Daily Archives: November 30, 2023

The collapse of fishing giant Blue Harvest exposes the weakness of catch share policies

In October 2023, wrecking crews finished scrapping the last of a dozen fishing boats that had once owned by the notorious New England fishing magnate nicknamed wrecking crews finished scrapping the last of a dozen fishing boats that had once owned by the notorious New England fishing magnate nicknamed “The Codfather.” Carlos Rafael, who started out as a fish gutter in New Bedford, Massachusetts, aggressively worked — and sometimes cheated — his way up the ladder, eventually coming to dominate New England’s groundfish fishery (which includes cod, hake, flounder and other white fish) before a 2017 court decision sent him to prison for nearly four years and forced him to sell off his fleet. The sale, completed during his prison sentence, would earn him another $100 million. It was a profitable end for a fishing empire built on seafood fraud, tax evasion and consolidation. So when the private equity-backed Blue Harvest Fisheries announced in 2020 that it was buying most of Rafael’s fleet and putting the boats back to work, some welcomed it as good news for the port of New Bedford, the hub of Cape Cod’s fishing industry. more, >>click to read<< 17:07

GoFundMe for Bandon hero hits target in 24 hours

Farid Langens of the trawler Soenkin and Kevin Roos of the trawler De Maria Antonia

A GoFundMe which was set up for a courageous electrician from Bandon who rescued a woman from a sinking car at Kennedy Quay reached its target in under 24 hours. William Ross, alongside two Belgian fishermen, Farid Langens and Kevin Roos, played a crucial role in freeing the woman. The trio acted without hesitation and managed to pull the woman from her car, which had entered the water just after midday on Monday. “We were just finished unloading our catch and we heard some people shouting on the quay. They said, ‘There’s a car in the water!’” Farid told Red FM’s ‘The Neil Prendeville Show’. More, >>click to read<< 14:29

$500K Earmarked For Cape Cod Fisherman. Here’s What It’ll Go Toward

On Wednesday, State Rep. Dylan Fernandes presented that $500,000 in funding to the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance (CCCFA), with a stated goal to support Cape fishermen and sustainable fishing livelihoods on the Cape and Islands. “Fishing is not just an industry on the Cape and Islands – it is woven into the very culture and fabric of our communities,” said Rep. Fernandes. “These funds are a pathway toward adaptive fishing practices, healthier oceans, and a sustainable industry that can be passed down to future generations of fishing families.” more, >>click to read<< 13:02

Equinor Names California Floating Wind Project

Equinor has announced the name of its floating offshore wind project off the coast of California, Atlas Wind. The lease area, which lies 60 miles from Morro Bay, has the capacity to provide over 2GW of reliable, renewable power, enough to power 1.7 million California homes once complete. California is poised to become a growing force in the US energy transition with a nation-leading target of 25GW of offshore wind energy by 2045.  Approximately two-thirds of the United States’ offshore wind energy potential lies in deep coastal waters, like the Pacific Ocean, where water depths reach 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) or more. more, >>click to read<< 11:36

Constitutional challenge in Indigenous lobster fishing case moving ahead this week

An Indigenous fisherman is expected to appear Thursday in a northern New Brunswick courtroom, where he will launch a constitutional challenge that could prove pivotal for First Nations across the Maritimes. Cody Caplin, a member of the Eel River Bar First Nation, was fishing for lobster in the Bay of Chaleur in September 2018 when he and his brother Kyle were arrested and their boat was seized by federal fisheries officers. A year later, they were charged with 10 fishing offences, including trapping lobster out of season. “If we win, we could set a precedent and make some case law for other Mi’kmaq fishermen throughout the province,” he said in a recent interview, confirming that constitutional arguments will be heard at the provincial court in Campbellton, N.B. more, >>click to read<< 09:40

Scottish fishing skippers express fear over possible “back door” push for protected marine areas policy

The SFF said that last week, the Scottish Government confirmed it will not be taking forward the controversial HPMAs policy in its current form, which would have led to a loss of around 10 per cent of Scotland’s fishing grounds. However, many fishermen throughout the country remain concerned about the vague wording in the government’s response, and fear supporters of HPMAs will try their best to usher in the policy through another avenue. Fisherman Barry Brunton from Dunbar has welcomed the scrapping of HPMAs but is adamant more collaboration between fishermen and the government is needed to find the best solution for all concerned. Brunton said he was “absolutely terrified” about HPMAs as putting up such an area in the little patch of ground where he works would mean he would lose “everything that [he] worked for.” >>click to read<< 08:19

Prawn trawler crew rescued from sinking boat off Far North Queensland coast

The skipper of a prawn trawler has described watching it sink off the Far North Queensland coast after a passing freighter came to the crew’s rescue. The FV Santiago was about three kilometres offshore near Cedar Bay, south of Cooktown, on Tuesday evening when Steve Underhill found water pouring into the engine room and made the immediate call to abandon ship. “It was way too deep to worry about pumping out,” skipper Mr Underhill said. “We’d already lost it.” His three crew members included another experienced skipper, but also his wife and stepson. The Santiago crew activated an emergency distress beacon, and within 20 minutes, a Border Force plane flew over the trawler while nearby Sea Swift freighter, the Albatross Bay, mobilized to rescue the crew. Photos, >>click to read<< 07:26

Maine lobsterman shows off rare bi-colored, hermaphroditic lobster

It’s not uncommon for a lobster fisherman to bring up a lobster with more than one color, but more than one sex – that’s particularly rare. Jacob Knowles, a fifth-generation Maine lobsterman, posted videos to YouTube and Instagram last week showing off just that – a lobster that appears to be half-male, half-female. He said a fellow lobster fisherman caught it and gave it to him. “It’s the coolest lobster I’ve ever seen,” he said. In the videos, Knowles noted fans have nicknamed the lobster “Bowie,” after the late singer/songwriter David Bowie. It’s also half-blue, which itself is a rarity. Turning it over, the genitalia running along the tail are clearly half-male, half-female. more,video, >>click to read<< 06:29