Category Archives: Pacific

Fishermen concerned about salmon boycott at Seattle restaurants

There is new concern about the impacts restaurants may be having on the commercial fishing industry as a growing number of Seattle chefs decide to remove Chinook salmon from their menus to help rebuild the fish population and save the orcas.,, But many are concerned the boycott is counterproductive. Pete Knutson, a long-time commercial fisherman and commissioner of the Puget Sound Salmon Commission, points out that most of the Chinook that end up on restaurant menus are harvested after they’ve already passed through the areas where the orcas feed. Video >click to read<11:18

Sick River: Can These California Tribes Beat Heroin and History?

For thousands of years, the Klamath River has been a source of nourishment for the Northern California tribes that live on its banks. Its fish fed dozens of Indian villages along its winding path, and its waters cleansed their spirits, as promised in their creation stories. But now a crisis of opioid addiction is gripping this remote region. At the same time, the Klamath’s once-abundant salmon runs have declined to historic lows, the culmination of 100 years of development and dam building along the river. Today, many members of the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa tribes living in this densely forested area south of the California-Oregon border see a connection between the river’s struggle and their own. >click to read<16:01

New Washington DFW director has deep Harbor roots

He grew up hunting and fishing in Grays Harbor County. Now, Kelly Susewind has taken the reigns of the State Department of Fish and Wildlife. It begs the question: After 28 years with Natural Resources, why take on the leadership role in one of the biggest and most criticized agencies in the state? “I debated it, jumping into the fire,” he said. “I had 28 years in at the Department of Ecology, and a passion for natural resources in general. I grew that passion hunting and fishing, and I see the work of this agency as the most important work in the state. I saw it was at a critical point and I like to be where the action is.” >click to read<14:17

Albacore Tuna: A Thrilling Fishery at the Westport Marina

Imagine the thrill of hooking a 20 pound fish that can swim up to 50 mph. Every year, hundreds of such thrill-seekers journey to the Westport Marina for the unique experience of catching North Pacific Albacore tuna. This sustainable fishery is an economic mainstay of Washington’s leading commercial fish landing port. Each summer, when the schools of albacore return, so do their fans, spurring commercial, recreational, and retail activity at the Westport Marina. >click to read<09:05

CALIFORNIA VOTES TO MAKE ITSELF MORE RELIANT ON IMPORTED FISH

California lawmakers passed legislation that would ban drift nets and help save endangered sea animals, but critics argue such a ban would ultimately have the opposite effect.,,, “I don’t know what I’d do,” Mike Flynn — who has depended on drift gill nets to capture swordfish for 40 years — said in a statement to NBC Bay Area. “There’s very few of us left, and we don’t seem to have a chance … we’re being villainized, unjustly.”,, The campaign to ban large drift nets in California began several years ago. Environmental groups — Mercy for Animals, Sea Legacy, Turtle Island Restoration Network and others,,sent a team of photographers underwater with the goal of capturing heart-wrenching pictures of trapped fish. The photos were used by activists to demand a ban. >click to read< In a related post about the photographer, SHOCKER: National Geographic admits they were wrong about “starving polar bear” video – >click to read<10:01

California passes bill to ban drift net fishing

California is set to officially ban commercial fishermen from using drift nets off its coasts. The state legislature passed a bill Thursday that would make it ultimately unlawful for commercial fishers to use shark or swordfish drift gillnets, as well as troll lines and hand lines that are more than 900 feet in length, unless they are used as set lines. The law will set up an transition program to phase out fisherman’s use of shark or swordfish drift nets by offering incentives to those who voluntarily give up their previously received permit. The state would fund the transition by using $1 million in funds from its Ocean Protection Council for whale and sea turtle entanglement.,, The California state bill now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) signature. He has until Sept 30. to sign it into law. >click to read<15:54

Fisheries Omnibus Bill of 2018 – California Lawmakers Act to Protect Whales, Turtles From Entanglement

The California Senate yesterday sent legislation to Gov. Jerry Brown to sign that requires the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to adopt regulations to prevent whales and sea turtles from being entangled in commercial Dungeness crab lines. West Coast entanglements have skyrocketed in recent years. California commercial Dungeness crab gear is responsible for the majority of entanglements where the gear could be identified, entangling at least 35 whales from 2015 to 2017. Senate Bill 1309 responded to the crisis by requiring regulations by November 1, 2020, and directing the department to restrict fishing as needed until then to prevent a significant risk of entanglements. >click to read<20:33

Oregon boat captain accused of drunken assault on woman at sea

An Oregon man accused of assaulting a woman on a commercial fishing ship he was operating while intoxicated was arrested after a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter located the vessel and sent a response boat to board the ship, according to federal court documents. Branden Michael Vanderploeg of Winchester Bay is charged with assault within maritime jurisdiction and operating a commercial vessel under the influence of alcohol. Vanderploeg, 38, is accused of holding the woman down, punching her repeatedly in the face, slamming her head into a tool box and swinging a fishing gaff at her – a pole with a sharp hook at the end used to stab large fish, >click to read<18:43

Fish Commissioner Calls For Sharp Increase In Chinook Production For Orcas

Fifty million more Chinook would be released for southern resident killer whales under a plan being pitched by a member of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission and which would also provide “shirttail benefits” for salmon anglers. Don McIsaac wants to release 30 million kings in four areas of Puget Sound, and another 20 million from hatcheries in the Columbia River system to help feed the starving pods. Their plight has gripped the region this summer and this past March led Governor Jay Inslee to sign an executive order directing state agencies such as WDFW to do all they can to help save the species. >click to read<20:18

When a ship owner’s dreams die – Recycling Washington’s ghost ships could turn trash into treasure

This is an example of where owning an old boat ends with reality, a case of folks with “great dreams and aspirations, and no money,” says Troy Wood, the man in charge of dealing with derelict vessels in Washington. The unenviable job falls to the Department of Natural Resources, which manages 2.4 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands. There’s an old saying that a boat is simply a hole in the water into which you dump your cash. They can be cheap to buy, but are expensive to maintain, insure, berth, repair and operate. They age, they weather, they often sink.  When they do, they create another kind of money hole: a maritime cleanup project often leaves taxpayers with the bill for removal. >click to read<09:36

‘Greedy Poachers’ Face Stiffer Penalties Under New Law Drafted by San Diego Assemblywoman

A bill authored by a San Diego lawmaker that cracks down on illegal poaching in marine protected areas by commercial fishing operators has been signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher‘s bill (AB-2369) takes effect Jan. 1. and was signed by the governor Friday. “These greedy poachers have done an enormous amount of damage, showing that the current penalties are nominal to their bottom line and they don’t seem to work. I’m pretty sure this new law’s threat of a hefty fine will get their attention.” >click to read<08:56

Humpback whale killed by ship will become feast for Washington tribe

A 31-foot (9.5-meter) humpback whale struck and killed by a ship is being turned into a feast by the Makah Indian Tribe. The tiny tribe with a reservation on the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state has been butchering the whale that was pulled ashore Thursday. “It is sacred,” Nathan Tyler, chairman of the Makah Indian Tribe, told The Seattle Times . “We have deep regrets about the whale being struck by a ship and dying, but it will live on, through our culture.” Tribal fisherman discovered the whale Thursday in the Strait of Juan de Fuca near Sekiu. >click to read<21:58

Trump administration settles lawsuit, agrees to protect humpback whale habitat

The suit by the Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation, a nonprofit that represents American Indian tribes, was settled Friday in federal court in San Francisco. The National Marine Fisheries Service agreed to designate critical habitat for the animals by mid-2019 and finalize those boundaries a year later. It means the migration routes of three endangered or threatened populations of humpbacks on the West Coast will be protected. >click to read<09:40

Trident Seafoods fined a third time for polluting Newport’s Yaquina Bay

Oregon environmental regulators have fined Trident Seafoods Corp. $43,200 for wastewater violations at its Newport surimi factory. It’s the third time since 2015 the state Department of Environmental Quality has fined the company for polluting Yaquina Bay. Seattle-based Trident Seafoods is the largest seafood company in the United States and among the largest in the world.
In Newport, the company holds a permit to discharge treated fish-processing wastewater into the bay from its factory, at 623 Yaquina Bay Boulevard, which processes fish into the imitation crab meat. >click to read<11:52

Giving up Chinook Is a Nice Idea but It Will Not Save the Orcas

The Seattle Times published a heart-warming/heart-breaking story Wednesday about chef Renee Erickson, who recently announced that she will be yanking Chinook salmon from her restaurant menus in response to Tahlequah, aka J35, the Salish Sea orca who became an international cause célèbre after carrying her dead baby for 17 days. “It’s sad,” Erickson told the Times. “I love eating [chinook], and I grew up catching it.” But, she added, “The biggest gut wrench is that we have starving orcas. We are eating the salmon they need to eat.”,,  Taking chinook off restaurant menus (and your own shopping list) is a commendable action. But, unfortunately, it won’t save the whales. It’s kind of like every other environmental crisis: >click to read<09:59

Wrong man in prison for 2009 murder?

Only two people know what really happened on the July 2009 night when 52-year-old fisherman John Adkins was murdered at the Port of Ilwaco. His deckhand Walter Bremmer moved to Hawaii within days, then negotiated full immunity in exchange for his testimony. His business partner Erin Rieman pleaded guilty to manslaughter and went to prison for 11 years. It seemed like a closed case until 2012, when Bremmer murdered his neighbor Robert “Johnny” Leong using the same unusual method that was used to kill Adkins. With Bremmer in prison, Rieman appealed his case over and over, saying he only took the fall because Bremmer threatened to kill his girlfriend, daughter and grandkids.,, Recently, a federal magistrate concluded Rieman’s crazy story just might be true. >click to read<

Crabbers to get federal disaster relief

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has proposed a spending plan for federal Dungeness Crab disaster relief funding after taking input from fishermen, processors and charter boat operators. The state’s 2015 to 2016 commercial Dungeness and rock crab seasons were declared as fisheries disasters after being drastically curtailed due to algae blooms and the domoic acid toxin they produced. Approval of $28.8 million in federal relief funding was gained last June, with most of it covering Dungeness losses. Based on guidelines from the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and feedback from industry stakeholders, CDFW proposes that 89 percent of the relief funding be spent on “direct payments” to commercial fishermen, buyer/processors and sport charter boat operations. >click to read<19:31

Senate MSA reauthorization a step back for fishing communities

In July, the House passed H.R. 200 the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act,” a much needed update of federal fisheries law that allows for both sustainable fisheries management and the long-term preservation of our nation’s fishing communities. Unfortunately, its counterpart bill making its way through the Senate would likely have the opposite effect. The Senate bill, S.1520, or the “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018,” introduces changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA)—the main law governing U.S. fisheries—that would impose increasingly burdensome regulations on American fishermen and undermine H.R. 200’s goal of increasing flexibility in fisheries management. >click to read<17:51

Farmers protest California water plan aimed to save salmon

Hundreds of California farmers rallied at the Capitol on Monday to protest state water officials’ proposal to increase water flows in a major California river, a move state and federal politicians called an overreach of power that would mean less water for farms in the Central Valley. “If they vote to take our water, this does not end there,” said Republican state Sen. Anthony Cannella. “We will be in court for 100 years.” Environmentalists and fishermen offered a different take on the other side of the Capitol to a much smaller audience. “For the 50 years corporate agriculture has been getting fat,” said Noah Oppenheim of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “Salmon fisheries have been tightening belts.” >click to read<13:17

Dosed salmon, clipped fins, a ‘dinner bell’: How far is too far in helping starving orca?

The emergency effort to save a critically ill orca whale is an experiment without precedent. An international team of scientists is piloting techniques to treat a wild, free-swimming orca, one of the largest predators on Earth. The effort includes serving up live fish pumped with medicine and playing a unique tone that one researcher likened to a “dinner bell.” A federal permit approved Aug. 8 provides the clearest look yet at the details of an operation that raises questions even for those involved about the proper limits of human intervention. >click to read<17:39

Coast Guard law enforcement assists injured woman, investigates fisherman for BUI off of Oregon Coast

A Coast Guard law enforcement team assisted an injured woman and are investigating the circumstances surrounding a commercial fisherman allegedly boating under the influence 12 miles off the Oregon Coast, Friday morning. A Coast Guard boat crew and law enforcement team aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Station Umpqua River removed the woman, reportedly suffering from a head laceration, bruising and swelling in the facial region, off the commercial fishing vessel Pescadero and transferred her to emergency medical services awaiting at Station Umpqua River, which transported her to Lower Umpqua River Hospital. >click to read<20:04

Center for Biological Diversity sues Trump administration to expand protected Southern Resident orca habitat along West Coast

The Tucson, Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity said as it filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle.,,The lawsuit says the National Marine Fisheries Service has failed to act on the center’s 2014 petition to expand habitat protections to the orcas’ foraging and migration areas off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California — even though the agency agreed in 2015 that such a move was necessary. The center says the protections would help reduce water pollution and restrict vessel traffic that can interfere with the animals.“ click to read<16:36

Salmon decline reveals worrisome trend

The sad story of an orca carrying her dead calf for 17 days off the Washington coast this month has garnered global attention to the plight of killer whales in the region. It has also highlighted the steep decline in the region’s salmon stocks, the resident orcas’ sole food source. ,, That is because the availability of Pacific Ocean salmon has been trending low for the past decade. The total pounds of chinook salmon caught off the Oregon coast in 2017 fell 40% compared with the year before, according to Oregon Department Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) data. Between 2014 and 2017, total pounds caught dropped 80% and the value of the catch dropped 72% to $5 million. Drought in California and nutrient-starved ocean conditions are blamed for the decline. >click to read<16:15

Old Willapa boats get new lives – May West to serve as concert stage; Tokeland will be historical exhibit

With the Jazz and Oysters music festival moving to the Port of Peninsula (PoP) in Nahcotta this weekend, it seems right that the musicians would be performing on a stage befitting the event. The deck of the former oyster dredge May West will be making its official debut as a stage at the annual event, after the Northern Oyster Company donated the retired vessel to the port earlier this summer.,, The barge is one of two retired oyster boats that have been donated to PoP recently, with the Herrold family also having contributed their historic boat, Tokeland. >click to read<11:56

F/V Lady Kathy comes up for air after 20 years

Local fishing vessel, the Lady Kathy, was hauled out of the Charleston Marina on Monday for the first time in over 20 years for maintenance. Owner of the boat Richard Shore inherited the Lady Kathy from his father a couple of years ago. The boat, named after Shore’s grandmother, was built in 1971 by his grandfather and father. “It’s been a long time, about 20 years since it was last hauled out. That’s suicide for any other boat. Usually you take it out once a year,” Shore said. 3 image >click to read<16:14

After fire destroys seafood processing plant, Pacific Seafood celebrates their plant reopening in Warrenton

Pacific Seafood in Warrenton celebrated its grand re-opening Tuesday, five years after fire destroyed the seafood processing plant. “It’s been a great day that’s taken five years to achieve,” Pacific Seafood President & CEO Frank Dulcich said. “I’m extremely proud of our community and this team.” On June 4, 2013, a massive fire that broke out at the facility, while contractors torched a new, tar roof. “Within 45 minutes the whole building was engulfed in flames,” recalled Dulcich. “There was a lot of sadness.” Video >click to read<09:27

Coast Guard responding to diesel spill in Newport’s Yaquina Bay

The Coast Guard is responding to a diesel spill of approximately 700 gallons that occurred in Yaquina Bay in Newport, early Tuesday morning. Coast Guard oil spill responders from Sector Columbia River’s Incident Management Detachment in Portland arrived on scene at 11 a.m. to oversee cleanup efforts that began when local responders deployed containment booms and applied sorbents. Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector North Bend and Sector Columbia River received a report of the diesel spill at 12:30 a.m., from a representative of NWFF Environmental. The spill reportedly happened when the crew of the commercial fishing vessel Coast Pride left a transfer pump on. >click to read<19:35

Pacific Seafood wants to buy Bayfront area properties to house their workers

Pacific Seafood processing is asking Newport City Hall to allow them to create their own worker housing because their workers can’t find affordable housing in Newport. Pacific Seafood will be sitting down with city planning commissioners August 13th to work out some changes to the city code to allow the company to provide workforce housing for its workers by acquiring properties on, or near, the Bayfront so their workers can have a place to live and not have it cost them an arm and a leg. >click to read<10:36

UPDATED – Unified command responds to grounded vessel near Santa Cruz

The Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), Monterey County, Santa Cruz Fire Department and a representative of the vessel owners have established a unified command in response to a 56-foot commercial fishing vessel that ran aground with a maximum potential capacity of 1,200 gallons of diesel aboard near Natural Bridges State Park, Sunday morning. The captain of the fishing vessel, Pacific Quest, contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, reporting that his vessel ran aground with only himself and his dog aboard. >click to read<06:38

The fisherman and the government observer – Tuna by the ton: two tales of fishing

Tom Crivello is a tuna boat captain and owner of two large seiners, both of which carry helicopters that are used in hunting for tuna. Crivello’s two boats are the Rose Ann Marie, which is 220 feet long with a capacity of 1050 tons of fish, and the Marla Marie, which is 151 feet long and holds about 500 tons. They are both registered in the U.S. and are based in San Diego, along with about 125 other boats from the American tuna fleet of nearly 140 boats. About a year ago, after fishing for twenty-one years — since the age of sixteen — Crivello decided to retire and try to sell the Rose Ann Marie, which is valued at about five million dollars. He was feeling the effects of relentless pressure and he was determined to do something about it while he still was capable. Others had reached the limit, pressed on, and ended up with drinking problems or even nervous breakdowns. >click to read< 8 pages from May 13, 1982 18:35