Monthly Archives: January 2022

Despite threats from fellow fishermen, Mass lobstermen press to allow ropeless fishing in closed areas

The lobstermen viewed themselves as trailblazers, even calling themselves “Pioneers for a Thoughtful Coexistence”. In an effort to prove that there’s a way for their industry to resume fishing in coastal waters where Massachusetts banned lobstering to protect endangered whales, they have asked regulators to allow them to set their traps without vertical buoy lines. “I’ve been trying my best to get our guy’s back fishing,” said Michael Lane, 46, a lobsterman who fishes 800 traps out of Cohasset. But when Lane’s group presented at a recent public hearing their proposal to fish with experimental rope less gear, which would use remotely triggered inflatable balloons or other devices to surface the traps, they were pilloried by their fellow fishermen. >click to read< 19:20

Southeast Alaska’s upcoming tanner crab fishery could be the best in decades

The upcoming tanner crab fishery in Southeast Alaska is looking very promising. The fishery starts on Feb. 11, and the harvest and price could be historic. State crab managers haven’t seen this kind of encouraging preview for Southeast’s tanner fishery for a few decades. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has tracked the tanner population through annual surveys since the late 1990s. “What we’re seeing is kind of historically high levels,” said Joe Stratman. He says the numbers look like they did when the surveys first started. It’s not only the harvest that looks good but also the price.    >click to read< 17:08

The Oysterman, the Pirate and Louisiana’s disappearing wetlands 

Maurer was in a bind. Hurricane Ida had decimated the supply chain. The storm swept through the heart of Louisiana’s $2.4bn seafood industry, which supports one out of 70 jobs in the state, leaving him with no roads, no power, and very little seed. He decided he needed to find “new routes to market, whether by boat or by land. Go pirate on them.” He meant this literally. As he looked for a solution among the lingering chaos of the hurricane, he thought of the notorious pirate Jean Laffite, who once operated out of Grand Isle. Maurer decided he would follow the same route: He bought Les Bons Temps to see if he could bring his catch to town directly, bypassing the wrecked roads and bridges. photos, >click to read< 15:12

The story of the Maine fishing boat sunk by a torpedo off North Carolina

F/V Snoopy was a wooden scallop dragger whose home port was Portland, Maine. In May of 1965, while dragging for scallops off the coast of North Carolina, she was sunk by a German torpedo. One night, just after 9 PM, the crew of the Snoopy, one of about 40 scallop vessels in the area that night, pulled in their nets. Looking at the catch, they noticed something that did not belong: a German G7e torpedo! The weapon was massive. That particular type of torpedo was over 20 feet long and it weighed in at over 3,500 pounds.  Despite the potential danger of bringing an unexploded torpedo aboard, the crew made the decision not to just cut it loose. >click to read<, and >click here< 12:53

Maine considers fund for lobster fishermen/gillnetters hurt by whale rules

Maine is by the far the most significant lobster fishing state in the country, and members of the state’s industry have warned they will suffer because of the new rules. A proposal from Democratic Rep. Holly Stover of Boothbay would create the fund, which would provide grants for lobster fishermen as well as some fishermen who harvest other species with gillnets. “The lobster industry is an economic driver of our local economy, hands down,” Stover said. “This is not a fisheries disaster, this is an economic disaster.” >click to read< 11:18

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for January 31, 2022

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been taking a close look at a few, of the many, false claims, regarding the management of the southern flounder fishery, made by the NC Wildlife Federation. This week we’ll be looking at one of the most audacious statements they’ve made to date. The Wildlife Federation claims that “Amendment 2 is the first known effort to effectively reduce harvest in the commercial southern flounder fishery in history. 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< 10:03

It could have been worse. Commercial fishing boat metres from crash impact

A commercial fisherman says his family’s vessel, the Dell Richey II, was fortunate not to get caught up in the crash involving cement carrier Goliath and two tugboats at the Devonport wharf. Mr Richey said his son John the skipper of the Dell Richey II, was on board when it happened, along with some of the crew members. “When he saw what was happening, he started the engine. The crew on board got the lines off. They managed to get the boat away from the wharf before getting tangled up in the wreckage,” he said. Mr Richey said it could have been even worse if it happened 24-hours earlier. >click to read< 08:54

Digging out at the Stonington Town Dock

Fishing boats tied up at Town Dock are blanketed in snow after the blizzard that buried the region over the weekend. A deckhand aboard the F/V Heritage clears snow from the decks on Sunday, January 30, 2022. Area residents began the process of digging out from the blizzard that buried the region on Saturday. four photos, >click to view< 07:43

Commercial Fisherman Dusten William Abbott of Manteo, N.C, has passed away

Dusten William Abbott, 40, of Manteo, N,C, passed away suddenly Thursday, January 27, 2022. Dusten was born September 30, 1981 in Edenton, NC. He was the son of Ray Abbott, Sr. and Michelle Congleton. Dusten had great love for being on the water. He grew up beach fishing with the whole family. Dusten’s love of fishing led him to become a commercial fisherman. He did everything from long lining to working on trawl boats. But most of all, he was always ready to go shrimping, which he enjoyed tremendously. Dusten had a heart of gold. >click to read< 17:14

North Carolina fishermen pull up lost crab pots in effort to clean up the coast

On a cold and blustery morning, Keith Bruno, a commercial fisherman from Pamlico County, loads up his boat and heads out. Today, he’s not looking for his typical catch. That’s because he’s searching for lost crab pots. “By daybreak, maybe a little before, we get the boat ready,” Bruno said. “We’ll put the boat in the water and immediately start searching.” This year is Bruno’s seventh year being a part of the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s (NCCF) lost fishing gear recovery program. video, >click to read< 15:45

Let Them Freeze: Wind & Solar Generators Couldn’t Care Less About Your Welfare

The wind and solar industries couldn’t care less whether you freeze to death when winter bites across the northern hemisphere and wind and solar output collapse. Solar panels plastered in snow and ice produce nothing; wind turbines frozen solid during breathless, frigid weather produce even less (they actually consume power from the grid to run heating systems meant to prevent their internal workings suffering permanent damage). So, if you’re sitting freezing in the dark, don’t expect wind and solar power generators to come to your rescue. No, if the lights and power are on this winter, then you ought to raise a glass for the gas, coal and nuclear power generators separating you and your loved ones from a date with hypothermia and, ultimately, the morgue. >click to read< 11:48

Port of Newport user fees to rise in July

With an eye on inflation and a repeated commitment to improving and maintaining port facilities, Port General Manager Paula Miranda and Director of Finance Mark Brown recommended a seven percent increase across the board, with a few exceptions noted.,, Some new fees were also found on the rate schedule. Vessels that offload squid at Port of Newport facilities will face a wharfage fee connected to the pounds of product that come across the dock. Projections indicate that transient squid boats will arrive in the area in the next month.  Port Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the fee schedule. >click to read< 10:29

Roger Wood Asks, Is Commercial Fishing Heading for Extinction?

Can New Hampshire’s dwindling commercial fishing industry be revived or is the enterprise headed for extinction? Fishermen in the ground fish business are retiring. So far, there is no clear path to replace them with younger people.  A new federally funded program is intended to address that. In this podcast, Roger Wood talks with a newly retired fisherman, David Goethel from Hampton and the director of a new federally funded program intended to help young people continue the trade. >click to listen, and read< 08:48

Irish fishermen “absolutely thrilled” with Russian decision not to conduct naval exercises in Ireland’s EEZ

Simon Coveney this evening confirmed that he has received assurances from his Russian counterpart, confirming the controversial drills will not go ahead within Ireland’s exclusive economic zone, having been planned to take place approximately 240km off the Cork coast. “It was a shock at first, it took me a while to digest it to understand the enormity of what has been achieved here. “We are all just absolutely thrilled with the news today. I must say the only way I can describe it is we threw the pass to Simon Coveney, he caught the ball and scored the try,” Mr Murphy said. >click to read< 19:05

Cool ocean waters, abundant nutrients look good for Washington salmon

Scientific markers used to predict the health and productivity of marine species such as juvenile salmon were positive in 2021, the second most favorable since 1998, according to analysis from NOAA. Fisheries biologists are cautiously optimistic that those conditions will persist into the near future, supporting the health of juvenile, ocean-run salmon off the coasts of Washington and Oregon. The report looked at a number of oceanic health markers: atmospheric conditions, water temperature, salinity, oxygen levels, current movement, and biomass of Chinook and Coho salmon, along with food sources such as plankton and small crustaceans. >click to read< 13:55

Where Did All the Mackerel Go?

Summer in Atlantic Canada can be unreliable, emerging reluctantly from the damp cold of spring. But a sure sign of its arrival is the sudden presence of Atlantic Mackerel, Slipping away is already something of a mackerel specialty as they dart from their winter habitat, in the deep water along the continental shelf stretching from Nova Scotia to North Carolina, to their inshore summer spawning grounds. For the so-called northern contingent, from which the Canadian catch is derived, these spawning grounds are in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence; for their southern counterparts, summer is spent on the mid-Atlantic coast up to the Gulf of Maine. >click to read< 09:55

Cork fishermen reveal concerns over Russian submarines as they head off to sea

Kenny Oates, captain of the F/V Anders Nees, headed to sea last night with his six crew members for their first expedition of 2022 in search of hake, which swim close to the ocean floor. But Mr Oates admitted he is concerned that Russian subs could get caught in deep-sea fishing nets and pull down a trawler. He said: ‘We have seen it happen in Ireland, we have seen it happen in Scotland. It makes all fishermen very, very nervous.’ ‘You have all these international war games going on at sea and the fishermen are just trying to do their job, not knowing what is really going on,’ he said. >click to read< 09:09

Offshore wind farm will take thousands of acres of rich fishing grounds from our fisherman

The offshore wind farm off Cape Cod will take thousands of acres of rich fishing grounds from our fisherman. Where are our Senators and Congressmen on this important issue?!! We know President Biden, and Governor Baker are in favor, but I have not heard from our local politicians. Our fishermen have enough problems as it is, let alone having more fishing grounds being taken away and reallocated to ocean industrialization. I would like to know if the offshore wind farms will save our homeowners any money on their electric bills, and if so, how much savings will there be if there are any savings at all?!! We the citizens need answers now, and not after they are installed. Thank You, Sam Parisi, Gloucester, Massachusetts. 07:28

New Bedford fishing fleet ties up ahead of Nor’easter

As a nor’easter moved closer to Southern New England Friday, some commercial fisherman in New Bedford said they’re tying up their boats and preparing to spend the weekend on land. “They’re all going to dock their boats. They’re going to get fuel. They’re going to get water, get prepared for the next trip, sell all their scallops Sunday at 12 o’clock when it’s ready. Monday, they’re all probably expected to head right back out,” said David Fish, a deck hand. >click to read< 20:55

Feds indict local fishermen, alleging multi-year fraud scheme

Five fishermen from Maine and one fisherman from New Hampshire, along with a corporation, were charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, and obstruction of justice in connection with a multi-year scheme to sell unreported Atlantic herring and falsify fishing records, U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee announced Friday. Glenn Robbins, 75, of Eliot; Ethan Chase, 44, of Portsmouth, N.H.; Neil Herrick, 46, of Rockland; Andrew Banow, 35, of Rockport; Stephen Little, 56, of Warren; Jason Parent, 49, of Owls Head; and Western Sea, Inc., were named in a 35-count indictment returned Friday, Jan. 28. >click to read< 17:02

Trucker border vaccine mandates pinches Canada’s seafood industry

Canada’s seafood industry, already strained with supply chain issues, is warily watching for potential impacts of the new vaccine mandates for truckers, who transport billions of dollars’ worth of farmed salmon, crabs and lobsters across the border every year. But so far the disruptions at the land borders have been minimal, say industry sources. “It has been challenging for sure…we were (only) slightly impacted because almost our entire group has been vaccinated,” said Ryan Brush, general manager of Aquatrans, a specialized transporter of frozen and temperature sensitive food products. >click to read< 15:25

Save the Gulf of Maine – The Maine Reset Part 2, Fait Accompli?

First, we look at a basic chronology of the interplay between the State of Maine, the University of Maine, and private entities RWE Renewables and Diamond Offshore Wind (subsidiary of Mitsubishi) as they have joined forces in a venture of enormous importance. They partnered on a prototype of future wind turbines (Aqua Ventus I). Then they began working on an array of a dozen turbines. How many more turbines will follow? The wind developers have been clear that the first array is only the beginning of industrializing the Gulf of Maine. Then, we look in detail at some of the likely environmental impacts of industrial floating wind on marine life. It’s not a pretty picture. Yet, many large entities whose missions include protecting the environment have given ocean industrialization their blessing. Will they change their minds when they learn the full scope of impact?  Video, Click to watch<, Watch the first episode, Road to Disaster – Voices of Maine Lobstermen >click to watch< 11:01

Lobster industry needs more time to meet new regulations

Not only is the fishery being forced to change based on insufficient evidence regarding whale entanglements, it is being forced to do so on a schedule that is both too tight and poorly timed. That has left lobstermen scrambling to meet the May 1 deadline for using special weakened rope, rope that is in short supply, if it can be found at all. The Biden administration should see that the industry can’t make this deadline without causing harm. It should be extended to a more reasonable date. Under the new rules, lobster boats must use new weakened rope, or special inserts that are designed to weaken the existing rope, depending on where they fish. >click to read< 10:03

King crabs invade UK waters threatening native species

Invasive king crabs have made their way to British shores, sparking fears that local brown crab and scallop populations could be decimated. This week, fishers in North Yorkshire found their pots heavy not with brown crab, but with the bright-red invader with long, spindly legs prized for their sweet flesh. The species, native to North America, was introduced to Russia in the 1960s by scientists who wanted to establish a new, lucrative fishery. Thriving in cold seas, the crab population exploded, and they travelled to Norway, where they caused a fishing industry boom. And now they seem to have travelled all the way to Britain. >click to read< 08:38

Updated: “Absolute Guarantee” – Wait! There is no Guarantee!

Irish fishing industry meets Russian ambassador over planned naval exercises -Representatives of Ireland’s fishing industry have been issued with an “absolute guarantee” by Russia’s ambassador that their work will not be impacted by Russian naval exercises scheduled for next week. The Irish government confirmed on Sunday that Russia plans to conduct naval and air exercises 240 kilometres off the southwestern coast of Ireland in international waters that lie within Ireland’s exclusive economic zone. >click to read< 07:30

Russians deny fishermen’s claims on naval drills ‘buffer zone’ – In a statement on Friday morning, the Russian Embassy rejected reports based on the statements from the fishing representatives on Thursday that there had been “some kind of ‘agreement’ on some kind of ‘buffer zones’ in the area of the upcoming drills of the Russian Navy in the Atlantic.” >click to read< 08:28

Dry Spruce Bay, Alaska: Coast Guard saves unmanned, adrift fishing vessel from running aground

Coast Guard Cutter Fir’s crew saved an unmanned, adrift fishing vessel less than one mile from running aground in Dry Spruce Bay, Alaska, Jan. 23, 2022. Fir’s crew launched a small boat and established a tow with fishing vessel Guardian less than 100 yards from shore.  Fir anchored and the small boat crew maneuvered Guardian alongside the buoy deck where it was inspected for damages. photos, >click to read< 15:11

New Shrimp Trawler for Wanchese Fish Company

Wanchese Fish Company, a division of Cooke Seafood USA, is launching its newest shrimp trawler, F/V Destiny for operations in southern Argentine waters for the 2022 season. Built by the Astilleros Armon shipyard in Spain, at a value of $15 million CAD, the Destiny will be one of the newest and most modern fishing vessels in the Argentine shrimp industry. The Destiny is 42.93 meters in total length and 11.10 meters in total width and has a maximum deadweight tonnage of 885.  >click to read< 11:41

HB 52 would hurt commercial fishing and community

Rep. Vance’s Bill HB 52 is irresponsible, anti-commercial fishing, anti-community and presented with false and misleading statements. HB 52 is about removing approximately 123 acres of land from Kachemak Bay State Park that the Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery sits on. And basically, handing the land over to the contractor of 30 years, Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association (CIAA). Rep. Vance is charging ahead with HB 52 without basic financial information from CIAA, no business plan, profit and loss statement — nothing but a wink and nod. >click to read< By Alan Parks 09:40

Irish fishermen plan to ‘be there first’ after safety warning over Russian missile tests

The Department of Transport has released an official warning over “live fire” Russian navy exercises set to take place off the southwest Irish coast in February, with some fishermen indicating they intend to disregard the caution. In a marine notice to shipowners and all seafarers, the Department cautioned of “serious safety risks” posed by the exercises involving the launching of rockets. Fisherman have criticised the notice and indicated plans to disregard the warning, with the chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation saying Irish fishermen “will be there first next week.” >click to read< 09:02

COVID-19 saves right whales by sinking cruise ships

Canada created the Shediac ship restricted zone in April 2020 just a couple weeks before Holland America’s Zaandam was scheduled to sail through that zone on a shipping lane used only seasonally by cruise ships as a shortcut to Quebec City. However, a COVID-19 no-sail order in March 2020 superseded that restriction. Consequently, there was not one Canadian ship right whale strike death in two years and only one Canadian crab entanglement death,,, Zero whales were killed by lobster gear. There has not been one death from lobster gear in the U.S. and only a couple in Canada in over 20 years but the Center for Biological Diversity, with no supporting data, claims the whales are going extinct based on lobster entanglements. >click to read< By Jim O’Connell 07:31