This Week's Fish News

February 9, 2024

American Seafoods' Western Alaska Community Grant Board is accepting applications from Kodiak Island, Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, the Western Alaska Penninsula, Bristol Bay, Lower Kuskokwim River, Lower Yukon, and Norton Sound through March 25, 2024

Bruce Schactler, Michael “MJ” Jackson, Hannah Heimbuch, and Jerry McCune have been selected as UFA's newest "At Large" board members.

Brent Paine, the executive director of United Catcher Boats, a trawl industry association, will retire at the end of the year.

Alaska pollock trawl associations are banding together against an emergency petition that would implement a king salmon bycatch cap of zero fish for 180 days, likely shutting down the Bering Sea pollock fishery. The city of Unalaska is also pushing back, stating that a shutdown would decimate the city's economy. 

Peter Pan Seafoods' Sand Point warehouse and stockroom burned down yesterday. 

Heads up for Bristol Bay drifters: did you know that BBRSDA will reimburse members (or one crew member) $500 toward the cost to take an RSW operator class? Classes are scheduled for March 11-14 in Bremerton, WA, and May 16-19 in King Salmon, AK. 

Why is the definition of pelagic trawl so important? Regulation does not prohibit pelagic trawls from touching the bottom. Rather, the use of prescriptive definitions of and restrictions on pelagic trawl gear is intended to keep the gear off the bottom. It doesn't, and as this article points out, it may actually be preventing skippers from modifying their trawls to avoid the bottom. 

Following the implementation of abundance based management of halibut bycatch, the Amendment 80 sector has cut their fleet by three vessels in order to avoid going over their new, lower halibut cap, and they're not happy about it.

The NPFMC is considering seasonal closures of areas in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska to protect crab molting grounds. One proposal would implement seasonal closures of the red king crab savings area to pollock fishing in years of low red king crab abundance. In the GOA, the Council is looking at expanding current protections in the GOA for the Kodiak Tanner fishery. 

Governor Dunleavy introduced two bills that would authorize the Board of Fisheries to require electronic monitoring in any state-managed fishery (think salmon fisheries, etc.). Although generally supportive of electronic monitoring, many in the industry are against the bill as written, due to its lack of clarity and purpose, and the lack of clear guidelines on when and how EM could be required, and how the associated costs would be paid.

This week's Alaska Fisheries Report: Seafood restaurant dynamics that drive low prices, petition pushback from Unalaska, and hatchery salmon.

The World Fisheries Congress will be held in Seattle March 3-7

Dozens of Alaska legislators signed a letter to the Department of Agriculture requesting the USDA buy Alaska seafood - and fast.

The NPFMC is holding a Climate Scenarios Workshop In Kodiak June 5-6, during their June Council meeting which runs June 3-11. The workshop will focus on improving the climate resiliency and readiness of Alaska's federally managed fisheries.