Monday, December 13, 2010

Halibut quota cuts to cause hardship

Fishermen who borrowed money to finance the purchase of "shares" of the allotted halibut harvest are struggling to make payments as the value of those shares goes down along with the harvest.

 – Alaska Dispatch

Fishermen speak to Lubchenco

A crowd of concerned fishermen, environmentalists and others filled the chambers of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Thursday afternoon to share their complaints, ideas and worries with Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

– Ukiah (Calif.) Daily Journal

Cal reserve plan includes tribal fishing

Traditional tribal fishing will be preserved in a proposal for Marine Protected Areas on the North Coast.

– Crescent City Triplicate

Brits surprised by ‘China’ chum salmon

Despite the popularity of Scottish farmed salmon – the 140,000 tonnes produced every year retails for about £1 billion – imports from China have rocketed in the past few years.

– Telegraph, U.K.

Wall Street Journal likes W. Coast tuna

The undeniable pleasure of classic American tuna dishes (who can mount a case against a perfect tuna melt?) deserves an upgrade. There is a crop of West Coast American canneries that are catching albacore by old-school methods (look for words like "hook and line," "troll and pole" or "troll-caught" on the can.

– Wall Street Journal

Denby Lloyd wants to work for Kodiak

Fresh from his term as Alaska Department of Fish and Game commissioner, Denby Lloyd wrote a brief letter to the Kodiak Island Borough Mayor Jerome Selby expressing interest in a job that would likely include representing the borough at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) and the state Board of Fisheries.

– Kodiak Daily Mirror

Feds lay out plan to regulate B.C. fish farms

The federal government laid out its regulatory scheme for fish farming on the British Columbia coast some 20 months after a B.C. Supreme Court ruling determined that it is a federal, not provincial, responsibility.

– Vancouver Sun

Good Columbia springer forecast

A run of 198,400 spring Chinook — the Northwest’s premier salmon — are forecast to enter the Columbia River in 2011 headed for upstream of Bonneville Dam.

– Vancouver (Wash.) Columbian

Wash. fisheries to merge with parks?

Looks like another merger of Washington state’s natural resource agencies is back on the table – and if you liked the merger that took place between fisheries and wildlife back in the ‘90s, you’re gonna love this one. The governor is expected to announce a plan at a news conference Tuesday to scrunch the state’s 13 natural resources agencies into three or four big superagencies. As far as the Department of Fish and Wildlife is concerned, it’ll be wedged into an agency that also contains parks and recreation, and also conservation and recreation.

The idea has been kicked around Olympia for years, and there was some talk about it last year when Gov. Christine Gregoire was pushing “government reform.” But the cause has been picked up by a citizen group appointed by the governor to recommend changes in government, and staffers for the governor’s office said they will make a formal proposal to the Legislature for the coming legislative session.

How come? It’s not going to save much money – everyone seems to acknowledge that. But lawmakers say they’re concerned about agencies with overlapping functions and bureaucracies that seem to step on each others’ toes. More cynical political insiders say that even if reorganization doesn’t accomplish much, it certainly gives the impression that state government is doing something to respond to its enormous budget problems.

Lawmakers gulp a little when they remember what happened the last time they bashed agencies together. The fisheries-wildlife merger years ago brought a storm of protest from hunters and fishers alike. Their fees paid for the agencies, they said  – create a big bureaucracy and you have to wonder how much attention they’ll get, and whose interests will get the upper hand.

“Some people say that the merger still is not complete,” said Dave Upthegrove, chairman of the Ecology and Parks Committee.

 “This will be a process, and you have to start somewhere,” said Julie Murray of the governor’s Office of Financial Management.

Pacific Fishing’s Erik Smith


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Coast Guard to use flash bombs

The Puget Sound-area Coast Guard will begin employing flashbang munitions as a means to warn non-compliant boaters that they are entering a security zone.

– Coast Guard


Quota up for pollock, cod

Federal fisheries managers today boosted the total allowable catch for pollock and Pacific cod in the 2011 groundfish fisheries, which begin in January in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska.

– Bristol Bay Times

California closes squid early

For the first time since harvest limits were put in place in 2002, the state is set this week to close the commercial fishing season for market squid – more than three months early.

– Torrance (Calif.) Daily Breeze

Golden Seas leaves Dutch

The motor vessel Golden Seas departed Dutch Harbor en route to the United Arab Emirates Monday after successful engine tests were conducted.

– Coast Guard

Study: Farmers’ sea lice don’t hurt salmon

The report, by Dr. Gary Taylor of the University of California, Dr. Sonja Saksida of the B.C. Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences, and Dr. Terrance Quinn of the University of Alaska, is unequivocal in its conclusion: according to the researchers there is no direct correlation between the number of lice in salmon farms and the decline of wild stocks.

– Globe and Mail, Toronto

Alaska shrimpers can get government help

A federal program is offering support for fishermen hurt by competition from foreign shrimp farms and harvesters.

– Alaska Public Radio Network

Brits look to privatize coast guard

The UK Government was accused of putting lives at risk as expectations grow that it will announce the closure of more than half of Britain's coast guard centres and the privatisation of the nation's search-and-rescue helicopter service in a bid to cut costs.

– The Herald, Scotland

Togiak Seafoods plans to expand

On the heels of a year that earned fishermen $1.6 million for their salmon harvests and provided numerous jobs in the community, owners of Togiak Seafoods are planning for greater production with more local involvement in the summer of 2011.

– Bristol Bay Times

S. Cal reserve close to final OK

After nearly three years and dozens of often emotionally charged stakeholder meetings, the Southern California portion of the Marine Life Protection Act’s mandated preserve system is poised to become a reality.

– Santa Barbara Independent


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

'Extinct' salmon found alive in Japan

A Japanese salmon species thought to be extinct for 70 years is alive and well in a lake near Mount Fuji.

– Washington Post


Cod longliners pleased with legislation

The Freezer Longline Coaltion(FLC) applauded passage of Senate Bill 1609, the “Longline Catcher Processor Subsector Single Fishery Cooperative Act,” by the U.S. House of Representatives.  S. 1609, which now goes to President Obama for his signature, establishes a process and framework for the formation of a fishery cooperative among eligible members of the longline catcher processor subsector in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

– Alaska Longline Cod Commission

Alaska sues over Aleutian sea lions

State officials filed suit in U.S. District Court over a federal decision to curtail commercial fishing in the western Aleutian Islands out of concern for endangered Western Steller sea lions.

– Cordova Times

Steinbeck’s fishing boat found

John Steinbeck's famed boat, Western Flyer, has been to the Sea of Cortez and, in the last quarter century, used as a commercial fishing boat in the state of Washington.

– The Californian

Good work on Cal reserve compromise

It had all the makings of a train wreck, or perhaps the better metaphor is shipwreck. A North Coast fishing industry already beset by decreasing stock and increasing regulations faced the prospect of a whole new layer of restrictions — including establishment of new no-take zones.

– Crescent City Triplicate

Alaska Foundation cleans beaches

A Juneau-based organization, the MCA Foundation, says it removed more than 400,000 pounds of debris from Alaska beaches this year — junk like lost fishing nets and water bottles.

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

EU cuts cod catch; enviros want more

The EU cut the catch limit of endangered cod in Atlantic waters, but angered environmental activists by falling far shy of targets scientists say are necessary to replace quickly diminishing fish stocks.

– Seattle Times

Judge throws out Cal smelt study

A federal judge has ruled that a landmark 2008 environmental study laying the groundwork for controversial water cutbacks from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta relied on faulty science.

– San Francisco Chronicle

Fish oil helps nearly everything

We friended omega-3s long ago, when the evidence showed what a boon they are in boosting mood, memory, heart and brain health, weight control, immunity and more. Now add disease-free gums to the list.

– The Oregonian

Guv wants to merge fisheries with parks

Gov. Chris Gregoire announced a plan that would consolidate several state agencies and eliminate three dozen boards and commissions, a move she says will save the state nearly $30 million over the next two years.

– The Oregonian


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Citizens bombard Navy’s W. Coast plan

Local residents sounded off at a Wednesday night meeting about the U.S. Navy's plans to boost the frequency of training off the West Coast, accusing the military of downplaying the potential damage to marine life.

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

Kodiak Tanner harvest to double

The Kodiak tanner crab fishery continues its roller coaster ride with this year's Guideline Harvest Level of 1.49 million pounds, more than double the 700,000-pound GHL last season.

– Kodiak Daily Mirror

Spanish fleet to catch more hake

In 2011, catches of hake, a species of high commercial value for the Spanish fleet, will increase by 15 per cent in the southern fishing grounds and the same volumes of this year will remain for the Northern fishing grounds.


Coal vs. fish

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell’s stock answer to anyone raising environmental questions about any mineral development project is to praise the fairness of the state’s permitting process.

– Homer Tribune

Vote against halibut bycatch

Duncan Fields, a Kodiak resident on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) made a protest vote against next year’s halibut bycatch levels this week at a council meeting in Anchorage.

– Kodiak Daily Mirror

Official: Huge marine reserve off S. Cal

More than 350 square miles of ocean from Point Conception to the U.S.-Mexico border — about 15 percent of the Southern California coast — will be protected under a network of marine reserves narrowly approved by state wildlife officials.

– L.A. Times

Oregon crab: Tough weather

Crabbers, who were delayed by the price negotiation process even though the 2010-2011 season, officially opened as expected on Dec. 1, were out in force this past weekend dropping gear and hauling in crabs, despite horrendous weather conditions.

– Newport News Times

Cal crab: meaty but slow

Fishermen began gathering the crustaceans Sunday and first pulls were good, but the second round of hauls didn’t amount to as much, they said Tuesday.

“The crabs dropped in half from the first day,” said T.D. Danielsen, owner of the Sea Pride.

– Crescent City Triplicate

Consumer prices up for fish

The largest effects on grocery prices here over the last month were tomatoes, followed by eggs, fish and seafood.

– San Francisco Chronicle

Bellingham shipyard looking up

On Monday, the shipyard loaded the American Dynasty, a 350-foot commercial fish-processing boat, onto the floating drydock Faithful Servant for about two weeks of work.

– Bellingham Herald


Friday, December 17, 2010

Japanese mock Canadian taste

“This is a sad day in Sidney because this isn’t the image most Canadians have of how Canadians perceive the oceans,” said Angus Matthews, executive director of the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre.

– Peninsula News Review, B.C.


Higher harvest for Sitka herring

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced a guideline harvest level of 19,490 tons for the 2011 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery.

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

Raising farmed salmon in China

AgriMarine Holdings Inc., a leader in floating closed containment technology and production for sustainable aquaculture, is pleased to announce that the third tank at its fish rearing facility in Benxi, China, has been stocked with the first wave of Pacific Chinook salmon fingerlings.

– Digital Journal

Alaska pollock re-certified as sustainable

The Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands pollock fishery has earned Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) re-certification having been independently assessed and found to be sustainable and well-managed.


Alaska Fisheries Report

Coming up this week, the North Pacific Council sets the groundfish TAC, the governor is suing the Feds over closures to protect sea lion populations, and commercial halibut fishermen want the charter fleet to quit exceeding their quota. All that, and a scientist finds a species of salmon long thought extinct– and I can’t help but wonder what it tastes like.

– KMXT, Kodiak
(Scroll down.)

Healthy Columbia spring run predicted

"The (upriver spring Chinook) run is actually not a huge forecast, but it is an above-average one when you look at all our data going back to 1980," said Kathryn Kostow of Oregon Fish and Wildlife and chairman of the Columbia River Technical Advisory Committee.

– Longview Daily News

Salmon farmers like new Canadian rules

Fish farmers are applauding the new regulations governing aquaculture in Canada.

– North Island Gazette, Port Hardy

Using sonar on Cal river a first

For the first time in the Smith River's history, sonar cameras are being used to count fish as they make their way up river.

– Eureka Times Standard

Jetties aren’t playthings

Last month, witnesses watched in horror as waves washed a young couple off the South Jetty of Yaquina Bay. Both drowned. Two years earlier, it was two young men. One lived. One did not.

– The Oregonian

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