Boat on the sea
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Vessel-MarkingsIt is estimated that IUU (Illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing vessels harvest more than $23.5 billion worth of seafood from the world’s oceans each year. That translates roughly into 26 million tons of seafood and reveals that one in every five wild-caught fish is harvested unlawfully. Over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, and much of that space is unregulated. This makes it difficult for countries to enforce maritime laws, robs law-abiding fishermen of their livelihood, and threatens the delicate balance of sustainable fishing. This is a growing issue, but many countries are coming together to combat these fishing practices by adopting international vessel identification standards.

Properly marking fishing vessels with consistent identification across all countries is an important step to keeping our oceans sustainable. Properly marked vessels allow for accurate identification, monitoring for compliance of applicable rules and regulations, authorized vessel registration, as well as promoting communication and safety at sea.

Fishing vessels should be marked such that they can easily be identified in accordance with international standards. When standardized vessel markings are used, a vessel can be properly identified all around the globe. Proper markings streamline and standardize the process of retrieving information and authorization of a given vessel. Appropriate fishing vessel identification that is linked to an international registry, is an appropriate step towards international management and conservation of our oceans.

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KingCrab-300x158When we consider autumnal foods and beverages, we often think about Pumpkin Spice lattes, and who doesn’t love a tiny Halloween Snickers bar?  But there is another type of food we should all be celebrating: Seafood! October is National Seafood Month, which means paying homage to one of our nation’s oldest industries. Here are seven ways you can participate:

Eat or serve seafood at least twice weekly. Seafood is a great source of healthy lean protein, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and proven to support heart and brain health.

Partake in a local seafood festival. Communities across the nation celebrate and support the hard-working men and women who put this delicious staple on our tables.

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Coos-Bay-Fearless-300x168Two people were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday, September 22nd after the 54-foot fishing vessel they were navigating became disabled after striking a submerged object. The F/V FEARLESS II subsequently drifted into the rocks near the Coos River entrance. Watchstanders at Sector North Bend received the distress call over VHF-FM radio channel 16 at approximately 12:52am.

The crewmembers climbed onto the rocks after being forced to abandon ship. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew were dispatched from the U.S. Coast Guard Station Coos Bay and hoisted the two people from the jetty. They were transported to the air station and awaiting emergency medical personnel. One crewmember was uninjured while the other sustained abrasions and lacerations during the incident.

Salvage and debris cleanup from the vessel wreckage will be ongoing and challenging due to the precarious position of the F/V FEARLESS II among the rocks. The vessel belonged to the late Josh Porter, who lost his life along with two other crewmembers last January in the devastating F/V MARY B II accident off Newport. The F/V FEARLESS II was reportedly being brought back to Oregon to be sold.

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Miss-Emma-300x200The U.S. Coast Guard rescued six fishermen and one NOAA fisheries observer on Tuesday, September 17th after the F/V MISS EMMA caught fire approximately 8 miles south of Ko’Olina, Hawaii.

A VHF mayday call was received at about 4:29 p.m. from the vessel crew, who were aggressively fighting the fire. Sector Honolulu sent out an alert to other vessels in the area and directed the launch of a response boat, the cutter JOSEPH GERCZAK, an HC-130 Hercules SAR airplane, and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

The seven people aboard the F/V Miss Emma were forced to abandon ship via a liferaft. The U.S. Coast Guard was able to rescue everyone within half an hour of receiving the mayday call. The crewmembers and the NOAA fisheries observer were taken to Pier 38 in Honolulu where they were met by first responders, medical personnel, and officials from Customs and Border Protection. No injuries were reported.

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Golden-Ray-Rescue-300x225It is with great pleasure that we report the safe rescue of the final four crew members who were trapped in a cargo ship after it capsized near Cornel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick, GA.

At about 2 a.m. on September 8th, Coast Guard Sector Charleston watchstanders were notified that the M/V GOLDEN RAY, a 656-foot cargo ship, had capsized in the St. Simons Sound. An urgent marine information broadcast was issued, and multiple U.S. Coast Guard assets were launched to assist including:

• Two Coast Guard Station Brunswick Response Boat crews

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Diving-Accident-300x225At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Monday, Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach watchstanders overheard a mayday call on channel 16 that a 75-foot commercial diving vessel carrying 39 people was engulfed in flames.

Watchstanders launched two Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews, a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco Forward Operating Base Mugu Dolphin MH-65 helicopter crew, a Coast Guard Air Station San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, as well as the Coast Guard Cutter Narwhal.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kroll reported that of the 39 people aboard the dive vessel CONCEPTION, twenty-five people are confirmed dead and nine are still missing. Victims have been found, but due to unsafe conditions under the boat, divers are currently unable to recover the bodies.

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Crabbing3How much does a commercial fisherman make? Thanks to popular shows like Alaska Fish Wars and Deadliest Catch, interest in the fishing industry is at an all-time high. But how much can a commercial fisher really expect to earn? This is the million-dollar question, and the short answer is, it depends. The long answer? It depends.

It depends on how long a worker is at sea. It depends on the location. It depends on the species being fished. It depends on how experienced the worker is, and it depends on the type of contract entered into. In addition, the fishing industry is dependent on many factors that are beyond the worker’s control.  The rewards can be tremendous. However, the hardships can be significant. Salaries vary widely between regions and are closely tied to seasonal conditions and experience. A good season can bring great rewards, while a poor season may have workers questioning their decision to work at sea. It is also one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

According to ZipRecruiter  (a job posting service and employment search engine), the average annual pay for a Commercial Fisherman in the United States is $53,097 per year. Annual salaries are reported as high as $82,000 and as low as $16,000, but most Commercial Fishing salaries are currently $36,500 (25th percentile) to $78,000 (75th percentile) per year across the United States.

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LacerationA 58-year-old fisherman working aboard the F/V LAKE BAY was medevaced on Monday after suffering a large laceration to his arm. Sector Juneau command center received a call from the vessel’s master that a crewmember had been injured and needed assistance.

Sector Juneau issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a Station Ketchikan boat crew with local EMS aboard to respond. Ketchikan emergency medical services and the boat crew coordinated the transfer of the injured man to Station Ketchikan, then to Ketchikan Medical Center for treatment.

“Today there was a situation involving an injured fisherman in need of an escort to a higher level of care,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Cody Mitchell, a coxswain on the case. “With the cooperation of multiple responding agencies, our boat crew was able to successfully medevac the injured man south of Bold Island to Ketchikan, even with the restricted visibility.”

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AquacultureAn Everett man is dead and three others were injured after a 20-foot boat they were operating crashed into an unlit pen net in Port Angeles, Washington on the evening of July 30, 2019. Two adults and one 14-year-old boy from Snohomish County were also in the boat, but survived the dramatic crash. According to reports, the pen nets involved with the crash were owned by Cooke Aquaculture.

A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles MH-65 rescue helicopter crew was in the area performing a training exercise when they saw a person on the boat attempting CPR to an unresponsive passenger. The aircrew lowered a rescue swimmer who swam to the platform on the fishing pier to assist with CPR.

It was reported that a U.S. Coast Guard Station Port Angeles 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew embarked all four boaters and took them to emergency medical personnel who were waiting at the pier at Station Port Angeles. The Everett man, Robert R. Elliott, age 62, was declared dead at the scene.

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Biorka-Island-Coast-Guard-300x225Watchstanders at U. S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a report on July 21st at approximately 10:20 a.m that the captain of the processing vessel NORTHWIND had sustained a serious hand injury, possibly severing several fingers. The vessel was located just northeast of Biorka Island at the time of the incident.

The crew aboard the charter fishing vessel NORTH RIVER heard the call for help over VHF channel 16 and noted that they were very close to the NORTHWIND position. The good Samaritan crew responded that they were on their way and would transport the injured captain to shore.

The U. S. Coast Guard was performing a training flight in the area and met the good Samaritan vessel at the shore. They collected the captain then transported him by MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to the Sitka Fire Department emergency medical team for further treatment.