Ten fishing boats - five each from Sitka and Homer - are carrying electronic monitoring equipment as part of a pilot program to see if such tracking is more effective than having observers onboard in gathering data for fisheries management.

Longliners from the two communities have been participating in the pilot program by the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association since early March, according to (http://bit.ly/1diMK3b) the Daily Sitka Sentinel.

Two Southeast Alaska mines could get close to $300 million in state support under a bill moving through the Legislature.

Senate Bill 99 authorizes the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority to issue bonds for the projects. It moved out of the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee March 20 and awaits scheduling on the chamber’s floor.

One mine is the Niblack gold, silver, copper and zinc prospect. The other is the Bokan-Dotson Ridge rare-earth-element mine. Both are on Prince of Wales Island, southwest of Ketchikan.

Sitka’s Fish-to-Schools program will be easier to reproduce in other communities, thanks to a new handbook from the Sitka Conservation Society.
A Guide to Serving Local Fish in School Cafeterias was published online last week (3-14-14) by the Society. It contains everything someone needs to know to navigate the sometimes-choppy waters to get locally-caught seafood onto public school menus.

A fire has destroyed a salmon-incubation building at the Crystal Lake Hatchery near Petersburg, killing more than 1 million incubating fish.

The Petersburg volunteer fire department was notified of the fire at 2:30 a.m. March 4, KFSK (ttp://bit.ly/1kKdJqV) reported. The hatchery is 18 miles south of Petersburg on Mitkof Island.

Volunteer fire department spokesman Dave Berg said the building was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived and decided to focus efforts on cooling the hatchery's fuel tanks.

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.