Category Archives: North Pacific

The Gig Harbor fishing fleet had a bonanza season in Alaska this year

“This has been our best season in six years,” said Matt Munkres, who skippers the Gig Harbor-based Julien, a 54-foot purse seiner. “And we got good prices, so all in all, it was pretty good.” Fishermen were glad to see it, because the previous two years had been disappointing. Gregg Lovrovich, president of the Gig Harbor Commercial Fishermen’s Club, says fishing “is like farming, you take the good and the not so good, and over the years, it kind of balances out.” Lovrovich, who runs the 58-foot Sea Fury, says he was late leaving for Alaska because of a daughter’s wedding, so he was only able to fish for a month and a half. “Still, it was one of the best months I’ve ever had,” he said. >click to read< 09:52

Ironwood Ridge grad’s ‘Deadliest Catch’ work may earn him an Emmy

When storms in the Bering Sea bruise and batter the crab fishing boats from the popular Discovery series, “Deadliest Catch,” it’s Ironwood Ridge High School grad Nico Natale who makes sure the footage is broadcast ready. Natale has been on the production crew of the series since 2011. Today, he is an editor on the show, which celebrated its 17th season earlier this year. His work turning weather worn crews on boats with monikers like the Cornelia Marie and Northwestern into household names for viewers around the world has not gone unnoticed. On Sunday, Sept. 19, Natale and members of the team with which he edits are up for Primetime Emmy Awards in the category, “outstanding picture editing for an unstructured reality program.” >click to read< 09:53

Seine season brings ‘bright light’ to struggling fleet

In a year when the fishery was shut down for 16 days, inflicting economic pain on gillnetters, the seine season proved a bright light overall for commercial salmon harvesters, “Many of us were nervous after the 2019 drought and uncertainties with what that meant for returns in 2021,” “It’s heartbreaking to see our community continue to struggle, to know it’s impacting families, our city’s fish tax revenue, and ultimately the city and school budget.” >click to read< 20:09

EPA Blocked Bristol Bay’s Proposed Pebble Mine

After two decades of legal wrangling, the EPA asked a court to restore environmental protections to Alaska’s Bristol Bay last week, shutting down a proposed gold mine that environmental activists contended would wreak havoc on an important salmon run and pollute an important watershed on the state’s southwestern coast. The agency made the ruling in response to a lawsuit brought by the mine’s opponents, including commercial fishermen, several Bristol Bay Native villages, and environmental organizations, putting an end to a controversy that dates back to the discovery of minerals in the region in the late 1980s. >click to read< – To read more about everything leading up to this, click here for Search Results for “Pebble Mine” – fisherynation.com 13:26

U.S. Shipowners Back Jones Act Penalties for “Canadian Rail” Scheme

ASC and its logistics affiliate Alaska Reefer Management  have access to a 100-foot-long “railway” in New Brunswick, Canada, which they use as part of a foreign-flag shipping route between two U.S. markets. Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Jones Act enforcement office issued penalties totaling about $350 million dollars to the firms involved in this novel supply network, including tens of millions in fines for foreign-flag shipowners. The action has effectively halted ASC shipments of pollock to East Coast customers, and ASC says that the shutdown threatens to cause significant harm to its business, along with regional shortages of pollock, an affordable staple for schools, institutions and government nutrition programs. ARM and terminal subsidiary Kloosterboer have filed suit against CBP, seeking to block the penalties. Video, >click to read< 07:41

Bering Sea crab fleet braces for another blow

The commercial fishery has been around since 1966. In the 55 years since then, there have been just two other closures: once in the 1980s and again in the 1990s. The species is world-renowned and was largely made famous by the popular reality tv show “Deadliest Catch.” “It’s big news, and it’s hitting our industry really hard,” said Jamie Goen, executive director for Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers,,, “We’re disappointed and deeply concerned.” But, she said, it’s not only the fishermen who will be impacted. This hit affects everyone in the industry, roughly 70 vessels and over 400 fishermen and their families, along with the processors and fishing communities that rely on crab revenues. “We could kind of see a closure was coming, we just didn’t quite know when,” she said. >click to read< 08:36

For the first time in over 25 years, Bristol Bay red king crab harvest halted for 2021-22

The announcement came as a surprise to many in the crab industry, even those aware of the downward trend in female red king crab since 2012, and a downward trend in Bering Sea snow crab abundance. According to a NOAA survey report the total mature male biomass of commercial crab stocks in the eastern Bering Sea in 2021 was the lowest on record and 2021 biomass estimates continued a declining trend that began in 2015. The decline in crab biomass and abundance was most notable for snow crab, with abundance estimates for mature male and female snow crab down 55% and 70% respectively, the report said.,, In April, PEER filed a complaint on behalf of former NOAA Fisheries biologist Braxton Dew, charging the federal fisheries agency with paving the way for collapse,,, NOAA Fisheries had attributed the sudden loss of millions of crabs to “a drastic increase in natural mortality” and “massive die-offs,” claims for which no evidence has materialized, >click to read< 14:24

“Oiled: A Fisherman’s Journey” – A deeply personal memoir

Derrell Short, a retired commercial fisherman and handyman, has completed his new book “Oiled: A Fisherman’s Journey”: an exclusive account of the author’s time as a commercial fisherman while raising a family on remote Kodiak Island. It recounts his struggles and experiences while also imparting his unique wisdom that only years of being up against the harsh, yet beautiful landscape of Alaska can provide. As Short states, “In this memoir, various experiences and details are described, including a summary of some of [my] life before and after Alaska, and the trauma and tasks from aiding in cleaning up Exxon’s massive and incompetent oil spill of 1989.” >click to read< 19:35

Prince William Sound harvest tops 67M salmon

Commercial harvesters wished they could have had more fishing time at the beginning of the season, but by the end of the season it certainly wasn’t a disaster, said Chelsea Haisman, executive director of Cordova District Fishermen United. “Overall, we are very happy with the way the seine season went,” she said. “Pink catches were very high. We are grateful and hoping for a strong finish with the cohos.” Still, the same amount of fish early on in the season holds much higher value, said Haisman, echoing the refrain of gillnetters who did not get openers for the famed Copper River sockeye salmon early on in the season when prices were higher. “Especially considering we exceeded the (Alaska Department of) Fish and Game in-river goal by over 100,000 fish,” she said. “We lost economic opportunity for the community.” >click to read< 18:14

$350M Bering Sea fish fight could hinge on a miniature Canadian railroad

The quickly escalating saga involves hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, and a miniature Canadian railway,,, American Seafoods’ shipping subsidiary and an affiliate company, Kloosterboer International Forwarding, sued U.S. Customs and Border Protection in federal court Thursday,,, The Jones Act, a century-old federal law, typically requires American-flagged ships to move cargo between American ports. But the legislation contains an exception known as the “Third Proviso,” ,,Vessels flagged in countries like Singapore and the Bahamas first pick up frozen seafood products in Dutch Harbor, then travel to the Canadian port of Bayside, New Brunswick, just across the border from Maine. From Bayside, the seafood would be trucked to a Canadian train, loaded and moved 20 miles between two stations,,, >click to read< 14:10

Peter Pan Seafoods to require employees to be vaccinated

A seafood processing company with operations in Alaska and Washington state will require its employees to be vaccinated,,, The policy will be enacted in tiers. The first tier includes employees at company headquarters in Bellevue, Washington; the Seattle warehouse; Alaska processing facilities in Valdez, Port Moller, Dillingham, and Alaska support centers in Dillingham, Sand Point and Naknek. >click to read< 09:54

Captain Sig Hansen on riding out the Coronavirus pandemic on the Bering Sea – What a Time to be Alive.

F/V Northwestern Captain Sig Hansen says at the height of the pandemic, he and the crews felt “blessed,” because their work was deemed essential. “I’ve had friends that are on other fishing vessels that literally did not leave their boats for eight to nine months, they could not step on land,” “The state of Alaska, we went through our own COVID regulations. You’ve got federal, state, and then every harbor has its own set of regulations as well. So, quite honestly, we were so fortunate to be able to go out there and go to work, you know.” video trailer, >click to read< Deadliest Catch airs tonight at 8 p.m. on Discovery 13:18

Troll catch for chum salmon in Sitka Sound hits new record

The troll fishery for chum salmon in Sitka Sound has gone from looking pretty dismal to record-setting, almost overnight. A surge of hatchery-produced, fall chum has been pushing catch rates for trollers into numbers normally seen by the net fisheries. The troll catch for chum hit a new record last Friday, with almost half a million fish, about 50,000 more than the old record set in 2013. And the fishing isn’t over yet. Even more extraordinary is the turnaround in chum this year, from zero to hero. June and July were bad, and then August came. >click to read< 08:28

Whidbey Island Seafood Company. They sell seafood that’s “dock to doorstep”.

Brothers Andrew and Adam Hosmer practically grew up on the water, with a dad who captained the Baranof fishing boat through the icy waters of Alaska. “We grew up with that and we grew up on the water sailing and became obsessed with fishing ourselves,” While neither planned to return to the water when they got older, the Baranof called their names. With the help of their childhood friend Devin, the two decided to start a fishing business, with a twist. “Almost one hundred percent true traceability on every product we offer,” >click to read< 09:41 Visit whidbeyseafoods.com

Crab Fisherman Nick McGlashan died of a drug overdose – If you know someone struggling, help them!

Nick McGlashan came from a long line of fishermen, and started plying his dangerous trade at the young age of 13. The hard-working crabber appeared in “Deadliest Catch” from 2013 to 2020. McGlashan struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, which got so bad during the shooting of the show’s season 13 that his captain had to fire him. In a 2017 interview, the crabber said that he took this extremely hard. “All I ever wanted to do was be a fisherman, and I lost that,” McGlashan said. “I lost the ability to work at sea because I forgot how to live on land.” >click to read< 11:38

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Why Are The Chum Runs So Low? It’s not just an Alaskan/Yukon phenomenon.

The State of Alaska has closed fishing for chum to protect the runs. For Yukon River families, chum is particularly important. Chinook salmon have been low for decades, but chum were the fish families could depend on until last year, when the summer chum run dropped below half of its usual numbers. This year the run dropped even further, to record lows. Biologist Katie Howard with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said that the chum declines are not just occurring in the Yukon River. “When we talk to colleagues in the lower 48 and Canada, Japan, Russia, they are all reporting really poor chum runs. So it’s not just a Yukon phenomenon. It’s not just an Alaska phenomenon, but pretty much everywhere,” So why are the chum numbers so low? The short answer is no one really knows for sure. >click to read< 10:38

The Shocking Amount of Money Sig Hansen has Made from “Deadliest Catch”

Reality television is popular. It’s so popular that there seems to be a show for just about everyone. From watching housewives and their drama unfold to watching people bake and cook to watching them compete to be the best singer or performer in the world, there is no shortage of reality entertainment on television.,, The Discovery Channel brought its own drama to television when they debuted this show, and it’s made people such as Sig Hansen not only famous but quite wealthy, too. Just how much money has this boat captain made over the years? Let’s find out. >click to read< 13:44

Kenai River sockeye over-escape by 1M, Kotzebue’s 2021 chum season to wrap up, Big PWS Humpy Harvest

Those numbers concern fishermen like Joe Dragseth, a drift-netter in Kenai. He said he worries about the health of the river. And, he said, it’s unfair commercial fishermen have been restricted while so many fish have made it up the river. “Basically, they’re taking the living away from us,” he said. >click to read<Kotzebue’s 2021 chum salmon season to wrap up with another low catch – “It hasn’t been very good,” said Karen Gillis, manager of the Copper River Seafoods processing plant in Kotzebue. It’s one of two commercial chum salmon buyers in town this year. >click to read< Prince William Sound Humpy harvest is 3rd largest of decade – “The highlight of this season has been the wild stocks returning stronger than anticipated, given the uncertainty about spawning success from the 2019 parent year that was assumed to be negatively impacted by drought conditions,” said Heather Scannell, area management seine biologist in Cordova for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. >click to read< 14:35

NOAA Predicts 70 Percent Chance of Rainy La Niña Weather Across the Pacific Northwest

The drought-stricken Pacific Northwest is expected to see heavy rainfall in the coming months, scientists say. The NOAA predicts that the La Niña weather pattern could emerge as early as August, and have the potential to dump heavy rainfall across Pacific Northwest throughout the 2022 winter season. The storms will likely provide relief for much of America’s Northwest, which is currently experiencing various stages of intense drought. Video, >click to read< 10:59

Celebrating 20 Years In The Food Delivery Industry, Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics. How It All Began

“Her name was Helen. She really wanted some wild salmon,” With 20 years in business Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics explores how it began with a request from a salmon lover. Hartnell, an Alaska fisherman, had seen wild salmon prices collapse due to a new product: cheap farmed salmon. Nearly broke, he and a friend were touring the Midwest cooking up his wild salmon to sell to natural-food store patrons. “We gave presentations and told them it was more nutritious, and when they tried it they could tell it tasted better.” After one such show, “This very insistent woman named Helen, comes up and says, ‘How can I get this when you guys are gone?'” It was a lightbulb moment. If Helen wanted this salmon shipped, then maybe other people wanted seafood shipped to them as well. >click to read< 09:36

Coast Guard rescues fishing crew from a rock near grounded fishing vessel off Beaver Inlet, Unalaska

The Coast Guard rescued four people Thursday after a fishing vessel ran aground near Dutch Harbor. A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew deployed aboard Cutter Bertholf hoisted all four survivors from a rock near the grounded fishing vessel F/V Endurance, approximately one mile west of Egg Island, near the entrance to Beaver Inlet, Unalaska. They were flown to Dutch Harbor and placed in the care of awaiting EMS with no injuries reported at the time of transfer. Watchstanders in the Coast Guard 17th District command center in Juneau received a transferred call via satellite phone emergency dispatch from the Endurance at 10:57 p.m. Wednesday, stating they had run aground, were severely listing, and taking on water. >click to read< 20:50

Humpy surge boosts Prince William Sound harvest to 54.3M

For Prince William Sound alone the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s preliminary harvest report as of Wednesday, Aug. 18, stood at 50.4 million humpies, up from 31.9 million humpies just a week earlier, when the overall PWS commercial harvest totaled 39.8 million fish. Deliveries to PWS processors also reached a cumulative total of 2.6 million chums, 1.3 million sockeyes, 39,000 cohos and 7,000 Chinook salmon.,, In the PWS seine fisheries the egg take underway at the Valdez Fisheries Development Association was 38% complete as of Aug. 17. The Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp. reported good run entry at Wally Noerenberg Hatchery and minimal run entry at the Armin F. Koernig and Cannery Creek hatcheries.  Future fishing opportunities targeting PWSAC enhanced pink salmon would be contingent on run entry and broodstock acquisition, biologists said.  >click to read< 11:22

Samaritans, U.S.C.G. rescue fishing boat captain from ‘communications dead zone’ near Sitka

A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka medevaced a man in cardiac distress from a fishing vessel in West Crawfish Inlet on Aug. 19. Watchstanders in Sitka received a call around 1:30 p.m. from the F/V Minke. Crew from the Minke relayed that the 68-year-old captain of another boat, the F/V Lady Cyprus, was experiencing a possible heart attack. West Crawfish Inlet is around 16 miles south of Sitka. Due to the surrounding high terrain, the inlet is considered a “communication dead zone,” and crew from the Lady Cyprus were unable to contact the Coast Guard themselves. >click to read< 14:50

When Sailboats Ruled Bristol Bay

One hundred and thirty-two years ago, the Bristol Bay commercial fishery began on the shores of the Nushagak River when the first cannery went into operation and canned a little more than 4,000 salmon. Within four years, three more canneries appeared on the Nushagak, and within a decade canneries were built on the Naknek and Kvichak rivers. The dawn of the 20th century saw dozens of canneries around Bristol Bay catching, processing and canning millions of pounds of sockeye salmon every summer. By 1910, Bristol Bay accounted for 40 percent of Alaska’s commercially caught salmon. Even today, Bristol Bay makes up about 40 percent of Alaska’s salmon value. photo’s, >click to read< 11:50

Dividing the baby

Alaska’s Kenai River is today a textbook example of the problems of managing mixed-stock fisheries right down to commercial set gillnetters protesting they catch comparatively few of the weak stock. The weak stock is in this case Chinook, or what Alaskans usually just call king salmon, and it just happens to be the same fish that gets caught as trawl bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. To date this year, according to National Marine Fisheries Service data, trawlers in the Bering Sea have caught about 11,000 Chinook on their way to a harvest of nearly 1 million metric tons, or about 2.2 billion pounds of pollock. >click to read< 09:04

The last in a long line of Milwaukee commercial fishermen sets course for Alaska

The men have always started their day wondering whether a load of fish is straining the nets that they set the day before. Today their compass doesn’t point them toward any nets at all. The boat’s rumbling 855 Cummins diesel pushes them down the muddy Kinnickinnic River and under the Hoan Bridge. This is the moment when their eyes normally train on the open waters ahead. But today, the 52-year-old man notices his dad, Alvin, is glancing back. I think this is probably going to be the last time I see Milwaukee from the water, 77-year-old Alvin Anderson says. Yeah, his son, Dan, replies glumly. Then Milwaukee’s last working commercial fishing tug – the Alicia Rae – glides through the north gap of the Milwaukee Harbor breakwater. And it is gone. 20 photo’s, >click to read< 08:10

Retired Commercial Fisherman Terry L. Huff of Juneau, Alaska, has passed away

Terry was mostly raised in the Coos Bay, Oregon area where he attended school. After high school in 1975,Terry joined the US Army. After he was released from the Army he returned to Coos Bay and attended SWOCC for Automotive Repair. Terry then went to work in the commercial fishing industry. He worked on the docks in Charleston and eventually went to sea and worked as a deckhand. He then for the next several years, skippered Korean boats off the coast of California. Terry eventually made his way to Craig and then to Juneau, Alaska where he continued in the commercial fishing industry. He lived there for many years. Terry’s health declined and he was forced to retire. >click to read< 21:17

Coast Guard medevacs crewman off commercial fishing vessel 130 miles from Cold Bay, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew, forward-deployed to Cold Bay, medevaced a mariner Thursday from the fishing vessel Alaska Victory, approximately 130 nautical miles north of Cold Bay. The aircrew safely transported the adult male to Cold Bay, where they conducted a wing-to-wing transfer with a LifeMed crew, who then transported him to further care. >click to read< 17:22

“Oiled: A Fisherman’s Journey”

Derrell Short, a former fisherman, has released his memoir, covering everything from the Exxon Valdez oil spill to his adventures at sea in Kodiak Island, Alaska. Short covers not just the mishaps of working on a crab boat, but also how he worked on the Exxon Corporation oil spill in 1989. An Exxon tanker had run aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, an inlet in the Gulf of Alaska, Alaska. The tankard had been transporting crude oil from Valsez, Alaska, to California. Short covers the spill in his memoir and criticizes Exxon on the cleaning up of the oil spill.,, Other sections of the memoir focus on Short’s building his remote cabin, hunting, his many encounters with bears and his time as a fisherman. >click to read< 10:28

Net migration: Young commercial fishermen ship out of Cook Inlet

The Cook Inlet salmon fishery was once an economic engine for Kenai. But the fishing there is no longer lucrative. Many fishermen with deep ties to the inlet are retiring, or moving elsewhere. The F/V Nedra E is smaller than the other boats bobbing at the dock in Naknek. Thor Evenson didn’t have Bristol Bay in mind when he designed the boat for his parents, Nikiski homesteaders Jim and Nedra Evenson. Until last year, she’s been a Cook Inlet boat, captained by Jim, then his nephew, and now his grandson, 32-year-old Taylor Evenson. Last year, Taylor couldn’t put it off any longer. So with the help of the boat’s original builder, Kevin Morin of Kasilof, he gutted everything behind the cabin, chopped several inches off bow and stern, and installed a brand new deck, to bring the Nedra E in line with Bristol Bay standards. >click to read< 07:50