Daily Archives: February 20, 2024

FFAW broke collective agreement by telling crab fishermen to keep boats tied up, arbitrator rules

An arbitrator has ruled the Fish, Food & Allied Workers union broke its collective agreement with the Association of Seafood Producers by telling crab harvesters to keep their boats tied up at the start of last season amid a price dispute. In his decision, shared by the producers’ association Tuesday, arbitrator David Orsborn concluded the union declared a “cessation of business dealings,” which violated the terms of the agreement and the Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act. The tie-up lasted six weeks, and was fuelled by calls for better prices for harvesters. The price of snow crab was originally set at $2.20 per pound — where it remained when the tie-up ended — but rose to $2.60 per pound by the end of the season. Video, more, >>click to read<< 17:52

Grants available for municipal and regional projects in coastal communities

The Department of Marine Resources’ Maine Coastal Program (MCP) and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Municipal Planning Assistance Program (MPAP) are seeking applications for coastal planning grants totaling approximately $300,000. Funding for these planning grants comes from the Maine Coastal Program’s annual grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In response to the significant impacts of recent storms experienced by Maine’s coastal communities, the FY 2025 Coastal Community Grant Program and Shore and Harbor Planning Grant Program are being combined into one grant program. The matching fund requirement has been eliminated and the application process has been modified to include a Letter of Intent, followed by a final application by invitation only. Lots of links, and information. more >>click to read<< 16:39

Janet Mills announces Sears Island as preferred site for offshore wind power port

Gov. Janet Mills announced Tuesday that her administration has selected Sears Island in Searsport as the preferred site for development of a large, offshore wind port designed to jumpstart the clean energy economy in Maine and the transition away from fossil fuels. Selection of the site follows a public stakeholder process led by the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Port Authority to consider several potential options in the Port of Searsport, the Port of Eastport and the Port of Portland. Nearly four years ago, Gov. Mills identified the Port of Searsport as the leading site in Maine to “support the transportation, assembly and fabrication of offshore wind turbines.” She also called for further study of the port’s assets and future needs. This story will be updated. more, >>click to read<< 14:15

An era ends: Wanchese seafood operation to close in March

Started as a small business 88 years ago by a native Outer Banks fisherman, the Wanchese Fish Co., now a global behemoth, is closing the doors of its production fish offloading and packing operations here. The fish operation on Mill Landing Road in this historic fishing village on the south end of Roanoke Island will be shuttered March 29,,, Wanchese Fish Co., located along the wharf in Wanchese Marine Industrial Park, was purchased by Cooke Seafood USA in 2015, part of the Cooke family’s international aquaculture and seafood company. The Wanchese company had maintained its family-owned operation after the sale.  Wanchese Trawl & Supply Co., a marine and fishing equipment retail store that Wanchese Fish Co. started in 1976, will remain open, Richardson said. Also, Shoreland Transport USA, an associated cargo and freight company based in Suffolk, will continue to operate its Outer Banks route. more, >>click to read<< 10:57

Washington attorney general charges seafood wholesaler with felonies over failure to report purchases

Tacoma wholesale fish dealer Westlake Seafood has been charged with multiple felonies for allegedly failing to report thousands of dollars’ worth of sea urchin and Dungeness crab purchases to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The business, which operates a warehouse in the Dome District at 2615 E. N St., was formed in 2017 and on its website claims to export 90 percent of its live products to China and sell the rest in local and domestic markets. According to charging documents filed Thursday, an inspection of its warehouse and financial records in March last year discovered four unreported fish-receiving tickets amounting to $13,760.90 worth of purchases from fishermen. more, >>click to read<< 09:22

Commercial Fisherman in Northern California Takes Legal Action to Challenge Dock Prices

In the commercial fishing industry, rising costs, particularly fuel prices, have long been a major concern for fishermen across the United States. However, one commercial harvester in Northern California has taken a different approach to address the issue by bringing the matter to court. Recognizing the significant impact of dock prices on their livelihood, this fisherman has decided to challenge the current pricing structure through legal action. While many others have voiced their concerns about rising costs, this individual has taken a proactive stance by seeking legal remedies. By challenging the dock prices through legal means, this fisherman hopes to encourage a wider dialogue about the financial hardships faced by those in the fishing industry. more, >>click to read<< 07:59

F/V Aleutian Storm: Unified Command transitions authority of response for the grounded vessel near Bodega Bay

The U.S. Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (CDFW-OSPR) transitioned the authority of lead responding agency to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA’s GFNMS) Monday. NOAA’s GFNMS will lead the oversight of salvage operations in coordination with state and local agencies and the vessel’s owner. The Unified Command determined that pollution removal operations would be unsafe due to weather conditions and the degraded condition of the vessel. With the current safety concerns, the determination was then made to shift to salvage operations. more, >>click to read<< 06:42