Monday, July 12, 2010

Four rescued from Alaska burning boat

Coast Guard rescue crews responding to an emergency position-indicating radio beacon rescued four fishermen after their Kodiak-based 52-foot long-lining fishing vessel Nakat, was engulfed in flames, five miles off of Sitkinak Island 80 miles southwest of Kodiak, Sunday.

– Coast Guard press release

Cal troll fishery disappointing

Commercial fishermen plying North Coast waters for salmon are, with the rare exception, hauling in nothing but disappointment.

– Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Chum arrive in Yukon River

The late June commercial fishing opener on the lower Yukon River provided a shot in the arm to one of the nation's poorest areas.

– Anchorage Daily News

Editorial: Lubchenco should resign

Congressman Barney Frank had it right the first time, when he openly called for Jane Lubchenco's resignation or ouster as chief administrator of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

– Gloucester (Mass.) Times

Togiak herring fishery better than last

State fishery managers have released their summary of this year's Togiak sac roe herring fishery, and the bottom line looks considerably sweeter than last season.

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

Columbia River numbers good

The numbers of salmon and steelhead heading up the Columbia River are well above average, including a record run of sockeye, biologists say.

– Coos Bay World

Sitka service set for helicopter crew

Coast Guard Air Station Sitka is hosting a memorial service for the aircrew of Coast Guard MH-60 6017 Tuesday at 2 p.m.

– Coast Guard press release

NE dogfish catch to rise

NOAA announced that the spiny dogfish stock has been rebuilt in the Northeast, which will allow catch levels for the dogfish fishery to increase from 12 million pounds to 15 million pounds this year.

– NOAA press release


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Halibut prices stay strong

Alaska's halibut fishery is still in full swing, and prices have been high and holding since the season opened in March. The strong demand for fresh halibut is being called "remarkable" in the current economy.

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



Sport anglers harvest large in Kenai River

"Today was the best day ever."

– Anchorage Daily News


Hopes build (again) for Fraser run

It's early yet, but the first forecast of the season indicates that sockeye salmon will return this summer in healthy numbers to British Columbia's Fraser River.

– Globe and Mail, Toronto


Fraser sockeye to get MSC certification

An independent adjudicator has upheld an assessment of the Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery, clearing the way for the fishery to be certified as "sustainable" by the London-based Marine Stewardship Council.

– Globe and Mail, Toronto


B.C. seeing illegal sockeye sales

There's something fishy going on with sockeye salmon sales, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans wants to put a stop to it.
Illegal salmon sales are occurring in the Port Alberni area because sockeye returns in the region are very high, estimated at 850,000.

– Victoria Times Colonist


Water diverted to Klamath farmers

The water is beginning to flow again in some Bureau of Reclamation irrigation canals in the Klamath Basin.

– KDRV, Medford


Problems remain in Klamath dam removal

Tearing out four dams on the Klamath River would be an incredibly complicated endeavor, requiring a host of engineering studies, economic analyses and biological investigations before it could start.

– Pacific Fishing correspondent John Driscoll, writing in the Eureka Times-Standard


Fraud claimed in tussle over Adak plant

As previously reported here, Aleut Enterprise is suing to try to evict an unwanted tenant from the seafood processing plant on Adak Island.

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


New plan could protect Taku from poisons

A land use plan between the Taku River Tlingit First Nation and the Canadian government could mean better protections for fish habitat on the Taku River – good news for Juneau salmon fishermen.

– Juneau Empire


CG officer relieved of command

Capt. Fredrick G. Myer, who was tapped for a key role in Astoria, has been relieved from his duties as commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Portland because of alleged misconduct. Coast Guard leaders believe he looked at pornography websites on a government computer, a violation of military regulations.
– Daily Astorian



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

SE prices best in a decade

There's some good news on the fishing grounds in Southeast Alaska in the first weeks of the summer salmon season. Processors are paying some of the highest prices fishermen have seen in the last decade.

– KFSK, Petersburg


Norton Sound: Kings, sockeye weak

Early results from Norton Sound salmon escapement counting projects indicate that runs are coming in as expected — average to strong for pinks and in most of the region for chums, but weak for sockeyes and kings.

– Nome Nugget


Hopes rise for Fraser fishery

"The forecast for Fraser River sockeye is in the range of seven to 11 million," said Barry Rosenberger, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans area director for Interior B.C.

– The Province, Vancouver


Worry over Yukon Chinook

State and federal fisheries managers, worried the bottom has dropped out of the Yukon River's king salmon run and not enough fish will reach their Canadian spawning grounds, are asking subsistence fishermen on the middle and upper Yukon River to voluntarily cut back on the number of kings they catch or face possible restrictions.

– Fairbanks News-Miner


Little oversight of B.C. sport anglers

"The commercial side has to face all sorts of regulations, observation and rules, but the sports side seems to be able to fish regardless of the situation with the fish and have very little to no oversight. Those things have to be improved dramatically."

– The Northern View, B.C.


On the way to Dutch

There is usually some diversity of companions on an airplane. Not on this one. The men have beards and gear and heavy boots; the women have all but one of these things. Your fellow travelers look like they're heading to the same bar after work, possibly because they are.

– The Atlantic


CG dead honored at ceremony

Members of a Coast Guard helicopter crew killed in a crash off the coast of Washington state were honored Tuesday in the small Southeast Alaska town where they were based.

– Anchorage Daily News


Pebble foes get one victory

A Superior Court judge has cleared the way for a legal fight over state-issued permits for a huge copper and gold mine near some of the world's most productive wild salmon streams.

– Anchorage Daily News


Kodiak vandals take hatchery brood fish

The program that stocks king salmon on the Kodiak road system suffered a setback Sunday when vandals took some of the egg-bearing fish used to produce Kodiak's brood stock.

– Kodiak Daily Mirror


Ocean Beauty gains financing

Ocean Beauty Seafoods has completed a new four-year operating loan agreement that extends the seafood processor a $120 million line of credit for operations, the company announced.

– Bristol Bay Times



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Missing salmon: It's your fault

In spite of this precarious situation, the commercial exploitation rate on some of these stocks is nearly 60 percent. And, the method of harvest for Columbia River salmon –  gillnetting – means that Oregon and Washington are one of the few places in the world where a species listed under the Endangered Species Act is harvested and sold for food.

– Bryan Irwin, regional executive director of the Coastal Conservation Association, writing in The Oregonian



Wind hampers albacore start

"Right now just about everybody is blown off," said Joe Wallace, captain of the Sea Pearl, who was able to fish a couple of days last week.

– Crescent City Triplicate


NOAA urged to pay enforcement victims

The state's legislative leadership and coastal caucus have petitioned Massachusetts' congressional delegation to back a plan setting aside some $96 million from the fiscal 2011 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration budget to compensate subjects of miscarriages of justice against the fishing industry.

– Gloucester Times


Adak figure denies fraud

Kjetil Solberg, the former owner of Adak Fisheries, has denied charges that he fraudulently transferred over $400,000 from the company.

—KUCB, Unalaska


Togiak villagers learn processing tips

Sockeye salmon, a staple in the rich subsistence heritage of Togiak's Yup'ik Eskimo culture, is gaining new status in this Southwest Alaska community, where residents are learning how to prepare this nutritious fish for top of the line markets.

– Bristol Bay Times


ADF&G changes Kenai model

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game last week announced changes in its methodology for estimating salmon escapement on the Kenai River.

– Peninsula Clarion


Farmed B.C. salmon may be ‘organic'

Farmed fish raised in open-net pens in the ocean – blamed for threatening wild salmon on the West Coast – could soon have Canada's organic stamp of approval on their packaging if the federal government implements its plan for new organic aquaculture standards.

– Victoria Times Colonist


Northern B.C. a farm-free zone?

On the eve of the scheduled final report of the B.C. legislative committee tasked with taking the pulse of the province on sustainable aquaculture, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen repeated his call for northern British Columbia to be a fish farm free zone.

– Kitimat (B.C.) Daily


Few salmon should concern all fishermen

The meager returns from this year's salmon season should have more than commercial and recreational fishermen concerned.

– Santa Rosa Press Democrat


Fraser panel probe set back

The tentative schedule for the judicial inquiry into the collapse of Fraser River sockeye has been pushed back by at least a month, as the commission council awaits thousands of federal documents and e-mails that have yet to be disclosed.

– National Post, Canada



Friday, July 16, 2010

Fishing a deadly job

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Thursday says from 2000 to 2009, there were 504 commercial fishermen killed in the United States.


Yukon king measures harm chum fishery

With the summer Yukon River king and keta salmon runs now history, Kwik'pak Fisheries (, the major salmon buyer on the lower Yukon, said that allowing a commercial summer keta fishery to occur "at the tail end" of the king run may have worked well to protect Canada-bound fish, but that it resulted in a disappointing summer keta salmon harvest.

– Kwik'pak press release

Catch increase granted Atlantic pollock fleet

The federal Secretary of Commerce has officially approved a six-fold increase in the catch limit of pollock — a key stock and staple of the New England fishery.

– Gloucester (Mass.) Times

Take down dams … but how?

People gathered in Arcata to tell state and federal agencies that they want the four main dams on the Klamath River torn out, but they didn't agree on just how that should happen.

– Pacific Fishing correspondent John Driscoll, writing for the Eureka Times-Standard

Opinion: We need fish farms

With a growing human population and overfished oceans, there is an ever-increasing global demand for aquaculture products like farmed salmon.

– Victoria Times Colonist

Fed oversight of B.C. fish farms

Wild salmon will be better protected when the Department of Fisheries and Oceans assumes responsibility for B.C.'s fish farms this year – and the provincial government drops out of the picture.

– Vancouver Province

Arctic releases hold huge harm

Massive releases of methane from arctic seafloors could create oxygen-poor dead zones, acidify the seas and disrupt ecosystems in broad parts of the northern oceans, new preliminary analyses suggest.

– Science News

Warming waters hurt New England fisheries

Curbs on fishing may not be enough to help fish populations deal with the changes wrought by global warming.

– Scientific American

Beware roadside salmon vendors

Illegal fish sales are becoming a larger issue on Vancouver Island and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is working on a public awareness campaign.

– Nanaimo News Bulletin

W. Alaska sea lion measures to be discussed

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will hold a special meeting in August to discuss the long-awaited Biological Opinion (BiOp) on the endangered Steller sea lion of Western Alaska.

– Dutch Harbor Fisherman

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