Ship's Blog - Fishermen's Finest

There is a lot at stake when dealing with the Halibut issue in the Bering Sea.  For every pound of halibut  there is a 1:12 ratio between Halibut directed Fishery and the Amendment 80 fleet.  

Further, and most importantly, the Amendment 80 numbers are verified by Federal Fisheries Observers; there are no observers on halibut directed fishery vessels.

Finally, don't let the halibut biomass anomoly punish a fleet "that has done everything right, in terms of bycatch reduction, reducing habitat impact, and cooperative fishing."

A fleet that supports the Coastal communities of:

Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a weekly basis in these ports and helping reduce the trade deficit.  

Read more about this important issue that threatens the Amendment 80 Sector, Alaska Coastal Communities, and US Export Economy

Fishermen's Finest ~ a team of excellence ~ our name says it all. 


Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

As the Sitka North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting nears (June 1-9), we couldn't help but notice the similarities between the current 'protectionist' movement to devastate the fishing export economy of Alaska (Amendment 80 fleet) for the well-meaning save the local small boat economy (Halibut) fishery, AND the Smoot Hawley Tariff of 1930.


Here's theback-story, in case you have forgotten. In 1930, well meaning Senator Reed Smoot (Utah) and Congressman Willis Hawley (Oregon) fought to protect the local (for today's exercise, Halibut) industry from the 'boogeyman' (Amendment 80); what resulted was a temporary increase in revenue for the locals, followed by a collapse of all industry (the Great Depression).

Read more about this in the Economist's "A cautionary tale of how a protectionist measure was passed." 

As the 223rd Plenary North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting nears (June/Sitka), we are finding supporters across the board.  Thank you to Jeff Bentz, president of North Star Terminal & Stevedore Co., LLC for their support of the Amendment 80 sector

Read about Agenda item C-2 Halibut Bycatch 

Fishermen's Finest ~ a team of excellence ~ our name says it all. 

Excerpts from today's article by Peggy Parker & John Sackton 

Chris Woodley, Executive Director of the Groundfish Forum, a trade association of five flatfish trawl companies under Amendment 80, says everyone understands the importance of reducing bycatch, and says the Amendment 80 fleet has already been successful in reducing bycatch.  These reductions are reflected in IPHC and council data.   

“The concern we have,” Woodley says, “is that using the blunt tool of reallocation may not only not solve the problem, it could make it worse. A 50% reduction would shift the focus and make it ten times larger.  

“I think the biggest problem is the time crunch. There’s a large push to get this resolved in June. i think there’s probably some good ideas that have not come to the surface yes, as the Council is focused on the reallocation issue. 

Woodley says there’s a saying in the Coast Guard, his former employer: “If you want it bad, you get it bad,” saying there are potential tools like abundance based caps that have not been fully explored. 

“The other big thing for us is the Amendment 80 fleet employs some 2,000 people who work on our boats, they and their families are dependent on fishing jobs. 

“A 50% cut  would mean we would tie up our boats in June,” Woodley said. 

“Our efficiency on halibut  is .6%,” says Woodley. “Our target species is 99.4% of the catch.”

“The last thing I want people to know is how our cargo is handled. All our cargo goes to Dutch Harbor and is hauled away in containers or tramp vessels. It takes stevedores, tugs, marine pilots, millions of dollars and hundreds of people to get that cargo to its destination. We spent $45 million in fuel in Alaska last year.”


Fishermen's Finest is pleased to once again be part of the Seattle Maritime Festival's Career Fair today at the Georgetown Campus of the South Seattle Community College.

Read more about the Festival:  Maritime 101

See our previous posts on this valuable service the Propeller Club and Maritime Industry provide to educate the Seattle community of the career opportunities in the Fishing Industry and other maritime sectors.

Fishermen's Finest ~ a team of excellence ~ our name says it all. 

We are thankful for the support of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union as the 223rd Plenary Meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council nears - June / Sitka.  The halibut issue (Agenda item C-2) is up for Final Action - read more - IPHC Halibut History 

Fishermen's Finest, and ILWU - a team of excellence - our name says it all.  


We believe safety isn't an accident - you have to work proactively to maintain a safe workplace and to train a safe workforce.  That is why we encourage our crew to better themselves by attending safety courses offered through organazations such as

Not only do we encourage our crew, we step up to the plate and pay for our crew to attend.  Further, a more trained crewmember will move up in the pay scale aboard the vessels.  It's a win-win-win.

Listed below are just a few of the safety training opportunities that are out there:

Each Spring we offload our trips of primarily Yellowfin Sole in Togiak.  Located in the upper Bristol Bay region, Togiak is a city in the Dillingham census area - see NOAA Chart 16315* below for more detail


Thanks to Gladys Coopchiak (Coopchiak Aviation) and Paul Markoff for taking good care of us each year - we couldn't do this without you and we appreciate all you do for us.

We also thank North Pacific Fuel (Petrostar) and Crowley for remotely fueling the vessels while we operate in this region.

Togiak is in the Dillingham Census area, home of Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation (BBEDC), a native regional association that we've had a long relationship with - read more on BBEDC 

Fishermen's Finest, a team of excellence - our name says it all.