Future of right whale safe fishing gear could be in Southern waters

Getting heavy ropes out of the water column in Atlantic Coast saltwater fisheries is key to averting the extinction in our lifetimes of the North Atlantic right whale. Northeastern and Canadian lobstering and crabbing operations are deeply invested in heavy traps and the ropes used to access them, so most of the discussions about ropeless gear technology have a decidedly New England accent attached. However, red snapper hasn’t completely chased out pot fishing for black sea bass in South Atlantic waters, so fishers in this part of the world — albeit using lighter lines — are also in the conversation. >click to read< 19:25

F/V Joanna C: Fishermen deaths were accidental, inquest says

Two fisherman died accidentally when their trawler capsized and life raft failed to inflate, an inquest has concluded. The 45ft scalloping vessel capsized after getting snagged on whelk pots, the inquest at Hastings Coroner’s Court heard. Marine Accident Investigations Branch inspector Joanna Dorman told the jury: “We don’t know what would have happened had the life raft inflated. But we do know that it had an adverse effect on the chance of surviving.” Ms. Dorman also said the vessel had been modified since its last stability analysis in 1997, and that the stability was below the level it should have been. She described the vessel at the time of the accident as being “vulnerable” to capsizing. >click to read< 15:43

This National Lobster Day, Sept. 25th, Help Support the Maine Lobster Industry

The Maine Lobster fishery is one of the most sustainable fisheries in the world, thanks to the hard work by generations of lobstermen to protect both the lobster resource as well as Maine marine environment for more than 150 years. This includes decades of proactive changes to protect endangered right whales, including weakening lines, removing thousands of miles of rope from the water, and converting all ‘floating’ rope to safer ‘sinking’ rope. Yet, this month, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program placed Maine Lobster on its “Red List” of seafoods to avoid, citing protection of right whales, ignoring decades of good faith conservation management and despite a lack of evidence of Maine Lobster fishery’s impact on the species. In fact, zero right whale deaths or serious injuries have ever been attributed to the Maine Lobster fishery. Here’s what you can do to do support the independent, hardworking fishermen of Maine: >click to read< 12:00

Fishing No Longer a Viable Career for Aran Islanders

Several leading Aran Island fishers have spoken of how impossible it is for family businesses to continue fishing due to Brexit-related quota losses and escalating fuel costs. Interviewed on RTÉ Radio 1 Countrywide, John and Mary Conneely outlined the struggle involved, and said they would be considering applying for the Government’s decommissioning scheme. A 60 million euro scrappage scheme, where vessel owners who agree to surrender their licenses and have their vessels broken up, is being rolled out by the Government with EU backing. Stevie Joyce, also an Aran islander, said he hopes to remain in the industry. Joyce, who fishes the 27-metre Oileáin an Óir,,, >click to read< 10:39

1 of every 70 jobs in Louisiana is in seafood. Many of those in them are still struggling a year after Ida

Stacks of crab traps and fishing nets lay idle on the shoreline. Occasionally, there is the whir of a propeller, which barely registers above the sound of wildlife, puttering as it pushes a boat around debris on the bottom of the bayou. Gone, for the most part, is the constant sound of diesel engines turning over and the salty language of the fishermen loading and unloading the catch of the day. Many of the docks, including the 200-foot dock that has been in Randy Nunez’s family for 71 years, won’t return. “It looks like a ghost town. It’s hard to see. The bayous are empty. The boats are tied up. The shrimp prices are too low,” Nunez said as he sat on the side of the bayou near what used to be one of the largest docks in the area. “Before you’d see boats coming out and boats coming in. Boats were constantly passing on the bayou.” >click to read< 09:33

Coast Guard responding in wake of Hurricane Fiona, continues monitoring storm impacts

Personnel from the Seventh Coast Guard District in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, Monday. Crews from Coast Guard Sector San Juan and Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen conducted initial storm damage assessments throughout the region and are prepared to support urgent search and rescue needs. Fast Response Cutter crews conducted storm avoidance to prevent damage in port by heading out to sea and returned to San Juan today for fuel and logistics before resuming patrol missions. Photos, >click to read< 08:54

FFAW, N.L. government team up in push back against lobster, snow crab being labeled foods to avoid

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program which runs what it calls a science-based seafood recommendation list to inform consumers, chefs, and business professionals, placed all Canadian lobster and snow crab on an “avoid” list because of what the group calls a potential impact for North Atlantic right whales to become entangled in fishing gear. But Jason Spingle, secretary treasurer of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW), says the snow crab and lobster recommendation is “totally unfounded.” Spingle said of the hundreds of harvesters he has heard from, none have actually seen a right whale while fishing. What’s more, Spingle said, he only knows of two sightings in Newfoundland waters, neither during lobster fishing season and zero reports of entanglements. >click to read< 07:37

Fishermen sentenced for poaching paddlefish in MS lake

Two commercial fishermen from Kentucky illegally harvested paddlefish and paddlefish roe from a Mississippi lake, and it cost them their livelihood for five years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi announced. James Lawrence “Lance” Freeman, 27, of Eddyville, Kentucky, and Marcus Harrell, 34, of Murray, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Lacey Act,,, According to prosecutors, Freeman or Harrell would take roe they harvested from paddlefish in Moon Lake back to Kentucky to sell to commercial processors, falsely claiming that the paddlefish had been caught in the Ohio River,,, >click to read< 17:34

DEM seizes 9ft tuna from Massachusetts charter they say was fishing illegally in RI waters

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management seized a 113-inch giant bluefin tuna from a Massachusetts charter boat last week and issued a criminal summons for the boat’s captain. The fish was seized after environmental police officers determined that the captain had paying clients on his vessel and didn’t have the required state commercial fishing license and permit to fish in Rhode Island state waters, the DEM said. The boat was escorted to port, where the fish was seized and sold to a licensed dealer, the DEM said. The money from the sale is being held in escrow.  >click to read< 14:43

Fishermen’s deal with Swedish firm clears way for huge offshore wind farm

Fishermen have traditionally opposed offshore wind farms because of the impact on their access to their fishing grounds, but a new partnership in Donegal wants to turn that relationship on its head, potentially generating massive amounts of energy. with being. Over the next 18 months, the Kilibegs Fishermen Organisation, along with Hexicon, a Swedish firm that specializes in floating offshore wind farm technology, and Sinbad Marine Services, a company in Kilibegs that provides services to fishermen, submitted a planning application for the new marine. ready to do. regulator, for a €3 billion investment in an offshore floating wind farm off the south coast of Mara, Donegal. >click to read< 11:49

Maine lobstermen appeal federal judge rejection of lawsuit

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that rejected a lawsuit aimed at blocking new regulations designed to protect the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. The appeal goes to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In announcing their appeal Monday morning, the MLA said the regulations would “cripple” Maine’s lobster industry, calling the regulations “draconian and fundamentally flawed.” >click to read< 09:42

F/V Aleutian Isle: Coast Guard postpones effort to remove sunken fishing vessel after lifting it to surface

Salvage crews raised a sunken fishing boat from the bottom of the sea near San Juan Island Saturday, but they have been unable to remove enough fuel and seawater from the vessel to lift it onto a barge and transport it away from the critical orca habitat where it sank 5 weeks ago. The F/V Aleutian Isle, a 58-foot salmon fishing boat, released a 2-mile sheen of diesel onto the surface of Haro Strait when it sank. The unusual effort to lift it 240 feet from the sea floor was launched after officials decided pumping up to 2,600 gallons of diesel and oil still on board to the surface was not feasible at that depth in the swirling currents of Haro Strait. Photos, >click to read< 08:21

F/V Aleutian Isle Successfully Raised

The Aleutian Isle, the fishing vessel that sank on August 13 near Sunset Point on the west side of San Juan Island, has been raised to the surface. It had been 200 feet deep. Crews are currently dewatering the vessel. They successfully removed 250 gallons of waste oil and are trying to remove any diesel fuel remaining onboard. 5 Photos, >click to read< 14:12

Video – Outside Lobbyists Vs. Hard Data on the Right Whale Issue in Maine

For those who cannot commit to a 20+ minute presentation on the war on our fishermen: Can you spare just 5 minutes? Here is a scene from the new short film “2023” which includes some details that have been missing from your local newscasts. Click the image to watch, 12:18

From salt cod to silver darlings, how Shetland became a fishing powerhouse

It was Monday, 16 July, 1832, and for the fishermen on the east side of Shetland, the idyllic summer scene, one of the most beautiful mornings of the summer so far meant conditions were perfect for heading for the open sea, on the hunt for cod. Barely eaten by Scots today, dried, salted fish was once a staple part of the national diet and a massive export business, demand was at a peak from Spain and Portugal. What the fishermen on Shetland’s east coast did not realise on that July day, however, was a heavy Atlantic swell had formed to the west – often an ominous sign of a severe storm on the way. The storm raged for five days, putting the entire fleet in jeopardy and picking off one sixern after the next. >click to read< 10:33

Why Was Lobster Red Listed? Defending Lobster Fishing

In the early 1970’s I was the youngest licensed lobsterman in the state of Connecticut (10 years old). I put my traps out off of Stamford harbor, pulling them in my 10′ Boston Whaler with a 8hp Envinrude. Sales of the lobster kept me in gas. Baiting the traps and dealing with the catch (mostly ghost crabs) put me off of crustaceans. I also love whales, although they do scare me ever since one bumped the boat I was sailing in the Gulf of Maine in the summer of ’81. So I had to read this The New York Times article: To Save Whales, Don’t Eat Lobster, Watchdog Group Says. And it’s….terrible. Graph, photos, >click to read< Written by Perry Boyle 08:55

Worst storm in years batters Western Alaska coast

A powerful, historic storm continued to batter a huge swath of the Western Alaska coast Saturday, causing severe flooding, evacuations, power outages and wind damage to communities throughout the region. No fatalities, injuries or missing persons had been reported by Saturday night, but many communities were underwater and without power as the storm approached its peak. As the massive storm, the remnants of a Pacific typhoon, barreled north across the Bering Sea, it pounded villages from the Kuskokwim River delta to the Bering Strait. By late afternoon, it was moving into the Chukchi Sea. Photos,  >click to read< 07:52

On the Puget Sound, the Women Whose Lives and Work Revolve Around Salmon

In the town of Bellingham, Washington, everyone knows when the salmon run come fall. Shimmery silvers and chum salmon break the chilly water’s surface with their heads, as they move through the Puget Sound and tributary rivers to their spawning grounds. Locals buzz, telling one another when they’ve seen them, admiring the fish on their journey. But for Ellie Kinley, this isn’t just a fall spectacle. She thinks about these fish 365 days a year. There’s a strong and sometimes overlooked community of fishing families here. The Lummi have the largest tribal fishing fleet in the nation, according to Kinley; the port is also home to fishing families, native and non-native alike, who use Bellingham as their home base between fishing trips to Alaska and California. Photos, >click to read< 17:44

Updates to the Lobster Industry from Commissioner Keliher

As I have promised before, I want to make sure you are as informed as possible as the situation around right whales evolves. There have been several developments in the last week, many of which speak to the seriousness of the situation. Maine Lobstermen’s Association V. National Marine Fisheries Service, As you know, DMR is a participant in the lawsuit filed by MLA which asserts that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) erred by failing to rely on the best scientific information,,, >click here to continue<  16:02

Something’s fishy: NOAA urges vigilance after catching fraudulent fishing permit site

NOAA fisheries issued a Notice of fraudulent alert Friday over a website that claimed to process both federal and state fishing permits. It calls itself the Commercial Fishing Permits Center and depending on the permit you want, charges different fees. However, NOAA said the site is in no way affiliated with NOAA or any State. They advise the public to not use the site when applying for a State of federal fishery permit. Links, >click to read< 12:09

Provincial Government Condemns Addition of Snow Crab and Lobster to Seafood Watch ‘Avoid’ List

The Provincial Government has said a decision by the organization Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch that adds snow crab and lobster harvested in Newfoundland and Labrador to the group’s “avoid’ list is unwarranted and irresponsible. The US-based organization recently released an updated seafood rating that placed North American lobster and Canadian snow crab in the ’avoid’ category. Some retailers and consumers in North America and worldwide use these rankings to help make seafood buying decisions. The listing is based on the potential impact for North Atlantic Right Whales to become entangled in fishing gear. >click to read< 10:01

Calls for change continue 1 year after fishermen die off Labrador coast

It’s been one year since fishermen Marc Russell and Joey Jenkins left the wharf in Mary’s Harbour to gather their nets for the last time. The two fishermen died off the southern coast of Labrador on Sept. 17 of last year. Their fishing vessel, the Island Lady, was last seen in the afternoon. No distress calls were received. “It can’t just be an anniversary, briefly. Something more needs to come out of it. No other family should have to grieve like this,” said Niki Greeley, a Lodge Bay resident and Jenkins’s common-law partner. The search on Sept. 17 last year started after Russell’s father noticed his son wasn’t on social media as usual that Friday night. His father called around and found out the boat wasn’t back at the wharf. >click to read< 08:24

F/V Aleutian Isle ready to resurface Saturday after 5 weeks on sea floor

Coast Guard officials say a salvage team is ready to lift the Aleutian Isle off the sea floor near San Juan Island on Saturday. The commercial fishing boat sank nearly five weeks ago while participating in a tribal fishery for sockeye salmon. It left a sheen of diesel fuel two miles long in prime habitat for the region’s endangered orcas. Emergency officials say divers have plugged up the boat’s fuel tanks, but they expect some pockets of diesel will escape as a floating crane hauls the boat more than 200 feet to the surface. >click to read< 07:30

East Coast lobster harvest sustainable, according to non-profit’s criteria — but a Seafood Watch report advises consumers to avoid it

A recent report by a California-based seafood assessment group has the East Coast lobster industry seeing red. While Seafood Watch has put lobster on its “red list” and recommend consumers avoid it, lobster fisheries in most areas of Atlantic Canada have been certified sustainable by another group that has significant credentials in the business of seafood accreditation. In existence for about 25 years, the Marine Stewardship Council is a global non-profit organization that works to end overfishing around the world. Catherine Pigeon-Dubeau, fisheries and commercial manager for MSC in Eastern Canada, said the last review of the East Coast lobster fishery was in July of this year, and the Blue Label certification remains in place. >click to read< 14:10

Berried lobster catches could force ban on fishermen

Shetland will enforce Scotland’s first ban on landing egg-bearing lobsters in a conservation move driven by local fishermen. The new regulation agreed by the Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation outlaws the practice of boats keeping so-called berried lobsters, which carry many thousands of eggs. SSMO say that preventing the removal of these lobsters will help protect the spawning stock needed for a sustainable fishery. SSMO inshore co-ordinator John Robertson said: “This ban is seen by many fishermen as a positive way they can boost stocks in the absence of a lobster hatchery in Shetland. “It was the fishermen who called for the ban and they backed it in a vote conducted last year by the SSMO. >click to read< 13:10

Cape Seafoods nets nearly $500K to grow and diversify

The company has received a $395,542 loan from the CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund and an $86,458 equipment loan from MassDevelopment, the agency said in a prepared statement. Cape Seafoods’ sprawling Atlantic mackerel and herring processing plant, cold storage facility and wholesale bait shop dominate much of the Everett R. Jodrey State Fish Pier where Western Sea Fishing’s midwater trawlers FV Endeavour and FV Challenger are tied up. Western Sea Fishing is Cape Seafoods’ fishing partner. With the funding, MassDevelopment said Cape Seafoods plans to create an additional eight full-time jobs and 10 part-time jobs over the next three years. The company will use the funding to build and equip a new seafood processing room enabling it to process groundfish such as flounder, hake, halibut, and cod. >click to read< 10:37

DFO promises enforcement on ‘out of season’ indigenous moderate livelihood fishery

DFO warned two Nova Scotia First Nations this summer that unauthorized lobster fishing would result in enforcement. When the bands went fishing, enforcement ensued. Fishery officers from DFO’s conservation and protection branch seized traps, released thousands of lobsters and made arrests in separate actions involving fishing by members of the Sipekne’katik and Pictou Landing bands. In the case of Sipekne’katik, DFO spokesperson Barre Campbell said officials wrote to the band on July 5 and Aug. 31 to invite Sipekne’katik fisheries managers to discuss the possibility of “working together towards a moderate livelihood fishing plan that implements their treaty rights while ensuring conservation and sustainability of stocks under transparent and predictable management.” >click to read< 09:23

Hoopers Island Volunteer Fire Company holds boat docking contest

Boat dockers and bystanders braved cloudy skies and some precipitation to support the Hoopers Island Volunteer Fire Company boat docking on Sunday, Sept. 11, in Fishing Creek. Derrick Hoy in Crusher won the small boats category, Jake Jacobs in Outlaw secured the medium boats and John Ashton in Miss Julie won the large boats category. For results and 15 photos, >click to read< 08:47

Your questions answered about sinking of FV Aleutian Isle; what we know so far

What is the current situation with the wreck? The sunken vessel remains in place on the West side of San Juan Island in over 200 feet of water. The boat is resting on its side, perched bow facing uphill on a slope that runs steeply down into the deepest waters of Haro Strait. Divers have secured the fuel tank vents, however occasional small and rapidly dissipating sheens have been observed over the site of the wreck, which indicates that pockets of fuel have likely collected within the hull of the vessel. Why is it taking so long, when will this be over? >click to read< 07:37

Togue Brawn – The Scallop Evangelist of Maine

Twelve years ago, Brawn started her company, Downeast Dayboat, to introduce dayboat-harvested Maine scallops to the masses. Brawn buys from small boats that often drag the bottoms of inshore crags along the Gulf of Maine and land their bounty a few hours later — as opposed to the bulk of sea scallops eaten in the U.S., which are often sourced from large trip boats that work federally managed offshore waters three or more miles off the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Virginia, staying at sea for a week or more. Because of the challenges and expense of quickly shipping out her fresh dayboat scallops, comparatively few people outside of Maine have gotten to sample Brawn’s. “I started this business to show that [our] scallops are truly different,” >click to read< 15:47