Tag Archives: Coronavirus

Lockdown Lobsters: How Brexit has impacted lobster fishing on the Llŷn Peninsula

Sion Williams is a third generation lobster fisherman on the Llŷn Peninsula. But in March 2020, with the onset of the pandemic, he had to restructure his business in order to adapt. “Between Brexit and Covid there was uncertainty with buyers,” When coronavirus hit, everything changed suddenly for Sion, as it did for so many other people: “All I got was a text from the traders saying ‘we don’t want anything for five weeks and maybe five months’. And that was it.” Everything was closed and they couldn’t sell. >click to read< 07:55

Scots seafood firm blames coronavirus and Brexit as it closes doors after 12 years

Bosses at The Ethical Shellfish Company, based on the Isle of Mull, said the decision had caused “considerable anxiety and heartache” but claimed they had been left with no choice after a period of poor trading. In a blog post shared on Monday, fisherman and founder Guy Grieve claimed the coronavirus pandemic had played a role in the company’s decline, but that its fate had been sealed by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. When Scotland entered lockdown in March 2020 the company pivoted away from supplying restaurants and chefs like Nick Nairn with fresh seafood and began selling to people cooking at home. TESC was forced to sell its own fishing boats to keep the company afloat during the pandemic but Grieve says the usual supply backup dried up as a result of Brexit. >click to read< 08:15

COVID-19 saves right whales by sinking cruise ships

Canada created the Shediac ship restricted zone in April 2020 just a couple weeks before Holland America’s Zaandam was scheduled to sail through that zone on a shipping lane used only seasonally by cruise ships as a shortcut to Quebec City. However, a COVID-19 no-sail order in March 2020 superseded that restriction. Consequently, there was not one Canadian ship right whale strike death in two years and only one Canadian crab entanglement death,,, Zero whales were killed by lobster gear. There has not been one death from lobster gear in the U.S. and only a couple in Canada in over 20 years but the Center for Biological Diversity, with no supporting data, claims the whales are going extinct based on lobster entanglements. >click to read< By Jim O’Connell 07:31

Port of Jersey Investigation: Vessel became grounded after crew fell asleep

A fishing boat making its way back to the Island after unloading in Normandy became grounded in Belcroute Bay after the crewman at the helm fell asleep, a marine accident investigation has found. L’Ecume II, one of the largest vessels in the Island’s fleet, had been at sea for 42 hours when the incident occurred. The two-man crew had been unable to rest after offloading their catch in the port of Granville, as authorities had requested the boat move on immediately owing to Covid rules.,, Investigators were told by the deckhand that his last recollection was seeing that there were 28 minutes of the journey left. His next memory was waking in the wheelhouse with the boat having run aground at Belcroute Bay. >click to read< 07:42

Misinformation Campaign: Twitter accounts tied to China lied that COVID came from Maine lobsters

Oxford researcher Marcel Schliebs first noticed the misinformation campaign when he saw a tweet from Zha Liyou, the Chinese consul general in Kolkata, India. The tweet by Liyou said: “Major suspect of covid via cold chain identified: A MU298 of Nov. 11, 2019 carrying food from Maine, US to Huanan Seafood Market, Wuhan, Hubei via Shanghai. During the next few weeks, many workers around moving this batch of seafood got infected.” >click to read< 07:50

Canada demands $25M in COVID relief assistance back from thousands of fishers

The federal government is demanding 4,193 Canadian fishers repay $25.8 million in COVID-19 relief assistance paid out in 2020 under the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program,,,  DFO said many harvesters were ineligible because they were regular wage-earning employees rather than self-employed sharepersons, as required under program rules. Travis Nickerson of Clarks Harbour, N.S., received an overpayment letter. “It’s a mess,” said Nickerson, a lobster boat crewman. “They gave me something when I really needed it, and now they want it back.” >click to read< 10:40

Brexit and Covid: Mackay predicts the current decline will see some Ayrshire fishermen leave the industry

Tony Mackay predicted that the current decline will see some Ayrshire fishermen call it a day and leave the industry altogether. The value of fish landings within the Ayr district, which includes the major Port of Troon and other smaller towns and villages, fell by a massive 33 per cent to £9 million last year. And the tonnage fell by 26 per cent to 3.7 million.,, “I don’t think there’s any problem with the fish stocks in terms of a significant decline, it’s just problems with Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns. >click to read< 10:16

A Preposterous Claim: Chinese media says Maine lobster shipment was ‘Pandora’s box’ behind pandemic

A recent article in the Sina news portal, one of the most read on China’s state-controlled internet, reported that in mid-November 2019, a batch of seafood from Maine was shipped to the “Wuhan South China Seafood Market,” also known as the Huanan Seafood Market, where the virus was first reported in late 2019. According to the translated Sina article, within a few weeks, employees in the market began experiencing “symptoms of pneumonia of unknown origin one after another.” Sina named “the Seashell Company” in York County as the original source of the lobster. >click to read<  There was talk about that in 2019 during the trade war,,, US-China Trade Deal: US lobster dealers anxious to resume business with China –Hugh Reynolds, a lobster dealer from Stonington, Maine, was excited to learn that the China-US phase-one economic and trade deal came into effect on Feb 14., >click to read<  >Search results for China, Lobster< 13:41

AMSEA launches ‘Catch Fish. Not COVID’

Alaska Marine Safety Education Association is making its message simple and direct: Catch Fish. Not COVID. The marine safety education entity in Sitka announced its vaccination promotion campaign on Tuesday, Sept. 28. The campaign will provide commercial fishermen with science-based information about vaccine safety and COVID-19 risks, while making the business case for commercial fishing vessel operators and their crews to get vaccinated. >click to read< 11:45

Pandemic economy brings record Southeast Dungeness crab prices

Southeast’s summer Dungeness crab season ended up being worth $13 million. That’s about double the $7.52 million average over the last decade. The summer fishery brought in just over 3.09 million pounds of Dungeness crab.,, the average price paid for Dungeness crab this summer was a record breaker at $4.21 per pound. “That’s a record high price for the fishery, said Joe Stratman,“This summer, in terms of total value and average price, it vastly exceeds the recent 10-year average,” >click to read< 12: 48

After Hurricane Ida: Louisiana’s struggling seafood industry is teetering

The Category 4 hurricane that struck Louisiana late last month fractured some parts of the industry even worse than 2005’s Katrina, which cost seafood businesses more than $1 billion. No one yet knows how many boats, docks and processors were lost because of Ida’s relentless, 150-mph winds. Vessels that made it to the safest harbors fared the best, yet even some of them were destroyed by the storm’s fury. Unable to speak for a decade since cancer surgery, Dale Williams gets by on disability payments of $1,300 a month. Living in a mobile home at Port Sulphur on the west bank of the Mississippi River, he supplements his income by catching shrimp with a little boat he parked in his front yard for Hurricane Ida. Ida’s Category 4 winds flipped Williams’ trawler on its side, bending the frame and tearing nets,,, The goal is to get back on the water by October, he said, either with the damaged boat or another one that fared better. >click to read< 10:44

Maiden Voyage

Stateside, Scania is known for its solid footing in commercial marine industry, Bristol Bay, Alaska’s salmon fisheries and Maine’s lobster boats are longtime proponents of the Swedish manufacturer. Scania engines are also used in trawlers, which often utilize commercial engines rated by the International Organization for Standardization as ICFN, or for continuous use. And now, with the Covid-19 pandemic having limited Scania’s bread-and-butter, North American commercial markets, the engine maker has invested in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification needed to enter the American recreational marine space. >click to read< 10:04

Scotland: Funding for fishing businesses and marine organisations after Brexit and Covid impact

Fishing businesses and marine organisations in Scotland have been awarded funding to mitigate the impact of the “reckless” Brexit deal and help the sector recover from effects of Covid-19. The financial support of almost £800,000, part of the £14 million Marine Fund Scotland, was announced by rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon during a food and drink debate in the Scottish Parliament. Opening the debate ahead of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, Ms Gougeon said: “Our producers, farmers and fishermen showed tremendous spirit as they navigated the pandemic and now face the stark realities of a new operating landscape brought about by a reckless Brexit deal. “Daily, we hear of new and emerging challenges,,, >click to read< 12:37

Peter Pan Seafoods to require employees to be vaccinated

A seafood processing company with operations in Alaska and Washington state will require its employees to be vaccinated,,, The policy will be enacted in tiers. The first tier includes employees at company headquarters in Bellevue, Washington; the Seattle warehouse; Alaska processing facilities in Valdez, Port Moller, Dillingham, and Alaska support centers in Dillingham, Sand Point and Naknek. >click to read< 09:54

Louisiana shrimpers ‘try and survive’ after Ida sinks boats, destroys homes

Some 20%-30% of the fleet of shrimp boats in the Golden Meadow region of was wiped out by the powerful winds from the Category 4 Hurricane Ida that made landfall on Sunday, shrimpers said. The industry had already suffered lower seafood demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Then the storm struck fishing communities southwest of New Orleans that had largely been spared when Hurricane Katrina pummeled the state 16 years ago. “We’ve never seen anything this powerful around here before,” said shrimper Russell Plaisance. Plaisance said local shrimpers lost 65%-70% of their revenue in 2020 as the pandemic shut restaurants. This year had been looking up for the top shrimp harvesting state, until the storm. >click to read< 19:04

It’s bad. Hurricane Ida death toll rises, alligator kills man, highway collapses killing two

More than 1million individuals in Louisiana stay with out energy and are dealing with weeks with out it in stifling warmth and humidity.,, As the flood waters subside, communities are actually confronted with an arduous clean-up and injury restore mission and emergency providers have warned that within the days forward, the death toll is probably going to rise as extra individuals are discovered. Officials are additionally anticipating a drastic spike in COVID instances, with the storm making a ‘good petri dish’ for unfold of the virus. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser mentioned on Tuesday morning that crews would exit in boats and high-water vans ‘at first mild’ to discover any survivors. photo’s, >click to read< 08:03

Fish Harvesters Benefit Program open for 2nd phase

Fish harvesters in the Northcoast and Haida Gwaii can now apply for the second phase of benefit payments under the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant program, the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans announced, on Aug. 5. This program helps eligible self-employed fish harvesters, who were not eligible for other financial relief programs, access critical support in dealing with the financial burdens of COVID-19. More than 18,000 fishers and families have accessed $130 million through the program in all provinces across Canada since its May 2020 inception. This includes self-employed commercial and freshwater fish harvesters, Indigenous harvesters with communal commercial fishing licences designated by their communities, and sharepersons crew who had less than their usual income in 2020. >click to read< 07:53

New Trawler Delivered From Karstensens Shipyard

In March of 2019 a contract was signed between Mats Johansson, Vingaskär Fiskeri AB and Karstensens Shipyard A/S for the construction of a new 34.00 m Trawler. The finished ship was taken over by the Shipping Company on 15 June 2021 after some delay, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The new vessel is a state-of-the-art combi trawler, designed for fishing for both fish for human consumption and shrimp, with everything within the latest of machinery, equipment and equipment. The project as a whole has been carried out in a very close and intense collaboration between Shipping company and Shipyard. To review the specification, and 31 photos, >click to read< 12:30

As Salmon and Squid Seasons Rebound, New Questions

Over the last few months, hundreds of boats have been fishing off of, or transiting along Santa Cruz County’s coastline. Industry analysts report plenty of bright spots in both the salmon and squid markets this season. But after some scientific studies were scuttled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, and other research couldn’t be completed due to wildfires, fisheries management is still undergoing its own pandemic comeback, as climate change fears remain ever-present. “It’s definitely been a good season,” Scotts Valley resident Hans Haveman, the CEO of H&H Fresh Fish at the Santa Cruz Harbor says during a late-June interview. “Unfortunately, regulation from the state and feds have shut us down right when it’s goin’ good.” video, >click to read< 08:50

The grants have been an absolute lifeline – Resilience Fund Supports the Fleet

More than 850 fishing vessels affected by Coronavirus and Brexit have received resilience funding from the Scottish Government this year. ‘I’m hugely grateful for the Scottish Government’s speedy response to our dire situation, firstly in March 2020 when there was the COVID-19 ‘market collapse’ and then in February in when the chaos caused by Brexit export restrictions hit us like a brick,’ said Kenneth Lamond, owner and skipper of the F/V  Dunan Star which trawls for prawns around Skye, Small Isles and the Minches. ‘The speed with which the grant package got to boats saved many jobs and livelihoods up here – we couldn’t have got to sea without this aid and I would have had to let my crew go. The timely assistance is directly responsible for three families’ continued livelihoods and our tiny fishing community around Elgol would have been really struggling without this aid.’ >click to read< 13:58

No Crabs, No Scallops: Seafood Is Vanishing From Menus in U.S.

Prices went “crazy,” says Mike Price, who co-owns the Greenwich Village restaurant, and so he yanked them off the menu. Over in Napa Valley, Phil Tessier, the executive chef at a popular spot called PRESS, did the same. And in Atlanta, at the tapas joint the Iberian Pig, chef Josue Pena didn’t stop at scallops. The Alaskan halibut and blue crab are gone, too. That last one was a killer, Pena says. Crab croquettes had become a signature dish. “People were like ‘what’s up?’” But, he says, with wholesale costs soaring like they are, “the price we had to charge to be profitable was almost insulting.” For restaurants across the U.S., the re-opening from Covid lockdown has been anything but easy. >click to read< 11:47

North Carolina commercial fishermen landed less seafood last year

In 2020, 42.9 million pounds of fish and shellfish were sold, a decrease of 19% from 2019 and about a 23% decrease from the previous five-year average, according to the Division of Marine Fisheries. The decrease in commercial harvest was linked to a 41.3% decrease in hard blue crab landings from 2019, which may be related to COVID-19 impacts. The Division of Marine Fisheries said several fishermen told officials that they found it difficult to move blue crabs at the beginning of the state’s stay-at-home order when many restaurants were closed. >click to read< 15:26

Time to apply for second round of CARES Act relief

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries mailed applications to seafood processers, wholesalers, commercial fishermen and aquaculture farmers on Tuesday, officially opening the state’s second round of CARES Act relief for fisheries. The funds are intended to mitigate the financial impacts on marine fisheries participants that suffered more than a 35% loss of revenue due to the pandemic. >click to read< 10:11

Profit and turnover down as UK fishing fleet weathers a challenging year.

Our first economic performance estimates for 2020 show impact of pandemic on fishing industry. Fishing fleet performance in 2020 The total operating profit of the UK fishing fleet fell by almost a fifth in 2020 as the sector dealt with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The data we’re publishing today shows that: Operating profit fell by 19% from £264 million in 2019 to £214 million in 2020. Turnover, which had been above the £1 billion mark for the previous three years, fell to £843 million. This is a 17% reduction. These totals,,, photos, >click to read<22:26

Town Dock to offer vaccine clinic for commercial fishermen, employees

The Town Dock in Narragansett is partnering with the Governor’s Office, the Department of Health, and the Department of Environmental Management to host a vaccine clinic this week. The free, walk-up clinic is for crews of the commercial fishing fleet, as well as employees of shoreside businesses in the Port of Galilee. The clinics will be held Tuesday, July 13 and Wednesday, July 14 from 12-4 p.m at The Town Dock. Clinicians will be administering the single shot J&J vaccine. Coronavirus testing will also be offered at the clinic. >click to read< 07:35

Ireland’s fishing industry: A post-Brexit quandary

Fishermen and women are in a quandary over sharp Brexit cuts to their catch in the EU-UK trade agreement. The deal eliminates some €20 million from mackerel and prawn quotas this year. By 2026 the annual value of all stocks will drop €43 million, a 15 per cent cut from 2020. For the fishing industry, this is the opposite of the decisive European solidarity that buttressed Ireland’s efforts to keep the Border open after Brexit. Trawlers sailed into Dublin port last week to protest outside a meeting of the Dáil in the convention centre. After huge price cuts because of coronavirus, the mood is grim in coastal communities. The Seafood Task Force, a Government-appointed group that includes the industry, reports a “deep sense of grievance”. >click to read< 13:35

What do Deckhands earn and get paid on ‘Deadliest Catch’ and in the commercial crab industry?

There’s definitely money to be made in crab fishing, more if you star in a popular show about crab fishing. And the crab fishing industry is lucrative. While this is just a snapshot, it’s a pretty eye-opening one. According to a 2006 report, 505 commercial fishermen brought in over $127 million worth in crab loot. If that was evenly divided, it’d be $250,000 per person, but of course, things don’t work out that way. “Wages are often based on a share or percentage of harvest earnings. Newcomer deckhand earnings range from 1.5% to 10% of the adjusted gross catch, depending on location and type of fishery and the skills the worker possesses.” And it’s also situational: some crab fishers can make $50 to $100 a day as a flat rate if they want to play it safe. >click to read< 15:45

How Deadliest Catch’s Captain Keith Really Feels About Sig’s Alliance System

Because Coronavirus knocked out any chance for Alaska Fish & Game to research crab populations, the captains of “Deadliest Catch” were essentially fishing blind when the season started. A resilient, resourceful group, they were determined to catch their quota and keep the fishery humming. And to that end, Sig Hansen of the F/V Northwestern proposed a cooperative alliance to his fellow captains. To team up, to communicate, to share intelligence, Hansen wanted these notoriously independent operators to find common ground for the common good. Keith Colburn of the F/V Wizard begrudgingly agreed, only with a sense of what he’s learned over 25 years as a boat captain. >click to read< 09:08

Coast Guard, CDC: We’ll change mask rule, but for now won’t enforce masks on fishing boats, commercial vessels, ferries

The Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Coast Guard, reversing their position from less than a month ago, said the federal agencies will no longer enforce its rule for wearing a mask in “outdoor areas of transportation conveyances or while outdoors at transportation hubs.” That means commercial vessels like cruise ships, ferries, fishing boats, and charters won’t require passengers to mask up for those who are outdoors. And people don’t have to wear masks at “transportation conveyances,” such as train stations. To be clear, the rule still exists, but the agencies will not enforce it. Earlier this year at a fishing conference, Sen. Dan Sullivan called the fishing crew mask rule “stupid.” >click to read< 20: 14

Lobster prices are through the roof!

As the country reopens post-pandemic, increased demand for lobster and a squeezed supply caused by a state ban on lobstering to protect right whales has resulted in a price spike of about 60% per live lobster. “If there’s no lobsters coming in, then the demand isn’t being met. Those are the cards,” said South Shore Lobsterman Association President John Haverland. According to business publisher Urner Barry, the retail price of a live, one-and-a-half-pound lobster increased from $5.47 a year ago to $9.05 on June 7 this year. >click to read< 08:41