Tag Archives: commercial fishermen

After Hurricane Ida: Louisiana’s struggling seafood industry is teetering

The Category 4 hurricane that struck Louisiana late last month fractured some parts of the industry even worse than 2005’s Katrina, which cost seafood businesses more than $1 billion. No one yet knows how many boats, docks and processors were lost because of Ida’s relentless, 150-mph winds. Vessels that made it to the safest harbors fared the best, yet even some of them were destroyed by the storm’s fury. Unable to speak for a decade since cancer surgery, Dale Williams gets by on disability payments of $1,300 a month. Living in a mobile home at Port Sulphur on the west bank of the Mississippi River, he supplements his income by catching shrimp with a little boat he parked in his front yard for Hurricane Ida. Ida’s Category 4 winds flipped Williams’ trawler on its side, bending the frame and tearing nets,,, The goal is to get back on the water by October, he said, either with the damaged boat or another one that fared better. >click to read< 10:44

East Hampton Eyes Options After Losing Truck Beach Appeal – Fishermen, “We’re not going away,,,”

New York State’s highest court buried the Town of East Hampton’s bid to overturn a ruling that Truck Beach in Amagansett is private property, but the fight appears to be far from over. Meanwhile the fishermen who’ve been plying the contested waters intend on fighting for their tradition that dates back three centuries to Colonial times. Critics drove on the beach in protest of a prior ruling that barred them from doing so, and are now prepared to go to jail over the issue. “We’re not going away and if we have to go down there every single weekend to make that point we’ll do that,” said Dan Rodgers, a Southampton-based attorney who represents a group of commercial fishermen that are effected by the decision. “And if the homeowners have the courage to stand up and file a trespassing complaint…we’ll go off in handcuffs, my clients will go off to jail and we’ll fight this out in court. They’re willing to do that. >click to read< 14:01

DFO returns patrol boats back to the wharf in Meteghan

After a confusing week for both commercial and aboriginal fishers DFO’s patrol vessels have returned to the wharf in Meteghan. After stories on the move ran in The Chronicle Herald and Globe and Mail, the boats were returned on Sunday. Both commercial and First Nations fishers are glad they are back, though for different reasons. Chief Mike Sack said Friday they wanted a federal presence to prevent a repeat of the violence Sipekne’katik’s fishermen were subject to last fall. Commercial fishermen, meanwhile, want DFO to prevent what they allege is a large scale commercial fishery happening outside their season under the guise of a food, social and ceremonial fishery. “There’s a treaty right but where does it end and where does it begin,” said Nathan Cooke, a buyer who owns Atlantic Canada Seafoods. >click to read< 17:26

Commercial fisherman rides out Hurricane Ida in his boat before 140 mph winds flipped it

Kimothy Guy, 57, is one the few people who did not evacuate from the coastal shrimping, crabbing and fishing community ahead of Ida’s arrival Aug. 29. He and three others in the immediate vicinity rode out the storm on their fishing boats in an attempt to save their livelihoods. Instead, the commercial fishers barely lived to tell the tale, as their boats snapped free from the ropes tying them to the shore and flipped over during the Category 4 hurricane. “We had four of us, me and three others, that had stayed to try to save our boats, but we didn’t save none of them,” Guy said, noting that if he knew then what he does now, he would have evacuated. “Now I know we don’t have nothing to stay for. We don’t have no more house. We don’t have no more boat.” “I ain’t got no choice. I have to stay,” Guy said. “That’s all I ever did all my life, commercial fish. That’s what I do for a living. I’m a water person. I need the water to survive.” photos, >click to read< 17:13

Fishing boat Captain is grateful for the quick response of his fellow fishermen

Élie Dugas, captain of the fishing boat that sank off Miscou on Monday morning, said he’s grateful for the help from fellow fishermen. Within minutes of his distress call at about 6:30 a.m., about eight boats were in sight, ready to help rescue the crew,,, He said he bought the Maximilien two years ago. “It’s a hard blow,” said Dugas, who is based in Miscou and has been fishing for 46 years. Rescuers first tried to pump out the water and then tow the herring boat, but it was soon determined to be too dangerous. “We couldn’t save the boat,” said Fisherman Steven Hughes,, The four crew members of the Maximilien were taken safely to shore.  >click to read< 12:16

Grand Isle, Louisiana: Extensive damage to many boats in the fishing community, photos.

Damage from Hurricane Ida is still being assessed after it made landfall on Sunday. The storm caused at least four deaths in Louisiana and Mississippi, while thousands more were left without power and continued flooding. One area that saw extensive damage was Grand Isle, a fishing community in southeastern Louisiana, also known as the Cajun Riviera. Boats were flipped over and left sideways in the water and along roads. Roofs of many lake houses were swept away by the storm’s strong winds and rain. 55 Photos, >click to read< 16:55

Kenai River sockeye over-escape by 1M, Kotzebue’s 2021 chum season to wrap up, Big PWS Humpy Harvest

Those numbers concern fishermen like Joe Dragseth, a drift-netter in Kenai. He said he worries about the health of the river. And, he said, it’s unfair commercial fishermen have been restricted while so many fish have made it up the river. “Basically, they’re taking the living away from us,” he said. >click to read<Kotzebue’s 2021 chum salmon season to wrap up with another low catch – “It hasn’t been very good,” said Karen Gillis, manager of the Copper River Seafoods processing plant in Kotzebue. It’s one of two commercial chum salmon buyers in town this year. >click to read< Prince William Sound Humpy harvest is 3rd largest of decade – “The highlight of this season has been the wild stocks returning stronger than anticipated, given the uncertainty about spawning success from the 2019 parent year that was assumed to be negatively impacted by drought conditions,” said Heather Scannell, area management seine biologist in Cordova for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. >click to read< 14:35

The last in a long line of Milwaukee commercial fishermen sets course for Alaska

The men have always started their day wondering whether a load of fish is straining the nets that they set the day before. Today their compass doesn’t point them toward any nets at all. The boat’s rumbling 855 Cummins diesel pushes them down the muddy Kinnickinnic River and under the Hoan Bridge. This is the moment when their eyes normally train on the open waters ahead. But today, the 52-year-old man notices his dad, Alvin, is glancing back. I think this is probably going to be the last time I see Milwaukee from the water, 77-year-old Alvin Anderson says. Yeah, his son, Dan, replies glumly. Then Milwaukee’s last working commercial fishing tug – the Alicia Rae – glides through the north gap of the Milwaukee Harbor breakwater. And it is gone. 20 photo’s, >click to read< 08:10

“We’re in pretty bad shape,” Commercial fishermen, fishing industry decline over the past 20 years

North Carolina commercial fishermen have complained for decades that government regulations and a variety of other factors threaten their livelihood and have them headed the way of endangered species. Glenn Skinner of Newport, executive director of the North Carolina Fisheries Association an advocacy group of commercial fishermen, said statistics back that up. “These declines are the result of many different factors. with regulations, the fear of future regulations or outright bans on commercial fishing gears being a significant factor,” Skinner said. He said public perception and political agendas drive the regulations. >click to read< 11:26

Misinformation Tension – DFO moving fishery officers into area from across Nova Scotia and Canada

Federal fishery officers from across Canada are being moved to southwestern Nova Scotia as tensions rise again over an Indigenous lobster fishery underway in St. Marys Bay. The top enforcement officer at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans blames misinformation for aggravating the situation, asking both Indigenous and commercial fishermen and their supporters, to step back. “What I want to say to people is to give the fishery officers space to do their jobs. They are doing their jobs.,,, McCready said she is worried the dispute is becoming even more polarizing because of misinformation. One recent claim, she said, is that DFO officers “colluded” with commercial fishermen and cut lines on Indigenous-owned vessels. >click to read< 07:18

Banning fishing in ‘monument’ a grave mistake

I was a founding partner of Boston Sword & Tuna, which today employs over 180 Massachusetts residents with good wages and benefits. The company processes and distributes swordfish and tuna harvested by American vessels in the waters off New England and the mid-Atlantic. After selling my ownership in the company several years ago, I decided to return to my origins as an owner-operator of commercial fishing vessels. But that future is at risk from a proposal in Washington. Last month, the Washington Post (I’m sure WaPo wants the re-closure!) reported on a confidential memo sent by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to the White House, urging President Biden to enact a full ban on sustainable American fishing in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. By Tim Malley >click to read< 18:48

Doomed to Extinction? Where have all the codfish in the Gulf of Maine gone?!!

The commercial fishermen have all been given a personal quota for cod. If they reach their quota, they need to purchase or lease more quota from someone who has extra. The price to “lease” these fish in order to catch them can be exorbitant. Cod has become a commodity on the market being bought or hoarded by non-fishermen to make money off the backs of the active fishermen,,, And then there are the seals. Yes, harbor seals, gray seals and harp seals. Seals would not normally be feeding on large amounts of cod, but we have protected the seal population for decades without regard to the rest of the environment. The result is unmistakably a huge explosion in the seal population within the Gulf of Maine. So, are the cod doomed to extinction?  >click to read< 07:50

Dunmore East fishermen tell Minister: “All the problems go away if you get more quota.”

The Marine Minister visited the picturesque Dunmore East harbour on one of the hottest days of the year, he faced some searing questions about the future of the fishing fleet, including from a young fisherman who asked him to fight for more quota. “Every year it’s getting harder,” another fisherman said. A fifth generation Dunmore East fisherman told the Minister: “All the problems go away if you get more quota.” Around 20 fishermen gathered at the famous Co Waterford harbour to air their grievances with the minister,,, >click to read< 07:38

North Carolina commercial fishermen landed less seafood last year

In 2020, 42.9 million pounds of fish and shellfish were sold, a decrease of 19% from 2019 and about a 23% decrease from the previous five-year average, according to the Division of Marine Fisheries. The decrease in commercial harvest was linked to a 41.3% decrease in hard blue crab landings from 2019, which may be related to COVID-19 impacts. The Division of Marine Fisheries said several fishermen told officials that they found it difficult to move blue crabs at the beginning of the state’s stay-at-home order when many restaurants were closed. >click to read< 15:26

Vancouver Island fishermen upset after sudden salmon fishing closures

Bill Forbes and his crew geared up in French Creek to go salmon fishing. Forbes and his crew, who are heading to a spot near Prince Rupert, are one of the few commercial fisheries still open following a sudden and massive closure by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on June 29. “They can’t keep blaming the commercial fishermen, we may be part of the problem but kicking us out is not the solution,” said fisherman Bill Forbes.  “It throws this boat and all my crew, I’ve got three generations of Forbes’ on this boat and it just puts us out of work. I’m old but you know my grandson and my nephew are not. So they have to go someplace else and I don’t know where that someplace else is,” Video, >click to read< 08:54

Uncertain Future: Commercial shrimp season nears for “frustrated” Port Arthur shrimpers

Port Arthur area shrimpers are facing an uncertain future even with the opening next week of the Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for state and federal waters. Texas and federal waters are slated to open for commercial shrimping at 30 minutes past sunset Thursday. Port Arthur Area Shrimpers Association Vice President Kim Tran,,, a combination of events that includes Hurricane Harvey fallout and the COVID pandemic produced less-than-ideal shrimping hauls leading to fewer boat captains and deckhands. >click to read< 09:16

Along Georgia’s coast, shrimping remains an important industry

Shrimpers are known to be the heart of McIntosh County. However, they face significant challenges leading some to wonder if the industry will survive. “There’s a lot of work that goes into it, and long hours, at times, that goes into it,” Robert Todd said. It’s 4 a.m., as the Sundown and its crew leave the Wait-N-Sea dock in Townsend. “On our vessel right now, there’s three of us on the back deck.,, Todd and McKinzie say it’s a dwindling industry and look toward the younger generation to keep it afloat. “We don’t see the State of Georgia pushing commercial fishermen. This is still a trade. It is a complicated trade because you don’t learn how to commercial fish in a classroom,” >click to read< 16:26

Harvesting the sea

Working out of six major fishing ports, New Jersey fishermen rank No. 1 in the nation when it comes to landing clams, scallops, squid and Atlantic mackerel. “It supports thousands of jobs.’’ Fishermen are the heart and soul of this industry, risking both life and livelihood to land the fish that feed their families, and millions of Americans. “Commercial fishermen are some of the hardest working people,’’ said Wayne Reichle, president, Lund’s Fisheries in Cape May. “They are paid on what they harvest. If they go out to sea and don’t catch anything, they don’t make anything. They take a lot of risk both financially and personally.’’ “In the winter, our guys go anywhere from 75 to 150 miles offshore,’’ said Dave Tauro, manager of Belford Seafood Co-Op in Highlands. “It takes them sometimes 18 hours. Imagine what the fuel cost is. They spend three grand before they leave the dock.’’ photos, >click to read< 13:45

Captain dead, 2 crewmen survive sinking of F/V Pneuma in Nushagak Bay

The captain of a commercial fishing vessel died and two other crew members apparently escaped uninjured when it sank in southwest Alaska, authorities said. Lance Eric Norby, 45, of Texas, was identified as the captain, Alaska State Troopers said Friday. His remains were being sent to the State Medical Examiner in Anchorage. Two other people on board survived the incident, said the online dispatch report. The two survivors declined medical attention after being saved by Alaska Wildlife Troopers patrolling the area. >click to read< 14:14

1 fatality, 2 survive sinking of a commercial fishing boat in Nushagak Bay

Alaska State Troopers said one person is dead after a commercial fishing vessel sank toward the south side of Nushagak Bay on Thursday morning. Two additional people on board survived the incident, according to an online dispatch report,>click here<, and declined medical attention after being saved by Alaska Wildlife Troopers patrolling the area.,,, Troopers arrived and helped one person out of the water, while two commercial fishing vessels at the scene pulled the other two mariners out. “The Alaska Wildlife Troopers would like to thank the F/V Fortress and F/V Last Frontier for their assistance during the rescue operation,” >click to read< 18:26

Significant Commercial Fisheries closures in BC – DFO to offer licence buyback to those ready to call it quits.

Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan today announced “an initial step towards longer-term reductions in fishing pressure on stocks of conservation concern with significant commercial salmon closures for the 2021 season.” Jordan also announced there will be a federal fishing licence buyback offered to commercial fishers who are ready to call it quits. DFO’s Salmon Integrated Fisheries Management Plan for 2021-22 will result in closures to about 60% of commercial salmon fisheries in B.C. for 2021. >click to read< 15:22

Commercial fisherman frustrated by red tide fish kills destroying his livelihood

Dead fish by the thousands are causing a smelly mess in the water and on the shorelines around parts of Tampa Bay. Commercial fisherman David Gill was shocked when he first saw it Monday morning near the mouth of the Alafia River. “I wanted to scream and rip my hair out because I watched my livelihood die right in front of me,” says Gill, who has been fishing these waters since he was a boy. For years, Gill and other fishermen have traveled miles to get away from red tide, which he believes is exacerbated by pollution, including the release from Piney Point. He’s angry about it. video, >click to read< 10:59

Senate Approves Bill Exempting Commercial Fishermen from State Unemployment Tax

“Currently, New Jersey’s commercial fishermen are on the hook for unemployment taxes, but they are not paid hourly wages, and they have never been able to collect unemployment benefits,” stated Testa. “This bill will have significant impact on the state’s vital fishing industry that has been extremely hard-hit by the pandemic.” According to a release, Testa’s bill (S-3501) would exempt commercial fishermen who are paid on the percentage of fish caught or a percentage of the selling price of those fish from the state unemployment law and its costly tax on earnings. >click to read< 07:52

An Organized Act of Civil Disobedience: East Hampton Baymen Take to ‘Truck Beach’ to Protest Court Ruling

East Hampton baymen and their supporters drove a caravan of 39 trucks onto what is popularly known as Truck Beach on Napeague on Sunday morning to assert what they believe is their right to use, and drive on, the ocean beach there. A panel of four New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division judges determined in February that the 4,000-foot stretch of beach is owned by landward residential property owners. Baymen had promised such action in the wake of a June 4 injunction reiterating the Appellate Division panel’s Feb. 3 affirmation,,, >click to read< 07:39

What do Deckhands earn and get paid on ‘Deadliest Catch’ and in the commercial crab industry?

There’s definitely money to be made in crab fishing, more if you star in a popular show about crab fishing. And the crab fishing industry is lucrative. While this is just a snapshot, it’s a pretty eye-opening one. According to a 2006 report, 505 commercial fishermen brought in over $127 million worth in crab loot. If that was evenly divided, it’d be $250,000 per person, but of course, things don’t work out that way. “Wages are often based on a share or percentage of harvest earnings. Newcomer deckhand earnings range from 1.5% to 10% of the adjusted gross catch, depending on location and type of fishery and the skills the worker possesses.” And it’s also situational: some crab fishers can make $50 to $100 a day as a flat rate if they want to play it safe. >click to read< 15:45

Commercial fishers fined for potentially disturbing migrating whales in Scarborough

Two commercial fishers who potentially disturbed migrating whales off Scarborough with their unsecured lines were the first to be prosecuted under new lobster regulations. The fishers, a 72-year-old from Beaconsfield and a 44-year-old from Bateman, pleaded guilty and were each ordered to pay $7453.90 in fines and court costs at Perth Magistrate’s Court on June 9. According to the amended Management Plan for Commercial rock lobster fishing introduced in 2014, the top third of the length of the pot lines must be held vertically in the water. The officers seized nine lobster pots as a part of the lines of each pot were trailing across the surface of the water. >click to read< 10:25

Opinion: As seafarers, we’ve been thrown overboard by the NZ Government

Your shift starts at midnight. It finishes at midday. You’ve done this before. This is the 68th day straight, or is it the 69th day? Who knows? They all begin to blur together at this point. You try calling home to your loved ones, get about five minutes into the chat you’ve so desperately needed, before the connection is lost mid-sentence. You’re on a container ship, or a fishing trawler, or a support vessel for oil and gas platforms. Working alongside the same people, eating the same food, day in day out. You stay focused, you have to – one mistake can spell disaster. Lives can be lost. You don’t complain, because you’re needed. It’s your job. If you don’t do the work, who will? >click to read< By Nathan Schumacher

Father and son keep their family fishing tradition alive

Like a lot of things on the old boat, the starter was beat up and broken. To get underway, Nick Nieuwkerk connected the electrical terminals with the metal end of a screwdriver. Then, with a zap and spark, the ancient Detroit Diesel engine roared to life. But then the throttle wouldn’t stay put, so Nick’s father, Knoep Nieuwkerk, rigged it open with a spoon and piece of string. Eventually, the pair were steaming out of Woods Harbor, Nova Scotia, on their way to Portland on April 7, aboard a 44-foot fishing boat that had seen better days since it first hit the water, 42 years earlier. There was no guarantee they’d make it, but they had to try. >video, photos, click to read< 07:38

US Embargo Hits Mexican Shrimp Industry Hard

The United States has suspended certification of wild-caught Mexican shrimp, preventing producers from export part of their production to the USA. Already financially weakened Mexican shrimp exporters are confident that the decision will be reversed soon, but have concerns about the severe economic consequences. US inspectors identified non-conformities in the turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in dozens of fishing gears inspected at Sonora, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Campeche ports. News of the embargo was received with concern by the shrimp fishermen all over Mexico. ‘But we haven’t felt any impact yet, given that we had already exported all stocks and we’re now waiting for the next shrimp season to start in September,’ >photos, click to read< 13:13

Sri Lanka: Plastic, chemicals and a devastating environmental hit for commercial fishermen and their communities

The X-Press Pearl is lying half sunken off the coast of Sri Lanka. Images of the ship burning for days have gone around the world,,, Tons of tiny plastic pellets have already washed up on the local beach nearby. Aside from the environmental threats, there are also devastating consequences for the local communities, fishermen who overnight lost their livelihoods and will likely suffer for years to come. Plastic pellets, also called nurdles, are tiny  round pieces of plastic, used to make nearly all plastic goods. They will wash up on beaches or end up in the guts of fish and other ocean animals. “More hazardous than the plastic are the chemicals,” >Video, photos, click to read< 14:35