Boat on the sea
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Westport-300x169Pacific Seafood’s Westport facility has been fined $222,000 for “repeatedly discharging polluted wastewater into Half Moon Bay in Westport.” The Washington Department of Ecology also reported that in the past two years, the facility has violated its water quality permits 58 times.

“It’s unacceptable that this facility is continuing to pollute Half Moon Bay after repeated citations and technical assistance,” said Vince McGowan, Ecology’s water quality program manager. “The majority of similar companies in the industry are able to meet permit requirements. The bottom line is that we need this facility to comply with their permit and stop polluting Half Moon Bay. This includes making any needed upgrades to their wastewater treatment system to fix the problem.”

Pacific Seafood failed to monitor its wastewater discharge as mandated. The Department of Ecology determined that the company’s wastewater contained “too much organic matter, solids, acidity, oil and grease, and fecal coliform bacteria.”

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Wrangell_AK-300x164It is with great sadness that we report the tragic incident that unfolded after a collision between the 58-foot F/V VIS and a 20-foot skiff in Wrangell Narrows, Alaska.

The collision claimed the life of a 73-year-old woman from California, as confirmed by the U.S. Coast Guard, and resulted in another individual being thrown into the water.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, good Samaritans pulled a 71-year old, later identified as Gordon Paul of California, from the water. He was transported to a nearby boat launch at Papke’s Landing and taken to Petersburg Medical Center.

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Falsepass_Alaska-300x184On Friday, June 7th, 2024, Trident Seafoods and Silver Bay Seafoods announced that Silver Bay is set to acquire Trident Seafoods False Pass processing facility and fuel business on the Alaska Peninsula. This is Silver Bay’s second big move in a region where they already have a presence processing salmon. With this latest addition, Silver Bay will be overseeing salmon at their facilities in Southeast Alaska (Craig, Sitka, Ketchikan), south-central Alaska (Valdez), Kodiak, Bristol Bay (Naknek), and now the Alaska Peninsula (False Pass).

By acquiring the Valdez plant in Prince William Sound and the False Pass plant in Southwest Alaska, Silver Bay has effectively doubled its capacity. The False Pass plant, which Silver Bay opened in 2019, is now an integral part of this expansion.

False Pass is a remote fishing community in southwest Alaska, situated on Unimak Island between the tip of the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands. Trident’s False Pass operation was fully dedicated to processing salmon.

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Northline_Hannah-300x181Northline Seafoods has announced the inaugural voyage of its latest vessel, F/V HANNAH, setting sail from Bellingham’s Fairhaven Shipyard to Bristol Bay for the 2024 salmon fishing season. The one-of-a-kind platform was built specifically for the conditions in Bristol Bay.

“This is a dream come true,” said Northline Seafoods CEO Ben Blakey. “Seeing our vessel leave the Fairhaven Shipyard is a critical milestone for the Bristol Bay salmon industry and for Northline Seafoods. I am proud of our team and appreciative of all the people who helped us get here.”

The F/V HANNAH is a 400′ x 100′ barge that Northline describes as a “vertically integrated, all-in-one solution for buying, freezing, shipping, storing, and distributing wild Alaska salmon.” The vessel features the capacity to freeze up to one million pounds of salmon per day, managed by a production crew of twenty. In addition, it can freeze salmon to a core temperature of -30°F in under 2 hours, and the cold storage facilities can hold over ten million pounds of frozen salmon, while also accommodating 2.3 million pounds of fresh fish.

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FishermansTerminal-300x186The team at Stacey and Jacobsen, PLLC is delighted to announce that The Port of Seattle has broken ground and begun the renovation and modernization of the historic Ship Supply Building at Fishermen’s Terminal. The community can expect a state-of-the-art Maritime Innovation Center (MInC) certified by the Living Building Challenge (LBC). This new facility will cater to the maritime industry needs, fostering collaboration among students, businesses, public agencies, educators, and community members. The Port has teamed up with Miller Hull to reimagine this distinctive landmark.

“Today’s groundbreaking is a celebration of the Port’s substantial commitment to support innovation as a way to foster the maritime industry’s ability to sustain our region’s blue economy,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman. “The transformation of the Port’s oldest asset into one that can meet the Living Building Challenge symbolizes the Port’s recognition of the maritime industry’s significance to our region’s history and future.”

“The future of the maritime industry and the ocean economy is innovative, sustainable, and equitable,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Ryan Calkins. “The Maritime Innovation Center will foster an atmosphere of collaboration and innovation which will ensure that all the sectors of the maritime industry, from commercial fishing to the growing green maritime economy, have not only a home but an anchor in Seattle.”

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Wheel-300x150In response to the downturn in the seafood industry, Alaska lawmakers have approved the formation of a specialized task force created to address the challenges currently facing this vital sector. The decision reflects the need to mitigate the economic and social impacts that have reached a crisis point within the industry.

The measure, Senate Concurrent Resolution 10, will create an eight-member seafood industry task force, comprised of four state senators and four state House members, with the Senate president as chair.

The House passed the resolution nearly unanimously on Saturday May 25th, 2024. The Senate, which initially approved the resolution on April 19th, unanimously accepted the House’s amendments on Sunday.

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North_American-300x195At approximately 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday May 14th, 2024, watchstanders at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received a call that the 91-foot F/V NORTH AMERICAN had partially sunk alongside a pier just east of the Ballard Bridge.

The Seattle Fire Department responded and installed a containment boom around the vessel to prevent pollution, while a dive team worked to plug vents and reduce the risk of further fuel discharge. A second layer of boom was deployed to minimize the chance of a fuel slick escaping. The vessel has a reported maximum capacity of 32,500 gallons of diesel. The U.S. Coast Guard has opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and contracted with Global Dive and Salvage, an oil spill response organization, to manage clean-up and response operations.

The F/V NORTH AMERICA was featured in Season 4 of the reality show Deadliest Catch. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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KodiakEnterprise-300x192The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued its findings on the fire incident that engulfed the F/V KODIAK ENTERPRISE on April 8, 2023. At around 3:00AM, a fire broke out aboard the commercial F/V  KODIAK ENTERPRISE while it was docked at the Trident Seafoods facility in Tacoma, Washington.

The initial sighting of the fire came from a deckhand aboard a neighboring vessel. A Trident security guard was alerted, who in turn notified a Trident official. The official then alerted the four crewmembers who were sleeping onboard during the scheduled overhaul. Fortunately, all emerged unharmed from the incident.

The fire raged for six days until first responders finally declared it extinguished on April 14th. No pollution or injuries were reported from the incident. However, the F/V KODIAK ENTERPRISE, valued at an estimated $56.6 million, was declared a total loss.

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Chief-Joseph-FV-300x199Watchstanders at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound were notified around 6 a.m. that the 48-foot F/V CHIEF JOSEPH, was in distress and taking on water. Aboard the vessel was one individual and a dog. The pair evacuated the vessel using a life raft.

Sector watchstanders dispatched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from U.S. Coast Guard Station Bellingham, and the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ADELIE to assist the distressed vessel.

The survivor and the dog made it safely to the shores of Henry Island on the life raft.

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Spring Chinook Salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Salmon fishing in the federal waters of Cook Inlet will restart this summer with a shift in management to the federal government, as finalized in a recent ruling. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is assuming control over salmon management in the inlet waters categorized as the federal exclusive economic zone, extending beyond 3 miles offshore. This new regulation becomes effective on May 30th.

Up until this point, the state had overseen salmon fisheries in both state and federal waters of the inlet. However, due to a decade-long legal battle, federal courts mandated a shift in management. The United Cook Inlet Drift Association (UCIDA), comprising commercial salmon fishermen, initiated legal action against the federal government in 2013, alleging a failure to formulate a salmon harvest management plan for the federal waters of the inlet. Instead of crafting a specific plan for Cook Inlet salmon, the National Marine Fisheries Service had relied on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which historically managed salmon harvests across the inlet in both state and federal waters since statehood.

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