A limited entry state waters pollock fishery could ease some of the impending Gulf of Alaska rationalization headaches, but the experimental permits fishing for pollock with non-trawl gear haven’t yet proven their value.

A working group of stakeholders and fisheries officials met for the third and last time on Feb. 18 to discuss adding a limited entry state pollock fishery to Alaska waters for both trawl and non-trawl vessels.

The three-member commission that oversees Alaska’s lucrative limited-entry commercial fisheries is urging lawmakers not to pursue proposals for elimination for at least another year.

The state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission is under fire as a more than $3.5 billion budget shortfall looms. A critical report by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game makes a case for overhaul, citing permit processing delays and relatively high payroll costs. Proposed legislation, House Bill 112, would repeal the commission and move its duties to Fish and Game.

Local fishermen expressed disappointment over Roland Maw’s decision to withdraw his name for consideration on the Alaska Board of Fisheries last Friday.

What would you do if you lived hundreds of feet below the ocean surface? Where would you eat? When would you sleep? Where would you procreate? Julie Nielson is a PhD student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“I’m studying the movement of halibut in Glacier Bay,” Nielson said. “We’re trying to figure out if halibut leave Glacier Bay during the winter on spawning migrations and if they do, do they return the following summer?”

JUNEAU -- Kenai River fish wars have claimed another Fish Board nominee, this time Roland Maw, named to the board by Gov. Bill Walker. Maw withdrew his name from consideration Friday after facing opposition.

He is former executive director of a commercial fishing group, the United Cook Inlet Drift Association, and a retired drift gillnet fisherman.

State legislators are targeting for elimination an agency that limits commercial fisheries permits to conserve and maintain the economic health of Alaska commercial fisheries.

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s mines minister is making plans to visit Alaska’s indigenous fishing community after admitting his first trip to the state following the Mount Polley disaster addressed “probably the wrong audience.”

Bill Bennett spoke at a major mining industry conference last fall, but met with none of the tribal groups in the southeast region presumed most threatened by upstream mining across the border in B.C.

SITKA -- When the Kathleen Jo pulls out of her stall at noon, I am there to see them off.

My 5-year-old shipmate waves wildly through the starboard window. I wave back. When they turn the corner for the breakwater, I begin the trek to Old Thomsen Harbor.

...and the next minute you're riding a tsunami, 80 feet above the surrounding forest.

Always worth revisiting, this is one of the most unbelievable stories to ever come out of the Alaskan fishing industry.

Shellfish are particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification, and colder waters are becoming more acidic than warm waters. What does this mean for Alaska and its fisheries – especially crabs and oysters? Or for the food chain that feeds other species in the ocean? The answers are beginning to come in from the scientific world, and we’ll learn more about ocean acidification on the next Talk of Alaska.

NOAA Fisheries officials have announced the appointment of industry veteran John Henderschedt to head the merged Office of International Affairs and the Seafood Inspection Program, effective April 6.

Henderschedt has been active in business and policy since 1988, from both the commercial fishing and seafood sections, and more recently from the conservation and management perspective, said Maggie Mooney-Seus, communications program director at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.

An investigation is underway into the grounding of the 81-foot fishing vessel Savannah Ray at Long Island, about five miles Southeast of Kodiak, Alaska, following the rescue of four crewmen on Feb. 16.

In the wake of the release of an independent expert engineering investigation and review into the Mount Polley mine disaster in British Columbia, a watershed-based conservation group is voicing concerns over approval of a new permit for another BC mine.

ANCHORAGE — Walmart announced on Jan. 28 the launch of an in-store brand, The Alaskan, for sale in every Alaska Walmart Supercenter and 20 Washington stores, as well as 14 additional products of wild Alaska cod, salmon, rockfish, sole and crab to its general stock.

The new items are on shelves just a couple years after Alaska seafood in Walmart stores was in jeopardy following a company plan to only stock seafood products carrying the Marine Stewardship Council certification for sustainability.

Alaskan Congressman Don Young has joined Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) in introducing H.R. 774, the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015, which would enhance the enforcement authority of the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to regulate and combat IUU fishing.

Ocean Outcomes, a new global fishery improvement organization, launched officially at the Seafood Summit in New Orleans, Louisiana, the organization said Wednesday.

Launched by the Wild Salmon Center (WSC), Ocean Outcomes – or O2 – is an international group of fishery experts who work hand-in-hand with high-risk commercial fisheries to increase the supply of sustainable seafood.

The Southwest Alaska Vocational and Education Center (SAVEC) has contracted with Izetta Chambers to examine the benefits of a Fisheries Business Cooperative for the Bristol Bay area’s small ‘mom and pop’ seafood processors. Due to the high cost of doing business in rural Alaska, as well as the slim profit margins on seafood products, a fisheries business cooperative would enable Bristol Bay fish business entrepreneurs the ability to compete more effectively with the larger, well-established and well-financed businesses in the region.

This week, halibut fishermen get a boost in their catch limit this year, the great winter crime spree in the Dillingham PAF Boat Yard has been solved, and seining for pollock.

On Thursday, the two councils that control halibut fishing in the Bering Sea met to address a thorny debate over bycatch.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission -- which sets catch limits in waters stretching from Canada to the Pribilof Islands -- stopped into Seattle for a joint session with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Residents in False Pass don't have to wait until spring for the hum of boat motors to bring the dock to life again.

The Bering Pacific Seafood processing plant, located in False Pass, opened Jan. 1 for the pacific cod season. This year marks the first winter opening of the plant, which is owned and operated by the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association.

Alaska salmon fisheries today are the largest wild salmon fisheries in the world. But how they got there is a story of the birth of the seafood sustainability movement. This is that story.

More than 3 million years ago, the Arctic became a fish highway as species from the north Pacific Ocean spread through the Bering Strait and into the Arctic Ocean and then into the north Atlantic Ocean.

Now it's beginning to happen again.

Most of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad. And a lot of that is caught illegally — by vessels that ignore catch limits, or that fish in areas off-limits to fishing.

No one knows how much of it is illegal, because the oceans are too big to patrol. Or at least, they were. Now environmental groups have harnessed satellite technology to watch pirate fishing vessels from space — and they've already caught some of them.

If science-based fisheries management is Gov. Bill Walker’s goal, then he has more than just the Alaska Board of Fisheries to worry about.

There’s a conflict brewing between subsistence and conservation-minded, scientific fisheries management at the Federal Subsistence Board. During its January meeting, the board passed a unanimous motion to close the federal waters of Sitka Sound around Maknahti Island to commercial purse seine herring harvests, in addition to voting in favor of gillnet subsistence fisheries for the Kenai and Kasilof rivers.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both Alaska Republicans, joined Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) Thursday in sponsoring legislation which would remove the expiration date on a three-year moratorium for commercial fishing vessels, as well as commercial vessels under 79 feet long. The incidental discharge regulation was part of the Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill, which was passed by Congress and signed into law in December.

Today, the President is taking another step to protect our most valuable natural resources. Relying on an authority used by presidents of both parties since Eisenhower, President Obama is designating 9.8 million acres in the waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off Alaska’s coast as off-limits to consideration for future oil and gas leasing. This action builds on recent steps by the President to protect Bristol Bay and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

So, you think setnetters have it easy?

The gradual warming of the Arctic Ocean over the next century will weaken a natural barrier that has separated fish from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans for millions of years, leading to a mixing of species that could make life difficult in fishing communities from Alaska to Norway.