Monthly Archives: July 2024

Joy in Newfoundland after ‘Lucky 7’ fishers survive harrowing days lost at sea

The F/V Elite Navigator fishing boat and its crew seemed to vanish on Wednesday night. The craft was reported missing on Thursday after transmitting its final signal at around 8:30 p.m. the night before, the Canadian Coast Guard said. The vessel had caught fire and sank, forcing the crew to hastily disembark and wait for rescue on the life raft. A massive search soon followed, involving four coast guard ships, a Cormorant helicopter, a Hercules aircraft and many local fishing vessels. In New-Wes-Valley, which is an amalgamation of three small fishing communities along Newfoundland’s northeast coast, people braced for the worst. Fishing is among Canada’s deadliest professions, and tragedy is a common thread linking people in fishing communities across Atlantic Canada. more, CLICK TO READ<< 14:23

Brexit fury as fears grow Keir Starmer will give EU fishing boats access to UK waters

The European Union will demand access to Britain’s fishing waters in return for Sir Keir Starmer’s reset in UK-EU relations, according to reports. The Prime Minister said he wants a “better deal” and spoke of resetting the UK’s relationship with Europe at the end of a European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, on Thursday (July 18). Brussels bureaucrats are reportedly preparing a list of “offensive interests” the bloc will deploy in future talks with London, according to the Daily Telegraph. Reports the EU would seek access to British fishing waters sparked outrage on social media, with Richard Tice MP, Deputy Leader of Reform UK, tweeting: “NO NO NO. We want our fishing waters back, not giving more away.” more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 12:21

Humboldt County Officials Respond to Recent Turbine Blade Collapse at East Coast Vineyard Wind Farm

Operations were suspended this week at Vineyard Wind 1, an offshore wind farm located about 35 miles off the coast of mainland Massachusetts, after a damaged wind turbine blade broke apart and fell into the ocean. The cause of the incident remains unknown. Project developer Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, is an affiliate of Vineyard Offshore, the company planning to build a floating offshore wind farm here on the North Coast. In a statement issued Monday, Vineyard officials noted that the project is still in its commissioning phase and offered reassurance that the company has “detailed plans to guide its response” to such incidents. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 09:37

History’s mystery: Lobsterman discovers 150-year-old anchor

One Stonington lobsterman has made an epic discovery that is benefitting his community. When lobster fisherman Mike Billings set out to check his traps July 8th, everything was business as usual until something caught his eye. “I noticed I had a buoy just barely kegging, usually there’s two buoys, a buoy and a toggle. So I went over and I pulled on it and I pulled up on it and when I did, it was heavy but when I let go, it pulled back and literally felt like something was pulling on it,” Billings describes. Securing the foreign object with ropes, Billings hauled it alongside his boat until it slowly revealed itself as an anchor! Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 07:55

‘Nothing short of a miracle’: Missing N.L. fishing crew arrive home safely

The crew members’ safe arrival was emotional as family and friends tightly hugged the loved ones they thought they’d lost. Captain of the Elite Navigator, Eugene Carter, said the crew is happy to be home after spending almost three days in a life-raft following a fire on the ship that escalated quickly. “Within five minutes, we had seven men aboard a life-raft and there was fire around us everywhere,” Carter said. In the days that followed, Carter said the crew had to keep each other warm, there was limited water supply, and the raft kept drifting farther away from land. Nonetheless, they stayed in good spirits. “We were actually sitting around joking with each other, using the microphone, interviewing each other with the flashlight trying to keep our hopes and everything up,” he said. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 06:26

Nantucket Select Board to pursue litigation against Vineyard Wind in wake of blade failure

Amid the Vineyard Wind crisis rattling the island, the Nantucket Select Board is set to pursue litigation against the wind energy company in connection to the blade failure that has resulted in debris floating on the ocean and washing ashore. The Select Board is scheduled to meet in executive session on Tuesday to discuss the path forward relative to recovery costs associated with the disaster, according to an agenda posted on the town website Friday. Select Board members will convene in a public session on Wednesday evening with a follow-up on the Vineyard Wind 1 blade failure and an update on the cleanup slated to be part of the town manager’s report. This all comes as the blade failure, which popped up last Saturday about 21 miles south of Nantucket, continues to wreak havoc on the island. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 16:37

Norton Sound Crab Season Ends Early Amidst Concerns Over Non-Regional Fishing Vessels

After only 28 days, the Norton Sound summer commercial Red King Crab season has come to a close. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, this year’s season was just over half as long as the average run of 54 days from 1994 to 2023. For the 2024 season, Norton Sound was the only fishery in the country open for commercial Red King Crab harvesting. This is an attractive opportunity for fishing crews as the statewide commercial quota for the reputed “deadliest catch” is solely concentrated in the waters of Norton Sound. A boat at the center of recent public scrutiny is the F/V Resilient, owned and operated by Raymond May of Kodiak. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 10:24

CMP Parent Company’s Offshore Wind Turbine Creates Environmental Disaster Off New England Coast

An offshore wind turbine project operated by Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners broke apart this week, scattering debris throughout Massachusetts’ coastal waters, with much of the flotsam washing up on Nantucket beaches. Since the turbine experienced a catastrophic malfunction — for reasons that are not yet clear — social media has been inundated with pictures and videos of beachgoers and government employees picking up trash bags and dumpsters full of debris. The turbine in question is owned by Vineyard Wind US, a joint project of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners of Denmark and Avangrid, the parent company of Central Maine Power (CMP). The turbine itself was manufactured by GE Vernova, which has experienced similar failures in the past with their offshore wind projects. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 08:53

Missing N.L. fishing crew found safe, returning home

The crew of the Elite Navigator, the fishing vessel missing since Wednesday, has been found safe. The fishing vessel went missing off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, with the boat’s last known location about 300 kilometres northeast of Gander. Premier Andrew Furey posted to social media around 1 a.m. Saturday that search and rescue efforts had been a success. “Our entire province is so relieved to hear the crew members of the Elite Navigator have been found and are returning to safety to their families, who have been waiting so anxiously for this good news,” Furey posted. “Thank you to all the dedicated people involved in the search and rescue effort.” more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 06:57

UPDATE: Residents of New-Wes-Valley anxious for missing fishermen to be found safe, says mayor

A community on Newfoundland’s east coast is waiting for any news about a missing fishing vessel that is the focus of an intense search, says a mayor. The vessel, the 15-metre Elite Navigator, has not been heard from since Wednesday evening.  New-Wes-Valley mayor Mike Tiller said the people of his community are worried and anxious for any updates, and hoping the vessel will be found. The missing vessel has a crew of seven. Five are from New-Wes-Valley, he said, one is from Centreville-Wareham-Trinity and another from the Gander Bay region. “They were out for a trip of turbot. I think they were due back in Valleyfield yesterday afternoon. And I guess when they didn’t show up of course that’s what set off the initial alarms,” said Tiller. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 13:41

Montauk Fisherman Gets 30 Months for Fraud

Christopher Winkler, 64, whose trawler is called New Age, was convicted last October on one count of federal criminal conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, and two counts of obstruction of justice. A federal jury was unanimous in finding the evidence convincing that between 2014 and 2017, Mr. Winkler had falsified fishing reports to sell the fluke and black sea bass well in excess of legal limits with a “conservative wholesale valuation” of $750,000, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Last Thursday, Judge Joan M. Azrack of the U.S. Eastern District Court in Central Islip sentenced Mr. Winkler to 30 months in prison with two years’ supervised release. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 12:24

Bristol Bay floating fish processor back at full capacity after fire

The Hannah, operated by startup Northline Seafoods, arrived in the region earlier this year. It uses super-cold spiral freezers to quickly freeze fish and then store them on board until the end of the season. But just before Bristol Bay’s salmon season hit its peak, one of those spiral freezers had an electrical fire. Because of the June 30 blaze, the Hannah has operated at reduced capacity for the last two weeks. On Wednesday, Northline announced that the freezer had been repaired. With that fix, the startup’s floating processing vessel is back to full capacity. “We definitely missed a few days of the peak, which we can’t get back. But we intend to continue to buy hopefully into the fall here,” said Northline CEO Ben Blakey. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 10:17

‘Bunch Of Suits Trying To Cover Their Tracks’: Beach Town Locals Slam Offshore Wind Developer For Polluting Shores

Local lobsterman Dan Pronk lamented the effects the debris has had on his business and the environment during the town hall meeting while holding a piece of fiberglass that had washed up on the beach, while also addressing Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus Moeller personally, according to another video posted on X by the Nantucket Current. “I fish 800 lobster traps right where you’re putting these tombstones, which is also the end of my business… When you apply [fiberglass]… you have to wear respirators. For what reason? Because it’s toxic. If you breathe those fumes… you’ll get higher than a rat,” he continued. “So, it is toxic. What do you have to say about that, Klaus?” more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 08:37

Search Underway For Fishing Vessel Overdue off Northeast Coast

A search is continuing for a fishing vessel reported overdue off the northeast coast of Newfoundland yesterday. The last communication with the 56-foot Elite Navigator was around 11 p.m. Wednesday night, when they were en route to Valleyfield to offload their catch. The vessel was reported overdue Thursday afternoon, with heavy fog hampering search and rescue efforts in the area. More info as it becomes available. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 06:38

Task force report identifies research needs to better understand Alaska salmon problems

Fishery managers overseeing Alaska’s faltering salmon runs should be able to rely on a more comprehensive and holistic approach to science that considers all habitat, from the middle of the ocean to freshwater spawning streams far inland, according to a task force report on salmon research needs. The report was issued last week by the Alaska Salmon Research Task Force, a group established through a 2022 act of Congress to identify knowledge gaps and research needs. The task force comprises close to 20 members and includes scientists, fishers, Indigenous community representatives and agency managers. In addition to those members, the effort included a special 42-member working group focused on salmon problems in the Yukon and Kuskokwim River drainages. The report follows a year’s worth of meetings and consultations. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 17:34

North Atlantic right whale seen off Ireland for first time in 114 years

Holidaymaker Adrian Maguire, from Co Tyrone, glimpsed the large, dark body of the whale on the surface of the water while out fishing for mackerel. “I just looked in amazement at the size of it,” said Mr Maguire. “I’ve never experienced that in my life.”  watch video here He described how he let his boat drift while he, his wife and two friends watched the whale for about an hour in McSwynes Bay, Co Donegal, off the north-west coast of Ireland. “The sound of the blowing — it’s great to hear that in real life,” said Mr Maguire. It is the first sighting of a North Atlantic right whale off Ireland in 114 years, said Conor Ryan, honorary research fellow at the Scottish Association for Marine Science. Short Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 12:26

Free fish and smiley faces won’t reverse Ottawa decision to unleash draggers on northern cod (although blockading St. John’s harbour would)

The FFAW regularly goes through protest motions, but its resolve to stand up for inshore boats is forever suspect when the union is conflicted by also representing offshore draggers, and onshore plants — and collects a paycheque from the feds. Now that Ottawa has opened the door to offshore dragging the inshore wants in on it too. Some Labrador (2J) harvesters have asked DFO to be allowed to drag for cod this year, and some 3K (northeast coast) and 3L (east coast) harvesters are right behind them with the same request. The union’s resolve against dragging for northern cod is sure to weaken. Exchanging cod for signatures won’t cut it. Blockading St. John’s harbour might be a bit extreme, but there should be a sweet spot somewhere the middle. Harvesters themselves must take a stand, like they did last spring with the snow crab price on the steps of Confederation Building. Now is the time for John Efford to rise again. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 10:35

Trawler-Crabber For Gulf Of St Lawrence

Gaspé shipbuilder Chantier Naval Forillon is about to deliver a new trawler/crabber designed by Navanex for Pêcheries Michel Turbide. The new San Marco VII measures 23.99 metres and is built in steel with an aluminium superstructure. It is expected to fish for redfish in the Gulf of St Lawrence, alternating this with fishing for snow crab during the season, with crab traps handled over the starboard side. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 08:49

Vineyard Wind Turbine Failure: Incident Details, Regulatory Response, and Industry Implications

On July 13, 2024, an offshore wind turbine at the Vineyard Wind 1 project experienced a significant blade failure, leading to debris washing up on Nantucket’s beaches and prompting a federal shutdown of the wind farm. This incident raises obvious questions about the safety and reliability of offshore wind projects, as well as the regulatory framework governing this emerging industry. In the days following the incident, debris from the broken turbine blade began washing up on Nantucket’s south shore beaches. Residents reported finding pieces of green and white foam, along with larger pieces of fiberglass, stretching from Madaket to Nobadeer.  In response to the incident, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) ordered Vineyard Wind to shut down operations “until further notice”. The BSEE, which oversees offshore energy projects, sent a team of experts to work closely with Vineyard Wind on analyzing the cause of the incident and determining next steps. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 07:22

U.S. Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Fishery Achieves RFM Certification

The Certified Seafood Collaborative (CSC) is pleased to announce that the U.S. Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery (white, brown, and pink shrimp) for all five Gulf states and federal waters has achieved Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification. This is the first shrimp fishery certified to the RFM Standard. RFM Certification requires fisheries meet RFM Standard criteria which evaluate fisheries in four key areas: A) the fisheries management system; B) science and stock assessment activities, and the precautionary approach; C) management measures, implementation, monitoring, and control; and D) serious impacts of the fishery on the ecosystem. Third-party certification body Global Trust awarded the certification after a thorough evaluation of the Gulf of Mexico Shrimp fishery as reported in the Final Assessment Report. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 06:16

A Fishing Vessel Ran Aground at the Sonoma Coast. Could It Have Been Saved?

It was nearing midnight and too dark for captain Chris Fox to see the land or determine how far offshore he was. But he knew he was too close. The water was shallow. The F/V Aleutian Storm was on a sandbar. Fox needed help. The engine and all other onboard systems were still working, but Fox knew he could hold the 57-ton fishing vessel only so long before the waves drove it ashore. Fox radioed the U.S. Coast Guard for help, which wasn’t immediately forthcoming—not in the way he had hoped, at least. The February loss of the Aleutian Storm is the latest controversy surrounding the Coast Guard’s local response to grounded vessels. While the details of each emergency are unique, they are viewed with similar frustration and pain by some who believe more could—and should— have been done to save them from breaking apart on land. Still, critics like veteran Fort Bragg fisherman Chris Iversen, a friend of Fox’s, sense déjà vu in the pattern of lost vessels—each briefly in a position for a possible save only to later run aground. Photos, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 14:34

New Trawler Heads For Iceland

The new trawler built for Icelandic fishing company Ísfélag is now on its way home to Iceland from the Celiktrans Shipyard in Turkey. New triple-rig trawler Sigurbjörg was originally ordered by Siglufjörður company Rammi, which merged during the new vessel’s construction with one of Iceland’s largest operators, the Westman Islands-based Ísfélag. Despite the ownership changes, there were no alterations made to the 48.10-metre, 14-metre breadth trawler, other than a change of colour scheme and the addition of the Ísfélag emblem. Sigurbjörg is designed as a demersal fresher trawler with four trawl winches, offering options for working a variety of multi-rig gear, up to towing three trawls in a triple-rig configuration. Photos, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 12:42

Shrimp season reopens in the Gulf of Mexico, Aransas Pass fleet heads that way

Shrimp season is back in full swing at Conn Brown Harbor now that state and federal waters have reopened to commercial shrimping. It’s a busy time for shrimpers after being closed for over two months. Boats are coming out of Palacios, Aransas Pass, Brownsville, Galveston. All the different ports,” Aransas Pass local Cecil Robles said. An armada of shrimp boats is off to the Gulf of Mexico, hoping to fill their nets with tiny treasures. Robles works at Conn Brown Harbor, where he fuels shrimp boats for Erickson and Jensen seafood packers. “The next few days, we’ll start to hear from them about what they’re catching and how abundant the fish are,” Robles said. Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 10:59

Broken Offshore Wind Blade Debris Washes Up in Nantucket

Investigators are probing the cause of a damaged offshore wind turbine blade that sent debris washing ashore at Nantucket Beach and shut down swimming in the area. The incident occurred Saturday evening at the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project under construction near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, prompting the probe by federal officials, developers Avangrid Inc. and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners P/S, and GE Vernova Inc., which manufactured the Haliade-X turbines used at the site. Operations at the site have been suspended while investigations are underway, and authorities closed Nantucket’s south shore to swimming for three days. Photos, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 08:46

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 78′ Steel Shrimp Trawler, Caterpillar 3412TA Diesel

To review specifications, information, and 18 photos’, >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here< 07:12

MAIB Launch Investigation Into Fatal Man Overboard from Kingfisher

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is to investigate a tragic incident occurred which approximately 30 nautical miles east-northeast of Wick, Scotland, resulting in the fatality of a crew member from the UK-registered fishing vessel Kingfisher (DH110). The unfortunate event unfolded on Friday 12 July 2024, when a crew member went overboard while the vessel was conducting routine fishing operations. Despite immediate efforts by the crew to rescue their colleague, the situation ended in tragedy. The Kingfisher, an 18.35-metre fishing vessel, was operating in the North Sea when the incident took place. The crew quickly initiated a man overboard protocol, deploying life-saving equipment and issuing distress calls to nearby vessels and maritime authorities. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 05:53

Local shrimpers set to rally this weekend to raise awareness against imports

Kerry Mitchell and her husband know the challenges that come with shrimping for a living. Her husband Michael is out dragging his net off Dauphin Island. The couple owns “Salty Pirates Seafood” — and will tell you — the money is not like it used to be — mainly due to the U.S. market being flooded with shrimp from overseas. “We don’t have a level playing field. Even the government is financially supporting it,” said Kerry. The Save Our Shrimpers Act, a federal bill introduced in April of this year aims to stop that. The rally is this Saturday at the “Shrimp Lady” restaurant in Satsuma (5523 Highway 43) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. They’ll be local shrimpers, live music — as well as boiled Gulf Coast shrimp for those in attendance. Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 14:29

UPDATED: ‘Three large blade pieces.’ Vineyard Wind wind turbine blade snaps. Search underway

A blade on one of the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore turbines was damaged over the weekend, prompting an investigation by the blade’s manufacturer. In a statement released Monday afternoon, the offshore wind developer referred only to “an incident involving blade damage on a wind turbine” in the offshore energy area south of Martha’s Vineyard. According to the company, the undisclosed damage happened on Saturday evening. No employees, contractors or fishing vessels were in the vicinity of the turbine at the time. No details were given as to the nature of the damage, how long the blade has been in place, or whether it was on an already operating turbine or one under construction. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 11:45

Shrimpers on the Coast struggling as season continues

Shrimpers on the Coast say this season hasn’t been too good to them. Quality Seafood in Biloxi says it’s hard to get fresh shrimp right now because there aren’t many fishermen at the docks selling. Manager Troy Rosetti said they’ve had to go to Louisiana and Alabama to get most of the shrimp that they have. “Kind of a falling out, we don’t have as many boats and shrimpers as we used to,” Rosetti said. “We have plenty of shrimp. It’s not a shortage here at our place. It just makes it a lot harder for us to get them.” Chris Lyons is a dock manager in Biloxi who said this shrimp season has been worse than in 2023. Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 10:19

Perry’s Lobster Shack fully reopen after recovery from storm damage

Perry’s Lobster Shack, an iconic coastal restaurant in Surry, has transformed since damage was done in March 2024 after intense storms. “When people think of Surry, I want them to think of Perry’s Lobster Shack,” said Seth Cote, the owner of Perry’s Lobster Company. After keeping his family legacy thriving, the storms put things on halt, and Cote didn’t know what was in store for the future after the wharf was completely wiped out. However, progress has been made. After keeping his family legacy thriving, the storms put things on halt, and Cote didn’t know what was in store for the future after the wharf was completely wiped out. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 08:24