Category Archives: North Pacific

Homer halibut fishermen facing more competition from the East Coast

The International Halibut Commission, or the IPHC, will kick off its annual meeting in Portland Monday. The international regulatory body is expected to slash the total allowable catch of halibut on the West Coast by 24 percent due to declining stocks. With potentially less Pacific halibut on the market, prices are likely to increase, but a new direct competitor on the East Coast may hamper the market’s ability to compensate for lower halibut stocks in Alaska. >click here to read< 16:33

Ghost of ‘the Blob’ haunts Pacific salmon

The initial period after ocean entry for Columbia River basin juvenile salmon and steelhead is when most of the mortality occurs during their lives at sea, so ocean conditions — temperatures and nutrient supplies — during that period are critical to how many of the fish will return to the river as adults one to three years later. The path the fish take after they enter the ocean makes a difference, according Laurie Weitkamp of NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Newport Field Station, especially lately with the “strange” ocean conditions. >click here to read< 10:31

Alaska Board of Fish gets earful on herring, salmon proposals

More than 200 people turned out in Sitka to testify about herring and salmon fisheries in front of the Alaska Board of Fisheries on Tuesday. And about two-thirds of those who spoke were concerned over the commercial management of the Sitka sac roe herring fishery. The herring industry wants to maintain the status quo. Fishermen and processors expressed support for the methods used by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to predict how many herring they can safely harvest. >click here to read< 09:38

Board votes down change in Southeast Dungeness crab season

Crabber Max Worhatch proposed the change and successfully got the board to add the proposal to the meeting after missing the deadline for regulation changes.“I would like to seriously consider this,” Worhatch told the board. “I put a proposal in, just like this three years ago, didn’t get anywhere. The department felt like they had to have something to manage the fishery when it got to the low end. But in my experience and just from what I’ve seen in Oregon, California and Washington, size sex and season for Dungeness crab works and it works extremely well. It’s kindof an autopilot thing, doesn’t take a lot of work.” >click here to read< 10:22

Southeast fishermen seek relief from expanding sea otter population

Crabbers and dive fishermen returned to Alaska’s Board of Fish this month seeking changes to commercial fishing regulations in Southeast Alaska for crab and other shellfish impacted by a growing population of sea otters in the region. Some told the board that time is running out on their fisheries because otters are eating clams, sea cucumbers, urchins and Dungeness crab. Wrangell crabber Mike Lockabey told the board the commercial Dungeness crab fleet is being compressed because of the otter predation problem. “It is acute,” Lockabey said. “It will not make the next board cycle without losing fisheries. Not just area, fisheries.” >click here to read< 18:03

Board of Fisheries weighs proposals protecting Chinook stocks in Southeast

The future of king salmon fishing in Southeast will change this week as the Board of Fisheries considers proposals to boost struggling Chinook stocks on the Chilkat and Taku rivers. The board convened in Sitka Thursday for a 13-day meeting that will resume Monday morning. The meeting isn’t limited to king salmon. This year’s proposals cover everything from the number of crab pots a commercial Dungeness fisherman can use, to the use of deep-sea release mechanisms for rockfish and the opening of a commercial squid fishery. >click here to read<17:50 

2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program Public Meetings Scheduled Nationwide

Public meetings will take place across the country using an open-house format, so participants can arrive any time during the scheduled meeting time. At the meetings, participants can ask questions, share information, talk with our team members one-on-one, and learn more about the National OCS Program. We also encourage participants to submit written comments to inform BOEM of specific issues, impacting factors, environmental resources, alternatives to the proposed action, and mitigation measures to consider in its analyses. For those unable to attend one of the scheduled meetings, BOEM is offering a Virtual Meeting Room where participants can visit the same stations available at the open house meetings. There they are able to review and download the same handouts and posters offered at the meetings and provide comments. >click for times, dates, and locations<15:36

Bering Sea snow crab fishing underway

Bering Sea snow crab fishing was just getting underway, and the first deliveries were expected later this week, according to Ethan Nichols of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor when the snow crab quota was cut back again this year by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. There is a reduced Bering Sea Tanner crab season, thanks to new rules allowing fishing when fewer female crustaceans are present. And small boats in the Unalaska Island area have a Tanner fishery for the first time in two years. >click here to read<13:03

Nearly every governor with ocean coastline opposes Trump administration drilling proposal

The Trump administration’s proposal to open vast portions of US coastline to oil drilling was met with ferocious opposition from a number of the coastal governors it would affect. At least one governor, Florida’s Rick Scott, a Republican, asked for and received a waiver from the administration. That move by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke drew accusations of favoritism, which have been denied. But the fact remains that nearly every governor with ocean coastline opposes drilling off their coast or, in one case, has concerns. >click here to read<11:12 

NTSB: Lack of preparation, training a factor in death of 2 on Alaska crab boat

On December 6, 2016, the motor vessel Exito slipped below the surface of icy Dutch Harbor waters, never to be seen again. Aboard when it sank were two men, contractors for Trident Seafoods. Their bodies were never recovered. Now, over two years later, the National Transportation Safety Board has released a report detailing several factors that it says could have saved the two men. click here to read the story 16:53

Kodiak fishermen find extra work through halibut research amid stock concern

The Pacific halibut fishery may see a drop in stock over the next few years and the International Pacific Halibut Commission, which regulates the fishery, uses surveys in Kodiak waters to collect data.The surveys also give local fishermen another job to tackle during the winter season, especially with the recent announcement of the 80 percent cut to Pacific cod quota in 2018. click here to read the story 23:10

Drilling plan may not change much locally but still worries fishermen

Last week the Trump administration proposed to drastically increase the amount of Alaska waters open for oil and gas leasing. Along with keeping Cook Inlet open, it would also make areas near Kodiak and the Gulf of Alaska available for drilling, both of which are currently closed. Yet, it’s unclear if companies will be interested in drilling there even if the plan is approved. Still, the move worries local environmentalists and fishermen. click here to read the story 10:54 

The Auction Block closes its doors as hope for sale dwindles

Fishermen in Homer will have one less fish buyer in town in 2018. The Auction Block announced via Facebook on Dec. 20 that it would officially be closing its doors. The fish buyer and processor entered bankruptcy back in September and has been working on selling the business to California-based Southwind Seafoods. But the deal may be in jeopardy after the City of Homer objected to the sale.  The Auction Block has been one of Homer’s larger fish buyers for about 20 years and the business may live on under the Southwind Seafoods banner,,, click here to read the story 10:01

Untouched salmon

The future of commercial salmon processing will go online in Norway later this year when the machines take over a plant just north of the Arctic Circle. If the operation proves successful – and there is every indication it will – Alaska should get ready to see yet another radical change in the labor-intensive business that helped shape the territory and fire the push for Statehood in the 1950s. click here to read the story 09:25

FISHBILL-US: Fishermen, Lets unite like never before!

It becomes clearer by the day that our industry needs protection in the form of legislation for fishermen and supporting industries. While fishermen and those supporting industries are struggling to survive in various regions, many of them await federal assistance in already declared federal fishery failures, much of it beyond their control. Congress has mandated the NOAA is the agency that controls the “best available science”, while other data is not considered, by law. This must be addressed as we watch the industry retract based on the science many of us have no confidence in. They control our fate. click here to read the full post 20:22

Trump admin intends to roll back ban on offshore drilling

The Trump administration Thursday announced plans to roll back a ban on new offshore drilling off the coasts of Florida and California and is considering more than 40 sites for leasing of natural gas and oil production. The proposal is yet another blow to the Obama-era environmental agenda, and it has the potential to open up nearly all US federal waters that were previously protected. The proposal would increase drilling sites off the coasts of Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico. It would reinstate leasing sites in Pacific and Atlantic waters. click here to read the story 16:53

Trollers call for chinook management ‘with a scalpel, not a sledgehammer’

Fishermen in Sitka are pushing back against a proposed king salmon conservation plan that could impose deep restrictions on fishing seasons in 2018. The local Fish & Game Advisory Committee instead has offered some strategies of its own for protecting chinook returning to three major Southeast river systems. They’re calling it “management with a scalpel, instead of a sledge hammer.” click here to read the story 16:53 

A tricky break for business fishermen: Pacific halibut catches more likely to drop subsequent 12 months

It‘s going to be a tough year for many Alaska fishermen. After announcements of a massive drop in cod stocks, the industry learned last week that Pacific halibut catches are likely to drop by 20 percent next year, and the declines could continue for several years. That could bring the coastwide catch for 2018, meaning from Oregon to British Columbia to the Bering Sea, to about 31 million pounds. Scientists at the International Pacific Halibut Commission interim meeting in Seattle revealed that survey results showed halibut numbers were down,,, click here to read the story 09:57

Alaska fishermen bewildered, alarmed at loss of king salmon

There’s an unsolved fish mystery playing out right now along a rugged, 300-mile stretch of Southeast Alaska coastline: What’s killing off the thousands of king salmon that, at an increasing rate, swim out to sea and don’t return to spawn? “There’s a big ocean out there,” said Tad Fujioka, a commercial fisherman in Sitka. “And it’s kind of a black box.” Alaska fishermen and scientists don’t know what, exactly, is causing king salmon returns to plummet across Southeast. But they’re trying to adapt to the consequences: closures for certain fisheries and new limits on catches,,, click here to read the story 10:20

Fighting the tide

After three years of work, a University of Alaska Fairbanks study of the state’s commercial fishing industry has reached one conclusion nobody in the 49th state wants to talk about and another that not even the authors of the report seem willing to confront. The first conclusion is barely disguised in the report: “Since limited entry programs were implemented in state commercial fisheries, permit holdings by rural residents local to their fisheries have declined by 30 percent. Some regions like Bristol Bay have lost over 50 percent of their local rural permits.” A systemic fail? click here to read the story 17:11

All Hands on Deck! Sam Parisi gives an update on efforts to get a Fish Bill, wants to know what YOU want included!

First let me thank Fisherynation.com for publishing my letter. I have received many emails and calls from fishermen and fisheries association’s, and it has been great to have them join in with me. I have also had many ask what is this Fish Bill all about ,and they deserve and answer. To be clear, I do not know how to write a bill, and at some point a Senator or Congressman will have to write the bill, with all the specifics spelled out. Now is the time to discuss and add input about what you’d like to see in your US Fish Bill. In the meantime, here is a brief summary of what some of us would like the bill to do. click here to read the story 18:42

Come 2018, The State Plans To Dispose Of The F/V Akutan

After months sitting abandoned in Unalaska, the state announced Friday its intention to dispose of the fishing vessel Akutan. The processor was abandoned in Unalaska’s Captains Bay in September following a disastrous fishing season in Bristol Bay where the ship’s owner went broke, the crew went unpaid, and it’s 158,000 pound haul of salmon was declared unfit for human consumption. The state is looking for buyers interested in the vessel. If there are two or more prospective buyers, they will conduct a public auction, or the Akutan will be donated for scrap or destroyed. click here to read the story 15:40

US Fish-Bill Unity – Sam Parisi

Recently, Fisherman Jon Johnson wrote an opinion piece in Fisherynation.com (Why Fishermen Fail To Unite and Resist Being Swept Off of Our Historic Fishing Grounds) about the reasons for, and lack of unity in the U.S. fishing industry on fishery issues affecting the industry, and while I agree with most of his points, we must remember we are at fault a lot of the time, without knowing even knowing it. I have always thought if, we together, could agree on the need for a US Fish Bill, we could get real stability for all in our US Fisheries. I am not alone, as I am receiving calls from many representatives of fishing organizations, and of various fishing communities. We need input from fishermen in every region, from every fishery, and I invite you to get involved. Merry Christmas from Gloucester Mass!  Sam Parisi, Gloucester 978 491 7722 [email protected] 16:58

Tax appeal challenges Alaska’s fish landing tax

A tax dispute between a single fishing company and the state of Alaska could have far-reaching consequences for fishing towns across the state. Each year, fleets of factory trawlers and offshore processors catch millions of tons of fish in the North Pacific and Bering Sea. This happens outside the 3-mile limit that marks Alaska waters. But it isn’t practical to off-load their catch in the open ocean. So it’s almost always done in an Alaska ports or onto a transport ship anchored in state waters. It’s at this point that the state of Alaska takes its cut. click here to read the story 11:35

Petersburg crabber fined for using others’ pot tags

A Petersburg crabber was fined this week for using other permit holders’ crab pot tags and fishing more pots than he’s allowed. 54-year-old Andy Knight was originally facing six misdemeanor charges. He was fishing for Dungeness crab in his vessel the Kathy K in Gambier Bay on southern Admiralty Island north of Petersburg just after the start of the summer season June 17th. Alaska Wildlife Troopers from the Juneau post onboard the trooper vessel Sentry investigated and say Knight was fishing more than the maximum of 300 pots allowed for him and two other permit holders onboard. click here to read the story 10:56

Abandoned And Adrift, The Alaska Patriot Has Been Sunk In The North Pacific

The Alaska Patriot has been sunk in the North Pacific. Because of incoming inclement weather, the Coast Guard cutter Sherman left the area Wednesday evening while the 170-foot abandoned fishing vessel was slipping beneath the waves. Petty Officer Luis Fagalnifin of the Coast Guard’s command center in Juneau said the Sherman’s crew boarded the Alaska Patriot on Wednesday afternoon to let in water. The Sherman’s crew then fired 800 rounds from a .50-caliber machine gun and 300 rounds from a 25mm machine gun at the Alaska Patriot to speed the scuttling process. click here to read the story 09:29

Coastal communities to ask for disaster declaration after cod forecast reduced by 80 percent

Kodiak officials already are drafting a disaster declaration due to the crash of cod stocks throughout the Gulf of Alaska. The shortage will hurt many other coastal communities as well. Gulf cod catches for 2018 will drop by 80 percent to just under 29 million pounds in federally managed waters, compared to a harvest this year of nearly 142 million pounds. The crash is expected to continue into 2020 or 2021. Cod catches in the Bering Sea also will decline by 15 percent to 414 million pounds. In all, Alaska produces 12 percent of global cod fish. click here to read the story 12:39   

Money fish rule

Once more trawlers in the Bering Sea have gone to court in an effort to stop the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) from billing them for the costs of managing Chinook salmon in the Bering Sea.,,, U.S. Commerce Department “cost recovery regulations, as applied to catcher-processor sector participants violate the (Magnuson-Stevens Act) MSA and (Administrative Procedures Act) APA, are arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law, and are in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority or limitations and short of statutory right,” the trawlers charged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for Alaska. click here to read the story 08:25

Bering Sea cod conflict brewing between on and offshore buyers

“Cod Alley” is getting crowded, and some fishermen want to limit the boats in the narrow congested fishing area in the Bering Sea. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is looking at changes, including restricting flatfish factory trawlers from buying cod offshore. The Pacific Seafood Processors Association is pushing for restrictions on factory trawlers to protect its members’ shore plants in Unalaska, Akutan, King Cove and Sand Point. According to the PSPA’s Nicole Kimball, seven factory trawlers bought cod from 17 catcher boats in 2017,,, click here to read the story 21:23

Abandoned and adrift, North Pacific fishing vessel will be sunk by Coast Guard

A Coast Guard cutter is heading to a derelict fishing vessel adrift in the Northern Pacific with the sole purpose of sinking it, possibly with machine gun or artillery fire. “Certainly, a 170-foot fishing vessel drifting out there can cause some pretty serious damage to even a large commercial freighter,” said Lt. Cmdr. Orion Bloom, command center chief for the U.S. Coast Guard’s 17th District, Bloom said the vessel Alaska Patriot, currently adrift about 215 miles south of Chirikof Island, is a navigational hazard. click here to read the story 19:52