Issue: August 2022

ACI Boats Launches Bristol Bay Gillnetter

ACI Boats Launches Bristol Bay Gillnetter

The f/v Signe, which was launched in Bristol Bay by ACI Boats in early May. Photo courtesy of ACI Boats. Aluminum boat builder ACI Boats on May 3 launched its second Bristol Bay gillnetter in Port Townsend, Wash. The boat was designed in collaboration with ACI employee Mike Carr, who’s a second generation Bristol Bay fisherman and Port Townsend local. Carr grew up in Discovery Bay, where his dad built hulls for seiners. He started fishing in Bristol Bay The f/v Signe is 32 feet-by-15 feet, 6 inches and was designed for maximum performance while maintaining comfort and efficiency, according to ACI Boats. The pilothouse has direct bonded look-up windows that provide exceptional visibility and natural light. There is ample deck space, and a comfortable galley/berthing area that sleeps f...
Resolve Marine Acquires Dutch Harbor’s MAC Enterprises

Resolve Marine Acquires Dutch Harbor’s MAC Enterprises

Resolve Marine Group, a Florida-based multinational company specializing in ship and vessel salvage, rescue, emergency response and specialized marine services, has acquired MAC Enterprises, Inc., a provider of welding, diving, boat watch and chartering services in Alaska’s Dutch Harbor and the Aleutian Islands. MAC Enterprises was established in 1982 by Jimmer and Alyssa McDonald and supports commercial and fishing fleets of some major seafood companies as well as local, state and national government agencies. The company provides a range of underwater welding and commercial diving services, including hull inspection and surveys, sea chest cleaning and scraping, and propeller inspection and maintenance approved by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The company...
Recycling Company Braces for Influx of Nets from Bristol Bay

Recycling Company Braces for Influx of Nets from Bristol Bay

Net Your Problem, a Seattle-based company led by research scientist Nicole Baker, is forecasting an influx of commercial fishing nets for recycling at the end of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery in July, to ultimately be made into new plastic products. Baker said in a dispatch from Bristol Bay on the eve of that fishery that Net Your Problem had launched a new collection site across from a city dock in Naknek, Alaska, and was spreading the word to fishermen and fishing industry related entities to drop off worn out fishing nets at season’s end. Baker, a former North Pacific groundfish fisheries observer, now works at the University of Washington in Seattle as a research scientist, but said she is working on expanding her footprint to other fishing ports to make this a full-time effort. S...
Marine Economy Pours Billions Into America’s GDP, Reports Show

Marine Economy Pours Billions Into America’s GDP, Reports Show

Economic reports compiled by two Commerce Department agencies confirm that America’s marine economy continues to pour billions of dollars into the nation’s gross domestic product, albeit tempered by a general economic decline during the first year of the global coronavirus pandemic. Results of the annual Marine Economy Satellite Account released in June by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show that amounted to some $361 billion in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. That total represents a 5.8% or $23 billion reduction in real terms, adjusted for inflation, from 2019, outpacing the general economic decline of 3.4%. The data, report and other materials are available at https://coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/data...
Silver Bay Seafoods Fined for Water Quality Violations

Silver Bay Seafoods Fined for Water Quality Violations

Silver Bay Seafoods LLC of Sitka, Alaska, has been fined $467,469 by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for violations of their Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit at the processor’s Naknek River facility in Bristol Bay. Officials, who announced the fine on June 7, said that in addition to numerous violations identified at the Bristol Bay processing plant during a scheduled inspection in 2021, the company repeatedly discharged significantly more fish waste into the Naknek River than permitted, despite a DEC decision to deny Silver Bay’s request to exceed discharge limits. “Not only did Silver Bay Seafoods’ knowing and recalcitrant disregard for permit terms put the local environment at risk, but it also gave them a material competitive advan...
Trawler Burns to Waterline Off Coast of Oregon

Trawler Burns to Waterline Off Coast of Oregon

A 42-foot trawler caught fire off the coast of Mansanita Beach, Oregon, near Nehalem Bay State Park, on June 18 and burned to the waterline, but the only person on board, who was rescued by a nearly fishing vessel, escaped injury, U.S Coast Guard officials  said. The survivor, the captain and owner of the vessel, was transferred to a Coast Guard response boat and brought to shore, according to the USCG. The incident was first reported by the publication The Maritime Executive, which quoted BM1 Aaron Harris of the Coast Guard Tillamook station as saying “the captain was very, very lucky that there was another boat on scene to assist him; otherwise he would’ve been in a lot of trouble.” “More than likely if that other boat hadn’t been there, he would’ve been forced to enter the water an...
NOAA Fisheries Offering Updates on Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands Ocean Temperatures

NOAA Fisheries Offering Updates on Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands Ocean Temperatures

NOAA Fisheries has begun providing daily updates of ocean temperatures recorded during the eastern Bering Sea and northern Bering Sea bottom trawl surveys, with the primary goal being collecting data on the distribution and abundance of crab, groundfish and other bottom-dwelling species. Other goals, according to NOAA, include monitoring the ecosystem and aiding in management of commercially important species in Alaska fisheries. Information from the surveys could provide insight into whether there will be a cold pool in 2022, which is the natural barrier separating the biological community of the southeastern Bering Sea from the northern Bering Sea. NOAA Fisheries is also offering daily updates on ocean temperatures from its Aleutian Islands bottom trawl survey. The eastern Bering Sea...
EPA Announces Revised Clean Water Act Determination

EPA Announces Revised Clean Water Act Determination

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed restrictions under the Clean Water Act that would prohibit disposal of mine wastes from the Pebble deposit into the Bristol Bay watershed, a potentially huge roadblock for a proposed copper, gold and molybdenum mine. EPA Region 10’s May 26 announcement came as hundreds of commercial fishermen were gearing up for what was forecast by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a very robust season, with more than 73 million sockeye salmon expected to return to the world’s largest wild sockeye fishery. If approved, the revised proposed determination would protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed from potential adverse environmental impacts of mining ventures on salmon habitat. The proposed restrictions, under the Clean Water Act Section...
NPFMC Urges Pollock Industry to Reduce Chum Bycatch, But Declines to Impose Restrictions

NPFMC Urges Pollock Industry to Reduce Chum Bycatch, But Declines to Impose Restrictions

Federal fisheries managers have acknowledged the ongoing crisis in Alaska salmon stocks, and have opted to respond with additional research and a request to the Pollock industry to institute immediate measures to reduce chum bycatch during the summer fishery. At its June meeting in Sitka, Alaska, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council requested a discussion paper on chum salmon bycatch building on the previous analysis, which was performed in 2012. But for now, the council has opted not to impose new restrictions that would impact the Pollock trawl vessels whose bycatch of chum salmon in 2021 reached 546,043 fish. Additionally, the Pollock industry was asked to report back at the end of the B season on how bycatch reduction efforts worked. During the meeting, the council heard s...
Study: Melting Glaciers Likely to Boost Healthy Salmon Spawning Habitat

Study: Melting Glaciers Likely to Boost Healthy Salmon Spawning Habitat

Dramatic increases in the melting of Alaska’s massive glaciers in the midst of global warming reflect a silver lining for wild salmon, but once the melting has concluded, such benefits will likely not be realized, according to Peter Westley, a fisheries researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Westley highlighted recent work led by colleagues at Simon Fraser University that quantified the rich bounty of salmon habitat currently hidden, but soon to be revealed, by rapidly melting glaciers. The current rate of melting glaciers in Alaska is much higher than salmon have experienced in a long, long time, said Westley of UAF’s Salmonid Evolutionary Ecology & Conservation (SEEC) Lab. Currently, glaciers are helping cool the waters and create new habitat for wild salmon, but even...