Monthly Archives: October 2023

With little movement on salmon bycatch, Alaska advocates look to Biden administration for executive action

Amid catastrophic shortfalls in salmon harvests in some of Alaska’s rural, Indigenous communities, advocates have pleaded for a crackdown on unintentional catch of those same salmon by the trawl vessels that harvest billions of pounds of whitefish in the Bering Sea. But the politically appointed regional council that manages Bering Sea fisheries has largely resisted those requests. So instead, advocates are now taking another approach. They’re pushing the Biden administration for a workaround: a rewrite of the federal guidelines that tell the regional council, and its counterparts across the country, how to manage all the fisheries under their supervision. >>click to read<< 18:40

Biden approves largest offshore wind project in US history

Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project is located 23.5 nautical miles off Virginia Beach and marks the fifth such offshore wind plan under the Biden administration, which has come under fire from environmentalists for also greenlighting several new major fossil fuel leases. The approval comes on the heels of an announcement last month the administration would auction three new oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico, triggering a furious reaction from environmental groups who said the move would accelerate climate change. The approval comes on the heels of an announcement last month the administration would auction three new oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico, triggering a furious reaction from environmental groups who said the move would accelerate climate change. >>click to read<< 15:51

F/V Carol Ann: Girlfriend of missing Georgia fisherman announces pregnancy as private search efforts continue

Stevie Conway, the girlfriend to missing fisherman Caleb Wilkinson, has publicly announced that she’s four months pregnant as the search continues for Wilkinson, her brother Dalton Conway and their friend Tyler Barlow. The three men were reported missing off the coast of Brunswick on Oct. 21 when the owner of the boat they were on grew concerned after the vessel failed to return on time. With the Coast Guard search suspended, the families of the three men are using other resources to search. They started a GoFundMe last week to fund private pilots and planes to look for them and managed to get Rep. Steven Sainz to enlist the help of the Cajun Navy, a non-profit that organizes search and rescue teams during national disasters. >>click to read<< 13:52

A Small Fish and an Uncollected Fee Add Up to Big-Government Challenge at the Supreme Court

The case could undercut the power of federal regulators on major issues including air pollution and securities fraud. It also exemplifies the way many of the high court’s biggest fights are born these days — driven less by the practical aims of the litigants than by the ideological vision of the interest groups behind the suits. The fight concerns a federal requirement that some herring boats host government-approved observers aboard their vessels and cover an estimated $710 daily cost. The fisherman say that would be an onerous burden on their family-owned businesses — so onerous they are suing even though the fee is on hold and might never kick in. “We have not had to pay. We’re just nervous about this hanging over our head,” said Bill Bright in an interview in Cape May, New Jersey, where he runs his two-vessel fishing business. “So we feel that we need to solve this problem now.” Photos, >>click to read<< 11:14

Gulf Coast wins against ‘far-left activists’ in NOAA decision, Alabama officials say

U.S. Sens. Katie Britt and Tommy Tuberville applauded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration rejecting a petition to establish a mandatory 10-knot speed limit and other vessel-related mitigation measures in the Gulf of Mexico.“I was glad to see the NOAA come to their senses and reject this part of the Biden Administration’s overreaching regulatory agenda in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Tuberville (R-Auburn), who has written two letters to administration officials on the issue. “Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go. Designating a Critical Habitat for the Rice’s whale throughout this expansive area would impose undue burdens and restrictions on all vessel traffic, especially in and out of the Port of Mobile.” >>click to read<< 10:09

US military will buy seafood from Japan to offset Chinese ban

The U.S. has reportedly begun buying Japanese seafood for its military stationed there to offset the impact of China’s ban on seafood, according to a new report from Reuters.  U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said there will be a long-term contract between the U.S. armed forces and the fisheries and co-ops in Japan. The seafood will be given to soldiers in messes and vessels and sold in shops and restaurants on military bases, Emanuel reportedly said, adding that the types of seafood will expand over time. The U.S. military had not purchased local seafood in Japan prior to the deal, according to Emanuel. >>click to read<< 08:55

‘The Perfect Storm’: A look back at the historic Halloween event that shook New England

It’s been 32 years since what we know as the “Perfect Storm” reached its peak intensity along the southern New England coast.  You may have heard of the classic film, “The Perfect Storm,” starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, which follows the journey of six crew members aboard the 72-foot commercial fishing boat, “Andrea Gail.” This storm continued to intensify as the two fronts merged. At one point, the large system shifted south, where it strengthened into a hurricane, but NOAA refrained from naming the storm so they wouldn’t confuse the public. Video, >>click to read<< 07:39

Wild-Caught Shrimp: South Carolina’s Long History

There’s something positively serene about watching shrimp boats trawling our coastal waters. Shrimping has been an important part of our culture in Beaufort and all of South Carolina since long before anyone can remember. In fact it’s been a labor of love for fishermen since before the Civil War and is still alive and kicking today with a thriving market served by dedicated commercial fishermen in the Palmetto State. Shrimp are America’s most valuable and most popular seafood, according to the NOAA Fisheries, and SCDNR tells us that South Carolina is home to three species of shrimp: brown shrimp, white shrimp, and pink shrimp. Brown and white shrimp are more common than pink shrimp, but all three taste the same. >>click to read<< 20:47

The NLGIDC are pleased with DFO’s revised assessment Model for Northern Cod

The Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council (NLGIDC) are pleased that The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has implemented a revised model for assessing the 2J3KL cod stock. This model now utilizes data back to 1954 and shows that the 2J3KL cod stock is out of the critical zone and into the cautious zone of the Precautionary Approach (PA) Framework. In fact, the new model indicates the stock has been in the cautious zone since 2016. Previously the model only used data back to 1983. “The NLGIDC and other groups have been seeking changes to the stock assessment model for a number of years,” says Jim Baird, the Chair of the NLGIDC. >>click to read the Press Release<<  14:51

Monster crab measuring over nine feet hauled up in fishing nets of Kerry trawler

A monster box crab measuring over nine feet has been hauled up in the fishing nets of a Kerry trawler. Normally found in the depths of the Porcupine Bank, the spider-like creature is thought to have gone off course when she wandered into the nets of the Kerry skipper, Niall Flannery, in recent days. Marine biologist, Dr Kevin Flannery, said the gigantic species is an extremely rare catch in Irish waters. “She’s huge. At first they thought it was a spider crab, they knew it was completely different from what they were targeting. They photographed it and sent it on to me. Photos, >>click to read<< 11:52

Federal bailout coming for failing offshore wind companies?

Team Biden is preparing a bailout package for the offshore wind industry that it already heavily subsidizes, a report said. The Biden Administration’s plan is to have offshore wind provide enough power to meet the annual demand of 10 million American homes by 2030, according to the White House. Writing in his “Energy Absurdity” Substack, David Blackmon, an energy analyst with over 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, said that lobbying is likely to soon begin for Team Biden to dip into taxpayer coffers to pony up more billions in funding for failing wind farms. “Everyone should prepare themselves to see an effort in Washington, D.C. to allocate billions more dollars to bail out Big Offshore Wind developers soon,” Blackmon wrote. >>click to read<< 10:55

County lawmakers request fishery resource disaster determination amidst nationwide shrimp disaster

On Sept. 18 the Pamlico County Commissioners adopted a resolution urging North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to consider submitting a request for a fishery resource disaster determination to the NC Secretary of Commerce. Craven County followed suit and adopted a similar resolution on October 2.  According to these resolutions, the global supply of farm-raised shrimp imports into the United States has reached record highs. This imported shrimp now dominates cold storages, distribution hubs, and the American market at a level that is devastating to US operators. This influx of imported shrimp into the American market has caused significant revenue loss, and loss of access to the shrimp fisheries themselves, for small family-owned supporting businesses, and other supporting businesses. >>click to read<< 09:47

Scottish fishers hit back with new poll findings showing huge public support

An overwhelming majority of Scots believe fishing fleets should be safeguarded as seas become more crowded, with the emergence of offshore wind and renewables, according to a new survey. The poll of 1,000 adults by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) underscores strong public support for protecting the industry as it faces pressures from new marine users. The findings give the industry ample ammunition to fight back against attacks by a powerful environmental lobby armed with data it claims show fish stocks in decline. They also come just days after the SFF’s 50th anniversary dinner, at which Elspeth Macdonald, chief executive, told around 100 guests fishing deserved recognition for its low environmental impact. Announcing the poll results, Ms Macdonald said: “This survey proves conclusively that the people of Scotland firmly believe fishing should continue to be a priority as we balance the needs of different marine industries. Photos, >>click to read<< 07:50

In 42 photos, See how Dungeness crab is caught off Kodiak Island, Alaska

Captain Garrett Kavanaugh of the Fishing Vessel Insatiable stands for a portrait in front of his 58’ boat at the harbor in Kodiak, Alaska. As ocean temperatures rise, fishermen everywhere must adapt to harvesting different species. Garrett Kavanaugh, captain of the Fishing Vessel Insatiable out of the port of Kodiak Island, has invested large equipment, fuel, and labor, betting on Dungeness crabs as the future of his Alaskan fishing business. >>click to read<< 20:39

That ‘Gulf’ shrimp you ate probably wasn’t from the Gulf of Mexico

What if every imported seafood product for sale in Louisiana had a red sticker with the word “Imported” affixed to the front of its packaging? That question is one of several the state Seafood Safety Task Force is asking in an effort to address a struggling domestic fishery and increasing health risks from imported catch. The task force met Friday for just the second time in over a decade following a long dormant period that ended last month. State Sen. Fred Mills, R-St. Martinville, chairs the task force that he said will try to develop solutions to address three areas: the health and safety of consumers, the economy of the domestic seafood sector, and consumer education. An influx of cheap foreign catch has flooded the seafood market in Louisiana, and most restaurants in the state choose to serve imported shrimp and crawfish to patrons who are either oblivious to it or mistakenly believe they’re eating local fare, according to the Louisiana Shrimp Association. The effects have decimated a local industry and unique Louisiana culture while also potentially introducing harmful contaminants into the food supply. >>click to read<< 11:52

Australia: Coastal wind farms – This Sunday, the people say ‘no’ again 

When the first coastal wind farms were announced by Energy Minister Chris Bowen, I thought I was dreaming. Australia has some of the best beaches in the world. People come to this country to see its unspoilt natural beauty. Despite a 42 per cent decline following the lockdowns, tourism remains Australia’s 14th-largest export industry. Along with education, it is one of the most sustainable industries that contributes to our standard of living. Nobody wants to come to Australia to see rotting wind turbines at our beaches. They can visit their own failed renewable energy white elephants at home. To make matters worse, our energy minister is pitching his vibe to elite activists while refusing to listen to ordinary Australians. Today they will gather in the surf near Port Stephens. The protest is called Paddle Out.  >>click to read<< 10:21

‘Until the last fish is gone.’ Cape Cod fishers worry trawling is depleting sea herring.

A number of the Cape’s small boat fishermen, whale watch captains, and fishing charter operators blame midwater trawlers for depletion of herring stock. That depletion, they claim, has had a negative economic impact on their businesses. John Pappalardo, Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance has worked for decades to do just that. He believes midwater trawlers are a big reason for the herring’s population decline. Mary Beth Tooley, government affairs manager for the O’Hara Corporation, The company’s trawlers take a small portion of the fish that are assessed “because we want that population to rebuild,” she said. >>click to read<< 08:38

Missing Westport fisherman identified after Coast Guard calls off search

Mick Diamond, or Mike, depending on who you talked to, wasn’t everyone’s favorite person. But if you loved him, you liked him, even when he drove you up the wall, according to his son, Joe. Diamond, 63, and a crewmate went missing on the fishing vessel Evening nearly two weeks ago after they departed the Westport Marina in Grays Harbor. Diamond’s crewmate, who has not yet been publicly identified, was found alive by a Canadian fishing family 13 days later, in a life raft 70 miles northwest of Cape Flattery. Diamond has not been found. His family says they were told via a statement from the survivor that the boat capsized after it got caught in a trough between rough swells, and that Diamond told the surviving crew member to get to the life raft while he took control of the vessel. >>click to read<<  07:03

Jim Lovgren: Walking with the Whales at Black Sands Beach, Shelter Cove, Ca.

I was a commercial fisherman for over 45 years on the east coast and have seen hundreds of whales at sea, but there is nothing like seeing a large whale purposely swimming in the surf, while you’re standing thirty feet away. In Shelter Cove, a small fishing town of 700 residents in Northern California, Whales swimming in the surf, is a common occurrence during their spring and fall migrations and right now it is at its peak. My wife and I live just down the street from the famous Black Sands Beach where these Whales dare to get so close to shore and in the last 10 out of 12 days that we have looked we have observed the Whales in the surf. Shelter Cove is remote and only assessable by one infamous road, but the drive is worth it, as most of the area is conservation land or wilderness. A small fleet of fishing boats operate out of there, but the port is limited to mostly smaller vessels, [less the 30 feet] since they must be pulled daily as anchorage is not safe. They’ve been struggling this year after the shutdown of the Salmon fishery and short Dungeness crab season, but the last couple weeks have seen 150 to 200 pound Bluefin Tuna brought home every day.  Video, photos, >>click to read<< 17:32

CANCELED: Lobstermen pull together for Travis Mills Foundation

Update: Due to the tragic events of this week in Lewiston, this event has been canceled for this year, according to local team organizer Jennie Mitchell. Original Post: On Saturday, Oct. 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. lobstermen from up and down the coast of Maine will be one of the 45 teams pulling a FedEx 757 airplane down the runway at the Portland Jetport to help raise funds for the Travis Mills Foundation. Team Captain Troy Plummer has gotten fishermen from as far away as Machias, Vinalhaven, Friendship, Rockland and, of course, Boothbay Harbor, to participate in what is being billed as a “Pay it Forward” effort from the lobstermen for all the support they have received in their struggle to save the lobstering industry. >>click to read<< 12:05

Study of seismic testing used in offshore oil, gas and wind energy industries finds lobsters ‘concussed’

Seismic testing critical to Western Australia’s offshore oil, gas and energy industries is dazing, and potentially killing the state’s valuable western rock lobsters, a new study has found.  The practice is essential to offshore oil and gas exploration and the construction of wind turbines, and involves firing powerful air guns, creating soundwaves that penetrate the ocean floor. But research by the WA government’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has found lobsters exposed to the testing are significantly impacted.  Offshore crustaceans scientist Simon de Lestang studied the behaviour of lobsters after they were exposed to seismic testing conducted offshore, in shallow water south of Geraldton. >>click to read<<   11:05

National mental health campaign targets commercial fishermen

The commercial fishing industry is known for its grueling work conditions and unpredictable nature, which can take a toll on the mental health of fishermen. However, despite the evident need, the industry has historically been underserved in terms of mental health care resources. Recently, the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association and Northeast Center for Occupational Safety and Health teamed up to work with Man Therapy to create a campaign specifically targeting commercial fishermen. Man Therapy is an innovative approach that uses humor and relatable content to raise awareness about mental health care and provide resources for fishermen, according to a press release.>>click to read<< 09:45

Camden Haven community rallies after historic fishing trawler Pacific Venture sinks at Laurieton

A 60-year-old fishing trawler, the last surviving vessel from a fleet built in a small northern New South Wales community, has sunk amid community restoration plans.The 1960s fishing trawler Pacific Venture sank overnight when a storm came through the NSW Mid North CoastIt is the last surviving vessel from a fleet of fishing trawlers built in the Camden Haven region. .”It was the last boat surviving of the fishing trawlers that were built in the Camden Haven in the 1960s and earlier. >>click to read<< 08:52

Families of missing boaters continue search without Coast Guard’s help

A group of friends has now been missing at sea for nearly two weeks, and despite the U.S. Coast Guard calling off its search for them, the fishermen’s families are still holding out hope the group will be found. Dalton Conway, Caleb Wilkinson and Tyler Barlow left the port city of Brunswick, Georgia, on a 31-foot fishing vessel named Carol Ann Oct. 14. They planned to travel 80 miles into the open sea to a popular fishing spot before heading back Oct. 18, but they have yet to turn up. Chris Barlow, the father of missing boater Tyler Barlow, told Scripps News an initial possible sighting of the boat turned out to be a different vessel. He also said the Coast Guard’s assumption that the boat would self-deploy an emergency signal if submerged was false; the signal would instead need to be manually deployed. >>click to read<< 07:28

California commercial Dungeness crab season delayed

California’s commercial Dungeness crab seasons will be delayed this year, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife announced Friday. The delays are being enacted in order to protect whales from becoming entangled in crab traps. The opening of the commercial Dungeness crab fishing season will be delayed in Fishing Zones 3, 4, 5, and 6, an area of the state’s coastline that stretches from the Sonoma/Mendocino County line to the U.S.A.-Mexico border. The delay is due to a large number of humpback whales in the area. >>click to read<< 17:33

Fishing crew speaks after finding missing American off B.C. coast

A B.C. fishing crew has found an American fisherman who had been missing off the Pacific coast for weeks. John Planes and his Ucluelet fishing crew spotted an emergency lift raft off the coast of Vancouver Island, Thursday morning. What they found was shocking when they arrived at the life raft — an American fisherman who had been lost at sea for 13 days. The American, who is unnamed at this point, departed from Washington State on Oct. 12. “We were getting near the end of our fishing set and (a crew member) spotted the life raft,” Planes said. “He hugged me right away as soon as he got on board. He was crying, he was just so glad somebody had actually picked him up. Video, >>click to read<< 13:55

Scottish firm fined £20,000 for illegally fishing for King Scallops without a license in Isle of Man

A Scottish firm has been fined £20,000 after its vessel was found fishing illegally in the Isle of Man’s territorial waters last year. The owner of the Star Fishing Company Limited pleaded guilty to fishing for King Scallops without a licence on 3 December 2022 at Douglas Courthouse on Tuesday. Prosecutor Rachel Cubbon told the court the Star of Jura entered Manx waters twice in the early hours on Saturday 3 December, which was confirmed when DEFA and Marine Scotland examined the boat’s on-board monitoring and tracking systems. Further investigation of the Master’s daybook and electronic logbook revealed 12 bags of King Scallops had been landed in Manx waters, which was not declared. >>click to read<< 10:24

Whalsay scallop fisherman scoops ‘Hero of the Year’ award

A scallop fisherman from Whalsay has been named Hero of the Year at a UK fishing awards ceremony. George Andrew Williamson scooped the award on Thursday night for his work in championing the importance of sustainable seafood. The award, which recognises an outstanding individual who has driven forward further sustainability efforts, was given to Mr Williamson at a ceremony in London. Accepting the award via video link, he said: “It’s a great honour and I was really not expecting this.>>click to read<<,>and here< 09:04

Boatyard Offers Assistance to Commercial Fishermen Hampered by Regulations

KKMI Boatyard Offers Assistance to Commercial Fishermen Reeling in the bad taste of lost revenue. KKMI announced today they will be offering free haulouts to commercial fishing vessels, giving this hard-hit industry some much needed financial relief after a cancelled salmon season made it quite difficult to eke out a living. This offer is good at both KKMI locations on the San Franciso Bay – Richmond and Sausalito.  We are in a position to help out and we are honored to be able to do so,” said KKMI Founder, Paul Kaplan. >>click to read<< 08:16

Survivor From Lost Fishing Boat Saved After Coast Guard Ended Search

This week, the U.S. Coast Guard ended searches for two commercial fishing vessels that each disappeared without a trace, one in Washington and another in Georgia. The Washington case ended in a miracle: a crewmember was found alive after formal search efforts had ended. On Tuesday, Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor announced that it had launched a search for a 43-foot commercial fishing vessel, the Evening, which was nine days overdue. Miraculously, one crewmember of the Evening survived and was found by a good Samaritan vessel on Thursday morning – a day after the formal search ended. He was floating in a life raft off the west coast of Vancouver Island, near Tofino. The whereabouts of the other crewmember are not known. On Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard suspended a search for a commercial fishing vessel F/V Carol Ann that had gone missing with three crewmembers off the coast of Brunswick, Georgia. >>click to read<< 07:15