Monthly Archives: August 2022

Website shines a light on offshore wind farms

Fishermen, an informal coalition of more than two dozen organizations concerned about the environmental and economic impacts of proposed offshore wind farms in the Pacific Ocean, launched a new website on Monday. Visitors to will find details not only on the current push to place wind turbine farms off the coast of Oregon, but also learn about the sustainable seafood industry and its positive impacts on the economy and food security. For those wishing to gain a broad understanding of the debate surrounding offshore wind, the site provides a comprehensive overview. Those wishing to take a “deep dive” into the issue can click on a variety of links to well-documented studies and positions from credible sources around the world. >click to read< 16:00

Captain Joseph James Henry “The Fox” of Stonington, Ct. has passed away

One more of the original fishermen from the heart of the Borough has bid us adieu. Captain Joseph James Henry, born July 18, 1926, lived to the age of 96, and passed away on Saturday August 27, 2022. Those who knew Joe were aware of his good-natured kindness to all. As one of the initial commercial lobstermen of Stonington’s fishing fleet, he had many stories and adventures to tell. He was a well-known fisherman who knew that “the sea, like a woman, had a mind of its own.” >click to read< 15:00

Prices down for Lennox Island, P.E.I. treaty fishery in fall season after challenges securing harbour

After opening with fewer than 300 traps in the spring of 2022, the band set the rest of its 1,000 traps on the south shore of P.E.I. this fall. Island fishers, though, have been facing the country’s highest inflation in that time, with costs for fishing expenses continuing to rise. And on top of that, prices have gone down since spring. Darlene Bernard, Lennox Island’s chief, says issues started with finding a harbour to launch the fall treaty lobster season. While the spring fishery opened in Lennox’s harbour without much issue, the fall fishery is on the Island’s south shore, where the band had to find a non-Indigenous harbour master willing to take them on. >click to read< 14:07

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 68′ Desco Dragger with Permits, CAT 3408

To review specifications, information, and 64 photos’, and video tour, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< 11:31

Oregon fishermen learn to face emergencies at sea through 2-day course

When things go wrong at sea, it may take time for first responders to reach those in trouble. That’s why non-profit Charleston Fishing Families partnered with Oregon State University Sea Grant Extension Office to offer two days of free Coast Guard approved first aid and CPR classes. The Fisherman First Aid and Safety Training course used in class and hands-on boat sessions to teach fishermen how to respond to events like head injuries, wounds, burns, and environmental illnesses. Video, photos, >click to read< 10:17

Fishermen begin legal campaign over dead shellfish

A report suggested algae was to blame, but the fishermen fear the deaths were linked to the release of the chemical pyridine as a result of dredging in the River Tees in October. Smaller catches are threatening their livelihoods, they say. Paul Widdowfield, who has fished all his adult life in the waters by Hartlepool, said his daily catches could now be 50 times smaller than three years ago, losing him £1,000 a day. Stan Rennie, whose family has been fishing for 500 years, said: “It means absolutely everything to me. It’s all I’ve ever done. “Now, we’re facing hardship because of the catches. The boat will probably have to go by the end of the year.” It was an “environmental disaster”, Mr Widdowfield and Mr Rennie said. >click to read< 09:10

Catch Shares Enable Wealthy Landlords to Gobble Up Local Fisheries

A recent investigative report has reignited public discussion over catch shares, a controversial approach to fisheries management that privatizes the rights to fish. The investigation exposed how Blue Harvest Fisheries, owned by a billionaire Dutch family, became the largest holder of commercial fishing rights in New England, benefiting from lax antitrust regulations and pilfering profits from the local fishermen who work under them. As a commercial fisherman in Mississippi, I know these dynamics go well beyond New England. Here in the Gulf of Mexico, private equity firms and other large investors have come in and gobbled up the rights to fish, driving up the cost of fishing access and making it prohibitively expensive for fishermen like me to harvest fish in our own backyards. >click to read< 07:55

RCMP divers take over search for teen who fell overboard from fishing boat

RCMP divers have begun looking for Justin Landry, the 15-year-old boy who fell out of a fishing boat off Pointe-Sapin on Monday. On Tuesday afternoon RCMP said Landry is considered a missing person and police are in contact with his family. The RCMP took over the search after the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax said the rescue mission was unsuccessful. On Monday, a Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter, two Canadian Coast Guard boats, four conservation boats and one Transport Canada airplane were used in the search. About 20 fishermen also helped in the search. >click to read< 15:26

Boothville Man Cited For Commercial Fishing Violations in Plaquemines Parish

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Boothville man for alleged commercial fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish on Aug. 23. Agents cited Webley L. Bourgeois, 47, for taking commercial fish without a commercial license and taking commercial fish without a gear license.  Bourgeois had his licenses revoked in March of 2021 due to unpaid taxes. In 2022, Bourgeois sold a total of 51,891 pounds of shrimp, and 6,223 pounds of sheepshead all taken without the required commercial fishing license and gear license.  All sales were obtained by trip tickets Bourgeois filed with LDWF. >click to read< 13:27

Golden boasts about going against Biden in ad celebrating him ‘cracking’ the President while breaking lobster shells

A moderate House Democrat fighting to keep his seat in a right-leaning district criticized President Joe Biden in a new midterm election ad released over the weekend. Rep. Jared Golden, who represents Maine’s heavily rural 2nd Congressional District, boasted about taking on the Democrat commander-in-chief’s agenda in a 30-second video. He lists off accomplishments via a voiceover while the lawmaker cracks open and devours lobsters in a nod to his state’s most iconic industry. ‘Last year, I cracked Biden’s aggressive spending agenda,’ Golden boasts while tearing a meaty lobster claw. Video, photos, >click to read< 09:44

Ship strike probably killed whale off California coast

A humpback whale that washed ashore in the San Francisco Bay Area over the weekend probably was killed by a collision with a ship, researchers said. A necropsy determined that the female adult whale had “injuries consistent with a ship strike,” including extensive bruising to the chest area along with a fractured vertebra, and her skull was dislocated from her spinal column, according to a statement from The Marine Mammal Center. Except for those injuries, the whale was in excellent condition, with ample fat and blubber reserves, the center said. >click to read< 08:46

Atlantic Canada makes strides to decarbonize commercial marine vessels

Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, with federal government support, are currently investigating opportunities to electrify certain classes of vessels in an effort to help decarbonize the marine transportation sector. Next spring, the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) is planning to launch a pilot project to test different energy-efficient vessel propulsion systems, such as electric, hybrid or alternative fuels, for nine of the PEIFA’s inshore lobster fishing vessels. With combined funding of $3 million provided by both the federal and provincial governments, distributed through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, the PEIFA is at the preliminary stages of developing the pilot. >click to read< 07:49

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update August 29, 2022

At the August Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) meeting, Amendment 2 to the Striped Bass FMP and the unjustified net ban in the upper Neuse and Pamlico Rivers was on the agenda once again.  Amendment 2 was up for final approval by the MFC, which we strongly opposed as long as the continuation of the net ban in the upper Neuse and Pamlico Rivers is incorporated into the Amendment. The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of NC, on the other hand, seemed to support the final approval of Amendment 2, only if the net ban remains part of the FMP. Surprised? Probably not, after all for decades the CCA has pushed for a net ban and, for decades, the NCFA has opposed this extreme agenda, making the gill net debate a constant source of friction at virtually every fisheries meeting. Another constant through the years has been the CCAs willingness to misinform and misuse data to support their agenda and the August MFC meeting was no exception. >click to continue reading< 18:49

Idea for more sustainable fishers catches prize for Halifax company

Marc d’Entremont has millions of dollars in Ocean Supercluster funding to bring his idea to fruition, but another 50 grand is always welcome. His company, Katchi Technologies, headquartered in Halifax, is one of the winners of the sixth annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge. Katchi has designed a replacement fish net system that eliminates contact with the ocean floor and reduces greenhouse emissions, allowing for more sustainable harvesting. “We’re basically removing the bottom trawling from the seabed,,, “We’ve invented a new method to open the net up, and we’re reducing drag and saving fuel by 30 per cent. The other piece is we’re controlling the net to ensure it stays off the seabed, using an algorithm that takes input from a whole bunch of sensors on the vessel. >click to read< 15:54

CLOSURE WITHOUT CAUSE: Unprecedented Levels of Mackerel Call into Question Minister’s Decision to Close Fishery

Fish harvesters throughout the province are reporting observations of unprecedented levels of mackerel, calling into question the decision by Minister Joyce Murray and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to close the commercial fishery this year. Harvesters are once again asking Minster Murray to take urgent action to reconsider the decision and undertake new survey opportunities to better understand the true health of the mackerel stock. Harvesters throughout the province have been sending in their observations and photos of mackerel schools and unprecedented levels of bycatch during other fisheries. >click to read the rest< 15:03

Alaska’s herring row

On a drizzly March afternoon in Sitka, Alaska, K’asheechtlaa “Louise” Brady hurries down a wooden ramp to the dock at Fisherman’s Quay, her gray-streaked hair spilling from the hood of her windbreaker. There, two small skiffs sit low in the water, heavy with 10-foot-long hemlock branches jeweled with yellow-white fish eggs. “Oh, they’re so beautiful!”  “This is the taste of what it means to be Tlingit.” Jamie Ross stands on the deck of his seiner, F/V Anduril, next to a pile of dead herring, his shaggy white hair and mustache blowing in the wind. Ross, who’s from Homer, Alaska, has fished Sitka herring for 30 years. He’s one of the 47 permit holders, and one of the few who remember when herring fisheries lined the Alaska coast. Photos, >click to read< 13:29

It will benefit the powerful’: row over Brixham fish market levelling up plan

Critics claim the plans for the Devon harbour town of Brixham, which is expected to land a record-breaking £50m worth of fish this year, will lead to more environmentally damaging fishing practices, increase lorry movements and benefit a few powerful businesses rather than improving the town as a whole. A diverse group of sceptics ranging from conservationists to the local yacht club, town councillors and day boat skippers has expressed concern at the bid by Torbay council for £20m of cash from the levelling up fund. “It will be good for the big boys who already make shitloads of money,” said Tristan Northway, who skippers a 9-metre fishing boat Adela, and sells directly from the deck of his vessel. “But it will do nothing for the rest of us and nothing for the town.” >click to read< 10:22

F/V Aleutian Isle: Equipment on site, recovery will take 10 days once started

The Unified Command continues its response following the sinking of the commercial fishing vessel Aleutian Isle west of San Juan Island, Washington. Dive and vessel recovery equipment has arrived on scene. A mixture of oxygen and helium, known as heliox, is needed to dive at depths greater than 200 feet. The heliox has arrived on San Juan Island and is being prepared for use. Contractor, Global Diving, arrived on scene, anchoring a barge and crane which will be used to raise the sunken vessel Aleutian Isle for transport. >click to read< 09:45

Father and son rescued at sea share emotional reunion with police officers that saved them

The father and son who were rescued at sea by a Boston Police harbor vessel last week had an emotional reunion with the officers that saved their lives. Joseph and Tommy Azeredo were dropping lobster traps in Boston Harbor on Wednesday when their boat’s motor got caught in a line. Joseph says after their boat’s motor was cut, the pair crashed into some rocks and started sinking, and at the time he couldn’t find his son Tommy. “I was thinking about my family, didn’t think I was going to see them again, I can hear my father screaming for me, it was terrifying man, it was very terrifying,” said Tommy Azeredo. The father and son floated in the water with the help of a cooler not far from Graves Light before they were rescued by Boston Police officers Stephen Merrick and Garrett Boyle. Video, >click to read< 09:10

A seismic shock – Dominion May End $10B Offshore Wind Project Over Performance Clause

The giant utility Dominion Energy has found itself in a disagreement with state regulators over a proposed performance guarantee for its $10 billion Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, one of the largest planned wind farms in the U.S. development pipeline. The clause is enough of a concern for Dominion that it has threatened to scuttle CVOW altogether and walk away, a seismic shock for the budding U.S. offshore wind industry. However, the Virginia State Corporation Commission, a regulator with a broad mandate governing insurance, railroads and utilities, has made a decision that may make CVOW untenable, according to Dominion. The SCC will allow Dominion to bill the cost of CVOW’s development to household ratepayers in the form of a miniscule rider fee, but only if its turbines perform at a 42 percent capacity factor or better in any three-year period. Any shortfalls would be Dominion’s to cover. >click to read< 07:32

Fishermen from urban areas and out of state hold big share of permits in world’s largest sockeye run.

In 1975, an Alaska state law, bitterly contested and extensively litigated, wrought a profound change in the Bristol Bay fishery. It capped the number of people who could fish there and vested them with permits that could be used each year or sold to the highest bidder. The state Legislature made the big change two years earlier in an era when many in the seafood industry were worried about oversized fleets chasing then-depressed stocks of salmon. This had far reaching consequences for local bay communities, where many permits once held by local residents have shifted through the decades to fishermen living in urban parts of Alaska or to Washington and other states. As of 2020, Alaskans hold 44% of the 1,862 drift gillnet fleet permits, and 64% of the 964 permits to fish from beaches with setnets. Photos, >click to read< 10:18

Efforts to remove sunken vessel near Victoria are difficult due to conditions

A small fishing vessel remains underwater two weeks after it sank off the coast of San Juan Island, Washington, and the U.S. Coast Guard says removal efforts are difficult due to strong water conditions. On Aug. 13, the Aleutian Isle sank near the U.S. Island — approximately 25.6 kilometers east of Victoria. Dumping an estimated 9,854  litres of diesel oil, sheen covered several kilometers of water and threatened marine life while sparking a joint response between U.S. and Canadian agencies. Video, >click to read< 09:06

Divers hope to wrap up work, raise sunken fishing vessel near San Juan Island soon – Two weeks after an oil spill began off the west side of San Juan Island, divers began work that will allow them to plug a sunken fishing vessel more than 200 feet below the surface. >click to read<

How the people of Hull saved a brutal murderer from the death penalty

On a fishing trip to the icy north Atlantic, an old feud between two crew members of a Hull trawler was simmering. Eventually James Carlill, 27, and William Harker, 38, clashed with tragic consequences. Six days later, the trawler arrived back at St Andrew’s Fish Dock, with Harker’s body on board. Carlill was charged with murder. But that was only the start of a remarkable story. The three-week fishing trip had been uneventful until terrible weather forced the trawler, the Queen Alexandra, to take refuge in an Icelandic fjord. The 12-man crew got bored as they sheltered from the storm and bought booze from the locals, including half a gallon of corn brandy and two bottles of whisky. >click to read< 07:55

Invasive Green Crab Detected in Alaska for the First Time

The green crab is an invasive marine species spreading throughout the coastal waters of the United States. Efforts between NOAA Fisheries and Metlakatla Indian Community have been leading the way on monitoring to detect this species’ presence in Alaskan waters. The green crab has been found in U.S. waters since the 1800s, but this is the first confirmed presence in Alaska. They are a threat to native species and habitats. They are highly competitive predators that can decimate shellfish populations, outcompete native crabs, and reduce eelgrass and salt marsh habitats. They are a serious threat for Alaska’s tidal habitats. >click to read< 11:47

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Delcambre man for alleged shrimping violations

Agents cited Jimmie Dupre Jr., 48, for failing to return serviceable trap to the water, trawling inside waters with oversized nets, taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license and vessel license. Agents were on patrol in West Cote Blanche Bay when they encountered a Dupre Jr. operating a shrimping vessel.  During an inspection, agents found that Dupre Jr. did not possess a commercial gear license or vessel license.  He was also in possession of two trawls that were over the legal size limit of 25 foot long and two serviceable crab traps on the deck of the vessel. Agents seized two shrimp trawls, two crab traps, one shrimping vessel on seizure order and 1,943 pounds of shrimp. >click to read< 10:45

FERC Staff Recommend Removal of Lower Klamath Dams in Final Environmental Document

After nearly two decades of painstaking negotiations and political turbulence, the largest river restoration project in American history is set to begin early next year. This morning, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff released the long-awaited Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for license surrender, decommissioning and removal of four dams – Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2, J.C. Boyle and Iron Gate – on the Lower Klamath River, a move that would restore over 400 miles of critical salmon spawning habitat in the Klamath Basin. The 1,242-page document contains FERC staff’s evaluation of the environmental, cultural and economic impacts associated with dam removal. In short, staff agree that dam removal is the best path forward. >click to read< 10:08

Father, Son Clinging to Cooler Rescued After Lobster Boat Sinks in Boston Harbor

A father and son held on for their lives by clinging to a cooler and lifebuoy while stranded off the coast of Boston Wednesday evening. Officers Stephen Merrick and Garret Boyle of the Boston Police Harbor Unit responded to the 911 call at 6:30 p.m. “We’re so weak, I can’t even move. Help him up, please,” the son said to the officers during the rescue, which was captured on video. “Seeing their faces, they were tired, they were scared,” Merrick noted. The stranded men stated to police that they were out catching lobsters when their engines died. Video, >click to read< 09:24

Poor Fraser River sockeye run spells end of the south coast salmon fleet

B.C. commercial fishermen are now forced to resign themselves to the reality that they will be shut out of the Fraser River sockeye fishery for the fourth year in a row, and for some that means the end of the road. “I think this is pretty much the end of the south coast salmon fleet,” said Dawn Webb, an organizer for the UFAWU-Unifor fisherman’s union. Earlier in the season, fairly strong returns of sockeye for the Skeena River, Barkley Sound and early Stuart Fraser River sockeye seemed to bode well for a healthy enough return to allow for a commercial opening this year. This is, after all, supposed to be a dominant year for Fraser River sockeye. >click to read< 07:34

Thomas L. Brower Sr. of Brick, N.J., has passed away

Thomas Lee Brower Sr., age 64, passed away on August 23, 2022. He was born on February 2, 1958 in Point Pleasant NJ and lived his whole life in Brick, NJ. He started his career as a mate on the party boat the Piper in Point Pleasant, NJ. He moved on to clamming boats till one day he bought the Viking Star in 1984 and started his own fishing business. He bought the Fishing Vessel Kristin which was so successful he was able to grow the business and owned the Jessica Lynn, Elvie B, Ida B, Jamie Elizabeth, and the McGinty. He was a member of the Point Pleasant Fisherman CoOp. Being out at sea was his joy in life. >click to read< 20:40

Energy companies reach $13 million deal to resolve criminal charges over OC oil spill

The company that operates an underwater oil pipeline that ruptured last year, spilling 25,000 gallons of crude into the ocean off Huntington Beach — forcing a closure of beaches and fisheries — has agreed to pay nearly $13 million to resolve a federal criminal indictment over the spill, prosecutors announced Friday. As part of the agreement, Amplify Energy Corp. and two of its subsidiaries will plead guilty to violating the federal Clean Water Act, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. >click to read< 19:40