Daily Archives: March 16, 2023

Good Indicators for Capelin Health, Despite DFO’s Doubling Down on Doom and Gloom

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Following DFO’s technical briefing on the 2J3KL capelin stock today, fish harvesters are optimistic that more favourable environmental conditions could lead to stock growth.  “FFAW-Unifor is not surprised with the tone of today’s technical briefing by DFO Science, which have been consistently negative, irrespective of the data,” says FFAW-Unifor President Greg Pretty. “DFO Science is supposed to be an unbiased, transparent, and evidence-based in their approach. But most of them don’t spend more than a day on the water each year. They don’t see or appreciate the qualitative observations professional fish harvesters provide, and how we can support more robust and reliable data collection for capelin and other species. Instead of contributing to a productive relationship and more informed stock assessments, we have government scientists whose sole objective is to shut commercial fisheries down, regardless of facts,” says Dennis Chaulk, fish harvester from Bonavista Bay with over 28 years of experience on the water. >click to read< 19:17

Positive signs in newest capelin stock assessment, but the tiny fish is still in the critical zone

“The capelin were in very good condition in the fall. That meant they’re longer and heavier than average. There’s lots of zooplankton, especially large zooplankton in the ecosystem,” said Hannah Murphy, a DFO research scientist and lead stock assessor. “We also had an increase in our larval abundance index this year, which is great. Larval survival is related to recruitment in capelin, so the more larvae we have and the more that survive, it’s better for the capelin stock.” Murphy said a full capelin acoustic survey happened over 2022, the first since 2019 due to the pandemic in 2020 and vessel availability in 2021. But the positivity ended there. This year, for the first time, the DFO has come up with a limit reference point for capelin. It’s set at 640 kilotons, the weight of fish in the water, and marks the boundary between the cautious and critical zones. >click to read< 17:32

Fishermen Fight Back: Herring Fishermen Petition U.S. Supreme Court to Reject Executive Power Grab

With the support of Cause of Action Institute and former Solicitor General Paul Clement, New Jersey fishermen are petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case about government overreach and potentially overrule Chevron. The Magnuson-Stevens Act gives the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discretionary authority to require monitors on commercial fishing boats. But when the agency ran out of money, it decided to shift the cost to fishermen themselves—without authorization from Congress. As a result of this unlawful mandate, most herring fishermen must effectively pay the salaries of monitors—estimated at over $700 per day—to ride their boats and watch them fish.  That’s more than some boat captains will make on the same trip. Video,  >click to read< 15:39

Last shrimp boat tossed ashore by Hurricane Ian on Fort Myers Beach back in the water

A crew from Resolve Marine works at Gulf Cove Trailer Park on San Carlos Island on Fort Myers Beach to get the shrimp boat, the F/V Rip Tide back in the water on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. It was the last shrimp boat tossed ashore by Hurricane Ian to get back in the water. Almost all of the shrimp boats in the Fort Myers Beach fleet were washed ashore by the category 4 hurricane. 27 boats were put back in the water by Resolve Marine. Six were damaged beyond repair. photos, >click to read<, Watch a time lapse video of the last shrimp boat tossed ashore by Hurricane Ian go in the water. >click to watch< 12:41

Whales win in federal fight over sablefish net permit

A federal judge has awarded summary judgment to environmental advocates over the National Marine Fisheries Service’s handling of endangered Pacific humpback whales that get tangled in fishing gear off the Pacific coast. U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled in favor of the Center for Biological Diversity, which sued the feds in 2022 over a permit that authorized the incidental taking of endangered humpback whales in a sablefish fishery without also putting plans into place to reduce the number of entanglements. The organization said the permit was unlawful because the service “did not first ensure that a take reduction plan for the whales had been developed or was being developed, as required.” >click to read< 11:05

Middletown Township Committee Demands Halt on Offshore Wind Energy Plans for NJ Coastline

The Middletown Township Committee unanimously passed a resolution that expresses support for a federal and/or state moratorium on offshore wind energy projects along the New Jersey coastline at the Monday, March 6 Township Committee Meeting. There are currently multiple wind turbine projects to construct offshore wind farms 10 to 20 miles off the New Jersey coastline in various stages of development. There are serious concerns with offshore wind energy, such as the recent increase in whale deaths, that have not been adequately addressed as these wind turbine projects continue to move through the planning stages. Wind farms could also have a negative impact on the commercial fishing industry’s vital offshore fishing grounds as well as New Jersey’s multi-billion tourism industry. >click to read< 10:27

Rathlin woman ditched her house and lives on a converted 80 year old trawler

Those in search of new homes are becoming more open to the concept of alternative living. Charlotte Bosanquet is an example of those who do just that, as she now lives on the water in her very own 80-year old trawler boat. It all began when Charlie visited Rathlin Island and was in immediate awe of the location. “There was no accommodation, so we looked at other ways of living and that’s when we found the boat. We put in an offer but didn’t expect for it to be accepted but in February 2016, we secured it. I was so excited for the first month I could hardly sleep. The boat is a 1932 wooden trawler, so it needed a lot of work done to it. It was leaking a little, the living space wasn’t so nice and it needed work. But the engine was in good shape”. Photos, >click to read< 09:25

Taking under 10 Metre Trawlers to a New Level

Built for North Deven fishing company S&J Trawlers, F/V Our Frankie Shan is the latest and most advanced in a series of under ten-metre trawlers that have come from the C Toms & Son yard. F/V Our Frankie Shan is an SC McAllister design by Ian Paton and draws on the success of previous trawlers built to the same pattern, starting with F/V Saxon Spirit, also built at C Toms in 2018m and followed by Claude Henry and Simon Paul – and with another soon to be completed 10m trawler under construction. This latest vessel is designed as a multi-purpose fishing vessel capable of alternating trawling with either doors or beam gear, and scalloping. with the deck laid out for a quick switchover between fishing methods. Photos, >click to read< 08:07