Daily Archives: March 9, 2023

Human waste may end oyster harvesting on the May River. Can Bluffton clean it up?

Larry Toomer’s business depends on the May River. On a cold January morning, he stood on the boat ramp outside the Bluffton Oyster Co. with a paper cup of steaming gas station coffee in hand. A lifetime of wrestling shrimping nets has left him with a sturdy build. His rose-colored face is in stark contrast with his ghost-white hair. Behind him, dense clouds of powdery fog swallowed the river, giving his shrimp trawler the illusion of flight. The well-worn ship is easily two stories tall. “Daddy’s Girls” is painted in black-and-blue block lettering on the side. Named for his three daughters, the trawler has become the unofficial town seal. When a home is on a septic system, he said, everything that is flushed down the drain goes into a tank below the house. The solids are filtered out and held in the tank. The liquids go into a drain field below. “Do you understand what I’m saying?” Toomer said, elaborating on the path of human excrement. “Every day, right out the toilet.” >click to read< 15:41

ASMFC Public Hearing on American Lobster Draft Addendum XXVII

The Atlantic coastal states of Maine through New York have scheduled hearings to gather public input on Draft Addendum XXVII to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster, which considers measures to increase protection of the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank (GOM/GBK) spawning stock. Some hearings will be conducted in-person, and some hearings will be conducted via webinar. Additional details on participating in the webinars can be found later in this release. Massachusetts Virtual Hearing on March 15, 6PM The public hearing details are as follows: >Click to read< 12:17

A year after record-breaking catch, value of Maine lobster landings are lowest in a decade

Maine lobstermen hauled in the least valuable lobster catch in a decade last year, when a decrease in price per pound and higher operational costs gave them less incentive to get out on the water. The $389 million haul, a 47% drop from 2021’s record-shattering catch,,, The size of the haul, 98 million pounds, was nearly identical to the 10-year low hit in 2020, when lobstermen also scaled back operations, then because of the closure of traditional markets as a result of the pandemic. Kristan Porter, a lobsterman from Cutler and president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, laid the blame for the drop in price per pound squarely on the economy. >click to read< 11:06

“Retired” Commercial Fisherman Carroll Richard Johnson of Fortuna, has passed away

Carroll Richard Johnson passed away unexpectedly on January 27, 2023. Carroll, the oldest of three children, was born on August 17, 1953, to Shirley Irene Swall and Richard Leonard Johnson. Carroll grew up in Fortuna. At the age of nine, Carroll started working in the fishing industry, and spent summers and weekends fishing on his dad’s commercial boat. In 1973, at the age of 20, he married his high school sweetheart, Lynne Dorris, and together they bought their first fishing vessel, the Helen Marie. Later, they were partners with a friend in owning and operating the Ocean Fresh Fish market in Fortuna and had three daughters together. Carroll fished commercially for salmon, tuna, and crab with the Helen Marie, Lettie M, and Belle J II, and also trawled with the Clara G, High Sea, and Stormbringer. His most recent fishing vessel was the Rian Faith, which he fished while living his “retired” life. >click to read< 09:43

Union files petition in Ottawa to stop foreign ownership of fishing licences and quotas

The union representing commercial fishing industry workers has filed a petition with the House of Commons to put a formal end to further ownership or beneficial interest in Canadian licences and quotas by foreign interests. “If you’re a young entrant or been fishing for a long time and desire to become a owner-operator, you’re in direct competition from foreign interests,” said Orr. “In the socio-economic view on a broader scale, we’re already seeing the dismantlement of the infrastructure that supports the fishing industry on our coast. Fewer and fewer fish processing sites, fewer boat repair shops. >click to read< 08:56

Fed Official: Offshore Wind Will Adversely Impact North Atlantic Right Whale

Ahead of his March 16 hearing on offshore wind at the Wildwood Convention Center, Congressman Jeff Van Drew is challenging the federal government and offshore wind companies to prove they have nothing to hide when it comes to negatively impacting the environment. “Hearings are critical,” he said in a statement released last week condemning President Joe Biden’s administration for “its continual lack of transparency with the American people – this time about the correlation of offshore wind development and the death of endangered whales.” Van Drew’s latest comments follow the release of a May 13, 2022 missive from Sean Hayes, chief of protected species for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. In the letter to Brian Hooker, lead biologist for Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, Hayes laid out how offshore wind development in New England would negatively affect the North Atlantic right whale. >click to read< 08:04