Tag Archives: commercial fishermen

SLO County fishermen sue Coastal Commission, offshore wind companies. ‘We’ve got rights here’

The Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization and the Port San Luis Commercial Fishermen’s Organization are suing the California Coastal Commission, State Lands Commission, three offshore wind development companies and environmental consulting company CSA Ocean Sciences Inc to stop the approval of permits for site surveys, according to a complaint filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Feb. 29.The lawsuit asks the court to block state agencies from issuing site survey permits until a statewide plan is developed to protect fisheries from offshore wind development. links, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 12:31

Fishermen displaced by offshore wind farm apply for compensation

Vineyard Wind, the offshore wind developer, is constructing a 62-turbine wind farm in the federal waters south of New Bedford, the nation’s most lucrative fishing port. Uncertainty around whether it’s safe to fish inside offshore wind farms have soured many fishermen to the industry, even as wind developers offer new sources of income to fishermen willing to take on surveying, navigation and safety work. At the meeting at the port authority, a recently retired fisherman consulting for Vineyard Wind acknowledged this tension upfront. “I know how a lot of people feel about offshore wind,” said Fred Mattera. “Believe me, if I could click my heels and it’ll all go away, I’d be clicking my heels like you can’t imagine.” “But it’s not,” Mattera said. more, >>click to read<< 08:29

Maine lobstermen struggle to adapt to new electronic reporting rules. Their licenses are on the line.

Alice Mayberry and Sue Kelley spend most of their days talking to lobstermen about what they’ve hauled in. Mayberry is riffling through paper logs. Kelley is texting until 9 p.m. Then, they both log onto the Maine Department of Marine Resources’ database and plug in what the lobstermen did for the day. Over the last several years, state and federal regulators started requiring more fishermen to report what they caught, and where. A few years ago, only a portion of harvesters needed to submit that information, and it could be sent in on a piece of paper. Now, all fishermen who harvest 15 species of fish – pogies, scallops, lobster, halibut, mussels, eels and others – have to file their landings electronically. Fishermen in Maine are gradually learning what they’re supposed to do. For lobstermen, adjusting has been particularly hard. Audio, more, >>click to read<< 15:58

Stock Assessments Benefit from Rockhopper Trawl Efficiency Study

A collaborative study conducted aboard a Rhode Island-based commercial trawler from 2015 to 2017 is bearing fruit. It was led by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center and commercial fishermen interested in how catches of the same species varied depending on the type of trawl net used. Since 2019, stock assessment scientists have used the results from this Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel study in multiple stock assessments to ensure sustainable fisheries for several flounder species as well as monkfish and red hake. Specifically, the results help produce more accurate estimates of abundance which can increase the confidence in catch advice for some species. “Cooperative research is essential to obtain accurate assessments and catch advice in our nation’s fisheries,” said Chris Roebuck, former Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel member, commercial fisherman and participant in the experiment. “This research is an excellent example of collaboration between scientists and fishermen. It provided solid efficiency numbers for each targeted species,” he said. “The information produced was clearly the best available science and has the potential to ultimately influence catch advice for every species evaluated.” Photos, lots of links, more, >>click to read<< 12:29

Probe sought into conditions of ‘stranded’ migrant fishers whose boat ran aground off Inis Mór

An investigation has been sought into conditions faced by four West African fishermen who were working on a boat that ran aground off the Aran Islands last weekend. The men had to be rescued from the fishing vessel as part of a multi-agency response that included the Coast Guard and RNLI. The Dáil has heard allegations that the men were “bogusly” recruited to work in Ireland, having first thought they would be working in the UK, only to find themselves working in the Atlantic Ocean off the Galway coast. Solidarity TD Mick Barry claimed the men were “put working illegally” on an Irish boat, called ‘Ambitious’, until the vessel ran aground off Inis Mór and the men required rescue last Sunday. Barry further alleged that attempts have been made by the owner “to send the four men back to Ghana in quicktime” before any authorities have an opportunity to hear of the “ordeal” they allegedly suffered. photos, more, >>click to read<< 13:30

Inoperable weather buoys at mouth of the Columbia River stir concern

On the first day of commercial Dungeness crab season, Kelsey Cutting began his morning the way most crab fishermen do: checking the weather. Like many commercial fishermen, Cutting relies on data from weather buoys at the mouth of the Columbia River to guide his decisions. But as he’s learned, not all weather buoys are created equal — and when one goes out, there can be serious consequences. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration operates two buoys at the mouth of the river that track real-time data on barometric pressure, wind direction, speed and gust, air and sea temperature, humidity and waves, which help inform National Weather Service forecasts. The buoys have been out of operation since late last year. more, >>click to read<< 15:18

Maine commercial fisheries jump $25M in value, with strong boat price for lobster

Commercial fishermen in Maine had a strong year in 2023. The value of the state’s fisheries increased by more than $25 million over 2022, for a total of $611.3 million at the dock, according to preliminary data released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The department attributed much of the increase to a strong boat price for lobster, Maine’s most valuable species last year. The price paid to fishermen went from $3.97 per pound in 2022 to $4.95 per pound in 2023, netting harvesters an additional $72 million compared to the previous year, for a total value in 2023 of $464.4 million. “The price Maine lobstermen received last year is a reflection of the continued strong demand for this iconic seafood,” said Patrick Keliher, the department’s commissioner. more, >>click to read<< 10:19

“Thar’s gold in them thar gills!” Why this Peoria fish company wants to come to Pekin

Many central Illinois residents see Asian carp as an invasive species and a hazard to public waterways. But a wholesale and retail fresh water fish processing company sees them as an opportunity and wants to set up a facility in Pekin. Vogel noted that commercial fishermen have been netting carp on the Illinois River for “quite a few years.” While those fishermen have always had access to carp processing plants, he believes Freshwater Solutions proposed Pekin facility can potentially operate on a larger scale. “It’s not just the Asian carp we’re targeting,” he said. “It’s all freshwater species in commercial fishing. What we’re trying to do is build an old industry anew right here in central Illinois.” more, >>click to read<< 08:06

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

State fisheries advisory committees to review issue paper on trawling closures to protect submerged aquatic vegetation

A controversial proposal that could lead to shrimp trawling area closures to protect submerged aquatic vegetation took a step toward future consideration by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission last week. The commission, policy-making arm of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, voted during its quarterly business meeting in New Bern to refer an issue paper pertaining to the concept to its northern, southern and shellfish/crustacean advisory committees to get input from the public. Glenn Skinner, executive director of the N.C. Fisheries Association, a Morehead City-based trade and lobbying group for commercial watermen, said he and his members are concerned, in part because the state has already permanently or seasonally closed more than 1.2 million acres of estuarine waters to shrimp trawling. more, >>click to read<< 10:18


The Alaska Congressional delegation is singing praises for a new $100 million bailout of the state’s floundering commercial salmon processing business. In a joint statement from the office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the trio applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) move with the state’s senior Republican lawmaker tried to spin it as a new poverty program to provide “almost $100 million of Alaskan seafood for people experiencing food insecurity. “This purchase won’t just bolster Alaska’s seafood industry and support our coastal communities,” Murkowski was quoted as saying, “but will help bring the highest-quality and healthiest seafood products in the world to families in need. I am grateful for the USDA’s investment in our fishermen and the health of Americans.” There has been no actual “investment in our fishermen,” presuming she is talking about Alaska fishermen. But they may benefit from a deal that helps processors clean out some of their inventory before the upcoming fishing season. More, >>click to read<< 13:06

Oregon fishermen, tribes angered by surprise announcement on offshore wind energy areas

Federal officials say Oregon’s wind energy areas were developed “following extensive engagement and feedback from the state, Tribes, local residents, ocean users, federal government partners, and other members of the public” and are based on reducing conflicts with ocean users, particularly commercial fishermen. The areas avoid 98% of the locations recommended for exclusion due to their importance as commercial fishing grounds, they said. But local groups representing fishermen and Indigenous communities said that narrative is inaccurate and the federal government’s engagement with local communities was perfunctory at best, failing to take into account suggested impacts on local fishing areas, the environment and views that are sacred to tribes. The groups said the announcement caught them by surprise since Gov. Tina Kotek had asked the federal agency last June to pause identifying and leasing offshore wind areas so the state could fully evaluate potential impacts on the environment and economy. more, >>click to read<< 10:07

CA Coastal Types Singing Wind Turbine Blues: Help, Help Me, Rhonda! Get ‘Em Outta My Park!

I’m not really sure if there’s anything much funnier than when touchy-feely progressive types wake up one morning and realize what they’ve foisted on everyone else is suddenly coming home to roost in someplace they consider breathtakingly beautiful and ever so special. Two of President Joe Biden’s biggest priorities — conservation and the switch to clean energy — are colliding in the ocean off California’s quiet Central Coast. Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Morro Bay boasts a rich ecosystem of fish, otters and migrating whales that the Indigenous Chumash people want to protect with a new marine sanctuary. They’d also neglected to check in with fisherfolk who ply the area or, probably more importantly because no one gives a rat’s patootie about working folks, they neglected to consult with any of the CA tribes who call that area home. They weren’t happy in 2022. more, >>click to read<<  By Seege Welborn 14:50

Commercial Fishers Say Biden Admin’s ‘Ocean Justice’ Initiative Totally Ignores Their Concerns

The Biden Administration announced the “ocean justice” strategy in December 2023 during the United Nations (UN) climate summit, known as COP28, in order “to advance environmental justice for communities that rely on the ocean and Great Lakes for economic, cultural, spiritual, recreational and food security purposes.” However, several stakeholders in the commercial fishing industry who depend on the fruits of America’s waters to make a living and are therefore interested in sustainable use of the oceans, say that the administration is overlooking their concerns about how the oceans are managed, especially with regard to the administration’s extensive efforts to fast track industrial scale offshore wind. more, >>click to read<< 10:19

Why You Should Eat Wild Caught Fish From the Great Lakes

We have been following the plight of commercial fishing on the Great Lakes for several years. As a result, we have been contacted by folks around the country to let us know that the assault on commercial fishing for wild caught fish is happening not only in Michigan but also in every fishing area in North America. If things don’t change soon, Michigan’s remaining dozen commercial fish operations will cease. This means we must import fish like Walleye and Perch from Canada. This means restaurants, the American Legion, and other pubs offering fresh Great Lakes fish today may be unable to offer it tomorrow. Everheart gives some of the best descriptions of the asinine rules that commercial fishers operate in the Outer Banks as they do here in Michigan. She also outlines some chilling facts about farm-raised seafood that Americans import and consume from Asia and Canada. Photos, Video, >>click to read<< 13:25

Pollack fishing: Setting quota to zero ‘damaging’ to South-West industry

A decision to set the pollack catch quota to zero will be “damaging” to the fishing industry, those working in South-West England have said. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) said the quota had been reduced to preserve stocks. It said it recognised the “impact” the decision “may have” and was working to “explore potential mitigations”. Ben George, who fishes from Sennen Cove in Cornwall, said he never once “dreamed it could be a total ban”. “It’s particularly damaging for the small inshore fisherman, because they can’t diversify easily now to anything else,” he said. more, >>click to read<< 06:19

Bay Area business hauling in, washing boats for free as fishing industry struggles

Local fishermen are getting a helping hand as they eagerly wait for the commercial Dungeness crab season. They didn’t get to fish salmon this year, and the presence of Humpback whales is delaying the crab season, causing them financial hardship. To help them, Paul Kaplan, for the first time since establishing Keefe Kaplan Maritime decades ago, is offering all Northern California fisherman hauling-in and power washing services free of charge. “They’re a vital part of our industry and supporting our craftsmen, and so I thought it was the right thing to do,” said Kaplan. Delayed starts and shortened seasons for crab fisherman have taken a toll on the livelihood of small businesses. “It’s becoming for most of us maxed credit cards and hoping that we get to go crabbing soon enough before they’re due. Everybody in the fleet is hurting,” said Brand Little. Video, more, >>click to read<< 13:11

A group of commercial fishermen have ended up before the Supreme Court

An unforgiving southeast wind cut across Cape May, New Jersey, on a recent Tuesday morning; the 50-mile-per-hour gusts were so strong they created white caps on a section of the bay here that is typically calm. There would be no fishing for Bill Bright and his crew. “We don’t have crop insurance. If the fish don’t show up, there’s no bailout,” the 64-year-old said, standing on the deck of the Eva Marie, an 88-foot-long fishing vessel used to catch herring. As a lifelong fisherman, Bright is used to slow days. But a recent shift in tidal fortunes here has nothing to do with fish and everything to do with the federal government. “What’s at stake for us is our future,” Bright said. For years, fishermen like Bill Bright and his colleague Wayne Reichle have been required to take federal observers on their boats when they set out into the North Atlantic in search of herring.  Video , >>click to read<< 19:06

Men of sea

The man and the sea… a hard life, a very hard (and dangerous) work. And sometimes a day of work gives only a couple of tens of euros. These images show the end of the night of fishing in the sea, when the fishermen are in the harbour, and they are preparing the fish for the markets or are cleaning their boats after the work. There is not much time for rest; it’s already late, it’s nine o’clock in the morning. And the fisherman has to clean the boat, to repair the nets and to sleep at least a few hours before another night of work in the sea. >>click to view<< 10 great images! 13:02

Reopening Areas for Groundfish Fishing After 20 Years

NOAA Fisheries has published regulation changes that will open fishing areas that have been closed for over 20 years. These areas were originally closed in the early 2000s to protect several species of overfished rockfish. With the rebuilt status of almost all these groundfish species, these closures can slowly be opened and allow fishermen greater access to catch healthy fish stocks. The regulations will also close some small areas to protect groundfish habitat, yelloweye rockfish (a species that is still rebuilding), and sensitive areas with abundant coral.  These regulation changes are effective on January 1, 2024. Groundfish on the West Coast encompass over 90 species sharing one important trait: at some point in their life, they live on or near the ocean floor. Groundfish are a crucial part of West Coast underwater environments. They act as both predator and prey to different species and help maintain balance in underwater food chains. photos, charts, info, >>click to read<< 11:10

Scottish fishing skippers express fear over possible “back door” push for protected marine areas policy

The SFF said that last week, the Scottish Government confirmed it will not be taking forward the controversial HPMAs policy in its current form, which would have led to a loss of around 10 per cent of Scotland’s fishing grounds. However, many fishermen throughout the country remain concerned about the vague wording in the government’s response, and fear supporters of HPMAs will try their best to usher in the policy through another avenue. Fisherman Barry Brunton from Dunbar has welcomed the scrapping of HPMAs but is adamant more collaboration between fishermen and the government is needed to find the best solution for all concerned. Brunton said he was “absolutely terrified” about HPMAs as putting up such an area in the little patch of ground where he works would mean he would lose “everything that [he] worked for.” >>click to read<< 08:19

Fish house keeps fresh fish on the table

Every day, the Ocracoke Seafood Company sends about 4,500 pounds of locally caught fish off to places beyond. Sometimes Shane Mason gets up at 3 a.m. to drive the refrigerated truck on a four-plus-hour run to drop off the previous day’s catch to Jeffrey’s in Hatteras. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are big market days, he said while icing down fish brought in by one of several local commercial fishermen, packing them into boxes and loading them onto pallets. From Jeffrey’s, the Ocracoke catch goes all over, especially to New York and overseas. Locally, restaurants and individuals can partake in that bounty by purchasing fish and shellfish in the retail area of Ocracoke’s “fish house,” as it is known. This operation is helping to keep the island’s few commercial fishermen working and there’s been a renewed interest by the fishermen and the community to revitalize the business, said Stevie Wilson, vice-president of the board of directors. Photos, >>click to read<< 19:04

Fish and Game Commission Suspends and Terminates Fishing Privileges for Two Southern California Commercial Lobster Fishermen

During its Oct. 12 meeting, the California Fish and Game Commission adopted recommendations from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to revoke the commercial fishing licenses of two Southern California commercial fishermen, Michael Volaski and Arthur Esparza. CDFW recommended a five-year suspension of Volaski’s lobster operator permit and commercial fishing license. Volaski is a commercial lobster fisherman from Oxnard.  The revocation stems from a three-day hearing in front of an administrative law judge who listened to testimony from Volaski and CDFW regarding Volaski’s history of violations in the lobster fishery. >>click to read<< 09:53

Scotland fishing: Inshore limit called for following HPMA debacle

An open letter written by a commercial fisherman has called for restrictions to curb more damaging forms of fishing in inshore waters. Alistair Philp, National Coordinator of the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation, writes: “Now that the threat of the poorly thought-out Highly Protected Marine Area (HPMA) proposals has passed, it is time to have a sensible debate about the alternative options.” The letter issued on behalf of the Our Seas coalition, which includes a wide range of coastal organisations, describes a need to “reverse the decades of mismanagement that has already hollowed out much of our inshore fishing industry.” It argues for the reinstatement of an inshore limit akin to or like the historic Inshore limit called for – designed to preserve fish nursery and spawning grounds – such as was in place until 1984. >>click to read<< 14:01

Survival and grief: The story of the Ross Cleveland tragedy

Fifty-five years ago last month the public inquiry into the loss of the Hull trawler Ross Cleveland and the deaths of 18 men began at Hull City Hall. It was the last time Harry Eddom ever spoke publicly about how he survived the disaster that claimed the lives of the rest of the ship’s crew eight months earlier. During the three-week inquiry, his dramatic witness testimony was only rivalled by evidence given by Len Whur, skipper of another Hull trawler Kingston Andalusite, the nearest vessel to the Ross Cleveland at the time of the tragedy. Whur was desperately trying to save his own ship after being caught in the worst storm experienced off the north-west Icelandic coast in living memory when he received a radio message from his cousin Phil Gay, skipper of the Ross Cleveland. Photos, >>click to read<< 08:26

Mr Fisher: Taking viewers on a real time ride on a fishing vessel

Md Jahidur Rahman, a fishing boat skipper, has been sharing videos of fishing operations in the Bay of Bengal for some time now, and one can watch the everyday life of our sea-going fishers aboard the trawlers, as well as many other tiny details of thsharing videose business. While wooden fishing boats are common along the coastline of the country, industrial fishing vessels fitted with modern equipment are only seen in the Chattogram area. As a result, the videos of the boats operating in the sea have drawn the attention of viewers. Jahid says it is the main goal of his vlogging. “The goal of the videos is to let people know about our marine fishing industry: how we use the latest fishing equipment on modern fishing vessels, which people have only seen on television,” said Jahid. photos, >>click to read<< 12:44

A business in crisis

After years of choking on record runs of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon and near-record runs of heavily farmed, low-value pink salmon, the Alaska fishing industry is in chaos with processors now pleading for more government subsidies and coddled commercial fishermen demanding yet more disaster aid. One could blame global warming, which has led to historically unprecedented harvests of Alaska salmon despite whatever nonsense to the contrary the mainstream media might have reported, but the industry’s problems are far more complex than just trying to sell high-priced seafood in Western markets where the sales of animal protein are dominated by chicken, beef and pork. Some of the industry’s issues here are rooted in its long history. For most of the years after commercial fishing began in Alaska in the late 1800s, the business dealt almost wholly in canned salmon. >>click to read<< 08:41

Oregon fishing disaster declared after failure impacting Chinook Salmon

Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek announced Friday that a fishing disaster has been declared following a three-year commercial fishery failure in the state. The declaration comes after U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo determined that a commercial fishery failure occurred in 2018, 2019 and 2020 because of a fishery resource disaster impacting Oregon Chinook Salmon Fisheries, the governor said. The determination comes after a request from former Gov. Kate Brown in October 2021. Fisheries with disaster determinations are eligible for funding from fishery disaster appropriations to help with community recovery, fishery restoration and prevention of future disasters. >>click to read<< 17:00

In a surging seafood industry, boat captains struggle to find workers

America loves its reality TV fishing shows like Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” and National Geographic’s “Wicked Tuna.” But in reality, it’s an industry plagued by not having enough workers.  “It’s hard to find people. I mean, that’s just the challenge,” said boat captain Darren Platt. “There’s not a whole lot of experience. There’s not enough experienced people out there to fully be employed in the fleet.” In Alaska, Platt captains the salmon fishing boat Agnes Sabine. He could use some help, but with record low unemployment in the lower 48 states, fewer young people are making their way north to Kodiak to make fishing their full-time job. “We need to continuously bring in people from outside to come up and work,” Platt said. “And it’s usually college students or young folks looking for an adventure, but not career fishermen. “Video, >>click to read<< 10:35

Fukushima sake brewer warms shattered Japanese fishing community

Daisuke Suzuki is helping by doing what he does best as life tentatively returns to normal for the devastated fishing communities of Japan’s Fukushima region: making sake. The “toji” sake master and his family were lucky to escape with their lives when a huge earthquake and tsunami devastated the area in March 2011, killing about 18,000 people and knocking out the nearby nuclear plant. In the town of Namie, the disaster obliterated the old port of Ukedo and its local fishing industry, as well as the Iwaki Kotobuki sake brewery that Suzuki’s family has owned for five generations. For two centuries, at least, it had made the rice wine that revived many a fisherman’s spirits after returning to port from the capricious Pacific Ocean with a hold brimming with fish. They would drink cups of Iwaki Kotobuki sake over white-meat sashimi of flounder and bass, delicacies from the Fukushima coast. “The sake was always there, just like the fish,” said one taciturn local fisherman, not wishing to be identified. “That is the way it has been here since my childhood.” Two years ago, the government gave the all-clear for the sale of fish from the Fukushima region to resume. The fisherman needed something to drink, and Suzuki then built a new sake plant back in Namie. >>click to read<< 15:42