Daily Archives: February 27, 2024

Maine’s lobster fishermen struggle with efforts to save right whales

Willis Spear stands in the backyard of his Yarmouth, Maine home. Behind him are dozens of yellow and green lobster traps. Spear, 67, spends most of the winter preparing these traps to be deployed in the Gulf of Maine come April. It’s a task this lifelong lobster fisherman has carried out each year since he was a child. “The water gives us life,” Spear said on an unusually warm winter day in late February. Over the last decade, lobster fishermen in Maine have faced increasingly stronger financial headwinds, from the price of fuel to the revenue they are receiving for the lobster themselves. The lobster-fishing industry generates hundreds of millions of dollars for Maine’s economy each year. Video, more, >>click to read<< 18:37

Endangered coho salmon: California’s comeback kid with ‘surprisingly strong’ spawning season, says NPS

California’s coho salmon have made a surprising comeback. The 2023-24 spawning season is on track to be the best in more than 15 years, said the National Park Service in a statement. “On one of the creeks, Olema Creek, the one that we saw the most spawning on, we thought we’d see somewhere in the neighborhood of around 40 nests,” National Park Service Fishery Biologist Michael Reichmuth said. “And we’re looking at double that. So, that’s a pretty big surprise and encouraging to see those kinds of numbers because it means the fish had high survival through their life, getting to that point.” “We had an epic day on Olema, with a single-day count of 150 adult coho salmon. This is the highest single-day count that we have (ever) recorded,” he said. Video, photos,   more, >>click to read<< 14:31

Despite arbitrator’s ruling that FFAW strike was illegal, president says he’d do it again

A week after an arbiter ruled the Fish, Food & Allied Workers union illegally broke its collective agreement with a six-week strike at the start of the crab harvest, union president Greg Pretty says he’d do it again. The Association of Seafood Producers filed a grievance over the 2023 tie-up held to protest the low price of crab. 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. “I have a job to do. We have a job to do. Our elected leadership has a job to do. Our … crab bargaining committee has a job to do. So I’m not sure we would do things a lot differently.” more, >>click to read<< 11:38

UK industry support fund reopens for 2024

Around £6 million in match funding is being made available to projects developing the catching, processing and aquaculture sectors, and those enhancing the marine environment, under the latest round of the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FaSS). Administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) on behalf of Defra, applicants can now apply for this year’s funding which will support the fishing industry in a variety of areas, including health and safety, processing, partnerships, research and diversification. Funding will build on the £27 million already committed to more than 1300 projects. more, >>click to read<< 10:03

Commercial Fisherman Scott Dicks of Grand Bank has passed away

It is with broken hearts that the family of the late Scott Dicks of Grand Bank announces his passing. Scott passed away on the FV Anne Risley in Mulgrave, NS on February 22, 2024 at the age of 36. Leaving to mourn with a lifetime of wonderful memories are the love of his life for 14 years; Nicole; his son, Anthony of Grand Bank; his daughter, Olivia of NB; their daughter, Naomi of Grand Bank; mother, Ellie Keeping; father, Hughie Dicks (Petchie); sister, Tricia (Adam – brother in-law & Best Friend); sister in-law, Nickita Hillier (Jamie); nephews, Addison & Jaxxon; parents in-law, Nick & Sandra House; Best Buddy, Frank; shipmates & work family, crew of the FV Anne Risley; plus a large circle of aunts, uncles, many, many cousins, whom he loved dearly, extended family and friends. more, >>click to read<< 08:55

With the elver harvesting season on the line, some Mi’kmaw chiefs are scrambling for options

Fisheries Minister Diane Lebouthillier has said that due to violence, threats, widespread unauthorized harvesting and potential harm to elver stocks the season should be cancelled because it was “not possible to have a safe and sustainable elver fishery.” Key elements of the Mi’kmaw proposal include monitoring total allowable catches, enhancing traceability using GPS and responsibly managing the fishery. It would also double their total allowable catch. Gerald Toney, fisheries co-lead for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs, said communities still need to discuss future plans and whether harvesters will continue to fish even with a ban in place. more, >>click to read<< 08:01

Fisheries Survival Fund Calls for Reevaluation of Draft PEIS on Offshore Wind Development Impacts on Scallop Fisheries in the New York Bight

The Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF) has submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) regarding the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Draft PEIS) for the New York Bight Wind Energy Area. The FSF, representing the majority of full-time Limited Access scallop fishermen on the East Coast, has raised significant concerns over the inadequacies of the Draft PEIS in addressing the impacts of offshore wind development on scallop fisheries, which are among the most valuable federally-managed commercial fisheries in the United States. The FSF argues that the Draft PEIS, while prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), fails to adequately mitigate the impacts of offshore wind development on the Mid-Atlantic scallop resource and does not sufficiently reduce wind farm interference with scallop fishing activities. more, >>click to read<< 06:55