Category Archives: Pacific

Deadliest Catch star visits Pictou to promote technology combatting ghost fishing gear

Any fisherman understands that keeping the waters clean will help ensure a viable future for the industry. “If you want a future, you have to invest in that future,” said Capt. Sig Hansen from Discovery Channel’s The Deadliest Catch. “So why not try to keep our oceans clean? That’s our responsibility.” Hansen has partnered with Resqunit (pronounced “rescue unit”), lending his star power to an endeavor they hope will assist in helping to protect the environment in which fishermen and women ply their trade. The Resqunit is a lost gear retrieval unit that can be attached to a line of traps, in case a fisher loses a buoy because of storms, accidents or by other means. It includes a user-controlled timer release that is set by using on an app on your phone. If needed, the unit will deploy after a set length of time, rise to the surface and allow fishers to retrieve their traps. >>click to read<< 14:04

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 52’x16′ Millennium Tuna, Twin C15 Cat Diesels

To review specifications, information, and 15 photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< 11:53

Fisherman statue will remain, Eureka mayor says in letter to PETA

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urged Eureka Mayor Kim Bergel to remove the iconic Fisherman Memorial statue from Woodley Island. Both PETA and Bergel shared letters addressing the issue. Here’s what the letters said. The following is a letter from PETA’s president to Eureka Mayor Kim Bergel: Dear Mayor Bergel: I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, including many who are lucky enough to live in California—with a fintastic suggestion. >>click to read<< 10:15

Bay Area commercial fishers struggling under weight of recent catch restrictions

Bay Area commercial fishers say they are facing unprecedented financial hardships this year after dealing with a range of restrictions on several of their key catches.  “I’m struggling to pay my bills. I’m definitely going to be in the red this year,” said William “Captain Smitty” Smith, who has commercially fished and run charters out of Half Moon Bay since 1985. Smith says he has been hit hard by the State’s decision to cancel salmon season off the coast for the first time in 14 years. “My overall business for the year, is down 90 percent,” said Smith. “The salmon is one of the major mainstays of this whole harbor. If you look across, every boat is here, every boat is tied up. These guys have got mortgages to pay, got bills to pay,” said Smith. Video, >>click to read<< 10:15

Retired Commercial Fisherman Mark Lee Roberts of Tillamook, Oregon, has passed away

After a long battle with cancer, we lost our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, Mark Lee Roberts. Mark was born in Portland, Oregon in 1952 to Harley and Irene Roberts. Mark grew up in SW Portland and attended St. Clare’s Catholic School and graduated from Central Catholic H.S. in 1970. He started commercial dory fishing with his father out of Pacific City in the Old Soak and Ragtag. He owned several dories including Shark Bait, Fish Assassin and Accomplice before acquiring a larger boat, the Pacific Mistress, which he commercial fished out of Depoe Bay.  Mark was also part of the ODFW Marine Reserves Community Team, the Depoe Bay Near Shore Action Team, OSU Wave Energy participant, Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission member, and a longtime member of the Pacific City Dorymen’s Association. >>click to read<< 14:49

From the Gulf of Maine to a tin can: A glimpse into high-end tuna production on NH’s coast

“I left today at, like, 12 midnight,” he said, his face hidden behind mirrored sunglasses and a beard. “And then it’s about an hour and a half ride out, and it was beautiful last night because that big fat moon is waning.” Keper Connell is a one-man operation aboard his boat, The Figment. When conditions allow, he cruises into the Gulf of Maine in search of bluefin tuna, a torpedo-shaped fish that can reach more than 1,000 pounds. Rather than sell his bluefin to a wholesaler, where cuts may end up in a fishmonger’s display case, or as toro on a sushi menu, Connell is doing something that nobody else in the U.S. is apparently doing. His fish is put on ice and sent to Oregon, where it will be packed into tin cans with a high end olive oil and some salt. (There are no canneries on the East Coast where an independent fisherman can bring his catch, he says.) Photos, >>click to read<< 11:07

Eagle, Eagle, what are you going to do?

Dick and Carl Arvidson had sister ships built in Seattle. Carl named his the “Eagle,” and when they were transiting through the locks out of Lake Washington, Dick was in the lead. Evidently there was confusion for Carl, as over a loudspeaker, he heard an urgent announcement: “Eagle! Eagle! What are you going to do?”  Dick and Carl were good friends and had both begun fishing in the Cordova area at a young age. Dick loved to tell the story about the maiden voyage of their matching boats. It was always good for a laugh. The Eagle still sits in the Cordova boat harbor and is used in set net operations by the Kritchens on the other side of the Sound. Seeing it reminded me of another eagle story witnessed from Renner’s Dragonfly.  >>click to read<< 15:09

‘They’re not listening’: Fishermen, tribes voice concerns on two Oregon coast sites eyed for offshore wind farms

Last week, the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced two draft Wind Energy Areas off the southern Oregon coast. One of them is offshore of Brookings, near the California border, the other off the coast of Coos Bay. The areas also represent prime fishing grounds and important cultural areas to local Indigenous tribes. Heather Mann, executive director of the Newport-based Midwater Trawlers Cooperative, said it feels like a lot of stakeholders’ concerns are being left unheard.  “They’re not listening to coastal communities. They’re not listening to the fishing industry. They’re not listening to congressional representatives,” said Mann, whose organization represents 32 vessels that fish in the area. “Fishermen are not just concerned about being displaced from fishing grounds, though that is a critical piece. ” Video, >click to read< 11:35

Updated: Crew member on Alaska factory trawler dies after possible ammonia exposure

A crew member on an American Seafoods factory trawler died at sea last week, likely from an ammonia leak on board. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Second Class John Highwater said that they received a satellite call from the Northern Eagle at about 4 a.m. on Aug. 18. “One of their crew members was found unresponsive in one of their engineering spaces,” Highwater said. “They believe there was an ammonia leak somewhere in the vessel that caused the person to fall unconscious.” Jeremy Baum, the Alaska Wildlife Trooper stationed in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, identified the crew member as First Engineer David Kumah from Ghana in West Africa. >click to read< 13:09

Speakers Series: Ernie Koepf- Fish tales

Ernie Koepf was born (1951) and raised in Moss Beach and raised his own family in El Granada. He now resides in the hills of Oakland with his wife of 16 years, Jan Moestue. Early in his life he was initiated into the fishing community and was known as Little Ernie to his father’s Big Ernie, a prominent commercial fisherman in the community. Much change has come about to Princeton and the fisheries of the West Coast. The history of the Coastside is also rich with change. Ernie Koepf is here to speak on both. Sept. 7, at the Half Moon Bay Odd Fellows, Half Moon Bay, Ca. $10 admission supports our Youth Services Programs. >click to read< 12:21

Safeguarding Oregon’s Sustainable Seafood Industry: DEQ Urged to Reconsider Unachievable Permits

As proud stewards of the marine ecosystem, Oregon’s seafood industry has worked diligently for over a century to foster a sustainable environment, supporting thriving communities and vibrant coastal economies. However, our seafood industry now faces a critical challenge. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has introduced new wastewater discharge permits that threaten the future of our industry. These permits are overly complicated, technically infeasible, and they fail to consider the seafood processing industry’s unique traits and changing seasons. Even worse, they discourage recycling, hindering full utilization of our fisheries resources. This goes against our industry’s values and DEQ’s own goals of promoting recycling. >click to read< 11:09

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 95′ Steel Dragger, Detroit 12V-149 Diesel

To review specifications, information, and 28 photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< 13:57

Cancelation of California salmon season forces fishermen to find new way forward

Salmon fishers across the state are pivoting to stay afloat after the salmon fishing season was canceled earlier this year.  At dock 47 in San Francisco, the pier looks different this time of year. More boats are tied up, an unusual sight for what would be peak salmon season. Matt Juanes is preparing to head out to sea. He readies his lines and hopes for a big catch. For now, it’s all he can do.  “My goal is to catch every last one of them,” he said aboard his boat Plumeria.  But this year, the salmon fisher of 8 years is exploring uncharted territory for him. He’s now looking to catch shrimp and halibut after salmon season was canceled for repopulation efforts. Video, >click to read< 09:03

Crew member on factory trawler dies after possible ammonia exposure onboard

A crew member on an American Seafoods factory trawler died at sea last week, likely from an ammonia leak on board. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Second Class John Highwater said they received a satellite call from the Northern Eagle at about 4:30 a.m. Friday. “One of their crew members was found unresponsive in one of their engineering spaces,” Highwater said. “They believe there was an ammonia leak somewhere in the vessel that caused the person to fall unconscious.” The nearly 350-foot vessel was already en route to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor when they made the call to the Coast Guard. >click to read< 08:49

Hurricane Hilary Poses Unusual Threat to Southern California

Hurricane Hilary is charting a rare path to Southern California. The storm is currently a Category 4 hurricane, the second-highest level. After bringing heavy rains and a dangerous storm surge to the west coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula over the weekend, Hilary is expected to weaken to a tropical storm before it reaches the U.S. Sunday evening. Nevertheless, it is forecast to bring severe weather to an area unaccustomed to tropical storms. The hurricane’s predicted path is due to an unusual convergence of warm water, a high-pressure zone to the east and a jet stream to the west, according to Dan DePodwin, AccuWeather’s director of forecasting operations. “You have to have the exact right atmospheric setup,” said DePodwin. “And that’s what we have.” Video, >click to read< 08:05

Fishermen come out to clean Summerland beach of old lobster traps and other random items

At the request of the Summerland Beautiful organization, Santa Barbara area fishermen rallied to help clean up a beach. The Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara responded to the call for cleanup efforts. The traps were tied up and towed out to a boat and loaded up. Other discarded fishing items were also gathered up. In addition, the group collected three bags of trash a stroller and other random items. The CFSB has been involved in other cleanup operations mainly to collect lobster traps. video, >click to read<  11:31

NOAA Recommends $106.1 Million in funding for West Coast and Alaska salmon recovery

Today, the Department of Commerce and NOAA announced more than $106 million in recommended funding for 16 West Coast and Alaska state and tribal salmon recovery programs and projects under the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF). The funds, including $34.4 million under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and $7.5 million under the Inflation Reduction Act, will support the recovery, conservation and resilience of Pacific salmon and steelhead in Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.  This funding is part of President Biden’s historic Investing in America agenda, which includes over $2 billion for fish passage investments across the country. >click to read< 18:03

Opinion: Breach the Snake River dams? Only if you want more carbon and more expensive power

Recently our local papers have been publishing opinion pieces suggesting the possibility or necessity of removing the four lower Snake River dams to protect Idaho salmon runs. And earlier this year the Idaho Press published an article reporting that the Biden administration has released two reports stating that removal of the four dams on the lower Snake River “may be needed to restore salmon runs to sustainable levels.” There are other much cheaper alternatives that may be just as effective in preserving the salmon runs — maybe more. One would be to permanently remove the sea lions that congregate at the base of Bonneville Dam, the first dam on the Columbia River. Those sea lions decimate thousands of migrating salmon that gather around the base of the dam as they try to find the fish ladder over the dam. >click to read< 11:27

Fish Factory Vessel Leaking Ammonia in Tacoma

A 77-year-old fish factory vessel with a checkered history is reportedly leaking ammonia in Tacoma, Wash. The U.S. Coast Guard said on Wednesday it is responding to the incident on board the U.S.-registered Pacific Producer, a 169-foot-long seafood processing vessel with a long string of health and safety violations. Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology crews in HAZMAT suits are currently working to locate leak. The vessel poses no immediate threat to the public, and air quality is being monitored, the Coast Guard said. Pacific Producer usually works in the Alaskan fishing industry but has been docked in Tacoma for about a year following a number of serious violations. >click to read< 17:35

Federal grants will replace tunnels under roads that allow water to pass through but not fish

The Biden administration announced nearly $200 million in federal infrastructure grants on Wednesday to upgrade tunnels that route streams under roads but can kill fish that get trapped trying to get through. “We inherited a lot of structures that were built in a way that just didn’t think through the effect they had on fish,” US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said in an interview with The Associated Press. “You don’t have to be a fish lover or an ecologist to care about this. It is very important for livelihoods, the economy and the way of life in many parts of the country.” Some of the 169 projects included in the first batch in a $1 billion initiative to be rolled out over five years under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 would upgrade or replace the culverts with bridges to make water — and fish — more free to let flow. >click to read< 11:36

Feds ask for public comment on two Oregon Coast sites slated for floating offshore wind farms

Two sites off the southern Oregon coast could soon be home to the state’s first floating offshore wind farms. But first, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will meet with residents and stakeholders in coastal towns, some of whom are concerned about impact to the fishing industry and marine ecosystems.  Officials from the ocean energy bureau announced Tuesday that they had identified two ideal “wind energy areas” near Coos Bay and Brookings. The two areas are 20 or more miles from land, collectively encompass about 344 square miles of ocean and could host enough floating wind turbines to generate 2.6 gigawatts of electricity, enough to power about 195,000 homes. >click to read< 10:29

Del Norte Fishermen Are Pissed About Nearshore Groundfish Fishery Closure

Del Norte County fishermen say a California Department of Fish and Wildlife decision to close the nearshore groundfish fishery in the north part of the state starting next week could economically devastate the community. At least seven appeared before the local Fish and Game Advisory Commission on Monday, urging commissioners to send a letter to the agency as well as state representatives Mike McGuire and Jim Wood. The information CDFW scientists used to close the near-shore groundfish fishery comes from the recreational estimated catch of quillback rockfish as well as estimates from the commercial fishery within the Northern Groundfish Management Area, she said Tuesday. The Northern GMA stretches from about Cape Mendocino to the California-Oregon border. >click to read< 07:46

NOAA Is Rolling Out a Plan to Radically Expand Offshore Aquaculture. Not Everyone Is Onboard

The cardboard gravestones read “RIP Local fisherman,” “RIP Wild Fish,” and “RIP Humpback Whales.” Assembled in response to new aquaculture sites planned off the coast of California, the gravestones were brought to the offices of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Long Beach, California, in April by activists keen to register their discontent. The sites pave the way for possibly dozens of new open-pen fish farms as far as three miles offshore, the future home of species that range from carp to salmon. Chief among the protesters’ concerns were entanglement of marine mammals, the expansion of dead zones caused by fish excrement, and infringement on wild fishing grounds. >click to read< 09:07

Commercial Fisherman Paul Anthony Kavon of Petersburg, AK, and Ventura, California has passed away

Paul Anthony Kavon was born in Pewaukee, Wisconsin on September 26, 1958, the son of Martin and Ruth Kavon. On August 1, 2023, he went to his eternal home while doing what he loved best, commercial fishing near Petersburg, Alaska. During his college years, Paul began working summers in Alaska first in the oil fields, and later in commercial fishing. In 1986, he took up residence in Petersburg, Alaska to pursue a full-time career in commercial salmon fishing.  In 1989, Paul met and married Camille Despain, and the couple later had three children, Tanner, Sierra, and Hayden. In 2002, the family moved from Alaska to Oxnard, California, where Paul transitioned his fishing operation to the coastal pelagic fisheries along the state’s southern coastlines. Paul left the fishing industry a few years later to manage a fuel dock station for fishing vessels at Ventura Harbor in Ventura, California. 4 photos, >click to read< 15:43

Local Employers Push Back Against Proposed Labor Agreement for Humboldt Offshore Wind Terminal Project

Union members largely support the PLA, whereas the companies argue that it does not provide fair and equal opportunity for all construction and trade workers.  What is a PLA, you ask? A PLA is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement made between one or more construction unions and one or more contractors to establish the terms and conditions of a specific project, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. A PLA is required for any federally funded construction project valued at more than $35 million, per an Executive Order issued by President Joe Biden in February 2022. The Harbor District has received dozens of letters of support for the PLA from construction and trade union members, representatives of Cal Poly Humboldt and regional elected officials, including state Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood. Some non-union contractors, on the other hand, fear the proposed agreement would put many prospective local workers at a disadvantage. >click to read< 17:02

NOAA outlines sweeping plan to boost the nation’s seafood industry

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a sweeping five-year plan to prioritize and promote the country’s commercial fishing industry. NOAA Fisheries announced its National Seafood Strategy on Wednesday. The agency said in a press release that the plan will “outline the direction” of the country’s seafood sector. It’s the first time NOAA has released an overall strategy aimed at addressing industry needs – the agency says it will complement other federal policies that are already in place. >click to read< 11:29

Commercial Fisherman Fredrick (Fred) Reno Italo Arnoldi of Morro Bay, has passed away

Fred left on his Eternal Hunting and Fishing Trip in the early morning hours on June 27, 2023, passing peacefully in his home in Morro Bay, with his wife Diane and his sister Janice by his side. Fred was born January 3, 1951 raised in Santa Barbara where he attended Lincoln Elementary School, La Cumbre Junior High School, and Santa Barbara High School 1970. He left Santa Barbara to become a commercial fisherman up until his last day on earth. He fished salmon in Alaska and the South Seas. Fred seined in San Pedro, and fished herring in San Francisco. Fred owned several vessels including Drifter, Halcyon, Roselena Marie, H2O K-9 and Amakua. A Celebration of Life will be held August 19 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Veteran’s Memorial Building, 209 Surf Street, Morro Bay. All are invited. >click to read< 09:51

Santa Barbara Fisherman Seriously Injured in Freak Accident Aboard Commercial Fishing Boat in Alaska

Shaun Roche, a commercial fisherman and urchin diver from Santa Barbara, became the victim of a freak accident on a commercial fishing boat in the final hours of the sockeye salmon season in Bristol Bay, Alaska, this July. Roche’s job was just another routine end-of-season task that fishermen have, in the past, completed without issue: spray-paint the engine room to prevent wintertime corrosion. However, a spark of unknown origin ignited the fumes mingling in the tight space around him, causing a small explosion. Rauche was able to scramble out of the engine room and strip off his respirator and clothes, but he sustained third-degree burns on 16 percent of his body in the process. A GoFundMe has been established. Please donate if you can.  >click to read< 19:36

Fisheries in Focus: Busting misconceptions about bottom trawling and its environmental impacts

In a new review paper published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science, researchers argue that well-managed bottom trawling produces sustainable and environmentally friendly food. A review paper is a roundup of all the latest info on a topic – a deep dive into a pool of research papers to pull out the most important aspects. In this case, Hilborn et al., 2023 went over all recent research on the environmental impacts of bottom trawling and boiled them down to four major impacts: Sustainability of target species, Impact on the seafloor, Bycatch and discards, Carbon emissions. The review also compared bottom-trawled seafood to other forms of food production. It concluded that well-managed bottom trawling can produce food with less environmental impact than chicken or pork production. Good, effective management is the key. >click to read< 11:44

OFFSHORE WIND OPPONENTS NEED A MASS PROTEST IN WASHINGTON DC – BY JIM LOVGREN

In 2010 and 2012 fishermen held two different successful protests in Washington DC with thousands of fishermen travelling from around the country to attend. Both commercial and recreational fishermen voiced their concerns regarding catch shares and Magnuson Act reauthorization, among the multitude of issues that threatened their livelihoods. Today, the fishing industry is facing a far worse enemy then fishery management, as thousands of square miles of their historic fishing grounds have been auctioned off to the highest bidder in order to make way for the wildlife killing machines called wind turbines. These auctions have been held by BOEM, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a part of the Department of the Interior. They are charged with the selling or leasing of US natural resources in our offshore waters, and apparently, they have absolutely no regard for any wildlife that may exist within them, or any people who might derive a living from catching said wildlife. >click to read< 11:50