Thursday, January 21, 2021

Trident calls a COVID timeout

Trident Seafoods is pausing operations at its Akutan processing plant.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Aleutian outbreaks

As the huge Bering Sea groundfish harvest swings into action, the coronavirus is menacing the industry.

Significant outbreaks have been reported at the UniSea processing plant in Dutch Harbor, and at Trident's Akutan plant.

And the city of Unalaska today reported an outbreak on the fishing vessel Ocean Peace.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Trump's boast

President Donald Trump recently vetoed S. 906, a bill that would have affected the California swordfish fishery and the Alaska halibut fishery.

Trump's veto message explains the action and also asserts:

My administration has done more for American fishermen than any president before me.

That's quite a statement considering the landmark actions of previous presidents. Some examples:

President Gerald Ford in 1976 signed what is today known as the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

President Bill Clinton in 1996 signed the Sustainable Fisheries Act. And in 1998, he signed the American Fisheries Act into law.

President Ronald Reagan established the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone with a 1983 presidential proclamation.

Going farther back, President Andrew Johnson in 1867 signed the treaty for the purchase of Alaska, which has proven to be a pretty good place for fishing.

Friday, January 15, 2021

More COVID relief for halibut, sablefish fleet?

Here's a letter asking for emergency action to "allow those individuals that have IFQ in their own names to be exempt from being on a vessel when their quota is being fished."

Another fishy bill

State Sen. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, has filed Senate Bill 44 requiring the Board of Fisheries to "prioritize personal use fisheries when implementing fishing restrictions to achieve a management goal."

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Sitka herring outlook

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is forecasting a whole hell of a lot of herring this year in Sitka Sound, but expects only a limited commercial harvest. More details here.

The Sitka Sound sac roe fishery was dormant the past two years as the fish were too small to suit buyers.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Juneau watch

The Alaska Legislature opens a new session on Jan. 19, and legislators have prefiled some bills of interest to the commercial fishing community.

Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, is again offering a bill establishing a buyback program for commercial salmon setnet permits on the east side of Cook Inlet. The legislation is filed as Senate Bill 29.

Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, is sponsoring House Bill 52 providing that operation of the Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery is "a compatible use within the boundaries of the Kachemak Bay State Park."

Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, is sponsoring House Bill 28 providing a registration exemption to commercial vessels already licensed through the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.