Monday, June 27, 2016

Laukitis, Peterson confirmed for council

The federal government has approved Alaska Gov. Bill Walker's choices for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council:

Michael "Buck" Laukitis, of Homer
Theresa A. Peterson, of Kodiak

Laukitis and Peterson replace David Long, of Wasilla, and Duncan Fields, of Kodiak, on the council.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Coast Guard keeps busy

A crewman aboard the 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Star needed a helicopter medevac Saturday after deck rigging struck him in the head, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.

The Coast Guard isn't naming the 26-year-old crewman, who was hoisted off the boat some 74 miles southeast of the city of Kodiak. Here's video of the rescue.

On Friday, a Coast Guard helicopter rescued two fishermen from the disabled 26-foot gillnetter Sunrise southwest of Cordova. Again, we have video.

The rest of the story

Last week came word that Jeff Kauffman, of Wasilla, had resigned from the International Pacific Halibut Commission and that the Obama administration had appointed Linda Behnken, of Sitka, to replace him.

So why would Kauffman resign?

Well, it seems he was involved in a halibut fishing violation.

The boat named in the case, the F/V Saint Peter, belongs to the Central Bering Sea Fishermen's Association, one of Alaska's community development quota companies.

In its most recent annual report, CBSFA lists Kauffman as a company executive with a salary of $126,951.

Federal enforcement officials initially assessed a civil penalty of $61,781 in the Saint Peter case, which settled for $49,000.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Death, injuries reported in Kodiak cannery fire

One person died and three others were injured in a fire at a former salmon cannery in Kodiak's Uyak Bay, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.

Here's a news release with photos.

The Alaska Historical Society has background on the old cannery site.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Crab rationalization a decade in

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is set to meet next week in Kodiak.

One of the items on the agenda is this 10-year review of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands crab rationalization program.

You remember crab ratz, right?

It was a revolution in crab fishery management, implemented in the fall of 2005. It involved assigning individual fishing quotas to what was a dangerously competitive crab fleet. The program also established processing shares for the companies that pack the lucrative catches of king and Tanner crab.

So, how has this program worked out?

That's what the 10-year review tries to tell us.

Deckboss imagines very few will care to read the full 244-page report. So you might want to skip straight to Page 226 of the document (Page 235 of the PDF) for the summary and conclusion.

One of the most interesting points in the conclusion is that "incremental consolidation continues in both the harvest and processing sectors."

This builds, of course, on the radical fleet consolidation we saw right after rationalization was implemented.

A deeper discussion of fleet capacity and participation begins on Page 69 of the PDF. Some really interesting details there.

And be sure to check out the section on crew employment and earnings beginning on Page 106 of the PDF. My impression from the discussion and tables in this section is that captains and crewmen — those fortunate enough to still have jobs in the reduced fleet — are making considerably more money than they did pre-rationalization. But perhaps you will read the data differently.

The council isn't expected to make any changes to the crab rationalization program at this meeting.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

That's it for Great Pacific

With a new salmon season upon us, one processor is calling it quits.

Seattle-based Great Pacific Seafoods has discontinued operations and will liquidate through bankruptcy.

Here's a Seattle Times article with a link to the bankruptcy filing.

Great Pacific ran processing plants at Anchorage, Kenai and Whittier, and also had operations at Kotzebue.