Monday, April 2, 2012


Pacific Fishing
received this e-mail message on Sunday. Apparently, some Canadians are upset by a U.S. decision to not allow Canadian boats to fish for albacore in U.S. waters this year. The threat is to stage blockades of U.S. boats transiting Canadian waters to and from Alaska.

Please be advised that the American style of dealing with a 30 year tuna treaty is not going to be a rollover with Canadians. Many displaced vessels are planning a blockade at Seymour Narrows and Stuart Island to turn Yankee boats around that are transiting to Alaska. There is big support from local communities, and this will escalate. Four vessels at each pinch point, 24 hours a day.

Cut catches of baitfish

An international group of marine scientists is calling for cuts in commercial fishing for sardines, herring, and other so-called forage fish whose use as food for fish farms is soaring.

– New York Times

Alaska blasts EPA on Bristol Bay

As fishermen organize nationally to protect the Bristol Bay watershed from potential adverse effects from mining, the state of Alaska is blasting a federal watershed assessment that could justify prohibitions against mine wastes in the watershed.

– Cordova Times

Acidification threatens your business

A new conservation report culled from community discussions in Kodiak, Dillingham, and Homer underscores concern for the health and productivity of oceans coastal communities depend on in the face of rising ocean acidification.

– Cordova Times

First Sitka herring opener

The first opening of the 2012 Sitka sac roe herring fishery brought in about 4,700 tons of the small silver fish.

– KCAW, Sitka

Ready for drilling season

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason has granted an injunction that would prevent Greenpeace protestors from coming near Shell Oil vessels while they’re within 12 nautical miles of U.S. coastline.

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

Seine buyback vote begins

The voting period has opened for the proposed Southeast Alaska salmon seine permit buyback program.

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

Fish Board appointments

Gov. Sean Parnell reappointed Karl Johnstone to the Alaska Board of Fisheries. Johnstone currently is board chairman.

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

Costs (to us) for misusing environment

A Canadian researcher is at the center of a provocative new international study that puts an eye-popping price tag on the damage being done to the world's oceans and fisheries – a cost that could reach $2 trillion a year by 2100 – from carbon emissions, over-fertilization, over-fishing and other human impacts.

– Victoria Times Colonist

Help to re-engine in California

Bay Area commercial boat owners may qualify for state-funded grants and loans to help them replace their older, polluting diesel engines.

– Vallejo Times-Herald


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Pacific Seafood Group has successfully fought off a class-action lawsuit by Oregon commercial fishermen that once seemed a major threat to the Clackamas-based company.

– The Oregonian

Tsunami ghost ship in Alaska waters

Coast Guard District 17 personnel are monitoring a derelict Japanese fishing vessel that is drifting approximately 180 miles west of the U.S. and Canadian border.

– Coast Guard

Nets in the Columbia

The gillnet fleet was expected to catch about 3,000 spring Chinook salmon on Tuesday in a 12-hour opener from Beacon Rock to the mouth of the Columbia River.

– The (Vancouver, Wash.) Columbian

Sea lions not so bad

Last year, our native sea lions ate 2,500 salmon. That's not many, especially when you consider that fishermen took 22,000 salmon and the dams on the Columbia killed another 30,000.

– Daily Astorian

No word on Sitka herring price

Saturday's herring opener at Sitka, the first of the season, produced an estimated catch of 4,700 tons.

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

Angoon wants more subsistence

Kootznoowoo Inc. has turned to the federal government in an attempt to restore salmon numbers for subsistence use by Angoon village residents.

– Juneau Empire

Cal farmers afraid of coho rules

The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors took stock of the proposal to increase coho numbers in the county's watersheds, sizing up the science behind the plan and the economic impact its findings could have.

– Crescent City Triplicate

Tuna flap: U.S. fishermen's statement

Western Fishboat Owners Association believes that the North Pacific albacore fishery has entered a new stage of management that requires that the U.S. and Canadian fleets to reassess long-standing practices in light of the growing interest in the management and harvest of the resource.

– Western Fishboat Owners Association

More:WFOA-Treaty Suspension Statement

Tuna flap: Reader offended

I was offended by your little note on email about a Canadian blockade. It being inflammatory and totally lacking substance (no numbers no names). It sounded like nationalistic flag waving propaganda playing to a certain audience, and brings no credit to your magazine. Be advised that I don't have to pay anybody to raise my blood pressure. (DFO does a fine job, although they charge much more.)
Russ Lloyd
CFV Westernclipper

Tuna flap: Working for a solution

The reciprocal tuna treaty allowing American and Canadian vessels to access each others waters is important and valuable to both countries. The British Columbia Tuna Fishermen's Association's goal is to have both sides meet to discuss the problems within the current regime and to find a solution. I don't think a blockade affecting U.S. fishing vessels not involved in our fishery is appropriate. We are working very hard to find a solution for 2012 fishing season that will have both countries fleets able to target this highly migratory species over its full range. I respect the level of anger over the uncertainty the present U.S. position has caused but a solution won't be found by threats.
Gregg Holm, Vice President
British Columbia Tuna Fishermen's Association


Wednesday, April 4, 2012


The Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery will stand down until Thursday, in order to give processors time to catch up with the incoming catch.

– KCAW, Sitka

Commercial fisherman lost overboard

A 42-year-old Salinas man who fell off a commercial fishing boat was not found during a Coast Guard search that spanned miles of the Monterey Bay.

– San Jose Mercury News

Fighting against gold suction mining

A coalition of commercial fishing groups, environmentalists, and the Karuk Indian tribe are suing the state in an effort to prevent it from enacting new regulations on using suction dredging to mine for gold.

– Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight

Fish farmer accused of bribery

Marine Harvest has been accused of offering "bribes" to the islanders of Colonsay to get them to agree to a controversial plan to turn their waters into a giant fish farm. (Marine Harvest is the largest fish farmer in British Columbia.)

– TheFishSite

Fish farm disease in Nova Scotia

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it could take months before a Nova Scotia fish farm at the center of a salmon virus outbreak is removed from quarantine.

– Winnipeg Free Press

Greens like some trawling

Industry and environmental organizations have developed a combination of measures we believe set a new standard for managing bottom-trawling habitat impacts in Canada.


CG security forces in Unalaska

The Coast Guard is still on track to bring security forces up to Unalaska this summer.

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

New CG response boats for Astoria

The Coast Guard Sector Columbia River's Area Maritime Security Committee approved a $2.7 million Port Security Grant Program project to purchase three "Regional Response Vessels" with firefighting capability for the lower Columbia River.

– Coast Guard

Telling Congress about value of fishing

For the first time ever, seafood industry reps were invited to brief policy makers in Congress on jobs and economic opportunities.

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

Young fisherman struggle in industry

A few years ago, just out of high school and headed to UAF to study engineering, Timothy Nick wasn't sure he wanted to make fishing his business.

– Bristol Bay Times


Thursday, April 5, 2012


An unmanned Japanese fishing vessel that was cast adrift following last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami has likely seen its last day as the U.S. Coast Guard makes plans to sink the vessel as it nears the shores of Alaska.

– Victoria Times Colonist

Alaska wants EPA off Bristol Bay

As fishermen organize nationally to protect the Bristol Bay watershed from potential adverse effects from mining, the state of Alaska is blasting a federal watershed assessment that could justify prohibitions against mine wastes in the watershed.

– Alaska Dispatch

Council examines Bering canyons

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has decided to reexamine the management of the Bering Sea's deepest canyons.

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

Restoration of the Tongass

Here in Southeast Alaska we're fortunate to have a 17-million-acre backyard (the Tongass National Forest) that contains some of the world's most productive freshwater systems for salmon and trout.

– Juneau Empire

Opener on Columbia River

They averaged 20 fish per boat, and some did better with catches up to 55 or 60 fish.

– Seattle Times

Fisherman not found

A 42-year-old Salinas man who fell off a commercial fishing boat was not found during a Coast Guard search that spanned miles of the Monterey Bay.

– San Jose Mercury News

Fish cops and the Nushagak

The Alaska State Troopers provided an update on their enforcement priorities in the Nushagak Commercial Fishing District during last month's "Business of Fish" workshop in Dillingham.

– KLDG, Dillingham (scroll down)

Sacramento Delta: Stating the obvious

A comprehensive new study on the Delta's environmental problems concludes there is no easy fix, only hard choices, if California wants to restore fish species and still satisfy its water demands.

– Sacramento Bee

ComFish: World markets shifting against wild salmon

A resurgence of farmed fish and shifting world currencies could shake up salmon markets this year.

"I absolutely think what is happening in farmed salmon production and markets is critical for the Alaska salmon industry to be paying attention to going into this salmon season," says Gunnar Knapp, fisheries economist at the University of Alaska/Anchorage.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Laine Welch for FishRadio

More:World markets shifting against wild salmon

See him live!

Gunnar Knapp will present an overview of salmon markets to open ComFish next Thursday in Kodiak:


Friday, April 6, 2012


The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa successfully sank the derelict fishing vessel Ryou-Un Maru 180 miles west of the Southeast Alaskan coast.

– Coast Guard

Lots of salmon

The Pacific Fishery Management Council has adopted a set of ocean salmon seasons that provides both recreational and commercial opportunities coastwide. California and Oregon fishermen, in particular, will be benefit from higher-than-usual salmon returns in the Sacramento and Klamath Rivers this year.

– Seattle Times

Two sea lions killed at Bonneville

Washington state wildlife spokesman says two salmon-eating California sea lions have been captured this week at Bonneville Dam and killed by lethal injection.

– Daily Astorian

Saving salmon kills birds

A cut-off of water supplies to a key Klamath Basin national wildlife refuge contributed to the deaths of 10,000 or more birds this year, the most in a decade, the refuge's manager says.

– The Oregonian

Council to set annual halibut charter rules

So now — rather than trying to keep halibut battles off its agenda through the catch sharing plan it passed in 2008 — the council unanimously adopted a motion introduced by Ed Dersham of Anchorage that would instead create an annual process to choose charter management rules.

– Alaska Journal

Good results from contained salmon farm

AgriMarine Industries officials say they're pleased with the first harvest of Chinook salmon from their solid wall containment pilot project at Middle Bay, even though the fish had to be harvested early because of storm damage to the huge 3,000-cubic-metre tank.


Alaska Fisheries Report

Coming up this week: As the pollock A season wraps up, villagers call for a crackdown on the trawl fleet because it's intercepting too many of their salmon, Obama's National Oceans Policy is criticized at a panel in Anchorage, and fishermen want more information on ocean acidification.

– KMXT, Kodiak (scroll down)

CDQ anniversary

A big event was held in Anchorage to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the Community Development Quota program.

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

No listing for upper Klamath salmon

Federal biologists have decided Endangered Species Act protection is not warranted for Chinook salmon from the upper Klamath and Trinity rivers in Northern California and Oregon.

– Eureka Times Standard


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