Daily Archives: October 18, 2022

Alaskans question fishery management as snow crabs disappear

The state, which has long dominated U.S. seafood production, is reeling after the Alaska Department of Fish and Game last week canceled the winter snow crab season in the Bering Sea for the first time in history Oct. 12. The department said the population of the popular snow crabs had dropped by nearly 90 percent from 2018 to 2021, plunging from 8 billion to 1 billion. In both cases, NOAA Fisheries said the declines were likely the result of climate change,,, Crabbers, however, said they had been led astray by inaccurate data and poor management decisions. “It’s going to be really devastating to kind of make ends meet and go forward here with our business,” said Gabriel Prout, 32, who runs a family fishing vessel business in Kodiak, Alaska. Last year, PEER filed a complaint under the Information Quality Act, alleging that NOAA Fisheries had paved the way for a collapse “by engaging in sampling bias and data falsification” that inflated population estimates and led to years of overfishing. >click to read< 16:59

Letter: Right whale entanglements – the undocumented and unknown statistics

Although there hasn’t been a documented right whale in Maine lobstermen’s gear in recent years, most entanglements are undocumented and the gear’s origin is usually unknown. (For brevity, “whales” is in reference to right whales.) Canadian snow crab gear is a major threat, and the risk of vessel strikes is high, but that doesn’t absolve the lobster fishery. We typically don’t know how, when or where whales die, but we do know that the lobster fishery likely plays a critical role. Politicians and lobstermen repeatedly claim that “no right whale has gotten entangled in a Maine lobstermen’s gear for 18 years and there are no recorded cases of the gear leading to the death of a right whale.” This is very misleading. The whole letter is misleading. >click to read< 12:43

Great Sandy Marine Park fisheries could shut down and seafood prices increase

Commercial fishing is the only job Brett Fuchs has ever known, but the Hervey Bay fisher says plans to increase no-fish zones in the Great Sandy Marine Park will be enough to sink his business, as retailers predict seafood lovers will wear the cost of limited supplies. The Queensland government has proposed to expand the green zone by almost 9 per cent in the 6,000-square-kilometre marine park that stretches from Baffle Creek to Double Island Point. Commercial fishers would be forced to remove large gill nets and ring nets from the water. “There’s nothing left for us,” Mr Fuchs said.  >click to read< 11:12

Ottawa earmarks $100 million for lost fishing gear, repair to harbours – $300-million fund for Atlantic Canada not enough, fishermen say

The federal government says $100 million from its hurricane Fiona fund will be earmarked for the recovery of lost fishing gear and the repair to small-craft harbours across Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec. The federal Fisheries Department says in a news release the money will come from the $300 million Ottawa set aside for fishers, communities and companies affected by post-tropical storm Fiona, which made landfall on Sept. 24. >click to read< $300-million fund for Atlantic Canada not enough, fishermen say – Fishermen on P.E.I. say the federal government’s $300-million fund for Atlantic Canada is a good start to recover from post-tropical storm Fiona but falls far short of what is needed. It will cost millions just to fix the wharf at Covehead Harbour alone, said Allan Coady. >click to read< 09:26

Mass shellfish deaths off Whitby area coastline to be probed in Government’s new hearing – Middlesbrough Council ‘absolutely on board’

The Government’s Environment Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee is to probe the deaths of large numbers of crustaceans off the coast over the past year in a hearing at the House of Commons on Tuesday October 25. ERFA previously blamed algal bloom as the cause of the deaths, but an independent probe carried out recently pointed towards dredging and the chemical pyridine being the most likely cause, with some Whitby fishermen calling for the dredging of the Tees to halt. >click to read< Middlesbrough Council ‘absolutely on board’ with joint probe planned into crustacean deaths – Councillor Mick Saunders, chairman of Middlesbrough Council’s overview and scrutiny board, said: “Absolutely we are on board, I think there’s more to come out really, more than what the Government has been saying. Meanwhile, self-employed Hartlepool fisherman Stan Rennie, a member of the North East Fishing Collective (NEFC), has said fishermen are in a “desperate position” with half of the town’s shellfish fleet lost in the past year. >click to read< 08:30