Daily Archives: May 24, 2024

‘To honor the lobstermen,’ Bailey Island artist paints their portraits

“I love Maine. Lobstering’s part of Maine. Lobstering’s threatened. And I just want to honor the lobstermen.” So said Bailey Island artist Dennis Wilkins, who often walks the quarter mile from his home on Abner Point to Glen’s Lobsters, the place where he buys his “critters.” It was there he conceived of the project that he hopes will raise awareness of the ongoing challenges facing the lobster industry. “They’re under multiple stresses — climate change, regulations … It’s like the world’s coming down on them,” Wilkins said. “I want them to see that they’re recognized … they’re appreciated, so much so that I’m going to spend time to paint their portraits and give them to them.” Wilkins, a retired neurologist and self-trained fine artist, started working on the project in June 2023. Portraits, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 15:46

NOAA starts review process to list Alaska Chinooks as threatened or endangered

NOAA Fisheries on Thursday announced a 90-day finding on a petition to list Gulf of Alaska Chinook salmon “or any evolutionarily significant unit that may exist in the petitioned area, as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act and to designate critical habitat concurrent with the listing.” The listing proposal comes after pressure from the Wild Fish Conservancy in Seattle, which filed a petition in January calling for federal protection of Alaska Chinook. “For decades, scientists have been sounding the alarm that Alaska’s Chinook are in dire trouble,” said Emma Helverson, executive director of the Wild Fish Conservancy. “Despite existing management plans and years of efforts by the state of Alaska, Chinook salmon continue to decline in abundance, size, diversity, and spatial structure throughout the state. Through this action, we are asking the federal government to undertake a formal status review and implement protections warranted under the Endangered Species Act, including designating critical habitat protections, to ensure the survival of these iconic fish.” more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 12:33

When a massive chemical plant came knocking, it was Hilton Head’s Black fishermen who answered

On a spring day in 1970, a small group of fishermen set sail to take on a giant. Shrimpers with the Hilton Head Fishing Cooperative boarded a 43-foot fishing trawler and headed for Washington, D.C., with protest signs, a petition and a mission to halt the building of a multimillion-dollar industrial plant on the banks of the Colleton River. What happened next is a story of perseverance through unlikely odds: A group of Black fishermen from a backwater sea island faced off against a state-sponsored $200 million chemical-processing plant — and won. It’s a story still told today. Photos,  more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 09:45

Lobster dispute settled a day after fishermen defy order to remove traps

A brewing battle between the federal government and lobster fishermen in northern New Brunswick appears to have come to an end. A federal closure of lobster fishing zones in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off New Brunswick’s Acadian Peninsula was being defied by hundreds of fishermen refusing to remove their traps. A news release from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans sent Thursday evening says that lobster boats will be able to fish closer to shore. “I am pleased to see DFO has adjusted the closure requirements and harvesters can now set their traps up to the 10 fathom shallow water protocol management line for the remainder of the 15-day period,” said federal Fisheries and Oceans , in the release. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 08:50

Sealing the Future: Revive and promote the seal hunt, federal report recommends

When Paul McCartney campaigned against the seal hunt in 2006, it was unclear how reliant the Inuit and some coastal community economies were on the trade. Three years later, the European Union banned all seal products. The market for seal products was decimated, and with it came the rise of poverty and suicide within Inuit communities despite exemptions for their products, Steven Lonsdale of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association told the Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans late last year. Now, a new report from that committee acknowledges the harm done by the ban and recommends Ottawa must do more to revive the struggling industry in what it has branded a call to action. more, >>CLICK TO READ 07:40

Vineyard Wind 1 Fisheries Compensation Program Application Deadline Approaching

This notice is a reminder to commercial fishermen that the eligibility period to apply for the Vineyard Wind 1 Fisheries Compensatory Mitigation Program ends on June 3, 2024. Commercial fishing vessel owners/operators must submit an online application prior to the June 3, 2024, deadline, to be considered for eligibility.  The program is open to commercial fishing vessel owners/lessees in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island who can demonstrate historical fishing activities in the lease area, OCS-A 0501, which is south of Martha’s Vineyard. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 06:00