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Articles Posted in Fishing Industry

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https://www.maritimeinjurylawyersblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/155/2021/09/U.S.-Coast-Guard-Bertholf-300x150.jpgOn a recent patrol of the Bering Sea and Arctic regions, the U.S. Coast Guard reportedly established contact with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Among the patrol vessels were the BERTHOLF and the KIMBALL, both 418-foot legend-class security cutters. In addition to these vessels, the HEALY, a 420-foot medium icebreaker was on the scene.

It is reported that all exchanges between the U.S. Coast Guard and PLAN were in accordance with international standards established by the Western Pacific Naval Symposium’s Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea and Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

The PLAN task force was reported to include a guided missile destroyer, an auxiliary vessel, and a general intelligence vessel. The Chinese vessels were reportedly conducting “military and surveillance operations” while deployed in the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean. They were sighted as close as 46 miles off the coast of Aleutian Island, but at no time did the PLAN task force enter U.S. territorial waters. Territorial waters are defined as 12 nautical miles from the baseline of a coastal state. Within this zone, the coastal state exercises full sovereignty over the air space above the sea and over the seabed and subsoil.

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Cordova_Alaska_Forward-300x150In anticipation of increased maritime activity during the summer fishing season, the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak has opened the aviation support facility in Cordova, Alaska. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, safety gear, and equipment were transferred to Cordova by Air Station Kodiak aircrews on Saturday, May 1st, 2021. These forward deployed hubs dramatically reduce response times and have been proven to save lives when accidents happen.

“Establishing forward operating locations helps us ensure the safety of mariners during peak fishing seasons in the region by allowing us to get on scene faster,” said Lt. Scott Kellerman, a helicopter pilot from Air Station Kodiak. “Staging crews and aircraft in Cordova can eliminate hours of flight time transiting from Kodiak to maritime emergencies in eastern Alaska during one of the busiest fishing seasons of the year.”

By establishing seasonal locations throughout the state of Alaska, the U.S. Coast Guard can cut down response times to all mariners by reducing the distance aircrews must travel when responding to emergencies.

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Vaccine12x6-300x150The world watched today as the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in Coventry, England. The recipient was Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother. With several vaccines becoming available in the weeks ahead, the next question is who will be included in the first phase of distribution?

Fishing and maritime industries have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. The rapid spread in processing facilities both on land and at sea has been devastating for workers and processors. Distribution and transportation disruption, border restrictions, and a change in the demand for fresh seafood due to restaurant closures and event cancellations are just a few of the many hardships the industry has faced.

Last week, the CDC advisory council recommended that those who work in the food and agriculture sectors be among the next wave of vaccinations. Priority for the first round of vaccinations will be given to health care and long-term care facility workers. This distribution is being called “Phase 1a”. It has been recommended that the next wave include first responders, educators, transportation workers, and food and agricultural workers (which includes fishermen and seafood processors). This group will be called “Phase 1b”.

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Lab_Worker_CDCFB-300x158In a press release issued last night, American Seafoods has reported that 86 crewmembers have tested positive for COVID-19, and nine more crewmembers are still awaiting results.

It was reported that one crew member became ill and was taken to a hospital while the ship was docked in Bellingham. That crewmember tested positive for COVID-19 and remains in a hospital for treatment after being admitted Friday.

According to a spokesperson for American Seafoods, all crew members were tested for COVID-19 by the University of Washington before boarding the vessel. Only those who tested negative for the virus were allowed to board.

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Sea_Angels1200x600The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four fishermen on Monday, December 9th after the F/V SEA ANGELS ran aground near Browns Inlet, North Carolina.

The 88-foot fishing vessel reported that they were experiencing mechanical issues when they called Coast Guard Sector North Carolina requesting assistance.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Station Emerald Isle as well as an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City responded to the call for help. Once on the scene, responders were able to hoist all four crewmembers, then transport them to U.S. Coast Guard Station Emerald Isle. See the video that documents this heroic rescue.

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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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Brain_ScanIf you are a maritime worker, you already know that work at sea is dangerous. Jones Act or maritime law is in place to give rights to workers as well as an extra layer of protection. Know your rights, and if an accident does occur, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:

1. Report the Accident – It is imperative that you let your supervisor or captain know immediately that you have been injured. Jones Act or Maritime Law requires the injured party to report any work-related injury within seven (7) days, but don’t wait that long. The insurance company may assume that if you didn’t report the accident right away, it wasn’t very serious, so don’t wait. If you get hurt while working and you believe that your injuries need medical attention or have even the slightest chance of causing you to miss work, report it right away.

2. Seek Medical Attention – The law requires your employer to see that you receive medical treatment for your injuries. If you are at sea and your injuries are serious, the ship should have the Coast Guard medevac you to a hospital. If you are far out at sea or in international waters, a Coast Guard helicopter may be able to pick you up as soon as you are within range of the United States. The ship has the ability to consult with a physician by phone or radio if your condition is serious. And, if you are in a foreign country, your employer must get you proper medical treatment and get you back home at their expense. Your employer must pay for all medical attention that you need if you are injured or become ill while in the service of the vessel.

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Dutch-Harbor-e1550617197701-300x186Five crewmembers were rescued on Friday by the Good Samaritan vessel KONA KAI after the F/V PACIFIC 1 sunk in the Bering Sea. Just before the Seattle based cod fishing boat went down, it was reported to have been listing heavily.

The U.S. Coast Guard watchstanders received notification from the F/V KONA KAI that the 58-foot F/V PACIFIC 1, located about 40 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, had begun taking on water. The KONA KAI lost communication with the Pacific 1, but their last known location was transmitted to officials.

Two Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews were deployed from their forward-operating location in Cold Bay, Alaska. They arrived in time to assist the KONA KAI in locating the inflatable life raft that held all 5 people. While Coast Guard personnel were able to locate the raft, an inflight issue forced them to set a data marker buoy then return to Cold Bay.

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Coast-Guard-Rescue1200-300x22542,000 active-duty U.S. Coast Guard members have missed their first paycheck due to the government shutdown. Coast Guard members are continuing to work without pay on essential duties “that provide for national security or that protect life and property during partial government shutdowns,” such as securing U.S. ports and coastlines, search-and-rescue missions, and environmental events.

Active-duty personnel who work in other branches of the military continue to receive pay as they are funded by the Department of Defense, which continues to receive funding during a partial government shutdown. However, the U.S. Coast Guard falls under Homeland Security, one of the nine departments affected by the shutdown. Others include the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior, the Department of State, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Justice. The Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, and the Smithsonian have all shut down as they are under the umbrella of one of the nine department closures.

On January 4th, a bipartisan bill was introduced in Congress called the Pay Our Coast Guard Act. It would allow members of the U.S. Coast Guard as well as its civilian employees and contractors to be paid throughout the shutdown. The bill which is sponsored by Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio, and has support from 29 Democrats and 10 Republicans. South Carolina Congressman Joe Cunningham cosponsored the bill.

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