National Fisherman

Deviating from plans that had caused an uproar, federal fishing regulators plan to announce Thursday that some of the fishing industry's costs for groundfish monitoring will be reimbursed this year.

The at-sea monitoring program places regulators onboard vessels and in March the federal government started shifting the cost for the monitoring onto the fishing industry, according to Northeast Seafood Coalition Executive Director Jackie Odell.

"The fishery's just not in a profitable place to be taking on this additional burden," Odell told the News Service. She said, "There are some boats that are going out, but it's a mixed bag."

A memo dated Thursday from a National Marine Fisheries Service official sent to congressional offices and obtained by the News Service said the federal regulators anticipate federal funds can cover at-sea monitoring for about 85 percent of the days at sea for the current fishing year. The memo cautioned that the agency does not "expect this situation to recur in future fishing years."

Read the full story at WBUR>>

A crab pot found over the weekend in Ocean City contained a grim surprise. Rather than crabs, the pot contained 20 dead terrapins, the official state reptile of Maryland, that became trapped in the pot and ultimately drowned.

Marketing and development coordinator for the Maryland Coastal Bays Program Sandi Smith explained what happened.

"Terrapins are true land and water turtles, they spend a lot of time in water, but they still have to breathe," Smith said. "They also feed on similar foods as crabs, so they're attracted to the pots, and if those pots don't have a turtle excluder, they're likely to get trapped and drown."

A turtle excluder device, or TED, is a piece of equipment fitted to fishing nets and crab pots that allow turtles to escape from the nets in the event they are snagged. In a crab pot, a TED is a small plastic window, measuring 1 3/4 inches by 4 3/4 inches that allows legal-size crabs to enter the pot, while not allowing turtles to enter and get trapped. The crab pot found in Ocean City did not contain a TED.

Read the full story at the Delmarva Daily Times>>

GOULDSBORO, Maine — A woman whose kayak capsized Wednesday afternoon was rescued from the chilly ocean by a local lobsterman, but her kayaking guide and a kayaking companion died after they encountered a brief squall off the local village of Corea, according to officials.

“She was conscious, but just barely,” said Bruce Crawley of Corea, who has worked on the sea since age 10 and is the captain of the Cindy Lee. “She was just helpless.”

“She also had the rope from inside her kayak, she wrapped it around her hand,” he said later, adding that might have helped to save her life.

Crawley went searching for the missing kayakers with Lenny Young of Corea after the two stopped at the beach near Corea when Crawley saw the wife of the kayaking guide pacing. She informed them that the three were overdue. He told her to call the Coast Guard and went to his boat.

Read the full story at the Bangor Daily News>>

BOSTON — The trial of indicted fishing magnate Carlos Rafael and alleged smuggling accomplice Antonio M. Freitas is scheduled for January 2017, which would be nearly a year after federal authorities raided Rafael’s seafood business on New Bedford’s waterfront.

The two defendants’ cases have progressed side by side so far. Neither appeared in U.S. District Court on Wednesday in Boston, where District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled their trial to begin on Jan. 9, 2017, in a brief status conference.

Neither a federal prosecutor nor lawyers for Rafael and Freitas commented afterward.

Rafael, a 64-year-old Dartmouth resident who owns one of the largest commercial fishing operations in the U.S., including scores of New Bedford-based vessels, faces 27 counts on federal charges including conspiracy, false entries and bulk cash smuggling, according to the indictment filed last month.

Read the full story at the New Bedford Standard-Times>>

The proposed Pebble Mine was Exhibit A at a hearing in the U.S. House Wednesday morning. The EPA took steps to block the Southwest Alaska mine even though Pebble Partnership hasn’t applied for permits yet. The Republican-led hearing was supposed to be a critical look at environmental regulation, but the focus shifted as lawmakers of both parties kept asking the same question: Why hasn’t Pebble filed for its permits yet?

Dillingham’s Kimberly Williams, director of an anti-mine group called Nunamta Aulukestai, says EPA did not act prematurely to block the mine. She says the threat of what the project might mean for Bristol Bay salmon and salmon prices has hung over the region’s economy for years.

“For us it has created some risk in our fishery. It has created anxiety,” she told the committee. “Why should I invest in the fishery? Why should my children invest in this fishery in Bristol Bay? Because there may be risks that come down.”

Pebble CEO Tom Collier told the House Resources Committee that his company has been treated unfairly. But several lawmakers said he could set the project on a more normal regulatory path by applying for environmental permits.

Read the full story at Alaska Public Media>>

A federal proposal to designate portions of coastal rivers in North Carolina as habitat essential to the survival of the endangered Atlantic sturgeon will not add another layer of regulations for fishermen, boaters, dredgers and others using those rivers, federal officials say.

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Gov. Charlie Baker has tossed his two cents across the Atlantic Ocean and into the Swedish lobster contretemps.

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An unusual coalition of lobster fishers, marine scientists, and rope manufacturers is banding together to save the whales—and catch more lobsters.

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They have green backs, pink bellies and are only about 2 inches in diameter. The invasive green crab has been destroying clam and scallop populations from South Carolina to Maine, since they were introduced here two centuries ago.

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If you want to work in Mark MacLachlan’s lab, it helps to have a taste for seafood. The chemist, who works at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, is working on turning the discarded shells of shrimp, crabs, and lobsters into advanced materials that could be used in batteries, plastics, or even for growing new organs. And it is up to his students to provide a steady supply of carcasses.

Read more ...

Page 44 of 498

Inside the Industry

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center has announced that Dr. Jon Hare has been selected to serve as the permanent science and research director effective Oct. 31.

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It’s no secret that fraud is a problem in the seafood industry. Oceana repeatedly touts a mislabeling epidemic. While their method has been criticized, the perception of rampant fraud  has been established.

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