Fishermen are an endangered species.
Gale warnings holding back flotilla- Two boats left Woods Harbour ,Lady Faith, Rachel Elizabeth, with Crustacean Frustration and Slave Driver not far behind.
By Amy Woolvett
THE COAST GUARD
A gale warning has hampered the brave efforts of a group of fishermen on a search to bring closure to the families and friends of the five missing fishermen.
Two boats left Woods Harbour late Thursday afternoon; the Lady Faith and the Rachel Elizabeth. The fishing boat Crustacean Frustration left the Falls Point wharf a little more than an hour later which was followed by an East Pubnico boat, the Slave Driver and 3 generations. There are also several other boats involved, including one from eastern Nova Scotia.
Thursday aircraft flew over the last known position of the capsized hull of the Miss Ally.
Only debris could be seen within a 5 nautical mile range and 10 nautical miles east of her previously known location.
RCMP said that an air force aircraft would conduct an additional flight over the area on Friday.
Despite this latest devastating turn of events, the flotilla has no intention of turning back.
Capsized boat still afloat. Talk of a father and fishermen hiring a dive team to investigate and retrieve – video
Father wants search for missing N.S. fishermen to resume
“I was with one of the family members last evening when that news came and of course, they’re broken and in very much pain,” said Phil Williams, pastor of the Calvary United Baptist Church in Lower Woods Harbour.
“As one old fisherman told me yesterday — who has been through times like these himself — he said with tears running down his cheeks, ‘We will get through this.’” Sadly, read more
Updated, Corrected. Search continues for five Nova Scotia fishermen, F/V Miss Ally capsized in heavy winds and high seas
LIVERPOOL, Nova Scotia, Feb. 18 (UPI) — Rescue crews searched Monday for five men whose commercial fishing boat capsized in heavy winds and high seas of Nova Scotia, authorities said. The 44-foot boat ran into trouble Sunday night as it contended with 26- to 33-foot waves and hurricane-force winds about 75 miles southeast of Liverpool, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. UPI
Family of missing Nova Scotia fisherman losing hope Helicopter spots overturned vessel and life-raft
The father of one of the five men missing off the south shore of Nova Scotia says he is losing hope his son will be found alive after the fishing boat he was on capsized late Sunday night. “I don’t have any hope right now,” George Hopkins told CBC News. His son, 27-year-old Joel Hopkins, is the father of two young children. “I’m a fisherman myself, so I realize what’s going on. I would think they would have found him by now. Every hour the chances are less.” Read more
Search continues for missing fishermen
Pew’s “ocean saving” efforts for the rest of the world
The Pew Oceans Commission was such smashing success for the US ocean that they are now applying it to the world.
Perhaps they’ll do the solar system next, then maybe the universe? It’s really security making to know that those people with all that money are on the side of nature and Mother Earth, isn’t it?
BLUE CHARITY BUSINESS… IN BRUSSELS
2013 – Week 7
What a week!
The Global Ocean Commission, with PEW in the background and Global Ocean Legacy, Fish Fight 2.0, Bloom Association and finally Brussels Business, all just one week after the European Parliament vote on its position on the CFP reform.
It has been a week of intense activity for Blue Charity Business. We would like to decode it for you, in the light of information we collected to write the Blue Charity Business report published in November 2012.
Just as for the Blue Charity Business report, the aim of this note is not to condemn US charitable foundations or environmental NGOs. It aims to connect objective but scattered evidence in order to improve transparency and fairness in the CFP reform process and, most importantly, in its future implementation.
Blue Charity Business report authors Thursday14 February 2013.
AFTER THE CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO, PEW FOCUSSES ON THE FRENCH EEZ WITH ITS GLOBAL OCEAN LEGACY PROJECT
FOCUS ON THE GLOBAL OCEAN COMMISSION
PEW’S MULTIPLE PARTNERS NETWORKS
BLOOM ASSOCIATION AND PEW
« BRUSSELS BUSINESS » INVESTIGATION EXPOSES POWERFUL BRUSSELS LOBBIES
WORRY OF MEDIA LYNCHING AND INTIMIDATION OF ELECTED PARLIAMENTARIANS? FISH FIGHT 2.0
Original text in French. Please accept our apologies regarding the quality of the translation.
Europe Adopts Sweeping Changes to Fishing Policy
By DAVID JOLLY
Published: February 6, 2013
PARIS — In an outcome hailed by environmentalists, European Union lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to overhaul the region’s troubled fisheries policy to end decades of overfishing.
Responding to widespread public dissatisfaction with the current policy, the European Parliament voted 502-137 to impose sustainable quotas by 2015 and end the wasteful practice of discarding unwanted fish at sea. The legislation also returns some management responsibility to E.U. member states.
“The fishermen back home were really determined to wrest control away from Brussels, where the micromanagers have been the absolute ruination of the fisheries policy,” said Struan Stevenson, a Scottish member of Parliament for the European Conservatives and Reformists and the party’s spokesman on the issue. “They’ll all be cock-a-hoop over this.”
Markus Knigge, policy and research director for Pew Environment, said the E.U. legislation was comparable to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the landmark U.S. law that in 1976 established modern American fisheries management practices, widely seen as superior to the current European regime.
Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Ratz: Kodiak assemblies’ letter misses the protective mark
Featured writer: Stephen Taufen, Groundswell
January 26, 2013
In December, the Federal Register declared that the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council is proceeding on giving away federal fish resources to selected trawl recipients in the Gulf of Alaska. Homer, Kodiak, King Cove and Sand Point are among the most affected — all challenged to economically protect their fishery dependent coastal municipalities and boroughs.
The local city of Kodiak and the Kodiak Island Borough’s joint fishery work group has shown concern and held many meetings over the past seven months, listening to input from all sides. One must applaud when elected officials get highly involved; but that is only if they truly keep the public’s interests foremost. They could take a lesson from New Bedford’s former Mayor Lang’s firm stance about preserving fishing jobs and protecting the local economy against privatization forces.
The GOA trawl sector wants to move this forward without other gear sectors to avoid other measures that the council already began to favor, on bycatch restrictions and more observer coverage, and limit analysis. They covet another Catch Share ‘privatization’ scheme – a public larceny.
Catch shares are not defined in US fisheries law. Just as the words fishermen and harvesters. A common definition of the gifted rights is Individual Fishing (or Transferable) Quotas – IFQs or ITQs. And those rights have been designed to be salable, inheritable, and otherwise propertied and privatized.
In Catch Share programs derived from existing Limited License Permit situations, catch history years are engineered to favor certain recipients. Captains and crew – active participants who do all the fishing – get left out. Many lose jobs, and those who remain get paid less. The CS proponents design IFQs to strip off the excess capital of labor for themselves.
Catch shares are indisputably a euphemism for directed or limited access privilege programs (LAPPs), part of the MSA (Magnuson Stevens Act) limited access systems approach, as are regional fishing associations (RFAs). Sharing sounds good when it applies to giving candy to kids. But privatization of public resources, giving away individual fishing quotas in perpetuity, ends all sharing. It’s the death knell for young and new fishermen to enter the fishery.
A proper impact statement and required analysis for the entire groundfish and related GOA multi-species complex would take years. That’s unacceptable to greedy proponents of personalized catch shares.
Total catch limits are already in place and if trawlers wanted to, they could manage catch timing among themselves in coordination with their processors. In fact, they already do so for the large part, and accept low ex-vessel prices, because of the plenary power of several large foreign-owned processors in Kodiak.
Stephen Taufen is founder of the Groundswell Fisheries Movement, a public advocacy.
Groundswell Fisheries Movement http://groundswellalaska.com/
Out to Catch the Last Fish – Dick Grachek
It’s really getting old hearing this overfishing nonsense all the time. To be a fisherman these days is to be able to understand the GEICO Caveman’s dilemma, that is, being bombarded, at every turn, with insults from NOAA’s incompetent stock assessments, mindless regulations and their irresponsible administering, but especially the anti-fishing Swift-Boating type media campaigns of lies proffered by the “Environmental” Non- Government Organizations.
Misinformation gems such as, “fishermen are out to catch the very last fish in the ocean”, and “…sophisticated electronic fish finding gear enables stock decimating catches”, or one of my favorites, “…dragging nets the size of a Boeing 747 that clear cut the ocean bottom”; these ridiculous perspectives then saturate the media, hoodwink the public, turn up in “scientific” papers, and too often, make it into fishery regulations. Everyday people (not working for the government or taking a check from the Environmental Non-Government Organizations) who believe this garbage are either not thinking, or must believe that we, like members of the energy industry and the financial industry, are interested in devouring our own future for short term profit bliss.
For those uninformed people here’s a News Bulletin: Family owned and family financed fishing vessels CANNOT WORK ON DEPLETED STOCKS!!!
On a strictly economic cost-effective basis, the slim profit margins of these small fishing businesses would not allow it; and in addition, the independent small boat fisherman has the most to lose if the stocks are not healthy. It’s infuriating to hear that mindless refrain over and over…that fishermen are doing all they can to catch the “last fish”. With costs at around $2,000 per day or more in overhead, fuel, and maintenance, for a vessel capable of going offshore in the winter—and with dock fish prices to the vessel often around or below $1/pound—does it sound like a viable business plan to risk the life and limb of 4 crew members, their families’ future income, and a very expensive vessel, in order to fish on skimpy endangered stocks, landing skimpy catches of skimpy endangered fish?
Not to mention the fact that, after what amounts to a million dollar investment of life savings for many fishermen who own their boat, does it make sense for them to risk all of that and destroy their future by chasing down and landing the “last fish”? Fishermen are NOT STUPID; and they are NOT GREEDY; and they are NOT CLEAR CUTTING THE OCEAN and they are NOT OUT TO CATCH THE LAST FISH!!! That would be more a Wall Street-market-capitalized-big-business-responsible-only-for their-quarterly-bottom-line tactic, NOT FAMILY FISHING BOATS! Fishermen have a very specialized set of skills that do not translate well into the career worlds of Home Depot, McDonald’s, or Intel micro-chip manufacturing. They want to continue to fish.
Fishermen have made the sacrifices for the last 20 years and the fish are more plentiful now than any time since NOAA began keeping records. Overfishing is a fabricated myth. No one has more at stake in keeping the fish healthy than the fishermen. It’s their life, their tradition, and their future. Comments
Common-sense fisheries oversight needed
As the debate looms over whether Gulf of Maine cod catch limits for 2013 and beyond should be cut by 90 percent or a mere 80 percent, I found myself drawn to a piece of writing that I submitted as part of my college application in 2002. Dramatically enough, it was titled “Extinction” and recapped my naive first 18 years of life as part of a small-boat New England fishing family. The essay started ominously enough by stating that “every year, New England’s fleet shrinks and approaches extinction.” Typically enough, for a pro-fisherman piece, it bashed government science for using incorrect data and ignoring fishermen’s observations, while bemoaning the days of 30-pound trip limits. However, it ended on a cautiously optimistic note highlighting the then-recent increase in cod trip limits to 400 pounds a day.
Looking back at this work, written more than a decade ago, I am dumbfounded to see that New England groundfish management has once again regressed. Today, I am deep into my pursuit of a PhD in fisheries stock assessment, but more naive than ever. I still find myself questioning the same points as 11 years ago, which was long before I even knew what a stock assessment was. Watching the current debates and seeing how simple model assumptions such as the form of a stock-recruit function, the starting year of a model, domed-versus-flat-topped selectivity, or the value of natural mortality rates can drastically alter population trajectories and stock status indicators is disconcerting. Although I strongly trust in the long-established historical basis of stock assessment techniques, one aspect is true for all scientific fields: A model is only as good as the data that it is based on.
At one time, I believed that becoming a fisherman was my calling, but my common sense and love of problem-solving (along with a slight urging from my parents) pushed me into science. That same common sense, though, is having trouble reconciling what I have seen on the ocean over the last 15 summers and what current assessments claim is the status of the stock. As a scientist, it pains me to say, but it seems that no amount of modeling is going to solve the current Gulf of Maine cod crisis. Unreliable historical data, changes in government survey techniques, and unresolved questions regarding discard rates and recreational catch make almost every data source uncertain in the current assessment. The solution will not come from modeling, but from management. What is required is common sense and learning from our past mistakes. Eliminating highly uncertain rebuilding timelines and using past sustainable catches as guides for 2013 and beyond might be one step forward. Read more
December 14, 2012 — The Providence Journal’s “PolitiFact” unit investigated claims made by Pew Environment Group in advertisements they ran in several newspapers asking east coast governors to support their demand for a 50% cut in the menhaden harvest. Pew justified this demand saying “… in recent years, menhaden numbers along our coast have plummeted by 90 percent.”
The newspaper found the claim to be “Mostly False”. The Providence Journal Lenfest is a Marketing/PR/Lobbying arm of Pew Charitable Trusts, Pew Environmental Group. Pew Trust is oil money, ($5.5 billion that they’ll admit to). It’s run by the grandchildren of Joseph N. Pew founder of Sun Oil or SUNOCO. Pew, EDF, CLF, are 501 C (3)’s that essentially shelter oil money which funds all the faux Environmental NGOs that then do the oil/gas…..Read More
Filmed aboard several independently owned/operated commercial fishing boats in the Northeast, Salt of the Sea juxtaposes the working fishermen’s perspective on regulations with key players in Federal fishery management. Topics include NOAA’s lost $48 million scandal, inaccurate Cod fish quotas, and overzealous enforcement. http://www.saltofthesea.tv/salt-of-the-sea-trailer.html www.facebook.com/saltofthesea http://fisherynation.com/archives/2435
Endangered Species: Small-Scale Fishermen Written by M. Ben-Yami —
They have solid sea legs, good seamanship, and first-hand experience in reacting to weather and sea vagaries and in handling navigational and working deck emergencies; but they are increasingly squeezed.
In many developed countries small-scale/artisanal fisheries mainly supported by small family businesses (SSF) are dwindling. There’re several causes to this process. This, in view of opportunities for either more convenient and gainful employment, or for career in free professions or academy, on one hand, and due to unfriendly management on the other.
Deterioration of the economic status of SSF is another cause, and it occurs either because of impoverishment of its fish resource base, or due to management systems skewed in favour of larger businesses and larger-scale fisheries. Wherever marketable individual quota (ITQ) system had been introduced and whenever their quotas subsequently shrunk, small-scale fishermen started losing money and were forced to sell their quotas and boats. Still another cause is when SSF are not given preference in access to their traditional inshore fishing grounds, and those are allowed also to larger vessels.
From a global perspective it’s a pity, because, in contrast to larger-scale fisheries, SSF are less likely to overfish fish stocks and affect habitats. They’re using more local resources and less energy, and spending less on equipment, infrastructure, and foreign currencies, not only per worker, but also per ton of fish produced and, much more so, per their market value. The share of the low-priced fish caught by small-scale fishermen that goes for reduction is insignificant, while only little goes for canning, so that most of their catch goes for direct, human consumption, in fresh, frozen, smoked, salted, or dried form.
Fishing effort in SSF is largely self-regulated by the availability of their target species and their price on the market. Where SSF are not over-managed, fishermen are able to adapt to rapid changes or periodic fluctuations in such fishing and marketing conditions. They shift from species to species according to their availability and catchability, which enables their targeted fish populations a high degree of resilience.
This, as well as their less selective and versatile fishing ways and methods are much less detrimental to the ecosystem, than the widely practiced single-species and quota management systems.
Moreover, SSF are in most cases less susceptible to nationwide economic-financial troubles and are always able to reliably provide food fish to the consumers.
The daily life and economy in many coastal communities revolve around fishing. SSF provide local employment not just to the fishermen, but also to a whole array of trades involving processing and marketing of fish, construction, repair and maintenance of fishing craft and gear, quayside business and entertainment. SSF offer many employment opportunities also to women both at sea and more than that in the various services and fish handling, processing, and marketing. Presence of SSF in coastal communities’ harbours increases their attractiveness to tourism. Depressing SSF depresses coastal communities, many of which have shrunk or have been deserted under ‘modern’, profits oriented, management systems.
SSF is an important source of manpower to offshore and oceanic fisheries. Small vessel fishermen acquire solid sea legs, good seamanship, and first-hand experience in reacting to weather and sea vagaries and in handling navigational and working deck emergencies. Their fishing expertise, including knowledge of local fishing conditions, is a part of the fishing folk’s culture passed from fathers to their children.
All this should be taken into account as an inherent part of the national benefits from the fisheries, rather than considered inestimable ‘externalities’.
We should always remember Abert Einstein’s saying that “not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted—counts”.
Menakhem Ben-Yami, Doctor Honoris Causa, Kaliningrad State Technical University, is an international fisheries development and management adviser and writer. Former adviser with the Israeli Department of Fisheries and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Somalia: Understanding Somali Piracy on Land and Sea By Awet Weldemichael and Abdisalam Hassan, 28 November 2012
While many are celebrating the decline of piracy, its root causes must be understood and addressed if progress is to be lasting.
Since its explosion in 2007, piracy has become one more reason for the negative news coverage Somalia has been receiving the past two decades. However this year has been a turning point in the fight against piracy and many are celebrating the decline in the number of attacks as the end of the phenomenon.
But while the militarised responses of international navies and private security solutions have been praised, piracy’s root causes and broader consequences are largely lost to powerful policy makers and the mainstream media.
Yet without understanding important, wider dynamics and the decisive role of domestic initiatives, maintaining this slowed rate of attacks and reinforcing these gains will be difficult.
Catch Shares or ITQ “Success Stories”, International
Now, the Moore Foundation — patriarch Gordon Moore helped found the processing giant Intel — has decided to reach its own conclusion about the efficacy of catch shares in practice.
It has commissioned a five-year assessment of the system, funded by a $2.7 million grant to MRAG Americas — whose president, marine scientist and NOAA’s former Northeast chief, Andrew Rosenberg, cites Lubchenco as a reference on his resume.
There’s really no need to spend those millions on an assessment of catch shares…that information is readily available from countries whose fisheries have been under this type of management for decades. And domestically, no need to wait 5 long years for the assessment results, there are plenty of fishermen who, I’m sure, would be more than willing to sit down right now and give Professor Rosenberg a few ideas on how catch shares have been working out for them over the past year and a half.
In the meantime, before the results of this “five-year assessment” are released, here are some propaganda-free articles on Catch Shares/ITQ’s from Denmark, Iceland, and New Zealand—these countries’ quota programs are often held up as convincing “success stories” in NOAA’s and Environmental Defense Fund’s pro-catch shares marketing campaigns . The Danish article is a factual account of what happens to small fishing communities when the fishing industry through commoditization and market capitalization is tied directly to the mercurial (at best) or corrupt and predatory (at worst) financial industry.
The Icelandic article, points to a similar issue, and what might be the result of a fish oligarchy, or control by a few, due to catch share consolidation. The New Zealand articles are about the result of a free-for-all international market capitalization of the nation’s small independent fishermen’s fish resource; and another from New Zealand about the effects on the safety of a fishery under corporate mentality rule.
Iceland is in the process of trying to “redistribute” fish quota. See: Fishing News International June, 2010, Issue 6, p14 & 15 “Icelandic Quota Debate”. (This is a valuable publication, —can see how the rest of the world fishes, and see first hand the results of ITQ’s www.intrafish.com.) I’ll summarize some of the salient points from the Icelandic article below.
Olina Thorvardardottir a member of the Icelandic Parliament who represents the Westfjords where the fishing industry has been in decline for the last 20 years (Iceland instituted ITQ’s in 1983) is quoted saying in reference to the largest quota holding companies: “They were given these quotas in 1983 and have managed to build up debts and mortgage uncaught fish. The way they have treated these rights is a scandal. Who gave them license to mortgage a natural resource?”
She is referring to the fact that in her district, of the 20 or so large (some would say bloated) fish companies, each with several large vessels (125′ plus), only 40% are well run, the other 30% are badly in need of government help and 30% are beyond saving.
The article paraphrases her, ‘She said that the constant mantra of calls for improved efficiency [sound familiar?] has seen the industry rationalise itself into a smaller number of larger companies, and fewer and larger vessels —but this has serious repercussions for Iceland’s coastal communities.’
She understands the scam of collecting “rent” from the fisheries and says. “This is a long overdue reorganisation of a closed and far from transparent system of rentals in which one group [the quota-mongering sealords] has the privilege of being able to profit from fishing rights that they aren’t required to exploit themselves [by actually fishing], but which others badly need [the tenant fishermen].”
(Inserts in brackets are mine).
Read the rest of this article here. http://dicky-g.newsvine.com/_news/2012/01/11/10116308-catch-shares-or-itq-success-stories-international
Visit DickyG’s Column for other great article’s http://dicky-g.newsvine.com/