Monday, January 23, 2012


Every season, it seems, we see more and more evidence of Sitka's cutthroat style of fishing, thanks to the proliferation of digital recording devices and YouTube videos.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, reporting on his blog: Deckboss

Sitka reality show off the air

A reality television show filmed during Sitka’s herring fishery has been pulled off the air.

– KCAW, Sitka

Carlson payout reversed again

The Alaska Supreme Court has reversed one of its own earlier decisions and slashed more than $50 million from what would have been a windfall for a group of out-of-state fishermen.

– Juneau Empire

MSC questions ASMI

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has issued a statement questioning the sustainability of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s new standards.

– FishNewsEU

Sierra Club hurting women, babies

When compiling names of agenda-driven lobbying groups who care little about the collateral damage their campaigns inflict on public health and nutrition, the Sierra Club rarely makes the list. In fact, it is usually a list of well-meaning environmental stewards that features the Sierra Club.

–, New Jersey

New refuge for leatherbacks

The National Marine Fisheries Service has designated more than 41,000 square miles off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington as critical habitat for endangered leatherback sea turtles.

– Seattle Times

Where will NOAA go?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a slogan that captures its odd position in the federal hierarchy: “NOAA may be the most important agency you’ve never heard of.”

– Washington Post

Nome tanker heads to open water

A Russian tanker that brought fuel to iced-in Nome is heading back to open water – once it gets through miles of sea ice.

– Anchorage Daily News

Wave energy for Alaska?

With its lengthy stretches of coast line, rapid currents, and big waves, Alaska could be capable of producing about a fifth of the nation’s electricity.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Alexandra Gutierrez, reporting for KUCB, Unalaska

Cordova harbor OK

Cordova’s harbor held its own during the horrendous January storm, with the only apparent damage to one finger float and a yacht that was swamped, but then refloated, says Glenn Anderson, operations and maintenance supervisor.

– Cordova Times

Herring boom in SF Bay

Some fishermen say the San Francisco Bay sac roe herring fishery has been just about perfect – not counting the price.

There were three buyers and 20 boats fishing. One buyer was offering $200 a ton, while the other two held open tickets.

But the weather was good (“Every day like summer,” as fisherman Ernie Koepf said), and no rain to speak of.

Four-year-old fish predominated, as usual. There were 630 tons landed in the first week. Most of the fish came from the North Bay. About 3,000 pounds a week were diverted to the local fresh market.

“Sooner or later, an enterprising soul will buy herring in SF and export them for consumption – and not just sac roe. It's a no brainer,” Koepf said.

The fish continued to come, supporting an opening last week. “I'm gonna break over 100 tons this year. That's a Togiak herring season!” Koepf said.

You can see Koepf in action (He’s the guy who lands on his ass – twice.)


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Rising wealth in Asia and fishing subsidies are among factors driving overexploitation of the world's fish resources, while fish habitat is being destroyed by pollution and climate change.

– Seattle Times

Sea lion hunting season?

The lower Columbia River sturgeon population is in peril. The decline is irrefutable. The reason is not overfishing by commercial and sports fisherman.

– Vancouver (Wash.) Columbian

Halibut meeting begins

The International Pacific Halibut Commission is holding its annual meeting through Friday at the Hilton Anchorage.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, reporting on his blog: Deckboss

Unalaska ports director gone

With Osterback gone, Public Safety Director Jamie Sunderland is the acting ports director. He says he's mostly overseeing operations, not working on projects.

– KUCB, Unalaska

Cordova cleaning up

In the wake of a devastating storm that overwhelmed Cordova and caused severe damaged to one of its buildings, Copper River Seafoods is busy removing debris and working to assure safe storage for vessels and supplies that were housed there.

– Cordova Times


Big boat to be built in Ketchikan

Alaska Ship and Dry Dock in Ketchikan is set to build its first big fishing boat – a 136 foot, all steel catcher processor for Alaska Longline Co. of Petersburg.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Laine Welch, writing in SitNews, Ketchikan

Thinking tsunami debris

Efforts to deal with debris from last year's Japanese tsunami are moving forward. Dave Gaudet is the marine debris program coordinator for the Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation. He says that politicians and policy-makers are finally starting to address the issue.

– KMXT, Kodiak

More tsunami wreckage

Wreckage from the tsunami that struck Japan last March is slowly making its way across the Pacific Ocean.


Trawl ratz anniversary

"Discards are down, people are landing fish that they had to throw away and that's good – those fish have value," he said. "It has provided fishermen greater flexibility."

– Eureka Times Standard


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Rapidly advancing sea ice has left crabbers scrambling to get their gear out of the water or stuck in port, waiting for better weather.

– KUCB, Unalaska

Klamath deal a good deal

Removing four Klamath River dams would provide $14 billion in short- and long-term economic benefits, according to a draft economic analysis.

– Herald and News, Klamath Falls

Jack-up rig to Homer?

But where will the rig be stored during the winter months? One plan is for the 300-foot-tall rig to be docked at the harbor near the end of the Homer Spit. The plan is already drawing controversy in Homer.

– KCAW, Sitka

Rough weather = slow pollock start

The Bering Sea's biggest fishery is open once again.

– KUCB, Unalaska

Coastal management – the sequel

The Alaska Legislature is preparing to take up discussion on a Coastal Management Program to replace the one that expired before it could get reauthorized during last year's regular and special sessions.

– KMXT, Kodiak

New AK-fed fisheries coordinator

Nicole Kimball, a veteran federal fisheries analyst, is Alaska's new federal fisheries coordinator, filling the vacancy left when Stefanie Moreland joined the staff of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska as a legislative aide for fisheries and Arctic matters.

– Cordova Times

Free-for-all threatens fish

Jack mackerel, rich in oily protein, is manna to a hungry planet, a staple in Africa. Elsewhere, people eat it unaware; much of it is reduced to feed for aquaculture and pigs.

– New York Times

Same fish, new products

In early 2010, Mike Babcock, a former lumber mill owner, started Oregon Seafoods as a small canning company in Coos Bay.


Columbia River habitat purchase

The Columbia Land Trust completed the purchase of the 920-acre Columbia Stock Ranch on the south shore of the Columbia River near Goble, Ore., with $5.3 million in BPA funding from electric ratepayers.

– Columbia Land Trust

B.C. salmon farmer fined

The largest salmon-farming company in B.C. has been fined $5,000 after pleading guilty in Port Hardy provincial court to failing to return wild herring to the ocean.

– Victoria Times Colonist


Thursday, January 26, 2012


Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews rescued 11 fishermen from two different vessels near Kodiak.

– Coast Guard

Orcas killing northern sea lions

Killer whales and other ocean predators are targeting and killing the pups of a threatened northern sea lion species at an increasingly high rate.


B.C. troll buy-back not popular

A federal plan to retire Chinook salmon licenses in the B.C. fishery is not popular with the local fishing community.


Overfishing:  What about sports guys?

Commercial fishing operations get most of the blame for overfishing, but they're not the only player. Recreational anglers can also have a big impact on fish populations by dint of their numbers.


Recover stocks and make money

The worldwide fishing industry could benefit from an annual $50 billion boost if stocks were allowed time to recover.

– Vancouver Sun

More on Bering ice

Sea ice is encroaching unusually early on the central Bering Sea, threatening to grind Alaska's economically important snow crab fishery to a halt at the peak of the season, leaving crabbers facing major losses.

– Anchorage Daily News

Fish costlier, but less than beef

Fish and seafood prices were up 0.7 percent from November to December 2011 and are 6.8 percent above the December 2010 level.


Northern waters report

The Alaska Northern Waters Task Force has released a summary of a report that will be presented to the Alaska Legislature.

– KDLG, Dillingham

More tsunami debris

A half dozen large buoys suspected to be from Japanese oyster farms have appeared near Yakutat at the top of Alaska's Panhandle and may be among the first debris from Japan's devastating tsunami last year.

– Anchorage Daily News


Friday, January 27, 2012


Norwegian salmon farmers can freely send fish to the United States for the first time in 21 years after U.S. officials dropped a penalty tariff stemming from old charges that Norway had dumped underpriced salmon in U.S. markets.

– Reuters

Alaska Fisheries Report

This week, plenty of news from the Fish Board meeting last week in Petersburg, and on the other side of the Gulf, snow crab is on hold because of advancing sea ice, which is also causing problems for the pollock A season fishermen.

– KMXT, Kodiak


NOAA satellites save lives

Satellites operated by the USA's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association played a crucial role in the rescues of 207 people from life-threatening situations in the United States and its surrounding waters last year.

– FishNewsEU

B.C. halibut arguments

Commercial halibut fishermen disagree with any changes to the current limits, claiming that Canada's halibut fishery is one of the best-run in the world.


Aid for Bella Bella fish plant

Sen. Yonah Martin announced support for the Heiltsuk Economic Development Corp. to upgrade the fish processing plant in Bella Bella.

– Market Watch press release

Conservation builds jobs

The Jan. 16 World editorial titled, "Marine reserves: So far, so good," is based on the mistaken idea that resource conservation equates to job loss.

– Coos Bay World

Canada policy supports fish farmers

Evidence now confirms that government policy supports the salmon farming industry, and that the industry has been willing to exploit this advantage to win regulatory concessions for its economic gain.


Columbia seasons set

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today set fishing seasons for 2012 on the lower Columbia River that anticipate a strong run of spring Chinook salmon but a further decline in the number of white sturgeon available for harvest.

– Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

First aid at sea classes

Washington Sea Grant and Port of Seattle Fishermen's Terminal are co-sponsoring a Coast Guard-approved First Aid at Sea course for commercial fishermen and recreational boaters on Feb. 29.

– Sea Grant

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