Monday, August 2, 2010

Yukon kings no-shows

Once again the salmon are returning in lower than desired numbers to the Yukon River draining Alaska's vast Interior, but in the aftermath of last year's disaster it looks better to some.

– Alaska Dispatch

Upper Cook Inlet fishery better

The commercial fishing season has turned out to be better than expected in Upper Cook Inlet.

– KTUU, Anchorage

Columbia sockeye break record

Although there are 100 or so stragglers every day and it will only be "official" in a week or so, the run of sockeye salmon up the Columbia River this summer is the highest since Bonneville Dam started operating in 1938.

– The Oregonian

Alaska sea lion biop set for today

It appears the Stellar sea lion biological opinion certainly will be unveiled Monday, and it'll be a real trophy at 800-plus pages.

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

NOAA to hold enforcement conference

Alienated from the New England and Mid-Atlantic fishing community and its pivotal congressional representatives, the Obama administration fisheries chief convenes a one-day national law enforcement summit Tuesday in Washington, D.C., in an attempt to pick up the pieces of a scandalized law enforcement.

– Gloucester Times

Handful of companies dominate Alaska fisheries

In Alaska, 49 percent of the state's manufacturing employment is represented by seven seafood processing companies.

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

Enviros: Don't buy Fraser fish

Conservation groups in British Columbia are warning consumers to avoid purchasing endangered sockeye salmon certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

– Press release

He hates anti-Pebble ads

I do not have a position on the Pebble gold and copper prospect in Southwest Alaska, but I do have a position on the seemingly endless advertising and political campaign in opposition to Pebble.

– Kirk Wickersham, writing to the editor of the Anchorage Daily News

Grounded fish boat defueled

The Coast Guard said all fuel has been removed from a grounded fishing vessel in Alaska's Prince William Sound.

– Anchorage Daily News

Book examines past and future of fisheries

The point of the book comes down to the push and pull of our desire to eat wild fish, and the promise and fear of consuming the farmed variety.

– New York Times


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sea lion BiOp could end some fishing

Federal regulators on Monday proposed new commercial fishing restrictions in the Aleutians to combat a steep decline of Steller sea lions in the western and central portion of the island chain.

– Anchorage Daily News


Bristol Bay marketing money

Research studies, increased ice capacity, marketing efforts and more are the beneficiaries of $671,000 in grants awarded in early June by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, at its annual meeting in Dillingham.

– Bristol Bay Times

No one speaks for Pebble Mine

Not a single person spoke in favor of the Pebble Mine at a Dillingham “listening session” last week with Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency.  The massive mine would be homed on state lands at headwaters of Bristol Bay, but it must meet strict federal standards under the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts and more.  In a Bristol Bay Times report, Jackson told the crowd “there is no such thing as a choice between a job and clean water. You are entitled to both."

– Pacific Fishing columnist Laine Welch reporting for Fish Radio

Take a stand for Puget Sound crab fleet

The future of the Puget Sound commercial crab fishery is at stake this weekend as the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission discusses three options to decided how rapidly to put the commercial crab fleet out of business and shift the resource to the recreational sport crabbers.

The recreational fishery has been harvesting 200,000 to 400,000 pounds over its quota for the past five years. The amount they exceed their quota has been deducted from the commercial crab fleets quota. The Fish and Wildlife Commission is now deciding which of three options they have put forth to implement. All three options include increasing the recreational share by hundreds of thousands of pounds more than they have already been catching above their quota.

Additionally there are no caps included in any of their recreational allocation and growth.  The plans being decided on this weekend, if adopted, will certainly put an end to commercial crabbing in Puget Sound waters in the next 10 to 20 years.

The hearing is 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7. Association President Brian Allison wants as many fishermen as possible to show up to testify. Contact him at 360-929-3596 or

– Puget Sound Crab Association

Writer describes Copper River prestige

Fishermen working the waters of Alaska's Copper River district claim that their salmon are the best in the world.

– The Atlantic magazine

B.C. laws against oil spewing

Perhaps no single story has dominated news coverage recently like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It has raised questions about the legal status of offshore oil and gas development and tanker traffic along the west coast of British Columbia.

– Vancouver Sun

Seafood fest planned for Newport

Newport Fishermen's Wives will sponsor new event premiering in Newport on Sept. 11 and 12. The Newport Wild Seafood Weekend is a two-day celebration of our Northwest's vital wild-caught seafood industry and the men and women who make it thrive: hard working fishermen and families who are small businesses harvesting our seafood.

– Press release


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Whale was dead before hit

The humpback whale discovered draped across the bulbous bow of the Sapphire Princess was likely deceased before it was struck by the cruise ship, says NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service.

– NOAA press release



L.A. Times examines Pebble fight

It is an unfortunate coincidence of geography that this lush region of wild rivers, grassy tundra and windy sea is home to two competing treasures of almost unimaginable value: the world's largest sockeye salmon run, supporting a fishery worth $440 million a year; and in the hills behind it, a massive deposit of copper, molybdemum and gold worth at least $300 billion.

– L.A. Times

NMFS promises independent BiOp review

NMFS will subject its new Steller sea lion biological opinion to an "independent scientific review" via the Miami-based Center for Independent Experts.

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


Deal for Oregon wave power

Ocean Power Technologies announces that it has signed a groundbreaking agreement with 11 federal and state agencies and three non-governmental stakeholders for its utility-scale wave power project at Reedsport.

– OPT press release

Not enough Sacramento water for fish

A powerful state board on Tuesday for the first time adopted criteria defining how much water must flow through the Delta to the Bay to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

The criteria, while nonbinding, are based on findings that showed the state's farms and cities are using far too much Delta water.

– San Jose Mercury News

B.C. sockeye fishery 'gangbusters'

As sockeye fishing begins to tail off inside the Alberni Inlet, fishing outside Barkley Sound is going gangbusters.

– Westcoaster, Port Alberni, B.C.

'Frankenfish' in salmon farms

It may not be the 500-pound "Frankenfish" some researchers were talking about 10 years ago, but a Massachusetts company says it is on the verge of receiving federal approval to market a quick-growing Atlantic salmon that's been genetically modified with help from a Pacific Chinook salmon.

– Washington Post

NOAA Enforcement won't back down

Despite gentle provocation from a former chief counsel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, top officials of the scandalized federal fisheries law enforcement system gave no sign they are rethinking a plan to march forward without looking back for miscarriages of justice.

– Gloucester Times

Fishermen's Days in Monterey

The Second Annual Fisherman's Days in Monterey, Calif., is August 16-30. A reception including dinner, live music, and a beach party will kick off festivities on Aug. 16. Tickets are being sold for the reception. The exhibits are free and open to the public.

– Press release

Trident buys Icicle surimi plant

Trident Seafoods announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the assets of Icicle Seafoods' surimi analog business in Bellingham.

– Trident press release


Thursday, August 5, 2010


Craig Kuntz, a pilot for Cordova Air Service, was checking a remote weather camera for the Lake Bay Wally Noerenburg Hatchery in western Prince William Sound when he came across a dramatic sequence for July 27. The F/V Star Shadow was making a set in the cost recovery fishery when it ran aground. The vessel made it off the rocks, though, and continued to fish.



Seiners working the Fraser run

Seiners were cleared to fish for sockeye in Johnstone Strait Thursday and Friday – the first time since 2006 – despite objections that it's too early in the run for fishery managers to be confident enough salmon will be left for conservation needs.

– Burnaby (B.C.) Newsleader

B.C. fish farmers won't share info with officials

The B.C salmon farm industry's decision to not co-operate with provincial reporting strategies has rendered government officials impotent and incapable of regulating the notoriously secretive industry, environmental groups say.

– Eco Justice

Editorial: Cal ag doesn't deserve water

The new report from the State Water Resources Control Board about excessive water diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is good news for the fishing industry, San Francisco Bay, and California's overall water quality.

– Monterey Herald

Fishmen celebrities to sign autographs

Two local crew members of the Northwestern, one of the crab boats featured on the Discovery Channel series Deadliest Catch, will be in Anacortes this Saturday.

– KAPS, Mount Vernon, Wash.

B.C. crabbers blamed for ferry crash

Tuesday's "hard landing" of the B.C. Ferries' Queen of Nanaimo at a Mayne Island dock is just the latest example of how the hunt for a West Coast delicacy, the Dungeness crab, has disrupted a major West Coast transportation link.

– Victoria Times Colonist

Pebble Mine reduces visual impact

Just four months before it begins the extensive formal permitting process, the Pebble Limited Partnership has begun reducing its impact on the tundra outside Iliamna – at least visually.

– Homer Tribune

Rouge satellite may interrupt wireless service

GCI customers may experience intermittent service and outages at various hours from August 11 through August 14 due to a wayward satellite interrupting communications services.

– Tundra Times

Staff dominates protected area meeting

I went to the Eureka and Crescent City MLPA open houses. What is abundantly clear to me is the “big stick” the staff coerces the public with.

– Karen Brooks writing in the Eureka Times-Standard

Honor fishermen who have died

Organizers of the Astoria Commercial Fishermen's Festival are preparing a special memorial flag to honor commercial fishermen who have died. Send an e-mail to this address – – to have a name entered. Send the name, city, state, date of death, and name of the fishing vessel they were most closely associated with. Also include your name, phone, and e-mail for verification. This is open to all commercial fishermen. Deadline is Aug. 20.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Oregon fishermen agree to wave power project

After possessing free rein of the ocean for years, Oregon fishermen have agreed for the first time to keep their boats and nets out of a designated area.

– Daily Journal of Commerce.


Don Young move condemned

Tribes and commercial fishing groups condemned Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) for seeking to repeal the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect fish and game habitat and commercial, subsistence and sport hunting and fishing.

– Fly Rod & Reel

Purse seiners support Washington hatchery

McKernan Hatchery near Shelton, Wash., which produces 10 million chum salmon fry each year, has gained a new lease on life with the infusion of $158,000 from the Purse Seine Vessels' Owners Association.

– Kitsap Sun

Alaska Fisheries Report

Coming up this week, more fishing restrictions may be on the horizon to protect far west sea lion populations, humpies are running slow in Southeast, but chum are taking up the slack. And exactly how many fish are in the sea?
– Jay Barret, Alaska Fisheries Report, KMXT, Kodiak

Salmon farmers explain secrecy

The province has not been able to carry out independent fish health audits at salmon farms since April 1 because salmon farms have stopped providing tissue samples.

– Victoria Times-Colonist

Fraser salmon opening first in four years

For the first time in four years, they were fishing for sockeye salmon on the Fraser River Thursday.

– Vancouver Province

East Coast dogfish fleet seeks MSC certificate

The U.S. Atlantic fishery for spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthius) entered full assessment in the Marine Stewardship Council's (MSC) certification program for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

– MSC press release

Alaska fishing town profiles

Social scientists from NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) are hosting six regional public meetings through September to gather profile information on specific communities from local residents. The one-day meetings will be held in Anchorage, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Bethel, Nome, Petersburg and Kodiak.

– NOAA press release






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