayed for an hour because I was allotted a slot at the time of the protest, which was at 8am. I was skippering the vessel. After that I moved alongside one of the French boats for a chat. I spoke to Pascal Lecler, the chairman of the fisheries committee in Brittany. He said that he wanted me to pass a message to the Jersey government and that was to come and talk directly with Normandy and Brittany. He gave me a Breton flag and I then dropped off all my seafood and returned to the Island,’ >click to read< 08:39

A fishing boat ferries health-care workers to Neils Harbour, Nova Scotia

The fishing community has stepped up to help deliver health-care workers to the hospital in northern Cape Breton after a storm limited access by leaving washouts on a section of the Cabot Trail. The weather has settled down and, on Friday morning, a fishing boat was able to shuttle people from the community of Ingonish to Buchanan Memorial Hospital in Neils Harbour. The Grace ‘n’ George, owned by Tommy Simms and captained by Adam Sams, left Ingonish in the fog and delivered four hospital workers to Neils Harbour a little over an hour later. >click to read< 07:42 More stories, >click to read<

U.S. Coast Guard urges safety, preparedness for upcoming Oregon Dungeness crab season

The Coast Guard urges commercial fishermen to ensure vessel safety to prevent maritime emergencies before the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season scheduled to begin Sunday with the Pre-Soak.,, The Coast Guard will notify the public of bar restrictions and bar closures via a Broadcast Notice to Mariners on VHF-FM channel 16 and 22A. Monitoring cameras and associated websites prior to setting out to sea may provide mariners with additional information in certain locations. The Coast Guard reminds all commercial fishermen that prior to crossing a restricted bar between sunset and sunrise, they must notify the Coast Guard on VHF-FM channel 16 or 22A,,, >click to read< 18:55

Devastating Damage from B.C., Atlantic storms no easy fix

The rainstorms in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada have impacted livelihoods, with damaged highways and rail lines cutting off communities and hampering key supply chain routes. Unprecedented rainfall from atmospheric rivers in B.C. and the Maritimes has dropped hundreds of millimetres worth of rain — surpassing in days the totals some regions see in a whole month. Video, photos, >click to read< For a page of some amazing stories from both coasts, with more being added as we find them. >click to read< 14:16

Surge in baitfish catch is a boon to Maine’s lobstermen

Maine’s lobster fishermen typically bait their traps with dead herring, but a scientific assessment in 2020 found that herring are overfished, and quotas for the fish were reduced dramatically. The loss of herring has increased the price of bait and made it harder for many fishermen to trap lobsters. However, losing herring has been offset somewhat by swelling catches of menhaden. Maine’s catch of menhaden, also called pogies or bunker, grew from about 6 million pounds in 2016 to more than 24 million pounds last year. >click to read< 11:28

Lobsterman John Joseph “Johnny” Crane III, of Port Clyde has passed away

John Joseph “Johnny” Crane III, 80, died November 18, 2021 at the Sussman House in Rockport following an extended period of declining health. Johnny grew up in Waldoboro and attended local schools. His entire life was centered around fishing beginning as a clam digger in high school. He also went seining with Hugo & Sonny Lehtinen before becoming a lobster fisherman until his retirement a few years ago for health reasons. He had his first new lobster boat “Sylvia C” built in 1982 followed by a second new “Sylvia C” in 1998 still being fished in Port Clyde by his grandson Johnny V. >click to read< 09:36

Happy Thanksgiving! Giblet Joe and his flock of turkey’s just stuffed your bird!

The Biden administration approved an offshore wind farm off the coasts of Rhode Island and New York on Wednesday as part of a plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. The U.S. Department of the Interior announced it approved the construction and operations of the South Fork Wind project, the department’s second approval of a commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project in the United States. Last week, the department marked the groundbreaking off the coast of Massachusetts for the first commercial-scale offshore wind project. >click to read< 08:44

French fisherman blockading British ships over Brexit licenses

French fisherman have blockaded British ships after feeling ‘humiliated’ by Britain over post-Brexit operating licences. The fisherman lined their boats across the entrance to St Malo port from dawn to stop the British Normandy Trader getting into the Brittany port from Jersey. The disgruntled men aim to target ferries arriving in Ouistreham and Calais,,, Pascal Lecler, one of the fishermen said: “We’re hostage to politics. It doesn’t make us happy to be here, but it can’t go on.’ >click to read< 07:45

My Friend’s Stage IV Cancer Diagnosis Showed His Remarkable Strength

Tom Hoxsie, captain of the fishing vessel North Star, sat cross-legged beside a woodstove in his toolshed. It was late February in coastal Rhode Island, gray inside and out,,, The last phase of his life had begun in pain and misjudgment. Tom was used to discomfort; his hands were a mass of calluses and scars; he labored in an industry of endless punctures, cuts, and strains, where the mentality is to wrap a wound in electrical tape and get back to it.,, This meant cancer crept up on a man with high tolerances for hardship and pain. He had had a chronic cough since at least early 2018, But that summer, he delayed getting a chest X-ray because, in the inshore fishing business around here, the warmer months are when a commercial fishing operation makes much of its money. “We were working,”,,, >click to read< 15:41

Focus is on safety as lobster season opening nears in southwestern NS

Wharves are full of lobster fishing gear waiting to be loaded aboard the more than 1,600 vessels in Lobster Fishing Areas 33 and 34, which will head to sea on dumping day to set their gear. The season is scheduled to open on Nov. 29 in both LFAs, but an early two-day weather window flexibility agreement granted to the industry this year by DFO would allow for the season to open as early as Nov. 27 if the forecast is calling for strong winds on Monday. Saturday, Nov. 27 has already been called as a no-go due to the weather. The next conference call to discuss the weather is set for Friday morning, Nov. 25. >click to read< 11:52

NOAA orders lobster fishing gear out of offshore zone

After a month-long court battle, an appeals court upheld the closure on November 16 U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Maine Democrat, said that the annual closure from October 1 to January 31 sets a dangerous precedent. It “will give federal agencies a green light to pursue regulatory actions that could devastate communities without any regard for whether or not those efforts are grounded in facts and data,” he said in a statement. “It’s regulations like this one that make people distrust government. Instead of looking out for hardworking people, our government cares more about appeasing deep-pocketed environmental groups that can litigate our lobster fishery out of existence,” Golden said. >click to read< 09:19

Bering Sea fishermen press NPFMC on halibut bycatch

After years of deliberations, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is inching toward a decision on whether to tie halibut bycatch limits in the Bering Sea to abundance indices. The action, known formally as Bering Sea-Aleutian Islands halibut abundance-based management, or ABM, is intended to reduce bycatch of halibut in the Bering Sea by the Amendment 80 trawl fleet when the fish stocks are lower. The Amendment 80 fleet is a group of catcher-processor vessels that are allocated a portion of groundfish harvest. Each year, the fleet is bound to a hard limit on how many halibut they can take as bycatch, known as the prohibited species catch, or PSC limit. >click to read< 08:34

Commercial Fisherman Mark Wells of Phippsburg, Maine, has passed away

Mark Wells, 67, passed away on Nov. 13, 2021 after diabetic issues complicated by Covid. He was born in Kittery, Maine on June 24, 1954 to Bert Wells and Faye Albertson. In 1986, Mark met and married the love of his life, Mary “Betsy” Wells. He adopted her son, William, as his own, and they lived in Arundel, Searsmont and finally settled in Phippsburg. Mark had worked with his grandfather, Dutch Albertson, lobstering as a teenager. His love of commercial fishing stayed with him, and he worked in the industry for many years, before he bought his boat F/V Miss Betsy. He has fished her for the past 26 years out of Sebasco Harbor with his son William lobstering and tuna fishing. Mark also participated in the Maine Lobster Boat Races, where he won several trophies. >click to read< 15:37

Seafood processor accuses Nova Scotia government of revoking licence over clerical error

The Nova Scotia government has postponed its decision to terminate the operating licences for a family-owned fish processing company,,, SeaBrook Fisheries says it’s being shut down as the result of a clerical error during succession planning. The company failed to notify the provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture that control of the company had been passed to the son of the founders. The department earlier this year ordered the company’s fish buyers and fish processors licences to be terminated this Friday, effectively putting the company, which primarily processes lobster, out of business. SeaBrook was scheduled for an emergency hearing Wednesday,,, >click to read<, and Seafood processor accuses Nova Scotia government of revoking licence over clerical error >click here< 14:17

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 64′ Dixon Fiberglass Longliner, 425HP Mitsubishi

To review specifications, information, with 15 photos, >click here< , To see all the boats in this series >click here< 12:03

Another Thanksgiving, another crab season delay

On a foggy morning in early November, Dan Kammerer hauled a crab trap onto a fishing boat,,, Kammerer, a retired fisherman, is playing a small role in aiding California’s crab fishing industry, On that day, he was selecting crabs to be tested for domoic acid. The toxin is not the only unwanted presence: In the past few years, a handful of migrating whales have been tangled in crab traps. Now, the season cannot open until a majority of the whales are gone. “We’ve gone from a seven-month-long crab season to one that is going to be three months, at best,” said Ben Platt, president of the California Coast Crab Association, which advocates for the fishery. If the regulations keep tightening, Platt said, “there’s a good chance that the Dungeness fishing industry won’t survive.” >click to read< 10:55

Reflection on the Minderoo Foundation’s Global Fishing Index by Ray Hilborn

This Monday, the Minderoo Foundation released their 2021 Global Fishing Index report meant to give a global picture of fisheries status. I have collaborated with the Minderoo Foundation in the past, but this report is highly flawed and should be viewed skeptically. The report claims over 50% of stocks are overfished and no country gets an “A” or a “B” grade for their management efforts—just six get a “C.” Countries that have essentially eliminated overfishing and are clearly delivering near maximum benefits to their countries are graded a “C.” Why is that not an A? >click to read<

 How governments finance the ruin of our oceans – Our oceans were once believed to be an endless source of fish,,, Yet, different governments around the world, including the United States, not only allow extreme overfishing but actually pay fishing boats to turn the oceans into so-called “dead zones.”,, Meanwhile, a well-known marine biologist, Daniel Pauly, says the oceans are reaching a tipping point. >click to read< 09:38

Commercial Fisherman Gregory Allan Bray of Perryville, R.I., has passed away

Gregory Allan Bray, beloved husband, dad, grandpa, brother, uncle, and friend passed away on November 17, 2021, surrounded by his family at South County Hospital after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Greg was a second-generation commercial fisherman aboard many boats including the F/V “Valiant Lady” and the F/V “Provider”. Most recently, he worked as the Captain of the F/V “Relentless” for more than 30 years. He was well liked and highly respected by all his crew and colleagues. He was a modest man, genuine and honorable, and he loved rock and roll. >click to read< 07:37

Government ‘disappointed’ by French fishermen’s threats to block exports to UK

The Government has said it is “disappointed” by threats of protest action by French fishermen amid the escalating dispute over post-Brexit fishing rights,,, Talks are ongoing between Britain, France and the European Commission to settle the main source of contention, which is the number of licences to fish in waters around the British coastline for smaller French vessels which can prove they have historically operated there. But French fishermen are “exasperated” by the “endless months of waiting” and are ready to “exert more pressure” on the UK, according to the fishing committee for the northern Hauts-de-France region. >click to read< 19:15

Commercial Fisherman Michael F. Champlin, of Narragansett, R.I. has passed away

Michael F. Champlin 70, of Narragansett, passed away on Thursday, November 18th, 2021 at home. Mike was a Commercial Fisherman for many years and retired from the Bait Company in 2015 after 20 years of dedicated attention and care. Michael had the “old school” work ethic, get the job done and get it right. >click to read< – The Funeral Service will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Pt. Judith Fishermen’s Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 386, Narragansett, RI 02882 or Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, 249 Roosevelt Ave, S uite 201 Pawtucket, RI 02860 12;48

Totally Torched: Low-Cost Offshore Wind Farm Power Claims Go Up In Smoke

Europe’s great wind drought continues, unabated. Adding to the wind industry’s woes, its claims that offshore wind power is ‘free’ and getting cheaper all the time have been totally torched – again. Over the last two years, Andrew Montford has been keeping a close eye on the financial reports produced by the UK’s offshore wind power outfits. What the books reveal runs counter to the spin and propaganda dished up in the media about the cost of offshore wind power. Andrew provides another helpful update,,, >click to read< 11:40

Huge demand pushes record lobster prices - “The price is probably the highest it’s ever been”

Local lobster retailers were selling large lobsters at $9.99 a pound during the first week of November in 2018, 2019 and 2020. This year, the price climbed to $16.99 a pound, a price point it has stayed at since July.  ”I think catch price being up has helped,” said Ginny Olsen, a Stonington lobsterman and a board member with the Maine Lobstering Union. For her and other lobstermen in the region, they felt like this moment was a long time coming. “It’s about time,” said David Horner, a Southwest Harbor lobsterman. “We like to make money, too. The amount of risk and investment is enormous.” >click to read< 10:04

Record crab and lobster prices drive value of N.L. landings past billion-dollar mark

“It was remarkable,” Doyle says, referring to the $7.60 per pound, more than double last year’s price, Doyle and his son Thomas received for the roughly 16,000 pounds of snow crab they landed with their under-40-foot vessel, Tango Delta, this year. “In regard to prices, it’s better than I’ve ever seen it,” adds Doyle, adding that they also received record prices for their lobster landings. It’s not hard to hear upbeat language like that when talking to Newfoundland and Labrador fish harvesters this year, because their bank accounts were likely swollen by incomes of 40 to 50 per cent higher than past years. >click to read< 09:33

Shrimp industry vital to Eastern North Carolina economy

A recent proposal from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries is shining new light on the impact the shrimping industry has on eastern North Carolina.,, That original proposition was voted down by state commissioners Thursday,,, Yet many shrimpers, and other county residents, are still reeling from the close call. One of those is 5th generation Shrimper, Cayton Daniels, who makes his entire living off of shrimping. He says he wouldn’t have survived the proposal’s closures. photos, >click to read< 08:41

Commercial crab season delayed again but set to start Dec. 1 north of Sonoma County

It’s a bitter pill for those who own smaller fishing boats and those for whom the trek north would not pay off, however. They’ve already missed the lucrative Thanksgiving market due to the initial delay of the Central Coast’s usual Nov. 15 commercial start. “The little guys are suffering big time,” said veteran Bodega Bay fishermen Tony Anello, who said he knows three young, newer additions to the fleet who “have no way of making it right now.” In the meantime, ‘We’ve got to find a way for this Nov. 15 date to occur, for us to fish with these animals,” said Dick Ogg, vice president of the Bodega Bay Fishermens Marketing Association. >click to read< 07:41

NLGIDC provides commentary on the latest scientific assessment for 3Ps Cod

The stock is currently at a low level and growth of this important resource is being impeded by high natural mortality. Jim Baird, The Chairman of the NLGIDC said, “The level of natural mortality has been at the highest levels ever recorded for this stock in the most recent time period.” Baird continued, “Having a better understanding of the processes related to natural mortality is important to provide scientists the ability to make accurate projections related to stock growth.” It is clear that seals eat substantial quantities of cod and many industry representatives believe that seal consumption is likely contributing to this high natural mortality, however DFO scientists are not convinced this is the case. >click to read< 19:56