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Summary for October 5 - October 9, 2009:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bankruptcy reveals Adak Fisheries’ troubled past

As frequent visitors to this blog know, Deckboss has been bird-dogging the bankruptcy case of Adak Fisheries, an Aleutian cod processor with a turbulent past.

Among the various motions now pending in the case is the company's attempt to break its lease with landlord Aleut Enterprises. – Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing as the deckboss.

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New York Times looks at Yukon River Native fishery

Just a few years ago, king salmon played an outsize role in villages along the Yukon River. Fishing provided meaningful income, fed families throughout the year, and kept alive long-held traditions of Yup’ik Eskimos and Athabascan Indians. 

– New York Times

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Columbia coho closed after good fishing

State officials cancelled today's scheduled gillnetting in the Columbia River downstream of Woodland after the commercial fleet caught almost their entire coho allocation in two days this week.

– Vancouver (Wash.) Columbian


U.S. whiting fleet will be certified despite enviro complaints

The Pacific whiting (hake) fishery, one of the biggest off the coasts of Oregon and Washington, will receive a coveted "sustainable seafood" label despite strong concerns about overfishing from the conservation group Oceana and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

– The Oregonian

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B.C. hake certification drive hits envro roadblock

Attempts to achieve the first international certification of sustainability for a B.C. commercial fishery have hit a roadblock following the filing of an official objection with the U.K.-based Marine Stewardship Council.

– Vancouver Sun


B.C. halibut near MSC certification

Guilt-free halibut and chips could be just around the corner. B.C.’s lucrative Pacific halibut fishery is close to being certified as sustainable by the London-based Marine Stewardship Council — a first for a commercial fishery in the province.

– Vancouver Sun

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ASMI will be Alaska’s rep to MSC

The board of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute signaled its "preliminary intent" to become the Marine Stewardship Council's new "client" on salmon.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing as the deckboss.


Large pink run keeps Bellingham busy

If you were looking for the busiest workplace in Whatcom County last month, one of the contenders would have to be Bellingham Cold Storage. Thanks to a tremendous pink salmon run, the facility had hundreds of workers unloading, cleaning, freezing and canning fish 24 hours a day for about three weeks.

– Bellingham Herald

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Aleutian volcano erupts

Geologists are on alert after the Cleveland Volcano spewed an ash plume up to 20,000 feet. The Alaska Volcano Observatory reports that the volcano on Alaska's Aleutians Islands erupted late Friday, prompting the observatory to raise the mountain's threat level to code orange.

– Anchorage Daily News

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Give Coast Guard the right to inspect fishing boats

Too many fishermen die on the job. The deaths of five more in the sinking of the Alaska Ranger in the Bering Sea in 2008 drove home that truth once again, and for the fourth time after a fatal accident, the National Transportation Safety Board has said Congress should give the Coast Guard the power to do mandatory inspections of commercial fishing vessels.

– Anchorage Daily News

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Port near takeover of old Fred Wahl boatyard

Slow but steady is the motto for Port of Toledo officials as they move toward finalizing the deal to acquire the former Fred Wahl Marine boatyard.

– Newport News-Times

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Stimulus brings marine business back to Port Townsend

The Port of Port Townsend's economic stimulus effort to bring back more business to the marine trades showed signs of working in September, the port's deputy director said.

– Peninsula Daily News

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Why are politicians mum on Fraser disaster?

Something terrible happened in the Fraser River in the summer of 2004, when the sockeye run collapsed, and it sounded alarms all the way to Ottawa, where the Opposition called for a judicial inquiry.
Why is there a deafening silence now?

– Globe and Mail, Canada
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Pink run helped only some fishermen

Pink salmon on their way back to British Columbia's Fraser River passed through local waters by the millions this year, providing relief for some commercial fishers whose hopes for a lucrativer sockeye run were dashed earlier in the summer. But the benefits of the pink run were confined almost exclusively to the larger purse seine vessels.

– Bellingham Herald

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Fisherman fined for trying to untangle whale

A Massachusetts fisherman has been fined for freeing a whale that had become entangled in his fishing gear.

– Los Angeles Times

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Alaska fishermen address health care

The United Fishermen of Alaska has weighed in on health care/health insurance reform now being considered in Washington, D.C.

Late last month, the organization, which represents 37 Alaska commercial fishing associations, sent a letter to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), with copies to 29 other lawmakers.

The letter asked Congress to address several issues.


Read the letter by going to On the right side of the site, you’ll see “Resources.” Click, and look for “UFA and Health Care.”   



Cook Inlet beluga whales decline

A government study found that a group of endangered beluga whales in Alaska is declining, raising concern that bolstered protection for the animals is not coming quickly enough.

– Anchorage Daily News

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More Yukon Chinook than required reach Canada

An estimated 67,000 Yukon River king salmon reached Canada this year, according to a state Fish and Game official. That’s about 10,000 to 13,000 more than was called for under harvest sharing and spawning agreements with Canada, said Dani Evenson, the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim research supervisor for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

– The Tundra Drums

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‘Deadliest Catch’ boys pushing Florida fish

Three of the world's most recognizable commercial fishing personalities are helping Florida mark National Seafood Month in October, and will soon be featured in a public awareness campaign promoting Florida seafood products and the "working waterfronts" where the state's fishing heritage is preserved and cultivated.

– Foster Folly News, Florida

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Japan food self-sufficiency down dramatically

Food self-sufficiency refers to the ratio of domestically produced food to the nation's total food consumption in terms of calories.

In fiscal 2007, Japan's figure was 40%, down from over 70% in the first half of the 1960s due to dietary changes -- mainly from rice to bread as a staple food and fish to meat dishes -- and increasing imports. The figure first fell below half, to 49%, in fiscal 1989.

Looking overseas, in 2003 Australia's self-sufficiency rate was 237%, followed by the U.S., France and Canada (all over 100%), Germany (84%) and the U.K. (70%). Japan's figure is exceptionally low among developed nations.

– Nikkei

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Cordova upbeat about Trident

Peter Kuttel, a manager with Trident Seafoods Corp., gave a Chamber of Commerce talk in Cordova about the company's big local expansion.

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

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Alaska sea otters get habitat set-aside

Four years after being placed on the Endangered Species List, the dwindling sea otters of southwest Alaska on Wednesday were given an important recovery tool.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated nearly 5,900 square miles as critical habitat for sea otters in the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea and Alaska Peninsula. The designated area includes all nearshore waters.

– Juneau Empire

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Sea lions grow more obnoxious in San Francisco

After an especially strong breeding season, the sea lions are not only thriving, they are crowding into commercial fishing harbors, and sparking a turf war at public beaches.

"One bumped against me three times, then he went and nipped my little toe," said San Francisco swimmer Sarah McCusky.

– Fox News


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Feds publish plan for Cal Central Valley salmon


The federal government published in the Federal Register a draft recovery plan designed to restore and stabilize Central Valley salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). NOAA's Fisheries Service is now seeking public comment on the plan, with workshops for public comment and information planned in Chico and Sacramento this month.

– Dan Bacher, writing in San Francisco Bay Indy Media


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San Diego council wary of marine protected area plan


A San Diego City Council committee declined to act on an environmental group’s request to endorse the most stringent of three proposals under the state’s Marine Life Protection Act that would cut off fishing to a large swath of La Jolla.

– San Diego News Network


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Oregon draws up rules for marine protected area


Three state agencies are involved in developing rules for establishing, studying, monitoring, and evaluating pilot marine reserves at Otter Rock north of Newport and Redfish Rocks near Port Orford.

– Newport News-Times


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Canada says it will meet salmon targets


Fisheries and Oceans Canada is expecting to meet its conservation targets for sockeye salmon although millions are missing from this year's Fraser River run.

– BurnabyNow, B.C.


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Crime and punishment in Dutch


Assault – Officers responded to the galley of a fishing vessel regarding a brawl in which one intoxicated man had somehow fallen overboard.  Officers determined that the intoxicated man had begun arguing with other, less inebriated crew shortly after boarding his vessel and had mysteriously fallen overboard soon after punching another man in the mouth.  The drunk was able to swim to shore.  No charges were filed per the victim’s request.

Ambulance Request – EMS personnel provided medical care to a drunken man who had just spent some time in the frigid green waters of the Bering Sea.

– Unalaska Advertiser

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