Friday, May 31, 2024

Bristol Bay eastside salmon announcement No. 1

Read it right here.

CEOs discuss the salmon situation

National Fisherman has published interviews with the chief executives of three leading Alaska salmon processors.

The CEOs offer their takes on the 2024 season and challenges facing the industry.

Trident Seafoods CEO Joe Bundrant

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Trident to continue Kodiak operations

Trident Seafoods today announced it would continue operating its Kodiak processing plant through "B" season for pollock, an important Gulf of Alaska fishery.

The announcement helps allay anxiety over the status of the plant, which Trident is attempting to sell as part of a company restructuring.

"We're currently in the middle of sale negotiations for Kodiak," Trident CEO Joe Bundrant said.

The potential buyer remains confidential.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Copper River update

The Copper River District commercial salmon fishery will resume at 7 a.m. Thursday for a 12-hour period, but the Chitina dipnet fishery will remain closed at least through June 9 due to a low sonar count.

A leadership transition at AMCC

Here's the announcement.

Northline processing barge heads to Bristol Bay

Here's the press release.

USCG reports fire and vessel tow

A U.S. Coast Guard enforcement report to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council includes this note:

May 15 — F/V Defender reported fire onboard. The fire was extinguished, and a tug towed the vessel into Dutch Harbor while being escorted by USCG cutter Midgett.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Another problem for Peter Pan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is suing Peter Pan Seafood Co. to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act at processing plants in Valdez and King Cove.

Under a proposed consent decree, Peter Pan and another company, PSF Inc., would pay a civil penalty of $750,000.

The decree lays out requirements to monitor and manage seafood processing waste discharges.

The EPA lawsuit also names Silver Bay Seafoods as a defendant, due to Silver Bay's recent purchase of Peter Pan's Valdez plant.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Eye on the competition

A couple of weeks ago, Deckboss saw a Publix circular offering "Bluehouse Atlantic Salmon Fillets" at $11.99 a pound.

The ad further described the product as "Fresh From Florida, Sustainable, Farmed."

Saturday, May 25, 2024

A timeout for the Copper River

The Copper River is off to a hot start this season, with the first three fishing periods yielding stronger than expected catches of sockeye salmon.

Now, the fishery is taking a break.

The Copper River District will remain closed on Monday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today. The department didn't say when the fishery might reopen.

The problem appears to be lagging escapement upriver. The cumulative sonar count through Friday was 2,808 fish whereas 44,862 had been projected, the department said.

The cumulative harvest to date in the Copper River District is about 168,000 sockeye and 4,100 Chinook.

Misreporting, whale shooting land longliner in court

Federal prosecutors say a longline fisherman, Dugan Paul Daniels, of Coffman Cove, misreported sablefish and halibut catches and had a crewman shoot a sperm whale, an endangered species.

The misreporting is a felony and the shooting is a misdemeanor, court records say.

Under a plea agreement, Daniels is expected to plead guilty with prosecutors recommending a sentence of no more than six months in prison. He'll be fined $25,000, and also agree not to engage in commercial fishing for a year.

The case is set for a June 6 hearing in Juneau.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Alaska's very own pet food brand?

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is in line for a $500,000 federal grant for "development and marketing of an Alaska seafood pet food brand."

Learn more about this and other grants here.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Agency to entertain Chinook listing

The National Marine Fisheries Service announced today that listing of Gulf of Alaska Chinook salmon as threatened or endangered "may be warranted."

This is a preliminary, pro forma finding by the agency; we remain far from any actual listing under the Endangered Species Act.

The NMFS announcement comes in response to a petition from the Wild Fish Conservancy, the same organization that's fighting in court to shut down the Southeast Alaska troll Chinook salmon fishery.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Peltola takes on trawlers

Alaska Democratic Congresswoman Mary Peltola, currently running for reelection, today introduced two bills to "restrict bottom trawling and reduce bycatch."

The Alaska Pollock Fishery Alliance issued this statement expressing disappointment in one of the bills.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Fast start for the Copper River

Yesterday's Copper River season opener produced an estimated 43,000 sockeye salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports.

That's way above the projected harvest of 14,900 sockeye for the 12-hour period.

Fishermen also took 1,100 Chinook, the department said.

Larry Cotter crosses the bar

Here's more sad news.

Larry Cotter, of Juneau, died on May 9, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council staff reports.

Cotter was a former council member and the former CEO of APICDA, the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association.

Kenny Down crosses the bar

Kenny Down, a North Pacific Fishery Management Council member from Washington state, died recently. Here's the announcement.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Silver Bay's big sale to Uncle Sam

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has purchased more than $7.5 million in canned pink salmon from Silver Bay Seafoods.

The purchase is in support of child nutrition and other domestic food programs, the agency said in this announcement.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

A Seattle sinking

The fishing vessel North American has sunk at a pier east of the Ballard Bridge, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Trident's $56.6 million fire

A National Transportation Safety Board report says the probable cause of the fire aboard the Trident Seafoods factory trawler Kodiak Enterprise was "an unknown electrical source within the dry stores room."

The dry stores room was in the bow just forward of the galley.

The devastating fire broke out in April 2023 while the vessel was docked in Tacoma.

The Kodiak Enterprise was declared a total loss and had an estimated value of $56.6 million, the NTSB report says.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Governor's appointees clear Legislature, mostly

The Alaska Legislature on Tuesday confirmed Gov. Mike Dunleavy's fishery-related appointments, with one exception.

Märit Carlson-Van Dort, of Anchorage, was confirmed to the Board of Fisheries by a vote of 53 yeas 7 nays. This is a reappointment, as she already has served one term on the board.

Curtis Chamberlain, an Anchorage attorney and newcomer to the Board of Fisheries, was confirmed by a vote of 55 yeas 5 nays.

Megan O'Neil, of Petersburg, was confirmed to the Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council by unanimous consent.

Mike Porcaro initially won confirmation to the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission by a vote of 31 yeas 29 nays. But on a reconsideration vote, his confirmation failed 30-30. Porcaro is an Anchorage advertising executive and radio talk show host with no background in commercial fisheries.

Here's the legislative journal supplement with complete details on confirmation of the governor's appointments.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Another MSC objection

We previously reported how the Alaska salmon fishery is up for Marine Stewardship Council recertification.

Now, another organization is objecting.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which describes itself as the UK's largest nature conservation charity, is raising concerns about possibly significant gillnet bycatch of seabirds, particularly the marbled murrelet.

Fukushima and fish

State agencies have put together a new two-page fact sheet titled Fukushima Incident and Seafood from Alaska.

The fact sheet basically says the dumping of slightly radioactive wastewater from the 2011 catastrophe at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant hasn't been a problem for Alaska seafood.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Speeding up disaster relief

Alaska's congressional delegation is sponsoring legislation to expedite federal aid following fishery disaster declarations.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Copper River salmon season opens May 16!

More details in this announcement from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Peltola's Pebble stance

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, who is running for reelection, today announced she introduced a bill to nix the Pebble mine.