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: 3/10/15
In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.
National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15
In this episode:
March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received
Today Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced legislation to extend a permanent exemption for incidental runoff from small commercial fishing boats.
The National Working Waterfront Network is now accepting abstracts and session proposals for the next National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium, taking place Nov. 16-19 in Tampa, Fla. The deadline is Tax Day, April 15.Read more...