Monday, November 29, 2010

Can ocean feed more salmon?

With the number of salmon in the North Pacific having doubled in the past 50 years, scientists increasingly are concerned there may not be enough food to support them, and changing ocean conditions could make it worse.

– Seattle Times

Official start of NW crab season

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that the commercial ocean Dungeness crab season will open at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

– Coos Bay World

Sarah: ‘Like you’ve never seen her”

In case you missed Sunday night’s dose of Sarah Palin, Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy found a preview on the Internet, featuring “Sarah like you’ve never seen her.”

B.C. protest fishermen face small fines

Forty-eight commercial fishermen who staged illegal protest fisheries on the Fraser River in 2001 and 2002 to try to force Ottawa to crack down on aboriginal salmon poaching will likely pay fines of no more than $200.

– Chilliwack (B.C.) Progress

Start again on Columbia hatchery plan

The National Marine Fisheries Service needs to hit the reset button on the government's approach to Columbia River hatcheries.

– Tri-City (Wash.) Herald

Europeans won’t protect bluefin tuna

International fisheries negotiators agreed to maintain the 2011 catch of endangered Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna at essentially the same level as in 2010, eliciting a stinging rebuke from conservationists, who had been calling for a fishing moratorium.

– New York Times


Tough start for NW storm season

This fall's stormiest weather ripped a Quillayute River Bar navigational buoy in half, bounced it off the bar's bottom, and flung it up on a now snow- and ice-crusted shore.

– North Coast Citizen, Manzanita, Ore.


Alaska firm recalls tainted salmon

The owner of a Fairbanks fish processing company says three samples of the same batch of smoked salmon the state deemed contaminated were tested by independent laboratories in the Lower 48 and came back negative.

– Anchorage Daily News


B.C. greens laud fish farm report

Environmental groups are hailing a new report from federal fisheries that recommends establishment of a commercial-scale pilot project to test closed-containment salmon aquaculture.

– Vancouver Sun

More: communities.canada.comstudy.aspx

Give Alaska fish chief a chance

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell is telling groups concerned over his appointment of Cora Campbell to head the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to "hold their criticism until they really know the full picture," The Alaska Journal of Commerce reports.

– Alaska Dispatch



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oregon crab negotiations stall

Despite days of negotiations, fishermen and processors can't agree on how much Oregon's official state crustacean is worth, and that could lead to the marine version of a strike.

– The Oregonian

N. Cal crabbers worry about fill

While California, Oregon and Washington fishery managers declared the season open on Dec. 1, saying the crabs on average have enough meat to harvest, both fishermen and buyers are worried that lean crabs in some areas wouldn't be good for the market.

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

King crab could invade Antarctic Ocean

If ocean temperatures continue to rise, Antarctica's unique continental shelf ecosystem could be invaded by predatory crabs, according to researchers at the University of Southampton.


Ocean acidification

Concern over ocean acidification is heightened by the focus on climate change. The process of ocean acidification is not new, but many climatologists worry that it’s expedited pace is the result of increased carbon emissions.


Stop selling diseased farmed salmon

Lawmakers and environmentalists are demanding that the Chilean Health Ministry prohibit the marketing of more than 100 tons of salmon for human consumption, which is infected with the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus.


B.C. crab boats worry sport fishermen

Worries about commercial crabbers cleaning out stocks remain a top priority for Nanaimo sport fishers.

– Nanimo News Bulletin

Alaska lodge owner to face poaching trial

A Feb. 7 trial date has been set for the owner of a Sitka fishing lodge and a charter skipper who runs day-trips based at the lodge.

– Anchorage Daily News

King crab harvest winding down

After six weeks, almost 13 million pounds of Bristol Bay red king crab have been harvested.

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

Charleston Ice Dock closed for six months

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay's Charleston Ice Dock will close Dec. 1 for an overhaul of ice-making equipment and upgrades to the dock.

– Coos Bay World


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Good news for Oregon crabbers

Negotiators discussing price for this season’s Oregon Dungeness crab harvest have reached an agreement, according to Nick Furman, executive director of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission.

Furman would not reveal a price, saying the agreement won’t be final until Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Caty Koba approves. Expect an announcement within two days.

“Everything is a more convoluted than usual,” Furman said. “We’ve missed the pre-soak period. Now we have to figure out how to have a fair start for everyone.”

Part of the agreement includes one more test fishery for fill tests. Fisheries in some areas were opened based on projections from earlier tests. The latest effort will seek proof of fill content, rather than projections.

“We want to make sure we’re bringing home the best quality product possible,” Furman said.

More good news for crabbers

Oregon Dungeness crab is certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council as of today, according to Nick Furman, executive director of the Dungeness Crab Commission.

The commission has worked years – and invested a great amount of money – to achieve certification. The MSC is expected to announce the certification shortly.

Cal crabbers worry about fill

The West Coast fishing industry is struggling to decide when to start plundering the expectedly abundant stocks of Dungeness crab offshore, threatening to prolong a likely delay for another two weeks.

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

California crab pot limit to Legislature

Trap limits for crab fishermen could be on the horizon after the new state Legislature convenes in January.

– Crescent City Triplicate

Bad news for Alaska halibut fleet

The scientific staff of the International Pacific Halibut Commission has recommended catch limits for the 2011 season, and the numbers are seriously ugly.

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

Alaska examines climate change on fisheries

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has released its Climate Change Strategy. The report looks at the potential impact that climate change would have on the state's wildlife and fisheries – and what it might mean for commercial fishermen and subsistence users.

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

Canadia tribes demand oil tanker ban

A coalition of First Nations, commercial fisheries and environmental groups from Canada's Pacific Northwest Coast are demanding a ban on oil tankers in the region, claiming the local economy is in jeopardy because of increased traffic.


B.C. panel must see more than salmon

As this year’s returning wild salmon headed upstream, scientists spawned a game-changing idea about how taking less salmon might bring more benefits to ecosystems and economies.

– B.C. Northern View

Fish farm pesticides spread

The kinds of chemicals you need to kill sea lice are not specific only to sea lice. They also affect crabs and lobsters and also copepods, so there's great concern about that.

– Scientific American


Thursday, December 2, 2010

EPA allows poisoning of salmon

The Environmental Protection Agency is letting agribusiness poison 27 species of salmon by using six pesticides in violation of environmental laws, four environmental groups claim in Federal Court.

– Courthouse News




Feds resume review of Shell Alaska drilling

The U.S. Interior Department will resume reviewing Shell Oil's plans to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea next summer and will consider other Arctic drilling plans even as the Obama administration on Wednesday scaled back new offshore exploration in other parts of the country.

– Anchorage Daily News

Oil plan to affect Dutch Harbor

The announcement by the Obama administration that Arctic drilling can proceed next summer will have a significant impact on Unalaska.

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

Circular hatcheries breed stronger fish

Researchers experimenting with juvenile salmon and steelhead at a Washington fish hatchery say fish raised in circular tanks with a swift current are faster and tougher than fish raised in the commonly-used rectangular raceways.

– The Oregonian

Special interests threaten Cal salmon

Wake up, Californians! We are on the verge of losing Pacific salmon runs.

– U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle

Oregon crab price revealed

Oregon Dungeness crab fishermen and seafood processor representatives participating in state-supervised crab price negotiations have agreed on an opening price for the 2010/2011 Dungeness crab season along the Oregon coast.

– Oregon Department of Agriculture

Improvements urged for Petersburg port

A local ad hoc committee is recommending Petersburg focus on replacing North Harbor, pursue a vessel haul out and wash down facility, and build a drive-down commercial vessel loading dock.

– KFSK, Petersburg

Video looks at albacore fishing

The folks at the Western Fishboat Owners Association sent along a link to a short video showing the business of catching albacore off the Northwest Coast aboard F/V Rose Mar. Fisherman Kellen Keene shot the footage fishing from Newport, Ore., to Westport, Wash., in 2008. “Our crew consisted myself, captain Steve Moore, and first mate Joe Wells. I made it mainly to break down the feeling of leaving the port to fill the boat and return home safely. Also to show that we catch all of our fish one by one.” Keene says he’s interested in producing short videos for other fishing organizations. You can reach him

To see the


Friday, December 3, 2010

California otters can’t read

Apparently, the 2,700 or so southern sea otters within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary never received the memo that they were forbidden to travel into Southern California between Point Conception and the Mexican border, known as the no-otter zone to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the commercial fishing industry.

– Ventura County Reporter

Sexual harassment of observer: Guilty

Victor Chavez-Ramirez, 28, pleaded guilty to sexually harassing a National Marine Fisheries Service observer while aboard the vessel Frontier Spirit in 2008.

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

Adak Seafood: The saga continues

When last we visited the situation with the Adak Island processing plant, landlord Aleut Enterprise and tenant Adak Seafood reported they were trying to work out a settlement of their lease dispute.

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

Natives can sue over sea lice

First Nations have won the right to launch a class-action lawsuit over damage to wild salmon stocks from sea-lice allegedly caused by salmon farms on the Broughton Archipelago off the B.C. coast.

– Victoria Times-Colonist


Alaska plans for climate change

Alaska's fish and wildlife managers have released a state plan anticipating effects on Arctic bodies of waters, fishing industries, and wildlife resources brought on by climate change.

– Anchorage Daily News

Finally! Oregon crab gets MSC certification

The iconic Oregon Dungeness crab fishery operating off the west coast of the United States has earned Marine Stewardship Council certification following independent assessment to the MSC standard for sustainable, well-managed fisheries.  Products from the fishery will now be eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel.


Alaska Fisheries Report

Coming up this week, halibut quota could be cut significantly for commercial fishermen next season; the pollock biomass is way up; and the Bristol Bay red king crab season is almost over. All that, and flying fish – no, it’s not what you think – coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report.

– KMXT, Kodiak

Georgia Strait too loud for killer whales

Endangered killer whales in the Strait of Georgia have to shout over constant noise from increasing marine traffic, researchers have discovered.

– Victoria Times-Colonist


Oregon crab fishermen foresee good season

Although fishermen are getting a late start to the commercial Dungeness crab season, they're projected to hit it big with a season that could make the delay worth it.

– KCBY, Coos Bay

California protected area may grow

Pending a Dec. 15 vote, marine protected areas along the Southern California may soon expand, drawing praise from conservationists and ire from local fishermen.

– Ventura County Reporter

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