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Comment Period For December NPFMC Meeting Runs From Nov. 18 Through Dec. 2
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Comment Period For December NPFMC Meeting Runs From Nov. 18 Through Dec. 2

Crab, groundfish and final action on charter halibut management measures are all on the agenda when the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets in early December in Anchorage. Major issues on the agenda include an emergency rule request for the red king crab savings area, an initial review of the snow crab rebuilding analysis as well as the Cook Inlet salmon fishery management plan and final action on the charter halibut management measures.  Public comment on these and other agenda items is being accepted from Nov. 18 through Dec. 2. All submitted comments will be reviewed and posted online on the council’s website. Also, both the council and the advisory panel meetings are being broadcast on Zoom. The council is also accepting nominations from Alaska Native tribes and/or trib...
From the Editor: PME ‘22
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From the Editor: PME ‘22

As you probably know if you’re involved in the West Coast commercial fishing industry, one of the largest and longest running commercial fishing and commercial marine trade shows in existence, Pacific Marine Expo, takes place Nov. 17-19 in Seattle. And once again, the company that owns Fishermen’s News Magazine will be in attendance. Maritime Institute, the parent company of Maritime Publishing, which operates Fishermen’s News, will be at Booth 220 during this year’s expo. A handful of Maritime Publishing representatives, including publisher Dave Abrams, advertising manager Katie Higgins and yours truly, managing editor Mark Nero, will all be at the booth during various times over the course of the three days, as will other folks who help create content for the magazine. If you’re going ...
2023 Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Forecasts Anticipate A Lower Harvest
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2023 Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Forecasts Anticipate A Lower Harvest

Early forecasts from the University of Washington Alaska Salmon Program (UW-ASP) and Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) predict a 2023 Bristol Bay sockeye salmon harvest of about 35 million to 38 million fish, compared to the 2022 harvest of 60 million fish. Forecasts differ due to the modeling used by researchers at the two entities. The UW-ASP preseason forecast, based on historical catch and escapement data collected by ADF&G, plus additional stock and stock by age class forecasts, is 13% lower than the recent 10-year average of 57 million fish and 4% higher than the recent 20-year average of observed runs of 48 million sockeye to Bristol Bay. In recent years, the UW-ASP program has increasingly relied on Dynamic Linear Models (DLM) to generate forecasts based on th...
Canada Completes 2022 IUU Enforcement in North Pacific
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Canada Completes 2022 IUU Enforcement in North Pacific

Canadian fisheries officials, collaborating with the United States, South Korea and Japan, have completed their 2022 efforts in Operation North Pacific Guard, an international law enforcement operation on the high seas of the North Pacific Ocean. December marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations ban of high seas driftnets, which are identified by Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada as a threat to Canadian migratory fish stocks such as Pacific salmon. and all living marine species. The DFO said in a report issued in early November that Canada flew 29 patrols over 247 hours, covering a total of 44,200 nautical miles as part of Operation North Pacific Guard. They discovered incidents of sharks being caught and kept and garbage pollution, as well as a large number of ships with impro...
UBC Researchers Begin Study of Road Salt Impacts on Salmon
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UBC Researchers Begin Study of Road Salt Impacts on Salmon

A new five-year study by University of British Columbia researchers will focus on the impact of road salt on salmon habitat and baby salmon and how the public can help reduce potential impact from road salt. The study, announced in early November, noted that Pacific salmon are in decline and posed the question of whether too much salt in critical salmon streams could be a cause. Adult salmon live in salt water but grow up in fresh water and there’s evidence that quite moderate salt levels at a young age causes mortality and stunted growth in these fish. The study itself will focus on the region around Vancouver, British Columbia, also known as the Lower Mainland. There is currently relatively limited monitoring of salt levels in the area’s creeks and streams, although there are various...
Backyard Buoys to Help Support Blue Economy
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Backyard Buoys to Help Support Blue Economy

A new effort to gather wave data to enhance the blue economy, including maritime activities, food security and coastal hazard protection, is underway with National Science Foundation (NSF) funds to improve ocean data access for Indigenous communities. NOAA officials said the Backyard Buoys project would empower Indigenous and other coastal communities to collect, steward and use wave data that complements their existing knowledge to support their blue economy. Innovations in the works currently include a modular, sustainable process for community-led stewardship of affordable ocean buoys and co-designed web-based applications that render data easy to access and understand and bridge to Indigenous knowledge. The NOAA-led U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System effort is being financed v...
1st Meeting of NPFMC Salmon Bycatch Committee Set
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1st Meeting of NPFMC Salmon Bycatch Committee Set

A new Salmon Bycatch Committee formed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is set to hold its first meeting on Monday, Nov. 28. Council members Andy Mezirow, owner of Gray Light Fisheries in Seward, and Rachel Baker, deputy director of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), were named as co-chairs. Others appointed to the council’s task force include Ruth Christiansen, United Catcher Boats; Oscar Evon Coastal, Coastal Villages Region Fund; Serena Fitka, Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association; Jennifer Hooper, Association of Village Council Presidents; Mellisa Johnson, Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Tribal Consortium; Stephanie Madsen, At-Sea Processors Association; Elizabeth Reed, Westward Seafoods; Steve Ricci, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp; Kevin Whitworth...
Coast Guard Encounters Russian, Chinese Ships Near Alaska
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Coast Guard Encounters Russian, Chinese Ships Near Alaska

Crew aboard a U.S. Coast Guard cutter homeported in Honolulu reported encountering a formation of Russian and Chinese naval ships near Alaska while on patrol in the Bering and Chukchi seas in October. A Coast Guard report from the cutter Kimball said that while on routine patrol the crew spotted a formation of naval ships from Russia and China transiting through the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, but that the vessels did not enter U.S. territorial waters.   The Kimball came within about one mile of the naval ships, established and maintained radio contact, and ultimately ensured their presence was in accordance with international rules and norms. The Kimball and its crew covered more than 22,000 miles in over 100 days, conducting search and rescue and fisheries enforcement patrols in t...
Congressional Report: Pebble Mine Owners Used ‘Bait And Switch’ Tactics
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Congressional Report: Pebble Mine Owners Used ‘Bait And Switch’ Tactics

A new congressional report uses internal documents from the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) to demonstrate a sham permitting scheme designed to evade regulations and develop an open pit mine in the Bristol Bay watershed. The report, released in late October by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-CA, chair of the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, said they sent evidence of false statements to the U.S. Attorney General’s office based on the report’s findings.   The report recommends that Congress prevent future attempts to undermine the federal permitting process by ensuring that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies have the authority, training personnel and r...
Calif. Delays Dungeness Crab Fishery South of Sonoma/Mendocino County Line
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Calif. Delays Dungeness Crab Fishery South of Sonoma/Mendocino County Line

Commercial fishing for Dungeness crab south of California’s Sonoma-Mendocino county line has been delayed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) due to concerns over potential entanglement with high numbers of humpback whales in the area. The commercial fishery had been scheduled to open on Nov. 15 in fishing Zones 3, 4, 5 and 6. CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said this week that based on recent surveys large aggregations of humpback whales are continuing to forage in coastal waters of California and allowing use of crab traps would raise the risk of an entanglement. Bonham said his agency will continue to work with both recreational and commercial Dungeness crab fisheries to protect whales and sea turtles while striving to maximize fishing opportunity. Bonham said...