A limited entry state waters pollock fishery could ease some of the impending Gulf of Alaska rationalization headaches, but the experimental permits fishing for pollock with non-trawl gear haven’t yet proven their value.
A working group of stakeholders and fisheries officials met for the third and last time on Feb. 18 to discuss adding a limited entry state pollock fishery to Alaska waters for both trawl and non-trawl vessels.
The three-member commission that oversees Alaska’s lucrative limited-entry commercial fisheries is urging lawmakers not to pursue proposals for elimination for at least another year.
The state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission is under fire as a more than $3.5 billion budget shortfall looms. A critical report by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game makes a case for overhaul, citing permit processing delays and relatively high payroll costs. Proposed legislation, House Bill 112, would repeal the commission and move its duties to Fish and Game.
JUNEAU -- Kenai River fish wars have claimed another Fish Board nominee, this time Roland Maw, named to the board by Gov. Bill Walker. Maw withdrew his name from consideration Friday after facing opposition.
He is former executive director of a commercial fishing group, the United Cook Inlet Drift Association, and a retired drift gillnet fisherman.
VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s mines minister is making plans to visit Alaska’s indigenous fishing community after admitting his first trip to the state following the Mount Polley disaster addressed “probably the wrong audience.”
Bill Bennett spoke at a major mining industry conference last fall, but met with none of the tribal groups in the southeast region presumed most threatened by upstream mining across the border in B.C.
Shellfish are particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification, and colder waters are becoming more acidic than warm waters. What does this mean for Alaska and its fisheries – especially crabs and oysters? Or for the food chain that feeds other species in the ocean? The answers are beginning to come in from the scientific world, and we’ll learn more about ocean acidification on the next Talk of Alaska.
NOAA Fisheries officials have announced the appointment of industry veteran John Henderschedt to head the merged Office of International Affairs and the Seafood Inspection Program, effective April 6.
Henderschedt has been active in business and policy since 1988, from both the commercial fishing and seafood sections, and more recently from the conservation and management perspective, said Maggie Mooney-Seus, communications program director at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.
In the wake of the release of an independent expert engineering investigation and review into the Mount Polley mine disaster in British Columbia, a watershed-based conservation group is voicing concerns over approval of a new permit for another BC mine.
Alaskan Congressman Don Young has joined Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) in introducing H.R. 774, the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015, which would enhance the enforcement authority of the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to regulate and combat IUU fishing.
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.
Most of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad. And a lot of that is caught illegally — by vessels that ignore catch limits, or that fish in areas off-limits to fishing.
No one knows how much of it is illegal, because the oceans are too big to patrol. Or at least, they were. Now environmental groups have harnessed satellite technology to watch pirate fishing vessels from space — and they've already caught some of them.
If science-based fisheries management is Gov. Bill Walker’s goal, then he has more than just the Alaska Board of Fisheries to worry about.
There’s a conflict brewing between subsistence and conservation-minded, scientific fisheries management at the Federal Subsistence Board. During its January meeting, the board passed a unanimous motion to close the federal waters of Sitka Sound around Maknahti Island to commercial purse seine herring harvests, in addition to voting in favor of gillnet subsistence fisheries for the Kenai and Kasilof rivers.
Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both Alaska Republicans, joined Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) Thursday in sponsoring legislation which would remove the expiration date on a three-year moratorium for commercial fishing vessels, as well as commercial vessels under 79 feet long. The incidental discharge regulation was part of the Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill, which was passed by Congress and signed into law in December.
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.
This week will reveal if Pacific halibut catches ratchet up slightly in some regions, as indicated earlier, or at least not be chopped. The International Pacific Halibut Commission is meeting in Vancouver through Friday – that’s when the harvests and season start and end dates will be announced. You can follow the halibut meetings live on the web.
Wednesday night's State of the State address by Governor Bill Walker was as much a pep talk as any thing else to a state facing huge budget deficits. In it, he touted Alaskan's can-do spirit and the many assets we have to work with. One of those is our fisheries.
In the latest show of support for the Jones Act, 32 bipartisan Representatives have sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to reject a “misguided” amendment piggybacked onto a Keystone XL Pipeline bill by Senator John McCain that would repeal the U.S. build requirement of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920.