Monday, February 27, 2012

Chum salmon bycatch

The Bering Sea pollock fleet took nearly 200,000 chum salmon as bycatch – more than they had taken in the past four years combined.

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

Hatchery fish drive out wild

There are thousands of salmon swimming in the Mokelumne River. In an industry in which numbers have faltered for years, this should be good news.

– Modesto Bee

Sitka herring fight before board

The battle between subsistence users and the commercial fleet in the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery took center stage during the public comment portion of the state Board of Fisheries meeting being held in Ketchikan.

– KRBD, Ketchikan

Fisherman can vote on herring measures

The State Board of Fisheries reversed course and agreed to allow Petersburg commercial fisherman John Jensen to participate in board discussions and votes on the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery.

– KRBD, Ketchikan

Pebble enviro document questioned

The group behind a massive copper and gold prospect near a world premier salmon fishery has released what it bills as "one of the most exhaustive environmental study programs in the history of U.S. mineral development."

– Anchorage Daily News

Processors may lack workers

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, recently sent two letters to the Obama administration objecting to possible changes that could shut off a major source of workers for the state's seafood processing industry.

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

Halibut split still simmers

Ottawa is catering to fishing lodges and charter fishing outfits, and disregarding the conservation of the resource.


Klamath deal

Timber may be the economic driver of many communities on the Klamath River. But closer to the Pacific Ocean, the commercial fishing industry is the driving force.

– Klamath Falls Herald and News

Barney Johnson dies

His fellow board members and the staff of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association were stunned to learn last week that Barney Johnson passed away suddenly, at his home, on Thursday the 23.

At 6-foot-5, Barney Johnson was tiny, compared to his heart. His passing will leave a big, empty space at our board meetings and in the upper Lummi yard, where he kept not just his own boat in fine repair, but the boats of everyone else who ever came to him for a tool or a bit of expert mechanical advice.

Barney was a father to the BBRSDA. He served on the interim board prior to the assessment election and was twice overwhelmingly elected by the drift fishermen of Bristol Bay. Fellow board members relied on his reflective "Barney-isms," which invariably changed the way they looked at an issue. There will be many times to come when his self-effacing wisdom will be missed around that table.

We will have more to say about this excellent man in an upcoming newsletter. For now, our thoughts are with his family, whose sadness we share.

– Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Improvement Association


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tsunami debris on the way

One to 5 percent of the 1 million to 2 million tons of debris still in the ocean may reach Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon and Washington and British Columbia.

– Coos Bay World

Aground in the Bering Sea

The Coast Guard rescued three fishermen from the northwest side of Umnak Island, one island west of Unalaska Island, after their 58-foot fishing vessel went aground there at 11:46 p.m. Sunday.

– Coast Guard

Salmon plentiful on W. Coast

Scientists expect there will be plenty of salmon to allow fishing off of California and Oregon.

– Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Listeria in smoked sockeye

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning the public about a number of refrigerated smoked sockeye salmon products that may be contaminated with Listeria.

– CTVBC, Vancouver

Mussels and acidification

'But when waves crash and they're not firmly attached, mussels get knocked off. Then they fall to the bottom. And that's crab city.'

– Seattle Times

What's with Cal otters?

But today, the otter population in California is just 2,700, in a mosaic of small, separate colonies off the coast, down from perhaps as many as 16,000 in the past.

– New York Times

Kodiak monitoring ocean

Monitoring equipment that was installed in Kodiak's harbors last fall will play an integral role in the Pier 3 project study.

– KMXT, Kodiak

Help wanted: Scientists

The Environmental Protection Agency is looking for a few good scientists to help with their Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment.

– KDLG, Dillingham (scroll down)

Wrench in Klamath works

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar acknowledged that a lack of action in Congress means he won't be able to make a March 31 deadline for signing off on landmark agreement to remove four dams in the water-short Klamath Basin.

– The Oregonian

East Coast sturgeon listed

Commercial fishermen along the East Coast will soon have to begin reducing their bycatch of Atlantic sturgeon in response to the fish's new federal status as an endangered species.

– New York Times


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sitka herring seiners limited

Alaska's Board of Fisheries voted to close part of Sitka Sound to commercial herring harvests. But it wasn't as much as some wanted.

– KRBD, Ketchikan

Huge run for the Klamath

Nearly 1.6 million fish are expected to be in this year's run, a figure that's nearly triple anything on the charts that go back to 1996.

– Los Angeles Times

Trawl ratz court ruling

A ruling by a federal court in California threatens to upset a controversial new fishing management plan embraced by environmental groups, including the Environmental Defense Fund and The Nature Conservancy.

– California Watch

Icicle to own SnoPac

It's official. Icicle Seafood's is buying SnoPac Products. The move will dramatically increases Icicle's presence in Bristol Bay.

– KDLG, Dillingham (scroll down)

Adak may lose air service

Last year, Alaska's congressional delegation fought hard to keep the Essential Air Service program alive.

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

Tsunami debris on the way (really)

Lumber, boats and other debris ripped from Japanese coastal towns by tsunamis last year have spread across some 3,000 miles of the North Pacific, where they could wash ashore on remote islands north of Hawaii this winter.

– Anchorage Daily News

Alaska charter limited entry

A federal judge has thrown out a challenge to limited entry for Alaska halibut charter boats.

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

Oregon stream temperatures

Federal agencies inadequately reviewed Oregon's water quality standards for stream temperatures, a U.S. District Court judge ruled, a decision that puts a critical component of the state's clean water laws in doubt.

– The Oregonian

Extinction for wild Atlantic salmon

"There is evidence that wild Atlantic salmon are in serious decline, and face the very real threat of extinction. We must all be focused on the need to save this iconic fish species."

– FishNewsEU

Coal mine will threaten salmon

Alaska stands at an important threshold, and the decisions we make in the coming months will determine the fate of wild Alaska salmon for generations to come.

– Kenai Peninsula Clarion


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Huge Chinook year on Sacramento

Federal scientists were forecasting record returns of Chinook salmon on the Klamath River, a huge factor in the success or failure of Oregon's salmon season. The numbers on another
critical waterway, California's Sacramento River, also are banner, the highest forecast in a decade.

– Eugene Register Guard

Driller files suits against enviros

Royal Dutch Shell launched an extraordinary pre-emptive legal strike against opponents of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, filing suit against more than a dozen environmental organizations likely to challenge its plan for drilling exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea this summer.

– Anchorage Daily News

Anti-fish farmer deported

Anti-fish farm activist Don Staniford turned himself over to Canadian Border Services Agency for deportation to London.

– Victoria Times Colonist

Coal port near Bellingham?

Among the potential sites is Cherry Point, but some commercial fisherman, such as Jeremy Brown, worry the coal could hurt Cherry Point's herring grounds, which Brown said are critical to the health of salmon runs.

– KOMO, Seattle

Cal farmers win water round

The House approved a bill that rewrites two decades of water law in California, wiping out environmental protections and dropping reforms of federal irrigation policy that have long irritated agribusiness in the Central Valley.

– LA Times

Talking about Alaska and MSC

The move by Alaska's major salmon packers away from the Marine Stewardship Council certification was a major topic during a meeting of the House Special Committee on Fisheries.

– KMXT, Kodiak

Alaska rockfish compromise

Guided fishermen will have to return deep-water rockfish to a safe depth under a plan approved this week by Alaska's Board of Fisheries. The proposal is an unusual compromise between longliners and charter-boat operators.

– KCAW, Sitka

First hearing on Pebble

The controversial proposal to build a massive open pit mine in the Bristol Bay region was the subject of a legislative hearing in Juneau.

– KDLG, Dillingham

Coast Guard gets tough: Vol. 1

The captain of the 738-foot motor vessel Laconia was taken into custody after his blood-alcohol level was found to be in excess of the legal limit for commercial vessel operators.

– Coast Guard

Coast Guard gets tough: Vol. 2

The Coast Guard has ordered the 648-foot car carrier Morning Spruce to remain in Portland, Ore., after inspections of the vessel revealed numerous safety hazards Tuesday.

– Coast Guard


Friday, March 2, 2012

No salmon emergency this year

Fishermen in Charleston are buzzing after hearing great news on salmon predictions for 2012.

– KCBY, Coos Bay

Acidification worst in 300 million years

The world's oceans are turning acidic at what could be the fastest pace of any time in the past 300 million years, even more rapidly than during a monster emission of planet-warming carbon 56 million years ago.

– Mother Nature Network

SE seine buyback nears

The notice lays out a schedule of public meetings to be held in Seattle, Petersburg, Ketchikan and Sitka, and lists people eligible to vote on whether to go forward with the buyback.

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

Fishing closed waters

The Alaska Wildlife Troopers announced that a 40-year-old Juneau man pleaded guilty to commercial fishing during a closed period.

– Juneau Empire

Coast Guard moves into Arctic

With increasing ship traffic through once-frozen northern seas and the expected debut of offshore oil drilling as early as July, the U.S. Coast Guard is launching Arctic Shield, its largest-ever deployment in the Arctic Ocean.
– L.A. Times

Coast Guard readies for anti-drillers

The Coast Guard is gearing up for a busy Arctic drilling season this summer – and for the protesters that are expected to accompany it.

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

Market access, cost key to MSC decision

Concerns ranging from maintaining market access to ongoing and increasing certification costs led to many processors opting out of a prominent fisheries sustainability certification program, a state advocate for Alaska seafoods says.

– Cordova Times

Alaska Fisheries Report

Coming up this week: the Board of Fisheries has decided to close some territory of the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery; efforts continue to reduce chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea; Icicle buys SnoPac; and ASMI's boss updates the House Fisheries Committee.

– KMXT, Kodiak

For omega 3, forget farmed fish

Those same studies that tout salmon as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids also point out that wild salmon contains more omega-3 than farmed salmon.

– Daily Herald, Chicago

Sitka scientist wins award

The honor is given out annually to people who have made "significant contributions to awareness and sustainability of the state's marine resources."

– KCAW, Sitka

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