A volcanic island in the western Aleutian Islands woke up this week, decades after the last time it was active.

Semisopochnoi Island is about 130 miles west of Adak. It’s home to a few peaks that have been active in the past, including Sugarloaf and Cerberus.

But the island had been quiet for more than a quarter century -- until this past Monday, when the Alaska Volcano Observatory recorded a series of small earthquakes there.

All PenAir flights to Cold Bay and Unalaska and Grant Aviation flights to Unalaska were canceled today as Pavlof continued to erupt.

PenAir spokeswoman Missy Roberts says at least 200 people were impacted by the airline's cancelations today.

Authorities at the Alaska Volcano Observatory say elevated surface temperatures suggest the Pavlof Volcano is having a low-level eruption with lava at the surface.

They said Saturday that satellite imagery shows a steam plume and a pilot reported a gas and ash plume drifting north about 8,000 feet above sea level.

 

A severely injured man died last week after an assault outside an Unalaska bar, and the defendant is now facing charges of manslaughter.

Marlo Adams, 44, of Yakima, Wash. died in Anchorage Friday afternoon, following an early-morning assault on Thursday at 1:50 a.m. according to Deputy Police Chief Michael Holman of the Unalaska Department of Public Safety.

The court-ordered environmental impact statement on Steller sea lion protection measures in the Aleutian Islands is now complete.
The National Marine Fisheries Service announced today that it had completed the final impact statement, or EIS, which supports providing some additional fishing opportunity in the Aleutians.

The document is available online, and NMFS is taking comments on it through June 27.

Major fishing ports and harbors critical to Alaska's economy are in the midst of designing, construction and fund sourcing in the spring of 2014, to meet needs ranging from float replacements to strengthening breakwaters.

With steady fishing vessel traffic from the Kenai Peninsula to Homer, Seward, Dutch Harbor, Sitka and Wrangell, planning, bidding and finding construction funds is an ongoing process, harbormasters said.

Resources for All Alaskans, a group formed to combat a proposed initiative to ban commercial setnet fishing in certain parts of the state, met in Kenai to talk strategy with several local fishing groups after being dealt a blow when an Alaska Superior Court judge ruled that it could not intervene in a lawsuit over the initiative.

U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generated more than $199 billion in sales in 2012, a gain of seven percent over the previous year, with the economic impact of fishing jobs increasing three percent from 2011 to 2012, according to a new NOAA Fisheries economics report.

Further, two more fish stocks were rebuilt to target levels in 2013, bringing the number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish stocks to 34 since 2000, according to another NOAA Fisheries report also released today.

A bill that would make the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission a division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game got an introductory hearing in the Legislature April 19, with the expectation that commercial fishermen and other stakeholders will consider the idea for possible enactment next session.

Before then the Legislature’s Audit Division will “audit” the two agencies to identify overlapping activities, entry commission duties that may not easily be merged into Fish and Game, and possible costs and savings from the consolidation.

Fishers, processors and the general public will see changes to certain fisheries regulations under bills passed by the Alaska Legislature this session.

In the final days of the 2014 session, lawmakers agreed to extend and expand a fisheries product development tax credit program for processors, change the fisheries landing tax for harvesters, authorize a new source of funding for fisheries infrastructure and alter the existing Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank.