Category Archives: North Pacific

Record of decision on Pebble delayed to autumn 2020

A final environmental impact statement that will determine the future of a proposed copper, gold and molybdenum mine abutting the Bristol Bay watershed in Southwest Alaska has now been delayed until the summer of 2020. “The delay is caused by us deciding that we needed more time to refine our analysis, and to finalize the respond to the concerns raised through the public comment period,” said Sheila Newman, deputy chief of the regulatory division of the Corps. The final EIS was previously anticipated no later than the beginning of March. >click to read< 09:19

GHL down for Pollock pelagic trawl fishery

A directed fishery for walleye pollock using pelagic trawl gear in the Prince William Sound registration area will open at noon Jan. 20 with a guideline harvest level 2,988 metric tons, down 684 metric tons from last year’s quota. Registration for this fishery will be issued only to individuals who possess a 2019 miscellaneous saltwater finfish permit card for trawl gear. The deadline for registration is 5 p.m. Jan. 13. >click to read< 09:01

2020 Forecast: Bristol Bay still looks bright, but fishermen face cuts in cod, crab and halibut

Judging by the forecasts, 2020 could be an eventful year in Alaska’s commercial fisheries. Even though not all the forecasts and catch limits are rosy, there are some bright spots, such as an increased eastern Bering Sea snow crab total allowable catch and another promising forecast for Bristol Bay sockeye salmon. However, fishermen this winter are looking at tighter limits in some groundfish fisheries, particularly in the Gulf of Alaska. >click to read< 11:50

Army Corps of Engineers’ Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Pebble Project is inadequate and underestimates potential impacts

Congress yesterday completed a spending deal that includes a stern warning to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding its rushed and flawed permitting process for the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The warning, included in a report to the appropriations bill that covers the Department of Interior’s spending,,, >click to read< 15:39

Have you had enough?

Since its inception in 1976, the agency charged with managing our fisheries, the NMFS, has overseen their decline, a decline which in most cases was a product of their own machinations.Usually most ideas the government has for managing our lives are well intended but terribly executed, this was a prime example. NMFS, for all that it was intended to be and do for our fisheries, has failed and in some cases, this wasn’t by mistake, but by design. By John Rice, >click to read< , and the comment venue is open there! 13:37

Ocean Beauty accepts offer on seafood plant for sale in Petersburg

Ocean Beauty Seafoods says it has accepted an offer on the shuttered seafood processing plant on the Petersburg waterfront, but is not identifying the buyer. The former cannery and seafood plant has been on the market for over a year. Recently, the price was reduced on both that facility and a nearby bunkhouse for the plant workers. >click to read< 15:42

As the marine mammal takes a bite out of the fishing industry, A modest proposal for hunting sea otters

Phil Doherty doesn’t think sea otters are cute. Sure, he can see why tourists might get a kick out of watching the fuzzy critters reclining in waves with clams on their bellies, fixing to chow down. But to Doherty, co-director of the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association and the commercial fisherman he represents, those cuddly otters are eating their bottom line. >click to read< 15:07

‘If they put in that mine, it would really crush the economy we have’: Proposed Alaskan mine threatens salmon, environmentalists say

Some residents of Haines, Alaska, are refusing to participate in public consultations about a proposed mine near the community.  B.C.-based Constantine Metal Resources wants public input for its Palmer project. ,,, “We have a nice little town here, and it’s got a pretty solid diversified economy and if they put in that mine, it would really crush the economy we have,” said Rafe McGuire, a commercial fisherman in Haines. >click to read< 08:51

Resident orcas’ appetite likely reason for decline of big Chinook salmon

“We have two protected species, resident killer whales and Chinook salmon, and we are trying to increase abundances of both—yet they are interacting as predator and prey,” said lead author Jan Ohlberger, a research scientist at the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. “Killer whales don’t show a lot of interest in Chinook until they reach a certain size, and then they focus intensely on those individuals.”>click to read<  19:02

The little known United States and Canadian border war

For the past 116 years, a disputed passageway off the Alaskan coast has spurred a war between the two neighbouring countries. Though the US and Canada have the longest undefended border in the world, Dixon Entrance is one of four long-running border disputes between the friendly neighbours. The roots of the quarrel date back to the 18th Century; a time when the colonising stakeholders in the Alaskan Panhandle region (the narrow strip of mountains, fjords and channel islands bordering modern British Columbia) were England and Russia, followed by the US. >click to read< 17:37

20 Strange But True Things About Deadliest Catch

Deadliest Catch is one of the most popular shows on reality television right now. The premise for this catchy hit seems pretty straight forward. Groups of the toughest men and women travel north to brave the freezing waters of the Bering Sea in order to bring home hauls of king crab, queen crab, and snow crab. Check out these twenty strange but true facts that we could not have guessed take place on our favorite fishing reality show, Deadliest Catch. Photos, >click to read<  14:33

Fishermen participating in Alaska’s largest herring fishery have a huge quota to fill next year. But the primary customer isn’t buying.

“I’m a recovering herring fisherman,” joked Bruce Schactler. Schactler, who lives in Kodiak, has been fishing in Togiak off and on since 1985. But he won’t be returning this summer. “The market is so bad that Trident will not be buying fish this year, so we’re not going. Every ton that is frozen and shipped off to Japan is a loser. There’s no money being made,” he said. >click to read< 07:06

2019 salmon season fell short in some areas

As nearly every commercial salmon fisherman in Upper Cook Inlet can tell you, the 2019 season fell far short in every department. The commercial harvest came in at about 2.1 million sockeye, 37% below the most recent 10-year average, and the total run, forecast for 6 million sockeye, fell 13% short,,, Lower Cook Inlet, meanwhile, had a better season with a commercial harvest of 2.4 million fish of all species. >click to read< 18:07

Stock decline leads to historic shutdown for Gulf P-cod

Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod fishermen will be keeping their gear dry this winter: The federal fishery has been closed for the 2020 season. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council decided to close the fishery due to concerns about historic low biomass shown in the latest stock assessment. The struggles of the stock have been linked to climate change more than excessive fishing. In 2014, the Gulf of Alaska experienced a major influx of warm water, linked to the El Nino event in the south Pacific.  >click to read< 15:44

Melbourne is now home to a pink Champagne and lobster bar

Upon arrival at Pinchy’s in Melbourne’s Bourke Street, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve returned to the womb.,, Pinchy’s imports lobster from Maine and crab from Alaska, and while their website emphasises their commitment to sustainable fishing practices, it’s not clear whether they’re offsetting the carbon from flying produce halfway around the world. As the business grows, hopefully they’ll consider swapping American shellfish for some of our beautiful local crays and crabs. In the meantime though, go for a glass of bubbly and soak up the pink. >click to read<   11:55

Warren proposes ‘Blue New Deal’ to protect oceans. Where Warren’s Blue New Deal Falls Short

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Tuesday proposed a “Blue New Deal” plan in what she calls an effort to protect oceans and rebuild the economy associated with oceans. The proposal was influenced by a question from an oyster farmer at the CNN presidential town hall on the climate crisis in September,,,“I said I would, and I meant it,,, >click to read< 11:03

An Environmental Lawyer Explains Where Elizabeth Warren’s Blue New Deal Falls Short – Warren’s plan does recommend folding the US into the United Nations Law of the Sea treaty,,,, Furthermore, the Blue New Deal aims to rebuild America’s fisheries, an effort that “would support an additional 500,000 jobs and generate an additional $31 billion in sales impacts,” >click to read< 11:09

Measure to help protect, enhance working waterfronts passes U.S. House

The measure, introduced by Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, D-1st District, would provide $24 million in federal grants and loans to states, which could allocate funding to municipalities, nonprofits and fishing co-ops for projects that preserve or improve working waterfront infrastructure. If approved by the Senate, it also would create a task force at the Commerce Department charged with identifying threats to working waterfronts, including climate change and marketplace pressures. >click to read< 09:02

Commentary: Northwest must speak for trees, salmon in Alaska

Keeping the Roadless Rule in force for the Tongass protects resources and climate we enjoy at home.,, We rise before dawn, our 43-foot salmon troller, the Nerka, nestled among rocks in one of our favorite Southeast Alaskan bays. Pulling the anchor and puttering out to the fishing grounds, eyelids are still half-mast, minds precariously balanced between dreams and blurred reality from weeks of 18-hour days, hauling salmon aboard one fish at a time. >click to read< Search Results for: Tele Aadsen >click here< 12:10

Its going to be up to people in the fishing industry to save our fishing industry by Sam Parisi

We ALL need to step up to the plate before this industry goes under because of absurd regulations, pandering politicians, and environmental groups. I have reached out to my Senators and Congressman, whom have actually responded after utilizing Fisherynation to get their attention, for which I am grateful, with little success from those elected officials regarding the issues I have continuously contacted them about. As usual, they disappoint with no action. Senator Markey did support an issue I asked him to, which was about supporting Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan’s S-K bill, which he did, and I thank him for that. >click to read< 16:50

Nearly 2 months after fatal crash, Unalaskans are struggling to get in the air

For some in this flight-dependent community of 4,000 known for foul weather and Americas’s top seafood hauls, the anxiety is mounting instead of easing with time. The busy travel season is compounded in Unalaska by the start of major fishing seasons that crowd planes with thousands of fishermen and processing plant workers headed to the community’s busy port of Dutch Harbor. >click to link< 11:11

Extremely low cod numbers lead feds to close the Gulf of Alaska fishery for the first time

A stock assessment this fall put Gulf cod populations at a historic low, with “next to no” new eggs, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research biologist Steve Barbeaux, who authored the report. At their current numbers, cod are below the federal threshold that protects them as a food source for endangered Steller sea lions. Once below that line, the total allowable catch goes to zero — in other words, the fishery shuts down. >click to read< 08:32

Proposed land trade may turn the tide for Sitka’s maritime industry

A private business has proposed building a new marine haulout in Sitka, in exchange for 17 acres of city-owned waterfront just north of its private cruise ship terminal. The deal was well-received by the board of Sitka’s industrial park at its latest meeting on Wednesday (12-4-19), and by the large number of Sitka’s commercial fishing fleet who attended. >click to read< 08:25

Randy Babich has been fishing Puget Sound and southeast Alaska for 54 years. A lot has changed in that time.

The Paragon is a 56-foot commercial purse seiner moored at Longbranch Marina, a seagoing workhorse that dwarfs the pleasure boats around it.  “I was going to be a dentist,” said the owner, Randy Babich, who just turned 70. “I went through pre-med, pre-dent. My dad always said, ‘Get into a profession.’ ” Babich grew up in Gig Harbor and “got into fishing because my family was into fishing,” >click to read<  07:16

Researchers, marine pilots work to prevent vessel strikes from killing Alaska whales

Over the past decade, federal officials have logged 77 incidents of vessels hitting whales in Alaska waters. About three-quarters of those, were endangered humpbacks. But, it’s not clear why those strikes keep happening. A group of federal researchers and marine pilots have teamed up to combine what scientists know about whale behavior with what marine pilots know about ships.,,, That’s important as NOAA has logged 182 whale strikes in U.S. waters over the last decade. But that’s an undercount: ships aren’t legally required to report when they hit whale. And sometimes they don’t even know it’s happened. >click to read< 12:18

Uneven status of Pacific halibut revealed by annual data

Following the trend of the past several years, overall Pacific halibut biomass seems to be down again. The most recent stock assessment presented to the International Pacific Halibut Commission for its interim meeting on Nov. 25-26 shows a coastwide decline in spawning biomass, though that decline isn’t even across all areas. That’s a continuation of a trend seen in stock assessments since 2015. Particularly, surveys have indicated lower numbers of halibut in the central Gulf of Alaska. >click to read<  08:40

Southeast Alaska fisherman pleads guilty to illegally harvesting $35,000 worth of sea cucumbers

A Southeast Alaska commercial fisherman has been convicted for his role in illegally harvesting nearly 7,500 pounds of sea cucumbers near Prince of Wales Island. Jonathan McGraw Jr., of Naukati Bay, pleaded guilty to fishing in closed waters and providing false information on a harvest report. Both are misdemeanors. In 2018, McGraw and two others were charged with illegally fishing in a scientific preserve near Whale Pass. That area has been closed to fishing since the 1980s. >click to read<  21:13

New Environmental Defence Fund Report Details Actions Needed to Create Climate-Ready Fisheries

“Even with the necessary actions to control emissions and investments to reduce carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, changes in the ocean already underway will continue and even accelerate,” said Eric Schwaab, senior vice president for EDF Oceans.,,,  The five pathways articulated in the report focus on steps that can and must be taken by governments, NGOs, fisher organizations, academia and multilateral organizations in order to create greater resilience and sustainability of fisheries. The pathways include: >click to read< 06:57

A dark horizon

If you’re an Alaska commercial salmon fishermen, be forewarned; the farmers in Wisconsin are coming for you. Enter the marketers. “A Better Ocean in Your Backyard” is the new marketing theme of Superior Fresh, a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) farm in America’s Heartland: “Until now, it’s been impossible to get truly fresh Atlantic salmon in the Midwest, not to mention salmon of the incredible quality that Superior Fresh offers. Healthy, delicious, and without the same contaminants you’d find in the wild. And we did it sustainably to boot.” The word that will, or should, jump out to Alaskans (everyone, everywhere) there is “wild.” >click to read< 10:33

Opposite forecasts for SE pinks, Bristol Bay reds; Cook Inlet busts

Biologists are forecasting another weak pink salmon year for Southeast and another strong sockeye salmon run for Bristol Bay coming in the 2020 season. The forecasts for Southeast Alaska and for Bristol Bay, released in late November, continue the trends of the past few years in both areas. In Southeast, biologists are forecasting about 12 million fish to be harvested, with a range of 7 million to 19 million fish. >click to read< 11:51

Pink salmon disaster relief payments delayed

Federal relief payments to permit holders who participated in the disastrous 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fishery have hit another snag, and now won’t be forthcoming until March. News of the payment delay, which was slated to be within six to eight weeks of the Oct. 31 deadline for skipper applications for relief reached Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, on Nov. 15. >click to read< 17:14