Category Archives: Safety

PhotoWalk | Juneau Maritime Festival 2012

The Juneau Maritime Festival just turned three this past weekend.  The event was initially canceled the previous week, yet many locals and tourists  turned out for the free salmon!  That’s right!  Fresh FREE Sockeye salmon courtesy of Alaska Glacier Seafoods.  There were also various tours of local marine vessels and native traditional dancing.   Overall, it was a big success.  Enjoy the pics.

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Internet Bycatch | Alaska State Ferry Vs. Ocean Beauty With Video

The recent Supermoon has kicked up the tides in one of the dangerous harbors in southeast Alaska. The Petersburg harbor is well protected from intense sweep, but it is one of the rare areas where the tide can rip at 4 knots through the harbor. The Ferry dock is fairly far away from the Ocean Beauty Dock, so the tide must have been insane. It appears that the ferry was undamaged, but the docks at Ocean Beauty will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair. Thanks to @sperry06 for the timely photos.  Check out the vid for a great story about the Wrangell Narrows.


The Petersburg Pilot reports the ferry struck the dock while performing a 360-degree maneuver, required in order for it to dock in Petersburg. The face of the Ocean Beauty cement dock was heavily damaged, dock pilings were broken and a crane was damaged.

Even the second floor of the idled processing plant was damaged, with walls and outer walkways partially demolished. The Matanuska shows possible dents and scrapes to the bow of the ship.

Petersburg Harbormaster Glorianne Wollen told the Pilot: “It wasn’t a glancing blow. It pretty much was a head-on hit.”

via State Ferry Hits Petersburg Seafood Plant Dock Head-On –

Get In Gear | Behold, The XtraTuf II

Change is something that fishermen rarely like to deal with. Yet, one of the most time honored and classic elements of commercial fishing is changing. Yes, the XtraTuf II is here! Muck boots, known for their comfort, have teamed up with the classic XtraTuf to offer more stability and a better overall feel. The ironic part of that the XtraTuf website mentions nothing of these. The boots were on display at the Pacific Marine Expo and the added stability was very noticeable. To anyone that has ever rolled their ankle in a pair of XtraTufs, you will appreciate the new design. So, where can you find a pair of these fancy new icons of the fishing world. LFS Marine has these babies ready for preorder (here) on their website. The only problem is that the boots won’t be available until the end of July! Come on, XtraTuf! This does not seem very thought thru. Well, whenever they get here, will fishermen even use them? What do you think?


Introducing Xtratuf II, the next-generation Xtratuf boot – The Xtratuf proven no-slip sole on the outside and the MUCK Boot™ comfort and warmth on the inside. Feel your best even when the weather’s at its worst.


• Oil resistant rubber

• 5mm CR foam bootie is lightweight and flexible

• Airmesh lining for air circulation

• X-Stabilizer for additional lateral support at foot and ankle

• Slip-resistant Chevron outsole and heel provide sure-gripping traction on slick footings

• 100% waterproof

• Supportive heel counters reduce heel slippage and provide form-fitting comfort

• Removable 6mm NITRACEL™ EVA insole for additional support and slipper-soft molded comfort in the footbed

via XtraTuf II 16″ Copper Tan Neoprene Boots – 22275G.

Commercial Fishing Viewpoints | F/V Boulder Bay

Dungy Crabbing off the west coast can be one of the deadliest jobs in the world. The small boats and big swell can be a really dangerous combination. The captain and crew of the Boulder Bay bring us along for the ride in Newport, Oregon as they prepare the boat for the season. The camera keeps rolling as the guys grind away hauling gear day and night. The vicious weather can shut down the fishery for weeks at a time, so hauling gear is non stop when conditions are favorable. This video shows a great perspective on a tough fishery. Kudos to the captain and crew for doing a great job with the video and staying safe.


Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit 2012 | Video

Just about 70 fishermen from all over Alaska have gathered in Juneau for the Young Fishermen Summit.  Nearly every fishery is represented here, with gillnetters being the highest volume.  Most of the attendees are from Southeast, however Bristol Bay is highly represented as well. The two day event covers many facets of the fishing industry, including fishery management, private marketing and politics.  I’ve included some quick video from Bruce Gabry’s talk on record keeping.  The images are from the media package included at the summit. Check back for more updates as the day continues.  Later today, we will be at the NOAA Headquarters at Lena Point. Stay tuned and post any questions if you are interested.

2011 West Coast Commercial Fishing Year in Review | Part I

A lot has happened in the world of commercial fishing within the past year. Halibut has dominated the recent headlines with serious implications of a failed fishery. Whereas, commercial salmon fishing has garnered some of the highest prices and catch returns in years. The commercial fishing industry seems to be plagued with more than is fair share of highs and lows. So, hunker down and we will go over some of last years biggest headlines in what some call the “Deadliest Business.”


Salmon dominated the news this year with recent hints of a virus blooming in wild pacific salmon population and a geneticly designed Frankenfish that would solve all of our salmon farming issues. Also record harvests In southeast and Chignik supplied plenty of headlines too. Of course, news of an impending industrial mine in the heart of Alaska‘s sockeye country was met with fierce opposition throughout the year.


Commercial squid fishing in California has seen a huge uptake in value within the last two seasons. In the past, the fishery could take up to six months to catch the quota of 180,000 tons. Last year they were done by Christmas. This year the boys were done by turkey day.

King Crab

Bering Sea King crab quotas were heavily cut this year, but record high prices and a quick season were great for consumers and producers. Southeast Alaskaeven got a chance at king crab this past October. Six years had passed since the last crab opener in the region, so locals were eager to cash in the on record prices.

Dungeness Crab

Dungy Crab soared this past season as Oregon delivered one of its highest valued harvests in years. The crab were selling for more than 2.65 in some regions.

Sitka Sac Roe Herring

Sitka Herring was seriously impacted by the Japanese tsunami this spring. Right before the herring started showing, the tsunami devastated most of the Japanese seafood market, including the buyers. The tragedy resulted in a huge drop in the ex vessel price of herring. In 2010, herring were 410 dollars a ton. This spring we were only able to get 100 dollars a ton.

Up Next

The next segment will include halibut, pollock, and even some dive fisheries.  Feel free to add some suggestions or point me to stories that I may have overlookd

University of Alaska to Start Commercial Fishing Course?

Commercial Fishing Dock by Taku Smokeries
Image by gillfoto via Flickr

Over the years of fishing, I have seen many of pitiful greenhorns.  While its nice to see the fresh perspective of a new face, its always frustrating knowing these half-wits are watching your back.  There are a few distinct fundamentals to commercial fishing.  The primary issue is safety.  After that, it is purely a matter of “boat sense,” which is hard to teach because it is mostly based from time and experience.  This course would be a great idea, but few greenhorns would have access to the University.  Perhaps, it could be a field course offered at different places throughout the year.  It would be great to hear some feedback on the issue.  Here’s the PDF of the survey results.

Four rescued as fishing vessel sinks near Cordova.



According to a Coast Guard release, the rescue happened seven miles southwest of Cordova early Saturday. The 44-foot fishing vessel was sinking around midnight.

As the coast guard helicopter lowered dewatering pumps, a friendly vessel took in the three crewmembers on the sinking boat. Another vessel reported the sinking.

There’s 1,000 gallons of fuel in the sinking boat, but no pollution has been reported. Authorities will investigate the cause of the sinking.

via Four rescued as fishing vessel sinks near Cordova: Alaska News | Alaska news at