Halibut catches weren't slashed as much as people feared, although they still continue on a downward trend — and the outlook is grim.
A coastwide catch of 31 million pounds was approved Friday by the International Pacific Halibut Commission, a decline of 7.5 percent from last year and far better than a widely expected 30 percent cut. Alaska's share of the Pacific catch is 23 million pounds, down 2.5 million pounds.
The commissioners, three from the U.S. and three from Canada, each said the 2013 annual meeting last week was the toughest ever.
"I vote for the fish," said U.S. Commissioner Ralph Hoard at the close of the meeting. "Many questions remain about halibut bycatch and migration. While I am extremely sympathetic about the impacts on fishermen's economics, I am equally concerned about their future in this fishery. We don't want to end up like the East coast halibut fishery. There is none."
A feeding frenzy is expected at Jan. 26 at Manatee Pocket during the seventh annual Port Salerno Seafood Festival.
Organized by the Port Salerno Commercial Fishing Dock Authority, the festival offers the community a chance to experience the hospitality and hard work of the local fishing industry.
"We want to keep commercial fishing alive in Port Salerno," said Edward Olsen Jr., dock authority president.
Read the full story at TCPalm>>
Great swirling schools of herring converged in San Francisco Bay this month, drawing fishermen, sea lions, harbor seals and thousands upon thousands of birds looking to fatten up for the winter.
The menagerie of wildlife is a sign that the bay's once spectacular herring runs, which collapsed four years ago, are returning to their former glory. The San Francisco run is the last urban fishery in the United States in which people can actually sit on shore and watch commercial boats haul in the squiggling fish.
As many as 12,000 birds converged on Richardson Bay, in Marin County, this week as the herring arrived en masse to lay and fertilize eggs, or roe, a delicacy for a wide variety of species, including sushi-loving humans. Fishermen scrambled to cast their nets amid the swooping, honking, squawking hordes.
Read the full story at San Francisco Chronicle>>
McDonald's says it will be the first national restaurant chain to carry a label from a group that certifies sustainable fishing practices.
The blue "ecolabel" from the Marine Stewardship Council certifies that the Alaskan Pollock used in McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwiches come from suppliers with sustainable fishing practices.
Major retail chains including Wal-Mart and Whole Foods already use the council's label. The nonprofit group is paid a royalty fee from companies that use its label. For McDonald's, that means the fee would be based on sales of its fish offerings, such as the Filet-O-Fish and the Fish McBites that will be launched as a limited-time offer next month.
Read the full story at Anchorage Daily News>>
There is more bad news for New England fishermen in the lead-up to next week's highly anticipated meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council.
NOAA Fisheries Northeast director John K. Bullard informed the council in a letter that there is no room left under the law to allow anything but a total stop to overfishing for Gulf of Maine cod and haddock.
"The bad news is there are no fish," Bullard, a former New Bedford mayor, told The Standard-Times. "That's the bad news that we've got to face."
Read the full story at Standard-Times>>
Gulf of Alaska fishermen could receive a new tool to reduce salmon bycatch if gear modification research is successful.
This spring, two trawlers targeting pollock in the Gulf will have an extra piece of gear in the water. The boats will be fitted with the newest version of a salmon excluder, and a recapture net, as part of an effort to adapt the excluders for Gulf use.
John Gauvin from the North Pacific Fisheries Research Foundation, is trying to develop the excluder for Gulf use. Ideally, it will let salmon escape from pollock trawls while keeping the pollock inside.
Read the full story at Alaska Journal of Commerce>>
Lee Alverson was a trailblazing biologist who helped explore and protect North Pacific fisheries.
Shortly after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, a company representative called marine biologist Lee Alverson and proposed to hire his consulting firm to help assess damage in the aftermath of a disaster that dumped some 11 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound.
Humans weren't the only ones shaken up when Superstorm Sandy tore through New Jersey last fall. Wind, waves and storm surge re-sculpted much of the state's coastline, with potentially disastrous consequences for two of our state's iconic critters: horseshoe crabs and the Red Knot sandpipers whose lives depend on them.
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National Fisherman Live: 10/21/14
In this episode:
North Pacific Council adjusts observer program
Fishermen: bluefin fishing best in 10 years
Catch limit raised for Bristol Bay red king crab
Canadian fishermen fight over lobster size rules
River conference addresses Dead Zone cleanup
National Fisherman Live: 10/7/14
In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about the 1929 dragger Vandal.
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.
The Golden Gate Salmon Association will host its 4th Annual Marin County Dinner at Marin Catholic High School, 675 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Kentfield on Friday, Oct 10, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.