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.
It came as no surprise when the first price postings last week tanked for Bristol Bay sockeye salmon to $1.20 per pound, with an extra 15 cents for chilled fish. That compares to a base price of $1.50 a pound last year.
The Bristol Bay catch topped 28 million reds by Friday, 11 million more than projected, and the fish were still coming. (Alaska’s total sockeye salmon catch as of July 18 was more than 37 million and counting.)
A new project aims to show fishermen how they can save money with do it yourself energy audits on their boats. And volunteer vessels are wanted to test drive some of the technologies and methods.
Just as with a home audit to try and understand where your energy is going, how your vessel is consuming energy and finds places where it might be wasted or not used as efficiently as possible, and frankly, most fishing vessels are not very energy efficient.
Despite the name, don't confuse the Pinbone Wizard with the classic The Who song about a pinball phenom.
Although, once you see the machine in action, quickly and efficiently pulling tiny pin bones out of a salmon filet without wrecking the meat, it's hard not to walk away with the descending chord progression of the classic rock 'n roll song stuck in your head.
In Congress today, a bill that would allow foreign students to work in Alaska fish processing plants cleared a major committee. The provision is part of a spending bill now headed to the Senate floor. Both Alaska senators say they pressed for the return of the J-1 visa program to help meet demand for seasonal seafood processors. But the program is controversial.
J-1 visas are intended to promote cultural exchange. As the State Department explains it in promotional materials, it’s all about “hands-on experience to learn about U.S. society and culture.”
Frustration is growing in the Kuskokwim region of western Alaska, as subsistence fishermen challenged managers for more openings on the river that has seen harsh restrictions this season in an effort to conserve king salmon.
Managers heard their concerns at the Kuskokwim River Salmon Working Group meeting in Bethel Tuesday, but reiterated that their efforts were for conservation, as the king salmon run in the region appears on track to be abysmal going into the 2014 season.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks has a new bone removal machine receiving patents.
Larry Kozycki invented the Pinbone Wizard in the 1990’s. But when Kozycki died in 2001, the manager of the Geophysical Machine Shop at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Greg Shipman took over the development. Shipman says when he is current developer but Kozycki was the brains behind the original prototype.
Salmon prices at wholesale show marked seasonal variations for both wild and farmed fish. It’s a pattern that has been tracked for decades by Urner Barry, the nation’s oldest commodity market watcher in business since 1895. The prices tend to decline through June, July, August and September and they begin rising again from November through the following April or May.
Two things drive the well-established pattern, said market expert John Sackton, who publishes Seafood.com, an Urner-Barry partner.
US - Salmon prices at wholesale show marked seasonal variations for both wild and farmed fish. It’s a pattern that has been tracked for decades by Urner Barry, the nation’s oldest commodity market watcher in business since 1895. The prices tend to decline through June, July, August and September and they begin rising again from November through the following April or May.
Pacific Northwest trawl fishermen who net rockfish, Dover sole, black cod and other groundfish species got a boost on Tuesday as their harvest gained Marine Stewardship Council certification.
The council provides certification for an eco-label that, in an era of increasing concern about world fishery stocks, can help fishermen market their catch as coming from a sustainable and well-managed harvest.
A 191-foot (58-meter) fishing boat suspected of using an illegal high seas drift net to catch a half-ton of salmon in the North Pacific was detained by the U.S. Coast Guard last week and turned over Tuesday to Chinese authorities.
The Yin Yuan was spotted by a Canadian aircraft hosting Japanese observers. It was seized by the Honolulu-based U.S. cutter Morgenthau, which was carrying two Chinese law enforcement officials.
"All these countries are affected by illegal activities," said a Coast Guard spokesman, Petty Officer 2nd Class Grant DeVuyst.
The U.S. Coast Guard 17th District will join the rest of the nation this week in observing National Safe Boating Week Monday through Friday to encourage safe boating practices and prevent recreational boating accidents.
Major fishing ports and harbors critical to Alaska's economy are in the midst of designing, construction and fund sourcing in the spring of 2014, to meet needs ranging from float replacements to strengthening breakwaters.
With steady fishing vessel traffic from the Kenai Peninsula to Homer, Seward, Dutch Harbor, Sitka and Wrangell, planning, bidding and finding construction funds is an ongoing process, harbormasters said.
Salmon fishermen were back out on the Copper River yesterday/Monday hoping for a catch of 33-thousand sockeyes. The first 12-hour opener last Thursday was slow going – 510 landings yielded a total take of 27-thousand reds, down 16% from the forecast, and just 1,000 kings. Advance prices for the first fish dipped a bit to $3.50 a pound for sockeyes and $6.00 for kings. That compares to $4.00 and $6 to $7 last year.
The summer cookout season is heralded each spring by the arrival of the first Copper River salmon from Alaska.
An Alaska Air Cargo plane from Cordova touched down Friday morning and the pilots emerged with a 48-pound king salmon. They carried it down a red carpet and delivered it to three chefs for a ceremonial cook-off at Sea-Tac Airport.