The states of Washington, Oregon, and California cooperatively manage the West Coast Dungeness crab fishery in federal waters under a tri-state agreement that Congress first authorized in 1998. The bill makes that existing authority permanent. The agreement expired without a replacement in 2016. The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Herrera-Beutler in the House and Sen. Maria Cantwell in the Senate. President Trump signed the bill into law on August 18. Kudos to both Rep. Herrera-Beutler and Senator Cantwell for their efforts in moving this important piece of legislation through Congress, which greatly benefits the commercial fishing industry and the crab resource.
As of August 21, 2017, the Alaska salmon harvest stands at 181.6 million, approaching the pre-season forecast of 204.6 million. Current pink harvests statewide lag behind the 2013 and 2015 seasons, but are running slightly above the previous 5-year average. Sockeye harvest is currently at 52.9 million, which includes a 37.3 million catch in Bristol Bay. For more detailed results, go to www.alaskaseafood.org.
The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) strongly encourages vessel owners and crewmembers to be mindful about vessel safety. The 2017 season has already resulted in nine commercial fishing fatalities, which is significantly higher than in recent years. A link to the AMSEA article can be found here.
The Seattle Fishermen's Memorial is sponsoring a safety fair for any owners or crewmembers that are interested in improving their vesssel safety skills. The event will take place on Friday, May 19, 2017 at Fishermen's Terminal, Dock 9. For more information, please visit the Seattle Fishermen's Memorial Facebook page or email email@example.com.
Washington Sea Grant, the Port of Seattle, and NW Maritime Center are co-sponsoring a "basic watch standing" workshop for anyone interested in working on a commercial fishing vessel. No prior experience is required to attend this training. Topics include a variety of navigational basics. The training will occur on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at the Nordby Building, at Fisherman’s Terminal, Seattle, and will last from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information, please visit: https://wsg.washington.edu/event/learn-when-to-wake-your-skipper/. Prior registration is required.
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director will be holding a meeting to discuss the Department's Wild Future Initiative. Commercial fishing representatives are also encouraged to discuss their fishing operations in the West Coast and North Pacific and give their imput on the Department's operations and programs. The meeting will occur on April 22, 2016, at 1:30 pm, at the Nordby Conference Center, Fisherman's Terminal, Seattle.
On February 8, 2016, the President signed the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015. The Act removed the language that would have required commercial fishing vessels to follow new Survival Craft regulations. This means that commercial fishing vessels may continue to use their existing in-water survival craft in accordance with existing regulations. Please see the attached link for further details.