Russia last week banned imports of food for one year from the US, Canada, Europe, Norway and Australia due to sanctions they imposed due to its aggressive actions in Ukraine. That makes for a direct hit to Alaska seafood which last year exported nearly 20 million pounds of seafood to Russia, valued at more than $60 million.

Alexa Tonkovich is International Program Director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. The biggest impact, she says, will be on salmon roe.

A federal court judge has questioned whether the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is doing enough to protect salmon and halibut from trawlers whose massive nets strip mine the ocean off the Gulf of Alaska coast.

The State of Alaska will appeal a Superior Court decision to allow a ballot initiative that would ban setnets in urban areas of the state.

The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, or AFCA, filed a ballot initiative petition last November seeking to ask voters whether to ban setnets in urban parts of the state, which would primarily impact Upper Cook Inlet setnetters.

Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell rejected the initiative in January, based on a state Department of Law opinion asserting that it would be a prohibited resource appropriation not allowed under the Alaska Constitution.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has opened a second round of public consultation on its proposals for improving its Chain of Custody (CoC) programme for seafood traceability.

This programme ensures that the MSC ecolabel is only displayed on seafood from an MSC certified sustainable fishery. It means that consumers and seafood buyers can have confidence that the fish they are buying comes from a fishery that meets MSC's stringent standards for sustainability.

he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is asking a federal judge to dismiss as premature a lawsuit by the group behind the proposed Pebble Mine.

In a court filing, attorneys for the EPA say the agency has not made a final determination yet on potential restrictions on development on the Pebble deposit.

Fishermen won’t need special permits to hose off their decks thanks to a bill moving through the US Senate. That’s garnered a big sigh of relief form harvesters across the nation and kudos to a rare show of bipartisanship by coastal lawmakers, notably Senators Begich of Alaska and Marco Rubio of Florida.

In December, the restrictions on who can use a hired master to harvest halibut will get tighter as part of the effort to encourage active participation in Alaska’s halibut fishery.

The National Marine Fisheries Service published a final rule Monday that amends the hired master provisions of the individual fishing quota, or IFQ, program for halibut and sablefish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska.

The campaign manager for U.S. Senate Candidate Dan Sullivan has been picked to be the new fisheries advisory to Alaska Governor Sean Parnell. Late last year Dan Sullivan named Ben Mohr as campaign manager. Mohr has left the campaign to accept a job as Alaska Governor Sean Parnell’s fisheries policy advisor.

Russia’s outrages, from its unflinching support for the murderous regime of Bashar Assad in Syria to its violent and illegal annexation of parts of Ukraine to its apparent complicity in shooting down a civilian airliner over Ukrainian airspace last week, killing more than 290 innocent people, are affronts to the civilized world.

Gov. Sean Parnell has asked a federal agency to buy about 1 million cases of canned pink salmon to ease a glut that has weighed down prices for Alaska fishermen this year.
Parnell made the request in a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week. He wants the USDA to purchase $37 million worth of canned pink salmon under a federal law that allows for buying surplus food from farmers and donating it to food banks or other programs.