Category Archives: Pacific

Violations prompt Washington state to cancel Atlantic salmon farm lease at Port Angeles

Cooke Aquaculture Pacific has lost the lease for its Atlantic salmon net-pen farm in Port Angeles and must shut down and remove it, said Hilary Franz, state commissioner of public lands, who terminated Cooke’s lease. The farm, operated by a series of owners since 1984, currently holds nearly 700,000 Atlantic salmon. Franz said the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would work with other state agencies to enforce an orderly shutdown and complete removal of the farm. Franz said her decision is final. “There is no room for negotiation.” click here to read the story 14:24

Long Beach area crab meat percentage drops

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife completed third round of preseason Dungeness crab testing Dec. 14 in the Long Beach test stations only. This test collected both crab shell condition and meat recovery data. Results do not bode well for a Dec. 31 start to the season. This third test was conducted at the request of members of the coastal crab industry, to confirm the results of the second round of tests from this same area. click here to read the story 12:42

Pacific Ocean perch stock declared rebuilt

An important, though overfished groundfish stock has been declared rebuilt, the Pacific fishery Management Council announced Monday. Pacific Ocean perch has been an overfished stock since the mid 1960s when they were targeted by foreign fishing fleets, said John DeVore, groundfish staff officer for the Pacific fishery Management Council. This declaration will mainly be felt by the commercial trawl fishery north of Cape Mendocino, he said.  click here to read the story 10:18

Lets meet and build a consensus to have Congress enact a U.S. Fisheries Bill – Sam Parisi

I am a retired fisherman and am very concerned about the fishing future for those who are still engaged in their chosen occupation, and want to devote my time to help protect the future of those that are still fishing. As you know we are faced with many obstacles. I thought we could together fix the problems but there are so many, and the problems continue increasing. From National Marine Monuments closures, forced monitoring costs on those that can’t afford them, allocation cut backs based on science no one has confidence in unless you work for the NOAA, and now a steady wave of industries that want to utilize our traditional fishing grounds along every coast line of the EEZ. click here to read the letter 15:48

Full Committee Markup on 15 Bills – Magnuson Stevens HR 200 Advances, But Not Without a Fight

House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday advanced out of committee revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Act (H.R. 200 (115)) governing marine fishing and management in federal waters. The law is intended to prevent overfishing, but several conservation groups and Democrats are critical of the way it was written. Only three out of 12 amendments to the bill passed, and the bill moved out of committee on a party-line vote, your host reports. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who voted against it, called it a plan to “deregulate our oceans and fish everywhere until there’s nothing left.”   click here to read the story  Watch the hearing click here 15:30

DFO looking at fines instead of charges for minor fishing offences

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is seeking the public’s views on plans to expand the use of tickets for minor fishing infractions. The new ticketing regime would mean fixed fines for minor commercial and recreational fishing violations instead of charges and court appearances. click here to read the story We plan to expand our options for enforcing the following regulations: Pacific Fishery Regulations, Atlantic Fishery Regulations, Fishery (General) Regulations,  British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations,  Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery Regulations, We want to expand our use of tickets for minor fishing offences. click here to read the notice 11:50

Beyond Deadliest Catch: The Fisherman in Pursuit of One of the World’s Great Delicacies

Dan Jansen had been awake for about a day and a half on his first-ever trip as captain of a crab-fishing boat way back in 1986. When there was finally a lull, Jansen left the wheelhouse to get some rest. His eyes hadn’t been shut for more than 15 minutes when he heard what sounded like an explosion. In the time it took for his feet to swivel from his bunk to the floor, Jansen’s stateroom had filled up with more than a foot of water. click here to read the story 10:46

New research shows wild salmon exposed to fish farms have ‘much higher’ rate of disease

Wild salmon exposed to open-net fish farms are much more likely to be infected with piscine reovirus (PRV) than those that don’t have that contact, a new study has concluded. The data also show that the virus makes it more difficult for wild salmon to swim upstream to their spawning grounds, which has major implications for the sustainability of the populations. “The government has to remove this industry from the key salmon migration routes or we risk the complete loss of wild salmon in this province,” said Alexandra Morton, lead author on the report and an outspoken advocate for wild salmon. click here to read the story 18:07

The effect of exposure to farmed salmon on piscine orthoreovirus infection and fitness in wild Pacific salmon in British Columbia, Canadaclick here to read the study

Port of Seattle buys Salmon Bay Marina

The Port of Seattle has purchased Salmon Bay Marina, a privately-owned operation on five acres just to the west of Fishermen’s Terminal. The price: $15.6 million. The Port said it bought the marina to protect maritime industrial land and support the growth of Fishermen’s Terminal. The Port has set a goal to double the size of the “commercial fishing business cluster” at Fishermen’s Terminal. click here to read the story 15:09

Northern California Commercial Dungeness Crab Season Opener Pushed Back to Dec. 31

The director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced an additional 15-day delay for the upcoming commercial Dungeness crab season, based on the results of another round of pre-season quality testing conducted on Dec. 5. The tests continued to show that Dungeness crab are not yet ready for harvesting. The delay affects Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 (Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties). The season in these districts is now scheduled to open on 12:01 a.m. Dec. 31, 2017, to be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2017. click here to read the press release 19:32

Escaped Atlantic salmon found 42 miles up Skagit River

Strong, silvery and feisty, the Atlantic salmon hit the boat deck, thrashing and thumping. It was the sixth one the Upper Skagit Indian fishing crew caught that day. More than three months after a massive escape of Atlantic salmon from Cooke Aquaculture’s net pen at Cypress Island, Atlantics are still turning up very much alive in the Skagit River, one of Washington’s premier Pacific salmon strongholds.,, Caught more than 42 miles up the Skagit in a brief fishery in just a short stretch of river, those Atlantics were surely not the only ones in the river or the region, said Scott Schuyler, natural-resources director for the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, based in Sedro-Woolley. 11 photo’s click here to read the story 18:19

Fish, Drugs, and Murder – As fisheries along this idyllic looking coast unravel, so does social order.

Lieutenant Olivier Ramirez didn’t waste time. On an August morning in 2015, he scrambled a small coast guard team on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Local fishermen had spotted poachers hauling nets full of shimmering fish from the Gulf of Nicoya. Ramirez hoped to catch the offenders and press charges. But that morning, little went according to plan: Ramirez and his men intercepted the poachers close to their home base and within minutes, the officers were in serious trouble. Dozens of poachers were swarming to the scene, wielding rocks, machetes, quarter-stick explosives, and Molotov cocktails. Audio, click here to read the story 07:55

Why Fishermen Fail To Unite and Resist Being Swept Off of Our Historic Fishing Grounds

As fishermen it often seems we are beset on all sides by so many issues that would disenfranchise us, derail our efforts to safeguard our industry, destroy our livelihoods and communities, and push us off of the historically wild and free ocean. Whether it is in the name of industrial power production or environmental protection, we are up against marine monuments, death by a thousand cuts regulation, forests of windmills, observers, cameras, and tracking systems watching us like an Orwellian nightmare, and grids of closure areas that threaten to push us onto fishing reservations like the Native Americans who once stood in the path of progress. click here to continue reading By Jon Johnson 18:51

Westport crabber sentenced for stealing commercial pots

A Grays Harbor County judge has sentenced a commercial crab fisherman to 90 days of electronic home monitoring and fined him $5,000 for stealing crab pots offshore of Westport, concluding a case that began with an investigation last year by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Larrin Brietsprecher, 57, of Westport, was sentenced Dec. 1 by Grays Harbor County Superior Court Judge Mark McCauley after a jury found him guilty of possessing stolen property and related charges. Beginning May 1, click here for press release 17:28

Puget Sound report tells the environmental story that took place in 2016

The year 2016 may be regarded as a transition year for Puget Sound, coming between the extreme warm-water conditions of 2014 and 2015 and the more normal conditions observed over the past year, according to the latest Puget Sound Marine Waters report (click here). The report on the 2016 conditions was released this past week by the Marine Waters Workgroup, which oversees the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP). The report includes data collected in 2016 and analyzed over the past year. Some findings from the report, click here to read the story 16:01

Hearing – National Ocean Policy: Stakeholder Perspectives, Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:30 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convene a hearing titled “National Ocean Policy: Stakeholder Perspectives,” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. The hearing will examine the state of the National Ocean Policy and the program’s interaction with existing laws and regulations for ocean management. Witnesses: – Ms. Bonnie Brady, Executive Director, Long Island Commercial Fishing Association – Mr. Christopher Guith, Senior Vice President, Global Energy Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Mr. Dan Keppen, Executive Director, Family Farm Alliance  – Ms. Kathy Metcalf, President and CEO, Chamber of Shipping of America click here to read, and the link will open to watch the proceedings tomorrow @ 2:30 pm

Triumph tows disabled dragger with 42,000 lbs of fish aboard through deep draft bar

The Coast Guard towed a 58-foot fishing vessel after the crew lost use of their main engine about 17 miles west of Willapa Bay, Sunday. A boat crew aboard the Triumph II, a 52-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Cape Disappointment, met the crew of the fishing vessel Ashlyne, a 58-foot dragger with four people and 42,000 pounds of fish aboard, and safely towed them across the Columbia River bar into Astoria, Oregon. click here to read the story 18:55

Cantwell’s legislation provides regulatory relief for smaller vessels like crab and salmon boats

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Fishing and Small Vessel Relief Act (S.2194) to extend protections for fishermen and small vessel owners from adhering to costly requirements that do not tangibly protect or improve water quality for vessels of their size. An EPA study found that incidental discharges from these small vessels do not generate a significant threat to our waters. The bill will extend a current moratorium that exempts fishing vessels and vessels under 79 feet from incidental discharge permitting requirements mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These vessels have been continuously exempt since 2008 under a temporary moratorium as they do not pose a serious environmental risk. click here to read the story 21:35

A Columbia River gillnetter joins historical collection at maritime museum

After plying the Columbia River for more than half a century, the fishing boat Endeavor is getting a spot in the Columbia River Maritime Museum’s growing hall of boat history. The boat came to the museum from David and Tim Fastabend, who inherited the vessel from their father, Don, along with Astoria Marine Construction Co. David Fastabend said his father went fishing in the Endeavor on weekends and at night when he wasn’t working on boats. “He fished, picked nets all by himself,” David Fastabend said. “He fished until he was 75.” click here to read the story 09:47

Japanese Fishing Boat Washes Up on N. Oregon Coast

Tempests and tides have brought a good number of remarkable things to the Oregon coast in recent weeks, and the latest wild find was a Japanese fishing boat that washed ashore at Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site just south of Cannon Beach. The 38-foot vessel came up on the beach on December 2, and almost immediately state officials were there in various capacities, include salvage personnel and a biologist checking for invasive species. Photo’s, click here to read the story 12:40

Westport Marina ranked 10th in the nation for commercial seafood landings

Westport Marina was 10th nationwide in seafood landings in 2016 with 108 million pounds of crab, salmon, hake and other seafood landed, according to statistics compiled by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Westport placed 14th in the nation in total value of seafood landed in 2016, with a little more than $59 million in product. That is down from $65 million in 2015, due to lower prices in 2016 for many species. “We are extremely proud of our commercial fishing fleet and the hundreds of fishing and processing jobs they support in our region,” said Westport Marina Business Manager Molly Bold. “We are committed to providing the infrastructure, facilities and services our fishing industry needs to continue to thrive.” click here to read the story 07:25

Research shows juvenile endangered California salmon use different rivers than expected

In a paper published online last week in the journal Biological Conservation, a team of California researchers revealed a surprising finding: Juvenile winter-run Chinook aren’t just using the Sacramento River as rearing habitat; after hatching, they also venture in large numbers into the river’s tributaries, including creeks that feed into it below Redding, as well the Feather and the American rivers. Winter-run Chinook are a distinct species of salmon that return each year to spawn and die in the Sacramento River near Redding. click here to read the story 11:16

Dwindling winter steelhead are on their own again at Willamette Falls

With the first four dozen winter steelhead counted at Willamette Falls and scattered early catches reported in both the Clackamas and Sandy rivers, Oregon scientists, fish managers, anglers and others must helplessly hold their figurative breath. Sea lions, which chewed through as much as 25 percent of the dismal return of 2016-17 steelhead, pretty much have free rein this winter to repeat the carnage. “The impact, if left un-managed, will be pretty devastating,” said Shaun Clements, senior fish division policy advisor for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. click here to read the story 16:11

Pacific Halibut numbers could drop

Scientists monitoring halibut say there could be a decline in the bottom fish along the coast of the U.S. and Canada in upcoming years if the current level of fishing continues. The International Pacific Halibut Commission oversees management of the fish along the coast from Alaska to California. Commissioners had an interim meeting Tuesday and Wednesday, November 28-29th in Seattle and heard about this year’s catch and the latest estimates of halibut stocks. Scientists found fewer younger halibut in survey fishing done up and down the coast this year. click here to read the story 16:10

Puget Sound piracy leaves trail of (salmon) blood

Call it Puget Sound piracy. Thieves boarded a floating salmon farm a few saltwater miles from Anacortes on a Saturday night in September. In their wake, they left a trail of blood. Fish blood, that is. The thieves boated out to one of Cooke Aquaculture’s Atlantic salmon farms, a grid of 40-foot-deep net-pens ringed by a floating walkway bigger than a football field. They hauled away an undisclosed number of fish from two of the 10 pens. They killed more by turning off the farm’s air hoses that help oxygenate the water where the domesticated salmon swim by the thousands. click here to read the story 12:53

DFO talks huge offshore Vancouver Island Marine Protected Area

Alice Cheung, Oceans Program Regional Manager for DFO gave a presentation on Canada’s Marine Conservation Target’s initiative, where she addressed the proposed Marine Protected Area (MPA) at the Regional District of Mount Waddington’s (RDMW) board meeting on Nov.21. “My purpose here is to communicate how fisheries and oceans intend to meet Canada’s commitment,” said Cheung, adding she would discuss “what it actually looks like in the Pacific region and to seek your input as we move forward in the agenda.” click here to read the story 17:13

Commercial Dungeness Crab Season in Northern California Delayed Due to Crab Quality Testing

Due to poor crab meat quality test results conducted at the beginning of November, the Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has issued a memo delaying the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season in Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 (Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties) for a minimum of 15 days until Dec. 16, under authority of Fish and Game Code section 8276.2. Crab quality tests ensure that crab are filled out enough prior to harvesting and follow the testing guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee that is overseen by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. click here to read the press release 21:15

Lagunitas Creek gets odd visitor: pink salmon

A fish species rarely seen south of Washington state has turned up more than 700 miles away in Lagunitas Creek, part of what has been dubbed a strange beginning to the spawning season. In recent years attention on the Lagunitas Creek watershed has been focused on federally endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout, with efforts made to restore habitat to help those fish. The fish come to the Marin watershed from the ocean each year to spawn. But this year the attention has been on two other species, which have made surprising appearances. click here to read the story 11:36

Oregon Eyes Killing Sea Lions to Save Steelhead Trout

Fish managers scrambling to gain approval to kill dozens of California sea lions feasting on threatened winter steelhead trout got a bump this week from a study blaming the creatures for taking food from orcas. But some say the effort is a misguided attempt to scapegoat natural predators for the human-caused decline of their prey. In 1999, about 15,000 winter steelhead passed Willamette Falls. In 2016, scientists with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife counted just 512.,,  “We’re looking at a threat of extinction posed by sea lions,” Shaun Clements, the agency’s senior fish policy advisor, told the Fish and Wildlife Commission at a meeting in September. click here to read the story 08:04

Nez Perce tribe hopes to spark return of chinook with artificial beds

The Nez Perce tribe is taking advantage of overproduction at the Clearwater Hatchery to seed some local streams with spring chinook redds – spawning beds or nests. Members of the tribe’s fisheries division have been busy placing 850,000 fertilized eggs into artificial nests in the beds of Newsome and Lolo creeks, where they have also done extensive restoration work. The process involves using special equipment to recreate the nests that female salmon laboriously create with their bodies and then injecting the eggs into the gravely cavities. It’s not the most efficient way to boost salmon runs, but tribal fisheries officials say it’s better than having the excess eggs go to waste. click here to read the story 16:41