Daily Archives: March 2, 2023

Unfounded Environmentalist Dogma Overshadows DFO Mackerel Meeting

March 2, 2023 – JOHN’S, NL – Despite the mountains of evidence and years’ worth of work by inshore fish harvesters and the Union that represents them, the federal meeting to determine the fate of the Atlantic Mackerel Fishery in 2023 has left fish harvesters feeling frustrated and ignored.FFAW-Unifor is calling on Minister Murray to commit to fully investigating the possibility of mackerel spawning along the Northeast coast by conducting an egg survey and a robust sampling program. FFAW-Unifor is also calling on DFO to organize an urgent conference of mackerel harvesters and scientists from other North Atlantic countries to share information on shifting migratory patterns of this highly migratory species. >click to read< 17:23

Atlantic mackerel population continues to decline a year after fishery moratorium

The Atlantic mackerel population is continuing to decline after a decade of falling numbers, according to a federal assessment presented to industry and environmental groups in Halifax this week. According to the 2022 assessment, mackerel stock remains in the “critical zone” — where serious harm is occurring — and the average number of fish reaching spawning age is only 27 per cent of what it was between 1969 and 2011. “The amount of young fish entering your population has been rather low in the last couple of years. That’s concerning,” Elisabeth Van Beveren, a biologist with the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans, said. In Newfoundland and Labrador, seafood companies and fishermen have claimed for years that DFO has it all wrong because mackerel are plentiful around their coast. >click to read< 15:32

Fish tales come true on Ballard’s legendary wooden boat the Emancipator

It happened in the late summer of 1958 after a robust season for sockeye in Puget Sound. Of 400 local purse-seiners vying for salmon, the Emancipator, a sleek 65-foot wooden boat built in 1918 by the Skansie Bros. of Gig Harbor, had finished among the top 10 boats for gross stock. In 28 consecutive days, its nets had hauled in a respectable 25,000 fish. Joining a flotilla of competing boats near Point Roberts, the Emancipator initiated a set and then began pulling in its seines. What happened next was mind-boggling. Photo gallery, >click to read< 12:57

Panel discusses impact of offshore wind on West Coast fisheries

The Biden administration has called for deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy to combat climate change by 2030. Depending on where the turbines are placed, they could displace highly productive fishing grounds that account for billions of dollars and thousands of jobs in Oregon, Washington and California. Projects must be planned carefully using the best available science to mitigate potential damage, according to a panel of experts who spoke March 1 at the Northwest Offshore Wind Conference in downtown Portland. >click to read< 11:52

Rep. Golden calls on NOAA to provide more information on whale deaths

Representative Jared Golden is calling on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, to give full transparency on their findings from 18 recent whale strandings. He wants a deep dive into the causes of death, saying NOAA’s current release of data is surface level, leaving the public to wonder if it’s disease, vessel strikes or lobster gear killing the whales. In the letter written to the federal government, Golden says if lobster fishing is facing scrutiny for right whale entanglements, shouldn’t all potential causes be weighed? That includes offshore wind development. Video, >click to read< 11:15

The Fishing Revolution and the Origins of Capitalism

Fishing is older than humanity. Fishing for sale rather than consumption developed along with the emergence of class-divided urban societies about five thousand years ago. Getting fish to towns and cities where people could not catch it themselves required organized systems for catching, cleaning, preserving, transporting, and marketing. This was particularly true in the Roman Empire, where serving fresh fish at meals was a status symbol for the rich, and fish preserved by salting was an essential source of protein for soldiers and the urban poor. In addition to boats, an extensive shore-based infrastructure was needed to provide fish for millions of citizens and enslaved people: “elaborate concrete vats and other remains of ancient fish-processing plants have been found all along the coasts of Sicily, North Africa, Spain, and even Brittany on the North Atlantic. The first surviving account of fish depletion caused by overfishing was written in Rome, about 100 CE. >click to read< 10:29

Poor outlook for king salmon could shut down California’s sport and commercial seasons

This year’s official “forecast abundance” estimates that just 169,767 adult chinook salmon are waiting off shore to be caught — a substantial decrease from the 396,458 predicted last year and forecasts above 800,000 a decade ago. A nearly 2-month delay in the Dungeness crab season this year meant commercial crabbers missed the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays and then had a glut of fresh crab available when the market was weak, said veteran fisherman Dick Ogg, vice president of the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Marketing Association, which represents the local commercial fleet. Though Ogg participates in a variety of fisheries, many locals only do salmon, crab or both. “For the guys that only have salmon as a potential income, it’s going to be devastating,” he said, “and for the guys who have salmon and crab, and who have had a minimal crab season, it’s going to be devastating.” >click to read< 09:05

Another dead whale seen floating off Jersey Shore, this time in Seaside Park

Another dead humpback whale — the ninth dead whale to be reported or come ashore in New Jersey since Dec. 1 — was seen Wednesday afternoon floating about a half-mile off of the shoreline near the L Street beach. The whale was reported to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center of Brigantine and then to federal authorities at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said NOAA spokeswoman Allison Ferreira. Wednesday’s stranding is at least the 18th sighting or beaching of a dead whale or dolphin in the New Jersey-New York region since the beginning of December. >click to read< 08:09