Monthly Archives: July 2023

Shipshape: Simplifying Boat Control and Improving Maneuverability

Before his vessel Hard Merchandise returned to the water for this year’s bluefin season, “Wicked Tuna” star Captain Dave Marciano of Angelica’s Fisheries fishing charters upgraded it with the AVENTICS Marex 3D joystick from Emerson. He had added a new bow thruster to gain better control of the bow of his boat when fighting fish. The new joystick offers an alternative steering solution that can be used instead of a traditional steering wheel, giving Marciano single-handed, highly precise steering control. From pursuing and reeling in bluefin to docking, it’s critical that a ship moves exactly as a captain intends. >click to read< 18:52

Boat recovery underway one week after B.C. man presumed drowned

Travis Van Hill’s family has been waiting for a full week now for the wreckage of his boat to be pulled from the lake. The commercial fishing boat captain went down with his vessel Monday, July 24 during a storm on Okanagan Lake. His body has yet to be located or resurface. Red tape and paperwork have prevented anyone from retrieving him or his boat, according to Travis’ family. “His body will be decomposed and won’t look like my handsome husband,” wife Kim Van Hill said. But today, Monday, July 31, appears to be the day that action may finally take place. >click to read< 16:51

Mass DMF’s On-Demand Fishing Gear Economic Modeling Report Released

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has completed the second phase of a two-year project, funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to develop the first-of-its-kind evaluation of the operational costs of on-demand fishing gear technology by Massachusetts lobster fishermen. On-demand fishing gear, commonly known as ropeless fishing gear, replaces traditional vertical buoy lines, which can result in entanglements with marine mammals including North Atlantic right whales, with new gear retrieval and marking methods. Most on-demand fishing gear systems consist of submerged buoyancy devices that are activated using time-release mechanisms or acoustic signals transmitted from the surface. Click the links inside for the report. >click to read< 15:47

Search continues for missing 18-year-old Maine lobsterman Tylar Michaud

The search for a missing 18-year-old lobsterman entered its 10th day on Monday. Though rescuers have found no signs of Tylar Michaud, and the U.S. Coast Guard withdrew from the operation, the Maine Marine Patrol will continue to look for the missing lobsterman in the coming weeks. Michaud of Steuben was reported missing on July 21 after he failed to return from a day of hauling and setting lobster traps. Those who saw the boat and have years of experience working on the water say evidence on board points to Michaud having been dragged overboard with his gear. >click to read< 13:21

Orsted hit with lawsuit over ‘$1bn unconstitutional giveaway’ for giant US offshore wind farm

Orsted’s gigascale Ocean Wind 1 offshore wind project is under threat from a lawsuit filed by opponents in the US state of New Jersey who claim the proposal has benefited from an “unconstitutional $1bn giveaway”. Legal counsel for opposition groups Protect Our Coast NJ and Defend Brigantine Beach said they filed the suit in the state’s Superior Court last week. Orsted’s gigascale Ocean Wind 1 offshore wind project is under threat from a lawsuit filed by opponents in the US state of New Jersey who claim the proposal has benefited from an “unconstitutional $1bn giveaway”. >click to read< 11:21

Fisherman winched off trawler 25 miles off St Ann’s Head

The call was made to Angle Lifeboat just before 1pm on Thursday that a crew member had lost his finger on board a 38-metre beam trawler. The St Athans Coastguard Rescue helicopter was also tasked to assist with the fisherman’s recovery. “We reached the fishing vessel within around an hour of the call and transferred two of our crew members, who are casualty care-trained, on board to assess the situation,” said a spokesperson for Angle lifeboat. The casualty was transferred onto the lifeboat but following the helicopter’s arrival, it was decided to lower the winchman down to the lifeboat to assess and further treat the casualty. “Once the the paramedic winchman was on deck, it was decided to winch the casualty into the helicopter so that he could be flown to hospital for further care,” added the crew member. >click to read< 10:19

New Peterhead festival to champion north-east seafood

Europe’s top white-fish port will provide the backdrop for a new north-east food and drink festival this autumn. SeaFest Peterhead has been organised to champion the area’s valuable seafood sector. Organisers are already hailing the new addition to the Blue Toon’s social calendar as a “must see”. It is due to take place at the harbour on Saturday September 9 from 11am to 4pm. Billed as a “fin-tastic” extravaganza to “shell-ebrate” the bounty of the sea, it will showcase the rich fishing heritage of Peterhead and the wider north-east region. >click to read< 09:15

Leeman: Maine must hit pause on offshore wind turbines

You wouldn’t buy a house without an inspection, so why would we fill the Gulf of Maine with wind turbine superstructures without understanding how they interact with the marine environment? Offshore wind energy features too many unknowns to proceed at this point with widescale ocean industrialization. That’s why my organization, the New England Fishermen’s Stewardship Association (NEFSA) has joined with partner organizations to call on state and federal authorities to reset our renewable energy policy. The state of Maine is developing a floating offshore wind research array at a 15-square-mile site in the Gulf of Maine. >click to read< 08:17

Trawlers concerned about impacts of ocean wind farms as marine park management plan drafted

A group representing fishermen in south-east Australia says it will be forced to stop cooperating with offshore wind projects in Bass Strait if shark fishing is further restricted in marine parks. The South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association, which represents fishermen and sellers in South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, and New South Wales, said it was concerned about a ban on the practice. It comes as a new South-east Marine Parks Network Management Plan is drafted. “Our concern is shark fishing with hooks and gill nets and that that will be stopped in some of these marine parks,” trawl fishing association chief executive Simon Boag said. He said fishers could lose 4,000 square kilometres of shark fishing grounds in Gippsland because of wind farms. >click to read< 18:35

Big ripples – The Pebble Mine saga continues

In a move sure to anger Lower 48 environmentalists and much of Alaska, Gov. Mike Dunleavy has decided to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its blocking of a proposed Pebble Mine in the Iliamna Lake drainage of Southwest Alaska. And though the lawsuit is sure to upset many Alaska, it might be the last, best chance the state will ever get to secure the rights to self-government that Alaskans thought were granted at statehood in 1959. A variety of Alaska legal experts, both left and right, this week agreed the state’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is a crapshoot. One called it a classic “hail Mary.” Lots of links,>click to read< 13:01

The Lobsta Run: United chemistry teacher runs lobster transport business

Matt Grata will soon head out on another one of his “lobsta runs” from his Vinco home to Maine’s ocean coast. It will be a combination of business and pleasure for the entrepreneur. He makes the trip a few times every year, hauling back fresh, live lobsters in a refrigerated truck to fulfill pre-orders placed through his company, The Lobsta Run, which is a play on a New England accent. “I’m going to pat myself of the back a little bit,” Grata said during a recent interview at his house. “I’m a teacher by nature. That’s what I do. That’s my profession. I think most people want to learn stuff that they don’t know. Most people don’t like to not know stuff, no matter what it is. And if it’s something that they’re interested in, like their fresh, live lobster, they ask me a thousand questions. They want to know. “The word ‘neat’ I hear that a lot. ‘This is so neat.’ ‘This is so cool.’ Photos, >click to read< 11:09

Gloucester, Massachusetts to celebrate fishing heritage all month

The fishing community always comes together in times of trouble and disaster, but local leaders believe it is time for the community to come together to celebrate the city’s fishing heritage on the occasion of Gloucester’s 400+ anniversary year. In that spirit, August will be proclaimed the Gloucester Fisheries Heritage Month with a public kick-off event this Tuesday, Aug. 1, at 6 p.m. at the Man at the Wheel Statue on Stacy Boulevard along the Inner Harbor. The public is invited to be in attendance along with Mayor Greg Verga, leaders in the fishing community, Gloucester 400+ tri-chairs, and members of the Marine and Waterways Committee. A special commemoration will be presented to senior members of the local fishing fleet. >click to read< 09:52

Local seafood restaurant ‘heartbroken’ after hooded figure caught destroying vital boat

A popular local seafood restaurant has been left heartbroken after their shellfish supplier’s boat was destroyed. On Friday, July 28, a hooded figure was caught on CCTV damaging a boat at Methil Dockyears that supplies lobster and shellfish to North Queensferry’s Wee Restaurant. The popular seafood eatery has said they are ‘beyond rage and despair’ after they heard the news that the boat, Tina Louise, was damaged and sunk at around 7am. The owners of the Tina Louise said: “In the early hours of Friday morning, this man climbed over the security fence at the Methil Boat Club, wearing a mask and with a battery-powered drill in hand. >click to read< 08:53

Maine fishermen gather in opposition to the push for offshore wind development

The New England Fisherman’s Stewardship Association held a ‘Save Our Fisheries’ Fundraiser to show their disapproval of the bill and project. Over fifty local businesses and stakeholders were in attendance, along with a lobster boat parade to show solidarity on the water.  “There’s not a man or woman fisherman on the coast that agrees that offshore wind development is a good idea,” NEFSA Founder Jerry Leeman said. But not everyone is opposed. Backing the bill is the President of the Maine Building and Construction Trades Council, Jason Shedlock. Video, >click to read<  07:55

Well known commercial fisherman Richard Alan Burns of Eureka, California, has passed away

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of Richard Alan Burns (67) on June 6, 2023. He passed away peacefully, just as he wished, while watching TV and resting in bed at his daughter’s home in El Centro. Alan was born in Eureka on December 11, 1955 to Richard and Carmen Burns. Graduating from high school, he decided to join the forestry service as a firefighter. However, as much as he enjoyed his time on the road, he returned to Eureka with the passing of his mother. For the next 30 years he worked as a commercial fisherman on various boats in Eureka and Coos Bay. For many of those years he worked beside his two brothers Kenny and David. Among his peers, he was affectionately known as “Big Al”. He will forever live on in the hearts of the fishing community as a delightful jester who’s quick wit and hilarious commentary brought laughter among the crew. >click to read< 17:05

Sipekne’katik First Nation sues federal government for seizing lobster traps

The Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia is suing the federal government over treaty right infringement after officers with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans seized lobster traps belonging to its band members. Sipenkne’katik alleges that DFO fishery officers hauled lobster traps belonging to two of its band members from waters in St. Mary’s Bay near Saulnierville, N.S. July 18-19. In a statement of claim that was filed at Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on July 24, Sipekne’katik states that its members have a treaty right to fish for a moderate livelihood which “means they have a right to sell the lobster they catch.” >click to read< 11:34

Fish plentiful, but fishermen scarce for Southeast Alaska’s first summer king opening

The numbers are in for the first opening in the summer troll fishery for king salmon in Southeast Alaska. The 12-day season saw more chinook landed than expected, despite fewer boats being on the water. Southeast trollers brought in about 85,000 king salmon from July 1 to July 12, around 8,000 fish over the target for the first opener of the season. At first, it might look like enthusiasm played a role, as it was only on June 21 that the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay that allowed the fishery to occur at all. But that was not the case. Grant Hagerman manages the troll fishery for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He says even fewer trollers participated this summer than in 2022. >click to read< 10:37

Offshore wind foes sue New Jersey and Danish turbine developer over tax break

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by two residents’ groups that are opposed to offshore wind projects and three electricity customers from Ocean City who seek to overturn the law. They say it gives Orsted about $1 billion in tax relief for one of the two windmill projects it plans to build off the state’s southern coast. The state Legislature passed a bill allowing Orsted to keep federal tax credits that it was obligated to pass along to ratepayers. In applying for permission to build the project, called Ocean Wind I, Orsted had promised to return such credits to customers. Bruce Afran, a lawyer representing two groups who brought the lawsuit – Protect Our Coast NJ and Defend Brigantine Beach – said the state is not permitted to enact laws that benefit only one party. >click to read< 09:55

Harpswell Lobster Boat Races will pay tribute to young lobsterman who died in crash

The 31st annual Harpswell Lobster Boat Races hold special meaning this year as residents honor Mason Warren, a local lobsterman who died in a car crash at age 21 last October, by featuring his buoy colors on apparel that will be sold for charity on July 30. “Mason was like any young fisherman. He played hard but worked harder,” said Mary Coombs, a race volunteer. Coombs said Warren was a devoted friend, brother, son and lobsterman who volunteered with his family at the races over the years. This year’s races are set against the backdrop of the ongoing search for another young lobsterman, Tylar Michaud, 18, of Steuben, has been missing at sea for seven days. >click to read< 09:06

‘King’s Of Their Own Ocean’: A fish tale featuring a tuna named Amelia tells the urgent story of the future of our seas

Starting in the mid-1930s, as a craze for saltwater fishing swept across sporting communities in Canada and the U.S., thousands of tourists flocked to remote Wedgeport, Nova Scotia with the dream of landing a giant Atlantic bluefin tuna on rod and reel. Drawn by the Acadian town’s annual International Tuna Tournament — which started in 1937 and was put on hiatus for the Second World War, those anglers included Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, and Amelia Earhart, who dreamed of, as Ernest Hemingway wrote, entering “unabashed into the presence of the very elder gods. In 1946, the year Wedgeport’s tuna tournament resumed after the war, Margaret Perry, a 41‑year‑old, curly‑haired widow, arrived in Wedgeport lugging a suitcase‑sized 16 mm film camera and her heavy, awkward tripod. >ckick to read< 98:08

Maine’s First Lobster Festival Was A Total Financial Disaster

The story of the first Maine Lobster Festival is that it was first held on August 16, 1947. Though only lasting a single day, it attracted attendees by promising all the lobster you can eat for a very reasonable price: $1. Reasonable, however, is a relative term. What seems reasonable to the consumer may be a bad decision business-wise. That’s exactly what ended up being the case for what was initially called the Camden-Rockport Lobster Festival. Even in the economic landscape of 1947, this entrance fee to the Lobster Fest was an insane deal. And the lobster provided to attendees was no scant amount. The event featured a parade in which whole lobster crates were literally given away to those who had paid the dollar entry fee. Considering that the festival intended to boost the lobster industry economically, this was a real problem. >click to read< 19:50

70 years and counting: Stonington Blessing of the Fleet returns this weekend

Born in the Azores, an island in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal, Manuel Raymond Rezendes’ grandfather and father came to the U.S. more than a century ago. Members of his family have worked in the fishing industry ever since. A third-generation fisherman, Rezendes said it is difficult to attract younger workers. It is a taxing career with early mornings and long trips, hard labor and extreme danger at times. He’s been struck in the chest with ropes, knocked overboard and has lived to tell the tale. Others, including his grandfather, Manuel “Fayal” Perry Rezendes, have not been so fortunate. “Fishing has been part of our family since as long as I can remember, and it is important to honor the traditions and sacrifices that came with that,” said Rezendes, who will serve as the grand marshal for the 70th annual Blessing of the Fleet this weekend. >click to read< 17:20

Fisheries’ union president blasts N.L.’s oil regulator over encroachment on crab harvesters’ turf

At this moment, ExxonMobil’s Hercules rig is drilling about 350 kilometres east of St. John’s, in the Jeanne D’Arc Basin, as part of its oil exploration program but it has pushed crab harvesters out of an area where their catch is abundant, and the union is calling foul. It could be a sign of future friction, warns Fish, Food & Allied Workers-Unifor president Greg Pretty, who is blasting the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board over what he calls a lack of communication and a disregard for the fishing industry. “We were actually shocked to find out that that rig, the Hercules — the drill rig — was actually on one of the most productive crab grounds in that area,” Pretty said Thursday. >click to read< 15:56

NOAA Fisheries Announces Common Pool Area Closure for Gulf of Maine Cod

Effective at 4:15 pm on July 27, 2023 – Statistical areas 513 and 514 are closed for the remainder of Trimester 1, through August 31, 2023. This closure applies to all common pool vessels fishing on a groundfish trip with trawl, sink gillnet, or longline/hook gear, including handgear vessels. The closure is required because 90 percent of the Trimester 1 Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod has been caught. This area will reopen at the beginning of Trimester 2, at 0001 hours, September 1, 2023. >click to read< 12:58

Alaskan Fishing Boat Captain/Pro Skier…McKenna Peterson Is One Badass Woman

Meet McKenna Peterson, Alaskan fishing boat captain and professional skier. Captain McKenna spends her summers at the helm of her family’s fishing boat catching Alaska salmon with her siblings and winters shredding lines that she scopes while she fills up the live wells. Certified badass. >click to watch<  11:52

Lobster industry says regulations to save right whales will push them out of business

Lobsters support about 15,000 jobs and contribute more than a billion dollars to the Maine economy. And yet the industry sees itself in an existential battle, pitted against a rare species fighting its own existential battle. North Atlantic right whales, critically endangered, fewer than 350 individuals remain. And they are dying at a devastating rate. Janet Coit, Assistant Administrator of Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: If we don’t stabilize and begin the recovery, they will be gone within a couple of decades. They will be extinct. They will be wiped off this Earth. And we want to do everything we can to prevent that from happening. >video< 10:30

Frustration grows as captain still missing, boat still submerged in Okanagan Lake

It’s been more than three days and there is still no sign of Travis Van Hill, whose shrimp boat capsized on Okanagan Lake during a storm Monday night, July 24. The boat captain’s wife, Kim Van Hill, is frustrated by the amount of red tape around rescuing her husband’s remains from the boat, the tip of which can be seen poking above the waters of Okanagan Lake near Ellison Provincial Park.“A dive team from Vancouver, the dive lead, said he’s never been in this type of rescue and he’s been doing it for 16 years,” she said of the process which has taken too long to recover Travis’ body. It is presumed that Travis is trapped in the boat, and Kim explained that WorkSafeBC needs to sign off on the recovery before the RCMP dive team can retrieve Travis from the boat. >click to read< 09:56

Joe Biden’s mission to Maine

Joe Biden travels to Maine tomorrow (today), the first time he’s made it to the state during his presidency. The trip is part of the president’s Bidenomics tour, a sales pitch designed to lay out the economic case for a second term and underscore domestic manufacturing gains. Aside from the presidential implications, there’s another reason Biden’s visit to Auburn is worth watching. The 2nd District is one of just five across the nation that voted for both Trump and a Democratic member of Congress — Rep. Jared Golden. Golden has been a thorn in the side of the administration, criticizing Biden over debt ceiling negotiations and ripping the White House for “hypocrisy” over its treatment of Maine’s lobster industry. He’s the only House Democrat who voted against Biden’s Build Back Better spending bill. More recently, he was one of only two House Democrats to break with the White House over the student loan debt cancellation plan. >click to read< 09:02

Offshore Wind has a Cost Crisis

The horrific term “cost crisis” is not from me. It comes down from on high, in this case the mega-conference: US Offshore Wind 2023. But now they have a cost crisis. Could the bust be at hand? The evidence is piling up. So there are three converging factors. Higher material and equipment costs, higher interest rates and political resistance. For example it has not gone unnoticed that the House Republicans are trying to roll back the lush subsidies granted under the amusingly named Inflation Reduction Act. Local resistance is growing as well. The biggest developer offshore America is Ørsted and they are now suing New Jersey’s Cape May County and Atlantic City for withholding local permits needed to bring a big project’s power ashore. Anti-offshore wind demonstrations are becoming a common occurrence in coastal towns. >click to read< 08:02

‘Whale ballet’: Video shows 3 humpbacks jump in unison

A New Hampshire man celebrating his birthday on the ocean with his three daughters captured video of something so rare that even marine scientists are jealous — three humpback whales leaping from the water in near perfect unison. “It was such an uplifting thing to see. Just incredible,” Robert Addie said. The Portsmouth man, now a home remodeler, spent decades on the water as a commercial fisherman in Massachusetts and Alaska. In that time, he said he’s seen thousands of whales But he never witnessed anything like Monday’s whale encounter on a tuna fishing trip off Cape Cod. Photo, video, >click to read<