Daily Archives: March 30, 2023

Gloucester eyes higher commercial slip fees but a bad ad postpones the vote

A plan by the nation’s oldest seaport to double what it charges for commercial slip fees has hit a bump. The City Council will have another go to consider the proposed slip fee hike and other changes to Gloucester’s Waterways Administration ordinance ,, The raft of proposals includes increasing the monthly fee from $4 per foot to an $8 a foot for commercial slips at the city-owned St. Peter’s and Harbor Cove (I-4, C-2) marinas. The lack of publicity about the possible changes cropped up when Concord Street resident and I-4, C-2 tenant Arthur “Sookie” Sawyer said he had just found out about the changes that evening. “To increase the rent over 100% on no notice to the tenant is kind of a hard pill to swallow,” Sawyer said. >click to read< 18:43

Dem senators from 4 states ask NOAA to address whale deaths

Democratic U.S. Senators from four states want federal environmental officials to address a spate of whale deaths on both coasts, urging “transparency and timeliness” in releasing information about whale deaths and their causes. The call late Tuesday by New Jersey Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker; Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse for action by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marked the first large-scale request for action by Democratic federal lawmakers on an issue that has rapidly become politicized. Thus far, mostly Republican lawmakers have called for a pause or an outright halt to offshore wind farm preparation work, which they blame for the deaths of whales along the U.S. East Coast since December. But in their letter to a NOAA administrator, the Democratic senators conspicuously did not blame — or even mention — offshore wind as a potential cause of the deaths. >click to read< 16:52

SSE’s choice of guard boats ‘a kick in the teeth’ for local fishing crews

A local fishing body has questioned the “community spirit” of SSE (Renewables) after guard work was handed to two vessels “masquerading” as local fishing boats. Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) said SSE’s decision to award the contracts to Genesis and Dauntless – who were both recently registered in Lerwick – “flies in the face” of the companies promises to co-exist at sea with local crews. The Genesis and Dauntless were previously registered in Banff, and are currently guarding interconnector cable work.  “Now, we see SSE handing off this work to boats that no longer fish, have never been based in Shetland, employ no Shetland crew and have no Shetland ownership.  >click to read<  14:07

Alaska officials prepare for possible commercial fishing expansion into Arctic waters

Bans on commercial fishing in U.S. and international Arctic waters have been lauded as admirable preemptive actions that protect vulnerable resources before they are damaged by exploitation. But now the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is preparing for a time when the 14-year-old moratorium on commercial fishing in federal Arctic waters is lifted.  The department is seeking $1 million in state general funds and another $2 million in federal funds to work on research to better understand those Arctic waters in the event that  commercial fisheries are conducted there, Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang said on Wednesday. >click to read< 12:42

$9.6 million to get all 36 shrimp boats back in the water in less than 6 months from Hurricane Ian

All the captains we spoke with after Hurricane Ian thought this whole process of getting the boats back into the water would take possibly years but it took less than 6 months and that’s because of all of the extensive hard work day in and day out to try to get our shrimping industry back. This comes as The Florida Division of Emergency Management says they’ve been able to refloat the 36 shrimping boats and it cost $9.6 million dollars to get done. Some boats are already back out shrimping while others according to a few of the shrimp boat managers had to be taken to other states because of the lack of docks in the area that Hurricane Ian tore apart. Video, >click to read< 10:37

Witness Drives Home Marine Vessel Safety Concerns as Offshore Wind Growth Questioned

“Radar interference is a major safety problem for our vessels,” said Megan Lapp, the fisheries liaison for a Rhode Island-based seafood company who has spent close to a decade studying the impact of offshore wind farms on the commercial fishing industry. “Marine navigation without reliable radar is a life-threatening situation.” Lapp’s comments came during the first congressional hearing on the industrialization of the ocean earlier this month. She was one of six witnesses to testify before House of Representatives members Jeff Van Drew and Chris Smith of New Jersey, Andy Harris of Maryland and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania on March 16 in Wildwood. >click to read< 09:01

‘Potentially lethal’: Crown wants $2.95M in fines for Richmond ammonia release

A Richmond-based fishing company should pay $2.95 million in fines related to the handling and discharge of ammonia in 2017, a Vancouver provincial court judge heard March 29. Judge Ellen Gordon heard the ammonia was taken from the Viking Enterprise trawler, stored on the Reagle wharf and then transported to the company operations near Jacombs Road and Cambie Road. “This was a horrific incident, a very dangerous incident,” Gordon said. Multiple individual and corporate defendants pleaded guilty to three counts from an indictment of 10 that involved the transportation, storage and then venting of the potentially lethal substance into the air or runoff into a storm drain to a nearby slough. >click to read< 08:05