Thursday, September 28, 2023

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Huge harvest, poor payoff

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Friday posted this summary of the Bristol Bay salmon season. Here are a few key points:

• The sockeye harvest was very large at nearly 40.6 million fish. But fishery value tallied only $116.8 million ex-vessel, roughly 37 percent below the 20-year average.

• The major buyers paid an average base price of 52 cents a pound.

• Average sockeye weight was 5.5 pounds, slightly larger than recent years due to the prevalence of fish with three years of ocean growth.

• The Naknek-Kvichak was tops among fishing districts with a harvest of about 13.2 million sockeye, edging out Egegik with 12.7 million.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Orca bycatch outbreak

The National Marine Fisheries Service says it is "evaluating data collected on 10 killer whales incidentally caught in Alaska by Bering Sea and Aleutian Island groundfish trawl fisheries in 2023."

In addition, NMFS says a killer whale was caught this summer during a longline survey for sablefish and groundfish.

More details in this agency statement.

Free money

This year's Permanent Fund dividend is $1,312, state officials announced today.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Bristol Bay salmon notes

Here are a few items of interest.

• The projected Bristol Bay harvest next year is 26.4 million sockeye. That's according to a preliminary forecast from the University of Washington Fisheries Research Institute. A harvest of that size would be much smaller than this year's 39.4 million sockeye.

• Bristol Bay setnetters are voting now by mail on whether to self-impose a 1 percent tax on their harvest to join the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, whose membership currently includes only driftnetters. The election closes on Oct. 19.

• Michael Jackson has resigned, creating a vacancy on the BBRSDA board of directors.

• The Alaska Board of Fisheries is being asked to clarify the rules regarding the 32-foot vessel length limit in the Bristol Bay fishery. The board will meet for a work session Oct. 12-13.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Russian military activity planned in the Bering Sea

The U.S. Coast Guard is advising of a Russian notice of missile operations set for Sept. 14-19 in the Bering Sea.

The affected area includes a portion of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone along the Maritime Boundary Line south of St. Lawrence Island.

"We will be positioning a Coast Guard asset in the area to provide a continued U.S. presence and facilitate commerce," a U.S. Coast Guard officer said in an email to industry.

The Russian notice comes in the form of a HYDROPAC message. Search for "Russia" to find the notice of Bering Sea missile operations daily Sept. 14-19 in an area bound by certain coordinates.