Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Aquaculture announcement coming

The National Marine Fisheries Service is inviting reporters to a Thursday teleconference to learn about "new aquaculture efforts in Alaska."

Officials from NMFS and state agencies are expected to be there.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

ASMI's new communications director

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute just released the following:

ASMI is pleased to announce that Greg Smith has been hired to serve as Communications Director. Greg comes to ASMI from the Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development (DCCED) where he worked alongside Commissioner Sande as special assistant and legislative liaison. Prior to DCCED, Greg worked for several sessions as the Chief of Staff to Representative Andi Story of Juneau. Greg also serves on the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly, and, among his other talents, has also worked as a deckhand on a commercial gillnetter. Greg is a lifelong Juneauite, a graduate of Oregon State University, and he is incredibly passionate about Alaska and Alaska seafood. We look forward to Greg applying his passion and skillset within ASMI beginning June 12.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Bad situation at Sitka

One person has been recovered dead and four others are missing from an overdue charter vessel found partially submerged, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Troll legal battle

For important updates, revisit our May 2 post on the Wild Fish Conservancy court case, which is threatening to shut down this summer's Southeast Alaska troll Chinook fishery.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Lackluster Copper River opener

Seems like we say this every year, but the Copper River salmon fishery is off to a slow start.

In Monday's 12-hour season opener, driftnetters took about 10,900 sockeye, well short of the 17,600 projected, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports.

The fleet also took an estimated 1,100 Chinook.

Fishery participation seemed low, with 359 deliveries reported.

We haven't heard anything about prices, but early season Copper River fish typically pay handsomely.

The Copper River District will open again at 7 a.m. Thursday for a 12-hour fishing period.

Monday, May 15, 2023

And the winners are...

Here are the 2023 Southeast Alaska sablefish tag recovery drawing winners.

Illegal trawling charges filed — against somebody

Here is a U.S. Coast Guard press release that regrettably fails to name the vessel or vessel operator involved.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Go time for salmon!

The famed Copper River salmon fishery opens for the season at 7 a.m. Monday with a 12-hour period.

The Copper River fishery marks the start of a new salmon year in Alaska.

Best of luck to all gillnetters, and please stay safe!

Monday, May 8, 2023

Bristol Bay inventory relief?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a purchase of up to $67.5 million in canned sockeye and sockeye fillets, Alaska's congressional delegation reports.

This appears to be a life ring to the Bristol Bay salmon industry, which reportedly is still working to sell off last year's gargantuan sockeye catch.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Chris Oliver on the move

Click here.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Hammer drops on Southeast trollers

A Seattle federal judge today issued a two-page order that would appear to close this summer's Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon troll fishery.

We'll update this post with reaction expected to pour in shortly.


The Alaska Trollers Association says the judge's order "will cause irreparable harm to the communities of Southeast Alaska."

SalmonState, an environmental organization, condemns the Wild Fish Conservancy lawsuit and concludes: "This fight is far from over."

The state of Alaska plans to appeal "a bitter ruling" that takes the "radical step" of closing a fishery.

The Wild Fish Conservancy hails "a landmark order halting the overharvest of Chinook salmon in Southeast Alaska that has persisted for decades, jeopardizing the survival of federally protected Southern Resident killer whales and wild Chinook populations coastwide."

Eric Jordan, of Sitka, writing on Facebook: "Tough news for this lifelong troller."

Alaska Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang: "I find this ruling to be wholly unfair and disappointing."

The Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association calls out the court's "disappointing decision" and vows to "continue to fight Wild Fish Conservancy's spurious lawsuit."

The state of Alaska wastes no time in filing its notice of appeal.

The Alaska congressional delegation condemns the court order.

The National Marine Fisheries Service issues a statement saying: "We are working expeditiously to address the court's order."

The state of Alaska moves for a partial stay of the judge's order pending appeal.

The Alaska Trollers Association says it has received confirmation from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game that the troll coho and chum fisheries "will occur this year as normal, although without Chinook retention."

Norman Pillen, president of Seafood Producers Cooperative, writes in a column that the company and its fishermen "will survive this debacle."

NMFS also is appealing the judge's order.

Jon Kurland, head of NMFS for Alaska, will be in Sitka on June 7 to give salmon trollers an update on the agency's response to the Wild Fish Conservancy lawsuit.

Seattle federal Judge Richard A. Jones denies the state's motion for a partial stay of his May 2 order. Thus, Southeast Alaska's summer Chinoook salmon troll fishery remains in jeopardy of closure this year.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game releases an update on the situation.

NMFS hasn't ruled out opening the summer troll season despite the judge's rulings, Sitka radio station KCAW reports.

Southeast Alaska tribes and Native corporations have filed papers in support of keeping the troll fishery open. "Approximately 31 percent of Southeast Alaska's trollers are tribal citizens," the filing says.

F/V Northwestern v. Original Productions

Here's an interesting lawsuit.