Thursday, May 26, 2022

Trident hit with disability claim

A Utah man is suing Trident Seafoods, saying he was wrongfully fired from his new job as chief engineer on the fishing vessel Dominator because of three missing fingers on his right hand.

We've asked Trident for comment on the federal lawsuit.

A Bristol Bay processing proposal

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association has posted much more detail regarding the organization's possible plunge into the processing business.

"Circle Seafoods is proposing to partner with BBRSDA on a project that would entail the RSDA funding, financing and owning a $15M freezer barge and leasing that out to Circle under a long-term lease agreement," the association says.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

More from Juneau

Here are a few more actions from the recently concluded Alaska legislative session.

• Legislators confirmed the governor's appointment of Thomas Carpenter, Floyd "Mike" Heimbuch and David Weisz to the Board of Fisheries.

• Glenn Haight was confirmed to the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.

• Legislators passed House Bill 41, which could enable a shellfish "enhancement" industry akin to the Alaska's system of salmon hatcheries. The bill awaits the governor's signature.

Copper River closure

After two lackluster fishing periods to begin the season, the Copper River salmon fishery is going on hiatus, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced.

Friday, May 20, 2022

A new processor in Bristol Bay?

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, which represents driftnet fishermen, is thinking about jumping into the processing game.

That's the sound of it, at least, based on this teaser the organization posted today.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

A tasty tax benefit for processors

The Alaska legislative session has concluded, and among the bills that passed is a measure to revive and expand a lucrative tax credit for seafood processors.

The state previously had a tax credit for investments in equipment used to produce value-added salmon and herring products, but that credit expired after 2020.

Senate Bill 33, which now awaits the governor's signature, would revive the tax credit and expand it to additional species including pollock, Pacific cod and sablefish.

A fiscal note estimated processors could benefit by up to $3.6 million annually.

The seafood industry broadly supported SB 33, which was sponsored by Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak. Industry players said the legislation could spur innovation, increase the value and utilization of each fish, and support jobs.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

BBRSDA election challenged

Bristol Bay fisherman Tim Cook is suing the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, arguing its recent board election was improper. He wants the court to order a new election.

Cook, an attorney, is representing himself in the case.

Here's the lawsuit.

Another slow start at the Copper River

Monday's 12-hour season opener in the Copper River District produced 12,800 sockeye salmon and 2,700 Chinook, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reported.

"This compares to a projected harvest of 20,700 sockeye salmon for this period," the department said.

Driftnetters get another 12-hour crack at the fish beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday.

Monday, May 16, 2022

It's all over at Togiak

Fishery managers today closed the Togiak herring fishery for the season.

The harvest total is confidential, as only two processors registered for the fishery — Silver Bay and Ocean Beauty.

Coming into the season, the quota for the Togiak sac roe fishery was huge at 65,107 tons.

But participation in the fishery was extremely low, with only eight seiners taking part and no gillnetters.

The ex-vessel price reportedly was $100 per ton, which has become the default grounds price in recent years pending sale of the product. Togiak herring are valued primarily for their roe content.

Honoring Clem Tillion

The Alaska House of Representatives on Sunday approved a citation in memoriam honoring Clem Tillion.

It wasn't unanimous, however.

The vote was 33-1 in favor of the citation, with Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, voting "nay."

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The Star of Bengal expedition

Details here.

$131.8 million in disaster relief coming

Federal officials recently announced the allocation nationally of $144 million for fishery disaster relief.

Of the total, $131.8 million is coming to Alaska. Here's a rundown of the affected fisheries:

• 2019 Norton Sound red king crab fishery: $1,433,137

• 2020 Norton Sound, Yukon River, Kuskokwim River, Chignik, and Southeast Alaska salmon fisheries, and 2021 Yukon River salmon fishery: $55,928,849

• 2018 Upper Cook Inlet eastside setnet and 2020 Upper Cook Inlet salmon fisheries: $9,404,672

• 2018 and 2020 Copper River and Prince William Sound salmon fisheries: $34,326,265

• 2019-20 Eastern Bering Sea Tanner crab fishery: $12,935,199

• 2020 Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod fishery: $17,772,540

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says it will develop spend plans for the funding.

In the past, fishery disaster spend plans have provided funds for research, and for direct payments to fishermen, processors, communities, and others.

When will the money be distributed? Probably no time soon, if past experience is any guide.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Salmon season is nearly here!

The Copper River District will open for the season at 7 a.m. May 16, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced.