The Southeast Tanner and golden king crab season open last week. A bad weather forecast on the fishing grounds kept fishermen docked a few days after the February 10th opener. Joe Stratmen is an Alaska Department of Fish and Game crab biologist in Petersburg Alaska. Stratmen explains.
Federal scientists are predicting a catch of nearly 30 million pink salmon in Southeast Alaska this summer. That’s a little better than the forecast put out last fall by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for a catch of 22 million humpies. But its still not even one third of the record setting catch of 2013.
Sitka salmon troller Eric Jordan may have discovered the secret to make fishing more fun, profitable and injury free. It's one word – ergonomics.
"Fishing is way more enjoyable because of how smoothly everything goes," said Jordan. "There is a significant economic advantage to having a more ergonomically efficient operation," said Jordan. "Production and safety have improved because of efficiency and ease of work."
Southeast Alaska’s commercial halibut catch limit is going up.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission concluded its annual meeting Friday in Seattle and approved catch limits for Alaska, British Columbia, and the west coast of the U.S.
The combined commercial and charter catch for Southeast’s Area 2C will be 4.16 million pounds. That includes a commercial catch limit of 3,318,720 pounds, that’s an increase of about 11 percent from last year. Southeast is the only area that will see an increased catch from 2013.
Delta Air Lines will begin daily, seasonal service from Seattle to Juneau in the coming year, company spokesman Anthony Black confirmed. One Boeing 737-800 will fly the route each day, Black said. Flights to and from Juneau are available now on the Delta website, delta.com. The first scheduled flight to Juneau from Seattle is 6:45 p.m. Thursday, May 29, 2014, according to the website’s “Book a Trip” tool.
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX: NDM; NYSE MKT: NAK) ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company") announces that it has exercised its right to acquire Anglo American (US) Pebble LLC's ("Anglo American") interest in the Pebble Limited Partnership ("Pebble Partnership" or "PLP"). Northern Dynasty has now re-acquired 100% ownership and control of the Pebble Partnership. All Anglo American representatives have resigned from the Pebble Mines Corporation Board of Directors.
The preliminary numbers for 2014 halibut catches would mean cuts for most of the west coast, including Alaska, compared to 2013, but it’s unclear if those numbers will become the real limits. Under the “blue-line” catch limit recommendations announced at the International Pacific Halibut Commission’s Dec. 4 and 5 meeting in Seattle, coastwide total removals would be about 36.4 million pounds, with a commercial halibut harvest of about 24.5 million pounds for 2014.
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 biomass that is close to the average over the past 13 years is forecast for the 2014 Sitka Sound sac roe fishery, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said today. The preliminary guideline harvest has been set at 17,592 tons, based on an estimated returning biomass of 87,958 tons.
What started out as a normal work day for three shrimpers turned into a 'whale of a tale' adventure. It was September 30th, one day before the start of the shrimp fishery. That day, aboard the Miss Mary, fellow shrimpers, Nick Segal, John Oakes (owner), and John Vonick, had been looking for different places to set the shrimp gear before the season started.
The Alaska Dept of fish and game has produced their first 2014 forecast for pink salmon in Southeast Alaska. They expect the run to be around 22 million fish. This well below the average ten year harvest of 41 million fish, but close to the even year average of about 24 million fish. Pink salmon show a marked variation in returns in even and odd numbered years. In 2012 overall escapement goals were met in only 2 of 4 subregions.
Sitka’s large-boat owners are being invited to help shape the direction of the marine services industry in town. Sawmill Cove Industrial Park has prepared an online survey to help gauge the demand in the community for everything from covered work areas to a haul out for large vessels.
Four conservation groups from the US and Canada have combined to lodge an official objection to the MSC's proposed re-certification of Alaskan salmon fisheries in Southeast Alaska. Wild Fish Conservancy, from Washington State, along with the Watershed Watch Salmon Society, SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, and Raincoast Conservation Foundation, based in British Columbia (BC), say that the MSC eco-label is turning a blind eye to serious overfishing in Southeast Alaska.
Two cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning were reported at Sitka last week, proving that the deadly toxin occurs in any season. PSP is caused by micro organisms in algae blooms, often incorrectly called’ red tides.’ It is in all kinds of clams. Neither cooking nor freezing neutralizes the toxin and it can be a quick killer.
Plans are in the works at Sitka for a bigger boat haul out and other marine related waterfront development at the Sawmill Cove Industrial Park. "We’ve been hearing from the community for years that they would like to see our haul out capabilities expanded and our marine services expanded a bit." Garry White is executive director of the Sitka Economic Development Association.
Five crewmen from a burning fishing vessel in the western Aleutian Chain are safe after being rescued by a nearby good Samaritan. The crew of the 59-foot Kodiak-based longliner Western Venture were safely picked up by the Aleutian Beauty, after their vessel caught fire Sunday morning. The Coast Guard in Juneau reported receiving emergency locator beacon signals around 9 a.m. -- first from a crewman's survival suit, and then from the Western Venture itself.
I recently testified at the Lynn Canal Fish & Game Advisory Board meeting regarding the current Dungeness crab management plan for Southeast Alaska waters. The best way to understand what is at risk here is to quote ADF&G management reports after the collapse of the Dungeness crab fishery in Prince William Sound.
The 76-foot fishing tender Neptune sank while moored at the harbor about 1 a.m. Saturday. No one was onboard, but someone in the harbor called 911 and Harbormaster Phil Benner was notified. Benner said he and his staff responded and found the engine room flooded and the back deck already underwater. “We did try to get some gas pumps started on the boat but it did not, it wasn’t successful,” Benner said. “The boat started tilting off the dock, and we evacuated everyone off the boat and cut the lines.”
“Powerful storm on the way,” announced the National Weather Service Sunday morning, regarding strong winds and heavy rains expected to pound the area of Southcentral Alaska around Anchorage on Monday and Tuesday. The storm is expected to form over the North Pacific Ocean Sunday night, and “rapidly intensify” as it approaches the Southwest coast of Alaska late Monday, NWS writes.