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City Water Woes Worsen Industry Upheaval in Newport, Ore.

A pair of summer crises has taken the "working" out of Newport's working waterfront.

Newport, Ore., takes pride in its waterfront street that, on one side, is lined with processors and docks and, on the other, shops, restaurants and tourist attractions. First, a COVID-19 outbreak hit the harbor town and interrupted the usually busy waterfront during the start of coldwater pink shrimp and Pacific whiting seasons.

But at the same time, another crisis was unfolding: iron particles clogging city water filters. City staff noticed the problem in May ...

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Forget Doom and Gloom! West Coast Groundfish Gets Boost to Continue Successful Marketing Campaign

The outlook is positive for Positively Groundfish.

After two years of outreach and education, the non-profit organization was recently awarded a $299,516 Saltonstall-Kennedy grant to push into a new phase: developing a health and nutrition-focused marketing campaign designed to increase domestic demand for West Coast groundfish.

The program will run for one year, from October 2020 through September 2021, and include both research and marketing outreach.

"We’ll start with a species-specific and comprehensive nutrient content analysis of West Coast groundfish...

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West Coast Groundfish, HMS Fisheries Get 2-week Observer Reprieve

Industry requests for a waiver for carrying observers due to the coronavirus pandemic yielded results Wednesday. The National Marine Fisheries Service issued a notice that will waive observers for West Coast groundfish and most highly migratory species fisheries for two weeks, through the end of April.

Fishermen and processors asked for exemptions due to the uncertainty of observers' travels between ports, vessels and plants and the health risk to all those involved, including the observers. Fisheries in other parts of the country, including...

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Alaska Wants Input on Distributing Cod Crash Relief Funds; Better Make It Quick, Deadline is April 10

The State of Alaska wants input on plans to distribute nearly $24.5 million in federal disaster relief funds for stakeholders and communities hurt by the 2018 Gulf of Alaska cod crash.

Better make it quick – the deadline to comment is April 10.

Cod is Alaska’s second largest groundfish harvest (after pollock), but the Gulf stock dropped by 80% in 2018 following a three year heatwave that disrupted food webs, fish metabolism and egg survival on the ocean floor. It combined to...

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West Coast Trawlers Win Buyback Victory in Spending Bill Expected to Pass this Week

Merry Christmas, West Coast Trawlers! The Pacific Coast groundfish buyback loan debacle is finally reaching a satisfactory conclusion.

Bipartisan support for language included in a spending bill the House passed, the Senate is expected to pass and the president is expected to sign this week will forgive roughly $10 million in accrued loan interest that was forced onto the West Coast groundfish trawl fleet due to National Marine Fisheries Service mismanagement, according to lawmakers.

The Secretary of Commerce declared the West Coast groundfish fishery an..

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OPINION: Increased VMS Ping Rates are Unnecessary Burden in Groundfish Fishery

An open letter to President Trump and Commerce Secretary Ross

One of your Administration's signature campaign promises was cutting onerous regulations that promote economic inefficiencies and stymie a business’s growth with no clear public benefit.

The Ventura County Commercial Fishermen’s Association would like to bring to the Administration’s attention an example of a proposed regulation looking for a nonexistent problem.

The Proposed Rule for Vessel Monitoring for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery (Docket NO. NOAA-NMFS-2019-0093) is a regulation that is entirely unnecessary and would be ...

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Study: Six Eastern Bering Sea Stocks Appear Most Vulnerable to Climate Change

NOAA scientists and partners have released a Climate Vulnerability Assessment for groundfish, crabs and salmon in the Eastern Bering Sea. They looked at the potential impacts of changing climate, ocean temperatures and other environmental conditions on 36 stocks. Of these, four rockfish stocks, flathead sole and Tanner crab were determined to be the most vulnerable. Several other fish stocks were seen as potentially more resilient. This is because they may be able to move to areas with more favorable environmental conditions, such as...

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West Coast Cable Removal Could Open New Fishing Grounds

An old trans-Pacific cable system from Oregon to China is scheduled to be removed this month, which is good news for trawlers. Not only will removal open up new fishing grounds, but it will reduce the risk of a trawl net snagging a cable on the ocean floor.

The China-US (CHUS) system cables off Whisky Run, just south of Cape Arago near Coos Bay, Ore., are scheduled to be recovered Mertech Marine, a global cable submarine telecommunication cable recycling company based in South Africa...

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PHOTO: Ocean Choice International's New Groundfish Vessel, The M.V. Calvert, Arrives in St. John’s

Ocean Choice International is celebrating the arrival of their first new groundfish vessel to join the Canadian offshore fishing sector since the mid-1980s. The M.V. Calvert, a 74-metres long, state-of-the-art, green class, offshore fishing vessel, arrived in St. John’s Thursday morning after its 4,200 nautical mile journey from Turkey.

“Today marks a significant milestone for our company, our 1,700 employees and the fishing industry, one that started over two years ago and has been made possible by the...

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West Coast Industry Frustrated with NMFS' Inaction to Waive Observers

The West Coast groundfish fleet has been pushing for relief from onboard fishery observers and shoreside catch monitors due to the coronavirus, but NMFS' message to the fleet: No.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met via webinar last week and one of the major points of contention was observers on fishing vessels in this era of COVID-19 that includes stay at home and social distancing orders.

While many state and federal workers are being told to work from home, meetings and events are...

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Observer Waiver for Vessels With Northeast Fishing Permits Extended Through April 18

In late March NOAA Fisheries announced that they would temporarily be waiving the requirement for vessels with Northeast fishing permits to carry a fishery observer or at-sea monitor until April 4. The government agency has now announced that they will be extending this waiver.

“Consistent with the agency’s emergency rule on observer waivers during the COVID-19 pandemic and under the authority granted to the Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator, NOAA Fisheries ie extending the waiver granted to vessels with Greater Atlantic Region fishing permits to...

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NOAA: Rebound in Groundfish Leads to New Flexibility for Fishermen, Protection for Deep-Sea Corals

The changes made in West Coast groundfish fisheries adopted earlier this week are set to reopen access for fishermen to productive fishing grounds, NOAA said.

The groundfish population in the reopened areas have rebounded and the changes made by the fisheries will also protect deep-water habitat and deep-sea corals from bottom fishing.

The adjustments came into fruition in the form of an amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for groundfish off the West Coast. The Pacific Fishery Management...

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Russia May Propose Revision to Existing US-USSR Maritime Border Agreement

Russia may revise the existing U.S.-USSR agreement on the maritime border, which was signed on July 1, 1990, and established a demarcation line of economic zones and the continental shelf between Russia (as the successor to the USSR) and the U.S. in the Bering and Chukchi Seas, and territorial waters in a small section of the Bering Strait, according to some leading Russian state officials.

Signing of that agreement has led to serious losses to the Russian fishing industry since that time, they said, ...

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Cowcod is Latest West Coast Groundfish Stock Rebuilt; Only One Remains Listed as Overfished

An important West Coast groundfish stock that was formerly declared overfished has now been rebuilt ahead of schedule, the Pacific Fishery Management Council announced Tuesday.

The cowcod stock south of 40°10’ N. latitude, one of the rockfish species, has been managed under a strict rebuilding plan that severely constrained West Coast fisheries in California for two decades. Rebuilding cowcod was achieved through large area closures, non-retention rules and very low allowance for...

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