In permit news: we sold a Bristol Bay setnet permit for $78,000 this week, up from the previous sale at $65,000 before the 2022 season. We currently have 16 Bristol Bay drift permits listed for sale; our lowest posted asking price is $194,000. Our most recent sales were at $190,000 and $192,000 and a permit sold elsewhere at $189,000 this week.
New listings include a Cook Inlet drift permit at $35,000, which is what the last few permits have sold for; a Kodiak herring seine permit at $33,000; a Southeast seine permit at $205,000; and a Yakutat setnet permit at $17,000. New offers include $210,000 for an Area M drift permit and $16,000 for an Area M drift 2023 EMT; $140,000 for a Kodiak Tanner to 120' permit; and $15,000 for a PWS herring seine permit.
In fishing news, there's quite a bit of turmoil going on in the Southeast troll fisheries' legal battle. Here's a rundown of what's happened so far. A lawsuit brought by the Wild Fish Conservancy alleges that NMFS didn't do the required research on the effects of Chinook removals on killer whales, or of hatchery fish on the wild stocks. The State and the Alaska Trollers Association (ATA) aren't disputing the issues, but they asked for the hatcheries and fisheries to be left open pending a solution. The judge left the hatcheries intact, but said that trollers must stand down. Of course, this will likely be appealed, but the odds are tough. The State opposes closing the fisheries, saying it would be an "economic catastrophe" for fishing communities in Southeast. The ATA put out a press release this week, objecting to the court’s proposed order to close the Chinook fisheries. The Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association and the ATA, put out a white paper on the issue, focusing on science that suggests that pollution and habitat loss are much larger factors affecting the declining killer whale populations than Chinook fisheries. The Sitka Assembly is considering contributing $25,000 to the troller's legal defense fund.
Elsewhere, the Kodiak Tanner fishery is supposed to open on January 15, but fishermen are standing down over what they're calling an unreasonably low price of $2.50/lb. Last year, they were paid $8.50/lb. Nearly 170 boats were set to start fishing on Sunday. The combined catch of 7.3 million pounds is the largest in almost 40 years. Some Tanner fishermen are gearing up to take their crab to the Bering Sea for delivery instead, where they fetch $3.70/lb. They're set to have another meeting tomorrow, and if they can reach an agreement on price, fishing may open on Monday.
Alaskafish.news has a great overview of upcoming and ongoing fisheries here.
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