Monday, March 18, 2013


Satellite coverage over Alaska will likely be reduced because a replacement for an aging satellite was not acquired in a timely manner.

– KMXT, Kodiak

Ride for runaway rig

Shell's Kulluk drill rig is almost ready to leave Alaska waters.

– KUCB, Unalaska

Alaska scallops

Some believe the scallop fishery is too concentrated in the hands of a very few persons or corporations.

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

Nominees for N. Pacific Council

Governor Sean Parnell nominated Duncan Fields and David Long for consideration by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for service on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The governor also named Stefanie Moreland and John Moller as alternate nominees.

– Alaska Governor's Office

Shelikof medevac

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak medevaced a crewman who was exhibiting symptoms of hypothermia from the fishing vessel Stella in Shelikof Strait.

– Coast Guard

Liens against permits

This legislation would prohibit maritime liens from being imposed on commercial fishing permits, while protecting the rights of fishermen as they continue to engage in the commercial industry in order to provide for their families.

– PoliticalNews

Leatherback toward extinction

The western Pacific leatherback turtle, the world's largest reptile and a common sight every year in the waters outside the Golden Gate, could go extinct within 20 years if more isn't done to protect its habitat and nesting sites.

– San Francisco Chonicle

B.C. Oil Coast promise

Ottawa is committed to developing a world-class system to address tanker safety in Canada, particularly off the West Coast.

– Vancouver Sun

DIY Oil Coast pipeline

David Black says he'll build his own pipeline to carry crude oil from Alberta if that's what it takes to supply a massive refinery he wants to build on the Dubose plateau north of Kitimat.

– The Northern View, Prince Rupert

Fishing for ice?

Scott Lindquist collects icebergs for a living.

– GrindTV


Tuesday, March 19, 2013


"Our desire is to move away from the vague language that we've had that has resulted in some consternation with the hunters and with the craftspeople in not knowing what's legally acceptable."

– KTOO, Juneau

Harvesting jellyfish

The effect of jellyfish harvesting on the ecosystem also is unknown.

– The State, South Carolina

Probe of Pebble miners

A member of the U.S. Senate is urging the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate one of the companies looking at developing a massive gold and copper mine in the Bristol Bay region.

– Alaska Public Radio

Frankenfish labels 1

Someday soon, you might tuck into a plate of salmon without knowing that the fish you are eating was genetically engineered.

– PR Watch

Frankenfish labels 2

Oregon could become the first state in the nation to require the labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients under several bills in the Legislature.

– The Oregonian

Boat grounds

The 169-foot Pacific Producer grounded in 9-foot tides while traveling through Ouzinkie Narrows between Kodiak and Spruce islands.

– KOMO, Seattle

Columbia smelt

A mass of smelt at least 20 miles long is moving up the Columbia River, attracting thousands of birds and hundreds of sea lions and seals.

– The Oregonian

Keeping yards busy

None of the hired help came from out of state.

– Seward City News

Stocks rebounding

Many commercial fishing stocks off the United States coast that were depleted by decades of overfishing are returning to abundance, thanks largely to a 1996 law that effectively ordered limits on catches until the fish populations had rebounded.

– New York Times

Halibut stock assessment

Halibut scientists plan to expand the yearly Pacific stock assessments by 30 percent next summer, adding 390 survey stations to the existing 1,300 already in use from Oregon to the Bering Sea.

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


Wednesday, March 20, 2013


No safety decal means no observer. No observer means no fishing.

– Coast Guard

CG facing cuts

The U.S. Coast Guard has had its operational budget cut by 25 percent because of sequestration, but there will be no changes to search and rescue operations or essential crew training.

– Port Angeles Daily News

CG spending in Alaska

Federal spending cutbacks known as sequestration will have less of an impact on the Coast Guard in Alaska than they will elsewhere in the country.

– KCAW, Sitka

Runaway rig ready

Early Tuesday morning, three tugboats maneuvered the Shell rig out of its berth in Unalaska and onto the deck of the Xiang Rui Kou heavy lift vessel.
– KUCB, Unalaska

Octopus bycatch

Cook Inlet area fishermen have taken nearly the full 35,000-pound bycatch allowance of octopus.

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

Markets ban Frankenfish

Several supermarket chains have pledged not to sell what could become the first genetically modified animal to reach the nation's dinner plates — a salmon engineered to grow about twice as fast as normal.

– Seattle Times

Selling meatless

Arby's, Burger King and regional chains like Carl's Jr. are trying to net hungry Catholic customers who've given up meat for Lent.


Good news for trollers

Southern Oregon's commercial trolling fleet is poised to have a robust Chinook salmon season this year, a stark rebound from a closed summer season just five years ago.

– Medford Mail Tribune

Pebble miners proclaim innocence

In a written statement issued Tuesday Northern Dynasty Minerals President and CEO claimed that Senator Cantwell's concerns have no basis in fact.

– KDLG, Dillingham

More nuke news

The discovery is likely to reignite fears that Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may still be leaking radioactive contamination into the ocean more than two years after it was damaged in a major earthquake and tsunami.

– Telegraph, U.K.


Thursday, March 21, 2013


With halibut and sablefish fisheries opening on Saturday, the Coast Guard is encouraging fishermen to get a free commercial fishing vessel safety exam.


Antarctic marine preserve

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for establishing the world’s largest protected marine area in Antarctica and urged stronger global safeguards for oceans.

– The Age, Australia

Maritime exhibit offends

The saucy scrimshaws included in a new exhibit at the Vancouver Maritime Museum are making waves among some visitors.

– The Vancouver Sun

Oregon port emergency

The Commission voted unanimously to declare an emergency on Pier 2 and have an engineering study done on the total extent of the damage and what it will take to fix it. 

– The Daily Astorian

Debate over endorsement

United Fishermen of Alaska, the state's top commercial fishing group, is supporting David Long for a seat on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

– Deckboss Blog

Absolutely no fishing

Palau President Tommy Remengesau would like to turn his country’s territorial waters into one of the planet’s biggest marine reserves – stretching about the size of France – by banning all commercial fishing there.

– FIS, U.S.

Fish farm feed prices

However, surging corn prices due to the drought in the U.S. has meant that even some livestock farms are turning to fishmeal as a cheaper alternative, further raising demand and causing the price of fishmeal to increase by as much as 60 percent between December 2011 and December 2012.

– SpyGhana

Dividing up Columbian sturgeon

Washington's annual bag limit for sturgeon will be two fish — not one — effective May 1.

– Vancouver (Wash.) Columbian

Great Take for Great Lakes

An often overlooked component of Michigan’s world-class fisheries resources, state-licensed commercial fisheries in 2012 caught 3,762,000 pounds of fish with a dockside value of $4,087,000 prior to processing, marketing and retail sale.

– East Village Magazine


Friday, March 22, 2013


As halibut season begins on Saturday, lots of halibut remains in the freezers, and some major processors have unloaded the high priced fish at a loss. In short, no one appears very excited – catch quotas have been slashed again this year, the fleet is unhappy about having onboard observers for the first time, and processors are not getting much interest from buyers – many of whom are not that interested anymore due to the exorbitant prices.

Last year's prices started out at near $6 a pound for larger sizes, and at $7 in Southeast. Shortly after they dropped by 70 cents and held fairly stable all season. Coastwide catch limits have been slashed by nearly 70 percent over the past few years. Alaska's share of the halibut this year is 23 million pounds, down 2.5 million pounds from last year.

Pacific Fishing columnist Laine Welch

Alaska fisheries report

The final halibut GHL is still a little up in the air even as fishermen prepare for the season opening, a floating processor's crew is stranded and homeless in Kodiak after their ship runs aground, and a smart phone tour of Alaska's busiest fishing port.

– KMXT, Kodiak

OR Politicos mull GMO fish import ban

Oregon lawmakers heard testimony Thursday on several bills to require labels on genetically modified food and prohibit importing genetically modified fish.

– Seattle Times

Bycatch Reducer Tested

Researchers working with the groundfish fishing industry in the Pacific Northwest have tested a new "flexible sorting grid excluder" — a type of bycatch reduction device that shows promise to significantly reduce the incidental bycatch of Pacific halibut from commercial bottom trawl fishermen.

– The World

Chinook emergency measures averted

Southcentral Alaska sport fishermen are applauding a move by the state's Board of Fisheries aimed at ensuring escapement goals for Kenai River late – run Chinook salmon. 

– Alaska Public Media

Salmonid watershed shielding urged

A delegation of commercial and sport fishermen and tour operators traveled to the nation's capital this last week to press Congress to enact stronger protections for salmon and trout in the country's largest national forest.

– Juneau Empire

Fisheries and Oceans Budget Axed

The Harper government took another axe to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Thursday's budget.

– The Vancouver Sun

Harbor upgrade bumps energy rig

A major improvement project at Homer's Deepwater Dock is forcing Buccaneer Energy to move its jack-up rig Endeavor out of the harbor.

– Alaska Public Media

NoCal Shellfish Ailing

The PSP toxin levels detected in mussels from Wilson Creek Beach last fall were the highest levels detected in all of California ever, 75 times greater than the federal alert level and 16 times higher than the Del Norte County's previous record. 

– Del Norte Triplicate

Commercial, sport fishing reef dispute settled

New Jersey plans to create a new artificial fishing reef north of Barneget Inlet exclusively for the use of recreational fishermen. It's the result of a compromise announced Thursday in a dispute between recreational and commercial fishing interests over access to artificial reefs off the coast.


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