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New Restrictions Placed on California Dungeness Crab Traps
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New Restrictions Placed on California Dungeness Crab Traps

New restrictions have been put in place for traps utilized in California’s recreational Dungeness crab fishery, which opens statewide on Nov. 6, in an effort to reduce entanglement risks for whales and sea turtles. Under new regulations announced Nov. 1 by the state’s Fish and Game Commission, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has the authority to prohibit use of traps in the fishery to minimize entanglement from lines and buoys typically used with trap gear. A crab trap gear prohibition would also prevent use of crab traps in the rock crab fishery. Use of hoop nets and snares (crab loop traps) are not affected by the new regulations and may be used to catch Dungeness crab when the season opens. The commercial Dungeness crab fishery south of the Sonoma/Mendocino c...
Federal Legislation Introduced that Would Benefit Hawaii’s Diverse Aquaculture
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Federal Legislation Introduced that Would Benefit Hawaii’s Diverse Aquaculture

Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate in late October would establish national standards for sustainable offshore aquaculture and also designate the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the lead federal agency for marine aquaculture. “Hawaii’s diverse aquaculture produced over $80 million finfish, shellfish and algae in 2019,” said Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii and a key sponsor of the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture Act (AQUAA) Act. “At the same time, the movement to restore native Hawaiian fishponds such as those at He’eia and Maunalua continues to develop momentum. This bipartisan bill would increase federal support for both.” Schatz, along with Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla, introduced the bill in the Sen...
Alaska’s 2021 Commercial Salmon Harvest of 233.8 Fish Valued at $643.9M
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Alaska’s 2021 Commercial Salmon Harvest of 233.8 Fish Valued at $643.9M

Preliminary harvest and value figures on the 2021 Alaska commercial salmon fishery show a value of $643.9 million, up from $295.2 million, with 233.8 million fish caught, compared to 116.8 million fish in 2020. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s preliminary figures show that sockeye salmon accounted for about 56% of the total value at $361.4 million and 24% of the harvest at just under 57 million fish. Humpies accounted for about 28% of the value at $178.8 million and 69% of the harvest with under 161 million fish, Chums were nearly 10% of the value at $62.7 million and about 6% of the harvest with 128 million fish. The cohos comprised about 4% of the value at $23.9 million and 1% of the harvest at 2.7 million fish, Chinooks were estimated to include over 265,000 fish with an ...
Approval Urged for Oregon’s Catastrophic Regional Fishery Disaster Declaration
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Approval Urged for Oregon’s Catastrophic Regional Fishery Disaster Declaration

Members of Oregon’s congressional delegation are urging U.S. Commerce Secretary Rina Raimondo to expeditiously approve a request from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown for a catastrophic regional fishery disaster declaration for Oregon’s ocean commercial salmon fishery. The delegation noted in its Oct. 21 letter to Raimondo that federal aid is urgently needed to mitigate negative impacts of three consecutive years of steep declines in revenue generated by this fishery and to provide support to communities that were economically impacted. In 2018, 2019 and 2020, the commercial ex-vessel value of Chinook salmon in these waters was $2.3 million, $2.0 million and $1.4 million respectively, a significant decrease from the average 2013-2017 value of $6.3 million, they said. In addition to the eco...
Container Ship En Route to Vancouver Loses Cargo, Catches Fire
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Container Ship En Route to Vancouver Loses Cargo, Catches Fire

U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard officials are continuing to monitor movement of shipping containers that tumbled off of the container ship Zim Kingston in rough seas in the Strait of Juan de Fuca as the vessel was en route to British Columbia from South Korea. A U.S. Coast Guard report said that the incident occurred Friday, Oct. 22 during heavy swells 38 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and that initially the cargo was reported to be general containers with nothing dangerous. However, a preliminary report from the master of the Zim Kingston reported that two containers that went overboard contained hazardous material. An Air Station Port Angeles crew was able to locate 35 of the containers, and deployed a self-locating datum marker buoy to monitor movement of the containe...
Revised Draft EIS on Proposed 2022 Cook Inlet Oil and Gas Lease Sale Published
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Revised Draft EIS on Proposed 2022 Cook Inlet Oil and Gas Lease Sale Published

Interior Department officials have published a revised draft environmental impact statement for public comment on a proposed 2022 oil and gas lease sale on federal submerged lands in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, an area critical to commercial and subsistence seafood harvesters. The draft EIS analyzes potential environmental impact of the proposed activity that would follow the lease sale. The area identified for the potential sale includes 224 outer continental shelf blocks toward the northern part of the inlet and covers about 1.09 million acres of seafloor, stretching roughly from Kalgin Island in the north to Augustine Island in the south. A Bureau of Ocean Energy Management statement said the draft EIS analyzes a range of alternatives to be considered for leasing and the leasing area...
Murray Appointed as Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
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Murray Appointed as Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Joyce Murray, who has served in Canada’s House of Commons since 2008, has been named Canada’s new Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. Her appointment was announced Tuesday, Oct. 26, by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The announcement prompted quick messages of congratulations to Murray from the Fisheries Council of Canada and the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance. The Fisheries Council statement said it hoped to work with the new minister to reclaim the nation’s global reputation as a sustainable seafood powerhouse. “Demand for seafood has only grown in the last two years as Canadians explored more options for cooking and eating at home,” the council stated. “Coupled with the government’s mandate to create a productive and sustainable Blue ...
Boost in Hatchery Salmon to Feed Endangered Southern Resident Orcas Reported
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Boost in Hatchery Salmon to Feed Endangered Southern Resident Orcas Reported

A new report from NOAA Fisheries says that federal, state and tribal salmon hatcheries in Washington and Oregon have boosted production of juvenile Chinook salmon over the past two years to help endangered southern resident orca whales recover. The southern resident orcas prey on salmon and other fish, rather than other sea mammals, and have a preference for king salmon. Federal funds for the project came in association with the Pacific Salmon Treaty, plus state funds from the Washington State Legislature. Hatcheries aim to increase prey for the top marine predators by roughly 4-5% as the young fish mature over the next two to three years. NOAA Fisheries said the federal funds include $10.4 million last year and this year to restore habitat in the Salish Sea, to improve long-t...
Virtual Fall Fishermen’s EXPO Schedule Set for Nov. 8-9
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Virtual Fall Fishermen’s EXPO Schedule Set for Nov. 8-9

Free educational workshops for commercial and subsistence fishermen of all gear types are on the agenda for the Fall Fishermen’s EXPO, a virtual event planned for Nov. 8-9, hosted by Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust. Commercial and subsistence harvesters of all gear types will be able to participate in these interactive classes on Nobeltec Timezero Pro training, current groundfish pot gear regulations and updates and body ergonomics of fishing. Also on the agenda will be updates on federal fisheries issues, fuel efficiency and ALFA’s involvement with the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project, Coast Guard top three dockside deficiencies, climate change, ocean acidification impacts on fish, an overview of Alaska Sea Grant a...
Seafood Industry Giant Chuck Bundrant Passes Away at 79
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Seafood Industry Giant Chuck Bundrant Passes Away at 79

Seafood fisheries giant Chuck Bundrant knew nothing about boats or commercial fishing when he walked the docks at Fishermen’s Terminal in Seattle in the winter of 1961 and landed a job processing crab in Alaska, which he hoped would pay his way through college. From that first job, Bundrant went on to become a legend in the industry, cofounding Trident Seafoods in 1972. At the time of his death at home in Edmonds, Wash., on Sunday, Oct. 17, Bundrant was remembered both for his shrewd business skills and the loyalty he attracted from those business partners, harvesters included. “He treated his fishermen fair,” said Robin Samuelsen, a veteran Bristol Bay gillnetter who fished for Trident for years. “He provided excellent service; his word was better than gold. When us fishermen ha...