Tag Archives: commercial fishing

Another chance to prosper

It began quietly, this year’s white shrimp season, on Friday. If you know how to look for the rhythms of the bayous, you could see the boats heading out, some Thursday night, some even earlier. On those vessels large and small ride the cultural lifeblood of this region, one of the things that makes us different from everywhere else. Commercial fishing is seen by many as a relic of the past, but the dollars that it pumps into the local economy is anything but yesterday’s news. The boats are so much more than boats. They are in essence the equivalent of family-owned stores. click here to read the story 17:16

Environmentalists Spend Big Money to Put Commercial Fishing People Out of Work

In an industry where commerce depends solely on the catch, commercial fishing is one of the most volatile professions in the country. From market prices to weather patterns, there are many factors that could result in poor landings and scant pay check. On top of these factors, an environmental group has proposed drastic rule changes for the trawl industry that could shut down a the NC shrimping business completely. And they’re spending big money to do it. While they claimed the rules would have an impact on the captains and crews, the environmentalists left out the many jobs generated by the trawl industry. From the shrimp headers and dock hands, to the welders and marine mechanics, to the transport drivers and seafood distributors, as well as the administrative employees, North Carolina stands to lose big bucks if fresh shrimp is taken from our tables. Even bigger, the tourism industry – which is has been a huge economic supporter in distressed coastal communities – would certainly take a financial hit.A fishermen can never clock in and be assured of a good paycheck, but environmentalists sure can. According to John Hopkins University there is huge money in being an environmentalist. In 2016, a it was reported a “chief sustainability environmental executive” will earn an average of $166,000 annually, while a general operations managers will start at $95,150. Read the complete article here 14:41

Nova Scotia’s deadliest industry slowly becomes safer

It is one of the most mundane tasks on a fishing boat: tying up the bumper balloons that prevent the vessel from crunching into the wharf when it docks. But for fisherman Mitch MacDonald it proved life-altering. For 10 years he fastened them with little problem. That is until last May, when his boat pitched unexpectedly and a balloon fell overboard, the rope sawing through his left index finger.  “It pretty much burnt right through my finger and took the end of my finger off overboard,” he said. MacDonald has not regained the full use of his hand. The injury cost him thousands of dollars in lost income as he had trouble holding onto things and couldn’t work the rest of the fishing season. He is not alone. In 2016 there were 224 injuries on fishing boats, according to the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, but good news is the numbers are declining. Six years ago 351 injuries were reported. Read the story here 08:37

“Fire in the Water” – Book about history of commercial fishing in Florida published

Through firsthand accounts, “Fire in the Water” chronicles an exciting and unique slice of early Florida coastal history that might have otherwise been lost. It was written by Terry L. Howard and Donald E. Root, and was released by Adventure in Discovery, Jupiter, on Nov 7. Howard and Root will be at Vero Beach Book Center, 392 21st St. Vero Beach, on Nov 28 at 6 p.m. for a book signing. Using rare historical photos and firsthand accounts of five survivors, this book chronicles waterfront and commercial fishing life on Florida’s east coast and along the Indian River Lagoon. It centers on Cape Canaveral and Fort Pierce from early in the 20th century to the 1994 Florida net ban. It is filled with colorful sea stories and memories of earlier times. Howard and Root draw from their own commercial fishing experiences. Read the rest here 13:36

Sport Fishing Industry Voices Concern With Possible Offshore Sanctuary Idea; Official Provisions Sought Before Designation Considered

baltimore-canyon-smallOn the same day the National Aquarium announced it was seeking an Urban National Marine Sanctuary designation for the Baltimore Canyon off the coast of Ocean City, aquarium officials attempted to reassure the sportfishing community a successful designation would not impact the fertile fishing grounds. When the National Aquarium announced on Monday it was seeking the nation’s first Urban National Marine Sanctuary designation for the Baltimore Canyon off the coast of Ocean City, the knee-jerk reaction from the resort’s sportfishing community was fear of gradually losing more and more of the heart of the multi-million fishing industry. The overriding fear, and there is precedent for it, is that once the federal government gets its foot in the door, more and more regulations would be forthcoming and access to the canyon for recreational and commercial fisherman would be gradually chipped away. However, National Aquarium officials later on Monday attempted to allay those fears. According to spokesperson Corrine Weaver, the National Aquarium is keenly aware of the importance of the recreational and commercial fisheries in the Baltimore Canyon and seeking an Urban National Marine Sanctuary designation would not impact those industries.  Read the rest here 21:24

‘These are the risks that we take’

Walking the floor boards with worry and praying for a miracle. It’s a sadly repeated ritual in Newfoundland where the sea gives life and, just as swiftly, takes it away. “We live that life and that’s who we are,” said Johanna Ryan Guy, as the search for two of four men who went missing from a capsized fishing boat continued Thursday near St. John’s. The search was later changed to a recovery mission as hopes of finding the two remaining fishermen alive dwindled. Bodies of the other two men were recovered after the seven-metre craft was reported overturned Tuesday night near Cape Spear. All were from the close community of Shea Heights, where grieving residents say it’s beyond tragic that three generations of one family were on that boat. A team of investigators with the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is now looking into the deadly incident. As in all maritime communities, dangers in the waters off Newfoundland are real and unpredictable. Read the story here 08:17

Aquarium scientist helps lead effort to designate Marine National Monument

Mystic Aquarium Senior Research Scientist Peter AusterAn effort being led in part by Mystic Aquarium Senior Research Scientist Peter Auster is working to get President Barack Obama to designate a 4,000-square-nautical-mile area of ocean off Cape Cod as a Marine National Monument, which would be the first in the Atlantic Ocean. Located 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod, it is also a place that Auster said companies are beginning to show interest in mining the seamounts for precious metals. Designation of the area as a national monument would prevent “commercial extraction activities” such as mining, oil and gas drilling, as well as commercial fishing. Activities such as recreational angling, whale watching and boating would be permitted. Working with environmental groups, they are working to get the designation request to Obama to sign before he leaves office. Read the rest here 10:28

Freedom, danger is in R.I. fisherman’s wheelhouse – Mark Patinkin

AR-160529654.jpg&MaxW=650&MaxH=500I got to wondering what it’s like these days for commercial fishermen so I drove to the Point Judith docks, walked up to the trawler Elizabeth & Katherine and asked the captain, Steven Arnold, if I could come aboard. It was at 11 a.m. and he’d already put in a long shift with plenty more to go — he’d steamed out for squid at 4:30 a.m. He was back because his net tore on rocks while dragging the bottom of Rhode Island Sound so the crew had come in to repair it. I climbed over the rail and followed Arnold, 52, to the wheelhouse. He wore jeans, boots, a sweatshirt, hadn’t shaved for a few days and seemed to belong there in the captain’s seat. Squid is his biggest species but that morning, they weren’t there. He mostly had scup when the net came up torn. You have good days and bad, Arnold said, but he still loves fishing for the same reasons that first drew him to it after a childhood in South County and two years at New England Tech. Read the story here 11:01

Goldfish – A lucrative Great Lakes commercial catch

-45ec3f81f36359b7Whenever Dave DeLong brings in one of his Maumee Bay seine nets, there’s almost always one or two distinctive bright orange fish swimming around the writhing mass of bullhead, catfish and carp. DeLong, a Lake Erie commercial fisherman, makes a living hauling live fish to the Luna Pier Harbor Club, where his catch is weighed and sold. He’s been fishing for 45 years on Lake Erie and goldfish have been part of that catch every year.”We used to throw them away,” he said. Not anymore. Goldfish — larger versions of the species found in household aquariums — have been a part of the Great Lakes ecosystem for a long, long time. While that’s really no secret, most would be surprised to learn just how many actually inhabit the bi-national waters. Photo gallery, Read the rest here 13:16

By the Numbers – Forum convinces many commercial fishing is sustainable

AR-160419533.jpg&MaxW=650&MaxH=500Those attending the forum, sponsored by The Providence Journal, Leadership Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Mystic Aquarium, were given electronic remote controls that allowed them to vote anonymously on multiple-choice questions. At the start of the program, 69 percent of audience members said commercial fishing is sustainable. At the end, that had risen to 78 percent. When broken down by groups, 88 percent of the people who said they were in the industry also said that the industry should regulate fishing, while 35 percent of recreational fishermen agreed, as did 43 percent of the people who identified themselves as consumers of fish. Read the rest here 07:41

Commercials get nine hours to fish lower Columbia on Tuesday

Nine hours of commercial fishing for spring chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River will begin at noon on Tuesday. The Columbia River Compact today approved the commercial fishery, which will be from the mouth of the river to Beacon Rock using 4.25-inch mesh nets. Robin Ehlke, assistant Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the net fleet is expected to catch about 1,200 spring salmon. That number is projected to include 900 upper-Columbia-Snake chinook and 300 from the Willamette and other lower Columbia tributaries, she said. Read the rest here 10:12

No One in Alaska Died Commercial Fishing in the Past Year

Commercial fishing has been getting safer for decades, for a lot of reasons. The U.S. Coast Guard recently announced a milestone: No one in Alaska died commercial fishing in a vessel-related incident in the past year, for the first time. That’s the federal fiscal year, Oct. 1 2014 through Sept. 30 2015. Although six commercial fishing boats sank in the summer of 2015, no one was killed. Between 1980 and 1988, an average of 31 fishermen died in Alaska each year. Read the report here 15:45

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge biologists hope commercial fishing will end carp invasion

-93eeeffb0b2672baSay what you will about the invasive common carp in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. They’re ugly. Unappetizing. A bane on the Eastern Oregon ecosystem. But don’t say they’re not resilient. Managers at the migratory bird sanctuary south of Burns have tried dynamite. They’ve tried poison. They’ve tried suffocating the fish by draining water from lakes and ponds. They’ve put screens across waterways to keep the carp from finding new territory. Read the article here 13:56

ADF&G Releases Yukon Salmon Season Report

adfg-logoThere were a total of 44 commercial fishing openers for coho and chum in the Yukon River, most of which were held in the lower river districts. Commercial fisherman harvested approximately 190,00 chum and a record breaking almost 130,000 coho salmon, raking in a total of almost $1.5 million. That was part of the findings by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game who just released the 2015 season summary for the Yukon River salmon fishery. Read the rest here 12:04

Bi Partisan push to stop East Coast Oil/Gas Exploration

Oil-Rig640U.S. Rep Mark Sanford and nearly three dozen fellow House members increased pressure Thursday to curtail the search for oil and gas off the Atlantic coast because of environmental and economic concerns. In a letter Thursday to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s director, the House members said using seismic testing “is an enormously disruptive activity in the ocean’’ that could hurt both and endangered whales. Read the article here  15:26

Prospects unclear in ‘crab country’; state committee to discuss delay’s impacts

The fishing boat ImperialBeing the sole proprietor of his commercial fishing operation for the last three years, Eureka resident Bob Borck said one of the important skills of the job is being able to live with uncertainty. While he’s seen delays in the Dungeness crab season caused by price disputes or meat quantity requirements, Borck said the indefinite delay caused by the presence of a potent neurotoxin along the entire West Coast is making the prospects of this season unclear. “We’ve never been here before,” he said. “There is no real way to tell.” What Borck does know is that he still needs to pay the bills — not only for moorage and insurance for his fishing vessel,.. Read the article here 08:34

From croaker to clams: Commercial fishing in OC

Ocean City is home to a substantial commercial fishing fleet that works our surrounding waters to harvest marketable resources from clams to swordfish. Visitors to the resort can see the commercial boats tied up at the West Ocean City harbor and some might wonder what they fish for and how. The following is a short description of a few of the commercial fishing operations that go on around Ocean City. Read the rest here 08:00

Net Effect: A different tack, and Campbell: Fishing regulations

14998798-1445527057-640x480Our new WRAL documentary takes a different tack. It’s the result of a growing chorus of recreational fishermen, associated organizations and environmental groups that have raised legitimate concerns about certain commercial fishing practices. They practically beat down our door, giving us information, showing us data and offering up experts to interview. Their concerns are backed up by a number of state officials, including a scientist. Read the rest here – Campbell: Fishing regulations:  After publishing my column about this topic in September, a coastal newspaper that had long printed my offerings immediately said they would no longer publish me. Read the rest here 09:49

Australia: Calls for a long-term strategy to protect threatened marine species from commercial fishing

There are calls for the Federal Government to develop a long-term strategy to protect threatened marine species from commercial fishing. Every year thousands of protected species are killed as bycatch.  The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) publishes a quarterly report detailing how many protected species have been killed in Commonwealth waters. The Australian Marine Conservation Society’s Tooni Mahto said the numbers were unacceptable. (but they never are, eh Tooni?)  Meanwhile, In the Small Pelagic Fishery,,, Read the rest here 20:07

What’s the Catch? Commercial Fishing and the Risks Needed to Get Your Fancy Supper.

By Guest writer Matt Rhoney – Commercial fishing. It’s gone from an obscure asterisk of a profession to a household name recently. With the advent of reality television and America’s recent fascination with dangerous careers, commercial fishing has become one of the world’s most famously risky gigs. Like oil field workers, scuba divers, and extreme wildlife chasers, commercial fishermen are icons of bold living. People tune in to their sets nightly to watch the exploits of hirsute men who live for the thrill of the chase. Read the rest here 10:49

What about the jobs?! Assateague National Seashore: Commercial fishing, Aquaculture ban proposed

Chincoteague officials are preparing to respond to a plan that could put an end to commercial fishing, aquaculture and the horseshoe crab harvest within the boundaries of Assateague Island National Seashore. Assateague Island National Seashore Superintendent Deborah Darden presented an overview of a draft general management plan for the national seashore — including the proposed prohibition on commercial seafood activities — to the Chincoteague Town Council on Thursday, Sept. 17. Read the rest here 08:27

At the State Department’s Glacier conference, nations urge caution in opening the Arctic to fishing

There are five nations whose borders surround the Arctic Ocean — and each has their respective fishing jurisdictions offshore. But none yet extend into the central Arctic Ocean, or what’s called “the high Arctic.” David Balton is the State Department’s deputy secretary for oceans and fisheries: “No commercial fishing has ever taken place in this area and that is because, of course, at least until recently, it has been ice-covered year round. But that, as most of you know, is changing.” Read the rest here 17:15

Bad Fraser River sockeye run has salmon watchers worried

Bad Fraser River sockeye run has salmon watchers worriedThe latest estimate pegs the run size at 2.4 million salmon, barely a third of the 6.8 million mid-range projection of fishery managers. Commercial fishing that was anticipated for August never happened because of the low returns. About 150,000 sockeye have been taken in First Nations food fisheries. “We don’t have the abundance we were expecting,” said Jennifer Nener, Lower Fraser area director for DFO. Last summer, 1.7 million late-run sockeye that were counted as having gone upriver never reached the spawning beds and Taylor fears a repeat is in store. Read the rest here 14:52

10 Years Forward: Fishermen ride out rough waters after Katrina, clear skies ahead

Long before Hurricane Katrina roared through, south Louisiana’s commercial industry already faced major challenges. Katrina just became the next hurdle fishermen had to endure to stay afloat. In the decade since, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes have faced more storms, the BP oil spill, and the continued disappearance of valuable wetlands. Still, they’ve managed to survive and thrive. “I’m going to be dancing at 100! That’s my goal,” said Tommy Gonzales. All his life, he’s trapped and fished the waters of Delacroix Island and the Gulf of Mexico. For hundreds of years, commercial fishing has been a way of life in Shell Beach. Video, Read the rest here 10:43

In The Upper Midwest, Summertime Means Fish Boils

Long ago, when settling the Great Lakes, Scandinavian immigrants brought with them an ingenious method of feeding lots of people, on the cheap. Mark Weborg, whose family immigrated to the area in the 1800s, says his family has been doing fish boils for generations. “I’m the fourth generation, my son-in-law is the fifth generation, here, at commercial fishing in Door County,” Weborg says. “My great-great-great-grandfather brought [the fish boil] over here from Norway. And we used to have it around the sheds just for the crew.” Read the rest here 20:02

New York, and Connecticut Lawmakers seeking $65 million to clean up Long Island Sound

With new legislation proposed to protect and restore the waters of the Long Island Sound, Connecticut and New York lawmakers are hoping to reverse the effects of decades of over-development and pollution. The Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act would combine two water quality and shore restoration programs to be funded at, respectively, $40 million and $25 million per year through 2020. Read the rest here 19:22

US Navy holds community forum in Kodiak over war-game misinformation

Navy representatives held a community forum in Kodiak yesterday to address concerns about its training in the Gulf of Alaska, which they say begins Monday. They say many people believe this month’s training will include bombs, sonar, and exercises that will disturb commercial fishing, but say much of that is misinformation. Captain Raymond Hesser says the Navy’s exercises will not disrupt commercial fishing. Read the rest here 17:55

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council – No red snapper take in 2015

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council announced Friday, there will not be commercial or recreational season in 2015 because the total number of red snapper removed from the population in 2014 exceeded the allowable level. In other news, the SAFMC also announced that no more recreational harvest of blueline tilefish in South Atlantic waters will be allowed after 12:01 a.m. (local time) Wednesday. The commercial sector for blueline tilefish was closed to harvest on April 7. Read the rest here 13:02

“The Briefcase” – Marathon fishing family in new CBS reality show

The program, “The Briefcase,” finds couples in need of financial assistance, whether backlogged on loans or dealing with other hardships, and offers them an out. One of the episodes will feature John and Amanda Musolino, who reside part of the year in Marathon, as a struggling family who works wherever commercial fishing jobs pay. Amanda Musolino stays at their home raising the children, ages 12, 10 and 7, while John fishes seven months out of the year. Read the rest here 08:19

A great migration is under way – Spring brings fish by the millions to Chesapeake Bay

Tourists aren’t the only ones flocking to our waters this time of year. A great migration is under way beneath the surface, too. Triggered by warming seas, hidden by tea-colored waves, propelled by the hunt for food and sheltered nursery grounds, all sorts of creatures are swimming or crawling their way up from the south. Their destination: the Chesapeake Bay. In the winter, only 30 or so aquatic species ply the bay. In the summer, that number explodes beyond 250.The catch flooding into the Lynnhaven Fishing Company tells the tale of the seasonal commute, Read the rest here 08:56