Orange County Register, November 3, 2013: A steep decline in West Coast sardine populations prompted regulators on Sunday to approve sharp limits on commercial fishing for the species in 2014. At a public meeting, the Pacific Fishery Management Council set a catch limit guideline of […] less than half the limit for the previous year. […]
Fishery Nation, November 3, 2013: Pacific Fishery Management Council – deep cuts for Sardines […] The decline in West Coast sardine populations saw regulators on Sunday approve sharp cuts on commercial fishing for the species in 2014. […]
– Victorian fisherman Paul Worsteling lures monster bluefin tuna, suspected of carrying radiation from Fukushima (News.com.au, Sep 7, 2012):
YOU know you’ve landed the catch of the day when experts advise you to test your fish for radioactivity. Mornington Peninsula fisherman Paul Worsteling lured a monster bluefin tuna 50km off the coast of Greymouth, New Zealand.
It took two hours and 58kg of tackle to land the 2.7m beast, estimated to weigh more than 275kg.
The fish, which looks like a prop from a B-grade horror flick, will be tested for radiation to find if fish schools affected by the Fukushima reactor meltdown in Japan have migrated around the world.
Worsteling, a host of Channel 10’s IFishTV, invited scientists from New Zealand Fisheries on a chartered vessel to explore this pocket of ocean, which yields 170,000 tonnes of blue grenadier each year.
It’s believed the fish would be worth about $713,000 in Japan.
The crew enjoyed a few slices of sashimi and anything the scientists didn’t use for research was delivered to a smoke house.
– #Radiation in Japan: Katsuo (Skipjack Tuna) Haul Is Zero at Onahama Port in Fukushima (EX-SKF, July 6, 2011):
Katsuo (shipjack tuna) is in season, and in a normal year the port of Onahama, Fukushima Prefecture should be bustling with activities, with fishing boats hauling katsuo they caught into the port, noisy auctioning by the wholesalers.
This year is anything but normal, and the amount of the haul at the Onahama port is zero. Zero.
Where are the fishing boats loaded with katsuo going? Other ports, so that the katsuo that they catch off the coast of Fukushima and all along the Pacific North can be sold as coming anywhere but from Fukushima.
(In other words, watch out, consumers.)
From Yomiuri Shinbun (7/7/2011):
The Onahama Port in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, the biggest port in Fukushima Prefecture and one of the best known port for hauling katsuo (shipjack tuna) in the Tohoku region, finds itself in difficult times.
It’s the prime season for katsuo fishing right now, but the katsuo hauling at the port, which reopened three weeks ago for the first time since the March 11 tsunami, is zero. It’s because fishing boats head for other ports in other prefectures, fearful that their catch will be considered “caught in Fukushima Prefecture”, a big negative in the aftermath of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. The local fishery people lament, “katsuo all come from the same fishery….”
Just three days after the U.S. Coast Guard admiral in charge of the BP oil spill cleanup declared little recoverable surface oil remained in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana fishers Friday found miles-long strings of weathered oil floating toward fragile marshes on the Mississippi River delta.
The discovery, which comes as millions of birds begin moving toward the region in the fall migration, gave ammunition to groups that have insisted the government has overstated clean-up progress, and could force reclosure of key fishing areas only recently reopened.
The oil was sighted in West Bay, which covers approximately 35 square miles of open water between Southwest Pass, the main shipping channel of the river, and Tiger Pass near Venice. Boat captains working the BP clean-up effort said they have been reporting large areas of surface oil off the delta for more than a week but have seen little response from BP or the Coast Guard, which is in charge of the clean-up. The captains said most of their sightings have occurred during stretches of calm weather, similar to what the area has experienced most of this week.
On Friday reports included accounts of strips of the heavily weathered orange oil that became a signature image of the spill during the summer. One captain said some strips were as much as 400 feet wide and a mile long.
The captains did not want to be named for fear of losing their clean-up jobs with BP.
An Amazon river dolphin emerges from Ariau River in Rio Negro, Brazil, in July 2008. Scientists say the species is seriously threatened by fishermen who slaughter the animals to use their flesh as fishing bait.
RIO DE JANEIRO (July 11) — The bright pink color gives them a striking appearance in the muddy jungle waters. That Amazon river dolphins are also gentle and curious makes them easy targets for nets and harpoons as they swim fearlessly up to fishing boats.
Now, their carcasses are showing up in record numbers on riverbanks, their flesh torn away for fishing bait, causing researchers to warn of a growing threat to a species that has already disappeared in other parts of the world.
“The population of the river dolphins will collapse if these fishermen are not stopped from killing them,” said Vera da Silva, the top aquatic mammals expert at the government’s Institute of Amazonian Research. “We’ve been studying an area of 11,000 hectares for 17 years, and of late the population is dropping 7 percent each year.”
That translates to about 1,500 dolphins killed annually in the part of the Mamiraua Reserve of the western Amazon where da Silva studies the mammals.
Da Silva said researchers first began finding dolphin carcasses along riverbanks around the year 2000. They were obviously killed by human hands: sliced open and quartered, with their flesh cut away.
Added: 21. Mai 2010
Gary Burris, a fisherman in coastal Louisiana, has become severely ill from inhaling fumes during response work following the Deepwater Horizon disaster and claims many more have become sick but hesitate to come forward for fear of losing their only remaining source of revenue.
A deep freeze in the shallow waters of Florida Bay and Everglades took a heavy toll on snook and other native fish.
Everywhere he steered his skiff last week, Pete Frezza saw dead fish.
From Ponce de Leon Bay on the Southwest Coast down across Florida Bay to Lower Matecumbe in the Florida Keys — day after day, dead fish. Floating in the marina at Flamingo in Everglades National Park alone he counted more than 400 snook and 400 tarpon.
“I was so shook up, I couldn’t sleep,” said Frezza, an ecologist for Audubon of Florida and an expert flats fisherman. “Millions and millions of pilchards, threadfin herring, mullet. Ladyfish took it really bad. Whitewater Bay is just a graveyard.”
Fish in every part of the state were hammered by this month’s record-setting cold snap. The toll in South Florida, a haven for warm-water species, was particularly extensive, too large to even venture a guess at numbers. And despite the subsequent warm-up, scientists warn that the big bad chill of 2010 will continue to claim victims for weeks.
“Based on what I saw in 1977 and 1989, there is a good chance we’ll have a second wave,” said William Loftus, a longtime aquatic ecologist for Everglades National Park.
During those last two major cold fronts, weakened survivors succumbed to infections from common bacteria, such as aeromonas, that they would normally ward off, he said.
“It’s a nasty-looking thing,” he said. “It’s a tissue eater. It creates open ulcers on the side of the fish.”
In response, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday ordered an emergency statewide closure of the snook fishery until at least September, and imposed temporary closures for bonefish and tarpon until April. Catch-and-release is still allowed for all three species.
Veteran Everglades fishing guide Benny Blanco believes the die-off was so severe — particularly for snook, a prized game and eating fish particularly sensitive to cold — that he would support taking them off the dinner table for years.
“I haven’t see a swimming snook in 10 days,” Blanco said Monday, after returning from a charter trip to the Glades. “All I have seen is floating snook.”
Riot police confront fishermen in Brussels
Police have clashed with hundreds of fishermen protesting against the high cost of fuel outside the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels.
Several windows in EU buildings were broken and at least one car was overturned during the demonstration.
Riot police responded by firing water cannon and launching baton charges.
The fishermen have said they will go out of business unless the EU allows national governments to give them more financial aid and subsidise their fuel.
French fishermen have been on strike for several weeks over the price of diesel, which has risen by 240% in the past five years.
In recent days they have been joined by members of fleets from the UK, Spain, Portugal and Italy, who have blockaded ports across Europe, and truck drivers.
With foghorns, flags and flares, hundreds of mainly French and Italian fishermen stopped traffic on the main road in the European district of the Belgian capital.
We came here… to tell Europe to stop getting in the way of the French government trying to help us
After several hours of stand-off, the protest turned violent. A car was overturned, bins were set on fire and windows were smashed by flares.
Riot police lined up behind a barbed-wire barricade in front of the European Commission responded by attempting to disperse the crowd with water cannons and baton charges.
Earlier, a delegation of fishermen met senior EU officials briefly outside the Commission’s headquarters to explain their grievances and demand emergency aid from both the EU and their countries’ governments.
Belgian fishermen have been protesting directly to the EU
Fuel protests triggered by rising oil prices have spread to more countries across Europe, with thousands of fishermen on strike.
Union leaders said Portugal’s entire coastal fleet stayed in port on Friday, while in Spain, 7,000 fishermen held protests at the agriculture ministry.
French fishermen have been protesting for weeks, with Belgian and Italian colleagues also involved.
UK and Dutch lorry drivers held similar protests earlier this week.
The strike reflects anger at the rising cost of fuel, with oil prices above $130 (83.40 euros; £65.80) a barrel.
Trade unions say the cost of diesel has become prohibitively high, after rising 300% over the past five years.
Wholesale fish prices, meanwhile, have been static for 20 years.
Fishermen’s leaders from France, Spain and Italy have been meeting in Paris to co-ordinate strikes and protests over the next three weeks in the run-up to a European Union fisheries ministers’ meeting.
The protesters are calling for direct immediate aid for the fisheries industry, coupled with increased subsidies.
The European Commission said in a statement it was willing to show flexibility towards the industry but it has ruled out subsidies to offset rising fuel costs.
Short-term aid packages were acceptable as long as they were used to address structural deficiencies in the fleets, it said.
‘Ruin for fishermen’
Several thousand fishermen marched on the agriculture ministry in Madrid, where they handed out 20 tonnes of fresh fish to members of the public in an attempt to draw attention to their ailing industry.
Fishermen held protests in Brussels and Madrid
Many blew whistles and klaxons, and let off firecrackers producing red smoke.
The BBC’s Steve Kingstone at the protest said he could see flags from Catalonia, the Basque country and Galicia.
Fishermen across western and southern Europe are threatening an open-ended strike from Wednesday in protest at rising fuel costs. Several ports in France have remained blocked for more than a week despite a government aid deal, and fishermen in the Spanish region of Catalonia began strike action yesterday.
Their colleagues across Spain, Portugal and Italy plan to join them tomorrow. The industry has seen marine diesel prices almost double in six months. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he’ll look for a cap in fuel sales tax across the EU. He told a French radio station this morning: “I will ask our European partners: if the price of oil continues to rise, shouldn’t we suspend the VAT tax part of oil prices?” For that to happen, all 27 EU members would need to agree.
However the European Commission has responded negatively to Sarkozy’s proposal, saying modifying tax levels on oil products to fight inflation would be sending a bad message to oil producing countries.
The French haulage industry has joined the fishermens’ protest, leading to some fuel depot blockades and fears of petrol shortages.