Tag Archives: seafood industry

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

Tasmania: Seafood, rock lobster industry receives state government relief package

Hundreds of struggling fishers, who have been hard hit in recent months, have received a much-needed cash relief. The state government announced a fee relief package of $663,000 for rock lobster and other commercial wild fishers. Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council’s chief executive Julian Harrington said the seafood industry, even more so, the rock lobster industry, were still recovering from the impacts of Coronavirus. “Cash flow margins for fishermen are very narrow and any financial support and fee relief is welcomed.” >click to read< 13:26

20 crew members on vessel in Dutch Harbor test positive for COVID-19 in latest seafood industry outbreak

A factory trawler joined a growing list of seafood processors and vessels in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands that have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks recently. Twenty members of the 40-member crew on the factory trawler Araho, owned by the O’Hara Corp., tested positive for the virus, the City of Unalaska said Friday. Upon arrival in Unalaska from Seattle on Wednesday night, a couple of crew members reported symptoms of COVID-19, according to Unalaska city manager Erin Reinders, who said testing began when the vessel arrived. >click to read< 19:46

Seafood industry seeks protection from Russian military exercises in U.S. waters

U.S. Coast Guard capability to safeguard national interests and promote economic security in the Arctic will be the subject of a congressional hearing on Dec. 8, one in which Alaska’s commercial fishing entities have a special concern. “From our vantage point, on the front lines of a changing Arctic, a robust U.S. military presence to protect U.S. interests in the region is simply non-negotiable,” said Stephanie Madsen, executive director of At-Sea Processors. The trade association, based in Seattle, represents six member companies who own and operate 15 U.S. flag catcher/processor vessels who harvest Alaska Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands and Pacific whiting in Pacific Northwest coastal waters. >click to read< 08:26

Hurricane Laura dealt a serious blow to the seafood industry in Cameron Parish

On a typical day in Cameron, you might see boats returning to shore with a catch of shrimp or fish. But Hurricane Laura has taken a severe toll on those who depend on seafood for their livelihood. Cameron Port Director Clair Marceaux says some have lost their boats. “Our fisheries folks have taken a really hard blow,” she said. “About a third of our fleet, estimated, has vessels that have sunk, so we’re working to get those out of the water. At safe harbor, they sunk, so it wasn’t as if they were left here and sank.” Plus she says some are also dealing with losing their homes. video, >click to read< 13:22

Florida fisheries wait for federal aid as prices take a deep dive – fisheries across the nation have experienced steep sales decline

Federal officials Wednesday defended the delay in releasing $300 million on fisheries assistance funding, including $23.4 million for Florida, saying the pandemic has set them behind in analyzing data to determine how much each fishery is due. Senators on the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee urged faster action to offset the impacts of COVID-19 on the seafood industry. Committee Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., noted that fisheries across the nation have experienced up to a 90 percent decline in sales.,, In May, the CARES Act allocated $300 million for fisheries assistance funding. Florida received $23,447,815, according to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has not approved the state’s plan. >click to read< 13:03

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

I’m a Maine lobsterman. I leave a lot of my life up to chance. But I don’t know if I can handle this level of uncertainty.

Herman Coombs is a lobster fisherman in Orrs Island, Maine. He’s been fishing since elementary school, he says, and went full-time after high school. In all those years, he can think of two times when the price of lobster has been any lower—in 2001, in the weeks after 9/11, and during the Great Recession. With restaurants in Portland and Lewiston—Maine’s largest cities—still closed for dine-in seating, and the state’s crucial tourism industry sure to take a massive hit this summer, he’s worried. “Right now, we’re only hauling about once every two weeks. That’s because of the weather. We’re getting a lot of wind in the afternoons, which ends up being pretty gusty, and isn’t a lot of fun. And the prices.,, >click to read< 11:19

Alaska’s Coronavirus plans for fishing communities are now being put to the test

In a normal fishing season, Dan Martin would fly straight from the Pacific Northwest to the Aleutian Islands, where his pollock trawler, the Commodore, would be waiting for him to take the wheel. But this year, the veteran skipper is stepping onboard in Seattle, where he, four crew and two federal fisheries observers are taking COVID-19 tests and hoisting a quarantine flag. Then they’ll squeeze onto the vessel for a week-long voyage to Alaska’s biggest fishing port, Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. “We might have to eat in shifts,” Martin quipped. “Because I don’t know that we can fit that many people at our galley table.” >click to read< 09:41

Trawl fishing in the age of the coronavirus: First, you make it through quarantine

Hundreds of crew members went through two weeks of shore-side quarantine coupled with testing for the novel coronavirus that did identify a few who, if they had gone out to sea, risked sickness and spreading the virus. “There’s no silver bullet. But this is a huge deal,” said Karl Bratvold, a managing partner of Aleutian Spray Fisheries, which operates the catcher-processor vessel Starbound now harvesting whiting in open waters off the Olympic Peninsula. “We have a steady crew. And I’m glad they came back. They work in tight quarters and it’s scary out there. We had to do what we had to do to keep these people safe.” photos, >click to read< 13:27

Seafood industry visa fix in question after Coronavirus outbreak

With the aid of lawmakers, seafood businesses in Maryland, Virginia, Alaska and North Carolina last month won federal approval of an additional 35,000 visas for non-immigrant workers, but the timing couldn’t have been worse. Within days, the coronavirus pandemic began shutting down businesses, including restaurants and retail outlets the seafood industry supplies. Some seafood operations let employees go, while others have hired fewer people than they would in a more typical season. Jack Brooks, president of J.M. Clayton Seafood Co. in Cambridge, Maryland, explained that the seafood industry is a seasonal business and the coronavirus has hit the hardest during the industry’s prime time.  >click to read< 13:16

Coronavirus: Maine fishermen say they missed out on pandemic relief program

Thousands of Maine fishermen and others in the seafood sector could have qualified for pandemic relief through the Paycheck Protection Program, but many were, apparently, unable to access the benefits before the money ran out. Ben Martens, executive director of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, said many of the industry’s on-the-water workers did not realize they were likely to qualify for the forgivable loans and other assistance that was  briefly made available through the Small Business Administration. >click to read< 15:11

Coronavirus: Seafood Industry Comes to ‘Screeching Halt,’ But Some Businesses Adapting

Harrison Ibach, a commercial fisherman based out of Eureka in Humboldt County, says that when the coronavirus hit the U.S., his business dried up practically overnight. “Oh, man, the seafood industry has pretty much come to a screeching halt,” Ibach said. Since 2008, he’s fished for black cod, rockfish, salmon and crab out of the Woodley Island Marina. Most of his catch goes to high-end fish restaurants in San Francisco. But now, Ibach says, those restaurants aren’t buying. “We now know that the vast majority of Americans really enjoy seafood,” Ibach said, “But we’ve also learned that they really enjoy eating seafood at restaurants.”,, Ibach, who has a wife and two young children, says he has gotten creative in response. He recently started to sell fish directly off his boat,  >click to read< 20:19

Nfld. & Labrador: Can you fish safely in a pandemic? Seafood industry facing hard Coronavirus questions

All commercial inshore fisheries are delayed until at least May 1,, as the department (DFO) and industry players work out protocols for safer operation of vessels and processing plants. According to Keith Sullivan, the president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union, plant workers and fish harvesters have many questions about how they are supposed to keep themselves and their families safe. “The vast majority of the input and the feedback and everything we’re hearing from members is that right now, with all of the advice that we have, they certainly don’t feel safe,”,,, Brenda Greenslade, physical distancing, “A harvester told me the other day, their accommodations when they sleep, their heads are so close together, they share the same dream,” she said. She’s hearing some suggestions that harvesters should be told to bring less crew out to sea, where possible. >click to read< 08:43

Coronavirus impacts New England seafood industry as wholesale demand fades

The spread of the coronavirus has upended the seafood industry as restaurants close, fishermen tie up their boats and even big-money catches like lobster see lower demand, industry leaders say. Robert Nagle, vice president of Boston-based seafood wholesaler John Nagle Co., said the industry is trying to do all that it can as more fishing boats are tying up because of a decrease in demand. “If a boat can’t get enough money, they can’t pay their bills, they can’t pay their crews, the boat is not viable,” Nagle said. Live lobsters, which are usually sold to restaurants and exported around the world, have been essentially shut down with no one to buy catches, Nagle said. >click to read< 12:03

Coronavirus: Louisiana’s $2 billion seafood industry hard, leaders urge public to buy local

Louisiana’s $2 billion seafood industry is struggling. “These are all very small family-owned businesses, and they are very dependent on local sales,” Twin Parish Port Commissioner Wendell Verret said. Larger seafood businesses will also be hurt. As demand for seafood goes down, they’ll be stuck with too much inventory. When businesses stop buying seafood from fishermen, the effects could be disastrous. “Once the fishermen are impacted and they cannot continue to fish, they lose their boats. They lose their equipment. Video, >click to read< 07:09

Coronavirus: Humboldt Bay crab fishing season ‘devastated’

“We could use one word: it’s devastating,” said Harrison Ibach, president of the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association. “Everything has come to a screaming halt. And it’s not just the crab industry, it’s the entire seafood industry.”,, Recent crabbing seasons have ended in hardship, including a state settlement in 2019 that prematurely closed crab fisheries over a series of whale entanglements off the California coast (one of them near Eureka). Before this year’s season even started, crabbers like Scott Creps of Eureka were worried about whether it would go the distance. >click to read< 10:37

Coronavirus: Maryland seafood industry affected by outbreak

“Right now, the climate in the seafood business is absolutely horrific ever since the announcements that eat-in restaurants were shut down. We really took it on the chin. It virtually shut down the last two weeks that were left in the oyster season,”,  Out on the water, those who catch the oysters are feeling the pain, as well, on what was set to be one of the better oyster seasons on record. “It kind of put us out of business and now we’re looking at spring fishing and going into summer fishing, and the markets are slowed almost to a standstill for that and now we’re worried about the crabs,” said Jim Reihl, Maryland Oysterman’s Association president. Video, >click to read< 13:57

Coronavirus: “These are not normal times” Situation changing ‘by the hour’ as seafood industry reels

New Brunswick’s seafood industry is reeling as the coronavirus fallout spreads in traditional markets around the world. “Things are changing by the hour,” said Melanie Sonnenberg of the Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association.,, It is a concern shared by other companies. It is estimated well over a thousand international workers are employed in the industry during the processing season, which begins in May. The spring lobster season on the Bay of Fundy’s north shore also starts in May. And in Dipper Harbour, fisherman Greg Thompson is pretty sure of one thing: prices will be rock bottom. >click to read< 06:47

Coronavirus: Seafood industry falls victim to the virus

Abalone fisheries, reliant on China for up to 90 per cent of sales, have been paralysed by the sudden drop in demand with Tasmania’s entire fleet of up to 100 abalone dive boats “ground to a halt” for the past month. Lobster was one of the first sectors to suffer as the result of China’s quarantine lockdowns, forcing the sale of export catches on the local market at discounted prices. The crisis has since broadened, affecting scale fisheries such as banded morwong and wrasse, and all processors reliant on China ­exports or live fish trade to deserted Chinatowns in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. >click to read< 09:16

Treasurer of Australia Josh Frydenberg warns of ‘significant impact’ of coronavirus on economy

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has warned of a “significant impact on the Australian economy” from the coronavirus as seafood businesses fear they will have to close their doors. But the deadly disease is already hitting exports hard, in particular the seafood industry. Some business owners say they have lost around 95 per cent of their business as China stops buying live seafood like fish, crab and lobster. 7 minute Video, >click to read< 07:46

Alaska: Seafood industry facing challenges beyond harvest cuts

The Alaska seafood workforce, both on boats and on shore, is aging, and fewer young people are going into careers in the industry. While the graying of the fishing fleet is in part because of the high cost of entry for permits, boats, and equipment, there is also a looming shortage in processing plant workers. >click to read< 07:15

Senator Lisa Murkowski: Investing in seafood industry pays off

Alaskans know just how essential fisheries are to life in the 49th state. The seafood industry is the largest direct employer in our state, providing 60,000 jobs and generating over $5 billion for Alaska’s economy. Over 15 percent of Alaska’s working age rural residents are employed by the industry. And commercial fisheries are a cultural and economic cornerstone in small communities across the state’s 33,000 miles of shoreline. Alaska’s seafood industry also provides for our nation. Catches in Alaska make up more than 60 percent of all seafood harvests in the United States, >click to read< 15:11

Coast fishermen, seafood related businesses welcome disaster declaration

The federal fisheries disaster declaration was certainly welcomed by fishermen and seafood sales businesses along the Coast Wednesday. Because of the algae bloom, the seafood industry has been hit hard. But even in the midst of crisis, there are pockets of success. Business is steady for the Cajun Maid at the Pass Christian Harbor. “Every day, people come up here every single day to buy shrimp,” said deckhand Britt Roberts. >click to read< 11:38

Promises of Brexit bonanza look fishy for seafood industry

Visions of richer harvests and of the once-mighty Royal Navy chasing European vessels out of now-shared waters appeal to some who work the seas from Scottish ports like Eyemouth, where old timers recall how the now largely empty harbor used to be so packed with trawlers they could walk from one side to the other without touching water. Aboard the “Janreen,” laden with crates of freshly caught langoustines, the anti-EU sentiment was clearly if also crudely expressed: A fist with the middle finger raised had been painted over an EU flag on the trawler’s front bulk-head. >click to read< 09:32

Wasted – Our global food system discards 46 million tonnes of fish each year. Why?

From the moment a fisher lands a fish to the moment that fish lands on your plate, 27 percent of it will disappear.,,,It may surprise you, then, to learn that the Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts, the largest gathering of the seafood industry in North America, does not stink. Not really. It smells of cleaned carpet and newly printed brochures and freshly scrubbed businesspeople, of men in ironed shirts and women with flat-ironed hair.,,, Around 22,000 people come from 50 countries to buy, sell, and market every consumable marine product imaginable. >click to read< 13:36

R.I. Senate Resolution – Recognizing the Value on the states rich maritime and fishing history

Recognizing the Value on the states rich maritime and fishing history, and supporting efforts to maintain and ensure the success of the Rhode Island Seafood Industry. Introduced By: Senators Sosnowski, McCaffrey, Algiere, Felag, and Euer, Date Introduced: April 03, 2019, Referred To: Recommended for Immediate Consideration,,, >click to read<14:50

Alaska: Seafood industry faces more uncertainty

As another year draws to a close, the seafood industry seems to be facing even more uncertainty than usual, with some groundfish stocks cratering, salmon runs behaving in historically strange ways, trade wars with China imposing some tariffs on a variety of products, and the state being on the forefront of climate change. The year started out with a Pacific cod quota cut of 80 percent in the Gulf of Alaska, an unexpected drop after a strong year class from 2012 suffered unusually high mortality due to a warm period from 2014 to 2016.,, Bering Sea crabbers started the year with a 19.5 million-pound opilio quota that proved difficult for some boats, >click to read<09:30

Seafood Industry should Organize, File National Class Action Lawsuit Against Anti-Commercial Fishing 501(C)’s, private companies

Every Seafood Industry related trade association in America should join hands and file a National Class Action Lawsuit  against certain 501(C) organizations and private companies that have de-humanized the Commercial Fishermen in the United States by reducing the non-boaters share of the Federal Fishery Resources. The lawsuit should be filed in the District of Columbia Federal Court on behalf of the hundreds of millions of non-boaters who depend on access to the nations fish at restaurants and retail markets through the labors of Commercial Fishermen. By Bob Jones >click to read<08:32

Florida Keys seafood industry begins gear recovery after Hurricane Irma

To find the lobster, Florida Keys commercial fishers must first track down gear scattered or destroyed by Hurricane Irma. “Just like on shore, the underwater has patterns of destruction,” Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association, said Thursday. “Some areas have suffered major devastation, really hard hit,” he said. “Other areas are not so bad.” One large Middle Keys family operation estimates having lost 6,000 traps, Kelly said. click here to read the story 11:00