In Mixed Catch, NF Senior Editor Linc Bedrosian spotlights a wide range of commercial fishing-related news items from coast to coast.
Friday, 20 April 2012
Two years down the road, how do we measure the impact of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill upon Gulf of Mexico commercial fishermen?
Well, for one thing, the fact that we're still talking about the 2010 spill indicates the region is still recovering. Here's a sampling of spill-related stories we've seen in the week leading up to Friday's unhappy anniversary:
• The FDA says consumers shouldn't be alarmed by photos of Gulf of Mexico finfish bearing sores and lesions. Diseased fish aren't allowed to be sold, the agency says, and the percentage of diseased fish found is low. Furthermore, testing by state laboratories of more than 10,000 fish and shellfish for traces of certain chemicals found in oil occurred before commercial fishing was ever allowed to resume, the agency says, and the testing showed levels are far below amounts that could make anyone sick.
• Still, a recent study conducted by Wes Harrison, a Louisiana State University professor of agribusiness marketing, reveals that 70 percent of people in the United States remain wary about the region's seafood, and 30 percent nationally say they won't eat gulf seafood because of the spill. Consequently, a nationwide Gulf of Mexico seafood marketing effort will strive to dispel those negative consumer perceptions. BP is donating $50 million for the campaign.
• The Justice Department has announced that more Gulf Coast residents harmed by the spill but whose claims with BP's compensation fund were wrongfully denied will receive more than $63 million in additional payments.
• A federal judge is pondering a proposed class-action settlement plan crafted by BP and lawyers representing more than 100,000 people and business that aims to resolve billions of dollars in spill-related claims.
The stories offer a glimpse of the oil spill's impact upon commercial fishing in the gulf. But even two years after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon well, which claimed the lives of 11 oil rig workers, we still don't know the extent of the damage to the marine environment and its fishy inhabitants, nor how long it will take the region's fish and fishermen to be made whole. We can only hope it will be soon.
Callifornia crabbing: Here's a fun video shot on the decks of the Majestik while catching Dungeness crab off the coast of northern California.
Over 500 lots of seafood processing equipment formerly owned by Adak Seafood will be sold at auction on Tuesday, June 18, starting at 10 a.m. Hawaiian-Aleutian Daylight Time at the Hilton Garden Inn in Anchorage Alaska.
The equipment is located in a recently updated 250,000 square foot state-of-the-art processing facility in Adak, Alaska. Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Hilco Industrial, which conducts 75 machinery and equipment auctions in a wide range of industries annually, will conduct the auction.
Adak Seafood opened originally as Ada Fisheries in Anchorage in 1986. The facility, updated in 2005, is located on the island of Adak, the southernmost city in Alaska near the western end of the Aleutian Islands. The facility processed cod primarily, as well as halibut, blackcod, crab and pollock, Hilco says.
Alaska fisherman and commercial fisheries activist Kevin Adams was elected chairman at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute board of directors meeting on May 9 in Anchorage.
The governor-appointed board consists of seven members: five seafood processors and two industry representatives actively engaged in commercial fishing. Adams was appointed to fill a harvester seat by Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2004.
With 38 years of fishing experience in Bristol Bay, Adams has long been an active member in the Alaska fishing industry, ASMI says. He has worked for both the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation and the Bering Sea Fisherman's Association, and represents Alaska fishermen on numerous boards.