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Summary for February 8 - February 12, 2010:

Monday, February 8, 2010

]Whales killing Prince William Sound herring?

Something is holding down the herring population of Alaska's Prince William Sound, and marine scientists are tailing some rather large suspects: humpback whales.

– Washington Post



Sundays will stay dry in Dillingham

The Dillingham City Council on did not pass an ordinance that would have amended the Dillingham city code, which prohibits alcohol sales between 2 a.m. Sundays and 10 a.m. Mondays.

– Bristol Bay Times


California lobstermen having lucrative season

Even as the specter of new and improved Marine Protected Areas threatens to impact their way of life, Santa Barbara-based lobstermen are enjoying one of their most economically successful seasons in memory.

– Santa Barbara Independent


Applicants abound for North Pacific council seat

The list of applicants is growing for two seats coming open on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing in his blog: Deckboss


Pollock boats begin salmon bycatch system

Alyeska's pollock A' season is starting with a new approach to fishing. The pollock fleet is participating in the Salmon Savings Incentive Plan (SSIP) pilot program, one of the plans the industry is putting into place to reduce Chinook salmon bycatch.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Anne Hillman, reporting for KUCB, Unalaska


Alaska halibut fishermen asked to help study

Alexander Kotlarov, a graduate student at the Univeristy of Alaska, is researching how the halibut/black cod quota share system has altered economies in coastal communities – and he needs your help.

Kotlarov is asking halibut and sablefish fishermen and quota share owners to take a short survey. The survey asks questions about where crews live and work, and how they spend their money.

The Alaska Sea Grant College Program, a marine research, education and advisory program at the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, is funding the survey.

Halibut and sablefish fishermen who complete the survey will be entered to win $100 in fishing gear and other prizes. All entries are confidential, and will be destroyed at the end of the project. Only the compiled anonymous survey results will be available to managers and the public. The deadline to complete the survey is March 31, 2010.

– University of Alaska press release


N. Cal protected area group begins work

A number of proposals to create marine reserves off the North Coast have gone into the blender, as a 31-member group formed under the state Marine Life Protection Act Initiative meets for the first time on Monday.

– Contra Costa Times


Fish board wants review of mine permitting system

The Alaska Board of Fisheries has sent a letter to state House and Senate leaders asking for a comprehensive legislative review of the state's permitting system in light of the proposed Pebble mine in Southwest Alaska.

– Anchorage Daily News


How to pay for Puget Sound escort tugs?

On July 1, the commercial shipping industry in Washington is required by law to take over operation of an emergency rescue tug in Neah Bay, Clallam County.

The tug is designed to assist ships that go adrift in the treacherous entry to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound.

– Seattle Times


Gearing up for cod

The state waters Pacific cod season opened Sunday in the Kodiak area.

The Guideline Harvest Level (GHL) for the 2010 cod fishery is 13.51 million pounds for Kodiak. The South Alaska Peninsula is set at 15.25 million pounds, and the Chignik area is at 9.46 and opens on March 1.

– Kodiak Daily Mirror


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Palin: Climate change is
‘snake oil science’

Former Gov. Sarah Palin called studies supporting global climate change a "bunch of snake oil science" Monday during a rare appearance in California, a state that has been at the forefront of environmental regulations.

Palin spoke before a logging conference in Redding, a town of 90,000 about 160 miles north of the state capital. The media were barred from the event, but The Associated Press bought a $74 ticket to attend.

– Anchorage Daily News


NOAA to improve enforcement branch

NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco instructed the agency’s head attorney and its top fisheries manager to take immediate and long-term actions to improve the agency’s enforcement and legal operations and enhance its relationship with the fishing community.

– NOAA press release


Alaska Air sets new rules for seafood shippers

Alaska Air Cargo today announced it has implemented procedural changes to meet Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements for the screening of seafood.

– Alaska Airlines press release


Wave power test expected off N. California

The Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is weeks away from submitting an application to the federal government for a first-of-its kind project to test wave energy devices off the Humboldt County coast.

– Woodland (Calif.) Daily Democrat


Mysterious sunken vessel could be C-Lady

The Coast Guard reports that wreckage from a white-hulled boat, including an anchor, windlass and bow stem, was found by the master of the fishing vessel Grumpy J while bringing his nets up from a depth of approximately 500 fathoms, or 10,500 feet, on the first day of February.

Although it is rumored that this debris could be a part of the fishing vessel C-Lady that disappeared out of Charleston in 2003, the Coast Guard has no physical evidence linking this debris with the C-Lady."



Yikes! Tsunami drill false alarm in Kodiak

A class of new maritime emergency drill conductors found itself in the midst of an unexpected tsunami drill on Friday.

While the class watched a film about creating drills at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge visitor center, the tsunami sirens sounded in downtown Kodiak. The class stopped for a few minutes when one of the students remembered that the alarm is only tested on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and suggested the class stop to investigate.

– Kodiak Daily Mirror


Farmers may soon feed barley to salmon

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and Montana Microbial Products (MMP) of Butte, Mont., have developed a barley protein concentrate that could be fed to trout and other commercially produced fish.

– Scientist Live


Judge allows pumping that will hurt Cal salmon

A federal judge has temporarily lifted pumping curbs designed to protect salmon migration in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, an action that allows the diversion of more winter storm flows to the San Luis Reservoir and to farms and cities in the south.

– Hollister (Calif.) Free Lance


Feds plan to zone the ocean

Well below the low-water line for news, the White House is moving to create a system for managing the space — surface and depth — of federal waters that amounts to ocean zoning and is known as "marine spatial planning."

– Gloucester Times


Ed Hagemann passes away

Northwest Marine community lost a good friend and highly respected consulting engineer on Dec. 29, 2009. Edward (Ed) Carl Hagemann passed away in his sleep at his West Seattle home. He was 71 years old.

Ed grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., and Vancouver, Wash. He earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Washington and his master's degree in naval architecture from U.C. Berkeley.

In 1962, Ed came back to Seattle to work for W.C. Nickum and Sons. He continued with WCN&S until 1971, when George Nickum and Phil Spaulding merged their two companies to become Nickum & Spaulding Associates. 

During his years at Nickum's and later at N&SA, Ed served in numerous positions including chief naval architect, vice president of engineering and chief hydrodynamicist. 

When N&SA closed its doors at the end of 1987, he started his own consulting business, Hage-Marine, which he owned and operated for the last 24 years of his life.

Jay Miner, chief naval architect, Delta Marine Industries, Seattle

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Deadliest Catch skipper dead

Discovery announced that Captain Phil Harris, known to fans of Deadliest Catch as captain of the crab fishing vessel Cornelia Maria, has died. He sufffered a stroke last month while in port off-loading at St. Paul Island in Alaska.

– Hollywood Insider


Kodiak boat rescues fishermen south of Hawaii

The crew of the Kodiak-based Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley rescued a 28-member crew and is attending two burn victims from the disabled fishing vessel Hou Chun 11 Tuesday morning 900 miles southwest of Honolulu.

– Coast Guard press release


Oregon skipper faces loss of license, permit

The Oregon License Revocation Board is meeting to consider revoking Hammond fisherman Dennis Lee Sturgell's commercial fishing license and crab permit.

Sturgell has been convicted of four commercial fishing violations in the past three years, triggering a suspension of his permit.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Cassandra Marie Profita writing in The Daily Asotrian


Maps of N. Cal protected areas available

Eight maps proposing connected marine protected areas in the ocean off Northern California have been submitted by community groups in Mendocino and Humboldt counties.

– Fort Bragg News-Advocate


Oregon House votes for offshore drilling ban

The Oregon House has voted to extend a ban on drilling for oil and gas off Oregon's coast for the next decade.

– Coos Bay World


Puget Sound document unnoticed

The Puget Sound Partnership's first-ever State of the Sound Report came out on Tuesday to virtually no attention from the local press and no ringing declarations by an (otherwise-occupied) governor, who launched an ambitious save-the-Sound crusade just three years ago.

– Crosscut, Seattle


Latest in the Adak Seafood drama

Deckboss visitors know we've been keeping pretty close tabs on the standoff between Adak Seafood and its reluctant landlord, Aleut Enterprise.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing in his blog: Deckboss


Unalaska Bay trawl closure discussed

The proposed Unalaska Bay trawl closure passed and failed in parts at the Board of Fisheries meeting in Anchorage last week.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Anne Hillman, reporting for KUCB, Unalaska


Sunken fishing boat remains mystery

The U.S. Coast Guard hasn't been able to find the owners of a sunken boat found offshore near Coos Bay.

– Coos Bay World


Thursday, February 11, 2010

NMFS gets chief, Balsiger back to Alaska

It gives me great pleasure to announce Eric Schwaab as the new assistant administrator for fisheries, starting February 16.

– NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco


Speakers want bigger Cook Inlet whale area

Speakers at a public hearing at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center criticized a proposal by the National Marine Fisheries Service Alaska to designate portions of Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay critical habitat for the beluga whale for not going far enough.

– Homer News


Little Diomede seeks harbor

Little Diomede is the place where, on a clear day, you really can see Russia from your porch, where –from the Alaska side of the Cold War's iron curtain – Big Diomede in Russia is just two miles away.

– Alaska Dispatch


Suit filed against hatchery stocking

The Center for Biological Diversity filed suit against the California Department of Fish and Game over the environmental impacts of stocking millions of hatchery fish in streams and water bodies every year, particularly the harmful impacts on native trout, steelhead, salmon, amphibians, and other wildlife.

– Center for Biological Diversity press release


B.C. First Nation treaty ignores problems

Treaties are usually signed once agreement has been reached to solve problems or settle issues between groups or countries.

If that's so, then calling the deal that B.C. and the federal government initialed last week with the Yale First Nation a "treaty" may be a bit of a stretch because once it's ratified, several unresolved issues will remain.

– The Province, Vancouver


Alaska to get climate science center

Alaska will become home to one of six federal climate science centers, a move that is expected to result in a greater emphasis on the state and the Arctic as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration moves forward with plans to focus on the changing climate.

– Anchorage Daily News


Unalaska Tanner fishery closed

The local Tanner crab fishery is closing early this year in Unalaska Bay. The eight boats were catching too few crabs per pot and the weights of ones they did catch were getting progressively smaller.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Anne Hillman, reporting for KUCB, Unalaska


Lines drawn over Klamath deal

The Hoopa Valley Tribe's unanimous vote Tuesday not to sign two agreements that look to remove four dams on the Klamath River and restore its fisheries adds to a number of environmental groups' decisions not to back the deals.

– Pacific Fishing correspondent John Driscoll, writing in the Eureka Times-Standard