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
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,

Read More
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

Read More
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

Read More
Published on
February 20, 2019

The International Gulf of Alaska Expedition 2019 is underway, according to the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, with the chartered 62-meter Russian research vessel Professor Kaganovskiy having departed Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on Saturday, 16 February.

The expedition is setting out to study salmon while they are at sea, rather than when they journey back to rivers and streams to spawn at the end of their lives. The study is

Read More
Published on
February 14, 2019

Aquaculture is being unfairly demonized, and that’s not good for industry or the planet, according to Hugh Mitchell, a newly appointed board member of the Northwest Aquaculture Alliance. 

Mitchell, a fish health expert and co-owner the Kirkland, Washington, U.S.A.-based fish health supply distributor and consultancy company Aquatactics, said he joined the board of the organization formerly known as the Washington Fish Growers

Read More
Published on
February 8, 2019

A peer review recommended by the Cohen Commission, a Canadian government sponsored inquiry into the decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River, has found that the threat of the spread of piscine irthoreovirus (PRV) from farmed Atlantic salmon near the Discovery Islands to wild Fraser River sockeye salmon is minimal. 

The review, carried out by the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, concedes that “there are still some knowledge

Read More
Published on
February 6, 2019

The International Pacific Halibut Commission last week agreed on catch limits for the Pacific halibut fishery which runs from California to Alaska, according to KBBI

In 2018, the IPHC, the public organization responsible for managing the  U.S. and Canadian West Coast halibut fisheries, was unable to agree on quotas for the season, and as a result the quota remained the same as the 2017 season. Before last year, the last time the

Read More
Published on
February 4, 2019

The combination of climate change and dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers has raised the summer temperature of the rivers by nearly three degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius), according to a new report released by the Environmental Protection Agency.  

As a result, the temperatures of the rivers during the warm months of the year have sometimes exceeded 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which has killed migrating salmon. The reservoirs

Read More
Published on
January 23, 2019

A study led by Rutgers University has shown that the choice to conserve or overharvest renewable resources such as fish is often due to habits and past decisions, which could help fisheries discover why some succeed at conservation and others fail. 

The study, "Path-dependent institutions drive alternative stable states in conservation," was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It showed that conservation is

Read More
Published on
January 16, 2019

The Dzawada’enuxw First Nation filed a claim in Vancouver federal court last Thursday against Canada’s federal government for authorizing licenses for 10 fish farms in tribal waters without consulting or seeking consent from the group. 

The Dzawada’enuxwm, from Kingcome Inlet, British Columbia, Canada, say that the net-pen Atlantic salmon farms owned by Marine Harvest and Cermaq along the British Columbia coast pollute and

Read More