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Summary for November 2 - November 6, 2009:

Monday, November 2, 2009

 Alaska fishing boat sinks twice

No. 1: The Coast Guard coordinated a rescue of four Alaska fishermen after receiving a mayday call from a crewmember aboard the Juneau based fishing vessel, Carley Renee, reporting they were taking on water and abandoning ship 22 miles east of Unalaska Island at approximately 4:42 p.m Friday.

The Coast Guard Cutter Munro heard the mayday call over VHF radio from the Carley Renee and immediately issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast while en route to the scene.

The fishing vessel Guardian responded within 10 minutes to the broadast and arrived on scene to safely rescue the four fishermen who were in a life raft.

The photo at left shows the Guardian and the keel of the Carley Renee.

– Coast Guard press release

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No. 2: The Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and Magone Marine Services were coordinating a recovery operation of the fishing vessel Carley Renee when it sank in Sedanka Pass at 3:10 p.m. Sunday.

The Juneau-based fishing vessel was partially submerged near Egg Island with approximately 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board.

Magone Marine salvage crews successfully increased the Carley Renee's buoyancy by pumping air into the engine room. The Western Viking began towing the fishing vessel toward Beaver Inlet, a more suitable location for salvage operations and fuel removal, when the vessel sank approximately one and a half mile northwest of Egg Island.

– Coast Guard release

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More bunker fuel spilled in San Francisco Bay

The bunker fuel oil spill in San Francisco Bay hit an estuary already in distress because of a prolonged drought, rising sea levels and human-caused pollution, among other stressors.

Friday's spill comes almost exactly two years after the devastating Cosco Busan spill, which dumped more than 50,000 gallons of bunker oil into the bay. Now there are renewed concerns about the estuary's fish, bird and sea mammals, not to mention the livelihoods of those who depend on the bay's bounty each year.

– San Francisco Chronicle

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Mid-California Dungeness fishermen readying gear

Fishermen are checking, mending and stacking pots and tending to their boats in preparation for the opening of commercial crab season on Nov. 15.

– Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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N. Cal Dungeness still light

The first test of Dungeness crab off the North Coast shows that the tasty crustaceans still need to fatten up quite a bit if they are to be fished on Dec. 1.

– Eureka Times-Standard

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Trident praised for Bristol Bay tender plan

In a letter to its Bristol Bay fleet dated Oct. 22, Trident Seafoods announced it will introduce dedicated tenders for fishermen who chill their catch.

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association wishes to extend its support to Trident for taking this step.

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

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More photos of Alaska trawler bycatch

A while back we posted some pictures, purportedly shot by a crewman aboard an unidentified Gulf of Alaska flatfish trawler, showing what appeared to be extreme Tanner crab bycatch. Those pictures caused quite a stir.

Now an anonymous somebody has steered Deckboss to another blog featuring a five-minute video, again from an unidentified trawler, appearing to show extreme halibut bycatch.

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

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Guys caught smuggling 343 pounds of sea cukes in suitcase

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized about 343 pounds of sea cucumbers hidden in suitcases Sunday after they stopped a vehicle from Mexico at the San Ysidro (Calif.) Port of Entry. During the inspection, the dead, sausage-shaped marine animals were found packed into the luggage of two Chinese citizens: a 51-year-old man and his 24-year-old son.

– San Diego Union-Tribune

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An idea to save working waterfronts

As Maine's working waterfront came under increasing pressure of residential development, advocates for water-dependent industries advanced an idea.

The concept was simple: use state bond money, combined with private funds, to permanently preserve waterfront land used for commercial fishing.

– Working Waterfront

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Canadians to protest salmon farming methods

Citizens concerned about destructive salmon farming practices have declared November 9 to November 14 as a Global Week of Action. Where salmon are farmed in open pens alongside wild salmon and sea trout populations, wild fish suffer.

– Lake Cowichan Gazette

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War over the Tongass flares again

Conservation groups and the U.S. Forest Service have fought for decades over management of the country's largest national forest. The wrangling has gone on for so long it has a name: The Tongass Wars.

– Juneau Empire

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MSC moving into China

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has appointed Edith Lam of Kera International Limited as MSC Supply Chain Consultant for China. The appointment anticipates further growth in the Chinese seafood processing sector as global demand for traceable, MSC certified sustainable seafood continues.

– Marine Stewardship Council

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Port wants to kick sea lions off docks

Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary Nelson said port officials plan to launch a committee to regulate interactions with sea lions as their growing population brings them into closer contact with fishermen and tourists. “It’s gotten out of hand,” he said. “We’ve seen a huge increase in the amount of sea lions.”

– Aberdeen Daily News

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Court: B.C. Natives can sell ceremonial fish

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council claimed a legal victory Tuesday after the B.C. Supreme Court affirmed the right of aboriginals to sell the seafood they harvest, a right putting tribal members in greater competition with commercial fishermen.

– Vancouver Sun

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Cause of B.C.’s problems: Alaska salmon ‘ranching’

With some B.C. sockeye runs in apparent collapse, our commercial and even aboriginal food fisheries banned, Alaska and Washington fisheries are stronger. The reason is the U.S. uses salmon ranching, where billions of salmon fry are raised in tanks, fed pellets until they’re big enough and then released.

– North Island Gazette, Port Hardy

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EPA files complaint against Haines processor

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has filed a complaint against a Haines fish processor, accusing the plant of violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

The agency accused Chilkoot Fish & Caviar, Inc. of improperly discharging fish processing waste into Lutak Inlet from May to October in 2004 through 2007.

– Anchorage Daily News

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Half of red king catch taken

Bristol Bay Red King Crab season is off to a good start. Two and a half weeks into the season and the fleet of 70 vessels has already caught 54 percent of the IFQ total allowable catch, or 7.8 million pounds of crab. About 6.6 million pounds remain to be caught.

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

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N. California crab still light

The start of commercial crab season may be up in the air due to early tests falling short of the required meat-to-shell ratio. Each year the DFG’s Marine Invert­ebrate Project tests the ratio of meat to shell because by law commercial crab season can’t start until that ratio is 25 percent.

– Crescent City Triplicate

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Japanese tuna company gets MSC certification

The Japanese Tosakatsuo Suisan Group pole and line skipjack tuna fishery has been awarded the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificate for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

Tosakatsuo Skipjack Pole and Line Fishery uses hook-and-line rather than seines.

While skipjack and albacore fishermen compete in the canned market, West Coast albacore is sold as chunk white, while skipjack and other tuna species are sold as chuck light.

– MSC press release

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Coast Guard lifts fisherman off Bering Sea vessel

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew forward deployed in Cold Bay medevaced a 30-year-old crewman with a reported eye injury from the 124-foot fishing vessel Clipper Surprise more than 50 miles north of Dutch Harbor Monday.

– Coast Guard press release

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Foundation to help families of Coasties killed in crash

The Coast Guard Foundation has re-activated its emergency Family Disaster Relief Fund in response to last Thursday’s C-130 crash off the California coast that killed seven service members.

Those wishing to support the Family Disaster Relief Fund, the Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund or the CG-1705 Memorial Service Fund may visit the Coast Guard Foundation’s website at, call the Foundation at 860-535-0786.
– Coast Guard Foundation