Changes to the observer program and discussion of a possible Gulf of Alaska rationalization program are back on the menu at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s October meeting.

The council, which will meet Oct. 8-14 in Anchorage, will also approve crab fishery catches, take final action on Pacific cod fishery for the Community Development Quota, or CDQ, fleet and take action on Bering Sea crab fishery provisions.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has launched its updated standard for sustainable fishing, which is claimed to reflect the most up-to-date understanding of fishery science and management.

The updated standard, Version 2.0 of the MSC’s Fisheries Certification Requirements, was developed over the past two years and involved a year-long consultation with fishing industry experts, scientists, NGOs and MSC’s wide network of partners.

A sharp, wide-ranging debate on Alaska fisheries Wednesday evening saw organizers and Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich put Republican challenger Dan Sullivan on the defensive over his pro-development record, with Sullivan delivering some targeted shots of his own to keep Begich from getting too comfortable.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is on a salmon-buying binge. It usually spends $6 million a year buying pink salmon. This summer, it is spending a total $39 million.

That's a relief for fishermen who caught pink salmon in record quantities back in 2013. A year-and-a-half's worth of pink salmon was caught in that year, and now millions of cans from that year are still sitting in warehouses.

he legal showdown between the Environmental Protection Agency and the group behind the giant Pebble mining prospect near Bristol Bay is coming to a head, with the first oral arguments in one case set for Friday morning in Anchorage and the recent filing of a second lawsuit that claims the agency illegally colluded with mine foes.

Both cases, under the purview of Alaska federal District Court Judge H. Russel Holland, were filed by Pebble Partnership, owned by Northern Dynasty Minerals

Alaska’s Congressional Delegation and their colleagues from Washington State are pushing the Food and Drug Administration to change the market name for pollock and clearly differentiate it from inferior fish harvested in Russia.

Cook Inlet setnetting has been an integral part of the Kenai Peninsula’s economy for more than a century, employing hundreds of hard working families who spend their summers harvesting a living from the inlet’s robust salmon runs.

The Alaska Public Offices Commission received and rejected 14 complaints regarding lobbying at Upper Cook Inlet Board of Fisheries meetings.

Alaska’s Board of Fisheries is responsible for making certain fisheries management policy decisions for the state, including setting seasons and bag limits for fisheries along with methods and means for taking fish, and making allocative decisions between user groups.

A new report was released last week that contains a summary and the probable cause of 21 marine accidents. The national Transportation Safety Board is hoping the report will be an eye opener.

The National Transportation Safety Board released “Safer Seas 2013: Lessons Learned from marine Accident investigations” last week. The report includes a compilation of accident investigations that were published in 2013, organized by vessel type with links to the more detailed accident reports.

Changes effective Dec. 1 in the Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries in the Bering Sea/ Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska will require owners of catcher vessel sector individual fishing quota to be on board, rather than a hired skipper.

The IFQ program had allowed initial recipients of catcher vessel halibut and sablefish quota share to hire a vessel master to harvest the annual allocation of IFQ derived from the quota share.