Monthly Archives: June 2024

DFO enforcement official says many arrested in elver fishery will face charges

A top federal fisheries enforcement official says it’s likely many of those arrested this spring for illegally fishing for baby eels along Nova Scotia and New Brunswick rivers will be charged as part of enforcement efforts to try to rein in an out-of-control fishery. Tim Kerr, the Maritime director of conservation and protection for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, said he believes deterrence is working, and the department intends to bring in new measures in an attempt to make sure next year’s season runs more smoothly. “We do expect a large number of charges and subsequent court appearances and decisions to be made against individuals who have been caught harvesting elver unauthorized this year,” he said in an interview Thursday. Stanley King, an elver fisherman, said this week the commercial sector has long been in favour of a traceability system, and is frustrated DFO would not introduce one early enough to potentially avoid this year’s shutdown. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 17:31

‘We need it desperately’: Great Lakes Commercial Fishermen look for help as industry shrinks

Commercial fishing on the Great Lakes began 150 years ago, and fishermen once numbered in the thousands. Now, only a handful of businesses are still at it, and many are aging out and looking for help. Jamie LeClair represents the fifth generation involved in her family-run commercial fishing business. Titus Seilheimer, a fisheries specialist for the Wisconsin Sea Grant, said the industry needs to start training the next generation of commercial fishermen. “There are concerns. A lot of folks I work with are getting older, and the fleet is getting grayer,” said Seilheimer. “That’s an issue here in the Great Lakes, but really any fishery.” Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 12:57

Terrebonne Parish shrimper says three-year bridge closure driving away business

Somewhere down Shrimpers Row lies the “Shrimp Kingdom.” Once a booming business, it now struggles to make ends meet. Tracey Trahan says it’s not just because of the incredibly low prices of shrimp, but instead, a broken bridge that’s driving away thousands of customers. “It’s impacting us tremendously with our sales of our business and getting a large trucking 18-wheelers in here,” said Trahan. “Some of our vendors have even backed out from picking up here because of the highway on Shrimpers Row. It’s too narrow and our truck drivers are complaining about it being dangerous.” Trahan says he’s been asking the parish to make repairs. “I was personally told that they’re waiting on funding from FEMA,” said Trahan. Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<<10:14

Fishery co-op plans on hold after province freezes processing licences 

June 13th, 2024 – The Fisheries Protective Co-operative has put organizing efforts on hold following a decision by the provincial government to institute a freeze on the issuance of new fish processing licences. “We hit a wall that we didn’t see coming,” says organizer Ryan Cleary. “The plan is to move forward when the freeze is eventually lifted,” added Merv Wiseman, another key co-op organizer. The FPC was preparing an application to process groundfish at a seal-processing facility in Fleur de Lys on the Baie Verte Peninsula when an official with provincial Fisheries revealed this week that a licence freeze is in effect. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 09:12

RWE to start seabed surveys at floating wind site offshore California

Site investigation survey work will soon start at RWE’s floating wind project site off the coast of Northern California, where the Germany-based offshore wind developer plans to build its first commercial-scale floating offshore wind farm, Canopy. RWE will be performing initial site investigation surveys during 2024 and 2025, with the first activities beginning in June 2024. The work will involve mapping the seafloor so the best locations for the wind turbines, anchors and electric cables can be assessed. The surveys will also provide data that will help better understand biodiversity, habitats, and other environmental factors to ensure responsible planning and design that minimizes the impact on ocean ecosystems, according to the developer. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 08:11

Georgia food shrimp harvest season opens June 18

Georgia’s 2024 commercial and recreational food shrimp season will open in state waters at 8 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2024. The opening applies to Georgia’s territorial waters from shore to three nautical miles offshore. Data from CRD’s Ecological Monitoring Trawl Survey, which monitors shrimp populations year-round, showed the fishery in May was producing higher numbers of shrimp over the 5-year average, although their sizes were negligibly smaller than shrimp from the same period.   more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 06:59

Lobster fishers want to see a crack down on poaching in southwestern Nova Scotia

The issue was raised during a meeting in Yarmouth among industry members and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). They’re worried more moderate livelihood fishing will dominate St. Mary’s Bay. First Nations fishers maintain their Treaty rights to fish. DFO has not authorized that fishery, but they do allow some Food, Social and Ceremonial licenses. Colin Sproul with the Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance says catches were low in the bay during the fall season. “Everybody in southwestern Nova Scotia knows why that is. I think it’s incumbent on the government to act now, before lobster fishing in St. Mary’s Bay is a thing of the past,” said Sproul. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 05:53

25 Dishes to Enjoy While Celebrating National Lobster Day

Succulent, buttery lobster. It’s as special as a dish can be, and there’s so many ways to enjoy it. June 15 is National Lobster Day, and it’s a celebration that serves as a great excuse to enjoy a classic lobster roll or steamed lobster. But why stop there? From lobster pot pie to variations on lobster pasta, there’s some beautiful dishes for the avowed lobster lover to truly appreciate. 25 dishes, From Maine Lobster Pot Pie to Lobster Dumplings, to Chicken Fried Maine Lobster. Every dish is stunning! lots of photos from the places that create them and serve them from all over the country. more, >>CLICK TO READ<<  15:16

Explorer Ernest Shackleton’s last ship found off Labrador’s south coast, says expedition

The last vessel helmed by famed Anglo-Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, lost for more than 60 years, has been discovered on the ocean floor, less than half a kilometre off Labrador’s south coast, says the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Expedition leader John Geiger, the society’s CEO, said the wreck was found in the Labrador Sea, lying at a depth of 390 metres. He added it was in the vicinity of where the ship had been reported to have sunk. ”This is a very important vessel. Historically it was the final expedition ship of Sir Ernest Shackleton,” he said Wednesday morning at a news conference at the Marine Institute in St. John’s. “As many of you know, he died on this ship on his final expedition of the Shackleton–Rowett expedition, which set out to initially explore Canada.” Using sonar operated by Marine Institute staff, the international team say they found the Quest off the coast near Battle Harbour, on Sunday, five days into its expedition, which left June 5. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 12:24

F/V Frøyanes: Ice-Capable Trawler/Crabber for Norwegian Barents Sea Fishing Company

Norwegian fishing company Ervik Havfiske recently took delivery of a new shrimp trawler built to a design by naval architecture firm Marin Teknikk. The steel-hulled F/V Frøyanes is outfitted as a triple-rig trawler that can also be utilised for catching snow crab in the Norwegian and Barents Seas. “Ervik Havfiske wanted a combination of shrimp trawling and crab catching capability,” Thomas Edvard Gjerde, Sales Manager Fish and Aqua at Marin Teknikk, told Baird Maritime. “The owner also wanted a vessel with a moonpool, which is a common feature on the longliners in its fleet.” The array of fishing equipment on Frøyanes includes conventional trawls and a large moonpool through which crab pots can be hauled on board. Moonpools that have proven effective in longliners are also confirmed to be useful in working with crabs, particularly in ensuring their gentle handling and protection from the elements for better catch quality. This also allows female crabs to be easily sorted out and released back into the sea so they can reproduce. Photos, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 10:24

Editor’s Log: Mitigate This! by Jim Hutchinson, Jr.

Last month I received notification from the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) of a fisheries compensation fund deadline for financial losses stemming from construction of the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind farm about 13 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, MA. MAFMC clearly recognizes that the construction of a large-scale offshore wind site like Vineyard Wind 1 will result in “financial losses” in the fishing community, yet the only members of the fishing industry eligible to receive compensation apparently are “commercial fishing vessel owners/operators.”  Sounds like anglers should keep any eye out while watching late-night television for the best personal injury lawyer able to secure the future compensation we deserve! “The Program was created to provide compensation to commercial fishing vessels/operators for economic losses attributable to construction, operation, and decommissioning activities of Vineyard Wind 1,” the MAFMC notice stated. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 08:30

N.S. spends $6.5M on fund to reduce emissions from boats, commercial fisheries

Nova Scotia is seeking to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions from the seafood sector with a greenhouse gas emissions. According to a news release from the province, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Energy Efficiency Innovation Fund will support initiatives to reduce emissions from boats, buildings, aquaculture operations and commercial fisheries. “Our industries are already leaders in fighting climate change through the investments they’re making to reduce energy use,” said Kent Smith, minister of fisheries and aquaculture, in the release. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 07:18

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 36′ Wayne Beal Gillnetter/Lobster Boat

To review specifications, information, and 10 photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series, >click here< 06:07

N.C. Wildlife Federation calls for inshore shrimp trawling ban, commercial fisheries lobbying group responds

N.C. Wildlife Federation CEO Tim Gestwicki called on state legislators Tuesday to “put a stop to inshore shrimp trawling as soon as possible.” In a news release, Gestwicki said the call is in response to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries canceling the recreational southern flounder season for 2024. Glenn Skinner, executive director of the N.C. Fisheries Association, a Morehead City-based trade and lobbying group for the state’s commercial fishermen, said Tuesday the wildlife federation is using the flounder season cancellation to scare fishermen and “build momentum” for its ongoing effort to ban shrimp trawling. The recreational fishermen exceeded the quota in 2023, he said, but commercial fishermen, who also had a short season, did not. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 17:48

Oregon U.S. lawmakers seek federal help for West Coast seafood industry

Last year, Oregon’s seafood industry got a much-needed boost from the federal government. But it continues to struggle and still needs help. That’s the message from five Democratic members of Congress from Oregon, who’ve written to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to request aid for West Coast seafood fishermen, processors and distributors. “Commercial fishing and seafood processing on the West Coast are significant contributors to the nation’s seafood production and agricultural economy,” the lawmakers said. “The industry serves as the economic backbone for numerous small ports and rural coastal communities in Oregon. Fishing activities are deeply ingrained in the local culture and way of life across the Oregon Coast.”   more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 15:44

Scots overwhelmingly supportive of fishing sector – Polling shows UK-produced food as important as UK-produced energy

A large majority of Scots are backing the fishing industry amid growing pressure on fishing grounds, in a reminder to politicians not to neglect an important sector ahead of the general election. A new poll commissioned by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) reveals that 19 in 20 (95.7%) of Scots believe it is important for the UK to retain control over its fisheries. The poll also highlights that 91% agree fishing is a vital part of the UK economy. Additionally, 89.7% of people agree that UK-produced food is just as important as UK-produced energy. These issues will be debated by an election hustings panel including Kate Forbes, Rhoda Grant, Rachael Hamilton and Alastair Carmichael in Edinburgh tomorrow (12 June) at an event hosted by SFF. Please find attached the release and images for use. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Thanks.
“As the public clearly recognises, there needs to be a significant change of mindset by both government and developers before it is too late and fishermen are put out of business. We would not cover our best agricultural land with solar panels. So why should we fill our best fishing grounds with massive wind farms?”  more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 12:26

Pushing Technology Boundaries

Fishing vessel Aksel Johan has it all – battery hybrid propulsion, heat recovery, peak shaving, and load balancing on the engine, hull and propeller, along with exhaust gas cleaning – plus it’s the first fishing vessel to use a thermoelectric system to harness heat from the exhaust in a world first. Built for Senjahopen company Berg Fisk AS, Aksel Johan is some months behind schedule and should have been delivered in October last year – but delays at the Baltic yard where the hull was fabricated, due to the war in Ukraine resulting in a shortage of manpower, meant that the construction has been challenging. But according to Berg Fisk’s managing director Johan-Arild Hansen, the new vessel has performed perfectly on the delivery trip from the yard in Denmark. Photos, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 10:56

Maine lobster boat races touch down in Bass Harbor on June 23

Get ready for the roar of high-powered diesel and high-octane gasoline engines as the annual Maine Lobster Boat Races kick off in Hancock County on June 23 in Bass Harbor. Racing begins this weekend in Boothbay Harbor on Saturday, June 15, and travels down the coast to Rockland on Sunday, June 16, before arriving in Bass Harbor the following weekend. The circuit lands in Moosabec Reach in Jonesport on June 29, Stonington on July 14, Friendship on July 21, Harpswell on July 28, Winter Harbor on Aug. 10, Bristol on Aug. 11 and wraps up in Portland on Aug. 18. Towns roll out the (lobster)-red carpet when the races come to town. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 09:33

Fire Dept. Honored On 5th Anniversary of Saving Historic Workboat from Flames

It is nearly five years to the day after a waterfront fire threatened to destroy a beloved 1931 workboat. Thanks to the hard work of local firefighters, the deck boat is still around. Those firefighters were honored last weekend for their role in saving history. The York County and City of Poquoson fire departments were recognized at the Yorktown Workboat Races for their remarkable effort on June 12, 2019 in saving the 55’ deck boat Linda Carol from fire. The Linda Carol was moored beside the Surf Rider Restaurant in Poquoson when the restaurant caught fire and was totally destroyed. Surrounded by raging smoke and flames, firefighters working from boats and shore kept the fire from spreading to the Linda Carol and other vessels by constantly spraying water on the boats. Photos, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 08:39

The next generation of commercial fishing in New England

Commercial fishing has been part of New England’s economy and culture for centuries, but it now faces challenging headwinds. The average age of a commercial fishing boat captain in northern New England is between 58 and 60 years old, says Andrea Tomlinson, founder and executive director of New England Young Fishermen’s Alliance. The non-profit is working to bring a new generation into leadership through its “Deckhand to Captain” training program. Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 05:56

NCFA Weekly Update for June 10, 2024

Mandatory Harvest Reporting, Why and How?  SAFMC Meets This Week This Week. As you know, in 2023 legislation was approved that places new “mandatory reporting” requirements on both recreational anglers and commercial fishermen who participate in North Carolinas coastal fisheries. As usual, this has led to a lot of comments, complaints, and misinformation which, quite frankly, is what started the mandatory reporting conversation in the first place. As one of the primary supporters of “mandatory reporting” we feel it’s important for the NCFA to explain exactly why and how this legislation came to be. more, >>CLICK TO READ<<– 18:18

Offshore wind farm lease auction plan has Gulf of Maine fishermen feeling brushed aside

The prospect of hundreds of offshore wind turbines generating power in the Gulf of Maine is moving forward with plans to auction eight leases in a large swath of waters off the New England coast. Jerry Leeman III, the CEO of the New England Fishermen’s Stewardship Association, said there’s not enough data to support the areas that have been chosen for wind development. As now laid out, the plan could take away valuable fishing grounds from New England’s fishing fleet, pose navigational hazards and create new environmental threats, he said. “We still have more questions than we have answers,” he said. “Yet we’re moving ahead with the leasing ahead of the science.” more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 12:37

Atlantic herring suffering in warming Gulf of St. Lawrence

Decades of research show a slow decline in herring stocks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and scientists are linking that decline to waters that are warming with climate change. Recent research from NASA found that about 90 per cent of global warming is occurring in the ocean. In the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Joël Chassé, an oceanographer with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, said 11 of 12 months last year had warmer than normal surface temperatures, and he expects a similar pattern this year. “Fishermen in northern New Brunswick, the Baie des Chaleur region, were having difficulty finding the fish,” said Jacob Burbank, a researcher in fish ecology with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “They weren’t seeing Atlantic herring where they normally would see Atlantic herring. They kept waiting for them to come in for their spawning and they just didn’t see them.” more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 11:40

Weatherbeaten Maine Seeks More Resilient Infrastructure

Stonington, Maine, is an island town in Penobscot Bay with a year-round population of just over 1,000 people. Its lobster fishing port is the biggest in the state, supplying about 11 percent of all the Maine lobster that gets shipped to food markets around the world. In January, a winter storm caused a surge that flooded out a string of privately owned wharves that support the lobster industry and washed over a publicly owned commercial pier, knocking out all of its electronics. “We basically got hit by a wall of water,” says Linda Nelson, Stonington’s director of economic development. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 10:10

The anti-windfarm ‘odd couple’ joining forces to fight the renewable energy projects Australia’s already failing to build

Deep in coal country, a lifelong environmentalist and one-time Greens candidate is feeling the applause. It’s Thursday night at a Gladstone pub and Steven Nowakowski has won over sceptical locals. His message is a simple one; he believes a wave of new windfarm developments threatens to smash hilltops and turn koala habitat into “industrial zones”. The green movement, he says, are in “la-la land” over windfarms, a comment that draws nods and knowing smiles from the audience. But its only when one local suggests building a new coal-fired power station does the crowd erupt in spontaneous applause. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 08:59

OPINION: Peltola pulls for Alaska fishermen, By Linda Behnken

Wild seafood provides food security and livelihoods across the country, but nowhere is that more true than in Alaska. We are fortunate to have a leader who not only has her own boots in fisheries but is bold enough to drive hard conversations around our biggest challenges. In the North Pacific, that includes bycatch management and habitat protection — not only as a foundation for sustainable management, but as a critical part of climate resilience. We’ve seen the complete collapse of two iconic Alaska crab species, and elimination of subsistence fishing on major rivers with communities highly dependent upon that food resource. We’ve witnessed the abrupt crash of Gulf of Alaska cod following the 2014-2016 marine heat wave. As fish stocks and ocean conditions change more quickly and more substantially than ever before, we need conservation tools that match the pace with that change to safeguard ocean health. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 07:33

Irish Fishing Family to Welcome New Trawler

Irish fisherman Eric Murphy and his family will soon welcome a new trawler into their fleet. Built locally by Mooney Boats to a design by Vestværftet of Denmark, Eilean Croineis a sister vessel of Sparkling Star, which was completed and delivered to another owner in 2023. Both vessels will be operated out of Castletownbere in County Cork, mainly performing pelagic trawling, though they may also be configured for demersal trawling for whitefish. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 06:24

‘Deadliest Catch’: Wild Bill Opens Up About Cancer Diagnosis

Captain Wild Bill Wichrowski of ‘Deadliest Catch’ refused to ‘crawl into a shell’ when he learned he had prostate cancer. Deadliest Catch star Wild Bill Wichrowski is opening up about his experience with prostate cancer, in the hopes that sharing his journey will help others in a similar situation. “The fact that I allowed the news to be broadcast, I heard from a million people, ‘Oh, I hope you’re all right,’ he says. “I was hoping that the fact that I kept going, it would show people that if you have this, you can keep working. You can keep your life moving. I wasn’t going to stop unless I had to.” Fortunately for Wichrowski, his treatment seems to be going well. Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 17:01

Houseboat Dwellers Can Now Generate All the Electricity They Need From the Ocean

The oceans contain nearly unimaginable amount of power. Engineers have long dreamed of transforming some of it into electricity. Complex past concepts have ranged from “tide farms” that include hundreds of rising floats moored to the ocean bottom to huge hydro-electric dams blocking off harbors. Now, a startup in Alaska has a new personal hydrogenerator design so simple it is 3D-printable. You can lower it over the side of a boat, just like an anchor. Whether the tides are coming in or going out, the water spins the turbine and generates 1.6 kW of power. When would this be useful? Anytime a boat is anchored or docked for an extended time. Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 11:26

Newly released data reveals record number of cetacean deaths in UK waters

Tragically, more than 1000 whales, dolphins and porpoises were stranded around the UK in 2018 – and it was a similar number the following year with 980 cetaceans reported to the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) in 2019. What is causing the huge upturn in cetacean deaths around the UK? There could be a number of factors of course, there are many theories out there, but at least in the case of the Sperm whales in Yorkshire, we can largely rule out ship strike and entanglement, often casually blamed for the deaths of marine mammals. Whatever your hypothesis, whether you choose to blame climate change, naval sonar, fishing, pollution or plastics, don’t ignore the elephant in the room – industrial offshore wind farms.  more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 07:37