Category Archives: Pacific

A piece of western Washington literary history heads back to sea

The boat John Steinbeck was on while writing The Log from the Sea of Cortez is embarking on a new chapter. The Western Flyer has been being refurbished in Port Townsend for the past nine years. Now, the 85-year-old boat is launching into Puget Sound once again. The painstaking voyage back to the sea begins with a bulldozer noisily hauling the 77-foot seiner out of drydock, inch by inch. It’s part of a journey Rom Welborn has been on since he first learned about the boat when writing a high school paper. “It changed my life and it still feels like it’s changing my life,” he said. >Video, click to read/watch< 11:27

Commercial Fisherman/Businessman Jared “Jerry” Trussler of New Zealand

Jared “Jerry” Trussler was born on August 21st, 1938 to Fern and Arthur Trussler in Paso Robles, California and passed away peacefully at his home in Kerikeri, New Zealand on June 24th, 2022. He grew up in San Luis Obispo and Santa Clara Counties and graduated from San Luis Obispo High School with the class of 1956. In 1957, Jerry went to Alaska to work on a commercial fishing boat in the Bering Sea, which he described as the most pivotal point in his career, and he continued to return to Alaska as a commercial fisherman for over 30 years. Jerry also became a commercial abalone diver and obtained his pilot instructor’s license. In 1965, Jerry started a welding company focused on building steel commercial fishing vessels, but later moved on to manufacturing steel water tanks up to 10 million gallons in size for municipalities all over California. >click to read< 21:45

Whale entanglements dropping but threat remains, feds say

The number of whales entangled in fishing gear has declined recently, but the entanglements remain a critical threat to rare species, the federal government said in a report released Tuesday. There were 53 confirmed cases of large whales entangled in gear in the U.S. in 2020, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday. That was a 25% decline from the previous year and a lower figure than the 13-year average, the agency said. Every coastal region except Alaska saw a decrease in whale entanglements, NOAA said. >click to read< 16:06

Safe Fishing Starts with Practice and Prep

The fishing season is currently underway for the North Pacific Fleet based out of Fishermen’s Terminal. From mid-June to September the fleet will fish the waters off the coast of Alaska for salmon, halibut, black cod, and other species. The fishers spent most of May and early June preparing their boats, provisioning, mending nets, and brushing up on safety best practices. The Seattle-based Fishermen’s Memorial organization aims to prevent accidental fisher deaths. Each year the organization honors local fishers who lost their lives at sea by adding their names to the Fishermen’s Memorial monument at Fishermen’s Terminal. Their ultimate goal is to stop adding names. Below are some of the safety demonstrations and exercises that were available to fishers at this year’s event.   photos, >click to read< 07:54

Retired Commercial Fisherman David A. Jincks of Newport has passed away

David A. Jincks, age 70, passed away on May 24, 2022, after suffering 10 months with Glioblastoma, an aggressive and fast growing form of brain cancer. David was born February 12, 1952 in Eugene, Oregon to Arthur and Flora Jincks. During high school, he spent summers commercial fishing for salmon and tuna. In 1972 he lost his pollywog tail and became a shellback when he crossed the equator aboard the Research Vessel Yaquina. After returning to Newport, David commercial fished from California to the Bering Sea. In 1986 he traveled to the Soviet Union with a delegation of west coast fisherman to continue negotiations for the whiting joint venture. He twice served as a Newport port commissioner, and also served as the president of the MidWater Trawl Cooperative. >click to read< 14:44

Sustainable fishing off the coast of SoCal

For Ben Hyman, fishing along the California coast is a way of life. He’s been a commercial fisherman for 25 years. “I’ve always been addicted to fishing and loved fishing and grew up surfing, and for a lot of us, it’s just a natural evolution to start wanting to be on the boat and start fishing more,” Hyman said. He opened his own business, the Wild Local Seafood Co., 25 years ago and focuses on selling locally caught seafood such as salmon, halibut, ahi, crab and much more. Video, >click to watch/read< 16:57

Offshore wind lobby warns of bill’s ‘existential threat’

One of the nation’s largest renewable energy trade groups warned in a letter to Senate leadership this week that a House-approved bill could endanger virtually every planned offshore wind project in the country. Sent Wednesday by the American Clean Power Association, the letter took aim at a provision of the “Don Young Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022,” which cleared the House by a wide margin in March and has yet to be considered by the Senate. The bill’s provision would establish nationality requirements for crew members who work on offshore energy projects in the United States. Crew members would have to be American citizens or permanent residents or citizens of the same country where their vessel is flagged. >click to read< 08:10

Fishing vessel catches fire off the coast of Oregon

U.S Coast Guard crews responded to a fire on a 42-foot commercial fishing vessel off the coast of Manzanita Beach in Oregon early Saturday morning. USCG said they received a distress call at around 6:30 a.m., about 2 miles west of Manzanita Beach. One person on board was rescued from the water by a Good Samaritan, transferred to a USCG crew and brought to shore with no medical concerns. This is developing news. Videos, >click to read< 13:03

Witness describes the scene of a commercial fishing boat fire near Manzanita Beach>click for video<– 17:55

A Big NO! Oregon Fishermen are rolling up their sleeves to stop the huge offshore windmills

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners put out a BIG NO! to a federal agency that wants to build huge electric generating windmill farms just off the shores of the Oregon Coast.  Lincoln County Commissioners Kaety Jacobson and Doug Hunt decided to send off a rather straight-forward NO! to a request by the federal government that wants to install hundreds of windmills along the coast.  The fishermen say trolling for seafood is hard enough without coping with hundreds or thousands of windmills, wired to electrical substations up and down the coast. >click to read< 15:32

‘Deadliest Catch’ Bank Robber – From Catching Crabs Pots to Being Caught

Famed author Hunter S. Thompson once wrote, “The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.” In the case of Joshua Tel Warner, he straddled the worlds of television and thievery. It hasn’t escaped our notice that a man whose job in life was catching crabs pots, couldn’t avoid being caught himself. >click to read< 13:27

F/V Western Breeze has been raised

A Newport fishing vessel featured on a spinoff of the documentary series “Deadliest Catch” is back on top of the water, and presumably bound for dry dock, after sinking at the Port Dock 5 fuel dock on Thursday. The Western Breeze is owned by Gary Ripka, who also operates the similarly painted, smaller F/V Redeemer, and in 2016 was featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove,” a Newport-based spinoff of the Emmy-winning series. Ripka purchased the Western Breeze, previously named Miss Melanie, as a bank repossession and rebuilt it, according to a testimonial on the Oregon Coast Bank website. Photos, >click to read< 07:27

Most folks along the Oregon Coast don’t want huge wind farms that threaten fishing areas

On June 15th the federal government, aka Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, will be in Newport to hear public comment on plans to install huge wind farms right off the Oregon Coast. Although BOEM, a federal agency, is angling for major quantities of wind-generated electricity for those living and working along the coast, especially in the fishing industry, don’t want any twirling wind turbines because, they say, energy can be developed on land far cheaper and more reliably.  Commercial fishermen are absolutely opposed to placing windmills offshore because they will take fishing areas that are now devoted to commercial fishing. Public meeting details, >click to read< 10:14

Power to Port Dock 5 has been restored. F/V Western Breeze still on the bottom

12:03pm: Report of someone falling into the Yaquina River at Port Dock 5 in downtown Newport.  Fire-Rescue and the Coast Guard are racing to the scene. 12:09pm: Unconfirmed report that a fishing boat leaned over in one direction, tossing occupant(s) into the river.  The boat now has no one aboard.  Reports from the scene say the boat is the Western Breeze. Photos, >click to read< 12:50

Report: Removing Lower Snake River dams – Bill filed to save Snake River dams.

If four Lower Snake River dams were breached to support salmon recovery, the energy, irrigation, recreation and other benefits they provide to the Pacific Northwest could be replaced for $10.3 billion to $27.2 billion, according to a draft report released Thursday by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. The report does not take a position on whether the hydropower dams should be removed, but finds that breaching offers the best chance to recover salmon runs in the Columbia and Lower Snake rivers,,, >click to read<

Republican representatives, led by Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., introduced federal legislation on Thursday to protect the four lower Snake River dams from being breached. The bill was introduced just hours before a draft study commissioned by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and fellow Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, was released. The draft study concluded that it would be costly, perhaps requiring more than $27 billion, but the dams could be breached and their benefits replaced. It would be the action most likely to restore endangered salmon runs and benefit tribes, the draft study said. >click to read< 10:52

Newport Fishing Vessel sinking at Port Dock 5

At 12:02 PM on Thursday, June 9, 2022, Newport Fire Department was dispatched to a report of vessel sinking at Port Dock 5 on Newport’s Bay front. Upon arrival, units observed a commercial fishing vessel tied up near the fuel dock listing to its port side and sinking in water. After ensuring no lives were at risk, fire crews worked with officials from the Port of Newport and USCG Yaquina Bay to set containment and absorbing buoys around the vessel. The cause of the vessel sinking was under investigation. Representatives of the vessel owner are working with Port of Newport Officials to raise the vessel.  >click to read< 19:36

President Biden’s plan to save the oceans

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Celebrates World Ocean Day with Actions to Conserve America’s Deepest Atlantic Canyon, Cut Plastic Pollution, and Create America’s First-Ever Ocean Climate Action Plan – >click to read< The following two bullet points are from the Whitehouse Press Release today. Commentary by Nils Stolpe, >click to read< 13:07

Seafood Industry Professions Raise Concerns About Reintroduction Of Sea Otters

West Coast Seafood processors says that their membership is concerned about a study on the impacts of sea otters on coastal fishing. The West Coast Seafood Processors Association says that they join other ocean stakeholders in a lack of confidence about concerns raised about the otters. “We remain very concerned that the issues we identified in our letter last year will not be adequately addressed in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s cost and feasibility study,” West Coast Seafood Processors Association Executive Director Lori Steele said. >click to read< 18:24

New Right Whale Endangered Species Condom Distributed for World Ocean Day

The Center for Biological Diversity will head to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, June 8 to distribute endangered species condoms in honor of World Ocean Day and mark the 50th anniversary of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Center staff will hand out newly designed right whale condom packages with the slogan “Cover your spout… don’t let the right whale die out.” The new right whale design is part of the Center’s Endangered Species Condoms campaign, which draws attention to how human population growth is affecting critically endangered species. >click to read< 10:55

To bee or not to bee – Bees are legally fish in California

A ruling by a California appeals court in the United States has extended the legal protection of endangered species to bumblebees and, in effect, classified them as fish. The court’s decision will allow California to legally protect these endangered, native garden-keepers and help maintain the state’s biodiversity, which is crucial to keeping ecosystems resilient. The court found that “fish” may be commonly understood to refer to aquatic species, but the interpretation of the term in the legislature is “not so limited”. >click to read< 12:07

Commercial Fisherman survives after sleepwalking on boat, falling overboard

Rescuers said “a miracle of God” saved a fisherman who fell overboard into Southern California waters when he woke up in the middle of the night and began sleepwalking off the boat. Dylan Fogg expected a typical Thursday out at sea. He spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News on Friday and said he went to sleep aboard the F/V Crystal Bay, a commercial fishing boat, but woke up in the waters off Ventura. More than six hours later, his crew realized Fogg was missing and put out a mayday call to the U.S. Coast Guard. “A miracle of God found Dylan,” said Crystal Bay Capt. Pence MacKimmie. “He was 12 miles offshore and 40 miles behind the boat. We never knew he went over.” Video, >click to read< 21:28

Coast Guard: Marijuana use a factor in fatal Tillamook Bay capsizing

In February 2021, the F/V Coastal Reign, a commercial fishing vessel, capsized while attempting to cross the bar at Tillamook Bay when returning from a days-long crabbing expedition. The Coast Guard responded with rescue boats and a helicopter from Astoria, but two on the fishing vessel didn’t make it. Todd Chase and Zachary Zappone were killed when the boat capsized. Investigators site survivor testimony and evidence found at the scene, saying marijuana was used by three of the four people on board, not including Chase but including the owner and operator of the boat Brandon Anderson, for a majority of the nearly 40-hour trip. Investigators say one of the survivors told authorities they kept the use hidden from Chase while on the trip. Video, >click to read< 07:29

Could an obscure provision of a Coast Guard bill threaten offshore wind farms?

A bill that passed the House of Representatives in late March and is currently under consideration in the Senate could “cripple the development of the American offshore wind industry,” according to the industry’s trade association. President Biden has set an ambitious goal of 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind electricity generation capacity by 2030, up from just 42 megawatts currently. But an amendment to the annual Coast Guard authorization bill that would require foreign-flagged ships installing wind turbines on the Outer Continental Shelf only if they have a U.S. crew or the crew of the nation from which the vessel is flagged. The intention is to protect U.S. workers from unfair competition from foreign vessels using lower cost labor from developing countries,,, >click to read< 09:06

San Francisco D.A. wants a fisherman to pay nearly $1 million over illegal Dungeness crabbing in MPA

A commercial fisherman from Vallejo is accused of illegally catching more than 250 Dungeness crabs at the protected North Farallon Islands State Marine Reserve, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced Friday. On Feb. 11, an unidentified fisherman alerted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife of commercial Dungeness crab traps in the North Farallon Islands State Marine Reserve area, according to a complaint filed by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. Officers from the CDFW then found what appeared to be a line, also called a “string,” of 92 commercial Dungeness crab trap buoys in the southern part of the reserve,,, >click to read< 17:21

Reallocation: coming to a dock near you?

Ever since quota transfers in “shared fisheries” have been made so easy to justify (see the Massachusetts justification for the recent reallocation of fluke, bluefish and black sea bass at https://tinyurl.com/yckkr6vm), such transfers each year are going to cost us hundreds of tons of product and tens of millions of dollars of business. And as long as one-third of the voting members of the eight regional fishery management councils and three commissions either work for or run the state agencies that are funded in very large part by Wallop-Breaux revenues (see my most recent piece on Wallop-Breaux funding at https://fisherynation.com/wallop-breaux-funding-the-rest-of-the-story), without a major campaign to make the quota setting system more fair to commercial fishermen, the businesses that depend on them, and the seafood consumers they should be supplying, I don’t see that changing. >click here to read the article by Nils Stople< 14:02

The U.S. Has Spent More Than $2 Billion on a Plan to Save Salmon – The Fish Are Vanishing Anyway.

The Carson National Fish Hatchery was among the first hatcheries funded by Congress over 80 years ago to be part of the salvation of salmon, facilities created specifically to replace the vast numbers of wild salmon killed by the building of dozens of hydroelectric dams along the Northwest’s mightiest river, the Columbia. Tucked beside a river in the woods about 60 miles northeast of Portland, Carson has 50 tanks and ponds surrounded by chain-link fencing. They sit among wood-frame fish nursery buildings and a half-dozen cottages built for hatchery workers in the 1930s. Today, there are hundreds of hatcheries in the Northwest run by federal, state and tribal governments, employing thousands and welcoming the community with visitor centers and gift shops. The fish they send to the Pacific Ocean have allowed restaurants and grocery seafood counters to offer “wild-caught” Chinook salmon even as the fish became endangered. photos, >click to read< 16:58

The Lost Japanese Fishing Community from San Pedro

Beginning in the early 1940s, 3,000 first and second-generation Japanese made their homes in an area of Terminal Island known as East San Pedro. The Japanese Fishing Village was next to Fish Harbor, and many of the locals worked in the fishing industry. When a dozen Japanese fishermen settled on Terminal Island at the turn of the twentieth century, it was still a rural stretch of land with around 200 homes. Originally known as Rattlesnake Island due to the snakes that would gather after torrential storms, it had recently been renamed after its new owner, the Los Angeles Terminal Railway. Approximately 250 fishing boats were owned and operated by the residents. Most of the local people, not working on the boats, worked in the many fish canneries clustered together on Terminal Island.  >click to read < 17:26

How California bureaucrats are using a typo to destroy a fisherman’s dream

Bureaucrats sometimes make mistakes. But when they refuse to acknowledge a mistake and double down on it to deprive someone of their livelihood and family business, a lawsuit can be the only way to hold them accountable. That’s what happened to Max Williams, and he’s fighting back. Max has dreamed of captaining his own fishing vessel since he was young. Fishing has been the Williams family’s way of life for decades. They have owned and operated vessels practicing sustainable fishing off the coast of California to feed their community and provide for their family. Like his grandfather and parents before him, Max wants to continue the family tradition and captain his own boat. California law requires Max to obtain a “gillnet” permit from the government before he can legally fish as a vessel operator. > click to read < 17:46

$230M Class Action Settlement in 2015 Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Plains All American Pipeline has agreed to pay $230 million to fishers, fish processors and shoreline property residents who are members of two classes in a class action lawsuit filed against the company after a corroded pipeline spilled an estimated 15,000 barrels of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean in 2015. Due to failed maintenance and extensive pipeline corrosion, Plains was found criminally liable in 2018 for the oil spill. The spill devastated the fishing industry and polluted coastal properties from Santa Barbara County to Los Angeles County. These class members will now be compensated for their damages. >click to read< 10:14

US fish landings fell 10% during first pandemic year

America’s commercial fishing industry fell 10% in catch volume and 15% in value during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal regulators said Thursday. The 2020 haul of fish was 8.4 billion pounds, while the value of that catch was $4.8 billion, officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. The early months of the pandemic posed numerous challenges for the U.S. fishing industry, which has remained economically viable despite the difficult year, NOAA officials said. NOAA made the announcement as it unveiled its “Status of the Stocks” report, which provides details about the health of the nation’s commercial fishing industry. >click to read< 15:22

Oregon: Return to evenhanded salmon management

In Astoria in April, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission learned there’s still plenty of life in commercial fishing. This may have come as a surprise, considering how some sport fishing groups have mischaracterized the industry as irrelevant. Since Washington state and Oregon co-manage Columbia River fisheries, the commission’s policies take on great importance for all who value the continuing economic and social benefits of traditional industries. Of these, salmon fishing is so deeply entwined in local culture that it may be said to comprise a key element of our heritage. Still in need of a course correction are misguided policies dictated by former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. >click to read< 07:55