Fishermen's News - The Advocate for the Commercial Fisherman

By Chris Philips
Managing Editor 

Dear Santa


December 1, 2017

We have been very good this year – we hope you’ve been watching.

In Bristol Bay, we used more ice and mechanical refrigeration to produce a higher quality fish, which brought a higher price from the processors. These processors were able to deliver a higher-quality wild Pacific salmon to consumers who are becoming much better informed on the value of sustainably-harvested West Coast seafood. For Christmas this year, we’d like a new RSW system- thanks.

Off the coast of California, Oregon and Washington our crew tied up their crab boats in solidarity with the Dungeness fishermen of district 7 on California’s North Coast. We saw a group of our colleagues/competitors being taken advantage of by their processor, and stood down in solidarity. This year we’d like a decent price for dungies from all of our processors.

In May, Alaska’s salmon fishery was recertified under the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Certification Program- this in the wake of a harvest whose value was estimated at $406 million. The fishery was certified in 2011, and underwent annual surveillance assessments for continuing certification. Re-certification occurs after a period of five years. Alaskans are clearly fanatical about the sustainability of their seafood harvest, which is under threat by shoreside development. Maybe we’ll find a successful resolution to the Pebble Mine problem under the tree this year.

In September, we tried to catch some of the 200,000 escaped Atlantic salmon that were endangering the wild populations of all sea life in Puget Sound. This proved to be a very difficult task, as the State of Washington has a vested interest in promoting these obese abominations, and therefore avoided addressing the problem. We saw the various state alphabet agencies essentially stick their fingers in their ears and sing nonsense lyrics to avoid the loud protestations of tribal and non-tribal commercial fishermen, environmental concerns, the general public and even a couple of local media outlets.

This year in our stocking, maybe we’ll find a state legislature more interested in the welfare of their constituents than their own reelection.

Finally, although fishing is becoming safer statistically, we saw friends taken by the sea this year. Here’s hoping for better weather, fewer mechanical failures and the safe return to shore of those who go out to sea to fish.

Chris Philips can be reached at: 206-284-8285 or email:


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