Tag Archives: Alaska

Alaska canned pink salmon purchased for food assistance programs

Millions of pounds of Alaska’s 2019 harvest of pink salmon is now earmarked for child nutrition and related domestic food assistance programs, thanks to a U.S. Department of Agriculture purchase of over $25 million in canned product from four processors. USDA officials announced on Sept. 20 the purchase of 442.3 million cases of one-pound tall cans of pink salmon for the federal agency’s food assistance programs,,, >click to read< 10:36

Fisheries disaster declared in multiple fisheries, multiple states

Wednesday,, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced his determination that commercial fishery failures occurred for multiple fisheries between 2017 and 2019 in Alaska, California, Georgia, and South Carolina, while further finding that a catastrophic regional fishery disaster occurred for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama due to extreme flooding events in the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read< 17:41

Sockeye harvest breaks all-time top 5; pinks picking up

The 2019 salmon season has seen plenty of fish return to the state, but far from evenly across regions. As of Sept. 10, commercial fishermen across Alaska have landed 198.4 million salmon of all five species, about 8 percent less than the preseason forecast of 213.2 million. Most of that shortfall is in pink and chum salmon, which haven’t delivered on their forecasts so far, but a surplus of sockeye salmon helped make up for some of that gap. Statewide, commercial fishermen have landed more than 55.1 million sockeye, about 9 percent more than last year and 5 million more than the preseason forecast. >click to read< 07:40

Alaska Board of Fisheries issues 2019-2020 proposal book

Proposals to be considered by the Alaska Board of Fisheries during its 2019-2020 meeting cycle are now available for download,,, The 276 proposals up for review are for Lower Cook Inlet Finfish, Kodiak Finfish, Upper Cook Inlet Finfish, and Statewide (except for Southeast and Yakutat King and Tanner Crab, and Prince William Sound Tanner Crab) King and Tanner Crab regulatory meetings. >click to read< 11:25

NOAA Seeks Nominations for Scientific Review Groups under the Marine Mammal Protection Act

NOAA Fisheries will publish a Federal Register Notice on Monday, August 19, 2019, soliciting nominations to three independent marine mammal scientific review groups (SRG). We would like your assistance to identify qualified candidates. The three independent regional SRGs, covering Alaska, the Atlantic (including the Gulf of Mexico), and the Pacific (including Hawaii), were established under section 117(d) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to provide advice on a range of marine mammal science and management issues. >click to read< 16:27

Coast Guard boat crew, Ketchikan EMS medevac injured fisherman in Revillagigedo Channel, Alaska

A Coast Guard Station Ketchikan 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew medevaced an injured 58-year-old man off the fishing vessel Lake Bay in Revillagigedo Channel, 18 miles southeast of Ketchikan, Alaska, Monday. The boat crew and Ketchikan emergency medical services coordinated efforts to transfer the man from the small boat to Station Ketchikan. Ketchikan EMS further transported the man to Ketchikan Medical Center. The man was reported stable upon transfer. >click to read< 22:09

Alaska up to 22 dead gray whales this season with 7 reported over holiday weekend

The state of Alaska is up to 22 confirmed gray whale deaths this season, according to NOAA spokesperson Julie Speegle. Seven additional sightings were confirmed over the long holiday weekend, Speegle said, with one necropsy having been completed.,,, As of June 27, the site reported 14 Alaska whales, and 85 total for the U.S. The total for the U.S., Canada and Mexico this season was reported at 171 by that date. >click to read< 09:03

Coast Guard suspends search for fisherman in the water in Nushagak Bay, Alaska

The Coast Guard suspended its search for a person in the water in Nushagak Bay, Monday. Two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews and a C-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Air Station Kodiak searched approximately 650 square miles over the course of more than ten hours for a male crew member from the commercial fishing vessel Pail Rider who went overboard at approximately 3 a.m. The search was suspended at approximately 4 p.m. >click to read updated report< 00:05

Coast Guard, others searching for a fisherman in the water in Nushagak Bay, Alaska

The Coast Guard is searching for a person in the water in Nushagak Bay, Monday. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and C-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Air Station Kodiak are searching for a male crew member from the commercial fishing vessel Pail Rider who went overboard at approximately 3 a.m. The man was not wearing a life jacket, but was wearing orange pants and bib. The crew aboard the Pail Rider fired flares and other vessels arrived on scene to assist with the search. Approximately 10 good Samaritan fishing vessels are on scene assisting with the search. >click to read< 13:18

Bailey Barco crew assists mariners with submerged vessel near Mitkof Island, Alaska

The Coast Guard Cutter Bailey Barco (WPC 1122) crew assisted the fishing vessel Heather Anne crew when their vessel began taking on water in the Wrangell Narrows, near Mitkof Island, Alaska, Friday. All three people were reported to have been safe on Mitkof Island and are not in distress. At 6:59 a.m. Friday, Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received notification from the Heather Anne reporting the vessel had run aground and was sinking in vicinity of Mitkof Island >click to read<21:00

Boat sinks in Wrangell Narrows south of Petersburg – >Click to read<

Dewatering efforts fail in Southeast Alaska currents – June 20, 2019 – >click to read<

Gray Whales – NOAA declares ‘unusual mortality event’ after at least 70 West Coast strandings this spring

The declaration by NOAA — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — kicks in a provision of federal law that provides funding to help scientists figure out the cause of such die-offs of marine mammals, from whales and dolphins in the Pacific or Atlantic to manatees off Florida. So far this year, at least 70 gray whales have been found stranded and dead along the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska — the most in nearly 20 years, scientists from NOAA said Friday. >click to read<17:06

Coast Guard saves man aboard sinking vessel near Kake, Alaska

The Coast Guard rescued a man from his fishing vessel that was taking on water northeast of Kake and towed the vessel to safety, Tuesday. Watchstanders in the Sector Juneau command center received a call from the friend of a fisherman in Petersburg, reporting that his friend had contacted him via an inReach device and indicated that his 40-foot fishing vessel Neto was taking on water near Eliza Harbor. The friend stated that the fisherman did not have electronics on board, and was experiencing difficulties with his dewatering pump. The friend also thought the fishermen’s boat might be adrift without power. Video>click to read<21:10

Coast Guard rescues 5 fishermen from life raft near Sitka, Alaska

The Coast Guard rescued five fishermen from a life raft Tuesday after they were forced to abandon their fishing vessel taking on water southeast of Sitka. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka hoisted all five people and brought them to Sitka, uninjured. Coast Guard Sector Juneau Command Center watchstanders monitoring Channel 16 heard “Mayday, vessel Masonic going down,” at approximately 2:33 a.m. Video >click to read<19:16

Alaska – Study reveals changes in Commercial Fisheries over three decades

Anne Beaudreau is an associate professor of fisheries, at University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences based out of Juneau.
She and other researchers have conducted a study compiling 30 years of commercial fisheries catch and revenue data to find how participation in fisheries in Alaska have decreased, and specialization has increased.,,, “Beaudreau said people are fishing for fewer species and with fewer permit types than they were three decades ago. She also explained the quota program that was implemented in the mid- 90’s. >click to read<09:27

Alaska fishing communities would take hit under Dunleavy proposal to end fish tax revenue-sharing

Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed legislation this week that would keep commercial fish tax revenue that has for years been shared with Alaska fishing communities in the state’s coffers instead, a move that mayors in some of those cities say would be devastating.At play are two taxes: Alaska’s fisheries business tax, and the fishery resource landing tax. Dunleavy’s legislation would repeal the fisheries business tax allocation to municipalities and repeal revenue sharing for the fishery resource landing tax. Those shared funds go to local governments in communities where fish processing and landings occur. >click to read<22:53

Alaska fishing towns would forfeit $28M in fish tax under Dunleavy budget

Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proposals for balancing the state’s budget include a plan to stop sharing of millions of dollars in taxes on commercial fishing with coastal communities. “The governor’s budget is — the message he’s sending is that we’re simply — we’re out of time and we’re out of money,” said Dunleavy’s press secretary Matt Shuckerow. Landing and business taxes on fisheries – often referred to as raw fish tax – are collected by the state. >click to read<13:45

Coast Guard assists good Samaritan vessel to rescue five people from sunken fishing vessel near Dutch Harbor, Alaska

Two Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak helicopter aircrews searched and assisted the good Samaritan fishing vessel Kona Kai with locating five people in a life raft from the sunken commercial fishing vessel Pacific 1, approximately 40 miles west, southwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Friday. The Kona Kai safely recovered all five people from an inflatable life raft that was deployed from the Pacific 1 upon sinking. All five people were safely transported to Dutch Harbor and were reported to have been in good condition. >click to read<18:34

Disaster declarations, relief in limbo for multiple fisheries

The last few years of commercial fishing for Alaska have turned up poor for various regions of the state, resulting in disaster declarations and potential federal assistance.The 2018 season proved no different, with at least two disaster requests in the works at the state level. A third is in process at the federal level, and yet another is finally distributing money to affected fishermen from the 2016 season.<click to read>12:46

Only one applicant for ADFG chief

Members of the boards of Fisheries and Game will meet jointly Jan. 16 to choose an applicant to forward to Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy for the commissioner’s seat, but it likely won’t be a long meeting with just one applicant. Doug Vincent-Lang, whom Dunleavy appointed as Acting Commissioner on Dec. 4, was the only person to submit an application to be the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He previously worked with the department from 1999–2014, last serving as the director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation.>click to read<20:48

Commerce Secretary allocates $200 million fishery disaster funding

Today, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross allocated $200 million in disaster funding appropriated by Congress to help fishermen and the businesses and communities that rely upon them to recover and rebuild following hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017. Funding has also been appropriated and allocated for the disasters that devastated the West Coast and Alaska fishermen from 2014 to 2017. >click to read<10:03

Optimism scarce as commercial fisheries start up in Southeast

Activity is picking up in the harbors in Petersburg this week as fishing boats and tenders prepare for the start of several commercial fishing seasons, but optimism is a little scarce on the docks. Fishermen this summer are feeling the impacts of reduced catches, low forecasts and increasing competition from marine mammals. In South Harbor, Charlie Christensen is readying the Erika Ann for some tendering work in the early summer. Then he’ll switch over to seining once pink salmon start coming in. He has a long list of bad news for his fishing season, stretching back to management decisions by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for golden or brown king crab. He also points to whale predation on black cod,,, >click to read< 17:22

Coast Guard rescues 3 from grounded vessel in Peril Strait, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued three people after their fishing vessel grounded in Peril Strait, Wednesday. The Jayhawk helicopter crew landed on shore and embarked the three individuals. They were taken to Air Station Sitka in good condition. Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a mayday call via VHF Channel 16 from the 40-foot steel hull commercial fishing vessel EH crew asking for assistance after the vessel ran hard aground and began taking on water at Saook Point, approximately 30 miles north of Sitka. >click to read<09:10

Alaska, West Coast to receive fishery disaster recovery funds, unclear when

The president signed a bill this month that directs recovery funds to fisheries disasters on the West Coast, including in Alaska, but it’s still unclear how the limited funds will be distributed. In a letter to the U.S. Senate in January, senators wrote that they saw a $150 million need in Alaska following the 2016 pink salmon season disaster in the Gulf. They also identified a $140 million need for the fisheries disasters in California and $117 million for those in Washington State.,, “There’s only $200 million that has been identified for all nine of these disasters,,,, >click to read<15:39

Coast Guard: Russia and U.S. Working Well Together in the Bering Sea, Arctic

Unlike other parts of the world, the U.S. and Russia work well together in the Bering Sea and the Arctic. The pair is enforcing fishing regulations and other laws, conducting search and rescue operations. Moscow and Washington are sending the International Maritime Organization a joint recommendation for safe shipping routes through northern waters, the head of the U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska said on Wednesday. “We see the relationship with Russia [in the Arctic] as a bright spot,” said Rear Adm. Michael McAllister,,, click here to read the story 16:10

Alaska tops nation in total fishing volume for 20th year

The annual report detailing national and regional economic impacts of U.S. fisheries totaled $9.6 billion in value in 2016 with Alaska as usual producing more than the rest of the nation combined. Alaska produced 58 percent of all landings and for the 20th straight year brought in the highest volume, according to the 2016 Fisheries of the United States report by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The top spot for all ports in the nation went to Dutch Harbor, which brought in 770 million pounds with Alaska pollock accounting for 89 percent of that volume. click here to read the story 16:43

Alaska fisheries thrive — yet industry is on the edge

It has been a really good year across most of Alaska’s commercial fisheries. Salmon prices are up, harvests are good, fuel costs are down, and there’s more: The world’s appetite for nutritious, wild-caught Alaska fish, caught in clean waters, is growing. Alaskans’ track record for managing fisheries in a sustainable manner, both near-shore and further at sea, reinforces our reputation for responsible stewardship. Life is good.,,, Seafood employed 56,800 workers in 2015-2016 and this industry annually contributes $5.2 billion to the state’s economic output. But as good as this sounds, the fact is that this traditional industry is actually fragile,,, click here to read the story 21:45

NIOSH regional reports highlight top dangers in commercial fishing industry

Vessel disasters and falls overboard are the primary hazards experienced by workers in commercial fishing – an industry with a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average – according to a recent NIOSH analysis of four U.S. regions. NIOSH reviewed overall commercial fishing fatalities in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and the East and West Coasts from 2010 to 2014. Researchers found that 184 fatalities occurred in the four regions: Alaska recorded 45, the West Coast had 30, the East Coast reported 60 and the Gulf of Mexico experienced 49. Vessel disasters (capsizes, fires, groundings, sinking) accounted for the most deaths with 80, followed by falls overboard with 53. Other categories included onboard, onshore and diving. click here to read the story 23:24

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