California Market Squid Season


If this year is anything like the last few, it’s going to be a big squid season in California. In the past few seasons, squid fishermen have been able to catch their quota in record time. Its been a booming time for squid fishing.   With a harvest valued at 73 million dollars in 2010, it remains one of California’s most valuable fisheries.  This year is really just getting underway.   So far, commercial vessels have taken about 22 percent of the Total Allowable Catch.  However, the season was over by Nov. 18th last year.  Basically, its time to get in action.  Rumors are that a reality TV show is currently filming this seasons harvest, too.  Got any ideas what the show might be called?  Toss a few ideas on the facebook.  The pics are from my squid season in 2010 on the F/V Heavy Duty.

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The Faces of California Fishing

Anyone have some squid gossip they want to share? Like what’s going on? I guess we are still in the Salmon mode in this house. AND I AM STILL LOOKING FOR SQUID FISHERMEN FOR THE MORRO BAY HARBOR FESTIVAL!!!
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Piscatology 101 | NOAA State Of The Fisheries Report


In general, 86% of the fisheries reviewed are in good shape.  This is great news for an industry that has a bad wrap for raping and pillaging the oceans resources.   The entire report is below.  Also, the article below is a nice summation of the report from SeafoodSource.com.

 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service on Monday released its annual report card, called the “Status of U.S. Fisheries,” which has been issued to Congress annually since 1997.

Of the 258 stocks and multi-species groupings known as complexes NOAA scientists reviewed for “overfishing” status in 2011, 222 stocks, or 86 percent, were not subject to overfishing, an improvement from 2010 when 84 percent, or 213 out of 253 stocks, were not subject to overfishing.

Of the 219 stocks and complexes reviewed for “overfished” status in 2011, 174 stocks, or 79 percent, were not overfished, compared to 77 percent, or 159 out of 207 stocks, in 2010. Thirteen of those 45 overfished stocks were located off New England, the most of any geographic region.

Overfishing” means the catch is above the target set in the fishery’s management plan, while “overfished” factors in a safety margin ensuring the stock is able to recover.

Also, a record six fish stocks were rebuilt to healthy levels in 2011, bringing to 27 the number of stocks that have been rebuilt in the last 11 years. They are Bering Sea snow crab, widow rockfish, chinook salmon (North California Coast, Klamath Fall), coho salmon (Washington Coast, Queets), summer flounder and Gulf of Maine haddock.

“[Most] rebuilding plans started 10 to 15 years ago after Congress amended the Magnuson-Stevens Act in 1996, so we’re seeing the results of that,” said Galen Tromble, NOAA Fisheries’ division chief for domestic fisheries, in a press briefing on Monday.

However, six stocks were newly determined to be overfished in 2010 and 2011. Rebuilding plans are currently being developed for these stocks and must be in place within two years of an overfished determination. Overall, 51 stocks are subject to rebuilding plans, with six additional plans in development.

via A record six U.S. fish stocks rebuilt in 2011 – SeafoodSource.com.

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?

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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.

Features:

• 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.

California Squid Fishing Update | Lets go, Loligo!


Market squid is trickling in down in California.  While no huge biomass has been reported, about 5 tons were delivered today.  A number of searches about a strike have surfaced on the website, but no conformation of that rumor can be found.  According to a harbor official, this recent 5 tons marks the beginning of the new squid season deliveries.  Over the past three years, the squid market has been remarkable.  It’s now one of California’s most valuable fisheries.  Here is an excerpt from a recent LA times article that sums up the market squid scenario.  I included a great video about the biology of the California squid, too.  Let’s hope that this year of squid is as good as the last.  Good luck out there, guys!

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Five nights a week, the third-generation fisherman from San Pedro steps into a pair of rubber boots and hunts for squid along the Southern California coast. The 50-year-old with spiky blond hair and wraparound sunglasses looks the part of a man who’s wrestled with nets in the salty air since he was a teenager — his arms are taut, his neck creased and weathered, his voice gravelly from going without sleep.

On a night like this, the 90-foot steel vessel can bring in as much as $50,000 worth of the seafood so popular worldwide that all but a fraction is shipped overseas to be served as calamari.

But for the Cape Blanco and dozens of squid fishing boats working out of ports like San Pedro and Monterey, the boom is an uncertain one. Doubts are emerging about how long one of California’s last remaining money fish will stay bountiful.

Though Jurlin and his crew are four hours from shore tonight, they are not alone.

Rocking in the waves around them are a dozen other purse seiners beginning the same ritual: encircling the darting mass of tentacled, hot dog-sized sea creatures with huge nets that will be cinched up like the drawstring of a purse.

A flotilla of smaller boats assists by following the swarms and coaxing them to the surface with 30,000-watt lanterns that light up the ocean with an otherworldly green and white glow.

On Jurlin’s signal, a deckhand swings a hefty metal bar above his head and slams it into a pelican hook, freeing a clunky metal skiff that plunges into the water and rumbles away, its motor filling the night air with exhaust.

Each man takes his position on the Cape Blanco’s deck, working among strained cables and ropes as thick as fire hoses. A hydraulic winch whirs, engines roar and propellers gurgle as a tangle of black netting, yellow floats and steel rings tumble into the water off the back of the boat. The skiff tows it all in a wide circle around the squid, trapping the school.

Most of the world’s market squid is harvested from California’s shallow waters, where they gather in enormous schools each year to mate, deposit their eggs on the seafloor and die.

Cold ocean conditions have drawn them in such numbers lately that fishermen have handily caught their 118,000-ton limit — enough to fill 60 Olympic-size swimming pools — and the state has shut them down early two years running. Surging demand in China, Japan, Mexico and Europe has boosted prices and launched a fishing frenzy worth more than $70 million a year.

via Lots of black ink in squid catch – Los Angeles Times.

The Sinking Of The F/V Stikine


Tragedy can strike at nearly anytime, while on the water.  Early this year, the F/V Stikine was sardine fishing off the California coast when the boat began to take on water.  There was a small craft advisory that eve, but the real dilemma was water entering the engine room thru the galley door.  Lucklily, all the crew members were safe.  The biggest concern now is salvaging the boat, which has been on the bottom for the past month  Here is a timeline of the events with relevant news and video.

 

Jan 5th  PLEASURE POINT — A 58-foot sardine fishing boat sank about 2 miles off Pleasure Point early Friday morning, but the four-man crew were rescued in rough seas by the crew of another fishing boat who heard their Mayday call, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

The crew of the Moss Landing-based “Stikine” were fishing for sardines in 11-foot seas Thursday night, said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. John Suckow. The crew told authorities that water rushed in the boat from big waves, and there were problems with nets, rigging and their sardine load.

The boat took on water, the captain made a May-day call a few minutes after midnight, Suckow said. The Coast Guard received the call as well as at least one other fishing boat in the area – El Dorado.

via Sardine fishing vessel sinks in high seas off Santa Cruz coast, crew rescued – San Jose Mercury News.

Feb 13th | NEAR SOQUEL POINT, CA – The rainy weather has postponed plans to remove a sunken sardine vessel off the coast of Soquel Point.

The Coast Guard originally were planning to pull the ship back to land on Tuesday but have since postponed the emerging to the end of this week or beginning of next week.

Crews need to remove a number of nets and gear from the boat, before they can undergo the re-surfacing process.

via Sunken Sardine Ship Surfacing Postponed Due to Weather – Central Coast News KION/KCBA.

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

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.
http://juneautek.com/2011/07/17/a-parade-of-pink-salmon-in-southeast-alaska/
http://juneautek.com/2011/11/01/capitalcityweekly-com-southeast-alaskas-online-newspaper/
http://juneautek.com/2011/10/24/alaska-ponders-isa-outbreak-in-wild-salmon-population/

Squid

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.
http://juneautek.com/2011/01/02/oregon-crab-season-2010/

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