Issue: April 2024

Commercial  Fishermen Have  Questions, Concerns  About West Coast Offshore Wind

Commercial Fishermen Have Questions, Concerns About West Coast Offshore Wind

Although offshore wind projects are common along the East Coast, the West Coast has yet to see any turbines dot the horizon. That’s likely to change in the coming years, however, as the waters have been opened up in California by the federal government. Plans for floating systems are in the works, as well as land-side support facilities. Although the process is moving forward, fishermen still have concerns, and more questions than answers. In 2021, several federal departments announced a shared goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy in the U.S. by 2030. And in 2022, President Biden followed that up with another objective: 15 GW of floating offshore wind (OSW) energy by 2035. The first offshore wind lease sale in the Pacific Ocean took place in December 2022. It was a...
Documentary on Fishing, Cannery Industries Premieres at LA Film Festival

Documentary on Fishing, Cannery Industries Premieres at LA Film Festival

“The Smell of Money,” a documentary named for locals’ descriptions of both the fishing industry’s emanating aromas and lucrative economic benefits—was shown for the first time at the Los Angeles Harbor International Film Festival on March 17. The initial free, open-to-the-public screening was held at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s John Olguin Auditorium. “The fishing and canning industry played a pivotal role in the early days of the Los Angeles Harbor,” Los Angeles Harbor Commission President Lucille Roybal-Allard said in a statement. “The documentary is a fitting tribute to this important era in our region’s history, and to all the men and women who contributed to its success.” In the early 20th century, the LA harbor was a bustling hub, attracting immigrants from around the world in pu...
The California Salmon Plan

The California Salmon Plan

The “California Salmon Strategy for a Hotter, Drier Future” was released by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Jan. 30. It lists six goals and 71 actions intended to build healthier, stronger salmon populations throughout the state in the face of climate change-induced drought and heat.     Some of those actions are ongoing or in the pipeline. Many are aspirational. The strategy’s planning horizon is the next three years of Newsom’s term as governor and so it amounts to a salmon “to do” list for his administration, involving multiple agencies. It’s ambitious, but much needed. And in the face of likely climate change impacts, it’s also a forward-looking planning process that other states should emulate. First of all, we thank Gov. Newsom for having a salmon recovery strategy at all, and for...
A Safer World for Commercial Fishermen

A Safer World for Commercial Fishermen

Advances in policy, best practices and technology are saving lives. If there’s one fact known to both commercial fishermen and landlubbers alike, it’s that the profession is dangerous. But humanity has come a long way since we first cast off the dock lines, and fortunately there is positive news on the mariner safety front. According to the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA), the latest research from on Alaska commercial fishing fatalities shows a 57% decrease from 2013 to 2022. The bottom line: mariners are not alone when it comes to emphasizing safety, whether the effort includes National Institute of Occupational Safety (NIOSH), which tracked the decrease in fishing deaths, or the U.S. Coast Guard. “Commercial fishing is still one of the most dangerous occupations,...
Oregon State Working to Refine Ocean Oxygen Monitoring Sensors in Fisheries

Oregon State Working to Refine Ocean Oxygen Monitoring Sensors in Fisheries

Researchers at Oregon State University are collaborating with fishing industry and tribal partners on a project to refine and expand use of oxygen monitoring sensors to be deployed in fishing pots to learn more about changing ocean conditions. The three-year, $1.2 million Ocean Technology Transition grant, announced by the university on Feb. 27, is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The dissolved oxygen sensors were initially developed by Oregon State researchers over a decade ago in response to concerns from crabbers who were pulling up pots full of dead crabs caught in hypoxic dead zones. The sensors helped them to gather information on how hypoxia, or low oxygen, is impacting crabbing in the Pacific Northwest. These oxygen sensors have proven to be an ef...
Top Donors Honored During Seafood Expo for 50M Servings to Food Banks

Top Donors Honored During Seafood Expo for 50M Servings to Food Banks

Two major processors of wild Alaska seafood have been honored as top donors to SeaShare for donations of millions of servings to food banks and other feeding programs since the nonprofit was founded 30 years ago to engage the seafood industry in fighting hunger in America. In awards presented at Seafood Expo North America in Boston on March 10, SeaShare saluted Trident Seafoods for donations of more than 30 million servings of seafood to the nation’s food banks and OBI Seafoods for its contribution of 20 million servings. “It’s staggering to think that one in five Americans don’t know where their next meal will come from,” Trident Seafoods CEO Joe Bundrant said. “Through our work with SeaShare, we’re proud to have donated more than 30 million servings of nutritious, wild Alaska seafood...
From the Editor: Fishing Restrictions Bill

From the Editor: Fishing Restrictions Bill

The future of commercial gillnet fishing and the catching of giant sea bass in California are now in doubt, following legislation proposed by a state Assembly member in February that would restrict certain types of fishing in state waters. Assembly Bill 2220 would do three things: completely ban commercial fishing for sea bass, eliminating current exceptions; ban the use of gill nets, also eliminating current exceptions, and mandate that commercial fishing vessels operating with a state permit carry an independent third-party observer onboard while operating within state fisheries. If passed and signed into law, the proposed legislation, which was drafted by Assemblyman Steve Bennett (D-Ventura), could have a sizable impact—financially and in other ways—on the state’s commercial fishing ...
USCG Sector Puget Sound Launches Effort to Curb Vessel Traffic’s Impact on Whales

USCG Sector Puget Sound Launches Effort to Curb Vessel Traffic’s Impact on Whales

The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound is engaging in a four-year pilot program that is expected to help minimize the vessel traffic impact on endangered whales in the Salish Sea, the agency announced Feb. 21. Hosted in the Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), the program allows for the Coast Guard to get whale sighting reports from mariners and give close to real-time information on whale locations to mariners through a whale report alert system, according to the Guard. The Coast Guard said that it plans to work closely with international, federal, tribal and state entities as well as nongovernmental organizations. “The new cetacean desk aligns with our regional goals to help endangered whales and ships share the waters of the Salish Sea,” Rachel Aronson, a program director wit...
Executive Order Expands Coast Guard’s Authority to Address Maritime Cyber Threats On Feb. 21, President Biden signed an executive order amending regulations relating to the safeguarding of U.S. vessels, harbors, ports and waterfront facilities, updating the Code of Federal Regulations to explicitly address cyber threats. “This executive order ensures Coast Guard authorities are aligned with emerging cybersecurity threats, and reflects the commitment of the Biden administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard to safeguard maritime critical infrastructure,” Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy Rear Admiral Wayne Arguin said. Section 70051 of title 46, United States Code, commonly referred to as the Magnuson Act, authorizes the President to i...

Oregon Legislature Boosts Investment in Marine Reserves

Oregon legislators have approved a landmark bill aimed at strengthening state marine reserves, plus providing a commitment to ocean conservation, stakeholder collaboration and sustainable management of marine resources. The state Senate vote of 26-3 on March 6 came in the wake of the 10-year anniversary of Oregon’s marine reserves program, and a unanimous 55-0 vote in the House of Representatives earlier that week. The legislation increased by $894,324 for the biennium ending June 30, 2025 for an adaptive management and social monitoring program to support marine reserves. The package includes $479,324 for three permanent positions and related services and supplies, $100,000 for a Sea Grant-based fellow position to support new research, and $315,000 for contracts to conduct facilitation...