Category Archives: Pacific

Ventura Harbor set for dock improvement project

Port district staff announced work on the Ventura Harbor Village Marina Dock Improvement Project would begin in mid-May, allowing the harbor to expand its commercial fishing operations. The anticipated budget is $4.5 million, with upgrades being made to utilities and infrastructure of the dock systems.Ventura Harbor also has a large recreational boating presence, meaning boaters, anglers, commercial fishermen and other watercraft users will have to work a little harder to maintain a fluid co-existence. The harbor is also one of the largest markets for California squid. >click to read<17:27

Salmon researchers seek funds for expanded expedition in 2020

Organizer Richard Beamish, emeritus scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, is seeking $1.5 million from governments, the private sector and non-profit organizations — the same groups that funded his 2019 expedition. Next year’s survey would again be supported by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, an international organization based in Vancouver. The 2019 expedition was a signature project of the International Year of the Salmon program, which is backed by the Anadromous Fish Commission, as well as the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization and other partners. >click to read<20:27

Mom of doomed Mary B II skipper calls him experienced seaman for whom safety was ‘paramount,’ contradicting other witnesses

In day five of the Coast Guard hearing into the January capsizing of the Mary B II fishing vessel, the mother of the captain described a man vastly different from the one depicted throughout the week by other witnesses. Mary B. Anderson, managing member of the Mary B II LLC, bought the former Bess Chet last fall, after her son, Stephen Biernacki, convinced her it would be a good business opportunity. >click to read<13:06

‘It was like somebody pulled the plug on the drain’

Earlier this year, the San Francisco Port Commission commended a boat captain for safely delivering 23 passengers from danger during a “tidal event,” an honor so rare it hasn’t been bestowed in at least 20 years. Even more unusual is that many questions surrounding the event, which broke chains, nearly sunk a moored boat and endangered lives, remain unanswered. Commendations from the commission have been so infrequent that Port staff were unable to find records detailing when and why the last one was issued. Captain David Crumpler has become the first in recent memory. >click to read<09:15

Cleanup complete after fishing boat catches fire, washes ashore near Bandon

Crews including a helicopter have finished removing major debris left off the Oregon coast after a 64-foot fishing boat caught fire while at sea and later washed ashore. The crew abandoned the Ann Kathleen and was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. >click to read<The wood and fiberglass boat caught fire south of Bandon and washed ashore May 2 in a remote area of beach north of Floras Lake at low tide, according to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. >click to read<08:08

Fed up shrimpers may look to state for oversight

Missed payments, cash draws against the future and unpaid bills. Shrimp fishermen and plant workers from Newport to Eureka are feeling the financial pinch as a deadlock with processors continues. “They’ve got to get the plants open,” said Newport shrimper Ted Gibson, a key fisherman’s representative in price talks. “This is really hurting communities financially. I don’t think people have any idea how much money is not coming into Oregon because of this.” Unable to agree on a price for Pacific pink shrimp, some 60 boats are holding fast to the dock,,,>click to read<22:46

BREAKING: Woman says she was hit in the face on Biernacki’s boat

A Toledo woman who says she was aboard a tuna boat piloted by Captain Stephen Biernacki last August has come forward to recount the man hitting her in the face with a microphone and trying to confine her to the boat’s bunk area after the two fought over a radio call she made to try to get another boat to take her back to shore. “He grabbed the mike and hit me in the chin with it and said, ‘you just lost your privileges,'” said Kelli Sullivan,,, >click to read<11:14

Widow recounts boat’s tragic trajectory – >click to read<

BREAKING: Doomed captain was responsible for at-sea mishaps, possible assault

The saga of a captain who appeared to be neither a proper master of his ships nor his own impulses is unfolding at a Coast Guard hearing in Newport, with testimony giving details about the man sleeping at the wheel, using marijuana, displaying intoxication and possibly assaulting another person aboard his boat. Investigators earlier in the week revealed Biernacki had methamphetamines and alcohol in his system when he died. >click to read<17:37

Hand on doomed Oregon boat texted, called wife before deathclick to read<08:38

NOAA – Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management Implementation Plans by Region

NOAA Fisheries has released nine implementation plans that identify priority actions and milestones for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management nationally and regionally, including for Atlantic highly migratory species, for the next five years. Each plan identifies milestones for a specified geographic area. The milestones relate to six guiding principles laid out in the 2016 EBFM Policy and Road Map >click to read<13:03

King salmon arrives in stores, commanding royal prices; relief could come soon

King salmon, once as ubiquitous as burgers in backyard Bay Area barbecues, has commanded astonishingly high prices in recent years,,, Since the 2019 season opened on May 1, supply has been very limited, so prices have remained steep, reaching as high as $40 a pound in San Francisco.,,, That should start to change on Thursday, when 200 more miles of coast will open to commercial salmon fishing,… there will likely be more salmon on the market this summer is because some crab boats are planning to go out for salmon fishing, because the Dungeness crab fishery closed several months early as part of a settlement,,, >click to read<21:54

Coast Guard responds to fishing vessel grounded on Clatsop Spit near the Columbia River Bar entrance, Wash.

Shortly before midnight the master of the 38-foot commercial fishing vessel Theron contacted watchstanders at Sector Columbia River over VHF channel 16 to report he experienced a loss of steering while attempting to cross the bar and was drifting toward the breakers and shoal. He also reported that his vessel was beset by the current, had grounded several times and had no ability to anchor at that time. >click to read, photo’s<16:34

Ilwaco fishing boat destroyed on Clatsop Spit – Ilwaco-based 38-foot commercial fishing vessel Theron lost its steering and was destroyed by the surf on Clatsop Spit early Monday morning, but skipper Eric Johnson was rescued by the Coast Guard and wasn’t injured.>click to read<

F/V Mary B II captain tested positive for amphetamine, methamphetamine

Coast Guard investigators revealed that the captain of the doomed fishing vessel Mary B II tested positive for methamphetamines and alcohol. Captain Stephen Biernacki registered 0.17 mg per liter of amphetamine and 0.50 mg per liter of meth, according to post mortem toxicology results. The alcohol level was 0:033g/dL. A five-member panel of Coast Guard investigators on Monday kicked off a multi-day hearing on the Jan. 8 capsizing that took the lives of Biernacki, of New Jersey, and crewmen Josh Porter of Toledo and James Lacey of New Jersey. >click to read<14:55

Offshore Wind: California’s New Gold Rush

When it comes to States promoting renewable, non-fossil electricity generation, California surely leads the list, from utility-scale regional grids to individual rooftop solar panels. In fact, a December 2018 update from the California Energy Commission (CEC) estimates the state may already have exceeded an initial renewable generation goal of 33% by 2020..,,, CA’s offshore process started in earnest three years ago when a wind energy company then called Trident Wind – now Castle Wind – submitted an unsolicited request to BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) to lease a site in the Pacific near Morro Bay (about half-way between LA and San Francisco). >click to read<10:30

Coast Guard to begin public hearing for F/V Mary B II marine casualty investigation in Newport today

The Coast Guard is inviting media and public to attend a formal public hearing, which begins May 13, 2019, at Newport City Hall, to consider evidence related to the Mary B II marine casualty investigation. The hearing will focus on the capsizing of the commercial fishing vessel Mary B II, which lead to the deaths of three fishermen at the entrance of Yaquina Bay in Newport on Jan. 8, 2019. The hearing is live streamed. >click to read/links<08:16

On Mothers Day – A mother’s cry for help while she tries to save her son…

A message from a very concerned mother… Alex Ashton is my 22 year old son who was diagnosed with B-Cell Lymphoma in October 2018. He took a leave of absence from work to receive treatment over the following 6 months. Since the chemo ended he went back to work but recently we found out through a PET scan that the cancer is still there and Alex is now receiving treatment farther from home at OHSU in Portland. Alex is unable to work. We need to make numerous trips to OHSU and to relocate to Portland for at least a month so Alex can receive a Stem Cell Transplant. We also need to maintain our home in Newport so we have a place to come to when Alex’s treatment is complete. >click to read, and donate if you can<14:01

Saving Fishing Into The Future, Rocky Novello

Most all fishermen in the U.S.A., are having the same problems in fishing which include: NOAA Fisheries which uses outdated science, and outdated fishing regulations, which should have been changed as our oceans were changing. The big environmentalist organizations, funded by big oil, who collectively spent hundreds of millions of dollars getting rid of many our fellow commercial fishermen from so many places. They did a great job.,,, >click tor read, and comments from others will appreciated<10:40

2 San Diego Fishermen Benefit From U.S. Bid to Boost Domestic Seafood Market

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration issued permits to two San Diego fishermen to test an expansion of the domestic seafood industry, a state fishery organization announced Friday. According to the California Pelagic Fisheries Association, the permit allows David Haworth and John Gibbs to test longline fishing equipment 50 miles or more off the coasts of California and Oregon. Both fishermen, who operate separate ships, will also be joined by a fishing observer approved by the federal government. >click to read< >click to read<10:39

Fishy Business? Commercial Fisherman Accuses Duane Morris and Former Partner of Malpractice, Fraud

A commercial fisherman has sued Duane Morris and former partner Zhaoyang “Paul” Li claiming that Li inserted himself as a partner in a seafood export business and cut the fisherman out of the deal. Gerard “Jerry” Wetle, a commercial fisherman, boat owner and wholesaler now based in Oregon, claims in a complaint filed Monday in federal court in the Northern District of California that Li convinced him he didn’t need his own lawyer when setting up a business with a partner to catch squid and export them for sale in China. Wetle, who previously was based in Salinas, California, claims he fired his own lawyer upon Li’s advise. He further alleges that he signed on to a $2.6 million purchase agreement for a boat named “Pamela Rose” to benefit the export business, spent nearly six months in Mexico refitting it, and traveled to China to negotiate with vendors, only to be cut out of the export business. >click to read<17:33

Federal, State and Local agencies continue response to F/V Ann Kathleen incident.

Members of the Unified Command responding to the Ann Kathleen incident continue containment and cleanup operations on the coast near Bandon, this week. Since the initial fire and beaching of the 64-foot commercial fishing vessel on Thursday, partner agencies have removed 1080 gallons of diesel fuel from the vessel.,,, A helicopter delivered the totes to a fuel truck at Cape Blanco Airport, Monday. It also removed an aluminum tank and two large chunks of debris. >Images, click to read<08:20

Shrimp Strike – Fishermen chafe while boats break strike

It’s been weeks of blue tarps and yawns on the Newport shrimp boats. But now, frustration is on deck too. The Pacific pink shrimp season has been open for a month, but processors and fishermen are still far apart on price. The captains and crews of some 115 boats along the coast are holding out while a deal is cut. Their patience is being tried as a fleet of some 20 boats from Washington and Columbia River ports make hay in the traditional fishing grounds of the Newport fleet. Newport fisherman Gary Ripka said that north coast boats breaking the strike have traditionally observed an unspoken agreement to stay well north of Newport. “They’re rubbing it in our faces,” he said. >click to read<13:47

Salmon-eating sea lions targeted at Columbia River dam

More California sea lions preying on imperiled salmon in the Columbia River below a hydroelectric project on the Oregon-Washington border are being killed under a revised policy, federal authorities said Friday. The National Marine Fisheries Service made public reduced criteria for removing sea lions at Bonneville Dam about 145 miles (235 kilometers) from the Pacific Ocean. The new guidelines that went into effect April 17 permit any California sea lion seen in the area on five occasions or seen eating a fish to be put on a list for lethal removal. >click to read<10:57

Fisherman, conservationists want more research before developing wind farms

Before Humboldt County begins investing in offshore wind energy, local conservationists and fishermen say more research needs to be done to assess the projects’ local impacts. Harrison Ibach, president of the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association, said much of California’s waters are already closed to commercial fishing and the installation of wind turbines is going to further reduce the number of areas where fishermen can operate. “We can’t afford to lose any more grounds,” Ibach said. >click to read<07:49

Stakeholders Voice Concerns and Cautious Optimism About Offshore Wind Energy at McGuire-Hosted Hearingclick here to read<

Fishing boat catches fire near Bandon, 4 aboard unhurt

No one was hurt when a commercial fishing boat caught fire Thursday while off the coast near Bandon, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Coast Guard crews were called out after getting reports of a fire on the “Ann Kathleen.” All four people on-board abandoned ship and were rescued by some people passing by in the commercial fishing vessel “Lynoma.” >click to read<09:41

Putting the Brakes on finfish aquaculture in federal waters, Young Introduces Legislation to Protect Wild Fish Populations

Don Young, the Republican congressman for Alaska, has introduced the Keep Fin Fish Free Act, which would specifically prohibit federal agencies from permitting marine finfish aquaculture facilities in federal ocean waters, unless and until Congress passes a future law authorising such permits. “My legislation takes needed steps to prevent the unchecked spread of aquaculture operations by reigning in the federal bureaucracy and empowering Congress to determine where new aquaculture projects should be conducted.>click to read<08:52

Please support our local commercial fishermen

If you don’t think commercial fishermen are an endangered species – think again. I have been very vocal over the years about my feelings on the commercial fishing industry being in jeopardy, and highlighting the importance of just what an integral part the industry plays in not only the economy, but the infrastructure as a whole, not only in our town and coastal towns across America. As someone with deep ties to our community and the fishing community in particular, I am in a unique position working as a mate on a commercial fishing vessel, and being a journalist. I see so much firsthand that I hope the general public will take into account when I write about it. So here I go again, with more food for thought on an issue that is near and dear to my heart. Thank you for reading, Shelley Wigglesworth >click to read<16:43

Commercial salmon season opens

The commercial salmon season opened early Wednesday from Pigeon Point (Half Moon Bay) to the U.S./Mexican border. Officials at the Santa Cruz Harbor reported that 26 boats headed out to sea in search of King Salmon on Wednesday. Scores of fishing vessels have been anchored the past few days near the Municipal Wharf in Santa Cruz, some from Northern California and others from as far away as Oregon.>click to read<16:14

Seattle’s industrial waterfront remains a contamination challenge for orcas. What about Salmon?!

The Southern Resident orcas are often called some of the most contaminated marine mammals on earth. Their fat is filled with toxins like PCBs. When they don’t have enough to eat, they metabolize their fat and that poison ends up in their blood. Though outlawed decades ago, PCBs still remain in the sediment around Elliott Bay.,,,  A lot of the toxic contamination issues that we have with our salmon can really be traced to the fact that the state of Washington is not enforcing the Clean Water Act to the extent that they should,” >click to read< Meanwhile, New study finds river wildlife contain cocaine, pharmaceuticals and pesticides in UK->click to read<10:07

June 1 delivery date set for fisheries disaster dollars

More than $29.6 million in federal assistance will be delivered on June 1 to communities affected by the delay in the 2015-16 Dungeness crab fishery and to the Yurok Tribe for the collapse of the Klamath River fall chinook salmon fishery in 2016.  Congressman Jared Huffman, who represents Del Norte County, and his colleague, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) announced Monday that $29.65 million in federal disaster assistance will be delivered to North Coast fishing communities. >click to read<08:05

‘Desperately needed’: Congress OKs more than $29 million in disaster relief for fisheries

It’s taken four years but fishermen along the North Coast who have seen crab and salmon seasons truncated and even closed altogether will finally see some relief after $29.65 million in federal disaster relief funding was approved by Congress. It was in the 2015-16 year the Dungeness crab fishery and the Yurok Chinook salmon fishery both collapsed due to poor water quality. Despite $200 million in relief funding made available in 2018, the release of the money was delayed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and it took a letter from U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman and Rep. Jackie Speier to get the ball rolling again last year. >click to read<07:58

Alaska Ranger: “Shipwrecked in Alaska”

On the night of March 23, 2008, most of the crew sleeps while fishing vessel Alaska Ranger makes her way to the rich fishing grounds off the coast of Alaska. As the Engineer makes his nightly rounds, he discovers a serious flood in the rudder room. He raises the alarm and the captain issues a Mayday call.,,, DISASTERS AT SEA is an original new docuseries airing on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST on Discovery Canada (US viewers can check out Smithsonian Channel). Facts about the Alaska Ranger: >Video trailers, click to read<15:10