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.
Alaska has a lot of boats - a lot of old boats - doing a lot of business in Alaska.
Such was the take-away message from those involved with a recent report documenting the trends and opportunities for the maritime support sector in Alaska.
The report, completed for the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development by the McDowell Group, was the focus of a recent presentation to participants at the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference.
March 15: Today, the Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud, co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, released its action plan. This plan articulates the aggressive steps that federal agencies will take both domestically and internationally to implement the recommendations the Task Force made in December 2014.
The experimental fishery to determine the feasibility of a seine fishery for pollock in state waters has finished up with mixed results.
The Gulf of Alaska pollock workgroup held its final meeting last month to discuss adding a limited entry state pollock fishery to Alaska waters for both trawl and non-trawl vessels and go over the results of the experimental fishery.
On Thursday, the two councils that control halibut fishing in the Bering Sea met to address a thorny debate over bycatch.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission -- which sets catch limits in waters stretching from Canada to the Pribilof Islands -- stopped into Seattle for a joint session with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
More than 3 million years ago, the Arctic became a fish highway as species from the north Pacific Ocean spread through the Bering Strait and into the Arctic Ocean and then into the north Atlantic Ocean.
Today, the President is taking another step to protect our most valuable natural resources. Relying on an authority used by presidents of both parties since Eisenhower, President Obama is designating 9.8 million acres in the waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off Alaska’s coast as off-limits to consideration for future oil and gas leasing. This action builds on recent steps by the President to protect Bristol Bay and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Few fish have to swim through more red tape than the Pacific halibut.
Halibut has been governed by two regulatory bodies for more than 40 years, and 2015 will hopefully see an increase in mutual understanding between the two, as well as a welcome public display of cooperation.
Gov. Bill Walker’s plans for Alaska involve a lot of budget cutting, and a vital research project for king salmon is on the slab.
As petroleum prices dive and Alaska finances look grim, the Chinook Salmon Research Initiative is one of many items Walker cut from former Gov. Sean Parnell’s proposed capital budget, potentially halting several ongoing programs and complicating an Alaska fishery regulatory item.
NMFS issues a proposed rule to implement cost recovery fee programs for the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program for groundfish and halibut, and three limited access privilege programs: The American Fisheries Act (AFA), Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs.
In 2005, Royal Dutch Shell, then the fourth-largest company on Earth, bought a drill rig that was both tall, rising almost 250 feet above the waterline, and unusually round. The hull of the Kulluk, as the rig was called, was made of 1.5-inch-thick steel and rounded to better prevent its being crushed. A 12-point anchor system could keep it locked in place above an oil well for a full day in 18-foot seas or in moving sea ice that was four feet thick.
NOAA Fisheries is being asked by the state of Alaska and representatives of the Pribilof Island community of Saint Paul to institute emergency action to lower halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea groundfish fisheries.
The request to Assistant Administrator of NOAA Fisheries Eileen Sobeck came in late December from Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association, the city of Saint Paul, the Tribal government of Saint Paul and Tanadguix Corp., an Alaska Native village corporation.
A federal fisheries decision that put commercial harvesters back into waters put off limits four years ago to reduce competition between them and Steller sea lions hungering for the same fish has prompted another federal lawsuit.
Just over 10 years ago, a ship carrying soybeans went aground in Makushin Bay on Unalaska Island in the Aleutian Chain during a big storm.
Air Station Kodiak responded with a Jayhawk helicopter along with the cutter Alex Haley. Through the wind and squalls and approaching darkness, the Coast Guard worked to get the crew of the Selendang Ayu off the boat.
What do all those photos without corals in the depths of the Bering Sea really mean? Corals, sponges and sea whips in the Bering Sea were photographed last summer by federal fisheries scientists, in the vast underwater canyons where the continental shelf drops to deep ocean depths.
The coming year should prove a lucrative year for Alaska fisheries, even in the face of the doom and gloom surrounding the chinook salmon declines and a sketchy halibut situation.
The largest volume fishery, pollock, and the most valuable fishery, salmon, both have positive forecasts and large projected harvests; escapements for Alaska’s iconic king salmon were largely achieved in 2014; and various regulatory bodies have a full schedule to deal with both hurting and flourishing stocks.
Americans eat more seafood than just about anyone else. Most of it is imported from abroad. And a lot of it — perhaps 25 percent of wild-caught seafood imports, according to fisheries experts — is illegally caught.
The White House is now drafting recommendations on what to do about that. Fisheries experts say they hope the administration will devote more resources to fight seafood piracy.
A struggle in Alaska over shrinking supplies of halibut is threatening the iconic centerpiece fish in favor of cheaper exports, fast-food fillets and fish sticks.
If expected cuts are made in January, halibut fishing could be over in the Bering Sea west of Alaska, the source of one-sixth of halibut caught in the United States. That catch includes most of the frozen supply that sustains restaurants, food-service companies and retail stores nationwide, such as Costco and Whole Foods.