Tag Archives: commercial fishing

Safe Fishing Starts with Practice and Prep

The fishing season is currently underway for the North Pacific Fleet based out of Fishermen’s Terminal. From mid-June to September the fleet will fish the waters off the coast of Alaska for salmon, halibut, black cod, and other species. The fishers spent most of May and early June preparing their boats, provisioning, mending nets, and brushing up on safety best practices. The Seattle-based Fishermen’s Memorial organization aims to prevent accidental fisher deaths. Each year the organization honors local fishers who lost their lives at sea by adding their names to the Fishermen’s Memorial monument at Fishermen’s Terminal. Their ultimate goal is to stop adding names. Below are some of the safety demonstrations and exercises that were available to fishers at this year’s event.   photos, >click to read< 07:54

Massachusetts fishermen feeling the pinch of lower lobster prices, rising fuel costs

“What we’re seeing this year is astronomical fuel prices, very high bait prices, scarcity of bait, and we’re seeing a starting price that was actually coming off a high high this winter to something that is a little bit lower than expected,” said Nick Muto, a commercial fisherman out of Chatham.  “As fishermen, we don’t get to control the price of our lobsters,” said Steve Holler, a commercial fisherman out of Boston. “We’re at the mercy of the dealers.” “I have zero confidence in our administration,” Muto said. “Given the political climate right now, I see this getting much worse before it gets better. This situation that we have in the country right now will cause a lot of fishermen to go out of business, and that’s tragic really.” Photos, >click to read< 18:30

Sustainable fishing off the coast of SoCal

For Ben Hyman, fishing along the California coast is a way of life. He’s been a commercial fisherman for 25 years. “I’ve always been addicted to fishing and loved fishing and grew up surfing, and for a lot of us, it’s just a natural evolution to start wanting to be on the boat and start fishing more,” Hyman said. He opened his own business, the Wild Local Seafood Co., 25 years ago and focuses on selling locally caught seafood such as salmon, halibut, ahi, crab and much more. Video, >click to watch/read< 16:57

Concerns on P.E.I. about the risk foreign bait might pose to ecosystem

In March, DFO put a moratorium on commercial fishing for herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and mackerel across the East Coast, saying urgent action is required to allow those fish stocks to recover. That moratorium led to fears of a shortage of bait for use in the lucrative Maritime lobster fishery. Mark Prevost, the co-owner of the Bait Masters alternative bait company in Nine Mile Creek, P.E.I., appeared before a federal fisheries committee earlier this week. He is calling on the federal government to regulate the kinds of fish being used for bait. >click to read< 15:36

Commercial Fishermen Wary Of Proposed Sanctuary For Hudson Canyon

The Biden Administration has renewed a longstanding proposal,,, Even though most of the Hudson Canyon is about as far from the South Fork as Queens and Brooklyn, commercial and recreational fishermen from East End ports frequent the waters above it, and news of the sanctuary nomination was met with some reflexive concern from commercial fishermen, in particular, who worry that if the designation is made it could lead to them eventually being blocked from fishing in an area critical to their annual harvests. “About 25 percent of what we catch is from there, squid, scup, fluke, a lot of stuff comes out of that area,” said Hank Lackner, one of the owners of Montauk’s largest commercial fishing trawlers, the 94-foot Jason & Danielle. “And for the local fleet, the mid-sized trawlers, that’s the end of their rope — that’s as far as they can go. They don’t have another option.” photos, >click to read< 17:58

Gasoline, diesel prices put squeeze on Hampton Roads commercial fishing

“It’s going to get to a point where the customers won’t want to buy because it’s so outrageously expensive,” said Kyle Robbins. “Everyday it costs me about $150 to $200 just in fuel to leave the dock,” Robbins said. Six days a week, Robbins ventures out on a crabbing boat to haul in hundreds of pounds of crabs from the Chesapeake Bay. But the rising cost of fuel for those boats has caused his crabbing habits to change. “In certain times, maybe we can travel another 10 to 15 miles to catch more crabs, but we’re not wanting to spend the fuel, so we’re traveling only two to three miles,” he said. “It’s a lose-lose situation.” Video, >click to read< 08:15

A New Twin-Rigger for Fraserburgh Brothers

The 22.20 metre, 7.50 metre beam F/V Day Dawn replaces the 19 metre F/V Challenger that skipper Chaz Bruce and his brother Martin had been working since it was built at the same yard in 2010. Still in Fraserburgh, F/V Challenger is now F/V Harvest Moon. The brothers chose the Day Dawn name for their newbuild in memory of their father, as this was the name of his boat when they both started at sea with him. ‘The boat performed well, it was very quiet, generally really impressed and everything seems to have worked out well, very pleased with the new boat,’ Chaz Bruce said after bringing in the new trawler home from Whitby to take on the Faithlie Trawls fishing gear and Thyborøn trawl doors to carry out the first fishing trials. Photos, >click to read< 12:46

Barataria Crabber isn’t Giving Up

A large majority of Louisiana’s crabs comes from the waters of the Barataria Estuary, situated between the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche. Scott Sugasti has been on those waters working his traps since an early age, and as one of the younger crabbers on the bayou he knows hard work is the key to success. Since Hurricane Ida he has had to work harder at avoiding numerous pitfalls the storm has caused for local fishermen. Now 23, he started crabbing on his own at the age of 13, never afraid to be alone on the water. While in high school he would get up at the crack of dawn and head out in his boat. ‘I used to go before and after school. I would wake up at three in the morning all the time and head out to run my traps.’ Over the years he has started and stopped a number of times, but it became his daily occupation when he bought his first boat from his grandfather, Jimmy Matherne, two years ago. Photos, >click to read<13:21

Canadian yard delivers a versatile fisheries vessel

The Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government, an indigenous Canadian community on Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, has accepted delivery of a new 19.81 by 7.31-meter (65 x24-foot) combination crab trap and groundfish trawler. The vessel was designed by NAVANEX and built by Chantier Naval Forillon, both of Gaspé, Quebec, Canada. Named Ugjit Mijua’ji’jg in the Mi’gmaw language, the name means “For Our Children”, a reference to the optimism that the community has for its continuing role in commercial fishery. This is the third vessel that Chantier Naval Forillon has built for the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government and the most sophisticated. It has several features that will equip it for efficiency in both pot fishery for snow crab and for trawling shrimp and bottom fish. Photos,  >click to read< 15:04

Commercial Fishing Captain Malvin Kvilhaug of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, has passed away

Malvin Kvilhaug, 83, of Fairhaven passed away peacefully on May 26, 2022 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was at home surrounded by his family. Malvin was born in Aakrehamn, Karmoy, Norway, and was the son of the late Martin and Hulda (Grodem) Kvilhaug. Malvin began his life in Fairhaven in 1961 and made a large impact on the tight-knit Norwegian community. Captain Kvilhaug was a successful scallop captain and fishing was a major part of his life. Malvin made his way in the fishing industry through hard work, determination, and a ‘never give up’ mentality. Malvin was a captain for many years and enjoyed time on his boats – FV Michigan, FV Contender, FV Concordia and the FV Sandra Jane all out of Fairhaven. In addition, he was one of the five co-founders of the Fishery Survival Fund. >click to read< 11:53

Safetytech Accelerator collaborates with FISH Safety Foundation to explore safety technology in fishing

Safetytech Accelerator has collaborated with FISH Safety Foundation to explore how technologies can improve the safety of the fishing industry. Fishing is one of the world’s most dangerous professions. New research by the FISH Safety Foundation suggests fisher mortality rates are significantly higher than the earlier estimates of 24,000 per year, on top of which we can assume a far higher rate of injuries. FISH Safety Foundation is focused on helping countries and organisations with training and advisory services, as well as assistance with the practical application of systems, legislative requirements and guidelines.  >click to read< 10:57

Commercial fishing deaths in Canada hit 20-year high

Despite improvements in safety training and awareness, commercial fishing remains one of the most dangerous professions in Canada. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada reports that 45 workers died between 2018 and 2020, the highest three-year total in 20 years. And fishing safety has been on the board’s watchlist of important safety matters since 2010. But fishing fatalities are preventable. The Transportation Safety Board also reports that 29 workers died between 2015 and 2021 after their boats capsized or sank without personal floatation devices or distress-alerting devices. “You’ve got to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, and that’s where we see that they’re not prepared,” said Glenn Budden. >click to read< 19:03

New fishing partnership enters industry

Brodie Ramsay, Jack Garrick, and Skipper John Williamson are joint owners of the 23-metre vessel, built in 1993. The sale of the vessel, including licences and quota, marks another chapter in the ongoing process of younger crews taking over. Twenty-year-old Ramsay, from Ollaberry, who has already been at the fishing for the last five years, said the move felt like a “good opportunity to get into the industry”.> click to read < 12:19

Scallop dredging kit change could reduce impact on environment

Scientists from the Low Impact Scallop Innovation Gear project, led by Heriot-Watt University, fitted “skids” to the bottom of standard spring-toothed scallop dredges and monitored them during trials with commercial scallop fisheries in Scotland and Wales. They found the skid, which lifts the metal bags a mere 10cm off the seabed, helped reduce damage to bottom-dwelling species and fauna. Due to the metal skids adding weight to the boats, the commercial fisheries involved in the trials closely monitored the amount of fuel consumed during each expedition. >click to read< 10:47

Happy National Shrimp Day! Here’s what to know about South Carolina shrimp

Every year on May 10, National Shrimp Day recognizes America’s favorite bite-sized seafood. If you’re a fan, today’s the day to make your favorite shrimp dish and learn more about how these little crustaceans are involved in South Carolina’s history and ecosystems. Commercial fishing in South Carolina is dominated by shrimpers whose trawlers can reach up to 85 feet in length or more. These boats can be multipurpose and can be used locally for both shrimping and crabbing as well as for line-fishing and trawling. Shrimping can be a tedious and at times, dangerous business. Yet, it remains to be a fundamental part of South Carolina life. >click to read< 08:08

Louisiana shrimpers worry high diesel fuel prices will impact profits

Shrimpers are getting ready to cast their nets, but not without major concerns for the upcoming season. Rising fuel prices could also mean higher prices for the tasty crustaceans. “I know we are going to get hit hard by the fuel prices… You better catch a lot of shrimp,” said Cheryl Granger, owner of Granger’s Seafood in Maurice, La. “I think we’re going to have a very hard time,” Granger said. “Very hard and not just us, the crabbers, the shrimpers; everybody fishing on the water.” >click to read< 08:06

High lobster prices push fishermen to take risk, the Captain of an all-female crew pushes for change

The F/V Nellie Row was making her return to Lunenburg, N.S., after a long night at sea, loaded with another haul of lobster, when captain Gail Atkinson lost sight of one of her crew members. When that happens, a fisherman’s mind instantly goes to dark places – out here, off the southern coast of Nova Scotia, a novice deckhand can easily be knocked off their feet, swept overboard and swallowed up by the endless black sea. Ms. Atkinson, skipper of Canada’s only all-female lobster crew, didn’t know her new employee had just gone up on top of the boat’s wheelhouse to get the docking lines ready. “I just freaked out and lost my mind,” she said. “On my boat, I need to know where everyone is at all times. I told her, ‘I’m 57 years old. You almost killed me right now.’” Commercial fishing has always been dangerous work,,, >click to read<  17:02

British Columbia: Hooked on halibut: For many commercial fishers, it’s a family affair

The commercial halibut season is underway along the coast of British Columbia and boats are already starting to deliver the flat fish to dinner plates. From now until early December, the B.C. halibut fleet will haul in an estimated 5.7 million pounds of halibut. The Americans will take the lion’s share of this year’s ­41-million-pound total allowable catch, nearly 80%, because their territory stretches over California, Oregon, Washington and all of Alaska to the tip of the Aleutian Islands and covers nine of the 10 designated halibut-fishing areas along the Pacific Coast. Tiare Boyes and Cheri Hansen weigh in on what it’s like to work on the water during the halibut fishing season. Photos, >click to read< 11:14

Tributes to Dorset’s sustainable fisherman David Sales who was honoured by the Queen

Tributes have been paid to a West Bay fisherman who was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to commercial fishing and the environment. David Sales spent 63 years in the fishing industry and worked to promote more sustainable practices, including policy to increase the minimum size of lobsters caught so that they could breed before capture. “Not long after introducing the regulation, we started catching berried female lobsters, a wonderful sight. At last, the lobster stock was being given a chance to recover.” Video, >click to read< 10:37

Making a living on the high seas

Fishing has helped sustain Inuit for generations. Commercial fishing has allowed Nunavummiut like Enoo Bell and Kyle Aglukkaq to earn a good living, although it comes with sacrifices. He’s been on hundreds of trips lasting from 15 to 25 days to harvest shrimp and turbot. He didn’t see his family for more than three months on one occasion in the early 1990s. “It’s hard to leave. Sometimes out there (you think), ‘Why am I here?’ On the other hand, his employer takes very good care of him and he’s pleased that Inuit have increasingly become rights-holders within the commercial fishing industry. His commercial fishing career has taken him to places like Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Denmark, Norway and England. >click to read< 18:55

What is the payment for a life of sacrifice? Working at sea is not as profitable as before

In the instability of the ship, he sinks into longing. In the one that evokes family, friends… Maybe he won’t get back in time to see the birth of his son, or the wedding of his sister, who before leaving to the tide already had promised. The work to be done on board brings his thoughts back to the reality of the ship at a stroke. But only temporarily. Insomnia in his break time, caused by the need to be alert at all times, will bring those ideas back to his head, just thinking about being able to catch a good catch to bring his family as much money as possible, and that his sacrifice has meaning. >click to read< 09:20

A Spanish fisherman’s life on the high seas: harsh, risky and badly paid

The tragedy, Spain’s worst fishing accident in nearly 40 years which claimed 21 lives and left only three survivors when their ship foundered in stormy waters off Newfoundland, has thrown into sharp relief the risks and harsh working conditions faced by fishermen. Often these deep-sea fishermen will spend months at sea, far from their families. “You’re away for so long: you go out to sea when your child’s just been born and when you come back, he’s already doing his first communion,” jokes Martínez as he takes a coffee at a bar popular with fishermen in Marín. He used to spend six-month stints at sea fishing for cod off Newfoundland but is currently not working after having a hernia operation. commercial fishing. >click to read< 14:04

F/V Winona J: Catching up with ‘Deadliest Catch Dungeon Cove’ crew

Captain Mike Retherford Jr. says he’s never been afraid for his life fishing off the Oregon Coast, but he’s witnessed some close calls in his lifetime of commercial fishing. Retherford, his family and crew were featured in the 2016 “Deadliest Catch” spin-off, “Dungeon Cove.” The F/V Winona J is just one of the vessels responsible for the Dungeness crab season’s record-breaking revenue. Video, photos, >click to read< 16:55

Alaska Department of Fish and Game forecasts fair to poor sockeye runs for Cook Inlet, Copper River

State biologists are projecting a mixed bag of returns this spring and summer for Southcentral’s popular sockeye salmon fisheries. Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials on Feb. 7 issued a forecast estimating that just less than 5 million sockeye will return to upper Cook Inlet river systems, allowing for a harvest of nearly 3 million sockeye from the region overall. It’s expected approximately 2.9 million fish from the total run will be headed to the Kenai, with another 941,000 pegged for the nearby Kasilof. >click to read< 19:19

Newport Rhode Island’s commercial fishing industry faces challenging times

“Different? How are things different? Just look at it.” Gazing out over the water toward downtown Newport from a dock on Long Wharf, Denny Ingram, the burly captain of Blue Moon, is answering my question with a question. “Nothing’s the way it used to be. Nothing.” We’re standing on the last remaining pier dedicated to the city’s commercial fishing industry. The view is crowded with pleasure boats, mid-rise condos and high-end hotels. When Ingram started fishing nearly 40 years ago, the scene was quite different. Today, all of the businesses serving the commercial fishing industry have evaporated. You can’t even get ice locally. >click to read<  17:21

Roger Wood Asks, Is Commercial Fishing Heading for Extinction?

Can New Hampshire’s dwindling commercial fishing industry be revived or is the enterprise headed for extinction? Fishermen in the ground fish business are retiring. So far, there is no clear path to replace them with younger people.  A new federally funded program is intended to address that. In this podcast, Roger Wood talks with a newly retired fisherman, David Goethel from Hampton and the director of a new federally funded program intended to help young people continue the trade. >click to listen, and read< 08:48

Sonoma Coast Dungeness crab arrives in local markets

Dick Ogg seemed to be relieved to be bringing in a haul of Dungeness crab now that the season has started after a delay of more than a month. “It’s OK,” Ogg said when asked about the haul he had on his boat, Karen Jeanne, which was about 2 miles from shore. “I’m not going to say it’s great. But it’s OK.” Ogg noted that the season provides an economic shot-in-the-arm for those tied to fisheries, especially the estimated 30 crabbers docked in Bodega Bay, the processors who transport the crustaceans, and the markets and restaurants that sell the product. photos, >click to read< 08:43

Lobster fishing being threatened

Commercial fishing, in particular, lobster fishing is an integral part of our local community and the economy of our state. This way of life is being threatened by new burdensome federal regulations. Over time, this will drive many fishermen out of business and forever change the character of the Maine lobster industry and our community. These regulations are championed as a way to help protect the North Atlantic right whale but will fail to do so. We have to fight back against this regulatory onslaught. >click to read< by Troy Plummer and Mark Jones, and please click and donate to www.savemainelobstermen.org, if you can!

Commercial Fishing Safety on the West Coast

In 2009, NIOSH completed an in-depth study of commercial fishing fatalities in the United States for the decade spanning 2000-2009. The purpose of the study was to identify the most hazardous fisheries around the country and to describe the unique safety issues in each. For this study the US was divided into four fishing regions: Alaska, West Coast, East Coast, and the Gulf of Mexico. The results of this analysis for the West Coast region can be found in the document,,, >click to read< 13:18

Hearts broken and fears realized when the Saulis crew didn’t come home – A Year Later

Dec. 15 marks the one-year anniversary of the sinking of F/V Chief William Saulis scallop vessel, a tragedy that took the lives of six men and forever changed the lives of so many more. We still think about the crew. We still think about their families. We still think about the fishing communities that are deeply touched and heartbroken when those who make their living on the water do not come back home. Those aboard were Capt. Charles Roberts, Aaron Cogswell, Daniel Forbes, Michael Drake, Geno Francis and Leonard Gabriel. It was reported there had been no distress call made. photos, >click to read< 17:59 By Tina Comeau