Category Archives: North Pacific

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross questions safety of seafood imports

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross addressed U.S. fisheries regulations and his concern about the quality of seafood imports with the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, 20 March, and he said he’s looking for NOAA Fisheries officials to work harder to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit.,, “It’s one of my pet peeves,” Ross said, when asked by U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Mississippi) what he planned to do to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit. “I hate the idea that with all the water surrounding us and all the water inland that we have a trade deficit in fish. >click to read<13:05

Coast Guard rescues 3 from grounded vessel in Peril Strait, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued three people after their fishing vessel grounded in Peril Strait, Wednesday. The Jayhawk helicopter crew landed on shore and embarked the three individuals. They were taken to Air Station Sitka in good condition. Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a mayday call via VHF Channel 16 from the 40-foot steel hull commercial fishing vessel EH crew asking for assistance after the vessel ran hard aground and began taking on water at Saook Point, approximately 30 miles north of Sitka. >click to read<09:10

Board of Fisheries nomination proves controversial

The nomination of a Kodiak-based fisherman to the Alaska Board of Fisheries has led to concern about an overrepresentation of commercial fisheries interests on the board. Governor Bill Walker recently recommended Duncan Fields for the Board of Fisheries to fill the seat left by Anchorage’s Alan Cain, whose term is up this year. Ricky Gease, the executive director of the Kenai River Sport Fishing Association, sees a need for that seat to go to someone with experience in Anchorage-based sports and personal use fishing. >click to read<21:24

On 2-hour notice: Sitka herring fleet opts for ‘non-competitive’ fishery

The commercial sac roe herring fishery in Sitka Sound goes on two-hour notice tomorrow (Tuesday 3-20-18) at 7 a.m. That means the first opening could be as soon as two hours after that. But whenever fishing opens, it won’t be the full-throttle race to the grounds as in past years. Eric Coonradt, the state biologist who manages the fishery, following a pre-season meeting in Sitka Monday afternoon (3-19-18), confirmed that the permit holders have agreed to fish non-competitively, and to share the proceeds.>click to read<09:30

Forum to examine politics behind Alaska’s chinook conservation problem

Southeast salmon fishermen are pushing back against deep restrictions in the king harvest this season, saying the problem is as much political as it is biological. The fishing advocacy group Chinook Futures Coalition is holding a forum in Sitka this Wednesday afternoon (3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, Harrigan Centennial Hall) to shed light on how negotiations with Canada have disadvantaged Alaskan fishermen — even as the state works to address a serious conservation problem.>click to read< 21:19

Halibut quotas for 2018 come in slightly lower than expected

The total allowable catch for the 2018 Pacific halibut season in the Gulf of Alaska and Southeast will be set slightly lower than what U.S. commissioners on the International Pacific Halibut Commission had asked for. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will publish a final rule in the Federal Register Tuesday setting combined charter and commercial quotas in Southeast, area 2C, at 4.4 million pounds. That’s about a 17-percent drop from the total allowable catch in 2017. >click to read<17:39

At Fishermen’s Terminal – Annual blessing honors fishing fleet as season begins

For nearly a century, family, friends, and well-wishers have gathered each year to honor the crews headed to sea for the spring and summer fishing seasons. With some boats already en route to Alaskan waters, Sunday marked the 90th annual Blessing of the Fleet at Fishermen’s Terminal.  Under sunny skies, Pastor Elise Scott of Ballard First Lutheran Church dedicated the vessel, “The Sunward,” on behalf of the entire North Pacific Fishing Fleet.>click to read<08:21

Crew member stabbed on Dutch Harbor commercial fishing boat

A 28-year-old fisherman was arrested after stabbing another crew member on a commercial fishing boat in the Aleutian fishing hub of Dutch Harbor Friday, Unalaska police said. Police in Unalaska received a report that a crew member aboard the F/V Aleutian Sable had been “badly injured” in a knife attack early Friday, Jennifer Shockley of the Unalaska Police Department wrote in a statement. >click to read< 00:15

Cordova receives first Tanner crab delivery in 30 years

Deckhands Robert Bernard and Danny Delozier moved energetically around the F/V Ace as it docked at Trident Seafoods. Delozier stood on top of 15 or so crab pots, holding on to a rope while waiting for the first bucket to drop on March 13 to fill with Tanner crabs, the first such delivery in Cordova since 1988. Once the cloudy water drained from the fish hold, piles of bright red, orange and brown Tanner crabs emerged.,, “We had a great crew,” said F/V Ace captain Ronald Blake, as he geared up for another trip into the Sound. “They were hootin’ and hollerin’,” >click to read<18:40

Halibut fishery poised to open as NMFS works on 2018 catch limits

Alaska’s halibut fishery is set to open this month, but the final quota was still not completely set as of March 14, even as fishermen began to receive permits in the mail. Indications, however, are that the quota will decrease this year compared to last. Under regulations published by the National Marine Fisheries Service this month, the fishery will open March 24 and run through Nov. 7. But the total catch limits remain unknown. That’s because this year, for just the second time in the commission’s history that dates to its creation by a 1923 treaty, the International Pacific Halibut Commission could not come to an agreement about the 2018 catch limits at its annual meeting. >click to read<12:36

US fisheries’ leader Oliver asserts ‘business-minded’ stance

The US’ top regulatory authority on fishing used his first appearance ever at a Seafood Expo North America (SENA) conference on Sunday to describe how he was reshaping the mission at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create more of a pro-business environment. Commercial fishermen largely applauded the Donald Trump administration’s selection of Chris Oliver to serve as NOAA’s assistant administrator of fisheries in June 2017. >click to read< 09:41

Then and Now: Craig cannery

Just about every town in Southeast Alaska has a cannery. Some have several. I don’t know if its true or not but I heard that at one time Ketchikan had 17. For generations, the Craig cannery was like a vital organ, the heartbeat of town and the primary source of livelihood and activity. Craig woke up each spring with the cannery, and went into hibernation each fall when the purse-seining season was over. I’m a commercial fisherman(Ralph Mackie). My deckhand, who graduated from high school last May, wouldn’t describe the cannery that way at all. >click to read< 17:21

Sea otter resolution gets first hearing in Senate committee, asking Congress to amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act

A Senate committee Monday, March 12 heard from supporters and opponents of state involvement in the management of sea otters in Southeast Alaska. The Senate Resources committee held its first hearing on Senate joint resolution 13, which calls on the federal government to allow the state or a Native organization to co-manage the rebounding marine mammals and seek ways to increase harvest of otters. >click to read< 14:53

State seeks federal exemption to manage sea otters – The Legislature is considering two resolutions, one in the House and one in the Senate, asking Congress to amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act and,,, >click to read<

As Alaskan Waters Warm, Market Squid Extend Their Reach Northward

Market squid could represent an economic lifeline here, and it’s one that Alaskan fishermen are eager to begin experimenting with.,,, Though scientists haven’t yet nailed down the cause, populations of valuable species like king salmon and Pacific grey cod, Schramek says, have fallen to as little as one-tenth of even their 2015 levels. With those populations at historic lows, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game now bans their catch during parts of their historical fishing season. The bright spot, however, is a small, color-changing squid.>click to read<12:26


To all, My name is Joel Hovanesian and I am a commercial fisherman who resides in RI but have held a CT. licence for some 30 years. I have a small inshore vessel now after selling my offshore boat in 2010. I have been dealing with Mike Gambardella since he started in the Borough. I want to bring an issue forward and give insight to some thoughts. I have been an outspoken critic of the way we have been managing our fisheries here in New England and other places on the Eastern Seaboard. We all recognize the fact that regulations need to be in place for obvious reasons, however as often happens when the Federal Government gets involved with things, they have a tendency to take on a life of their own. >click to read<13:36

U.S. States Slow Trump’s Offshore Drilling Expansion Plan

The Trump administration’s plan to broadly expand drilling in U.S. offshore waters is moving slowly due to opposition from coastal states and indifference from oil companies that have turned their focus to other opportunities. The administration hopes encouraging U.S. energy development outside of shale oilfields will further its goal of “energy dominance.” But existing Obama administration lease rules remain in place through 2022 unless the new rules gain approval. The Department of the Interior this year proposed opening vast new acreage in the U.S. outer continental shelf to drilling. >click to read< 08:56

Governor Walker calls for federal disaster declaration for Pacific cod fishery

Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott signed a letter last week asking the federal government to declare the 2018 Pacific cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska a disaster. That could make the fishery eligible for federal relief funds, although who specifically would receive money would be figured out later.,, According to the letter, the value of the 2018 Pacific cod harvest is looking at a more than 80 percent drop in revenue from the five-year average. Barbara Blake, senior adviser to Walker and Mallott, said crossing that 80 percent threshold makes the fishery eligible for a disaster declaration. >click to read< 08:28

Council recognizes the 90th annual “Blessing of the Fleet” as crews prepare to head to Alaska

Our region enjoys some of the best seafood in the world, much brought to our shores from crews preparing to go to Alaska for the summer fishing season. The Metropolitan King County Council today recognized those brave men and women who will spend their summer in the North Pacific by recognizing the “Blessing of the Fleet” which will occur this weekend, the start of the halibut fishing season.,, “These crews and their captains face a level of danger that most of us will never confront in our workplace, and they do so year after year,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the sponsor of the recognition.  For the 90th year, families and friends of the crews preparing to leave will gather at Fisherman’s Terminal in Ballard for a blessing,,, >click to read<20:31

No kings

Snow and ice still cover the tributaries of the Susitna River basin, but already the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is talking about closing the Chinook salmon fishery for the 2018 season. The agency’s fear for the drainages of both the Susitna and Little Susitna mirrors the 2017 fear for the 24,000-square-mile Copper River basin : No king salmon. In the case of the Copper last year, the state was faced with a scientifically calculated Chinook forecast calling for the return of 29,000 of the fish – only 5,000 more than were needed for spawning in streams located behind a gauntlet of commercial, subsistence, personal-use dipnet, and rod-and-reel fisheries. >click to read<14:48

What a disappointment. It seems Senator Markey is still holding out on Bill S1322, American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act

What a disappointment. I just got a call from Bruce Schactler of the National Seafood Marketing Coalition, and it seems Senator Markey is still holding out on Bill S1322…the American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act. Senator, I have always supported you because you were there for us with regards to fisherman. I am a retired Captain and we have met in the past. I have reached out to you many times recently regarding this important bill by Senator Sullivan of Alaska who has a bill that we want passed, and expect you to support. Sam Parisi>click to read< 21:15

What I learned about myself as the sole female crew member on a commercial fishing vessel

Before the universality of social media and the promulgation of movements like #MeToo that now prominently display powerful, mold-breaking women as role models for younger generations, I embarked on a 90-day journey as the sole female aboard a commercial fishing vessel among 25 men across the perilous Bering Sea. As the passage below recounting my first day aboard the ship demonstrates, I was in uncharted territory (both literally and figuratively). From “Bering Sea Strong: How I Found Solid Ground on Open Ocean” by Laura Hartema >click to read<18:03

Prince William Sound pinks find their way into Cook Inlet commercial harvest

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has been conducting a limited study on straying hatchery pink salmon around lower Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay to see whether fish from the Tutka Bay Lagoon and Port Graham hatcheries have been spawning in wild streams, but to its surprise, it discovered Prince William Sound hatchery fish in several local systems. But hatchery pinks from the Sound are also winding up in the commercial harvest. >click to read<15:24

Petersburg assembly joins call for increased sea otter harvest

Petersburg Borough Assembly joined the call this month for measures to slow a growing population of sea otters in Southeast, as the marine mammals are impacting shellfish stocks. The Assembly passed a resolution at its March 5 meeting, calling for the federal government to work with the State of Alaska and Alaska Native tribes to establish strategies for an ecological balance of shellfish resources and the reintroduced sea otters. >click to read<08:23

North Pacific Recovering From The Blob, Salmon More Slowly

Ocean conditions off most of the U.S. West Coast are returning roughly to average, after an extreme marine heat wave from about 2014 to 2016 disrupted the California Current Ecosystem and shifted many species beyond their traditional range, according to a new reportfrom NOAA Fisheries’ two marine laboratories on the West Coast. Some warm waters remain off the Pacific Northwest, however. >click to read<07:57

Galley Stories! Captain Casey McManus-Fishing’s always family, and if you’re lucky, you get a bike!

Captain Casey McManus from the F/V Cornelia Marie joins us to share his Story. From Ballard Wa to Bristol Bay and across the state of Alaska. From the time he was a young kid destroying his dad’s weed wackers to sitting in the Captain’s Chair. Please remember to Like and Share this Podcast Series. >Click here to listen< There are seven other podcasts in this fishing series, From Capt Jack Molan, “You can’t make this stuff up” to Dominic Bova-First Mate, From the Southern California Desert to the Bering Sea, Yah Buddy!, and everything in between. 16:54

Feds Sued to Force Protection of Alaska’s Pacific Walrus

The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration Thursday over its denial of Endangered Species Act protection to the Pacific walrus. The lawsuit, filed in Anchorage federal court, challenges the October 2017 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finding the Pacific walrus does not warrant listing as a threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. “The service’s listing decision deprives the walrus of the ESA protections which it is both entitled to and desperately needs,” the complaint states. >click to read<15:30

Zinke promises to ‘partner’ with oil industry, as offshore drilling opponents push back

Opponents of the Trump administration’s offshore drilling proposals pressed their case as a first 60-day public comment period drew to a close this week. Meanwhile Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, speaking at a Houston energy industry conference Tuesday, talked up the offshore plan and other administration moves to streamline drilling and infrastructure permits. The Department of Interior, Zinke said, “should be in the business of being a partner” with industry. >click to read<10:11

Gloucester again at center of drilling fight, along with everyone from every coast.

In the late-1970s, an unlikely alliance between environmentalists and commercial fishermen in this storied seaport helped block plans to open up Georges Bank to oil exploration — an effort that ultimately led to a federal moratorium on offshore drilling. Georges Bank, a shallow and turbulent fish spawning ground southeast of Cape Ann and 100 miles east of Cape Cod, has been fished for more than 350 years.,,, In Gloucester, those who fought similar efforts a generation ago are confident the city can again win a David vs. Goliath battle with energy companies. >click to read< The non-stop articles about the opposition to drilling is overwhelming. No one wants it. Wind farms are the real threat.  14:05

Why Deadliest Catch’s Johnathan Hillstrand didn’t actually retire

At the end of Deadliest Catch season 13, Time Bandit captain Johnathan Hillstrand retired after 37 years of crab fishing. His boat isn’t one of those that will be featured on season 14—a remarkable change since the boat and its crew have been filmed for the show since its second season. But Johnathan Hillstrand has been actively crab fishing this season, captaining the Time Bandit for the opilio crab season. So what’s the reason for the discrepancy? Did the show make up his retirement as a storyline? Or did he come out of retirement? >click to read<08:49

Inside the insane, dangerous lives of Alaskan crab fishermen who work 20-hour days in a ‘constant barrage of storms’

Being a crab fishermen on Alaska’s Bering Sea is a very dangerous job with back-breaking labor and 20-hour work days. In 2002, photographer Corey Arnold decided to give it a try. He ended up doing it for nearly a decade and brought his camera along for the many weeks at sea. The Bering Sea is constantly suffering storms which make the work even more difficult and dangerous. While working long, strenuous hours on the Rollo, Arnold often stole away with the captain’s permission to grab his camera and photograph the crew and the ship. Arnold eventually put together “Fish Work: Bering Sea,” a documentation of his seven adventurous and dicey crab seasons aboard the Rollo. Photo’s >click to read< 13:58