NOAA Fisheries is developing an Agency-wide Ecosystem-based Fishery Management policy, which outlines a set of principles to guide our actions and decisions over the long-term. The draft policy goals and framework are informed by NOAA Fisheries’ own practices and experience from that of our partners. These ideas are intended to limit neither discussion nor consideration of other potential policy goals.

NOAA Fisheries is seeking letters of public support through Oct. 23, for 10 people, including two incumbents, for two presidential appointments as U.S. commissioners to the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

Terms expire on Dec. 31 for current commissioners Don Lane of Homer and Bob Alverson, of Seattle.

A USDA bailout will send thousands of cans of Bristol Bay sockeye to school lunches and other federal food programs around the country this winter.

As the Arctic opens, several countries are eyeing what may be a virgin commercial fishery in the central Arctic Ocean. How to regulate those new potential fishing grounds was on the table for discussion at the State Department’s GLACIER conference in Anchorage last week. Several nations urged caution and the need for more science before opening the fishery.

During a Monday call with reporters, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan says a Trade Customs Bill could help get more Alaska seafood into foreign markets.

“We’re working on, in that bill, that would dramatically increase market opportunities for our seafood. You know, Alaska is the super power of seafood, we harvest more seafood than the rest of the country combined, and that would go after the highly subsidized fishing fleets of foreign nations. And we’re encouraging the administration, in these trade agreements, to go after unfair subsidies for other fishing fleets.”

The National Marine Fisheries Service has allocated an additional 1,600 chinook salmon to be used as bycatch for the Gulf of Alaska non-pollock, non-rockfish groundfish trawl fleet.

The year-round Gulf of Alaska non-pollock, non-rockfish fishery had to shut down on May 2, having exceeded its allocation of 2,700 chinook salmon bycatch. Somewhere between 13,000 to 15,000 metric tons of groundfish would have been left in the water in the second part of the season, approximately $4.6 million in ex-vessel value and $11.3 million in first wholesale value.

Forrest Bowers, from Fish and Game's division of commercial fisheries, says there are fewer proposals this year than in 2012, when the board last took up Bristol Bay fisheries.

The board considers changes to each region on a three-year cycle. Proposals are submitted by members of the public, regional advisory committees and other organizations. For this winter’s meeting, they were due last spring.

This year, the largest chunk of the proposals - 24 - target district-specific management plans and regulations for Bristol Bay’s commercial salmon fishery.

This summer, just as they have done for generations, setnetters are working the shores of the western Kenai Peninsula, stringing out nets and hauling in hundreds of thousands of fish from the abundant sockeye salmon runs of Southcentral Alaska.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has launched a new global fund for supporting critical fishery science research and projects aimed at strengthening knowledge and global capacity to assist small scale and developing world fisheries in their journey to achieving MSC certification.

In another hurdle for Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic drilling program, an ice-handling vessel playing a key role in the operation has returned to Dutch Harbor after a gash was discovered in its hull.

The Fennica, a 380-foot Finnish vessel, was damaged Friday as it headed for the drilling grounds in the Chukchi Sea off the northwest Alaska coast, with a state-certified marine harbor pilot on board handling it. The vessel is one of 29 Shell plans to send to the area this summer.