Monthly Archives: December 2023

Oregon Coast fishing families lean on Newport nonprofit following tough years

Newport, Oregon, resident Taunette Dixon knows how hard it can be to make ends meet in the fishing industry. “My family is a four generation fishing family,” Dixon said. “I married somebody that came from a four generation fishing family, so we’ve kind of been immersed in it all of our lives.” The last three years have been the worst Dixon’s ever had with the small boat the couple runs out of Newport. While she said her family is able to weather the challenging years, she’s seen need for aid grow through the nonprofit group she volunteers with, Newport Fishermen’s Wives. Fishing is a notoriously challenging and, at times, dangerous industry. But the pandemic hit nearly every industry hard in 2020 when the world economy came to a halt. The fishing industry was no different, and three years later it is still struggling to rebound. more, >>click to read<< 09:58

Are right whales big business for nonprofits?

Forget the green economy, the deep blue economy has it beat by a nautical mile. Ever wonder how much money is spent trying to protect the North Atlantic right whale? Ask any of the non-profit corporations that participate in funding to save them.  Here in Maine, at least nine non-profit organizations support right whale conservation efforts, in addition to state agencies and the University of Maine. Nationally, the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium shows 47 environmental organizations it identifies as “partners” on its website. Another 37 environmental groups signed a PEW charitable trust letter to Congress last March, critical of what it believed to be too little funding to protect the species. more, >>click to read<< by Jane Carpenter 08:36

‘I’m a fisherman who hasn’t caught a fish in two years because of ridiculous Welsh laws’

It’s a boggy December morning on the Cleddau river and Alun Lewis is tending to his four miniature horses and a few boats moored up on his four acres of land. We’re in the quiet hamlet of Landshipping that looks out onto the large expanse of water which is otherwise only 50 or so feet wide at other times of the year. It is prime time for Alun – one of the world’s last six compass net fishers – to don his waders and float his little handmade 150-year-old wooden boat towards the estuary. Compass net fishing has been in Alun’s family for generations. His grandfather, Dennis Lewis, died in the boat in 1966 after he had a heart attack on the water. He was found by Alun and his father, Glyndwr Lewis, floating on the river in the boat the following morning. Glyndwr, who died last month aged 92, is pictured in the boat with his father and siblings as a small child. photos, more, <<click to read<< 07:01

Help Alaska’s fisheries: Reduce methane emissions

NOAA now confirms that another critical Alaska fishery is in decline due to successive marine heat waves. First there was the loss of 10 billion snow crabs and the close of the once-lucrative Bering Sea crab fisheries; now we know that climate change (warming seas) is the culprit behind the crash of chum salmon on the Yukon-Kuskokwim. Both these fisheries are the life blood to many Alaskan communities and villages. From the Yukon to Kodiak, from the Arctic to Ketchikan, Alaska’s coastal fisheries must now confront the dual threat of heat waves and ocean acidification. more, >>click to read<< By Linda Behnken and Kate Troll 15:48

Swimming Against the Tide

Russian Crab and Antey, two prominent Russian crab-catching companies, signed an agreement with a Russian government agency to invest 224 billion roubles ($2.3 billion) to build 18 crabbers in the next few years and expand the Far East’s coastal processing infrastructure. Under the agreements signed during the Vladivostok Economic Forum, Antey intends to build eight crabbers and launch two port complexes housing fish processing infrastructure. Russian Crab plans to add ten new vessels to its fleet. Russian crab currently runs a fleet of 37 vessels, Antey has 52 in operation. Both companies participated in the first round of the crab auctions.  Photos, more, >>click to read<< 09:01

Dungennes crab fishery held up again by recent whale and turtle entanglements

Before the restrictions, the crab fishing season off California started before Thanksgiving, in plenty of time for holiday tables. In recent years, fishermen’s ability to drop their gear has been pushed back because whales and turtles were still be spotted in their fishing zones. This season, fishermen can start dropping their crab pots on Jan. 5, and only in the two most northern California zones. In central and southern California no start date has been announced. Officials with the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations said the industry does its best to avoid whales and have accepted limiting the seasons, but notes that since the restrictions have been in place, the industry has dropped from 450 active vessels to fewer than 100 and has lost out on tens of millions of dollars.  more, >>click to read<< 07:47

MA Awarded $4.6 Million to Support North Atlantic Right Whale Recovery and Lobster Industry

The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) will receive more than $4.6 million from a congressional appropriation through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to enhance the division’s nation-leading conservation program for the endangered North Atlantic right whale. DMF will use this funding and an additional $475,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), to bolster development of innovative fishing gear technologies, increase ongoing research and monitoring, and provide fishing gear to lobster industry participants to reduce harm to the right whales. As part of a 5-year program, DMF anticipates receiving more than $23 million from NOAA Fisheries between now and the end of 2028 subject to annual Congressional appropriations. more, >>click to read<< 06:59

New Year Honours: Lobster fishery, marine reserve are sources of pride for industry veteran

“Show me the data,” is the catchcry of Larnce​ Wichman. His more than 40 years in the Marlborough rock lobster industry convinced Wichman that what can be measured can also be managed. And as the chairperson of the Kaikōura Marine Guardians, he believes the principle applies equally to conservation. Wichman has been named an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours list for his services to the seafood industry and marine conservation. He recently retired as the executive officer of Cramac 5, which represents commercial lobster fishers on the South Island’s east coast. photos, more, >>click to read<< 14:31

Fishing chiefs urge ministers to work with industry, not against it

Fishing chiefs have urged the Scottish Government to work in tandem with the industry and help avoid a repeat of the Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) “fiasco” of 2023. Their plea comes at the end of a year in which, with the support of coastal and island communities, they fought off plans to limit fishing in at least 10% of Scotland’s seas. The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) said it wanted “collaboration rather than conflict. “As we look ahead into next year, we urge ministers to resist the doom-laden and over-simplified platitudes of the corporately-funded environmental NGOs non-governmental organisations) who have their own agenda – banning fishing, regardless of the consequences. photos, more,  >>click to read<< 12:51

Lobster Market Outlook, Industry Size, Growth Factors, Investment Opportunity 2024-2032

IMARC Group, a leading market research company, has recently released a report titled “Lobster Market Report by Species (American Lobster, Spiny Lobster, Rock Lobster, European Lobster), Weight (0.5 – 0.75 lbs, 0.76 – 3.0 lbs, Over 3 lbs), Product Type (Whole Lobster, Lobster Tail, Lobster Meat, Lobster Claw), Distribution Channel (Food Service, Retail), and Region 2024-2032.”The study provides a detailed analysis of the industry, including the global lobster market share, size, trends, and growth forecasts. The report also includes competitor and regional analysis and highlights the latest advancements in the market. How Big is the Lobster Market? more, >>click to read<< 10:36

2,788 incidents coordinated by Coast Guard in 2023

In 2023, the Irish Coast Guard coordinated responses to 2,788 incidents which is the second highest number in 5 years (2,976 in 2021). August was the busiest month with a total of 391 incidents. The incident count covers the range of services provided by the Coast Guard. Services include search and rescue, maritime casualty support and pollution preparedness and response. IRCG also provides air ambulance services to the HSE including day and night aeromedical services to the offshore islands, assists An Garda Síochána with missing person searches, including inland and mountain rescue, as well as provision of other support to the Emergency Services. photos, more, >>click to read<< 09:56

Maine lobstermen say electronic trackers required by federal regulators violate privacy

Some Maine lobstermen say that new electronic monitoring requirements are violating their constitutional right to privacy. As of Dec. 15, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission requires that lobstermen with federal permits install a monitor tracking their boat’s location each minute that it’s moving. But the Sustainable Maine Fishing Foundation — a nonprofit arm of the Maine Lobstering Union — is now asking the state to delay the requirements until the next fishing season. The foundation outlined its concerns in a letter sent to the Maine Department of Marine Resources earlier this month. more>>click to read<< 09:03

Ecosystem reports show continuing effects of warming in Alaska’s marine waters

The waters off Alaska’s Aleutian Islands registered the warmest winter temperatures in over a century, part of a decade-long period of warming, according to a report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Aleutians report is one of three annual ecosystem status reports issued by NOAA Fisheries for marine areas of Alaska. The reports, compiled by large teams of scientists, were released earlier this month and presented to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the panel that sets regulated commercial fishing in federal waters off Alaska. The Bering Sea remains warmer than the long-term average, though it has cooled since the heatwaves, NOAA Fisheries biologist Elizabeth Siddon told the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in her presentation of the report.  more, >>click to read<< 07:53

Darwin fisherman Daniel Schoolmeester granted bail after allegedly holding workers captive without pay

A fisherman accused of holding workers captive on his boat in the Northern Territory has been granted bail in the Darwin Local Court. Daniel Schoolmeester is accused of forcing at least four people to work on his ship as forced labour and keeping them in servitude. Prosecutor Annabelle Bridgland argued against bail citing the serious nature of the offending. Ms Bridgland told the court they had identified nine more potential victims. more>>click to read<<  07:11

U.S. preparing to claim new ocean territory off Arctic Alaska and in central Bering Sea

United States ocean territory could expand by an area more than twice the size of California, with most of that in ocean areas off Alaska, under a claim being prepared by the federal government. The U.S. State Department this month announced results of a two-decade program to map the extended continental shelf areas beyond the nation’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone. Much of the focus was on the Arctic Ocean, where bathymetric and geologic surveys by federal agencies produced the first detailed maps of a complex seafloor with a series of canyons, ridges and deep-sea plateaus. The U.S. State Department this month announced results of a two-decade program to map the extended continental shelf areas beyond the nation’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone. more, >>click to read<< 16:08

Dear Seamus: All Seasonal Workers Want for Christmas is Dignity and Respect

This Christmas season, seasonal workers in Newfoundland and Labrador are in crisis due to a failure of the federal government. Despite months of broken promises, the federal government has largely failed to support seasonal workers facing financial crisis this winter season.  This Union signalled the coming crisis to the federal government back in April when the markets for snow crab collapsed. At the time, FFAW-Unifor proposed needed changes to the federal employment insurance (EI) system and income supplements for all affected fish harvesters and plant workers.  “The crab fishery came and went, and just as the fishing season began to wind down and folks prepared to file their annual EI claims, the federal criteria for EI changed. more, >>click to read<< 14:26

Fisheries observer turns up dead in latest incident in Ghana waters

Two years after the disappearance of fisheries observer Emmanuel Essien off the coast of Ghana, another observer has vanished from a fishing trawler. According to his family, 38-year-old Samuel Abayateye was reported missing on Oct. 30. His decapitated body washed ashore nearly six weeks later. Abayateye was assigned to Marin 707, a Ghana-flagged vessel owned and operated by a South Korean company, World Marine Co. Ltd. His brother, Yohane, told Mongabay he last spoke to Abayateye on Oct. 24, when the observer called to say he was trying unsuccessfully to reach his supervisor in Marin 707’s home port of Tema to report an incident. more, >>click to read<< 13:31

Liafjord Heads For Home

Norwegian fishing company Liegruppen’s new pelagic trawler Liafjord is steaming home to Norway, having been handed over to its owners by the Cemre Shipyard in Turkey. The 71-metre by 15-metre beam Liafjord is designed by Salt Ship Design and follows the groundbreaking LNG-powered Libas, which was delivered by the same yard several years ago. Liegruppen opted not to go for the same LNG propulsion system for Liafjord, although the vessel has some respectable green energy credentials, with electric winches, heat recovery technology and a large battery pack as part of its hybrid propulsion. Photo, more, >>click to read<< 12:21

Kennedy welcomes USDA purchase of $36 million of shrimp to feed Louisiana families

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) welcomed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to purchase $36 million of shrimp to help alleviate food insecurity. The USDA made the purchase under the Agriculture Act of 1935, which provides for national food assistance during emergencies. “High inflation is hindering Americans’ ability to put food on the table, and many families are relying on national food assistance programs to get by. I’m thankful for the USDA’s purchase of $36 million of gulf shrimp, which will not only benefit Louisiana shrimpers, but will also help those in need during this holiday season,” said Kennedy. Link 09:43

18-month search for a Great Lakes shipwreck is the subject of the next DCMM speaker program

The mysterious disappearance of a commercial fishing boat in Lake Michigan, and the 18-month-long search that followed, is the topic of the next program in the Maritime Speaker Series offered by the Door County Maritime Museum. Brennan Christianson, the museum’s collections coordinator, will present “The Search for the Linda E.” Jan. 4 at the museum’s Sturgeon Bay location. The public can attend the program in person at the museum or see it online via Zoom. The Linda E. was a nearly 40-foot-long vessel designed to haul and set gill nets for commercial fishing, described as a typical Great Lakes commercial fishing boat by the Wisconsin Shipwrecks website. more, >>cick to read<< 07:55

Analysis of Northwest, other salmon hatcheries finds nearly all hurt wild salmon populations

For much of the last century, fish hatcheries have been built in the Northwest, across the U.S. and around the world to boost fish populations where wild numbers have gone down. But an analysis of more than 200 studies on hatcheries programs meant to boost salmonid numbers across the globe – including salmon, trout and whitefish – shows that nearly all have had negative impacts on the wild populations of those fish. Most commonly, hatchery fish reduced the genetic diversity of wild fish, leading to poor health and reproductive outcomes. The findings weigh into a sensitive topic with a big price tag. In the Northwest, hatcheries are supposed to be a solution to declining wild salmonid numbers, caused in large part by hydroelectric dams, overfishing, irrigation and climate change. In the Columbia River Basin alone, officials have spent billions of dollars on nearly 200 hatcheries as well as habitat restoration projects during the past 50 years to improve wild numbers, but research shows those programs are having an opposite effect. more, >>click to read<< 12:34

New fishery co-op partners with Dandy Dan

Organizers of a fishery co-operative being formed to represent inshore enterprise owners have agreed to a letter of intent with Dan Meade to sell fish to the Ship Harbour-based processor. Under terms of the agreement, a new fish processing company will be formed that will see the future co-op earn an equity stake in exchange for a pledge to sell at least two million pounds of snow crab a year to the business. “The letter of intent brings the inshore fleet a step closer to breaking itself free from the company cartel,” says co-op organizer/spokesman Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL. Meade sees the partnership as an historic opportunity to rebuild trust with inshore harvesters. “I want to be part of that rebuilding process.” more, >>click to read<< 08:49

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 44ft 11in Provincial Longliner Rod & Reel

To review specifications, information, and 30 photos’,>click here<, To see all the boats in this series, >click here< o7: 55

William Deas: East Neuk fisherman who skippered Reaper dies at 98

William Coull Deas, the embodiment of the once-thriving Scottish herring fishing industry, has died aged 98. Born in Cellardyke, from the age of 13 he fished all over Britain following the herring shoals. His father was a fisherman and his mother was a herring quine. William, known as Coull or Coulli, saw service with the Royal Navy during the Second World War before becoming a shareholder of the East Neuk boat, Fruitful. In more recent years, Coull skippered Reaper, a 1902-built two-masted herring drifter which had been restored by the Scottish Fisheries Museum at Anstruther. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:04

Firefighters pull deceased male from harbor on Christmas Eve

The Gloucester Fire Department pulled a body from the Inner Harbor in the waters off Jodrey State Fish Pier on Parker Street on Christmas Eve. Fire Deputy Chief Phil Harvey confirmed firefighters removed a deceased person (a male) from the water around 12:14 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 24, after a call came into the department for a person in the water. Harvey said they encountered a language barrier with the caller and the department dispatched its normal rescue response. When firefighters arrived, they found the victim and two firefighters pulled the male from the water in the vicinity of 11 Parker St., a large dockside commercial building on the State Fish Pier.  more, >>click to read<< 16:20

Fishermen Feeding Mainers reaches one-million-meal milestone

Fresh Maine-caught fish for local families has filled food pantry coolers since October 2020, through Fishermen Feeding Mainers. Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association (MCFA) started the program late in 2020 during the COVID pandemic to support both hungry families and ground fleet fishermen whose earnings were hit when restaurants and other seafood buyers shut down. Since then, the Brunswick-based nonprofit’s arms have reached across Maine, serving more than one million meals to families through 250 food pantries and more than 30 school districts — and giving boots-on-the-ground backing to the notion that “Mainers always unite in difficult times,” in the words of Mary Hudson, director of fisheries programs at MCFA. more, >>click to read<< 12:46

Fishing foundation pushes back against electronic tracking

Three days before a federal electronic tracking requirement took effect for all lobster boats fishing in federal waters, the Sustainable Maine Fishing Foundation (SMFF), a nonprofit that shares headquarters on Bar Harbor Road with the Maine Lobstermen’s Union and Lobster 207, sent a letter through its attorneys to Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The Dec. 15 deadline to start using electronic “black box” tracking devices has come and gone, but the Foundation is busy raising funds for legal expenses, raising more than $46,000 in its first week toward a goal of $250,000. more, >>click to read<< 10:39

In St. John’s 150 years ago, a giant squid had its picture taken. That photo would ignite the world’s imagination

Before one remarkable moment in downtown St. John’s a century and a half ago, the giant squid lived only in the tall tales of sailors and fishermen. Then, thanks to a single photograph, the massive cephalopod immediately moved from the realm of fantasy to reality. And today “squid spirits” — as enthusiasts consider themselves — continue to marvel at the fact that there’s still so much mystery and awe around the creature 150 years later. “It was seminal. It pushed science’s understanding of giant squid ahead by leaps and bounds, and No. 1: it proved they were real,” says Jenny Higgins, a writer who works with the Maritime History Archive at Memorial University. This story starts in November 1873, when a group of fishermen in Logy Bay out on the water came across something much bigger than herring. Video,Images, photos, more, >>click to read<< 09:48

New Ring Netter Joins Newlyn Fleet

Built by G Smyth Boats in Kilkeel, new ring netter Inter-Nos PZ-46 made its delivery trip home to Newlyn to dock in its home port before Christmas. The Maxus Fast Cat has been designed and outfitted to fish for pilchards and is powered by a pair of Volvo Penta D8A5-A-MH main engines. The deck is laid out with a Spencer Carter 3000lb slave hauler with a MV500 motor and a Thistle Lift crane with a telescopic extension.  more, >>click to read<< 08:31

Filmmaker Helgeland drew on his New Bedford fishing past for ‘Finestkind’

In a final scene of the film “Finestkind,” as the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge slowly pivots open, a father and son cross paths for what might be the last time. One is handcuffed in the back of a police van. The other is outward bound on a fishing trip.  Most in New Bedford know the bridge as little more than a morning traffic jam. But for Brian Helgeland, the 62-year-old New Bedford-raised screenwriter who returned to his hometown to shoot his newest film, the bridge is a symbol of his childhood and his development as a writer.  As a boy, Helgeland rode his bicycle over the bridge. As a young man working on scallop boats, he passed through the bridge as the first leg of a long voyage out to sea. And now, three decades later, the same bridge is also a set in his own film. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 06:45