Monthly Archives: September 2023

3 dead after boat sinks near Quebec’s Lower North Shore

Three people are dead after a fishing vessel capsized and sank just off La Tabatière, on Quebec’s Lower North Shore, Quebec provincial police say. Three others were taken to hospital in Corner Brook, N.L. The Canadian Coast Guard says the vessel was the F/V Silver Condor, from Blanc-Sablon, Que. A distress signal was received around 2:30 a.m. Monday morning. Six ships from the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Coast Guard took part in the search. The ship went down about 25 kilometres off shore, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. >>click to read<< 16:40

Longtime Fort Myers Beach shrimping operation dissolving after disputes between owners

As the Fort Myers Beach shrimping industry claws its way back after Ian, one of the last remaining companies on the historic waterfront is not returning, though the end of Trico Shrimp Company is not due to the hurricane. The demise of Trico Shrimp reduces the size of the historic “pink gold” fleet as two local families with several decades of business history part ways. The partnership splintered over how the shrimping operations were run, court records show. The directors of Trico Shrimp, incorporated in 1986, have been ensnared in legal action since 2021 when Dennis Henderson and wife Ranell Henderson filed for the dissolutions of various companies, including several shrimp boats, they own with wife-and-husband Christine and George Gala Jr. Video, photos, >>click to read<< 12:57

Hey Maine, happy National Lobster Day!

Monday, Sept. 25, is National Lobster Day thanks to a resolution introduced by Senators Susan Collins and Angus King that passed the Senate unanimously. National Lobster Day recognizes the cultural, economic and environmental importance of the species, which is a key part of Maine’s economy. In 2022, the lobster industry brought in over $388 million in Maine and Maine is the largest lobster-producing state in the nation. Collins and King have sponsored similar legislation in recognition of the day annually since 2015. >>click to read<< 09:48

P.E.I. company excited by new report promoting electric lobster boats

AKA Energy Systems is hoping to launch its own all-electric lobster boat within the next year, following up on its work with hybrid vessels. “We got our first hybrid boat out in the summer, so that’s something that we’ve been working on for a couple of years,” said Jason Aspin, AKA’s CEO. The Oceans North report said the key to jumpstarting the shift is for governments to set a “market signal” by setting clear targets for emission reductions, as has occurred in the motor vehicle sector.  The study calls for Ottawa to include commercial fisheries in its marine climate action plan and set the goal of having “at least 10 per cent of the lobster fleet, about 300 boats, powered by electricity or zero-emission fuels such as green hydrogen by 2030.” >>click to read<< 08:33

Century-old Devon fishing boat sets sail after restoration

A 108-year-old fishing boat restored over a decade has set sail once more in Devon. The Britannia was relaunched at Exeter Quay earlier after it was spotted “in a bad state” by its previous owners in Brixham Harbour in 2013. Vicki Samuels and her husband Sam formed a charity and have been restoring the boat with a team of volunteers ever since. Mrs Samuels said she was “really emotional” and had “a few tears”. Now returned to its former glory, the restoration has also been a learning experience for the young people who volunteered to help, Mrs Samuels said. Photos, >>click to read<< 18:52

FFAW asks for quota increases, full northern cod assessment following 2023 stewardship fishery closure

The FFAW-Unifor is calling on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to prioritize the province’s northern cod fishery. Jason Spingle, FFAW secretary-treasurer, said the catch rates for northern cod this year have been high despite the slow start, landing the entire quota in six weeks lasting only a few days into the fall season. “Our union requested a modest increase to this year’s quota that would be in line with the increasing stock, however, the minister at the time instead proceeded with a quota rollover,” said Spingle. “The result is a fishery where many harvesters only managed a handful of trips and when compounded with the employment insurance pressures this year. It’s truly a crisis situation for many people.” >>click to read<< 12:37

Sea change – Major study links pink salmon and ocean chaos

Pink salmon and the hatcheries helped boost their numbers to never-before-seen highs were Thursday singled out for disrupting the ecosystem of the North Pacific Ocean to the detriment of other species of salmon, seabirds, whales and more in a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Serices (MEPS). The study titled “From diatoms to killer whales: impacts of pink salmon on North Pacific ecosystems” concluded that “the evidence is consistent and strong that pink salmon can exert competitive dominance for common-pool prey resources shared by four forage fish species, all five species of Pacific salmon and steelhead trout, and 11 species of seabirds. “It further indicates that pink salmon can have a strong influence on ecosystem structure and function by, for example, initiating pelagic trophic cascades.”  >>click to read<< 10:20

Scottish Port Feels Force Of UK Fishing Storm

In Peterhead, a major port in northeast Scotland and Europe’s largest wholesale market for white fish, Brexit was supposed to offer “a sea of opportunity” for locals. Instead they have suffered a wave of complications and added financial costs in recent years, even before the impact of surging inflation. “Careful what you wish for, it hasn’t turned out as they promised,” Mark Addison says in front of his trawler, the Benarkle II, which is moored just behind Peterhead’s fish market. “It’s been the hardest three years,” he tells AFP. “Brexit followed by the (Ukraine) war was just a double whammy.” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent prices soaring worldwide, with the fishing industry hit hard by rocketing fuel prices and large cost increases for key equipment such as nets. Photos. >>click to read<< 08:34

Deadliest Catch star visits Pictou to promote technology combatting ghost fishing gear

Any fisherman understands that keeping the waters clean will help ensure a viable future for the industry. “If you want a future, you have to invest in that future,” said Capt. Sig Hansen from Discovery Channel’s The Deadliest Catch. “So why not try to keep our oceans clean? That’s our responsibility.” Hansen has partnered with Resqunit (pronounced “rescue unit”), lending his star power to an endeavor they hope will assist in helping to protect the environment in which fishermen and women ply their trade. The Resqunit is a lost gear retrieval unit that can be attached to a line of traps, in case a fisher loses a buoy because of storms, accidents or by other means. It includes a user-controlled timer release that is set by using on an app on your phone. If needed, the unit will deploy after a set length of time, rise to the surface and allow fishers to retrieve their traps. >>click to read<< 14:04

The afternoon during World War II when they made a ‘Beeline for Block Island’

Encounters with unexploded ordinance from World War II is not limited to Europe or decades after the conflict. The waters around Block Island in the spring of 1945 proved this latter point. While the war in Europe was winding down, three fishermen were killed off the southeastern shore of Block Island. These three fishermen were all over the age of 30, which of course resulted from the war taking any of the younger fishermen away to the far corners of the world. As result, a trawler out of Stonington accidentally bringing up an unexploded 550-pound bomb that rested on the ocean bottom some eight miles from Block Island, would not only take three lives but caused 11 children to be fatherless. World War II stands out in the history of human conflict for two main reasons. First, of course, is the unprecedented scale of the conflict, in terms of weapons used, nations involved, and lives lost. Second, and less understood, was the high percentage of civilians killed in the war. This would include the three Stonington fishermen. >>click to read<<  10:48

Son pays tribute to Scots fisherman who died after boat capsized

Tributes have been paid to a Scots fisherman who ‘died doing what he loved’ after his boat capsized in the North Sea. Sandy Alexander Snr has been named locally as the 69-year-old man who tragically died near Macduff, Aberdeenshire, around 12pm on Thursday. A major emergency response was launched after the vessel capsized but Sandy could not be saved and was sadly pronounced dead a short time after he was found in the water. His son Sandy Jnr said he died doing ‘what he loved’ as he paid tribute in an online post. He said: “I’m posting this in memory of first and foremost my dad, my skipper, my best pal. Photos, >>click to read<< 09:07

Blue Harvest bankruptcy leaves millions in unpaid debt to local businesses

For Blue Harvest and Bregal Partners — which is part of a fund with over $18 billion under management — the $50,000 or so owed to Bendiksen is a small fraction of the debts the company had racked up during its eight-year roll up of the New Bedford fishing industry. But for Bendiksen, he said the notice that he will not be paid spells a serious financial blow. And he’s not alone.  More than 1,000 independent contractors and companies will be left holding the bag as the private-equity backed fishing venture goes belly up, according to a list of creditors published in the bankruptcy filings. It includes many fishermen who had worked for Blue Harvest and countless small businesses on the New Bedford waterfront: welders, mechanics, supply stores and shipyards. >>click to read<< 11:20

Beaufort’s shrimping industry on the brink. Local boats sit while imported catch floods market

Thursday at Village Creek on St. Helena Island was another picture postcard-worthy morning with an American flag lilting in a slight southeast breeze near the shrimper Gracie Bell — idly tied to the dock. At Sea Eagle Market, a catch of shrimp swept up in the nets of trawlers in recent days are being processed by small group of dockside workers. They clean the valuable seafood crop harvested from waters as far away as North Carolina to the northeast coast of Florida before being sold locally and up and down the Palmetto State’s coast. After this recent harvest was completed, the boats returned, as they always do — to Village Creek, home base for shrimping on Fripp and Hunting Islands in Beaufort County and beyond. Against this serene backdrop, a storm is brewing that threatens destruction. It is not the threat of foul weather, these shrimpers have seen generations of bad weather days. The storm brewing is economic for the community of shrimpers and related businesses. >click to read< 10:10

Observer companies dumped from monitoring of N.S. lobster fishery

This season, DFO will rely solely on an inshore industry association to assess what other species are being accidentally captured — what’s known as bycatch — in the lobster fishery from Halifax through the Bay of Fundy. Observer companies Javitech Atlantic in Dartmouth and Halifax’s Atlantic Catch Data have been part of the bycatch monitoring program since it was launched in 2018 to assess and demonstrate sustainability in the fishery worth half a billion dollars. Both companies are out for now. In recent years, they have not delivered anywhere near the sampling provided by the Yarmouth-based Southwest Lobster Science Society, which was created by five fishing associations to provide bycatch monitoring. >>click to read<< 08:30

Deadliest Catch: Captain Keith Colburn’s Secret Culinary Background Explained

Most of the crab fishermen on Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” have deep roots in crabbing. Other fishermen seek out the industry on their own. In 1985, at the age of 22, Keith Colburn hopped on a plane from Lake Tahoe to Kodiak, Alaska to find work as a fisherman, despite having zero experience. A gig as a greenhorn on the Alaska Trader turned into a full-fledged career, and three years later, he became a deckhand on the F/V Wizard. Over 30 years later, he’s captaining the same ship.  Colburn may have been green when he started out, but he did have some experience with seafood — from a culinary standpoint, that is. Before he decamped to Alaska on a whim, Colburn had been working in a French restaurant since he was 14 years old. By age 21, he was already a sous chef and trained for the role of executive chef. He was prepared for a career in the kitchen until the siren song of crabbing called to him. Colburn’s culinary skills even helped him get the gig on the Alaska Trader. “For the first six weeks that I was in Alaska, I worked for room and board,”  >>click to read<< 20:57

Brixham fisherman can’t trade on quay

A Brixham fisherman has described his ‘David and Goliath’ battle to sell his catch on the quayside as post-covid law changes leave him high and dry, Tristan Northway, whose boat Adela is the smallest and oldest in the Brixham fleet, was able to bring fresh fish to the quay as byelaws were relaxed during the pandemic. But now the regulations are back into force and he is driving thousands of motorway miles to sell his catch instead of selling it locally. Mr Northway presented a 763-signature petition to the council at its full meeting, calling for a review of existing byelaws to allow him and other small-scale fishermen in Torbay harbours to sell their catch directly from their boats. >>click to read<< 17:21

Fuming fishermen say SNP and Green politicians are not telling the truth about Scotland’s bountiful seas

Fishermen in Shetland say that the extent of biodiversity loss in Scottish seas seas has been greatly exaggerated by Scottish Government ministers and others. To help “debunk myths and misleading claims about the industry”, the Shetland Fisherman’s Association (SFA) has published the latest of its ‘Fishy Falsehood’ papers. It points to clear evidence that marine species are continuing to thrive in Scottish seas. The SNP/Scottish Green executive has paused its hugely controversial Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) proposals, which would’ve banned fishing in 10 per cent of Scottish coastal waters. Green MSP Arianne Burgess summed up the motivation for the ban when she said: “In Scotland and across the world nature is in crisis, with many species facing extinction.” >>click to read<< 10:53

Fuel, diesel oil spills and bilge leaks continue to plague New Bedford Harbor

They are called “mystery” spills, and they can be caused by a fuel line dislodging, a bilge leak or a diesel spill like the one that occurred near the State Pier on New Year’s Eve. Andrew Jones, an environmental analyst in the Department of Environmental Protection’s Lakeville office, has been an emergency responder with the emergency response section for the last 24 years.  He said it’s called a “mystery” spill when there is no way of knowing its source or who caused it. He said it could have been an accident, a boat sinking, a land source or an elicit bilge discharge or another cause. Renewed efforts are underway to site a shoreside bilge water recovery facility, or pump-out facility, for New Bedford Harbor. >>click to read<< 09:02

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 52’x16′ Millennium Tuna, Twin C15 Cat Diesels

To review specifications, information, and 15 photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< 11:53

Fisherman statue will remain, Eureka mayor says in letter to PETA

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urged Eureka Mayor Kim Bergel to remove the iconic Fisherman Memorial statue from Woodley Island. Both PETA and Bergel shared letters addressing the issue. Here’s what the letters said. The following is a letter from PETA’s president to Eureka Mayor Kim Bergel: Dear Mayor Bergel: I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, including many who are lucky enough to live in California—with a fintastic suggestion. >>click to read<< 10:15

North Carolina: State’s shrimping industry needs Cooper’s support

As the state’s shrimping industry faces a perfect storm of challenges that may result in the demise of hundreds of family owned fishing businesses, it is time for Governor Cooper to show that he is as committed to the small entrepreneur as he is the large industrial investors that he continually promotes whenever a ribbon cutting opportunity arises. John Williams, executive director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance has sent a letter to eight coastal governors, including North Carolina’s, asking their support both financially and politically as the domestic shrimping industry faces unprecedented challenges to its existence. So far the alliance has not received a positive response. Describing the situation as “an unprecedented catastrophic crisis that threatens its (the domestic shrimping industry’s) very existence,” William’s letter notes that foreign imports along with high fuel prices are devastating “the many family-owned businesses that are the core of the economies of coastal communities.” >>click to read<< 08:36

PEI Supreme Court grants preservation order amid wife’s accusation of husband’s drug addiction

The PEI Supreme Court has granted a preservation order over a man’s fishing business after his wife raised concerns about his drug addictions and unpaid loan obligations. The dispute in M.B. v. D.B., 2023 PESC 39 involved the issue of whether to grant the wife’s request for a robust preservation order concerning the husband’s fishing operation, essentially giving control to the wife. The wife alleged that the husband has drug addictions. She was concerned with actions that have been taken and may be taken by the husband, resulting in potential depletion of assets and adverse impact on the wife’s credit rating and the family home. The wife raised concerns about thousands of dollars allegedly withdrawn from accounts, including over a relatively recent period. The wife was particularly alarmed that the husband recently failed to pay two substantial loan payments associated with the fishing operation. The wife claimed that the husband’s actions put the fishing operation’s entire existence at risk. >>click to read<< 17:29

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $82 Million For Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

Today, the Department of Commerce and NOAA announced next steps to conserve and recover endangered North Atlantic right whales with $82 million in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act — the largest climate and conservation investment in history. This announcement comes during Climate Week and is part of the $2.6 billion framework to invest in coastal resilience that NOAA announced earlier this year. North Atlantic right whales are approaching extinction with fewer than 350 individuals remaining, including fewer than 70 reproductively active females. Today’s funding provides an unprecedented opportunity to address the primary threats to the species — entanglements in fishing gear and vessel strikes — with new technologies and approaches. >>click to read<< 12:41

Donna resident aims to raise awareness of shrimping industry challenges

After hearing of the problems affecting the Valley shrimping industry, John Crose says he wants to do something about it. “We call it shrimp aid,” Crose said. “Like farm aid, but we call it a shrimp aid SOS, support our shrimpers.” Crose is a full-time Winter Texan living in Donna. Thousands more Winter Texans are expected to arrive to the Rio Grande Valley for the season. During the season, Crose said he’ll do his part to inform people that living in Donna, gulf shrimpers are facing high costs, issues getting workers, and stiff competition from imports. Video, >>click to read<< 10:31

Maine Lawmaker/Lobsterman and Sternman ‘lucky to be alive’ after a “giant rogue wave” from Lee flips lobster boat

What does a lobsterman do when faced with a wall of water bearing down on him, his boat and his crew? Billy Bob Faulkingham had just finished hauling traps near Turtle Island on Friday, Sept. 15, one day before Hurricane Lee was poised to hit the Maine coast, when his 40-foot lobster boat, 51, was flipped upside down by a huge wave that seemingly came out of nowhere. “We got hit by a massive rogue wave,” he told The American. “It rolled my 40-foot boat like a toy and landed her on top of us. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Faulkingham survived without harm, while his sternman Alex Polk suffered a broken arm and a gash on his head. His lobster boat currently rests at the bottom of the ocean. He estimated 51 was in about 50 feet of water when the 40-foot wave struck. “God was with us,” he said. >>click to read<< 17:21

Bay Area commercial fishers struggling under weight of recent catch restrictions

Bay Area commercial fishers say they are facing unprecedented financial hardships this year after dealing with a range of restrictions on several of their key catches.  “I’m struggling to pay my bills. I’m definitely going to be in the red this year,” said William “Captain Smitty” Smith, who has commercially fished and run charters out of Half Moon Bay since 1985. Smith says he has been hit hard by the State’s decision to cancel salmon season off the coast for the first time in 14 years. “My overall business for the year, is down 90 percent,” said Smith. “The salmon is one of the major mainstays of this whole harbor. If you look across, every boat is here, every boat is tied up. These guys have got mortgages to pay, got bills to pay,” said Smith. Video, >>click to read<< 10:15

RUBENSTEIN: The endless Maritime lobster war

Nova Scotia has a series of historic treaties with the Mi’kmaq dating back to the 1720s, 150 years before any of the numbered treaties in the rest of Canada. These agreements are known as the Peace and Friendship Treaties and were designed to reduce warfare and to regulate trade between the indigenous and settler populations. While these treaties contained few monetary and no land transfer provisions, they guaranteed hunting, fishing and land-use rights for the descendants of the indigenous signatories. These Peace and Friendship Treaties remain in effect today but were regularly but improperly denied or ignored by the Crown during much of Nova Scotia’s past. Today, those ignoring the treaties and court rulings stemming from them are the Mi’kmaq themselves. >>click to read<< 10:27

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 56′ Steel Stern Trawler

To review specifications, information, and 18 photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< – 11:55

Bore Head says Hello from our living room, which is more comfortable than a hospital room.

I’m grateful to the wonderful health care professionals, Doctors, Nurses, Nurses’ aides, and the hospital staff. for doing what they do. I’ve been poked, prodded, and there is still plenty more of that in in the upcoming days and weeks, I look forward to none of this, for myself, or for Carol, who is making sure I get where I need to be. Thank you, Darling. Thank you for everything you’ve ever done for me, Sweetheart. While in the hospital, some things stay on your mind and in my case, it’s you guys and gals, the dead whales, and offshore windfarms loss of your fishing grounds, over-regulation, the potential destruction of the lobster industry worldwide, were talked about to fresh batches of uninformed health care professional people as they changed shifts. Everyone, I believe, was amazingly astounded saying they hadn’t seen anything of it till we showed them some of the imagery being censored from their view. >>click to read<< 14:00

An unplanned event. A stroke.

May be an image of 1 personGood morning from BH and Carol. We are at the hospital where BH is being treated for a stroke. It’s very scary. His vision has become affected. We’re going to be working our way back. He feels like he’s letting a few people down. >Click to comment<. 12:07