NMFS said it will implement a catch sharing plan for the 2014 commercial and charter halibut fisheries in Southeast Alaska and the Central Gulf of Alaska. The catch sharing plan was recommended by the North Pacific Management Council to replace the existing guideline harvest level management plan, which had been criticized for not preventing fishing overages when charter fishing had increased in the region in the late 1990s.
A herring return forecast lower than the 1,000-ton threshold necessary to conduct a commercial fishery has caused the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to disallow commercial spawn-on-kelp pound fishery in Sitka’s Hoonah Sound for the 2014 season. The method of herring egg collection entails catching fish with seine gear, placing them in enclosures and harvesting their eggs from kelp fronds to be sold.
This year for the first time the expanded observer program has been covering small boats and the hook and line fleet. Besides getting data on what’s actually coming over the rails, the program has three main goals.
Kodiak will not take Alaska’s halibut title for a second year. With 97 percent of the halibut quota in the central Gulf used, Homer has landed 4.39 million pounds of halibut to Kodiak’s 3.38 million. The halibut season ends Nov. 15, and just under 339,000 pounds of halibut quota remains in the central Gulf of Alaska. Statewide, 20.53 million pounds of the state’s 21.81 million-pound quota have been taken. After Homer and Kodiak, the state’s biggest halibut ports are Seward (2.74 million pounds), Dutch Harbor (1.43 million pounds) and Sitka, (1.17 million pounds).
A small bairdi tanner crab fishery has operated in Kodiak, providing a reliable supply of high quality bairdi for some discerning markets. However, this year the fishery in the Kodiak, Chignik, and South Peninsula districts will not open. ADF&G announced that although survey results in two Kodiak districts were above minimum stock size needed to open the fishery, the overall minimum GHL of 400,000 lbs. was not reached, so the fishery cannot open.
"Coho! We found coho!" were the excited cries heard from the 2013 Copper River Stewardship Program participants. They had discovered coho salmon fry in the minnow traps they had set just the day before in a small stream that crosses under the Alaganik Fisherman's boardwalk. This stream was not listed in the State of Alaska's Anadromous Waters Catalog, the tool used by the State to track all known bodies of water used by salmon, trout, and other anadromous species for spawning, migrating and rearing.
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has announced that Alaska's flatfish fishery has entered into assessment for the FAO's Responsible Fisheries Management seafood sustainability program. The Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska flatfish fisheries will be assesed against the program's conformance criteria; if successful Alaska flatfish products will be able to carry the RFM ecolabel.
The Kodiak city and borough fisheries work group met Monday morning to discuss the Gulf of Alaska trawl bycatch management discussion paper released last Friday by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The paper addresses eight proposals written by industry stakeholders regarding the council's development of a catch share program for trawl groundfish, an item on the council's October agenda.
Almost a half-million dollars will be heading into five Bering Sea villages to assist in cleaning marine debris from their beaches. The Alaska Marine Stewardship Foundation has received a $210,000 grant from NOAA’s Restoration and Marine Debris Program, and has secured the same amount in matching funds from area CDQ groups. Dave Gaudet, the director of the foundation in Auke Bay, said his group has been working with villages on beach clean ups for 10 years.
Just before 1 p.m. on Friday a fire broke out at the Kodiak Fishmeal Company down on Gibson Cove Road. Fire Chief Rome Kamai said the fire was in one of the hoppers at the plant. A hopper is a piece of equipment used in the processing of fishmeal.
U.S. Coast Guard and state of Alaska personnel are monitoring a 65-foot fishing tender from Astoria, Ore. that grounded on Aug. 10 near Shoup Bay, four miles west of Valdez, as efforts continue to refloat the vessel.
The Prince William Sound Area E state-waters Pacific cod season will close to fishing with pot and longline gear at noon on Sept. 1, state fisheries officials announced on Aug. 12, as a parallel season opens to the same gear types.
As the first half of Kodiak’s salmon season comes to an end, catch figures show a season in line with preseason expectations. Through Saturday, Kodiak fishermen have pulled in 1.77 million sockeye salmon and 1.4 million pinks, part of a total 3.6 million fish harvested to date.
Hello, Cordova (and parts beyond!). The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association was recently granted a little real estate in The Cordova Times, and this column marks the first in a series of monthly entries. It's my hope to increase communication between the Association, the fleet and the community-at-large; I look forward to sharing current events and news with you on a regular basis. - See more at: http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1328promote-your-fish-and-protect...
The Gulf of Alaska houses some of the most successful fisheries on the planet and more than 40 scientists are working on a multi-year study to help maintain that success. The project is called the Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Research Project.
A majority of Kodiak fishermen believe privatization has had a negative impact on Kodiak, according to preliminary results of a fishing survey conducted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “Only 13 percent of people talked about positive impacts for Kodiak,” UAF anthropologist Courtney Carothers told the city and borough fisheries work group meeting Monday morning.
The Kodiak Managenment Area sockeye salmon harvest jumped the million-fish mark Saturday, with a catch of 28,723. The sockeye total is now 1,020,655. Total salmon harvest area-wide is about 1.19-million, which includes about 124,000 chum, 32,000 pinks and just over 11,000 kings. The Kodiak Westside areas of Karluk, Northwest Kodiak and Southwest Afognak accounts for about half the sockeye total, with Cape Igvak and Wide Bay about a third. Meanwhile, the Karluk escapement continues to run stronger than all but one year in the last eight, with 215,160 crossing the weir through Saturday.