Tag Archives: Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association

Alaska Dive Fishermen Plead for Relief from Sea Otters

Phil Doherty, head of the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association, is working to save the livelihood of 200 southeast Alaska fishermen and a $10 million industry but faces an uphill struggle against an opponent that looks like a cuddly plush toy. Fishermen have watched their harvest shrink as sea otters spread and colonize, Doherty said. Divers once annually harvested 6 million pounds (2.7 million kilograms) of red sea urchins. The recent quota has been less than 1 million pounds (454,000 kilograms). “We’ve seen a multimillion-dollar fishery in sea urchins pretty much go away,” he said. >click to read<12:46

Late Petersburg man named 2018 Fisherman of the Year

United Fishermen of Alaska, the state’s largest organization for commercial fishermen, has posthumously named Michael Bangs of Petersburg as its Fisherman of the Year for 2018. Bangs helped develop the roe-on-kelp and dive fisheries in Southeast Alaska. He’s the former president of the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association. Bangs had been chair of the Southeast Regional Subsistence Advisory Council and served on that body since 2003. He also served on the Petersburg Fish and Game Advisory Committee. Bangs passed away at his home in February.>click to read<12:29

Petersburg assembly joins call for increased sea otter harvest

Petersburg Borough Assembly joined the call this month for measures to slow a growing population of sea otters in Southeast, as the marine mammals are impacting shellfish stocks. The Assembly passed a resolution at its March 5 meeting, calling for the federal government to work with the State of Alaska and Alaska Native tribes to establish strategies for an ecological balance of shellfish resources and the reintroduced sea otters. >click to read<08:23

Southeast fishermen seek relief from expanding sea otter population

Crabbers and dive fishermen returned to Alaska’s Board of Fish this month seeking changes to commercial fishing regulations in Southeast Alaska for crab and other shellfish impacted by a growing population of sea otters in the region. Some told the board that time is running out on their fisheries because otters are eating clams, sea cucumbers, urchins and Dungeness crab. Wrangell crabber Mike Lockabey told the board the commercial Dungeness crab fleet is being compressed because of the otter predation problem. “It is acute,” Lockabey said. “It will not make the next board cycle without losing fisheries. Not just area, fisheries.” >click here to read< 18:03

Pricey sea cucumbers face increasing sea otter appetites

dive-sea-cucumbersSea cucumbers are the most valuable of Alaska’s dive fisheries and give a nice boost to coastal towns, especially in Southeast. Annual harvests each October hover around one million pounds and attract nearly 200 divers, who will fetch between $4 to $5 a pound for their pickings. The harvest used to approach two million pounds but sea otters have cleaned out cucumbers in many areas over the past decade. None of the areas they have gone back and resurveyed have they seen any sea cucumbers. It’s not like the otter come in and move on and the population rebounds. The otters stay. We’ve lost on an annual basis between 500-000 to 600,000 pounds of product and the trend is downward. Audio report, read the rest here 16:46