Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Washington watch

We have a major congressional hearing Thursday on "North Pacific Perspectives on Magnuson-Stevens Act Reauthorization."

Click here for details, including the witness list.

Yet another Ocean Phoenix medevac

For the third time this month, a Coast Guard helicopter has retrieved a medical patient off the Bering Sea processing ship Ocean Phoenix.

Tuesday's medevac involved a crewman, described as 25 to 30 years old, with a "severe injury to his left hand," the Coast Guard said.

The 680-foot Ocean Phoenix was 85 miles northwest of Cold Bay.

Alaska to receive $21 million in disaster aid

Alaska will receive nearly $21 million of the $75 million Congress recently appropriated for fishery disaster relief nationally.

Here's the official announcement.

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.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Coast Guard flies American Dynasty medevac

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter today rescued a 48-year-old man on the Bering Sea factory trawler American Dynasty about 95 miles northwest of Cold Bay.

The man was reported to be suffering from severe abdominal pain, the Coast Guard said.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fish cops stay busy

Federal authorities say the F/V Castaway unlawfully fished with longline gear in a coral habitat protection area. They're proposing a $13,335 fine.

Read about this and other Alaska cases in this national summary of NOAA enforcement actions for the second half of 2013.

Also, we've posted several new items on our sister blog, The Brig.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

An opportunity in Cordova

The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association is looking to hire up to two boats to help supply ice during the upcoming salmon season.

For more details, check out this bid solicitation.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Grab your dredge!

Due to legislative inaction in Juneau, limited entry for the state's weathervane scallop fishery expired at the end of 2013.

The fishery now reverts to open access.

Vessels looking to target scallops inside state waters of the Yakutat, Prince William Sound, Kodiak or Dutch Harbor areas must register with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game by April 1.

More details in this press release.

Deckboss wonders what will happen if numerous vessels sign up. The scallop stock is small, and the department will need to control fishing effort.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What the heck?

The board of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority is meeting Thursday, and has this curious item on the agenda.

Halibut help coming

The National Marine Fisheries Service says it's implementing a plan to tighten halibut bycatch limits in the Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries.

Here's the press release.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weak forecast for Taku kings

The run forecast for large Taku River king salmon is too low to allow a fishery in early May, the Department of Fish and Game says.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Kodiak pollock seiners?

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has called a public meeting for Feb. 26 in Kodiak to discuss a potential walleye pollock seine gear test fishery.

More details in this official announcement.

Hot tip!

Looking for seafood or maritime employment?

Go to Alaska Marine Jobs, a new job board from Alaska Sea Grant.

Scallop scuffle

For the latest on the continuing efforts in Juneau to maintain limited entry for the state's small commercial scallop fishery, check out this email blast from United Fishermen of Alaska.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Twice to the rescue

For the second time in less than a week, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter has flown out to the giant Bering Sea processing ship Ocean Phoenix to conduct a medevac.

The master of the 680-foot vessel called the Coast Guard this morning to report a 30-year-old male crewman had an eye injury and needed medical assistance.

The ship was 34 miles northwest of Cold Bay.

On Wednesday, the Coast Guard flew to the Ocean Phoenix to pick up a 25-year-old female crewman with chest pains.

The Ocean Phoenix is considered the largest fish-processing vessel in the United States.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

EPA fines three fishing companies

Three companies operating large groundfish vessels off Alaska have paid fines to settle pollution cases, the Environmental Protection Agency announced today.

The three companies are Blue North Fisheries, Fishing Company of Alaska and Golden Fleece.

Here's a press release.

Friday, February 7, 2014

A 'stunning' cut

Coastal Villages Region Fund is most unhappy about the new halibut catch limits. Read about it here.