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AP PHOTOS: Egyptian fishing town hosts wall art festival

AP PHOTOS: Egyptian fishing town hosts wall art festival

For the third successive year, an Egyptian fishing town has hosted a unique art festival that attracts participants from home and abroad. The annual event in Burullus injects life and color into the town of about 100,000 residents. Artist Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Mohsen, whose non-profit organization is behind the festival, says its objective is to communicate art directly to the townspeople and visitors. “Forty enthusiastic visual artists from 13 countries have volunteered to change the face of …
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Hawaii lawmakers hold public meeting on foreign fishermen

Hawaii lawmakers hold public meeting on foreign fishermen

A woman who worked as an observer on fishing boats that docked in Honolulu described for Hawaii lawmakers what it was like without toilets, showers or hot water. “You have a cold water deck hose as a shower…the water tastes like iron,” said Ashley Watts, a former observer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Watts’ comments to lawmakers at the state Capitol Wednesday followed an Associated Press investigation that found some fishermen have been confined to vessels for years. A federal loophole allows the foreign men to work but exempts them from most basic labor protections. Many foreign fishermen have to stay on the boats because they are not legally allowed to enter the United States. “It’s hard to sleep, because every day we don’t do something is another night that some folks are suffering,” state Rep. Kaniela Ing said. “It’s very frustrating to just hear people just kind of punt or say maybe over time we can find a solution.” Ing and other lawmakers pressed representatives from the fishing industry and government agencies about what can be done to increase oversight and improve conditions in the industry. Ing asked Jim Cook, board member of the Hawaii Longline Association, whether fishing boat captains could provide copies of contracts between fishermen and boat captains to the state, and Cook said he believed that would be possible. The Hawaii Longline Association, which represents fishing boat owners, created a universal crew contract that will be required on any boat wanting to sell fish in the state’s seafood auction. The group began distributing the contract to boat captains on Oct. 1, and John Kaneko, program manager for Hawaii Seafood Council, estimated less than 60 boat owners have returned the contract so far. Some at the meeting were skeptical that the new industry contract would make a difference, in part because it relies on the industry policing itself, which they say hasn’t worked. “I think the universal contract is a good first step, but it’s far from sufficient,” Ing said. He asked Kaneko if the industry is open to making changes that could strengthen the contract. “I appreciate your contribution, because we’re trying to get something in place quickly,” Kaneko said. “We accept all the criticisms and the contributions.” Alton Miyasaka, a manager in the state Division of Aquatic Resources, said staff used to go out and inspect the boats when there were fewer vessels, but “we don’t have the necessary staff to go out to the boats regularly.” Before the meeting, a group of Hawaii residents and activists rallied outside the state Capitol to call for better conditions for fishermen, demanding an end to what they call unacceptable living and working conditions. “There are a lot of ideas for reform,” said Khara Jabola, chapter coordinator for af3irm Hawaii, an organization that focuses on human trafficking. “At a minimum, there needs to be a rejection of the industry’s proposal for self-regulation.” Over six months, The Associated Press obtained confidential contracts, reviewed dozens of business records and interviewed boat owners, brokers and more than 50 fishermen in Hawaii, Indonesia and San Francisco. The investigation found men living in squalor on some boats, forced to use buckets instead of toilets, suffering running sores from bed bugs and sometimes lacking sufficient food. It also revealed instances of human trafficking. The report was part of the AP’s ongoing global look at labor abuses in the fishing industry, stretching from Southeast Asia to America’s own waters. Last year, the AP reported on fishermen locked in a cage and others buried under fake names on the remote Indonesian island village of Benjina. Their catch was traced to the United States, leading to more than 2,000 slaves being freed. Federal law requires that U.S. citizens make up 75 percent of the crew on most commercial fishing vessels in America. The fleet in Hawaii has an exemption carved out years ago, largely by lawmakers no longer in office.
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Hawaii lawmakers hold public meeting on foreign fishermen

Hawaii lawmakers held a meeting to discuss conditions in the Hawaii longline fishing fleet and heard from an observer who described what it’s like to live on the boats. “The worst conditions would be no toilet, no shower, no hot water,” said Ashley Watts, a former observer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who spent weeks at sea with various boats over seven years at the federal agency. “You have a cold water deck hose as a shower…the water tastes like iron.” The meeting on Wednesday followed an Associated Press investigation that found some fishermen have been confined to vessels for years. A federal loophole allows the foreign men to work but exempts them from most basic labor protections. Many foreign fishermen have to stay on the boats because they are not legally allowed to enter the United States. “It’s hard to sleep, because every day we don’t do something is another night that some folks are suffering,” state Rep. Kaniela Ing said. “It’s very frustrating to just hear people just kind of punt or say maybe over time we can find a solution.” Ing and other lawmakers pressed representatives from the fishing industry and government agencies about what can be done to increase oversight and improve conditions in the industry. Ing asked Jim Cook, board member of the Hawaii Longline Association, whether fishing boat captains could provide copies of contracts between fishermen and boat captains to the state, and Cook said he believed that would be possible. The Hawaii Longline Association, which represents fishing boat owners, created a universal crew contract that will be required on any boat wanting to sell fish in the state’s seafood auction. The group began distributing the contract to boat captains on Oct. 1, and John Kaneko, program manager for Hawaii Seafood Council, estimated less than 60 boat owners have returned the contract so far. Some at the meeting were skeptical that the new industry contract would make a difference, in part because it relies on the industry policing itself, which they say hasn’t worked. “I think the universal contract is a good first step, but it’s far from sufficient,” Ing said. He asked Kaneko if the industry is open to making changes that could strengthen the contract. “I appreciate your contribution, because we’re trying to get something in place quickly,” Kaneko said. “We accept all the criticisms and the contributions.” Alton Miyasaka, a manager in the state Division of Aquatic Resources, said staff used to go out and inspect the boats when there were fewer vessels, but “we don’t have the necessary staff to go out to the boats regularly.” Before the meeting, Hawaii residents rallied outside the state Capitol to call for better conditions for fishermen, demanding an end to what they call unacceptable living and working conditions. “There are a lot of ideas for reform,” said Khara Jabola, chapter coordinator for af3irm Hawaii, an organization that focuses on human trafficking. “At a minimum, there needs to be a rejection of the industry’s proposal for self-regulation.” Over six months, The Associated Press obtained confidential contracts, reviewed dozens of business records and interviewed boat owners, brokers and more than 50 fishermen in Hawaii, Indonesia and San Francisco. The investigation found men living in squalor on some boats, forced to use buckets instead of toilets, suffering running sores from bed bugs and sometimes lacking sufficient food. It also revealed instances of human trafficking. The report was part of the AP’s ongoing global look at labor abuses in the fishing industry, stretching from Southeast Asia to America’s own waters. Last year, the AP reported on fishermen locked in a cage and others buried under fake names on the remote Indonesian island village of Benjina. Their catch was traced to the United States, leading to more than 2,000 slaves being freed. Federal law requires that U.S. citizens make up 75 percent of the crew on most commercial fishing vessels in America. The fleet in Hawaii has an exemption carved out years ago, largely by lawmakers no longer in office.
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The Latest: Hawaii citizens to protest fishing conditions

The Latest on a meeting to discuss conditions among the Hawaii longline fleet (all times local): 4:30 p.m. Hawaii lawmakers are pressing representatives from the fishing industry about what can be done to improve conditions for workers. A former boat observer said Wednesday she stayed on boats where there were no toilets or showers. State Rep. Kaniela Ing is asking the Hawaii Longline Association to provide contracts between fishermen and boat captains to the state. Jim Cook of the Hawaii Longl…
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Making other wishes come true

Making other wishes come true

Kimberly Barkerkbarker@miaminewsrecord.com WYANDOTTE— After being approved for Make-A-Wish, 8-year-old Rowdy Marlow was inspired to pay it forward and fulfill another child’s wish in Oklahoma. Rowdy parents are McKenzi and Chance Marlow of Wyandotte who also have a second son named Dax, 6. Both Rowdy and Dax attend Wyandotte Elementary. Rowdy has a rare form of muscular dystrophy called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). It’s a group of hereditary disorders that damage the ne…
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WAGS Miami's Astrid Bavaresco Goes ''Fishing'' for a Pro Baseball Player: ''I'm Ready to Watch …

WAGS Miami’s Astrid Bavaresco Goes ”Fishing” for a Pro Baseball Player: ”I’m Ready to Watch …

Batter up! WAGS Miami star Astrid Bavaresco is stepping up to the plate and hoping to hit a home run with a pro baseball player in this sneak peek from Sunday’s all-new episode. The swimsuit designer invites gal pals Claudia Sampedro, Hencha Voigt and Metisha Schaefer to join her for a Miami Marlins game, where she hopes to meet her new crush, A.J. Ramos. “I’m so ready to see some hot baseball players and watch them swing their bats!” she says. But since Claudia is alre…
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Trophy Snook Tips: How to Supersize

When fishing with lures at night, use chartreuse plugs such as the Bomber Long A or red-and-white lead-head jigs. During daylight hours, go with plugs such as Rapalas or MirrOlures, or artificial shrimp and crabs. “With live bait, fish the inlets during the early morning, before sunup, using croakers or scaled sardines,” Taylor says. “Anchor your boat up-current and fish back to the structure.” Legendary Miami-based sport-fishing captain Bouncer Smith needs little introduction. He does …
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Hawaii board denies rules changes for foreign fishermen

A Hawaii agency on Friday denied a petition to change state rules for commercial fishing licenses given to undocumented foreign fishermen. The petition sought changes in the licensing process that included certifying that the applicants understood what they were signing. Many of the foreign fishermen who work in the fleet do not read, write or understand English. With no legal standing on U.S. soil, the men are at the mercy of their American captains on American-flagged, American-owned vessels. Since they don’t have visas, they are not allowed to set foot on shore, so captains or their agents often prepare their licensing documents for them. The entire system, which contradicts other state and federal laws, operates with the blessing of high-ranking U.S. lawmakers and officials, an Associated Press investigation published in September found. A federal loophole allows the foreign men to work but exempts them from most basic labor protections, and some Hawaii residents are concerned that state rules offer little transparency and leave workers in the dark. Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources spokesman Dan Dennison confirmed the board’s denial after its meeting on Friday. “It was predicted but it’s nevertheless disappointing,” said petitioner Kathryn Xian, who runs the nonprofit Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery. “The DLNR has really shirked its responsibility in doing an easy fix,” Department officials had no immediate comment on the ruling, but Dennison said they would try to respond to requests later in the day. Over six months, the AP obtained confidential contracts, reviewed dozens of business records and interviewed boat owners, brokers and more than 50 fishermen in Hawaii, Indonesia and San Francisco. The investigation found men living in squalor on some boats, forced to use buckets instead of toilets, suffering running sores from bed bugs and sometimes lacking sufficient food. It also revealed instances of human trafficking. The report was part of the AP’s ongoing global look at labor abuses in the fishing industry, stretching from Southeast Asia to America’s own waters. The petition in Hawaii also requested that the person translating the documents be identified, that applicants provide documentation for their eligibility to enter the United States, and that vessels provide a list of all licensees under their command. In a document signed by Bruce Anderson, the administrator for the department that issues fishing licenses, a recommendation was made to deny the rule changes because the petition focused on labor issues that are outside the department’s jurisdiction. “We believe that a requirement that the applicant certify that he or she understands the application … is unnecessary,” the document said. Anderson said Thursday the agency is concerned about recent media reports regarding working conditions on fishing vessels but its responsibilities currently involve enforcement of existing rules. State and federal lawmakers promised to improve conditions for the foreign crews, and at least one company stopped buying fish from the boats immediately following the AP investigation. In a press release in September, Suzanne Case, chair the Department of Land and Natural Resources, said “we are certainly very concerned about any human rights violations that are reportedly occurring on the longline fishing fleet, and stand ready to assist in any way possible.” Lance Collins, a Honolulu attorney who argued in favor of the changes at Friday’s meeting, said in prepared testimony given to AP in advance that Anderson mischaracterizes the requested rule changes. “Upon reviewing the Petition, I myself am unable to find any ‘labor issue’ directly addressed in the proposed changes.” “The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery recognizes the importance of a vibrant economy and fully supports Hawaii’s fishing industry, but recognizes strongly that significant steps must be made to reform state licensing rules,” Xian said in her testimony. — Online State agency recommendation to deny petition: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/F-1.pdf Petition: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/F-1-Ex1.pdf
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Baltic cod fishermen get better quotas than science wants

Baltic cod fishermen get better quotas than science wants

With Baltic cod drawing closer to the edge of commercial extinction, the European Union on Monday set tougher catch quotas for fishermen but stayed well above targets sought by scientists and environmentalists. After all-day negotiations in Luxembourg, the EU fisheries ministers agreed on a 56 percent quota cut for the western Baltic cod caught off Denmark and Germany, while scientists were pushing for the quota to be cut by about 90 percent. Officials said Denmark was pushing hard to safeguard…
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Seoul protests to Beijing over sinking of coast guard vessel

Seoul officials said Monday they’ve lodged a formal complaint with Beijing accusing Chinese fishing boats of ramming and sinking a South Korean coast guard vessel. The sinking happened on Friday when South Korean coast guard officers were trying to stop about 40 Chinese fishing boats from suspected illegal fishing off South Korea’s west coast. No causalities or injuries were reported, according to South Korea’s coast guard. One coast guard officer was on the South Korean vessel rammed by two Ch…
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Outdoor giant Bass Pro to acquire rival Cabela's for $4.5B

Outdoor giant Bass Pro to acquire rival Cabela’s for $4.5B

Outdoor gear giant Bass Pro is snapping up rival Cabela’s in a $4.5 billion deal announced Monday. Bass Pro is paying Cabela’s shareholders $65.50 cash per share, a 19 percent premium to Friday’s closing price. The companies valued the deal at $5.5 billion, which includes debt. The deal combines two companies known for their giant destination superstores. In 2006 Bass Pro Shops built a 450,000-square-foot distribution center in north Bibb County, the only one outside the company’s Springfield…
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California governor backs protecting whales from crab traps

California governor backs protecting whales from crab traps

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that he signed legislation meant to bring down the record numbers of whales getting caught in fishing gear meant for Dungeness crabs, causing unknown numbers of the entangled mammals to drown or starve. The Democratic governor approved the bill that allows fishermen to collect abandoned and lost crab pots — the cage-like contraptions used to catch the crustaceans — in the off-season for a bounty, paid for by those who lost the gear. Crab fisherme…
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Police cast wide net, hope to reel in Koi fish thieves

Police cast wide net, hope to reel in Koi fish thieves

City leaders in a west Georgia town are casting a wide net, hoping to catch a group of fish thieves suspected of making off with six to eight Koi fish that cost up to $3,000 each. Villa Rica City Manager David Milliron took to Facebook this week, pleading for help from the public for leads about the theft, believed to have occurred late last month. Police say the fish vanished from city-owned pond outside the Pine Mountain Gold Museum, which showcases the city’s role in Georgia’s gold mining hi…
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MLB Draft 2014: A day in the life of Tyler Kolek

MLB Draft 2014: A day in the life of Tyler Kolek

The Miami Marlins drafted Tyler Kolek with their first round pick last night. Here is a video of a … What do you Fish Stripers think? Like what you see of …
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Miami Dolphins Foundation Hosts Successful 2014 Fins Weekend

The three-day extravaganza featured an exciting weekend of golf, fishing and celebrities. Proceeds from Fins Weekend benefit the Miami Dolphins …
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Local fishermen claim coming across great white shark

SOUTH MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) — A fishing trip off the coast of South Florida took an exciting turn for a father and son this weekend when, they said …
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