Tag Archives: NMFS

Where Have All The Right Whales Gone?

Marine researchers have mapped the density of one of the most endangered large whale species worldwide, the North Atlantic right whale, using newly analyzed data to predict and help avoid whales’ harmful, even fatal, exposure to commercial fishing and vessel strikes. Duke University’s Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab led a collaboration of 11 institutions in the United States that pooled 17 years of available visual survey data covering 9.7 million square kilometers of the U.S. Atlantic – roughly the same area as the entire contiguous United States. more, >>click to read<< 16:37

OFFSHORE WIND AND WHALES – A collection of articles from fisherynation.com By Jim Lovgren

After over forty-five years as a commercial fisherman out of Point Pleasant NJ, I sold my boat the Shadowfax, and retired, moving to California. My experience as a fisherman began in the early 1970’s, and I observed and learned an encyclopedia of knowledge concerning fishing, the environment, and fishery management, including politics. As I observed the continuing massacre and the lies denying them by government and media puppets, I under took an effort to expose the truth concerning offshore wind. The following articles are listed in order of their appearance in Fisherynation.com, and are best understood by reading them in order. Just click on the title of an article you’d like to read. more, >>click to read<< 15:09

Time to save the Right Whale from the Green-Left

Back in the sixties and seventies, “Save the Whales” was the exclusive domain of the political left. As Bob Dylan might say, “The times they are a changin.” Three major “conservative” organizations – the National Legal Policy Center, Heartland Institute, and my organization, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow – recently filed a major lawsuit in a Washington, D.C. federal court to save the Right Whale from facing potential oblivion. Why aren’t the larger Green groups, unlike the grassroots ones, rallying around the efforts of these organizations to save Right Whales? Good question. Whales are being threatened by the Biden Administration’s fast-track plans to hurriedly place 30,000 MW of wind power generation off the Eastern coast, and doing so without the proper sort of environmental impact assessment they might otherwise perform for, say, offshore oil. more, >>click to read<< 11:11

Biden administration sued over Virginia offshore wind farm approval

A conservative think tank on Monday sued the Biden administration in an effort to reverse approval of what would be the largest offshore wind farm of its kind. The Heartland Institute filed the suit with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a nonprofit that advocates for an economically libertarian approach to environmental action and has denied the existence of human-caused climate change. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks to reverse the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) approval of Dominion Energy’s 176-turbine wind project offshore Virginia. more, >>click to read<< 08:30

Here’s how activists use lobstermen as bait to endanger Maine industry, communities

Far left activists are exploiting the recent death of an endangered whale to imperil the future of Maine’s iconic lobster fishery. These organizations have poor command of the facts and no knowledge of our industry. Their agitating imperils our fishery and the working communities that depend on it. Organizations like the National Resources Defense Council, the Conservation Law Foundation and others are exploiting this event to pressure regulators to impose new rules. These organizations are restless and can claim some success. A self-styled watchdog called Seafood Watch convinced Whole Foods to stop stocking Maine lobster products late in 2022. 3 Videos, more, >>click to read<< By Dustin Delano 16:12

New England Fishermen Fear NOAA Retaliation as Feds Pin Dead Whale on Maine Lobstermen

For the first time in twenty years, the death of a North Atlantic Right Whale has been linked to Maine fishing gear, according to a federal environmental agency. Found dead off of Martha’s Vineyard on January 28 near Joseph Sylvia State Beach, the juvenile, female whale was described as having been entangled in a rope that was “deeply embedded in the tail.” According to the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — parent agency of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) — the rope found on the whale contained purple markings that are consistent with water trap and pot buoy lines used by lobstermen in Maine. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:22

Dungeness Crab season begins January 5

The commercial Dungeness crab season commences in Del Norte County, this week. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFWD) announced the Dungeness season is now open in zones 1 and 2, Sonoma County line to the Oregon border. The delay in zones 3-6, South of the Sonoma / Mendocino will continue to be restricted. Multiple delays in opening the Crab season have been attributed to excessive humpback whale entanglements and the high number of whale sightings, according to the DFWD Assessment and Mitigation program. more, >>click to read<< 17:25

Coalition files intent to sue federal agencies to stop whale-killing Virginia wind project 

The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and The Heartland Institute today announced that they were filing with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) a 60 Day Notice of Intent to Sue letter for a violation of the Endangered Species Act. The violation is contained in a defective “biological opinion,” which authorizes the construction of the Virginia Offshore Wind Project (VOW). The 60-day notice is required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for parties who wish to commence litigation against BOEM for failure to provide adequate protection of the North Atlantic right whale and other endangered species. The North Atlantic right whale is listed as “critically endangered” by the governments of both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States. >>click to read<< 12:23

Landmark Legal Battle: Fishermen Challenge Regulatory Overreach Impacting Livelihoods

In a pivotal move, the Supreme Court has accepted a second challenge to the long-standing legal doctrine known as “Chevron deference.” This doctrine, born from a 1984 ruling, grants federal agencies substantial authority in formulating rules and regulations. The case, Relentless Inc. v U.S. Department of Commerce, represents a crucial juncture for Rhode Island fishermen who, along with those in the Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo case, are fervently contesting a federal rule that mandates them to bear the financial burden of federal observers on their boats. >>click to read<< 12:23

As the once-lucrative Bering Sea crab harvest resumes, Alaska’s fishers face challenges

In the short term, Alaska crab fishers and the communities that depend on them will get a slight reprieve from the disastrous conditions they have endured for the past two years, with harvests for iconic red king crab to open on Sunday. In the long term, the future for Bering Sea crab and the people who depend on it is clouded by environmental and economic upheaval. The decision by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to open harvests of Bristol Bay red king crab after an unprecedented two-year shutdown was a close call, a state biologist told industry members during a meeting on Thursday. >>click to read<< 16:08


In 2010 and 2012 fishermen held two different successful protests in Washington DC with thousands of fishermen travelling from around the country to attend. Both commercial and recreational fishermen voiced their concerns regarding catch shares and Magnuson Act reauthorization, among the multitude of issues that threatened their livelihoods. Today, the fishing industry is facing a far worse enemy then fishery management, as thousands of square miles of their historic fishing grounds have been auctioned off to the highest bidder in order to make way for the wildlife killing machines called wind turbines. These auctions have been held by BOEM, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a part of the Department of the Interior. They are charged with the selling or leasing of US natural resources in our offshore waters, and apparently, they have absolutely no regard for any wildlife that may exist within them, or any people who might derive a living from catching said wildlife. >click to read< 11:50

The Cape’s Scallopers Ride Out a Perfect Storm

This summer, a perfect storm combining sky-high fuel costs, a scarcity of experienced crew members, low wholesale prices, sharp declines in what scallop fishermen are allowed to take, and costly quota, has been keeping Cape Cod’s small-boat scallopers off the water. “There are a quite a few changing over to do other kinds of fishing because they can’t afford to go scalloping right now,” said Max Nolan, a scalloper from Eastham who owns the F/V Outlaw. “I don’t know how anyone is making it,” said Chris Merl, a Wellfleet scalloper and captain of the F/V Isabel & Lilee. Atlantic scalloping, which stretches from the waters of Maine to North Carolina, is one of the most lucrative fisheries in the nation, with its yearly catch valued at upwards of $500 million. But this year (the fishing year begins in April and ends in March), regulators have dropped the total amount of scallops boats are allowed to harvest to its lowest level in over a decade, and the limit stands at just 41 percent of what it was in 2019. >click to read< 08:55

Alaska’s fishermen and communities celebrate decision to allow Southeast Alaska’s Chinook troll fishery to open on July 1st

Southeast Alaska’s fishermen and communities welcomed the U.S. 9th District Court of Appeals’ decision on June 21st to keep Southeast Alaska’s Chinook troll fishery open while the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) addresses a technicality in its 2019 Biological Opinion for Southeast Alaska’s salmon fisheries. In its order, the federal appeals panel shared that there was ample evidence submitted showing that the impacts of shutting down the Alaska salmon fishing industry would “outweigh the speculative environmental threats” of keeping the fishery open. “The court’s decision is a huge relief for hundreds of small-boat fishing families that rely on this fishery for their income,” said Linda Behnken, Executive Director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association. >click to read< 07:15

Court decision a major win for Maine’s lobster industry

In its decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with the plaintiffs, Maine Lobstermen’s Association, and plaintiff-intervenors the Maine Department of Marine Resources, the Maine Lobstering Union, and the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, ruling that NMFS distorted the science driving the regulation, relying improperly on assumptions and worst-case scenarios when determining the risk posed by industry to right whales. The court noted that the lack of data led NMFS to conclude the lobster and Jonah crab federal fisheries kill 46 whale deaths per decade, a “staggering departure from the two documented deaths known to have originated in all U.S. fisheries over a period of nine years.” >click to read< 09:58

3 Alaska trollers contemplate a summer without chinook

Barring a stay, or a successful appeal, or other eleventh-hour legal action, there will be no troll fishery for king salmon in Southeast Alaska either this summer or winter. The fisheries have been canceled by order of the U.S. District Court of Western Washington on largely procedural grounds. According to the ruling they stem from a violation of the Endangered Species Act, and the failure of the National Marine Fisheries Service to fully address the impact of Alaska’s king salmon trollers on an endangered population of orcas in Puget Sound called Southern Resident killer whales. No other salmon species or commercial gear group or sport fishery anywhere on the entire Pacific Northwest coast is affected by the order, just commercial trolling for king salmon in Southeast Alaska. photos, >click to read/listen< 13:39

‘Ropeless’ Fishing Gear Aims to Protect Whales, But Adds Complications, Costs

Using federal experimental fishing permits, three Port Judith-based lobstermen are struggling to use the new gear, borrowed from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a branch of NOAA Fisheries. On a recent sunny April morning, Richard Lodge and his sea dogs Rudder and Dory were preparing to embark from his dock at Point Judith on his boat Select for a day of lobster fishing using the experimental gear. “Ropeless technology is excessive; I honestly don’t think it is necessary,” Lodge said. “This is a solution to a problem that isn’t there.” He and other Point Judith-based lobstermen said that in decades of time at sea, they don’t know of one instance in which whales were entangled in their lines. >click to read< 09:40

Ignoring dead whales, NOAA proposes another site survey off New Jersey

“Damn the whales, full speed ahead” seems to be the offshore wind policy of Biden’s NOAA. They now propose to approve yet another site survey, just 10 miles off Atlantic City. These surveys are the top suspect for the recent wave of dead whales, centered on New Jersey. The site is a big one because the offshore wind project is huge. Phase 1 is a whopping 1,500 MW, which means over 100 monster turbine towers. The survey area is around 1,500,000 acres or an incredible 2,300 square miles. Ironically the project is called Atlantic Shores, which is where all the dead whales are washing up. More deeply, the Atlantic Shores Wind Project has yet to be approved and may never be. Hugely disruptive site surveys should not be authorized until the Project is approved. >click to read< 13:57

Louisiana denounces federal rule for shrimp boats at Fifth Circuit

The small shellfish are big business in Louisiana with 15,000 residents employed in the industry, which has an annual economic impact of $1.3 billion for the state, according to its Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. But Louisiana shrimpers who followed their fathers and grandfathers into the trade say it is dying as wild-caught and farm-raised imports from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and India into the U.S. have exceeded 1 billion pounds annually in recent years. Since 1987, the National Marine Fisheries Service has required shrimp trawlers in some circumstances to install turtle excluder devices, which separate sea turtles, sharks and other large bycatch so they can escape through an opening in the netting. >click to read< 09:52

“Save Our Whales” Rally on “World Whale Day” in Point Plesant Over Concerns of Recent Whale Deaths

Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester) called for immediate answers from the Biden Administration and Governor Murphy to the growing questions raised by him, county and local officials, environmental leaders, and concerned Jersey Shore residents over the massive offshore wind projects along the New Jersey-New York coastline in light of the recent unprecedented surge in whale deaths. The rally comes less than a week after a dead whale washed ashore in Manasquan and just two days after another dead whale washed ashore in New York, marking the ninth and tenth whale deaths in the area since early December. Photos, >click to read< 08:54

Maine Lobstermen’s Association Statement on Omnibus Appropriations Bill

12/20/2022 -Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden, and Governor Janet Mills announced that they were successful in securing a regulatory pause for Maine’s lobster industry in the Omnibus funding package that is expected to pass the Senate and House this week. Following is a statement from Patrice McCarron, Executive Director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association: “The Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) is encouraged that Congress recognizes that the federal rulemaking process intended to protect right whales is broken. Please >click to read the statement< The comment section is open.16:09

Offshore Wind Farms in New England Create Headaches for Both Man and Beast

“I don’t think ever in history has there been such a massive alteration of the ecosystem in such a short amount of time,” says the executive director of New Jersey-based Clean Ocean Action, Cindy Zipf. “We’re looking at 3,500 turbines as tall as the Chrysler Building, 2.2 million acres of ocean, and 10,000 miles of cable just in the Northeast in just the next seven years.” At the center of the conflict is the North Atlantic right whale and other endangered marine mammals that the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association National Marine Fisheries Service are charged with protecting. Fewer than 350 right whales are left in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the fisheries service. >click to read< 08:14

Maine lobstermen warn Biden Administration is trying to put them out of business with harsh eco rules

Industry groups and both Democratic and Republican lawmakers from Maine are sounding the alarm that a pending federal environmental regulation would crush the state’s vaunted lobster industry, The proponents of Maine’s nearly $1 billion lobster industry have argued that federal rules aimed at protecting the endangered right whale species from fishing equipment in federally managed waters are unfairly attacking blue-collar lobstermen who rely on the resource to make a living. They have warned that the regulation threatens the livelihood of thousands of Maine lobstermen and individuals employed in supporting industries. Video, Photos, >click to read< 14:00

Jerry Leeman: Fishing is my life. Somewhere, people forgot to listen to the generations before us.

I’ve spent all my life on the ocean. My family and friends are fishermen and lobstermen. I grew up on an island in Maine and almost everyone was in some form of fishery, whether it be groundfishing, gill netting, seining and lobstering. We even had shrimping till that was mis managed away. I grew up watching these men and women harvesting the ocean. Rules were put into place to harvest the ocean responsibly and sustainably for future generations. Most people in this nation know little to as of why our fish stocks became depleted. Other nations like Russia and other European super trawlers were allowed to pillage our waters along the New England coast. They were eventually banned, but the destruction had been done. We’ve spent years restricting ourselves fishing, going out of our way bending backwards to rebuild our fish stocks. >click to read< By Jerry Leeman 11:19

What’s wrong with the management?!! By Jerry Leeman

So, I’m using this piece of artwork, because I’m not driving 3 states away to pull up all my tracks. This is only a piece of artwork depicting a small percentage of the ground I’ve covered in the Gulf of Maine and George’s Bank. We all talk about the best science, while the best science is done when you have the best observations. That is the whole basis of science is study thru observations. How come a man like me who has over 14 years documented at sea in 21 years not have a voice in the management of our nation’s fishery? No one has ever asked me what I am seeing. They just hand me a piece of paper every time there’s a rule change. Then I figure out how I’m going to manage what little abundance they allot me. Please click to read the rest. >click to read< 15:07

Jerry Leeman – A supply line disruption

Allow me to explain what is about to happen. We are fishing on false assumptions that there are no white hake. If you are a fisherman, I’m sure you can tell that is untrue. Regardless of the price of fuel rising and this hake quota brought to us by NOAA and NMFS. It’s become a supply line disruption. The infrastructure needs a steady supply of fish to keep steady markets open. Here lies the problem. Fishermen are going out of their way to avoid a specie that live in the same habitat as other species. So, for the sake of the hake restriction, they are avoiding those areas. So that means the supply line is cut for the other species. Which means cutting houses and fish markets are paying for folks to sit idle. No supply no product no income. So, they have to lay off folks. Please read the rest. >click to read< By Jerry Leeman 08:40

NH to join Maine in challenging North Atlantic right whale fishing regulations

Gov. Chris Sununu announced New Hampshire would join the state of Maine in federal court to appeal a Biden administration regulation to protect the endangered north Atlantic right whales that he said would cripple the region’s lobster industry. A U.S. District Court judge last month upheld a National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) regulation environmental groups sought in response to the whale population, estimated to be around 340 animals in the Atlantic waters of the U.S. and Canada. “This ruling, if upheld, would devastate New England’s lobster industry with restrictive regulations brought on by the federal government,” Sununu said in a statement. >click to read< 08:52

Save Right Whales from Radical Environmentalists Who Exploit Them

Americans agree with protecting the endangered Northern Atlantic right whale. But true conservation efforts don’t necessitate displacing lobstermen and recreational anglers in the process. With fewer than 350 whales left, ambulance-chasing opportunists masquerading as conservationists conveniently swoop in on the whale’s behalf only to leave economic —and environmental—destruction in their paths. This endangered whale requires protection from radical environmentalists who exploit them. Preservationists purporting to care about its well-being, however, distort the threats posed to the whales. >click to read< 08:06

Maine lobstermen say ‘red listing’ a threat to their livelihoods without cause

“I truly believe the lobstermen have done everything we’ve been asked by National Marine Fisheries and the DMR,” said Gerry Cushman, who has been lobstering in Port Clyde for 38 years. “We’re not the bad guys here,” he said. “You ask us to do it, we do it. So why are you putting us on the red list? “ The Seafood Watch listing is recommending consumers not buy American lobster from either the U.S. or Canada. Maine is the primary producer of that lobster for the U.S. Cushman said he believes Seafood Watch has taken the action against Maine fishermen to pressure them to stop fighting proposed regulations in court. Steve Train, a lobsterman from Long Island in Casco Bay, echoed those points, saying Maine fishermen have followed all the whale protection rules, even though they have also been challenging them in court. Video, >click to read< 19:37

On The Ropes – Federal court rules against lobster industry in appeal of whale protection regulations

“Obviously, it’s devastating to the lobster industry,” Stonington Town Manager Kathleen Billings told the Islander. Stonington lands by far the most lobsters in the state. In total, Maine lobstermen added an estimated $724,949,426 worth of lobster landings to the state commercial fishery in 2021.  “We have a lot at stake,” Billings continued. “[Lobstering] makes up $60 [million] to $70 million to our economy and to have this recent ruling, and also too with the Seafood Watch list designation, they pretty much put a torch to our industry and burnt it to the ground for us.” >click to read< 08:55

Maine Delegation Presses Fisheries Agency for Fair Treatment of Maine Lobster Fishery

After the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) gave lobster industry participants just two business days to submit proposals for a new risk reduction plan to protect right whales and denied lobstermen and their allies access to a key data tool, Maine’s congressional delegation pushed back today against these decisions by the agency. In their letter to NMFS, Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02), Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME), and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01) called out the agency for drastically accelerating the timeline for proposals in the aftermath of a recent decision by the U.S. District Court invalidating a biological opinion for the North Atlantic Right Whale. >click to read< 09:21