Monday, January 30, 2023

Yukon-Kuskokwim update

Alaska Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang is scheduled to appear at 10 a.m. Tuesday before the House Special Committee on Fisheries for a presentation on "Yukon and Kuskokwim fisheries collapse."

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Still holding out in Kodiak

Here's an update on the Kodiak crab strike from KMXT news director Kirsten Dobroth.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

A troller speaks out

An ongoing lawsuit that threatens to close their fishery has Southeast Alaska salmon trollers agitated, none more so than David Richey, who bought a full page in the Daily Sitka Sentinel to argue the suit is misguided.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Juneau watch

Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, will chair the House Special Committee on Fisheries.

Copper River forecast is out!

A commercial harvest of 987,000 sockeye salmon is expected this year, according to the forecast from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Helping fishermen in need

Deckboss is aware of at least three fundraising campaigns for seriously injured commercial fishermen:

Monday, January 16, 2023

Robert Otto crosses the bar

Robert Otto, 76, of Kodiak, died over the holidays, according to an obituary in the local newspaper.

Best known as a crab scientist, Otto formerly was director of the Kodiak Laboratory, part of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center.

Here's an article marking his retirement in 2005.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Thwarting whales

The International Pacific Halibut Commission is planning experimental fishing with devices "intended to reduce marine mammal depredation of catch from longline gear."

Here's a media release with more details.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Feeling hopeful, and crabby, in Kodiak

Unless delayed by weather, the Kodiak commercial Tanner crab season will open at noon tomorrow, and the harvest could be the biggest in many years.

But word out of Kodiak is that crabbers want higher prices than processors are offering, so the fleet might strike.

The Kodiak District Tanner crab quota is 5.8 million pounds, more than five times last season's quota. Kodiak hasn't seen a harvest this large since the nearly 9 million pounds taken in 1986.

Far larger harvests came in the 1970s, when the Kodiak District twice produced seasonal catches in excess of 30 million pounds.

As for price negotiations, one crabber a couple of days ago wrote Deckboss: "Kodiak fishermen are asking $5 a pound. The processors are not budging and are still at $2.50. Options are being explored to tender the crab west where the starting price is $3.70."

Thursday, January 12, 2023

'An economic catastrophe'

In a court filing this week, the state of Alaska strenuously opposes a shutdown of troll Chinook fisheries, arguing it would be "an economic catastrophe for Southeast Alaska fishing towns for no reason."

BBRSDA's new sounding board

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association has named its new Advisory Panel.

The members are Glenn Biernacki, Craig Chythlook, John Garner, Sean Guffey, Steve Kurian, Tristan Pettigrew and Laura Zimin.

"The purpose of this panel is to aid the association in recruiting good ideas from critics and proponents of initiatives, discussing critical issues and finding solutions through vetting and prioritizing new ideas related to our mission," the association reported today in its Waypoints newsletter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Who needs a lobbyist?

The Alaska Legislature begins a new session on Jan. 17.

As usual, some fishing industry players are keenly interested in events in Juneau and have hired lobbyists to follow — or push — the action.

We mined the Alaska Public Offices Commission database to compile this list of employers, their lobbyists, and the fees they'll pay this year.

Alaska Salmon Aquaculture Alliance, Confluence Strategies, $60,000

At-sea Processors Association, Legislative Consultants, $40,000

City of Unalaska, Dianne Blumer, $71,000

Pacific Seafood Processors Association, Legislative Consultants, $60,000

Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp., Confluence Strategies, $45,000

Purse Seine Vessel Owners' Association, Confluence Strategies, $35,000

Trident Seafoods Corp., Strategy North Group, $60,000

United Fishermen of Alaska, Tracy Welch, $85,000 (annual wage)

Monday, January 9, 2023


Check out The Brig for some interesting enforcement notes.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Trolling for help

The Alaska Trollers Association is asking the City and Borough of Sitka for $25,000 to help fight a lawsuit that threatens to close the Southeast Alaska Chinook troll fishery.

Here's a letter from the association's president, Matt Donohoe.

And here's a background legal summary from the association's attorney.

The Sitka Assembly is set to consider the funding request on Jan. 10.