Category Archives: Pacific

Coast Guard rescues 2 after fishing vessel takes on water near Coos Bay, Oregon

A Coast Guard 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Coos Bay assisted the fishing vessel Car Tanya, Sunday evening. The boat crew successfully dewatered and towed the 58-foot fishing vessel 13 miles back to Coos Bay. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a request for assistance from the mariners aboard the vessel at 5:42 p.m., reporting the vessel was taking on water and losing power. At approximately 10 p.m., the boat crew moored up the fishing vessel in Coos Bay and conducted a post-Search and Rescue boarding, resulting in a termination order due to multiple discrepancies found aboard the vessel. click here to read the story 11:35

No West Coast fishery relief funds again in Congress’ $1.2T spending bill

For Yurok Tribe member Sammy Gensaw III, the divide between Capitol Hill and his hometown of Requa on the mouth of the Klamath River is measured in more than miles. The tribe and commercial fishermen across the West Coast learned this past week that the House of Representatives once again did not include fishery disaster relief funds in a $1.2 trillion spending bill it approved. The relief funds would aid fishermen who suffered major losses after the disastrous 2015-2016 crab season and 2016 salmon season. This year’s salmon season was even worse, with the forecast return of Klamath River Chinook salmon being the lowest on record. click here to read the story 10:22

Protest seeks shutdown of Atlantic salmon farms in Washington state

Activists in Washington state plan to launch a protest flotilla on Saturday in the Pacific Ocean’s Puget Sound over the accidental release of tens of thousands of farm-raised Atlantic salmon that they say threaten dwindling stocks of wild fish. The afternoon protest, which seeks to shut down farms that raise the non-native salmon in underwater pens, is expected to draw dozens of boats, kayaks and canoes on a route along the San Juan Islands where the spill happened.  That raised fears they would compete with wild fish for food, prey on the young, and expose them to disease. Protesters said native fish like Chinook salmon and steelhead trout were already struggling before the spill. click here to read the story 13:26

Trade groups want 10-year requirement removed from Magnuson-Stevens Act

As Congress gets ready to address reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act, representatives from commercial fishing interests are urging lawmakers to revisit some of the current law’s regulations they feel have hindered the industry. In particular, they’re urging officials to do away with language that caps rebuilding plans for overfished species to 10 years. It’s an arbitrary figure that has too rigidly applied across all federally managed species, said Lori Steele, the executive director of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, at a hearing Tuesday of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard. click here to read the story 10:50

The Magnuson Stevens Act and its Ten Year Rebuilding Timeline: Science or Fiction? By Meghan Lapp – click here to read the article

California crabbers use GPS to find whale-killing gear

Fisherman Jake Bunch leans over the side of the fishing boat “Sadie K,” spears his catch, and reels it aboard: an abandoned crab pot, dangling one limp lasagna noodle of kelp and dozens of feet of rope, just the kind of fishing gear that has been snaring an increasing number of whales off U.S. coasts. This year, Bunch is one of small number of commercial fishermen out of Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, and five other ports up and down California who headed to sea again after the West Coast’s Dungeness crab season ended this summer. The California fishermen are part of a new effort using their cellphones’ GPS and new software pinpointing areas where lost or abandoned crabbing gear has been spotted. They retrieve the gear for a payment — at Half Moon Bay, it’s $65 per pot —before the fishing ropes can snag a whale. click here to read the story 20:44

Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster didn’t affect fish, humans in B.C., scientist says

Radioactive contamination following a nuclear power-plant disaster in Japan never reached unsafe levels in the north Pacific Ocean for either marine life or human health, says a British Columbia scientist. Chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen of the University of Victoria has monitored levels of contamination from radioactive isotopes, used in cancer therapies and medical imaging, since the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011 following a tsunami triggered by an earthquake. click here to read the story 18:29

From Captain Jack Molan – Book Launch! We have lift off!

My book of short stories, “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!” is available on Amazon, both paperback and E-Book (click here) This covers thirty years in the Bering Sea, the stories will grab you! Please share with your friends, in the new world of self publishing, its the best way to spread the word. After reading, please visit Amazon and leave a review. The reviews are really important and will get the book more exposure. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did writing.  Click here for a short video about how I came to write such a tail. 16:57

Pilot Program – Port allows fish sales from boats at Fisherman’s Wharf

Fishermen have been granted the legal right to sell fish from their boats at Fisherman’s Wharf for the first time in nearly two decades. The pilot program, approved by the Port Commission on Tuesday afternoon, will last for one year, at which time the Port will consider making it permanent. The effort is meant to help fishermen survive in the rocky fishing industry. “We’re struggling just to keep our boat here,” said Giuseppe “Joe” Pennisi, who captains the fishing boat “Pioneer” out of San Francisco. click here to read the story 11:37

Hearing! 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday – MSA Reauth – Oversight of Fisheries Management Successes and Challenges

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convene the hearing titled “Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: Oversight of Fisheries Management Successes and Challenges” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. The hearing is the third of the series and will focus on the perspectives of commercial, charter, and recreational fishermen on the state of our nation’s fishery laws. click here to read the press release This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov. 23:24

Do humans have it wrong? Treating salmon as commodity may threaten their wild existence

As once-uncountable Northwest salmon stocks have dwindled, humans have tried a number of remedies to bolster or replace the disappearing fish. We’ve caught them at dams and trucked and barged them past obstacles. When the fish return home, we strip them of their eggs, fertilize them in buckets and grow new generations of baby salmon in hatchery raceways. But what if humans have it all wrong? What if those efforts are not just not working, but actually reducing the salmon’s odds of survival? What if hatchery fish do more than just dilute the genetic fitness of the wild, native salmon that evolved to live and spawn in particular conditions in specific stretches of individual streams? click here to read the story 16:00

If hulls could talk: A summer of stories from the Ilwaco Boatyard

Earl Soule, 71, considers “re-corking,” or recaulking, a boat a lost art that requires a special touch. “The strength of a wooden boat is the seams,” Soule said. “Everybody thinks it’s the frame, but it’s the caulking. Caulking makes the whole boat tight.” Much of Soule’s work is done by sound and touch, a rare skill he’s cultivated over decades of working on wooden boats. “It’s all by feel,” Soule said in between swings of his mallet. “I can tell what it’s doing all the time because I can feel it.” Soule was helping Florian Mumford replace 12 ribs underneath the planks of Mumford’s 1953 wooden boat, ahead of the black cod season. He said he relies on the boatyard for haul out and repairs at least twice a year. photo’s, click here to read the story 09:08

U.S.-Built Trawler is Not Jones Act-Qualified

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued another letter ruling on U.S. built vessels with foreign-made components. The latest case involves a factory trawler named America’s Finest under construction in the state of Washington. Certain “cold-formed” steel plates were already installed as part of the hull and the cold-forming process was conducted overseas. A U.S. shipyard requested coastwise and fisheries trade status for the vessel, and was just denied by the U.S. Coast Guard. click here to read the story 08:17

Warning signs for salmon

The numbers of young salmon caught off the Oregon and Washington state coasts during an annual federal survey cruise this June were among the lowest recorded in the past 20 years. In fact, numbers were low across nearly all the species researchers regularly catch or observe — from birds like the common murre to forage fish like anchovies and smelt. Months ahead of schedule, as a kind of heads up, West Coast researchers, project managers and program directors decided to send out a memo in mid-August detailing their initial findings — data that would usually be combined with other information and put out on a webpage at the end of the year. The data is preliminary, but researchers say it is clear many young coho and Chinook salmon didn’t survive the migration from freshwater streams and rivers to the ocean this year, while poor ocean conditions could impact salmon returns to the Columbia River for the next few years. click here to read the story 21:44

Countries Pledge To Recover Dwindling Pacific Bluefin Tuna Population

In a joint meeting Friday in Busan, South Korea, the two groups that manage Pacific bluefin tuna reached a historic long-term agreement that would put the species on the path to recovery. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission agreed to take steps to rebuild the population to 20 percent of historic levels by 2034 — a sevenfold increase from current levels. Stocks of Pacific bluefin have fallen to 2.6 percent of their historic size, with countries like Mexico, Japan, Korea and the U.S. exceeding fishing quotas within the last two years. click here to read the story 17:02

After Atlantic salmon spill, fish farms’ future under attack on both sides of border

Cooke Aquaculture Pacific knew it had problems at its Cypress Island fish farm before the catastrophic failure that spilled tens of thousands of Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound. “The farm site No. 2 was identified as the first priority for upgrades. We knew it was at the end of its life cycle and it needed upgrades right away, and we were in the process of doing that,” company spokesman Chuck Brown said this week. But the company never got the chance. Instead, the farm capsized the weekend of Aug. 19, with 305,000 Atlantic salmon inside. The company collected 142,176 in all from its nets. The rest escaped.,,, The state already has said it won’t allow new or expanded farms until further review, and 20 Western Washington tribes with treaty-protected fisheries say they want Puget Sound farms shut down entirely. click here to read the story 10:29

B.C. First Nations occupy a second salmon farm as company raises safety concernsclick here to read the story

Accused drug smuggling kingpin flown to US after living in Queensland

Alleged US marijuana smuggling kingpin Peyton Eidson is locked up in a California jail cell after 30 years on the run as a fugitive in Australia. Eidson’s American lawyer, Erick Guzman, hopes the 72-year-old is offered leniency by US prosecutors.,, US authorities have described Eidson as “the leader” of a sophisticated operation using fleets of vessels to secretly ship large quantities of high-grade marijuana from south-east Asia to northern California.,, Two co-accused, Mark Gayer and Mark Wolosky, attempted an elaborate scheme in 1989 to fake their deaths by sinking a fishing boat off California, but the duo was captured (read about it) in California in 2000 and sentenced to 11 years’ jail. click here to read the story 15:58

NIOSH regional reports highlight top dangers in commercial fishing industry

Vessel disasters and falls overboard are the primary hazards experienced by workers in commercial fishing – an industry with a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average – according to a recent NIOSH analysis of four U.S. regions. NIOSH reviewed overall commercial fishing fatalities in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and the East and West Coasts from 2010 to 2014. Researchers found that 184 fatalities occurred in the four regions: Alaska recorded 45, the West Coast had 30, the East Coast reported 60 and the Gulf of Mexico experienced 49. Vessel disasters (capsizes, fires, groundings, sinking) accounted for the most deaths with 80, followed by falls overboard with 53. Other categories included onboard, onshore and diving. click here to read the story 23:24

Marine feedlots and the tide against wild fish

In a time of eclipse, for the People of the Salmon the moment was catastrophic. At the height of their season for the most prized of wild salmon in the Salish Sea, Lummi fishermen south of Cypress Island hauled in several flaccid, broken-mouthed farm fish, the first of thousands of Atlantic salmon that had escaped from a failed pen. They knew something was terribly wrong. Days would pass before Cooke Aquaculture, a subsidiary of the international company responsible for the pen, would stop blaming the sun and moon, and admit to the full scale of the collapse.  click here to read the story

First Nations, environmentalists occupy salmon farm in British Columbia – A group of First Nations and environmentalists are occupying a salmon farm near Alert Bay, B.C., and say they won’t leave until the provincial and federal governments revoke permits for the facility. click here to read the story 10:43

Federal Judge Evokes Dr. Seuss in Upholding Seafood Regulations

Invoking Dr. Seuss, a federal judge on Monday quoted from the 1960 classic “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” to uphold a regulatory regime intended to cut down on seafood fraud and protect U.S. fishers from unfair competition. Despite a challenge to the rule by a slew of U.S. seafood importers, harvesters and processors, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta found that the traceability rule, which requires importers to document the supply chain of imports from their origin to their arrival in the U.S., was lawfully implemented by the National Marine Fisheries Service. click here to read the story 18:32

Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program – 2017 Awards

NOAA Fisheries has awarded more than $2.3 million to partners around the country to support innovative bycatch reduction research projects through its . Bycatch of various species–fish, marine mammals, or turtles–can have significant biological, economic, and social impacts. Preventing and reducing bycatch is a shared goal of fisheries managers, the fishing industry, and the environmental community. click here to read the notice 14:10

Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation – Icy spray, heavy pots may have doomed Seattle crab boat F/V Destination

What caused the February sinking of the Seattle-based Destination in the Bering Sea? On the morning of Feb. 11, crab-boat skipper Daher Jorge received a Coast Guard radio request to assist a Bering Sea search for a missing vessel — the Seattle-based Destination. But Jorge’s own boat, the Polar Sea, was burdened by a thickening mantle of ice that made it more vulnerable to sinking. His crew had been unable to break off all that ice while at sea, so Jorge felt compelled to reject the call for assistance and head to port in Alaska’s Pribilof Islands. “That was the only reason we did not go. For our own safety,” Jorge testified during two weeks of hearings held earlier this month in Seattle by a Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation into the sinking of the Destination and loss of all six of its crew. click here to read the story 12:44

Coast Guard medevacs man from fishing vessel near Cold Bay, Alaska 

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevaced a crewman from the fishing vessel Unimak, a 183-foot fishing trawler, near Cold Bay, Alaska, Friday.  The Jayhawk crew safely hoisted the ill crewman from the Unimak, which was 46 miles northwest of Cold Bay, at 8:52 p.m. and transported him to emergency medical personnel at the Cold Bay Clinic at approximately 9 p.m. Coast Guard District 17 Command Center watchstanders in Juneau received notification from Health Force Partners stating a Unimak crewman had symptoms of dizziness and weakness, along with general confusion. A Coast Guard flight surgeon recommended a medevac. click here to watch video 09:14

Washington State halts salmon farm permits after fish escape – Critics call for Land Based Aquaculture

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has directed the Department of Ecology to put on hold any new permits for net pens after thousands of Atlantic salmon escaped into Puget Sound earlier this month from a damaged salmon farm. State officials also announced on Saturday the formation of a ­response team made up of the ­departments of ­Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, and Ecology. The team includes the Office of the Governor and state ­Emergency Management Division. It’s not yet clear how many non-native Atlantic salmon escaped into Puget Sound from Canada-­based Cooke Aquaculture’s salmon farm off Cypress Island. click here to read the story 12:05

Salmon spill prompts open-net fish farm critics to tout benefits of land-based aquaculture – Critics of open-net fish farms say the escape of Atlantic salmon from a Washington state pen should convince Canada to support a transition to land-based aquaculture, used by most of the world. click here to read the story 12:09

Herrera Beutler: To save steelhead, we must cut sea lion numbers

Steelhead, longtime residents in our rivers here in the Pacific Northwest, are now approaching extinction with alarming speed. This isn’t exaggeration; the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife found that one population of steelhead has an 89 percent chance of becoming extinct in the not too distant future. The culprit for the fish’s demise? Sea lions. Experts are pointing to the increased population of California sea lions as the biggest threat. The sea lions gather in locations where steelhead and salmon are the most vulnerable, like below the Willamette Falls or the Bonneville Dam, where these native fish species congregate before heading upstream to spawn. An alarmingly low number of native steelhead — just 512 — made it over Willamette Falls this year. click here to read the story 10:01

Two Newport Port Commissioners and Staff to Meet with Federal Grant Officials to Save International Terminal Project

Two Newport Port Commissioners and staff will meet Monday for a reality check with federal officials over a big grant to support the completion of the long-awaited International Terminal. The project involves the city of Newport that may be in a position to provide urban renewal bonding as well as support from the Hall family which owns waterfront property just to the east. But none of it can happen unless the Port can keep the effort on target and on time. click here to read the story 09:50

The Pie Analogy – Fleet consolidation and loss of fishing jobs a hot topic at MSA hearing

Senator Dan Sullivan brought his Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard to Soldotna on Wednesday for a hearing on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. One theme was addressed by many of the dozen invited experts who testified. Fleet consolidation is a predictable outcome of limited access privilege fisheries, or LAPs in the acronym-filled parlance of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, or MSA. A limited access fishery is one that has been privatized in some way. For example, in the Bering Sea, the crab fishery was rationalized more than 10 years ago, resulting in a fleet today that is just a fraction the size it was before privatization.,,, In his testimony, Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten asked that Congress not take any action that would further consolidation. click here to read the story 08:32

No feast during sockeye famine in Richmond

For a second year in a row, all commercial fishing of the Fraser River’s sockeye salmon has been closed by the Fraser River Panel, the regulatory body that assesses annual salmon runs. Only 1.7 million sockeye are expected to return to the Fraser this year, which is just over a third of the 4.4 million that were expected at the start of the year.,,, The closure should put a premium price on salmon for consumers, according to local fisherman Gus Jacobson. click here to read the story 18:47

Fish pie – Everyone wants a piece

Representatives of the haves and have-nots of American ocean fisheries gathered in a packed college classroom here on Wednesday to offer Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, their ideas on what he could do with the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. The now 40-year-old federal fisheries legislation is the legacy of the late and revered Alaska Sen.Ted Stevens.,,, And there is no doubt the MSA has problems when it comes to dealing with recreational fishing. Anglers, charter-boat operators, commercial fishermen and environmental groups are at the moment all in a Gulf of Mexico scrum fighting over red snapper. It is in many ways a tussle that almost makes the long-running fish war in Cook Inlet look tame. click here to read the story 08:25

Fugitive Farmed Atlantic salmon ‘heading to every river in Puget Sound’

The Lummi Nation is marshaling a mop-up of thousands of fugitive Atlantic salmon in the tribe’s territorial waters, and the Swinomish chairman has called for a shutdown of the farmed-salmon industry in Puget Sound after last weekend’s spill. Swinomish fishermen caught farmed Atlantic salmon in the Skagit River on Wednesday night, as the fish continued to disperse through the Puget Sound, said Brian Cladoosby, chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. He also received a report of an Atlantic salmon caught off Alki Point on Thursday afternoon. “These fish are headed to every river in Puget Sound,” Cladoosby said. “We have been saying all along it was not a question of if, but when, this would happen. click here to read the story 23:27

Seafood giant back in Warrenton

Mike Brown, like many in the seafood processing industry, is used to old buildings — massive complexes from another generation that have seen countless fish and hundreds of filleters come and go over the decades.  But as general manager of Pacific Seafood Group’s rebuilt Warrenton facility, Brown is about to be in charge of a brand-new building. The West Coast seafood processing giant is in the middle of rebuilding after a fire destroyed the original plant in 2013. Construction began last year, click here to read the story 20:37