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Summary for October 26 - October 30, 2009:

Monday, October 26, 2009

  40,000 Atlantic salmon escape B.C. fish farm

About 40,000 Atlantic salmon have escaped from a fish farm on the B.C. coast.

Marine Harvest Canada says the fish escaped on Wednesday from its farm at Port Elizabeth, on the mainland across the water from the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

– Prince George (B.C.) Citizen

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Search ends for missing Sitka fisherman

The Coast Guard suspended its search at 1:44 p.m. Sunday for a missing Sitka fisherman presumed to have fallen overboard from his 32-foot fishing vessel the Miss Dee Dee that was found aground in Fish Bay more than 20 miles north of Sitka.

Coast Guard Air Station Sitka crews conducted four searches using MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters. The Coast Guard Cutter Naushon, a 110-foot patrol boat from Ketchikan, has been in the area searching since Saturday. The fishing vessel Brant who found the Miss Dee Dee provided assistance with conducting land and water searches.

Alaska State Troopers boarded the Miss Dee Dee in an effort to better understand the circumstances that led to Michael Diverty’s going overboard.

– Coast Guard press release

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Fish Board says no to marketing plea

Alaska Glacier Seafoods Inc. saw a chance to come out a big winner in Vancouver, British Columbia, site of the upcoming Olympic Winter Games.

All the Juneau-based processor needed was a little help from the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

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

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Unalaska ponders new drilling campaign

Shell Oil received news on two different drilling plans this week. The Minerals Management Service gave Shell conditional approval for their exploration plans for Camden Bay in the Beaufort Sea. Then, they declared Shell's application to drill exploration wells in the Chukchi Sea to be complete but they have 30 days to review them before deciding if they are approved.

-- Pacific Fishing columnist Anne Hillman, reporting for KUCB, Unalaska

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Deckhand tells of fishing boat fight before death

A deckhand who joined two Oregon men on a July voyage to Ilwaco, Wash., has told police that a bloody fight aboard the fishing vessel ended with the slaying of John Adkins by his business partner, Erin Rieman, court documents say.

– Coos Bay World

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Windy for crab fleet today

In case you’re wondering about the Bristol Bay king crab fishery, now underway:

Gale Warning: Today: W wind 35 kt decreasing to 25 kt in the afternoon. Seas 11 ft. Rain and snow showers.
Tonight: W wind 15 kt. Seas 9 ft.

Tue: Variable wind 10 kt becoming N 20 kt in the afternoon. Seas 6 ft.
Tue night: N wind 20 kt. Seas 7 ft.

Wed: E wind 20 kt. Seas 8 ft.

Thu: E wind 25 kt. Seas 12 ft.

Fri: NE wind 25 kt. Seas 15 ft.

– U.S. Weather Service


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hands off drilling, ocean policy task force told

Dozens of U.S. representatives sent a letter Monday to the head of the president's Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force with concerns that the policy will block offshore energy development and cost jobs to Americans.

– Anchorage Daily News

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Lawyer fights tardy claim for Exxon money

In case anybody doubts it, David Oesting, the lead lawyer for thousands of fishermen and other plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez case, appears to be working his butt off to get his clients paid.

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

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Feds to review Alaska subsistence management

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the federal government will review subsistence management in Alaska.

"The system, frankly, today is broken," Salazar said during a taped speech to the Alaska Federation of Natives.

– Juneau Empire

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Editorial: Subsistence law out of Alaska’s hands

Ten years ago the state Legislature was the pivotal player in determining the future of subsistence hunting and fishing management in Alaska. Now, as the Department of the Interior begins a swift, thorough review of subsistence law on Alaska's federal lands, the state can only comment and say that it looks forward participating.

The state of Alaska isn’t driving anymore.

– Anchorage Daily News

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This is a test

Last week, we published a photo of a hake that wasn’t a hake. Several readers noticed and weren’t shy about telling us so – with varying levels of glee.

But reader Dwight S. Milholland wanted to know which species the un-hake actually was.

We don’t know.

Do you?

Let us know.

Kenai groans under onslaught of dipnetters

Just how much more dipnet traffic can Kenai beaches handle?

That's the question the city's chief administrator and a councilman want answered. And, they believe the answer should come from the state.

Since the floodgates opened on the annual personal-use sockeye salmon dipnet fishery, which began in 1982 as an abundance fishery and changed to its current form in 1996, crowds of Alaska residents have grown steadily to the point city officials are calling for relief.

– (Kenai) Peninsula Clarion

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Oregon dead zone called average

Oregon State University (OSU) researchers, who -- with a little help from their friends, including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) surveyors and Oregon crabbers -- monitored the near-shore waters off Oregon’s coast, say dead zones with severe hypoxia formed during the summer of 2009 near the seashore on the mid- to inner shelf in coastal waters, but were “about average” in size and duration.

– Newport News-Times

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Coho continue large run into Columbia

With plenty of surplus hatchery origin coho salmon available for harvest, the states of Oregon and Washington last week approved additional commercial fisheries and liberalized daily bag limits for the Columbia River mainstem.

– Chinook Observer, Ilwaco

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Mystery solved!

Looks like we’ve discovered the true identity of the fish we declared to be a hake on Friday – a feat of taxonomy quickly ridiculed. Several readers reported the fish sure wasn’t a hake caught off the Northwest Coast.

Fair enough.

But what species was the fish we used to illustrate the first article?

We asked, and Laurel Goodger, executive assistant for the Pacific Salmon Foundation in Vancouver, said it looks like a meluza, or a European hake – which, if nothing else, allows us to regain a certain amount of dignity.

B.C. fishermen need federal help to survive

With United Fishermen and Allied Worker’s Union spokesperson Joy Thorkelson warning of commercial fishermen being “bankrupt out of the industry”, Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen says it is time for federal fisheries minister Gail Shea to step up to the plate and provide some support. – The Northern View, Prince Rupert

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Study focuses on pollution in Unalaska Bay

A new study is looking at what quantity of hydrocarbon pollutants, like oil, is entering Unalaska Bay and from where. The state has already deemed part of Unalaska Bay to be impaired by pollution from heavy end hydrocarbons. There are not enough of them to cause any health or environmental problems yet, but they could cause problems if they reach a certain level. OASIS senior water scientist Kent Patrick-Reily says they want to evaluate the problem and fix it before it gets worse.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Anne Hillman, reporting for KUCB, Unalaska

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Massive boatlift now ready in Kodiak

After 10 years and an $18 million expenditure, a City of Kodiak shipyard capable of servicing 660-ton vessels became a reality with the smashing of a bottle of champagne against the side of the new boatlift located alongside St. Herman Harbor.

– Kodiak Daily Mirror

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Editorial: Save Astoria seafood center

It was easy to take for granted the Duncan Law Seafood Consumer Center. But when it opened in 1998, the Seafood Center significantly enlarged Astoria's inventory of meeting rooms. The concept was that the center would become a magnet for tourists and culinary groups. It's hard to believe now, but that was controversial in the 1990s, when some Astorians feared becoming a tourist town.

– The Daily Astorian

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New panel to develop Cal marine protected areas

California Department of Fish and Game Director Donald Koch has announced a panel of science advisors to help develop marine protected areas along the North Coast. The Marine Life Protection Act Master Plan Science Advisory Team will provide scientific support for the MLPA Initiative, Koch said in a statement.

– Eureka Times-Standard

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Study: Smoke protects fish from Listeria

Smoking salmon at sufficiently high temperatures reduces the risk of Listeria monocytogenes, according to a new study from the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists.

– Food Quality News

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Thursday, October 27, 2009

Report: Financial risks too high for Pebble Mine

A new investor advisory released today raises significant questions about the risks associated with Anglo American plc’s Pebble Mine Project in southwest Alaska.

– Earthworks press release

Read more: earthworksaction.org6

Judge says anti-Pebble mine suit can go ahead

A Dillingham judge has denied state motions to dismiss seven of eight arguments challenging a land-use plan that would allow for development of the Pebble mine in Southwest Alaska.

 – Homer News

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B.C. salmon disaster? Blame
Humboldt squid

Listening to politicians in recent years, one forms the impression that there is a single existential threat to B.C.’s iconic Pacific salmon.

– Tom Fletcher, writing in the Smithers Interior News

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Old-timer says Humboldt squid have come north before

Humboldt squid by the hundreds were on the beach in Hardy Bay on Oct. 17, 18, 19 and 20th. Besides being on the beach, there were also large pools of them seen swimming in the bay that were reported by some of the fishermen.

– Ruth Botel, writing in the Port Hardy North Island Gazette

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Port to take over Fred Wahl boatyard

Port of Toledo officials received word this week that state funding is in place for the purchase of the former Fred Wahl boatyard.

– Newport News-Times

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Controversial fish scientist vows to resign

A University of Alaska professor who was stripped of his federal grant after he criticized the oil industry said he's resigning.

– Anchorage Daily News

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Cal protected areas panel delays decision

After three days of debate, discussion and input that included hours of public testimony from fishing advocates and Marine Protected Area proponents, the Blue Ribbon Task Force, appointed to choose one of three Marine Life Protection Act Initiative implementation plans to present to the Department of Fish and Game, opted to postpone their final decision until November.

– Malibu Surfside News

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Northeast fishermen see grim future

A commercial fisherman and federal official predicted yesterday that the New England fishing industry has a dim future, facing radical consolidation and the loss of "a way of life" that has existed for centuries without a "massive intervention at the congressional level."

– Gloucester (Mass.) Daily Times

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Quote of the week: He’s not happy

“I’m going to drive a knife through every [short fish] and throw them overboard. We’ve had our throat cut enough.” – Maine halibut commercial fisherman Greg Wood, responding to a state decision to limit harvests and to create a minimum of 41 inches.

– Bangor Daily News

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Pelican packer proceedings paused

Foreclosure proceedings on the biggest business enterprise in Pelican have stalled.

– Anchorage Daily News

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Enviros to sue over Cook Inlet belugas

An environmental group that has pressed the federal government to provide maximum protection for Cook Inlet beluga whales said Thursday it intends to sue.

– Anchorage Daily News

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B.C. Natives in court, seeking more fish

The fight for fishing rights in B.C. waters is at its most ferocious when the salmon are scarce. This fall, hungry grizzlies are having to get in line behind the gillnetters, sports fishermen and native communities getting their elbows up, once again, over the meagre bounty returning to coastal waters.

– Globe and Mail, Toronto

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NW Indians to get more Columbia Chinook

Washington, Oregon and the Columbia River treaty tribes have agreed on a three-year program to reduce non-Indian catches of spring Chinook salmon to even out harvest imbalances in 2008 and 2009.

– Vancouver (Wash.) Columbian

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Port of Dutch Harbor wants more money from docks

The Port of Dutch Harbor is looking for new ways to increase its revenues and attract new business. At this week's city council meeting Ports Director Alvin Osterback presented a list of ideas to bring in new money.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Anne Hillman, reporting for KUCB, Unalaska

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Deadly brown foam kills off NW coast

Scientists know what caused the ocean foam that has killed thousands of seabirds in Oregon and Washington, but they don’t know exactly why it suddenly showed up in such deadly abundance off the Northwest coast.

– Coos Bay World

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