Category Archives: Pacific

Coronavirus: Dillingham urges governor to close Bristol Bay fishery to protect the community

The City of Dillingham and the Curyung Tribal Council wrote a strongly worded letter to Governor Mike Dunleavy Monday urging him to consider closing Bristol Bay’s massive commercial fishery to protect the community from the coronavirus pandemic. Bristol Bay’s summer fishing season brings with it an influx of thousands of fishermen and processor workers into small communities around the region. The sockeye fishery is the largest in the world. Last year its preliminary ex-vessel value was the highest ever, at $306 million. In the letter, the tribe and the city said that there was no way to limit the communities’ exposure to the virus, even with the current requirement for processors to submit quarantine plans for their workers. >click to read< 17:05

The Deadly Gauntlet Fraser Salmon Must Travel to Come Home

The rockslide at Big Bar just north of Lillooet was a natural disaster that blocked the Fraser last summer, making it impossible for many returning salmon to return to their natal spawning streams. Of the five million sockeye expected to return for example, only about 300,000 made it to their spawning grounds.  The only upside of the disaster is that it’s shining a new light on what we call the Gauntlet: the tortuous path that all six species of Pacific salmon must run every year as they return from their migrations on the high seas to fresh water streams across the 21 million-hectare Fraser River watershed. The rockslide was an act of nature that with engineering expertise and brute force can eventually be fixed. But as the Gauntlet illustrates, what will prove much harder is to save Fraser salmon from the trajectory of decline they were already on before the rockslide happened. >click to read< 21:26

A research expedition returning to Victoria puzzled by a no-show of the fish after an initial big haul

“It is a little difficult for people to accept that scientifically, no catch is sometimes as important as large catches. I think this is the case here,” said Richard Beamish, who is organizing the $1.45-million expedition with fellow B.C. scientist Brian Riddell. “We had relatively large catches of pink, chum and coho early in the survey and there were no salmon in the same area a few weeks later.” It is clear that there are probably large schools of species such as coho that are moving over large areas in response to some factor, Beamish said. The chartered trawler Pacific Legacy No. 1 left Victoria on March 11, headed up to the southern part of the Gulf of Alaska and fished off Dixon Entrance. On Friday, it was 513 miles off Cape Beale, west of Ucluelet. The team expects to return to Victoria on Tuesday. >click to read< 10:32

More than a pin

The call for assistance from the fishing vessel Brenna A had already come in, and the Coast Guard Station Umpqua River crews were preparing to swap duty sections. The oncoming duty section was led by the Coast Guard’s newest Surfmen, Petty Officers 2nd Class Enrique Lemos (#559) and Aaron Hadden (#560). The two of them discussed the escort request upon reporting for duty at 7 a.m. They knew from the morning bar report that the Umpqua River bar was breaking at 14-feet on the series and also had 10 to 12-foot steep swells. The vessel, a 107-foot 198 gross ton fishing vessel, en route to Alaska had never crossed the Umpqua River bar before. They also knew that they were supposed to stand in front of their shipmates at 8 a.m. and be pinned with the distinctive surfman pin, a silver-colored life ring on top of two crossed oars. Photos,  >click to read< 13:25

Profiles in Training: American Seafoods Company

Lance Camarena recognized from a young age that he wanted to work in the learning and development arena.,, Today, Camarena is Director of Training & Organizational Development for American Seafoods Company, a fishing company which runs six factory trawlers ranging from 256 to 341 feet. The company employs approximately 1,300 seafarers from 52 countries, with about a 7% turnover in our key officer positions and a 25% turnover in our entry level processor positions. American Seafoods has also implemented a Marine Learning Systems learning management system (LMS) e-learning solution and created the American Seafoods Knowledge Academy (ASKA), which can be accessed from almost any device to complete mandated training. >click to read< 11:04

Coronavirus: Yaquina Bay fishing continues despite market disruptions

As part of the food-production chain, commercial fishing is considered an essential industry, but even though fishermen based out of Newport’s Yaquina Bay are still on the job, they have felt the impact of the current market disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.,, “Some crabbers are still trying to stick it out, others have probably called it earlier than they normally would,” Buell added. “There still is some effort happening, for sure. It’s kind of hard to keep up with everything, but it sounds like the Chinese markets may be opening back up a little bit, so they’re able to start moving some live crab there, which is helping.” >click to read< 07:47

Gas engines saved the lives of salmon fishermen

Between 1908 and 1911, something happened that almost certainly saved hundreds of men from drowning on the Columbia River Bar. The salmon canneries in Astoria started fitting their gillnet fishing fleets with small gasoline engines. At the time, the mainstay of the Astoria gill-net fishing fleet was a picturesque double-ended lapstrake design, developed by a California man named J.J. Griffin in 1866 for use on the Sacramento River. They were 24 to 30 feet long, 7 to 8 feet wide, sloop-rigged with broad gaff-rigged sails on a relatively short mast. This design quickly caught on and became very famous and popular on river fisheries all up and down the West Coast. >click to read< 11:27

Coronavirus: ‘We’re trying to stay alive’ – Santa Barbara fishermen sell straight to the consumer

Instead of selling to fish processors, who then sell to restaurants, Mr. Cheverez resolved to get his product out to the public directly. With the help of other fishermen who have joined the operation, Mr. Cheverez now offers fresh seafood immediately out of Santa Barbara Harbor – no restaurant, grocery store or processor needed. “We’re trying to stay alive,” said Mr. Cheverez. “We’re selling what we sold before, just without the middle-man. We have one- to two-day old products that we’re selling, and the local community is buying from us right away.” >click to read< 14:39

Californians urge Gov Newsom pause in Delta Tunnel planning during Coronavirus crisis

The state of California is continuing ahead with plans for the Delta Tunnel, a project to divert more water from Northern California for San Joaquin Valley agribusiness and Southern California water agencies, in spite of the COVID 19 global pandemic. Fishermen, Tribal leaders, conservationists, environmental justice advocates, scientists, many elected leaders, family farmers, Delta business owners and the general public oppose the construction of the environmental and economic damage it will cause to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, West Coast fisheries and the people of California. Dan Bacher reports, >click to read< 17:37

Coronavirus: Bristol Bay fishermen urged to delay travel to the region until at least May 1

On Thursday, the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, which represents the Bristol Bay drift gillnet fleet, issued its first COVID-19 advisory to the fleet asking that non-local Bristol Bay Fishermen delay travel to the region until at least May 1 and listed the state mandated quarantine protocol for anyone who does travel to Alaska from out of state.,, Since Alaska enacted a limited entry permit system, the share of permits held locally by Bristol Bay residents has declined by more than 50 percent, according to a 2017 University of Alaska Fairbanks analysis. Many drift fishermen make the trip each summer from Washington, Oregon or California. >click to read< 07:49

Coronavirus: Letter from 200+ US seafood industry stakeholders to Trump Administration

March 24, 2020, Dear President Trump.  We write as participants in America’s seafood supply chain, a critical component of the country’s domestic food infrastructure and one of the major economic drivers in our country’s coastal communities and states. Empty restaurants, cafes, and dining halls are a visible reminder of the ongoing, unprecedented public health efforts to blunt the spread of COVID-19. The livelihoods of the chefs, cooks, servers, and other staff are obvious and direct casualties of those government efforts. The economic disruption caused by forced restaurant closures and active encouragement for Americans to “shelter in place,” however, extend far beyond the food service sector. >click to read< 19:37

Coronavirus: Fishing coalition seeks $4B in federal aid to cover lost restaurant sales

Commercial fishing industry members say they’re trying to stay afloat while the demand for fish dwindles as restaurants are reduced to take-out only amidst the coronavirus health crisis. Saving Seafood, a national coalition of seafood harvesters that includes New Jersey members, is now turning to the federal government for $4 billion in financial help.  “We have to manage our expectations right now. This is a national issue and it’s not going to be solved in a day or two,” said Greg DiDomenico, executive director of the Garden State Seafood Association, a commercial trades group that’s also a part of the Saving Seafood national coalition.  >click to read< 18:28

Local maritime organization restoring 114-year-old fishing boat

A remnant of a bygone era of handcrafted boats, it is one of the last of its kind. Between 1884 and 1951, about 8,000 existed. A 1951 law that required motors on commercial fishing boats resulted in the majority of these boats being either converted or burned. Today, fewer than five original vessels remain of the type that Sturgill launched his commercial fishing career on.,, The boat was donated by Seattle-based Trident Seafoods in 2013 to Drayton Harbor Maritime, a non-profit that Richard Sturgill founded with the goal of preserving the maritime history of Drayton Harbor and its surrounding waters. photo’s, >click to read< 08:17

Coronavirus Slam California’s Commercial Fishermen, Including In San Diego

The true economic impact of the novel coronavirus is a long way from being determined, but it has likely already affected every industry in San Diego,  including the one that helped define the region. “I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Tim Jones, a San Diego commercial fisherman for more than 30 years who is shutting down his operation to wait out the storm.,, Coronavirus isn’t the first thing to test the fortitude of San Diego’s commercial fishermen. Environmental restrictions, foreign competition and other factors eviscerated this once-thriving sector of the local economy beginning in the mid- to late-20th century. >click to read< 14:21

Coronavirus: Humboldt Bay crab fishing season ‘devastated’

“We could use one word: it’s devastating,” said Harrison Ibach, president of the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association. “Everything has come to a screaming halt. And it’s not just the crab industry, it’s the entire seafood industry.”,, Recent crabbing seasons have ended in hardship, including a state settlement in 2019 that prematurely closed crab fisheries over a series of whale entanglements off the California coast (one of them near Eureka). Before this year’s season even started, crabbers like Scott Creps of Eureka were worried about whether it would go the distance. >click to read< 10:37

Senate Democrats, Greens Seek Climate Mandates In Federal Stimulus Bills

Senate Democrats and environmentalists want to tack climate change mandates onto proposed federal aid to major airlines and cruise lines reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to the House and Senate leadership, eight Senate Democrats said last week that any financial assistance to the travel industry “should be paired with requirements that companies act in a more responsible fashion” by reducing their carbon footprint. “Climate change damages will wreak havoc on a scale even greater than the coronavirus,” said the Friday letter headed by the Center for Biological Diversity. Democrats who signed the letter were Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Jeffrey Merkley of Oregon, Cory A. Booker of New Jersey, Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Tina Smith of Minnesota and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. >click to read< 10:12

Environmentalists are dragging us back to the Dark Ages

In the early 1990s, our small group of Potlatch employees in cooperation with members of the Lewiston and Clarkston chambers of commerce were researching environmental claims that the lower Snake River dams were devastating salmon runs, when we learned about East Sand Island, a man-made island in the estuary of the Columbia River. The island was formed from dredging deposits in 1983 and by 1984, Caspian terns, cormorants and gulls had colonized the island and were feasting on salmon smolts. We thought: “Wow, this is an easy fix. Tear out a man-made island and save millions of endangered fish.” The environmentalists beat us to the punch. They filed in federal court to protect the island and the birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Now we have the largest nesting colony of these non-endangered birds in the world on a man-made island. by Marvin Dugger >click to read< 09:50

Coast Guard boat crashing through waves is having a f*cking blast!

CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT — Witnesses in the southwestern corner of Washington state have reported that a 47-foot Coast Guard vessel was last seen having the time of its f*cking life crashing through gigantic 18-foot breakers past the Columbia River bar. The Coast Guard boat, known for its durability in treacherous weather, was heard yelling things like “WEEEEEEEEE!!!” and “Guys guys guys guys guys, waaaatch this, BWOOOOSHHHH!!” >click to read< 08:46

Coronavirus: Seafood processors respond to COVID-19 with added precautions

Seafood industry processors say they are in ongoing discussions with local, state and federal partners,,, The seafood industry talking points including working around the clock on prevention and response, coordinating with partners that include public health officials, preventing the spread of COVID-19 within Alaska and keeping seafood safe, said Stephanie Madsen, executive director of the At-Sea Processors Association. The Seattle-based trade association represents six member companies who own and operate 16 U.S. flagged catcher/processor vessels participating principally in the Alaska Pollock fishery and West Coast Pacific whiting fishery. The group includes American Seafoods Co., Arctic Storm Management Group LLC, Coastal Villages Region Fund, Glacier Fish Company LLC, Aleutian Spray Fisheries Inc. and Trident Seafoods.  >click to read< 20:56

Coronavirus: Fishermen return from sea with a big catch and no place to sell

The coronavirus literally traveled over them from Asia to California while they were on the high seas catching tuna. They were as safe as anyone doing one of the most dangerous jobs, and now? Fishermen are returning home to California to find a state all but shuttered and nowhere to sell their catch. A handful of tuna boats filled with tens of thousands of pounds of fish are now floating off San Diego’s coast as they scramble to find customers. Many wholesalers stopped buying as restaurants were ordered closed except for takeout. photo’s, >click to read< 11:42

CDFW’s Salmon Evacuation Decision Pays Exceptional Dividends

In February 2017, damage to the Oroville Dam’s spillways prompted the evacuation of more than 180,000 people living downstream along the Feather River. The raging muddy waters also triggered an emergency decision to relocate millions of young salmon from the Feather River Hatchery to the Thermalito Annex Hatchery to be raised and held until river water conditions improved. Most, if not all, of the young salmon would have otherwise died when mud from the raging river overwhelmed the hatchery waters. >click to read< 08:39

Small Business Relief Tracker: Funding, Grants And Resources For Business Owners Grappling With Coronavirus

Some 30 million American small businesses are high on the coronavirus’ list of victims. Nearly half of these companies say the pandemic is to blame for unprecedented revenue declines, and with no clear end in sight, the possibility of temporary closures has become a reality for many. In an effort to help business owners find financial relief, we’ve rounded up all of the government agencies, private companies and nonprofit organizations that are extending support. We’ll be adding to this list as the situation develops, so check back for updates. >click to read< 13:01

Coronavirus: The country is shutting down. Shutdown NOAA’s Fisheries Observer Program, nationally. Right Now.

I am writing this editorial today as a responsible, conscientious American fishermen and citizen, in complete disbelief of the irresponsibility of a U.S. government agency during the current international coronavirus crisis. While the nation is in national emergency mode, states are closing public spaces, schools, universities, daycares, restaurants, encouraging social distancing, putting people in quarantine, outlawing large gatherings, and taking unprecedented emergency measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, NOAA Fisheries is pursuing the complete opposite when it comes to the fishing industry and ignoring all public safety precautions. more by Hank Lackner, F/V Jason and Danielle >click to read<06:03

Some of the many reasons why federal marine sanctuary management is a bad idea

The claim: A sanctuary will enhance our economy. The fact: Not true.,, The claim: Sanctuaries have never harmed commercial or recreational fishermen.
The fact: Monterey sanctuary leadership led the effort in California’s marine protected area process to close many of the best fishing areas. This occurred despite early promises made by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) and elected leaders that the sanctuary would not create fishing regulations nor take actions that would threaten fishermen’s livelihoods. Mr. Christie refers people to sanctuary leadership’s testimony before the Morro Bay City Council in 2016. People who heard this testimony and who know of the sanctuary’s role in creating no-fishing zones found this testimony to be disingenuous, if not dishonest. The claim: Sanctuaries offer protection for endangered species,,, >click to read< 18:05

Dana Point Harbor fish market adapts to coronavirus restrictions with curbside service

It was the last day of the lobster fishing season Wednesday, March 18 and a Dana Point Harbor fish market was making the best of the new coronavirus restrictions. To accommodate customers, Jon’s Fish Market was selling the live ocean bugs curbside. They were also offering red snapper, halibut, mahi-mahi, bluefin tuna, yellow-tail and salmon.,, “Our production line is small and we process them in house,” Mansur-O’Keefe said, adding that she buys whole fish. “So we don’t have to shut down.”  Mansur-O’Keefe said there are still hundreds of fishermen out on boats and her market will not only continue to feed customers in search of fresh food but also help fishermen with their livelihoods. Sometimes, how customers get their fish can be unique. Bartering,,, photo’s,  >click to read< 11:36

Big Wave Surfing and Commercial Fishing with Matt Becker

The talented crew over at 805 Beer have been releasing these high-quality mini-docs for a while now — spotlighting different occupations, exploring fringe cultures, and generally celebrating life. This time they’ve given us a glimpse into the lifestyle of second-generation California surfer/fisherman Matt Becker, who makes his money off commercial fishing, and feeds his soul off surfing spots like Maverick’s. It’s not a safe or soft routine, but it’s the only way Matt would want to live. Video, >click to watch< 18:44

Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company’s largest creditors battle as receivership stalls

A hearing will be held to give the creditors of Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company a chance to replace the firm overseeing the receivership of the seafood processor. Jessie filed for receivership on Feb. 26, short changing several fishermen owed money by the company.,, Florian Mumford, captain of F/V Dream, Jim Kary, owner of F/V The Beachcomer and Kary’s nephew Ross Kary, sat in the courtroom while the two attorneys argued. >click to read< 07:35

Tell Your Congressmen and Senators: Our US Fishing Industry Faces The Coronavirus Disaster

With the Coronavirus being spread around the world and nations reacting to this threat in many different ways, from doing nothing, to closing the borders and full quarantines, the unintended effects of such government actions have yet to be fully felt. Granted the stock market has lost 30% in value in just 3 weeks time, the average American really doesn’t feel that unless he is living on his investment returns. With the closing of schools, and restaurants and any places of public gatherings an enormous crisis is being created because many people are being put out of work and some of them may not have a business to come back to when the crisis is over. The Coronavirus may topple an empire if we let it. >click to read< 06:17

“Looking Back”: The Keep Fishermen Fishing Rally

Measured by any meaningful criteria the Keep Fishermen Fishing rally held on the steps of the Capitol on March 21 was a stunning success. It was attended by thousands of fishermen from as far away as Alaska, twenty one Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, and at least a half a dozen other VIPs made room in their busy schedules to come out and address the people who attended. From the most conservative of the conservatives to the most liberal of the liberals, these politically divergent speakers had one message; fix the Magnuson Act and bring back the balance between conservation and harvest. For the second time at the national level recreational and commercial fishermen – no matter what fisheries they participated in, no matter what their disagreements on allocation or lesser issues were, and no matter where they were from – were standing together and demanding a return to the original intent of the Magnuson Act;,,, >click to read< 08:09

Protecting Commercial Fishermen from Preventable Diseases

Seamen take on a very high risk of injury compared to workers in many other industries. Hazards specific to the job create certain common types of accidents among maritime workers. One of the potential hazards in a fishing vessel is the spread of communicable diseases because of poor hygiene or an unsanitary environment. These medical emergencies can be avoided with “medical survival skills”. Here is a list of things that should be done onboard to prevent the spread of disease:,, Who is liable for the spread of preventable disease on a commercial fishing vessel? The skipper has a responsibility to create a clean and healthy work environment. >click to read < 16:38