Voters could be asked to decide whether to ban setnets in certain parts of Alaska under a court decision made Wednesday.

The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, or AFCA, filed a ballot initiative petition in November seeking to ask voters whether to ban setnets in urban parts of the state, which would primarily impact Upper Cook Inlet setnetters.

With recent culinary trends pointing to a heightened interest in domestic seafood sources, it’s worth noting that Alaska’s pristine Prince William Sound, home to more than 570 drift and set gillnet permit holders, is one of our country’s premier yet best kept secrets when it comes seafood resources.

Sport and commercial anglers will see additional restrictions to protect late-run Kenai River king salmon beginning this weekend.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that king salmon can not be retained on the Kenai River as of July 19 due to concerns about meeting the escapement goal for that species.

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 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.

A judge ruled Wednesday that a commercial fishing group should pay part of the State's cost for the lawsuit regarding management of the Cook Inlet salmon fisheries in 2013.

Alaska Superior Court Judge Andrew Guidi issued an order asking Cook Inlet Fisherman's Fund to pay the state Department of Law $12,924. That amount was 20 percent of what the state spent defending itself in the fisheries management lawsuit, according to a Department of Law memo filed with the court June 18.

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.

Wild salmon capture continues growing in the main fishing districts in Alaska, reaching 5.5 million specimens statewide by 24 June.

Peak harvests may be over for the Copper River District, but that run is way ahead of the forecast, and the catch just keeps on growing for major fishing districts within and for Prince William Sound overall.

As of June 24, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's preliminary Alaska commercial salmon harvest blue sheet showed 2,926 salmon of all species taken in Prince William Sound, including 2.1 million sockeye, 561,000 chum, 198,000 pink, 15,000 coho and 10,000 king salmon.

Copper River's drift fishery has peaked, with a harvest of 1.4 million salmon, the bulk of them sockeyes, and most of the fleet has moved to the Coghill and Eshamy districts, as the fishery continues through July.

While the weather overall for the season has been really good, the last period brought winds of up to 50 knots and a fair amount of rain, and some harvesters came in early, said Jeremy Botz, a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's office in Cordova.