|From: Litore Lapis||3/16/2008 3:57:11 AM|
Salmon fishing ban possible this year By SAMANTHA YOUNG, Associated Press Writer
Fri Mar 14, 11:05 PM ET
Federal fisheries managers took the first step Friday toward imposing what could be the strictest limits ever on West Coast salmon fishing amid a collapse of the central California chinook salmon fishery.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council unanimously adopted three options for sport and commercial fishing off the Pacific Coast, including an unprecedented complete shutdown of fishing off California and Oregon.
"This is a major disaster. We've never had one ever like this," council chairman Donald Hansen said after the vote. "It will have a major impact on California commercial fisheries for salmon, recreational fisheries, California charters."
The closest the council has come to halting all salmon fishing was 2006, when a decline in Northern California's Klamath River run forced severe restrictions on the number of fish caught.
The other options are severely limiting fishing, or hiring fisherman to catch and release salmon for scientific projects. Both those options would require the federal government to grant an emergency rule because the salmon numbers are so low.
The fishery council is expected to decide which action to take in April during its meeting in Seattle.
"I think the likeliest outcome this year is no one will put a hook in the water," said Humboldt County fisherman Dave Bitts, who was attending the weeklong meeting in Sacramento.
The Sacramento River chinook run is usually one of the most plentiful on the West Coast, providing the bulk of the fish caught by commercial trollers off California and Oregon.
But this year's returns — even with no fishing allowed — are expected to reach less than half the council's goal for spawning a new generation. It marks the third straight year of declines, and the outlook for next year is no better.
After years of declining salmon runs, few fishermen rely solely on salmon for a living.
Supplies of farm-raised fish and sockeye from Alaska are expected to remain plentiful in supermarkets and restaurants, but there will be few chinook. Also known as king salmon, they are the type of salmon most prized by chefs and sportsmen.
Many coastal communities that still have salmon fleets have yet to recover from long-standing downturns in fishing and timber.
"It's going to have a big effect on our coastal communities," said Zeke Grader, executive director of the San Francisco-based Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations.
It is the third straight year of hardship. In 2006, the season was curtailed to protect struggling chinook returns to the Klamath River in northern California. Last year, catches were poor despite a relatively open fishing season.
Congress authorized some aid for fishermen after the 2006 seasons, and California representatives are looking for more this year.
The council's action on Friday prompted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the governors of Oregon and Washington to urge the federal government to declare a resource disaster if the fisheries are closed or severely restricted. Such a declaration would make communities eligible for federal aid.
Closing fisheries in California and most of Oregon also could lead to higher salmon prices for restaurants and consumers who would be forced to buy Alaska-caught salmon instead of locally caught fish.
In most years, about 90 percent of wild chinook salmon caught off the California coast originate in the Sacramento River and its tributaries.
Only about 90,000 adult salmon returned to the Sacramento River and its tributaries to spawn last year, the second lowest number on record and well below the government's conservation goals, according to federal fishery regulators. That's down from 277,000 in 2006 and a record high of 804,000 in 2002.
Biologists predict this year's salmon returns could be even lower because the number of returning young male fish, known as "jacks," hit an all-time low last year. Only about 2,000 of them were recorded, which is far below the 40,000 counted in a typical year.
Other West Coast rivers also have seen declines in their salmon runs, though not as steep as California's Central Valley.
Experts are uncertain about what caused the collapse, pointing to dozens of factors.
Marine scientists blame an unusual weather pattern that triggered a collapse of the marine food web in 2005, the year most of this year's returning adults were entering the ocean as juveniles.
Fishermen, environmental groups and American Indians largely blame the salmon's troubles on poor water quality and water diversions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
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|From: ~digs||3/31/2008 2:43:08 AM|
|Sitka fishermen strike herring mother lode|
How about a job grossing half a million bucks in 60 minutes?
That's what some commercial seine fishermen in Sitka scooped out of the water on Wednesday -- in the form of fatty, silvery Pacific herring.
The Sitka sac roe herring fishery is already legendary for netting megabucks in minutes, but that day's catch was still a shocker -- for fishermen, regulators and seafood processors.
Expecting healthy numbers of spawning fish, state biologists are allowing seiners to harvest a record-breaking amount of herring in Southeast Alaska's Sitka Sound this year -- 14,723 tons.
But in just two stunning hauls on Wednesday afternoon, the fishermen netted more than 10,000 tons of fish -- most of their quota.
At a price of $550 per ton of herring, that was at least a $5.5 million day.
Some eight to 10 boats each bulged their nets with 500 or more tons of Pacific herring in the first 30-minute opening, said Chip Treinen of Anchorage, a seine fisherman who participated in the fishery.
That's like hauling up several blue whales or fully-loaded 747s. Ordinary seine boats can't carry that much weight. The fish have to be pumped out of the nets while they are still in the water, he said.
The commercially-caught herring, which are also highly valued by Southeast Natives for their eggs, are exported to Japan for their roe.
About 50 permit holders jockeyed for a sweet spot on the water near Kruzof Island on Wednesday, fishermen and biologists said Friday.
But as usual, the big hauls were made by a few lucky boats. Treinen said he was one of the lucky ones but declined to reveal his total catch.
"For those of us who were in the area ... we were like kids in a candy store," he said.
The huge hauls were mainly due to the unique spot the herring chose to spawn, said Treinen, who has been involved in the Sitka herring fishery for about a dozen years.
Very dense schools of herring appeared in very shallow water next to Kruzof Island right before the fishery opened at 2:25 p.m., he said. Some of the crowded fish seemed to be dying -- they turned belly up in the water before the fishery opened, he said.
Because the fish were in shallow water, about three fathoms deep, they couldn't dive to try to escape the nets. "We could contain bigger sets than we've ever been able to contain before," Treinen said.
The state Department of Fish and Game wouldn't have allowed two fishery openings if managers realized how many fish were getting caught, according to Eric Coonradt, the department's assistant area manager for commercial fisheries in Sitka.
As it turns out, the concern wasn't about violating harvest levels. The main concern was the ability of processors to handle so much fresh herring, Coonradt said.
The massive amount of herring required extra work and coordination among seafood processors over the past few days, but everything worked out OK, said Jon Hickman, general manager for Sitka Sound Seafoods.
Some herring had to be sent to Canada for processing, he said.
In one day, the Sitka Sound herring fishery exceeded last year's gross earnings, garnered over nine days.
Last year, 50 permit holders, the majority of them Alaskans, earned $3.8 million -- an average of $107,709 per permit -- by catching 8,320 tons of herring.
Prices were lower last year -- about $465 per ton.
Participating in the fishery isn't cheap. Permits are worth about $283,000 this year, according to the state's Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.
A net to catch the herring is a $50,000 investment, according to Treinen.
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|From: S. maltophilia||12/16/2009 10:28:05 AM|
|December 16, 2009|
A Fish Oil Story
By PAUL GREENBERG
“WHAT’S the deal with fish oil?”
If you are someone who catches and eats a lot of fish, as I am, you get adept at answering questions about which fish are safe, which are sustainable and which should be avoided altogether. But when this fish oil question arrived in my inbox recently, I was stumped. I knew that concerns about overfishing had prompted many consumers to choose supplements as a guilt-free way of getting their omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show lower triglycerides and the risk of heart attack. But I had never looked into the fish behind the oil and whether it was fit, morally or environmentally speaking, to be consumed.
The deal with fish oil, I found out, is that a considerable portion of it comes from a creature upon which the entire Atlantic coastal ecosystem relies, a big-headed, smelly, foot-long member of the herring family called menhaden, which a recent book identifies in its title as “The Most Important Fish in the Sea.”.....
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|From: Litore Lapis||3/19/2010 1:39:59 AM|
|Japanese fish dealers welcome tuna ban rejection|
TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese fish dealers on Friday welcomed the rejection of a proposed trade ban on Atlantic bluefin tuna -- a prized ingredient of sushi -- while urging that existing quotas be more strictly enforced to protect the species from overfishing.
Thursday's vote at a U.N. meeting in Doha, Qatar, rejecting the ban was front-page news in all major Japanese newspapers Friday morning.
Japan consumes about 80 percent of the world's Atlantic bluefin tuna, and the possibility of a ban had consumers and fish wholesalers worried that prices for the pink and red meat of the fish -- called "hon-maguro" here -- would soar or that it might even vanish from some menus.
Stocks of the fish have fallen by 60 percent from 1997 to 2007, and environmentalists argue that a trading ban imposed by the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, would protect the fish.
But the Japanese government and fishing industry say an outright trading ban is too drastic a step, and that catch quotas set by another body, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, should be more strictly enforced to protect the species from overfishing. In November, ICCAT cut the annual global quota by 40 percent to 13,500 tons.
"Rather than ban exports, we should make sure to limit the number caught," said Kazuhiro Takayama, a fish wholesaler at Tokyo's sprawling Tsukiji fish market. "A lot of people depend on this fish for their livelihoods."
Economic concerns appeared to trump environmental ones, as fishing nations from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean complained that any ban would damage their fishing communities and that fears of the stock's collapse were overstated.
The proposed trading ban garnered little support at the CITES meeting, with only the United States, Norway and Kenya supporting it outright. The European Union asked that implementation be delayed until May 2011 to give authorities time to respond to concerns about overfishing.
After the vote, Masanori Miyahara, chief counselor of Japan's Fisheries Agency, said pressure would be on his country and others that depend on the Atlantic bluefin to abide by ICCAT quotas.
But environmentalists say ICCAT has repeatedly failed to enforce catch limits -- and that the quotas themselves are insufficient.
"ICCAT is not able to manage sustainable fishing," said Wakao Hanaoka, ocean campaigner with Greenpeace in Tokyo.
"For Japanese consumers, this is the wrong direction," he added. "Consumers here love to eat sushi and want to pass this along to the next generation, but what the Japanese government is doing is totally opposite to this."
Junichi Hakuta, a 52-year-old fish wholesaler at Tsukiji market who relies on tuna for half his business, acknowledged that he was worried about declining bluefin stocks, but said the media attention to the issue would contribute to conservation efforts.
"There is a problem with overfishing, and ICCAT needs to enforce its catch limits more strictly," Hakuta said as motorized carts whizzed by carrying containers filled with squid, fish and clams in ice water. "The whole world needs to work on this. We need to protect our resources. So I see this as a good result from the meeting."
Coming amid criticism of Japan's whaling program -- as well as an Oscar award for the film "The Cove," which depicts the dolphin-hunting village of Taiji in southwestern Japan -- the tuna issue has caused some fishermen to feel that aspects of their culture are being attacked.
"It's wrong -- people telling us what we can and can't eat," said Yukio Unagizawa, a wholesaler at Tsukiji market. "Foreigners eat cows. ... Catching dolphins is part of that village's tradition."
The tuna vote was a hot topic in hundreds of fishing villages that dot Japan's coasts. While fisherman that ply local waters generally opposed the ban, some said they could benefit from it because of a likely spike in prices of domestically caught tuna.
But Ichiro Murayama, an official in the fishing cooperative in the small town of Katsuura, near Taiji, said that was a short-term view. A move to prohibit trade in certain areas could make it easier to ban others, he said.
"This wave of putting restrictions on the fishing industry is getting stronger," Murayama said. "This is a trend that could lead to banning tuna fishing even in coastal waters."
A major daily, the Asahi newspaper, also wondered about the future of the declining bluefin.
"How will various countries cooperate to manage tuna resources? The immediate crisis has passed, but the biggest issue remains unresolved," it said in an analysis.
Associated Press writers Jay Alabaster in Tokyo and Michael Casey in Doha, Qatar, contributed to this report
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|From: Litore Lapis||10/13/2012 9:20:55 AM|
| Libertarians and classical liberals often cite the tragedy of the commons as an example of what happens when Lockean property rights to homestead resources are prohibited by a government.    These people argue that the solution to the tragedy of the commons is to allow individuals to take over the property rights of a resource, that is, privatizing it.  In 1940 Ludwig von Mises wrote concerning the problem: |
If land is not owned by anybody, although legal formalism may call it public property, it is used without any regard to the disadvantages resulting. Those who are in a position to appropriate to themselves the returns — lumber and game of the forests, fish of the water areas, and mineral deposits of the subsoil — do not bother about the later effects of their mode of exploitation. For them, erosion of the soil, depletion of the exhaustible resources and other impairments of the future utilization are external costs not entering into their calculation of input and output. They cut down trees without any regard for fresh shoots or reforestation. In hunting and fishing, they do not shrink from methods preventing the repopulation of the hunting and fishing grounds. 
An objection to the privatization approach is that many commons (such as the ozone layer or global fish populations) would be extremely difficult or impossible to privatize.
These days we can read number plates on cars from cameras in space orbit. We also have drones armed with hellfire missiles.
There is a solution as far as the worlds oceans are concerned. It just needs agreement and enforcement.
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|From: Litore Lapis||2/3/2013 1:53:53 PM|
|"Iceland's claim to reduce its quota conceals the fact that Iceland's unilateral quota remains excessively high, before and after the reduction."|
The Commission added: "Science is clearly pointing to the need to reduce catches of mackerel."
Says who? and as if they know anything about sustainable fishing.
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