Astoria Fisheries Auction

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Speaking Statistically

The classic definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and expecting different results. Take the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for example:

A 2009 report on spending by “fishers, hunters and wildlife watchers” from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) found that commercial fisheries generate $3.8 billion a year in economic activity for the State of Washington. The report was based on Fisheries Economics of the U.S., 2006, published by the NOAA office of Science and Technology.

The 2010 WDFW report for the State of Washington, based on the same 2006 NOAA study, found the impact of commercial fishing to be $1.6 billion. Same report, same data, different results. Crazy? Perhaps. The 2009 WDFW report has now been relegated to the state archives, and branded with a disclaimer that it “may contain factual inaccuracies that do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy.”

The discrepancy was called to our attention by a group of stakeholders, who discovered that the state had massaged the numbers, giving less importance to the commercial fishermen in favor of the “hunters and wildlife watchers.” The “new” study reduced commercial fishing’s share of the profit generation from 56 percent to 35 percent.

In December of 2008 the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife published a new report, titled “Economic Analysis of the Non-Treaty Commercial and Recreational Fisheries in Washington State”. While the new 49-page report’s findings are the basis of the State’s data going forward, it includes the following disclaimer in the first paragraph:

Although the study estimates net economic values and economic impacts of both commercial and recreational fisheries, it is not sufficiently comprehensive and the values are not estimated with adequate precision to warrant a comparative analysis of the two fisheries.

A group of concerned commercial fishermen engaged the Seattle Marine Business Coalition in support of an independent, third party scientific study, in response to the State’s inadequately estimated comparative analysis.

The result is a study by economist and former Pacific Fishery Management Council Chairman Hans Radtke, Ph.D. Radtke’s study, Washington State Commercial Fishing Industry Total Economic Contribution, was released last month. The new, independent study, determined that the State’s study “represented about 28 percent for the sum of Washington harvest value from onshore landings and the harvest value of Washington based vessel participation in other West Coast fisheries,” but left out large economic effects from other commercial fishery related activities.

Among the omissions noted by Radtke were the tribal fisheries:

“The ocean, Puget Sound, and river tribal fisheries are major contributors to Washington’s economy. Tribal commercial fisheries’ activities are tracked in the commercial fish ticket system. The data available for such tribal fisheries include: ocean non-salmon and salmon treaty allocations, inland shellfish, river salmon and steelhead, and others. Tribal harvesters depend on the same gear and other supply businesses; and, harvests enter the same processing and distribution chains as non-Indian fisheries.”

Also omitted from the State exercise were the economic effects from distant water fisheries.

“Distant water fisheries are mostly in Alaska waters and at-sea deliveries off the West Coast. This segment would also include onshore deliveries made in other West Coast states by vessels based at Washington ports.” Radtke notes many economic effects to Washington’s economy for these fisheries, including, “Skippers and crew that have residency and spend their earnings in Washington; catcher-processor products entering seafood distribution channels in Washington; provisioning and repairs purchased from Washington businesses; secondary and analog seafood processing; and cold storage occurring in Washington.” Radtke also notes the legal, financial, and administrative companies that provide services for the direct participants.

Aquaculture, including shellfish, was also omitted from the State’s study. Radtke notes that this fishing industry segment is important to include because, “economic activity in the included Washington fisheries relies upon many of the same support businesses as does aquaculture.”

Other omissions from the State report include the West Coast offshore Pacific whiting fishery, which is prosecuted by catcher vessels delivering to motherships and catcher- processor vessels, Oregon Coast catch area harvests that are southerly of the Washington–Oregon land boundary extension but delivered to Washington ports, and Alaska and other West Coast waters’ catch delivered to Washington ports.

Radtke’s study is a clear condemnation of the slipshod, albeit publicly funded, report on which Washington State is basing its economic decisions. This editor will not speculate on the motivation of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in producing and disseminating its admittedly inaccurate study. I will note, however, that Professor Radtke’s report is accurate and has been made available to any Washington State legislators who are interested in the true economic benefits to the State of Washington from the largest commercial fishing fleet in the US. The report is available to our readers for download and dissemination at www.fishermensnews.com/attachmentsPDF/RadtkeReport.pdf.

Feel free to share it with your legislator and your fellow fishermen.
Professor Radtke will discuss the economic impact of Washington State commercial fisheries, and the findings of his just-released study, at the 8th annual Wild Seafood Exchange to be presented March 9th at the Embassy Suites in Lynnwood, Washington.
Wild Seafood Exchange is produced every spring by Fishermen’s News, in partnership with Washington Sea Grant. The conference assembles independent commercial fishermen to explore harvesting, marketing and delivery of sustainably harvested wild seafood to retailers and restaurants. In recent years Wild Seafood Exchange has grown to also cover small business issues, and this year new vessel construction financing.

More information about Wild Seafood Exchange can be found on the Wild Seafood Exchange website www.WildSeafoodExchange.com, or by calling the offices of Fishermen’s News at (206) 284-8285.

New Report Shows Alaska Seafood Industry Continues to be State Employment and Economic Leader

A new study shows that Alaska’s seafood industry continues to be a national and global leader in the development of sustainable commercial fisheries. The most significant findings for Alaska state policy makers however, may be the industry’s impact on local communities and the state economy.

Funded by the Marine Conservation Alliance (“MCA”) and conducted by Alaska-based Northern Economics, the “Seafood Industry in Alaska’s Economy” is an update of the 2009 report by the same name. The study is now available at www.marineconservationalliance.org.

The seafood industry - including fisheries in state waters as well as federal waters fisheries that take place off the coast of Alaska - now employ more than 70,000 people; and generate more than $3.3 billion in annual wholesale value. “The seafood industry operates in dozens of communities along Alaska’s entire coastline,” says MCA President Frank Kelty. “We create family-wage jobs where no other opportunities exist, and we bring significant new money into the state.”

Some study highlights:
  • If Alaska were a nation it would place 14th among seafood producing countries in 2008 (NMFS 2010b and FAO 2010).
  • The seafood industry, through direct, indirect and induced effects, contributed a total of $4.6 billion to Alaska's economic output in 2009 (Northern Economics using IMPLAN 2011).
  • Alaska had 8 of the top 20 US ports based on ex-vessel value in 2009.
  • Alaska landings of global groundfish species groups (including cod, pollock, hake and haddock) and flatfish accounted for 18 percent of the world harvest of these species groups in 2008 (Hiatt, et al. 2010 and FAO 2010).
  • In 2008 about 35 percent of the world capture production of species in the “salmon, trout, smelt” group occurred in Alaskan waters (Hiatt, et al. 2010 and FAO 2010).
  • The 2010 salmon season was one of the best on record with almost 170 million fish harvested in Alaska, the 11th highest number since statehood. Preliminary 2010 estimates show that the salmon harvest generated $533.9 million, the highest ex-vessel value in eighteen years (since 1992) (ADF&G 2010).

The Juneau-based Marine Conservation Alliance is a coalition of seafood processors, harvesters, support industries and coastal communities that are active in Alaska fisheries. The MCA represents approximately 75 percent of the participants in Alaska shellfish and groundfish fisheries and promotes science based conservation measures to ensure sustainable fisheries in Alaska. For more information, click on http://www.marineconservationalliance.org/

AKCRRAB Conducts Juvenile Red King Crab Tagging Study

AKCRRAB biologists are developing methods to identify hatchery-raised king crab using physical tags. Their experiments test crab survival and retention of tags after molting for a range of juvenile crab sizes. The methods are modeled after similar efforts in Chesapeake blue crab.

From October 2010 to February 2011, Alaska Sea Grant research biologist Jim Swingle conducted a tagging study using coded wire tags, visible implant elastomers, and dactyl clipping on juvenile red king crab. Each method was tested on three different size classes of juveniles (5, 10, and 15 mm carapace width) to determine the minimum size juveniles could be effectively tagged. The experiment was run until all tagged juveniles molted at least once, so that tag retention could be measured post-molt. The findings suggest that juveniles of 10 mm CW and larger can be marked with low levels of mortality and high post-molt tag retention rates using both coded wire tags and visible implant elastomers. The mark from dactyl clipping was lost. Because the elastomers are likely to become more difficult to detect as the animals increase in size and their shells become increasingly opaque, the coded wire tags are more likely detectable over the lifetime of the animal.

The experiment was conducted at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Lena Point facility in Juneau, Alaska, using juvenile crabs reared at the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery during 2010 production experiments. These tagging methods should prove useful to researchers and resource managers interested in further exploring the feasibility and effects of a king crab stock rehabilitation program.

Pacific Seafood President Honored at Oregon State University

Pacific Seafood president Frank Dulcich was honored on Feb. 17 at Oregon State University’s (OSU) Weatherford Awards for his contributions to Oregon’s business environment.

Dulcich was one of six honorees at the third annual event. Recipients were selected for their commitment to serving Oregonians and their meaningful innovations that have made a positive impact on the business community. The awards are named after OSU’s Weatherford Hall, which houses the largest residential entrepreneurship program in the country.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by our peers,” said Dulcich. “It is great validation not only for me, but also for our team members, customers and partners. We look forward to continuing to be an active and integral part of the business communities we serve.”

Dulcich was born and raised in Portland and attended Central Catholic High School, received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Portland and is a member of the Board of Regents for the University. He is past chairman and a current member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) as well as an active member of the Chief Executive Organization (CEO).

Dulcich is a third generation company leader of Pacific Seafood and serves as president and CEO. Dulcich’s grandfather started the company in 1941 as a small, fresh seafood retail counter operation in Portland, Ore. Dulcich has been with Pacific Seafood for the past 25 years, working to expand the operations to include processing West Coast product from Alaska to Mexico with key distribution centers in Washington, Oregon, California, Texas, Nevada and Utah.

Fishing Vessel Refrigeration Workshop Comes to Anchorage

A workshop that helps commercial fishermen better use and maintain onboard refrigeration systems that’s been popular in remote Alaska coastal communities is coming to Anchorage, Alaska.

The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program is partnering with Integrated Marine Systems, Inc., to offer the one-day refrigeration workshop March 29, 2011, at the Copper River Seafood Corporate Campus, 1118 East Fifth, across from the Wishbone Restaurant. The workshop begins at 8:30 a.m.

The workshop will focus on how to maintain, operate, and troubleshoot onboard refrigeration equipment. Additional topics include refrigeration theory, system winterization, controller programming, refrigeration safety, and system sizing.

Participants will use a marine refrigeration training unit for hands-on activities.

Each year, the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program holds refrigeration workshops in several coastal communities around the state. The most recent workshop was held in Petersburg on Feb. 1, where 22 people attended. This is the second time the workshop has been held in Anchorage.

Cost for the workshop is $200 and includes a course manual. Pre-registration is required by March 22, and space is limited. To register, please visit www.marineadvisory.org/workshops. For questions, contact Torie Baker, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program in Cordova, torie@sfos.uaf.edu 907.424.7542 or 888.788.6333.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Allowable Catch of Pollock, Pacific Cod is Up For 2011

By Margaret Bauman

The 2011 allowable harvests for Pollock and Pacific cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands got a big boost from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, rising 54 percent and 35 percent respectively.

That’s 1.25 million metric tons of Pollock, up from 813,000 metric tons in 2010, and 227,950 tons of Pacific cod, up from 168,780 a year earlier.

Frank Kelty, president of the Marine Conservation Alliance in Juneau, said the MSC fully supported the council’s recommendations, which were made at the council’s December meeting in Anchorage.

“For more than 30 years, strict annual catch limits for the federal fisheries off the coast of Alaska have protected our clear, pristine waters and abundant ecosystem, which continues to feed tens of millions of people throughout the world,” Kelty said.

The groundfish harvest limits are established annually, based on advice from the Alaska Fisheries science Center, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and other agencies and universities, as well as the council’s scientific and statistical committee and advisory panel, and public testimony.

Other major species for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands include in the annual harvest allowances include yellowfin sole, 196,000 tons, down 10.5 percent; Atka mackerel, 53,080 tons, down 28 percent, and Pacific Ocean perch, 24,700 tons, up 31 percent.

The council found that the status of BSAI groundfish stocks continues to appear favorable, and that no groundfish stocks are currently subjected to overfishing, and that many stocks are rebounding due to increased recruitment in recent years.

The council adopted total allowable catch limits equal to the maximum allowed under the 2 million ton optimum yield cap for the BSAI groundfish.

The council also adopted prohibited species catch limits for Pacific halibut, crab and herring for 2011 and 2012.

The council noted that the 2010 bottom trawl survey biomass estimate for Pollock was 3.75 million tons, up 64 percent from the 2009 estimate, but still below average for the 1987-2010 time series. The estimate from the acoustic-trawl survey was 2.32 million tons, up 151 percent from the 2009 estimate, but still below average for the 1979-2010 time series, the council said.

For the Gulf of Alaska, the council approved a harvest of 96,215 tons of Pollock, up 13.5 percent from 84,745 tons a year ago; 65,100 tons of Pacific cod, up 9 percent from 59,563 tons in 2011; 43,000 tons of arrowtooth flounder, the same as 2010; 16,997 tons of Pacific perch, down 3 percent from 17,584 in 2010; and 11,290 tons of sablefish, up 9 percent over the 10,370 tons allowed for harvest last year.

The council noted that abundances of Pacific cod, Dover sole, flathead sole, arrowtooth flounder, Pacific ocean perch, rougheye and blackspotted rockfish, northern rockfish, and dusky rockfish are above target stock size, but that abundances of Pollock and sablefish are below target sock size.

The target biolmass levels for other deep-water flatfish, shallow water flatfish, rex sole, shortraker rockfish, demersal shelf rockfish, other pelagic shelf rockfish, other slope rockfish, thornhead rockfish, Atka mackerel, skates, sculpins, squid, octopus and sharks are unknown.

Public-Private Partnership Plans Southeast Alaska Salmon River Restoration

By Margaret Bauman

A group of government and non-government agencies have joined together in a $290,000 public-private partnership to restore the Sitkoh River in Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska, a prime producer of coho salmon and steelhead.

The Sitkoh also hosts significant numbers of pink salmon, said spokesmen for Trout Unlimited, which is joined in the effort with the Sitka Conservation Society, the U.S. Forest Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Poor logging practices from the past damaged valuable spawning and rearing habitat along the river, located some 70 miles from the community of Sitka near the confluence of Peril and Chatham Straits.

In recognition of the importance of the Sitkoh River to commercial, sport and subsistence fishermen, the group decided to partner on a large-scale rehabilitation project to begin next summer. With $140,000 from the US Forest Service, $108,000 in sustainable salmon funding from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, $25,000 provided by Trout Unlimited and a $15,000 in-kind contribution from the Sitka Conservation Society, the group has committed to carrying out a multi-year project to rehabilitate the Sitkoh and restore it to near-original condition.

Kyle Moselle, a habitat biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said all involved recognize that salmon are a key driver of Southeast Alaska’s economy and, just as important, these fish are woven tightly into the regional social and cultural fabric. “Restoring salmon habitat, as this project will do, often takes a collaborative force and we’re glad to be part of this effort,” Mosells said.

The first phase of the project, scheduled for completion during the summer of 2011, will focus on restoring 1,800 feet of critical salmon rearing habitat. This section flows down an old logging road, meandering through former clear-cuts devoid of the towering spruce and hemlock old growth trees for which Southeast Alaska is famous. Such trees provide the shade, nutrients and large woody debris that salmon and steelhead need to reproduce.

If left as is, the river will continue to widen and erode its banks near the logging road, block fish passage, increase fish mortality and further degrade downstream habitat. Restoration efforts will focus on constructing small pools in which the fish can spawn and rear, restoring hydrologic function and preventing the river from flowing back into the old logging road. Engineered log jams and large woody debris will be placed in segments of the river to improve salmon spawning gravels, create pool habitat and help reduce erosion/sedimentation and stabilize stream banks.

Phase two of the project will recreate natural spawning conditions in a downstream section of the river that is also damaged, and the final phase will focus on thinning second-growth stands along the river and in upland areas to improve conditions for deer, an important subsistence food for local residents. The work will likely extend into 2012.

The business community, particularly leaders in Sitka, has expressed strong support for the project. The economy of Sitka, the closest community to the Sitkoh River, is strongly depends on healthy populations of wild salmon.

Garry White, executive director of the Sitka economic Development Association, said that healthy salmon spawning streams and rivers are vital to maintaining the commercial fisheries and to support subsistence harvester needs.

“We support the Sitkoh River restoration project and wish to see more of it in Southeast Alaska,” White said.

While timber-harvesting methods have improved over time, it was once common practice to yard logs by dragging them down salmon rivers, and clear-cut to the banks without leaving any tree buffer zones. Both practices degraded salmon habitat and are now illegal. In another move that bodes well for fish, the Forest Service recently announced plans to shift focus from logging old-growth trees in the Tongass National Forest to offering timber sales in second-growth stands, a much more conservation-minded approach to land management.

Mark Kaelke, Southeast Alaska project manager for Trout Unlimited, said his organization applauds the Forest Service “for not only engaging in the Sitkoh River restoration project but for showing leadership and vision when it comes to managing the highest salmon producing region in our country’s national forest system.”

Perry Edwards, ecosystems staffer with the Forest service Sitka Ranger District, said
he’s pleased to be working cooperatively with other groups who care about fish. In the past, such cooperation was often sorely lacking, Edwards said.

“One of the things that impresses me most about this project is that instead of us and them fighting with lawyers and spending our money on litigation, we’re focusing on the things that are important to us, namely enhancing fish habitat, and both sides are bringing money to the table to pay that,” he said.

As the Forest Service transitions to its new land management focus, some Southeast Alaska residents urge the federal agency to direct more of its attention and budget resource to salmon restoration projects, like Sitkoh, in the months and years ahead.

“Given how important salmon are to the regional economy, we need to support research, management and habitat restoration to keep our fisheries healthy and productive” said Craig Shoemaker, head of Alaska operations for Seafood Producers Cooperative.

“The money and attention that the Forest Service historically has devoted to timber harvest should be redirected to conserving wild salmon,” he said.

South Coast MPA Baseline Program Request for Proposals

Proposal due date: 5:00 pm PDT, Thursday, April 7, 2011

California Sea Grant has announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for California's South Coast Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Baseline Program.

The South Coast MPA Baseline Program is a collaborative effort among the State Coastal Conservancy, California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), California Department of Fish and Game, MPA Monitoring Enterprise (a program of the California Ocean Science Trust) and California Sea Grant. The OPC has authorized up to $4,000,000 to support the Baseline Program.

Proposals are requested for projects that contribute to meeting the purposes of the Baseline Program, which are:

  1. To provide a summary description, assessment and understanding of ecological and socioeconomic conditions in the South Coast region, inside and outside MPAs designated under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), at or near the time of MPA implementation; and
  2. To measure initial ecological changes and the short-run net benefits or costs to consumptive and non-consumptive user groups following MPA implementation.

Project Duration: Awards are expected to be made in July 2011. Proposals will be accepted for projects of any duration, but projects must be completed no later than March 31, 2014.

Webinar: A webinar to provide additional information about the RFP will be held on March 1, 2011. Further details about this webinar will be available soon on the Sea Grant website at www.csgc.ucsd.edu.

Bidders Conference: A bidders’ conference will be held on March 8, 2011 at the Radisson Hotel Los Angeles Westside to facilitate partnerships and information exchange among potential applicants and collaborators, including those involved in ongoing monitoring in the region, as well as to provide additional information to potential applicants. RSVPs for the bidders' conference should be made to tlarson@ucsd.edu and are requested no later than 5 p.m., March 2, 2011.

Online Bulletin Board: Sea Grant will host an online bulletin board to facilitate information exchange among potential proposers, collaborators and resource-holders in the region.

Additional Information & Updates: The bulletin board, additional details regarding the bidders conference, and any updates relating to this RFP will be available on the California Sea Grant website: www.csgc.ucsd.edu . Persons intending to submit proposals in response to this RFP should consult this website frequently for any updates or additional information.

Please read the full RFP on the California Sea Grant Program website at: www.csgc.ucsd.edu/FUNDING/APPLYING/SouthCoastMPA2010-11.html

Questions may be emailed to sgmpaproposal@ucsd.edu.

All proposals must be submitted online to California Sea Grant as explained in the full RFP. If you do not have Internet access, please contact Carol Bailey-Sumber at 858-534-7855.

Opponents of Catch Shares Urged to Contact their Representative Immediately to Support Jones Amendment

Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) has filed an anti-catch shares amendment to H.R. 1 - the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution which will fund the federal government through the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 (i.e. September 30, 2011).

Amendment #548 was printed in the Congressional Record today. The amendment would prohibit NOAA from spending any money on the development and approval of new catch share programs in fisheries under the jurisdiction of the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management. It does NOT affect anything on the West Coast or Alaska.

This amendment could come up for floor consideration, and potentially a vote, this evening or tomorrow.

Mr. Jones asks industry members who support his amendment to contact their Member of Congress in the House of Representatives and urge them to support the Jones Amendment #548 to block funding for catch shares.

If you would like to support Mr. Jones, but do not know who represents you in Congress, this link from the House of Representatives will assist you:
http://www.house.gov/zip/ZIP2Rep.html

Recreational Fishing Alliance Says Environmental Defense is on the Offensive

The Recreational Fishing Alliance has issued a press release to warn that Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) activists are visiting the offices of federal legislators claiming erroneously to represent the interests of US fishing communities while selling their plan to privatize our nation's public resources in the name of conservation. According its sources, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) said EDF campaigners have been arriving in DC by plane the last few days to promote their 'Catch Share' manifesto with Members of Congress in an effort to limit overall public access to coastal fisheries.

"On February 24, 2010, a national coalition of mainstream, grassroots fishing organizations helped unite the fishing industry in a call for fisheries reform, rallying on Capitol Hill and pleading with legislators to just say 'no' to Catch Shares," said RFA Executive Director Jim Donofrio. "We had 5,000 fishermen waving flags and carrying signs at an open public protest last winter, and here it is almost a year to the day and EDF is still responding by slinking around in the shadows in Washington, pretending to represent fishermen," he said.

RFA has already been in contact with members of the House and Senate regarding the renewed lobbying efforts by EDF, which Donofrio calls "preservationist, anti-industry rhetoric" designed solely to limit public access to coastal resources. "Our legislators are going to hear buzzwords like 'overfishing' and 'imperiled' when these activists plead for support of their Catch Share program, but this unnecessary and restrictive policy is the anti-fishing community's answer to a perceived problem in fisheries management. Their lobbying position does not represent the views and opinions of our U.S. fishing communities."

"The public does not want catch shares, recreational charter boats do not want catch shares, the majority of commercial fishermen do not want catch shares and yet Environmental Defense along with their former Vice Chairman Dr. Lubchenco continue to push their agenda even though they have very little support," said Capt. Bob Zales, II of the National Association of Charterboat Operators. In a letter to Members of Congress, Zales urged legislators to "insist this management travesty stop immediately and help us solve this national fishery crisis that has been caused by overzealous environmentalists who do not understand the complexity of fishery management and protecting heritages and jobs from total destruction."

Earlier this week, President Obama unveiled his FY2012 budget request proposing a new National Catch Share Program calling for approximately $17.4 million in catch share funding to be moved out of Fisheries Research and Management Programs and Cooperative Research. The President's budget defines Catch Share as "a general term for several fishery management strategies that allocate a specific portion of the total allowable fishery catch to individuals, cooperatives, communities, or other entities." Those entitled to receive Catch Shares are accountable to cease fishing when specific quota is reached, and the President's budget also cites other programs like limited access privilege (LAP), individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs, and exclusive allocative measures such as Territorial Use Rights Fisheries (TURFs) that grant an exclusive privilege to fish in a geographically designated fishing ground.

"Our fishermen call it the privatization of a public resource, though I believe 'social engineering' is a perfectly good definition," Donofrio said. "Catch Shares by design will cap fishing participation and trade ownership of our fish stocks amongst the privileged few, and we cannot support any type of management program which would put an end to open access fisheries in America." RFA points to a particularly troubling two-year national trend where monies previously designated for science and research have been offloaded towards this program which Donofrio refers to as little more than coastal sharecropping.

"Showroom environmentalists have been working to secure buy-in from a handful of fishermen willing to sell out their friends to corner the market, but this Catch Share scheme that EDF is pushing will ultimately destroy our nation's fishing industry, it will put tens of thousands of fishermen out of work and forcibly deny public access to millions of American fishermen." RFA said that some fishing groups have publicly stated that Catch Shares won't work in 'recreational only' fisheries, a point of view which has actually been supported even by some of the groups openly supporting Catch Shares.

The EDF push for Catch Shares has been fueled by the statutory definition of "overfishing" written into the Magnuson Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act which is now being used as a marketing tool to influence federal legislators. "Overfishing is a legislative term which EDF uses interchangeably with the biological term when pressing their agenda with legislators. What they won't be telling our elected politicians this week is that 80% of our nation's fisheries are no longer classified as experiencing overfishing, neither in biological nor statutory terms," Donofrio said. "It's pure preservationist propaganda."

"Catch Shares will only cost more American jobs and lead to the outsourcing of our seafood industry to those foreign nations with no concern for quotas or conservation principles as held by American fishermen," Donofrio said. "This privatization scheme is being sold as a method to end overfishing when all it really does is end open access fishing by placing our nation's marine fisheries into the hands of a select and privileged few."

On April 22, 2010, Donofrio testified before Congress on behalf of the recreational fishing community in vehement opposition to the Catch Share doctrine now being driven by EDF and its allies, openly criticizing fishing organizations which have allowed their leadership to compromise 'open access' through willingness to embrace and accept the privatization concept. "Some groups have suggested limiting the number of recreational anglers to those individuals with the financial resources to pay for access, thereby creating free markets for catch shares," Donofrio said in testimony before a Congressional Subcommittee on Catch Shares. "RFA hopes members of the Committee share our disgust with this notion of selecting recreational participation based on the criteria of money."

NOAA Fisheries Service responded in November with a new National Catch Share Policy which summarily dismissed all angler opposition to the notion of Catch Shares. "We've fought too hard and for too long to keep this catch share policy out of our sector, we cannot let NOAA continue to ramrod this policy through Councils in direct contradiction to the wishes of our fishing community," Donofrio said in November. "Clearly our federal bureaucracy is not listening to the will of the people."

To read RFA's official written testimony before Congress:
http://www.joinrfa.org/Press/RFACatchShares_04-22-10.pdf

RFA's advance release for Congressional Subcommittee hearing on Catch Shares:
http://www.joinrfa.org/Press/CatchShare_042110.pdf

See RFA's November 5, 2010 take on the NOAA Catch Share Policy:
http://www.joinrfa.org/Press/CatchShares_110510.pdf

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Natural Resource Economist Hans Radtke to address Wild Seafood Exchange Attendees

Former Pacific Fishery Management Council Chairman Hans Radtke, Ph.D. will discuss the economic impact of Washington State commercial fisheries at the 8th annual Wild Seafood Exchange to be presented March 9th at the Embassy Suites in Lynnwood, Washington. www.WildSeafoodExchange.com

Dr. Radtke will discuss the findings of his just-released study, entitled Washington State Commercial Fishing Industry Total Economic Contribution, at the annual commercial fishing industry conference aimed at the independent commercial fishing industry.

Wild Seafood Exchange is produced every spring by Fishermen’s News, in partnership with Washington Sea Grant. The conference assembles independent commercial fishermen to explore harvesting, marketing and delivery of sustainably harvested wild seafood to retailers and restaurants. In recent years Wild Seafood Exchange has grown to also cover small business issues, and this year new vessel construction financing.

“We are delighted that Dr. Radtke has chosen Wild Seafood Exchange as the forum through which to formally introduce this important new study,”
says Fishermen’s News Publisher Peter Philips. “As advocates for the independent commercial fishing industry, Fishermen’s News is strongly supportive of the efforts of the local Washington State fishing community to educate the legislators, policymakers and community leaders about the economic vitality of our industry. Dr. Radtke’s participation in Wild Seafood Exchange is an important part of that effort.”

More information about Wild Seafood Exchange can be found on the Wild Seafood Exchange website www.WildSeafoodExchange.com, or by calling the offices of Fishermen’s News at (206) 284-8285.

Public-Private Partnership Plans Southeast Alaska Salmon River Restoration

By Margaret Bauman

A group of government and non-government agencies have joined together in a $290,000 public-private partnership to restore the Sitkoh River in Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska, a prime producer of coho salmon and steelhead.

The Sitkoh also hosts significant numbers of pink salmon, said spokesmen for Trout Unlimited, which is joined in the effort with the Sitka Conservation Society, the U.S. Forest Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Poor logging practices from the past damaged valuable spawning and rearing habitat along the river, located some 70 miles from the community of Sitka near the confluence of Peril and Chatham Straits.

In recognition of the importance of the Sitkoh River to commercial, sport and subsistence fishermen, the group decided to partner on a large-scale rehabilitation project to begin next summer. With $140,000 from the US Forest Service, $108,000 in sustainable salmon funding from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, $25,000 provided by Trout Unlimited and a $15,000 in-kind contribution from the Sitka Conservation Society, the group has committed to carrying out a multi-year project to rehabilitate the Sitkoh and restore it to near-original condition.

Kyle Moselle, a habitat biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said all involved recognize that salmon are a key driver of Southeast Alaska’s economy and, just as important, these fish are woven tightly into the regional social and cultural fabric. “Restoring salmon habitat, as this project will do, often takes a collaborative force and we’re glad to be part of this effort,” Mosells said.

The first phase of the project, scheduled for completion during the summer of 2011, will focus on restoring 1,800 feet of critical salmon rearing habitat. This section flows down an old logging road, meandering through former clear-cuts devoid of the towering spruce and hemlock old growth trees for which Southeast Alaska is famous. Such trees provide the shade, nutrients and large woody debris that salmon and steelhead need to reproduce.

If left as is, the river will continue to widen and erode its banks near the logging road, block fish passage, increase fish mortality and further degrade downstream habitat. Restoration efforts will focus on constructing small pools in which the fish can spawn and rear, restoring hydrologic function and preventing the river from flowing back into the old logging road. Engineered log jams and large woody debris will be placed in segments of the river to improve salmon spawning gravels, create pool habitat and help reduce erosion/sedimentation and stabilize stream banks.

Phase two of the project will recreate natural spawning conditions in a downstream section of the river that is also damaged, and the final phase will focus on thinning second-growth stands along the river and in upland areas to improve conditions for deer, an important subsistence food for local residents. The work will likely extend into 2012.

The business community, particularly leaders in Sitka, has expressed strong support for the project. The economy of Sitka, the closest community to the Sitkoh River, is strongly depends on healthy populations of wild salmon.

Garry White, executive director of the Sitka economic Development Association, said that healthy salmon spawning streams and rivers are vital to maintaining the commercial fisheries and to support subsistence harvester needs.

“We support the Sitkoh River restoration project and wish to see more of it in Southeast Alaska,” White said.

While timber-harvesting methods have improved over time, it was once common practice to yard logs by dragging them down salmon rivers, and clear-cut to the banks without leaving any tree buffer zones. Both practices degraded salmon habitat and are now illegal. In another move that bodes well for fish, the Forest Service recently announced plans to shift focus from logging old-growth trees in the Tongass National Forest to offering timber sales in second-growth stands, a much more conservation-minded approach to land management.

Mark Kaelke, Southeast Alaska project manager for Trout Unlimited, said his organization applauds the Forest Service “for not only engaging in the Sitkoh River restoration project but for showing leadership and vision when it comes to managing the highest salmon producing region in our country’s national forest system.”

Perry Edwards, ecosystems staffer with the Forest service Sitka Ranger District, said
he’s pleased to be working cooperatively with other groups who care about fish. In the past, such cooperation was often sorely lacking, Edwards said.

“One of the things that impresses me most about this project is that instead of us and them fighting with lawyers and spending our money on litigation, we’re focusing on the things that are important to us, namely enhancing fish habitat, and both sides are bringing money to the table to pay that,” he said.

As the Forest Service transitions to its new land management focus, some Southeast Alaska residents urge the federal agency to direct more of its attention and budget resource to salmon restoration projects, like Sitkoh, in the months and years ahead.

“Given how important salmon are to the regional economy, we need to support research, management and habitat restoration to keep our fisheries healthy and productive” said Craig Shoemaker, head of Alaska operations for Seafood Producers Cooperative.

“The money and attention that the Forest Service historically has devoted to timber harvest should be redirected to conserving wild salmon,” he said.

Brown, Snowe Call for Annual Fisheries Impact Reports

US Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Ranking Member of the Senate subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, this week cosponsored legislation with Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.), to ensure that fisherman and fishing communities are not subjected to unnecessary and over-broad regulations imposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Under National Standard 8 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, NOAA is currently required to release a fishing impact statement prior to the ratification of any new fisheries management plan or amendment to the existing plan. The bill Senator Snowe is supporting today, the Fishing Impact Statement Honesty (FISH) Act of 2011, S. 238, expands on that requirement by calling for those impact statements to be updated annually to better track the social and economic effect of these regulations on the fishing community. Specifically, the FISH Act requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to select an independent third party to conduct the statement analysis.

“As a longtime leader in fisheries management issues, I fought hard to get National Standard 8 into law in the mid-1990s,” says Senator Snowe. “I could not be more pleased to support Senator Scott Browns legislation to strengthen the socioeconomic impact process and require an independent third party chosen by the GAO to handle the statement analysis. Fishermen in Maine and across the nation have already sacrificed a portion of their livelihood during these challenging economic times so it is critically important that we have clear and accurate data when imposing new or amended fisheries management measures on this vital community.”

Coast Guard, NOAA, Ecology Monitor Area Where the Vicious Fisher Sank

The Coast Guard, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Washington Department of Ecology responded to pollution concerns after the 80-foot fishing vessel, Vicious Fisher, sank in about 360 feet of water approximately 13 miles west of La Push, Wash., last week in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

The steel hulled Vicious Fisher out of Bellingham, Wash., sank with approximately 3,800 gallons of diesel fuel on board.

Friday, Coast Guard helicopter crews conducted two over flights of the area and discovered a two-mile, light sheen in the vicinity of area the vessel sank.

Saturday, a Coast Guard over flight revealed a three-mile sheen in the vicinity of the area the vessel sank. The sheen appears to be composed of weathered sheen from yesterday in addition to some fresh product. The sheen appears to be drifting to the northwest and will not likely make landfall. The sheen is not recoverable.

Diesel sheens cannot be effectively recovered in open ocean conditions. These sheens are thin and scattered, and cannot be absorbed.

NOAA estimates the sheen will evaporate and naturally disperse over the next few days and does not anticipate the size of the sheen to increase. NOAA does not expect the diesel currently on or under the water to pose a significant environmental threat and any impacts should be negligible. All pollutant spills have an impact on the environment.

Coast Guard, NOAA and Ecology will continue to monitor the situation. Another Coast Guard over flight is scheduled for tomorrow and Coast Guard Cutter Cuttyhunk will conduct an on-scene assessment early next week.

Coalition Exposes Secret MLPA Meetings

by Dan Bacher

George Osborn, spokesman for the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO), presented a 25 page paper documenting illegal private, non-public meetings of Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative officials to the California Fish and Game Commission during its meeting on February 2 in Sacramento.

The PSO, a coalition of national and regional fishing organization including the Coastside Fishing Club and United Anglers of Southern California, filed suit in San Diego Superior Court in late January, seeking to overturn South Coast and North Central Coast MLPA closures, alleging violations of the State Administrative Procedure Act.

During his brief public testimony, Osborn exposed the corruption and violations of law by the MLPA's Blue Ribbon Task Force.

“After reviewing the documents turned over to us, which previously the BRTF had improperly withheld from the public, we now have evidence, indicating that the public meetings of the BRTF have been an elaborately staged Kabuki performance, choreographed and rehearsed down to the last detail, even to the crafting of motions, in scheduled private meeting held before the so-called public meetings of the BRTF," said Osborn. "Clearly, this has not been the most open and transparent process, as it has so often been described.”

“The BRTF’s behavior taints the regulations that are the end product of its work, and these regulations must be reversed,” he emphasized. “The PSO respectfully requests that the Commission begin the process to un-do these wrongs committed against California’s recreational anglers and as all Californians, see that the MLPA is implemented properly, and reverse actions that unnecessarily close areas to fishing.”

“Let’s work with Governor Brown and direct California’s meager resources to solve real problems that harm the ocean we love,” he concluded.

Commissioner Dan Richards asked Osborn for proof about the secret meetings that PSO has accused the privately funded MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force of conducting.

Osborn then submitted to the Commissioners the copies of emails and correspondence by MLPA officials documenting private, non-public meetings. Secret meetings of the Blue Ribbon Task Force were held in April 2007 and on November 3, 2008, December 10, 2008, February 25, 2009, October 20, 21 and 22, 2009.

The documents included correspondence by Ken Wise, MLPA executive director, Don Benninghoven, former Fish and Game Commissoner, Melissa Miller-Henson, program manager of the MLPA Initiative, Meg Caldwell, BRTF member and others.

The documents also include the email by Fort Bragg City Council member Jere Melo on November 5, 2009, regarding his resignation from the MLPA Statewide Interest Group (SIG) for its failure to obey state laws.

"I cannot continue on a body that advertises its functions as 'public' and then provides very little or no public notice of its meetings," said Melo. "There is a real ethics question for a person who holds a public office."

The February 2, 2011 meeting was a joint hearing of the Fish and Game Commission and the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for the North Coast. The Commission adopted a unified proposal crafted by recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, environmentalists and business owners that would create marine protected areas in approximately 13 percent of the North Coast state's waters - and for the first time acknowledged tribal gathering rights on the ocean.

The Yurok and other North Coast Tribes did not endorse the proposal, but accepted it, providing that the state formally acknowledges the sovereign rights of Tribes to gather along the coast as they have done from thousands of years.

“There is no evidence that tribes have had a negative impact upon the ecosystem," said Thomas O'Rourke, Chair of the Yurok Tribal Council. "They have been part of the ecosystem since time immemorial. Science needs to recognize people as part of the ecosystem. If you don’t include people, the proposal will fail. Our rights are not negotiable.”

He emphasized, "The Tribe doesn't endorse the unified proposal, but it accepts the proposal."

"Nothing is final until it's final," O'Rourke said after the meeting, in responding to the Commission's decision to move the unified proposal forward. "We are as comfortable as we can be in this stage of the process."

In reference to the lawsuit filed by PSO, O'Rourke stated, "If the state doesn't listen to us and tries to impose regulations on the Tribes, the fishermen's lawsuit is possibly one of many they will have to deal with."

The Commission also heard from supporters of Option Zero, who felt shortchanged because they were only given one minute each to comment at the end of the public comment period. This was done in spite of a letter from Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro and Senator Noreen Evans urging the Commission to "allow for a briefing from Option Zero supporters."

Option Zero proponents, including environmentalists, recreational anglers, and commercial fishermen, support managing fisheries on the North Coast through existing regulations - and criticize the MLPA process for setting up marine protected areas that fail to protect the ocean from water pollution, oil spills and drilling, military testing, wave energy projects and all other uses of the ocean other than fishing and gathering.

MLPA critics also slam the process for its many conflicts of interest, including the domination of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Forces by oil industry, real estate, marina development and other corporate interests. Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the president of the Western States Petroleum Association, served on both the North Central Coast and North Coast task forces and chaired the South coast task force.

The MLPA process was privatized in 2004 when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger directed the shadowy Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, a private corporation that North Coast environmental leader John Stephens-Lewallen described as a "money laundering operation for corporations," to fund the controversial process through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Fish and Game.

Since then, the MLPA Initiative has violated numerous state, federal and international laws, including the Bagley-Keene Open Meetings Act, the California Public Records Act, the State Administrative Procedure Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Russian Salmon With Fake ASMI Logo Seized in Miami

By Bob Tkacz

A shipment of Russian salmon, label with fake and apparently poorly reproduced copies of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute black diamond logo was seized and destroyed when it was landed in Florida last summer.

Other salmon in the same shipment that was unmarked was apparently allowed to be landed after its origin was confirmed and it was properly labeled, according to second hand information from ASMI.

Ray Riutta, ASMI executive director, said he was contacted by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Enforcement office in Miami after agents there noticed orange-colored reproductions of the ASMI logo on the salmon packaging. "They thought the logo on the packaging, which was a copy of ours, was suspicious," Riutta said, Dec. 12. "It was a terrible copy. It was clearly a knock-off."

ASMI was never directly involved in the incident but was informed of the discovery and consulted on disposition of the matter by the NOAA Enforcement and general counsel's office. "It was through the diligence of the NOAA Enforcement Office that this was picked up," Riutta said.

The entire shipment totaled about 59,000 pounds of Russian origin salmon that had been processed into fillets in China and bound for the US market, according to Riutta. ASMI was not told what portion had been labeled with the ASMI logo. "I don't know how much was ours or not, enough of them that they were concerned," Riutta said.

Further details on the shipper and US buyer of the salmon, and information on whether any charges are pending in the matter, could not be obtained in December. The NOAA Enforcement agent handling the case in Florida did not respond to multiple phone calls over a two-week period.

Although sales of salmon or other seafood falsely claimed to be from Alaska is not an unusual occurrence, the unauthorized use of the ASMI logo, which constitutes trademark infringement, is rare. Riutta said ASMI's ongoing sustainability certification of Alaska's salmon, crab, halibut and groundfish fisheries, which will include chain of custody documentation, will strengthen the institute's and the state's ability to take legal action when cases like the Florida incident arise.

"I think we'll have better evidence because we'll have a much better chain of custody than we have now," Riutta said.

The certification process for the statewide salmon fishery is nearing completion completed soon and formally announced at the International Boston Seafood Show, March 20-22. Sustainability certification of the other fisheries is expected through this year and 2012.

Currently a company that wants to use the ASMI logo must have written permission, which is available only after execution of a signed agreement containing detailed requirements and prohibitions and must be renewed annually. The agreement requires users to provide ASMI a "reasonable amount of time" to review the intended use.

Among logo use guidelines require that it should "always set on a straight, horizontal baseline; it should never be rotated or positioned on an angle." Distortion of the logo to achieve some graphic effect is not allowed. Use of the registered tagline "Wild, Natural & Sustainable" with the logo is encouraged but not required, but if the tagline is used it must appear in the Tuffy Regular Italic font with a one-point stroke.

Riutta said completion of the chain of custody process will be followed by a rewrite of the terms of logo and promotional material use after consultation with the Alaska Dept. of Law. "When we write criteria for enforcement of the logo we're going to want our lawyers to weigh in on it. We want them to be as tight as we can," Riutta said.

Bering Sea Crabbers Take Conservation Message on the Road

Alaska crabbers hope to enlist American consumers in their quest to stop Russian king crab pirates on the high seas.

High crab prices this year have lured poachers back into the Russian fishery. These rogue boats deliver millions of pounds of illegal, unreported and unregulated catches (IUU), a scourge of seafood producing countries around the world. The value of the illegally caught king crab imported to the US is estimated at $3.5 billion over the past decade.

Foreign poachers produce 19 percent of the worldwide seafood catch each year valued at $13.5 billion. World fishery experts said at a recent international forum in London that poaching won’t be wiped out until seafood buyers demand it.

Alaska crabbers are taking that message on the road, starting with groups of chefs and culinary students in Florida.

“We are focusing on the conservation and economic problems caused by illegal fishing, said Jake Jacobsen, director of the Inter-Cooperative Exchange, a crab harvester group.

“Crab-inars” were held last week at the Tampa Art Institute and Keiser College along with meetings with American Culinary Federation members from Naples, Fort Myers, Tampa, and Clearwater.

Jacobsen, who has fished both the US and Russian sides of the Bering Sea, said foreign crab pirates have no regard for the crab resource.

“We are trying to create some public awareness along those lines, and talk about Alaska’s sustainably managed fisheries,” he said.

Alaska king crab can be tracked from the crab pot to the dinner plate, Jacobsen added.
He said that Bering Sea crabbers want to get people to “buy Alaskan because we do things right.”

The Alaska king crab “road show’ is a partnership of the Inter-Cooperative Exchange, the Crab Broker and the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers. #

Contacts: Jake Jacobsen 206-818-4522; Edward Poulson 206-992-3260

Who Has The Greenest Seafood Of All?

With over-fishing all too often cited; Which fisheries are the greenest and leading the change in how we harvest seafood?

From thousands of choices, only two US fisheries made the list, and only one from the seafood powerhouse Alaska. Leading global magazine Seafood International has named the tiny Alaskan village of Kaltag, as one of the world’s 11 greenest fisheries.

Seafood International’s criteria; “We are looking for these operations that not only take seafood from the environment in a sustainable manner but also give back to the environment and local community in a holistic and harmonious manner.”

Kaltag sits in one of the most remote and isolated regions of the US, with a population of predominantly indigenous Athabascan Alaska Natives. Villages along the Yukon like Kaltag were located centuries ago, for one reason; the salmon resource. In today’s modern world, these Yukon villages are hundreds of miles from the nearest road, and as such have developed the ability to live off the land. Salmon fishing is their only cash resource.

The Yukon River is the world’s longest wild salmon river. Because of its length, the Yukon wild salmon and their caviar have the highest naturally occurring Omega 3 of any salmon.

Kaltag has a population of 189 people. A per capita income of $9,300 ranks Kaltag in the bottom 15 poorest counties in the US. Adding to their burden the cost of living is one of the highest nationally, subtracting further from the low per-capita income. Milk and gas are both $6 a gallon. Nearly 30 percent of the inhabitants live under the poverty guidelines, and too many of these are children. There are scant few job opportunities and these villages have persistent unemployment in excess of 25 percent.

As if life was not hard enough, the local salmon resources collapsed in the 90”s and fishermen in Kaltag stopped fishing for more than a decade.

During the decade of no fishing, the salmon runs rebounded in record numbers, as the resource renewed. Kaltag constructed a building for processing salmon, and a 7-year search for investors was begun. Outside capital was virtually impossible to come by for these villages.

Eventually, limited capital was finally located and a bargain was struck between Yukon River Gold LLC (www.yukonrivergold.com) and the City of Kaltag; with the Kaltag obtaining guarantees for a limited lease period before regaining control, local hiring, and recognition of local fishermen’s bargaining unit. These terms benefiting the community are a rarity in the Alaskan seafood industry.

Kaltag faced another problem: While the Yukon Keta salmon were returning in huge numbers, they were swimming mixed alongside the rare Chinook salmon. How to catch one, and not the other?

Kaltag’s answer; harvest with fishwheels. Fishwheels are a revolving series of dip nets powered by the river, hence no energy is needed. Fisheries scientists worldwide utilize this technology to capture and release fish for research purposes. Kaltag, in cooperation with Alaskan authorities, began using their fishwheels to release the Chinook salmon alive. Kaltag’s fishermen have released hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Chinook salmon in the last four years.

Local fishermen Richard Burnham says, “It was hard to throw valuable fish back, but after ten years of not fishing, we truly understand the value of conservation and sustainability.”

Co-owner of Yukon River Gold LLC Gary Nelson states, “The cooperation from the community has been amazing. Other local corporations stepped up to help. Profits matter, but so does making a difference in peoples’ lives. This has been an inspiring experience, especially the young people with jobs.”

Nelson says the resource is robust. “We would like to expand, doubling our employment in the region. We have applied to NOAA for fisheries assistance dedicated to this area, and we are hoping NOAA comes through so we can double employment this year. We hope NOAA supports one of the world’s greenest fisheries.”

A Native American Indian culture virtually unknown to the nation, not to mention rest of the world, has now become internationally renowned for their greenest fishery. Kaltag Mayor Violet Burnham says “It was hard, we never gave up, and this award makes us proud.”

The mayor notes the Seafood International award was made possible in part because of the generous support of Ocean Beauty Seafoods who markets the salmon and caviar produced in Kaltag, Crowley Maritime and Lynden Transport Inc. for overcoming the incredible logistical challenges, the support of Kwik’Pak Fisheries, and the Economic Development Agency.

New Courses From Washington Sea Grant

Washington Sea Grant is teaming with the Port of Seattle Fishermen’s Terminal to offer two courses to commercial fishermen on March 17th.

First Aid
The first course is a Coast Guard-approved First Aid at Sea course for commercial fishermen and recreational boaters.

The course is scheduled for Thursday, March 17, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., in the Nordby Conference Room, Nordby Building, at Fishermen’s Terminal in Seattle.

Topics will include cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, patient assessment, shock, trauma, burns, fractures, hypothermia, cold-water near drowning, immobilization, backboards, first-aid kits and more.

The fee for the workshop is $80. Space is limited, so pre-registration is advised.

Corrosion Protection
The second course is an evening Marine Corrosion Protection Workshop, also on March 17. This is a hands-on class for marine professionals and boat owners and offers an excellent introduction for technicians planning to enroll in the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) corrosion-certification course.

The course will take place on Thursday, March 17, from 6-9 p.m., also in the Nordby Conference Room, Nordby Building, Fishermen’s Terminal, Seattle.

Topics include:
  • Galvanic corrosion of aluminum, steel and bronze
  • Crevice corrosion of stainless steel
  • Poultice corrosion of aluminum
  • Corrosion-potential testing, (hands-on exercise)
  • Potential monitoring systems for aluminum and bronze
  • Advantages and disadvantages of different types of anodes
  • Explanation of military specification zinc and aluminum
  • Analysis of wood damage from too much zinc
  • Controlled potential systems for wood boats
  • Impressed current, Mercathode and Electro-Guard systems
  • ABYC standards for bonding and shore-power systems, including galvanic isolators and isolation transformers
  • Coatings for propellers and prop shafts
  • Test methods for detecting AC and DC stray current.

The fee is $60. Space is limited, so preregistration is advised.

Marine Refrigeration
Another offering by Washington Sea Grant, in partnership with Integrated Marine Systems and the Jefferson Education Center, is a pair of one-day Marine Refrigeration Workshops in Port Townsend in March and April. The courses will be offered on Saturday, March 12, and Saturday, April 16; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days, at Integrated Marine Systems, 755 Haines Place, Port Townsend, Washington.

Topics will include theory, general maintenance, controller programming, charging with Freon, and thermal expansion valve adjustment. A 7.5-ton refrigeration unit will be used as a training aid during class.

The fee is $30. Space is limited, so pre-registration is advised.

To register or for more information on any of these courses, contact Sarah Fisken, WSG Marine Education Coordinator, at (206) 543-1225 or sfisken@u.washington.edu.

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