Tag Archives: West Coast

Calamitous West Coast commercial albacore tuna season nears end

With only weeks remaining in the commercial season, some fishermen have already declared it one of the worst in decades.  It’s simply been a ‘bad’ tuna season, according to Western Fishboat Owners Association Executive Director Wayne Heikkila, who monitors the tuna fishing season coastwide from California to Washington as part of the nonprofit group representing 400 albacore fishermen on the West Coast.,, “Effort was down this season as most fish were farther offshore. There are still some larger vessels 200 miles out catching some,,, >click to read< 10:02

NOAA Ok’s plan to cut West Coast nontribal salmon fishing when fish are needed to feed orca

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries adopted the plan Tuesday as recommended by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. It calls for restricting commercial and recreational salmon fishing when chinook salmon numbers are especially low. It’s one of the the first times a federal agency has restricted hunting or fishing one species to benefit a predator that relies on it. The fishing restrictions would extend from Puget Sound in Washington to Monterey Bay in central California, and they would be triggered when fewer than 966,000 chinook are forecast to return to Northwest rivers. >click to read< 08:57

Bad faith, beads and trinkets negotiations by DFO obstructs court-affirmed fishery

The lack of good faith negotiations by Fisheries and Oceans Canada in its dealing with five First Nations on the West Coast could result in the criminalization of Nuu-chah-nulth fishers who exercise their court-affirmed right to a commercial fishery, asserts First Nations leadership. “The federal department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) continues to stonewall negotiations and acts as if it is above the law,” reads an Aug. 24 press release from the five nations impacted, Ahousaht, Hesquiaht, Ehattesaht/Chinehkint, Mowachaht/Muchalaht and Tla-o-qui-aht. The nations have said they will fish according to their own fishing plans, pitting Nuu-chah-nulth fishers against DFO officers patrolling Nuu-chah-nulth waters, because DFO hasn’t come to the table to negotiate a plan for the season. >click to read< 08:14

Would Biden bring offshore wind to the West Coast?

Offshore wind supporters say Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden could be a deciding factor in a long-standing battle if he’s elected: bringing the first turbines to the West Coast. The idea of mooring turbines onto floating platforms in California’s deep waters has been in the works since the Obama administration, when Interior Department officials responded to unsolicited proposals from wind companies by mapping three potential areas for turbine construction and asking for comment on their viability. If completed, the plan could have major implications for the state’s emission profile and the offshore wind industry, which to date has largely been focused along the U.S. East Coast. >click to read< 09:36

Time to reform DFO – Unable to protect wild fish while managing commercial fisheries and ocean-based aquaculture

Conservation and angling groups on the West Coast are calling for radical reform of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, saying it appears unable to protect wild fish while managing commercial fisheries and ocean-based aquaculture. The B.C. Wildlife Federation, in a letter to Fisheries Minister Bernadette  Jordan, says the federal department should be “independently reviewed and rebuilt” with a mandate to restore and recover failing salmon   populations. Many B.C. salmon runs are considered threatened or endangered, including most South Coast and Fraser River chinook, Interior Fraser coho, Fraser River sockeye and Interior steelhead. Some are down to just a few dozen individuals. >click to read< 10:38

Gary Griggs – Salmon and squid

Salmon and squid both came on the radar this past week,,, These two marine animals have both shared some top billings in their importance to California’s commercial fishery in recent years, although there are significant year-to-year fluctuations. Calamari or market squid have been the number one fishery in tonnage caught, year after year… until last year. In typical years, 70,000 to 118,000 tons (118,000 is the allowable total catch) would be brought to the docks by the squid boats, making up consistently two-thirds of the entire commercial catch. >click to read< 10:46

West Coast salmon season taking shape – Feds Look at Protections for Oregon Spring-Run Chinook Salmon

The Pacific Fishery Management Council has adopted ocean salmon season recommendations that provide recreational and commercial opportunities for most of the Pacific coast and achieve conservation goals for the numerous individual salmon stocks on the West Coast. >click to read< 17:25

Feds Look at Protections for Oregon Spring-Run Chinook Salmon -A petition seeking to extend federal wildlife protections to spring-run Chinook salmon found along Oregon’s coast has merit and could warrant listing the fish under the Endangered Species Act, Conservation groups Native Fish Society, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Umpqua Watersheds submitted a new petition in September 2019 specifically for spring-run salmon. >click you< 17:33

‘Ship Strikes’ Killing Whales! A voluntary slow-down program for passing ships is frequently ignored

According to NOAA, these “ship strikes” are blamed for at least 88 whale deaths in California. Since 2006, 239 whales were killed in all U.S. waters over the same time period. Of those whales killed, nearly one in three was a member of an endangered species. Scientists, however, believe the true number of deaths is far higher than the official counts. “The majority of reported ship strikes probably represents a tenth or less of the true number occurring,” said Calambokidis. “The majority of whales that die, in fact, sink and disappear and are never documented.” Check the chart that says how many estimated by NOAA! >click to read< 14:16

Whale entanglments are down on the West Coast. The reason for the reduction is in question.

According to the NOAA, as of Aug. 23, the National Marine Fisheries Service reported 17 confirmed whale entanglements in 2019, compared to 40 for the same period a year prior.,,, The reason for the sharp reduction in entanglements is in question.,,, Pieter Folkens, a permitted whale disentangler for NOAA, said the Center for Biological Diversity’s claim of victory is premature. He said shortening the crab fishing season had little influence on the number of entanglements this year. >click to read< 11:01

West Coast Waters Grow More Productive with Shift Toward Cooler Conditions

The ocean off the West Coast is shifting from several years of unusually warm conditions marked by the marine heat wave known as the “warm blob,” toward a cooler and more productive regime that may boost salmon returns and populations of other ocean predators, though it is too early to say for certain, a new NOAA Fisheries report says. >click to read<09:55

West Coast Whale entanglement data collected

Whale entanglements off the West Coast and potential solutions to the escalating problem are the focus of a new report including the presentations and observations of fishermen, biologists, and fisheries managers who gathered at an August workshop on the subject.,, The report provides the notes and presentations from the 31 California, Oregon, and Washington experts who attended. Participating were Dungeness crab fishermen; gear specialists; marine mammal biologists and disentanglement specialists; conservation groups; and federal, tribal, and state agency representatives.,, Participants also expressed interest in a gear innovation developed by fishermen in the lobster fishery on the East Coast. >click to read<08:33

First offshore wind farm on West Coast is one step closer

The Redwood Coast Energy Authority, with support from several private companies, is one step closer to developing the first offshore wind farm on the West Coast, according to its executive director Matthew Marshall. The authority, along with Principle Power, Aker Solutions, and EDP Renewables, recently submitted a lease application to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. According to Marshall, if approved the lease would give the authority and its partners “site control” over an ocean area of approximately 70 square miles, meaning they have exclusive project rights to that area. This doesn’t mean the project will span 70 square miles, Marshall said, instead it defines the boundaries of where Redwood Coast could put the project. >click to read<14:10

Fishing Rights: Small Scale Fishermen walkout of meeting with ministry over rock lobster suspension

Small-scale and near-shore fishers walked out of a meeting in Cape Town with the deputy director-general for Fisheries Siphokazi Ndudane yesterday, saying her explanations relating to the suspension of the West Coast rock lobster fishing rights allocation were not sufficient. Earlier, angry fishers blocked the entrance to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries offices on the Foreshore again, protesting the outcome of the fishing rights allocation process and blocking entry into the offices. “We are asking for (Ndudane) and the minister to postpone the proposed reductions (of fishing allocations) on the rock lobster and stop the offshore allocations of commercial companies.  click here to read the story 20:30

NIOSH regional reports highlight top dangers in commercial fishing industry

Vessel disasters and falls overboard are the primary hazards experienced by workers in commercial fishing – an industry with a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average – according to a recent NIOSH analysis of four U.S. regions. NIOSH reviewed overall commercial fishing fatalities in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and the East and West Coasts from 2010 to 2014. Researchers found that 184 fatalities occurred in the four regions: Alaska recorded 45, the West Coast had 30, the East Coast reported 60 and the Gulf of Mexico experienced 49. Vessel disasters (capsizes, fires, groundings, sinking) accounted for the most deaths with 80, followed by falls overboard with 53. Other categories included onboard, onshore and diving. click here to read the story 23:24

STRIKE!!! – Commercial crabbers strike on West coast

Commercial fisherman from Morro Bay, California, all the way to the Canadian border have gone on strike. Crab pots are piled on boats still tied up in the harbors all along the West coast because Bandon Pacific and other wholesale buyers want to pay 25 cents less than the negotiated price to fishermen on the southern Oregon cost. “This is all over a quarter,” said Charleston fisherman Jim Thornsberry. “Thousands of people are out of work because processors don’t want to pay us what they are already paying fishermen in California.” John Corbin, fisherman out of Columbia River and the chairman of the Dungeness Crab Commission, explained that $3 per pound was the negotiated price prior to the Brookings and Port Orford crab opening. “But then the processors dropped their price on Monday and we went back to the negotiation table, but they drew a line in the sand at $2.75,,, Corbin said there is usually solidarity among fishermen, and is glad “we are all tied up together.” Read the story here 19:11 Crab Fishermen in West Coast Ports Pull Pots in Solidarity with Humboldt Read the story here 20:35

Astoria drops below Newport in commercial catch

EP-151029749.jpg&MaxW=600Astoria slipped below Newport last year as the dominant West Coast port for commercial fishing. Newport landed 124 million pounds of commercial fish, the 11th highest mark by quantity in the nation, while Astoria netted 122 million pounds, the 12th highest. Westport, Washington, came in at 100 million pounds, or 13th highest. The catch figures were released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which compiles an annual fisheries report that includes the quantity and value of commercial fishery landings. Read the rest here 16:58

Whale Entanglements Up on the West Coast, Fishermen take the Lead!

A record number of whales are becoming ensnared in fishing gear, including a killer whale that died last week north of Fort Bragg, according to federal data released Tuesday by environmental groups. “The fishermen really want to understand the reasons for these whale entanglements and gear interactions,” said Rachelle Fisher, administrator of California’s Dungeness Crab Task Force. “The fishermen I talk to say nobody wants to entangle whales.” Read the rest here  17:06

Warming Waters Could Shift Salmon, Other Species on West Coast

Fights over salmon have raged for decades in the Pacific Northwest. Overfishing in the late 19th century, the proliferation of dams in Oregon and Washington in the 20th, and more recent ecological shifts have set tribes, conservationists and the fishing industry head to head over the diminishing resource. Read the rest here 20:40