Issue: January 2022

California Fisheries Oil Spill Closure Lifted

California Fisheries Oil Spill Closure Lifted

A fisheries closure implemented in early October after more than 25,000 gallons of oil leaked from a pipeline has been lifted, and fisheries from Huntington Beach to Dana Point in Orange County, California, are back in business. California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) notified the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Tuesday, Nov. 30, that there’s no further risk to public health from seafood consumption in the affected area and recommends that fishing and consumption of seafood from the area resume. The closure implemented by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Oct. 3 prohibited the take of all fish and shellfish in that area, including the shorelines and offshore areas and all bays. OEHHA had determined that a threat to public hea...
Safety Precautions Urged During Dungeness Crab Season

Safety Precautions Urged During Dungeness Crab Season

Coast Guard officials are urging harvesters to take safety precautions in hazardous bar crossings during the commercial Dungeness crab season that’s now underway. Investigators with the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland said they have responded to over 200 marine casualties so far this year, with many of these incidents involving commercial fishing vessels. When unsafe conditions exist at the bar, the Coast Guard prohibits the passage of recreational and uninspected passenger vessels based on their size. When conditions exceed operating parameters of Coast Guard search and rescue resources, the bar is closed and no vessels allowed to cross unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port. Bar closures are announced via broadcast notice to mariners on VHF-FM channel 16 ...
Harvesters Challenge Ban on Salmon Fishing in Federal Waters of Alaska’s Cook Inlet

Harvesters Challenge Ban on Salmon Fishing in Federal Waters of Alaska’s Cook Inlet

A NOAA Fisheries final rule prohibiting commercial salmon fishing in federal waters off Cook Inlet beginning in 2022 is being challenged in federal court in Alaska by three commercial fishermen represented by a libertarian public interest law firm in Arlington, Virginia. The final rule implementing Amendment 14 to the Fishery Management Plan for Salmon Fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off Alaska was announced by NOAA Fisheries on Nov. 3. The EEZ extends from three nautical miles to 200 nautical miles off Alaska, and will close an area historically used by the Cook Inlet drift gillnet fleet. Those harvesters would then be limited to harvesting only in state waters. Seven days later, the Pacific Legal Foundation filed their suit, Humbyrd v. Raimondo, in the U.S. District Cour...
Fishing Vessel Operator Cited for Negligence on Columbia River

Fishing Vessel Operator Cited for Negligence on Columbia River

The Coast Guard on Dec. 1 said that it has issued a violation notice to the owner and master aboard a 48-foot commercial fishing vessel for negligence while operating in conditions of restricted visibility and a failure to maintain a proper lookout in the Columbia River navigation channel. The commercial fishing vessel, the name of which was not released by the USCG,  was operating outbound on the Oregon side of the Columbia River navigation channel as the 587-foot motor vessel Grand Race, a roll-on/roll-off cargo ship, was transiting inbound, in the vicinity of the navigation channel’s Buoy No. 8. The commercial fishing vessel, without providing notice or sound signal to the inbound Grand Race, adjusted course to move to the Washington side of the channel; and, in doing so, cut across t...
Retired Admiral Nominated to Head MARAD

Retired Admiral Nominated to Head MARAD

Retired Rear Adm. Ann Phillips, who served nearly 31 years of active duty with the U.S. Navy, has been nominated by the Biden administration to serve as administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration within the Department of Transportation. The White House announcement of her nomination lauded Phillips’ ability to coordinate federal, state, local and other partners to create equitable strategies to address rising waters and climate impact to government, maritime and other critical coastal infrastructure assets in Virginia. She has been serving as the first special assistant to the governor of Virginia for coastal adaptation and protection. In that capacity, in mid-October, Phillips was building a collaborative approach to address the impact of coastal flooding across the commonwealt...
Second Wind Energy Area  Designated Off California Coast

Second Wind Energy Area Designated Off California Coast

On Friday, Nov. 12, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the designation of the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area (MB WEA) offshore California’s central coast. This WEA, the second WEA designated off the California coast in the past four months, encompasses 376 square miles. On July 29, BOEM expanded the size of the original Morro Bay Call area from 311 square miles to a proposed 399 square miles, adding an east and a west extension. The MB WEA excluded the east extension proposed in July. According to BOEM, the MB WEA is capable of generating 2.924 gigawatts (GW) of wind power. In short, there are now two WEAs off the California coast. The other, located off the city of Eureka (between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon), is called the Humboldt WEA. It appears to be a fore...
Salmon Catch,  Renewed Demand Buoys Alaska Marine Lines’ 2021 Season

Salmon Catch, Renewed Demand Buoys Alaska Marine Lines’ 2021 Season

Robust harvests of Alaska’s sockeye salmon, plus renewed restaurant demand and changes in consumer buying habits, have apparently added up to a very good 2021 season for Alaska Marine Lines, part of the Lynden Inc. companies. The Bristol Bay sockeye salmon had a record 66.1 million catch, with a catch of some 40-plus million red salmon, according to AML seafood sales manager Tyler Maurer. All Lynden companies stayed busy keeping up with the volume of fish this year, prompted by larger returns, restaurants reopening after pandemic closures and new consumer buying habits, he said. Lynden Air Cargo annually flies fresh fish from Naknek, Emmonak, Cold Bay, Sand Point and Dillingham to Anchorage. Lynden Logistics then provides support for transloading to AML, Alaska West Express and Lynden...
Operation Fish Drop Delivers Salmon to Yukon River Villagers

Operation Fish Drop Delivers Salmon to Yukon River Villagers

Residents of Alaska’s Yukon River villages who were banned from fishing in 2021 due to weak runs of keta and Chinook salmon are still in need of this traditional sustenance, and a concerned Stanford University senior from Alaska is going to great lengths to make it happen. Sam Schimmel, a political science major at Stanford, addressed participants in November at the opening of the U.S. Pavilion in Glasgow to start of the United Nations Climate Change Conference on how the phenomenon has impacted salmon runs on the Yukon, where oil rich Chinook and keta salmon have been harvested commercially and for subsistence for decades. Schimmel said that after he spoke he was approached by the CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, who offered his organization’s help. Schimmel said he planned to stay in ...