Tag Archives: Alaska

After falling to historic lows, Alaska commercial fishing deaths on the rise

After a recent historic year of no recorded deaths in Alaska’s commercial fishing industry, fatalities in the sector known for its dangers have once again spiked. There have been 10 commercial fishing deaths in Alaska so far in 2017. A large portion of this year’s deaths were from the fishing vessel Destination, which sank in the Bering Sea just north of St. George Island in February. The six men on the boat were later legally declared dead. The other deaths were a man overboard on the fishing vessel Dances with Clams in the Copper River Delta in May, the June capsizing of the boat Miss Destinee in Marmot Bay off Kodiak Island which killed two, and a person overboard from the Lady Colleen in July in Ugashik Bay. This comes not long after the U.S. Coast Guard recorded the first year — measured from Oct. 1, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2015 — of zero operations-related deaths in Alaska’s commercial fishing industry. click here to read the story 07:58

Zuckerberg’s fake news

Seven months ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was voicing plans to combat fake news on the social media website. And this week he’s in Alaska doing what else? Creating fake news. But that all sort of pales compared to coming to Alaska, apparently breaking the law, and providing photographic evidence of the crime to your 92,734,686 followers. Granted, Zuckerberg can surely claim ignorance, given that Alaska fish and game laws are often confusing even to Alaskans. They are particularly confusing when it comes to non-residents and the Alaska practice of dipnetting salmon, ie. scooping them out of the water with a big net. As Zuckerberg duly notes in a post with one of his photos he was “tagging along with locals who were going dip netting. I couldn’t participate since only Alaskans can do subsistence fishing.” Actually, the fishery was a personal-use dipnet fishery, but it looks like a subsistence fishery. Zuckerberg probably just wrote down what those locals told him. Whether they told him exactly what the law allows only he knows. But what the Alaska Department of Fish and Game says is this: click here to read the story 10:10

On the docks, no sympathy for deadlocked lawmakers

It’s a good thing our boats don’t have wheels,” Delay said, “because if they did, we’d be driving them through the front door of the Capitol.” Though he was speaking figuratively, Delay wasn’t being hyperbolic. Juneau gillnetters are frustrated. They start their season Sunday under uncertain seas: Not knowing what could happen in the event of a July 1 government shutdown, salmon management could be curtailed or shut down during the most lucrative part of the gillnet season. The Alaska Department of Fish &Game sets time limits and other regulations for salmon fishermen to ensure enough fish get upriver and past nets to spawn. Without those regulations, fishermen won’t be allowed to fish. click here to read the story 08:05

Alaska Seafood processors relying more heavily on U.S. workers this year

Seafood employers need to fill many seasonal jobs every salmon season. In general, that process remains the same year to year. Nelson San Juan is the seafood employment coordinator for the Alaska Department of Labor. He says employers are leaning on state labor resources more than usual this year. “A lot of them are depending highly with the seafood unit because of, well they used to use these H-2B visa, and some of them decided not to use it or for some reason they were not able to use that program this year.” The H-2B program allows U.S. employers to hire temporary workers from overseas. San Juan says employers who did decide to use the program ran into a problem. Audio click here to read the story 18:50

We’re On Board with These Two Fishermen – Salmon Fishing Season Starts Today

Our town of Cordova, Alaska is humming with the sounds of diesel engines firing up, big trucks hurrying around the harbor and fishermen catching up with each across the docks. This week holds so much excitement and anticipation here. Today, May 18th, the fleet of 540 fishermen from this tiny coastal community take off for the Gulf of Alaska where we’ll be setting our nets to catch the first wild salmon making their way back to the Copper River. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game carefully monitors our fishery for long term sustainability and have designated the salmon season to start this week with a 12 hour commercial fishing period starting bright and early at 7 am on Thursday. Click here to read the story 07:42

Alaska asks US Supreme Court to overturn decision giving Cook Inlet salmon management to feds

The state is asking the US Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court decision putting the federal government in charge of the salmon fishery in Cook Inlet rather than Alaska. The case began in 2013 when two commercial fishing groups — the United Cook Inlet Drift Association and the Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund — sued the National Marine Fisheries Service. They argued that the state had not adequately managed the fishery and that the federal government should exercise more control as designated in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. A U.S. District Court judge initially ruled in favor of state management. But in September, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal government — not the state — should exercise management of the Cook Inlet salmon fishery in federal waters. continue reading the story here 12:19

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

Voices of Alaska: Future of wild salmon depends on decisions made today, by Commercial Fisherman Steve Harrison

emmonak salmonOur state is home to the nation’s last stronghold of wild salmon and, for the most part, we have managed our fisheries well. For generations Alaskans have sustainably harvested millions of wild salmon while this amazing fish continues to return to their native streams, spawn and rejuvenate the population every year. Tasked with developing policies that protect our salmon resource, the Alaska Board of Fish uses the basic principles of sustainable yield and conservative management to drive decision-making and, by-and-large, it has worked. But managing the harvest of salmon is only part of the equation. Ensuring our salmon runs remain strong also means protecting the habitat they depend on, from the wetlands at the headwaters of the streams they spawn all the way to the ocean where they spend the majority of their lives. In recent years, pressure to allow mining and damming interests to set up shop in and around our prolific salmon streams has increased greatly, with proposed projects like the Pebble Mine, Susitna dam, and the Chuitna Coal strip mine leading the charge. Read the rest here 17:15

Brooks Falls – Katmai National Park, Alaska – Click to watch live!

Brooks Falls - Katmai National Park, Alaska

You are watching exclusive LIVE footage from Alaska’s Brooks River in Katmai National Park. Every year over a hundred Brown Bears descend on a mile long stretch of Brooks River to feast on the largest Sockeye Salmon run in the world. 14:53

Alaska Salmon Harvest Nears 5 Million Fish

image05-04-2016-09.01.43-300x224Commercial harvests of Alaska’s wild salmon have expanded statewide, with total deliveries nearing 5 million fish, including nearly 3 million sockeyes. Preliminary harvest figures compiled by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game show that in the westward region, processors in the Alaska Peninsula have received 950,000 humpies, 883,000 sockeyes, 134,000 chums and fewer than 1,000 cohos. At Chignik, the catch reached 334,000 reds, 16,000 chums, 7,000 pinks and 1,000 kings, and at Kodiak 176,000 sockeyes, 63,000 chums, 8,000 pinks and 1,000 kings. In Prince William Sound,,, Read the rest here 10:25

Alaska: Fisheries politics was rough for all in 2015; let’s at least have a working truce in 2016

signituresGov. Walker’s recent appointment of three individuals to the Alaska Board of Fisheries seems to send the message “Let’s move on.”  2015 was unique for Alaska fisheries, especially in Cook Inlet. Many things happened to make people unhappy.  The Alaska Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit by the Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund, commercial fishers, who asked the court to require the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) to provide more red salmon fishing time for them in the setnet fishery regardless of the impact on the Kenai River late-run king salmon. The court upheld the discretion of ADF&G managers to protect the kings. This significantly cost the setnetters. Next came the court’s rejection,,, Read the rest here

Alaska, British Columbia sign transboundary MOU

USandCanadianflagGov. Bill Walker and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark signed a Memorandum of Understanding Wednesday morning committing to cooperation on transboundary issues, particularly related to concerns about mines on the Canadian side of the border that share waterways with near Southeast Alaska. The MOU will create a Bilateral Working Group on the Protection of Transboundary Waters that will facilitate the exchange of best practices, marine safety, workforce development, transportation links and,,, Read the article here 12:30

Alaska budget cuts lead to less fishing opportunity

kestral2-300x225Because of Alaska’s budget crisis, state agencies cut spending this year and are planning additional reductions in the next few years. For the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, those cuts have meant less monitoring of fish runs, a change that will lead to more conservative management and less fishing opportunity. ADFG commissioner Sam Cotten told the board members of the United Fishermen of Alaska at its fall meeting in Petersburg that the department is looking at several years of budget reductions. Read the rest here 17:42

Live Cam – The Bears are Catching Big at Brooks Falls – Katmai National Park, Alaska

Click to watch live! 15:48

Fish and Game wants to operate counting projects, test fisheries regardless of shut down

Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game is planning to continue running major commercial fisheries, like Bristol Bay, regardless of a potential government shutdown. Commercial Fisheries Director Jeff Regnart said the plan right now, pending approval by the Department of Administration, is to keep managers and tools in place to run Bristol Bay salmon fisheries this summer. Read the rest here 08:58

Time to bring commercial fishing permits home to Alaska

In 1983, the city of Angoon had 183 locally held fishing permits. Now, 32 years later, there are only 15 left. In Nome, 157 permits have become 89. In New Stuyahok, 144 permits have become 21. Larsen Bay’s 47 permits have dwindled to 15. These are not isolated incidents: this is a trend that can be found in every region of the state. This is a red-button moment.  Each lost permit represents a small business shuttering its doors. The effects are devastating, especially in rural places where the opportunities to participate,,, Read the rest here 10:08

Alaska’s Dan Sullivan Delighted with U.S. Senate Committee Assignments

Sullivan will serve on Armed Services, Veterans Affairs, Commerce, and Environment & Public Works, and he says he can hardly pick a favorite.  “Well look, I’m pleased with all of them,” he said. “These were actually the four committees that I requested.” Audio, Read the rest here  08:31

Laine Welch: Pacific halibut stock on the rebound

The Pacific halibut stock appears to be rising from the ashes, and that bodes well for catches in some fishing regions next year. It would turn the tide of a decades-long decline that has caused halibut catches to be slashed by more than 70 percent in .  Read the rest here 15:22

Comparing the Pacific Coast’s Commercial Fisheries

Salmon-fishing-BoatsSince these Fish Reports focused exclusively on salmon and striped bass fishing in California, we wanted to share an expanded review of fisheries harvests and their economic value in other Pacific Coast states, based on a report from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS 2014), and in a nod to the recent World Fisheries Day. Read the rest here 15:55

Seafood harvesting employment in Alaska is on the rise.

A new report in the November edition of state Labor Department publication Alaska Economic Trends says monthly employment in Alaska’s seafood harvesting sector in 2013 grew by 2.4 percent, a level not seen since 2000. Job growth, primarily driven by increased salmon harvesting, brought the year’s monthly average of people employed in seafood harvesting to 8,393, less than 400 shy of 2000’s level,,, Read the rest here 09:09

Alaska lawmakers and seafood companies want the Russians to keep their hands off their name-brand pollock.

Not all Alaska pollock comes from Alaska. Some of the fish, a source of deep pride for Alaskans, is harvested in Russian waters. Some is caught off the coast of Japan and Korea. But no matter its origin, federal regulations allow any walleye pollock distributed, sold, and consumed in the United States, whether in the form of fish sticks or a miso-glazed filet, to bear a label that calls Alaska home. Read the rest here 12:34

Hunting for whale and votes in Barrow, Alaska-‘It’s exciting that people in this small community could shape America,’

Gabe Tegoseak tired after a late night spent butchering one of three bowhead whales that subsistence hunters towed in from the pewter-colored waters of the Chukchi Sea. Slabs of blubber cover front yards all over town, and Tegoseak has some whale of his own to cut up and cook at home. But not yet. There is an election coming soon, and doors await his knock. Harold Snowball answers one of them. Read the rest here 08:50

Congressional Candidates Debate Alaska Fisheries

Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Begich squares off against Republican challenger Dan Sullivan, followed by U.S. House Rep. Don Young and his challenger Forrest Dunbar. The debate happens live in Kodiak, and will be streamed live on KSKA. It runs from 19:00 – 21:00. That’s 7pm – 9pm for you landlubbers. Live streaming is here 13:49

Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan Set to Begin

The state of Alaska, the University of Alaska and representatives from Alaskan fisheries, seafood and marine industries created a plan to increase the number of in state residents working in maritime careers. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports the seafood industry contributing over 78,000 jobs to the Alaskan economy.  Read the rest here 09:03

Alaska commercial salmon harvest tops 146 million

Alaska’s commercial salmon catch continues to climb, reaching 146 million fish through Sept. 2. Statewide, the total catch includes  according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s bluesheet estimate. Fishermen are now primarily targeting pinks, Read the rest here 15:05

All hands on deck for Alaska plan to solve marine worker shortage

With our massive land endowment and bragging rights as the largest state in the nation, it’s easy to lose sight of an important fact – Alaska is a maritime state.,, The waters off Alaska’s shores produce more than 60 percent of the nation’s seafood harvest. Read more here 09:32

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/06/23/3530647/all-hands-on-deck-for-alaska-plan.html?sp=/99/328#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/06/23/3530647/all-hands-on-deck-for-alaska-plan.html?sp=/99/328#storylink=cpy

Coast Guard medevacs ailing fisherman at Prince of Wales Island, Alaska

uscg-logoKODIAK, Alaska — A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevaced a 68-year-old man who fell ill aboard the 35-foot fishing vessel  docked in Point Baker on Prince of Wales Island, Thursday. Read more here  11:49

A Climate of Change video series: Ocean Acidification in Alaska

In the second chapter of our series of videos on the effects of climate change on fisheries, Island Institute media specialist Scott Sell explores the effects of ocean acidification on the shellfish industry in Alaska — and what that might mean for Maine: Watch, and Read more here   17:19

China lifts geoduck ban, to Peninsula suppliers’ relief

China has lifted a five-month ban on live shellfish from U.S. West Coast waters, a move greeted with relief by North Olympic Peninsula producers. The Chinese government announced the ban’s end in a letter Friday, officials said. China imposed the ban in December on the import of clams, oysters, mussels and scallops harvested from Washington, Oregon, Alaska and .  Read more here  10:33

Shell finds Alaska less hospitable than Mars

FEBRUARY 7, 2013 — New Shell CEO Ben van Beurden has told investors that Shell has decided to keep its exploration program for Alaska on hold 2014. He cited a recent Ninth Circuit Court decision against the Department of the Interior, saying that it raises substantial obstacles to Shell’s plans for drilling in offshore Alaska. Read [email protected] 20:58