Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Scientists to launch new ocean acidification study

The research in Prince William Sound will make use of wave gliders that look like surfboards.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's on at Togiak

The Togiak sac roe herring fishery opened at 6 p.m. today.

Here's the announcement from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The quota is an enormous 27,890 tons, but the roe market reportedly is lousy. So it'll be interesting to see whether processors, gillnetters and seiners show much appetite this year for Togiak herring.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Trawl company fined over illegal lingcod catch

Here's the press release.

'Deadliest Catch' turns 10

The reality TV show Deadliest Catch kicks off its 10th season tonight.

Featured boats will include the Northwestern, Time Bandit, Wizard, Cape Caution, Saga, Seabrooke and Cornelia Marie.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Confirmed

The Alaska Legislature today confirmed all of Gov. Sean Parnell's appointees, including the following:

Board of Fisheries
Sue Jeffrey, Kodiak
John Jensen, Petersburg
Fritz Johnson, Dillingham
Reed Morisky, Fairbanks

Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission
Bruce Twomley, Juneau

Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council
Larry Bartman, Manokotak

More on the proposed CFEC transfer

Deckboss didn't have time to catch this morning's legislative hearing on House Bill 386, but was able to snag this sponsor statement.

The bill would fold the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission into the Department of Fish and Game.

Basically, state Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, seems to be saying the commission's workload has become too light to justify its continued existence as a standalone agency.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Is CFEC done?

Down in Juneau, the House Special Committee on Fisheries has scheduled a hearing for 8 a.m. tomorrow to discuss a new bill titled:

An act repealing the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission and transferring its duties to a commercial fisheries entry division established in the Department of Fish and Game and the office of administrative hearings."

We note that only four days remain in the legislative session.

Hubbards win, state loses

Word out of Seward is Jim and Rhonda Hubbard, a prominent local commercial fishing couple, have been cleared at trial of all charges brought against them last year.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New owner has big plans for Cook Inlet hatchery

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association has taken ownership of the Port Graham Hatchery and aims to produce millions of dollars in pink salmon.

Here's a press release with all the details.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Much smaller Alaska salmon harvest expected

The state forecast calls for a commercial catch of about 133 million salmon this season, less than half the 2013 tally.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kodiak seiners to get crack at pollock

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game plans to open a Kodiak pollock seine gear test fishery sometime prior to June 9.

The vessel registration deadline is 5 p.m. Friday.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Aspelund to take helm of Bristol Bay RSDA

Sue Aspelund has been chosen as the new executive director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association.

She succeeds Bob Waldrop, who recently resigned after guiding the association through its formative years.

For Aspelund's background, click here.

Feds see no need for Southeast herring protection

Listing Southeast Alaska herring under the Endangered Species Act is "not warranted at this time," the National Marine Fisheries Service has concluded.

Since 1980, herring in Southeast have shown positive trends in abundance, growth rate and productivity, the agency says.

Here's the press release.

Groundfish industry gets good news on Stellers

A new biological opinion supports a partial rollback of controversial commercial fishing restrictions imposed in 2011 to protect endangered Steller sea lions in the Aleutians.

That's the upshot of this announcement today from the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Three retain seats on fish board

Gov. Sean Parnell has reappointed Sue Jeffrey, John Jensen and Reed Morisky to the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

Here's the press release.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chinook quota soars for Southeast trollers

Here's the gist of today's announcement from the Department of Fish and Game:

The preseason troll treaty harvest allocation for 2014 is 325,411 Chinook, an increase of 195,549 fish when compared with last year's preseason troll allocation of 129,862 fish.

Dangerously in debt?

Here's the latest Moody's credit rating for American Seafoods Group, operator of the largest pollock factory trawler fleet in the eastern Bering Sea.