Brian Hagenbuch

Contributing Editor reporting from Seattle, USA

Brian Hagenbuch spent a decade in South America, where he was a journalist for Reuters and Time Out in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. He now lives in Seattle and works as a freelance writer and translator, as well as a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay. 

Published on
March 21, 2018

Alaska Governor Bill Walker and other state officials sent a letter earlier in the month to the federal government to request a disaster declaration for the Kodiak-based Pacific cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska. 

The declaration would free up federal funds for people affected by low cod numbers in the gulf, where biologists turned up an 83 percent drop in the population from 2015, prompting the National Marine Fisheries Service to slash

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Published on
March 7, 2018

University of Washington fisheries researcher Ray Hilborn said that a new study using satellite data from industrial fishing vessels to map global fishing effort fails to provide any new insight, despite media reports indicating otherwise. 

The study, published in Science in February, used messages transmitted between 2012 and 2016 from the automatic identification systems (AIS) of more than 70,000 industrial fishing vessels to create a

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Published on
March 2, 2018

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) hosted its first ever all-female trade mission recently, with seven European seafood buyers touring Dutch Harbor, Alaska, home to one of the world’s most lucrative fishing ports. 

The women represented companies that import some USD 60 million (EUR 48.9 million) in U.S. seafood to France, Germany, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. 

Hannah Lindoff, ASMI’s

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Published on
February 7, 2018

Canada’s Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced on Tuesday, 6 February, that the Canadian government is moving forward with proposed legislation for a CAD 284 million (USD 227 million, EUR 184 million) overhaul of the nation’s Fisheries Act.

According to CBC News, the legislation would include money to hire new officers to enforce stricter regulations and would free up government funds to rebuild depleted

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Published on
January 30, 2018

Activists fighting a proposed gold and copper mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska breathed a sigh of relief on Friday, 26 January, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) upheld an Obama-era declaration that the proposed Pebble Mine, which would sit in the watershed for the world’s biggest sockeye salmon run, could cause irreversible harm to area fisheries. 

Fishermen, native groups, and conservationists fought against the mine

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Published on
December 31, 2017

NOAA Fisheries adopted in December two Endangered Species Act (ESA) recovery plans for three different species in the Snake River basin. The recovery plans, which NOAA is required to adopt by the ESA, have the goal of delisting regional spring and summer Chinook and steelhead as well as fall Chinook salmon.

NOAA had already adopted a recovery plan for regional sockeye salmon, which are protected by the ESA alongside the other three species

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Published on
December 19, 2017

Managers are considering lowering U.S. and Canadian West Coast halibut quotas on reports that current fishing levels in the Pacific Ocean could lead to declining stocks in the coming years. 

Scientists monitoring the bottom fish for the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) found fewer younger halibut in Pacific waters from Alaska to California this year, meaning current fishing levels could deplete stocks. 

According to new

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Published on
December 6, 2017

Tests on wastewater effluent from a farmed Atlantic salmon processing facility on British Colombia’s Vancouver Island have come up positive for a virus that can cause heart and skeletal disease in wild salmon. 

Samples of the wastewater from the Brown’s Bay Packing Co. processing facility were tested at the Atlantic Veterinary College, where they were shown to contain piscine reovirus, or PRV, which has been linked to disease in

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Published on
December 4, 2017

Activists are calling for the Canadian government to impose stricter controls on the pumping of wastewater from farmed salmon processing facilities after video surfaced of a processing plant on Vancouver Island pumping potentially harmful “blood water” into wild salmon migratory routes. 

Canada’s CTV News published underwater footage of bloody effluent flowing from a pipe about 100 feet beneath the surface Brown’s

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Published on
November 22, 2017
Bristol Bay, Alaska

Early forecast numbers released by the Alaska Department of Fish Game predict another colossal sockeye salmon run in Bristol Bay, Alaska in 2018.

The department is estimating a run of more 51 million sockeye salmon, yielding a harvest of 39 million fish. If the prediction holds, it would overshoot the 10-year average of around 43 million by 18 percent and mark the fourth straight year of runs well above the long-term mean of just under 34

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