Kenai Peninsula Sen. Peter Micciche has pre-filed Senate Bill 135 that aims to create a new administrative area and reduce Upper Cook Inlet east side salmon setnet permits in that area by as much as 40 percent of 2017 levels through a buyback program.
Alaska’s congressional delegation has secured another short-lived extension to exempt smaller Alaska fishing vessels, under 79 feet, from Environmental Protection Agency incidental discharge regulations, which expired on Dec. 18, 2017. The temporary extension, which is effective only until Jan. 19, will provide fishing and small commercial vessels relief as Congress pursues a permanent exemption to a patchwork of burdensome federal and state regulations for vessel ballast water and incidental discharges.
A tax dispute between a single fishing company and the state of Alaska could have far-reaching consequences for fishing towns across the state, according to a story by KTOO Juneau public broadcasting.
Alaska fishermen had a mixed year in 2017, with prices up but product down in some crab fisheries, quota up but prices down in the halibut fishery, prices and catches up in the sablefish fishery, and most salmon fisheries seeing large catches.
Warming waters may be opening up new opportunities for fishermen in Southeast Alaska as spawning market squid have been spotted, according to the Juneau Empire.
As expected, the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council has voted to drop the Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod quota by 80 percent, from the 2017 total allowable catch of 64,442 metric tons to a TAC of 13,096 mt.
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.
The Alaska Board Of Fisheries declined an Agenda Change Request to take up the Kodiak salmon management plan out of cycle, submitted by United Cook Inlet Drift Association at a work session last week.
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.
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.
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.