Category Archives: North Pacific

UPDATE: Fuel from sunken vessel closes fishing in Nushagak District

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the closure of the Nushagak District to all commercial fishing as of 1:00 p.m. Thursday after fuel from the sunken fishing vessel Pacific Knight was observed by air. According to ADF&G, fuel was seen by Fish and Game staff pooling in tide rips. The sheen is expected to spread across Nushagak Bay toward Dillingham with the tide, and presents a “significant chance of gear and fish being exposed to fuel.” The department also warns of the chance for gear and fish to be contaminated on Dillingham’s beaches. ADF&G says staff will continue to monitor the spread of fuel. There is no immediate timetable for when fishing might reopen. >click to read<20:41

How much Bristol Bay processors will pay for salmon

The question on every Bristol Bay fisherman’s mind at this point in the season is base price: How much cash am I going to get for my salmon? A few Bristol Bay processors said they’re still waiting on their corporate headquarters to release prices, but here’s what we do know as of Tuesday: On Monday, Copper River Seafoods raised its price from $1.30 to $1.70 per pound for chilled, bled and separated sockeye only. Kings larger than 11 pounds bring in $3 per pound, and smaller kings go for $2 a pound. Copper River is paying 80 cents per pound on silvers, 45 cents per pound on chum and 30 cents per pound for pinks. Trident Seafoods is paying,,, >click to read<11:02

Coast Guard medevacs fisherman 20 miles north of Kodiak

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevaced a male crewmember from a fishing vessel in Duck Bay, near Kodiak, Alaska, Wednesday. The Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the crewmember from the fishing vessel Nordic Cross and transported him to Kodiak where he was transferred to awaiting emergency medical services personnel. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders received notification from the crew of the Nordic Cross, who reported a 47-year-old crewman was suffering from a leg injury. >click to read<19:38

Tender capsizes near Clark’s Point, two rescued, one crewman is missing.

A commercial fishing vessel has capsized in the Nushagak Bay close to Dillingham. The United States Coast Guard received a report Wednesday morning that the F/V Pacific Knight capsized near Clark’s Point. The 58-foot long liner has been operating as a tender in Bristol Bay this summer. The good samaritan vessel Amanda C reportedly rescued two people from the water. A third person who went overboard is still missing. It is unknown whether this person was wearing a personal flotation device. photo commercialfishingpermits.com>click to read<16:32

Adapt or die

Alaska needs to find ways to encourage innovation in the commercial fishing industry to head off declines in a struggling, one-time mainstay of the state economy, the former director of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute on Social and Economic Research (ISER) is warning. Presenting at the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade in Seattle this week, economist Gunnar Knapp, an expert on Alaska fisheries, warned that aquaculture is continuing its takeover of global markets and appears destined to push its technological advantage into the future.,,, Knapp’s prognosis for ever-changing salmon markets is unlikely to sit well with 49th state commercial fishermen mired in the 20th Century, and his latest presentation is unlikely to win him any new fans in-state with his suggestion that Alaska needs to find better ways to harvest wild fish.>click to read<11:36

Here’s why ice was a hot commodity in the Nushagak this summer

Bristol Bay’s Nushagak fishing district pulled in more than a million sockeye on eight separate days earlier this month. Before this summer, it had only done that twice in Bristol Bay’s history.
Keeping all those fish cool proved problematic for fishermen who still rely on slush ice. Capt. Nick Sotiropoulos of the fishing vessel Flyin’ Tiger said he’d like at least 1,000 pounds of ice for every opener to keep his catch cold and earn that chilled quality bonus from his processor.,, Just over 10 percent of Bristol Bay’s fleet relies on ice to chill their fish. Another 27 percent turn over unchilled fish to processors, and the final 63 percent are drift boats with refrigerated sea water systems. >click to read<14:43

Coast Guard suspends search for man overboard in Ugashik Bay, has been identified

The Coast Guard suspended its search Friday for a man reported overboard from the 190-foot fishing vessel Cape Greig in Ugashik Bay, Alaska. A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew, a Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and nine good Samaritan vessels searched a total of 13-square miles along the Ugashik Bay shoreline and up the river in efforts to locate the man. On Thursday, at approximately 4:27 p.m., Communications Detachment Kodiak personnel received a report of a man overboard from the fishing vessel Cape Greig. photo credit vesselfinder.com >click to read<

Overboard fisherman sought near Pilot Point – Grant Hildreth Jr., 25, reportedly fell into the river at about 4 p.m., troopers said in an online dispatch. Word of the fall was relayed to troopers by the village public safety officer in Pilot Point. >click to read<16:21

Board of Fisheries declares low Chignik sockeye returns an emergency

Like many Gulf of Alaska communities, far fewer sockeye are returning to the Chignik River than forecasted. Chignik has an early and late run. The combined escapement goal for July 20 is 416,000 sockeye. As of July 18, only 222,000 sockeye had made it upriver to spawn. With no harvestable surplus, the Chignik Management area has not had a commercial fishing opportunity targeting sockeye. Further, some residents say they are voluntarily forgoing subsistence fishing to boost escapement. Audio report, >click to read<13:24

U.S. Coast Guard investigates fishing vessel for knowingly discharging oil in Canadian waters

Investigators from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage and Marine Safety Detachment Dutch Harbor, and Coast Guard Investigative Service agents are investigating the fishing vessel Mark I for knowingly discharging oil overboard in Canadian waters. A Transport Canada aircrew detected the Mark I transiting through the Canadian exclusive economic zone 97-miles off of Cape St. James, British Columbia, with an approximate 26-mile oil sheen trailing behind, July 7. (photo credit vesselfinder.com)>click to read<11:12

Sam Parisi: HR-200 was passed in the House and will now move on to the Senate. Push Your Senators!

There has been a lot of those for and against the bill, and after reading the forty-nine pages of the bill and trying to consume it, I have come to the conclusion that over all it is a move in the right direction. The enactment of the 200 mile limit was needed because of foreign fisherman from other countries were destroying our Fisheries and our government at that time had no jurisdiction, Japanese and Russian Factory Ships were invading our waters using small mesh netting scooping up small fish like haddock, cod, flounder, and other bottom dwelling species. I say this because while fishing for whiting off the Canyons near Cape Cod I saw in front of me and fishing along side of me, those factory ships. >click to read<17:48

Opinion: Fisheries act is a chance to build trust

There’s a little something for everyone to hate in the House’s proposed renewal of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Commercial fishermen feel it gives too much to recreational fishermen and environmentalists. Recreational fishermen say it goes too easy on their commercial counterparts, and the environmental lobby says the measure, which passed the House last week along largely partisan lines, will undo years of progress in restoring fish stocks. We are left with what we have had for decades — a pitched battle among competing interests, with no end in sight. Congress must do better to help guarantee that the science behind management decisions is sound and easily understandable. >click to read<19:25

Seafood Industry should Organize, File National Class Action Lawsuit Against Anti-Commercial Fishing 501(C)’s, private companies

Every Seafood Industry related trade association in America should join hands and file a National Class Action Lawsuit  against certain 501(C) organizations and private companies that have de-humanized the Commercial Fishermen in the United States by reducing the non-boaters share of the Federal Fishery Resources. The lawsuit should be filed in the District of Columbia Federal Court on behalf of the hundreds of millions of non-boaters who depend on access to the nations fish at restaurants and retail markets through the labors of Commercial Fishermen. By Bob Jones >click to read<08:32

F/V Kristi sinks near Clark’s point, all onboard survive

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, July 14, the F/V Kristi lost power. The tide was coming in, and the boat floated in the current at 5 knots. While its skipper Jan Medhaug and deckhand Kyle Brojakowski worked to restore power to the 32-foot aluminum drift boat, Medhaug’s wife, Kayla Breeden went to the stern to hang a protective buoy. “When you’re out there fishing for that many days, you just think kind of everything is mundane, so I grabbed my buoy to go out there,” said Breeden. “I didn’t even put my rain jacket on and I almost didn’t put my boots on because I thought we were going to clear her.” She could see two large ships, which she estimated were “three football fields away.” >click to read<23:44

‘Deadliest Catch’ co-star Edgar Hansen pleads guilty to sexually assaulting teen girl

Reality-TV fisherman Edgar Hansen pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a teenage girl in September, but he’ll face no jail time under a plea deal quietly reached last week with Snohomish County prosecutors. Instead, Hansen, 47, received a 364-day suspended jail sentence and was ordered to pay court fines and fees of $1,653, court records show. He also must undergo a sexual-deviancy evaluation and treatment and give a DNA sample to authorities.,, Hansen pleaded guilty Wednesday to fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation — a gross misdemeanor — admitting he intentionally kissed and touched the victim.>click to read<20:30

Kenai River anglers ask for closure of Cook Inlet commercial set netting

The Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) is calling for the closure of set net fishing on the Cook Inlet until adequate numbers of king and sockeye salmon enter the Kenai River. The organization is asking Gov. Bill Walker to direct the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to take action and help Kenai River salmon numbers rebound.,,, One commercial set netter agrees a closure could benefit harvests for both sides. “As a commercial set netter for almost 50 years, and speaking for myself,” Ken Coleman said, “I believe we commercial fisherman have always been in favor of department closures when the health of the fisheries is at risk, whether it be sockeyes, or Chinook or other species. >click to read<08:24

‘No fish and no hope’: Poor sockeye salmon run takes a toll on Chignik

A dreadful sockeye run in the Chignik salmon fishery, on the south side of the Alaska Peninsula, is imperiling commercial and subsistence fishermen and distressing the community there. In the Chignik salmon fishery, the sockeye escapement — or the number of fish allowed to escape past the fishermen to spawn — was about 190,000 fish as of Friday afternoon. That’s less than half of what the average figure usually looks like by now. Commercial sockeye fishing has been closed there all season, and subsistence fishing has been restricted. Tribal groups have requested a disaster declaration for the fishery from Gov. Bill Walker. >click to read<14:42

The MSA and Don Young’s partisan dilemma

“We must remain committed to the bipartisan, bicameral tradition of fisheries management,” Rep. Don Young wrote last Sunday, “and my legislation accomplishes just that.” He was referring to the reauthorization of Magnuson-Stevens Act. But when the House passed it on Wednesday, only nine Democrats voted in favor of it. Which explains why, in the same opinion piece, Young complained about “the hyper-partisan mentality” his “Democratic colleagues subscribe to.” Like the breakup of a marriage, there are two sides to this story. The reason why Young is arguing from both might be that he was caught in the middle. >click to read<09:00

Set netting is a ‘mud experience’ and these fishermen can’t get enough of it

Mud is the tie that binds all set netters together, but some are better than others at traipsing through the gloop. We found three fishermen who couldn’t stop gushing about it. Alana Kansaku-Sarmiento has left set netting (somewhat reluctantly, it seems) to drift with the fishing vessel Marion-Ruth.,,  I love, for some reason, the mud. And that’s a very personal reason that I would love Nushagak Point and set netting, but I happen to be one of those people who just loves walking in it, picking fish in it, dragging s**t — stuff — through it. I don’t know what it is. >click to read<12:20

NTSB Says Icing Caused Fatal Sinking of FV Destination in Bering Sea, issues related Safety Alert

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a marine accident brief >click to read<and a related safety alert>click to read< warning mariners of the dangers of icing following the agency’s investigation of the sinking of the fishing vessel Destination in the Bering Sea last February with the loss of all six crew members.  The 110-foot, 196-gross ton, fishing vessel Destination sank in frigid, remote waters 2.6 miles northwest of St. George Island, Alaska, on February 11, 2017. >click to read<09:36

Copper disaster

No sooner did the burst of sockeye salmon into the Copper River begin than it was over. With the famous salmon river in eastern Alaska again falling behind projected daily returns, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that a Thursday through Sunday opening of the popular personal-use dipnet fishery will likely be the year’s last. The weak sockeye run has now turned into a disaster for almost everyone. Cordova commercial fishermen off the mouth of the river caught only 26,000 of the highly valuable sockeye in three short openings in May before they were shutdown for the year. >click to read<20:33

An old boat with a prosperous past awaits a future afloat

For decades, the Midas was a commercial fishing vessel that ventured between Alaska and Washington. It was like a middle man, purchasing fish from boats at sea and selling it at ports in Seattle, Juneau, Ketchikan or wherever else the market called. The Midas had a prosperous past. In 1987, it sold for more than $4 million. Today, the 100-footer is far removed from its glory days. It looks haggard on a muddy bank near the I-5 bridge over the Snohomish River between Marysville and Everett.,, Richard Cook, 46, bought the boat in November. He said he bought it so his father could fish in Alaska. >click to read<13:58

Prince William Sound commercial catch tops 3.5M fish

Commercial harvests in Prince William Sound have reached 3.5 million salmon, even as the surge in the catch in late June slowed somewhat in early July. Through June 10 fishermen delivered to processors an estimated 2,450,601 chums, 1,022,779 sockeyes, 18,461 pinks, 7,829 Chinooks and 459 silvers. Drift gillnetters in the Coghill district alone have brought in over 1.8 million fish, including an estimated 1.7 million chums, 155,704 reds, 1,959 humpies, 386 kings and 94 silvers. Purse seiners in the Montague district had,,, Statewide harvest updates provided by the McDowell Group in Juneau for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute show that through June 10 nearly 28 million salmon have been delivered to processors. >click to read<12:55

House of Representatives – Debate and Passage of HR-200

July 11, 2018 House Session The House meets with debate scheduled on a fisheries management bill sponsored by Rep. Don Young of Alaska. >click to watch<20:52

House votes to overhaul fishery management law – “I’m proud to say that my bill protects our commercial and recreational fisheries’ interests and allow councils to do their jobs in a more streamlined and effective manner,” Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the bill’s sponsor, said on the House floor. >click to read<21:41

Ukrainian seafood buyers want to connect with Unalaska’s fisheries

International seafood buyers are scheduled to visit Unalaska this month, but they don’t hail from a massive importer like China or Japan. They’re coming from Ukraine — a once-modest market for Alaska fish that’s slowly reemerging after political upheaval and economic crisis. In 2013, Ukraine spent $105 million on American seafood — a record for the Eastern European nation that loves hake, pollock and salmon roe. But two years later, those imports had plummeted almost 70 percent as the Ukrainian government was overthrown and parts of its land occupied by Russia. >click to read<21:22

Partisanship shouldn’t undermine our fisheries

Partisan rancor may be standard operating procedure for most of Washington, but let’s not allow it to unravel the progress we’ve made for our country’s vital fisheries.,,, The current reauthorization legislation on the table, H.R. 200, reauthorizes the MSA for the first time in over a decade. It has the needed type of collaborative, stakeholder-driven support that previous successful reauthorization efforts enjoyed. That’s because this reauthorization wasn’t created overnight — it has been carefully developed over the past five years with input from experts in fisheries’ science, commercial and recreational fishing groups, and a wide array of regional perspectives. >click to read< for various posts on the reauthorization >click here<06:25

Southeast Dungeness crab fishermen will have full season in 2018

Southeast Alaska’s Dungeness crab fishery had a strong first week and will not have a shortened season like last year. The summer season for most of the region started June 15. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced in late June that crabbers would have a full two-month summer season. Fishermen caught more than 871,000 lbs. during the first week. The agency uses the first week’s catch to estimate how many crab will be harvested during the season. Tessa Bergmann with Fish and Game in Petersburg said this year’s estimate is the third highest on record. “Our harvest estimate for the 2018 season is just over 3.7 million lbs.,” Bergmann said. That is well above the 2.25 million lb. estimate required for a full season in Southeast Alaska. It will mean crabbers can keep fishing through Aug. 15. >click to read<15:08

Nordic Lady: Keeping a Good Boat Up to Date

When Trygve Westergard bought the 98- by 28-foot Judi B in the spring of 2016 he was entering a new chapter in a varied marine career. Growing up on a remote island off Ketchikan, Alaska as the third generation of Norwegian-Danish family, he had fishing in his blood and his environment. A stint at the California Maritime Academy earned him an unlimited masters license and a BS in marine transportation. After a decade of running everything from ferries to off-shore boats and filling the gaps with fishing, Westergard decided it was time to come home.  Given the price of quota the logical entry to the Alaskan fishery was with a tender to collect fish from other boats. This business would also allow his family on board for part of the year. In the Judi B,,, >click to read<12:45

Bristol Bay sockeye harvest breaking records as other districts suffer

The Nushugak District in Bristol Bay is experiencing an all-time record harvest of sockeye salmon as other districts across Alaska suffer poor returns. “Last year the Nushagak set an all-time record of 12.3 million fish for the year, I just got off the phone [on Friday] with the manager and he expects that record to be broken today,” said Art Nelson, a spokesperson for commercial fisheries at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “And there are more fish to come.” Other districts across Alaska have been struggling with poor sockeye harvests. >click to read<08:44

Naknek-Kvichak District closes to boost Kvichak River Escapement, Special Harvest Area will be open

A big announcement today from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game today. The Naknek-Kvichak District is closed. The Naknek River Special Harvest Area will be open to drift gillnet gear tonight at 8 p.m. That triggers the Egegik District to close and move into the Egegik River Special Harest Area. Drift gillnetters there will also see an 8 p.m. opening. Across Bristol Bay’s five districts, no dual permit boat may have more than 150 fathoms of gear on board, starting this at 8 p.m. as well. These restrictions are an effort to boost escapement on the Kvichak River, which is far behind where it needs to be to meet the bottom end of its goal, 2 million sockeye. >click to read<20:09

Fishing fleet packs Amalga Harbor: On down year for pinks, seiners line up for hatchery chums

Drivers out the road might encounter a somewhat new sight on Thursdays this month: A small armada of commercial seine boats, fishing in close proximity, yards away from the Juneau road system. In a down year for pink salmon, seiners have descended on Amalga Harbor on Thursdays in July for four planned one-day fishing openings. “It’s quite the show,” said Douglas Island Pink and Chum Operations Manager Brock Meredith. It’s the seventh year fishery managers have allowed fishing in what’s called a Special Harvest Area around Amalga Harbor. >click to read<16:31