Monday, August 30, 2010

Fraser run estimates even higher

As fishermen haul in massive loads of sockeye salmon, the official estimate of this summer's near-record bounty has been upped to 30 million, the second increase in four days, deepening one of Canada's great scientific mysteries.

– Globe and Mail, Toronto

Alaska salmon numbers up

A higher harvest and higher prices mean the value of Alaska's 2010 salmon fishery will dwarf last year's dockside value of $370 million, which took a big hit from the global recession.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Laine Welch, writing in the Anchorage Daily News.

Enviro: Don't decimate run

This is great. We have a healthy return of sockeye, so the natural reaction of the DFO is to let the commercial fishery do their best to decimate them.

– The Province, Vancouver

September is Salmon Month in California

September 2010 is Salmon Month at San Francisco's Aquarium of the Bay, located next to Pier 39 at The Embarcadero and Beach Street. Sponsored by the SalmonAID coalition, Salmon Month will feature exciting information and exhibits every day, as well as a number of special events.

– Bay Area Indymedia

Feds stop dogfish fishing in NE

The federal government has announced a decision to stop all landings of dogfish — an action widely seen as another body blow to the inshore groundfishing fleet as it struggles with limited access to preferable table food fish.

– Gloucester (Mass.) Times

Selling mountains of fish from B.C.

A quiet office on Quadra Street is the headquarters for a company selling more than 20.45 million kilograms – that's 45 million pounds – of frozen seafood around the globe every year.

– Victoria Times Colonist

Samaritans rescue three Alaska fishermen

The Emily Jane, a 60-foot fishing vessel, took on water and sank after reportedly striking an iceberg 200-yards northwest of the Wrangell Narrows entrance buoy Friday morning.

– Coast Guard press release

What about the other potential senator?

All the hubbub over the still undecided Republican primary battle between Sen. Lisa Murkowski and challenger Joe Miller has overshadowed the winner among Democrats, Scott McAdams.

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

Dolphins moving closer to shore

Marine biologists are also stumped as to why dolphins, which are typically found in offshore waters near the north and west side of Vancouver Island, are being seen more often in the inlets and closer to shore.

– Vancouver Sun

Problems seen in Klamath deal

This year's pumping, roughly double previous highs, shows the limits of that strategy for resolving Oregon's most politically fraught water war.

– The Oregonian


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pollock fleet salmon bycatch rules

New guidelines aimed at minimizing the incidental catch of Chinook salmon in the Bering Sea during the trawl fishery for pollock were published in the Federal Register.

– Dutch Harbor Fisherman

Read the

Fraser prices down, packers stressed

While shoppers might be finding sockeye bargains, the historic run – estimated to be the biggest in nearly 100 years – is putting a strain on B.C.'s creaky fishing infrastructure, including processing capacity, and refrigerated warehouse space.

– Globe and Mail, Canada

Fraser run's astonishing size

In his 35 years working the salmon fishery in the Georgia Strait, Nanaimo's Wayne Smith said he has never seen such a productive season for sockeye salmon returning to the Fraser River.

– Victoria Times Colonist

Fraser run boon to reefnetters

Just west of Bellingham, a small fleet of reef–netters continues to make a living the way the Lummi tribe invented centuries ago.

– KUOW, Seattle

Nominated to ASMI board

Gov. Parnell appointed Dennis Guhlke and reappointed Kevin Adams and Jack Schultheis to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute board of directors.

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

Deadliest fishery in Northeast

Commercial fishing is, by almost any measure, the most dangerous profession in the United States. And the most dangerous fishing ground is the Northeast Coast, where fishermen go after groundfish.

– New York Times

After half-century, Cal water deal may happen

Fifty-five years after Congress pledged billions of gallons of water to Humboldt County as part of the effort to dam the Trinity River, the region may be the closest it's been to actually getting it.

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

Cal tanker shipwreck a 'time bomb'

Scientists are studying sonar images of a shipwreck loaded with 3.5 million gallons of crude oil in the holds of a tanker that lies 4 miles off the scenic Central California coast like a rusting time bomb.

– San Francisco Chronicle

What happened to Jane Lubchenco?

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Director Jane Lubchenco in her previous incarnation as a marine biology professor was an environmental "rock star" as a consequence of her attention-getting scientific activism. She is a "rock star" no more.

– Huffington Post


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How Murkowski lost

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday evening ended her bid for the GOP nomination to the seat she has held since her father passed it on to her eight years ago.

– Alaska Dispatch



Natives question B.C. oil port plan

Aboriginal leaders in British Columbia questioned the legitimacy of a review into a controversial Enbridge pipeline proposal that aims to connect oilsands crude to Asian markets.

– Winnipeg Free Press

Injured crewman lifted off Oregon coast

A Coast Guard HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew from Station Newport supported by a second HH-65C helicopter crew from Group/Air Station North Bend, conducted a medevac 50 nautical miles from Florence Tuesday, off the deck of the F/V Ocean Force.

– Coast Guard press release

Click for video:

W. Coast groundfish ratz up for comment

Because the new management system is so new and complex, it's being implemented in steps, through separate rules. The latest proposed rule, published for public comment, describes further important details of the catch-shares plan, including how data on bycatch will be collected, how observer coverage is to be managed, and how certain vessels can become eligible to take part in cooperative programs.

– NOAA press release

Read the proposal:

Another opening on Fraser fish

In his 35 years working the salmon fishery in the Georgia Strait, Nanaimo's Wayne Smith said he has never seen such a productive season for sockeye salmon returning to the Fraser River.

– Vancouver Sun


A first! Agreement on protected area plan

Representatives of North Coast fishing, environmental and tribal interests on Tuesday did what no other group has done: Come up with a single proposal to put certain areas along the coast off limits to fishing and gathering as part of the 1999 Marine Life Protection Act.

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

Kodiak eyes lift price increases

Harbormaster Marty Owen presented three possible boatlift rate increases to the Kodiak City Council at a work session last week.

– Kodiak Daily Mirror

Support salmon month

Today, another group of independent family-owned enterprises needs help – salmon fishermen. As anyone who follows the news knows, our salmon fisheries are collapsing. Habitat destruction and water diversions have played particularly prominent roles in this disaster, and it is the fishermen who have paid the greatest price. They need help.

– Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Association, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: Make money in land-based fish farms

While the DFO drags its feet all the way across the country on the issue of land-based fish farms, the final reason for their using our ocean as a sewer and killing native, wild salmon has been eliminated. Fish farms make more money when land based.

– Victoria Times Colonist


Final goodbye to Attu station

The Coast Guard decommissioned Long Range Aid to Navigation Station Attu, the last Coast Guard LORAN station in Alaska and home of the westernmost Alaskan Coast Guard unit. Click on the photos to see the captions.

– Coast Guard press release


Thursday, September 2, 2010

How many sockeye should we take?

As hordes of West Coast salmon continue surging through Mother Nature's floodgates, those with a stake in the once-in-a-lifetime run are tackling a tough question: To fish or not to fish?

– Globe and Mail


It's been a big salmon year

Alaska's salmon catch has blown past pre-season predictions and there is still a lot of fishing left to go.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Laine Welch, writing in the Capital City Weekly, Juneau


Natives vow to end unmonitored sports take

During the Sept. 1 hearing of the Cohen Commission in Prince Rupert, members of the Coast Tsimshian made it clear that they were prepared to take action “in the near future” to shut down the unmonitored recreational fishery on the north coast.

– The Northern View

Sign of the times: Can maker consolidates

Ball Corporation announced plans to consolidate the production equipment in its Richmond, B.C., plant into other company manufacturing facilities.

– Ball Corp. press release

Two-tug escorts make sense

Research and experience both show that the two-tug requirement for single-hulled tankers was a key and effective response to the Exxon spill.
– Al Burch, executive director of the Alaska White Fish Trawlers Association, writing in the Homer Tribune

Protecting salmon requires sacrifice

Overfishing is often blamed, but the single largest factor in losing salmon runs has been ruining the stream and lake habitat they need to grow.

– Catie Bursch Homer, writing in the Juneau Empire

Report: MSC not protecting resource

An international program run by the Marine Stewardship Council purports to certify only sustainably harvested fish but is "failing" to protect the environment and needs radical reform, says a highly critical report.

– Victoria Times Colonist

Fuel savings loans offered

Applications are being accepted at the Alaska Division of Investments for an expanded program of low interest loans to help commercial fish harvesters switch out old, inefficient boat engines for new, fuel-saving models.

– Tundra Drums

New chairman of subsistence panel

Alaska Federation of Natives co-chair Tim Towarak of Unalakleet has been named chairman of the Federal Subsistence Board in Alaska.

– Anchorage Daily News


Monday, September 3, 2010

Alaska fights sea lion measures

Today, the state goes on the offensive, Gov. Sean Parnell said Thursday, kicking off a press conference about his administration's all-out fight with the feds over what he perceives as misuse of the Endangered Species Act.

– Alaska Dispatch



Disaster declared for troll salmon

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced an extension of the disaster for California salmon fishermen due to the low numbers of spawning Chinook salmon returning to the Sacramento River and the subsequent reduction in commercial fishery revenues.


Sockeye return even more reason for probe

To make the tough job of managing and protecting our salmon resource even more confusing, sockeye salmon seem to be making a comeback in the very summer when the federally appointed Cohen Commission is studying their disappearance.

– Abbotsford (B.C.) News

Lawmaker’s subsistence charge dropped

A judge in Sitka has dismissed subsistence fishing violation charges against Alaska state Sen. Albert Kookesh and three others.

– Anchorage Daily News

West Coast trawl fisheries seek MSC listing

The United States West Coast limited entry groundfish trawl fishery has entered full assessment in the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) certification program for sustainable and well-managed fisheries. The fishery, which operates in the United States West Coast Pacific Exclusive Economic Zone off of Washington, Oregon and California, will be assessed by an independent certifier against the MSC standard for sustainable fishing.

– MSC press release

MSC fights back against charges

The MSC standard is a measure of the sustainability of a fishery against well-defined principles and criteria. The bar at which a fishery demonstrates it is well-managed and sustainable represents a broad scientific consensus, agreed by over 200 marine biologists, scientists, environmentalists and other stakeholders from around the world, over the course of a two-year consultation period.


Frankenfish plan won’t be the last

The bid by the US Federal Drug Administration to approve the first genetically modified animal – a modified salmon – for human consumption will certainly not be an isolated addition to our cuisine.

– The Guardian, U.K.

Purse seining in B.C. lake?

A 30-foot purse seine fishing boat will be put to use this fall as millions of sockeye pass through Kamloops Lake bound for the Shuswap.

– The Daily News, Kamloops, B.C.


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