Daily Archives: March 23, 2023

Distressed Whale spotted near offshore wind survey vessel – Jim Lovgren

Monday morning, March 20th, Bill Lovgren, the owner and Captain of the 72′ foot trawler, F/V Holdfast, left the Fisherman’s Dock Co-op shortly after 9 am for an offshore trip targeting Black Sea Bass and Summer Flounder with his two crewmen, James Lovgren, and Paul Kuchinski. Between them they have over seventy-five years of fishing experience from the port. This particular trip was unusual because the vessels fishing offshore generally leave port sometimes during the night due to having a 60- mile distance to travel to get to the grounds by daylight. Bill had to delay his departure Sunday night due to concerns of an oil leak in his generator. First thing Monday morning with the assurance from his mechanic that it wasn’t a critical problem, they threw off the lines and headed offshore. >click to read< 19:20

TSB report on sinking that killed 6 says fishing boat needed stability test

The report released Wednesday says the F/V Chief William Saulis should have been tested for stability, given the fact that major changes had been made to the boat by its owners. They had added a heavy, A-frame structure for scallop dragging, a protective plate to the boat’s stern, and covers to close drainage holes. On Dec. 15, 2020, the modified vessel capsized in the Bay of Fundy during a gale as it returned to its home port in Digby, N.S. All six crew on board died. The independent agency says Transport Canada inspectors during a 2017 visit didn’t tell Yarmouth Sea Products Ltd. that the modifications to the boat were stability “risk factors,” which were defined in a federal safety bulletin and questionnaire. However, the board made clear in its report and during Wednesday’s news conference that it has long urged a stricter law on stability assessments and that Transport Canada hasn’t complied. >click to read< 14:23

French protesters throw live crabs at police during bloody clashes at fishing rally

Hundreds of angry fishermen gathered in Rennes, France, to protest worrying recommendations made by the country’s Council of State in relation to the costly carbonisation of the sector. Olivier Le Nézet, head of the country’s National Fisheries Committee, went on to say the treatment of the industry has evoked “aggressions”, with French fleets being decreased by more than a quarter in 20 years. The ill-feeling came to a head earlier this week when the highest administrative court, the Council of State, gave the government six months to close some fishing areas in the Atlantic. >click to read< 12:46

On Demand Gear – Cape Cod Lobstermen Would Rather Wait Than Switch

21-year-old North Atlantic right whale known as Porcia was observed in Cape Cod Bay on March 18. The whale was seen swimming with her 2023 calf by her side. That means Cape Cod lobstermen are on land, waiting out the whales. Elsewhere in Massachusetts waters, however, the NOAA is running an experiment that gives lobster fishermen exempted fishing permits to work in areas that are otherwise restricted. What they are testing is something called on-demand fishing gear. “I think it’s a Star Wars idea that will not work,” said Dana Pazolt, a Truro-based lobsterman who sets his traps on the bay side in the fall and on the ocean side in the spring and summer. Pazolt’s 800 lobster traps have 50 miles of rope. >click to read< 11:10

‘We’re not going to stop fighting’: Families of F/V Chief William Saulis crew to keep pushing for safety in fishing industry

Michelle Nickerson-Forbes had worried that the longer it took for the Transportation Safety Board to come out with its report about the December 2020 fatal sinking of the Chief William Saulis scallop vessel, that people would forget about the six-member crew whose lives were lost. Initially, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) had said the investigation and report would take up to 450 days. Instead, it took over two years. Lori Cogswell Phillips, a resident of Cambridge in the Annapolis Valley, is also never going to give up. She’s been fighting for answers on behalf of her son Aaron Cogswell and the rest of the Chief William Saulis crew for the past two-plus years. She says the TSB report – which took too long to come out – still leaves more questions unanswered than answered. Photos, >click to read< 09:51

Faulkingham Pitches $1,000,000 State Contribution to Lobster Legal Defense Fund

A public hearing will be held Thursday to discuss a bill aimed at providing financial support to the Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA), a group that represents Maine’s lobster industry. The bill, proposed by House Minority Leader Billy Bob Faulkingham (R-Winter Harbor), would provide the MLA with a one-time contribution of $1,000,000 to offset large expenses the organization has incurred in recent years as it fights against burdensome federal regulations. Faulkingham expressed his concern for the Maine lobster industry, which he says is “under attack” and facing potentially devastating regulations and lawsuits. >click to read< 08:57

Locals Upset Over Dredging Issues at the Inlet in West Ocean City

On Wednesday morning, a 75-foot commercial vessel ran aground on its approach to the commercial dock in West Ocean City. The captain and crew say if the channel was dredged properly, this would not have happened.  They also voiced their frustrations with the Army Corp of Engineers, and there is agreement locally that a more permanent solution is needed.  “Maryland keeps wanting to put a band-aid on this, how many band-aids are you going to put on it before you fix the problem?” questioned Mike Coppa. Coppa is the owner of the Fishing Vessel Instigator, the boat stuck in the channel. Video, photos, >click to read< 07:55