Daily Archives: March 28, 2023

Willapa Bay crabbers deliver record haul

More than 1.5 million pounds of Dungeness crab have been caught by commercial fishermen in the bay this year, far exceeding previous annual landings records over the past 25 years. Despite a two-month delay in the 2022-2023 season that eventually began Feb. 1, the current commercial Dungeness landings are about 1.54 million pounds as of Monday, March 27, a roughly 23% increase over the previous record of 1.19 million pounds caught during the entire 2010-2011 season. Pinched by inflated fuel and expenses and a low price from processors, commercial crab fishermen would rather put this current season behind them as they prepare for the next fishery. “It’s been above average,” said commercial fishermen Ross Kary. “But with the crab price it’s still not the best year I’ve had. With the price of everything, expenses are really high. We were lucky to not go bankrupt.” Photos, >click to read< 20:20

Hopes dashed for crab-pricing formula as union-producer talks end in failure

It started out six weeks ago as a rare show of unity between the fisheries union and seafood producers, but efforts to agree on a price formula for this year’s snow crab harvest have ended in failure. Jeff Loder, executive director of the Association of Seafood Producers, said in a press release issued Tuesday afternoon that the group couldn’t reach an agreement with the Fish, Food & Allied Workers union, which represents Newfoundland and Labrador’s inshore fishermen. “We negotiated in good faith with our best efforts to find a collaborative solution with the FFAW by defining a formula that works for both parties. Unfortunately, this was not possible,” says the release.  >click to read< 15:37

‘What we’re looking for is a fair shake’: Newfoundland inshore crab fishers resume pop-up protests around St. John’s

They didn’t get a clear answer from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on Monday, so inshore crab harvesters are holding “pop-up” protests again today, March 28, in St. John’s. Jason Sullivan and the 3L protestors say the crab stocks in the zone should be assessed as one biomass rather than as separate inshore and offshore stocks. That way, the protestors say, the inshore would be treated the same as the offshore fleets, using the same exploitation rate formulas if the crab stocks are growing.  >click to read<  14:52

Offshore Wind Farm Opponents to Rally in Trenton on Thursday

Protect Our Coast NJ, a coalition of groups opposed to offshore wind farms, will hold a rally Thursday at the Trenton State House Annex to demand that Gov. Phil Murphy stop the projects until the cause of a surge in whale deaths is determined. Keith Moore, of Defend Brigantine Beach, another coastal group, said wind farm opponents will deliver an online petition, signed by nearly 500,000 people, calling for the immediate halt of wind farm development. The rally is scheduled at 9 a.m. Numerous advocacy groups, some formed to address what they call the “transformative industrialization” of the ocean, have been speaking out against the construction of offshore wind energy farms. >click to read< 13:30

Norway ‘secure more out of fishing deal than Ireland’

Under the deal, Norwegian fishers can catch 224,000 metric tonnes of blue whiting in Irish waters this year, an increase of 110,000 metric tonnes on how much they were allowed to catch last year. In contrast, Irish fishermen and women are only allowed to catch 52,000 metric tonnes of blue whiting, up from the 28,000 tonnes they could catch last year. While unhappy with the lack of quota parity between the two countries, fishing representatives here say the deal has an upside to it. >click to read< 11:50

Halifax company pilots new technology to track lobster traps, locate and retrieve lost equipment

The company, Marine Thinking, has launched a pilot project that involves tagging the traps with high-tech devices. The tags send signals to specially designed consoles on fishing vessels that allow crews to monitor where their equipment is using their phones or other devices. The company is testing its equipment with three lobster fishers this season. One of them is 63-year-old Jamie Osborne, from Eastern Passage, N.S, who has fished lobster for 40 years. A big reason he’s interested in the technology is because of the financial hit he takes when he loses traps. >click to read< 10:27

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for 3/27/2023

Latent Commercial Fishing Licenses – Something that we keep hearing is only 40% of North Carolina commercial harvesters report landings while 60% never report landings. I heard it at the speckled trout scoping meetings, I hear it at Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) meetings, and I see it written in articles. While technically this is true, it does not address why these licenses do not report any landings. More, >click to read< 10:01

Boothbay Harbor lobster boat parade signals solidarity of Maine lobstermen

On a chilly but sunny March afternoon, on the deck of Brady’s Restaurant about a dozen Mainers, some holding beers, watched a parade of lobster boats travel through the opening of the Boothbay Harbor Footbridge and into the inner harbor, right up to Brady’s deck, horns blaring and people cheering. The lobster boats steamed toward Brady’s and in less than a span of 10 minutes, circled around and headed back through the Footbridge. The photos captured on that day show a scene that will never be reprised again. As of mid-March, Maine lobstermen are fighting back by suing the Monterey Bay Aquarium over the “red list” designation. Lots of photos, >click to read< 09:30

SEA-NL on 3L

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador demands DFO immediately unify inshore and offshore snow crab fishing areas off eastern Newfoundland into a single biomass, and explain to the entire inshore fleet why the department divided them in the first place. “DFO disrespects the entire inshore sector in fishing zone 3L by favouring bigger boats over smaller boats in the same fleet,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “DFO must reveal the science behinds its decision to divide the crab fishing zone in the first place,” added Cleary. “The absence of science or questionable science at best tells smaller boat owner-operators the department wants their enterprises eliminated.” >click to read the press release< 08:12