Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bristol Bay forecast is out, and it's big

The state is projecting another large sockeye salmon catch next year in Bristol Bay — 29.5 million fish.

This year's catch was 35.7 million sockeye.

Here's the 2016 forecast.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

We have a new ASMI boss

Alexa Tonkovich is the new executive director at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

She moves up from her post as ASMI's international program director.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kelley named Alaska comfish director

Alaska Department of Fish and Game veteran Scott Kelley will be the state's new commercial fisheries director, succeeding Jeff Regnart.

Here's the memo sent last week to department employees:

Dear ADF&G staff,

I am pleased to announce Scott Kelley has accepted the position of Director of the Division of Commercial Fisheries. Many of you know Scott because he has worked for the Division of Commercial Fisheries for nearly 25 years, most recently as a fish and game coordinator for the shellfish and groundfish fisheries in Southeast. Scott holds a Bachelor’s degree in fisheries management and Master’s degree in fisheries science. He also has substantial expertise in the Alaska Board of Fisheries process, years of experience in salmon enhancement planning and project development, a solid understanding of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, and intimate knowledge of the budget process and the various fund sources that make up the division’s budget. His education and experience will be a valued addition to the leadership team.

His first day as director will officially be Wednesday, October 21. Scott will begin by representing the department at the Board of Fisheries Work Session in Anchorage.

Many thanks to Forrest Bowers for stepping forward to act as director during the last few weeks while recruitment efforts were underway.

Please join me in welcoming Scott to his new role, and offering your assistance as he transitions to the director position.


Sam Cotten

Monday, October 19, 2015

Super salmon catch, poor payoff

This year's Alaska commercial salmon catch exceeded 263 million fish, the second-highest total ever.

But the estimated ex-vessel value, at $414 million, was something of a disappointment.

The numbers are included in this press release from the Department of Fish and Game.

Last year's catch of less than 157 million salmon paid almost $577 million.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Authorities investigate Kodiak diver death

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Old Harbor
Type: Death investigation
On 10/11/15 at approximately 1336 hours, Alaska State Troopers were notified of a deceased individual at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center. Investigation revealed the U.S. Coast Guard had medevaced a diver from the F/V Momo and Maddie to the hospital emergency room. The vessel was participating in the sea cucumber commercial dive fishery near Port Hobron, approximately six miles from the village of Old Harbor. Further investigation identified the commercial diver as Gary Graves, 36, of Kodiak. The state medical examiner was notified of the death and requested the body be transported to their office for examination. Next of kin has been notified and the investigation continues.

Editor's note: State records list Gary A. Graves, of Dover, N.H., as the owner of the 47-foot Momo and Maddie.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Snow crab quota takes 40 percent hit

Fishery managers just posted the Bering Sea snow crab quota for the upcoming season, and the news isn't good.

At 40.6 million pounds, the quota is down 40 percent from last season.

The fishery opens at noon Oct. 15, but the industry usually waits until after the new year to harvest snow crab, also known as opilio crab.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bristol Bay association clarifies Pebble stance

Read it here.

Bristol Bay red king crab quota holds steady

The Bristol Bay red king crab quota for the 2015-16 season is just under 10 million pounds, about the same as last season.

The fishery opens at noon Oct. 15.