January 30, 2014
The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has declared the Fraser River sockeye salmon run a “fishery disaster” for nine tribes and non-tribal fishers in Washington state.
The Fraser River empties out near Vancouver, British Columbia. The sockeye salmon from that river are a key resource for the state and tribal fishing industries in Washington.
The Fraser River sockeye salmon runs are worth more than $4 million each year, and they’ve been in decline for 30 years. The fishery was closed altogether in 2013.
Fisheries managers blame the decline on poor ocean conditions, warm river temperatures and habitat decline, among other things.
Tuesday's disaster declaration empowers Congress to allocate money for fishermen and fishing communities that are affected by the crash.
Read the full story at KUOW>>
Joshua Stilts grew up in Bellingham, Wash., the son of a commercial fisher, but never got hooked on fishing himself. Instead, he found a passion for telling other people’s stories.
He recently brought the two together and will soon be releasing a book titled “Whatcom Fish Tales: A Historical Look at the County’s Seafood Industry.” The book is meant to serve as a history of commercial fishing in the region for a general audience.
Stilts will unveil his book during two upcoming appearances. First, on Friday, Sept. 30, at Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro, and again on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the inaugural Bellingham SeaFeast festival at Squalicum Harbor.
For more information, see the recent story in the Bellingham Herald.
The collapse of cod
“Sacred Cod,” a revealing documentary chronicling the collapse of the historic cod fishery in the waters off New England is set to premiere at the Camden International Film Festival in Maine this weekend.
Scientists and environmentalists have always pointed to overfishing, climate change and mismanagement as reasons for the stock’s collapse, but fishermen — who are losing their livelihoods and way of life — have protested bans on fishing.
“For centuries, cod was like gold. Wars were waged over it. Settlers sailed across oceans in search of it. And early America used it to finance a revolution,” said David Abel, one of the filmmakers and a Boston Globe reporter who has covered the fishing industry for years. “Cod were so abundant in the waters off New England that fishermen used to say they could walk across the Atlantic on the backs of them, and generations of men from places like Gloucester and Cape Cod spent their entire lives chasing the coveted fish. Cod played such an important role in the early history of New England that a carved replica of the fish has hung for centuries in the Massachusetts State House. It’s called the Sacred Cod.”
Saturday, Sept. 17
The Strand Theatre
345 Main Street
You can buy tickets online.
Need something quick and easy for a busy summer weeknight? Look no further.
I grew up in Georgia without central air conditioning, so my mom had many a no-fuss meal in her repertoire. This was a favorite of mine as a kid, and you can make it as kid friendly as you want, adding or taking away as many vegetables as your tot will tolerate. My big kid loves a big salad, but my toddler doesn’t (yet) eat lettuce, tomatoes or peppers, so he gets a plate of separate piles of tuna, pasta, eggs, olives, cucumbers and carrots.
If you happen to have leftover pasta and hard-boiled eggs, you can toss this together in a matter of minutes. Any of the vegetables and greens can be replaced by your favorites. But I will say that tuna, calamata olives and eggs go together beautifully.
I buy U.S. hook-and-line-caught albacore tuna. I recently caught up with Jeremiah O’Brien, a California albacore troller, via satphone from the water. He says the West Coast fleet’s catch rate has remained stable since the 1980s. The fishery is managed by international coalition and there’s no quota or total allowable catch. The U.S. fleet lands about 18 percent of the global total catch.
“We fish when they show up and stop when they go away,” he says.
Simple as that. Troll-caught albacore are also smaller fish, which means less bycatch than other methods of fishing, a higher omega-3 content and less methylmercury (though limited exposure via consumption of fish is not sufficiently connected to long-term deleterious effects, in my opinion).
For this meal, you could sub canned salmon, small cooked shrimp, lump crab meat, broiled or grilled whitefish. The world is your seafood salad salad.
If you’d like more information on albacore trolling, check out the Western Fishboat Owners Association.
2 5-ounce cans albacore tuna
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 stalk of celery, chopped fine
1/2 pound small pasta (like rotini or small shells)
2 heads of romaine hearts, chopped
4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
1 bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup cucumbers, sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 cup calamata olives, sliced
Cook your pasta to al dente, drain and toss lightly with olive oil. Drain cans of tuna and combine with mayonnaise and celery.
Prep each plate with a salad, dress lightly, then top with pasta, tuna and olives.
You can serve with a simple blend of oil and vinegar, a homemade vinaigrette (recipe below) or any favorite (yes, store-bought!) dressing. I like to top my tuna with balsamic vinegar.
1 cup oil
3/4 cup vinegar (use your favorite)
1 shallot, chopped roughly (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon mayonnaise (optional)
Blend ingredients until frothy. Salt and pepper to taste.
What’s on your list for summer reading? Well, let me suggest “A Mariner’s Miscellany” by Peter Spectre. It’s a collection of all things relevant and irrelevant concerning the sea, the whimsical and the serious; it’s about boats, ships, anchors, knots and ballast, the lore, poetry and language of the ocean and those who have traveled it.
Spectre has written several marine related books and did the yearly “Mariner’s Book of Days,” a nautical desk diary and calendar. He was also editor at International Marine, Wooden Boat and currently Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors. Those years spent writing about boats and correcting author’s notions of boats and the sea have endowed him with an eclectic mix of nautical knowledge.
For instance, does anybody know what “dogs running before their master” means? It’s a heavy swell in advance of a hurricane. That’s in the chapter “The Language of the Sea.”
In the same chapter is a listing of the “Different kinds of dead.”
Included is “dead horse” — a cash advance for wages to be earned, and “dead marine” — an empty beer bottle.
In the chapter “Bread is the staff of life; rum is life itself” is a recipe for Serpent’s Breath (a note says it’s enough for the entire crew):
1 bottle dark rum
1 bottle light rum
1 bottle Cognac
7 cups tea
3 cups lemon juice
1 ½ cups sugar
Stir the sugar and the lemon juice into the tea, then add the hard stuff. Allow the ingredients to meld for two hours — if you can wait that long.
If you are dumb enough to be at the wheel after sharing in that concoction, it won’t be long before you’re aground. But Spectre’s book tells you how to handle that situation in the chapter “Time and tide wait for no man.”
“If you should run aground on a falling tide and can’t get her off, climb over the side and scrub the bottom while you wait for the tide to return. Your friends will think you went aground on purpose.”
In the book’s 289 pages there’s a whole lot more, some of which you might know, most of which you never heard of. Check it out.
More Book Reviews:
Governor Bill Walker has officially requested that the federal government declare a disaster for four Alaska regions hurt by one of the poorest pink salmon returns in decades.Read more ...
The New England Fishery Management Council recently elected Dr. John F. Quinn of Massachusetts and E. F. “Terry” Stockwell III of Maine to serve respectively as chairman and vice chairman in the year ahead. The two have led the Council since 2014 but reversed roles this year.Read more ...