While articles from the past that detail critical happenings like the sinking of the Scandies Rose continue to generate interest, newer stories highlighting pricing changes as well as updates about popular captains proved to be especially relevant to the National Fisherman audience in 2022. However, the shutdown of the 2022-2023 crab seasons was by far the biggest story of the year. This news dominated discussions at Pacific Marine Expo and will surely define more headlines in 2023.
Below is a look at the top ten stories and updates from National Fisherman in 2022. Make sure you’re signed up to receive the National Fisherman Newsletter to get updates on all of these stories and more every week.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game canceled all opilio snow, red king crab, and blue king crab seasons for 2022-2023, in a devastating blow to North Pacific fishermen and processors after trawl surveys showed a continuing crash in abundance. The announcement came Monday after Bering Sea crabbers had pressed the North Pacific Fishery Management Council during its October meeting to do more to reduce crab bycatch in...read more
Sky-high lobster prices over the past several months appear to have abated, both at the shore and in the market. The price has dropped steeply enough that it's garnered wider media attention, with reports saying the price of lobster has suffered its largest drop in years. The Fish, Food & Allied Workers Union in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada reported the average market price went from USD $10.50 per pound in mid-April to $8.22 in...read more
The U.S. Coast Guard is prosecuting John D. Gibbs, the owner and managing operator of the Southern Horizon, an 89-foot tuna longliner caught using a foreign national as master – a so-called ‘paper captain’ – on Oct. 19, as part of a broader operation by the Coast Guard to address the increased instances of vessel owners illegally hiring foreign captains to command U.S. flagged ships in violation of the Jones Act. If found guilty Mr. Gibbs, who is a repeat paper captain offender, faces over $12,000 in fines, according to...read more
It’s always sad when a boat sinks. We vest our boats with personality, in return for which they serve us loyally, if not munificently. And when a boat goes to the bottom, we realize how vulnerable it always was. Yet I was especially saddened to learn that the Tremont had gone down after a collision with 1,000-foot containership off Virginia. Fortunately, the captain and crew...read more
On Wednesday, June 15, Peter Pan Seafoods said it will pay fishermen in Alaska’s Bristol Bay $1 per pound for sockeye salmon they sell to the company in the 2022 season. Peter Pan is the first Alaska salmon processor to announce a base price for Bristol Bay sockeye this season – the second consecutive year it has taken that honor. Last year, it became the first company in decades to tell fishermen what they would get paid before the season started, posting an initial price of $1, which it later upped to $1.25, matching an offer made by...read more
Alaska’s Bering Sea king crab crash has reached proportions it hasn’t known since 1994 and 1995, when the population surveys warranted a shutdown of the fishery. The outlook appears equally dismal for Bering Sea opilio crab. In last year’s 2021-2022 red king crab season the fleet stood down after trawl surveys indicated that the biomass had fallen below the threshold of 8.4 million mature females. Though complete data for this year’s surveys won’t be out until sometime in September or October, preliminary data from the first of three surveys indicates another season in which crabbers will stay...read more
Why do it? Why go through all the hassle and hard work of being a commercial fisherman who is dependent upon lady luck and mother nature (both very fickle gals) to make a living? The story of a couple of young fishermen and their quest for a life like their fathers, sheds light on these questions. Hemingway’s novella “The Old Man and the Sea,” about an old fisherman on a bad streak, shows some of the...read more
On Feb. 14, Maine’s Department of Marine Resources issued preliminary numbers for Maine’s lobster industry showing 2021 total landings value were just shy of $725 million, a 75 percent jump over 2020 and by far the single largest year-over-year increase. Final landings totals are expected soon, and state officials anticipated an increase in pounds of 10 percent going over...read more
The closing of the Bering Sea snow and red king crab fisheries poses a $1 billion economic hit and continued danger of future fishery collapses from climate change in the North Pacific, the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers say. “Across the country, fisheries are racing the clock to adjust to changing climate and growing uncertainty,” according to a statement issued by the association Wednesday. “In the North Pacific, ABSC is proposing a 3-prong approach for crab and disasters like it: provide rapid financial relief, develop adaptive and responsive management, and bolster continued science and research. Alaska’s snow crab fishery...read more
After the Bering Sea crabber Scandies Rose sank tragically on New Year’s Eve in 2019, a Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation concluded that an unintentionally overstacked deck loaded with ice-laden pots was a contributing factor in the loss of the 130-foot boat that was operated by a veteran captain and experienced crew. An investigation into the 2017 loss of the F/V Destination also revealed that icing directly contributed to the vessel’s loss of stability and rapid capsizing. Both vessels...read more