ASTORIA — Uncertainty about the future of the gillnet fishery on the Columbia River has begun to hurt the businesses that supply the trade.
"We've had the slowest year so far that we've ever had," said Bob Zakrzewski, co-owner of an Astoria business that repairs boats and motors for gillnet fishermen and that is up for sale.
"If I was a gillnetter I wouldn't be putting a bunch of money in my boat if I don't know if I can fish or not," said his partner in Columbia Pacific Marine Works, Lasse Vedenoja.
The Oregon Court of Appeals is considering a challenge from commercial gillnetters to new rules that shunt them from the main stem of the Columbia to tributaries. They say they can't make a living there.
The gillnet ban was pushed by Gov. John Kitzhaber, who hoped to mediate a long dispute between commercial and recreational fishermen. The nets are the primary means of commercial fishing on the river.
They snag fish by the gills, preventing them from breaking free. Critics say they are cruel and kill endangered salmon.
During the appeal, the Oregon rules have been stayed. Washington has adopted similar rules.
About 500 commercial gillnet permit holders and their families on both sides of the river wait to see what the future holds.
Read the full story at the Statesman-Journal>>
National Fisherman Live: 9/9/14
In this episode:
Seafood Watch upgrades status of 21 fish species
Calif. bill attacking seafood mislabeling approved
Ballot item would protect Bristol Bay salmon
NOAA closes cod, yellowtail fishing areas
Pacific panel halves young bluefin harvest
National Fisherman Live: 8/26/14
In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about his early days dragging for redfish on the Vandal.
More than a dozen higher education institutions and federal and local fishery management agencies and organizations in American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at building the capacity of the U.S. Pacific Island territories to manage their fisheries and fishery-related resources.