Ten fishing boats - five each from Sitka and Homer - are carrying electronic monitoring equipment as part of a pilot program to see if such tracking is more effective than having observers onboard in gathering data for fisheries management.

Longliners from the two communities have been participating in the pilot program by the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association since early March, according to (http://bit.ly/1diMK3b) the Daily Sitka Sentinel.

A member of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Unalaska has passed away in Anchorage.
Petty Officer Michal Marciniak died at Alaska Regional Hospital Tuesday morning while receiving treatment for a serious illness. Marciniak had fallen ill Monday morning and was medevacked to Cold Bay on a Coast Guard helicopter. A commercial medevac brought him to Alaska Regional's emergency room in critical condition.
Petty officer Shawn Eggert says the Coast Guard is investigating what happened, but at this point, he says it's clear Marciniak's illness wasn't linked to his job.

Earlier in March, 1.2 million pounds of Tanner crab were caught in the Southeast’s commercial fishery, the biggest haul in over a decade. But in the Bering Straits region the winter season for Red King Crabs has been abysmal.

The search is on for a mariner who fell overboard from the fishing vessel Seaker, about 10 miles northwest of Unimak Island Wednesday morning.
Nearby Good Samaritan vessels and a Coast Guard helicopter from Cold Bay have been searching the area where the man went in, and the cutter Alex Haley was reported en route to assist.
The search is being conducted in 10-foot seas with 35 MPH winds.

For the first time since 1965 the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced a preseason closure of fishing for Kenai River early run king salmon.

A preseason forecast for the run estimated 2,230 fish to make a run on the river, less than half of what is needed to reach the lower end of the ADFG optimum escapement goal of 5,300 fish.

The state pot gear for Kodiak waters opened at noon Thursday last week, offering a potentially lucky margin for fishermen who follow the tradition of not sailing on a Friday.

The Board of Fisheries has been meeting in Anchorage recently with their focus on Upper Cook Inlet fisheries management. I was there for most of it, as I have been for nearly 40 years.

The Board of Fisheries convened Sunday at 8 a.m. and voted to approve a board generated proposal to restrict stacked setnet permit operations.

Big changes are coming to the Kenai River this summer.

The Alaska Board of Fisheries on Wednesday approved new ways to protect precariously low numbers of late-run Kenai kings that members say splits the burden between sport anglers and commercial setnet fishermen.

The decision to tweak the Kenai River late-run king salmon plan, one of the most anticipated actions of a two-week session at Anchorage's Egan Center, came in a 6-1 vote and adds several new tools to existing rules.

The Alaska Board of Fisheries, which is meeting in Anchorage Jan. 31 through Feb. 13, is wrestling with a number of issues related to salmon management, including the best way to manage king salmon on the Kenai River.