Daily Archives: November 15, 2023

Deadly fentanyl raises stakes for addicted fishermen

New Bedford fisherman Michael Kennedy, who died from a fentanyl overdose in 2022 at the age of 32. Photo provided by family.

Drug addiction is not new in the fishing industry. There is a tragic and long-understood pattern of fishermen using opiates or amphetamines to manage the chronic pain and endless hours that come with hard labor deep at sea.  But the introduction of fentanyl has altered this pattern.  In recent years, both fishermen and addiction counselors in the area say drug use has actually tended to be less pervasive on the waterfront than at any other point in the last few decades. Captains say they are more strict about enforcing a “zero tolerance” policy on their vessels, due to the high risk of fentanyl overdoses leading to death. Many keep Narcan, the opioid-overdose antidote, stocked on their boats and are aware of the outreach programs available to fishermen.  But fentanyl has raised the stakes for fishermen continuing to struggle with addiction.  >>click to read<< 15:59

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 86′ Steel Shrimper/Trawler, CAT 3408B, 4 Blade wheel/Kort Nozzle

To review specifications, information, and photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series, >click here< 14:00

Coalition files intent to sue federal agencies to stop whale-killing Virginia wind project 

The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and The Heartland Institute today announced that they were filing with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) a 60 Day Notice of Intent to Sue letter for a violation of the Endangered Species Act. The violation is contained in a defective “biological opinion,” which authorizes the construction of the Virginia Offshore Wind Project (VOW). The 60-day notice is required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for parties who wish to commence litigation against BOEM for failure to provide adequate protection of the North Atlantic right whale and other endangered species. The North Atlantic right whale is listed as “critically endangered” by the governments of both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States. >>click to read<< 12:23

Man sues business partner over fishing boat

A man has sued a business partner over the purchase of a shrimp trawler. Abraham Nguyen filed his complaint October 30 in federal court against F/V Kim Thu and TNL Fishery. In the lawsuit, Nguyen says Loi Hang “wanted to purchase a shrimp trawler in Louisiana and wanted Nguyen to convert it into a long-line tuna boat capable of operating off the coast of Hawaii.” Hang is one of two owners of Hawaii-based TNL Fishery along with Cindy Nguyen, who is not related to the plaintiff. Nguyen, who is a welder, previously had converted another shrimp trawler for Hang, the suit states. >>click to read<< 10:37

EU review gives Wicklow skipper CJ Gaffney hope as home support wanes

After being shown a glimmer of hope in his ongoing quest for justice via an EU safety review, Arklow skipper CJ Gaffney has slammed the support he has received from Irish representatives, saying: “When the EU is helping you but your own reps aren’t, something is seriously wrong”.In 2007, CJ purchased the Dutch trawler ‘Mary Kate’ and subsequently found she had serious stability issues, which made the boat uninsurable. After trying to take legal action in Holland and Germany (as she was German registered) without success, he took out a loan to cover the considerable cost of fixing the boat. Despite finishing the repairs in 2012, CJ had been unable to earn a living fishing the boat for so long that he was now forced to sell. A UK buyer was found, but due to the boat’s history, she could not be registered with the UK fishing fleet. >>click to read<< 09:47

Bluefin Tuna Get It On off North Carolina

In November 1981, a fleet of briefcase-toting lobbyists, scientists, and political negotiators gathered in sunny Tenerife, Spain, to decide the fate of Atlantic bluefin tuna. Representing more than a dozen countries, including Canada, the United States, Spain, and Italy, the besuited men knew crisis loomed. Since the early 1970s, rising global demand for bluefin flesh had spurred fishing fleets—hailing from ports on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean—to kill untold thousands of the wide-ranging predator every year. Under this heavy fishing pressure, primarily driven by the Japanese appetite for sushi-grade tuna, the species careened toward collapse. During the meeting in Tenerife, the American delegation to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas proposed a disarmingly simple solution: they would draw a line down the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and split the bluefin into two separate stocks. >>click to read<< 08:19

Limits on ratio of fisherman decried

Gloucester Capt. Salvatore “Sam” Novello who has fished the waters off Gloucester for most of his life, is saying while he can fish, some foreign-born fishermen cannot. A member of the Gloucester Fisheries Commission, Novello said this week the U.S. Coast Guard has recently begun to strictly enforce a rule that limits the number of immigrants who are allowed to fish. The measure, the 75-25 rule, requires that 75% of those crews fishing must be American while only 25% can be foreign. In other words, for every four fishermen, three must be native born and only one can hail from another country. Novello blasted the rule as burdensome, saying it only contributes to a slew of other regulations and fishing limits already imposed by NOAA Fisheries that hamper the fishing industry. “Today, all fishing operations can’t find enough help to go fishing,” he said. “ >>click to read<< 07:21