Category Archives: Pacific

Coronavirus: ‘We’re trying to stay alive’ – Santa Barbara fishermen sell straight to the consumer

Instead of selling to fish processors, who then sell to restaurants, Mr. Cheverez resolved to get his product out to the public directly. With the help of other fishermen who have joined the operation, Mr. Cheverez now offers fresh seafood immediately out of Santa Barbara Harbor – no restaurant, grocery store or processor needed. “We’re trying to stay alive,” said Mr. Cheverez. “We’re selling what we sold before, just without the middle-man. We have one- to two-day old products that we’re selling, and the local community is buying from us right away.” >click to read< 14:39

Californians urge Gov Newsom pause in Delta Tunnel planning during Coronavirus crisis

The state of California is continuing ahead with plans for the Delta Tunnel, a project to divert more water from Northern California for San Joaquin Valley agribusiness and Southern California water agencies, in spite of the COVID 19 global pandemic. Fishermen, Tribal leaders, conservationists, environmental justice advocates, scientists, many elected leaders, family farmers, Delta business owners and the general public oppose the construction of the environmental and economic damage it will cause to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, West Coast fisheries and the people of California. Dan Bacher reports, >click to read< 17:37

Coronavirus: Bristol Bay fishermen urged to delay travel to the region until at least May 1

On Thursday, the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, which represents the Bristol Bay drift gillnet fleet, issued its first COVID-19 advisory to the fleet asking that non-local Bristol Bay Fishermen delay travel to the region until at least May 1 and listed the state mandated quarantine protocol for anyone who does travel to Alaska from out of state.,, Since Alaska enacted a limited entry permit system, the share of permits held locally by Bristol Bay residents has declined by more than 50 percent, according to a 2017 University of Alaska Fairbanks analysis. Many drift fishermen make the trip each summer from Washington, Oregon or California. >click to read< 07:49

Coronavirus: Letter from 200+ US seafood industry stakeholders to Trump Administration

March 24, 2020, Dear President Trump.  We write as participants in America’s seafood supply chain, a critical component of the country’s domestic food infrastructure and one of the major economic drivers in our country’s coastal communities and states. Empty restaurants, cafes, and dining halls are a visible reminder of the ongoing, unprecedented public health efforts to blunt the spread of COVID-19. The livelihoods of the chefs, cooks, servers, and other staff are obvious and direct casualties of those government efforts. The economic disruption caused by forced restaurant closures and active encouragement for Americans to “shelter in place,” however, extend far beyond the food service sector. >click to read< 19:37

Coronavirus: Fishing coalition seeks $4B in federal aid to cover lost restaurant sales

Commercial fishing industry members say they’re trying to stay afloat while the demand for fish dwindles as restaurants are reduced to take-out only amidst the coronavirus health crisis. Saving Seafood, a national coalition of seafood harvesters that includes New Jersey members, is now turning to the federal government for $4 billion in financial help.  “We have to manage our expectations right now. This is a national issue and it’s not going to be solved in a day or two,” said Greg DiDomenico, executive director of the Garden State Seafood Association, a commercial trades group that’s also a part of the Saving Seafood national coalition.  >click to read< 18:28

Local maritime organization restoring 114-year-old fishing boat

A remnant of a bygone era of handcrafted boats, it is one of the last of its kind. Between 1884 and 1951, about 8,000 existed. A 1951 law that required motors on commercial fishing boats resulted in the majority of these boats being either converted or burned. Today, fewer than five original vessels remain of the type that Sturgill launched his commercial fishing career on.,, The boat was donated by Seattle-based Trident Seafoods in 2013 to Drayton Harbor Maritime, a non-profit that Richard Sturgill founded with the goal of preserving the maritime history of Drayton Harbor and its surrounding waters. photo’s, >click to read< 08:17

Coronavirus Slam California’s Commercial Fishermen, Including In San Diego

The true economic impact of the novel coronavirus is a long way from being determined, but it has likely already affected every industry in San Diego,  including the one that helped define the region. “I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Tim Jones, a San Diego commercial fisherman for more than 30 years who is shutting down his operation to wait out the storm.,, Coronavirus isn’t the first thing to test the fortitude of San Diego’s commercial fishermen. Environmental restrictions, foreign competition and other factors eviscerated this once-thriving sector of the local economy beginning in the mid- to late-20th century. >click to read< 14:21

Coronavirus: Humboldt Bay crab fishing season ‘devastated’

“We could use one word: it’s devastating,” said Harrison Ibach, president of the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association. “Everything has come to a screaming halt. And it’s not just the crab industry, it’s the entire seafood industry.”,, Recent crabbing seasons have ended in hardship, including a state settlement in 2019 that prematurely closed crab fisheries over a series of whale entanglements off the California coast (one of them near Eureka). Before this year’s season even started, crabbers like Scott Creps of Eureka were worried about whether it would go the distance. >click to read< 10:37

Senate Democrats, Greens Seek Climate Mandates In Federal Stimulus Bills

Senate Democrats and environmentalists want to tack climate change mandates onto proposed federal aid to major airlines and cruise lines reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to the House and Senate leadership, eight Senate Democrats said last week that any financial assistance to the travel industry “should be paired with requirements that companies act in a more responsible fashion” by reducing their carbon footprint. “Climate change damages will wreak havoc on a scale even greater than the coronavirus,” said the Friday letter headed by the Center for Biological Diversity. Democrats who signed the letter were Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Jeffrey Merkley of Oregon, Cory A. Booker of New Jersey, Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Tina Smith of Minnesota and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. >click to read< 10:12

Environmentalists are dragging us back to the Dark Ages

In the early 1990s, our small group of Potlatch employees in cooperation with members of the Lewiston and Clarkston chambers of commerce were researching environmental claims that the lower Snake River dams were devastating salmon runs, when we learned about East Sand Island, a man-made island in the estuary of the Columbia River. The island was formed from dredging deposits in 1983 and by 1984, Caspian terns, cormorants and gulls had colonized the island and were feasting on salmon smolts. We thought: “Wow, this is an easy fix. Tear out a man-made island and save millions of endangered fish.” The environmentalists beat us to the punch. They filed in federal court to protect the island and the birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Now we have the largest nesting colony of these non-endangered birds in the world on a man-made island. by Marvin Dugger >click to read< 09:50

Coast Guard boat crashing through waves is having a f*cking blast!

CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT — Witnesses in the southwestern corner of Washington state have reported that a 47-foot Coast Guard vessel was last seen having the time of its f*cking life crashing through gigantic 18-foot breakers past the Columbia River bar. The Coast Guard boat, known for its durability in treacherous weather, was heard yelling things like “WEEEEEEEEE!!!” and “Guys guys guys guys guys, waaaatch this, BWOOOOSHHHH!!” >click to read< 08:46

Coronavirus: Seafood processors respond to COVID-19 with added precautions

Seafood industry processors say they are in ongoing discussions with local, state and federal partners,,, The seafood industry talking points including working around the clock on prevention and response, coordinating with partners that include public health officials, preventing the spread of COVID-19 within Alaska and keeping seafood safe, said Stephanie Madsen, executive director of the At-Sea Processors Association. The Seattle-based trade association represents six member companies who own and operate 16 U.S. flagged catcher/processor vessels participating principally in the Alaska Pollock fishery and West Coast Pacific whiting fishery. The group includes American Seafoods Co., Arctic Storm Management Group LLC, Coastal Villages Region Fund, Glacier Fish Company LLC, Aleutian Spray Fisheries Inc. and Trident Seafoods.  >click to read< 20:56

Coronavirus: Fishermen return from sea with a big catch and no place to sell

The coronavirus literally traveled over them from Asia to California while they were on the high seas catching tuna. They were as safe as anyone doing one of the most dangerous jobs, and now? Fishermen are returning home to California to find a state all but shuttered and nowhere to sell their catch. A handful of tuna boats filled with tens of thousands of pounds of fish are now floating off San Diego’s coast as they scramble to find customers. Many wholesalers stopped buying as restaurants were ordered closed except for takeout. photo’s, >click to read< 11:42

CDFW’s Salmon Evacuation Decision Pays Exceptional Dividends

In February 2017, damage to the Oroville Dam’s spillways prompted the evacuation of more than 180,000 people living downstream along the Feather River. The raging muddy waters also triggered an emergency decision to relocate millions of young salmon from the Feather River Hatchery to the Thermalito Annex Hatchery to be raised and held until river water conditions improved. Most, if not all, of the young salmon would have otherwise died when mud from the raging river overwhelmed the hatchery waters. >click to read< 08:39

Small Business Relief Tracker: Funding, Grants And Resources For Business Owners Grappling With Coronavirus

Some 30 million American small businesses are high on the coronavirus’ list of victims. Nearly half of these companies say the pandemic is to blame for unprecedented revenue declines, and with no clear end in sight, the possibility of temporary closures has become a reality for many. In an effort to help business owners find financial relief, we’ve rounded up all of the government agencies, private companies and nonprofit organizations that are extending support. We’ll be adding to this list as the situation develops, so check back for updates. >click to read< 13:01

Coronavirus: The country is shutting down. Shutdown NOAA’s Fisheries Observer Program, nationally. Right Now.

I am writing this editorial today as a responsible, conscientious American fishermen and citizen, in complete disbelief of the irresponsibility of a U.S. government agency during the current international coronavirus crisis. While the nation is in national emergency mode, states are closing public spaces, schools, universities, daycares, restaurants, encouraging social distancing, putting people in quarantine, outlawing large gatherings, and taking unprecedented emergency measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, NOAA Fisheries is pursuing the complete opposite when it comes to the fishing industry and ignoring all public safety precautions. more by Hank Lackner, F/V Jason and Danielle >click to read<06:03

Some of the many reasons why federal marine sanctuary management is a bad idea

The claim: A sanctuary will enhance our economy. The fact: Not true.,, The claim: Sanctuaries have never harmed commercial or recreational fishermen.
The fact: Monterey sanctuary leadership led the effort in California’s marine protected area process to close many of the best fishing areas. This occurred despite early promises made by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) and elected leaders that the sanctuary would not create fishing regulations nor take actions that would threaten fishermen’s livelihoods. Mr. Christie refers people to sanctuary leadership’s testimony before the Morro Bay City Council in 2016. People who heard this testimony and who know of the sanctuary’s role in creating no-fishing zones found this testimony to be disingenuous, if not dishonest. The claim: Sanctuaries offer protection for endangered species,,, >click to read< 18:05

Dana Point Harbor fish market adapts to coronavirus restrictions with curbside service

It was the last day of the lobster fishing season Wednesday, March 18 and a Dana Point Harbor fish market was making the best of the new coronavirus restrictions. To accommodate customers, Jon’s Fish Market was selling the live ocean bugs curbside. They were also offering red snapper, halibut, mahi-mahi, bluefin tuna, yellow-tail and salmon.,, “Our production line is small and we process them in house,” Mansur-O’Keefe said, adding that she buys whole fish. “So we don’t have to shut down.”  Mansur-O’Keefe said there are still hundreds of fishermen out on boats and her market will not only continue to feed customers in search of fresh food but also help fishermen with their livelihoods. Sometimes, how customers get their fish can be unique. Bartering,,, photo’s,  >click to read< 11:36

Big Wave Surfing and Commercial Fishing with Matt Becker

The talented crew over at 805 Beer have been releasing these high-quality mini-docs for a while now — spotlighting different occupations, exploring fringe cultures, and generally celebrating life. This time they’ve given us a glimpse into the lifestyle of second-generation California surfer/fisherman Matt Becker, who makes his money off commercial fishing, and feeds his soul off surfing spots like Maverick’s. It’s not a safe or soft routine, but it’s the only way Matt would want to live. Video, >click to watch< 18:44

Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company’s largest creditors battle as receivership stalls

A hearing will be held to give the creditors of Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company a chance to replace the firm overseeing the receivership of the seafood processor. Jessie filed for receivership on Feb. 26, short changing several fishermen owed money by the company.,, Florian Mumford, captain of F/V Dream, Jim Kary, owner of F/V The Beachcomer and Kary’s nephew Ross Kary, sat in the courtroom while the two attorneys argued. >click to read< 07:35

Tell Your Congressmen and Senators: Our US Fishing Industry Faces The Coronavirus Disaster

With the Coronavirus being spread around the world and nations reacting to this threat in many different ways, from doing nothing, to closing the borders and full quarantines, the unintended effects of such government actions have yet to be fully felt. Granted the stock market has lost 30% in value in just 3 weeks time, the average American really doesn’t feel that unless he is living on his investment returns. With the closing of schools, and restaurants and any places of public gatherings an enormous crisis is being created because many people are being put out of work and some of them may not have a business to come back to when the crisis is over. The Coronavirus may topple an empire if we let it. >click to read< 06:17

“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

Protecting Commercial Fishermen from Preventable Diseases

Seamen take on a very high risk of injury compared to workers in many other industries. Hazards specific to the job create certain common types of accidents among maritime workers. One of the potential hazards in a fishing vessel is the spread of communicable diseases because of poor hygiene or an unsanitary environment. These medical emergencies can be avoided with “medical survival skills”. Here is a list of things that should be done onboard to prevent the spread of disease:,, Who is liable for the spread of preventable disease on a commercial fishing vessel? The skipper has a responsibility to create a clean and healthy work environment. >click to read < 16:38

Crab season continues as whale entanglement risk remains low

From a California Department of Fish and Wildlife release: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is providing the following important update on the status of the commercial California Dungeness crab fishery which includes the Northern Management Area (Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9) and Central Management Area (Fish and Game Districts 10 and south). more, >click to read< 09:42

Coronavirus: International turmoil keeps the lobster at home

Commercial fishing is a notoriously condition-dependent occupation. As of early February, however, in addition to the changeable sea and the here-today, gone-tomorrow nature of the work—as well as ongoing tariffs—local lobster fishermen like Brian Aresco of Carpinteria also had to contend with a ban on seafood imports due to the COVID-19 outbreak in their best market, China. Aresco said the price for lobster went from $16 a pound to $8 overnight. After expenses, he would be left with about $100 for 16-hours of work. more>click to read< 18:18

“Everybody is getting paid but us,” Crabbers struggling after Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company failure

More than a week after Jessie’s filed paperwork to enter receivership, fishermen such as Teall are feeling the fallout. Teall is a crew member of the F/V Beachcomer, owned by Jim Kary, and has worked for Kary for about 15 to 18 years. Receivership documents filed by Jessie’s show the boat was owed more than $30,000 before the company closed its doors. Teall would have made about $4,500 from that last load of crab, he said. “Other than not getting paid, it’s the best season I’ve had since working for Jim,” Teall said. more, >click to read< 07:46

Fukushima Fishermen Aim to Expand Catches for Survival

Fishery operators in Fukushima Prefecture, home to the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, are set to expand their catches, aiming to shore up a local fishing industry that has struggled with unfounded rumors about radiation contamination. There are concerns that an expansion of catches may trigger a price collapse but fears of a possible decline of the industry are seen outweighing such considerations. photo’s,  more>click to read< 14:53

PFMC releases alternatives for 2020 West Coast Ocean Salmon Fisheries

The Pacific Fishery Management Council has adopted three alternatives for 2020 ocean salmon fisheries off of Washington, Oregon and California for public review. The Council will make a final decision on salmon seasons at its meeting in Vancouver, Washington, on April 5-10.,, Forecasts for many Chinook and coho stocks are lower than last year. In addition, the Council is constrained by requirements to conserve Fraser River (Canada) coho and other natural coho runs; to conserve lower Columbia River natural tule fall Chinook; and to protect Sacramento River winter Chinook and Klamath River fall Chinook. more, >click to read< 08:44

Big Bar Landslide blasting resumes, In-river drilling and excavation underway.

The huge remediation project is jointly managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the B.C. government and B.C. First Nations, who are guided by an Indigenous leadership panel. It involves equipment operators for excavators and rock trucks, drillers and blasters, rock scalers, emergency medical, river rescue and helicopter evaluation crews, environmental specialists and archeologists. “Blasting in waterways is not uncommon and the methods the contractor is using to drill and blast rock near and in-water are well understood,” the department said. more, >click to read< 12:02

A living link to the past

This year, Josephson’s Smokehouse celebrates its 100th year of smoking fish. Store owner Mike Josephson is the fourth generation of his family to lead the store. Throughout the smokehouse’s duration, Josephson and his family have adapted through changing times and conditions to continue the family’s tradition of welcoming visitors into the historic shop. Josephson’s great grandfather, Jacob Baker, fished in the lower Columbia River during the 1870s. In the 1880s, one-fifth of Astorians were fishers, according to the U.S. Census. At the time, there were over 39 canneries along the lower Columbia River. more, >click to read< 11:22