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
August 22, 2019

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) has issued a call for products to compete in the 27th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood. 

The program is a competition of new value-added products made from Alaska seafood products, and the goal is to “inspire innovative ways to fully utilize and increase the value of Alaska’s seafood,” according to a company statement.

Judges base their decisions based on the

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Published on
August 12, 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency changed its position on the Pebble Mine project after Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy met with President Donald Trump, according to a CNN report

Although the EPA’s decision not to oppose the mining project was made public on 30 July, staff scientists at the agency learned of the decision a month before, soon after the meeting. Dunleavy met with Trump while Air Force One was in Alaska on 26 June

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Published on
August 5, 2019

Black Harbour, New Brunswick, Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture plans to transition its Washington state salmon farms to become trout farms as the state’s ban on open non-native net-pen fish-farming approaches. 

The ban on non-native finfish farming was signed by Washington Governor Jay Inslee in March of 2018 and goes into effect in 2022. 

Cooke Vice President of Public Relations Joel Richardson called the state’s permitting

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Published on
July 30, 2019

Catch 49, a program that delivers local Alaskan seafood throughout the state, has begun to move into the wholesale market as its customer base creeps towards 1,000. 

Their new clients include the Princess Holland America lodges in Denali National Park and the Muse restaurant at the Anchorage Museum. Catch 49 also begun distributing seafood through North Star Quality Meats, which supplies proteins to stores in more rural parts of the

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Published on
July 26, 2019

A rockslide on British Columbia’s Fraser River has created a five-meter waterfall, which has blocked the migration path of chinook and sockeye salmon, prompting Canadian officials to begin airlifting fish past the blockage. 

The river, which sees millions of fish annually swimming inland to spawn, was blocked in an area some 250 miles upstream near Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada. Scientists believe the slide actually occurred last

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Published on
July 22, 2019

Last weekend’s Slow Food Nations Festival – a Denver, Colorado-based event showcasing sustainable and traceable food – was well represented by the U.S. West Coast groundfish fishery, which is exhibiting an impressive turnaround after it was decimated in the 1990’s.

The fishery, which consists predominantly of species of rockfish and flatfish, was collapsing due to overfishing about two decades ago. Thanks to conservation

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Published on
July 2, 2019

With a hard push being made by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to up aquaculture production in the United States in order to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit, many are wondering where Alaska fits into that plan. 

While certain types of aquaculture such as shellfish farming are permitted in Alaska, finfish farming is banned under Alaskan statute 16.40.210, which was passed by the state legislature in

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Published on
June 26, 2019

The United States Supreme Court on Monday, 24 June issued a decision likely to result in lower insurance premiums for U.S. fishing vessels.

The court ruled in favor of the defendant in the case Dutra v. Batterton. The plaintiff, a seaman employed by Dutra Group, who was injured when a hatch on a dredge vessel blew open and crushed his hand, sued Dutra seeking general and punitive damages, asserting that the vessel on which he was working was

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Published on
June 24, 2019

Demand for farmed and wild seafood from British Columbia, Canada has been on the rise globally, according to presentations at the 2019 British Columbia Seafood Expo and Festival. 

The convention, which was attended by international buyers, trade commissioners and representatives, and local fishermen, took place on Vancouver Island last weekend.  

Clare Li is the sustainability director for Gindara Sablefish, which is the

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Published on
June 17, 2019

Hatch, a global sustainable seafood accelerator program, is accepting applicants for its third iteration, which will begin in Hawaii in August. 

Hatch is the world’s first accelerator program focused on aquaculture and offers startups a valuable mix of funding and mentorship. 

The program runs for 15 weeks and participants will also visit Bergen, Norway, as well as Singapore.

“These incredible locations are a key part of

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