Hawaii bill targeting commercial fishing industry in danger

Hawaii bill targeting commercial fishing industry in danger

HONOLULU (AP) ” The sponsor of a Hawaii bill seeking to change the way commercial licenses are granted to foreign fishermen said the bill is in danger of dying.

State Sen. Karl Rhoads said fishing industry representatives have told lawmakers the bill could wreck the industry.

The bill would restrict commercial fishing licenses to people who are legally allowed to enter the U.S. It also would require fishing license applicants to appear in person before state officials.

“That’s a big step and there’s definitely not the political support to do that even if I really wanted to,” Rhoads said.

The bill will likely be amended to remove the part requiring that licensees have permission to legally enter the U.S., Rhoads said, while the section requiring applicants to appear in person for fishing licenses might survive.

Currently, fishing boat operators apply for licenses on behalf of the crew that can’t leave the docks.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is planning to consider the bill Wednesday.

The bill was introduced after an Associated Press investigation found some foreign fishermen working without most basic labor protections while catching premium seafood. The 2016 investigation also found that foreign fishermen were confined to the boats while docked in Honolulu.

The fishermen have to stay on or near their boats because they lack the proper visas or documents to legally enter the U.S.

“Because the jurisdiction is so split up between the different agencies and different levels of government, it’s hard for the state to say we really have any serious jurisdiction over it, so people are saying you’re trying to be the U.S. Department of Labor,” Rhoads said about his proposal.

At a previous hearing, fishing industry officials said they would lose foreign workers and that hiring Americans for higher wages would drive up seafood costs if the bill passed.

“We fight all the time pricewise with imports,” said Jim Cook of the Hawaii Longline Association.

Cook and others said the state’s commercial fishing industry could shut down if the bill passed.

“I think they’re probably right,” Rhoads said Tuesday. “They wouldn’t be able to get visas (for the foreign workers) and they won’t be able to get enough Americans to do it at a wage they’re willing to pay.”

Supporters say the bill would provide more interaction between fishermen and officials and lead to more responsible fishing.

The Pacific Gateway Center, an anti-human trafficking group, said it has had direct contact with fishermen from the boats and heard allegations of beatings and a lack of food, water, toilet facilities and payment of full salaries.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 01 Mar 2017 21:20:48 +0000

All at sea at 90 years young

All at sea at 90 years young

Oamaru’s Mary Miller took to the water for the first time when she was 16.

Seventy-four years after the trip aboard older brother Bill’s dinghy, in the early hours of February 23, she again left the shore for her 90th birthday.

She had three generations of her descendants at her side, just as keen to get in some fish as she was as they launched into the sea off Moeraki, north Otago.

Mary Miller being lowered on to the Sirocco Fishing Charter boat by crane. Her great-grandson Taylor McAuliffe waits on ...

Matthew Salmons/Fairfax NZ

Mary Miller being lowered on to the Sirocco Fishing Charter boat by crane. Her great-grandson Taylor McAuliffe waits on deck..

“It was so good to be back at sea,” Miller said.

When she arrived at the dock in the morning, the Sirocco Fishing Charters boat was too low for her to board, but she was happy to be lowered onto the boat via a crane lifted chair.

It was just another adventure for the newly 90–year–old who had never suffered from seasickness. 

Mary Miller waiting for another bite, while Sirocco captain Richard Hanrahan works behind her.

Matthew Salmons/Fairfax NZ

Mary Miller waiting for another bite, while Sirocco captain Richard Hanrahan works behind her.

“It was quite fantastic starting off with a good swing onto the boat.”

When the charter boat reached the first fishing spot about half an hour east of Moeraki, Miller’s was the first line in the water.

Mere seconds later, it was the first out with two orange roughies in tow.

Mary Miller's grandson Barry McAuliffe helps her hold her biggest catch of the day - a barracuda.

Matthew Salmons/Fairfax NZ

Mary Miller’s grandson Barry McAuliffe helps her hold her biggest catch of the day – a barracuda.

“It was fishing deluxe… I was pleased to get the first two on the boat.”


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Over the course of the day, the family pulled up more than enough fish for the birthday dinner that night.

Miller’s fishing talent shone through, taking in the largest tally of fish – two at a time – including a metre long barracuda.

Mary Miller and her son Johnny Hulme heading out to the first fishing spot of the day.

Matthew Salmons/Fairfax NZ

Mary Miller and her son Johnny Hulme heading out to the first fishing spot of the day.

Sirocco captain Richard Hanrahan had never had such a veteran on board and thought Miller was “bloody amazing”.

“We’ve not had [a 90–year–old] on board before and certainly not a 90–year–old as spritely as Mary. That’s amazing, absolutely amazing.”

Hanrahan had never had four generations of a family on board at once either, which he said equally amazed him.

“The way she just sat there all day winding up fish is a credit to her. She’s an eye-opener.

“It was a real pleasure having her on board.”

Miller’s father had taken her fishing as a child, beginning a lifelong enjoyment of the ocean’s bounty.

“I would have been about nine or 10 and my dad Bill and I used to go down to the wharf in Oamaru and fish. We’d get good runs of trevally.”

She said her father would not leave “while the trevally were running” and she would be so tired by the end of the day even her least favourite dish – vegetable soup – would be scoffed down.

Although her family had known her for their whole lives, Miller still surprised them with her tenacity.

Miller’s son, Andrew Hulme, passed away a fortnight before her birthday, but even grief could not stop her nor slow her down.

As well as celebrating her birthday, Miller was celebrating the renewal of her driver licence.

“The whole day was a delight, it really was,” Miller said.


 – Stuff

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 02 Mar 2017 00:05:41 +0000

Family spooked when 13-year-old finds ghostly apparition in a selfie

Family spooked when 13-year-old finds ghostly apparition in a selfie

The photo shows a smiling Haley, her brother Kolton, and behind them is what appears to be the smiling face of a gentleman wearing a cap and possibly a suit. Photo/Facebook
The photo shows a smiling Haley, her brother Kolton, and behind them is what appears to be the smiling face of a gentleman wearing a cap and possibly a suit. Photo/Facebook

A 13-year-old girl who took a selfie while fishing with family in Tifton, Georgia, may have one spooky catch on her hands.

“Notice my son Kolton in the background and then notice the gentleman standing to his right!!!” wrote Jessica Ogletree about her daughter Haley’s photo, which she posted to Facebook.

The photo shows a smiling Haley on a boat, and behind her is brother, Kolton, who is bending over in a green shirt and cap, and next to him what appears to be the smiling face of a gentleman wearing a cap and possibly a suit … only no such person was there, according to the Daily Mail.

“Ya’ll, this gentleman was NOT with them today and there was no one else at these back ponds where they were fishing! The only people there today were Haley, Kolton, and their grandparents … Haley was going back through her pictures and saw this and needless to say freaked out and called me lol!” wrote the startled mother.

Jessica suspects the reason the ghostly man showed up is because it was Kolton’s birthday, and he caught his ”biggest fish he’s ever caught” and the ”dead man” wanted to express his approval.

The photo has been shared more than 3000 times since Sunday and received more than 1000 comments. There are plenty of believers, as well as sceptics. Many seemed to feel the picture was deliberately faked.

“I’m a believer and I’ve seen and photographed, but I’m not one to fall for baloney. The ‘figure’ looks almost perforated, as does the shadow on the guys shirt. I can think of a few ways this would be done, but I don’t think it’s real. Not discrediting anyone, it just looks like a trick,” wrote Mandy Smith.

A close up shows the ghost in more detail. Photo / Facebook
A close up shows the ghost in more detail. Photo / Facebook

“There is definitely a man there. Not sure why or how, but it’s real,” wrote Emily Leann Blunt, representing the opposite end of the spectrum.

Some were worried about the ghost’s means to an end. “That is freaky, I hope he wasn’t murdered there and can’t rest,” said Sandra Rusk.

“Hummmm … I would do some research on the area. History as well as missing persons, you never know if the other side is trying to tell you something,” said Mae West, also concerned that the ”ghost” may have met an untimely end.

Some people began speculating about who the ghost was and even posted pictures of a dead man he resembled. One woman circled two more ghosts she claimed were hovering in the background trees. Still others posted photos of their own ghostly photobombs.

One thing is for sure, if the “ghost” is real, his grin shows he was definitely in a good mood that day.

- Daily Mail

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 01 Mar 2017 21:34:08 +0000

Conference aims to map out Pacific whale conservation

Conference aims to map out Pacific whale conservation

An historic conference in Tonga hopes to map out the future of whale conservation for the region.

Humpback whale

Humpback whale Photo: SPREP

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme has announced the first ever Pacific Whale conference will be held in April.

The event will focus on emerging threats to whales and investigate future legislative and research needs.

SPREP’s threatened and migratory species adviser Michael Donoghue said although whales had come back from the brink of extinction, they are now at significant risk from a number of emerging threats.

“They’re facing a whole lot of new threats in an ocean whose chemistry is changing,” he said.

“There there are far more fishing vessels than there used to be, where there’s far more marine debris, where the climate is impacting quite seriously in all kinds of ways in the oceans, where there is more noise than there used to be.”

Michael Donoghue says the Pacific Ocean contains half the known species of whales and dolphins.

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 01 Mar 2017 02:33:48 +0000

Vietnam slams Chinese fishing ban in South China Sea

Vietnam slams Chinese fishing ban in South China Sea

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) ” Vietnam has slammed a fishing ban China has imposed in parts of the disputed South China Sea, saying it violates Vietnamese sovereignty and further complicates the tense situation in the troubled waters.

China’s Ministry of Agriculture on Monday issued a seasonal fishing ban in parts of the South China Sea, including waters near the Paracel islands claimed by Vietnam but occupied by China.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said in a statement Tuesday that Vietnam opposes and rejects the ban, adding Vietnam has the legal grounds and historical evidence to back up its sovereignty claims.

He said China’s unilateral action seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty and goes against international law.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 01 Mar 2017 03:24:24 +0000

Bluff Community Board boss concerned with South Port's wharf closure plans

Bluff Community Board boss concerned with South Port's wharf closure plans

The Bluff town wharf is closed to the public, with South Port saying it would cost too much money to bring it up to ...

John Hawkins

The Bluff town wharf is closed to the public, with South Port saying it would cost too much money to bring it up to operational standard.

South Port’s decision to shut the Bluff town wharf to the public has raised concerns from the town’s community board boss.

“It’s a bit concerning they want to shut it,” Ray Fife said.

“It’s concerning to the community that South Port are going to shut that end of the wharf.”

Bluff Community Board chairman Raymond Fife.

John Hawkins

Bluff Community Board chairman Raymond Fife.

Fife, 59, fished off the wharf as a kid, as have generations of Bluff residents. 

He suggested the wharf may still be open if South Port had maintained it over the years.

However, South Port chief executive Mark O’Connor said Fife had no experience in managing large infrastructure.

South Port chief executive Mark O'Connor.

Nicole Johnstone

South Port chief executive Mark O’Connor.

South Port gave the Bluff Community Board a briefing on the town wharf and fishing finger piers last year, O’Connor said.

The west end of the town wharf was at the end of its life and would require significant capital to bring it up to operational standard which was “not viable”.

“Mr Fife has no knowledge or experience relating to the management of large infrastructural assets.”

South Port, in a letter to the fishing community in late January, says a detailed structural inspection of the west end of the town wharf established it was necessary to close it to the public.


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The flow-on effects of the wharf closing would be significant, Fife said.

South Port proposes to move the commercial fishing vessels currently berthed at the wharf to the finger piers in Bluff.

This would mean leisure boats berthed at the finger piers would have to find somewhere else to berth.

“It’s going to create a lot of chaos,” Fife said.

“That [town wharf] has been part of Bluff for a long time and all it’s going to do now is further deteriorate.” 

Fife said he appreciated South Port had health and safety issues to consider when it came to allowing public access to the wharf.

“I understand where they are coming from but maybe they should have been looking at it ages ago … and got it done over a period of time.”

A working party between port representatives and the commercial and leisure boaties will be set up to further discuss the issues.

Fife said the community board would discuss the issues and meet with the wider Bluff community.

South Port is majority owned by Environment Southland.

Environment Southland chairman Nicol Horrell said Environment Southland could not influence the running of South Port because it was listed on the stock exchange.

“It’s an arm’s length relationship … we have got no authority to tell them what to do.”

There was obviously concern in Bluff and it seemed a shame to lose the wharf, Horrell said.

“We will all be hopeful some resolution can be found in the long term.”

“The first thing to do is see what comes out of these talks [between South Port and other parties].”

Horrell suggested if South Port and the Bluff community came to some resolution regarding the town wharf, and there was still a funding shortfall, there may be an opportunity for the community  to request one-off grants from local authorities to help get the wharf back in shape.

Any such request to Environment Southland would be considered on its merits at the time, he said.

Last month’s South Port letter to the fishing community, when referring to the town wharf, says a $1 million outlay would be needed to provide vehicle corridor for fishing vessels; $350,000 would be needed to provide pedestrian corridor for fishing vessels; and and it would cost $20,000 to fence off and decommission the west end of the wharf.

“Based on the above figures an economic and financial assessment concluded the west end of the wharf is no longer viable and options for relocating vessels should be considered.”

The preferred location for the town wharf vessels was the finger pier facility.  


 – The Southland Times

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 01 Mar 2017 02:10:34 +0000

Joe Bennett: Supping with the gods as the sun shines

Joe Bennett: Supping with the gods as the sun shines

It's been said the hours spent fishing are not subtracted from the sum of a man's life; that the worst day fishing beats ...

John Bisset

It’s been said the hours spent fishing are not subtracted from the sum of a man’s life; that the worst day fishing beats the best day working.

OPINION: Oh, I was spoiled. Spoiled like a grandkid. I had gone to Nelson to help with fundraising for a hospice and I was given a guest-house all to myself, sumptuous, spacious and high on a cliff. On one side lay the ocean, an orchard on the other. The ocean was a table-cloth; the orchard bent with the freight of fruit.

But that was far from all. My host and hostess, Murray and Mary, gave me gifts. Murray took me fishing. There are few ways to make me happier. And Mary gave me a book, The Elements of Eloquence. “I thought,” she said, “it might help with your writing.”

The book dealt with rhetorical devices. I started it on the plane home and did not expect to be surprised. For I knew all about alliteration, I was not unfamiliar with litotes, and God himself could not match me for hyperbole. And of the periodic sentence, the thrust of which is held back in order to intensify its power, I thought myself the master.

But whoa. Here in this book was more, far more, a host of terms I hadn’t met before, some English, some Latin, but most Greek, for the Greeks loved few things more than rhetoric. Here were epizeuxis and diacope, syllepsis and catachresis. I drank them in and wondered.

Would they still serve today, I wondered? Would wordy tricks employed by antique Greeks beside the Aegean Sea, work just as well beside the Bay of Nelson? I wasn’t sure, but maybe I should tell you of the fishing.

Fishing, lovely fishing. They say the hours spent fishing are not subtracted from the sum of a man’s life. They say the worst day fishing beats the best day working. They even say that when men fish it isn’t fish they’re after. But I say only, fishing, lovely fishing.

To fish anywhere is good, but to fish in Nelson is to sup with the gods: Nelson where the sun shines; Nelson where the waters teem; Nelson where the snapper snap and the kahawai carve the surface like fat knives of silver.

And I was invited to fish those teeming waters, not from one of Nelson’s many beaches, nor yet from some protruding wharf or jetty, but from a beast that goes to find the fish instead of waiting for the fish to come, that guarantor of laden hooks, a boat. A great big bloody blessed motor boat.

We launched the beast at Motueka. Or rather Murray launched the beast while I stood usefully by as he reversed it down the ramp and stepped into the shallows and leapt aboard the trailer frame and slipped a bolt and gave the prow a shove and set the beast afloat and threw a rope to me and got back in the ute and towed the trailer up the ramp and off to park and left me with a motor boat on a lead. The thing weighed maybe half a ton but I walked it down the jetty like a big red puppy.

On board was tackle, fishing tackle. Show me the man who has no love for fishing tackle and I’ll show you a shrivelled soul. A cluster of rods, some stout, some whippy, reels, fixed spool reels, multiplier reels, reels with bright brass handles, sprockets, brakes, reels smeared with fish scales, spools of nylon, spools of braid, tackle boxes, hooks and swivels, floats and sinkers, jigs and lures and flounder spoons and a rusted knife for cutting bait, a vast and fragrant floating arsenal, all perfumed with the slaughter of the past.


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The outboard puttered through the moorings then cleared its throat and thrust us up on to the water’s skin and drove us out to sea while towing at our back a foaming, interwoven wake. And on the dash a sonar screen. Down we could see, down into the lightless depths, down to the darkling beauty of the fish.

Oh, what chance had they? What chance against this boat that sought them out, this boat that saw them in the dark? What chance had fish, mere brutish fish, against the hunger and the cruel tools of man?

“There,” said Murray, pointing at the sonar screen, “snapper.” He killed the engine and the fishes’ hope of life. A long line we set out, some 20 barbarous hooks all baited up with cubes of herring, tubes of squid, dropped to the ocean floor and marked with buoys. Then we went some distance off and fished with rods for an hour and brewed a cup of tea and told tall tales of fishing, then puttered back to haul our bounty up. We hauled up 20 cubes of herring, tubes of squid. “Well done, fish,” said Murray, “well done, fish.”

In Motueka we bought terakihi fillets. And drove back home in triumph and the ute.


 – The Dominion Post

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 28 Feb 2017 16:02:12 +0000

Joe Bennett: Supping with the gods as the sun shines

Joe Bennett: Supping with the gods as the sun shines

It's been said the hours spent fishing are not subtracted from the sum of a man's life; that the worst day fishing beats ...

John Bisset

It’s been said the hours spent fishing are not subtracted from the sum of a man’s life; that the worst day fishing beats the best day working.

OPINION: Oh, I was spoiled. Spoiled like a grandkid. I had gone to Nelson to help with fundraising for a hospice and I was given a guest-house all to myself, sumptuous, spacious and high on a cliff. On one side lay the ocean, an orchard on the other. The ocean was a table-cloth; the orchard bent with the freight of fruit.

But that was far from all. My host and hostess, Murray and Mary, gave me gifts. Murray took me fishing. There are few ways to make me happier. And Mary gave me a book, The Elements of Eloquence. “I thought,” she said, “it might help with your writing.”

The book dealt with rhetorical devices. I started it on the plane home and did not expect to be surprised. For I knew all about alliteration, I was not unfamiliar with litotes, and God himself could not match me for hyperbole. And of the periodic sentence, the thrust of which is held back in order to intensify its power, I thought myself the master.

But whoa. Here in this book was more, far more, a host of terms I hadn’t met before, some English, some Latin, but most Greek, for the Greeks loved few things more than rhetoric. Here were epizeuxis and diacope, syllepsis and catachresis. I drank them in and wondered.

Would they still serve today, I wondered? Would wordy tricks employed by antique Greeks beside the Aegean Sea, work just as well beside the Bay of Nelson? I wasn’t sure, but maybe I should tell you of the fishing.

Fishing, lovely fishing. They say the hours spent fishing are not subtracted from the sum of a man’s life. They say the worst day fishing beats the best day working. They even say that when men fish it isn’t fish they’re after. But I say only, fishing, lovely fishing.

To fish anywhere is good, but to fish in Nelson is to sup with the gods: Nelson where the sun shines; Nelson where the waters teem; Nelson where the snapper snap and the kahawai carve the surface like fat knives of silver.

And I was invited to fish those teeming waters, not from one of Nelson’s many beaches, nor yet from some protruding wharf or jetty, but from a beast that goes to find the fish instead of waiting for the fish to come, that guarantor of laden hooks, a boat. A great big bloody blessed motor boat.

We launched the beast at Motueka. Or rather Murray launched the beast while I stood usefully by as he reversed it down the ramp and stepped into the shallows and leapt aboard the trailer frame and slipped a bolt and gave the prow a shove and set the beast afloat and threw a rope to me and got back in the ute and towed the trailer up the ramp and off to park and left me with a motor boat on a lead. The thing weighed maybe half a ton but I walked it down the jetty like a big red puppy.

On board was tackle, fishing tackle. Show me the man who has no love for fishing tackle and I’ll show you a shrivelled soul. A cluster of rods, some stout, some whippy, reels, fixed spool reels, multiplier reels, reels with bright brass handles, sprockets, brakes, reels smeared with fish scales, spools of nylon, spools of braid, tackle boxes, hooks and swivels, floats and sinkers, jigs and lures and flounder spoons and a rusted knife for cutting bait, a vast and fragrant floating arsenal, all perfumed with the slaughter of the past.


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The outboard puttered through the moorings then cleared its throat and thrust us up on to the water’s skin and drove us out to sea while towing at our back a foaming, interwoven wake. And on the dash a sonar screen. Down we could see, down into the lightless depths, down to the darkling beauty of the fish.

Oh, what chance had they? What chance against this boat that sought them out, this boat that saw them in the dark? What chance had fish, mere brutish fish, against the hunger and the cruel tools of man?

“There,” said Murray, pointing at the sonar screen, “snapper.” He killed the engine and the fishes’ hope of life. A long line we set out, some 20 barbarous hooks all baited up with cubes of herring, tubes of squid, dropped to the ocean floor and marked with buoys. Then we went some distance off and fished with rods for an hour and brewed a cup of tea and told tall tales of fishing, then puttered back to haul our bounty up. We hauled up 20 cubes of herring, tubes of squid. “Well done, fish,” said Murray, “well done, fish.”

In Motueka we bought terakihi fillets. And drove back home in triumph and the ute.


 – The Dominion Post

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 28 Feb 2017 16:02:12 +0000

'Dying' Selwyn River threatening Canterbury wildlife

'Dying' Selwyn River threatening Canterbury wildlife

Canterbury residents and Fish and Game have been busy rescuing trapped trout and native eels in some of the region’s disappearing rivers.

After three very dry years, parts of the Selwyn River south of Christchurch, and the Ashley River are drying up.

Native eels and adult whitebait are being stranded in muddy pools, after the Selwyn River left them behind.

At least 30 volunteers were out early on Tuesday working together to get the fish to the safety of nearby Lake Ellesmere. 

“This river’s dying and all these critters are dying with it,” says local resident Neville Jones.

Environment Canterbury put the call out for help after three straight seasons of drought along the east coast. 

“We’re using whitebait fishing nets, and hands, and feet, and everything we’ve got, to get in under the ledges, to drive the fish into the open, and that’s where we catch them,” says Environment Canterbury’s Johannes Welsch.

Local stream Coe’s Ford used to be one the most popular swimming and fishing spots in Canterbury. 

Today, it’s been reduced to a series of muddy pools.

A similar operation run by Fish and Game on the Ashley River was hit by the worst case scenario, with volunteers rescuing just four brown trout.

“Three years ago we salvaged well over a thousand trout, and similar number of eels and bullies. Last year we found 100 and this year we’re down to the odd fish,” said Fish and Game Officer Steve Terry.

Fisherman Steve Burke says it’s the worst season he’s seen in 40 years.

“This particular river is in its death throes, there’s nothing left.”

Volunteers did manage to salvage several hundred eels from the Selwyn River. 

Local man Shannon Bray says he has lost hope in the system.

“This used to be our river, we used to be able to come and swim down here, now, you’re picking crap out of your teeth.”

Newshub. 

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 28 Feb 2017 05:52:52 +0000