National Fisherman

For local crab fishermen, it's all about unity.
 
United, they can keep their boats docked and try to negotiate a higher price for their product. Divided, they will fall like dominoes, and set out on the water ready to take whatever buyers are offering.
 
With the season having opened a week ago, negotiations are currently at a standstill. In fact, according to some, it's hard to even call what's going on negotiations.
 
”The buyers have offered $2.50 (a pound), we've asked $3, and those numbers haven't changed,” said local fisherman Dave Bitts.
 
Meanwhile, fishermen in Oregon and Washington, where regulators postponed the season because tests showed Dungeness crab there to be too small, are readying to start fishing Dec. 15, adding a new layer of complexity to local negotiations.
 
Some version of this dance plays out every year, as fishermen and buyers work out a deal that sends the local fleet onto the water for a week or two of furious crab fishing. The process works like this: The Fisherman's Marketing Association negotiates on the part of the fishermen to strike a deal, which would then be put to a vote of all fishermen with a commercial crab permit in the region.
 
On the other side of the table sit the buyers. Because a company called Pacific Seafood handles about half the crab inventory on the West Coast, it is the sole buyer at the proverbial negotiating table. Other wholesalers simply defer to Pacific Seafood, following its lead.
 
Then there's a complex interworking of markets and supply. 
 
Read the full story at the Times-Standard>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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