Times & Tails
Fishermen Receive Compensation for Retrieving Discarded Traps, Safeguarding Wildlife from Abandoned Fishing Dangers
An innovative initiative is underway to combat the environmental hazards posed by abandoned fishing gear. Shrimpers and crabbers in Mississippi are being incentivized with payments to retrieve derelict traps, thereby playing a vital role in safeguarding wildlife from the dangers of discarded fishing equipment.
Encouraging news emerges as the gray whale calf count doubles during this year's spring migration, marking a significant improvement from the previous record-low count. NOAA Fisheries' Southwest Fisheries Science Center reports this promising uptick, suggesting a potential stabilization of the eastern North Pacific gray whale population that had been facing a decline linked to increased strandings. This situation prompted NOAA Fisheries to declare an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) in 2019.
Oregon is taking significant conservation action by extending crab fishing regulations to safeguard humpback whales from getting ensnared in trap ropes. The state's Department of Fish and Wildlife has prolonged measures that reduce the risk of whales becoming trapped in vertical ropes attached to crab traps.
The Story Behind 1,000 lbs of Crab Caught in Zone 19 (Closed due to North Atlantic Right Whale Sighting)
Behind every picture there is a story...this one has quite the journey. This is a complicated picture once you get past the first glance of a full crab trap. For us it represents a year of innovation and all of the highs and lows that go with it.
Ashored is excited to announce that ATLAS will be available in the Google Apps store. Our most recent software release, Version 2023, is a user-friendly app that allows for trap harvesters to mark the location of their gear deployments, wirelessly interact with Ashored's Rope on Command Gear, and provide seamless cloud backups.
Blue Ocean Gear made its inaugural journey to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi in 2022. Chief Business Officer Peter Macy eagerly accepted an exclusive preview invitation for the program. The Gulf Coast has long been a crucial hub of the blue economy, and Blue Ocean Gear is at the forefront, introducing intelligent sensors to fixed gear fisheries globally. Since joining the Gulf Blue Navigator pilot program, the California-based team has utilized industry connections to test their cutting-edge hardware with the University of Southern Mississippi's research vessel.
Acoustic detections of whales by hydrophones (underwater microphones), and visual sightings of right whales from vessels and aircraft, will trigger temporary and season-long fishing closures. Please find the closures announced in July in Atlantic Canada. Note: Fishery notices related to North Atlantic right whales
Times are a changing! Rope on Demand fishing gear has been created as a direct response to the threat of whale entanglement posed by traditional fishing gear. Although innovation can develop quickly, policy is often slow to change hindering progress in any space. This is good news as Fisheries and Oceans Canada has proposed regulatory changes that would remove the requirement of a marker at the surface to the location of traps. Instead, the proposed changes would allow for rope on command fishing gear deployment as a license condition or variation order.
A remarkable joint effort off the coast of Witless Bay successfully freed a mother humpback whale (and her calf) trapped in over 500 feet of crab fishing gear. Joe O'Brien of O'Brien's Boat Tours spotted the entangled mother and calf and promptly contacted Julie Huntington of Whale Release and Strandings. After temporarily losing track of the whales, they were eventually located near Green Island. The challenging task of disentangling a moving whale was carried out with caution, ultimately freeing the whale after about 90 minutes. The rescue showcased exceptional cooperation, with O'Brien's vital assistance gratefully recognized by Huntington.