A lot has changed in Alaska since commercial vessels began fishing for halibut off the coastline in 1888, but in almost 130 years, halibut has remained a staple of the state’s fishing economy and culture. Along with salmon and crab, no species of fish captures the Alaska imagination and fills Alaska pocketbooks more than halibut.
Wild Alaska salmon processed into a powder is a work in progress of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, in an effort to market millions of pounds of the fish, while providing protein to hungry people worldwide.
Nutritionists contracted by ASMI are currently concentrating on making the salmon powder as “sensory neutral” as possible, said Bruce Schactler, of Kodiak, who heads up ASMI’s global food aid program.
Alaska Congressman Don Young has introduced a bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the nation’s primary law governing fishing in federal waters. It leaves fisheries managers some controversial wiggle room.
Previous versions of the law established eight regional councils and required them to set harvest limits based on science to end overfishing. The mechanism is known as the “Alaska Model” of fisheries management.
Alaska has a lot of boats - a lot of old boats - doing a lot of business in Alaska.
Such was the take-away message from those involved with a recent report documenting the trends and opportunities for the maritime support sector in Alaska.
The report, completed for the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development by the McDowell Group, was the focus of a recent presentation to participants at the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference.
March 15: Today, the Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud, co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, released its action plan. This plan articulates the aggressive steps that federal agencies will take both domestically and internationally to implement the recommendations the Task Force made in December 2014.
The experimental fishery to determine the feasibility of a seine fishery for pollock in state waters has finished up with mixed results.
The Gulf of Alaska pollock workgroup held its final meeting last month to discuss adding a limited entry state pollock fishery to Alaska waters for both trawl and non-trawl vessels and go over the results of the experimental fishery.
A limited entry state waters pollock fishery could ease some of the impending Gulf of Alaska rationalization headaches, but the experimental permits fishing for pollock with non-trawl gear haven’t yet proven their value.
A working group of stakeholders and fisheries officials met for the third and last time on Feb. 18 to discuss adding a limited entry state pollock fishery to Alaska waters for both trawl and non-trawl vessels.
An investigation is underway into the grounding of the 81-foot fishing vessel Savannah Ray at Long Island, about five miles Southeast of Kodiak, Alaska, following the rescue of four crewmen on Feb. 16.
On Thursday, the two councils that control halibut fishing in the Bering Sea met to address a thorny debate over bycatch.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission -- which sets catch limits in waters stretching from Canada to the Pribilof Islands -- stopped into Seattle for a joint session with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Residents in False Pass don't have to wait until spring for the hum of boat motors to bring the dock to life again.
The Bering Pacific Seafood processing plant, located in False Pass, opened Jan. 1 for the pacific cod season. This year marks the first winter opening of the plant, which is owned and operated by the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association.
Few fish have to swim through more red tape than the Pacific halibut.
Halibut has been governed by two regulatory bodies for more than 40 years, and 2015 will hopefully see an increase in mutual understanding between the two, as well as a welcome public display of cooperation.
Gov. Bill Walker’s plans for Alaska involve a lot of budget cutting, and a vital research project for king salmon is on the slab.
As petroleum prices dive and Alaska finances look grim, the Chinook Salmon Research Initiative is one of many items Walker cut from former Gov. Sean Parnell’s proposed capital budget, potentially halting several ongoing programs and complicating an Alaska fishery regulatory item.
The St. Nicholas was taking on water about 60 miles southeast of Kodiak when the Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk arrived just before 9 a.m., the agency said in a news release. The crew had asked for help when their pumps were unable to keep up with the flooding in 25 mph winds.
In 2005, Royal Dutch Shell, then the fourth-largest company on Earth, bought a drill rig that was both tall, rising almost 250 feet above the waterline, and unusually round. The hull of the Kulluk, as the rig was called, was made of 1.5-inch-thick steel and rounded to better prevent its being crushed. A 12-point anchor system could keep it locked in place above an oil well for a full day in 18-foot seas or in moving sea ice that was four feet thick.
It's that time of year again. Top 10 lists for everything. Trust me. For some of them, I can't figure out how they came up with a top one, much less 10. I was going to piggyback on this cliche and give you my top 10 Alaska stories for 2014, but then I got a grip on myself.
You're welcome. I decided instead to look ahead at what will be a giant war in Alaska in the upcoming year. I figured maybe we needed to start rallying the troops to battle.
After recently reading an Alaska Dispatch News headline with a preposterous claim, “Manager says increasingly expensive Susitna dam could help salmon,” (Dec. 18) I must protest with due respect. As a freshwater ecologist who has worked on salmon rivers for 40 years, I want to make it clear: Without question, a dam the size of Susitna-Watana will kill the Susitna as a salmon river.
NOAA Fisheries is being asked by the state of Alaska and representatives of the Pribilof Island community of Saint Paul to institute emergency action to lower halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea groundfish fisheries.
The request to Assistant Administrator of NOAA Fisheries Eileen Sobeck came in late December from Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association, the city of Saint Paul, the Tribal government of Saint Paul and Tanadguix Corp., an Alaska Native village corporation.
The coming year should prove a lucrative year for Alaska fisheries, even in the face of the doom and gloom surrounding the chinook salmon declines and a sketchy halibut situation.
The largest volume fishery, pollock, and the most valuable fishery, salmon, both have positive forecasts and large projected harvests; escapements for Alaska’s iconic king salmon were largely achieved in 2014; and various regulatory bodies have a full schedule to deal with both hurting and flourishing stocks.