Monday, April 1, 2013


If a fish sings at you from a plaque on the wall, don't you think, 'Oh! I want to eat that now!'

– KUCB, Unalaska

Hope for halibut

International Pacific Halibut Commission Director Bruce Leaman says there are signs of improvement in halibut stocks in Area 2, which includes Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, and the Pacific coast states.
– KFSK, Petersburg

Slow Sitka fishing

Informal reports on social media suggest fishing was slower than the previous two openers – perhaps around 1,000 tons.

– KCAW, Sitka

Restore otters

The most critical message, however, is that the reintroduction of sea otters to Southeast Alaska is not simply about the recovery of a species; it is about the restoration of an ecosystem.

– Juneau Empire

Fix culverts

A federal judge ordered the state of Washington to fix culverts that block salmon from reaching their habitat, setting a timeline and pressuring officials to find the money needed to do the job.

– Daily Astorian

Shrimpers' halibut excluder

Researchers working with the Pacific Northwest's groundfish industry have tested a new device that shows promise of significantly reducing the incidental bycatch of halibut from commercial bottom trawl fishermen.

– Salem Statesman Journal

N. Cal baitfish

In contrast, anchovy, sardines, and market squid, officially known as coastal pelagic species, are already well managed under both federal and state fishery management plans, which prescribe precautionary harvest limits.

– Crescent City Triplicate

Protect Bristol Bay subsistence

It calls for the protection of vital habitat with responsible development by increasing habitat protections for fish and wildlife, prohibiting metallic sulfide mining in the Nushagak and Kvichak watersheds, and incorporating new guidelines to protect subsistence in those same watersheds.

– Bristol Bay Times

Alaska Fisheries Report

The final halibut GHL is still a little up in the air even as fishermen prepare for the season opening, a floating processor's crew is stranded and homeless in Kodiak after their ship runs aground, and a smart phone tour of Alaska's busiest fishing port.

– KMXT, Kodiak

Openings and closings

ALL OVER ALASKA, state water Pacific cod is coming to an end. Chignik closed Friday, March 29; Monday, the Aleutian island district closes at noon. And around Kodiak, as of Friday, there was only 1 million pounds left, leaving only a few more fishing days for the pot fishermen.

THE FEDERAL WATERS still remain open for jig gear with about 750,000 pounds in the A season, and on March 15, the state water season opened. So far 90,000 pounds of the nearly 7 million pound limit has been taken. Jiggers sit and wait for the cod to come into more shallow water.

HALIBUT KICKED OFF last week with a slow start. Just under 500,000 pounds have been delivered thus far out of the nearly 22 million pound quota, while the longliners targeting sablefish have delivered 1 percent of the 28 million pound TAC.

OUT IN THE BERING SEA: Snow crab fishermen are getting close to the nearly 70 million pound harvest. Some 90 percent has been caught, leaving less than 6 million to go for the opilio crab season.

– Stephanie Mangini


Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Forty-one years ago, a Kodiak-bound fishing boat out of Mobile, Alabama, disappeared without a trace, taking all hands with it.

– KTOO, Juneau

Cook Inlet setnetters

But local setnetters say they are unwilling to invest any more money into a fishery they were largely shut out of during the last season.

– Peninsula Clarion

Salmon bycatch

Coastal Western Alaska stocks dominated the sample set (68%) with smaller contributions from North Alaska Peninsula (9%), British Columbia (8%), and U.S. west coast (6%) stocks.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, reporting on his blog: Deckboss

EPA's Pebble report

The EPA is scheduled to release its revised watershed assessment for the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay sometime this spring.

– KTOO, Juneau

Crescent City crab

Early reports of commercial landings of Dungeness crab in California this season indicate that Crescent City crab fishermen alone will haul in more crab than the Central California ports combined.

– Crescent City Triplicate

Skinny gillnet opening

Commercial fishing for spring Chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River will be delayed until April 9 with the net fleet then likely to be limited to seven to nine fish per vessel.

– Vancouver (Wash.) Columbian

Ready for cod ratz?

The plan includes trawlers in the Central Gulf and both trawl and pot cod gear in the Western Gulf.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Laine Welch, writing in The Fish Site

Killing cormorants

The Trust argues that the studies further strengthen the case for action to be taken to protect fish stocks in the UK from unsustainable predation by cormorants.

– FishNewsEU

Chuck Crapo retires

"Chuck is one of those faculty members that no matter where you go on the Alaska coast, you just have to mention his name and anyone associated with seafood has a story about how he helped them, taught a class, or visited their operations."

– University of Alaska

Farmed fish price warning

Aquaculture consultants Callander MacDowell have reacted with scepticism to reports suggesting the price of Norwegian salmon will continue to rise past the current level of NOK40/kg, arguing that consumers will be unable to foot the bill for higher priced fish.

– FishNewsEU


Wednesday, April 3, 2013


This summer's commercial salmon fishery in the Nushagak District could be a little different compared to previous years thanks to actions taken by the Board of Fish late last year.

– KDLG, Dillingham

Feds cut volcano center

The Alaska Volcano Observatory is joining the list of agencies that have announced cutbacks in response to the massive federal spending cuts known as sequestration.
– KUCB, Unalaska

Home to Kodiak

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory returned home after completing a 10-week dockside maintenance period in Long Beach, Calif.

– Coast Guard

B.C. Oil (and Gas) Coast

Shell Canada announced that it has filed a project description with federal and provincial environmental assessment agencies for a liquefied natural gas plant and a marine terminal capable of loading two LNG tankers at a time at Kitimat.

– Vancouver Sun

Extinction follows oil

It's not every scientist who decides to study a certain population of animals only to watch it go extinct.
– Alaska

Debris on Oregon Coast

We've been seeing a lot more of the same types of debris, just more of it - especially styrofoam and buoys. 

– Oregon Public Broadcasting

Fish in debris

There was five fish total we found in the boat's compartment, and this is the first time we've seen vertebrates come ashore in tsunami debris.

– Seattle Times

Eating only salmon

Missing a meal can make many of us absolutely ravenous, but the Dolly Varden trout can live nearly a year without eating.

– National Geographic

Amendment 80 catch shares

This week, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is taking up final action on a proposal to change some aspects of the Amendment 80 catch shares program. This is important to the fleet, but it may also be a model for some of the New England sector management problems. It's complex, but there's a video that'll help.

Next week at ComFish

For 34 years, ComFish Alaska has been bringing the latest products, services, and information directly to the people in one of our nation's top fishing ports – Kodiak. Kodiak is home to Alaska's largest and most diverse fishing fleet, with more than 600 vessels filling its two downtown harbors. Kodiak also has the largest number of seafood processing companies operating in Alaska.

ComFish exhibitor booths sold out in record time and the venue will be expanded next year, said Trevor Brown, director of the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the ComFish event.

"ComFish provides a unique opportunity for vendors and exhibitors to interact with people in the fishing industry right where they live and do business. Visitors get to experience a thriving, year round, working waterfront and a colorful fishing town," Brown said.

Along with the trade show, a lively lineup of workshops and presentations provide the latest information on policies and issues that directly affect Alaska's fishing communities. A highlight this year include discussions on a catch share program being crafted for groundfish fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska and what it might mean for the Kodiak community. Visitors from coastal communities around the nation will share their experiences on securing long-term access to their fisheries.

Other highlights: expanded halibut stock surveys, fishing vessel energy savers, new hatch/door monitors to prevent vessel sinkings, marine debris cleanup programs, seafood markets with a focus on China, updates on the Pebble Mine, ergonomics for fishermen that help reduce pains, strains, and sprains, updates on king crab enhancement projects at the nation's top crab lab in Kodiak, and updates on the Fishermen's Fund which provides up to $10,000 in medical benefits for Alaska fishermen.

This year's ComFish Alaska Forums are sponsored by GreatLander Commercial Marine.

See the complete line up of exhibitors and forums


Thursday, April 4, 2013


The Bering Sea snow crab season is almost over, but the final stretch is shaping up to be icy.

– Pacific Fishing contributor Stephanie Joyce , reporting for KUCB, Unalaska

Last of Sitka herring

Herring seiners in Sitka launched a cooperative fishery on Wednesday in an attempt to salvage what remains of the 2013 sac roe season.

– KCAW, Sitka

Northwest trawl ratz

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries published a final rule on a fishing management plan for West Coast Whiting and groundfish fisheries.


Stealing from Kodiak

More than 14 million pounds of pollock and cod caught near Kodiak during the 2012 B season was shipped to plants in Akutan, King Cove, and Sand Point.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Lauren Rosenthal, reporting for KUCB, Unalaska

Chinook stocks suffering

Returns to state rivers stretching from Cook Inlet to the Yukon have been much lower than needed to sustain the health of runs that support commercial, sport and subsistence fisheries.

– Juneau Empire

Sporties get Columbia Chinook

Oregon and Washington fishery managers decided to extend the season through April 12, though it will be closed Tuesday in case there's a gillnet fishery that day.

– Longview Daily News

In the Alaska Legislature

Fisheries bills moving through the Legislature in late March seek a reduction in the king salmon bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea trawl fisheries, king salmon research funds, crewmember fishing licenses, and derelict fishing vessels.

– Margaret Bauman, reporting in the Cordova Times

Oil = fish deformities

There appear to be "remarkable similarities" between fish deformities found downstream from Alberta's oilsands and those observed after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska and after Florida's Deepwater Horizon disaster.

– Vancouver Sun

NE: Accept reality

The science is clear. Atlantic cod populations are at an all-time historic low.

– Huffington Post

Boat energy audits

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) is looking for owners of commercial fishing vessels who are interested in volunteering to participate in the Fishing Vessel Energy Audit Pilot Project. The intent of the project is to identify fuel savings through energy efficiency practices or upgrades onboard fishing vessels in Alaska. These vessel owners will receive free audits in exchange for information regarding energy systems and use during normal fishing operations on their vessel and approximately 1-2 days of vessel and owner time in order to coordinate and perform the walk-through audit. Due to limited funding, the Pilot Project will be restricted to vessels between 30 and 125 feet in length.

To find out more about volunteering to participate in this Pilot Project, contact Julie Decker or


Friday, April 5, 2013


The commercial troll fishery preseason Chinook salmon harvest allocation for 2013 is 129,862 fish, a decrease of 67,410 Chinook when compared with last year's troll allocation of 197,272 fish."

– Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, reporting on his blog: Deckboss

Support trawl bycatch cuts

Alaska's king salmon are facing troubled times.

– Juneau Empire

Sitka done

After three competitive openings, the seine fleet captured just under half the 11,549 tons it was hoping for.

– KCAW, Sitka

Readying for Togiak herring

Six processors are expected to converge on Togiak, along with a fleet of 40 gillnet and 28 purse seiners for a 30,056 ton herring sac roe fishery.

– Cordova Times

Alaska Fisheries Report

Coming up this week, looks like another bust in the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery this year; nobody likes Chinook salmon bycatch, and a Kodiak-bound fishing boat lost for 41 years is finally found. All that, and no more "fishy-fishy."

– Jay Barrett on KMXT, Kodiak

Senator hit for cannery help

The group Numbers USA aims to "educate voters" in states with senators who could play a pivotal role in the coming immigration debate.

– Alaska Public Media

Inlet political hardball

The Kenai River Sportfishing Association is going after Vince Webster, member of the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, reporting on his blog: Deckboss

Preserve Tongass salmon

The Tongass National Forest is a globally significant source of wild salmon and efforts should be made to preserve that resource, the forest's fish program manager said.

– Juneau Empire

Protecting baitfish

The Pacific Fishery Management Council will consider its very first fishery ecosystem plan that will account for the impact of fishing not just on one species, but the entire marine food web.

– The Oregonian

We erred

We carried an item Thursday that was in error. A state Senate resolution urging federal fisheries managers to reduce king salmon bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea trawl fisheries is moving forward, but the House version has failed after introduction of an amendment restricting setnetters.

– Cordova Times

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