Category Archives: Pacific

Commercial crab season north of Klipsan Beach opens Saturday

The 2020 commercial Dungeness crab fishery north of Klipsan Beach will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The commercial fleet in Westport was loaded and ready Monday for the 73-hour gear pre-set period that begins today at 8 a.m. >click to read< 07:46

Washington Legislature’s sneaky bill considers salmon the 4th branch of government

Senate Bill 5130 purports to be about raising revenue to remove state fish barriers. The bill writers maintain that this would help save the salmon, which in turn helps save the orcas. It sounds good, right? But then you go down a ways in this bill and learn that they want to raise the money by charging an excise tax on every real estate sale — thousands of dollars when you sell your home. Alright, but it’s for the good of the salmon, isn’t it? Read down a little further. It will go toward helping the salmon, right? Wrong. Here is how it will be spent: >click to read< 08:44

Matt Becker, One of the Most Gifted Fisherman-Surfers You’ll Ever Meet

He’s young, gifted in riding big waves, and he’s in tune with the ways of the world. Mostly because he’s spent his early adult life as a fisherman, taking to the family business he learned from his father growing up in Santa Barbara. In fact, he’s probably one of the best professional surfers who also doubles as a professional fisherman in the world today. He might be the only one. “When I was young I was thinking I wasn’t going to be a fisherman, but I got older and met all these interesting people.” Video, and a great interview! >click to read< 19:59

Drunken assault at sea leads to a federal prison sentence for a Winchester Bay man

39-year old Brandon Vanderploeg was sentenced Thursday to 18 months behind bars and two year of supervised patrol for assaulting his then-girlfriend about a fishing vessel in August of 2018. According to court documents, on August 16, 2018, members of the U.S. Coast Guard were dispatched to a situation at sea involving the report of a woman who had been assaulted by her boyfriend onboard a commercial fishing vessel. >click to read< 07:39

Herrera Beutler calls sea lion bill critical to preserving salmon habitat

For Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, the package marks her latest attempt in a series of incremental efforts aimed at boosting salmon runs without resorting to such drastic measures as breaching Columbia or Snake River dams. The congresswoman is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. “Now that my sea lion bill has been signed into law, I am working with members from both political parties to take the next critical step: protect salmon habitat and increase hatchery production,” Herrera Beutler said in a media release. >click to read< 12:44

Meanwhile, in Ireland, Call for a seal cull in Killala Bay>click to read<

Firefighters respond to boat fire at Port Dock 7

The Newport Fire Department responded to a report of a boat fire on Yaquina Bay at around 1:45 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 10. The boat, identified as the F/V Nile II, was moored at Port Dock 7. Cub Barrus, a crew member aboard the F/V Misty, which is docked next to the Nile II, said, “We were just sitting here waiting to offload, and I said to my captain, ‘Is that smoke?’ So we called the harbormaster, got him on the case. They got it put out pretty fast.” >click to read< 09:58

3 crab fishermen survive harrowing capsize off Oregon coast

Three men were in good condition early Wednesday after being cut from inside the hull of a capsized crab boat off the Oregon coast. Their harrowing rescue was caught on video the night before. The 38-foot Pacific Miner was flipped upside-down by large waves,, Rescuers could not see the men inside the capsized boat and given the ship’s condition, rescuers searched for bodies in the water for more than an hour before a firefighter checked the boat itself. He heard survivors pounding on the hull from the inside, said Rob Gensorek,,, Video, >click to read< 08:55

Video: Terrier Inherited by Fisherman Adapts to New Life on the Waves

After inheriting Maggie the Welsh terrier from his grandpa, commercial fisherman Kale Pixey was determined to integrate her into his life. “Pretty crazy with the lifestyle of commercial fishing I have,” Pixey told Storyful of his grandfather’s bequest, “but he knew how much I loved her and would take care of her no matter what.” He’s had the dog for two years now. >click to read< 08:28

F/V Pacific Miner: Crab boat capsizes near Coos Bay; 3 rescued

An air crew and two boat crews searched for the men, and pulled them out of the water around 8:30 p.m., according to the Coast Guard. The men were safe, but were cold. The conditions when the boat capsized were 8-to-10-foot breaking waves and about 4 miles of visibility, the Coast Guard said. The boat also had about 300 crab on board. >click to read< 08:01

Watch: Fishermen rescued from inside capsized fishing boat near Coos Bay>click to watch<

Coast Guard searching for 3 fishermen after finding capsized fishing vessel near Coos Bay jetty

A Coast Guard aircrew and two boatcrews are searching for three fishermen near the entrance to Coos Bay after finding a capsized vessel Tuesday evening on the jetty tips. The capsized vessel is the 38-foot fishing vessel Pacific Miner, which reportedly had three men aboard when it capsized. A Coast Guard Sector North Bend MH-65 Dolphin aircrew, flying on a routine training flight, spotted the capsized fishing vessel and immediately reported it to the Sector North Bend Command Center. >click to read< 22:39

Full Committee Markup, Legislative Hearing on Sustainable Fisheries

The Committee on Natural Resources will hold a markup on Wednesday, Jan. 15. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, our Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee will hold a legislative hearing on six bills that make our oceans and fisheries more sustainable in the face of manmade threats. The Committee’s full schedule and witness lists are available below. As with all hearings and markups, these events are open to media and the public.  >click to read< 07:37

Coast Guard seeks public information after laser strike hits Port Angeles aircrew

The Coast Guard is seeking information from the public to help locate the person or persons who pointed a red laser light at a Coast Guard helicopter Friday at 10:23 p.m. as the crew was flying a mission northwest of Bremerton.,, The laser strike was reported to Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, the Federal Aviation Administration and local police by the aircrew. The laser light came from the vicinity of the southwest corner of Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor. >click to read< 17:47

F/V Scandies Rose: Stuart Coast Guardsman recalls saving two fishermen off coast of Alaska

“I just told myself this what I trained for. I volunteered to do this so I knew what I had to. It was up to me to execute it,” said Evan Grills. Grills, 24,is a Petty Officer 3rd Class in the U.S. Coast Guard. “My nerves were OK until the door opened,” he said, as the rescue swimmer recalled the signal his crew received New Year’s Eve night. Video,  >click to read< 06:22

Suit targets Alaska salmon management to protect southern killer whales

The Wild Fish Conservancy filed notice on January 9, stating its intentions to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service for violating the Endangered Species Act, and jeopardizing the existence of Southern Resident Killer Whales. The Conservancy argues that an important food supply of the whales, endangered stocks of chinook salmon originating in Puget Sound, the lower Columbia River, the Willamette River, and Snake River is being depleted by the commercial troll and sport harvest in Southeast Alaska. >click to read< 20:51

Sea lions are cash cows in the Bay Area. Farther south, fishermen say, ‘Shoot ‘em’

Sea lions are increasingly living in parallel universes along the California coast, a disparity best observed amid the noisy, stinking spectacle that rolls out daily at San Francisco’s Pier 39 shopping center. There, hundreds of these enormous, mostly male California sea lions bark, defecate, urinate and regurgitate, but are immensely popular with tourists.,, Officials in Washington, Oregon and Idaho are so irate at marauding sea lions that they have asked for federal permission to shoot certain ones identified as feasting on salmon and steelhead,,, >click to read< 10:01

Four Washington Dams Again on Chopping Block

Farmers, fishermen and environmentalists sparred Thursday over a proposal to breach four dams on the Snake River to prevent extinction of salmon born there. The time could be ripe for the proposal long favored by environmentalists, with requirements under decades-running litigation dovetailing with measures called for by a state task force bent on saving endangered killer whales. The government is preparing to take an official position in February on whether breaching the four dams is necessary.  >click to read< 20:31

Battling the waves to stay alive: A tale of survival from the F/V Scandies Rose

For John Lawler, the only encouraging thing was a glow from a second life raft about a quarter-mile away. He hoped that light would stay on, and someone would find him and crewmate Dean Gribble Jr. in the pitch-black aftermath of Scandies Rose crab boat going down in the Gulf of Alaska. “We would lose sight of it because the waves were so big, but it would always reappear, ” said Lawler, a 34-year-old crabber from Anchorage, Alaska. >click to read< 18:51

Fishery FUNDD Act: Reps. Palazzo and Huffman Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Federal Fisheries Disaster Relief Program

Representatives Steven Palazzo (MS-4) and Jared Huffman (CA-2) have introduced the Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations Act (Fishery FUNDD Act), which will improve the federal fishery disaster process and ensure more timely disaster relief for impacted communities.  The Fishery FUNDD Act would set a timeline for the federal government to respond to a fishery disaster request, and set a timeline for disbursal of appropriated funds following a disaster. >click to read< 14:05

Crabbers brave ‘sloppy seas’ to start harvest

Fishing crews reported enduring ‘sloppy seas’ for most of the season so far. “It was a little rough,” said Paul Blaylock of the F/V Amanda C, upon delivering their first catch of the season on Jan. 2. “We got a little wet.” The weather has fishermen and processors hopeful for more favorable conditions in the coming days. “It’s been a struggle. The fishing windows are very narrow right now,” 11 photos, >click to read< 08:59

Fishermen bound for Alaska receive prayers

A crowd of people gathered at the Port of Newport International Terminal at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 7, where prayers were offered for local commercial fishermen who are headed this week to Alaska’s Bering Sea. South Beach Church Pastor Luke Frechette called everyone in. “Closer,” he said, as dozens of people — fishermen, their families and their friends — formed a circle. The large fishing vessels, geared up, lined the dock behind them. >click to read< 08:17

Future of offshore fish farming in federal waters at issue in court

The potential environmental and economic consequences posed by proposals for fish farming in federal waters dictate that Congress — not a federal agency — must decide how to regulate the industry, an attorney told a federal appeals court Monday. At issue before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a September 2018 ruling by a federal judge who threw out National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s rules for fish farms in the Gulf of Mexico, saying Congress never gave the agency authority to make them. >click to read< 14:58

Meet Chris Schillaci who Joins Greater Atlantic Region’s Aquaculture Program! – In December, Chris Schillaci joined the Greater Atlantic Region’s aquaculture program, bringing ten years of experience to his new role. We asked Chris a few questions as he was settling in. >Click to read<

A ‘battleship’ of a crab boat – Owner of Alaska crab boat thought of Scandies Rose as unsinkable

The F/V Scandies Rose, which was managed out of Seattle, sank suddenly near Sutwik Island, off the coast of the Alaskan Peninsula. Two crew members were rescued by the Coast Guard from life rafts; the other five were not found. Two of the lost crew members and one of the survivors were from Washington. Dan Mattsen, who owns the Scandies Rose with two other partners, said he is still processing what happened. He is interviewed by  KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson >click to read, listen< 19:27

Bycatch – From problem to opportunity. Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

For as long as I have been involved in the commercial fishing industry, and that’s going back for what is approaching forty years, there has been a widespread feeling that “things would be better if this industry were administratively housed in the Department of Agriculture (DOA).” Whether at the state level, in state waters within three miles of the coastline, or the federal level beyond three miles, there’s always been a sort of wistful “wouldn’t it be great if we were over there” view of the DOA, and the reasons for this aren’t awfully difficult to fathom. The Department of Agriculture, no matter whether state or federal, is mostly focused on promotion, and fisheries agencies, no matter the level, are regulatory in nature, in organization and in attitude. This is glaringly obvious with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the federal fisheries agency, which in recent years has become almost totally focused to the virtual exclusion of anything else on limiting – rather than enhancing – the commercial production of fish and shellfish. >click to read< 15:06

In Alaska, commercial fishing remains dangerous despite increased safety measures

Commercial fishing was once the most dangerous job in the country, (Scott Wilwert said, and during the 1970s and 1980s an increase in accidents and deaths ultimately led to the passage of the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988. The regulations required boats to have survival suits and life rafts and to carry out onboard safety drills, among other safety measures.,, “There was a time in the ’70s and ’80s where, I think, even the fishermen would tell you that there was a mentality, that ‘you have to go out but you don’t have to come back’ kind of thing,” Wilwert said. “That just doesn’t exist, nobody thinks that way anymore.” >click to read< 07:29

After the sinking of the F/V Scandies Rose, an aftermath of anguish

Before Alaska crabber Brock Rainey headed out to start a new season, he checked in with his longtime friend Mike Daily. This winter was no different. “Tossing lines for the Bering Sea today…Love you brother,” Rainey texted in the hours before the boat he crewed on, the Scandies Rose, left Kodiak on Monday. The 130-foot vessel never reached its next port. Rainey and four others, including two men from Washington, were not found during a 20-hour search that was called off Wednesday night.  >click to read< 16:53

A Fundraiser has been started by Hailey and Lukas Engstrom for the family’s of F/V Scandies Rose>Please click here<

F/V Scandies Rose: Survivor Dean Gribble Jr. describes 20-foot seas,”worst possible conditions.”- Calls to loved ones reveal rough conditions before sinking

In a YouTube video, Dean Gribble Jr. explains the people on board the Dutch Harbor-based vessel – with business operations out of Seattle – went “from sleeping to swimming” in about 10 minutes when the vessel began to capsize. “It happened really fast,” Gribble Jr. said. The video from Gribble Jr. can be seen in its entirety >click here< ,, Gribble Jr. says he and John Lawler were in a life raft for “five hours or so” before being rescued by a Jayhawk helicopter. They were wearing survival suits. >click to read< 14:18

Calls to loved ones reveal rough conditions before sinking – The 130-foot (40-meter) Scandies Rose was traveling in an area with warnings about strong winds and heavy freezing spray, said Louise Fode, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service. >click to read< 14:39

A Fundraiser has been started by Hailey and Lukas Engstrom for the family’s of F/V Scandies Rose

From the fundraiser, My name is Hailey Engstrom. My brother Lukas and I are raising money for the families that suffered this horrible tragedy. Our father, We Engstrom recently retired from the Scandies as the deck boss for 10 years, and with the company for nearly 20 years. Coming from a fishing family, this accident hit home with us extremely hard. >click to read< Please contribute to this fundraiser if you can! 08:36

Coast Guard completes 5-hr tow of fishing vessel offshore Yachats, Ore.

A Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew towed a disabled 52-foot commercial fishing vessel Tuesday night across the Yaquina Bay Bar approximately 2.5 miles northwest of Yachats, Oregon. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a report at 12:57 p.m. Tuesday that the 52-foot Pacific Cloud with three people aboard and 2,500 pounds of crab experienced a loss of power and were drifting toward the surf zone. >click to read< 13:17

Crabbing commences: Rich fishery attracts out-of-area boats

“Just the excitement of it. There’s no quotas, may the best man win,” said F/V Nordic Fox captain Cub Jansen, 29, when asked about the appeal of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery. “It’s one of the last things you can do where hard work can really reward you.” Jansen, with crew Dru Rowe, Larry Bell, Cub Jansen, Mitch Clark and Raj Clark, was among several commercial skippers crabbing out of the Port of Ilwaco for the first time. 21 Photos.  >click to read< 17:45

Commercial Crab season to start at $3 per pound

Commercial crab fishing season begins overnight into Tuesday with a $3-per-pound market price, roughly the same as the going rate in the Bay Area. The season’s start was delayed by a gap in meatiness (crab meat levels need to be at a certain level for fishing to begin) and lengthy negotiations over an official market price.,, As they have done ahead of past seasons, some crab fishermen worried about where price negotiations would wind up. Historically, crabbers have even gone on strike over market price disagreements. , >click to read< 08:34