McDowell Group Report outlines economics of Kodiak Island’s seafood industry. Jobs=38%

Kodiak is grappling with how new ways of managing groundfish might affect the island’s economy.  Plans being crafted now affect catches of up to 25 different fish species – which together  made up 83 percent of all Kodiak landings in 2014.  To provide some guidance, a new economic impact report breaks down how the entire seafood industry plays out throughout the Kodiak Island borough, which includes six outlying villages for a total population of 14,000 residents. The draft report done by the McDowell Group gives a 10 year snapshot starting in 2005, covering all the  local actions it takes to be a seafood powerhouse year after year.  Nearly  500 million pounds of seafood worth  $150 million to fishermen was delivered to Kodiak Island in 2014. Read the rest here 18:08

Salmon markets face lower supplies

Supply-Demand-SignsA downward shift in supplies of salmon could boost demand for Alaska fish. If that basic rule holds true, prices could move out of the basement. Some balance appears to be in the offing. Alaska’s projected salmon harvest of 161 million fish is down 40 percent from last season due to an off year for pinks. Bristol Bay’s sockeye forecast of just under 30 million is well below harvests of the past two years. That helps remove backlogs of reds, which are moving briskly through markets. A prime example: Sockeye exports to Japan, which is enduring local fishery failures, surged 320 percent at the end of last year and demand is expected to remain strong. Audio report, Read the rest here 17:51

Bering Sea crab prices increase big across the board

tanner2_adfgOnly a handful of boats are still out hauling crab pots from the Bering Sea and they can be sure of a good price for their catch. It’s just been a really good year for crab all aroundJake Jacobsen is a four decade fishing veteran  and director of the Inter-Cooperative Exchange, a harvester group that catches 70 percent of the Bering Sea crab quota. Right now the boats are finishing off the Tanner and snow crab shares. We haven’t even started the final prices for snow crab yet. We started out with an advance of $2.00 a pound but that really doesn’t mean anything. The advance price is just a number we throw out there so the fishermen have some money to pay their expenses as they go along.  Audio, Read the rest here 18:35

New U.S. Coast Guard Safety Regs For Life Rafts

uscg logoBy the end of next month there will be new Coast Guard safety regulations for the use of flotation devices on all sea vessels. Smaller passenger vessels will no longer be able to use life rings and other flotation devices as the only form of survival gear, but instead equipped their boat with a life raft to assure that in the case of a vessel sinking, every passenger is safely out of water. Scott Wilwert is the Coast Guard Fishing Safety Coordinator in Juneau.On February 26 2016 survival craft requirements for commercial fishing vessels as well,,, Audio, Read the rest here 16:46

No Fukushima-Related Radiation Detected in Alaska Seafood

Following the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, there have been public concerns about potential impacts on Alaska seafood from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  Although modeling and other analyses have not demonstrated a potential risk to Alaska fish, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Division of Environmental Health (DEH) has been coordinating with the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Division of Public Health, as well as other state, federal, and international agencies and organizations to address continued public concerns. Read the article here 16:59