Ben Fisher

Reporting from Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

Ben Fisher is a Seattle-based freelance writer. Previously, he worked as night and copy editor at the Jerusalem Post, Israel’s largest English language newspaper, and as digital editor of Jewish Quarterly. He is fluent English, French, Hebrew, and Arabic.

Published on
April 23, 2019

San Diego, California, U.S.A.-based cellular aquaculture company BlueNalu has expanded operations and moved to a larger research facility as it begins commercialization of its first products.

BlueNalu’s new 6,000 square-foot facility is located in the Sorrento Valley section of San Diego. The company has 12 full-time employees in addition to a number of contracted employees. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility took place

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Published on
April 15, 2019

Oregon state lawmakers are proposing a bill which would provide nearly USD 2 million (EUR 1.7 million) to study and respond to the effects of rising ocean temperatures, low oxygen levels, and ocean acidification, according to a report in the Statesman Journal last week.

Thirty percent of man-made carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean, which causes the water to become more acidic, the report said. The change in ocean pH levels has made it

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Published on
April 8, 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, together with the Alaska Department of Environmental  Conservation, are attempting to loosen water pollution standards in areas where fish spawn, according to Alaska Public Media

The rule change, initially proposed in 2006, would alter how the state enforces the Clean Water Act, which is the main tool used by federal agencies to regulate water standards. The change are designed to assist the

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Published on
April 5, 2019

Two environmental groups filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington, earlier this week asking federal officials to reconsider a 2009 decision that determined commercial and recreational fisheries do not jeopardize the Pacific Northwest’s critically endangered orcas, according to an Associated Press report

Federal officials from the Pacific Fishery Management Council have already indicated that they may restrict

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Published on
April 2, 2019

Nearly 400,000 fall Chinook salmon died due to a mistake at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery in Anderson, California, U.S.A., last week, according to a source at the hatchery. 

Water to one of the raceways was accidentally turned off overnight and the mistake was not discovered until the morning. The salmon were less than half-a-year old and died due to a lack of oxygen, according to hatchery project leader Brett Galyean, speaking to KRCR

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Published on
March 22, 2019

The Hawaiian shallow-set longlines fishery for swordfish has been closed because a vessel caught a loggerhead turtle - the 17th this year, which reached the allowable limit for interactions with the species, set by the National Marine Fisheries Service. 

The interaction cap was reduced from 34 to 17 due to a court settlement in May of last year, though the North Pacific loggerhead population is increasing every year by 2.4

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Published on
March 7, 2019

A court hearing was held in Juneau, Alaska earlier this month as part of a civil case filed by the Sitka Tribe against the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game, in an effort to have the department take action to address the dwindling numbers of herring in Sitka Sound, according to The Juneau Empire.  

Although last year, the department expected a catch of more than 11,000 metric tons (MT) of sac roe herring, not even 3,000 MT were

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Published on
March 1, 2019

The spending bill passed by the United States Congress earlier this month to avoid another partial government shutdown includes USD 655 million (EUR 576 million) to build the country's first polar icebreaker in a decade, according to the Anchorage Daily News. 

The bill also provides funding for four new Coast Guard cutters in Alaska, and USD 20 million (EUR 17.5 million) which will go towards building materials for a second icebreaker,

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Published on
February 26, 2019

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proposed state budget would stop a tax revenue sharing plan that would take away about USD 28 million (EUR 24.7 million) in tax revenue from commercial fishing for coastal communities in the state, according to a KUCB radio report.  

Alaska collects tax from fisheries, colloquially referred to as a “raw fish tax.” Typically, half the proceeds of the taxes are shared with the city where

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Published on
February 22, 2019

Salmon aquaculture should be moved out of sensitive native salmon migratory habitats out of concern for the impact it may have on wild fish, according to Canadian Minister for Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard Jonathan Wilkinson. 

In recent public comment,s Wilkinson expressed alarm related to wild salmon stock declines.

“We need to move to area-based management, which means we are actually thinking about siting of these

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