Dillingham will try again on the fish tax. The City Council voted last week to send an annexation petition forward to the Alaska Local Boundary Commission to annex the Nushagak River Commercial Fishing District. The annexation was adopted by a local vote in 2012 but overturned by a court ruling.
Dillingham, Alaska – When it comes to America’s natural resources, there is no greater success story than that of Bristol Bay, Alaska, home to the world’s largest, most sustainable sockeye salmon fishery. Despite being one of the last, best places remaining for wild salmon on the planet, few people know about this national treasure.
It's that time of year again. Top 10 lists for everything. Trust me. For some of them, I can't figure out how they came up with a top one, much less 10. I was going to piggyback on this cliche and give you my top 10 Alaska stories for 2014, but then I got a grip on myself.
You're welcome. I decided instead to look ahead at what will be a giant war in Alaska in the upcoming year. I figured maybe we needed to start rallying the troops to battle.
After recently reading an Alaska Dispatch News headline with a preposterous claim, “Manager says increasingly expensive Susitna dam could help salmon,” (Dec. 18) I must protest with due respect. As a freshwater ecologist who has worked on salmon rivers for 40 years, I want to make it clear: Without question, a dam the size of Susitna-Watana will kill the Susitna as a salmon river.
VANCOUVER — Global warming is hard on the hearts of chinook salmon. A new study published in the journal, Nature Climate Change, finds that chinook can adapt to a warming environment — but only to a point.
Anthony Farrell, a professor of zoology and land and food systems at the University of B.C., explained that a juvenile chinook’s heart beats faster with warming water until, at 24.5° Celsius, it can beat no faster and “slows or goes arrhythmic.”
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.
Severe declines closed chinook salmon fishing on the Yukon River this year, and further steps to keep the big fish out of Bering Sea trawl nets are under consideration by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
The pollock B season dates could be shortened, with early potential ending dates of Sept. 15, Oct. 1 or Oct. 15. The season now remains open until November, although many boats stop fishing earlier. Changing the dates is among the options the fish council decided to review next year, at its meeting last week in Anchorage.
President Obama's decision to permanently protect Alaska's Bristol Bay and adjacent lands from oil and gas drilling is so clearly the correct decision that the only objections will come from those whose sole interest is the welfare of those two energy industries.
Today the President took action to protect one of America's greatest natural treasures by signing a Presidential Memorandum to protect Bristol Bay. One of Alaska's most powerful economic engines, and home to one of the world's largest wild salmon runs, Bristol Bay has helped sustain Alaska Native communities for centuries. And every year, the region provides 40 percent of America’s wild-caught seafood, supporting $2 billion in commercial fishing.
Aspelund says BBRSDA will probably take another survey of its members before commissioning a second study.
The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association may commission a second, more in depth study on the idea of reducing the size of the drift fleet in the Bay through a buy back, but will hear first from the fleet before moving forward.
Alaskans know that Bristol Bay is all about wild salmon. For thousands of years the people of Bristol Bay have thrived on this bounty and for more than 130 years, it has supported a major sustainable commercial fishery that supplies the world. Bristol Bay produces 50 percent of the world’s sockeye salmon, making the region of true global importance.
The BBRSDA is tasked with increasing the value of Bristol Bay sockeye and has contracted with McDowell Group, Inc. to produce bi-annual sockeye market reports. These reports provide Bristol Bay fishermen with a comprehensive understanding of current market conditions for sockeye, and contextualize these findings against the broader salmon market.
“It’s unfortunate that Pebble’s litigation tactics are causing more delay in the public process to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine, especially when 99% of some 650,000 public comments submitted to EPA supported a final action,” said Katherine Carscallen, commercial fisherman and board member of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA).