Category Archives: Pacific

Fishermen head out on opening day of 2018 commercial Dungeness crab season

After several frustrating years of on-again-off-again crab catching operations along the California coast, fisherman were optimistic about hauling in a good catch as the 2018 commercial Dungeness crab season opened Thursday. It was three years ago that the highly anticipated season had to be delayed until March after state fishery officials detected toxic levels of domoic acid in crabs. In addition, fishermen have had to contend with scattered delays and lousy weather. >click to read<

NMFS approves plan for state officials to kill sea lions at Willamette Falls

Protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the state needed federal approval to take lethal action against the pinnipeds, which have been observed gorging themselves on endangered fish at the foot of the iconic waterfall. “This is good news for the native runs of salmon and steelhead in the Willamette River,” said Shaun Clements, a policy analyst for the state on the sea lion issue. “Before this decision, the state’s hands were tied as far as limiting sea lion predation on the Willamette River.” >click to read<22:52

Reeling for Weather

Dave Bitts has been trolling the Pacific waters off the North Coast for decades. “I almost have been making a living out of it for 40 years,” said Bitts. The hum of Elmarue, his 45-foot fishing boat, is often dwarfed by the sounds of his chuckles and his enthusiasm for reeling in the catch of the day. Although semi-retired, Bitts finds any excuse he can to take his boat out on the water.,, Just a few minutes into the trip, Bitts airs his concerns about what he is not seeing. “We should be having big southerlies, big seas, and lots of rain this month. And it’s not happening,” said Bitts. >click to read<13:32

Senate passes bill with Jones Act waiver for Fishermen’s Finest vessel

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday, 14 November, overwhelmingly passed a bill that included language giving Fishermen’s Finest a waiver it needs to use its USD 75 million (EUR 66.4 million) fishing vessel in American waters. Senate leaders added the Jones Act waiver for America’s Finest, a 264-foot catcher-processor trawler, in its Coast Guard reauthorization bill. That bill, approved by a 94-6 margin, now goes back to the House of Representatives for its approval of the Senate’s changes. That is expected to happen after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. >click to read<11:48

On the “Kitzhaber Plan” – Promises have not been kept

Until recently, the Columbia River gillnet fishery was a major economic driver in Wahkiakum County and the lower Columbia. The policy focused instead on recreational fishing priority, and has marginalized a fishery that sustained communities in our county and neighboring counties for 150 years. The result is that salmon have been transferred to a mostly non-local transient recreational fleet and away from local residents and economies. >click to read<10:05

Crab Fishermen Sue Fossil Fuel Industry Over Climate Change Damage

Crab fishing on the West Coast has become so threatened by warming oceans that a coalition of commercial fishers has now joined the climate litigation fray with a lawsuit filed Wednesday to hold 30 fossil fuel companies accountable for losses caused by climate change. The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco County Superior Court by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, seeks damages on behalf of crab fishers, their businesses and families, and local communities in California and Oregon. It describes losses caused by the closing of crab fishing waters over the past four years because of algae blooms in the warming Pacific waters, and warns that these closures will keep happening as warming continues. >click to read<19:31

Counting down to Thanksgiving crab? It won’t be long now

This year, state regulators are opening the main fishery on time but only as far north as Bodega Head while they await a second round of test results from sample crabs taken off the mouth of the Russian River, where a single shellfish collected late last month had elevated levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring neurotoxin. The six-crab sample taken a week later tested well within federal limits for the algae-related substance. A second consecutive round of tests is needed before the area can be declared clean and the rest of the Sonoma Coast opened to commercial crabbing. >click to read<13:01

Orcas, fishermen are both endangered species

Orcas and commercial salmon fishermen share a common crisis — both need more adult Chinook salmon to return to the Columbia River; orcas to avoid starvation, fishermen to sustain their livelihoods and families. Northwest orcas are starving and their population is declining — only 74 remain, in large part because their primary prey, Chinook salmon, have been pushed by dams, dewatering and habitat destruction to near extinction almost everywhere.,, Salmon fishermen too are now effectively an endangered species, and for the same reasons as orcas — their Chinook salmon prey. <click to read<

California Dungeness crab season faces delays in parts of state

The opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season has been delayed until at least Dec. 1 in the waters north of Bodega Head State Marine Reserve to the Sonoma/Mendocino county line because of elevated levels of domoic acid, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today. The commercial fishery south of this area will open as scheduled Thursday, however. >click to read<10:51

West Coast Whale entanglement data collected

Whale entanglements off the West Coast and potential solutions to the escalating problem are the focus of a new report including the presentations and observations of fishermen, biologists, and fisheries managers who gathered at an August workshop on the subject.,, The report provides the notes and presentations from the 31 California, Oregon, and Washington experts who attended. Participating were Dungeness crab fishermen; gear specialists; marine mammal biologists and disentanglement specialists; conservation groups; and federal, tribal, and state agency representatives.,, Participants also expressed interest in a gear innovation developed by fishermen in the lobster fishery on the East Coast. >click to read<08:33

Feud over gill nets boils again

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission held a series of meetings at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver from Thursday through Saturday to receive a report from state staff on the Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy C-3620, and review the results of that policy. During the Thursday meeting the WDWC was joined by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. While the commissions heard the report and reviewed possible options for the future of the policy, members of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) gathered outside the lodge to protest the prospect of the commission’s abandoning the policy entirely, which is one option being considered. >click to read<11:34

Fisherman jumps on humpback whale to free it from rope, not everyone is impressed

A commercial fisherman jumped on a humpback whale off the Central California coast to free it from being entangled in a rope, reports said this week, citing a video capturing the event in September. A rope was wrapped around the whale’s back and tail when Sam Synstelien jumped onto the mammal off Morro Bay,,, The crew initially reported the problem to the Coast Guard, who “kind of finally said there’s nothing else you can do,” Taron said. He said he was told that the Coast Guard couldn’t respond for hours,,, >click to read<12:25

To our valued readers here at Fishery Nation.

To our valued readers here at Fishery Nation. You have probably noticed recently there have been no postings on our website. I’m sorry to say that I have recently taken ill and have been hospitalized for the past week in the intensive care unit of my local hospital.
As you know, I’ve made it a priority in my life to keep you all informed on the goings on in our commercial fisheries here in the US and also abroad with stories and information that we feel is important to you, and also stories of interest. For the past seven years we have fulfilled this goal 365 days a year, every single day!
Please bear with me as we get through this situation and I am able to get back on my feet and continue what has become my passion, and mission in life, to keep the commercial fishermen informed and up to date as to the goings on in your industry.
If all goes well this will be a short period of time and I’ll soon be on my feet and able to get back at it.
Thank you one and all for your support and understanding. God bless you all, stay safe out there and please stay in touch with us.

Sincerely,

Borehead

Study to help prevent whale entanglements off Oregon

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — Crab Commission is supporting a multi-year study to prevent whale entanglements off the Oregon Coast The Coos Bay World reports that the board of the industry-funded agency approved nearly $45,000 toward the three-year $300,000 project. The U.S. Coast Guard, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute plan to gather data on whale distributions and populations. .’>click to read<12:50

Fish cops’ keep eyes on the water

When too much of a resource is taken from area bays and beaches — a common occurrence when it comes to clams and crabs — it can put the species at risk of declining or disappearing. Preventing that is an ongoing battle in the Puget Sound region and requires having eyes on the water. >Click to read<11:27

Southern California diver captures Maine lobster – how is that possible?

A diver hunting spiny lobsters last Saturday off Southern California was surprised by the sight of a much larger lobster with large claws. The reason for Jim McKeeman’s astonishment was that spiny lobsters do not have claws and that this was, in fact, a Maine lobster – 3,000 miles from home. >click to read<11:19

Columbia River commercial fishery could hinge on century-old method

A series of nets strung between pilings just off the Columbia River shore may offer a glimpse of the future of commercial fishing in the river, even though it harkens back to the fishing practices of a century ago. But some gillnetters say that the experimental fish trap, also known as a pound net, is just another unworkable idea for catching salmon that threatens their livelihoods. One morning last week, researchers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Wild Fish Conservancy worked the fish trap set in the Columbia a few miles upstream of Cathlamet, near Nassa Point. >click to read<09:34

Tri Marine Group sells plant to Silver Bay Seafoods

US tuna supplier Tri Marine Group has struck a deal to sell a plant in California. Tri Marine said the sale of the pelagic-processing factory to Alaska-based salmon-to-squid supplier Silver Bay Seafoods was subject to approval of the facility’s ground lease by the Port of Los Angeles. ,,, Silver Bay said the acquisition of the plant, located in San Pedro, meant it has unloading and processing facilities in the north and south of California. >click to read<14:28

San Mateo County Harbor Commission approves a much-contested hoist on pier

After Three Captains owner Larry Fortado won nearly $300,000 in arbitration from the San Mateo County Harbor District, the harbor commission agreed to permit the fish buyer to construct a much-contested hoist on Johnson Pier in Princeton. Harbor commissioners were conflicted about whether to do so at their regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 17, even though the arbiter ordered them to allow the hoist. >click to read<12:41

Kitzhaber re-emerges to back gillnet ban on the Columbia River

Former Gov. John Kitzhaber has re-emerged to champion a divisive plan he implemented to ban gillnets on the Columbia River — even as state fishery managers say the plan is not living up to expectations.,, Commercial fishermen argue gillnet gear is selective and does not unduly impact salmon runs, while sport fishing and conservation groups disagree. So far, neither state has come up with a replacement gear for gillnets, though Washington has continued to experiment with seine nets. >click to read<19:12

Plan To Revive San Diego Fishing Industry Agreed Upon By Fishermen, Developer

After years of negotiations, San Diego’s fishermen and a local developer have signed an agreement to recapture a lost piece of the city’s history – a thriving commercial fishing trade that once employed thousands of people while netting hundreds of millions of dollars. Much of the agreement focuses on five acres called Tuna Harbor, and the role it will play within Seaport San Diego, the billion-dollar waterfront development expected to break ground in 2022. The marina is expected to provide a true “working waterfront” – a unique attraction for the Seaport project, an economic boon for the region and an opportunity for the fishermen to revive their struggling industry. >click to read< 16:11

Coast Guard medevacs injured man off Oregon Coast

The Coast Guard medically evacuated an injured crewmember off a commercial fishing vessel, 25 miles west of Brookings, Oregon, Monday morning. A boat crew aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Station Chetco River safely conducted the medevac of the 64-year-old male aboard the fishing vessel Arctic Storm and transported him to shore for further medical care. >click to read<21:13

Crabber caught poaching, hiding crab in trash cans under water before season opened

A crabber suspected of poaching a large amount of crab before the season began has been busted by wildlife officials. Officers with the stgarbage can full of crab ate’s Department of Fish & Wildlife received a tip from someone stating he had found a garbage can full of crab tied to a crab pot in the waters off Blaine the day before the commercial season began. The tipster stated the crabber was stockpiling recreationally caught crab for sale once the commercial season opened, officials said. >click to read<19:14

Island Voices: ‘Namgis First Nation – Why land-based fish farms work

We’ve seen the impact of sea lice, farm waste, lights and nets on salmon fry, clam beds, birds, sea mammals and other marine life.,,,the technology does exist today to grow large numbers of fish on land. It didn’t exist 30 years ago, and it took Kuterra, and a handful of other pilots around the world, to show the way to full-scale operations. Now, we have a very large farm being built in Florida, and when all its modules are finished, it will grow 90,000 tonnes of fish a year on a 33-hectare site. That’s almost as much fish as all of B.C. grows right now, on a piece of land much smaller than one square kilometre. >click to read<19:35

BOEM requires transit corridors for offshore wind energy areas

The federal Bureau of Offshore Energy Management is requiring offshore wind energy developers to set aside vessel transit corridors, amid intense discussions with the commercial fishing industry. In a notice published Friday in the Federal Register, the agency announced it would offer an additional 390,000 acres south of Massachusetts for lease on Dec. 13.,,, Critics of offshore wind, including a number of commercial fishing groups, urge the Trump administration to put the brakes on development and take a slower approach. But Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke has emerged as a strong advocate off building a U.S. offshore wind industry. >click to read<14:58

Crew of F/V Time Machine pulls 15 people from the water from unnamed burning vessel

The crew of the 42-foot fishing vessel Time Machine contacted Coast Guard Sector San Diego’s Joint Harbor Operations Center watchstanders around 9:35 p.m. to report seeing a nearby fishing boat on fire and multiple people in the water. The crew aboard the motor vessel Time Machine pulled 15 people from the water, including two who needed urgent medical attention. The survivors aboard the fishing vessel Time Machine reported that three people were still missing. >click to read<10:40

What About the Fish?!! Trump signs memo to send more water to San Joaquin Valley agribusiness

“Western water mismanagement has been horrendous for commercial, recreational, and guide fisheries in California,” said Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA) executive director Noah Oppenheim in a statement. “Water users have sucked our rivers dry for far too long, and the fish have been paying the price.”,,, “Just last month the Secretary of Commerce declared our 2016 and 2017 fishing seasons to be official federal fishery disasters. >click to read<09:00

Fishing groups sue Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District

A lawsuit was filed against the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District by the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association and Trinidad Bay Fishermen’s Association. The two fishing groups are suing over a long list of allegations that include alleged dredging failures and money management issues among other things.,,,“Our objection is that the harbor district has essentially abandoned their mandated duty to maintain and protect the Woodley Island Marina for the benefit of the fishing fleet,” said Ken Bates, vice president of HFMA, who emailed a news release announcing the lawsuit. >click to read<11:45

Should Oregon Kill Sea Lions to Save the Salmon?

Used to be, they’d show up at Willamette Falls around late November—beefy males here to bulk up and loll on the docks. Call it sea lion winter break; time off from California’s Channel Islands rookeries, beaucoup steelhead to eat, zero problems. (No pups, no ladies, no predators.) When it was time to head back south, a 400-pound sea lion might have doubled in size, having chowed down on, at minimum, three 15-pound Pacific Northwest salmonids a day. >click to read<19:47

Columbia River: The fishing life before boats had motors

Several years ago, as Columbia-Pacific Heritage Museum Curator Barbara Minard and I were talking about the many losses of small fishing boats in those days before motors, she stated, with emphasis, “These boats are very important.”1879: “The sorry experiences of fishing this year, although it has cost many lives and the loss of much property in boats and nets, has demonstrated that the best place to catch fish, and the finest fish, is as close as possible to the bar at the entrance of the Columbia river. >click to read<18:07