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California Judge Denies Wind Farming Ocean Survey Injunction Request
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California Judge Denies Wind Farming Ocean Survey Injunction Request

California’s San Luis Obispo Superior Court on May 15 denied a request from commercial fishing entities for injunction relief in approving permits for ocean site surveys for offshore wind development.  The litigation to stop approval of permits for site surveys was filed Feb. 29 by the Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization (MBCFO) and Port San Luis Commercial Fishermen’s Association (PSLCFA). Defendants included the California Coastal Commission, the State Lands Commission, three offshore wind development firms and the environmental consulting company CSA Ocean Sciences. The three companies who hold leases to potentially develop floating wind turbines in the Morro Bay wind energy area offshore of Cambria and San Simoen are Atlas Wind, Golden State Wind and Even Keel Wind....
First Copper River Commercial Salmon Opener Harvest Yields Nearly 43,000 Sockeyes
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First Copper River Commercial Salmon Opener Harvest Yields Nearly 43,000 Sockeyes

Commercial harvesters in the first Copper River salmon opener delivered nearly 43,000 sockeye salmon, 1,108 Chinook, 247 chum and two coho salmon to processors. The estimated harvest was compiled from 376 deliveries by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Cordova office. The second 12-hour opener of the season was underway May 20 under partly cloudy skies, with temperatures in the low 50s. ADF&G biologist Jeremy Botz in Cordova said the sockeye salmon harvest in that first fishing period exceeded expectations. Botz noted that there’s still a lot of ice in the river system, that the water levels are low for the date, and that there has been only limited sonar deployment on the north bank so far, with no fish observed. Botz estimated between 325 and 350 drift gillnetter ...
Conservationists File to Intervene in Pebble Mine Lawsuit
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Conservationists File to Intervene in Pebble Mine Lawsuit

Over a dozen conservation entities have filed as intervenors in U.S. District Court in Anchorage in a lawsuit filed by a Canadian mining company seeking to overturn a federal decision on Clean Water Act safeguards that would prevent development of the proposed Pebble project. The intervenor litigants, who filed on May 17, contend that development of the copper, gold and molybdenum mine poses environmental danger to the region, its Alaska Native communities, resources, environment and economy. “As businesses that rely on Bristol Bay and its salmon fisheries, we know just how important the EPA’s Clean Water Act protections are,” Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association Executive Director Lilani Dunn said. “Bristol Bay is critical for providing high-quality, sustainable ...
Annual Memorial Event to Honor Oregon Commercial Fishing Fleet
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Annual Memorial Event to Honor Oregon Commercial Fishing Fleet

The men and women who have contributed to the commercial fishing activities in Oregon over the past eight decades are set to be remembered at the Annual Charleston Fisherman’s Memorial “Blessing of the Fleet” on Memorial Day. The event is expected to include a speech by marine services firm owner William Elderkin, a color guard by the U.S. Coast Guard and the ringing of the 1954 Buoy Bell, which is to be rung for every name read, a nod to the fishermen and women who relied on the bell’s sound for safe navigation, according to the announcement. Names to be added to the Industry Plaque this year include Roy C. Cameron, Michael L. Workman, Amos Allen “Red” Astor, James “Jim” Nash, W.A. “Rusty” Shield and Scott Heath. The Fishermen's Memorial Plaque is expected to include J. B. Jo...
“Deadliest Catch” Commercial Crab Boat Sinks at Seattle Pier
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“Deadliest Catch” Commercial Crab Boat Sinks at Seattle Pier

U.S. Coast Guard officials are investigating the sinking of the 91-foot crab vessel f/v North American, which became submerged May 14 at a pier east of Ballard Bridge on the south side of the Lake Washington Ship Canal in Seattle. It was unclear whether anyone was aboard the vessel at the time of the sinking, but no human casualties were reported by the Coast Guard. There were also no reports of injured wildlife or impacts to vessel traffic due to the incident. The North American, one of the commercial crab fishing boats featured on the Discovery Channel series “Deadliest Catch,” had a maximum fuel capacity of 32,500 gallons of diesel. The Coast Guard opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and contracted Global Dive and Salvage, an oil spill response company, to conduct clean-...
ASMI, Holland America Partner on Seafood Education
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ASMI, Holland America Partner on Seafood Education

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) has formed a partnership with Holland America Line to educate the cruise line’s employees on the species, benefits and responsible fishing practices of the Alaska fishing industry. Through the partnership, which was announced May 7, ASMI is offering the cruise line’s dining and galley staff a short online digital course on Alaska seafood species, health benefits, fishing methods and the state’s overall sustainability practices. The “Seafood U” training for Holland America Line’s culinary teams began earlier this year in advance of the cruise line’s 2024 Alaska season. Some 2,500 shipboard team members working on six ships are to undergo the training, according to ASMI. “With this new step, Holland America Line has committed to not ...
California Commercial Fishermen Sue to Halt Wind Farming Ocean Survey
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California Commercial Fishermen Sue to Halt Wind Farming Ocean Survey

California’s San Luis Obispo Superior Court is expected to issue a decision today, May 15, regarding whether to halt approval of permits for ocean site surveys for offshore wind development. Litigation to stop approval of permits for site surveys was filed Feb. 29 by the Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization (MBCFO) and Port San Luis Commercial Fishermen’s Association (PSLCFA). Defendants include the California Coastal Commission, the State Lands Commission, three offshore wind development firms and the environmental consulting company CSA Ocean Sciences. The wind development firms are seeking the permits in order to provide power for several million customers in California. CSA Ocean Sciences, based in Stuart, Florida, said May 15 that it had no comment prior to the c...
Alaska Legislature Approves Task Force to Help Commercial Fishing Industry
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Alaska Legislature Approves Task Force to Help Commercial Fishing Industry

Alaska legislators on May 12 approved the creation of a task force to make policy recommendations to help the state’s struggling commercial fishing industry. It is to be modeled after another legislative task force created over 20 years ago to help the salmon industry at a time when harvesters were facing the impact of low prices and competition from farmed fish. The resolution by the House Special Committee on Fisheries, and sponsored by the Alaska Senate Finance Committee, acknowledges the economic distress for harvesters in danger of being without markets and the number of seafood processing facilities for sale, closing or planning to shut down for a portion, or all of, the 2024 fishing season. The task force is to be composed of eight members, with the state senate preside...
CDFW Plans Assessment of Marine Life Entanglement Risk for Dungeness Crab
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CDFW Plans Assessment of Marine Life Entanglement Risk for Dungeness Crab

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced plans for an assessment of marine life entanglement risk for commercial Dungeness crab on or around Friday, May 17, using the Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program (RAMP). CDFW officials said May 13 that regulations adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission provide their director with authority to also apply management actions to the recreational crab fishery to minimize entanglement rick informed by RAMP. The California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group is scheduled to meet May 16 to review available data and CDFWs preliminary assessment. The director is then to consider all data made available to CDFW prior to determining the appropriate management action to minimize entanglement risk. CDFW said a...
Construction of New Coast Guard Icebreakers Faces Major Setback
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Construction of New Coast Guard Icebreakers Faces Major Setback

Lack of experience in building icebreaking ships, as well as the overall cost of the program were cited by a congressional subcommittee chairman last week as key factors in delay of construction of the vessels to replace a nearly 50-year-old heavy icebreaker. “The demand for Coast Guard services is increasing and will continue to increase in the future,” Rep. Carlos A. Gimenez, R-Florida, chair of the House Homeland security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security, said. Gimenez noted in opening remarks at the May 7 subcommittee meeting that the Coast Guard has not commissioned an icebreaker of any kind since 2006. He cited concerns over the Coast Guard’s failure to accurately estimate the cost of its shipbuilding programs. Testimony given during the hearing state...