Tag Archives: Unalaska

Local boat looks to Unalaska’s youth in hopes of revitalizing island’s fishery

“I was 25 years old in Corvallis, Oregon visiting a friend,” Dickerson said. “And this guy from Alaska came over and started telling these incredible stories. And I thought, ‘I’ve got to go there.’ And so I bought a plane ticket to Dutch Harbor and never left.” Since then, Dickerson has seen the industry ebb and flow, and watched the small boat fisheries and once-young fishermen evolve and start to grow old. Dickerson said things like a lack of local boats along with the aging community have led to a shortage of younger Unalaska fishermen today. Rather than sit back and watch the fishery dwindle, he got some help from the Unalaska Native Fishermen’s Association’s youth program and took things into his own hands. photos, >click to read< 10:45

Retired Commercial Fisherman Dale A. Dorsey of Newport Oregon has passed away

Dale A Dorsey was born in Oakland, CA on January 20th, 1945 to Dale and Josephine Dorsey. He died on February 6th, 2022 surrounded by and in the loving arms of the people that meant the most to him, his family. He started king crab fishing in Alaska for his Father-in-Law and moved his family back and forth from their home in Newport to their home in Unalaska based on his fishing schedule. His family did this for years, his goal was always to have his family close. He spent the next 30 years as crew or the Captain of King Crab Fishing Vessels, side by side with his father-in-law Clifford Hall, brother-in-law Stephen Hall, his son Timothy, many nephews, cousins, and for a short time his daughter Taunette. May he Rest in Peace. >click to read< 13:09

Fishing vessel runs aground in Unalaska, pulled free by F/V Amatuli

A fishing vessel ran aground in Unalaska Saturday morning. It was en route to offload crab at local processing plant Westward Seafoods. The 92-foot F/V Kevleen K, homeported in Seattle, hit rocks near Little South America just before 10 a.m., according to port officials. The boat was pulled off the rocks by the F/V Amatuli about an hour later Why it ran aground is still unclear. >click to read< 08:44

Coast Guard rescues fishing crew from a rock near grounded fishing vessel off Beaver Inlet, Unalaska

The Coast Guard rescued four people Thursday after a fishing vessel ran aground near Dutch Harbor. A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew deployed aboard Cutter Bertholf hoisted all four survivors from a rock near the grounded fishing vessel F/V Endurance, approximately one mile west of Egg Island, near the entrance to Beaver Inlet, Unalaska. They were flown to Dutch Harbor and placed in the care of awaiting EMS with no injuries reported at the time of transfer. Watchstanders in the Coast Guard 17th District command center in Juneau received a transferred call via satellite phone emergency dispatch from the Endurance at 10:57 p.m. Wednesday, stating they had run aground, were severely listing, and taking on water. >click to read< 20:50

Bering Sea Fishermen likely had Coronavirus and went to the bar, locals have to quarantine

Unvaccinated people who visited Unalaska’s Norwegian Rat Saloon late Saturday are being asked to quarantine this week, after officials say they shared the space with fishermen who broke their company’s own quarantine plans,,, The Norwegian Rat is a popular spot for both fishermen and locals, with pool tables and shuffleboard, and it’s the closest bar to the docks used by many large fishing vessels. Saturday was margarita and taco night. >click to read< 07:50

Coronavirus: Unalaska fish processing plant reopens after outbreak forces monthlong shutdown

The reopening is a bright spot for the Bering Sea fishing industry, which has been hampered by COVID-19 outbreaks at multiple boats and onshore plants. UniSea’s processing plant has a year-round workforce, and its facility handles multiple species from cod to crab. The pollock season opened Jan. 20 but the 11 boats that typically deliver their catch to UniSea have been able to hold off, That’s because the pollock fishery operates as a cooperative, where vessels have a fixed quota of fish they can catch and deliver to a specific plant.  “Our fleet have been extremely supportive of our situation and patient with our reopening schedule,” Enlow said. “But they, like UniSea, are anxious to get the season started.” >click to read< 08:32

Coronavirus closes a third Aleutian plant, stranding Bering Sea fishermen at the dock

In the Aleutian port town of Unalaska, at least five local boats are stuck at the dock with nowhere to deliver their cod after the shutdown of the Alyeska Seafoods processing plant, according to a crew member on one of them, Tacho Camacho Castillo. Alyeska closed its plant Friday “based on a cluster of positive cases” identified through “surveillance testing,” the City of Unalaska said in a prepared statement. “There’s two days and this fish starts to spoil,” Camacho Castillo, a crew member on the 58-foot Lucky Island, said in an interview Friday. “Am I going to be throwing out fish into the ocean? It’s going break my heart, for real, if I throw all this fish away.” >click to read< 18:38

Crew Of O’Hara Corporation Trawler And Community Member Test Positive For Coronavirus

Unalaska reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. All but one is among the crew of the F/T Enterprise, a trawler. The infected crew members are in isolation in Unalaska’s quarantine facility and are being monitored by staff from Iliuliuk Family and Health Services, City Manager Erin Reinders said. Contact tracing is underway. “The O’Hara Corporation is greatly concerned by the recent positive COVID test results on board the F/T Enterprise,”,, “Our primary concern is the health of our crew and preventing impacts to the community of Unalaska.” The tenth case the city reported Monday is an Unalaska resident. >click to read< 17:57

A factory fishing trawler is docked in Dutch Harbor with 85 Coronavirus cases. Now it’s headed for Seward.

More than two-thirds of the crew of a huge factory fishing vessel docked in the Aleutian fishing port of Dutch Harbor has tested positive for COVID-19, local authorities announced Sunday. The 85 cases are on board the American Triumph, owned by Seattle-based American Seafoods, one of the biggest players in the billion dollar Bering Sea pollock fishery. The American Triumph, and its crew members who tested positive, are scheduled to depart Unalaska late Sunday or early Monday with American Seafoods medical support personnel on board. They’re scheduled to sail to Seward and arrive by Wednesday,,, >click to read< 09:34

Seattle seafood company reports 6 more crew have Coronavirus in Dutch Harbor

The cases are onboard the American Triumph, which is operated by Seattle-based American Seafoods. Last month, the company announced that more than 100 crew members on three of the company’s six vessels had tested positive for the virus. At the time, experts questioned the company’s decision to mandate a five-day quarantine period, rather than the 14 days recommended by many health officials. American Seafoods subsequently said it had extended its quarantine period to two weeks. The cases announced Friday bring the total tally of positive cases on American Seafoods vessels to 117 since late May, according to spokesperson Suzanne Lagoni. >click to read< 10:18

Nearly 2 months after fatal crash, Unalaskans are struggling to get in the air

For some in this flight-dependent community of 4,000 known for foul weather and Americas’s top seafood hauls, the anxiety is mounting instead of easing with time. The busy travel season is compounded in Unalaska by the start of major fishing seasons that crowd planes with thousands of fishermen and processing plant workers headed to the community’s busy port of Dutch Harbor. >click to link< 11:11

Unalaska declares emergency as ‘desperate’ air service situation grows after fatal crash

Jay Hebert is a Bering Sea skipper trying to get a group of king crab fishermen out of Unalaska’s flight-dependent port of Dutch Harbor, where a fatal plane crash suspended regular air service this month. They’ve agreed to pay $15,000 for eight seats on a flight he chartered, Hebert says. “That’s how desperate it is.” City officials in Unalaska on Tuesday declared a local emergency and asked for permission to organize three round-trip charters a week given the lack of a “fixed, known date” that regular air service will return ,,, >click to read<  13:46

1 passenger dead in Unalaska crash of PenAir plane flying from Anchorage that injured 10 others

A 38-year-old man from Washington state died when a PenAir plane went off the end of the runway Thursday afternoon at Unalaska’s airport, officials say. David Allan Oltman died of “traumatic injuries suffered in the crash,” according to updates Friday morning from Unalaska officials and Alaska State Troopers. Another critically injured passenger was flown to Anchorage. Nine others were also hurt, according to the city’s Department of Public Safety. Responders had to extricate one patient and evacuated the others. >click to read< 15:30

Wenatchee man killed in Alaska plane crash – Alaska State Troopers in a news release identified the man as 38-year-old David Allan Oltman. Marjie Veeder, a city of Unalaska spokeswoman, said Friday that he lived in Wenatchee. >click to read< 19:40

Ukrainian seafood buyers want to connect with Unalaska’s fisheries

International seafood buyers are scheduled to visit Unalaska this month, but they don’t hail from a massive importer like China or Japan. They’re coming from Ukraine — a once-modest market for Alaska fish that’s slowly reemerging after political upheaval and economic crisis. In 2013, Ukraine spent $105 million on American seafood — a record for the Eastern European nation that loves hake, pollock and salmon roe. But two years later, those imports had plummeted almost 70 percent as the Ukrainian government was overthrown and parts of its land occupied by Russia. >click to read<21:22

Finding local seafood is getting easier at America’s top fishing port, if you’re imagining a fish market, wipe away that image.

Unalaska is America’s fish capital. More seafood is hauled into Dutch Harbor than anywhere in the country, but for residents it’s not easy to find fresh fish unless they catch it themselves. At the local grocery stores even seafood caught in the Aleutians is exported before landing in freezer cases. But it’s getting a little easier to get locally caught seafood on the dinner table. It doesn’t happen often in Unalaska, but fishermen can sell their catch directly to customers. If you’re imagining a fish market, wipe away that image. Buying fresh seafood means going directly to a boat like Roger Rowland’s. >click to read< 14:13

Anacortes delegation travels to Unalaska

Visitors from Anacortes, Wash., traveled to the Aleutian Islands last week to urge the Unalaska City Council to stop asking the U.S. Congress to restrict a stranded factory trawler from buying cod at sea. Earlier, Unalaska Mayor Frank Kelty sent the state’s congressional delegation a letter urging “sideboard” restrictions on any Jones Act waiver granted to the new factory trawler America’s Finest. The vessel ran afoul of federal domestic content law when it was discovered it had excess foreign steel in its hull. Now, the state-of-the-art $74 million flatfish factory trawler can’t fish in the U.S., unless Congress grants a waiver. >click to read< 12:531

Unalaska business owner denounces city position on trawler

The mothershippers are fighting back with the help of a local proxy in a politicized commercial fishing tussle reaching all the way to Washington, D.C. The latest round of the inshore-offshore battle between Fisherman’s Finest’s cod factory trawlers, onshore seafood processors, and a local government, is taking on the familiar feel of the vintage pollock war. An Unalaska business owner is denouncing a city position calling for restrictions on the beleaguered vessel America’s Finest, a brand new vessel stranded in an Courtesan, Wash., shipyard since it ran afoul of the federal Jones Act by exceeding the legal limits of foreign steel in its hull. >click to read< 13:38

Snow crab landing in Bering Sea

The Bering Sea opilio snow crab fishery is slowly moving forward, with 2 percent of the quota landed. Eight vessels made nine landings for a total weight in the past week of some 471,000 pounds, from a quota of 18.5 million pounds, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Unalaska. The number of snow crab per pot is down somewhat from the same period last year. The most recent count was 201 crustaceans last week, down from 238 last year, according to Fish and Game. “From talking to the fleet, it’s been a slow start for the boats that are out there opie fishing,” said state fisheries biologist Ethan Nichols. But it’s likely to pick up, >click here to read<17:53

New cell towers rising in Unalaska

From new cell towers now rising to the proposed high-speed Terra Aleutian connection to the rest of the world, GCI is making progress on improving cellphone and internet service in Unalaska, according to Vice President Dan Boyette. One new cellphone tower has been erected and should be providing basic cellphone service by the end of November on Captains Bay Road. The 100-foot tower at Offshore Systems, Inc. replaces a smaller hillside unit at the commercial dock and warehouse complex, servicing factor trawlers, freezer longliners and other large fishing and cargo and research vessels. click here to read the story 12:46

Norwegian Rat Saloon Fundraiser in Unalaska brings in $37,000 for F/V Destination families

A benefit event last Friday at the Norwegian Rat Saloon in Unalaska brought in over $37,000 for the families of the crew of the crab boat Destination which disappeared in the Bering Sea on Feb. 11 along with six fishermen. The biggest item auctioned, in terms of both size and money, was a whale skull. The winning bid was $6,500 submitted by a group of people. The skull was promptly donated to the saloon, and will remain in the bar’s back yard as a memorial to the missing men, Capt. Jeff Hathaway, Larry O’Grady, Darrick Seibold, Kai Hamik, Raymond Vincler, and Charles Glen Jones. Norwegian Rat manager Teressa Henning credited bartender Rachel Reed with the idea for the event and doing all the work to make it happen. continue reading the story here 13:14

Unalaska joins emergency petition on tanner crab

23tannersizeThis season, the unpredictable tanner crab population isn’t looking so good for Aleutian fishermen. That’s what the state’s trawl survey indicated this summer. But the City of Unalaska has joined an emergency petition urging the Alaska Board of Fisheries to take another look. At a City Council meeting last week, Frank Kelty explained the survey showed low numbers for female tanners. That’s led the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to consider serious conservation measures. “The whole fishery could be shut down,” Kelty said. But the problem isn’t affecting the whole fishery. Kelty said data indicates the eastern tanner stock is struggling with low female biomass, but not the western stock. Read the rest here 10:47

Where are the herring? Unalaska’s seine fishery remains on hold

pacific herringThe commercial herring fishery is on hold in Unalaska — because no one can find the fish. The herring season opened more than a week ago. So far, fishermen haven’t had any luck, even with a spotter pilot searching from above. “There’s been no appreciable harvest at all,” said Frank Kelty on the Unalaska Fisheries Report. “The fish appear to be well offshore and in very deep water where the seiners can’t get to them.” Kelty said three or four seiners are registered to fish this season, while no one has registered to use gillnet gear. If the herring show up, Dutch Harbor fishermen will be able to harvest 2,166 tons. But until then, the seiners are on standby. Read the rest here Listen to the report here 08:01

Unalaska city council ducks halibut bycatch issue


When Mayor Shirley Marquardt goes to bat for the industrial fishing fleet in the struggle over halibut bycatch next month in Sitka, she won’t be speaking on behalf of the Unalaska City Council. The city council did vote to pay her way to the meeting, but avoided the halibut bycatch issue. The fish versus fish battle puts halibut one side, facing off against yellowfin sole, turbot, flounder and other flatfish, and Pacific ocean perch, sold mainly in Asia by the Seattle-based distant water fleet. Read the rest here  18:46 This revealing article has miraculously, disappeared!

Unalaska fights to save Stimson

Despite departing City Manager Chris Hladick’s discouraging comments, the Unalaska City Council, mayor, and natural resources analyst are all calling for a big push to keep the state fisheries patrol vessel, Stimson, in Unalaska. They also want local residents to join the fight by contacting legislators and oppose sending the boat to Kodiak. Read the rest here 08:58

Unalaska – America’s Top Port Sees Streak Tweaked

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just issued its fisheries report card for 2011, and Alaska is on the honor roll. Last year, 2.3 billion pounds of seafood worth $1.3 billion crossed the state’s docks.

About a third of that fish came through Unalaska. The city has long been proud of its reputation as America’s number #1 fishing port. But as KUCB’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports, Unalaska got a bit of bad news in an otherwise rosy assessment of Alaska’s fisheries.  http://kucb.org/news/article/americas-top-port-sees-streak-tweaked/

Fisheries activist says giant processors exploit locals in the Aleutians

UNALASKA — David Osterback says the Aleutian region could use a good regional cookbook, combining the recipes from local cookbooks already published in area villages, especially seafood dishes. Osterback spoke at a fisheries workshop at the Regional Wellness and Self-Governance Conference in Unalaska last week, sponsored by the Aleutian Pribilof Island Association.

“Who’s catching the fish? Everybody in the world except the people who live here,” said Osterback.

Processors earning big bucks