Monday, October 25, 2010

Pollock trawl salmon bycatch higher

Pollock boats and other commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Alaska have accidentally caught an estimated 58,336 king salmon this year, a level of bycatch that could trigger restrictions.

– Seattle P-I


Protected area plan misses problems

Democrats expressed concern that instead of focusing on real and emerging threats of new oil drilling, wave energy and other forms of industrial uses of the ocean and the ever-present threat from degraded water quality, marine protected areas are instead targeting only subsistence, recreational and commercial fishing – critical elements of the local economy and culture.

– San Francisco Chronicle

Chum salmon finding market

Hours after they were caught off Seattle's Magnolia Bluff, a load of fresh salmon is being unloaded at Fisherman's Terminal. Fish buyers are waiting to put it in ice bins and within the next 24 hours it will be cleaned up and placed on shelves in Seattle area Whole Foods Markets.

– King 5

New resource for West Coast trawlers

A group of West Coast commercial fishing organizations is taking unusual measures to prepare for changes to the West Coast trawl fishery.

– West Coast Trawlers Network

Petersburg haul-out closed

There's one less option for hauling out and repairing boats in Southeast this winter. Petersburg Shipwrights is closed until March.

– KFSK, Petersburg

Alaska candidates on Pebble Mine

The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates in statewide elections their views on a variety of issues.

– Anchorage Daily News

Icicle closes Seattle plant

Icicle Seafoods is closing its salmon processing plant on the Duwamish River and outsourcing the work to Independent Packers a few miles north at Pier 91.

– Seattle Times

Fish boat safety hearing on line

The National Transportation Safety Board held two days of hearings on Oct. 13 and 14 concerning safety within the commercial fishing fleet. Now, the proceedings are available on line. You can hear testimony from several folks from the North Pacific.

Prices higher for fishing permits

The depressed global economy a year ago made it slow going for brokers who buy, sell and trade fishing permits. But that's no longer the case.

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

Fraser commission begins today

The commission of inquiry looking into the decline of the Fraser River salmon fishery opens today – on the heels of a record Fraser River run that saw an estimated 34 million sockeye return to the river.

– Vancouver Sun


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Good crab year

Oregon crab fishermen say they're hoping for a good year as the ocean harvest season approaches.

– The Oregonian


Deaths in Bering Sea fleet

U.S. Coast Guard officers recently briefed the North Pacific Fishery Management Council on a wide range of response and enforcement activity, and Deckboss was there to hear it.

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

Fraser inquiry to seek more time

Salmon inquiry commissioner Bruce Cohen will very likely ask the federal government for more time to complete his final report on the Fraser River sockeye, a commission spokeswoman said as the first day of hearings kicked off Monday.

– Vancouver Province

Definition of ‘underfishing’

Underfishing: A phenomenon that has struggling U.S. fishermen catching a fraction of what regulators say is a safe amount to take from rebounded stock, leaving millions in potential revenue in the water.

– Kansas City Star

Slaughtered shark now endangered

One year after my birth in 1955, Vancouver Sun news reporter Jim Hazelwood headed to the west coast of Vancouver Island to witness the federal slaughter of the world's second largest fish.

– Vancouver Sun

Blue whiting TAC cut in Europe

The European Association of Fish Producers Organizations has expressed its concern that the total allowable catch (TAC) for 2011 has been drastically reduced.


State picks apart N. Cal pact

California Department of Fish and Game staff on Monday picked apart a proposal for marine protected areas developed by local fishing and conservation interests before a panel that will send a recommendation upstream to rulemakers.

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

Packer fined for wastewater

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation today announces it reached an agreement with Sea Level Seafoods LLC to address numerous wastewater permit violations at its Wrangell facility. The company agreed to pay $96,332 to settle violations.

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

Major terminal planned on Cherry Point

After more than 10 years of planning and discussion, a massive bulk cargo terminal proposed for Cherry Point could be gaining momentum.

– The Tacoma Tribune

New Zealand: No safety gear, go to court

Three West Coast fishermen caught operating vessels without essential safety documentation have been convicted and variously fined and sentenced to community work.

– Stuff, New Zealand


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Standing up for trawling

The implication that New Zealand's ocean floor is being systematically scoured for fish is simply not true.

– New Zealand Herald


Cal panel endorses N. Coast plan

A Blue Ribbon Task Force unanimously endorsed a proposal developed by local fishermen, conservationists and tribes on Tuesday to carve out a series of protected areas off the North Coast to restrict or eliminate fishing and gathering.

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

Keeping smoked salmon safe

Scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture are helping ensure that the smoked salmon that's always a hit at festive gatherings also is always safe to eat, including among their achievements the development of a first-of-its-kind mathematical model that food processors and others can use to select the optimal combination of temperature and concentrations of salt and smoke compounds to reduce or eliminate microbial contamination of the product.


Fishing a tough business for newbies

Once upon a time, hardworking fisherman could make a good living. But shrinking catches and pollution have made working in the fishing industry tough.

– Public radio’s Marketplace

No-fish jobs grant for tribe

Federal officials announced emergency aid to the Lummi Nation outside of Bellingham yesterday. The $3 million grant aims to help Lummi fishermen who have been put out of work by declining runs of sockeye salmon. The announcement comes a month after the region's best sockeye fishery in more than 90 years.


Learn how NEPA works

A series of workshops has been organized on how the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) works – particularly when it comes to the policy-making process of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC).

Training workshops are being planned in Southwest Alaska communities, as well as villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Aleutian Islands, and the Bering Strait region.

The next NEPA training workshop is scheduled in Togiak on Nov.12 through 14.

Contact Izetta Chambers, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, Dillingham (907) 842-8323 or

Alaska fines Oregon packer

An Alaska seafood processor with Oregon ties has reached a settlement with environmental regulators over wastewater violations.

– Anchorage Daily News

Alaska fisheries director to resign

John Hilsinger, state commercial fisheries director, will retire Dec. 1, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman confirms.

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

Columbia River: More water for farms

The federal government on Tuesday released proposals for expanding one of the nation's largest irrigation projects, including plans to draw more water from Columbia River reservoirs to replace groundwater from a declining aquifer.

– The Oregonian

Guide to sustainable fisheries

SeaAlliance has developed the following “Practical Principles for Sustainable Fisheries” based on experience with fisheries in Alaska. In Alaska, the fishing industry and fisheries-dependent communities have a deep sense of responsibility for the oceans and a strong sense of their own historical connection to the sea. The best sustainable fishery programs have been primarily designed by these stakeholders, working collaboratively with fishery scientists and managers.

– Marine Conservation Alliance


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dogfish up for sustainable certification

There was a time when the dogfish – the most common of the 15 species of sharks documented in B.C. waters – was nothing but a nuisance.

– Vancouver Sun


Guv proclaims salmon disaster

The 2010 Commercial salmon season was a toss up to begin with, but despite an earnest effort on behalf of local fishermen, the numbers just weren't there. Now, Gov. Ted Kulongoski has requested, yet again, that the season be declared a disaster.

– KCBY, Coos Bay

Fraser run downgraded a bit

Scientists now expect to chop their estimate of this year's immense run by as much as 20 percent.

– B.C. Local News

Loans for fish boat engines

The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, through its Division of Economic Development, recently approved its first loan under the new fuel efficiency upgrade program.

– Juneau Empire

Friends don’t let friends eat mutant fish

Sustainable food advocates are still watching with bated breath to see whether the Food and Drug Administration will really push through the approval of AquAdvantage, a transgenic (read: genetically engineered) salmon for human consumption.

– Huffington Post

Sea otter population tanking

Sea otters (Enhydra lutris), the favorite cute animal icons of Alaska, have been the focus of tons of recent media attention, but unfortunately the news is not good.

– Dutch Harbor Fisherman


Help sought for Reedsport shipyard

The proposed upgrades at Reedsport Machine and Fabrication could mean more work, more employees, and a small economic boon to the surrounding community.

– Umqua Post, Reedsport

New subsistence rules eyed

The new Federal Subsistence Board chair is optimistic that upcoming changes will help dispel criticisms of the Alaska-only subsistence program.

– Bristol Bay Times

We’re eating more farmed than wild

For the first time in history, the bulk of seafood consumed by humans is likely coming from fish farms rather than from natural habitats, and there is an environmental price to pay for this, says a study produced by Canadian researchers.

– Victoria Times Colonist

Public likes new life for old Wahl yard

A public meeting between Toledo residents and the Department of Environmental Quality regarding the cleanup of the Fred Wahl Marine Construction shipyard drew at least 15 community members, fishermen, business owners and concerned citizens.

– Newport News Times


Friday, October 29, 2010

'Reality' TV: Another commercial fishing show

The show gives viewers a new understanding of what fishing for a living is all about as Mark Melnyk tackles the toughest, messiest and most outrageous jobs in commercial fishing, conservation and recreational fishing.

– World Fishing Network

Lawsuit filed over trawler rationalization

A regional fishing organization and two locally based port organizations – in California and Oregon – announced they have filed suit against the Department of Commerce to halt a plan that will consolidate much of the fishing fleet, privatize public fish resources, deny many fishing ports access to fish in adjacent waters and cause massive job losses.

To read the entire lawsuit, click here. Or, go to “Pacific Fishing Resources.” It’s at the bottom of this page on the right. Click. You’ll see a button called Trawler Complaint.” Click, and you’re there.

What does ‘sustainable’ actually mean?

In B.C. there has been a long, ongoing debate about the worth of protecting small stocks of endangered salmon, which often return to the Fraser intermingled with big runs headed for other tributaries. Often the only way to avoid killing the weaker stocks is by shutting down fisheries, sometimes causing the commercial fleet to miss out on millions of salmon.

– Globe and Mail, Toronto

Russia running out of fishing vessels

The commercial shipbuilding industry is in dire straits — with a shrinking fleet and little domestic manufacturing — and requires $12.8 billion in investment over the next 10 years to maintain the country’s fishing fleet.

– Moscow Times

Live Navy ammo found sunk on Seattle waterfront

KING 5 has obtained the first images the public has seen of what divers brought up last month from the bottom of Elliott Bay near the new Smith Cove Cruise Terminal in Magnolia.

– KING 5 News


Stealing wire from Icicle plant

Two residents of Kasilof have been charged with stripping wire from a fish processing plant, melting it down and selling the metal as scrap.

– Anchorage Daily News


Alaska fishing official to retire

John Hilsinger, state commercial fisheries director, will retire Dec. 1, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman confirms.

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


Climate change to bring ships to Dutch

As the Arctic Ocean warms up and as ice continues to melt, Unalaska may become an even more lively international port.

— Pacific Fishing columnist Alexandra Gutierrez, reporting for KUCB, Unalaska


Alaska Fisheries Report

Alaska's three U.S. senate candidates share their views on fisheries management, a new film highlights the history and beauty of Bristol Bay; a seafood processor in Wrangell is paying out thousands of dollars in a settlement with the state, and there'll soon be room at the top at Alaska Department of Fish and Game as its top commercial fisheries director is leaving along with Commissioner Denby Lloyd.

– KMXT, Kodiak

(Scroll down.)

NOAA urged to reopen enforcement decisions

Four members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation have written to Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, urging him to open a 45 day window for victims of alleged enforcement excesses to come forward and have their cases reviewed by the Special Magistrate.



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