Category Archives: North Pacific

Fishy-nomics

As a blunt reminder of the value of salmon to all Alaskans, businessmen and women from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough paraded before the Alaska Board of Fisheries on Saturday to talk business. Money and jobs have always been the rallying cries of commercial fishermen who catch the majority of salmon that make their way into Cook Inlet, the long fiord at the front door of Anchorage. And government, both state and federal, has long been receptive to their financial pleas. When weak king salmon runs in 2012 forced restrictions that put Kenai Peninsula commercial fishermen on the beach, then Gov. Sean Parnell asked for a federal disaster declaration. When it came, the Peninsula Clarion reported, “an estimated 443 permit holders from Cook Inlet’s eastside setnet fishery” vied for $4.6 million in aid. No government entity, however, has jumped in to bail out Mike Hudson, the owner of 3 Rivers Fly & Tackle in Wasilla, even though his business has in recent years been devastated by weak salmon returns linked in part to how Inlet salmon are managed. continue reading the article here 09:40

Pebble mine gets no better with time – Danielle Stickman

In early 2006, when George W. Bush occupied in the White House and the Republican Party was firmly in control of Congress, then-CEO of Canadian-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Bruce Jenkins spoke to several communities in Bristol Bay about the company’s plans to construct one of the world’s largest open-pit mines in the middle of the region we have always called home. In his mind, the mine was a done deal. In fact, there was little in the way of consultation or collaboration with the community – Jenkins stated emphatically that Pebble mine would be built. It was just a question of when, not if it would be built. Fast forward 11 years. The GOP once again controls the White House and Congress, promising to open lands to new development and roll back government regulations. Perhaps not surprisingly, a project many believed was dead has been given new life. Some investment blogs and websites are newly bullish on the proposed Pebble project. Northern Dynasty’s current CEO, Ronald Thiessen, is traveling the world to tout Pebble’s prospects, stating the Pebble Limited Partnership, a subsidiary owned and created by Northern Dynasty to develop the mine, will begin permitting this year. Forgive my skepticism about these claims. continue reading the op-ed here 08:59

Ludger Dochtermann of Kodiak – Reinstituting Reasonable Crab Pot Limits

Dear Board of Fisheries members: My name is Ludger Dochtermann of Kodiak, and I own two crab vessels, the F/V Northpoint and F/V Stormbird. Like all others in the fleet, we are deeply affected by the recent sinking of the F/V Destination off St. George Island and the loss of her entire crew.  The Stormbird is also fishing out of St. George this season. It is obvious that icing played a large part in that sinking, and word is that the vessel had an excessive number of pots aboard at the time.  Tarps were ripped off and found among the flotsam along with buoys and a life ring. The weather at the time made for severe conditions and risky business. It is challenging to parse between proposals, regulations, and policy, and just plain duty. The IFQ fisheries were instituted for privatization; and a federally imposed IFQ system came into being without NPFMC and U.S. Senate testimonies by vessel architects, load-line engineers, USCG safety officers, insurance experts and experienced captains discussing the specific concerns of safety. Continue reading the letter here 15:54

More restrictions proposed for Northern District setnetters

Setnetting on the beaches of northern Cook Inlet isn’t a very visible fishery, but participants argue it’s a viable one. The Northern Cook Inlet setnet fishery operates between a line between Boulder Point in Nikiski and the Kustatan Peninsula on the west side of the inlet and Fire Island. Fishermen can target all five species of Pacific salmon at different times throughout the summer, beginning May 25 with a directed king salmon fishery. As northern district setnetter Trevor Rollman put it in his testimony the Board of Fisheries on Friday, the fishery doesn’t have an official closure, but rather it’s the weather that closes them for the season. Most of the fishermen land in Anchorage. Many of them direct-market their catch, as Rollman said he intended to do with his site in the future. Direct-marketers, sometimes called catcher-sellers, harvest and prepare their catch themselves, selling it directly to customers.  Read the full article here 08:57

US Coast Guard convenes Marine Board of Investigation into loss of F/V Destination

WASHINGTON- The U.S. Coast Guard has convened a Marine Board of Investigation into the loss of F/V Destination and its six crewmembers. A Marine Board of Investigation is the highest level of investigation in the Coast Guard. Upon completion of the investigation, the Board will issue a report to the commandant with the evidence collected, the facts established and its conclusions and recommendations. During the course of the MBI, panel members must decide: The factors that contributed to the accident,  Whether there is evidence that any act of misconduct, inattention to duty, negligence or willful violation of the law on the part of any licensed or certificated person contributed to the casualty.  Whether there is evidence that any Coast Guard personnel or any representative or employee of any other government agency or any other person caused or contributed to the casualty National Transportation Safety Board is participating alongside the Coast Guard in its investigation, but will produce an independent report with its own findings. Link  15:45

Candied salmon ice cream, kelp salsa & halibut bisque baby food: Seafood contest shows off the new and unusual

In any supermarket, you’ll find dozens of pork, beef and chicken products. Not so for salmon. When it comes to sockeye, king or coho, U.S. consumers are largely limited to raw product and pre-cooked, breaded fish sticks. That’s a problem for the seafood industry, said Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation Julie Decker, co-host of Wednesday’s Symphony of Seafood new product competition at Centennial Hall. If Alaska wants to increase the value of its seafood industry, Decker said, it will have to take chances on locally-produced, shelf-ready goods like the kelp salsa, baby food and salmon leather wallets on display at the symphony. The AFDF has been putting on the symphony for 24 years now in an attempt to diversify the industry. Product development is key to helping the industry adapt to international competition. Continue reading the article here 13:20

Cook Inlet Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting to kick off with new faces, old grudges

The Alaska Board of Fisheries has a full plate for its triennial Upper Cook Inlet finfish meeting beginning Feb. 23 and running through March 3 in Anchorage. The board will look quite different with three new members since the last meeting and so does the fishery after three years of restriction, tight markets, lawsuits, and accusations of disregarding the best science that revolve around the board decisions at its last Upper Cook Inlet meeting in 2014. Chinook, or king, salmon stocks on the Kenai River and around the state started to plummet in the late 2000s, and in 2014, the Board of Fisheries approved paired restrictions directing the Alaska Department of Fish and Game had to take certain actions when the Kenai king fishery was restricted, including limiting commercial fishing time. Sport representatives generally thought it fair to share the burden of conservation, while commercial fishermen said it hit them harder than the sportfishermen. This year, nearly 200 proposals from commercial, sport and subsistence fishermen will try to overhaul entire fishery management plans, revise escapement goals, expand or contract fishing areas and openings hours, add or remove new gear types and in general try to open up more fishing opportunity for each respective group. Continue reading the article here 08:54

AK seafood earnings, poundage outpaced by Washington state

Alaska’s seafood industry puts more people to work than any other private industry, topping 60,000 workers in 2015. Of that, less than half – 27,600 – were Alaska residents. And while 71 percent of active fishing permit holders call Alaska home, most of the gross earnings go to the state of Washington. Based on numbers from the United Fishermen of Alaska’s annual Fish Facts, resident fishing permit holders made gross dockside earnings of just over $602 million two years ago. That compares to more than $904 million by nearly 6,580 Washington-based permit holders and crew. Fishermen  from Oregon took home more than $126 million from Alaska’s fisheries and Californians pocketed nearly $28 million. That adds up to more than $1 Billion flowing out of state by non-resident fishermen. Listen to the audio report, read the rest here 17:29

Revisited: Americas Finest – Floating Steel Follow the construction of a Bering Sea Fishing Trawler from start to finsh

The Big Move! This image encapsulates this monumental event for me as Americas Finest moves laterally (West) to get into a northern launch position as she points towards Alaska, her destiny. How to move 2900 tons of steel on land, stay tuned! Here she is, Americas Finest, view Weeks 82 and next week (83). See her get prepared to be moved laterally (sidetracking) to a new position that will be her final orientation before her launch. To view an incredible assortment of photo’s and review the progress, click here floatingsteel.com 10:53

Financial Support for Amanda Hawkins, in Memory of Kai Hamik, F/V Destination

Amanda lost her sole mate Kai Hamik suddenly on Saturday February 11th. Kai who travels as a commercial fisherman in Alaska was King Crab fishing with his crew on the boat Destination when the U.S. Coast Guard received a signal from their emergency beacon.  Rescuers searched in the water and from the sky for nearly 70 hours. Before suspending the search Monday, the Coast Guard found a debris field, including an oil sheen, tarps, buoys, even a life ring from the vessel. They did not find the ship nor any survivors. Our hearts go out to Kai’s friends and family and the friends and family’s of the entire crew of the Destination. They were to start their family upon Kai’s return. Please click here for the gofundme page, and please, donate any amount that you can. 11:17

Alaska fishing group flags concerns with income tax proposal

A trade group for Alaska commercial fishermen is flagging concerns with a state House proposal that would reinstitute a personal income tax. United Fishermen of Alaska says many fishermen will have “major difficulties” complying with withholding requirements on payments to fishing crew. Association leaders, in a letter to the House Finance Committee co-chairs, say withholding requirements would fall on skippers who don’t have the information they would need to estimate a crew member’s potential federal tax liability. The tax, as proposed, would be 15 percent of what a person owes the federal government in taxes. They raised other concerns, too. The association, which says it has not taken a position either way on the bill, suggested a fix that would treat fishermen the same as people who are self-employed. Link 16:15

Kerrisdale Capital Slams Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd – Pebble Mine shares are ‘worthless’

A New York investment firm tore apart claims by the owners of the Pebble mine project that developing the prospect is economically viable in a no-holds-barred report released Feb. 14. Kerrisdale Capital called Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., “worthless” in its 21-page report, contending sources directly involved in evaluating Pebble before Anglo American walked away from the project in 2013, despite spending roughly $500 million on it, said Pebble would cost close to $13 billion to construct, not the $4.7 billion capital cost Northern Dynasty arrived at in its preliminary project assessment. “In the past decade, Northern Dynasty has hired at least two major engineering firms to prepare preliminary feasibility studies of Pebble laying out its economics in detail, yet it has failed to publish their findings — because they were damning,” Kerrisdale alleges. Continue reading the article here 11:27

Please Donate to the Larry O’Grady Family Fund

Please help our Auntie Gail during this devastating tragedy.  On February 11, 2017,  Gail received a phone call that would forever change her life. Her beloved husband and best friend “Larry O” is missing at sea. On Saturday morning the fishing vessel ‘Destination’ sent an emergency distress signal to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard announced they would search for the missing vessel and crew members for 3  days.   With heavy hearts, the Coast Guard has suspended the search for the crew of the fishing vessel Destination. This fund will go to our Auntie Gail to ease the financial burden that this tragedy has left her with. Thoughts and prayers  to the owner, his crew members and  their families. Visit the Larry O’Grady Family Fund page, (click here) and please donate any amount you can.

Please donate to the Charles Glenn Jones Family Relief Fund

Saturday, February 11th the wife of Charles Glenn Jones received a phone call that no family member ever wants to receive.  The vessel, FV Destination, that Charles was working upon, and had been for many years, was considered missing.  As minutes rolled into hours, and hours felt like an eternity all signs are pointing to no possible chance of survival.  Coastguard Crews and volunteers have been searching for nearly 24 hours, the ship has been officially declared sunk, and no crew members are expected to have survived. As in all walks of life, Rosalie and her family believed they had time.  Time to plan, time to love, and time together.  Rosalie and Charles had decided when he returned from this trip that they would finally get a life insurance policy on him, just in case, unfortunately reality had other plans and the Jones family is left enduring much pain and anguish. Continue reading (Click here) at the Charles Glenn Jones Family Relief Fund page, and please donate any amount you can. 18:22

The Eli Seibold Destination Fund

Eli is the son of Darrik Seibold who is a crew member on board the Destination vessel that went missing in the Bering Sea Saturday. His family is devastated, the past few days have been unbearable for them and a heart breaking time for our community. So many people have asked how they can help during this very helpless time, so we have started a fund for Darrik’s son Eli. The fund will help ensure a brighter future for Eli, who will turn three this weekend without his father. By supporting Darrik’s son, we can help provide for his future now that his father is unable to do so. I would like to say thanks to all who have asked how to help Bill and Jan over the past few days, your messages have been forwarded to them.  Click here for the Eli Seibold Destination Fund, and please give what you can. 12:12

‘These boys loved what they did’: Former crabber on missing Destination talks about lost boat, lost brother

Dylan Hatfield worked for six years aboard the Destination before leaving in 2014. He was tight with all of the crew, which included his older brother, Darrik Seibold, whom he had helped to get a job on the vessel. So last Thursday evening, Hatfield relished the chance for a brief reunion as he crossed paths with the Destination crew in the Aleutian Island port of Dutch Harbor. Hatfield had just ended his crab season aboard another Bering Sea vessel — the Kari Marie — while the crew of the Seattle-based Destination was about to depart to begin their later-winter harvest. He went down to the dock where the Destination was moored to greet the crew. Then, they all went out for pizza and beer, a night filled with hugs, laughs and tales of years past hauling in snow and king crab. Continue reading the story here 20:31

Deadliest Catch Captain Keith Colburn pays tribute to six fisherman lost in the Bering Sea

A Deadliest Catch star is paying tribute to six veteran fishermen lost in the icy Bering Sea after the U.S. Coast Guard called off the search for the men. The fishing vessel Destination went missing early Saturday after an emergency signal from a radio beacon registered to the ship originated from 2 miles off St. George, an island about 650 miles west of Kodiak Island. Castmember Capt. Keith Colburn said he knows their chances of surviving are slim and paid tribute to Hathaway and O’Grady, who he was close friends with for over 25 years. Family members of those missing identified the crew members as: Jeff Hathaway, Larry O’Grady, Charles Glenn Jones, Raymond Vincler, Darrik Seibold, and Kai Hamik.  The news about the vessel going missing has stunned the tight-knit community that spawned the hit Discovery channel show ‘Deadliest Catch’. Colburn said he heard about the missing boat, which was not featured on the show, from colleague Sig Hansen, who is the captain on The Northwestern on reality television show which is about crab and fishing boat crews working on the Bering Sea. Photo’s, Read the story here 18:43

Prayers, messages for crew of missing Seattle fishing boat in Alaska

U.S. Coast Guard crews suspended the search Monday evening for a Seattle-based fishing vessel missing in Alaska’s Bering Sea since Saturday. On Tuesday, the owners of the Destination shared the following message: The owners of the DESTINATION understand that the Coast Guard has suspended its search for the DESTINATION and her crew.  We thank the Coast Guard, all of the Good Samaritan vessels, and people of St. George Island who worked so long and hard to try to find our crew.  These efforts were in the finest tradition of the sea. These men were professionals.  Our hearts are broken for their loved ones who are now left with the certainty of this tragic sinking.  We will work with the Coast Guard to attempt to understand what occurred with the hope that whatever can be learned will be used to help prevent such an event from happening again. Please keep these men and their families in your prayers. While Coast Guard officials have not released the names of the crew, family members have confirmed to KING 5 three members: 46-year-old Charles Glenn Jones, 29-year-old Kai Hamik and 55-year-old Larry O’Grady. Video, read the article here 13:18

Chandler, Arizona man missing at sea; Coast Guard calls off search for 6 fishermen on crab boat

A Valley man is believed to be one of six people on board a missing fishing boat in the Bering Sea off of Alaska.  Kai Hamik, of Chandler, is a commercial fisherman who neighbors say loves his job.  “I see him off and on, depending on the season,” said Gabriel D’Zordo, who lives right next door to Hamik. “Sometimes he tells me the season is bad so he comes back early. He loves it. He loves it. He always tells me he loves it.” The U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska said the crew sent out a beacon alert 2 miles northwest of St. George, Alaska, on Saturday morning. The boat, a 98-foot crab boat named “Destination,” had six people on it and is owned by a company based in Seattle. D’Zordo had no idea Hamik might be lost at sea. He said he will stay hopeful.  “My goodness, my prayers. Every time he goes out I always say a pray because I know what he does,” D’Zordo said. Read the story here 12:23

Update 3 and final: Coast Guard suspends search for fishing vessel near St. George, Alaska

The Coast Guard has suspended the search for the crew of the fishing vessel Destination northwest of St. George, Alaska, Monday afternoon. Watchstanders from Coast Guard 17th District received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon alert from F/V Destination early Saturday morning and deployed the Kodiak aircrews to commence the search. The aircrews located a debris field in the general area of the EPIRB alert. Debris included the transmitting EPIRB, a life ring from the vessel, buoys, tarps and an oil sheen. The search continued through Saturday, Sunday and Monday. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the six crewmembers during this extremely difficult time,” said Rear Adm. Michael McAllister, Coast Guard 17th District commander. “The decision to suspend a search is always difficult and is made with great care and consideration.” The watchstanders at the 17th District Command Center in Juneau coordinated 21 searches, totaling more than 69 aircraft and surface hours and covering approximately 5,730 square nautical miles. Read the rest here 08:02

Extensive searches turn up no new sign of missing Bering Sea crab boat or crew

The search is still on for a crabbing vessel and its six crew members missing for nearly three days in the brutal waters of the Bering Sea, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday afternoon. The fishing vessel Destination, a Seattle-owned, Sand Point-based ship with a reputation as a “battle ax” and a crew of veteran Bering Sea fishermen, was on its way to start the snow crab season when its emergency locator beacon activated at 6:11 a.m. Saturday. As of Monday, the boat has not been declared sunk and the men aboard are still considered missing. Search crews had combed an area of 5,073 square nautical miles, following currents southwest of the spot where the only sign of the boat was found, 2 miles off the northwest tip of St. George Island, according to Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson. Some of the crew members have already been publicly identified by family members. Read the story here 23:30

Search continues for Bering Sea fishing vessel missing with 6 aboard

Despite two days of searching, there was still no sign Sunday night of the Bering Sea crab boat or its six crew members that went missing just off St. George Island Saturday. The Destination, a 95-foot fishing vessel based in Seattle but operated mostly out of Sand Point, was on its way from Dutch Harbor to St. Paul Island for the start of the opilio crab fishery when the ship’s emergency beacon activated at 6:11 a.m. Saturday, said Michael Barcott, an Anchorage maritime attorney who is acting as a spokesperson for the ship’s ownership group. On Saturday, a Coast Guard search and rescue crew found the emergency beacon, a life ring, buoys and tarps in a small oil sheen on the water about 2 miles northwest of St. George Island. “The crew had sailed right by St. George within a half-hour of when the beacon activated,” Barcott said. Dylan Hatfield, a fisherman from Petersburg who has been working out of Dutch Harbor this winter, said his brother was aboard the Destination when it went missing. Hatfield did not want to identify his brother or any of the other crew members on the Destination by name on Sunday. The ship itself was a meticulously maintained “battle ax,” said Hatfield, who worked for six years aboard the Destination himself. Continue reading the story here 11:29

Seafood groups pick up $5.9M tab for ADF&G hatchery salmon research

Processors and seven hatcheries have agreed to pony up millions to keep an Alaska Department of Fish and Game research project going. Pacific Seafood Processors Association and Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association Inc., committed $5.9 million to support the Wild/Hatchery Salmon Management Tools capital project. The project is intended to fuel management decisions around Alaska’s 29 salmon hatcheries, as well as secure a more marketable reputation for Alaska hatchery stocks. The program was originally started in 2012 as a collaboration between ADFG, the PSPA and private nonprofit hatcheries. Continue reading the story here 10:18

Wife identifies crew member aboard missing Seattle-based fishing boat

A crew member aboard a missing Seattle-based fishing boat has been identified. Coast Guard crews in Alaska are searching for the fishing vessel Destination, a 98-foot crab boat from the Port of Seattle last heard from near St. George, Alaska. Gail O’Grady says her husband, Larry O’Grady, has been fishing on the Destination for the past 20 years, and that he’s been fishing in Alaska for close to 30 years. She says Larry served as the boat’s engineer and fill-in captain. She and her husband live in Poulsbo. The last time she saw him was in December. Gail, as well as other fisherman and loved ones who knew Larry and the rest of the crew, say they were exceptionally experienced. Video, Read the story here, and pray for these men tonight  22:11

Search continues for Fishing Vessel Destination

On February 11, the 98 foot long fishing vessel Destination was reported missing and presumed lost in the Bering Sea northwest of St. George Island, Alaska. The Coast Guard received an automated EPIRB signal (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon) from the fishing vessel around 7:15 a.m. Saturday morning The Coast Guard dispatched helicopters and directed two nearby vessels to search for the Destination. Citizens on St. George Island began searching the shoreline for possible survivors or any signs of the fishing vessel. By 10 a.m. the beacon was found in a debris field that included a buoy and life ring that had the fishing vessel’s name on it. An oil sheen was visible in the water indicating the vessel may have foundered in the vicinity. The Coast Guard confirmed there were six crew on board when the vessel departed from Seattle. Continue reading here 11:52

More information – Seattle-based crab boat, crew of six, reported missing at sea  Click here to read 16:57

Fish war on?

After the smallest Kenai River dipnet catch in eight years, there are hints that the little people of Alaska’s urban core might at last be arriving at the realization that they are the only ones who can protect their interest in Alaska salmon for dinner. A message populating on social media over the weekend was calling dipnetters to a “meeting at Cabela’s, Anchorage sunday evening from 6 to 7 concerning dipnetting and BOF. Pass it on.” BOF is the acronym for the Board of Fisheries for the state of Alaska. It is the entity that sets seasons and catch limits for commercial, sport and personal-use fisheries around the state. It will later this month take up the issue of management of Cook Inlet salmon, an always contentious matter in which the interests of average Alaskan  fishermen and women have historically proven secondary. To a large degree, fishery managers with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game say, this is simply unavoidable. Commercial fishermen working offshore in the Inlet get the first crack at returning salmon, and the commercial fishery is the big dog in the management scheme. Salmon managers use it to regulate the numbers of salmon getting into streams all around the region with the intent being to maximize the catch while still meeting spawning goals. Continue reading the article here 09:06

Rebuttal: The actual, factual new realities of Cook Inlet salmon – Catherine Cassidy of Kasilof

In his opinion piece published in the Alaska Journal of Commerce on Feb. 8, (Click here to read it) Mr. Karl Johnstone, presumably from his home in Arizona, gave a eulogy at the graveside of Cook Inlet commercial salmon fishing. Actually, the industry is alive and well and helping Alaskans get through these economic hard times. Mr. Johnstone uses the same old tired, outdated arguments: there is not enough salmon in Cook Inlet for all users; Cook Inlet salmon can’t compete with farmed salmon, sportfisheries are so much more valuable than commercial fisheries; etc. He cites an economic report about angler spending that was conducted prior to the national recession in 2008 and the recent king salmon decline and compares the numbers to the very lowest possible measure of commercial harvest value in Cook Inlet on a bad year. Johnstone claims that Alaska salmon can’t compete with farmed salmon. Twenty years ago that was a problem but the industry adapted and now wild Alaska salmon have a solid market niche and Cook Inlet sockeye is a very premium, sought-after product in America. The worst economic lie that he and his pals have been promoting is that the sport industry and personal use fisheries could actually grow large enough to replace the value of the commercial industry to our state. Then, she pins him. Continue reading the op-ed here 13:46

Remembering the World’s Most Famous Sea Captain

Phil Harris died on Feb. 9, 2010 — but his spirit lives on. Fans and friends from around the world mourned the loss of their favorite TV sea captain when he died seven years ago today, on Feb. 9, 2010. Without him, “Deadliest Catch” may not have caught on with millions of TV viewers around the globe. None of us can order Alaskan king crab without thinking of him and the men he worked with, and the near-death experiences they endure doing their jobs. No screenwriter could have come up with a character Captain Phil, and no Hollywood set can match the setting the film crews captured in the long-running hit TV series. Without Captain Phil, though, none of it would have been possible. “Deadliest Catch,” which debuted in 2005 on the Discovery Channel, helped change the direction of reality TV. Continue reading the story here 17:31

Don Young hits term limit for House subcommittee chairmanship

Alaska’s sole congressman, Don Young, will not chair any committees or subcommittees during this term of Congress, having reached term limits in all of his prior positions. Young will retain some leadership positions and remains the longest-serving Republican in the House. Since 1994, Republicans in the House and Senate have imposed six-year term limits on committee leadership. Instead, this year Young was named “chairman emeritus” of the Committee on Natural Resources. The position allows him to sit on all five subcommittees, which oversee federal lands and the resources located on them, oceans, Native affairs and related investigations. Read the story here 13:05

Southeast’s first crab fisheries of the year set to open

Alaska has dozens of crab species—about seven that are commercial harvested. So what’s Tanner crab like? To help answer that question, I asked Joe Stratman, the lead crab biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Southeast. He says Tanners are related to the popular snow crab. “What I always liken it to is when they’re at the buffet line in Los Vegas they often see snow crab which is a kind of Chionoecetes opilio. Our Tanner crab in Southeast looks very similar to that. It’s a little larger,” Stratman said. Recent markets seem to like Tanner crab too. Last year’s harvest in Southeast was valued at nearly $3 million dollars. 74 permit holders participated in the fishery. They brought in a total of just over 1.3 million pounds. The price per pound averaged $2.23 which is thirty cents higher than the year before. Read the story here 11:54

North Pacific Fishery Management Council gets review of Bering Sea pollock program

After two years of almost ceaseless contention, the North Pacific regulatory waters have cooled down for now. The Council oversees all federal fisheries between three and 200 miles off the Alaska coast. One of eight regions, the North Pacific fishery is by far the country’s most profitable, having produced two-thirds of the country’s total seafood value in 2015. Over the last two years, the council has been in battle mode over chinook salmon and halibut bycatch, and Gulf of Alaska groundfish catch shares. There have been parades of protest and industry stand-downs and rural Alaska villages emptied to give impassioned pleas alongside Seattle fishing crews and captains. At the council’s Seattle meeting Feb. 1-6, the council rested for the most part, taking scant public comment and few final actions. Rather, it focused on some of the structures behind the chaos, reviewing catch share programs and looking for areas to tune up following two years of pushing the gas. After indefinitely tabling a Gulf of Alaska catch share system four years in the works at its meeting this past December, the council reviewed the schematics behind the Bering Sea pollock fishery, Alaska’s largest fishery by volume. Read the rest of the article here 20:36

Ocean Beauty won’t can salmon in Petersburg in 2017

Petersburg will only have one salmon cannery operating this summer. Ocean Beauty Seafoods will not be canning fish at the company’s plant in Petersburg in 2017. Tom Sunderland, vice president of marketing, says current market conditions favor selling frozen salmon over canned. “We’re gonna make a lot more money selling frozen salmon than canned salmon this year and the Petersburg plant is essentially a cannery,” Sunderland explained. “It doesn’t have a very large or efficient freezing operation, certainly not enough that you could run it just as a freezing operation. Our plant at Excursion Inlet on the other hand does have substantial freezing capacity and we can move that production over there and take care of that. And by doing so, the hope is we can return the highest value to the fleet by putting the product into its most lucrative product form.”  Read the rest here 12:40

North Pacific council director a possibility for Assistant Administrator position at NMFS replacing Eileen Sobeck

Chris Oliver, the executive director of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council for the past 16 years, didn’t ask for a consideration as the new assistant administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service; rather, the most powerful fishing industry voices in the nation’s most profitable region asked. He doesn’t know if the new administration will offer it or if he’d want it if it did. Still, looking at his history, knowledge and reputation, he seems in many ways a natural fit. Oliver said when it became known that the current administrator, Eileen Sobeck, won’t be staying with the new administration, parts of the fishing universe aligned. In the North Pacific and elsewhere, catch share systems are a contentious issue; Oliver said in an interview he’s already had fisheries stakeholders from other regions probing for what his intent would be with their respective fisheries. Oliver’s answer sums up both his attitude and in part that of the new administration. “It’s not my call,” he said. “What makes sense in the North Pacific…may not make sense in New England, or in the Gulf of Mexico. Read the story here 10:47

Gillnetter heeds siren call of the river – Fishing, family, community. That’s Crouse’s melody.

Crouse didn’t come from a fishing family but he grew up in a neighborhood of fishermen in Skamokawa. “For as long as I can remember I wanted to fish the river,” Crouse said. “In kindergarten they had us make plates out of clay and I drew a gillnet boat on mine.” When he was 14, he asked his basketball coach, Bill Olsen if he could work for him on the river. At 15, he went to Alaska to fish during the summer. “Paul Dretsch worked in a cannery up there and he told me to work there until I found a job on a boat,” Crouse said. “There is a radio station in the Bristol Bay area, and every three hours job listings came up. After my second shift in the cannery, I called someone who was advertising for boat board fish picker. That was my first job up there.” It was everything he wanted and it was more difficult than he had imagined. In his mid-40s now, Crouse works at Wauna four days a week and waits to hear when he can get back out on the river. He rebuilds boats and buys outfits from retiring fishermen when he can. He’ll take what he needs and part and parcel out the rest to sell. His wife, Erla, drives a school bus and works at her coffee shop in Cathlamet, Waterway Espresso. Read the story here 09:16

A Time to Build & Refit

The aging Pacific Northwest fishing fleet is either undergoing or about to undergo a long-overdo upgrade, judging by a major economic report commissioned by the Port of Seattle. Fisheries managers, seafood suppliers, yards and the supply chain all hope an accompanying surge in ship finance “lifts all boats”. For now, the newbuild count is growing apace, slowed just a bit by owners opting for major retrofits amid rich fish harvests. This fisheries upsurge comes with some rising stars of ship design-and-build for vessels set to ply the Bering and Beaufort seas. The ’70s were the heyday of boatbuilding — half of the current U.S. Pacific Northwest’s 400-strong fleet of vessels over 58 feet were built when sideburns were mandatory. The fleet’s boats are so well-maintained, most of them, that they’re still candidates for retrofits of engines, holds, electrical systems and deck machinery.  Read the story here 08:14

Alaska’s Female Fishermen (Yes, That’s Really a Thing) On Gender Labels, Finding Zen and Weathering Life’s Storms 

There’s a hashtag going around twitter to #DressLikeAWoman. It’s pretty much an invitation to challenge the ideas of how women dress, and how what they wear does or does not define them in life. To that end, I spoke with two Alaskan female fishermen (yes, that’s the correct terminology!) to find out about the challenges of being a woman in an almost exclusively male-run industry. Why Fisherman and not Fisherwoman? When I asked why they prefer the term “fishermen” and not “fisherwoman,” Marsh said, “You earn respect as a male or female fisher, so the gender labels are not necessary. You work hard to be one of the crew and respected, not one of “the guys”—there’s a big difference.” Becker weighed in by saying, “My sense is that both men and women who fish have to prove themselves. It’s not an easy or forgiving industry, because mistakes can be dangerous, if not deadly. To rename the category “fisherwoman” or “fisher” could take away from that elite status that we’ve worked just as hard to attain (and sometimes, harder, as with most occupations in the world).” Read the story here 13:39

Coast Guard assists fishing vessel taking on water near Fairweather Ground, Alaska

A Coast Guard aircrew assisted a fishing vessel taking on water with four people aboard in the vicinity of Fairweather Ground approximately 49 miles southeast of Lituya Bay Friday morning. The 53-foot fishing vessel Pacific Star received assistance from Coast Guard aircrews and the good Samaritan vessel Sherrie Marie before getting back underway to Sitka. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a report that the 53-foot Pacific Star began taking on water after 9 p.m. Thursday. The captain of the Pacific Star reported taking on water through a hatch on the aft part of the vessel. All donned survival suits and proceeded toward Lituya Bay. Sector Juneau issued an Urgent Marine Information Bulletin and launched two aircrews to assist, one Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk crew and one HC-130 Air Station Kodiak crew. The tug Bering Titan was about 19 miles south of the Pacific Star’s position and escorted the vessel in case the situation deteriorated. At approximately 10 p.m. Thursday, while on scene, an Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk crew lowered a dewatering pump to the Pacific Star. The captain reported that pumps were keeping up with the flooding and decided to continue sailing closer to shore. An HC-130 aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak remained overhead and maintained communications with the Pacific Star while the Jayhawk aircrew refueled in Yakutat. At 8 a.m. the Pacific Star safely made its transit to Graves Harbor, where the vessel could dewater and make repairs after determining that the vessel was taking on water through a leaky hatch. The fishing vessel Sherrie Marie was anchored nearby in Graves Harbor and also provided assistance to the vessel. Video 20:42

 

Alaskans should have the final say on Pebble Mine – Sharon and Everett Thompson of Naknek, Alaska,

Pebble Mine’s Canadian, would-be developers are ecstatically peddling a story that their mine’s approval is certain. A new Trump Administration, “desires to see Pebble permitted,” Northern Dynasty’s chief executive said Monday. Because of this, investors are piling on, sending the Northern Dynasty stock soaring in recent weeks. All of these outsiders have forgotten one thing: the Pebble Mine is proposed in Bristol Bay, Alaska, not the South Lawn of the White House. Bristol Bay supports the world’s largest run of sockeye salmon that sustains local communities, businesses and the regional economy. Alaskans hate the proposal despite “alternative facts” being pushed by Northern Dynasty in recent days claiming local support. Let the record show that 80 percent of Bristol Bay residents have said clearly that they don’t want the mine. Statewide, 65 percent of residents have said “no mine.” Read the op-ed here  The notion that the Trump Administration will approve Pebble is shear speculation on the part of Northern Dynasty. Read the story here 09:22

Fishermen forced to share spawning pounds in spawn-on-kelp herring fishery

The spawn-on-kelp fishery allows fishermen to catch herring near Craig and Klawock and put them into floating net pens called pounds. Blades of kelp are also put in there for the herring to spawn on. The eggs are then sold to Asian markets. Scott Walker is the Area Management Biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Ketchikan. He’s been helping manage the spawn-on-kelp fishery since it began in 1992. “We have been seeing throughout Southeast Alaska right now a downturn of herring stocks,” Walker said. In the past the fishermen were restricted by the number of blades of kelp they were allowed to use in their pounds. Now, fishermen will also be forced to share a pen with at least five other permit holders. The effort will mean less pounds being used, which is what the state is after, says Walker. Last year 46 structures were fished, the year before it was 76. This year it’s limited to 20 pens. Audio report, read the story here 16:26

Resolution Urges President Trump and U.S. Congress to Mitigate Harm to Alaska’s Fishing Industry Resulting from TPP Withdrawal

Today, Senator Bill Wielechowski (“While I did not support the TPP,,,! D-Anchorage) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 3 (SJR3) urging President Donald Trump, and the U.S. Congress to take action to mitigate the harm caused to Alaska’s fishing industry as a result of the President’s announcement last week that the United States would withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The TPP was a sweeping agreement which contained several provisions that could have been problematic to United States manufacture. The agriculture industry, however, including Alaskan seafood production, stood to benefit dramatically. According to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, the U.S. would have seen a 33% increase in intraregional exports, and a 5% increase in U.S. exports among TPP members. Read the rest here 12:39

Southeast Alaska winter troll season slow

Commercial troll fishing for king salmon in Southeast Alaska this winter is not like it has been the last few years. The troll fleet catch and the number of boats out fishing are both well down from last year and also below the five and ten-year averages. By late January, the catch had neared 8,000 Chinook, with more than half of those kings landed in the waters around Sitka Sound. Eight thousand is just one quarter of what the catch was at this time last year.“I would say that the past three years have been phenomenal for the troll fishery so seeing a decrease now doesn’t necessarily mean that the fishery’s terrible, it just means that we’re going back to lower averages,” said Rhea Ehresmann is assistant troll management biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Read the story here 19:07

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council Meeting in Seattle, WA January 30 thru February 6, 2017

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will begin their meeting week on Monday, January 30, and continue through Monday February 6, 2017 at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel, 515 Madison Street, Seattle, WA. The AGENDA and SCHEDULE are now available.  Meeting FAST FACTS. The Council’s meeting will be broadcast live beginning February 1, 2017 via Adobe Connect  Listen Online.  Visit the NPFMC Website, Click here 20:35

Steaming toward Seattle, New US factory freezer/processor vessel Araho

The new Araho is a 59.13 metres factory stern trawler with a 14.94 metre beam, built to a Skipsteknisk ST-115 design. It has been built for demersal trawling and is capable of processing and freezing approximately 100 tonnes of H&G flatfish per day. It has an 1100 cubic metre refrigerated hold. This is the sixth new build from Eastern Shipbuilding for the O’Hara Corporation over the last twenty years and by far the largest and most sophisticated vessel, as the first US factory freezer/processor vessel to be built in the USA for 25 years. Video, read the story here 08:18

International Pacific Halibut Commission approves increases in halibut catch limits

Most parts of the Pacific coastline will see an increase in commercial and charter fishing catch limits for halibut this year. The International Pacific Halibut Commission Friday approved a coast-wide catch limit of 31.4 million pounds of the valuable bottom fish. That’s an increase from just under 30 million pounds last year. Several parts of the coast were facing catch limit cuts based on alternatives presented by IPHC scientists. However, commissioners voted to boost harvest limits instead of making reductions. There was some disagreement about the BC catch limit this year. Listen to the audio report or read it here 19:11

Coast Guard medevacs fisherman near Cold Bay, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew forward deployed in Cold Bay, medevaced a man from the fishing vessel American Dynasty approximately 60 nautical miles north of Cold Bay, Thursday afternoon. The 59-year-old fisherman was hoisted and transported to Cold Bay where he was met by Guardian Flight personnel for further transfer to Anchorage. Watchstanders at Coast Guard District Seventeen received notification from Health Force Partners requesting a medevac for a crewmember  aboard the American Dynasty who was suffering from symptoms of appendicitis.  The duty flight surgeon recommended the medevac and the helicopter crew was dispatched. Weather on scene during the time of the medevac was reported as 20-mph winds with six to eight-foot seas and four miles of visibility. link 10:46

Harvesting flatfish in the Last Frontier

Docked in Seattle a few days after Thanksgiving, the F/T Constellation is still filled with the smell of coastal Alaska waters; briny ocean and fresh fish. It wafts up from the lower levels and covers the deck. The vessel has been scrubbed and scoured, but the aroma is impossible to shake. The 165-foot vessel spent the better part of 2016 trawling the Bering Sea. For months, it carried several dozen crewmembers, decks full of equipment and freezers full of fresh seafood. It motored in and out of Dutch Harbor, the fishing capital of the Aleutian Island chain. While it’ll spend the early winter in Seattle, the break is brief—the vessel heads north again each year when the fishing season resumes in January. Built in Louisiana and based in Washington, the Constellation is crewed by men from all over the world. But it’s also distinctly Alaskan; part of a hardy fleet fueling local economies throughout the Southwest. Read the story here 13:25

Trump’s nixing of trade pact disappoints Alaska seafood exporters

Alaska seafood exporters are disappointed by President Donald Trump’s decision to officially withdraw from a sweeping trade agreement among Pacific nations that would have eradicated import duties imposed by Japan and other countries on pollock and salmon, the two fish species that bring in the most revenue and create the most jobs in the industry. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have been former President Barack Obama’s signature legacy on trade, would have helped the pollock industry by cutting import taxes of 4.2 percent to zero in Japan, the largest consumer of pollock surimi and roe. Japan imports $248 million of Alaska pollock annually. The tariff costs importers $10 million annually in Japan alone for imitation crab, or surimi, and pollock roe, meaning similar products from nations that don’t face tariffs are more price-competitive. Existing tariffs on red salmon imported to Chile, Japan, Mexico and Vietnam also would have been removed, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Read the story here 14:21

The International Pacific Halibut Commission meeting is underway in BC

The International Pacific Halibut Commission will be deciding on catch limits, other proposed changes to management and season length though Friday in Victoria, British Columbia. “The way we apportion the resource it’s been probably the subject of the most dissatisfaction on the U.S. side over the past couple of years,” said U.S. commissioner and vice-chair Jim Balsiger at the start of the meeting Monday. “All the commissioners I believe on both sides are anxious to come to grips with that, find a harvest policy and apportionment method that works for everybody that we can explain to the people who use the resource and make some progress on that.”  Read the story here  For agenda details of the meeting and link to the webinar, click here 10:40

“Wild Alaskan” owner gets probation in waste dumping case

An Alaska man convicted of illegally dumping human waste into a harbour from a floating strip club he was operating has been spared serving prison time. Darren Byler instead was sentenced in Anchorage Monday to five years of probation and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, in increments of no less than $2,000 a year, beginning this year. U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason warned Byler that failure to pay the fine could result in him going to prison. Federal prosecutors were seeking an 18-month prison term. Byler, who plans to appeal the case, has repeatedly said he was targeted because of disapproval over the business he ran on the 94-foot “Wild Alaskan,” a converted crabbing boat. Speaking to the court before his sentence was handed up, he said the prison term sought by prosecutors was overkill. He repeatedly called it a “poop charge.” “This case was all about an emotionally charged political witch hunt” by various entities, including the Coast Guard and the prosecution, he said in a written statement released after the sentencing. Read the story here 12:30

Tax Incentives Could Help North Pacific Fishing Fleet Rebuilders, Otherwise, Gulf Coast Builders May Have A Competitive Edge

The Seattle-based North Pacific fishing fleet is expected to get $1.6 billion in upgrades or rebuilding over the next decade, but in-state ship builders have been capturing only about a third of such business so far, and cheaper Gulf Coast competitors could eat their lunch as the stakes grow. Washington maritime industry leaders say bipartisan HB 1154 could help provide a net big enough for the state to harvest more of that economic growth. “We can’t miss this opportunity,” Keith Whittemore said. “The boats have to be built in the U.S…but they don’t have to be built in Washington.” Whittemore is the executive vice president of business development for Vigor Industrial Shipyards, a shipbuilding and repair company with 12 locations and 2,500 employees in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Read the story here 11:31

Fishing Company of Alaska is sold, ending a turbulent run in North Pacific harvests

Renton-based Fishing Company of Alaska has sold its three factory trawlers and catch quotas to two other seafood companies, a move that will end more than three decades of its sometimes turbulent operations in the North Pacific seafood industry. The sales agreement to Ocean Peace and O’Hara Corporation was announced Friday in an email by a Fishing Company of Alaska executive to other industry officials that was obtained by The Seattle Times. A sale price was not disclosed. Mike Faris, chief executive of Seattle-based Ocean Peace, confirmed that his company will acquire two Fishing Company of Alaska vessels. Frank O’Hara Jr., executive vice president of O’Hara Corporation, said his company will acquire the other vessel and half of the fishing quotas to harvests. He said these quotas will give his company a more diverse harvest that includes more higher-priced species. Fishing Company of Alaska, which once had a fleet of more than six vessels, was an important player in the trawl harvests that unfold in the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea and off the Aleutian Islands. But Fishing Company of Alaska’s fleet has shrunk over time, in part due to high-seas disasters. Those include the 2007 sinking of the Alaska Ranger that killed five crew and the 2016 demise of the Alaska Juris, which did not result in loss of life but is the focus of a Coast Guard investigation. Read the story here 19:21

Strong harvests, more oversight marked 2016 groundfish fisheries

Last year was a good year overall for groundfish fisheries in the region. With a few standout harvests and favorable proposals with the Board of Fisheries, managers are feeling optimistic heading into the new year. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game oversees several groundfish fisheries within the Cook Inlet Management Area, which extends outside of Kachemak Bay to the north Gulf coast. “These fisheries include Pacific cod, sablefish, a directed pelagic shelf rockfish fishery, lingcod, and a small commissioner’s permit Pollock fishery,” said Jan Rumble, Fish and Game area groundfish management biologist. Pacific cod stood out in 2016 as it was open all year long for pot and jig gear in either a parallel or state waters fishery, Rumble said. Read the story here 11:19

Board of Fish finalizes recommendations on fish habitat permitting

The state Board of Fisheries, the body that sets regulations on state-overseen fisheries, voted to send a letter to the Legislature at its Kodiak meeting, held Jan. 10–Jan. 13 recommending the state review Title 16 of the Alaska Statute, which addresses how the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game should issue permits in streams determined to be fish habitat. Any activity that may use, divert, obstruct or change the natural flow of a body of water determined to be fish habitat requires a permit, granted by the commissioner of Fish and Game. The current statute says the commissioner shall grant a permit unless an activity is deemed “insufficient for the proper protection of fish and game.” The request was born out of a non-regulatory proposal submitted to the board for its 2016/2017 cycle by a group of 13 citizens of various user groups in fisheries. Read the story here 09:46

2017 IPHC Annual Meeting Monday, January 23 through Friday, January 27, 2017 in Victoria, British Columbia

The Ninety-third Annual Meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission will be held from Monday, January 23 through Friday, January 27, 2017 in Victoria, British Columbia at the Delta Hotels Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort. Further details on the 2017 IPHC Annual Meeting

Documents, Presentations, and Schedule

Bears vs. salmon: Solving the McNeil River puzzle

Although brown bears kill more than half the chum salmon entering the world-famous McNeil River each year, state fishery biologists and managers don’t believe the bears’ predation is the primary reason for the river’s stubbornly persistent weak salmon runs. Consequently, although the state Board of Fisheries recently designated the McNeil chum fishery a stock of concern, the board also decided against shooing away or killing some of the bears or helping the salmon avoid them — opting instead to allow the chum runs, over time, to recover on their own. McNeil River — named about a century ago for area rancher Charlie McNeil and bounded by McNeil River State Game Refuge and Katmai National Park — drains into the western portion of Kamishak Bay, approximately 100 miles west-southwest of Homer. The entire drainage lies within the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, established in 1967, an exceptional bear-viewing area located near a cascading set of falls that has been drawing wildlife lovers since its creation. Read the story here 09:25

Sentencing reset for “Wild Alaskan” owner

A sentencing hearing has been rescheduled in the case of an Alaska man who was found guilty of illegally dumping human waste into a harbor while operating a crabbing boat that had been converted into a floating strip club. Darren Byler had been scheduled for a Thursday sentencing. But his attorney, John Cashion, says Byler’s flight from Kodiak Island was delayed and the sentencing is now set for 3:30 p.m. Friday. Federal prosecutors are recommending that Byler be sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. Prosecutors say Byler piped raw sewage from bathrooms aboard the 94-foot “Wild Alaskan” into the harbor near Kodiak in 2014 instead of taking it 3 miles offshore. The Bylers were accused of telling the Coast Guard they were properly disposing of the waste. click to read the rest 16:54

Alaska’s Senators push Trump nominees to guard fisheries, rural areas while cutting regulations

Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan pressed Cabinet nominees to consider Alaska’s uniqueness, the difficulties of rural areas and the nation’s largest fisheries at a spate of confirmation hearings this week. Senators can publicly question President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet selections when they sit on the committee holding a confirmation hearing.  Several of those nominees faced controversy and opposition from Democrats. Hallways were packed with supporters and protesters Wednesday in a Senate office building where three hearings were happening simultaneously. Murkowski pressed her nominees on how they would adjust some their conservative stances to meet her needs for rural and Native populations in Alaska. Sullivan focused on the state’s fishing industry. Both urged peeling back regulations they said are onerous and often a barrier to economic growth or healthy public services. Read the article here 11:29

Commerce Secretary Declares Fisheries Disasters for Nine West Coast Species

The US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has determined there are commercial fishery failures for nine salmon and crab fisheries in Alaska, California and Washington. In recent years, each of these fisheries experienced sudden and unexpected large decreases in fish stock biomass due to unusual ocean and climate conditions. This decision enables fishing communities to seek disaster relief assistance from Congress. Read the story here 09:54

Drayton Harbor Maritime calls for assistance in effort to restore historic Columbia River salmon boat

Under the watchful eye of the US Coast Guard (USCG), members of Drayton Harbor Maritime (DHM) are continuing a years-long effort to restore a historic sailboat formerly used at the Alaska Packers Association Diamond NN Cannery in Nanek, Alaska. The Trident Seafood Corporation donated the now 111-year-old Columbia River salmon boat to DHM in 2015. Since then, a handful of dedicated shipwrights and craftsmen have begun restoring the historic vessel to use for educational tours in the bay. On January 13, three members of the USCG paid a visit to the restoration site to conduct one of several inspections scheduled to ensure the vessel adheres to strict safety standards prior to it entering the water once again.  The salmon boats set sail in Bristol Bay, Alaska as early as 1884 – an estimated 8,000 of the boats were built between 1884 and 1951 and now only a handful remain. Read the rest of the story here 21:33

Silver Bay Seafoods recruits in American Somoa for Alaska Fish Processing Jobs

The demand for jobs was evident Saturday when about 300 people responded to a company from Alaska’s call for workers. Silver Bay Seafoods is looking to hire 250 employees for the salmon season which runs from June to September. Two officials of the company including Shannon Grant, the Hiring Manager, explained the types of jobs that were on offer, the work schedule and the pay. Many of those who turned up Saturday said they wanted to give it a try and were attracted by the $10-$12 per hour wage, and working in Alaska. Hiring Manager Shannon Grant was quite pleased with the response. Link 16:01