Commercial halibut fishermen were hit with some distressing news after the International Pacific Halibut Commission held their interim meeting and staff suggested some sharp cuts to quotas for 2018, and it is likely to get worse.
The Alaska Board of Fisheries is preparing for its meetings taking up Prince William Sound finfish proposals, starting Dec. 1 and running through Dec. 5.
The 2018 Bristol Bay sockeye salmon forecast is for a chart-topping 51.3 million fish and a harvest of over 37 million.
The halibut and sablefish IFQ fisheries closed with little fanfare Nov. 7, with only one regular commercial buyer and one private buyer in Homer accepting fish.
Kodiak and the surrounding areas got some mixed news about the bairdi Tanner crab fishery scheduled to open Jan. 15.
The Bristol Bay Times is reporting that the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery is off to a slow start compared to last year, according to Miranda Westphal, shellfish biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Unalaska. The season opened Oct. 15 and as of Monday, just over a week into the fishery, only 1.5 million pounds had been landed. In the same time period last year, the boats hauled in 6 million pounds.
Seafoodnews.com is reporting that serious reductions are inevitable for both the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska cod quotas and the quotas will be down dramatically.
Upper Cook Inlet commercial salmon fishermen once again endured a below-average season, at least in terms of sockeye salmon, in spite of exceeding run forecasts.
Every growing season the garden is a different story. We gardeners never know what is going to thrive or stall. This year I have Magic Fountain delphiniums that have doubled their projected size. Needless to say, they don’t fit where they are planted, much to my chagrin and the lilies that are being crowded. If I had any inkling this was going to happen I would have divided them this spring. But no. So there they loom, a formidable presence in what would otherwise be a serene setting.
Homer’s Cook Inletkeeper is monitoring a number of streams in the Cook Inlet watershed for temperature and finding some troubling results, according to a newly released paper in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
The year 2015 was good for the Alaska seafood industry, according to the 2016 annual report from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.
Togiak herring is expected to get off to a fairly normal start time-wise, after a record early start last year when spawning herring were spotted April 14 and boats scrambled to make it in time.
Salmon forecasts continue to come in around the state, with Bristol Bay possibly looking at a total run of around 41.5 million sockeye, 10 million less than the actual run last year of 51.4 million sockeye.
Prince William Sound is expecting the largest pink salmon harvest on record this year, a stunning 58.9 million fish, while the Copper River sockeye run is expected to come in at a modest 889,000 fish, with an additional 1.2 million sockeyes forecasted for harvest from Prince William Sound, mostly from the Main Bay hatchery facility.
There are some spring learning opportunities for fishermen and deckhands coming up soon.
The Alaska spring herring season kicked off in Sitka Sound on March 19 with a 3-hour and 20-minute opening that rounded up 3,500 tons of sac roe herring, followed by a very short 15-minute opening three days later that scooped up around another 3,800 tons, which brought the season total to about half of the 14,600 ton quota.
The 2017 halibut season got underway as scheduled on March 11 despite uncertainty from President Donald Trump’s administration that had instructed every federal agency to remove two regulations for each one put in place, as well as put a 60-day hold on any new regulations.
Alaska fishermen and others who rely on programs funded by the federal government are wondering whether the federal resources will be available to keep the industry safe and productive.
While setnet salmon fishermen in Upper Cook Inlet potentially saw some easing of restrictions on their fishery at the Alaska Board of Fisheries meetings in Anchorage taking place the last 15 days, the drift fleet has not necessarily been so fortunate.
While Alaska Board of Fisheries meetings taking place in Anchorage for the next two weeks will suck up most of the oxygen in the headlines with the so-called “fish wars” in Upper Cook Inlet, there are other fish board meetings of note taking place soon.