This year marks 40 years since the passage of landmark Congressional legislation that fundamentally overhauled how the $90 billion U.S. commercial fisheries industry is managed. It established a unique public-private partnership in which the industry, working with scientists and both federal and local authorities, would regulate fishing according to agreed-upon scientific standards for environmental sustainability, even as the industry stretched to meet skyrocketing demand for seafood.

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski has again brought forward a bill which aims to fully investigate impacts of “Frankenfish”.

March 15: Today, the Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud, co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, released its action plan. This plan articulates the aggressive steps that federal agencies will take both domestically and internationally to implement the recommendations the Task Force made in December 2014.

Gov. Bill Walker nominated Daniel Hull, a commercial fisherman from Cordova, to serve a second term on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and named Andrew Mezirow, a sport fishing charter operator from Seward, to a second seat on the council.

The nominations, made Friday to the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, must be approved by the federal government.

JUNEAU -- Commercial fishermen who make their living in federal waters off Alaska are watching as Gov. Bill Walker prepares to announce a set of appointments to the board that manages the multibillion-dollar fishing industry in the North Pacific.

One of the principal roles of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is overseeing the massive, Seattle-based factory fishing vessels that catch and process lower-value groundfish like pollock, mackerel and sole.

Federal fisheries managers are slated to take final action in early April on the incidental harvest of Chinook and chum salmon in the Bering Sea pollock fishery.

Also on the agenda for the April 6-13 meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Anchorage are final action on Gulf of Alaska sablefish longline pots, an update on Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands salmon bycatch genetics, a discussion paper on Area 4A halibut retention in sablefish pots, and an initial review of observer coverage on small catcher processors.

The Alaska Board of Fisheries will meet next week (March 17-20) in Anchorage for the last meeting of the 2014-2015 Board cycle. Among issues for discussion are two proposals that may affect Bristol Bay fisheries.

Dozens of Alaska Natives poured into a state Supreme Court hearing to show support for subsistence users in a case involving former state Sen. Albert Kookesh, who was cited along with two others in 2009 for exceeding salmon harvest limits while subsistence fishing in Southeast Alaska.

JUNEAU -- Lawmakers on Tuesday plan to discuss a bill that would make personal use a priority in managing state fisheries.

The bill, from Republican Sen. Bill Stoltze of Chugiak, would direct the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to prioritize state fisheries for personal use when restrictions are necessary.

The experimental fishery to determine the feasibility of a seine fishery for pollock in state waters has finished up with mixed results.

The Gulf of Alaska pollock workgroup held its final meeting last month to discuss adding a limited entry state pollock fishery to Alaska waters for both trawl and non-trawl vessels and go over the results of the experimental fishery.