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, 2017

After nearly two decades off the market, a small, tasty scallop that was once a symbol of Puget Sound’s thriving and diverse seafood sector is making a comeback, albeit in small numbers.

The man behind the resurgence of the wild-caught pink scallop, Nick Jones, who raises shellfish and does land farming from his Jones Family Farms on Lopez Island, is hoping those small numbers will be a big marketing draw.

“We’re calling them the rarest

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Published on
March 14, 2017

Biologists studying high rates of mortality in salmon and steelhead in Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia are concerned that proposed EPA funding cuts will derail their research.

A leaked proposal from the Office of Management and Budget shows that the Trump Administration wants to slash EPA funding in Puget Sound by 93 percent, from USD 28 million (EUR 26.3 million) this year to around USD 2 million (EUR 1.9 million) in the coming fiscal

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Published on
February 28, 2017

A new report on the effects of aquaculture on protected species takes a close look at how increasingly widespread gear may interact with native marine life such as sea turtles, whales and sea birds that are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The new study by NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) pointed to some concerns with aquaculture gear, but also concluded that “risk can be minimized through proper

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Published on
February 21, 2017

Lately, headlines about Seattle’s booming economy are dominated by record-setting numbers of cranes, nation-leading spikes in home prices, and astronomical tech salaries. Old Seattle – the one that wears Extra-Tuffs – sometimes seems like it has disappeared behind the gleaming new Amazon towers.

But from harvesting to processing to marketing, Puget Sound is still enjoying a robust slab of revenue and employment from seafood, mostly from

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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

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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,

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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