Category Archives: North Pacific

Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 2, 2020

Fish are picking up around the bay. The run leapt past the 4 million fish mark and is approaching 5 million, and the runs in the Naknek-Kvichak and Egegik both passed 1 million yesterday. Egegik had the largest daily harvest. In the Nushagak, the total run passed 2 million. Coronavirus update (Covid-19), U.S. House and Senate extend application deadline for PPP,Audio report, >click to read< 14:02

Southeast Alaska Dungeness crab catch starts strong again, price drops

It’s not as large as last year’s haul. But the catch from the first week of the fishery has topped 960,000 pounds and is expected to increase with additional landings from that first week still to be tallied. Effort is down substantially. Only 119 permit holders landed crab in that first week, compared to 170 in that first week last year. The recent average is 147 permit holders landing crab. The average price has also dropped from last year. It’s around $1.72 a pound compared to $2.97 a pound in 2019. >click to read< 13:17

Mark Adams, an Alaskan fisherman and devoted family man

Mark David Adams, an Alaskan fisherman and devoted family man died peacefully on June 3, 2020 in Cordova, AK, at home. He was born in Spokane, WA, to Bonnie and Gene Adams on March 21, 1963 and grew up in Metaline, WA, where he graduated from Selkirk High School in 1981. He was known for his hilarious storytelling, his knack for managing his commercial fishing business with several boats and motley crews, and his unending enthusiasm for coaching basketball. Foremost, he was a loyal and loving family man whose children were his pride and joy >click to read< 09:39

Substance Abuse and Safety: Coast Guard Identifies Concerning Trend in Maritime Law Violations in Alaska

U.S. Coast Guard investigators and inspectors have identified a concerning trend throughout the state of Alaska, ranging from illegal drug use to unserviceable life saving equipment. Investigators at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage have observed an increase in the number of positive drug tests for non-credentialed mariners throughout the Arctic and Western Alaska., Another concerning trend observed by inspectors with the Coast Guard Marine Safety Task Force relates to unserviceable or missing life-saving equipment aboard commercial fishing vessels. From June 8 through 22, members of the task force removed 119 immersion suits during commercial fishing vessel exams in the King Salmon area because they were not in serviceable condition. >click to read< 19:44

#FishermensLivesMatter: Until this pandemic is over, say no to fishery observers being placed on fishing vessels

On July 1st the Trump Administration’s agency, NOAA will require that fishing vessels resume taking fishery observers on their fishing trips. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic these activities have been suspended for almost three months due to the danger of spreading the deadly disease among the
fishing industry and their families. Fishery observers are required by National Marine Fishery Service regulations to observe commercial fishing operations in almost all of our countries fisheries based on various criteria that include likelihood of interaction with marine mammals or other protected species, amount of bycatch in each fishery, adherence to regulations, and anything else they can justify to support this huge taxpayer money gobbling con game they have created. >click to read< by Jim Lovgren #FishermensLivesMatter 22:27

UPDATED! Bail Fundraiser: Fisherman steals a King Salmon fire truck Saturday Night, drives to the bar with emergency lights on

An Eagle River man stole a fire truck from the King Salmon Fire Station Saturday night and drove 15 miles with lights flashing to a bar where he was arrested, police said. Dawson Cody Porter, 22, used a piece of lumber to break a window of the fire station and made his way inside the building around 9 p.m., the Bristol Bay Borough Police Department said in an online statement. Once inside, Porter started a fire truck and drove it through the station’s closed bay doors. >click to read< 16:32

Bail Fundraiser to Free Dawson Cody Porter – Last Sunday night, innocent man Dawson Cody Porter, 22, of Eagle River, Alaska, was wrongfully placed under arrest for burglary, vehicle theft, criminal mischief, and parole violations. He is currently held  on a $10,000 bail at the Bristol Bay Detention Facility in King Salmon. >click to read/donate< Organized by  Nicholas Scott, Naknek, AK

The Things That Didn’t Make It To The Screen On Deadliest Catch – Other Fishermen Have Suffered As A Result Of The Show’s Success

Much of what fans see on screen is true to life, with a bit of Hollywood’s embellishment for dramatic effect, of course. But while fans witness everything the crew does, much of what’s captured on camera, hundreds and hundreds of hours of footage, doesn’t even make it past the cutting room floor. Furthermore, while fans see how the fishing season affects the crew, they don’t see how it affects the town or other local fishermen. While Discovery has been praised for the award-winning show, there’s plenty that goes on behind the scenes that have never made it to the screen. Deadliest Catch speaks to the lives and risks the Bering Sea crews take every year, and while truly crazy things are captured on camera, not everything is revealed to the world. >click to read< 09:15

New Co-Op Allows Fishermen From Four Villages To Participate In Kuskokwim Bay Commercial Fishery

A group of fishermen in Quinhagak has formed an organization to revitalize commercial salmon fishing in Kuskokwim Bay. Their group is called the Independent Fishermen of Quinhagak Cooperative. On Monday, June 29, there will be a 12-hour commercial opening in Kuskokwim Bay from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fishermen are limited to six-inch mesh or less. It’s the area’s first commercial opening in five years.,, The board has approved 70 fishermen to participate and has limited the co-operative’s eligibility to fishermen residing in four nearby villages—Quinhagak, Goodnews Bay, Platinum, and Eek. >click to read< >click to read< 11:22

An East Coast Perspective on Coronavirus Impacts

This was initially to be about how the New Jersey commercial fishing industry was coping with the coronavirus crisis. However, there is a seemingly infinite number of websites running commentaries on the national and/or international aspects of the ongoing pandemic in general and, surprisingly, as it specifically applies to and as it affects commercial fishing and the seafood industry. Considering this, sharing more than an overview of what the New Jersey industry, or at least that part of it that I have been in touch with, would probably not have much of an impact. But happily, at this point it seems that U.S. consumers aren’t really as averse to preparing quality seafood at home (when it isn’t available or is only limitedly available elsewhere) as most of us have believed. >click to read< By Nils Stolpe 12:05

Salmon harvest coming in below forecast

Commercial harvests of Alaska’s iconic salmon are generally below expectation so far this season, particularly in the Copper River, where the preliminary catch to date includes 81,228 reds, 5,815 Chinooks and 1,296 chums. And overall for the drift gillnet harvesters and purse seiners in Prince William Sound, so far it is a smaller run that forecast, with a preliminary collective harvest of some 736,453 fish. That’s according to statewide data compiled by biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, who update their preliminary harvest report daily and post. >click to read< 09:42

“Let’s hope this is one hell of an anomaly,” – Pandemic throws a wrench in salmon market

“If you want to categorize the bad news, the biggest factors are the sheer operating logistics for this industry in dealing with this virus, and keeping the workers safe,” he explains. “That’s one huge complexity. The second is the drastic drop-off in restaurant consumption, and the third is the drastic decline in people’s incomes. Those are the three major hits.” In a normal year, most of the uncertainty in the salmon market comes from the run itself; how the harvest compares to the previous year and how processors will keep up. >click to read< 08:49

How Coronavirus Is Threatening Alaska’s Wild Salmon Fishing Season

A Brooklyn winemaker travels north to Bristol Bay each summer to net the red salmon that support his family. This year he’s faced with a tough ethical and economic choice. Mr. Nicolson, 45, spends much of the year working at Red Hook Winery in Brooklyn, where he is the managing winemaker, but his main income is drawn from Iliamna Fish Company. The business, which he and two cousins own, sells Alaska red salmon directly to thousands of shareholders, most of them in New York and Portland, Ore., as well as to a few high-end restaurants and stores, including the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn. >click to read< 19:25

Coronavirus is making it difficult for Whatcom’s commercial fishing fleet this season

A new report from the Regional Economic Partnership at the Port of Bellingham indicates the local fishing fleet is dealing with a host of hurdles this summer, particularly for fishing boat captains who want to go to Alaska. Crew safety is proving to be particularly tough to figure out, as shown by the three American Seafoods fishing boats that had more than 100 crew members test positive for the virus after docking at Bellingham Cold Storage in late May and early June. The report surveyed 69 businesses tied to the industry, including 59 commercial fishing boats. >click to read< 09:11

For fishermen traveling to Bristol Bay, Alaska Air confusion complicates early season

Alaska Air normally starts flying to the region June 1, but this spring it began on May 18th. It’s aiming for year-round service to the region. But the airline has struggled to regulate its schedule. I experienced this myself when I was making plans to come to Dillingham. I booked a flight from Portland to Anchorage, and then on to Dillingham on June 2. But about a week before my trip, I got an email saying that my flight was now headed from Portland to Seattle, Seattle to Anchorage — with no flight to Dillingham.,, Gregg Marxmiller, a Dillingham fisherman, said flights he had purchased for his crew-members were pushed back twice. He wasn’t notified either time. >audio report, click to read< 16:34

Coast Guard assists vessel aground in Sukhoi Bay, Alaska

The Coast Guard assisted a vessel aground, taking on water in Sukhoi Bay, Alaska, Thursday. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak arrived on scene at 3:11 p.m. and lowered dewatering equipment and a rescue swimmer to 52-foot F/V Stormie B. The Stormie B crewmembers were able to utilize the dewatering equipment to control flooding.  Good Samaritan F/V Buccaneer arrived on scene at approximately 3:35 p.m. and remains in the vicinity to maintain communication. >click to read< 19:35

Copper River fishermen gain another harvest

Commercial harvesters keen on those Copper River salmon got a fifth shot at those prized Chinooks and reds on Thursday, June 18, in a 12-hour opener announced by Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials in Cordova. Waters within the expanded Chinook salmon inside closure area were closed for the period. It has been, in no uncertain terms a real slow start, with several of those openers already cancelled because of a very slow run. Through Tuesday, June 16, a total of 1,665 deliveries to processors from four 12-hour openers in the Copper River had brought in some 5,751 kings, 71,370 sockeyes and 1,056 chums, a total of 78,177 fish. >click to read< 16:01

Coast Guard medevacs Fisherman from vessel 322 miles northwest of St. Paul Island

Coast Guard aircrews medevaced a man from a fishing vessel 322 nautical miles northwest of St. Paul Island, Alaska, Wednesday. The 45-year-old man was safely hoisted at 12:12 p.m. and taken to St. Paul for a wing-to-wing transfer with a commercial medevac company for further transport to Anchorage. At 11:48 p.m., Tuesday, District 17 Command Center watchstanders received a medevac request for a fisherman reportedly experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding aboard the 170-foot fishing vessel Baranof. Watchstanders conferred with a duty flight surgeon and launched three Kodiak-based aircrews to respond. >click to read<  The image is of the medevac of an injured 31-year-old fisherman aboard the fishing vessel Baranof, June 3, 2020 >Video, click to read< 18:15

Crew of American Seafoods vessel tests negative for Coronavirus in Unalaska

The crew of the F/V Ocean Rover, an American Seafoods vessel that arrived in Unalaska late Sunday afternoon for summer pollock season, have tested negative for COVID-19. The arrival of the 255-foot boat had generated concern among Alaskans after more than 100 asymptomatic crew members aboard three of the company’s other factory trawlers tested positive for the virus in recent weeks. “Sixteen crew members were found to have possible symptoms of COVID-19 and were quarantined pending test results. Three of its six-vessel fleet have now had positive cases of COVID-19, including 92 people on the American Dynasty, four on the American Triumph, and 21 on the Northern Jaeger. >click to read< 19:40

Salmon set to return, Poor Kenai king returns will restrict start of Cook Inlet, Copper River counts keep commercial fishing closed

The start of the massive Bristol Bay commercial sockeye fishery is fast approaching but this year is bringing with it a level of uncertainly rivaled by few others even in the volatile fishing industry. Fishery participants and observers generally expect a softer market and lower prices for Bristol Bay sockeye due to several factors, >click to read<. Poor Kenai king returns will restrict start of Cook Inlet fishery – That means the fishing time for East Side   Cook Inlet setnetters will be no more than 36 hours per week, as long as the sport gear and harvest restrictions remain in place, per the Board of Fisheries paired restrictions plan for the sport and commercial fisheries that are often in conflict. >click to read<.  Copper River counts keep   commercial fishing closed – There seems to be a decent chance commercial fishing in   the Copper River District could resume soon despite a dismal start to the famed early season salmon fishery. >click to read< 16:26

Sitka man in an “aggravated and confrontational state”, charged with ‘terroristic threatening’ in harbor disturbance

Sitka police received a 9-1-1 call at about 8:15 P.M. that an intoxicated man was on a vessel, brandishing a knife and making threatening statements toward his fellow crew members and passersby. He may also have had a gun. On arrival, officers say they found Nicholas Bryant in an “aggravated and confrontational state.” >click to read< 10:32    Crewmember Arrested After Armed Confrontation in Sitka Harbor Bryant refused to exit the vessel or to follow the officers’ instructions, but after they put a single round of pepper gas on deck, he came out and surrendered without further incident, the department reported. He was arrested and charged with two felony counts of “terroristic threatening in the second degree” and two felony counts of third degree assault. >click to read<10:32

Fighting for fishermen on a bi-partisan, bi-coastal basis during Coronavirus crisis – Senator Ed Markey

Restaurants have shuttered and large export markets have been disrupted. Fishermen have lost access to critical points of sale and sources of income. With a decreased demand for fresh seafood, many boats sit idle in port. Meanwhile, boat payments are due and families need to be fed. In the U.S. Senate, I have been fighting on a bipartisan basis alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to secure dedicated economic assistance for the fishing and seafood industries in COVID-19 economic relief packages. Thankfully, this bi-coastal effort got results. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted into law on March 27, included $300 million in assistance for fishery participants and $9.5 billion for affected agricultural producers. >click to read< 12:22

Fishermen’s Superstition’s: No bananas! No Whistling! But above all, it’s bad luck to be superstitious!

Luke Whittaker set out to learn whether there are superstitions that live on among local fishermen. Here’s what he heard. Jerry Matzen III, commercial fishermen “Hang your coffee cup mouth towards the stern so you don’t sink. And no whistling in the wheelhouse or cabin — otherwise you’ll whistle up a storm, like we are having today. I learned the coffee cup one from Kerry Suomela Sr. when I worked on the F/V Southern Cross and it always stuck with me.” Tim Teall, commercial fishermen “Well, to begin with, you never want to paint your boat green because it’ll beach itself in a storm. Never set a coffee cup or a bucket on the boat upside down — the boat will roll over! Don’t whistle in the wheelhouse, because it’ll make it get windy out. But above all, it’s bad luck to be superstitious!” >9 photos, click to read<10:41

Crew of Alaska bound factory fishing trawler worries after company rejects more Coronavirus screening

American Seafoods will forgo additional COVID-19 screening of the Ocean Rover factory trawler, a move that has some crew worried and wanting more assurances the disease has not found its way onto the Alaska-bound vessel. American Seafoods has been buffeted in the past two weeks by test results from crews of three other vessels unloading frozen fish in Bellingham. Testing positive: 94 crew on the American Dynasty, four on the American Triumph and 21 on the Northern Jaeger, findings that rattled the North Pacific seafood industry, which is struggling to keep the virus off boats and shore-based plants as the busy summer harvest season approaches. >click to read< 18:48

A win for Alaska trollers – Judge denied request for injunction to keep season closed

Magistrate Judge Michelle Peterson, of the US District Court of Western Washington, ruled on Tuesday (6-9-20) that an injunction petition filed by a Washington state environmental organization to protect killer whales circumvents established fisheries law. During oral arguments before her in May (5-28-20), Judge Peterson put hard questions to counsel for the Wild Fish Conservancy about whether the federal court had jurisdiction over the case, when the matter had not been tested before the Alaska Board of Fisheries, or the National Marine Fisheries Service — organizations which have regulated fisheries for the last four decades under the overall umbrella of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. So Judge Peterson’s ruling wasn’t unexpected. Nevertheless Kurt Beardslee, executive director of the Conservancy,  says he’s disappointed. >click to read< 08:14

It aint looking good – Low prices, weak run hammer Copper River fishermen

Fishermen headed into the 2020 season knew it would be different, but in the weeks since the Copper River District opened on March 14, low prices and a weak run has dealt a one-two punch to fishermen. “The 2020 gillnet season for the Copper River and Prince William Sound is definitely the worst one I’ve experienced so far,” Mike Mickelson, a Cordova based fisherman, said. “The managers just have us closed for the Copper River fishery because they’re worried about getting escapement, >click to read< 10:33

Judge weighs shutting down Southeast Alaska Chinook fishery

Fishermen in Southeast Alaska could see their season cut short if a federal judge issues an injunction requested by a Washington environmental group to protect the food supply of a subpopulation of orcas. The Wild Fish Conservancy filed a lawsuit against NOAA,,, “We are getting blamed for harvesting their food source, which really isn’t the cause of the problem,” Amy Daughery, executive director of the Alaska Trollers Association said. “The problem as we see it, is the exponential population growth in Seattle, which has lead to a lot of toxicity and pollution and habitat loss in that area. And so these whales are really struggling, this one population. The Northern killer whales that we see off the coast of Southeast Alaska are doing very well. In fact they’ve increased.” >click to read< 10:19

American Seafoods screening 2 more crews after most on third vessel test positive for Coronavirus

The new round of testing involves the crews of the American Triumph and the Northern Jaeger as they dock in Bellingham, according to a company statement. “We’re conducting these tests out of an abundance of caution,” said Mikel Durham, the company’s chief executive. All three of American Seafoods’ vessels had been participating in the Pacific whiting harvest off the Northwest coast with large crews onboard to operate the vessels and equipment that processes and freezes the catch.  Last week, a crew member of the American Dynasty tested positive and was hospitalized in Bellingham. A subsequent screening of other crew determined that 85 were positive. >click to read< 16:42

Alaska’s Coronavirus plans for fishing communities are now being put to the test

In a normal fishing season, Dan Martin would fly straight from the Pacific Northwest to the Aleutian Islands, where his pollock trawler, the Commodore, would be waiting for him to take the wheel. But this year, the veteran skipper is stepping onboard in Seattle, where he, four crew and two federal fisheries observers are taking COVID-19 tests and hoisting a quarantine flag. Then they’ll squeeze onto the vessel for a week-long voyage to Alaska’s biggest fishing port, Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. “We might have to eat in shifts,” Martin quipped. “Because I don’t know that we can fit that many people at our galley table.” >click to read< 09:41

Kodiak Coast Guard aircrews medevac injured Fisherman 300 miles northwest of St. Paul Island

Two Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak C-130J Hercules aircraft and two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews coordinated efforts to perform a long-range medevac of an injured fisherman who was approximately 300 miles northwest of St. Paul Island, Alaska, Monday. The man was safely transferred to awaiting emergency medical services personnel in St. Paul, who further transported him to Anchorage for further care.  At approximately 1:00 a.m. Monday, District 17 Command Center watchstanders received a call requesting a medevac of an injured 31-year-old fisherman aboard the 196-foot fishing vessel Baranof. Video, >click to read< 17:26

Being Ready: Samaritan’s Purse delivers 30-bed field hospital to Bristol Bay Borough

Samaritan’s Purse sent emergency field hospitals to Italy and New York this spring. Both places were badly hit by coronavirus. On Monday, the organization flew one to the Bristol Bay Borough. The borough is the epicenter of fish processing during the short sockeye fishery, and it’s population grows exponentially as seafood workers and fishermen come to the region. The 30-bed hospital can be set up within 48 hours. “It took a lot of cooperation, cause there’s a lot of — various agencies that had to cooperate. And they all did this at record speed, so I’m very thankful for the leadership of everybody who’s involved,” >click to read< 08:53