Tag Archives: Oregon

Oregon: Fishing group reacts to BOEM news on offshore wind

Despite overwhelming opposition from tribes, fishing organizations and coastal communities, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the release of the final wind energy areas (WEAs) off Oregon’s south coast today. The WEAs remain unchanged from the draft areas released earlier this year. State agencies, fishermen, environmentalists, state legislators and others raised significant concerns about the draft WEAs, apparently to no avail. “This is a slap in the face to the many stakeholders who have been trying to engage with BOEM for the last few years,” said Heather Mann, Director of the Midwater Trawlers Cooperative. “BOEM is a rogue federal agency pushing a dangerous agenda largely unchecked. BOEM will stop at nothing until our oceans are littered with wind turbines and all just to meet an arbitrary political deadline.” more, >>click to read<< 10:24

Oregon fishermen, tribes angered by surprise announcement on offshore wind energy areas

Federal officials say Oregon’s wind energy areas were developed “following extensive engagement and feedback from the state, Tribes, local residents, ocean users, federal government partners, and other members of the public” and are based on reducing conflicts with ocean users, particularly commercial fishermen. The areas avoid 98% of the locations recommended for exclusion due to their importance as commercial fishing grounds, they said. But local groups representing fishermen and Indigenous communities said that narrative is inaccurate and the federal government’s engagement with local communities was perfunctory at best, failing to take into account suggested impacts on local fishing areas, the environment and views that are sacred to tribes. The groups said the announcement caught them by surprise since Gov. Tina Kotek had asked the federal agency last June to pause identifying and leasing offshore wind areas so the state could fully evaluate potential impacts on the environment and economy. more, >>click to read<< 10:07

$20M+ in federal funds to California fisheries for disaster relief, $7M+ Oregon

More than $7,000,000 is going to Oregon fisheries as part of $42,000,000 in federal fishery disaster funding. Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced allocation of those funds for recovery from fishery disasters in Oregon, Alaska, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Yurok Tribe fisheries from 2017 to 2022.  The federal funding will help ocean commercial fishermen in Oregon recover from significant economic losses in 2018, 2019, and 2020 from declining salmon populations. For California, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced allocation of $20.6-million to address a fishery resource disaster that occurred in the 2023 Sacramento River Fall Chinook and Klamath River Fall Chinook Ocean and inland salmon fisheries. more, >>click to read<< 10:00

Oregon Coastal Caucus still concerned about offshore wind

Lawmakers representing Oregon’s coastal communities reiterated their concerns about offshore wind development to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in a strongly worded letter last week. Organized as the Oregon Coastal Caucus, the January 19 letter urging BOEM to prioritize the concerns of coastal community members and current ocean users was signed by seven Oregon legislators. They are Rep. David Gomberg, Sen. Dick Anderson, Sen. David Brock Smith, Sen. Suzanne Weber, Rep. Boomer Wright, Rep. Cyrus Javadi, and Rep. David Gomberg, Sen. Dick Anderson, Sen. David Brock Smith, Sen. Suzanne Weber, Rep. Boomer Wright, Rep. Cyrus Javadi,. “We cannot move forward with offshore wind in Oregon until the needs and concerns of these groups have been addressed,” the letter stated, noting opposition from the fishing industry, marine scientists, engineers, environmentalists, tribal governments, and coastal municipalities. more, >>click to read<< 08:53

U.S. Department of Commerce allocates more than $42M in fishery disaster funding

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced today the allocation of more than $42 million to address fishery disasters that occurred in Alaska, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oregon and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Yurok Tribe fisheries from 2017 to 2022. “Sustainable fisheries are essential to the health of our communities and support the nation’s economic well-being,” said Secretary Raimondo. “With these allocations, it is our hope that these funds help the affected communities and tribes recover from these disasters.” Today’s announcement applies to the following fishery disasters: Links, more, >>click to read<< 14:34

Newport Fishermen’s Wives work to show up whenever, or wherever, their community needs them

On a windy wet Saturday in January, the Newport Fishermen’s Wives end their annual meeting at Mo’s Seafood and Chowder on the bayfront and welcome visitors. As servers deliver tureens of clam chowder and platters of thick buttery toast, the group members stand to introduce themselves. Then, from the far end of the table, Denise Porter rises. “I started with the Fishermen’s Wives five years ago when my husband passed away,” Porter begins, noting that the anniversary of the capsizing that took Josh Porter’s life was just three days away. “First, I want to say I wouldn’t be standing here if it weren’t for you,” Porter says. “You walked me through everything … This is my passion. This organization is amazing.”  Founded in the 1970s, the Newport Fishermen’s Wives today is the public face of the fishing community, a band of women known for showing up wherever needed, whether it be serving casseroles at a funeral, providing safety gear for the fleet or helping a family make ends meet. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 20:46

Before a door plug flew off an Alaska Airlines plane, an advisory light came on 3 times

An advisory light on the Alaska Airlines plane that lost a piece of its fuselage last week had come on during previous flights, preventing the aircraft from being used on long flights over water, the National Transportation Safety Board said. Additionally, the flight crew and attendants described the atmosphere aboard last Friday’s Alaska Airlines-operated Boeing 737 Max 9 flight as chaotic, “loud” and “very violent” once a door plug flew off and left a vast hole on the side of the plane. The flight carrying 171 passengers and six crew safely returned back in Portland, Ore. There were no injuries. On three flights prior to Friday’s, the plane’s auto pressurization fail light came on, Homendy said. more, >>click to read<< 16:57

Area north of Cape Falcon opens Feb.1 to commercial Dungeness crab fishing

Commercial Dungeness crab fishing from Cape Falcon to Klipsan Beach, Washington begins Feb. 1. A fourth round of pre-season testing shows male crabs in this area were not quite ready for a January opening. The additional time will allow crab to continue to fill with meat before harvest. Targeted to open Dec. 1, Oregon’s ocean commercial Dungeness crab season can be delayed or partially opened so consumers get a high-quality product and crabs are not wasted. This year’s season was partially opened (Cape Foulweather to the California border) Dec. 16 after a delay due to low meat yield in areas north of Cape Foulweather. Once meat yield met criteria, commercial crabbing began Dec. 31 from Cape Foulweather to Cape Falcon. Video, more, >>click to read<< 13:22

Lacking information, Oregon residents guess at future of offshore wind

The sun was peeking through the clouds during a short break in the rain as Nick Edwards was making his way along the Charleston Marina. Edwards fished along the Oregon Coast for more than 40 years and now owns an 80-foot trawler named the Carter Jon, which commercially fishes Dungeness crab and pink cocktail shrimp. Near the ramp’s entrance, Edwards ran into his captain, Jordan Murphy. The men exchanged keys, and the conversation quickly turned to floating offshore wind. “We don’t want that, that’s my perspective,” Murphy said. “It would be a lot of our [fishing] grounds.” “We don’t want the demise of our ecosystem to be the unintended consequences of offshore wind,” he said. photos. charts, more, >>click to read<< 08:53

Hoyle’s bill to support commercial fishing in port infrastructure passes House and Senate

Last week, U.S. Representative Val Hoyle’s (OR-04) “Supporting Commercial Fishing in Port Infrastructure Projects Act” (H.R. 4618) passed both the House and Senate as part of the Maritime Administration (MARAD) Reauthorization Act. President Biden is expected to sign this bill into law. H.R. 4618 will ensure ports can apply for infrastructure grants that support commercial fishing, bolster jobs, and drive the economies of our coastal communities. Current law does not make it explicitly clear whether ports can apply for Port Infrastructure Development Program grants that support commercial fishing, often leaving it up to interpretation that can overlook our commercial fishing communities who are the backbone of our coastal economies. When signed into law, Rep. Hoyle’s legislation will clarify that ports may apply for federal funding through the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program for port infrastructure projects which support commercial fishing, and the local jobs and livelihoods that come with it. more, >>click to read<<17:57

Oregon Coast fishing families lean on Newport nonprofit following tough years

Newport, Oregon, resident Taunette Dixon knows how hard it can be to make ends meet in the fishing industry. “My family is a four generation fishing family,” Dixon said. “I married somebody that came from a four generation fishing family, so we’ve kind of been immersed in it all of our lives.” The last three years have been the worst Dixon’s ever had with the small boat the couple runs out of Newport. While she said her family is able to weather the challenging years, she’s seen need for aid grow through the nonprofit group she volunteers with, Newport Fishermen’s Wives. Fishing is a notoriously challenging and, at times, dangerous industry. But the pandemic hit nearly every industry hard in 2020 when the world economy came to a halt. The fishing industry was no different, and three years later it is still struggling to rebound. more, >>click to read<< 09:58

Hoyle’s Bill to Support Commercial Fishing in Port Infrastructure Act Passes

This week 4th District Congresswoman Val Hoyle’s “Supporting Commercial Fishing in Port Infrastructure Projects Act” passed both the House and Senate as part of the Maritime Administration Reauthorization Act. A release from Hoyle said President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law. Hoyle said H.R.4618 will ensure ports can apply for infrastructure grants that support commercial fishing, bolster jobs and drive the economies of coastal communities. Hoyle said current law does not make it explicitly clear whether ports can apply for Port Infrastructure Development Program grants that support commercial fishing, often leaving it up to interpretation that can overlook commercial fishing communities who are the backbone of coastal economies. more, >>click to read<< 14:44

Coast Guard urges safety precautions in advance of Dungeness Crab season

Oregon’s commercial Dungeness crab fishery opens Dec. 16 from Cape Foulweather, just south of Depoe Bay, to the California border, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). The Coast Guard is urging mariners to take safety precautions in advance of the season, which in the past is historically followed by a spike in search and rescue cases involving commercial fishing vessels. Most major marine casualties involving the loss of life or loss of a vessel occurs during Dungeness Crab season for an array of reasons including unavailability of lifesaving equipment, poor weather conditions, and fatigue. more, >>click to read<< 15:08

Caring Community: Newport Fishermen’s Wives seeking donations

Dear Community Partner, The Newport Fishermen’s Wives is a non-profit organization of fishermen’s wives, mothers, daughters, and friends, supporting a strong sense of community helping to further the causes of industry, safety, seafood education, and family support. Through the support of our community partners, we are able to provide a number programs to our fishing community such as an Emergency Fund (for local fishing tragedies) and funeral support, Fishermen’s Memorial Sanctuary, Holiday Outreach for fishing families, scholarship funds and the Blessing of the Fleet community lunch and boat parade. more, >>click to read<< 12: 06

I’m Dreaming of a Crab Christmas: Dungeness Season opens Dec. 16 south of Cape Foulweather

Oregon’s commercial Dungeness crab fishery opens Dec. 16 from Cape Foulweather, just south of Depoe Bay, to the California border. Targeted to open Dec. 1, Oregon’s ocean commercial Dungeness crab season can be delayed or partially opened so consumers get a high-quality product and crabs are not wasted. This year’s season was initially delayed until at least Dec. 16 due to low meat yield in some coastal areas. >>click to read<< 06:50

Feds offer emergency loans to idled salmon industry

Last spring, the commercial chinook salmon season was completely cancelled. Now federal officials are offering emergency subsidized loans for an industry in crisis. The loans must be repaid over a 30-year term, though no payments are required over the first year. George Kostyrko, a spokesman for the federal Small Business Administration, or SBA, said the aid is meant to help a now struggling sector. “The closure has had an economic impact on the commercial and recreational fishing and those associated with the broader salmon fishing industry here on the west coast,” Kostyrko said. more, >>lick to read<< 06:50

Dec. 16 set for commercial Dungeness crab season opening

Oregon’s commercial Dungeness crab fishery opens Dec. 16 from Cape Foulweather, just south of Depoe Bay, to the California border, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Pre-season testing shows that crabs remain too low in meat yield to open commercial fishing from Cape Foulweather to the Washington border. The next round of crab meat yield and biotoxin testing will help determine if this area can open Dec. 31 or is further delayed. Oregon, California and Washington coordinate Dungeness crab quality testing and the commercial season opening dates. A history of Oregon’s commercial crab landings is available online. more, >>click to read<< 06:37

Reopening Areas for Groundfish Fishing After 20 Years

NOAA Fisheries has published regulation changes that will open fishing areas that have been closed for over 20 years. These areas were originally closed in the early 2000s to protect several species of overfished rockfish. With the rebuilt status of almost all these groundfish species, these closures can slowly be opened and allow fishermen greater access to catch healthy fish stocks. The regulations will also close some small areas to protect groundfish habitat, yelloweye rockfish (a species that is still rebuilding), and sensitive areas with abundant coral.  These regulation changes are effective on January 1, 2024. Groundfish on the West Coast encompass over 90 species sharing one important trait: at some point in their life, they live on or near the ocean floor. Groundfish are a crucial part of West Coast underwater environments. They act as both predator and prey to different species and help maintain balance in underwater food chains. photos, charts, info, >>click to read<< 11:10

Non-profit helps scores of commercial fishermen with free fishing licenses

It’s not uncommon for a delayed start to Dungeness crab season along Oregon, in fact, many fishermen try to plan ahead for it. This year is the second in a row for commercial crabbers with the start on December 16 rather than December 1 due to low meat yields. Even with some fishermen able to secure other work, there remain those who need help making ends meet as they await the season open. Non-profit Charleston Fishing Families formed in 2016 with one of their goals being to help those fishermen. “During this time, money’s already tight. It’s holiday season. Often there’s a delay in the season, and so this was one way where we could directly help and impact the fishermen and just offset a little bit of costs. It may not be a lot, but it does help,” said Jackie Chambers, president of CFF. “This year, we had a record number of 73 in the span of five hours.” >>click to read<< 17:05

Commercial Dungeness crab season delayed

Pre-season testing shows Dungeness crabs are too low in meat yield in some ocean areas, delaying Oregon’s commercial season until at least Dec. 16.  Targeted to open Dec. 1, Oregon’s ocean commercial Dungeness crab season can be delayed so consumers get a high-quality product, and crabs are not wasted. The next round of crab meat yield and biotoxin testing will occur in the coming weeks. Results help determine if the season opens Dec. 16 or is further delayed or split into areas with different opening dates. Oregon, California and Washington coordinate Dungeness crab quality testing and the commercial season opening dates. >>click to read<< 14:30

Taste of US West Coast seafood for Grimsby as Oregon’s eyes are on UK market

Grimsby has been given a taste of US West Coast seafood as new trade routes are explored. Lesser known species from the Pacific could be introduced to the UK market as a result, as work continues on establishing links between a resurrected fishery and the town.  Erick Garman, trade manager for the Oregon Department of Agriculture, has visited the cluster, underlining the gateway status for the UK market. Importers, buyers and distributors have been given an overview of the species available, and the potential volumes, ahead of a tasting session. Trials are now being conducted with pub and restaurant chains, as work continues with major industry operators on securing deals. >>click to read<< 09:09

Crisis Hotline: New option for farmers, ranchers, loggers and fishermen in Oregon

A new hotline, the Agristress Helpline, launched in Oregon in September. It is tailored to support those who work in agriculture, forestry or the fishing industry through a phone and text service that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The helpline is free and has trained counselors with experience in those industries who can take phone calls in 160 languages, with English, Spanish and Vietnamese professionals available to respond by text. Experts say the line is sorely needed. Although the 988 crisis line provides a similar service, the Agristress line is specialized to address the needs of farmers, ranchers, loggers and fishermen. They often work in social and geographic isolation and in areas with limited access to health care services. These professions also have to grapple with extreme weather conditions, such as flash flooding or drought, and they face fluctuating commodity prices. >>click to read<< 18:06

Oregon: Delayed Commercial Dungeness crab season

Pre-season testing shows Dungeness crabs are too low in meat yield in some ocean areas, delaying Oregon’s commercial season until at least Dec. 16, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Targeted to open Dec. 1, Oregon’s ocean commercial Dungeness crab season can be delayed so consumers get a high-quality product and crabs are not wasted. The commercial bay crab fishery (currently open) closes at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 1 in conjunction with the delayed ocean commercial season. It will reopen when the ocean commercial season does so. The next round of crab meat yield and biotoxin testing will occur in the coming weeks. Results help determine if the season opens Dec. 16 or is further delayed or split into areas with different opening dates. >>click to read<< 21:38

First Nations seek salmon return to Columbia Basin in new treaty with U.S.

Representatives from the Ktunaxa and Syilx Okanagan nations say they continue to bring up salmon restoration in negotiations for a modern Columbia River Treaty and will not stop until a solution can be reached within or outside a new agreement. The U.S.-Canada treaty regulates the cross-border Columbia River to prevent flooding and generate hydro power. A key component of the 62-year-old treaty is set to expire in September 2024, lending urgency to the ongoing talks. “I think what we are doing in the fight to bring salmon back is vital to us moving forward,” said Lower Similkameen Indian Band Chief Keith Crow, who is a member on the Syilx Okanagan Nation’s Chiefs Executive Council and the Nation’s lead in the Columbia River Treaty talks. >>click to read<< 14:25

U.S. regulators will review car-tire chemical that kills salmon, upon request from West Coast tribes

U.S. regulators say they will review the use of a chemical found in almost every tire after a petition from West Coast Native American tribes that want it banned because it kills salmon as they return from the ocean to their natal streams to spawn. The Yurok tribe in California and the Port Gamble S’Klallam and Puyallup tribes in Washington asked the Environmental Protection Agency to prohibit the rubber preservative 6PPD earlier this year, saying it kills fish — especially coho salmon — when rains wash it from roadways into rivers. Washington, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut also wrote the EPA, citing the chemical’s “unreasonable threat” to their waters and fisheries. >>click to read<<   10:14

Struggling salmon fishermen getting federal help, but it may be too late

Earlier this month, two years after a request by Oregon’s governor, the U.S. Department of Commerce declared a Chinook fishery disaster for 2018, 2019 and 2020, years when local salmon populations plummeted. Fishing regulators blame the drop on  poor habitat conditions and climate change near the California-Oregon border, where thousands of Chinook migrate from the ocean up rivers and streams to spawn. The disaster declaration releases financial assistance for fishermen and possibly for other businesses, along with funding to help restore the fishery and protect future Chinook runs, members of Oregon’s congressional delegation said in a statement. “The powers that be move pretty slowly when it comes to this stuff,” said Ray Monroe, a Pacific City dory fisherman. >>click to read<< 12:00

Oregon fishing disaster declared after failure impacting Chinook Salmon

Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek announced Friday that a fishing disaster has been declared following a three-year commercial fishery failure in the state. The declaration comes after U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo determined that a commercial fishery failure occurred in 2018, 2019 and 2020 because of a fishery resource disaster impacting Oregon Chinook Salmon Fisheries, the governor said. The determination comes after a request from former Gov. Kate Brown in October 2021. Fisheries with disaster determinations are eligible for funding from fishery disaster appropriations to help with community recovery, fishery restoration and prevention of future disasters. >>click to read<< 17:00

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

‘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