Thursday, June 25, 2020

Big boost for summer troll fishery

The state today announced the summer troll season will begin July 1 targeting 83,900 treaty Chinook salmon.

That's a 51 percent jump over last summer's opening target of 55,700 treaty Chinook.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Some news on Fishermen's News

Fishermen's News, a Seattle-based commercial fishing magazine, has suspended publication.

Managing Editor Chris Philips, writing in the new July issue, cites "the current economic climate" and the effects of COVID-19 as factors for the suspension.

Fishermen's News has been around for a long time, tracing its founding to 1945.

Monday, June 22, 2020

A change at the top for Coastal Villages

Coastal Villages Region Fund has announced that longtime Executive Director Morgen Crow has retired.

Anchorage-based Coastal Villages is believed to be the richest of the six Alaska community development quota organizations.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Processor faces employment complaint

A lawsuit accuses North Pacific Seafoods, a major Alaska salmon processor, of holding up to 150 cannery workers in "forced unpaid quarantine" in a California hotel, according to this press release.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

A likely victory for trollers

A U.S. magistrate judge is recommending denial of a motion to close the commercial troll salmon fishery in the federal waters off Southeast Alaska.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Herring pickle

Bering Sea pollock trawlers have used up their herring bycatch allowance, and now they're getting shut out of productive fishing grounds known as herring savings areas.

This will cause "significant disruption and economic harm to the pollock fishery," and could even lead to increased salmon bycatch, the trawlers say in this emergency petition to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

As a solution, the trawlers propose doubling their herring bycatch allowance from 2,532 metric tons to 5,064 metric tons.

This idea is drawing plenty of opposition from people who say herring is a valuable forage fish best left in the water to help support the marine food chain.

The council is meeting Monday through Wednesday via webconference.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Coronavirus cluster reported in Whittier

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is reporting 11 cases of COVID-19 in seafood workers in Whittier.

"The city of Whittier and Whittier Seafoods are both working together and in coordination with DHSS to respond to the cluster of cases," the department said. "After arriving in Whittier, the workers were quarantined, screened daily and tested. When one worker tested positive, additional testing was immediately initiated to identify the other positive cases and track close contacts. All individuals are now isolated, being monitored and receiving appropriate medical care. The workers have been quarantined on their employer's campus since arriving in Whittier."