Tag Archives: Noah Oppenheim

California coasts recovering, but more marine heatwaves like ‘The Blob’ expected

The effects of the marine heatwave off the California coast from 2014 to 2016, better known as The Blob, that led to a decrease in Chinook salmon and virtually shut down the Dungeness crab industry are finally starting to wear off.,,, “It wasn’t about (a lack of) abundance,” said Noah Oppenheim, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “It was about destabilized ecosystems.” >click to read< 10:50

After yearslong shortfall caused by drought and environmental restrictions, California Is Overflowing With Salmon

The phones began ringing at Giovanni’s Fish Market & Galley a week after salmon season opened in May and have barely let up since. “It’s all day, every day,” said Giovanni DeGarimore, the owner.,,, “You can plan for bad years, but it’s hard to navigate when you’re totally closed,” said Lori French, wife of a commercial fisherman who has permits for both crab and salmon. But then the salmon season opened on May 1. “This is a ‘Thank you, Jesus’” moment, Ms. French said over a salmon lunch on the waterfront one day in mid-June, as her husband was out at sea. >click to read<09:31

California fishermen report the biggest salmon season in a decade

California commercial fishermen are reporting the biggest king salmon season in a decade, on the heels of three years of disastrously low catches because of the drought. The sudden bounty has resulted in a price drop for the coral-pink, fatty fillets to $20 per pound in many markets, down from the $30- to $35-per-pound range of recent years. “You might say this is the old normal, because we’ve been so used to catastrophe,” said Noah Oppenheim, >click to read<19:37

Commercial salmon season starts in Crescent City

Commercial salmon fishermen in Crescent City began their season on Saturday with a quota of 20 chinook per day and a monthly quota of 2,500, according to Crescent City Harbor Commissioner and Del Norte Fisherman’s Association president Rick Shepherd. The 20-fish-per-day quota and monthly quota of 2,500 applies to trawlers fishing between the Oregon border and the Humboldt South Jetty, said Shepherd, whose boat is one of roughly six in Crescent City that fish for chinook. The fleet is able to ply its trade on the ocean five days a week Friday through Tuesday. While a few fish have been brought into Eureka, so far no one has brought any salmon into the local harbor, Shepherd said. >click to read>07:50

King salmon arrives in stores, commanding royal prices; relief could come soon

King salmon, once as ubiquitous as burgers in backyard Bay Area barbecues, has commanded astonishingly high prices in recent years,,, Since the 2019 season opened on May 1, supply has been very limited, so prices have remained steep, reaching as high as $40 a pound in San Francisco.,,, That should start to change on Thursday, when 200 more miles of coast will open to commercial salmon fishing,… there will likely be more salmon on the market this summer is because some crab boats are planning to go out for salmon fishing, because the Dungeness crab fishery closed several months early as part of a settlement,,, >click to read<21:54

California’s whale protections must also protect crab fishing industry – Noah Oppenheim

At midnight Monday, California closed its springtime Dungeness crab fishing season coastwide, three months early. Hundreds of California crab fishermen and fisherwomen who rely on this fishery to feed their families will be off the water. They will have to find work elsewhere. Some may lose their livelihoods.,,, The ability of California fishermen to provide a seafood resource that the public rightfully owns is now even more constrained. >click to read<13:46

California Crabbers Could Feel the Pain, State Reaches Tentative Agreement With Enviro Group Over Whale Entanglement

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity have tentatively agreed to settle an ongoing lawsuit, which claims that the state’s lack of action in preventing whales from becoming entangled in commercial crabbing lines violates the Endangered Species Act.,,, The Center for Biological Diversity filed the suit in 2017 after a record number of entangled whales were observed off the coast of the Western United States between 2014 and 2016. >click to read<08:55

California could be held liable for whale entanglements

The Center for Biological Diversity is hopeful its lawsuit filed over whale and sea turtle entanglements is nearing its conclusion after a federal judge suggested she may find the California Department of Fish and Wildlife liable for the entanglements, a center spokesman said.,,, The two parties have until March 13 to work out their differences and report back to the judge. If no settlement is reached, the judge will issue a finding. >click to read<12:17

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