Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young’s bill to reauthorize and amend the Magnuson-Stevens Act was marked up and favorably reported to the U.S. House of Representatives by the House Natural Resources Committee on April 30. The bill, titled the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act,” cleared the committee with 21-14 vote.

Federal fisheries scientists will begin surveys of the Gulf of Alaska and the Eastern Bering Sea in mid-May, collecting data needed for fisheries managers to determine sustainable fishery harvest levels.

Doug DeMaster, science and research director for NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center, said April 28 that this year's distinct surveys will be the biennial Gulf of Alaska continental shelf survey and the annual eastern Bering Sea continental shelf survey.

Each year more than one-third of all the salmon caught in Alaska begin their lives in a hatchery.

There are 31 hatchery facilities in Alaska: 15 privately owned, 11 state owned, two federal research facilities, one tribal hatchery at Metlakatla and two state-owned sport fish hatcheries.

Gulf of Alaska whales that dine on hooked black cod are likely to find slimmer pickings in the years ahead.

Under a measure approved late Sunday by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, fishermen will be free to ditch their longline gear that frequently lose the fish to killer and sperm whales.

The fishermen now will be permitted to use pots that trap — rather than hook — the bottom-dwelling fish, and then protect the catch from hungry cetaceans as it’s brought to the surface.

The Alaska Board of Fisheries system -- to paraphrase Winston Churchill -- is the worst way to regulate fisheries, except for all the others.

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.