Issue: January 2023

From the Editor: Pacific Marine Expo ‘22

From the Editor: Pacific Marine Expo ‘22

In mid-November, I had the privilege and pleasure of representing Fishermen’s News at one of the largest and longest-running commercial fishing and commercial marine trade shows in existence, Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 17-19 in Seattle. Maritime Institute, the parent company of Maritime Publishing, which produces Fishermen’s News, operated Booth 220 at this year’s expo. A handful of Maritime Publishing representatives, including Publisher Dave Abrams, Advertising Manager Katie Higgins and yours truly, Managing Editor Mark Nero, were at the booth during various times over the course of the three days, as were other folks who help create content for the magazine, including Senior Designer Kathy Samuelson, Business Manager Sarah Spangler, and Writer Norris Comer. Not only...
Pebble Mine Decision: Litigation Likely to Follow Final Determination

Pebble Mine Decision: Litigation Likely to Follow Final Determination

A final determination on the future of a proposed copper, gold and molybdenum mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed could be handed down in February by the Environmental Protection Agency, but more litigation and possible deadline extensions could follow.  Still, the announcement in early December by Casey Sixkiller, Regional 10 administrator for the EPA, that he had transmitted to the agency’s headquarters a Recommended Determination to prohibit and restrict use of certain waters in the watershed for certain discharges of dredged or fill materials from the mine got plenty of attention. Advocates for the Canadian-owned mine, a subsidiary of the diversified global mining group Hunter Dickenson in Vancouver, British Columbia, cried foul while opponents of the project hailed the possibil...
NPRB Seeks to Fill Two Advisory Panel Seats

NPRB Seeks to Fill Two Advisory Panel Seats

The North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) is seeking applicants through March 1 to fill two seats on its advisory panel, one for the Arctic Region and a second seat designated for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Region. The advisory panel of the Anchorage-based research entity represents stakeholders, user groups, Alaska Native communities and other interested groups and communities from the Pacific Arctic, Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska. The panel advises the NPRB on achieving its overall mission to improve understanding of marine ecosystems and to inform sustainable fisheries management. The panel’s input helps to shape research and outreach, including identifying research priorities, advising programmatic development, evaluating communications efforts and reviewin...
Backyard Buoys to Help Support  Blue Economy

Backyard Buoys to Help Support Blue Economy

A new effort to gather wave data to enhance the blue economy, including maritime activities, food security and coastal hazard protection, is underway to improve ocean data access for Indigenous communities. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said the Backyard Buoys project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), would empower Indigenous and other coastal communities to collect, steward and use wave data that complements their existing knowledge to support their blue economy. Innovations in the works currently include a modular, sustainable process for community-led stewardship of affordable ocean buoys. In addition, there will be co-designed web-based applications that render data easy to access, with a bridge to Indigenous knowledge. The NOAA-led U.S....
Kevin Bixler Named CEO  of Peter Pan Seafoods

Kevin Bixler Named CEO of Peter Pan Seafoods

Seafood industry veteran Kevin Bixler is joining Peter Pan Seafood Co. this month as its first chief executive officer since new owners acquired the company. He is to play a key role in producing sustainable seafood that benefits people and the oceans, company officials say. Bixler most recently served as global director of group fish procurement with seafood product producer Thai Union Group, with company headquarters in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, where he led company strategy on fish procurement. He also serves on the board of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and on the Legacy Foundation Advisory Board for the Rose Bowl. “Kevin’s experience at Thai Union, a global seafood leader, and his other various roles in the industry make him a natural fit for Peter Pan,” compa...
Congressional Report: Pebble Mine Owners Used  ‘Bait and Switch’ Tactics

Congressional Report: Pebble Mine Owners Used ‘Bait and Switch’ Tactics

A new congressional report uses internal documents from the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) to allege that officials created a sham permitting scheme designed to evade regulations and develop an open pit mine in the Bristol Bay watershed. The report was released in late October by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-CA, chair of the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. They said they sent evidence of false statements to the Justice Department based on their findings.   The report recommends that Congress prevent future attempts to undermine the federal permitting process by ensuring that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies have the authority, trained personne...
Norton Sound Salmon Runs Increase, But Still Weak

Norton Sound Salmon Runs Increase, But Still Weak

Chum and coho salmon runs into Alaska’s Norton Sound showed up well below runs of the 2010s, but better than a year ago, while the Chinook salmon run was worse than in 2021, state fisheries biologists said. Meanwhile, the pink salmon run was average for an even-numbered year and well below the record runs of the last three even-numbered years, according to the season summary released on Oct. 27 from Nome. The chum salmon harvest of 2022 was over four times higher than last year and the coho salmon harvest was nearly double that of a year ago, but both harvests still were well below the recent five-year average harvest when there were record coho salmon harvests and the chum harvests were the best in 30 years, biologists said. Although the run of humpies was better than last year’s odd...
UBC Researchers Begin Study of Road Salt Impacts on Salmon

UBC Researchers Begin Study of Road Salt Impacts on Salmon

A new five-year study by University of British Columbia researchers will focus on the impact of road salt on salmon habitat and baby salmon and how the public can help reduce its potential impacts. The study, announced in early November, noted that Pacific salmon are in decline and posed the question of whether too much salt in critical salmon streams could be a cause. Adult salmon live in salt water but grow up in fresh water and there’s evidence that even moderate salt levels at a young age cause mortality and stunted growth in these fish. The study itself will focus on the region around Vancouver, British Columbia, also known as the Lower Mainland. There is currently relatively limited monitoring of salt levels in the area’s creeks and streams, although there are various monitoring pr...