Tag Archives: California

Sustainable fishing off the coast of SoCal

For Ben Hyman, fishing along the California coast is a way of life. He’s been a commercial fisherman for 25 years. “I’ve always been addicted to fishing and loved fishing and grew up surfing, and for a lot of us, it’s just a natural evolution to start wanting to be on the boat and start fishing more,” Hyman said. He opened his own business, the Wild Local Seafood Co., 25 years ago and focuses on selling locally caught seafood such as salmon, halibut, ahi, crab and much more. Video, >click to watch/read< 16:57

Seafood Industry Professions Raise Concerns About Reintroduction Of Sea Otters

West Coast Seafood processors says that their membership is concerned about a study on the impacts of sea otters on coastal fishing. The West Coast Seafood Processors Association says that they join other ocean stakeholders in a lack of confidence about concerns raised about the otters. “We remain very concerned that the issues we identified in our letter last year will not be adequately addressed in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s cost and feasibility study,” West Coast Seafood Processors Association Executive Director Lori Steele said. >click to read< 18:24

To bee or not to bee – Bees are legally fish in California

A ruling by a California appeals court in the United States has extended the legal protection of endangered species to bumblebees and, in effect, classified them as fish. The court’s decision will allow California to legally protect these endangered, native garden-keepers and help maintain the state’s biodiversity, which is crucial to keeping ecosystems resilient. The court found that “fish” may be commonly understood to refer to aquatic species, but the interpretation of the term in the legislature is “not so limited”. >click to read< 12:07

Commercial Fisherman survives after sleepwalking on boat, falling overboard

Rescuers said “a miracle of God” saved a fisherman who fell overboard into Southern California waters when he woke up in the middle of the night and began sleepwalking off the boat. Dylan Fogg expected a typical Thursday out at sea. He spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News on Friday and said he went to sleep aboard the F/V Crystal Bay, a commercial fishing boat, but woke up in the waters off Ventura. More than six hours later, his crew realized Fogg was missing and put out a mayday call to the U.S. Coast Guard. “A miracle of God found Dylan,” said Crystal Bay Capt. Pence MacKimmie. “He was 12 miles offshore and 40 miles behind the boat. We never knew he went over.” Video, >click to read< 21:28

San Francisco D.A. wants a fisherman to pay nearly $1 million over illegal Dungeness crabbing in MPA

A commercial fisherman from Vallejo is accused of illegally catching more than 250 Dungeness crabs at the protected North Farallon Islands State Marine Reserve, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced Friday. On Feb. 11, an unidentified fisherman alerted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife of commercial Dungeness crab traps in the North Farallon Islands State Marine Reserve area, according to a complaint filed by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. Officers from the CDFW then found what appeared to be a line, also called a “string,” of 92 commercial Dungeness crab trap buoys in the southern part of the reserve,,, >click to read< 17:21

The Lost Japanese Fishing Community from San Pedro

Beginning in the early 1940s, 3,000 first and second-generation Japanese made their homes in an area of Terminal Island known as East San Pedro. The Japanese Fishing Village was next to Fish Harbor, and many of the locals worked in the fishing industry. When a dozen Japanese fishermen settled on Terminal Island at the turn of the twentieth century, it was still a rural stretch of land with around 200 homes. Originally known as Rattlesnake Island due to the snakes that would gather after torrential storms, it had recently been renamed after its new owner, the Los Angeles Terminal Railway. Approximately 250 fishing boats were owned and operated by the residents. Most of the local people, not working on the boats, worked in the many fish canneries clustered together on Terminal Island.  >click to read < 17:26

How California bureaucrats are using a typo to destroy a fisherman’s dream

Bureaucrats sometimes make mistakes. But when they refuse to acknowledge a mistake and double down on it to deprive someone of their livelihood and family business, a lawsuit can be the only way to hold them accountable. That’s what happened to Max Williams, and he’s fighting back. Max has dreamed of captaining his own fishing vessel since he was young. Fishing has been the Williams family’s way of life for decades. They have owned and operated vessels practicing sustainable fishing off the coast of California to feed their community and provide for their family. Like his grandfather and parents before him, Max wants to continue the family tradition and captain his own boat. California law requires Max to obtain a “gillnet” permit from the government before he can legally fish as a vessel operator. > click to read < 17:46

$230M Class Action Settlement in 2015 Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Plains All American Pipeline has agreed to pay $230 million to fishers, fish processors and shoreline property residents who are members of two classes in a class action lawsuit filed against the company after a corroded pipeline spilled an estimated 15,000 barrels of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean in 2015. Due to failed maintenance and extensive pipeline corrosion, Plains was found criminally liable in 2018 for the oil spill. The spill devastated the fishing industry and polluted coastal properties from Santa Barbara County to Los Angeles County. These class members will now be compensated for their damages. >click to read< 10:14

Commercial fishermen talk offshore wind concerns

Offshore wind energy is one step closer to becoming a reality on the Central Coast, and with it, hundreds of potential jobs and renewable energy generation that will be much needed when the Diablo Canyon Power Plant closes. But the local commercial fishing industry continues to raise concerns over how such an undertaking will impact their livelihoods. BOEM released its draft environmental assessment for leasing the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area earlier this month and heard public comment on the report at an April 14 meeting. Further environmental assessment will be required before a wind farm project is actually approved and built—this draft just looks at the impacts of the leasing process. >click to read< 10:08

Whale entanglements, crab gear, and what can be done

Whale populations are recovering, and whales are on the move early this year. That’s led to five humpback whale entanglements in crab gear, prompting the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to close the commercial Dungeness crab season two months early. With a population that is “definitely recovering” and five entanglements over a month and a half, Bartling conceded, “We’re in uncharted territory.” Three of the entanglements were confirmed with commercial California Dungeness crab gear, while the other two were “not identifiable, but the gear is consistent with what could be commercial Dungeness crab gear.” >click to read< 10:15

DA Settles Ventura Harbor Hazmat Suit Against Squid Boat Captain

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office has settled a lawsuit with the captain of a commercial squid fishing boat for illegal dumping of hazardous waste in the ocean outside of Ventura Harbor. The DA’s office says that on June 4th last year a State Fish and Wildlife warden saw the squid boat F/V Sea Venture dump squid wastewater into the ocean. The Captain of the F/V Sea Venture is 54-year-old Peter Joseph Ancich of Rancho Palos Verdes. >click to read< 11:04

California takes step toward first offshore wind farm

The California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to pave the way for the West Coast’s first offshore wind farm that if ultimately approved and built would occupy roughly 206 square miles of ocean about 20 miles west of the town of Eureka, Calif.  “This is truly historic,” said commission chair Donne Brownsey just before the unanimous vote was taken. Not everyone agrees. Specifically, commercial fishermen said the waters off of Eureka are some of the most valuable on the entire West Coast and cordoning more than 200 square miles will have a dramatic impact on their business. >click to read< 11:44

CDFW to close the commercial Dungeness Crab fishery in response to Humpback Whale entanglements

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham has assessed entanglement risk under the Risk Assessment Mitigation Program and announced the closure of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in Fishing Zones 1 and 2 (Sonoma/Mendocino county line to the Oregon state line) effective at noon on April 20, 2022. This closure is being implemented in addition to a closure of Zones 3 through 6 announced on March 25 because of three recent humpback whale entanglements involving California commercial Dungeness crab fishing gear. >click to read< 08:18

California: Closure of commercial fishery causes seafood price increase

Two humpback whales became entangled in Dungeness crab gear near the Monterey Peninsula within the last two weeks, leading to the closure of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery,,, “It’s pretty devastating because the best crabbing here is generally in the springtime,” said Morro Bay commercial fisherman, Bill Blue. This suspension isn’t helping, especially during their most profitable season. “It’s a pretty unjust thing. It’s all political. It has nothing to do with saving the whales. The shipping industry kills a lot of whales. Video, >click to read< 10:26

CDFW Announces Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery Closure Off Central California to Protect Humpbacks

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham has assessed entanglement risk under the Risk Assessment Mitigation Program (RAMP) and announced the closure of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in Fishing Zones 3, 4, 5 and 6 (Sonoma/Mendocino county line to the U.S./Mexico border) effective at noon on April 8, 2022. This closure is being implemented because of two recent humpback whale entanglements that occurred off San Mateo County and in Monterey Bay involving California commercial Dungeness crab fishing gear. All commercial Dungeness crab traps must be removed from the fishing grounds by the April 8 closure date. >click to read< 16:55

Whales entangled in fishing gear could prompt early end to Dungeness crab season

On Tuesday, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that one of the entangled whales had been spotted near Moss Beach, just north of Half Moon Bay, on March 11. The other was spotted on March 19 in Monterey Bay. Both were alive at the time. “In anticipation of increasing risk due to migrating humpback and blue whales, a closure will help minimize additional entanglement risk,” read a report from the department,,, However, the Dungeness crab fishing fleet in the affected areas may already be shutting itself down preemptively, said Sonoma County fisherman Dick Ogg, who is on a working group organized by the Department of Fish and Wildlife to assess risk to whales and make recommendations on when it’s time to close the season. >click to read< 07:35

British Columbia: Hooked on halibut: For many commercial fishers, it’s a family affair

The commercial halibut season is underway along the coast of British Columbia and boats are already starting to deliver the flat fish to dinner plates. From now until early December, the B.C. halibut fleet will haul in an estimated 5.7 million pounds of halibut. The Americans will take the lion’s share of this year’s ­41-million-pound total allowable catch, nearly 80%, because their territory stretches over California, Oregon, Washington and all of Alaska to the tip of the Aleutian Islands and covers nine of the 10 designated halibut-fishing areas along the Pacific Coast. Tiare Boyes and Cheri Hansen weigh in on what it’s like to work on the water during the halibut fishing season. Photos, >click to read< 11:14

California: 3 commercial fishermen rescued off Sonoma Coast by fellow crabbers

Three commercial crabbers whose boat went down several miles off the Sonoma Coast were rescued late Tuesday afternoon through a combination of close communication and sheer luck. The crew of the Susan E already was in the water, clutching floating debris, when another fishing crew arrived, drawn by their frantic calls, and was able to pull them from the ocean in time. “It was f–king scary,” said Kyle Alexander, a deckhand on the 40-foot Argo, which had been harvesting crab from the Timber Cove area earlier in the day and was the only boat coming into Bodega Bay behind the Susan E from up north. “To see my friends floating next to a boat that was going down…” >click to read< 08:15

Fishermen Land $20 Million in Dungeness Crab in Crescent City, $51.1 million statewide

It’s not quite as high as the $40 million in crab the Crescent City Harbormaster reported Tuesday, but it’s a significant improvement from last year when local fishermen landed roughly $1.7 million worth of crab at Citizens Dock,,, Commercial fishermen statewide have landed $51.1 million worth of Dungeness crab as of Feb. 28, Juhasz said, though that is subject to change. Harbor Commissioner Rick Shepherd, who is also president of the Del Norte Commercial Fishermans Marketing Association, said the high price he and other fishermen are receiving for their catch is due to a high demand in crab. Shepherd said he did have concerns about crab caught in California but winds up being brought ashore in Brookings, Oregon. >click to read< 16:45

Bodega Bay crabbers head out to sea to retrieve fellow fisherman’s gear, aid his family after tragedy

The two skippers left dock before daylight, crawling through dense fog on an uncertain quest made all the more challenging by how little they could see beyond the bows of their fishing vessels. Commercial crabbers Tal Roseberry and Dick Ogg weren’t entirely sure where to look Wednesday as they worked off someone else’s personalized plotter. But they were bent on retrieving the crab gear and last catch of a fellow fisherman, Ryan Kozlowski, who lost his life on the water last week. Kozlowski died sometime late Feb. 24 or early Feb. 25 after he apparently fell overboard from the Seastar, a 42-foot vessel that had become “his passion” in the few years he had owned it. >click to read< 17:58

A Fundraiser For the Spirit of Ryan Kozlowski – A few words from Dick. To make a living from the ocean is a difficult way of life. Too many times, unforeseen situations occur that end a life too soon. Ryan Kozlowski was a very special man. Please honor his life and spirit by contributing what you can to offset the loss of his vessel and support his family. >click to read<, and please donate if you can.

Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishing Violations on the Rise

Since December 9, 2021, there have been five cases out of Crescent City and two out of Eureka regarding possession of undersize crabs by commercial crab fishermen. The most common violation during this period has been commercial harvest of undersized crabs. Commercial Dungeness crab fishermen are expected to measure their entire catch and keep only crabs that are equal to or greater than 6 ¼ inches, which is slightly more than the required 5 ¾ width required of recreational crabbers. There is a provision in the law to authorize possession of no more than one percent of the catch to be undersize. In all seven cases, citations were written, the loads were seized and the proceeds from the sales of the crab were directed to the Wildlife Preservation Fund until the cases can be adjudicated in court. >click to read< 15:20

Fisherman found dead in water near Bodega Bay identified

The fisherman whose body was found last week in the water near Bodega Bay has been identified as a 30-year-old Sonoma man, authorities said. Ryan Kozlowski, a commercial crab fisherman, was identified by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Coroner Unit. His body was found about a mile from his boat, F/V Seastar on Friday by a Coast Guard search crew. >click to read< 07:57

Coast Guard, partner agencies continue salvage operations for grounded boat on Kehoe Beach

The Coast Guard and partner agencies are continuing salvage operations Tuesday that began Saturday for the grounded 42-foot commercial fishing boat F/V Seastar on Kehoe Beach. Contractors removed all fuel and hazardous materials from the F/V Seastar Saturday afternoon before commencing salvage operations. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders received reports of the unmanned boat F/V Seastar adrift just North of Point Reyes around 9:20 a.m. Friday. The boat crew arrived on scene around 10:15 a.m., boarded the F/V Seastar, which was on the rocks, and did not attempt to tow the boat due to pollution and boat damage concerns. The boat crew confirmed the Seastar was unmanned, reported the captain missing and immediately began searching,,, photos, >click to read< 20:14

Crabs vs. Whales – Fracas over pop-up crab traps dangles Dungeness season in the balance

On multiple occasions sources for this story referenced being intimidated, scared and even worried about “getting shot” for their role in seeking a solution to California’s crab gear challenges. And it isn’t limited to one side. People take their livelihoods and their whales seriously. But amid the fear there is hope. Geoff Shester leads the parade on that front. He works with conservationist outfit Oceana as its senior scientist, and he’s very enthusiastic about how innovative new crab trap designs,, Longtime fisherman Dick Ogg,,“We’ve minimized interaction,” he says. “We’re on the right track, we’re doing the right things and those things are working really well. We’ve already solved the issue. How is this fair?” >click to read< 10:33

Blown of the water? West Coast offshore wind farm area announcement raises concerns

Offshore wind energy is coming to Oregon, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, but the seafood industry says it’s an oncoming windstorm. These massive areas, covering 2,181 square miles, already are utilized by the fishermen to harvest nutritious, sustainable seafood proteins. As part of its process, BOEM will solicit interest from wind energy developers before doing a basic environmental assessment of the areas. Comprehensive environmental studies will be completed later, after leases are already issued and enormous investments are already made. Fishermen already are questioning the value of placing turbines in areas off Morro Bay and Humboldt Bay, Calif. >click to read< 10:53

Body recovered after commercial fisherman goes overboard near Bodega Bay

Authorities recovered a body Friday afternoon after searching for a commercial crab fisherman reported overboard near the southern end of Bodega Bay. The search was launched after the young skipper’s boat was found adrift, with no one inside, local fishermen said. “The local fishing community helped out with the search plan of it, passing information about last communication with (the missing captain) at 9 p.m. last night,” a Coast Guard spokesperson said. “However, they did not suspect anything wrong until the report of the adrift vessel.” Members of the fishing community said the man was known to fish alone, despite pleas from his friends not to do so, said Dick Ogg, a well-known veteran fisherman.  >click to read< 09:04

Overboard California Fisherman Swims Five Hours to Safety

After being thrown overboard, and as he watched his boat drift away from him, a fisherman knew that his only chance of survival was to swim his way out. “I looked up at the sky and I was like ‘Really?!’” he said. “Like really, this is how I’m going to die.” He began to think about his family: his wife their two little girls and their older son and motivated himself to keep swimming. “There was a lot of the drive,” said Thompson. “Just thinking ‘Oh my god, they’re going to grow up without me.” Video, >click to read< 10:05

California Fisherman Survives Harrowing 5-Hour Swim After Falling Overboard

Scott Thompson, a commercial fisherman, took his boat out on the Santa Barbara Channel around 5 p.m. on Jan. 26. Five hours of swimming later, he wound up on an oil platform with no boat. On his way back, he stood up on the side of the boat but rough waters took hold of the vessel. Thompson lost his balance and fell. That left him stranded in the water and watching his boat drift away. He attempted to swim and catch up to it but was unsuccessful. Eventually, around 10 p.m., Thompson found his way to oil Platform Gail. >click to read< 20:16

CDFW Announces a Statewide Fleet Advisory for the Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is issuing a statewide fleet advisory for the commercial Dungeness crab fishery due to a recent humpback whale entanglement, approximately 5 miles west of Cypress Point near Monterey Bay (Fishing Zone 4). The entanglement was first reported in late January involving heavy line from unknown fishing gear and CDFW is encouraging the commercial fleet and all mariners to be on the lookout for any entangled whale in this area and across California waters. >click to read< 08:40

Critics rip feds’ “half-baked” plan to save California salmon

Fishing groups and water suppliers fought the Biden administration’s proposed drought rules for California’s water system, telling a federal judge Friday the emergency plans won’t stop the demise of endangered salmon. The rules call for new water temperature targets and improved collaboration between federal and state officials on the management of California’s two main water conveyance systems. But the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and other conservation groups cast the “interim operations plan” as a half-baked measure that will lead to a third consecutive year of salmon die-offs. >click to read< 17:36