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 for Feb. 27, 2014
PORTSMOUTH, NH - The New Hampshire Fish and Lobster Festival, known locally as Fishtival, invites the community to Portsmouth's Prescott Park each September to honor, celebrate and rediscover the proud tradition of small-scale, local commercial groundfishing in New Hampshire and its valuable contribution to our local food system, local economy and local culture. Now, the mission continues with the announcement of small grants available from the proceeds of the 2013 event.
In this year's Alaska Symphony of Seafood new-product contest, a distinguished panel of judges, composed of industry chefs and experts, bestowed the grand prize on Tilgner's Specialized Smoked Seafood Products for their Ruby Red Ole World Scottish Style Cold Smoked Sockeye Salmon.Read more...