On Monday night roughly two dozen community members filled the borough assembly chambers for the Kodiak Fisheries Work Group meeting. It was a long night of testimony, panel discussion and guest presentations, as the work group considered what recommendations it might pass on to the city council and borough assembly for bycatch management in the Gulf of Alaska trawl industry.

The Kodiak Fisheries Work Group will hold a meeting tonight and discuss Gulf of Alaska Trawl Bycatch Management issues. Assemblywoman Chris Lynch said the goal of the meeting will be to draft recommendations for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's April meeting on bycatch management, specifically recommendations that will benefit the Kodiak Community.
On the agenda for tonight is a panel discussion featuring fishermen from various backgrounds and gear types who will outline their hopes for bycatch management and how certain decisions might affect different industries.

Alaska’s seafood attention has invested in a hunt for new uses of pollock byproducts and a growth of a seafood estimate quality-control training program. The work will be finished during a University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, a state’s usually investigate estimate plant.

Faculty during KSMSC will accept some-more than $350,000 from a Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center, a consortium of fishing companies that work pollock catcher-processors in a Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

The Bering Sea snow crab fishery is moving right along. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Unalaska reported 46 vessels registered on Monday, and 78 percent of the 54 million pound quota harvested. Unalaska city natural resources analyst Frank Kelty said the fleet landed 5 million pounds last week. “It’s going pretty quick. If they have a couple more weeks like that, it will be over with,” Kelty said. Processors posted an opening price of $2.15 per pound paid to fishermen, similar to last year, Kelty said.

Pending federal maritime legislation to exempt commercial fishing vessels from certain requirements of the Clean Water Act, which could otherwise result in substantial fines, is gaining widespread support with commercial fisheries groups.
"Onerous," was just one of the words John Renner, vice president of Cordova District Fishermen United, used to describe the situation facing commercial fishing vessel owners and operators who could otherwise be subject to fines for activities such as deck washing.

Signing up for a free commercial fishing vessel safety exam couldn’t be easier, thanks to the Pre- Examination Work Sheet from the United states Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Detachment Office. With every boat being different, their online CFR site allows user to make a check list specific to their vessel making it easier to prepare for a boat inspection.

Researchers are measuring the ways sea creatures are responding to hostile changes in the ocean. The biggest threat comes from off kilter carbon dioxide levels that are absorbed by the oceans, making them more acidic. Water samples collected this spring from the Gulf of Alaska show that acid levels are increasing more quickly and more severely than previously thought. The Gulf findings are similar to those seen in the Chukchi and Bering Seas.

NMFS has taken a reccomendation from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and tightened halibut bycatch limits for commercial groundfish fishermen in the Gulf of Alaska with plan set to start this year. The Amendment 95 plan will minize halibut bycatch for GOA groundfish fisheries which include pollock, Pacific cod, rockfish and other flatfish.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council took a step toward to reducing halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands at its February meeting, but did not foreshadow how it might do so. The council agreed unanimously Feb. 8 to ask for another draft of a Bering Sea halibut bycatch discussion paper. Halibut is taken as bycatch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands groundfish fisheries. There are limits on halibut bycatch, but those were set at a time of higher abundance, and do not apply to every sector.

There’s a big meeting going on in Seattle right now, that can decide whether or not to protect the home of humpback whales, octopus, puffins, seals and tons of other amazing sea life in the Bering Sea. These waters are so special that even William Shatner spoke up to urge for their protection.