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
January 19, 2017

A study published last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a Japanese tapeworm typically found in Western Pacific fish has been found in salmon from Alaska.

Since its identification in 1986, the Japanese broad tapeworm, Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, was thought to exist largely in salmon species caught in Russian and Japanese waters.

But in 2013 researchers found the Japanese broad tapeworm in various larv… Read More

Published on
January 9, 2017

Crab processors reached an agreement with representatives of fleets fishing off the U.S. West Coast on Friday, 6 January to buy Dungeness crab for USD 2.875 (EUR 2.73) a pound, prompting fishermen to lift a two-week strike.

Fishermen had been on strike since around Christmas in protest of a USD 0.25 (EUR 0.24) per-pound drop in buying price by Pacific Choice Seafood, based in Eureka, California and owned by Pacific Seafood out of Portland, Orego… Read More

Published on
January 6, 2017

The Pacific Ocean was unseasonably calm off Wesport, Washington on Thursday, 5 January, a perfect day for the port’s fleet of some 150 crab boats to set their first pots of the 2017 Dungeness season. But a strike that has spread to the entire West Coast meant crabbers were biding their time and wringing their hands, hoping for a resolution.

The conflict started just before the holidays when Pacific Choice Seafood – based in Eureka, Californi… Read More

Published on
December 19, 2016

Orca Bay Seafood and Preferred Freezer canceled their plans last week to build a USD 55 million (EUR 52.7 million) seafood plant on the former Weyerhaeuser campus south of Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., after community groups protested the development.

The Industrial Realty Group purchased the 130-acre campus in February 2016 for USD 70.5 million (EUR 67.5 million) and negotiated a deal with Orca Bay and Preferred Freezer to occupy 19 acres of the … Read More

Published on
December 16, 2016

Updated numbers from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) indicated that the United States is exporting slightly less seafood this year than in 2015, while imports have seen a small bump.

A dismal Alaska pink salmon season may have contributed to the decline in overall exports. NMFS figures said pink salmon exports plummeted from 102,010 metric tons (MT) from January to October 2015 to 34,065 MT in the first 10 months of 2016. The poor s… Read More

Published on
December 9, 2016

The administration U.S. President Barack Obama has announced the implementation of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program to qualified enthusiasm from environmental groups.

The fruits of the Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud, authorized by Obama in June 2014, the program will require “at-risk” seafood that is imported into the United States to be tracked to its source and … Read More

Published on
October 11, 2016

In mixed news for Alaska’s crabbers, the state’s Department of Fish and Game announced the opening of the Bering Sea snow crab season will take place on 15 October, but with an allotted catch that is half that of last season’s.

A report released Thursday, 6 October by Fish and Game put the total allowable catch (TAC) for the 2016/17 season at 21.57 million pounds, which would be the fishery’s lowest in 45 years. Around 19.4 million pound… Read More

Published on
September 28, 2016

It was not quite a hurricane, but Alaskas abysmal pink salmon run this year did enough damage that the states governor, Bill Walker, thinks it should be declared a disaster, a move that would free up federal funds for struggling fishermen.

Walker sent a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker last week asking for an expedited review of the Kodiak, Prince William Sound, Lower Cook Inlet and Chignik management areas af… Read More

Published on
September 27, 2016

A late but bountiful 2016 sockeye run in Alaska’s Bristol Bay was the second largest in the last 20 years, trailing only last season’s massive tally.

Preliminary numbers released earlier this month by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said 51.4 million sockeye salmon ran into the five districts in the bay, well over the 20-year average.

“Average is about 35 million total, so whatever is going on out there in the ocean appears to be s… Read More

Published on
September 14, 2016

Alaska’s Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) recently launched a pilot project designed to boost sockeye salmon sales among millennial consumers.

The campaign, which started 1 September, will run through the end of 2016 and in theo Boulder, Colorado media market, where BBRSDA hopes to take advantage of a concentration of younger, food conscious consumers. The results of the pilot will inform a national rollout of a si… Read More