The last pots are being pulled today in Southeast Alaska for the end of the summer Dungeness crab fishery. It’s been the best season ever with a total catch for the year pegged at nearly 6.5 million pounds. That makes for a nice pay day for 150 crabbers who averaged about $3 a pound, up 50 cents from last year.
The court will make a decision about reimbursements in the lawsuit over Steller sea lion protections after federal defendants and the fishing companies who sued them could not reach a decision during the original time allotted for the two sides to work it out.
The Alaska Seafood Cooperative, The Groundfish Forum and the Freezer Longline Coalition filed motions in February asking the federal government to reimburse them $1,208,409.87 for their attorney fees and costs in bringing the suit forward and arguing their case.
The world’s biggest sockeye salmon run is expected to surge into Bristol Bay any day, where a catch of about 17 million reds is projected. Elsewhere, the annual summer troll fishery in Southeast Alaska kicks off on July first with a target of just over 166,000 chinook salmon.
Lots of crab fisheries are underway each summer — dungeness fishing began on June 15 in Southeast where a harvest of 2.25 million pounds is expected. The region’s golden king crab fishery will close on July 10, with a catch of about 234,000 pounds.
The National Marine Fisheries Service has published the proposed rule that would allow Bering Sea fishers some flexibility as they target flatfish.
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council created the new regulation in April, which would allow Amendment 80 cooperatives and community development quota entities to exchange harvest quota for three flatfish species — flathead sole, rock sole and yellowfin sole.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is pushing a new rule for ground fish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area that will protect Steller sea lions.
NOAA’s newly released publication says the intent of the rule is to “protect the endangered western distinct population segment of Steller sea lions and its critical habitat, as required under the Endangered Species Act.” The publication also says there is a concern to prevent a harmful economic impact of the fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands areas.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found that Alaska seafood is safe from Fukushima radiation, but a citizen's group plans to conduct a separate study of the water in lower Cook Inlet using a crowdsource funding site.
"The (FDA) results confirm information from federal, state and international agencies that seafood in the North Pacific and Alaska waters poses no radiation related health concerns to those who consume it," said a statement released by state health and environmental officials.
Ramped up testing this summer shows Alaska fish is free of all signs of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown three years ago. State veterinarian Bob Gerlach -
The results of the testing of the Alaska fish that were just collected look very good. There is no detection of any radiation that would have originated from Fukushima. That was very good news.
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.