Winter king salmon trolling was slow in Southeast Alaska for much of this past year, very slow, but the commercial catch brought sustained, record-high prices. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the fleet landed just under 26 thousand, four hundred kings during the winter season, which runs from mid-October through April. The state manages the winter fishery with a 45,000 king cap.
With the opening of the Copper River wild salmon fishery less than a week away, restaurants in Seattle and Anchorage plan entrée specials and fish mongers' phones are ringing steadily with buyers wanting a taste of those succulent fish.
The Department of Fish and Game measured more miles of herring spawn this year than last year, and close to the 10-year average for Sitka Sound. Miles of spawn is one of the figures that goes into calculations for the spawning biomass, along with width of spawn and egg deposition surveys, Fish and Game said.
When Alaskans think of Juneau, they don’t usually think of commercial fishing. "Many people in our state and here in Juneau, even though they live here don’t recognize or appreciate how important our seafood industry is to our community."
The start of Alaska’s 2013 commercial salmon season came into view on Thursday, eclipsing all other news for a pocket of the Alaska salmon industry that rakes in as much as $30 a pound or more for the first catches of the year — the Copper River District.
The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association and Alaskan Brewing Company will partner in Dallas, Texas to support the Dallas Observer Iron Fork competition and to bring two great Alaska productsCopper River salmon and Alaskan Brewing beerto the Lone Star state.
Terry Shaft loves fish. In fact, it's the only kind of "meat" he eats. Shaff has collected hundreds of fish recipes and dined at seafood restaurants all over the world. His favorite? It's the Wednesday night seafood buffet in the Chart Room at the Grand Aleutian Hotel. For most people, traveling to the Grand Aleutian Hotel, located in Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island midway down the Aleutian Island chain, is a bit out of the way even with the appeal of great seafood. But Shaft, president and CEO of UniSea Inc. since 1991, has an inside track on great seafood.
Fishing industry stakeholders and federal managers in June will begin crafting a bycatch reduction plan for trawl groundfish fisheries in the Gulf. It will include some form of catch share plan, and as the main delivery port for more than $100 million worth of pollock, cod, flats and other fishes, Kodiak is closely guarding any giveaways.
A power struggle over who confirms sustainability of Alaska's wild salmon appears to be giving the state an edge, with the bulk of the 2013 harvest to be certified under a third party certification program provided by Ireland-based Global Trust.
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute announced April 16 that about 80 percent of the state's wild salmon would be available under this United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization-based Responsible Fisheries Management program.
The Tongass National Forest is a globally significant source of wild salmon and efforts should be made to preserve that resource, the forest’s fish program manager said at a “Lunch and Learn” presentation at the Alaska State Capitol Thursday.
Ron Medel said that while non-wild salmon may outsell wild salmon, salmon that hatch in and return to the wild as part of their natural life cycle carry significant commercial, cultural and ecological value.
“Catch shares will always come up, observers still a big concern, and I think some of Alaskans are bringing to the forefront...the new technology and the lack of use of technology by NOAA. We’ll talk about warming of the waters, acidification, and then of course ocean policy you know, the whole idea that the White House wants to zone the ocean.”
Most of the first fish landed goes to Homer, Kodiak and Petersburg and processors there said there wasn’t “the usual chatter” and none said they had a feel for what’s going to happen yet with prices. Lots of halibut remains in the freezers and some major processors had reportedly unloaded the high priced fish at a loss.
The preliminary decision last month to allow a genetically modified salmon to be sold as food has prompted widespread opposition in Alaska. Now the Alaska Legislature is being asked to weigh in on the issue. KDLG's Mike Mason explains.