Posts Tagged ‘fish management


Wild Fish v. Hatchery Fish: When Is Enough Data Captured to Convince

“Since the mid-1970s, large increases in hatchery programs in the U.S., Canada, Russia and Japan have released billions of fish into the water. And the increasing global demand for salmon has resulted in calls to further expand hatchery production, especially in Russia and Alaska. In a 2010 open letter to Alaska hatcheries, seafood processors proposed increasing pink salmon hatchery returns by 25%-115% over the next five years. Similarly, Russian hatchery managers stated in 2010 that Russia is planning to build 23 new hatcheries that would increase the country’s hatchery production by 66% or 680 million fish.

“The scale and magnitude of our current hatchery production system is enormous,” says Rand. “Five billion juvenile salmon are released each year worldwide, and the prospect of additional increases in hatchery production is worrisome for the long-term survival of wild salmon.” (more at Science Blog)



This a very complex issue for this C Average Student. Dams, Irrigation, Logging, Hatcheries, Commercial Fishing, Pollution, oh and Sea Lions, on and on contributing factors go. And, the propensity is to substitute one man made management style over the top of the previous one. We mucked it up and the mean time, the Put ‘n Take Crowd wants their damn fish! I am glad others are taking on this puzzle and that they put it in terms I can understand…Cliff Notes so to speak.

All the good intentions aside, it does come down to prior investments, jobs, business versus a probable crisis in maintaining/restoring the original wild strains. As much as everyone readily paints business interests as inherently bad and the problem, I at first will always point to government management or mismanagement as a greater culprit in messing things up…then poor stewardship by businesses…and the oblivious ‘I want mine’ by the ‘put in take’ crowd helps perpetuate the whole mess. 

While it feels good to quote some Native American slogan about preserving some resource, I wonder how Oregon and Washington…two states that have had overwhelming Democrat power bases for decades….two very liberal/progressive states…two very eco conscious states have made such a mess of the fisheries. All those Democrat Governors have been silent and void of leadership on these issues. Of course, I’m only a C Student…so what do I know?


Ocean Fishery: Hake (Pacific Fish Management Glimpse)

Pacific (Rodney Johnson)

Pacific's Take of Hake (Rodney Johnson)

SB: What kind of fish? Where? Where fish sold?

RJ: Pacific Whiting or more commonly called Hake. This fish was not used  much until the fishery developed large mid-water nets and the boats  installed refrigeration systems so we could chill them rapidly. This  fish spoils very fast but now the boats chill sea water and we can  chill them and bring them into port cold. They are processed within 24 hours of being caught. A boat like  our holds 130,000 lbs and we try to deliver every day. Some boats hold  up to 450,000 lbs.

There is a small season in Calf. now and the main season starts on  June 15th. The quota is about 700 million lbs. The season is an  Olympic system – meaning, first come first served, so it is very  competitive. The goal is to get your fish, get in and unload and get  back out. If anything goes wrong on your trip and you miss a day  the boat loses a days earnings. The nets are very complex and if not used correctly will not work. I am somewhat of an expert  in this area.

This is a very inexpensive fish used to makes fake crab meat and  fish sticks. A lot of it goes to Eastern Europe and the Middle  East as a headed whole fish. Cheap protein for poor countries. Last year the price was & cents a pound but they hope to get 12 cents or more this year.

The problem with this type of fishery is that on these larger boats  handling large nets and huge amounts of fish any mistake can be  serious. Not only can you lose fishing time but people can get  hurt.

ROD  [ hope I didn’t wear you out ]

SB: Is there ever a concern of wiping out the stocks of targeted fish like cod in the Atlantic?  Curious if there is any long-term view re such management? Is 700 mil lbs. a drop in the renewable bucket or does anyone really know??? Just think of depleted salmon and steelhead runs.

RJ: These fish reproduce rapidly and have a short life span compared to other fish. Large areas of the west coast are off-limits and fishing is really regulated. There are a few long living fish that have been over fished and its like the  spotted owl situation in logging. We would be allowed more hake but we are  limited by the amount of these other fish we catch.

Its called by-catch and if we catch  to many of these other fish they shut us down. They even have camera’s on the boats  to keep us honest.  Knowledge of the ocean bottom to stay away from areas where this by-catch  lives is important.

A lot of fishing problems are caused by boat captains  that don’t know or don’t care enough to worry about the future of the  future of fishing. One or two poor captains can make everyone look bad.


Rod has been involved in the commercial fishing industry for 40+ years and is a gentleman’s gentleman.

Take of Hake (Rodney Johnson on the Pacific)


Who Owns the Sea? As the world’s seas become the last–grossly overfished–frontier, who is the sheriff?

sheriff-th“All this begs the question, who owns the sea? You might think that in a modern democracy we, the citizens, should be the owners. But European and national law, such as it is, really protects only the rights of a number of vested interests, such as those of fishermen. Yet few fishermen prosper, for the law as it is keeps them effectively in a state of anarchy, a race for the last fish, in which only the most rapacious and most technologically-advanced survive.”

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