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Summary for April 6, 2009 - April 10, 2009:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Alaska pink salmon expected to be plentiful

The boom-bust cycle for the pink salmon run is expected to continue this year, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. – Petersburg Pilot

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Editorial: It’s time to settle Columbia salmon fight

Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over. For decades, Idaho water users have dutifully upheld at least the second half of this famed phrase.

But water wars and protracted litigation serve no one except attorneys. – Idaho Statesman

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Alaskans fume over volcano

Mount Redoubt is getting under the skin of Alaska, and it's not just the irritation caused by volcanic ash.
For residents of Alaska's largest city, living near an active volcano means sometimes wearing air-filtration masks and stretching panty hose over the air intake of cars and trucks. – Anchorage Daily News

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Who will pay for Juan de Fuca tug?

When Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the "tug bill" last week, commercial shippers were placed on notice: Beginning next year, their industry would take over the cost of an emergency-response tug in Neah Bay.

The legislation urges the shipping industry to allocate the $3.5 million annual cost of the tug among the hundreds of commercial vessels that make thousands of passes through the Strait of Juan de Fuca each year. – Kitsap (Wash.) Sun

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West Coast Navy range: What about the whales?

The U.S. Navy's plans to ramp up training activities off the West Coast has raised concerns about their effects on fish and whales as well as over the use of depleted uranium and other munitions. – Eureka Times-Standard

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hard Chinook bycatch cap placed on pollock fleet

ANCHORAGE – A powerful council that oversees the massive pollock fishing industry in the Bering Sea voted Monday night to place an unprecedented cap on the number of salmon that pollock fishermen accidentally kill each year. – Anchorage Daily News

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No surprise: West Coast salmon trollers to stay in port

MILLBRAE, Calif. — The California Chinook salmon fishery will be shut down for the second year in a row because of near-record salmon population losses in the Sacramento River basin system, fishery regulators decided on Monday. – San Jose Mercury News

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Fish fraud under feds’ nose

And one of the reasons fraud can occur at any point in the seafood supply chain is that the federal agencies that oversee seafood don't work together, says a newly released report from the Government Accountability Office. – USA Today

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Crescent City may annex the harbor

Crescent City and harbor leaders have agreed to discuss the possible annexation of the harbor by the city. The move could create more revenue and jobs, officials for both jurisdictions believe.
Crescent City Triplicate

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Global sea cucumber stocks down

MANILA, Philippines – Overfishing is threatening sea cucumbers that the Philippines and other Asian countries export in large quantities to China and other markets, according to a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report. –, The Philippines

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wesley Loy leaves the Anchorage Daily News

The dean of fishery reporters in Alaska – Wesley Loy – has left the Anchorage Daily News.
His last day was Friday.

Loy will continue to write his monthly column and other articles for Pacific Fishing magazine.

The Daily News’ parent corporation – McClatchy – is under extreme financial stress, and its individual newspapers have been ordered to shed jobs. As part of the cost-cutting in Anchorage, editors and reporters were offered buy-outs. With 10 years on the job, Loy’s buy-out offer was relatively large, and he took it.

Loy intends to stay in Alaska and continue writing about the petroleum and commercial fishing industries, his two beat areas while at the Daily News.

He said he intends to continue his fisheries blog – The Highliner – but probably under a different name.


Outlook for West Coast trollers: Zero

COOS BAY — The talk was of zeros and giving everything away: Zero fishing for commercial salmon fishermen on the ocean this year and letting sport fishermen have as much fish as possible.
Umpqua Post, Oregon   


Pebble Mine protest taken to London

LONDON – A delegation of native Alaskans and commercial fishermen will head to London next week to confront mining industry giant Anglo American PLC about the controversial Pebble mine project.
National Jeweler Network

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Leatherback turtle needs more protection, group says

The leatherback turtle – at 1,200 pounds the world's heaviest reptile – is in such severe decline that it could become extinct in the Pacific Ocean within a few decades, according to Oceana, a global environmental group seeking emergency protection for it and the other five species of sea turtles.
Concord Monitor

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Kodiak sea otter population stable

The sea otter has long been a symbol of the Alaska marine environment. The quest for valuable sea otter pelts in the 18th century fueled Russian colonialism in Kodiak and Alaska. – Kodiak Daily Mirror

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

West Coast trollers to have quick coho season

MILLBRAE, Ca – For the second year in a row, the Pacific Fishery Management Council today closed commercial and most recreational salmon fisheries off the coast of California in response to the collapse of Sacramento River fall Chinook. The recommendation will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval by May 1, 2009.

In contrast, fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Oregon (near Nehalem Bay) will be better than they were last year, with much greater coho opportunity and similar Chinook opportunity.

A very limited 10 day recreational season will be permitted in California north of Cape Mendocino.  Oregon Chinook seasons are also very restrictive, with a similar 10 day recreational season around Brookings.  However, coho fishing will be allowed beginning in June and ending in August or September for the Oregon coast between Cape Falcon and the Oregon/California border. 

Commercial Chinook fishing is prohibited in Oregon south of Cape Falcon, but a limited coho fishery will occur in September for the central Oregon coast between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain.

– Pacific Fishery Management Council

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Feds deny protected status for Sacramento smelt

SAN FRANCISCO— In response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, Bay Institute, and Natural Resources Defense Council, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denied protection for the San Francisco Bay-Delta population of longfin smelt under the federal Endangered Species Act, determining that it does not qualify as a distinct population segment.

Fish and Wildlife, however, announced it will look at the status of the species across its range, which includes the San Francisco Bay-Delta and a handful of other West Coast estuaries as far north as Alaska.

Center for Biological Diversity

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Ted Stevens hints at another campaign

ANCHORAGE –  Former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska has filed a statement of candidacy for the 2014 election, but an aide cautions against reading too much into the move.  – Juneau Empire

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Officials still ponder Oregon marine protected areas

When Oregon's Ocean Policy Advisory Council submitted its marine reserves site recommendations to Gov. Ted Kulongoski at the end of November 2008, members said they realized it was neither the end of the process, nor the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.
They were right. – Newport News-Times

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Oregon dam coming down

GRANTS PASS – Within weeks, jackhammers will start knocking Savage Rapids Dam into rubble, and with it two decades of bitter battles over whether to keep what had become a crumbling symbol of a bygone era when rugged pioneers bent nature to their needs. – Coos Bay World

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Coast Guard terminates fishing boat voyages

JUNEAU – The Coast Guard terminated the voyages of two 37-foot commercial fishing vessels within the last two days in Icy Straight near Hoonah, Alaska.

A boarding team from the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty terminated the voyage of one of the fishing vessels Tuesday at 4:07 p.m. due to an expired life raft, expired life raft hydrostatic release and an unserviceable immersion suit. The vessel also had an unserviceable type four throwable device.

The other vessel, which had just one person aboard, had its voyage terminated Wednesday at 6:09 a.m. due to an expired life raft and hydrostatic release. Also, there was no personal marker light on the immersion suit on board, the flares on board were past the expiration date and the type four throwable device was unserviceable. – U.S. Coast Guard


In Canada, $1,000 fine for undersized crab

Judge Allan Gould has given a Vietnamese fisherman a break on the recommended fine after he pleaded guilty to possession of 44 undersized Dungeness crabs. Duc Do. He has been fined $1,000 on the first charge and $100 for commercial fishing without a valid license. –

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Hatchery closure worries Puget Sound fishermen

Fishermen – tribal, commercial and sports – around the south Puget Sound area could be receiving more bad news if a proposal to close the 90-year-old Voights Creek Hatchery is approved in the state’s final budget later this month. – Fife (Wash.) Free Press

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Pebble Mine backers hand out grants

The Pebble Fund advisory board met in Anchorage in mid-March to determine which applicants would receive grants from the Pebble Fund, which is managed by the Alaska Community Foundation. A call for the next round of grants is expected in about a month and awarded in October. – Bristol Bay Times

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Feds compromise on East Coast fishing regs

PORTLAND, Maine --Federal regulators issued a new set of commercial fishing regulations on Monday that they say will relieve pressure on fish populations in New England waters while allowing the fishing industry to survive. – Boston Globe

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