Tuesday, September 30, 2014

USDA buys $12.8 million in canned pinks

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently completed a major purchase of canned pink salmon, spending a total of $12.8 million.

Four seafood processors made sales: Icicle, Ocean Beauty, Peter Pan and Trident.

The fish will go to child nutrition and other domestic food assistance programs, the USDA says in this purchase summary.

The government purchase helps reduce high inventories built after last year's enormous pink salmon catch in Alaska.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

UniSea penalized $142,175

UniSea Inc., which operates a major seafood processing plant at Dutch Harbor, has settled a case involving alleged Clean Air Act violations.

The settlement includes a $142,175 penalty for UniSea, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says in this press release.

Bering Sea pollock stock surges

Preliminary results indicate a nearly 60 percent increase in pollock survey biomass in the Bering Sea, the National Marine Fisheries Service says. More details here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Will your boat need an observer next year?

The National Marine Fisheries Service has released this draft plan for how the agency intends to assign fishery observers to vessels taking part in Alaska's groundfish and halibut fisheries during 2015.

Deckboss can't be sure, but he believes NMFS is proposing some significant adjustments. Check out the executive summary near the top of the plan.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fishing vessel explodes at Valdez

The commercial fishing vessel Fireman exploded this evening in the Valdez harbor adjacent to the Best Western hotel, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.

A person aboard walked off after the blast and went by ambulance to a hospital, the Coast Guard says.

Emergency responders "found the Fireman afloat with the majority of its wheelhouse torn apart by the explosion."

It happened around 7:55 p.m. and the cause is under investigation, the Coast Guard says.

State records show the 35-foot Fireman belongs to Thomas S. Lopez. His address is listed as a postal box in Valdez.


This year's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend is $1,884.

Most dividends will be paid by direct deposit on Oct. 2. Only qualified residents of the state will receive a payment.

Last year's dividend was $900.

Save the Chinook!

Two Alaska Native organizations have filed an emergency petition to tighten the limit on Chinook bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Could this be something big?

Government scientists say they are "watching a persistent expanse of exceptionally warm water spanning the Gulf of Alaska that could send reverberations through the marine food web."

Read more here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bristol Bay's $197 million year

This year's Bristol Bay salmon harvest produced a near-record payoff to fishermen.

That's according to this season summary from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

USDA agrees to take Alaska pink salmon

Gov. Sean Parnell just announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture has granted his request to buy surplus canned Alaska pink salmon.

"The purchase of Alaska's canned salmon achieves several goals: It corrects the inventory surplus, helps Alaska's fishing families, and provides high-quality nutrition for food and assistance programs," Parnell said. "Alaska's bounty of pink salmon will provide delicious and nourishing meals for hundreds of thousands of American families. I appreciate the effort of Sen. Lisa Murkowski to make this purchase possible, which will benefit Alaska's families."

Another endorsement for Begich

The Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association likes U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, for another term. Read the endorsement here.