Saturday, April 12, 2008

Salmon Futures $40/Lb? You Betcha!

Well, it has come to pass. The once magnificent salmon runs from San Francisco to Oregon are now officially gone. With a one year "temporary ban" in place...and who are we kidding here, fishermen and a 500 million dollar industry have been wiped out overnight.

The same old war horses who got us into this mess are now trying to fix it. The solution is 500 million for fish replanting and habitat reconstruction, 10 years of good will, and a few prayers of forgiveness to the almighty.

SEATTLE — Failure. Disaster. Devastation.

Those words can describe the utter loss of commercial and sport ocean Chinook seasons in 2008 in most of Oregon and California. But through all of the gloom, Oregon emerged from the historic closure with a small victory: a 9,000-fish coho quota for sport fishermen.

The historic closures due to low returns to much of the West Coast rivers, primarily the Sacramento, was marked only by a lot of angst, a few simple votes, a quiet audience and much regret as the Pacific Fishery Management Council met in Seattle to decide the fate of not just sport and commercial fishermen, but also several coastal ports and towns for years to come.

"Ocean Adventure: Immerse Yourself in Nature"

Sea Watch is doing their part to preserve the Sea of Cortez. Leading by example and working with Conapesca to introduce legislation banning fishing with compressors and hookah in the continental and ocean waters of Mexico. This can only be good news for a body of water almost stripped of wildlife over the past 15 years.

From the Blog Ocean Adventure: Immerse Yourself in Nature

The destructive fishing methods that utilize hookah divers with nets and harpoons, that has devastated the reefs of the Sea of Cortez over the last 10 years are being banned by a new regulation adopted in norma 064. This regulation if enforced will stop the killing of over a 1000's tons of reef fish yearly in the waters of BCS.

Here is a letter dated 2/07/08 from a CONAPESCA official.

I refer to your request for information on prohibiting fishing underwater in any of its forms, with scuba equipment and / or equipment hookah in the Regulation Mexican Official NOM-064-CFSP-2006, about systems, methods and techniques that are prohibited for catching fish in the waters under federal jurisdiction of the United Mexican States, which was published in the Diario Oficial de la Federación for public consultation on May 8, 2007.

In this regard I wish to inform you that based on the technical opinion of the National Fisheries Institute (INP), as well as the recommendations contained in the Carta Nacional Pesquera (Fisheries law), the application was deemed appropriate, so the Norma Oficial Mexicana referenced will be published in the (Diario Oficial de la Federación ) shortly and provides for the prohibition of fishing underwater with scuba equipment and / or hookah equipment in continental waters and in marine waters.

In conformity with the above, under the heading of NOM-064 grouping systems, methods, techniques and fishing gear that are prohibited for commercial fishing, sports and recreational fishing, didactic and household consumption, including the method of fishing with harpoons and fítoras from the shore or from boats using the technique of diving with a compressor (hookah) in marine waters and in continental bodies of water, except as authorized by the Secretariat based on the technical opinion of the INP.

In regards to the steps to its publication, once approved at the Third Meeting of the Consultative Committee for Standardization of Responsible Fisheries, on August 23, 2007, a document entitled "Response to the comments and changes made to the Draft Norma Oficial Mexicana PROY-NOM-064-CFSP-2006, about systems, methods and techniques prohibited for fishing in waters under federal jurisdiction of the United Mexican States, published on May 8, 2007, "as well as the corresponding regulation, were forwarded to the Coordinación General Jurídica de la SAGARPA (legal) for their opinion, under the procedure established by the same Coordination together with the Oficialía Mayor de la SAGARPA. Once they have issued their opinion, both documents will be sent the Comisión Federal de Mejora Regulatoria (COFEMER) for the purpose of obtaining an opinion referred to in section 69-L of the Federal Act on Administrative Procedure, and then be able to publish them in the Diario Oficial de la Federación.

Atte. Lic. Belinda Cedillo Tirado
Director of Legislative
General Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture Management

NBC Series-Shark Taggers Part 2

Ohhh Boy!

NBC's latest reality based show on primetime, not Discovery, called Shark Taggers. For those of you who missed the synopsis from earlier on in the week here it is again:

Lost in all the excitement over the mysterious The Office spinoff (which is, for now, titled The Office Spinoff) were two equally tantalizing additions to NBC’s 2008–2009 lineup, announced earlier this week: America’s Toughest Jobs and Shark Taggers, both from producer Thom Beers and his Original Productions.

You may know Beers as the man who’s building a mini-empire based on dangerous-job reality shows, such as Deadliest Catch (about the perils of deep-sea fishing) on Discovery and Ice Road Truckers (about the perils of driving trucks on icy roads) on the History Channel. Back in December, Beers signed an interesting deal with NBC during the writers' strike, which essentially guaranteed him two one-hour blocks of programming a week.

And now he’s delivered: America’s Toughest Jobs will be like Deadliest Catch: The Home Game, in which twelve regular Americans compete while performing the world’s most dangerous occupations, from oil-drilling to logging. Shark Taggers is about, well, people who tag sharks; specifically, marine biologists studying shark attacks (cool!) and migration patterns (okay!). We’re not sure this is actually a dangerous job, but tagging sharks certainly sounds dangerous. And Beers has an undeniable talent for wringing maximum drama from America’s occupations, as evidenced by Lobster Wars, a series in production for Discovery about lobster-fishing off the coast of New England, and Verminators (also for Discovery), which follows an “elite team of pest busters to the front lines of their never-ending battle against infestations of all kinds.”

Personally, we’ll be rooting for all these shows, especially because, if Shark Taggers is a hit, it should clear the way (Brushcutters! Coming in 2010 from NBC!) for future Beers-NBC collaborations, such as Hornet-Nest Jostlers (“nature’s deadliest buzz”); Lawn Jockeys (“tackling America’s unsightliest yards — while riding just inches above three spinning blades of death”); and Grizzly-Bear Barbers (Short, back and sides? Or death?). —Adam Sternbergh

O.K Adam, we'll invite you to Isla Guadalupe to spend a night with the local fishermen in the "Love Shack" then you can tell us how dangerous shark tagging really is!