The Eclipsing Myth of ‘Safe’ Aquaculture

This week, as the nation looked towards the sky to the long-awaited eclipse, fish farmers looked away from the sea and environmental calamity ensued. An event long feared and forewarned occurred in Puget Sound at Cooke Aquaculture’s fish farm near Cypress Island: a net pen broke and released hundreds of thousands of 10-pound, farmed, non-native Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound. Cooke’s tale is that high tides blamed on the eclipse […]

PCFFA, Others Challenge Delta Island Purchase

Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties along with a coalition of environmental concerns and IFR’s sister organization, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), have filed suit against the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District (MWD), seeking to block the District’s acquisition of five islands in California’s Sacramento River Delta. PCFFA’s suit claims that the MWD’s attempted purchase is principally intended to lay the groundwork for the Delta Tunnels, a project […]

Fishing Groups Oppose S. 2533

West Coast fishing organizations are reacting to introduction of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s latest attempt at a drought relief bill for California, S. 2533, otherwise known as the “California Long-Term Provisions for Water Supply and Short-Term Provisions for Emergency Drought Relief Act.” The bill takes a step back from Senator Feinstein’s 2015 bill in its protections for salmon rivers and the industry that depends on them. Accordingly, several fishing groups have […]

Crab Safety Threshold: Different Agency, Different Intrepretation

Sampling results for Dungeness crabs collected on 20 February in off of Trinidad, California, came back nearly clean this week, with only one crab listed as beyond the safety threshold for domoic acid. Unfortunately, that crab tested right at the safety threshold – 30 parts per million – begging the question as to whether the safety guidelines dictate that crabs right at 30 ppm are considered dirty or clean. U.S. […]

Governor Brown Requests Fishery Disaster Declaration

California Governor Jerry Brown on 9 February issues a long-anticipated letter to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker requesting that the Secretary declare a fishery disaster in California due to the persistence of domoic acid contamination in Dungeness and Rock crabs. The letter is seen as a crucial step in the march toward obtaining federal disaster relief for crabbers, who have lost the vast majority of the fishing season […]

SBA Loans Available to Crabbers Affected by 2015-16 Closures

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on 3 February announced the availability of Economic Injury Disaster Loans for those affected by the commercial Rock and Dungeness crab fishery closures in 2015-16. SBA will be opening Disaster Load Outreach Centers in several port communities over the next few weeks to answer questions and assist with loan applications. The loans are available immediately for up to $2 million with interest capped at […]

IFR Submits Scoping Comments on Klamath Dams 401 Certification

On 28 January, IFR and its sister organization, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, submitted joint comments to the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) discussing issues the State Board must address in determining whether to issue a Clean Water Act permit to operate three dams in California that are known to have detrimental impacts on migrating salmon, other fish and wildlife, and water quality. The dams […]

Crabbers Encouraged to Report Economic Injuries

All Dungeness crabbers affected by the closure of the 2015-16 commercial crab fishery are encouraged to report how they’ve been impacted economically by filling out this worksheet and returning it to the California Office of Emergency Services. The form should be returned to Nick Gottuso via either email or fax: 650-726-8292 Please remember to keep a spare copy of your form for your records. Crabbers should submit one form ASAP and […]

A Frankenfish and a Wild King Meet in the Woods…

Author David Helvarg of Blue Frontier takes a moment to imagine the interaction between a wild King salmon and a GE AquAdvantage drug-fish if their paths were ever to cross. See his column in Salon here. 

Congressional Letter to Gov. Brown on Dungeness Crab Closure

Coastal California congressional delegates Jared Huffman, Jackie Speier, Sam Farr and Lois Capps have written California Governor Jerry Brown asking for his attention to the domoic acid crisis and to remain alert to the possibility of a fisheries disaster should crabbing remain closed. We thank our congressional leaders for their attention to this crisis and look forward to working with them in the event of a permanent closure. The 24 November letter is available […]