Thursday, March 30, 2023

Troll Chinook limit takes a hit

The state today announced a commercial troll treaty harvest allocation for 2023 of 149,100 Chinook salmon, which is 44,100 fish below last year's limit.

Now, we wait to see if the courts allow the troll fishery to proceed.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

And they're off at Sitka!

The Sitka Sound herring sac roe fishery opened at 1:15 p.m. today, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Togiak is toast

The long, slow decline of the Togiak herring fishery is now complete.

"Processors have indicated that they do not intend to harvest herring in Togiak in 2023 and there will be no commercial fishery," the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports. "The department does not expect this will change."

This despite a gargantuan volume of herring available for harvest this year at Togiak.

Evidently, no one wants it.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Sitka herring watch

The Sitka Sound herring sac roe fishery will go on two-hour notice effective at 8 a.m. Thursday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced.

Council reappointment for Down

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee likes Kenny Down for another term on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Here's the governor's nomination letter.

Uncle Sam's salmon

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has purchased nearly $4.5 million in canned pink salmon from three companies — Silver Bay Seafoods, OBI Seafoods, and Trident Seafoods.

Friday, March 17, 2023

'Several very large schools'

Aerial surveys and test fishing have begun in preparation for the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery.

Here's the latest update from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Tsukada for the council

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has named Rudy Tsukada for a coming vacancy on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Here's the governor's nomination letter.

Tsukada, if approved, would replace Simon Kinneen, who is finishing up his third consecutive three-year term, the maximum allowable.

Trident disability case settles

A notice of settlement has been filed in a case in which a fishing vessel engineer accused Trident Seafoods of firing him because he was missing three fingers.

Conservancy replies

The Wild Fish Conservancy has filed this nine-page response to the Alaska congressional delegation's amici curiae brief.

Conservancy lawyers seem to argue, among other things, that Congress could simply appropriate disaster funds if the court orders a troll fishery closure.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Bob Penney crosses the bar

Bob Penney, Kenai River sportfishing advocate and former member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, reportedly has died at age 90.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Emergency in Cook Inlet?

Eastside Cook Inlet setnetters have submitted an emergency petition to the Alaska Board of Fisheries in a bid to save at least a sliver of their sockeye fishery, which is slated for closure this year to help conserve scarce king salmon.

Halibut box closes in on trawl fleet

The National Marine Fisheries Service has approved a measure to tighten limits on halibut trawl bycatch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

The action is aimed at a fleet of nearly 20 factory trawlers known as the Amendment 80 sector.

The measure replaces the fleet's current static bycatch limit with one based on halibut abundance. It took years to develop and comes over the fleet's strenuous objections.

Here are three letters from companies who urged NMFS not to approve the measure:

Now that the government is finalizing the halibut measure, it'll be interesting to see if the Amendment 80 fleet challenges the action in court.

Friday, March 10, 2023

What's happening at CFEC?

The Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission has posted its 2022 annual report.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Murkowski's new fish guy

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced new staff members, including this one:

Matt Robinson, born and raised in Fairbanks, joins the D.C. office as legislative assistant for fisheries and oceans. Matt earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Alaska Fairbanks before joining the North Pacific Fishery Management Council as an Alaska Sea Grant State Fellow in 2015. After his fellowship, he joined Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp., where he worked for five years managing the harvest of BBEDC's federally allocated community development quota and representing the organization at various fisheries regulatory meetings.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Congressional delegation weighs in

Alaska's congressional delegation has filed this amici curiae brief arguing against any shutdown of the Southeast Alaska salmon troll fishery.

Funding the fight

As Southeast Alaska trollers anxiously await a federal judge's decision that could dash this year's salmon season, the fishermen are doing a whale of a job raising money to fight in court.

The Alaska Trollers Association reports raising more than $310,000 so far from municipalities, businesses and others.

'Implausible and misguided'

The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council has posted a statement denouncing the lawsuit threatening the troll fishery.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Upper Cook Inlet sockeye forecast

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game predicts an "average" run this year.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

More from Juneau

The Alaska House of Representatives has passed a resolution in defense of the embattled Southeast Alaska troll fishery. The vote was 35-1, with Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, the lone nay.

House Bill 92 titled "An act relating to claims against protection and indemnity insurance policies of vessel owners" was introduced today.