In the last ten years, Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands trawl fisheries have killed and discarded 62.6 million pounds of halibut as bycatch. A significant percentage of these juvenile halibut, averaging a little less than five pounds, would have migrated over time to the east, populating the Gulf of Alaska, Southeastern Alaska, and eventually all the way to Northern California. So although the bycatch of halibut is occurring far away in the Bering Sea, its effect is being felt all over Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
Ronald Johansen, 22, was out camping with his brother and cousin in Chagvan Bay last week. After bagging some geese, Johansen set out alone by skiff Friday afternoon to return home to Goodnews Bay. The other two were to follow in a separate boat later. Johansen's trip should’ve taken an hour and half, and the waters outside the sand bars were calm as he set out.
Those conditions, he said in a KDLG interview Tuesday, changed quickly.
While studying Chinook salmon in the Bering Sea, researchers have found themselves in the wake of an unlikely killer.
Andrew Seitz is a researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, who has spent the past several years studying Chinook salmon. He said the first sign of foul play came from satellite tags used in his research this winter. The tags gather behavior and migration data for the salmon, taking temperature and depth readings every two minutes — then relaying them to researchers by satellite later on.
Climate researchers say a giant mass of warm water in the Pacific Ocean may be responsible for unusual sightings of marine life in the North Pacific while also influencing North American weather patterns.
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.
WASHINGTON -- Purveyors of the proposed Pebble mine aren't done fighting federal, activist and state efforts to stop the massive gold and copper mine in its tracks.
This month, the Pebble Partnership will test its arguments that the Environmental Protection Agency jumped the gun in its efforts to stop the project and illegally colluded with the projects’ opponents before doing so. Meanwhile, the EPA’s independent inspector general is nearing completion of an investigation into the agency’s process.
The price of Alaska sockeye salmon is expected to drop this year as a huge run and leftover cans and frozen fillets from last season cause a glut in supply.
Although fans of the red-fleshed fish may rejoice, the news isn’t good for fishermen in Bristol Bay, the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world. Even without enormous numbers of fish flooding the market, prices are already under pressure.
Winner of Best International Feature Documentary at the 2014 Galway Film Festival and Best of Fest selection at the 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival, The Breach will begin a 12 city national tour, and be available on all major VOD platforms (including Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes, Sony PlayStation, Vudu and Xbox Video) via FilmBuff, starting April 21.
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will hold its second meeting of 2015 from April 8-14 at the Anchorage Hilton.
The council's biggest agenda item will be final action on measures to reduce chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery. The alternatives, introduced for public review in December 2014, include both voluntary and regulatory controls to shorten seasons, provide incentives, and reduce bycatch caps.
BBRSDA board president Fritz Johnson announced today that Sue Aspelund is resigning her position as the association’s executive director effective May 15, 2015. Aspelund will continue as BBRSDA’s fiscal officer through the end of July in order to ensure a smooth transition as a new executive director is brought on board.
The board has formed a recruitment and hiring committee to begin the process of selecting an interim or permanent executive director.
A new study in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences suggests that increased abundance of pink salmon in the North Pacific Ocean is linked to declining trends in sockeye salmon populations.
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.
The sockeye escapement goals for most of Bristol Bay’s rivers are changing. Members of an 18 month study recommended widening the ranges rather than just raising them, and the Department of Fish and Game has now adopted those ranges. Then the Alaska Board of Fish added language requiring management for the low end of escapement on small run years, and the high end during years with bigger runs.
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.
Another election cycle is underway for the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, with two candidates each vying for the Alaska resident and non-Alaska resident seats respectively.
Ballots went out on March 11 to the Bristol Bay drift gillnet permit holders represented by the association. To be counted as votes, they had to be postmarked by April 10 and received by the BBRSDA by April 17.
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.