Category Archives: Pacific

British Columbia: Independent Seafoods Canada adds second vessel to base in Alberni Inlet

Independent Seafoods Canada Corporation (ISCC) owns the 56-metre (184-foot) Sunderoey, and says it will almost double employment by the time the new trawler is at full deployment. Independent Seafoods has moored the Raw Spirit at the Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) property since 2013, and has provided more than 50 direct local jobs to crew as well as 20 more onshore when the ship comes back from its offshore fishing grounds to offload. >click to read< 14:18

SE Alaska Chinook controversy attracts more user groups

A controversy over whether NOAA Fisheries is properly managing Chinook salmon stocks in Southeast Alaska, with consideration for a hungry whale population in decline, has been joined by sport and charter fishermen who say Alaska is not the problem. The environmental organization SalmonState, along with the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and Alaska Trollers Association said on Monday, April 27, that sport and charter harvesters have joined them in support of NOAA Fisheries in a lawsuit brought by Wild Fish Conservancy, of Duvall, Washington. The group characterizes as misguided the decision of WFC to sue NOAA Fisheries in federal court to halt Chinook salmon trolling in Southeast Alaska effective July 1. >click to read< 16:15

Squid are back in abundance in Monterey Bay

The squid fishery is among the most lucrative and productive in the state, frequently valued in the double-digit millions. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, landings from California market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) were over 34,000 short tons in the 2018-2019 season, generating more than $33 million in revenue. But according to Diane Pleschner-Steele, the executive director of the California Wetfish Producers Association, these charming and elusive animals can be difficult to pin down. The statement has proven true in the last couple of years. Spawning squid are targeted because they die shortly after they reproduce, and so fishing season — though technically open all year round — coincides with the spawning season. The catch is historically best in Southern California in fall and Central California in spring-summer. >click to read< 10:35

Monterey Bay fishermen looking forward to salmon season

There’s a frenzied pace to life in Monterey Bay’s fishing ports this week. Today, May 1, fishermen and women in Santa Cruz, Moss Landing and Monterey began to harvest the iconic California king salmon — sustainable, nutritious and the economic backbone of local working waterfronts during summer months. Wild king salmon and summer barbeques are as steeped in California culture as fresh, in-season Dungeness crab for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, While a few winters of healthy rainfall and strong management plans have been a boon to California salmon populations running to the Sacramento River, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have wreaked havoc on local seafood supply chains. We fishermen and women can catch the fish, but the question is: Who will buy them? >click to read< 08:11

Nordic Aquafarms Expands Facility Plans, Releases Images Showing What the Fish Farm Would Look Like

Nordic Aquafarms and the Harbor District have agreed to expand the lease area with approx. 3 acres including the Machine building and the Shops & Store building. The Harbor District Board approved a Letter of Intent (LOI) to finalize an amendment to the lease agreement at an extra board meeting today. This allows Nordic to increase the production capacity to the same size as its Maine facility resulting in more local jobs in Humboldt. Nordic Aquafarms also releases the first pictures of the proposed facility. photo’s, >click to read< 16:05

“Food security is right here”: Sea-to-table sales keep fishing business afloat

For 18 years Hodge was a partner in an auto mechanic shop. About 10 years ago, he got back into commercial fishing. Today he operates two fishing boats, the Rough Draft and the Just Enough, that are launched from Oxnard, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. His haul, with a federal long-line permit, is mainly four species: vermillion rockfish, blackgill rockfish, ling cod and black cod. “It’s fished on Monday, on Wednesday morning it’s packed and we are delivering 600 pounds of fish,” Hodge explained. He hasn’t had to lay anyone off, and in fact has promoted from within to meet the demand. “My daughters help as deckhands. Orders are growing every week.” He’s catching and selling about 4,000 pounds a month, about half of which is now sold direct and delivered to customers’ doorsteps. >click to read< 09:44

Crab fishing industry not canceled yet, but,,,

Humboldt County’s crab fishing season will remain open for now, unlike fisheries south of the Sonoma and Mendocino counties line, which have been ordered to close on May 15. An ongoing settlement agreement allows the season to be ordered closed when there’s too high a risk of whales becoming entangled in fishing gear. For now, the North Coast has been spared of closure, though a recent report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flags one humpback whale, which beached at Samoa in October 2019. The whale later died. Overall, the report indicates California had 17 whale entanglements in 2019, down from 34 the year before. >click to read< 21:46

Trollers side with NMFS in Chinook litigation – Endangered whales compete with increasing populations of seals, sea lions

Litigation to halt the Southeast Alaska king salmon fishery to provide sustenance for Southern Resident Killer Whales is prompting commercial trollers to intervene in the lawsuit brought by the Washington state based Wild Fish Conservancy. The Alaska Trollers Association in Juneau voted on Tuesday, April 21, to insert itself into the defense of the lawsuit filed in mid-March against the National Marine Fisheries Service and the subsequent injunction against king salmon fishing and the troll fishery specifically. >click to read< 15:41

Boat sustains heavy damage as it burns along Fishermen’s Terminal

A large boat at Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal suffered severe damage during a large fire on board Sunday evening. The fire broke out just after 10 p.m. and flames were visible shooting from the top deck as far away as an SDOT camera at 15th Ave. West and West Emerson Street. >click to read< 11:21 Fire damages boat near Fishermen’s Terminal – No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation. photo, >click to read<

Port of Coos Bay Ice Plant Rebuild Project – Some businesses express frustration with officials over new layout, lack of inclusion

Mike Babcock, of Oregon Seafoods, is leading a group of local businesses and fishermen who he said feel left out of the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay’s new Ice Plant Rebuild Project. “Our company hoist is on the northwest corner of the dock and the public hoist is in the northeast corner of the dock,” said Babcock. “The new building, which shows it’s been moved over to the north side, severely limits the corner use of the dock.” The dock, which houses the ice plant, has historically been used for other reasons outside of fishermen accessing commercial grade ice, >click to read< 16:25

Dungeness Crab Season Closed Early Due to Dubious Whale Crisis, COVID-19 Economic Impact on Coastal Communities Made Worse by Closure

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced that effective May 15, 2020, the commercial Dungeness crab fishing season, which began in December, will be closed due to the perceived risk of commercial crab fishing gear harming migratory whales. Ironically, as a result of ongoing cooperative measures between the California Dungeness crab fishing fleet and CDFW, interactions between Dungeness crab fishing gear and the two subgroups of Humpback whales, or Distinct Population Segments (DPS), which are “endangered” and “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are extremely rare. “The risk of crab fishing gear harming endangered whales is statistically insignificant because of low concentrations of whale, as well as the relatively small amounts of gear being deployed along the Central California coast,” said Ben Platt, president of the California Coast Crab Association (CCCA). >click to read< 12:26

North Coast fishermen worry about pricing when California salmon season opens May 1

All eyes are on whether the retail business will be good enough to sustain the losses in the wholesale market with the restaurants closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. When the season opens, it’s unclear how much fishermen will earn, but some estimates are as low as $3 per pound. While the shelter-in-place closure or limitations has dried up the wholesale market, the retail market has been keeping the industry afloat.,,  Whatever is bought, Bodega Bay fisherman Dick Ogg stands prepared to launch his 54-foot boat named Karen Jeanne. “It’s a challenge to say the least. The closure of the restaurants is significant. I don’t think anybody has seen anything like this in history,” he said. “I’m trying to figure out how it’s going to work out. I don’t know how much money we’ll get and how it will get transported.” >click to read< 16:36

California crab fishery to close May 15th for whale protection

Commercial fishermen are protesting an order by California wildlife authorities to close the Dungeness crab fishery in mid-May to protect whales and sea turtles from becoming entangled in fishing gear. There have been no confirmed interactions between commercial Dungeness crab gear and any whales during the current crab season, which began in December, Ben Platt, president of the Crescent City-based California Coast Crab Association, said in a statement. The crab association statement characterized harm to migratory whales from commercial crab fishing gear as a “perceived risk.” The group said that cooperative measures between the fishing fleet and the state make it extremely rare for there to be interactions between Dungeness crab gear and subgroups of humpback whales that are categorized as endangered or threatened. >click to read< 18:24

Dungeness Crab Season Closed Early Due to Dubious Whale Crisis, COVID-19 Economic Impact on Coastal Communities Made Worse by Closure – “The risk of crab fishing gear harming endangered whales is statistically insignificant because of low concentrations of whale, as well as the relatively small amounts of gear being deployed along the Central California coast,” said Ben Platt, president of the California Coast Crab Association (CCCA).  >click to read<

Yaquina Bay: California Sea Lion breeding season is heating up!

As their breeding season approaches, the mostly male sea lions of Yaquina Bay are growing hormonal and more aggressive as they prepare to head south for courtship. The pinnipeds that crowd the docks of Newport’s harbor are California sea lions. The typical adult male is close to 8 feet long and weighs between 700 pounds and a half ton, while adult females are usually 6 feet long and weigh less than half as much. The Steller sea lion is also found in the area but tends to stay away from harbors, favoring to haul out on sea rocks and buoys offshore.,,, The Marine Mammal Protection Act makes it illegal to hunt, capture, kill or harass sea lions, with limited exceptions for the deterrent hazing of individual nuisance animals. >click to read< 12:01

Feds fund new work tent for local shipwright

Astoria based WCT Marine & Construction, one of the few remaining shipwrights in the region, has secured a $573,000 federal grant to build a self-contained outside work area at North Tongue Point. The U.S. Maritime Administration provided the grant through its Small Shipyard Grant Program. WCT will match $191,000. WCT requested a 200-foot-long, 60-foot-wide tent where employees can work on tugs, barges and commercial fishing boats out of the wind and rain, speeding up the turnaround on projects. Under the tent will be a filtered drainage to catch byproducts from welding, painting and other vessel work. >click to read< 18:16

Coronavirus: Oregon fishing industry weathering the storm

For the people who fish, the distributors, and the restaurants, Gov. Brown’s stay-home order has been costly. “The hardest part about all of this is the uncertainty,” said commercial fisherman Mike Retherford. Normally, you’d find Retherford out on his boat the Winona J. But these days he’s spending a lot more time at his home in Newport sheltering in place. “If this goes on for too long you could see business down 40-50%,” he said. But what was looking really grim a couple weeks ago when crab prices dropped from about $7 a pound down to about $2 is now looking a bit better. The price of crab has rebounded as distributors find new ways to market. >click to read< 07:52

Coronavirus: Seafood Industry Comes to ‘Screeching Halt,’ But Some Businesses Adapting

Harrison Ibach, a commercial fisherman based out of Eureka in Humboldt County, says that when the coronavirus hit the U.S., his business dried up practically overnight. “Oh, man, the seafood industry has pretty much come to a screeching halt,” Ibach said. Since 2008, he’s fished for black cod, rockfish, salmon and crab out of the Woodley Island Marina. Most of his catch goes to high-end fish restaurants in San Francisco. But now, Ibach says, those restaurants aren’t buying. “We now know that the vast majority of Americans really enjoy seafood,” Ibach said, “But we’ve also learned that they really enjoy eating seafood at restaurants.”,, Ibach, who has a wife and two young children, says he has gotten creative in response. He recently started to sell fish directly off his boat,  >click to read< 20:19

City of Morro Bay will allow fishermen to sell directly from boats starting May 1

“We have about 90 active boats fishing commercially,”,,”If the restaurants and the state doesn’t reopen, the fishermen are going to have to sell directly off their boat to the consumer,”. The City of Morro Bay has already approved for that to happen starting May 1, as long as social distancing is maintained. As of May 1, anyone will be able to buy whole salmon, rock fish and crab from the commercial fishing boats docked in Morro Bay Harbor. The fish will be sold whole, not filleted.  Hafer says to look for signs in the harbor and along the Embarcadero directing you to the boats selling fish. Also, remember to bring an ice chest and plenty of ice.  >click to read< 08:43

Coast Guard completes 13-hr overnight tow of fishing vessel offshore Port Orford, Ore.

A Coast Guard 52-foot Motor Lifeboat crew towed a disabled 68-ton commercial fishing vessel Tuesday morning across the Coos Bay Bar, west of North Bend. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a report at 3:38 p.m. Monday that the 61-foot fishing vessel Pacific Faith, with four people aboard and 10,000 pounds of fish, experienced a loss of power about 9-miles west of Port Orford and were drifting south. A Coast Guard Station Coos Bay 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew launched at 4:47 p.m. and arrived on scene at 7:13 p.m. The MLB crew towed the Pacific Faith for 12 hours; mitigating fatigue during that time by rotating positions. >click to read< 06:28

Coronavirus: Restaurant Closures Put Oregon Seafood Industry In Limbo

Commercial fisherman Clint Funderburg should be on the ocean right now, catching Dungeness crab on his fishing boat, the Widgeon. When crab prices tanked a few weeks ago, he shifted gears to his off-season side gig. So, he’s building a refrigeration system for one of the many fishing boats that are stuck at the dock right now. Mandatory restaurant closures during the coronavirus pandemic have sent shock waves through Oregon’s $700 million seafood industry. The overwhelming majority of the seafood that lands on Oregon’s docks gets eaten in restaurants, and no one knows when that market will return. In the meantime, fishermen are parking their boats as seafood prices plummet. >click to read< 18:04

Court Finds American Lobster Fishery Requires Incidental Take Statement for Impacts on North Atlantic Right Whale

As commercial fisheries across the United States continue to adjust operations in the face of new legal requirements, such as the shift from single-species to ecosystem-based management, one challenge in particular has dominated the courts: the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Recent court decisions have vacated commercial longline fishing permits in federal waters off the coast of California that could endanger the Pacific leatherback sea turtle and restored prohibitions on gillnet fishing gear in a known New England feeding ground for the endangered North Atlantic right whale. This trend continued on April 9, when a federal district court judge in Center for Biological Diversity,,,The American lobster fishery is managed cooperatively by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and NMFS,  >click to read< 14:45

While coronavirus threatens seafood economy, community fisheries find ways to stay afloat

Major commercial fisheries, including the iconic Maine lobster fisheries, have ground to a halt.,, Consider the lucrative Pacific halibut fisheries, which opened in mid-March. These fisheries largely serve fine dining restaurants. Combined with the loss of sales to markets like China, seafood producers from east to west are without a market for their product. Combined with the loss of sales to markets like China, seafood producers from east to west are without a market for their product. But decades of globalization, industrialization and environmental change have brought many coastal communities to the brink, because of coastal development, climate change or they’ve lost fishing rights to industry consolidation. To meet this moment, many need more than just an invigorated customer base. >click to read< 12:16

West Coast salmon season taking shape – Feds Look at Protections for Oregon Spring-Run Chinook Salmon

The Pacific Fishery Management Council has adopted ocean salmon season recommendations that provide recreational and commercial opportunities for most of the Pacific coast and achieve conservation goals for the numerous individual salmon stocks on the West Coast. >click to read< 17:25

Feds Look at Protections for Oregon Spring-Run Chinook Salmon -A petition seeking to extend federal wildlife protections to spring-run Chinook salmon found along Oregon’s coast has merit and could warrant listing the fish under the Endangered Species Act, Conservation groups Native Fish Society, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Umpqua Watersheds submitted a new petition in September 2019 specifically for spring-run salmon. >click you< 17:33

Harry Graham Goes Fishing

Harry Graham was a local surfer and fisherman. I only briefly got to know him near the end of his life. We did a page together about surfing and his friend Tom Linker, but he also gave me a bunch of photos of his commercial fishing days. Unfortunately, he passed away before I got much info on these. So I asked a few friends, a got a little info, and found some info in my notes. I think these are mostly from the early 80s. So here are some historic photos of some legendary characters doing their thing in an earlier time. By Tom Modugno >click to read< 16:02

What it’s really like to join the ‘Deadliest Catch’ crew at sea for a day

“Bait!” Capt. Sig Hansen’s voice booms at me from the wheelhouse of his crab fishing boat, the Northwestern,,I’ve joined his five-person crew for a day as the ship’s newbie, or “greenhorn,” to help set gear. It feels just like I’m on the unscripted Discovery hit Deadliest Catch…except I’m not on camera. My assignment: hooking bait bags inside the 875-pound steel-framed crab pots that are dropped one at a time into the churning sea. I climb awkwardly into the 8-foot-tall, 7-foot-wide pot that sits perched on the boat railing, secured by a cable. As I try to attach the bag, my two layers of gloves cause me to fumble, although another reason might be hearing Sig shout, “Turn and burn!” and “Time is money! by Kate Hahn >click to read< 13:51

Mickey Sisk Jr. paints the outriggers on the F/V Swell Rider

Coronavirus undercuts Port of Astoria’s progress

Will Isom, the Port’s executive director, has focused on low-cost projects that benefit the agency and keep staff busy during a massive drop-off in business caused by the coronavirus.,, Bornstein and Da Yang seafood companies, which employ hundreds of people processing, freezing and shipping catch on Pier 2, have so far kept operating while checking workers’ temperatures, increasing sanitation and enacting more social distancing. “It is a constant concern and effort,” said Andrew Bornstein, co-owner of Bornstein Seafoods with his family. “We have installed partitions, spaced out lines, broken up lunch and dinner breaks to have less people in the lunchroom at a time.” Commercial Dungeness crab prices were already hurt by China’s travel restrictions and ban of live-animal imports during the coronavirus outbreak. >click to read< 09:31

Port of Newport workers still providing services during coronavirus outbreak

With both agricultural and transportation implications, the Port of Newport is considered part of the country’s critical infrastructure as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “Although the port is considered an essential public service provider, just like everyone, we had to adjust to the pandemic,” said Paula Miranda, port general manager. That decision-making led to keeping the commercial marina and international terminal operating while closing or significantly limiting some of the recreational facilities. The result is an “all hands on deck” call, to which the staff has responded favorably. “I can’t praise our staff enough,” the general manager said. >click to read< 09:59

With Coronavirus pandemic ravaging our country, temporary relaxation of fishery regulations is urged to help fishing industry

Thanks to our Senators and Congressmen who worked to get specific aid to the fishing industry, that has been hit particularly hard by the closure of restaurants, where 70 per cent of seafood in this country is consumed. Fishermen and wholesalers have had to adapt on the fly and find other ways to market their product to various degrees of success. The closure of so many vital aspects of our domestic economy will have effects that will still be felt a long time after the Virus is tamed.,, I am requesting that NMFS immediately contact the various management councils and commissions to request that special meetings [webinars] of fishery advisory panels be held to discuss the pro’s and cons of this idea, and what fisheries could benefit.,,, By Jim Lovgren. >click to read< 20:48

Coronavirus: San Diego’s Fishing Community Pivots to Stay Afloat

The COVID-19 shutdown of many of the city’s restaurants has left much of San Diego’s commercial fishing fleet reeling, and right now they’re doing everything they can to stay afloat including shifting the way they’re selling fish at the weekly Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, which has remained open as an essential business. “The commercial fishing fleet has always provided food for people and we’re still here,” says commercial fisherman Kelly Fukushima. “We want them to know they can rely on us to put food on people’s tables.” The crisis has been hard on local fishers. Commercial fishermen David Haworth and his son, Nick, had to scramble when wholesalers started calling them to say they could no longer sell their catch amid widespread restaurant closures. Home deliveries helped move the load of fish,,, >click to read< 15:31

Local Commercial Salmon Fishing Industry Sees Silver Lining Amid Coronavirus Crisis

California’s fishing industry is designated as essential by Governor Gavin Newsom, but their usual markets, restaurants, are all but shut down because of the coronavirus. That’s spelling trouble for local fishermen and women. Still, some believe there’s a silver lining to this crisis. David Toriumi has been commercially fishing the Monterey Bay for almost 16 years. It’s a livelihood full of challenges, from rigorous and expensive regulations to changing ocean conditions. But the coronavirus is like nothing he’s seen before. Toriumi says the impact was slow at first, less people eating out, and then boom. >click to read< 08:44