National Fisherman


Last month at Bonneville Dam, an extraordinary coalition of Northwest tribes, government agencies and river users — including farmers, businesses and utilities — gathered to celebrate a landmark event for our region's iconic salmon.

This year's return of about 2.3 million salmon and steelhead to the Columbia River Basin shattered the modern-day record for total annual salmon returns — an abundance we haven't seen since fish counting began at the dam more than 75 years ago.

These numbers matter to the tribes, for whom salmon are a sacred "first food." They matter to the commercial and sport fishing industries that benefit from a bountiful catch. If you live in the Northwest and have ever paid an electricity bill, the numbers matter to you, too.

Read the full story at the Oregonian>>

Want to read more about salmon and dams? Click here...

Bering Sea crab and pollock stocks all appear to be on the upswing -- good news for Washington-based fishermen whose Alaska harvests are mainstays of the multibillion-dollar North Pacific seafood industry.

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The Pacific Islands Fisheries Group is launching a new satellite tagging project targeting ahi or bigeye tuna off the Kona Coast. The project aims to catch, tag and release five ahi of at least 70 pounds or larger.

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How is this for a fish story? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, millions of pounds of fish caught by Russian fishermen on Russian vessels in Russian waters each year are labeled and sold in the U.S. as "Alaska pollock." Surveys have shown that consumers overwhelmingly think this means their fish is from Alaska. But it isn’t.

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So far in October, average Urner Barry prices for 6-8 kilo whole, frozen H&G toothfish are at record levels up over 14 percent from 2013. Meanwhile, frozen 6 oz. toothfish portion prices are averaging $15.10 per pound this month, up about 7 percent from last year and the highest since 2012.

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Warming oceans will shift ocean fish populations away from the tropics and towards the poles, perhaps creating new fisheries in Arctic waters, according to a study conducted by scientists at the University of British Columbia and reported on by the CBC.

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The fishing industry is being asked to help collect abandoned fishing gear from Currituck Sound to south of Oregon Inlet.

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TIGNISH, Prince Edward Island—In Atlantic Canada, a few millimeters of lobster shell have some people seeing red.

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The Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico hasn't gone away and likely won't until regulations are enacted to curtail farm field runoff of nitrogen fertilizer, says Matt Rota, the senior policy director for the Gulf Restoration Network, based in New Orleans.

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FRISCO — A long-running battle over an oyster farm at Pt. Reyes National Seashore may be winding down. The National Park Service says a settlement agreement would, if approved by a federal court, would require the Drake Bay Oyster Company to cease operations by the end of the year.

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Page 167 of 407

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

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The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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