Tuesday, April 21, 2020

'The correct thing to do'

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association has posted its position on testing and quarantine.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Council calls special meeting

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has scheduled a May 15 special meeting to consider emergency requests. Details on the requests are available here.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Give a listen

Here's some maritime music to help you navigate the coronacrisis.

Off to Dutch Harbor
Built on the Clyde
Greenland Whale Fisheries
The Two Conneeleys
Fisherman's Blues

Case dismissed

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit opposing development of the Pebble mine. Here's the ruling.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Injunction sought against troll fishery

Wild Fish Conservancy is seeking an injunction to block the summer Chinook salmon fishery in federal waters off Southeast Alaska. The environmental organization says the fishery poses a starvation threat to endangered Southern Resident killer whales.

Here is a response from the Alaska Trollers Association.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

About that $300M in COVID-19 relief

This just in from Alaska Congressman Don Young:

Alaska's fishing industry is a critical economic driver for our state. Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted fisheries across our country. I sent a bipartisan letter with over 35 House colleagues to the U.S. Department of Commerce, urging immediate distribution of the assistance secured by Congress in the CARES Act to fishery participants, including tribal, subsistence, commercial, and charter fishery participants. Fishing communities are facing extreme hardship, and I will continue doing all I can to support them and the fishermen who depend on these good jobs. Click here to read our full letter.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Here's your 2020 salmon forecast

The state is forecasting a commercial harvest of about 133 million salmon this year, which would be much smaller than last year's haul of 207.9 million.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Heading to court?

Here's what the major processors are telling Bristol Bay communities and tribal councils regarding coronavirus safety precautions they intend to take during this year's salmon season.

This letter is interesting in two respects. First, it seems to confirm the processors are gearing up for the fishery — a major financial gamble on their part.

Second, these processor safety commitments seem unlikely to satisfy community members who fear the fishery could usher in the pandemic to Bristol Bay.

As we reported earlier, the state appears disinclined to cancel Alaska's most valuable salmon fishery.

Deckboss is sure all parties will keep talking. But don't be surprised if the matter winds up in court.

Bristol Bay coronavirus update

The city of Dillingham and the Curyung Tribal Council have submitted this letter asking Gov. Mike Dunleavy to consider closing this year's Bristol Bay commercial salmon fishery for fear it could unleash the coronavirus pandemic in the local community.

Deckboss asked Jeff Turner, a Dunleavy spokesman, if a Bristol Bay decision was on the governor's agenda.

"The governor has no plans to shut down the Bristol Bay fishery. It is a critical industry," Turner said.

In other news, the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, which represents driftnet fishermen, today posted proposed fleet and community safety ideas.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Bristol Bay's demands

Fishermen and processors expecting to travel to Bristol Bay this summer for the state's richest salmon fishery are facing a rising tide of preconditions and bureaucracy.

Why? Local residents in Dillingham and other Bristol Bay communities greatly fear the influx of thousands of fishermen, cannery workers, and vendors could unleash a local coronavirus outbreak.

Proposals to restrict fishery participants are proliferating.

The latest example is this slate of protocols from local organizations united under the banner Bristol Bay Working Group.

These protocols, which the working group says will be conveyed to the state government, appear to suggest that fishermen and cannery workers will need two negative COVID-19 tests. That's just one of numerous proposed rules for industry.

And woe unto anyone who violates the protocols.

"Failure to comply by employees or fishermen will result in immediate termination of market and removal," the working group suggests.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

New faces for fish board

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has appointed Abe Williams, of Anchorage, and McKenzie Mitchell, of Fairbanks, to the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

The governor also reappointed John Jensen, of Petersburg.