Tag Archives: commercial fishing industry

Home in Maine, Fisherman Taylor Strout reflects on the Alaska commercial fishing industry during the pandemic

From Maine, it takes him a good 24 hours and four airports to get where he is going. Taylor Strout is a mate aboard the Fishing Vessel F/V Northern Defender which was tied up at the dock in Dutch Harbor. As the crow flies, he is more than 4000 miles away from home. What is the draw? “It’s kind of a different level of fishing out here. And it was something that I’ve always wanted to do and try back when I first got into it. I had the opportunity to do it, and to try it, and I didn’t just try it, I ended up kind of falling in love with it. And continue to do it since. I love the rotation of it. You know, you go to work, you work hard, you put it in there, and then when it’s time to go home and focus on your family you get to come home and just be Dad and take care of the family that way too,” says Taylor. >Video, click to read< 12:50

Few assurances for fishermen in federal offshore wind approval

Offshore wind developers have assured the commercial fishing industry all along that the thousands of massive turbines that they want to install in the ocean up and down the East Coast won’t block fishermen from waters where they make their living. But the final approval issued this week for Vineyard Wind 1, the nation’s first major offshore wind farm, offers few guarantees to commercial fishermen. Take for instance this passage from the Army Corps of Engineers in the Record of Decision for the 62-turbine project that would be built off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts: “While Vineyard Wind is not authorized to prevent free access to the entire wind development area, due to the placement of the turbines it is likely that the entire 75,614 acre area will be abandoned by commercial fisheries due to difficulties with navigation.” >click to read< 16: 36

North Carolina Commercial Fishermen can’t stay afloat under biased regulations

Many commercial fishermen feel like they’ve been playing defense for a decade, fighting for their livelihood. “It’s a hard day to fight when you get up and you know you’re fighting for your survival every day, and you’re regulated to the point where you can barely make it,” said Doug Cross. Cross runs Pamlico Packing Company with his brother.,, The storms and bad seasons come with the territory, but there’s another issue tangling these nets. “Regulation is the single biggest wild card,” said Cross. “How do you plan in the future without knowing what you’re going to be facing. >click to read< 17:00

We’re losing fishing grounds – Trump says Vineyard ‘will never be the same’ after Vineyard Wind Farm

Will Vineyard Wind, the nation’s first permitted commercial-scale wind farm, change island life in Massachusetts forever? Former President Donald Trump thinks so. On the day that the massive wind farm planned off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket won the federal approval from the Biden administration that it had been fruitlessly seeking from Trump for years, the former president weighed in with a touch of sarcasm. The project, however, still has opponents, including the commercial fishing industry and some environmentalists worried about how the farm will impact the migratory patterns of rights whales and other marine life. >click to read< 10:01

A push to boost commercial fishing industry, post-Coronavirus on Long Island

With the pandemics, the industry suffered on Long Island as restaurants all but shut down, wiping away an important client base for commercial fishing. As the economy continues to reopen,  Suffolk County  has launched a survey aimed at developing a real-time snapshot of the Long Island commercial fishing industry, which officials say has been “especially hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a press release from the county. The survey is available here. The information and data collected through the survey will highlight the needs of local fishermen and will guide and assist agencies in providing the resources necessary to continue to support a viable and sustainable fishing industry. >click to read< 11:48

South County Museum honors the legends of the Point Judith commercial fishing industry

Imagine walking into a new exhibit at the South County Museum that lists as many local commercial fishermen as can be identified, past and present, and features stories of notable fishing families, artifacts of the fishing industry, a parade of historic photographs on large video screens, and even an oral history booth where present-day fishermen and their families can tell their stories. “Point Judith was once the No. 2 commercial seaport on the East Coast, and it needs to be celebrated and show how it’s changed. Commercial fishermen are the most adaptable, industrious individuals who are running a business, but are also doing it because it’s a passion in their life.”>click to read< 12:38

Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources talk Bonnet Carré Spillway, CARES Act funding

Many fishermen got some help from that $1.5 million of CARES Act money that was granted to the state of Mississippi, with most of that going to the seafood industry. $734,222 of that money went to local commercial fishermen, $451,284 went to seafood dealers and processors, and $239,179 of it went to the charter boat fleet.,, At Tuesday’s Commission on Marine Resources meeting, Joe Spraggins, Department of Marine Resources executive director, explained the process of how $21 million in Bonnet Carré Spillway relief funding will get to those in the industry. >click to read< 18:25

The Voices of Gloucester Fishermen: NOAA offers virtual trip through Gloucester fishing history

The voices speak to the experience of living and fishing in America’s oldest commercial seaport, of the challenges and the joys of working on the waters of Cape Ann and beyond. They are at once a snapshot and endurable timeline collected into recorded interviews and fashioned into an  integrated story map of the Gloucester fishing and community experience. The stories and the voices which tell them are contained in the newest online chapter of the Voices of Oral History Archives organized and produced by NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Fisheries Science Center. It’s titled “Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport” photos, video, >click to read< 11:55

NJ Fishing Community Says Coronavirus Aid Helped Keep Them Afloat

With New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry about to receive a second round of federal coronavirus aid, boat owners and those who run fishing-related businesses say the extra money is helping keep them afloat amid a sea of red ink. The state’s fishing industry received $11 million last March under the CARES Act, an early aid bill passed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. And it should get roughly the same amount under a second bill passed by Congress in December.,, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. said Monday. Pallone held a news conference Monday at the Belford Seafood Cooperative in Middletown with boat owners and those who run related businesses. >click to read< 10:24

Community fundraiser launched to save Cadgwith Cove fishing lofts in Cornwall

The Cadgwith Cove Fishing Trust has been formed to try and purchase the winch house, gear loft and cold storage building, all of which are used crucial to Cadgwith’s fishing industry. “I don’t think they’ve ever come up for sale at the same time. We’ve got to make sure they’re are preserved for future generations. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we must take this opportunity.” said John Trewin, Skipper, Silver Queen  Tommy Phillips who fishes out of Cadgwith fears the lofts may become holiday lets or flats if funding isn’t secured to preserve them for those that fish out of the cove. Video, photos, >click to read< 17:55

Maine: Local legislators focused on the commercial fishing industry, float several fisheries bills

The 130th Maine Legislature has released a list of bills proposed in the House and Senate,,, The lobster fishery, in particular, is grappling with the prospect of offshore wind energy development and conservation measures, both of which could affect lobstermen and their livelihood.,, Fisherman and state Rep. William “Billy Bob” Faulkingham (R-Winter Harbor) is sponsoring “An Act to Prohibit Offshore Wind Energy Development” (LD 101).,, Rep. Genevieve McDonald (D-Stonington), who also is a fisherman, is sponsoring three fishing-related bills. >click to read< 13:36

Noyo Harbor: How’s the Dungeness crab season playing out this year? Word on the dock is grim

Dungeness crab season is off to a pitiful start this year. Some crabbers pulled their gear out and threw the towel in just one day into the season.,,, Gene Mathieuso, whose family has worked in the fishing industry since the early 20th century said that he has seen years as bad as this before.“1973 was probably the worst season we’ve ever had,” he said. “Landings were less than a million, at 880,000 pounds.” For reference, the average total California dungeness catch from 2010 to 2020 was around 14 million pounds. Mathieuso said he anticipates that this year will rival 1973. photos, >click to read< 12:25

NOAA Fisheries reports on early pandemic impact on fisheries

NOAA Fisheries Friday, January 15 released a report on the economic impact on the seafood catch and recreational fishing nationwide and here in Alaska through last summer.,, Nationwide the commercial fishing industry started off 2020 with increases in revenue from seafood sales. But as the pandemic hit in March, that income dropped off 19 percent compared to the most recent five-year average. Those declines swelled to 45 percent by July. >click to read< 19:25

Maine Governor Janet Mills plans to create 1st floating offshore wind research farm in US

Gov. Janet Mills said Friday that she plans to create the nation’s first floating offshore wind research farm in the Gulf of Maine,,, The site of the array, which is expected to contain up to a dozen floating wind turbines, is undetermined but will be 20 to 40 miles offshore in an area that would allow a connection to the mainland electric grid for the southern half of the state.,, Mills has directed the Governor’s Energy Office to collaborate with the commercial fishing industry and other state agencies,,, >click to read< 18:10

The sardine war hits a lull: Commercial fishing industry lands a victory in Pacific sardine management

The Pacific Fishery Management Council, which oversees fishing of Pacific sardines, voted unanimously in September to maintain the current sardine fishery management process that calls for reassessments after each year’s stock assessments. At the moment, the direct commercial sardine fishery is closed. “Fishery managers have failed to learn from the mistakes of history,” said Geoff Shester, senior scientist at marine conservation group Oceana,,, Diane Pleschner-Steele, executive director of the California Wetfish Producers Association, argues that sardines are not overfished and “the Council’s unanimous decision shows that they understand reality, the big picture.” >click to read< 14:27

New Bedford port nets $20 million to protect against natural disasters

A $16 million grant is bound for the city of New Bedford to improve the city’s port, helping prepare it for future natural disasters. According to a U.S. Economic Development Administration press release, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the grant funding on Tuesday. The money, according to the press release, will “make port infrastructure improvements needed to protect commercial fishing businesses from floods and severe weather events.” >click to read< 16:13

Do you think your seafood is cheaper? It is. The Coronavirus pandemic caused a drop in demand

The ongoing pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of life on the South Shore, including the commercial fishing and lobster industries. “It’s hurt them big time,” said retired Cohasset fisherman Matt Marr. “There are so many things that factor in. Most of the restaurants are closed, hotels are empty, casinos are empty, cruise ships don’t exist anymore. Those places bought a lot of lobster. So, their markets have definitely diminished.” Reduced business at restaurants has caused a significant drop in demand, said Tommy Alioto. The pandemic didn’t affect lobstermen’s ability to do their job, but the low demand caused an excess of inventory and a drop in price. >click to read< 15:30

Long a lifeblood, South Shore fishing industry faces numerous challenges

Over his more than five decades fishing commercially, Frank Mirarchi has watched the business evolve from thriving and straightforward to complicated and diminished, with skyrocketing costs, foreign competition and changing regulations choking an industry synonymous with the South Shore. In the late 1960s, when he purchased his first of three successive boats, fish was abundant enough to make a solid living off of. “By 1985 or so, fishing was pretty bad,” Mirachi said. With profits dropping, he switched from having two other crew members to one. In 1994, the federal government stared limiting the number of days fishermen can be on the water to combat overfishing. Before, some spent 200 or more days fishing each year. Over the years, it was gradually reduced to 30. Mirarchi said this “wasn’t particularly successful”,,, >click to read< 08:54

Obituary: Louis Puskas Jr. of Barnegat Light, New Jersey has passed away

With heavy hearts, we announce the death of Louis Puskas Jr. of Barnegat Light, New Jersey, born in Rocky Hill, New Jersey, who passed away on September 2, 2020 at the age of 89. He is survived by : his wife Frances “Fran” Puskas; his sons, John Puskas (Shannon), Paul Puskas and Matthew Puskas (Cheryl); his sister Linda Jane Richardson; and his grandchildren, Jill, Christina, Mary, Paul, Jacob, Logan, Jennifer, Matthew, Andrew, Shea, John and Grace. He is also survived by many loving cousins, nieces, nephews and many, many friends. >click to read< We posted this in 2014 about Capt. Lou Puskas – From the historical archives of the commercial fishing industry, Captain Lou Puskas certainly steps into the limelight. He has had a tremendous career and seems to be somewhat of a legend. This man rediscovered tile fish, lobbied against foreign fleets fishing in US water and survived three boat sinkings. >click for video< 11:33

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 9th 2020 from 3:00 to 9:00 PM at 1801 Bayview Avenue, Barnegat Light, NJ

Legendary Commercial Fisherman Lou Puskas Jr. Dies – Puskas has been described as “a legend” and a “fearless” fisherman by members of the Barnegat Light commercial fishing community – he survived three boats sinking under him and is credited for starting the tilefish industry out of Barnegat Light. >click to read< 9/9/2020, 13:02

Asian market collapse means more spot prawns for us

Spot prawn season ends tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get the sweet-fleshed delicacy — indeed, seafood lovers can now order the Doctor Prawnie Henry pack from Organic Ocean, consisting of five one-pound tubs of flash-brine-frozen spot prawn tails. “We just love her to death for what she’s done for us,” said fisherman Steve Johansen, as he ripped the shell off a wriggling spot prawn and ate it raw on the dock of the False Creek wharf. “It’s like a drug,” he said. “They’re wild, they’re tasty, they’re sweet, they’re sexy.” Johansen is one of 264 licensed spot prawn harvesters that fish the coast from Vancouver to Alaska during the annual six- to eight-week season. >click to read< 12:06

An East Coast Perspective on Coronavirus Impacts

This was initially to be about how the New Jersey commercial fishing industry was coping with the coronavirus crisis. However, there is a seemingly infinite number of websites running commentaries on the national and/or international aspects of the ongoing pandemic in general and, surprisingly, as it specifically applies to and as it affects commercial fishing and the seafood industry. Considering this, sharing more than an overview of what the New Jersey industry, or at least that part of it that I have been in touch with, would probably not have much of an impact. But happily, at this point it seems that U.S. consumers aren’t really as averse to preparing quality seafood at home (when it isn’t available or is only limitedly available elsewhere) as most of us have believed. >click to read< By Nils Stolpe 12:05

Trump to to discuss commercial fishing while in Maine

President Donald Trump will hold a roundtable discussion with parties involved in the commercial fishing industry during his visit to Maine on Friday, according to a White House official. The president is slated to come to the Pine Tree State to visit the Puritan Medical Products facility in Guilford, which manufactures medical swabs used in coronavirus testing. The president is expected to discuss regulations and how to expand economic opportunities for the commercial fishing industry, according to the official. >click to read< 18:12

For troubled Outer Banks commercial fishing industry, Coronavirus is one more blow. Louisiana, too.

At the state and federal level, increasing regulatory requirements and catch quotas, fueled in part by aggressive lobbying of elected officials by the well-funded recreational fishing industry, have caused even more commercial fishermen to leave the industry. And now COVID-19 strikes another blow to the solar plexus of an industry that, no pun intended, can barely keep its collective heads above water. And interviews with two local operations — of distinctly different sizes — help shed light on how the COVID crisis has affected the Outer Banks’ commercial fisheries. Mark Vrablic of the Willie R Etheridge Seafood Company, one of the last remaining large-scale seafood distributors in Wanchese, minced no words when he described the losses created by the worldwide pandemic.  >click to read< 19:15

Shrimp industry in Louisiana hit hard by Coronavirus pandemic – Shrimp processors are shut down and the baskets that are usually filled are empty. Brown shrimp season started on Monday, and so far it hasn’t been good. “Absolutely terrible, last year I had 42 boats going out during brown shrimp season, this year I only have 9 boats,” said Craig Napoli, C&A Seafood. >click to read<

Mobile Coronavirus testing site now available for New Bedford’s commercial fishing industry

The Port of New Bedford has partnered with Southcoast Health to provide COVID-19 testing for the city’s commercial fishing industry. Beginning Friday, the Southcoast Mobile Health Van was on-site testing fishermen slated to leave port after their results would be made available. The mobile testing site, located along the port’s waterfront, is a trial run to see if there is an increased need for fishermen to be tested. The pilot will also help New Bedford and Southcoast Health prepare for expanded testing capabilities, including for targeted essential workers. >click to read< 08:09

Coronavirus: Commercial fishing industry on the ropes as pandemic-era shoppers avoid seafood

Fisherman Marty Scanlon has not returned to his Long Island home since leaving for North Carolina at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in New York. Scanlon, a longliner captain from Hauppauge left for North Carolina in early March — roughly the same time the first case of Covid-19 emerged in Manhattan. In the weeks that followed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered most businesses to close, effective March 22, casting a pall over New York City restaurants in a once-bustling culinary capital. Business for Scanlon has been brutal ever since.  “We basically don’t have the money to go home,” Scanlon said, over the phone. “We can’t go home til we pay our bills.” >click to read< 08:32

Coronavirus devastating commercial fishing industry

Lifelong commercial fisherman Mark Weaver had anticipated a bumper season for his family-run commercial fishery before the COVID-19 pandemic left the industry almost dead in the water. Now, he and the rest of Ontario’s commercial fishing industry are facing a bleak future that could leave them struggling just to survive. “I don’t know how we’re going to pay the bills,” Weaver said. While Lake Erie would normally be dotted with commercial fishing vessels at this time of year, their boats aren’t leaving the docks in Port Stanley, Wheatley and other Southwestern Ontario ports this spring since there’s nowhere to sell their catch. “It’s a total supply chain challenge and crisis that we’re in,” said Jane Graham, executive director of the Ontario Commercial Fisheries’ Association. April has been one of the “most productive fishing months of the year,” Graham said. And it looked like this April would have been just as productive, Weaver said. >click to read< 22:01

New Zealand rock lobster industry back in action with exports to China

The New Zealand lobster industry was among the first and hardest hit by Covid-19, with the export of live lobsters from New Zealand stopping in late January when China closed its restaurants and freight to the country was restricted. However, Te Anau-based Fiordland Lobster Company, which exports about 40 percent of New Zealand lobster to China, has started up again this week and its product will begin arriving in Shanghai this weekend. Lobster Exporters of New Zealand chairman Andrew Harvey confirmed lobster exports into China had resumed after “stopping dead” in late January. >click to read< 10:21

Commercial fishing industry in free fall as restaurants close, consumers hunker down and vessels tie up

The novel coronavirus pandemic has destroyed demand for seafood across a complicated U.S. supply chain, from luxury items such as lobster and crab, generally consumed at restaurants, to grocery staples sourced from the world’s fish farms. Now, with restaurants closed, many of the nation’s fisheries — across geography, species, gear types and management — have reported sales slumps as high as 95 percent. Boats from Honolulu to Buzzards Bay, Mass., are tied up dockside, with fisheries in the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska affected, throwing thousands of fishermen out of work and devastating coastal communities. >click to read< 16:52

What happened to Pensacola’s commercial fishing industry?

This industry began when it became possible to put in use a series of key elements which together made such a traffic practical and profitable. The “elements” began, of course, with the fish themselves, some of which had been a part of the economic backbone of the community from the beginning. The open sea was home to the fish, and while some of the works had to be performed some distance from land, netting and icing all were practical for the proper vessels. >click to read< 13:08

Doherty: Pharmaceuticals are poisoning NJ’s water supply, putting families at risk. We must act now.

In response to reports demonstrating that the water supply is awash with pharmaceutical pollutants, Senator Michael Doherty (R-Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset) is renewing his call for action on legislation,,, The United States EPA, in a conjunction with Riverkeeper and Cornell University, have confirmed that the Hudson River is heavily-polluted by commonly-prescribed pharmaceuticals such as anti-depressants, blood pressure, and cholesterol medications.“If we don’t act now, generations of children could suffer from serious health problems, all because they drank contaminated water. Our commercial fishing industry could also collapse, delivering a huge blow to the economy. By refusing to address pharmaceutical pollution now, we are literally putting New Jersey’s future in jeopardy.” S-1653, would establish the “New Jersey Water Supply and Pharmaceutical Product Study Commission. >click to read<18:22