National Fisherman


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Federal authorities defended their latest plan for mitigating damage to salmon and steelhead imperiled by hydroelectric dams in the Columbia River Basin.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has in recent weeks been casting about for a pool of money to tap for its controversial onboard fishing vessel monitoring program. Efforts to make fishermen pay directly for the program — yet another unfunded federal mandate — have so far fallen short.

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With new legislation proposed to protect and restore the waters of the Long Island Sound, Connecticut and New York lawmakers are hoping to reverse the effects of decades of over-development and pollution.

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Dungeness crab devotees could be in store for another banner summer season when the fishery officially kicks off July 2 in most marine areas of Puget Sound.

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One of the largest toxic algae blooms seen off California has shut down recreational and commercial fishing along the West Coast and could be contributing to a host of sea lion strandings in the Bay Area, scientists said this week.

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An exploited loophole in the Atlantic for blueline tilefish led to over-harvesting so extreme, regulators put an emergency management action into effect June 4.

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As Alaska’s salmon season heads into high gear, few bright spots are surfacing in an otherwise bleak global sales market.

Sales and prices for all salmon (especially sockeye) have been in a slump all year. And amid an overall glut of wild and farmed fish, Alaska is poised for another huge salmon haul, with the largest run of sockeye salmon in 20 years predicted along with a sizable run of pinks.

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The commercial fishing industry won two big battles at the bruising New England Fishery Management Council meetings this week, the first on habitat and the final on the council’s vote to seek emergency measures to suspend the bulk of at-sea monitoring of groundfish boats for the remainder of the 2015 fishing season.

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As the sun rises over Honolulu, commercial fishermen have already unloaded their catches and docked their boats for the day. The fish are lined up on pallets, packed in ice and displayed for buyers to inspect.

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The Alaska Seafood Processors Association has announced it is allowing a collective of major Alaska salmon processors applying to join the certificate it holds with the Marine Stewardship Council, but they will have to cough up 3 percent of the wholesale price for this year’s product.

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Inside the Industry

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.

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Alaskan Leader Fisheries will give Inmarsat’s new high-speed broadband maritime communications service, Fleet Xpress, a try on the 150-foot longline cod catcher/processor Alaskan Leader.

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