Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Bristol Bay association names new skipper

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, which represents salmon driftnetters, has promoted Lilani Dunn to executive director.

She succeeds Andy Wink in the position.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Rep. Vance proposes a sea change

Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, today introduced a resolution urging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to extend state fisheries management jurisdiction out to 15 nautical miles from the current 3 miles.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Juneau watch

The Senate Finance Committee on Monday will take up Senate Bill 82 establishing a buyback program for eastside Cook Inlet setnet permits.

Here's a letter from United Fishermen of Alaska with thoughts on the legislation.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Murkowski's fish worries

In her Thursday address to the Alaska Legislature, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski had this to say, in part, about the state's struggling seafood sector:

I mentioned earlier the unequivocally bad state of so many of our fisheries. The 'absence of abundance' is threatening subsistence, commercial and recreational fishing alike. Fish racks hang empty on the Yukon and Kuskokwim. The processing industry is undergoing a wave of consolidation. Outside groups are attempting to shut down entire fisheries and list the king salmon as endangered. So much we thought we knew is changing. The changes in our climate threaten our food security and our economic security. I worry about King Cove, False Pass, Kodiak and all the coastal communities that depend on fish, fish processing and the fish tax. Just as I worry about those who are not able to fill their freezers with fish from the river.

Read Murkowski's full address here.

Friday, February 16, 2024

A chicken halibut survey

The International Pacific Halibut Commission has released details about this year's setline stock survey.

"We intend on sampling 525 stations in 2024, with the first hooks expected to hit the water on May 25," the Seattle-based commission says.

It's a drastic reduction from last year's survey, which was planned for 958 stations with 864 ultimately sampled.

We presume the commission's financial troubles factor into the severe downsizing of this year's survey.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Juneau watch

State Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, has introduced a resolution calling on Congress and all federal agencies to "adopt policies and engage in certain efforts to improve the competitiveness and resiliency of the state's seafood industry."

Big federal salmon buy coming

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is planning to purchase up to $70 million in canned pink salmon and $30 million in canned sockeye.

Read more about it in this press release from the Alaska congressional delegation.