Monthly Archives: March 2024

Charges Dropped Against Wind Farm Protesters in Ocean City

Charges against six wind farm opponents arrested in a rally last September in Ocean City were dropped this week and their records were expunged. About 60 protesters attended the rally with the goal of stopping workers from drilling holes in the street in an early step in Orsted’s proposed Ocean Wind 1 project. When police asked protesters to relocate about 10 feet from the site, many did. Six others didn’t. After they laid down in the street, they were arrested and charged with two disorderly persons offenses, failure to disperse and obstruction of highways or public pathways. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 15:52

Offshore wind threatens centuries of fishing

Many people today think that offshore wind power will be able to give us abundant (long-lived?) clean energy. The water in the Gulf of Maine is very deep, any turbines sited there will be on floating platforms anchored to the seabed with giant chains. It is important to remember that the Gulf of Maine is the life blood of all our coastal fishing communities. I participated in an interesting project some years ago when the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association was formed. We worked with Island Institute to document how each fishing community extended far out to sea. Each community has traditional grounds that have been worked for centuries by fishermen from those communities. Fishing sustains coastal New England. If offshore wind industrialization is allowed in these fishing grounds the communities connected to these areas will suffer. by Glen Libby, more, >>click to read<< 10:52

Exhibition celebrates town’s lifeboat heritage

A new exhibition celebrates the “very intrinsic part” a lifeboat station has played in the history of a town in the west of the island. The display at the Leece Museum in Peel features images of key figures over the years, the lifeboats that have served the station, and stories of rescues carried out. Tony Quirk of Peel Heritage Trust said the town, which was “known for its fishing industry over the years” was “never short of fishermen and sailors willing to go to sea and rescue the stricken boats”. The exhibition has been designed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the RNLI. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 09:40

Salmon populations are struggling, bringing economic woes for California’s fishing fleet

The season typically runs from May to October, but California Chinook salmon populations have declined so severely in recent years that fishery authorities are considering whether to adopt severe restrictions this season or impose a ban on fishing altogether for the second consecutive year. For those whose livelihoods revolve around catching salmon, the shutdown has brought hard times and widespread frustration. “It’s devastating. It’s absolutely devastating,” said commercial fisherman Chris Pedersen. “They’re literally killing the salmon fleet.” Pedersen, who is 64 and has been fishing for salmon since he was a boy, turned to other work over the past year to make ends meet. He has fiberglassed boats, delivered meals and built sheds at a horse ranch. “You’ve got to do whatever you can to live,” he said. Photos, video, more, >>click to read<< 07:48

Fishermen sail in from the Gulf to sell fresh seafood off the boat at this Louisiana market

Between March and December, a line of people wait, ice chests in hand, on the first Saturday morning of the month in the tiny hamlet of Delcambre. They’re waiting for the fishermen to coast in from the Gulf after catching crabs, fish or shrimp. Some fishermen shimmy into a boat slip, then dock and sell their catch fresh off the boat at the Delcambre Seafood and Farmers Market, held under the Bayou Carlin Cove Boat Landing and Pavilion at 605 S. Railroad St., Delcambre. Launched in 2013, the market hosts up to 60 vendors who sell everything from fresh produce, baked goods, jams and canned food to handmade crafts, jewelry and personalized T-shirts. Additionally, musicians provide live music for customers to enjoy. Lots of photos! more, >>click to read<< 20:12

No signs of herring stocks rebounding 2 years into moratorium, DFO says

Two years into a moratorium on the East Coast’s spring herring fishery, biologists say the stock isn’t improving. Fisheries and Oceans Canada put a moratorium on fishing for herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and on the mackerel fishery in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, on March 30, 2022. At the time, the department said urgent action had to be taken to give the stocks a chance to recover and to ensure the long-term sustainability and prosperity of East Coast fisheries.  DFO biologist Laurie Maynard said that over the last two years of evaluation, the herring stock has plateaued at around 30,000 tonnes, but isn’t showing signs of growth. more, >>click to read<< 14:58

Man found dead inside fishing boat that hit rocks near Point Reyes

A Half Moon Bay man was found dead after his fishing boat crashed into rocks Thursday afternoon near Point Reyes, officials said. The Coast Guard sent a rescue swimmer to the wrecked boat, The Westerly. The swimmer could see someone inside but could not get into the cabin. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office sent rescue helicopter Henry 1 to the boat near Chimney Rock, and a paramedic and tactical flight officer descended by rope onto the boat as waves battered it and it was listing on its side. The damaged boat then began to sink. The helicopter rescue crew broke into the boat’s cabin where they found the man dead. He was later identified as Matthew Paul, 49. The crew extracted Paul’s body and it was airlifted to the Marin County Coroner’s Office, which continues to investigate his cause of death. Video, more, <<click to read<< 11:42

Alaska Legislature boosts allowable payments from fund that covers fishers’ crew medical costs

Maximum payouts from a fund that covers medical costs of injured seafood harvesters would be boosted under a bill that won final passage in the Alaska Legislature on Thursday. The measure, Senate Bill 93, would boost allowable payouts from the Fishermen’s Fund to $15,000 per injury or disablement from the current $10,000 maximum. The fund is financed directly by commercial fishers through their license and permit fees. The change in maximum payouts under the fund would incur no new cost to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, according to the fiscal notes submitted for lawmakers’ review. more, >>click to read<< 10:13

Fishermen displaced by offshore wind farm apply for compensation

Vineyard Wind, the offshore wind developer, is constructing a 62-turbine wind farm in the federal waters south of New Bedford, the nation’s most lucrative fishing port. Uncertainty around whether it’s safe to fish inside offshore wind farms have soured many fishermen to the industry, even as wind developers offer new sources of income to fishermen willing to take on surveying, navigation and safety work. At the meeting at the port authority, a recently retired fisherman consulting for Vineyard Wind acknowledged this tension upfront. “I know how a lot of people feel about offshore wind,” said Fred Mattera. “Believe me, if I could click my heels and it’ll all go away, I’d be clicking my heels like you can’t imagine.” “But it’s not,” Mattera said. more, >>click to read<< 08:29

Blessing of the fleet asks for good weather, safety, and courage for Chilkat Valley fishermen

On a bluebird Sunday, a few dozen people gathered at the Small Boat Harbor for the Blessing of the Fleet. There was some confusion among people who attended about when exactly the tradition started in Haines – but many said the weather was the nicest it has been in years on the day of the ceremony. The annual gathering is sponsored by the Haines Ministerial Association and brings a multi-denominational crowd. “One of my favorite things about it,” said Haines Presbyterian Church Pastor Dana Perreard, “[is] you get folks who aren’t regular churchgoers because they want to honor their family members and remember them.” photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:09

1 person found dead on crashed fishing boat at Point Reyes

A person was found dead in a crashed fishing boat found by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Helicopter Unit (Henry-1) on Thursday. At around 4:30 p.m., Henry-1 responded to calls of a boat that crashed into the rocky shoreline near Chimney Rock in Point Reyes. A rescue swimmer from the U.S. Coast Guard was deployed and located a person in the boat. However, the swimmer was unable to access the cabin without breaching equipment, the sheriff’s office said. Video, more, >>click to read<< 19:29

Hey-Hey-Hey-Lucky! Bas-Caraquet crab fisherman claims $64M record-breaking lottery jackpot

Merel Chiasson’s winning ticket was sitting on his bedroom dresser for nearly a year. A few weeks before it was set to expire, he learned he’d won a record-breaking $64-million jackpot.  The fisherman from Bas-Caraquet, on the Acadian Peninsula, accepted the prize at the Atlantic Lottery office in Moncton on Thursday. It’s the largest lottery win ever claimed in Atlantic Canada. The winning Lotto 649 ticket was purchased in April 2023 and was set to expire next month, leading to speculation and rumours over what had happened. Some suggested it was purchased by a group of people who worked at Walmart, while another said someone had lost the ticket while hunting in the woods. more, >>click to read<< 13:22

The One Weird Trick Trump Could Use to Get Away with January 6th

Far from shore after a week at sea, a Florida fisherman named John Yates was busted by wildlife officials for catching grouper that were too small. But before returning to the dock a day later, Yates chucked the contraband fish overboard rather than hand them over to authorities. So, the federal government charged Yates with destroying evidence under a law passed in response to the energy giant Enron and its shady financial practices. Called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the law was intended to crack down on financial fraud and evidence destruction. Yates argued that the law governed document shredding and fish aren’t documents. Eight years later, the Supreme Court sided with the fisherman in a precedent-setting 2015 decision that limited prosecutions. Today, that dump of grouper could wind up getting Donald Trump off the hook for January 6th. more, >>click to read<< 10:47

What You Didn’t Know About the Andrea Gail and ‘Perfect Storm’ Location

In the fall of 1991, a catastrophic storm swept the northeastern coast of the U.S., wreaking havoc along the coast of Massachusetts. The Andrea Gail set out from Gloucester on what was meant to be a month-long fishing trip off the coast of Newfoundland, covering a total of 900 miles. What they didn’t know was that the storm heading up the coast would take the lives of 13 people and cause millions of dollars in damage from Florida all the way up to Nova Scotia. Winds from the storm reached strengths of 120 miles per hour, and when no communication was heard from the 72-foot Andrea Gail, which was right in the center of the storm, the search was called off in a matter of ten days. To this day, the trawler, and its crew, have never been recovered. Here’s what you never knew about the Andrea Gail’s last communication, speculation about what exactly happened, and the haunting clues that have surfaced since. more, >>click to read<< 09:49

Expert To Examine Case of Arklow Vessel Which Developed Serious Stability Issues

The European Ombudsman may be asked to examine the case of the Mary Kate, the fishing vessel which developed serious stability issues after it was bought by an Arklow family. An Oireachtas committee has also agreed to appoint an expert to examine information surrounding the case. Representatives of the departments of transport and agriculture, food and marine may then be invited before the committee after the expert report is completed. The Joint Committee on Public Petitions and the Ombudsmen has proposed to take these actions after an initial hearing on the case in late February. Arklow fisherman CJ Gaffney was invited to outline his experience, where he was left with debts of 1 million euro. more, >>click to read<< 08:48

Nantucket’s Commercial Scalloping Harvest Tops 8,000 Bushels

Nantucket’s commercial scalloping season comes to an end today, and the harvest by island fishermen will top 8,000 bushels for the first time since the 2019-20 season. Scallopers, along with officials from the Nantucket Shellfish Association and the town’s Natural Resources Department, all said they were pleased to see the final number above 8,000 bushels, a small but not insignificant increase over last season’s total of 7,329 bushels. Bruce Cowan was among the few scallopers still fishing on Thursday, and he returned to Old South Wharf with his five-bushel limit and a smile on his face just before noon. Even with heavy rain and wind gusts expected to top 40 mph today, he said he was still thinking about getting out there for the final day of the season. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:45

UK authorities backtrack on under-10 medical requirement

The UK government has announced a partial reversal of its policy on medical certification for fishermen. This follows an extensive campaign by the NFFO, and now anyone fishing for four weeks or more on a UK under-10 vessel between 30th November 2021 and 29th November 2023 is exempt from the requirement to hold a medical fitness certificate. ‘This is a welcome outcome and desperately needed. It is a total reversal in the government’s position on the under 10m fleet and will benefit thousands of fishermen,’ an NFFO representative commented. more, >>click to read<< 06:50

New Bedford – True North Seafood to shut down city plant

One of the city’s largest seafood processors is shutting down its waterfront facility, laying off as many as 94 local workers as the company consolidates its production in Virginia. True North Seafood, a subsidiary of Canadian seafood giant Cooke, announced the sudden decision to its staff at a floor meeting Thursday morning. The company is a leading distributor of imported fish, processing more than 16 million pounds of salmon each year, according to its website. Cooke has both harvesting and processing operations spanning 15 countries and over 13,000 workers. Its revenues are north of $4 billion, according to a recent interview with CEO Glenn Cooke. more, >>click to read<< 20:16

Opinion: In memoriam of Blue Harvest — private equity giveth, and it taketh away

 You have to be careful when you swim with sharks — sometimes private equity sponsors. Sadly, for New Bedford, Blue Harvest did business with the Dutch private equity firm Bregal Partners. There’s a lot to unpack here, but one thing that sticks out is why a Dutch financial firm would have an interest in a New Bedford fishing company? Big fans of cod? Nope. Money. The answer is always money. The point here is not to blame the process — it’s to learn to avoid the greedy players involved and reflect on why we all did not see it coming. Or at the very least for being surprised it happened. more, >>click to read<< 16:59

Retired Lobsterman Joseph A. Pesce Jr. of Revere, Mass, has passed away

Joseph was born in Revere on September 15, 1938. He was the son of the late Joseph A. and Anna (D’Ambrosio) Pesce. He had been a lifelong resident of Revere and attended Revere Public Schools. Following high school, Joe worked at the Boston Ship Yard as a pipe fitter until he decided to pursue his passion to be a lobsterman. Joe began working as a commercial lobsterman, which was a career that would span over 65 years. His devoted son, David, joined in his passion for lobstering and worked alongside him for the last 30 years. They were the best partners. He was a dedicated and hard-working man who devoted his life to providing for his family. more, >>click to read<< 12:27

Fishermen keep fighting against offshore turbines

It’s a fishing story that’s not being told. That is how some members of the North Carolina For-Hire Captain’s Association (NCFHCA) feel about what they see as a threat offshore wind turbines would pose to the local fishing industry, economy, wildlife and environment. “No matter how we feel or whatever, the feds are shoving this down our throat and it doesn’t matter what we say,” said Capt. Cane Faircloth, a NCFHCA board member who handles media, public relations and marketing for the association of about 300 people. The subject is dear to the heart of Dr. Nick Degennaro of Southport, who has worked in the offshore industry for 30 years and has a doctorate in commercial engineering from the University of Rhode Island. He is opposed to offshore wind energy. This issue is so important to him, “because it’s going to destroy the ocean,” he said. Degennaro said areas that have offshore wind turbines become “dead zones” for fishing. more, >>click to read<< 10:48

Lineless Lobster Launches The Gear Guardian as a Low Cost Rapidly Deployable Interim Solution to the Entanglement Crisis

Lineless Lobster proudly announces the launch of its new project aimed to help address the Right Whale entanglement issue with a product called “The Gear Guardian.” The Gear Guardian is a low cost mechanical device with no electronics that attaches to any lobster trap in minutes. It is designed to reduce the occurrence and severity of Right Whale entanglements, provide a way to rescue otherwise lost “ghost gear” and prove a consumer demand for ethically sourced lobster. “It hit me two years ago-I love whales but hate the way the entanglement issue with Right Whales is playing out. It’s painful seeing Lobstermen hit with unfair regulations and at the same time watching good science be ignored or debated,” says Chris Buchanan, Founder of Lineless Lobster. links, more, >>click to read<< 09:33

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut receive proposals for offshore wind projects

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut received proposals Wednesday for offshore wind projects as the three East Coast states hope to boost their reliance on the renewable energy source. The three states joined in a historic agreement that allows for potential coordinated selection of offshore wind projects. Massachusetts received bids from Avangrid Renewables, South Coast Wind Energy and Vineyard Offshore in response to the region’s largest solicitation to date for offshore wind, seeking up to 3,600 megawatts. more, >>click to read<< 08:07

‘I’m not going to hang around:’ Some Maine lobstermen decide to quit over new regulations

Some lobstermen have decided the paperwork, and more harsh future regulations, aren’t worth it. Bill Coppersmith’s lobster boat is named the “Billy and Andy.” He stopped lobstering the day new reporting requirements started. “Forty-three years of doing it, I took the last of my gear out of the water on New Year’s Day. And I said, ‘That’s probably it,'” Coppersmith said. “It’s come to be too restrictive to go. It creates more work. And I can’t create any more revenue because of the restrictions they’re putting on here.” Lobstermen are also now required to keep a tracking device on board so the Atlantic States Commission can track their movements in the Gulf of Maine. Coppersmith says that’s an invasion of privacy. Video, more, >>click to read<< 06:26

San Diego fishermen fined for poaching

State Department of Fish and Wildlife officials have fined a network of San Diego fishermen a total of $145,000 for poaching bluefin tuna, yellowtail and mahi mahi. A six-month investigation showed more than 5,500 pounds of fish were bought from recreational fishermen and sold in commercial markets, according to a recent news release from the department. Nick Haworth, 28, pleaded guilty and agreed to community service and a $10,000 fine, the release states. His father, David Haworth, 60, agreed to community service and to host six events feeding fish meals to the homeless through a local food bank. The Haworths participate in the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market near Seaport Village and have sold fish at their dock at Driscoll’s Wharf in Point Loma and with home deliveries. Others involved include, more, >>click to read<< 18:45

Fisheries committees to discuss possible trawling closures to protect submerged aquatic vegetation

Three advisory committees of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet in April to discuss a proposal to protect submerged aquatic vegetation through shrimp trawl area closures. The meetings will be held in person and live-streamed on YouTube. Public comments will be accepted in person during the meetings. The commission’s northern advisory committee will meet April 9 at 6 p.m. in the Dare County Board of Commissioners’ meeting room in Manteo. The Southern Advisory Committee will meet April 10 at 6 p.m. in the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries central district office at 5285 Highway 70 West in Morehead City. The shellfish/crustacean advisory committee will meet April 11 at 6 p.m. in the central district office. more, >>click to read<< 15:19

Nominee to Bering Sea fisheries council would tip balance toward tribes, away from trawlers

Tribal and environmental advocates calling for a crackdown on salmon and halibut bycatch are set to gain a new ally on the federal council that manages Alaska’s lucrative Bering Sea fisheries. Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee last week nominated Becca Robbins Gisclair, an attorney and conservation advocate, to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. If U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo accepts Inslee’s recommendation, Gisclair, senior director of Arctic programs at the environmental advocacy group Ocean Conservancy, would assume one of the council’s 11 voting positions. Inslee’s choice comes amid an intense fight at the council about tighter regulation of bycatch, and after what advocates described as a last-minute flurry of lobbying in an effort to convince Inslee to pick an ally of one side or the other in that dispute. more, >>click to read<< 13:42

Northern cod remains in cautious zone, DFO says growth has stalled. FFAW critical of methodology

Scientists with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada say the northern cod stock remains above the critical zone in Newfoundland and Labrador but hasn’t shown signs of growth since 2016. DFO released the findings of its latest stock assessment on Tuesday, showing levels are still in the cautious zone.  Paul Regular, northern cod stock lead for DFO, said their findings suggest numbers haven’t changed much since 2016. The province’s fisheries union, meanwhile, is questioning the validity of DFO’s findings this year, given that some of the work was done earlier in the season than normal. Video, more, >>click to read<< 11:42

A New Chapter In Newlyn’s Fishing Legacy: Formalising The Fish Auction Agreement

In a significant development for the Port of Newlyn, the Newlyn Pier & Harbour Commissioners (NP&HC) and W Stevenson & Sons Limited (WS&S) have finalised a landmark agreement, poised to redefine the UK’s leading quality fish auction from 1st April 2024. This formalization solidifies a longstanding and productive relationship, setting the stage for a modernised partnership aimed at bolstering the facilities and services for the Cornish fleet and the wider UK fishing industry. With the agreement set to activate on the 1st of April, WS&S will assume exclusive auctioneering rights at Newlyn Fish Market for a duration of seven years. more, >>click to read<< 10:31

Fishing industry reels over Biden’s destructive wind farm plan: It’s ‘coming at us from every direction’

Time is running out for fishermen and women in the Northeast who fear their industry is being put at risk by the Biden administration’s renewable energy agenda. “Ground fishermen, lobstermen, whatever you are, you’re under the microscope right now, and it just seems to be something coming at us from every direction,” New England Fishermen’s Stewardship Association (NEFSA) COO Dustin Delano said on “The Big Money Show” Monday. “And with this offshore wind agenda out there to attempt to fight climate change,” he continued, “it’s almost like environmentalists and different folks are willing to destroy the environment to protect the environment.” Video, photos, more, >>click to read<< 08:52