Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Commissioners fire back

We recently noted that the state had conducted a review of the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, which issues permits and vessel licenses for Alaska's many fisheries.

That review was fairly critical of the CFEC, citing inefficiency and other concerns.

Now the three-member commission is offering a detailed response.

Watch your mailbox

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association is preparing to survey its members — again — on potentially buying back some of the drift gillnet permits in the Bristol Bay sockeye fishery.

"BBRSDA is sending a postcard survey seeking the advice of its members as to whether or not to proceed with a socioeconomic impact study," the association says on its website. "The analysis would provide valuable additional information to the fleet as they weigh the pros and cons of proceeding further."

More information here.

Are days limited for entry commission?

State Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, has filed House Bill 112, 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."

Stutes is chair of the House Special Committee on Fisheries.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tough spot

Efforts are under way to salvage the F/V Savannah Ray from the rocks at Long Island, five miles southeast of Kodiak. The boat, with 25,000 pounds of cod aboard, grounded about 3 a.m. Feb. 16. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the crew. A new situation report says most of the boat's fuel has been removed. Representatives for the vessel owner "will submit plans for hull and wreck removal to the Unified Command in the near future," the report says. Public records show the boat belongs to Mystic Blue LLC. USCG photo

Monday, February 23, 2015

Kodiak strip club owners indicted

The owners of a strip club that operated aboard a converted Bering Sea crab boat at Kodiak have been indicted in connection with the dumping of raw sewage into local waters.

Details in this press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Maw pulls out

Roland Maw has sent a letter to Gov. Bill Walker withdrawing as a nominee to the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

Kenny Down named to North Pacific Council

An industry insider, Kenny Down, has been appointed to a Washington state seat on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Here's a rather incomplete press release announcing the appointment.

Down is president of Blue North, which operates freezer longline vessels targeting Alaska cod.

He replaces John Henderschedt, who resigned from the council to accept a position with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Four rescued from vessel aground off Kodiak

A rescue helicopter today safely hoisted four people off a fishing vessel that ran aground in Chiniak Bay near Kodiak, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard said it received an EPIRB alert early this morning from the F/V Savannah Ray.

Coast Guard watchstanders began calling for the vessel and received a broken mayday from crewmen saying they'd run aground and were donning survival suits and had deployed a life raft.

See a video of the rescue operation here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Crewman with severed fingers needs medevac

A Coast Guard helicopter yesterday hoisted an injured crewman off the factory trawler American Triumph in the Bering Sea, about 92 miles north of Cold Bay.

"It was reported two of the man's fingers were severed by a steel door," the Coast Guard said in a news release.

The Coast Guard didn't name the 36-year-old victim.

Monday, February 9, 2015

That darned reality show

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association attempts to set the record straight on the Animal Planet series "Alaska: Battle on the Bay."

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Two quick notes

The state has conducted a review of the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. Download the report here.

Also, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and some of her colleagues are sponsoring legislation to permanently exempt fishing boats from EPA regulation of incidental discharges. Here's a press release.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sen. Sullivan gets fishy assignment

Alaska's rookie U.S. senator, Dan Sullivan, has been assigned to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard.