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Summary for July 20, 2009 - July 24, 2009:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Palin replacement wants fuel tax suspension continued

Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who takes over for outgoing Gov. Sarah Palin on July 26, is calling on state legislators to extend the suspension of Alaska's motor fuel taxes, including the 5 cent per gallon levy on marine diesel and gasoline.

Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing in his blog: Deck Boss

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Grounds Report: Bristol Bay fishermen near 30 million

Some Bristol Bay fishermen are still scratching as the total harvest nears 30 million sockeye.


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Marine Stewardship Council revises logo

The Marine Stewardship Council has redesigned its logo, with the biggest change being the addition of text: “Certified Sustainable Seafood.”

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Cosco Busan pilot gets jail time

John Joseph Cota, the pilot who caused the Cosco Busan, a 900-foot long container ship, to collide with the San Francisco Bay Bridge and discharge approximately 53,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay, has been sentenced to serve 10 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston for the Northern District of California, the Justice Department announced.

Cota, who was a licensed bar pilot at the time of the collision, gave commands that caused the 65,131-ton Hong Kong-registered ship to collide with the bridge on Nov. 7, 2007.

– U.S. Justice Department press release

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Halibut skipper smacked with fines

Federal fisheries officials have fined the skipper and backers of an Alaskan fishing boat for falsely reporting where they took halibut and sablefish, and suspended their fishing permits for one year.

NOAA Fisheries service levied $18,000 in fines and $241,000 worth of sanctions over the violations connected to five trips the fishing vessel Trident made during 2006 and 2007.

– Juneau Empire

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B.C. crabbers fighting for space

In the deep, narrow inlets on British Columbia's central coast, there are relatively few good places that have the shallow, sandy bottoms and rich eelgrass beds Dungeness crabs need to thrive.

That is leading to tensions on the waterfront, where fishermen are competing in limited space for a vulnerable resource.

– Globe and Mail, Canada

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bristol Bay sees 30 million harvest

Now that the season is nearly done, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has stopped updating its daily online catch summary for the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.

Deckboss was curious, however, about whether the fishery had topped 30 million sockeye. – Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing in his new blog: Deck Boss

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New seine rules could raise price of tuna

The closure of western and central areas of the Pacific Ocean in the next two months to purse seine operators employing fish-aggregating devices (FADs) to catch tuna "won’t affect supply" to the canneries Philippine , local industry officials said here. But they admitted that the ban could affect prices. – Business World, Manila

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Alaska official to retain post

Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell announced he'll be retaining John Moller as the governor's rural advisor when he assumes the governorship following Gov. Sarah Palin's resignation July 26.  Moller, a Juneau resident for the past 10 years, was born in Unalaska and has worked in crab and gillnet fisheries in the Bering Sea and Southeast Alaska, respectively, as well as in fishery management for many years.  – Juneau Empire

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Yukon Chinook reaching Canada

Yukon River king salmon started hitting the Canadian border two weeks ago, and the numbers of fish reaching Canada are “encouraging,” but it’s still too early to tell if enough fish will reach the border to satisfy the goals of an international treaty between the U.S. and Canada. – Fairbanks News-Miner

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Fishermen’s memorial benefit set

There will be a benefit for Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial at Corinthians Yacht Club at Shilshole Marina in Seattle on Tuesday, July 28, at 7 p.m.  Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ will be dishing out the scrumptious barbecue.  A suggested minimum donation of $25 will go directly to memorial and will entitle you to food, beer, wine and soft drinks. 

The event is sponsored by Fishermen’s Finest, AutoVenture, Garvey Schubert Barer, Anderson Door, and Smith Law Partnership.  If you are interested in attending, contact Darrell McManus at 206-851-4344 by July 27.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dutch Harbor top U.S. fishing port

Commercial fishermen unloaded 612.7 million pounds of fish and shellfish at the port of Dutch Harbor-Unalaska in 2008, mostly pollock, making it the country’s top port for the amount of fish landed for the 20th consecutive year, NOAA’s Fisheries Service announced today.

The port of New Bedford, Mass., claimed the top spot for value of landings for the ninth year in a row, primarily due to sea scallops, bringing in $241.3 million in 2008. The port’s total landings were down 3.6 million pounds and the value declined by $27.6 million from 2007 primarily due to a significant drop in the price of scallops.

– NOAA press release

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Fuel barges threaten Columbia River

Fuel barges from Tidewater Barge Lines have been involved in five nighttime incidents on the Columbia River since February 2008, including two accidents involving dam locks and three groundings at the river bottom.

The Oregonian

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Fish farmers learning to raise cod

Once described as the holy grail of aquaculture, a new breakthrough in cod may be about to change the way we farm fish forever.


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State and enviros buying up fishing permits

Conservation groups and the state have launched separate programs to buy commercial fishing permits so that when fish stocks recover off the Maine coast, fishermen will be able to catch them.

– SeaCoastOnLine, Maine

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Kodiak harbors receive more federal funds

The Kodiak city harbors are set to receive $500,000 from the U.S. Legislative Appropriations Committee, Congressman Don Young announced.

This comes two weeks after the U.S. Senate Appropriations awarded Kodiak city harbors $240,000.

– Kodiak Daily Mirror

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Fish farmer wants to live ‘in harmony’ with environment

Marine Harvest – the world’s largest fish farmer – has come out with its environmental policy that will allow the company to “operate in harmony with the environment.”

You decide:


Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Yukon Chinook make it to Canada

The annual salmon run on the Yukon River is looking better than expected, raising optimism by federal authorities that fishing restrictions could be lifted for the first time in years.


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Stimulus plan to remove old Ocean Clipper from beach

The Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation, a Juneau-based nonprofit that's cleaning up old fishing gear and other debris off Alaska beaches, has won $1 million in federal economic stimulus money for
its work.

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

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Hake and groundfish vital to Port Hardy economy

Humble hake and ground fish are big business, report companies involved in what all say is a growing enterprise. – North Island Gazette, British Columbia

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California sardine season ends

The commercial fishing boats that had been swinging closer than ever to shore in search of sardines are gone. Sardine season lasted from July 1-17.

Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel

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Treaty fishermen back on Columbia River

 Four Columbia River treaty tribes last week launched what will likely be their last chance of the summer season to net and sell summer Chinook and sockeye salmon on the mainstem Columbia River reservoirs above Bonneville Dam.

Chinook Observer

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Palin names Board of Fish member

Gov. Sarah Palin, who leaves office Sunday, has just named Janet Woods, an Interior subsistence fisherman, to the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing in his blog: Deck Boss

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Aleutian golden crab season to open Aug. 15

The Aleutian Island Golden King Crab season will be the first crab fishery to open this summer on August 15. The total allowable catch will remain at 5.985 million pounds this year.

Pacific Fishing columnist Anne Hillman, reporting for KUCB, Dutch Harbor

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Where are PWS pink salmon?

Returning pink salmon numbers are below the anticipated count in Prince William Sound after the Valdez Fisheries Development Association’s pink salmon forecast came in at less than 20 percent of forecast.

Cordova Times

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Where are Fraser sockeye salmon?

Doubts are beginning to surface as to whether the Fraser River salmon run will be as big and bountiful as predicted this summer. The first measuring stick of fishing season — the early Stuart sockeye run — has been downgraded to an estimated 110,000 returning fish from a pre-season forecast of 165,000.

Tri-City News, British Columbia

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B.C. gillnetters protest Skeena numbers

Approximately 60 commercial fishermen gathered at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans office in Prince Rupert for what United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union spokesperson Joy Thorkelson called “a very emotional meeting" that had "some fishermen on the brink of tears.” The issue: Reduction of Skeena River gillnet opportunities.

The Northern View

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Samuelson named to Bristol Bay Native Corp. post

H. Robin Samuelsen Jr. of Dillingham was named to the Bristol Bay Native Corp.’s board of directors to fill the seat vacated when Jason Metrokin became the corporation’s president and chief executive officer.

– Bristol Bay Times

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Cal fishermen question science in protected area plan

Local fishermen and officials on Thursday questioned the scientific foundation behind a state process to close and restrict areas of ocean at a meeting meant to spearhead data collection for the effort.

– Eureka Times Standard

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Homer harbor crowded

At the busy Homer harbor, rafting became the norm long ago and is now costing the city considerable time and money, said Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins.

Homer Tribune

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