Monthly Archives: January 2022

F/V Nicola Faith: Grieving families in lasting legacy vow on anniversary of dreadful tragedy

One year ago today three fishermen went to sea on the F/V Nicola Faith and they never returned home. The boat set off from Conwy Harbour on January 27, 2021 to fish the seas off Colwyn Bay. On the anniversary of that terrible day, the families of the three men have revealed the pain and anguish of the last 12 months and their determination to create a lasting legacy to their boys. They recently attended a “man-overboard recovery and life jacket training” session at the RNLI’s their purpose-built college in Poole. In an interview with the RNLI, Ross Ballantine’s sister Lowri Taylor said: “One year on, we’re wanting to create a lasting legacy to the boys and use our experience to share our story and hopefully save more lives. photos, video, >click to read< 21:24

Commercia Fisherman Matthew “Matt” James Washington of Sedro Woolley, WA has passed away

Sedro-Woolley – Matthew “Matt” James Washington, age 38, passed away January 22, 2022, at Skagit Valley Hospital, Mount Vernon, Washington. He was born August 9, 1983, in Mount Vernon to William “Dean” and LeAnne (Drivstuen) Washington. Matthew worked as a commercial fisherman and crabber. Anyone who worked with Matthew knew him to be a hard worker who could count on to get the job done. >click to read< 15:48

Superseding Indictment Charges New York Fisherman with Conspiracy, Fraud and Obstruction

A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of New York unsealed a superseding indictment charging a fisherman with both conspiracy and substantive charges in connection with a scheme to illegally overharvest fluke and black sea bass. Christopher Winkler, 61, of Montauk, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, to obstruct NOAA through the falsification of fishing logs, and to unlawfully frustrate NOAA’s efforts at regulating federal fisheries. The superseding indictment alleges that between May 2014 and February 2017, Winkler, as captain of the F/V New Age, went on at least 220 fishing trips where he caught fluke or black sea bass in excess of applicable trip limits. >click to read< 16:55

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 44’x17′ Novi Gillnetter, 405HP Cummins QSL Diesel

To review specifications, information, with photos, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< 12:07

Dead seals turn up on North East beaches as dead crab mystery continues

It has been almost four months since reports first emerged of scores of crabs, lobsters and even octopuses being found dead on beaches stretching from Whitby to Hartlepool. Yet the investigating authorities appear to be no closer to identifying the cause despite extensive laboratory tests and studies. In recent weeks, dead seals have begun washing up on the region’s beaches though it is unclear whether this is linked to the crustacean wipeout in October. >click to read< 10:21

Fishermen voice concerns about Humboldt County offshore wind farm project

While the proposed wind energy area off Humboldt Bay is estimated to have a minimal to low impact on the region’s commercial fishing, some industry members do not fully agree with site assessment and characterization survey findings. During a virtual meeting hosted Tuesday morning by BOEM,,, Pacific Seafood consultant Mike Okoniewski stated during public comment most fishermen in the region he has spoken to about the project have not been reached to participate in the discussion. Eureka-based fisherman Travis Hunter also voiced concerns over potential impacts on the local fishing industry. He stated that the relevant reports do not state how the project will displace the fishing industry. >click to read< 09:04 Online meeting on Wednesday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. Links to the meeting and more information regarding the projects can be found at Humboldt Wind Energy Area | Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (

Who wants the disappearance of fishermen? The answers are here.

In recent months, worrying signs have multiplied indicating a desire, sometimes obvious, to make fishermen disappear or, very often, to marginalise them to make way for more lucrative activities in the Blue Economy.,, We are witnessing at sea, with the stranglehold of environmental NGOs on MPAs, the same phenomenon denounced by the historian Guillaume Blanc, in his book “Green Colonialism“: the grabbing of land in Africa, This is the case with the evolution of the marine world towards a “Blue colonialism” which is shamelessly displayed, multiplying MPAs prohibited to fishing, a subsistence and eminently sustainable practice of many oceanic peoples, and which, in Europe and elsewhere , only rarely involves small-scale fishermen in decisions about the oceans, of which they are nevertheless secular managers. >click to read< 07:52

Maine: Lobstermen could soon face another new gear regulation

Patrick Keliher, Commissioner of the state’s Department of Marine Resources, says recent research shows that the number of juvenile lobster floating in the water column or settling to the bottom is declining for a third year in a row. Now Keliher says that lobstermen should also consider another new rule to create a “trigger” mechanism for reducing the catch of juvenile lobster when their abundance falls below a certain level. Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, on Tuesday told members of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission that fishermen will be “in shock” when they learn about the potential new rule. >click to read< 07:01

“Crew School” – Course aims to impart Alaskan purse seining skills

The Gig Harbor BoatShop and Washington Sea Grant are launching the Purse Seine Vessel Crew Member Training Program, or “Crew School,” designed to provide instruction on the fundamental skills needed to work on a commercial fishing vessel. Led by experienced captains and crew, the hands-on curriculum will be taught in the classroom, aboard commercial fishing vessels in south Puget Sound, and in the historic Ancich Netshed on Gig Harbor’s waterfront. “I’m looking forward to sharing my commercial fishing experience with program participants and to introducing a younger generation to purse seining,” instructor Gregg Lovrovich said. “For me, well, I can’t imagine earning my livelihood in any other way.” >click to read< and more info! 20:22

Independent Senator calls on Ryan to launch investigation into Mary Kate

CJ Gaffney and his family have received more backing in their fight for justice over the Irish Government’s handling of the case relating to the fishing vessel ‘Mary Kate’ WD 30, which they purchased from Germany in 2007. The Mary Kate was passed as safe at the time of her purchase. Little did CJ and his family know at that time, that in fact, they had been led into purchasing an iron coffin. Since this time, the Euro-cutter design, of which the Mary Kate is a model, has been condemned. CJ and his family tried everything in their power to correct the issues with the Mary Kate, but were blocked at every turn, and eventually were forced by the banks to sell their boat, leaving them heavily in debt. And so started a long-drawn-out fight for justice. >click to read< 19:05

New commercial fishing vessels are needs-tailored

A new compact commercial fishing vessel is meant for general use but designed for conditions of the particular fishery of Bristol Bay, Alaska. Elliott Bay Design Group’s (EBDG) new 32-foot gillnetter is an ultra-shallow, triple-jet boat created for the very shallow waters of Bristol Bay (less than 20-feet); and with the bay’s currents and tides and 32-foot boat length limitation in mind. It can do 20 knots and has a 20,000-pound fish capacity. The model’s design, short, but stocky and hardy in profile, may set it apart from other vessels working in the very active Bristol Bay fishery, which is one of the bright spots of Alaska’s fisheries. >click to read< 17:18

Ireland: Coast Guard helicopter base in southeast to be retained

Search and rescue services will remain in place in the southeast following a confirmation from the Department of Transport that a minimum of four helicopter bases will be retained for future Coast Guard services. Initial copies of tendering documentation published by the Government in late 2021 detailed how a minimum of three helicopters were to be provided by the next contractor. This led to concerns expressed by politicians in the region that a base would be cut from the future plans, potentially in Waterford. >click to read< 12:04

SEA-NL calls for third-party investigation into DFO NL

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to order an independent investigation of the operations of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans in the province amid alarming allegations of political interference raised by the CBC. “DFO’s last shred of credibility in this province is on the line,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s interim Executive Director. “The allegations by the union representing DFO scientists not only call into question the department’s faith in itself, but what little faith inshore harvesters and all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have left in DFO to manage the wild commercial fisheries.” >click to read< 10:48

Irish Fishermen plan to peacefully disrupt Russian drills

Irish fishing boats are planning to peacefully disrupt plans by the Russian navy to conduct military exercises off the coast of Cork next month. Patrick Murphy, chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation said that the area was very important for fishing and that they wanted to protect biodiversity and marine life.,, Mr Coveney had said that the naval exercises were “not welcome”. Mr Filatov said that he had relayed the Minister’s concerns to Moscow. >click to read< 08:08

Longtime waterfront business Rowand’s Seafood closes in Beverly

Owner Dana Rowand said he could no longer afford the rising costs of seafood, so he decided to shut down the business that his father began more than six decades ago. The last day was Sunday. “It’s terrible,” Rowand said. “It was not the plan. No one’s sadder than me.” Rowand said the economy and a lobster season that has been shortened by government regulations have “destroyed” the fishing industry, leading to a shortage of product and an increase in prices. He said he used to be able to buy lobster for $4.99 per pound during the summer. Now the price is $10 per pound. photos, >click to read< 07:14

Huge relief for owners as grounded fishing trawler is rescued

In scenes reminiscent of the mighty Cherry Venture, the fishing trawler F/V Proteus, out of Mooloolaba, ran aground this week just past middle rock at the Coloured Sands. While the owner of the trawler declined to comment, a local businessman said, “The scallop season has just opened and it’s a mad rush to get first dibs on the scallops and they have been putting some good hours, and it slipped anchor and they were woken up when it hit the sand”. photos, >click to read< 21:12

Martha’s Vineyard lobstermen oppose NOAA “incidental take” decision

Lobstermen Wayne Iacono and Wes Brighton expressed frustration at the “double-standard” that NOAA seems to be playing by giving Vineyard Wind an incidental “take” count. The Marine Mammals Protection Act defines take as “to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.” Vineyard Wind is allowed some incidental take, which is “unintentional, but not unexpected, taking,” according to NOAA. One species, in particular, the lobstermen are worried about is the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. >click to read< 15:41

British Columbia: Delta Lifeboat seeks funding support from community

In addition to saving lives, the Delta Lifeboat, which is part of the Canadian Lifeboat Institute, also offers volunteer support and assistance to Delta’s emergency services, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, fishermen, commercial shipping and recreational boaters in the waters surrounding Delta. “Because of the global pandemic, linked with the provincial state of emergency and rising costs, we’ve not been able to hold any of our normal fundraising events. Because things like boat shows, and dinners and social gatherings where we normally raise our money, we haven’t been able to do that,” >click to read< 11:14

New Jersey – Coastal towns go to court seeking more input on offshore wind

The suit alleges that the Biden administration’s plans to lease 480,000 acres off the coasts of New Jersey and New York for offshore wind development violate two key environmental protection laws, the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act and the U.S. Endangered Species Act by essentially bypassing them. As a result, the projects are moving forward without consideration for their impact on endangered species living in the area of the proposed turbines, as well as the state’s commercial fishing industry and local tourism along the Jersey Shore, according to the suit. >click to read< 10:30

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for January 24, 2022

I hope everyone took the time to read the “Saga of Southern Flounder” article, from the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. If not please click the link below and read it for yourself before continuing to read my comments. After reading the Wildlife Federations article, I’m sure you were shocked by their strong claims of (mis)” management” bias towards the commercial fishery, failed commercial management, and harsh recreational reductions.  Continue reading at the update. >Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<  09:25

DFO scientists’ union says members’ work in N.L. undermined by industry and political interference

Judith Leblanc of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) wrote to the deputy minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Timothy Sargent, in November, expressing the “hurt” scientists have felt. “A pattern of decisions and events has emerged in the department that is causing scientists in the Newfoundland and Labrador region to have grave concerns about the current status and future direction in the department’s science advice, scientific independence, scientific excellence and integrity,” Leblanc’s letter notes that in 2019, DFO began using a new model to assess the health of the cod stock off Newfoundland’s south coast, in an area known as 3Ps. The new model, incorporating new data, led to the cod stock being moved from the cautious zone to the critical zone. >click to read< 08:45

Brexit: The betrayal of the fishing industry has been incredible and shameful

The British fishing industry is not likely to forgive its betrayal on Christmas Eve 2020. That was when the UK government struck a deal with the European Union that respected none of what the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations called “the promises, commitments and assurances made during the Brexit referendum campaign and throughout the negotiations with the EU”. And these were not any old promises and commitments. They were made publicly and at all levels in government, including by the Prime Minister himself. >click to read< 07:48

Wing and a prayer for future of Waterford Coast Guard rescue base

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan admitted in recent days that the potential loss of the Waterford search and rescue base is a “life or death” situation. The fear is that the base will be lost under a new contract worth hundreds of millions of euro for the renewal of aviation services for the Irish Coast Guard.,,  this has prompted fears that Waterford could lose its helicopter base, which would have ramifications for the south and south-east region. The R117 helicopter operates out of Waterford, and its crews had a busy year in 2021; typically it responds to around 700 calls a year but that increased to more than 900 last year. >click to read< 21:12

Commercial fishing boat catches fire in Wanchese Harbor

No injuries were reported following a fire early Sunday morning aboard an (unidentified) commercial fishing vessel docked in Wanchese. Crews from Roanoke Island Volunteer Fire Department were called to a dock across the harbor from Wanchese Marine Industrial Park in the 4300 block of N.C. 345/Mill Landing Road just after midnight. When crews first arrived from Roanoke Island Volunteer Fire Department, heavy smoke was showing from the boat. photos, >click to read< 19:37

Interview: William Thomson says exporting fish into Europe has ‘become very burdensome’

How and why did you start in business? After leaving school I started my career as a fish salesman in Kinlochbervie, where I grew up. I continued as a fish salesman in Aberdeen when completing an MBA at Aberdeen University. The fishing industry is in my blood, and in 1996 I moved to Scrabster to run a local fish-selling company. I was always ambitious, with a desire to be my own boss, so in 1999 I set up my own business in Scrabster, Thomson International, focusing on buying and selling fish on the local market. >click to read the interview< 16:28

Retired Commercial Fisherman Joseph Correia of South Dartmouth has passed away

Joseph Correia, Jr., 85, of South Dartmouth, gently passed after a long illness on January 9 at 12:26 a.m. at St. Luke’s Hospital surrounded by his wife, Margaret, and children. He initially worked on tug boats in Fall River and Boston and later became highly regarded as a commercial fisherman and Captain on the New Bedford Waterfront. Joe worked closely with Sea Rover Fishing, Inc. for more than 30 years and was Captain and Chief Engineer of their vessel, the AA Ferrante. In addition, he owned two of his own boats: a swordfishing vessel, “Defiance”, and the beautiful “JoAnna”, a wooden Stonington dragger. >click to read< 12:18

A Winning Combination

A change a few years ago in Norwegian regulations governing which fishing methods can be combined in a single vessel has opened the way for longline and seine net combinations – and the latest newbuild to bring these methods together has been delivered. F/V Østerfjord sailed from its builder in Turkey at the end of last year and at the beginning of January headed out from Ålesund for its first trials trip to test the 76,000-hook Mustad system before starting fishing on cod for real in the Barents Sea. A relative newcomer to the longline business but with a long background in pelagic fisheries, the Østervold family last year sold their previous F/V Østerfjord to the Faroes ahead of the new vessel’s completion. photos, >click to read< 11:07

Firth of Clyde: Fishermen hit out at new measures aimed at protecting cod stocks

Exemptions allowing langoustine trawlers, creels and scallop dredgers to use the area during spawning season will be ended. The Clyde Fishermen’s Association says the move will have “a horrific impact”, but the government says it needs to act now to protect cod stocks. For 20 years, measures to protect spawning cod in the Firth of Clyde have been in place through an annual 11-week closure between February 14 and April 30. >click to read< 10:20

Dead crabs probe: Tees marine expert ‘99.9% sure dredging unearthing historical toxins to blame

A Teesside marine expert who has been following the probe into why piles of dead crustaceans washed up on Teesside’s beaches remains ‘99.9% sure’ dredging is to blame. David McCreadie, a retired senior lecturer in marine biology and oceanography, says he spotted a vessel dredging off Teesmouth at the end of September and then started to find dead lobsters and crabs on the South Gare near Redcar. The investigating authorities have already ruled out dredging,,, >click to read< 08:19

Lillian Bilocca: Plaque for woman who revolutionised safety at sea

A plaque has been unveiled for a woman who helped revolutionise safety at sea and is credited with saving many lives. The memorial has been placed on the wall at the former home of Lillian Bilocca, in Coltman Street, Hull. Led by Big Lil, as she was known, a group of four redoubtable women pressed for law changes after a 1968 trawler disaster. The disaster in 1968 saw 58 men perish after three Hull vessels were lost. In the face of strong opposition Bilocca, Christine Jensen, Mary Denness and Yvonne Blenkinsop, the four women later dubbed the “Headscarf Revolutionaries”, are estimated to have saved thousands of lives through their safety campaign. >click to read< 22:04