Tag Archives: Coronavirus

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

Deadliest Catch Captain Keith Colburn: “It’s a shitty job”

Deadliest Catch is already in its 15th year. The reality series about the crab fishermen on the Bering Sea near Alaska is still very popular. One of the protagonists in the Discovery series is Keith Colburn. The captain was one of the first to go to Alaska with nothing and 30 years later owns one of the largest ships: F/V Wizard.,, He can’t fish right now, because he is still struggling with the consequences of the coronavirus.  “It was especially weird, “Despite corona, there was still a danger that we know all too well from the other seasons of Deadliest Catch: the sea. A huge wave hit The Wizard, damaging the iconic ship. photos, video, >click to read< 14:50

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

Wedgeport Boats’ sales buoyant

Wedgeport Boats, a builder of commercial fishing boats in Yarmouth County, is thriving during the pandemic due to a surge in demand for recreational boats and the rental of space in one of its buildings. “There’s definitely been an increase on the recreational side of almost 100 per cent,” says Wedgeport general manager Fraser Challoner. Such boats are usually a small part of Wedgeport’s total sales and still are. But the boatyard’s doubling of those sales in the past year has definitely helped it stay afloat. >click to read< 09:30

An oysterman’s new worry: Will state’s coastal plan wash out his business?

Terry Shelley has spent his entire working life as a commercial fisherman. Before he was a full-time oyster farmer and harvester, he spent the first part of his career harvesting shrimp and reef fish. He’s seen a lot, but not a pileup of challenges like now. Back in September, Hurricane Zeta rumbled over small-town Port Sulphur, Louisiana, where the family’s oyster farm and processing center are based. The Shelleys lost half their cages, and they only managed to retrieve about half of that. Already by then, the Coronavirus pandemic had temporarily halted the supply lines Shelley Farms uses to sell its oysters. Now, after losing most of his oyster crop last year, Mr. Shelley has another worry on his mind. Louisiana coastal planners are pushing a $2 billion project proposal designed to fight back against the trend of persistent coastal erosion. >click to read< 15:24

Church offers “Do It Yourself” blessing kits for faithful fishermen

This year, the Rev. Michael Kim is offering a special service for Coronavirus conscious Catholics: a “do-it-yourself” kit that fishermen can use to bless their own boats and gear. The blessing kits distributed by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church include the text of a prayer to be read aloud, and holy water in a bottle designed for easy sprinkling. Parishioners hoping for abundant catches or for protection from stormy weather sometimes ask for blessings, Kim said. However, the coronavirus pandemic has made close interpersonal contact more complicated. So, Kim readied 15 kits in preparation for the 2021 fishing season. Kim said he was ready to prepare more kits if demand should increase during the fishing season. >click to read< 09:39

Yankee Fishermen’s Co-op had banner 2020. Does it have to pay back Coronavirus relief funds?

Yankee Fishermen’s Cooperative weathered the Coronavirus pandemic and then some. The cooperative at Seabrook Harbor grossed more revenue in 2020 than 2019, according to president Jim Titone.  He said he is concerned the cooperative will have to return the grant partially or in full, because on paper, it appears as though they were more prosperous, despite the pandemic, even though many of the facilities and equipment are at least 30 years old and are due for replacement, Titone said he would like to use the Main Street Relief monies to upgrade the cooperative, including installing a new 20,000-gallon lobster tank to accommodate the additional Maine lobstermen who joined the cooperative during the pandemic, and to build a new ice house. >click to read< 07:54

New York: $6.7 million in Coronavirus relief to marine fishing industries

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $6.7 million in relief aid is being distributed starting today to New York’s seafood, marine commercial, and for-hire fishing industries after excessive business losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New York State will distribute an additional $5.7 million in the coming months, for a total of $12.4 million, through the Marine Fisheries Relief Program, which administers federal funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. >click to read< From ny.gov, >click to read< 11:40

Multiple challenges hamper commercial Dungeness crab season

The commercial Dungeness season in California opened late because the state’s Risk Assessment Mitigation Plan (RAMP), which is in full-force for the first time this season,,, “It’s a little bit tough right now,” said Dick Ogg, who has fished commercially out of Bodega Bay for more than 20 years. “That’s kind of an understatement.” Ogg is a member of the Dungeness Crab Gear Working Group, which contributed to the RAMP. Ogg says he and other vessel operators have come up with a variety of strategies to reduce the chances of migrating whales or endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles getting tangled up in gear. Ogg pulled his crab gear out early this year, deciding to put his energy into prepping for the salmon season. But he said for the vessels still at it, the higher market prices made up for low catches.  >click to read< 14:08

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

They’re Ready! P.E.I. 2021 spring lobster season – ‘Things look a lot more positive this year than they were a year ago’

Last spring, as uncertainty due to Coronavirus, reined worldwide and the lobster industry struggled with a two-week delay to the season, securing workers and keeping them safe, and getting a fair price for harvesters.  “Plants weren’t ready to start production, they didn’t have PPE for the workers in the plants, they didn’t have enough workers for the plants,,, “The plants are ready, they have the workers in place for the most part, the PPE and the changes to the plants have already been done,”. McGeoghan said demand is high from China, Europe is opening up again and the U.S. demand is “steady.” >click to read< 10:14