Category Archives: Pacific

Randy Babich has been fishing Puget Sound and southeast Alaska for 54 years. A lot has changed in that time.

The Paragon is a 56-foot commercial purse seiner moored at Longbranch Marina, a seagoing workhorse that dwarfs the pleasure boats around it.  “I was going to be a dentist,” said the owner, Randy Babich, who just turned 70. “I went through pre-med, pre-dent. My dad always said, ‘Get into a profession.’ ” Babich grew up in Gig Harbor and “got into fishing because my family was into fishing,” >click to read<  07:16

Boat Fire: Cause Still ‘Undetermined’

Investigators said they have yet to find the precise cause of a Brookings Harbor fire Monday morning that heavily damaged the Miss Pacific, an 85-foot commercial fishing vessel. “The cause is undetermined,” Harbor Fire Interim Chief Thomas Sorrentino told The Pilot. “We believe it could be an electrical issue. “The fire started on the port-side rear of the cabin and went out the back to the stern of the boat, >click to read<  06:36

Researchers, marine pilots work to prevent vessel strikes from killing Alaska whales

Over the past decade, federal officials have logged 77 incidents of vessels hitting whales in Alaska waters. About three-quarters of those, were endangered humpbacks. But, it’s not clear why those strikes keep happening. A group of federal researchers and marine pilots have teamed up to combine what scientists know about whale behavior with what marine pilots know about ships.,,, That’s important as NOAA has logged 182 whale strikes in U.S. waters over the last decade. But that’s an undercount: ships aren’t legally required to report when they hit whale. And sometimes they don’t even know it’s happened. >click to read< 12:18

FV Sally J – A Community Restoration Project

This past year, the iconic commercial fishing vessel the Sally J, located in front of the Lopez Island Historical Museum, had her gillnet gear reinstalled. The restoration of the Sally J has been a Lopez community effort from the time she came to the museum until now, and the historical society would like to acknowledge all of the people who have contributed this year and in the past, and give you an update on the progress made this year. >click to read<   Lopez Island Historical Society >click to visit< 15:25

New Environmental Defence Fund Report Details Actions Needed to Create Climate-Ready Fisheries

“Even with the necessary actions to control emissions and investments to reduce carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, changes in the ocean already underway will continue and even accelerate,” said Eric Schwaab, senior vice president for EDF Oceans.,,,  The five pathways articulated in the report focus on steps that can and must be taken by governments, NGOs, fisher organizations, academia and multilateral organizations in order to create greater resilience and sustainability of fisheries. The pathways include: >click to read< 06:57

UPDATED: Breaking: Boat Fire in Port of Brookings-Harbor, Photos, New Details

An 85-foot fishing vessel is on fire at Port of Brookings-Harbor. A Coast Guard vessel is fighting the fire from the water with Harbor Fire, Brookings, Gold Beach and Smith River Fire Departments on the scene. This story will be updated >click to read< 15:45

Photos / New Details: Boat Fire>click to read<

A dark horizon

If you’re an Alaska commercial salmon fishermen, be forewarned; the farmers in Wisconsin are coming for you. Enter the marketers. “A Better Ocean in Your Backyard” is the new marketing theme of Superior Fresh, a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) farm in America’s Heartland: “Until now, it’s been impossible to get truly fresh Atlantic salmon in the Midwest, not to mention salmon of the incredible quality that Superior Fresh offers. Healthy, delicious, and without the same contaminants you’d find in the wild. And we did it sustainably to boot.” The word that will, or should, jump out to Alaskans (everyone, everywhere) there is “wild.” >click to read< 10:33

Cooke Aquaculture agrees to pay $2.75M to settle lawsuit over salmon net-pen collapse

Cooke Aquaculture has reached a settlement to pay $2.75 million in legal fees and to fund Puget Sound restoration projects, putting an end to a Clean Water Act lawsuit that followed the 2017 collapse of one of the fish-farming company’s net-pen structures.,,, The legal settlement, which awaits federal officials’ review and a judge’s signature, bookends a contentious and litigious chapter in the fight over fish farming in Washington waters that resulted in the termination of some of Cooke’s leases, a $332,000 fine to Cooke from state regulators and a ban on farming nonnative fish, >click to read< 12:09

Ropeless Fishing Gear: New Crab Pot Could Help Reduce Whale Entanglements

Last year 46 whale entanglements were reported off the West Coast, and crab gear was responsible for about a third of them. According to Derek Orner, a bycatch reduction program coordinator with the National Marine Fisheries Service, this a growing problem,,, His agency recently announced grants for several ropeless fishing gear projects, including a new kind of crab pot developed by Coastal Monitoring Associates of California. >click to read< 09:43

Some B.C. salmon runs face ‘meaningful chance of extinction’ after landslide

The landslide prompted officials at multiple levels of government to organize a rescue mission that saw thousands of salmon, which are very vulnerable to stress, lifted by helicopter across the rocks that blocked their migration route. But despite that effort, prospects are dismal for the salmon in the upper reaches of the river, according to Dean Werk, president of the Fraser Valley Salmon Society. “We’re talking about virtually a collapse — a total collapse — of the salmon stocks above the Big Bar slide,” ,,, >click to read< 12:10

Blessing of the Fleet honors Trinidad’s fishing community

Hundreds gathered on the bluffs above Trinidad’s bay on a clear and crisp Thursday morning for the annual Blessing of the Fleet. As people walked to the site where the ceremony was held at the intersection of Trinity and Edwards streets, lively tunes were pumped through the speaker system.,, “We are so grateful for this glorious, crisp, dry fall day,” she said, “for the opportunity to gather together as a community to celebrate, honor and give thanks for the bounty of the oceans and for those whose livelihoods provide us with its nourishment.” >Photo’s, >click to read< 11:26

The secret Richmond lab where Bay Area crab season annually learns its fate

Each year, the fate of Northern California’s Dungeness crab season is in the hands of a few scientists in a quiet East Bay lab examining a small container of tan goo. At the California Department of Public Health lab in Richmond, the goo is viscera, or the internal organs of a Dungeness crab, and the scientists study it to determine whether a neurotoxin called domoic acid is present.,,, While the commercial Dungeness crab season is on hold for an entirely different reason — a lawsuit,,, >click to read< 07:56

Update: WEATHER DELAY!!! Fishermen Helping Kids with Cancer to hold the Maple Ridge herring sale on Saturday!

Update (November 29): Fishermen Helping Kids With Cancer (FHKWC) announced that due to inclement weather conditions, the sale has been postponed and rescheduled to December 7.

A herring sale will take place Saturday, Nov. 30, in the front parking lot at Bruce’s Country Market, 23963 Lougheed Hwy. in Maple Ridge, starting at 8 a.m. and continuing until the fish run out. The idea for the fundraiser was sparked by the three-year battle a B.C. fisherman’s daughter had with cancer. She helped in the planning of the event, but died at the age of 17, just a few days before the inaugural sale. To date, Fishermen Helping Kids with Cancer has raised more than $650,000 for children being treated for cancer at B.C. Children’s Hospital. Video, >click to read< 13:04

Hope, history and redemption abound at the boatyard

There’s the frugal albacore fisherman gearing up for another go on a Canadian boat named after an American animated film. There’s the historic fishing vessel from a famed fishing family that last graced local waters more than 50 years ago being fully restored and ready to return. There’s an all-aluminum commercial vessel being rebuilt and repurposed into a bigger, faster and more-capable craft. Stories of hope, history and redemption abound at the Port of Ilwaco Boatyard, where the sole public boatyard on the Pacific Coast of Washington draws a unique clientele each season. >click to read< 13:56

The Port of Toledo is busy and doing well

“We’ve been operating from a plan all along,” said Port Manager Bud Shoemake. “Ports in Oregon are required to have a business plan and an investment plan, too.” The board voted unanimously to award the foundation and the erection contracts to industrial general constructor JH Kelly, the Washington company the port purchased the building through. JH Kelly was the only company to bid on the erection of the building and was also the lowest of three bids for the foundation job. Shoemake explained. “We’ve got big boats stacked up in the boatyard right now and not much room.  >click to read< 13:27

Bumble Bee Foods to File Bankruptcy, Sell Assets to Taiwanese Firm

Bumble Bee Foods announced Thursday it will file for bankruptcy and sell its assets to a Taiwanese company for $925 million. The bankruptcy sale comes in the aftermath of criminal fines and civil lawsuits against the San Diego company in the wake of a federal price-fixing case. “It’s been a challenging time for our company but today’s actions allow us to move forward with minimal disruption to our day-to-day operations,” said Jan Tharp, president and chief executive officer. >click to read< 16:53

Wave Energy Tech Is Ready to Plug Into a Real Grid

In Hawaii, the OceanEnergy Buoy is slated to connect to the island of Oahu’s electric grid next month. The 749-metric-ton device was recently towed from Portland, Ore., to the U.S. Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site, where the bright yellow buoy will undergo a year of performance tests. The project builds on a decade of research and several smaller iterations, including a quarter-scale model that was tested for three years in Ireland’s Galway Bay. >click to read< 08:22

California agrees with crabbers to postpone Dungeness crab season

Bodega Bay’s commercial fishing fleet succeeded Wednesday in persuading state wildlife officials to postpone the opening of Dungeness crab season to safeguard protected whales species still lingering in the fishing grounds. In a move at the behest of the crab industry, Chuck Bonham, the state fish and wildlife director, agreed to push back the season opener to Dec. 15. Crab fishing was slated to open Friday along the coast from Sonoma to San Mateo counties.  The decision is subject to two days of public comment ending Friday afternoon. >click to read< 07:17

Bodega Bay crab fleet to sit out Dungeness opener to avoid whales, urging other ports to do same

Bodega Bay’s commercial crabbing fleet has agreed to voluntarily forgo Friday’s scheduled Dungeness crab season opener, an extraordinary step aimed to avoid potentially harmful encounters with endangered humpback whales,,  The Bodega Bay fleet, which was unanimous in its decision Tuesday, is hoping to persuade nearby ports to follow suit, resisting the urge to get out on the water for the time being,,, >click to read< 08:00

Coast Guard medevacs injured fisherman 10 miles off Oregon coast

A Coast Guard aircrew medically evacuated an injured fisherman Tuesday morning off the commercial fishing vessel Arctic Storm 10 miles southwest of Newport. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Facility Newport rendezvoused with the Arctic Storm at 7:36 a.m., and hoisted a 21-year-old male off the fishing vessel and transported him to Samaritan Pacific Community Hospital in Newport for treatment.  >click to reads< 17:53

Dungeness Crab season’s delay causing instability

Randy Smith stood on the harbor sidewalk talking with a group of fellow fishermen, their large commercial fishing boats – piled high with empty crab traps – swaying at the docks. They had hoped to be fishing by now, but instead are left deciding where to go. Smith’s crew of five had planned to fish in their home waters during the holidays, but with the crabbing season delayed, they’re preparing for two months down south in his boat, the Mistasea.  >click to read< 06:48

An experiment on the river – Researchers hope fish trap will be safer for wild fish

Fish traps have been outlawed in the Pacific Northwest for decades, but researchers plan to test an experimental trap in the Columbia River in hopes that it will be safer for wild fish than traditional fishing methods. Adrian Tuohy, a biologist and project manager for the Wild Fish Conservancy, said the proposed fish trap, also called a pound net, would be put in the Oregon side of the river so biologists can monitor how many fish are in the river and how many wild fish survive after being released. >click to read< 16:36

Illegal foreign fishing draws congressional eye

Nathan Rickard, representing local shrimpers through the Southern Shrimp Alliance, was one of the people invited to speak on a panel to the subcommittee. He said federal anti-dumping laws helped provide stability to an industry that received a massive hit from imported shrimp beginning in the late ‘90s. “Although the industry permanently had lost many shrimping families, and has struggled to maintain its foothold in some coastal communities, the threat that the industry would entirely disappear has abated,” Rickard said. “The U.S. shrimp industry currently produced about one out of every eight pounds of shrimp that are consumed in our country. >click to read< 10:10

NOAA Wants More Cameras On Fishing Vessels And Fewer Biologists

John Hankins owns the boat “Courageous,” which he sails out of Warrenton on the northern Oregon coast. He had a smile after returning from 25 days fishing for albacore. “I’m full,” he said. “Both tanks!” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration didn’t assign a fisheries observer to his boat this trip. But he said, it happens fairly regularly. “They’re usually not a problem for us,,, >click to read< 09:20

Hearing November 19th! State of the 2019-20 Dungeness Crab Season and Putting Fish Friendly Highways in the Fast Lane

Senator Mike McGuire, Chair of the. Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (JCFA), and Assemblymember Mark Stone, Vice Chair, are hosting an important hearing next week on two critical topics: the upcoming Dungeness crab season and how fish passage barriers on our state highways are impacting species recovery.  The hearing, titled: State of the 2019-20 Dungeness Crab Season and Putting Fish Friendly Highways in the Fast Lane will be held this coming. Tuesday, November 19 from 9 a.m. to noon at the State Capitol in Room 112. >click to read< 14:18

Microplastics found in oysters, clams on Pacific coast

Tiny threads of plastics are showing up in Pacific oysters and razor clams along the Oregon coast—and the yoga pants, fleece jackets, and sweat-wicking clothing that Pacific Northwesterners love to wear are a source of that pollution, according to a new Portland State University study. On average, the researchers found 11 microplastic pieces per oyster and nine per clam in the samples, and nearly all were microfibers, which can come from clothing made from synthetic or natural materials as well as derelict fishing gear. “These microfilaments can be shed from clothing, up to 700,000 per load of laundry,” Baechler said. “Those particles then travel out through greywater into wastewater and to the coast.” >click to read< 11:21

CDFW Announces Quality Delay for Commercial Dungeness Crab in Northern Fishery, and Important Updates to Pending Opening in Central Fishery

In a memo released today (11/15), CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham delayed the northern California commercial Dungeness crab season due to poor crab meat quality test results. The delayed area in the north includes Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties (Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9). The northern Dungeness crab fishery is delayed until 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 pending another round,,, >click to read< 09:03

F/V Miss Hailee: Fort Bragg fishing vessel suddenly lay on its side and went down, losing one on board

There had been no obvious sign of trouble, no advance warning, in the moments before the Miss Hailee suddenly began to tilt onto its side during a routine fishing trip off the North Coast last weekend, according to Brian Kelley, whose family owns the commercial vessel. Then, for reasons still unknown, the boat capsized and sank,,, The resulting loss of a young deckhand, Arnulfo “Amigo” Santiago, has left his tight-knit group of co-workers grief-stricken, as people around Fort Bragg’s Noyo Harbor mourn a hard worker and friend. >click to read< 08:57

Maritime industry leaders discuss challenges at symposium

Skagit County’s maritime economy includes everything from boat building and manufacturing, to commercial fishing and recreational boating, to the businesses that support them. A group of maritime leaders is working to address the biggest challenges in the industry, and put Skagit County on the map as part of the statewide Washington Maritime Blue Strategy. A symposium was held in La Conner Wednesday afternoon to kick off the new maritime cluster. > click to read< 07:08

Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting November 14-20, 2019 in Costa Mesa, CA.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council and its advisory bodies will meet November 14-20, 2019 at the following location: Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa 3050 Bristol Street Costa Mesa, CA 92626 Phone: 714-540-7000. Briefing Book >click here< Listen to the meeting on the internet, >click to connect<More info, >click here< 13:25