This Week's Fish News

September 28, 2023

The Gulf of Maine Institute puts on a 5-day educational program for each regional fishery management council, called the Marine Resource Education Program (MREP), which is free to attend for accepted applicants. The next one will be held February 26 - March 1 in Kodiak, Alaska. By "free" I mean that they even cover airfare, meals, and lodging. I attended MREP in Juneau this spring, and it was both valuable and fun. I'd encourage anyone interested to apply. Preference will be given to applications received by November 1.

Wondering how the looming government shutdown will affect fisheries? Same. We've been here before, and it wasn't pretty. Everything from NMFS (and RAM, which issues federal permits, facilitates transfers, etc.), to NVDC, to lenders (who often won't disburse loan proceeds until mortgages have been recorded through NVDC) will likely be affected and unfortunately we don't yet know exactly how

Is there hope for Bering Sea snow crab? Maybe. Some indicators appear positive, but abundance levels for legal crab are still at all-time lows. 

"Trawling probably catches more of a range of species in their trawl nets than any other fishery so they become the target, but the longline fishery has equal amounts of bycatch." That's a quote from ADFG Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang at last week's town hall in Kodiak. 

Circle Seafoods is beginning construction on its new floating salmon processor, a 340 ft. freezer barge for Bristol Bay, which will hopefully be ready for the 2024 season. The company aims to shift dramatically the processing and supply chain, effectively lowering operating costs and boosting ex-vessel values. Good on 'em!

Here's something I bet none of you know yet: high barriers to entry and climate-related changes are deterring young people from getting into fisheries. WHAT?! Jokes aside, this is a good article.

On that note, the Yukon River is warming twice as fast as rivers farther south, and it's likely contributing to the region's salmon crash, exacerbating parasite issues and heat stress, among other things.

Last week I linked to an article about 10 orcas caught as bycatch on Bering Sea trawlers so far this year, nine of which died. Here's more information on that. 

This week's Alaska Fisheries Report: ADFG "kicks off its traveling bycatch roadshow" (which is just a really great moniker), and a story on the Yukon salmon collapse. 

NMFS had appointed 20 members to an advisory panel which will advise the agency on marine conservation and management, and marine restoration.

NOAA is looking to expand the existing critical habitat areas for North Pacific right whales in Alaska, adding to the already-protected areas in the Bering Sea and near Kodiak.