Friday, February 24, 2023

Juneau watch

State Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, has introduced Senate Bill 82 to establish a buyback program for eastside Cook Inlet setnet permits.

An update on the CDQ decennial review

The state of Alaska says it has completed its 10-year review of community development quota organizations and determined that all six have "maintained or improved performance."

More details in this press release.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Who is Shawaan Jackson-Gamble?

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has appointed Shawaan Jackson-Gamble to fill the newly designated Alaska Native tribal seat on the council's Advisory Panel.

Here's a letter with Jackson-Gamble's background.

The council received several nominations for the seat, but Jackson-Gamble seemed to have considerable backing from industry, conservation, and Native interests.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

P/V Enforcer decommissioned

The state is looking to replace the Southeast Alaska patrol vessel Enforcer after an inspection turned up lots of problems, the Alaska Beacon reports.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Getting an edge in Bristol Bay

One of the best-known fishing rules in Alaska is the 32-foot length limit on drift gillnet boats operating in the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery.

The rule is a great leveler for the highly competitive harvest.

But make no mistake, the bay's 32-foot boats are not equal. The more aggressive fishermen have found ways to pack more and more fishing power into their boats, making them wider, faster, brawnier and better equipped than other vessels.

It's all about outcompeting other captains for the sockeye that pour into the bay by the millions each summer.

But this coming season, Bristol Bay gilletters are expected to come under extra scrutiny from the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, who issued this letter to driftnet permit holders warning against add-ons or other modifications that could violate the 32-foot vessel length limit.

"In an effort to ensure a fair and equitable fishery, AWT will be measuring vessels for possible enforcement action during the 2023 fishing season," the letter says.

Could be a lot of Bristol Bay fishermen will be scrambling to bring their boats into compliance.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

3,840 cases of pink salmon for Ukraine

A large donation of canned pink salmon has arrived in war-torn Ukraine, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute reports. Read about it here.

PWSAC sentenced to pay $1 million

Here's a press release from the U.S. attorney's office.

'Blatant and continued disregard for crews'

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the operator and owner of the processing vessel Pacific Producer for unsafe and unsanitary conditions, proposing $208,983 in penalties.

More details in this news release.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

A second loss for Fishermen's Finest

Trawl operator Fishermen's Finest filed an ambitious "takings claim" against the federal government, but the claim was dismissed.

Now, Fishermen's Finest has lost again on appeal.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Juneau watch

Legislators have introduced a resolution urging defense of the state's fisheries, including the Southeast Alaska troll fishery.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Halibut retreats

The International Pacific Halibut Commission finally got around to issuing a press release with this year's catch limits and season dates.

The commission set a coastwide catch limit of 36.97 million pounds, a 10.3 percent decline from last year.

The season will run from March 10 to Dec. 7.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

CDQ review

A "decennial review" of the community development quota program is underway.

Here's an update from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

How about it, setnetters?

An election will be held this year on setnet membership in the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association.

The election will come in the fall following the fishing season, the association said today in its Waypoints newsletter.

As it stands now, only driftnet permit holders are members of BBRSDA.

Bristol Bay salmon driftnetters in 2006 voted to approve a 1 percent tax on the ex-vessel price of fish sold.

Presumably, this will be the main question facing setnetters in the election — whether to shoulder a tax to support BBRSDA.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Holding for halibut

It's been 10 days since the International Pacific Halibut Commission concluded its annual meeting, and we're still waiting for the press release specifying catch limits and season dates.

Is there a problem?

Sunday, February 5, 2023

A quiet board appointment

Stanley Zuray, of Tanana, has been appointed to the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

He was appointed on Dec. 29, according to Friday's House Journal.