Issue: January 2023

Feds Approve Demolition of 4 Klamath River Dams

Feds Approve Demolition of 4 Klamath River Dams

Federal officials have approved a plan for demolition of four aging dams on the Klamath River at the foot of the Cascade Mountains in an effort to open up salmon habitat and restore the river by 2024. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) unanimous decision allows for the $500 million demolition project, which would return the river to a free-flowing state for the first time in over a century. Removal of the dam could begin as early as the summer of 2023. On Nov. 17, FERC unanimously approved a request from PacifiCorp to surrender licenses and decommission the Lower Klamath Project’s four hydroelectric dams on the Oregon and California border, ending decades of debate over the issue. Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden said in a joint statement that they viewed FERC’s...
Coast Guard Cutter Healy Returns to Seattle

Coast Guard Cutter Healy Returns to Seattle

After 17,000 nautical miles and 124 days at sea, the crew members of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy came back to its homeport in Seattle, the agency announced Nov. 11. The crew’s journey was considered a historic one as the 420-foot medium icebreaker traveled in high Arctic latitudes and reached the geographic North Pole Sept 30, “only the second time a U.S. surface vessel had reached 90 degrees north unaccompanied,” the USCG said.  The crew also provided law enforcement presence in the Arctic and the Gulf of Alaska. “It is more important than ever before to provide security and sovereign presence in the Arctic and expand oceanographic research to understand the impacts of environmental change,” said Healy’s commanding officer, Capt. Kenneth Boda. “The crew of Healy is proud to hav...
USCG Recovers Oil from Sunken Fishing Vessel in L.A. Area

USCG Recovers Oil from Sunken Fishing Vessel in L.A. Area

In late October, the U.S. Coast Guard completed cleanup efforts after the 70-foot fishing vessel Bill Ketner partially sank at a pier in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles. At about 7 p.m. on Oct. 24, the Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach Incident Management Division received notification that the f/v Bill Ketner had partially sunk at the pier with a max capacity of 2,500 gallons of diesel onboard. Working alongside Los Angeles Port Police and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Coast Guard pollution responders oversaw the successful clean-up operation, the Guard said. The vessel was lifted and stabilized using eight flotation air bags. Once the vessel was raised to the surface of the water, the hull was patched and fuel rem...
King Cove Road Faces Another Round of Scrutiny by Appeals Court Judges

King Cove Road Faces Another Round of Scrutiny by Appeals Court Judges

There’s still no end in sight for the years’ long dispute over whether to connect shorter links between the all-weather airport at Cold Bay, Alaska, to the Aleutian fishing community of King Cove, through a one-lane gravel road passing through Izembeck National Wildlife Refuge. A decision handed down in mid-November by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision reached earlier in 2022 by another three-judge panel that approved of a land swap between the federal government and the King Cove Corp., an Alaska Native village corporation, under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). A panel including more than two dozen attorneys with the Ninth Circuit Court was to review briefs from the case to determine whether a fair decision was reached. Residents of Ki...
Pacific Marine Expo ’22 Recap

Pacific Marine Expo ’22 Recap

Pacific Marine Expo, the largest commercial marine trade show on the West Coast serving commercial mariners, returned to Seattle in November. The event, held Nov. 17-19, attracted thousands of attendees from Alaska to California and beyond. In addition to commercial fishermen, attendees included vessel owner/operators, engineers, architects, seafood processors, port officials, harbor engineers, marine surveyors and others involved in the maritime industry. In addition to hundreds of exhibitor booths, the event featured panel discussions on various topics. The expo offers a variety of informative education sessions covering such topics as marine safety, business management, regulatory issues, technical advancements and more. This year’s event featured 11 panel discussions, including “A...
Smarter, Stronger, More Efficient Fishing Gear on the Market

Smarter, Stronger, More Efficient Fishing Gear on the Market

The latest supplies and equipment geared toward commercial fishermen have been stronger, smarter and more resilient to address the unique challenges those in the industry face. Although that’s how gear in the industry has naturally progressed, recent developments have utilized innovative solutions in order to address several issues. Some of the newest products and trends: creative collaborations for advanced hooks, smart technology in buoys, predator and abrasion resistant netting and an increase in demand for cod coil collapsible slinky pots. Fishermen’s News reached out to several manufacturers and suppliers to find out the latest products on the market, what the big sellers are and recent trends.  LFS INC. There’s been a tendency to move away from having knots, Seine Division Mana...
The Fight Against Illegal Fishing Ramps Up

The Fight Against Illegal Fishing Ramps Up

The global issue of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has come to the fore in a slew of public announcements this year, including one from President Joe Biden. His administration’s Memorandum on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Associated Labor Abuses on June 27, noted that “illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and related harmful fishing practices are among the greatest threats to ocean health and are significant causes of global overfishing, contributing to the collapse or decline of fisheries that are critical to the economic growth, food systems and ecosystems of numerous countries around the world.” The Executive Branch is hardly alone. A bipartisan bill, S.4773 (IS) Fighting Foreign Illegal Seafood Harvests Act of 2022 (FISH Act), w...
Slips, Trips & Falls: Don’t Fall for It

Slips, Trips & Falls: Don’t Fall for It

Humans can be amazing. Most of us can stand upright on two feet, walk and move around easily, even gracefully sometimes. It gets harder to walk and do your work when you are out on a rain-soaked dock or moving vessel. There may be gear or equipment to navigate around. There may be steps or ladders to get from one level to another or from the dock to the vessel. There may be something on the working surface that makes it slippery—rain, ice, saltwater, hydraulic fluid, fish or bait. Not to mention that when you are working on deck, there is fishing gear, tools and equipment in motion and coordination of movement with other fishermen, their gear or activities. There’s also the weather and sea conditions. By reviewing the reported injury information for Oregon and Washington commercial fis...
Great Balls of Fishy Fire Light

Great Balls of Fishy Fire Light

Some fish are attracted to light. We all know that. We’ve known that since people have been waving fire torches from wooden dugout canoes. It’s quite evident today, and it can be seen in all of those brightly lit up fishing vessels at night. Sure, those lights help keep the deckhands safe, but you can tell that many of those lights are specifically designed and aimed at bringing fish up closer to the surface. So, why not produce some special underwater lights for the seabed fishing industry? Well, a few companies have tried to do just that by selling lights for crab pots and lobster traps. Some of those products have provided mixed results due mostly to the quality of the products made. However, one company has managed to shed some light on the subject in a most positive way as far as ...
What To Do With All Those Oil Rigs?

What To Do With All Those Oil Rigs?

Widespread, industrial-scale oil and gas development of the U. S. Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (POCS) has been a constant threat to West Coast fisheries since the 1890s when the first wave primitive offshore oil wells were originally drilled into shallow coastal waters. The great oil spill off Santa Barbara in 1969, which dumped more than three million barrels of crude oil into the ocean, made it clear, however, that if anything goes wrong with offshore oil development, impacts on regional fisheries could be catastrophic. Thankfully, and as a direct result of perseverance, coastwide political organizing and luck, our commercial fishing industry, working with our state legislatures and key members of Congress, has—mostly—held this effort at bay since West-Coast wide oil and gas develop...