Monday, January 27, 2014

Sea lion goes for fisherman at Sitka

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Sitka
Type: Sea lion mauling
On 1/26/14 Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Sitka Post, received a report that a 19-year-old Sitka man had been attacked by a sea lion while the vessel he was working on was offloading fish at Seafood Producers Cooperative. At this time, investigation has shown the man was sitting on the railing of the fishing vessel with his back to the water. A sea lion, described as a larger bull, jumped from the water and attempted to grab the man in the buttocks, causing the man to fall forward into the vessel. The man received minor injuries that did not require medical attention. Troopers are working closely with the National Marine Fisheries Service to determine what might have caused the attack. Troopers would ask citizens to use caution while on docks near Sitka Channel. Troopers also would remind fishermen and hunters not to dump any carcasses or scraps in the harbor. This will prevent sea lions from associating people with food. To report aggressive sea lion behavior in Sitka, please contact troopers at (907) 747-3254 or NMFS at (907) 586-7225.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hatchery honcho wanted in Kodiak

The Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association is looking for an executive director.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Effort to ban setnets is now a court case

Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to ban commercial setnets in Cook Inlet and elsewhere have sued Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell over his rejection of the measure.

The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court at Anchorage, argues Treadwell relied on an "erroneous legal opinion" from the attorney general in rejecting the initiative.

Here's a press release from the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, which filed the suit.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Parnell says state has deal with Walmart

Note: The following press release from the governor's office comes in apparent response to this pronouncement from Walmart.

Office of Gov. Sean Parnell

Jan. 24, 2014

State, Walmart announce agreement on seafood sustainability

JUNEAU — Following focused efforts by the state of Alaska to educate, inform and reassure Walmart about Alaska's commitment to responsible fisheries management, Gov. Sean Parnell today announced that Walmart and the state had come to an agreement, and that the retailer will continue to purchase Alaska seafood.

"This is great news for Alaska's seafood industry and the state as a whole," Parnell said. "We are very happy to hear that Walmart, the world's largest retailer, will continue to buy Alaska seafood. I want to especially commend the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, the Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute for their hard work in showcasing the sustainability of Alaska seafood. Maintaining choice in seafood sustainability certifications is important to the state and the fishing industry, and Walmart's decision is a major step in the right direction.”

Representatives from ASMI and several state officials have been working with Walmart and The Sustainability Consortium for several months, including a delegation visiting corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., last September. Just a couple of weeks ago, Walmart sent a delegation to Alaska to continue discussions clarifying aspects of the Responsible Fisheries Management Certification program, and to see firsthand the work being done to ensure Alaska's fish are harvested responsibly.

In addition to continuing to purchase Alaska seafood, Walmart has amended its sourcing policies to allow for multiple certification programs that meet principles outlined by TSC. The state will continue working with TSC as ASMI considers the recently released TSC principles.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Coastal Villages Region Fund evidently feels its quest for larger community development quotas is on a par with the civil rights movement.

Coastal posted this on its Facebook page on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

Let us honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr. who peacefully lead the nation for the equal treatment of all American Citizens who want the American Dream. His famous "I Have A Dream" speech was given at the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom."

The residents of Coastal Villages are seeking equality in the CDQ program for more jobs and more benefits. While the region we serve has the highest economic impoverished rates, our residents receive among the lowest CDQ allocations per person. Our voices, our votes, and our lives do matter and the US Congress must recognize our efforts for the benefit of many Western Alaskans.


Washington watch

Here are a couple of interesting notes out of Washington, D.C.

• Congress has passed a giant appropriations bill that includes $75 million for fisheries disaster relief in several states including Alaska. Federal officials in 2012 declared a disaster in Alaska due to poor Chinook salmon returns to the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, as well as Cook Inlet. It's not yet clear how much of the $75 million Alaska will receive, or how the money will be spent.

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced it will buy canned pink salmon again this year. That's good news for Alaska's salmon industry, which faces a big challenge in marketing last year's record catch of more than 215 million pinks. The USDA has purchased as much as $8.4 million worth of canned pink salmon every year since 2011 for use in food aid programs. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently made a $20 million buying commitment.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Halibut catch limit down 11 percent

The International Pacific Halibut Commission has set a 2014 catch limit of 27.5 million pounds, an 11 percent cut from last year.

The season will run from March 8 to Nov. 7.

Here's the full breakdown of catch limits by regulatory area.

For comparison, here are last year's limits.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Here's your Copper River salmon forecast

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is projecting a commercial catch of 1.6 million sockeye and 22,000 Chinook this year at the ballyhooed Copper River.

Last year produced 1.58 million sockeye and 8,688 Chinook.

Click here for more details.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New boss named for NMFS

Rather out of the blue, it seems, the Obama administration today appointed a new chief at the National Marine Fisheries Service.

It's none other than Eileen Sobeck. Read more about her here.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Know fish?

The Kodiak Daily Mirror is looking for a reporter.

"Experience covering commercial fishing issues is a big plus," says this job listing.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

We have halibut commissioners!

President Obama has named his picks for the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

They are Robert D. Alverson, James W. Balsiger and Donald R. Lane.

Here's a press release from the White House.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Initiative to ban setnets rejected

Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell today rejected a proposed ballot initiative to ban setnets in Cook Inlet and other areas of Alaska.

Treadwell took the action based on a state legal opinion calling the initiative unconstitutional.

More details here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Trident sues to safeguard its name

Trident Seafoods Corp. is suing Triton Seafoods LLC.


Because that name, Triton, looks and sounds too much like Trident, the lawsuit argues.

Trident is the largest seafood company in the United States, and has used the term Trident as a trade name and trademark since 1973, says the suit filed in federal court in Seattle.

Triton, meantime, was "organized by Alexander Domnenkov in 2013," the suit says.

Triton's website at "mimics" that of Trident at, the suit contends.

Trident further argues:

"The similarity, both visually and aurally, between the terms TRIDENT and TRITON has caused actual confusion and, given the nature and intensity of the industry, that similarity is highly likely to give rise to further and even greater confusion among fishers, suppliers, vendors, and customers. Some of the people working in the industry in which Trident and Triton compete speak English as a second language and may have even more difficulty distinguishing between the highly similar words TRIDENT and TRITON than native speakers of English do."

Trident is asking the court for an injunction blocking the use of Triton or any other trade name similar to Trident.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Walmart summit set

Gov. Sean Parnell says his people will meet with Walmart's people next week in Juneau. Here's a press release.