Monday, June 6, 2011


An Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and two good Samaritan vessels – Miss Emily and Lady Samantha – assisted the 44-foot fishing vessel Abby Louise more than 7 miles southwest of Cordova early Saturday.

– Coast Guard

Fishing safety cut called 'criminal'

Congress may cut funding for the only substantive safety research program that protects fishermen who work in the most dangerous industry in the United States, a prospect Seattle-based Keith Colburn calls "criminal."

– Edward Poulson, executive director, Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers; Helen Murphy-Robinson, Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety & Health; Chris Woodley, Chief of Prevention Dept, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound; and Leslie Hughes, Government & Industry Affairs, NPFVOA Vessel Safety Program


Gulf of Alaska Chinook bycatch

More than 500 residents of Alaska's coastal communities have signed a letter urging the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to put a cap on the number of king salmon that may be caught incidentally in Gulf of Alaska Pollock trawl fishery.

– Bristol Bay Times

Next big issues over Columbia salmon

I spent some time at the Future of Our Salmon conference in Portland this week. The conference was the first ever hosted by tribal leaders with the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission, and there were fish biologists and salmon managers from all walks at the event.

– Pacific Fishing correspondent Cassandra Marie Profita reporting in Ecotrope, Oregon Public Broadcasting

Seiners delay Area M appearance

For the second year in a row, the South Alaska Peninsula fishing fleet has decided that seiners should stand down during the first salmon fishery opening this year, due to high chum-to-sockeye ratios.

– Cordova Times

More marine reserves in B.C.?

A leading advocate for the preservation of Canada's wilderness is urging the federal government to create 12 new marine protected areas by the end of next year to ensure the survival of species like leatherback turtles, right whales, and narwhal.

– Toronto Globe and Mail

Reserve sought for S. Georgia Strait

A protected area for southern Georgia Strait could be on the fast track to reality, after almost a decade of talks.

– Victoria Times Colonist

Alaska policy limits its scientists

A Parnell administration rule that requires state scientists to adhere to official policy and not the principles of independent science when they work outside their agencies continues to fuel debate more than a month after two biologists were removed from a federal beluga whale recovery team.

– Anchorage Daily News


Sarah stars in own movie

It paints a glowing portrait of her record in Alaska, stressing her honesty, her maverick history of challenging the establishment of even her own party, and her executive experience.

– Anchorage Daily News



Tuesday, June 7, 2011


An apparent increase in the size and frequency of jellyfish blooms in coastal and estuarine waters around the world during the last few decades means that jellies' impact on marine food webs is likely to increase into the future.


Grounded Alaska vessel refloated

Coast Guard personnel and contracted responders refloated the 44-foot fishing vessel Abby Louise seven miles southwest of Cordova and towed it to Cordova Harbor Sunday.

– Coast Guard

Reward for fish research equipment

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is offering a $1,500 reward for the recovery of subsurface research equipment in Chatham Strait.

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

No one hurt in Puget grounding

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound is responding to the grounded fishing vessel Ruby Lily, which ran aground at Patos Island, Wash., with one person on board at approximately 1:30 a.m., Tuesday.

– Coast Guard

Alaska military exercise scheduled

Named "Northern Edge 2011," the exercise is scheduled to take place June 13 to 24. It is described as Alaska's premier joint training exercise, and includes 9,000 participants from all the services.

– KMXT, Kodiak

Boat hits Grays Harbor jetty, sinks

The Coast Guard assisted the 48-foot fishing vessel JB which ran aground on the south jetty at Grays Harbor, Wash., at 1:45 a.m., Monday.

– Coast Guard

Puget Chinook plan

NOAA Fisheries has signed a biological opinion approving a plan that describes how the state of Washington and its Puget Sound Indian tribes will conduct the harvest of Puget Sound Chinook. These fish have been protected under the federal Endangered Species Act since early 1999.


NOAA seeks help near Skagway

It has been a deadly 2011 for marine mammals in the Skagway area. Since January, the carcasses of two Steller sea lions and three harbor seals have been discovered.


Tough times for Kuskokwim

Fewer king salmon are expected on the Kuskokwim this year! Our king salmon population has been in decline since 2004. We have not made our king salmon escapement goals on many of the spawning grounds in the past few years.

– Alaska Dispatch


Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Evolution induced by commercial fishing may explain why the bodies of Alaska's sockeye salmon have shrunk by 5 percent since the 1940s.

– Alaska Dispatch


Eagles attack women

Two women reported being attacked by bald eagles in separate attacks less than two hours apart. Both women were struck by eagles nesting near the Dutch Harbor post office.

– KUCB, Unalaska


Fisherman knew the dangers

The Courtenay man who drowned after his skiff capsized off Campbell Island in Haida Gwaii was an experienced commercial fisherman who knew first-hand the dangers of being alone in a boat on the open ocean, his family said.

– Victoria Times Colonist

Brits to grow Scottish salmon farms

Scottish salmon producers have set ambitious growth targets for the next 10 years to keep pace with demand.


Brits in Alaska

"There are British companies involved in your seafood industry, there are British companies involved in your tourist industry, in your cruise lines and so on."

– British ambassador Sir Nigel Sheinwald speaking in Sitka

Aquaculture is booming

Aquaculture is the fastest growing form of food production in the world, accounting for 50 percent of all seafood consumed globally.

– PR News Wire

Shoppers want sustainability

British Columbians are 50 percent more likely than other Canadians to consider sustainability when choosing seafood, according to a Leger Marketing poll released this week.

– Vancouver Sun

Young people shun fishing

Young people are shunning the commercial fishing industry, seeing it as a high-cost, dead-end career full of perplexing and vexing rules.

– Victoria Times Colonist

Defunding Alaska fish-waste station

Congress could restore the money in the 2012 budget, but if it doesn't, Agricultural Research Service spokeswoman Sandy Miller Hays said, that will be the end of most fish waste research. Some small projects will still be done at other research stations, but nothing on a big scale.

– Anchorage Daily News


Thursday, June 9, 2011


The giant pumps propelling water to some of California's biggest cities and farming districts trapped and killed 6 million young splittail last month, enraging conservation groups and further stoking the fiery debate over operation of the state's sprawling water system.

– San Francisco Chronicle



Pebble plan inspires an earful

Federal officials weighing potential restrictions on large-scale mining ventures in the Bristol Bay got an earful this past week in Dillingham from commercial, subsistence and sport fishermen concerned about adverse environmental affects of mining.

– Tundra Drums

Fish farmers congratulate themselves

A million portions of salmon each day, and that's in the UK alone.


Chilean salmon bouncing back

Australis Seafoods SA plans to raise about $70 million today in the third initial public offering by a Chilean salmon farmer in six months as the industry rebounds from a virus that cut output by 39 percent.

– San Francisco Chronicle


Small-boat strategy works in Dutch

The new seafood processor occupying the former Harbor Crown plant says business has been healthy since it reopened the shuttered plant this year.

– KUCB, Unalaska

Togiak Seafoods paying $5.60 for halibut

Poor weather conditions aside, crews aboard seven boats delivering to Togiak Seafoods are being paid $5.60 a pound for their fish, which were averaging more than 40 pounds apiece, a spokesman for Togiak Seafoods said today.

– Bristol Bay Times

Post-tsunami Brookings finding way back

The damage is expected to cost about $7 million to repair, and resulted in an estimated $300,000 in lost revenue.

– The Oregonian

Canada protects cold-water corals

The federal government released Wednesday a strategy for protecting the fragile cold-water corals and sponges that exist on the ocean floor off the B.C. coastline.

– Vancouver Sun

Happy anniversary, Laine!

This year marks the 21st year for this weekly column that focuses on Alaska's seafood industry. It began in 1991 in the Anchorage Daily News, and now appears in more than 20 newspapers and websites. A daily spin off – Fish Radio – airs weekdays on 30 radio stations in Alaska. My goal is to make all people aware of the economic, social and cultural importance of Alaska's fishing industry to our state, the nation and the world.

– Laine Welch


Friday, June 10, 2011


Early Wednesday morning, Jack Kirk, captain of the fishing vessel Dragonet, woke up in his boat near a school of salmon – and an unfamiliar 418-foot Coast Guard cutter. By 10 a.m., for him and three other fishermen in the area, the fishing day was a total loss.

– Coos Bay World


Columbia gillnets open next week

Commercial fishing returns to the lower Columbia River on June 16 when the gillnet fleet begins to catch its share of the predicted best summer Chinook run in 30 years.

– Vancouver (Wash.) Columbian

Sunk boat refloated

Aided by lightened fuel tanks and a high tide, the 50-foot commercial fishing vessel Ruby Lily refloated itself from Patos Island in the San Juans late evening June 7.

– Department of Ecology

Tsunami-town, U.S.A.

This town prepares for tsunamis like Yellowstone National Park prepares for bears. Residents post maps in every shop and hotel showing which areas of town are safe from tidal surges and which aren't. They conduct drills. They practice evacuations.

– Washington Times

Tsunami-town fishermen not happy

Several fishermen vented their anger about a perceived lack of progress to restore the tsunami-damaged inner boat basin at Crescent City Harbor Commission meeting.

– Crescent City Triplicate

Shellfish poison high in SE Alaska

State scientists looking into paralytic shellfish poisonings in Southeast Alaska have found the highest levels of toxin ever recorded, so high that just one mussel could cause death in several people.

– Anchorage Daily News


Historic ship milestone for Kodiak lift

The Helenka-B, a former Navy minesweeper and veteran of three wars, became the 75th vessel to use Kodiak's new boatyard. At 181 feet it was also the longest vessel to be lifted by the Travelift since the yard opened in October 2009.

– Kodiak Daily Mirror

Delayed gutting may be OK

Research carried out by Norwegian research organisation, Nofima, suggests that fish which is bled, cooled and stored correctly can keep for at least 24 hours before being gutted and still maintain good quality.

– FishNewsEU

Alaska Fisheries Report

Coming up this week, no commercial king fishing on the Yukon again this summer and Area M fishermen skip the first opener in solidarity with AYK fishermen. All that and how the lack of a Coastal Zone Management program might affect your fishing town, coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report.

– KMXT, Kodiak

The Life | Resources