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.
With the prospect that this year’s Yukon River king salmon run will be even worse than last year’s dismal return, which was the worst on record in more than 30 years, some Interior subsistence fishermen who rely on the fish to feed their families are calling for a moratorium on king salmon fishing this summer.
Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young today shared his support for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) report reversing its opinion on the status of the Steller Sea Lion, following overbearing National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) restrictions that hampered and closed certain Aleutian Islands groundfish fisheries in 2011.
Nine names are vying for three seats on the state Board of Fisheries, including six newcomers. That gives Governor Parnell the unique opportunity to replace a majority of the seven-member Fish Board, should he choose to do so, and should the Alaska legislature go along with it - an unlikely scenario.
Too many fish in the sea? Surging pink salmon stocks in the Pacific Ocean pose a risk to other wildlife, suggests a seabird study released on Monday that points to climate change as a culprit.
Tied to rising ocean temperatures in the Bering Sea and North Pacific that spurred the growth of the prey of salmon and seabirds alike, the "much larger than previously known" impact of pink salmon is reported in a new Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences report.
Fishery managers on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers can allow new gear this summer in an effort to conserve king salmon while still permitting local harvests of chums and sockeyes.
The decision came during the Alaska Board of Fisheries weeklong meeting in Anchorage, March 17-21, to discuss statewide king and tanner crab fisheries, as well as certain out-of-cycle proposals for other salmon and groundfish fisheries throughout the state.
Most people don’t know that Alaska fishery managers operate 15 sonar sites on 13 rivers from Southeast to the Yukon – or that Alaska pioneered the use of sonars to track salmon. "We write these wonderful reports and we communicate with other scientists but if your user groups don’t know what you’re doing, really what good is it." Debby Burwen is a research biologist with Fish and Game’s sport fish division. For more than 40 years managers have used sonar as a tool to track salmon run strength in silty rivers where the salmon can’t be seen.
Like most subsistence fishermen on the Yukon River this summer, Charlie Wright, of Tanana, didn’t catch nearly as many king salmon as he was hoping to. With restrictions imposed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game that severely limited fishing time and reduced the size of the nets fishermen could use in an attempt to get more Yukon River kings to their Canadian spawning grounds, it was all Wright and other fishermen could do to catch even a few kings.
Have you heard about the Bering Sea canyons? The Bering Sea, located between Alaska and Russia, has some of the largest submarine canyons in the world, namely the Bering, Pribilof, Zhemchug, Pervenets and Navarin canyons, which are on the eastern Bering Sea continental shelf break. Some have dubbed these the “Grand Canyons of the Bering Sea.”
A Bethel judge has ruled against some of nearly two dozen Yup'ik Eskimo fishermen cited for illegally fishing king salmon in the Kuskokwim River during a poor run last year. Several of the fishermen were found guilty Monday after their trials by judge resumed. Magistrate Bruce Ward adjourned the cases last month until he could determine whether the fishermen have a spiritual right to fish for king salmon when restrictions are in place, as they claim.
Two Bering Sea groundfish catcher-processor vessels have been accused of tampering with the scales used to weigh their harvest. As KUCB’s Stephanie Joyce reports, the alleged violations carry hefty penalties for the vessels’ parent company, American Seafoods.
A hot herring season has instead cooled, leading to slow fishing across the Kodiak archipelago. As of Monday afternoon, only about 4,000 tons of herring had been harvested from a quota of 5,410 tons. While 40 boats were registered for the fishery before its April 15 opening, only about 10 remain. The rest have gone west to the Togiak herring fishery, Alaska's largest.
The question of offshore oil and gas development has hung over Bristol Bay and the southeast Bering Sea for 35 years. Lease sales have been scheduled, fought, sold and repurchased only to be scheduled again once temporary moratoriums expired or were lifted.
Commercial fishermen in the Togiak Sac Roe Herring Fishery are off to a good start with nearly 5-thousand tons of herring harvested during the first 2 days of fishing. KDLG's Mike Mason has the details.
It’s been more than 50 years since there were year-round permanent residents on King Island. And today, most King Island community members who now live in Nome, Fairbanks or Anchorage have never been to their homeland. But one person is raising money to bring members of her community to the island in the Bering Sea.
An Anchorage based Community Development Quota group wants a greater share of Alaska’s deep sea fisheries. The Coastal Villages Region Fund, which represents 20 villages in Western Alaska, has asked the state’s Congressional delegation to make changes in how the fisheries quotas are allocated, but critics call the plan “reckless” and say it could endanger the entire CDQ program.