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Summary for June 22, 2009 - June 26, 2009:

Monday, June 22, 2009

New York Times: Use IFQs

Most of the world’s important commercial fish species have been declining for years. Nearly one-fourth are unable, essentially, to reproduce. The biggest cause of the deterioration in ocean health — bigger than climate change or pollution — is overfishing. American fisheries are in better shape than most but not by much.

New York Times

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A list of Exxon Valdez recipients

Lawyers in the Exxon Valdez case made some really important filings on Friday.
First, they posted yet another list of people soon to receive money. The list has 407 names from 26 claim categories. These claimants will split nearly $8.6 million, minus attorney fees.

Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing in his new blog: deckboss

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Where are Alaska’s Chinook?

A second straight year of weak king salmon returns around the rim of the Gulf of Alaska has state fisheries biologists wondering if they might be staring into the face of a bleak future.

Anchorage Daily News

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Missing men found on Aleutian beach

Coast Guard searchers in a C-130 plane have spotted two men on board a disabled 15-foot skiff adrift in Alaska's remote western Aleutian Islands. A helicopter crew was heading to the area and was expected to arrive Sunday night.

Anchorage Daily News

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Fishing heating up in Alaska’s South Peninsula

As of Friday, 425,000 sockeye have been harvested in the South Peninsula.

More salmon results at


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

High court ruling has Pebble Mine implications

The U.S. Supreme Court's Monday decision allowing a gold mine near Juneau to discharge its waste into a fish-bearing lake could be the final word in the long-running dispute. It’s a ruling that has implications in the Pebble Mine dispute.

Anchorage Daily News

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Adrift in a skiff, fisherman thought he’d die

Rod Whitehead had doubts he'd see his five children again as he marked 52 hours adrift in an open skiff in the northern Pacific on Father's Day. – Anchorage Daily News

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Two rescued after Florence capsizing

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued two men from a fishing boat that sank near Florence. Petty Officer Kelly Parker says the crew aboard the 36-foot boat reported that the vessel Hot Tuna was taking on water early Sunday about 1,000 yards from the Siuslaw River entrance. – Coos Bay World

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Investigation: Chemicals in farmed fish feed

Our investigation raises concerns that the federal government isn't doing enough to protect the feed supply and that as a result, the food we eat may not be as safe as it could be: Regulatory loopholes could allow mad cow infection, if present, to make its way into cattle feed; drugs used in chickens could raise human exposure to arsenic or antibiotic-resistant bacteria; farmed fish could harbor PCBs and dioxins.

Consumers Report

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Fish farms producing more cod

Norway, which accounts for around 80% of the world's farmed cod production, increased its national production by 59% from 10,375 tonnes in 2007 to 16,523 tonnes in 2008. – The Guardian, UK

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No market for East Coast dogfish

Commercial fishermen who started the spring 2009 spiny dogfish fishery with hopes of making up to $600 per trip have been widely disappointed in New Jersey, with little export demand for the small sharks beyond what's already being landed in New England., New Jersey

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Thursday, June 26, 2009

N. Pacific council creates panel of Alaska villagers

Acknowledging that a “cultural and communication gap” exists with rural Alaskans, federal managers for North Pacific fisheries have created a committee to take input from Alaska Native communities.

– Dutch Harbor Fisherman

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Fisheries chief explains Yukon River decision

Recently I had the privilege to visit several villages on the lower Yukon River. I went with John Moller of Gov. Sarah Palin’s staff and knowledgeable employees from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to discuss this summer’s chinook salmon management and recent action by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to curb bycatch of chinook by the pollock trawl fleets in the Bering Sea.

– Denby Lloyd, writing in the Cordova Times

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Kodiak’s huge Travelift nears debut

Operators of the soon-to-open Kodiak Boat Yard are already test driving their new boat-lifting behemoth. Harbormaster Marty Owen and his staff recently underwent training of this modern marvel built by Marine Travelift Corporation (MTI).

The photo shows an artist’s rendering of the new lift.

Owen has been an advocate for a large boat lift since he became Harbormaster in 1995. "Until now, Kodiak's biggest fishing boats, like draggers and crabbers, traveled hundreds of miles for service and repairs. Now they can be lifted here, in their homeport, for basic maintenance or major upgrades."

"Kodiak's boatyard will be a ‘do-it-yourself’ operation," said Owen. "Users can hire contractors of their own choosing and/or use their crewmen. The city provides the haul out and blocking and electrical service and other utilities -- and a great town to spend time in while their boats are in the yard."

MTI's Model 600C Travelift is one of the largest mobile boat hoists in the world. It can lift 660-ton vessels up to 180 feet in length and 43 feet wide. It is the largest Marine Travelift in Alaska. The nearest similar lift is in San Diego.

– Kodiak Harbor press release


Fed report: Alaska warming faster than rest of nation

A new White House climate change report devotes a chapter to Alaska, where temperatures have risen twice at twice the rate of the rest of the country in the last half-century.

– Seward Phoenix Log

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Sitka memorial service set for today

A memorial service for Donald R. Dix is scheduled for today (Thursday, June 25) in Sitka at Halibut Point Rec Main Shelter at 6 p.m.

Don died peacefully at age 58 in Sitka on his boat S/V Sage on Sunday, June 14th.

Don was the son of Jack and Betty (York) Dix. He was born in Seattle and grew up around the Pacific Northwest. His mother was of the Modoc tribe of northern California.

Don accepted people for who they were. His friends were from all walks of life. His gentle nature and big heart touched all who knew him, and he knew many.

He spent lots of time at the fringe of society in far-flung corners of Alaska and elsewhere. With his “live and let live” attitude he taught many of us about being inclusive and non-judgmental with people. He was generous to those he met, even when he had little himself. Don was a dreamer and a story teller. He would regale eager audiences with wild stories from his adventurous and checkered past.

Don fished for much of his life in Alaska. He was involved in many different fisheries, from scallop dredging out of Kodiak to many years longlining from one end of Alaska to the other, salmon seining out of Kodiak and Southeast, and Southeast herring fisheries.

Don was preceded in death by his mother; daughter Jessie; and son Shaniko. He is survived by two sisters, Janie, and Cherie Nordgren of Washington state; a son, Rob Dix of Oregon; and a niece, Michelle Munoz, also of Washington.

A memorial account has been set up at ALPS federal credit union.

– Steve Fish, F/V Kariel


Friday, June 26, 2009

Halibut suit judge says charters will likely lose

A Washington, D.C., judge who denied Southeast charter operators' request for an emergency relief from a one-fish daily bag limit said they were unlikely to succeed in their lawsuit to revoke it permanently, based on the evidence she had.

– Juneau Empire

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Electricity turned off for Dutch Harbor packer

KUCB obtained an e-mail from a city official saying that Harbor Crown Seafoods is in debt to the city for about $20,000 for electric bills and had the power to the plant shut off.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Anne Hillman, reporting for KUCB, Unalaska

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State closes Southeast king crab season

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has closed the personal use and commercial red and blue king crab fisheries near Juneau for the 2009 season.

– KTUU, Anchorage

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State closes Gulkana River for salmon

Citing the lowest count of king salmon in the river since biologists started counting fish seven years ago, the Department of Fish and Game this week issued an emergency order closing the Gulkana River to all king salmon fishing — even catch and release — starting on Monday.

– News-Miner, Fairbanks

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New appointments to fishery management councils

The Commerce Department announced the appointment of 30 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils. They include:

Pacific Council: Dorothy M. Lowman (Ore.),,David M. Crabbe (Calif.), William L. Brizendine II (Calif.), and Dale D. Myer (Wash.)

North Pacific Council: David W. Benson (Wash.), Robert E. “Ed” Dersham (Alaska), and Howard D. Hull (Alaska)

– NOAA press release

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Oregon pink shrimp competitor seeks MSC certification

The Canada offshore northern shrimp and offshore striped shrimp fisheries have entered full assessment to be considered for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.

Both the striped shrimp (Pandalus montagui) and northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) fisheries capture the coldwater shrimp in otter trawls, primarily between 200 and 500 meters of depth. The fisheries under assessment operate in the northwestern Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, in offshore areas of the Canadian exclusive economic zone, from the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.

Bruce Chapman, executive director for CAPP, said, “An increasing number of buyers who are important to the Canada offshore northern and striped shrimp fisheries are asking for MSC certification on seafood products, and we aim to meet that demand. We’re proud of our efforts to be a sustainable fishery.”

– Marine Stewardship Council press release

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