Tuesday, April 27, 2021


The National Marine Fisheries Service recently posted an agency statement to "clear up the disinformation surrounding a photo being circulated on social media of two orca whales taken as bycatch by a trawler in Alaskan waters."

The statement perhaps clears up the disinformation, but it doesn't cure the lack of information about this unfortunate bycatch event, which is said to have occurred a year ago.

Deckboss is pursuing more info, namely:

• What happened to the orcas? Did they die as a result of the bycatch?

• What fishing vessel was involved?

We're also requesting a copy of any incident or investigative report associated with this case. And we're asking the agency to officially release any photos or videos.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Who will lead NMFS?

Whenever we have a change of presidents, it's fun to speculate on who will lead the National Marine Fisheries Service, the chief agency regulating commercial fishing in America.

Deckboss can't claim to have any inside information on the Biden administration's potential choice for the job. But we've heard a few names mentioned, and here they are in no particular order:

Paul Doremus, currently the acting head of NMFS

Karen Hyun, chief of staff at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, parent agency of NMFS

Matt Strickler, secretary of natural resources and chief resilience officer for the commonwealth of Virginia

Linda Behnken, a Sitka commercial fisherman, executive director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association, and tireless sustainable fisheries advocate.

Friday, April 23, 2021

ASMI fishes for funding

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute last month put in this letter to the governor requesting $20 million to "mitigate past and ongoing economic harm to the Alaska seafood sector in markets that were depressed, lost and permanently altered due to the global pandemic."

Deckboss is trying to ascertain what came of this request.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Council tightens written comment policy

Details here.

Juneau watch

The At-sea Processors Association, which represents Bering Sea pollock factory trawlers, is set to give a legislative presentation at 3:30 today on "Barriers to Global Seafood Trade."

Monday, April 19, 2021

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Watch your mouth

At its April meeting, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council has been considering, among other things, halibut and salmon bycatch in the trawl fisheries.

The council also has been grappling with another issue — unruly public comments posted to its website.

Aside from reflecting unfamiliarity with the council process, some comments have included profanity or threats, the council reports.

Here's one example Deckboss was able to snag off the council's website before it was scrubbed.

The council is now looking at reforms to its public comment policy. Ideas include delaying or screening comments before posting. Read more about it here.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Fish politics

Saturday could be an especially interesting day in the Alaska Legislature.

Starting at 1 p.m., the House Fisheries and Resources committees will meet jointly to consider the governor's appointees to the state Board of Fisheries.

Two of these appointees face serious opposition.

Abe Williams is a Bristol Bay commercial salmon fisherman. He also works for the company looking to develop the Pebble mine, a fact that makes Williams a controversial pick for the board.

United Fishermen of Alaska is opposing Marit Carlson-Van Dort for continued service on the board. UFA says she's not truly a commercial fishing representative but rather a favorite of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association.

Upper Cook Inlet salmon outlook

The state is forecasting a commercial harvest of 1.6 million sockeye this year, about 1 million fish below the 20-year average.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Halibut hullabaloo

A bunch of Alaska legislators are weighing in on the halibut bycatch debate.