Tag Archives: Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations

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

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

California poised to impose wave of boat emissions rules in 2022

Like users of lawn mowers and gas leaf blowers, working boat captains, excursion operators and fishermen will be asked told to get on board with new engine emissions regulations starting as early as 2022. The California Air Resources Board released its proposed emissions regulations on commercial boats in September. After hosting hundreds of meetings and receiving an opposing petition signed by thousands of sport fishers in California, the air quality agency expects to finalize the first in a montage of stricter guidelines to upgrade the boats by next spring. >click to read< 13:21

The Fishermen’s Climate Lawsuit Even the Fishermen Don’t Support

A surprising article has cast a spotlight on the discord in the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), a trade group of commercial fishermen and crabbers who filed a climate lawsuit three years ago. PCFFA members have soured on the case since it was filed and are speaking out about the hypocrisy of suing fossil fuel companies for producing the very products they rely on to power their fishing boats and question if litigation is the best way to address climate change. These comments are particularly noteworthy given how this case was launched in 2018. As EID Climate noted at the time, cozy ties between the leadership of the group and attorneys seemed to be the reason for the case. But as we see now, the group itself may not actually have been on board. >click to read< Toxic waters devastated Pacific Coast fisheries. But who’s to blame? – Union leaders say fossil fuel companies must pay for rising ocean temperatures. Not all boat captains are persuaded, >click to read< 10:30

As Salmon and Squid Seasons Rebound, New Questions

Over the last few months, hundreds of boats have been fishing off of, or transiting along Santa Cruz County’s coastline. Industry analysts report plenty of bright spots in both the salmon and squid markets this season. But after some scientific studies were scuttled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, and other research couldn’t be completed due to wildfires, fisheries management is still undergoing its own pandemic comeback, as climate change fears remain ever-present. “It’s definitely been a good season,” Scotts Valley resident Hans Haveman, the CEO of H&H Fresh Fish at the Santa Cruz Harbor says during a late-June interview. “Unfortunately, regulation from the state and feds have shut us down right when it’s goin’ good.” video, >click to read< 08:50

Biden opens (condemns) California coast to floating offshore wind turbines – “We believe it’s shortsighted,”

The announcement, endorsed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, moves forward the prospect for wind farms in two areas about 20 miles off the coast of Morro Bay and Humboldt County. Turbines roughly 600 to 700 feet tall would be built on floating platforms because the water is too deep to anchor them to the sea floor. “We believe it’s shortsighted,”  said Mike Conroy, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, “Floating offshore wind technology is unproven. It hasn’t been deployed on a large industrial scale yet. We have no idea what the environmental impacts will be off our coast.”  >click to read< 13:16

California salmon season delayed and shortened, angering North Bay fishermen. Closest start may be May 1

Expected to be decided within the next few weeks, there are three proposals on the table, all shorten the season considerably. The closest start may be May 1, instead of April. Association President John McManus predicted a 40% loss in the season for sports fishermen, while Crescent City commercial fisherman George Bradshaw predicted the industry’s take would be down by two thirds. The bad news for a delayed and restricted salmon fishing season comes on the heels of a slow, sputtering start for crab fishing fleets, which were stalled while fishery officials waited for migrating whales to leave the coastal region. >click to read< 08:05

The Coronavirus pandemic could change U.S. fisheries forever. Will it be for better or for worse?!

The first symptoms appeared long before Covid-19 gained a stronghold on U.S. shores, as China went into its first lockdown and a critical export market disappeared overnight,,, Then as social distancing rules kicked in here, another major organ of the U.S. supply chain, restaurants, where most seafood purchases are made, fell limp.  Many fishermen across the country have pivoted to direct-marketing models by selling their catch off their boats,,, To many in the food industry, the pandemic’s impact has exposed the fundamental vulnerabilities of a system that has long favored efficiency over resilience.  >click to read< 09:48

California: Don’t expect Dungeness Crab for Christmas this year

“Unless a miracle happens, which is highly unlikely, we won’t see crab for Christmas,” said Tony Anello, a veteran fisher who runs his boat, the Annabelle, out of Bodega Bay and offers up his tender product at Spud Point Crab Co. After several years of varied setbacks and more than a month of delays to the 2020 Dungeness season, local crabbers now face a new hurdle as they haggle over price with large wholesalers. “We should be traveling right now,” Dick Ogg,,, wholesalers are asking skippers to cut their prices by 30% to 35%, leaving both sides approximately $1 a pound apart from an agreement that would start the crab season.   >click to read< 08:05

Dungeness crab season might not open for Thanksgiving again

New state regulations may mean that Dungeness crabs won’t be in stores in time for Thanksgiving. The rules, aimed at preventing entanglements    “I want to make sure it’s understood what kind of effort we’re putting into it as fishermen and how effective we’ve been,” said Dick Ogg, a Bodega Bay fisherman and a member of the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group that developed the rules. He said that fishermen have worked hard to make sure their gear is set up better to lower risk. “We’ve really reduced our interaction and entanglement rates.” Ogg said there is a lot of anxiety in the fishing fleet about what will happen with the coming season and whether they should start gearing up for a Nov. 15 opening or whether it will be delayed. >click to read< 10:01

Fishermen, farmers suffering from food supply disruptions concerned for what’s to come

As the coronavirus has spread through the U.S. over the last two months, it has dealt a significant blow to the country’s food supply chain and driven the price of products down so much that those who source them aren’t sure if they’ll get a return on the time and money they’ve invested over the last year. Many are now concerned about what the rest of the year will look like and what it means for the foods they grow. For some fishermen, however, the risk of losing money is too high. California’s commercial salmon season began on Friday, but Mike Conroy, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, says that with the markets “upended” and 75% of California salmon purchased by restaurants, many fishermen might not go through the trouble of fishing. >click to read< 09:16

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

“Looking Back”: The Keep Fishermen Fishing Rally

Measured by any meaningful criteria the Keep Fishermen Fishing rally held on the steps of the Capitol on March 21 was a stunning success. It was attended by thousands of fishermen from as far away as Alaska, twenty one Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, and at least a half a dozen other VIPs made room in their busy schedules to come out and address the people who attended. From the most conservative of the conservatives to the most liberal of the liberals, these politically divergent speakers had one message; fix the Magnuson Act and bring back the balance between conservation and harvest. For the second time at the national level recreational and commercial fishermen – no matter what fisheries they participated in, no matter what their disagreements on allocation or lesser issues were, and no matter where they were from – were standing together and demanding a return to the original intent of the Magnuson Act;,,, >click to read< 08:09

Job Opening: Executive Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations

PCFFA and IFR seek an Executive Director to carry out their collective fisheries and environmental policy missions,, The PCFFA and IFR Executive Director is responsible for management of operations, development, budgeting, policy and legal strategy, government relations, human resources, communications, and member engagement.,,, A competitive salary and benefits package is offered. PCFFA provides a company vehicle to the Executive Director. Our beautiful office is located on the waterfront in San Francisco’s Presidio, and the freshest, most sustainable seafood on the planet is part of the compensation package. >click to read< 07:00

Dungeness crab season may be delayed

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife made the announcement Friday in response to a settlement with an environmental group over whale entanglements in commercial Dungeness crab fishing gear.,,, Even if the eight-day delay to the commercial season happens, it should not disrupt the Bay Area tradition of cracked Dungeness crab on the Thanksgiving table, said Noah Oppenheim, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. However, it would cut into a peak period for the local fishing fleet, >click to read< 08:02

California coasts recovering, but more marine heatwaves like ‘The Blob’ expected

The effects of the marine heatwave off the California coast from 2014 to 2016, better known as The Blob, that led to a decrease in Chinook salmon and virtually shut down the Dungeness crab industry are finally starting to wear off.,,, “It wasn’t about (a lack of) abundance,” said Noah Oppenheim, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “It was about destabilized ecosystems.” >click to read< 10:50

After yearslong shortfall caused by drought and environmental restrictions, California Is Overflowing With Salmon

The phones began ringing at Giovanni’s Fish Market & Galley a week after salmon season opened in May and have barely let up since. “It’s all day, every day,” said Giovanni DeGarimore, the owner.,,, “You can plan for bad years, but it’s hard to navigate when you’re totally closed,” said Lori French, wife of a commercial fisherman who has permits for both crab and salmon. But then the salmon season opened on May 1. “This is a ‘Thank you, Jesus’” moment, Ms. French said over a salmon lunch on the waterfront one day in mid-June, as her husband was out at sea. >click to read<09:31

California fishermen report the biggest salmon season in a decade

California commercial fishermen are reporting the biggest king salmon season in a decade, on the heels of three years of disastrously low catches because of the drought. The sudden bounty has resulted in a price drop for the coral-pink, fatty fillets to $20 per pound in many markets, down from the $30- to $35-per-pound range of recent years. “You might say this is the old normal, because we’ve been so used to catastrophe,” said Noah Oppenheim, >click to read<19:37

Commercial salmon season starts in Crescent City

Commercial salmon fishermen in Crescent City began their season on Saturday with a quota of 20 chinook per day and a monthly quota of 2,500, according to Crescent City Harbor Commissioner and Del Norte Fisherman’s Association president Rick Shepherd. The 20-fish-per-day quota and monthly quota of 2,500 applies to trawlers fishing between the Oregon border and the Humboldt South Jetty, said Shepherd, whose boat is one of roughly six in Crescent City that fish for chinook. The fleet is able to ply its trade on the ocean five days a week Friday through Tuesday. While a few fish have been brought into Eureka, so far no one has brought any salmon into the local harbor, Shepherd said. >click to read>07:50

King salmon arrives in stores, commanding royal prices; relief could come soon

King salmon, once as ubiquitous as burgers in backyard Bay Area barbecues, has commanded astonishingly high prices in recent years,,, Since the 2019 season opened on May 1, supply has been very limited, so prices have remained steep, reaching as high as $40 a pound in San Francisco.,,, That should start to change on Thursday, when 200 more miles of coast will open to commercial salmon fishing,… there will likely be more salmon on the market this summer is because some crab boats are planning to go out for salmon fishing, because the Dungeness crab fishery closed several months early as part of a settlement,,, >click to read<21:54

California’s Commercial Crabbing Season to End Three Months Early

Center for Biological Diversity Press Release: SAN FRANCISCO— Californians will be pleased to know that Dungeness crab will be caught off the coast with greater care for endangered wildlife under a settlement announced today by the Center for Biological Diversity, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. The legal settlement protects whales and sea turtles from entanglement in commercial Dungeness crab gear. The Center for Biological Diversity sued the state wildlife department in October 2017,,, >click to read<15:02

California Crabbers Could Feel the Pain, State Reaches Tentative Agreement With Enviro Group Over Whale Entanglement

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity have tentatively agreed to settle an ongoing lawsuit, which claims that the state’s lack of action in preventing whales from becoming entangled in commercial crabbing lines violates the Endangered Species Act.,,, The Center for Biological Diversity filed the suit in 2017 after a record number of entangled whales were observed off the coast of the Western United States between 2014 and 2016. >click to read<08:55

California could be held liable for whale entanglements

The Center for Biological Diversity is hopeful its lawsuit filed over whale and sea turtle entanglements is nearing its conclusion after a federal judge suggested she may find the California Department of Fish and Wildlife liable for the entanglements, a center spokesman said.,,, The two parties have until March 13 to work out their differences and report back to the judge. If no settlement is reached, the judge will issue a finding. >click to read<12:17

Fishermen unite to sue big oil

Almost a month has gone by since fishermen in California and Oregon filed suit against big oil in California’s Superior Court, demanding compensation for damages done to the fishing industry. The lawsuit is colloquially being called the crabbers’ suit because many of the members making up the plaintiff, The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, rely on crabbing for their livelihoods. The federation is suing the fossil fuel industry, including major companies like Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell Oil, under the claim that it has known about the dangers of fossil fuels and climate change for decades but has deliberately hidden information from the public as well as spread misinformation campaigns. >click to read>12:35

Crab fishermen and environmentalists square off over whale entanglements

The issue has pitted two local interest groups against each other: Those who depend on the $68 million California Dungeness crab fishery for their livelihood, and those who advocate shutting down areas to crabbing to protect humpback whales and other endangered species. Caught in between are everyday shoppers who love having Dungeness crab on their tables, but probably wouldn’t want marine mammals hurt in the process. “I’m frankly very scared of what the upcoming season could mean for whales,” said Kristen Monsell, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, an Oakland environmental group that sued the state over the issue last year. The case is due to go before a judge in February. >click to read<13:23

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

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<

Facing the Wind – A fisherman’s take on offshore wind

Local fishermen are on the verge of forever losing local fishing grounds to wind power as California trades one renewable resource (seafood) for another (electricity). The state of California and its citizens are on the front line of the efforts to convert our energy use from the burning of fossil fuels (oil and gas) to renewable sources of power — solar and wind. The latest move toward this conversion is for the sale of offshore ocean leases to wind power companies for the development of “at sea” wind farms with the ocean area off of Eureka and Trinidad as the prime first sites. >click to read<08:55

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

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