Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lawmakers propose ban on Russian seafood imports

Read the Alaska congressional delegation's letter to the president.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The ex-husband wins

Here's an interesting opinion from the Alaska Supreme Court in a case involving a marital dispute over individual fishing quota.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fisherman with foot injury needs medevac

A Coast Guard helicopter today hoisted an injured crewman off the 116-foot fishing vessel Patricia Lee, located near Dutch Harbor.

The crewman, 27, was reported to have suffered a foot injury, the Coast Guard said.

Monday, August 18, 2014

More on those disaster relief payments

Here's a press release from the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Disaster relief payments coming

Cook Inlet and Yukon River commercial fishermen will receive $7.8 million in "direct payments" to compensate for losses resulting from poor Chinook salmon runs, this federal notice says.

Checks "hopefully will go out in September or October," an aide to U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, tells Deckboss.

This is the first installment of the $20.8 million allocated to Alaska under a congressional response to multiple fishery disasters across the nation.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A 'national strategy' on ocean acidification

Two U.S. senators, Mark Begich of Alaska and Maria Cantwell of Washington, say they will offer legislation requiring the government to "prioritize what fisheries and fish habitat are most at risk" from ocean acidification.

Here's a press release.

Begich and Cantwell, both Democrats, are on the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, with Begich serving as chairman.

Friday, August 8, 2014

More on the observer case

"Trawlers are leaving the docks to catch thousands of tons of fish without having an observer on board — this is unacceptable," Oceana says in this press release.

Observer program stands, but NMFS given task

Deckboss has written a few times about The Boat Co. lawsuit, which challenges the revamped fishery observer program implemented in 2013.

This week a federal judge gave the plaintiff a partial victory, as specified in the conclusion of his order (page 48).

Here's a statement from Jim Balsiger, head of the National Marine Fisheries Service in Alaska:

"We are pleased with the court's decision to uphold the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program — a decision which ensures this critical fishery management program will stay in place. While the judge upheld the program, he has asked the agency to prepare a supplemental Environmental Assessment to look at program costs and coverage levels. Going forward, we will work with the court on a schedule for development of that supplemental EA."

The Boat Co. and Earthjustice issued this press release.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Four rescued after seiner capsizes near Valdez

A 40-foot purse seiner, the Auriga, capsized Monday near Valdez, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.

The four crewmen climbed aboard the Auriga's skiff and the good Samaritan vessel Cornelia Marie rescued them, the Coast Guard says.

The Auriga was fishing in the vicinity of Eaglek Bay when a storm approached from the southeast.

"The crew ceased fishing operations and prepared for the storm but a large wave reportedly caused the Auriga to capsize," the Coast Guard says. "The Auriga remains capsized and partially submerged in the vicinity of Unakwik Inlet."

The boat had about 18,000 pounds of fish aboard.

State records indicate the Auriga, a fiberglass Beck built in 1980, belongs to Thomas Lopez.

Canada mine disaster raises salmon concerns

The breach of a tailings pond at a British Columbia copper and gold mine could affect Fraser River sockeye, Canadian media report.

Here's one news story. And another.

Now we're rolling

The statewide salmon catch has topped 100 million fish, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports.

The forecast calls for a harvest of 133 million salmon for the year.

Follow the daily tally here.

Monday, August 4, 2014

NMFS studies 'flow of revenues'

Here's a blurb on some interesting research going on at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle:

Examining the flow of revenues from North Pacific fisheries

The North Pacific fisheries generate close to $2 billion in first-wholesale revenue each year, yet there is no systematic accounting or analysis of the states or cities to where this money flows. In this project we are identifying the main fleets exploiting the North Pacific fisheries and summarizing the revenues earned by the location of residence and hailing port for fleet participants over several years. We hypothesize that the location of residence data for vessel owners is an indicator of where fishing profits are likely to be spent. The hailing port data may be representative of where the vessel obtains a significant portion of its supplies and, potentially, crew members. We are also attempting to identify spatial trends and structural breaks in the distribution of revenues in response to recent management actions. Finally, we hope to examine whether the revenue distribution has consolidated over time. We believe this information will be interesting to the public at large and fishery managers seeking more information on how fleet-level decisions map into the distribution of earnings to different cities and states.

— Ron Felthoven, Chris Anderson and Jenefer Meredith