National Fisherman

Good news for local ports and economies arrived last week in the form of a federal budget deal that specifically includes a small pot of additional funds specifically for “small, remote, or subsistence harbors and waterways.”
Living on a coastline that epitomizes these terms, several Oregon and Washington ports ought to be in the running for funds to maintain their links to the Pacific.
n olden times – as in before about 2010 – members of Congress were able to simply earmark tiny slivers of the federal budget to throw a lifeline to small ports that are of pivotal importance to communities from Hammond and Garibaldi to Chinook and Ilwaco, Wash. (Though controversial, earmarks of all kinds totaled less than 1 percent of federal spending by the time they were effectively ended.)
In terms of broad funding philosophy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been allowed by lawmakers to focus even less attention on rural ports. Ports in Oregon, Washington and elsewhere are beginning to strangle on sediments that filter down into access channels and other crucial linkages that used to be maintained by the Corps and its contractors.
Before last week’s deal, there weren’t even funds for which these ports could compete. Thanks to effective lobbying and attention by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and others, the new Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) spending budget includes $30 million for the corps to maintain access to small ports.
Read the full story at Daily Astorian>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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