The world’s biggest sockeye salmon run is expected to surge into Bristol Bay any day, where a catch of about 17 million reds is projected. Elsewhere, the annual summer troll fishery in Southeast Alaska kicks off on July first with a target of just over 166,000 chinook salmon.
Lots of crab fisheries are underway each summer — dungeness fishing began on June 15 in Southeast where a harvest of 2.25 million pounds is expected. The region’s golden king crab fishery will close on July 10, with a catch of about 234,000 pounds.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found that Alaska seafood is safe from Fukushima radiation, but a citizen's group plans to conduct a separate study of the water in lower Cook Inlet using a crowdsource funding site.
"The (FDA) results confirm information from federal, state and international agencies that seafood in the North Pacific and Alaska waters poses no radiation related health concerns to those who consume it," said a statement released by state health and environmental officials.
Ramped up testing this summer shows Alaska fish is free of all signs of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown three years ago. State veterinarian Bob Gerlach -
The results of the testing of the Alaska fish that were just collected look very good. There is no detection of any radiation that would have originated from Fukushima. That was very good news.
Major fishing ports and harbors critical to Alaska's economy are in the midst of designing, construction and fund sourcing in the spring of 2014, to meet needs ranging from float replacements to strengthening breakwaters.
With steady fishing vessel traffic from the Kenai Peninsula to Homer, Seward, Dutch Harbor, Sitka and Wrangell, planning, bidding and finding construction funds is an ongoing process, harbormasters said.
Resources for All Alaskans, a group formed to combat a proposed initiative to ban commercial setnet fishing in certain parts of the state, met in Kenai to talk strategy with several local fishing groups after being dealt a blow when an Alaska Superior Court judge ruled that it could not intervene in a lawsuit over the initiative.
High 2013 salmon returns and high escapement projections for non-Alaska rivers are working in the favor of Southeast Alaska commercial and sport fishermen.
King salmon abundance estimates have more than doubled from last year.
The total number of chinook salmon Southeast Alaskan fisheries are allowed to catch is 439,400, up from 176,000 in 2013 and 266,800 in 2012, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game information.
U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generated more than $199 billion in sales in 2012, a gain of seven percent over the previous year, with the economic impact of fishing jobs increasing three percent from 2011 to 2012, according to a new NOAA Fisheries economics report.
Further, two more fish stocks were rebuilt to target levels in 2013, bringing the number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish stocks to 34 since 2000, according to another NOAA Fisheries report also released today.
A bill that would make the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission a division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game got an introductory hearing in the Legislature April 19, with the expectation that commercial fishermen and other stakeholders will consider the idea for possible enactment next session.
Before then the Legislature’s Audit Division will “audit” the two agencies to identify overlapping activities, entry commission duties that may not easily be merged into Fish and Game, and possible costs and savings from the consolidation.
Fishers, processors and the general public will see changes to certain fisheries regulations under bills passed by the Alaska Legislature this session.
In the final days of the 2014 session, lawmakers agreed to extend and expand a fisheries product development tax credit program for processors, change the fisheries landing tax for harvesters, authorize a new source of funding for fisheries infrastructure and alter the existing Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank.
A move to develop mariculture through the creation of partnerships and strategic planning, has been announced by the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, which envisions ocean farming as a future billion dollar industry for Alaska.
AFDF, perhaps best known for the annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood competition, feels that the economic effect of mariculture could literally double the current value of the Alaska seafood industry in 30 years, said Julie Decker, executive director.
Alaska salmon permits in many fisheries have tripled in value since 2002, and the upward trend continues.
An overview of April listings by four brokers shows that Bristol Bay driftnet permits are valued at nearly $134,000 by the state, and listed for sale at $150,000 to $170,000. That compares to $90,000 this past January.
At Southeast Alaska, seine permits are the priciest in the state at over $300,000. That's an increase of $50,000 since January.
Alaska's total salmon catch for 2014 is projected to be down by 47 percent from last year's record 283 million fish. State fishery managers are calling for an all-species harvest of just under 133 million salmon this year.
A pink catch of 95 million drove the record last year, and it is pinks that will bring down the numbers this summer. Pink salmon run in even/odd-year cycles. This year the catch is pegged at about 75 million, a 67 percent decrease from last summer's 226 million humpy haul.
Alaska’s total salmon catch for this year is projected to be down by almost half of the 2013 haul. State fishery managers are calling for an all species harvest of just under 133 million salmon, down about 47% from last year’s record haul of 283 million fish. Pink salmon drove the record last year and it’s pinks that will bring down the numbers. This year the pink catch is pegged at about 75 million, a 67% decrease from last summer’s take of 226 million humpies.
Under provisions of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, the abundance index for Southeast Alaska is 2.57, which is in an all-gear harvest quota of 439,400 treaty chinook, non-Alaska-hatchery produced.
ADF&G said that the all-gear abundance-based quota represents an increase of 263,400 fish when compared with last year’s preseason quota of 176,000 fish, at an AI of 1.20. This year’s preseason troll treaty harvest allocation is 325,411 chinook, an increase of 195,549 fish when compared with last year’s 129,862 fish.