Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's all over at Sitka

Radio station KCAW reports the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery closed today as the fleet, working politely this year as a cooperative, reached the full quota.

BBRSDA board president resigns

Robert Heyano, president of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, has resigned from the board of directors.

The official announcement doesn't offer a word of explanation.

The timing seems odd, as the organization is in the midst of a mail-in election to fill two other board seats.

Heyano's term wasn't due to end until 2016. He's a Dillingham resident and owner of the F/V Lady Mindy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kenai conservationist appointed to Board of Fish

Here is Gov. Bill Walker's letter appointing Robert Ruffner to the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

Ruffner is the longtime executive director of the Kenai Watershed Forum, which is much concerned with protecting salmon habitat along the Kenai River.

Ruffner is the Walker's second pick to fill a board seat formerly held by Karl Johnstone.

The governor's first choice, Roland Maw, was a controversial appointee and withdrew.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Is Bristol Bay facing a processor crunch?

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has surveyed Bristol Bay sockeye processors with the following outcome:

The results of this survey found the 2015 Bristol Bay total intended purchases of 35.5 million fish is approximately 2.1 million fish (6%) lower than the forecast harvest of 37.6 million fish.

Read the full report for a lot more detail.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Off and ... jogging!

KCAW Raven Radio reports the Sitka sac roe herring fishery has begun, and the normally combative seiners are fishing as a co-op.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bristol Bay's big election

In a column in the forthcoming April issue of Pacific Fishing magazine, four former directors of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association urge members to "fix an organization that has gone far off course."

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Some quick hits

Here are a few notes to get your week started.

• Halibut season opened at noon Saturday, and will remain open until Nov. 7. You longliners be safe out there!

• Speaking of halibut, the International Pacific Halibut Commission is inviting applications for a merit scholarship.

• Kootznoowoo Inc., the Native village corporation for Angoon in Southeast Alaska, is hailing a "compromise" reached with commercial salmon seiners. Here's a press release.

• At the Boston seafood expo, the Obama administration announced a fish-tracking initiative to thwart illegal fishing and fraud. Here are some links to learn more:

White House blog post
State Department press release
AP article

Friday, March 13, 2015

Walker likes for Hull, Mezirow for council

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has nominated Dan Hull for another term and Andy Mezirow as a new member on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Read more details in this letter from Walker to the U.S. Department of Commerce, which can confirm or reject Walker's top choices.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Limit seiners and the law

State Rep. Dan Ortiz, of Ketchikan, has filed a bill titled "An act relating to the length of vessels used in a salmon seine fishery."

The bill seems to be a bid to clarify in Alaska statutes that 58 feet is the maximum allowable length overall for a salmon seiner.

It would appear to take away the authority of the Board of Fisheries to provide by regulation for the use of longer vessels.

Deckboss has heard some talk about the motivation behind this bill, but is not yet clear enough on the details to say more about it.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sheen showing

The cod boat Savannah Ray, which wrecked Feb. 16 east of Kodiak, remains stranded and leaking diesel, the U.S. Coast Guard reports. Global Diving & Salvage has been hired to recover the vessel. "We continue to monitor the situation and have not observed any impacts to the shoreline or wildlife, or any visible damage to the hull of the vessel," the Coast Guard says. USCG photo

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A special date on the calendar for salmon?

State Rep. Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, has filed a bill to designate Aug. 10 of each year as Alaska Wild Salmon Day.

Crewman died in his bunk, Kodiak troopers say

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Kodiak
Type: Death investigation
On 2/28/14 at approximately 1120 hours, the Alaska State Troopers were notified of a death on the F/V Alaskan Dream. Investigation revealed that crewmember Sean O'Callahan, 29, of Florida, had passed away in his bunk sometime during the night while the vessel was headed for a fishing area near the south end of Kodiak Island. The vessel turned around and met troopers in Kodiak. The state medical examiner was contacted and O'Callahan's remains were shipped to Anchorage for an autopsy. Nothing suspicious was observed during the investigation and next of kin has been notified.