Daily Archives: March 1, 2024

Commercial Fishermen in Alaska Find Suspected Spy Balloon, FBI Investigation Pending

Commercial fishermen off the coast of Alaska have stumbled upon what could be a significant find—a suspected spy balloon, sparking immediate interest from U.S. officials. The object, believed to resemble those used in foreign surveillance activities, is now en route to the shore, escorted by the fishermen who discovered it. This incident has generated considerable attention, with the FBI preparing to conduct a thorough investigation upon its arrival. The unexpected discovery occurred when the fishermen noticed an unusual object floating off the coast. Initial photographs sent to local law enforcement caught the eye of federal officials, prompting an urgent request for the object to be brought to land. more, >>click to read<< 18:18

Maine lobstermen made more money in 2023 despite catching fewest lobster in 15 years

Maine lobstermen raked in $464.4 million at the docks last year, rebounding from the worst year the fishery had seen in a decade, according to an annual report from the Maine Department of Marine Resources released Friday. The dwindling number of landings isn’t necessarily a surprise, though. State officials and members of the lobstering community say the decrease reflects the impacts of high costs to operate the fishery last year. And the dip in poundage indicates how lobstermen navigated the challenging obstacles.“Fishermen are now very strategic about how they fish. Expenses are through the roof, so you can’t afford to be out if you’re not making money,” said Patrice McCarron, a lobsterman and policy director with the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. more, >>click to read<< 16:26

Commercial fisheries landings increased more than $25 million in value in 2023

Preliminary numbers for commercial seafood landings in 2023 released today show a strong year for the industry, with commercial fishermen earning $611,277,692 — an increase of $25 million — for 204,684,775 pounds of seafood brought in to state docks. Despite a warming Gulf of Maine, intense storms and the damage to working waterfronts and lower lobster landings, “the Maine seafood industry continues to be a powerful economic engine for our state,” said Governor Janet Mills. Statewide, 93,734,116 pounds of lobsters landed on docks for a $461,371,720 value, an increase of about $72 million. The value represents what is paid at the docks to fishermen, dollars that flow throughout local communities and the state’s overall economy. Stonington is the top port for commercial seafood value this year, bringing in $47.37 million of value, and the second port, behind Portland, for pounds — 13.98 million. more, >>click to read<< 12:54

On fisheries, Australia must be prepared for New Zealand as opponent rather than ally

On February 1, senior Australian and New Zealand ministers signed a Joint Statement of Cooperation, acknowledging the long history of collaboration between the two nations. The same week, New Zealand rejected an Australian proposal on sustainable fishing at the annual fisheries meeting of nations that fish in the high seas of the South Pacific. The move has driven a wedge between these traditional allies. At stake was an agreement by those nations to protect 70% of special and vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as ancient corals, from destructive fishing practices like bottom-trawling. Until December 2023, NZ was jointly leading the work to implement this agreement with Australia. But New Zealand’s new government, a coalition of conservative parties, rejected the proposed restrictions, citing concerns about jobs and development. more, >>click to read<< 10:53

Put rules in writing to fix Maritime elver fishery’s enforcement problem, say businesses

Representatives of the $45-million Maritime elver fishery are calling on the federal government to implement enforceable regulations for moderate livelihood fishing by Indigenous people. They told a Senate committee in Ottawa Thursday the failure to define or regulate moderate livelihood rights by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is one reason for the uncontrolled harvest of baby eels on dozens of rivers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. “Among these poachers are First Nations unwilling to work with DFO to access the fishery under a banner of moderate livelihood rights, backed by organized crime, specifically biker gangs and foreign smuggling networks. Our once peaceful industry has recently faced violent disruption,” said Genna Carey, a commercial licence holder speaking on behalf of the Canadian Committee for a Sustainable Eel Fishery, an industry group. more, >>click to read<< 09:29

Two fishermen have lucky escape after losing consciousness from toxic fumes – from rotting fish

Two fishermen had a lucky escape after being overcome by toxic fumes created by a combination of rotting fish and seawater on board their fishing vessel shortly after leaving the port of Clogherhead almost 18 months ago, an investigation has revealed. A report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board outlined how the two experienced fishermen lost consciousness after entering a tank on board their trawler. The incident occurred on board F/V Ardent at around 3.15pm on October 31, 2022 shortly after it had departed from Port Oriel, Clogherhead, Co Louth. The first casualty was observed experiencing spasms while lying on the floor of the tank, while waiting for emergency services to arrive with breathing apparatus. more >>click to read<< 08:34

Floating offshore wind experts say they want to coexist with Maine lobstermen, but lobstermen say no thanks

Lobstermen asked pointed questions Thursday about a planned offshore floating wind array that they fear will take away fishing grounds and potentially disrupt the species they rely on to make a living. “Offshore wind overall we have a lot of issues with,” Virginia Olsen, political director of the Maine Lobstering Union said. “We know it will be industrializing our ocean and as fishermen we just don’t want to see that happen.” During the Thursday presentation, state officials and consultants working on the floating array emphasized they want to work toward “coexistence” between the new technology and the fishing industry. But that didn’t sit well with some of the lobstermen, who said they don’t want to co-exist with the turbines. more, >>click to read<< 06:50