Sunday, June 30, 2024

Halibut bycatch case attracts Sullivan, Peltola

A court fight over halibut trawl bycatch is escalating.

Two members of Congress from Alaska, Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan and Democratic Rep. Peltola, are looking to weigh in on the case of Groundfish Forum v. National Marine Fisheries Service.

The lawmakers appear to be siding with regulators who imposed tighter halibut bycatch limits in the Bering Sea. A 17-vessel fleet, operating under the banner Groundfish Forum, has sued NMFS arguing the action is financially ruinous.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Council appointments on standby

The federal government announced appointments to six of the nation's regional fishery management councils, but said appointments to the Pacific and North Pacific councils "will be announced later this summer."

A regulatory revolution?

An opinion out today from the U.S. Supreme Court could have a major impact on how fisheries are regulated.

The ruling is getting a lot of press. Here's the clearest media report we've seen.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Summer troll fishery set

The summer troll fishery will open July 1 targeting 64,700 treaty Chinook salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today.

That's a considerable drop-off from last year's opening period target of 74,800 treaty Chinook.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Southeast seiner mishap

Petersburg radio station KFSK reports the seiner Pamela Rae overturned just south of Wrangell, but the five crewmembers were mostly unscathed.

Salmon snapshots

Here are market bulletins for each of the five salmon species, compiled by McKinley Research Group for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

What about disaster funding for trollers?

The Alaska Trollers Association has posted an update.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Cook Inlet setnetters in line for disaster dollars

The federal government today announced disaster funding for the 2021 and 2022 Upper Cook Inlet eastside setnet salmon fisheries.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Are Alaska Chinook really endangered?

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has written a briefing paper questioning the Endangered Species Act review of Gulf of Alaska Chinook salmon and spelling out the serious consequences of a listing.

Backlash for Peltola trawl bill

Commercial fishing groups nationally have sent a letter asking U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, to withdraw her Bottom Trawl Clarity Act.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Canada's big news

Canada today announced it will ban open net pen salmon aquaculture in British Columbia coastal waters by June 30, 2029.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Peltola drops another fisheries bill

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, has introduced a bill to "amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to establish the Fisheries and Ecological Resilience Program and to direct the Comptroller General of the United States to submit to Congress a report on the competitiveness of domestic seafood producers in domestic and global seafood trade."

Here's a press release from Peltola's office.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Bits and pieces

• The new salmon season is gaining steam, and you can track the catch on the Blue Sheet. We just clicked over 1 million fish statewide.

• The Alaska Department of Fish and Game today announced the Aleutian Islands golden king crab quotas and season dates.

• Pacific Seafood has been hit with a big pollution penalty in Washington state.

• Coastal states reportedly have failed to agree on a protocol for commercial fishing in the central Arctic Ocean.

• A new United Nations report says that in 2022, production of animal species from aquaculture surpassed for the first time that from capture fisheries.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

An interesting note from the Peter Pan meltdown

This filing in the Peter Pan Seafood receivership reveals a "collaboration among competitors" involving the storage, labeling and distribution of canned salmon.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Friday, June 14, 2024


Catch our sister blog The Brig for some interesting items posted today.

Fish and the farm bill

Two top commercial fishing organizations like the new farm bill taking shape in Congress.

The U.S. Coast Guard's new chaplain

Here's the announcement.

Next up for the CFEC

The governor has appointed Rick Green to the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.

The commission is a small state agency that issues commercial fishing permits and vessel licenses. The commission also limits the number of participants in the fisheries, though this work by and large was completed many years ago.

As many as three commissioners head the agency, but it will have only two with Green's appointment.

Green is best known for his years hosting a radio show as "Rick Rydell." More recently, he was special assistant to state Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang.

He takes the place of Mike Porcaro on the commission. Porcaro, an advertising executive who also hosts a radio talk show, in May failed to win legislative confirmation to the position.

Nathaniel Herz, of Northern Journal, was first to break the news of Green's appointment.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

More time, please

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is joining the state in requesting more time for public comment on an Endangered Species Act review of Gulf of Alaska Chinook salmon. Here's the letter.

Northline drops anchor in Bristol Bay

Northline Seafoods says its new processing barge, the Hannah, has arrived in Bristol Bay for its inaugural salmon season. "Our four 22,000-pound anchors and 90,000 pounds of chain were placed over the weekend," the company announced today on LinkedIn. "The Hannah is positioned at Clarks Point in the Nushagak fishing district and will be buying fish from all districts until the end of the season."

Monday, June 10, 2024

More disaster relief

The feds today announced disaster determinations for two more Alaska fisheries — the 2023 Upper Cook Inlet eastside setnet salmon fishery and the 2022 Chignik salmon fishery.

The state of the industry

The National Marine Fisheries Service is preparing a report in response to "an urgent request from Alaska seafood producers and associations for an independent evaluation of the current state of federal Alaska commercial fishing and seafood markets."

Friday, June 7, 2024

NMFS moves to 'modernize' surveys, cut costs

Deckboss recently posted an industry letter to Congress expressing "urgent concern" about adequate funding for federal fisheries surveys.

Now comes word that the National Marine Fisheries Service is consolidating, reducing and suspending a number of Alaska surveys.

Silver Bay to acquire Trident's False Pass plant

Here's the press release.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Tragedy near Wrangell

The U.S. Coast Guard is reporting one person dead after a 58-foot fishing vessel collided with a skiff.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Liquidating Peter Pan

The court-appointed receiver for Peter Pan Seafood Co. has filed his initial report outlining efforts to sell off the company's assets, including millions of dollars in canned and frozen fish inventory.

The report also summarizes several lawsuits pending against Peter Pan.

The receiver also discloses he has collected $5 million in insurance proceeds related to two fires that occurred before the receivership.

More legal conflict in Cook Inlet

For over a decade now, Cook Inlet salmon management has been enmeshed in legal battles.

Now, predictably, another lawsuit has been filed as the federal government takes over salmon management in the inlet's federal waters.

NFI decries Peltola's 'misguided' trawl bill

Here's the statement from the National Fisheries Institute.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

'Nothing is more critical'

Fishing and processing groups recently sent this letter to Congress urging adequate funding for federal fisheries surveys.