Tag Archives: commercial fishing

A Day in the Life of Maine Lobsterman, Mike Sargent, in his own words.

“A lot of people think it’s like Deadliest Catch,” Mike Sargent says with a laugh. But his days are very different from the high-stakes drama of a reality show. Learn about what it takes to bring lobster from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to your plate with a day in the life of Sargent, in his own words. 3 am: I’ll get up and check the weather forecast. I’ll check the marine buoy data, see if there’s any inclement weather coming or going. If we’re all good to go, I will message my crew, say, “Yep, we’re set to go today.” They’re usually up and at ’em anyway, so I have them on standby. And then, I pack my lunch and head to the wharf. 4 am: I meet my crew down at the wharf,,, >click to read< 16:41

You don’t need five shirtless dudes to catch a big fish. One badass woman can get the job done.

If I want to be as badass as Michelle Bancewicz Cicale from Seabrook, I have some work to do. But hey, you gotta start somewhere! Michelle has been fishing most of her life. Like most things, if you implement the three P’s, practice, patience, and persistence you are bound to get better at it. In 2015 she started fishing mostly for tuna and in 2019 she bought her own boat. The FV No Limits. “No Limits” seems like an appropriate name for Michelle’s boat. ESPECIALLY after she reeled in this monster of a Blue Fin on her first solo venture! photo’s,>click to read< 07:43

Fisherman Lance Eric Norby bought a boat sight unseen and named it PNEUMA. “can’t” was not in his vocabulary

Lance Eric Norby entered God’s kingdom on July 1st, 2021, doing what he loved most, in hopes that soon he would be living his dream of giving up his mandatory 6-7 day workweek and begin enjoying the adventurous lifestyle Alaska had to offer. He had an eidetic memory and knew every job at the General Motors Assembly plant where he worked. About four years ago, Lance was introduced to the world of commercial fishing by his good friend, David Schwantes. After a couple Summers of working with and for David on his boats, last year he bought a 32′ aluminum commercial fishing boat, sight unseen, during Covid, naming it PNEUMA. >click to read< 07:55

NIOSH: Work-Related Deaths in Alaska Remain High After 15 Years

NIOSH investigators reviewed work-related deaths from 2004 to 2018 as recorded in the Alaska Occupational Injury Surveillance System, which tracks workplace deaths and injuries, and found 517 work-related deaths had occurred over the 15-year period. Most deaths were among white men working in the commercial fishing industry, with the average age of 42 for fatally injured workers. Commercial fishing is one of the most hazardous occupations in the United States, with a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average, according to NIOSH. The leading cause of work-related death over the 15 years studied was water vehicle incidents,,, The institute also announced the availability of commercial fishing safety research and training grants. >click to read< 16:15

The Deadliest Catch has been a huge success story for Captain Sig Hansen

American captain Sig Hansen is the leading figure behind the fishing vessel named F/V Northwestern. Sig Hansen’s net worth is estimated to be $4 million. Sig came under huge prominence after starring in each season of the popular documentary television series Deadliest Catch. Later Hansen served as technical advisor for the production team. Sig Hansen has been a constant in the show while entertaining fans with their daily life adventures on the sea. While he later stunned fans by announcing that he is not going to be a part of the television show anymore, he later did return for season 8 of Deadliest Catch.,, >click to read< 09:33

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

Mark Lawton Doumit, a commercial fisherman, politician, public servant, has passed away in Tenino, Wash.

Mark was born in Longview, Wash., on November 26, 1961, to Eli and Patricia Doumit and was the 10th of 11th children. He grew up in his family’s hometown of Cathlamet, Wash. While still in high school, Mark began a lifelong passion for commercial fishing. He began his career in the industry in high school, working on the Columbia River as a fish buyer. In college he began a nearly 40-year career in Alaska working in canneries and crewing on drift gillnet boats in Prince William Sound and Bristol Bay. Mark bought his own commercial salmon fishing operation in Cook Inlet, Alaska in 1986 and spent the remainder of his fishing career between Cook Inlet in the summer and lower Columbia River in the spring and fall. One of his great joys in life was the opportunity to fish alongside his sons and so many of his family and friends. >click to read< 09:24

Commercial Fishing Up Close – Pat Morss

There has been a lot of sport fishing in close to the Eastern Point rocks recently, and this morning a spotter plane and two commercial fishing boats out of Gloucester got our attention. The photo captions below may just be my imagination, but this is what it looked like. >click to view ten photos< 07:43

Persistence, ability to overcome adversity keeps this local trawler going after 30+ years

The job of a trawler is the same every day: catch shrimp. But the opponent one is up against (weather, seas, Mother Nature) is always slightly different each day. Being able to adjust to the unknown is Thomas Crosby’s specialty on the water. It’s a skill he believes allows him to be a good fisherman. The captain of the ‘Limited Edition’ since the late 1980s, Crosby has been on the water for as long as he can remember. The experienced captain said a good trawler is capable of adapting, adjusting and rolling with the punches, even if they come often and from a lot of unexpected directions. >click to read< 18:28

Individual transferable quota system hurting Tasmania’s fishing fleets

“ITQs have caused a decrease in owner operators and a decrease in active vessels in the fleet,, “Separation of ITQ ownership from the fishing sector has created a whole range of unintended consequences, which have ultimately seen the flow of majority of profits to investors, not the fishing fleet.” King Island Council deputy general manager Kate Mauric told the committee some fishermen felt disadvantaged due to contract management from investors, though this was not as pronounced on the island as elsewhere. >click to read< 10:54

Life of a Brixham fisherman selling catch straight off his trusty trawler

He’s the skipper, captain, engineer, cook, and cleaner of the Adela BM79 – a bright blue mini trawler. At 9 meters long, she’s Brixham’s smallest and self-professed ‘prettiest’ fishing boat. Recently, Tristan Northway has earned himself a new title to add to his roster, one that seemingly comes as naturally as the wind to a sail. Tristan is Brixham’s only licensed floating fishmonger; selling freshly caught fish directly from the boat on any day that he can get out to sea. “It’s not easy,” says Tristan. “I’m going out at 2 in the morning. I came home at 4 this afternoon. And I probably won’t go to bed until 10 tonight.” >video, photos, click to read<  07:44

The Last Watermen

In April 2002, the city ordered Alexander “Skip” Parkinson, a crabber, to leave his permanent slip under its first-come, first-served docking policy, making him the last waterman, and his boat the last workboat, at City Dock.,, One Saturday last August, I paddleboarded from Spa Creek in Annapolis to Back Creek in Eastport, landed on Cap’n Herbie Sadler Watermen’s Park,, There, I met Pat Mahoney, Jr., the “last waterman of Annapolis.” Mahoney not only owns Wild Country, along with his father, Pat Mahoney Sr., but he catches the seafood they sell and takes great pride in keeping the “last waterman” title in the family. For him, the word means more than just making a living from the Bay. “It’s about keeping a tradition alive, adapting to challenges, and loving the water,” says Mahoney. >click to read<  10:15

The Last of the Port Clyde Groundfishermen – Once robust, Maine’s groundfishery is on the ropes

When Randy Cushman was growing up in Port Clyde, some 300 trawlers were moored up and down Maine’s coast,,, Today, Cushman is 59 years old and might be Maine’s most knowledgeable commercial fishermen.,, But Cushman is barely scraping by. Prices for cod, flounder, and other groundfish have all but collapsed in Maine. The combination of rock-bottom prices, the need to protect the state’s fish stocks, and a dearth of fishing infrastructure make it harder than ever to be a fisherman here. Today, the robust Maine trawler fleet of Cushman’s youth has been reduced to around 30 boats. photos, >click to read< 14:21

Choppy Weather and Fishing Limits gets California salmon season off to slow, expensive start

Commercial fishing boats may only fish south from Pigeon Point on the San Mateo coast, instead of in the typical area open all the way to Mendocino County this time of year. Strict limits on this year’s salmon season were set by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council in consideration of what’s expected to be a smaller population of adult king, or chinook, salmon in the ocean this year. The geographic limitations and conditions are keeping local fishing boats in Monterey Bay for now, but some of the fish are making their way to the Bay Area. Sarah Bates came down to Monterey Bay from San Francisco with a crew member on her boat, F/V Bounty. “Everybody is in the bay because it’s the only place to hide from the afternoon wind,” The limited season means they don’t have much of a choice, Bates said. “We feel pressure to fish in bad weather where there’s so few days,” she said. “We’re pretty much going to go fishing no matter what.”  photos, >click to read< 21:09

Sig Hansen Opens Up About Deadliest Catch

The longtime boss of the F/V Northwestern still characterizes the crab season depicted in the epic 17th season of the Discovery Channel hit “Deadliest Catch” as the most calamitous one he’s ever endured. Aside from the thorny Coronavirus protocols that challenged any television production in 2020 and 2021, the crabbing crews faced another seemingly insurmountable obstacle that had nothing to do with making a TV show. For the first time ever, the captains and their crews were fishing blind,,, Hansen chats about it all, from the most grueling “Deadliest Catch” season ever, >click to read< 17:16

Brexit: how it started, how it’s going

The European Parliament votes Tuesday on the EU’s divorce settlement with Britain, the 1,246-page Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The deal averted tariffs or quotas on almost all goods produced in the UK and EU. The new standards and attendant bureaucracy are having an impact on trade.  UK exports of live mussels, cockles, oysters and other shellfish are no longer allowed to enter the EU. Most come from Scotland, and the industry says it is staring at collapse. Britain’s government, however, says the coronavirus pandemic has been the bigger factor affecting trade since the Brexit deal took effect. >click to read< 07:32

Inland Fisheries: A big fight in Lansing over fishing rules on the Great Lakes

Dana Serafin still hauls in 20,000-pound boatloads of whitefish to supply regional restaurants and markets, Native whitefish, the main livelihood for Serafin and other Great Lakes commercial fishermen, have been in decline for years amid changes to the food web, replaced in Serafin’s nets by healthier populations of walleye and lake trout that he’s not allowed to keep. Chinook salmon, once a favorite of recreational anglers on lakes Michigan and Huron, have also plummeted in Lake Michigan, and all but disappeared from Lake Huron. Battles are brewing over fishing rights from recreational, commercial, Native American, and environmental group meddling. Video, >click to read< 13:41

Women of New Bedford’s Waterfront

Captain Jessica Walker, 34, first stepped foot on a commercial fishing vessel, which happened to be the Legacy, when she was 19. The college history major was looking for a summer job and this one was far from “potato country”, the place in Northern Maine she called home. She started with summer trips that eventually became full-time work. She worked her way up to mate and learned everything from the boat owner and previous captain, David Wilhelmsen. When he stepped down, Walker assumed the role of captain in the summer of 2013. Further up in the harbor, fishing vessel Reliance was docked earlier in the week for maintenance before departing for the next scalloping trip. Two men with welding helmets sat on the deck repairing the metal gear while Crystal Vaughan stood up in the wheelhouse attending to inventory. 21 photos, >click to read< 10:20

Tight-Knit Fishing Communities Navigate Drugs

Johnnie*, a salt-and-pepper fisherman in his late 50s, is smiling as he tells me what happened one dark night last year. “It was like a movie star, dropping down from the sky off the helicopter to get to my crewmate, pitch of night,” he says. “The Coast Guard—this handsome guy, my wife would’ve loved him, like Rock Hudson—dropped down from the moon. Felt like hours after we had given him all the Narcan we had. The Coast Guard still didn’t carry it back then, did you know that? So they pulled him up into the clouds and we all were left below at sea.”, “It’s not the first time that’s happened on our boat,” Johnnie says. “If we didn’t have that Narcan on board though, kid probably wouldn’t have made it.”  >click to read< 19:13

Commercial fishing binds communities, is dangerous livelihood

The Port Clyde fishing community is a tight-knit group with families and friends connected by the sea. That sea, however, can be cruel as it was March 26, when Travis Thorbjornson became the latest in a long list of fishermen to die in its waters. Thorbjornson died Friday, March 26. His lifelong friends, Gerry Cushman, Raymie Upham and Justin ‘Buzza’ Libby, recovered him from the sea. He is the second member of his family to die on the waters. In July 2005, his brother and best friend 40-year-old Gary Thorbjornson, captain of the fishing vessel Sirius, was lost at sea when his 50-foot wooden trawler sank 30 miles southeast of Rockland. A shiny, black granite memorial bearing the name of 11 fishermen lost at sea stands on the grounds of the Marshall Point Lighthouse. Gary Thorbjornson’s image is depicted on the other side of the monument that was dedicated in May 2008. >click to read< 12:27

F/V Ellie Ádhamh: Imperiled fishing trawler goes down off Cork coast

The Coastguard at Valentia has confirmed that the fishing trawler, the Ellie Ádhamh, which spent a second night adrift off the Cork coast sank shortly before midday. Yesterday evening, the skipper and six crewmen were winched to safety by the Waterford-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117. The naval vessel LÉ George Bernard Shaw had attempted to tow the trawler to shore. However, the tow came adrift in heavy sea and swell conditions after the crew were taken off the trawler. >click to read< 08:31

F/V Ellie Ádhamh: Captain and 6 crewmen winched to safety by Irish Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 117

An operation to tow the vessel to shore has been abandoned due to poor conditions. The trawler lost power and steering 80km off the west Cork coast yesterday. It was drifting for several hours in rough seas until the naval vessel LÉ George Bernard Shaw attached a tow earlier today. They were  rescued 50km west of Mizen Head at around 7pm, in sea conditions described as “horrendous”. There was a six-metre swell and winds gusting at  between 74 and 92kmph. >click to read<  21:28  Crew of stricken fishing vessel rescued in dramatic airlift operation off West Cork – Strong south westerly winds of up to 90kph and six metre swell were buffeting the fishing vessel under tow and a decision was taken around 5.30pm to airlift all seven crew members off the boat. a short video, >click to read<

Rescue operation resumes for disabled fishing trawler with seven aboard off the Cork coast Saturday

The Wexford-registered trawler, Ellie Adhamh, lost power early on Friday morning 130km off the Bull Rock in west Cork while returning from a prawn fishing trip in the Porcupine Bank. A major rescue operation was launched involving the Irish Coast Guard and the Naval Service and co-ordinated by the Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Valentia Island. Force 4 westerly winds were whipping up big seas and a plan by a Bere Island tug, to go to assist the fishing vessel had to be abandoned after it was damaged by a large wave. >click to read< 07:39

Stricken vessel is being towed to safety off Cork coast – Local tugs attempted to assist the trawler, but one vessel was hit by a 10 metre wave, blowing out all the windows. It had to be assisted back to the shore by the RNLI. >click to read<

Seven crewmen remain aboard a stranded fishing trawler off Cork coast

Several crew members of a fishing trawler that’s drifting without power off the Cork coast are to remain on board the vessel overnight, with high winds and rough seas anticipated. The fishing vessel raised the alarm this morning when it lost power off the coast of Castletownbere, and it’s understood other trawlers in the area tried to offer assistance. An update from Rescue 115 reads: “The seven crew want to remain with the vessel at this time. Numerous other vessels on route,,, >click to read< 17:41

Rescue 115 has now returned to base after making two trips to the casualty vessel>click to read<

Despite unprecedented 2020 market losses, Maine fishermen brought in history’s 9th most valuable catch

Valued at $516.8 million, the ex-vessel value, or price paid at the dock, of Maine’s commercially harvested marine species was the ninth-highest on record. Maine’s lobster fishery once again accounted for most of the state’s overall landed value, with the lobster catch totaling $405.98 million. While the landed value was down from $491.2 million in 2019 and the 2016 peak of $540.7 million, it was the seventh straight year that the lobster fishery exceeded $400 million. Maine scallop fishermen brought ashore an additional 224,874 pounds compared to 2019, ranking the fishery as the third-most valuable, despite a 19-cent per pound decrease in value.  >click to read< 09:12

Selling Direct to the Public: What looked like disaster for Haworth Fish Co. has turned into new business

After a week at sea, Nick Haworth returned to port with 30,000 pounds of big eye tuna and opah aboard Kaylee H,,, Having been hundreds of miles offshore, the crew had not heard the news: On March 17, 2020, fearing a surge of coronavirus cases, the county health department shut down all indoor dining, instantly destroying the restaurant industry’s appetite for the fresh investment sitting on ice below deck in the fishing boat’s hold. “We had nowhere to sell our catch,,, photos, >click to read<,09:17

Commercial Fishing Captain Gregorio Rodriguez – Lived the American Dream

Captain Gregorio Rodriguez, a commercial fisherman in Key West of nearly 50 years, went home to the Lord peacefully in his home on Monday, March 1, 2021, in Key West, Florida at the age of 75. Gregory (Goyo to those who knew and loved him) was born in Mariel, Cuba in 1945 and came to the U.S. in 1961. In 1971 he started a life of fishing and never looked back. He loved his career and his boat F/V Trinity with all of his heart. He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Maria Rodriguez, whose strength and care in his last days was remarkable. The love he had for his wife and the bond they shared was unheard of and the envy of many. >click to read< 17:36

Battle fishing between Alaska and the Aleutians

“The waves were smashing into the boat. The tide was coming in, and the boat was starting to tip. This was late in the season, and we couldn’t see anybody around. Our radios were broken, so we couldn’t call for help, and our greenhorn captain was having a complete mental breakdown. He was an emotionally unstable guy anyway. He was up on the fly bridge of the boat, ripping components out and throwing them overboard, including things that worked. Myself and the other deckhand, Erik – there were only three of us on the boat – we were looking at each other: ‘What do we do? Do we need to get our survival suits on? Like, what’s happening here? Are we going to die?’” >click to read< 08:58

Big news for a major Michigan industry: commercial fishing.

Changes to the rulebook in January had fisheries warning the fresh catch may soon come from Canada. The DNR is now walking back those rules, requiring fishermen to cast their nets in water under 80 feet and suspending part of the whitefish season,,, “Everyone’s ecstatic.” A reversal from the DNR, effectively lifting the depth and seasonal restrictions the Williams’ and other commercial fisheries argue had upended their ability to make a living, means it’s now back to business as usual. >click to read< 07:42

Michigan House Bills Ban Commercial Perch Fishing on Great Lakes – Lakon Williams of the Bay Port Fish Co. expressed her concern. The company nets whitefish and perch in Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. >click to read<

Rocky Brands To Acquire Original Muck Boot Company and Xtratuf

Rocky Brands, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the performance and lifestyle footwear business of Honeywell International, Inc. including The Original Muck Boot Company and Xtratuf footwear brands, for a purchase price of $230 million.,, The Original Muck Boot Company pioneered the rubber and neoprene boot category. Xtratuf, an outfitter in the commercial fishing segment, has provided Alaskan fishermen with footwear for wet conditions for nearly 60 years. >click to read< 13:55