Category Archives: Pacific

Good Samaritans rescue 4 from fishing boat fire off Pillar Point Harbor

Four crewmembers from the commercial fishing vessel Ocean Gale were rescued by the crew of the commercial fishing vessel Smith Brothers #2, after a boat fire 13 miles southwest of Pillar Point Harbor. Fishermen aboard the Ocean Gale, a 37-foot vessel, contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders at approximately 5 p.m., Monday, reporting a fire aboard their boat.,, Crews aboard four commercial fishing vessels, Alma, Mr. Morgan, Alicia Dawn and Smith Brothers #2, responded to the UMIB and diverted to the scene.  click here to read press release 22:30

Mayors go to D.C. to lobby for Anacortes shipbuilder

The mayors of Anacortes and Mount Vernon traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to urge legislators to forgive a local shipbuilder’s mistake. In speaking to the state’s Congressional delegation, Anacortes Mayor Laurie Gere lobbied for a waiver that would allow a ship built in the city to be used in U.S. waters, thus protecting the jobs of those who work for the shipbuilder. America’s Finest, the vessel in question, was built by Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes for the Kirkland-based company Fisherman’s Finest for use in the Bering Sea. click here to read the story 13:50

Good morning, Eureka! Fifth Street is Covered in Fish Guts

Tuesday morning traffic on Fifth Street near its intersection with M Street is restricted to one lane after a truck spilled a load of fish waste there. Eureka Police Department officers are on scene directing vehicles while they wait for heavy equipment to come mop up all the gross.  “Consider an alternate route if traveling north this morning,” EPD recommends. photo’s, click here 11:06

Tuna troller sinks in Ilwaco mooring basin

Authorities on Monday continued dealing with pollution concerns and making plans to raise the Lihue II, a 61-foot wooden fishing vessel that sank at her mooring at the Port of Ilwaco sometime Friday night or Saturday morning. A citizen reported the sinking to Long Beach Police at 10:14 a.m. Saturday. “Reporting party stated there was a boat that sunk; reporting party does not know if it was sabotage or what,” according to the Pacific County Dispatch media report. click here to read the story 10:28

WDFW delays commercial crab fishery on Washington coast due to low meat content

State shellfish managers have delayed the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery on Washington’s coast due to inadequate meat in crab shells. Recent testing indicates crabs along the coast do not have sufficient meat in their shells to meet industry standards for harvest. The fishery will be delayed until at least Dec. 16 to allow more time for crabs to fill with more meat. Contrary to an erroneous news report, WDFW did not delay the commercial crab fishery due to a harmful algae bloom click here to read the story 17:53

Endangered orcas compete with seals, sea lions for salmon

Harbor seals, sea lions and some fish-eating killer whales have been rebounding along the Northeast Pacific Ocean in recent decades. But that boom has come with a trade-off: They’re devouring more of the salmon prized by a unique but fragile population of endangered orcas. Competition with other marine mammals for the same food may be a bigger problem than fishing, at least in recent years, for southern resident killer whales that spend time in Washington state’s Puget Sound, a new study suggests. click here to read the story 07:43

The science is in — salmon farms need to be out

The salmon-farm debate has come full circle with the recent escape of nearly 200,000 potentially invasive farmed Atlantic salmon 33 kilometres from B.C. waters in Washington state. Over the years, public outrages associated with this industry have unfolded like so many layers of a rotten onion: sea lice, viruses, organic pollution, 10 times the carcinogens in the flesh of farmed salmon versus wild, legal shooting of seal and sea lion “pests,” whales entangled in nets and anchor lines — and the list goes on. This is all unfolding against a backdrop of vehement objections from First Nations. click here to read the story 09:27

PAT NEAL: New threat to our threatened salmon – Here in the Pacific Northwest, there are 19 populations of salmon and steelhead listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. There are many reasons for this. click here to read the story 11:20

Record Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Returns Reported on Mokelumne River

For many years after Camanche Dam was built, the Mokelumne River, a major tributary of the San Joaquin River and the Delta, hosted small runs of Chinook salmon. The historic runs of steelhead after the construction of the dam averaged only 100 fish and no steelhead returned to spawn many years. But both steelhead and salmon runs have rebounded in recent years, due to a number of factors. In welcome good news for Central Valley salmon populations, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) report record fall spawning returns of Chinook salmon and steelhead to the Mokelumne River, a tributary of the San Joaquin River.,, The hatchery has received 13,799 adult salmon to date—compared to 4,129 at this point last year—and is expected to break the record return of 18,000 in 2011. click here to read the story 20:33

Bi-Partisan effort to keep open permanently Newport, Charleston Coast Guard air bases

“We remain extremely concerned about Coast Guard air facilities in the high-use ports of Newport, Oregon and Charleston, South Carolina,” the four lawmakers wrote Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation; the committee’s ranking member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.); Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chair of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure; and the House committee’s ranking member, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.).  click here to read the letter 13:09

Experts: Idaho hatchery built to save salmon is killing them

A relatively new $13.5 million hatchery intended to save Snake River sockeye salmon from extinction is instead killing thousands of fish before they ever get to the ocean, and fisheries biologists in Idaho think they know why. The Department of Fish and Game in information released this week says water chemistry at the Springfield Hatchery in eastern Idaho is so different from that in the central region that the young fish can’t adjust when released into the wild. Idaho Rivers United, an environmental group, blasted the report as more reason for removing four dams on the lower Snake River that impede salmon click here to read the story 10:53

The first Dungeness crabs are in, and they’re meaty!

“The crabs are meaty, and my haul was good,” Capt. Barry Day said upon his return to Pillar Point Harbor on the San Mateo County coast, where he sold the crustaceans straight off his boat for $6 a pound. Dan Chavez, the meat and seafood department manager at Draeger’s in Blackhawk, echoed that sentiment after receiving his store’s first shipment of live crabs Thursday. “They’re beautiful! They’re 2 pounds and over,” he said. “I called everyone and said, ‘Crab at my house tonight!’” click here to read the story 16:41

NOAA/NMFS seeks input on proposed sea lion removal at Willamette Falls

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public input on an application from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to remove, by lethal means if necessary, California sea lions preying on endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead at Willamette Falls on the Willamette River near Oregon City. The approach would be similar to the ongoing removal of sea lions preying on vulnerable populations of protected fish at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.  Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), each application NOAA Fisheries receives for removing problematic sea lions must undergo independent consideration. info, click here to read the story 08:36

Herrera Beutler seeks aid, additional funding for declared fishery disasters

Members of Congress from the state of Washington are asking the Office of Management and Budget to provide additional funding for declared fishery disasters statewide. Led by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, and Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Artondale, 10 members of the state’s congressional delegation sent a letter to OMB Director Mick Mulvaney on Wednesday asking him to approve their request for supplemental appropriations, specifically for Washington’s commercial, recreational and tribal fisheries. click here to read the story 07:46

Oregon delays start of Dungeness crab season by more than 2 weeks

The traditional Dec. 1 opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season will be delayed until at least Dec. 16 along the entire Oregon coast as testing shows crabs are too low in meat yield.,, Crab quality testing in early November showed that none of the test areas met the criteria for a Dec. 1 opening. The delayed opening will allow for crabs to fill with more meat. click here to read the story 15:58

“Last year’s season opening was also delayed but still brought in the highest ex-vessel value ever ($62.7 million) with 20.4 million pounds landed, about 22 percent above the 10-year average,” the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlifre said in a statement. click here to read the story

 

Washington state senator says he’ll file bill to ban Atlantic salmon farming

Under fire after a collapse and massive escape last summer, Atlantic salmon net-pen farming would be banned in Washington under legislation that will be filed by Sen. Kevin Ranker this coming session. The legislation would allow existing state leases for the eight Atlantic net-pen farms now operating in Washington to run out by 2025. No permits for new farms would be granted, and no renewals for existing leases would be allowed. The bill also would require state agencies that regulate net-pen farming to keep a tighter watch on operations. click here to read the story 13:30

Finding crew: Industry leaders search for the next generation of fishermen

John Corbin remembers tent cities in Alaska in the 1980s during the booming king crab seasons. The commercial fisherman said upward of 50 guys a day would walk the docks looking for work. Those days are gone.,, Across the industry, businesses have struggled to attract new employees. Clatsop County seafood processors say they need to hire more people, but can’t seem to get anyone through the door.,, Fishing remains a highly lucrative career, the industry argues. At the same time, regulations and demographic shifts in coastal communities have changed what is and isn’t possible for young fishermen. click here to read the story 11:18

‘Tis the season – Commercial crabbing begins off the coast of Half Moon Bay

As the clock struck midnight, local fishermen of the coast of Half Moon Bay began eagerly reeling in the first commercially caught crabs of the season. The scene at Pillar Point Harbor’s docks the day before the official Nov. 15 opener of California’s commercial crab fishery was described simply as “a zoo.” “We’re excited. The last month or so you’ve just been working on the boat, working on the crab pots, getting everything ready. And now, you finally get to go to work, get to catch something. We’re all pumped up,” said Porter McHenry, captain of the Merva W and president of the Half Moon Bay Seafood Marketing Association. click here to read the story 10:38

Washington State Marine Spatial Planning: Are ‘winds of change’ in store for local waters?

Could Pacific Ocean wind farms and fish-rearing net pens in Willapa Bay become future industries in Pacific County? Those are some possibilities being studied among an array of new potential ocean uses mentioned by the Washington Department of Ecology during a public meeting Wednesday, Nov. 8, in Long Beach.  Marine Spatial Planning for Washington’s offshore waters was discussed by members of an inter-agency team led by Washington Department of Ecology Senior Ocean Planner Jennifer Hennessey. About 24 community members — including county officials, commercial fishermen and local oyster farmers — attended to listen or provide formal testimony regarding their concerns about new potential ocean uses and possible impacts on existing industries. click here to read the story 21:08

Dungeness crab season under way on the North Coast

The commercial crabbing season will start on time off the Sonoma Coast this fall for the first time in three years, putting fresh Dungeness crab in local markets by week’s end and restoring long-held autumn and holiday traditions. Commercial crabbers around Bodega Harbor hustled Monday to load boats with gear and bait and leave port in time to start soaking crab pots off the coast by early Tuesday morning. Their clocks were set for 6:01 a.m., the first moment by law at which they are permitted to put gear in the water. They can start pulling full pots and landing crab at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, the official start of the season. click here to read the story 09:04

Salmon-farming operations face protests, occupations in B.C., legislative scrutiny in Washington state

A showdown is brewing over Atlantic salmon net-pen farming on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. Marine Harvest, a major producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in British Columbia, is seeking a court order to evict First Nations women who have occupied one of its fish farms, an order it intends to enforce by police action if necessary, said Ian Roberts, spokesman for the company. Marine Harvest operates 11 open-water Atlantic salmon net-pen farms in the Broughton Archipelago alone, at the northeast end of Vancouver. Ten of the farms have leases that are up for renewal by the B.C. government in June, and two of those farms have been occupied by First Nations people who say they won’t leave until the leases are canceled. click here to read the story 12:04

The “blob” is gone, but it’s left a troubling legacy on B.C.’s Pacific coast.

The blob is the popular name for a huge patch of warm water that featured record temperatures — in some cases, three to four degrees Celsius above normal — in the Northeast Pacific starting in 2013 and running through late 2015 and early 2016. Scientists are now concerned that young fish feeding at sea during the blob’s presence did not have enough nutritious food to eat — and that could translate into reduced adult fish to harvest going forward. click here to read the story 08:07

Seattle-based Alaska crab fleet alerted to new hazard: They’re carrying heavier pots

Alaska crab boats carry stability reports meant to guide the safe loading of up to several hundred crab pots that may be used to bring in a catch from the turbulent Bering Sea. But Coast Guard spot checks found that most of these documents significantly underestimate the weights of the steel-framed pots. The checks were spurred by a Coast Guard investigation into the Feb. 11 sinking of the Seattle-based Destination and the loss of all six of its crew. One of the vessel’s pots — retrieved from the Bering Sea bottom in July — was found to weigh more than the Destination’s stability report had assumed, according to testimony in a Marine Board of Investigation into the disaster. click here to read the story 10:46

Oregon: Bay crabbing closures leave businesses empty

The Oct. 15 closure of both recreational and commercial crabbing came as quite a surprise to many local businesses who rely on bay crabbing in the months leading up to the Dec. 1 ocean crabbing season.,,, The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife along with the Oregon Department of Agriculture closed crabbing after noticing increased levels of domoic acid in local Dungeness crabs coming out of the bay. However, locals who financially rely on crabbing feel this isn’t as dangerous as state agencies are making it out to be. click here to read the story 09:08

Fish traps of past may help future of Columbia salmon

The once-outlawed commercial fishing technique has been generating fresh interest in the face of declining wild salmon runs and might offer a less lethal way of handling wild salmon while harvesting hatchery fish for the consumer. Fish traps were once used broadly in the Northwest during the early part of the last century to harvest salmon for the canneries, but they were eventually outlawed because they caught too many fish.,, Jim Wells is a member of the lower Columbia River gill-net fleet, and after the conservation group published its findings on the traps he did a little bit of research. Using the catch data from the trap, he figured just how many sell-able fish they had caught during this last season. click here to read the story 14:52

Commercial Dungeness crab season scheduled to start on Nov. 15

On Thursday, the California Department of Public Health said that the local commercial Dungeness crab season is expected to begin as scheduled on Wednesday for the San Francisco fishing fleet and the region south of the Mendocino County line. As in recent years, there was some concern about whether that would happen when preseason tests of Dungeness crabs caught in far Northern California — especially near Fort Bragg and Crescent City (Del Norte County) — showed dangerous levels of domoic acid, the naturally occurring toxin that delayed the 2015-16 and 2016-17 commercial crab seasons. click here to read the story 21:34

Fingers crossed there won’t be anything to be crabby about this season

With their pots stacked high and boat decks washed, commercial crab fishermen along the Central Coast are prepped for a season that is expected to start next Wednesday, on-time for the first time since 2014. And the getting could be good. “Ocean conditions over the past couple years, as the crabs that we’ll catch this year have matured, have been pretty good,” says Noah Oppenheim, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations in San Francisco. “It was good enough that we think the resources will be very healthy.” “Brutal,” “devastating,” “a disaster,” are all ways fishermen and heads of the industry have described the crab seasons of 2015 and 2016,,, click here to read the story 09:25

Washington Crabbers Join Peers In Tackling Whale Entanglement Risk

Earlier this year, a gray whale calf died after getting tangled in crab pot lines near Seaview, Washington. Now commercial and tribal crab fishermen from the Washington coast have agreed to form a working group to discuss how to reduce the risk of a repeat. Fleets in Oregon and California have previously formed similar work groups. Whale numbers along the West Coast are rebounding, but so are sightings of humpback whales, gray whales and the odd blue whale entangled in fishing lines and buoys. click here to read the story 08:55

Working Waterfront: Several hundred tons of squid offloaded in Ventura

The smell of squid filled the air Tuesday morning at Ventura Harbor, where workers were bustling to offload hundreds of tons of it. The morning’s activities represented one of the largest squid hauls the harbor has seen in recent history. Approximately 300 to 400 tons of squid were brought into the harbor, representing a positive turn of events, said Frank Locklear, manager of commercial fisheries and technology at the Ventura Harbor Village Marina. click here to read the story 21:23

Fisherman dies getting pulled overboard off the coast of Eureka on Wednesday afternoon.

Redcrest resident and fisherman Melvin Richard Van Ronk died Wednesday afternoon after becoming entangled in fishing gear and being pulled overboard while fishing off the coast of Eureka, according to the Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday. Van Ronk, 77, was fishing on the vessel “Ruth R” out of Eureka about 15 miles off the coast when he became entangled in the fishing gear, according to Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay Public Information Officer Audra Forteza. click here to read the story 22:23

D.B. Pleschner: Nearshore anchovy abundance not proof fishery is collapsing

Recently, Dr. William Sydeman of the Farallon Institute, published a study claiming that the abundance of anchovy near shore — especially in places like Monterey — is evidence that the population is collapsing. Sydeman’s logic is based on an old argument that collapsed populations always shrink inshore. But there’s one big problem with that theory — it’s unsupported by scientific evidence.,,,  The bottom line: environmental groups with an anti-fishing agenda are already gearing up to hot-box the Pacific Fishery Management Council in spring 2018, lobbying for a steep reduction in anchovy harvest limits, employing whatever colorful, sensational pictures they can paint. click here to read the story 20:58