Daily Archives: January 26, 2013

Study: Alaska salmon stocks spiked and crashed long before commercial fishing

ANCHORAGE — A new study presents evidence that salmon populations in Bristol Bay have surged and sagged wildly — for hundreds of years at a time — well before the first commercial fishing in Alaska. The research, published this month in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, summarized data collected and analyzed over the past 15 years by scientists in the U.S., Canada, Norway and China. Read more here

Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Ratz: Kodiak assemblies’ letter misses the protective mark by Stephen Taufen

January 26, 2013

In December, the Federal Register declared that the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council is proceeding on giving away federal fish resources to selected trawl recipients in the Gulf of Alaska. Homer, Kodiak, King Cove and Sand Point are among the most affected — all challenged to economically protect their fishery dependent coastal municipalities and boroughs.

The local city of Kodiak and the Kodiak Island Borough’s joint fishery work group has shown concern and help many meetings over the past seven months, listening to input from all sides.  One must applaud when elected officials get highly involved; but that is only if they truly keep the public’s interests foremost. They could take a lesson from New Bedford’s former Mayor Lang’s firm stance about preserving fishing jobs and protecting the local economy against privatization forces. Read more

Western Gulf fishermen join discussion on catch sharing

Come February, a federal fisheries council will continue to discuss catch-sharing programs in Alaska trawl fisheries – this time with a bigger voice from southwest fishermen. This winter the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC) has heard from concerned parties in the state’s south central ground fisheries, regarding a change over to catch sharing. Read more

Search on for overboard fisherman 400 miles offshore from St. Augustine

Peter Steewell has been missing since about 5 p.m. Thursday when he fell from  the 57-foot longliner Fine Tuna into seas of eight to nine feet and water that  was about 73-degrees Fahrenheit. Winds were blowing at 35 mph, according to the  Coast Guard. Read more

North Coast Gulf of the Farallones marine sanctuary expansion praised at hearing

Sanctuaries do not regulate fishing, said Maria Brown, superintendent of the Cordell Bank sanctuary, noting that trawling would be allowed. Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, said in an interview that his industry already has “a good set of regulations” promulgated by the National Marine Fisheries agency. The proposed expansion covers an important commercial fishing area for salmon, crab and rockfish, he said. Grader said he wants to know if sustainable energy development, such as wind and wave energy generators, would be allowed in the expansion area.  “We fully support renewable energy, we just don’t think it belongs in these waters,” Grader said. Onshore development would be needed to support such a system, he said. Read more

Request to amend American Samoa National Marine Sanctuary rule

The US Secretary of Commerce has been requested to make changes to the federal rule which established the American Samoa National Marine Sanctuary. The Governor’s Office said local fishermen raised their concerns regarding the sanctuary rules because they say it limits their ability to earn a living. Read more   Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Maine shrimp season won’t change yet

maine shrimpThe Maine Department of Marine Resources released a statement Friday indicating that the DMR commissioner will allow shrimp fishing from sunrise to 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, and Wednesday, Jan. 30. Shrimp trawlers in the Gulf of Maine are allowed to fish only two days a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, during the 2013 season, which began Jan. 23. Read more

Fish fight: Western Alaska group objects to McDonald’s marketing

McDonald’s announced this week that packaging on its Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and new fish nuggets, both made from pollock caught in the Bering Sea, will be stamped with a label that reads “Certified Sustainable Seafood.” What most customers won’t know is that Alaska pollock is a controversial fish among some village fishermen who blame the trawler fleet for wasting thousands of king salmon each year. Read more

Regional NOAA head won’t ease limits: Richard Gaines

manatthewheelClaiming his hands are tied legally, NOAA regional administrator John Bullard has rejected a nearly unanimous request by the New England Regional Fishery Management Council to give the inshore cod fishery centered on Gloucester a second year of interim relief from extreme cuts in landings. The interim action on Gulf of Maine cod for the 2012 fishing cycle, which ends April 30, reduced landing limits by 22 percent compared to the prior year, and the seafood coalition — later backed by the regional council — had hoped to extend that limit rate for another year, in part while questions are answered regarding the assessments. Read more

Coast Guard stresses the importance of life jackets, proper sleep while crabbing

The crabbing vessel Senja departed the Westport, Wash., marina at approximately 6 a.m. on Jan. 14, 2013, with four  people aboard,  for a week-long crabbing excursion. On Jan. 15, at approximately 6 p.m., the crew began hauling and resetting crab pots, working for several hours. The captain of the vessel commented that the weather was very mild. Though it was dark, there were 2-3 foot swells, no wind, and excellent visibility. A crewmember fell overboard, suddenly and unexpectedly, entering the water headfirst,,,,,Read more

Alaska Lt. Governor Pushes for Safety in the World’s “New Ocean”

Tromsø, Norway – The world is responding to the opportunities of a “new ocean” as Arctic sea ice changes and global shipping increases the value of Arctic resources. “This is the age of Arctic shipping the great explorers dreamed of. We’ve been given a new ocean of possibilities – and dangers – and we need to do everything we can to prepare for both,” Lt. Gov. Treadwell said. Read more

Alaska: Halibut catch limit cut, again – Molly Dischner

Westcoast Halibut fishermen in the Pacific will see about a seven percent  reduction in catch this year, less than many were expecting. The International Pacific Halibut Commission today set the coastwide catch  from Northern California to the Bering Sea at 31.02 million pounds. Alaska’s  portion of the catch is about 23 million pounds. Read more Documents and recordings of the meeting are available online.

From the Deckboss

McPollock, Yes, you’re all doing great!, Halibut harvesters catch a break. Read more, and read the comments.