Tag: fisheries

Sections of California Dungeness Crab Fishery to Close on April 15
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Sections of California Dungeness Crab Fishery to Close on April 15

California fisheries officials plan to close four zones of the state’s commercial Dungeness crab fishery from the Sonoma-Mendocino county line to the U.S.-Mexico border at noon on April 15 to protect humpback whales. The closure, announced March 30 by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), impacts Zones 3, 4, 5, and 6. Zones 1 through 6 also remain under a fleet advisory for both the commercial and recreational Dungeness crab fisheries. CDFW officials said the recreational fishery remained open to crab traps north of Point Arguerllo, Santa Barbara County, but might be subject to a future trap restriction when humpback whales return to forage in the spring and summer.  CDFW also reminded anglers to be prepared to quickly remove fishing gear from remaining open areas if ...
PFMC Offers Alternatives for 2023 West Coast Ocean Salmon Fisheries
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PFMC Offers Alternatives for 2023 West Coast Ocean Salmon Fisheries

The Pacific Fishery Management Council last week adopted three alternatives for 2023 ocean salmon fisheries off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California, all in advance of its plan to make a final decision on salmon seasons during its April 1-7 meeting. Detailed information about season starting dates, areas open and catch limits for the three alternatives are on online at the council’s website: www.pcouncil.org. The council noted that forecasts for West Coast Chinook and coho stocks in 2023 are a mixed bag, with some low and high points when compared to 2022 stocks. Federal requirements to conserve Canada’s Fraser River coho, lower Columbia River natural tule Chinook, Klamath River fall Chinook and Sacramento River fall Chinook are the main constraints for this year’s ocean sal...
Report Contends that Alaska’s Fisheries are Collapsing
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Report Contends that Alaska’s Fisheries are Collapsing

A report in the online publication Politico contends that while nearly 250 trawl boats continue to have banner seasons, harvesting between 3-4 billion pounds of fish annually, the Alaska fisheries overall are collapsing. The report, produced in partnership with Type Investigations – where the article’s author, Adam Federman, is a reporting fellow – states that what makes this inequity especially jarring is that the trawlers are dragging huge nets long the sea bottom, scooping up millions of pounds of species they don’t want and most of that catch is thrown overboard, no matter its value. That undirected bycatch includes roughly two-thirds of the total halibut caught in the Bering Sea since 2006, most of which is dumped back in the ocean, Federman said. In 2021, while subsistence fishe...
Wild Salmon in BC’s Taku River Gain Indigenous Protections
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Wild Salmon in BC’s Taku River Gain Indigenous Protections

A large section of the Taku River watershed in northwest British Columbia has been established as an indigenous protected and conserved area (IPCA) by the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, in response to its concerns over adverse impact from mineral extraction and climate change. The salmon-rich watershed, which covers 6,949 square miles or 1.8 million hectares, is the largest watershed on the Pacific Coast of North America inaccessible by road. The Taku River Tlingit First Nation, in Atlin, B.C. said its intent is to protect fisheries and wildlife vital to their health and cultural well-being. They invited those interested in mineral extraction to work with them on any plans for mineral exploration and development within the managed areas of the IPCA. The Taku River Tlingit have histo...
Southern Oregon Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery to Open
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Southern Oregon Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery to Open

The remaining southern portion of Oregon’s coastline commercial Dungeness crab fishery, from Cape Arago, just south of Charleston, to the California border, is expected to open for harvesting on Saturday, Feb. 4th. The earliest a crab season may begin is Dec. 1, pending meat fill and biotoxin results. Officials with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) said this year the season opener was delayed due to crab in some areas with low meat fill or high domoic acid levels in crab viscera.   The season opened on Jan. 15 from Cape Falcon to Cape Arago and is expected to open Feb. 1 from Cape Falcon to the Washington border. According to ODFW, the meat fill is now excellent statewide, yet domoic acid remains elevated in some portions of the southern coast. To ensure a good produc...
UW Study Shows Parasite Decline in Puget Sound
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UW Study Shows Parasite Decline in Puget Sound

A University of Washington fisheries scientist says her research shows that fish parasites in Puget Sound have been in decline over the last century. “We all have this sense that as climate change proceeds that what we get is increased parasite outbreaks; that we are messing with Earth and that Earth is messing (with us) right back,” Associate Professor Chelsea L. Wood of the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences said in early January.  Until the study was conducted, Wood said, there was little information on wildlife parasites other than the impact of parasites on humans. What they were shocked to learn, she said, is that parasite life cycles are like Rube Goldberg machines; the more complex they are, the more likely they are to fail. What Wood and her colleagues found was that p...
NOAA Hosts First Responder Training on Responding to Entangled Whales
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NOAA Hosts First Responder Training on Responding to Entangled Whales

NOAA Fisheries, which leads the Alaska Large Whale Entanglement Response Program, held workshops in four Alaska communities this fall on how to best respond to entangled whales. The training sessions in Metlakatla, Auke Bay and Gustavus in Southeast Alaska, and Cordova, on Prince William Sound, taught safety skills needed to approach whales in distress, especially entangled whales. Participating NOAA employees and partner agencies included a team of advanced, authorized responders and trainers who use specialized equipment to safely and legally respond to entangled whales. The program emphasized the importance of assessment and documentation from a safe, legal distance from the on-water communities. The response program includes a team of advanced, authorized responders and tr...
Comment Period Open for Items on NPFMC’s October Agenda
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Comment Period Open for Items on NPFMC’s October Agenda

Comment is being accepted in advance of the Oct. 6-11 meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Anchorage on agenda topics ranging from integration of electronic monitoring on Pollock catcher vessels to a proposal for expanded Pacific cod catches in federal waters. Final decisions on both matters are expected at the meeting. Development of the trawl electronic monitoring program evolved as part of a cooperative research plan developed by the Trawl Electronic Monitoring Committee through pilot projects in 2018 and 2019, and under an exempted fishing permit, which has expanded participation since 2020. The proposed amendment to redefine the current federal Bering Sea/Aleutian Island Pacific cod jig sector to include jig catcher vessels and catcher processors, as...
Mature Snow Crab Struggling in Eastern Bering Sea, But Immature Numbers Rising
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Mature Snow Crab Struggling in Eastern Bering Sea, But Immature Numbers Rising

A NOAA Fisheries analysis of the summer survey of Bering Sea crab stocks has concluded that in the wake of consecutive years of record warm temperatures numbers of mature male and female snow crab are still down, but there’s a significant increase in immature snow crab abundance, NOAA revealed Sept. 2. “Depending on how many of these young crabs actually survive to adulthood, this could be one bright spot for the fishing industry in a few years,” said Mike Litzow, survey lead and director of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Kodiak Laboratory. “We are providing these early results to stock assessment scientists and resource managers to inform science and management discussions that will occur over the next few months to identify fishery management measures for the 2023 fishin...
Salmon, Steelhead Still Face Threats in Interior Columbia Basin
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Salmon, Steelhead Still Face Threats in Interior Columbia Basin

NOAA Fisheries researchers have determined that salmon and steelhead species in the Interior Columbia Basin protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) still need such protection, due to the impact of climate change and the need for further recovery actions. The five-year review, released in mid-August, focuses on species in the Snake River and upper and middle Columbia River systems. It recommends further improving the passage of these fish through hydropower dams, restoring tributary and estuary habitat, controlling predators and modifying hatchery practices to improve the resilience of these species. The review of Snake River spring/summer-run Chinook salmon noted an increased level of concern for the species, based on declining population trend and the impacts of climate...