Monday, December 19, 2011


A government email describing a potentially lethal fish virus as a public relations problem has caused a stir at a federal inquiry in Vancouver.


Cal crab pot legislation

Proponents say the bill, written by Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, will not only ease competition from large boats but also will diminish the frenzy of the season's opening weeks by restraining the intensity of fishing.

– Eureka Times Standard

Cal squid fishery stays shut

Ocean conservationists won a victory in San Diego this week when they not only convinced the state's Fish and Game Commission not to re-open California's squid fishery, but were invited to draft a policy for managing the lowly forage fish that occupy the bottom of the ocean's food chain.

– San Jose Mercury News

NZ squid vs. sea lions

Commercial squid fishing is being blamed for a rapid decline in the number of sea lions around the South Island's coast.


Your competition: a brown bird

These 7-1/2-inch-long, fat little birds are out there fishing right now in the cold, competing for salmon eggs, small fish, and aquatic larvae.

– Cordova Times

Alaska fuel barge adrift

The Coast Guard was responding to a disabled 95-foot commercial tug reportedly carrying more than 2.5 million gallons of fuel 24 miles southwest of Cape Fairweather Sunday.

– Coast Guard

Shell gets drilling OK

A Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary received federal approval Friday for drilling exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast but with conditions that raised concerns with the state's congressional delegation.

– Anchorage Daily News

More on Alaska halibut

At its recent meeting in Anchorage, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council reaffirmed its support for the proposed catch sharing plan to allocate halibut between the rival commercial and charter boat fleets.

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

Crescent City processor hurt

The crew at Alber Seafoods in the Crescent City Harbor started processing almost two weeks later than usual because of the Bay delay, and now it must “wait and see” when another shipment of crab can bring more work.

– Crescent City Triplicate

Konrad Uri honored

The Northwest Fisheries Association has paid special tribute to Konrad Uri with the presentation of NWFA’s 2011 Person of the Year award.  The award is an acknowledgement of Konrad’s many lifetime contributions to the development of Bering Sea fisheries. He was a pioneer participant in the Alaska king crab fishery, where he developed one of the first at-sea catcher/processors. He was also the first American fisherman to build a groundfish catcher/processor for the Bering Sea, the Arctic Trawler, which set the stage for what is now a multi-billion-dollar industry.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


The crab pots flew forward and buried Smith, just outside the boat's cabin. Another fisherman, Jim Peterson, was trapped inside the cabin.

– Coos Bay World

Deadliest Catch boat cited

State Wildlife Troopers have cited the fishing vessel Ramblin' Rose for possession of undersized St. Matthew blue king crab.

– KUCB, Unalaska

Anti-gillnet measure hits snag

As a fish conservation organization moves ahead with plans to place a controversial ballot measure on the Oregon ballot next year that would ban gillnet fishing. The question remains: Exactly which measure will it be?

– Daily Astorian

Fraser panel nears finish

After 18 months of hearings and the filing of 2,145 exhibits, a federal inquiry into the decline of sockeye salmon has ended – except for the writing of a report that could recast fisheries management on the West Coast.

– Globe and Mail, Toronto

Pebble opponent fined

The Alaska Public Offices Commission is fining Pebble mine opponent Bob Gillam's private air service $25,500 for flying anti-Pebble candidates into villages to campaign and only charging them for fuel.

– Anchorage Daily News

Drifting oil barge tethered

The commercial tug Le Chavel Rouge crew successfully took the disabled tug Nathan E. Stewart into tow 22 nautical miles southwest of Cape Fairweather.

– SitNews, Kodiak

Another wandering fisherman indicted

An Oregon man who once operated a fishing vessel co-owned by a former fisheries aide to Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski has been indicted on charges of fishing in one area and falsely reporting the fish were caught in another area.

– Anchorage Daily News

Dam destruction after 'fish window'

Demolition work at the Elwha Dam is resuming about two weeks earlier than expected.

– The Oregonian


Wednesday, December 21, 2011


The petition put forward the city of Dillingham to annex the Nushagak Commercial Fishing District into the city boundaries has finally been formally approved by the entity in Alaska that makes those decisions.

– KDLG, Dillingham

Canada to test for salmon disease

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency plans to test nearly 8,000 wild and farmed salmon over the next two years to find out if three potentially deadly fish diseases are present in British Columbia waters.

– Globe and Mail, Toronto

No time to bury disease evidence

The re-opening of the Cohen Inquiry on ISA virus provided an opportunity to see past the PR machine that protects salmon farms. The events around this virus have been moving so fast there has not been enough time to bury the evidence.

– Alexandra Morton writing for Pacific Free Press

Icicle’s ‘calculated risk” on Adak

Here is an Icicle letter from late August that discusses the company's "calculated risk" at Adak.

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

New name for Kodiak fish center

The name on the sign out front might not be changing any time soon, but if you call over to the Fish Tech Center, don't be confused – it has a new name.

– KMXT, Kodiak

Coho swarm to N. Cal stream

The Scott River Water Trust is reporting a surprising higher return of coho salmon to the Scott River.

– Eureka Times Standard

Don’t subsidize frankenfish

For the past decade, AquaBounty has been trying to secure approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration to market and sell its proprietary GE fish as “salmon” in supermarkets and restaurants throughout the United States.

– Eureka Times Standard

Hatcheries are a bad influence

Oregon State University scientists have found that it takes only a single generation for steelhead trout raised in fish hatcheries to pass along bad genetic traits to populations in the wild.

– The Oregonian

Ethics panel (kinda) clears Young

The House Ethics Committee has cleared Alaska Rep. Don Young on charges he took too much money for his legal expense fund from a donor with interests in offshore Arctic oil drilling. But now the panel is changing the rules because of the case.

– Tacoma News Tribune


Thursday, December 22, 2011


Because of a plan to dig a massive copper, gold and molybdenum mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, people here are grappling with a question they would rather not ask: Can southwest Alaska make money from its wealth of minerals without doing harm to the money fish?

– E&E Publishing

Japanese buy Bristol Bay cannery

North Pacific Seafoods, a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Marubeni, is buying Yardarm Knot's Red Salmon cannery at Bristol Bay.

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

Can hatchery fish compete?

The more capable a salmon is of thriving in captivity, the less capable it is of succeeding in the wild.

– New York Times blog

Aleutian sea lions in court

Nearly two dozen commercial fishing operations working in the Western Aleutian Islands are pushing him to decide in their favor so they can return their livelihoods by the start of 2012.

– Alaska Dispatch

$5,000 fine for chasing sea lions

A pair of Vancouver Island sports fishermen hooked fines totalling $5,000 stemming from their harassment of Stellar sea lions off Camanah Point in Pacific Rim National Park in August of 2010.

– Vancouver Sun

Old-timer passes on

This winter was the first crab season in about 70 years that Nat Johnson didn't set his pots.

– Half Moon Bay Review

Ocean zones hem in energy buoys

Wave energy developers say Oregon's initial draft leaves them in a watery ghetto.

– Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kenai draws horde of dipnetters

The city estimated some 19,994 dipnetters participated, up 13 percent from a year ago. That's the most ever.

– Alaska Dispatch

New economic plan for Bristol Bay

The Bristol Bay Native Association has put together a 5-year economic development strategy for the Bristol Bay region.

– KDLG, Dillingham (scroll down)

Shell spill called worst in decade

An oil spill near the coast of Nigeria is likely the worst to hit those waters in a decade, a government official said Thursday, as slicks from the Royal Dutch Shell PLC spill approached the country's southern shoreline.

– Anchorage Daily News

Happy birthday (we think)

This week marks the first anniversary of the Canadian federal government taking regulatory control of British Columbia's aquaculture industry – and the province's salmon farmers are looking forward to a new year that will see the Pacific Aquaculture Regulations more established.

– FishNewsEU


Friday, December 23, 2011


The weather may be fine, but fishing boats appear to be returning a less than bumper crop of crabs this year.

– Coos Bay World


Akutan wants to grow

The city of Akutan wants to grow. It has submitted a proposal that would expand its territory by 700 percent if approved by the state's Local Boundary Commission.

– KUCB, Unalaska


Taking too many herring?

With the Department of Fisheries (DFO) increasing the winter food and bait fishing on herring populations, Howe Sound can wave goodbye to the resurgence of marine life it's seen in recent years.

– Squamish Chief


Sacramento smelt rebounds

The Delta smelt has rebounded to levels not seen in a decade.

– Record Net, Stockton, Calif.


Southeast otters

New research shows northern Southeast Alaska's sea otter population is growing slower than in the southern part of the region. But it's still expanding, which continues to worry fishermen and divers.

– KSTK, Wrangell


Derelict now Cordova's problem

The Coast Guard declared that the 135-foot landing craft Sound Developer no longer poses a substantial pollution threat to the environment and transferred responsibility of the vessel to the City of Cordova.

– Coast Guard


Comment on offshore petro plan

Alaskans will soon be able to comment on a draft environmental impact statement describing how offshore oil and gas activities in the U.S. Beaufort and Chukchi seas could affect marine mammals and the Alaska Native communities that depend on them for subsistence.

– Juneau Empire


Cal reserve soon

A plan to protect ocean health by restricting fishing in some areas takes effect in Southern California in just a few days.

– Southern California Public Radio


Alaska Fisheries Report

Coming up this week, we have a couple stories from the recent North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting, hear the governor's plan to sell more fish to Europe, and find out how young fishermen can get a jump on learning the ropes.

– KMXT, Kodiak


Merry Christmas

For a proper yuletide, we'll spend the next few days in peaceful contemplation. Fish Wrap will reappear on Tuesday, Dec. 27. Until then, may your plums be sugary.

– Don McManman, Erin Downward, Michel Drouin and Wesley Loy

The Life | Resources