Tag Archives: Noah Oppenheim

Fishermen unite to sue big oil

Almost a month has gone by since fishermen in California and Oregon filed suit against big oil in California’s Superior Court, demanding compensation for damages done to the fishing industry. The lawsuit is colloquially being called the crabbers’ suit because many of the members making up the plaintiff, The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, rely on crabbing for their livelihoods. The federation is suing the fossil fuel industry, including major companies like Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell Oil, under the claim that it has known about the dangers of fossil fuels and climate change for decades but has deliberately hidden information from the public as well as spread misinformation campaigns. >click to read>12:35

Crab fishermen and environmentalists square off over whale entanglements

The issue has pitted two local interest groups against each other: Those who depend on the $68 million California Dungeness crab fishery for their livelihood, and those who advocate shutting down areas to crabbing to protect humpback whales and other endangered species. Caught in between are everyday shoppers who love having Dungeness crab on their tables, but probably wouldn’t want marine mammals hurt in the process. “I’m frankly very scared of what the upcoming season could mean for whales,” said Kristen Monsell, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, an Oakland environmental group that sued the state over the issue last year. The case is due to go before a judge in February. >click to read<13:23

McGuire tackles crabbing, whale entanglement issues at committee hearing

“Domoic acid levels in the Pacific this year have been trending upwards, especially in Northern California,” McGuire said at the start of the hearing, held at Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco. “Humboldt, Del Norte and southern Oregon have appeared as hot spots along the West Coast.” And while the 2015 crabbing season and spike in entanglements was one of the more talked-about issues during the hearing, McGuire added, “We do not expect another statewide closure like we saw in 2015.” This year alone, there have been 27 confirmed whale entanglements. That’s down from the 71 reported in 2016, but it is still more than double the state average.>click to read<10:31

Facing the Wind – A fisherman’s take on offshore wind

Local fishermen are on the verge of forever losing local fishing grounds to wind power as California trades one renewable resource (seafood) for another (electricity). The state of California and its citizens are on the front line of the efforts to convert our energy use from the burning of fossil fuels (oil and gas) to renewable sources of power — solar and wind. The latest move toward this conversion is for the sale of offshore ocean leases to wind power companies for the development of “at sea” wind farms with the ocean area off of Eureka and Trinidad as the prime first sites. >click to read<08:55

Feds declare salmon fishery disasters

California’s 2016 and 2017 commercial ocean salmon seasons have been declared as federal fisheries disasters, one of many declarations for the state and the rest of the West Coast. Declared by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce late last month, the West Coast fisheries disasters include the Klamath River fall run Chinook commercial ocean salmon fisheries of both California and Oregon and the 2017 Klamath fisheries of the Yurok and Hoopa Valley tribes. Those declarations are among a dozen for the West Coast alone and at this point, only $20 million has been appropriated for federal disaster relief. >click to read<09:18

Farmers protest California water plan aimed to save salmon

Hundreds of California farmers rallied at the Capitol on Monday to protest state water officials’ proposal to increase water flows in a major California river, a move state and federal politicians called an overreach of power that would mean less water for farms in the Central Valley. “If they vote to take our water, this does not end there,” said Republican state Sen. Anthony Cannella. “We will be in court for 100 years.” Environmentalists and fishermen offered a different take on the other side of the Capitol to a much smaller audience. “For the 50 years corporate agriculture has been getting fat,” said Noah Oppenheim of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “Salmon fisheries have been tightening belts.” >click to read<13:17

California’s crab fleet awaits share of $200 million in disaster relief

The North Coast fishing fleet has welcomed some rare good news out of Washington, D.C., where the congressional budget deal reached last week included disaster relief funds intended to offset losses from the ill-fated commercial Dungeness crab season of three years ago. But just how much help may be on the way is uncertain and could remain so for some time. There’s bureaucracy involved, and the wheels of government often turn slowly for fishermen seeking aid. >click to read< 17:57

“American lobster larva,” wins people’s choice in Photography category of the 2016 Visualization Challenge

As a master’s student in marine biology at the University of Maine, Jesica Waller spent the summer taking pictures of baby lobsters.,,, This image of a live three-week-old specimen was one of thousands Waller took. It captures the distinct, delicate hairs on the legs. Since lobsters have very poor vision, they rely on their leg hairs for sensory tasks such as finding food. Adults have them too, meaning baby and grown-up lobsters alike taste with their feet. This illustration won people’s choice in the Photography category (click here) of the 2016 Visualization Challenge, now called the Vizzies click here to read the story 18:38

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

‘Time is of the essence’: California Fisheries face uncertainty

State regulators and fishing officials said at a Eureka hearing on Friday that only by working together can they overcome the trials and uncertainty that several California’s fisheries face today. With a poor salmon catch in 2017 and 2016 and a potential delay in the North Coast Dungeness crab season following three years of poor landings and abnormal ocean conditions, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations Executive Director Noah Oppenheim said fishing fleets are still feeling the economic effects and that time to address the underlying issues is running slim. click here to read the story 08:46

Commerce chief Ross makes waves, roils fisheries rules

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has wasted little time in giving a jolt to the nation’s fisheries. In June, the 79-year-old billionaire investor who now oversees NOAA Fisheries singlehandedly extended the fishing season for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, ignoring protests from scientists and environmentalists that it could spur overfishing of the popular species. Then in an unprecedented decision in July, he handed a big win to New Jersey fishermen and the state’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, by overturning catch limits for summer flounder that had been approved by an interstate fisheries commission.,, “Secretary Ross finally challenged them — the first time in the history of the commission they got challenged — and they don’t like it,” said Donofrio, who gave the president a “Fishermen for Trump” bumper sticker at a recent event. “I love it. … The commission got kicked in the balls, and they don’t like it. That’s just too bad.” click here to read the story 12:27