Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – September 14, 2017
Coming up on this week’s Alaska Fisheries Report, pink salmon are doing the unexpected in some parts of the state – either popping up at unpredicted rates or in surprising places. Homer residents recently found pinks passing through the middle of town in a saltwater marsh not known for salmon returns.
Parallel P-cod season opens in PWS Area E
Cordova Times – September 14, 2017
The parallel Pacific cod season is now open to pot and longline gear in Prince William Sound Area E, coordinated with the federal “B” season and gear sector allocations for P-cod in the central Gulf of Alaska regulatory area.
Building the Alaska ‘Blue Economy’
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Guest submission by S. Bradley Moran, Joel Cladouhos – September 14, 2017
Alaska’s blue economy leadership potential is tremendous; we maintain over half the nation’s coastline and a third of the U.S. exclusive economic zone with access to vast natural resources.
Kodiak Fisheries Could be Threatened by a Proposition Submitted to the Alaska Board of Fisheries
KMXT by Mitch Borden – September 14, 2017
A recent proposal to the Alaska Board of Fisheries asks it to limit the amount of salmon fisherman can catch in the Kodiak area. That’s according to Heather McCarty, the fisheries analyst for the City of Kodiak and the Kodiak Island Borough.
ADF&G: 2017 Bristol Bay Salmon Season 2nd Best in last 20 Years
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – September 15, 2017
The Bristol Bay salmon season summary is now out and this year’s season ranks second out of the last 20 years and was 62 percent above the 34.9 million average run for the same period.
Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game cautions that the summary is preliminary, but a few things about the season are remarkable.
First, the run to the Nushagak District was the largest in the history of the fishery.
The Nushagak, Egegik, Togiak and Ugashik districts were higher than the preseason forecast while Naknek-Kvichak District was less than predicted. The 37.7 million sockeye salmon commercial harvest was 37% above the 27.5 million preseason forecast.
Second, this year’s Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run was 42% above the preseason inshore forecast of 39.9 million fish.
All escapement goals were met or exceeded, with a total sockeye salmon escapement of 18.8 million fish.
Third, the area’s dozen processors handled 3.5 million fish per day for seven days straight.There were two distinct run timings this year; the Nushagak District run began
There were two distinct run timings this year; the Nushagak District run began strong on June 22 and stayed that way all season, while the east side districts were “compressed and slightly late,” according to the ADF&G summary.
The compression hit its peak during a seven day span from July 3–9 when bay-wide catch and escapement totaled 24.5 million fish, or an average of 3.5 million fish per day.
This compression caused processing capacity to be exceeded and limits or suspensions were in place from July 3 until July 15 depending on processor and/or district. Limits and suspensions contributed to escapements being above the established ranges in the Wood, Nushagak, Igushik, and Egegik rivers.
The harvests for other species are 1.8 million chum salmon; 239,980 coho salmon; and 35,352 pink salmon. A total of 38,835 Chinook salmon were harvested in Bristol Bay in 2017.
The average sockeye salmon weight of 5.5 pounds was below the 20-year (1997-2016) average of 5.9 pounds.
Total landings were worth a preliminary exvessel value of $214.6 million almost double the 20-year average of $108.9 million and ranks second during that time frame.
This estimate does not include future price adjustments for icing, bleeding, or production bonuses.
Chinook salmon harvests in Bristol Bay were below average in all districts. No directed Chinook salmon fishing periods occurred in the Nushagak District in 2017. Chinook salmon were caught during directed sockeye salmon periods in all commercial districts and 38,835 fish were harvested, 17% below the 20-year average of 46,546. Chinook salmon escapement into the Nushagak River was 56,961, 60% below the inriver goal of 95,000.
The 2017 preliminary Bristol Bay chum salmon harvest was 1,779,888 fish compared to the 20-year average of 949,842. Harvest was above the 20-year average in all districts; Nushagak District was the largest producer of chum salmon, where 1,158,242 fish were harvested.
Pink salmon return to Bristol Bay predominantly in even years. The preliminary harvest in 2017 was 35,352 fish. The majority of pink salmon are harvested in the Togiak and Nushagak districts.
The preliminary total coho salmon harvest in 2017 was 239,980 fish compared to the 20-year average of 82,014. Typically the Nushagak District is the largest coho salmon producer. The 176,331 fish harvested in the Nushagak District was above the 20–year average.
The department acknowledged the support of the Bristol Bay Fisheries Collaborative (BBFC) for funding assistance in 2017. “The BBFC began in 2016 and is an agreement between ADF&G and the Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute to work together with stakeholders to restore a world-class fishery management system and raise funds to support and maintain it. This agreement is supported by ADF&G, BBSRI, drift and set net fishermen, processors, municipalities, villages, support
“The BBFC began in 2016 and is an agreement between ADF&G and the Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute to work together with stakeholders to restore a world-class fishery management system and raise funds to support and maintain it. This agreement is supported by ADF&G, BBSRI, drift and set net fishermen, processors, municipalities, villages, support industries and other stakeholders,” the summary read.
A list of organizations that committed financial support to the BBFC in 2017, as well as additional information about this agreement can be found at https://www.bbsri.org/bbfc.
The Department’s summary, which includes seven tables with more detailed information on landings and values can be found here.
Japanese nuclear disaster didn’t affect fish or human health: B.C. oceanographer
The Canadian Press – September 14, 2017
VANCOUVER — Radioactive contamination following a nuclear power-plant disaster in Japan never reached unsafe levels in the north Pacific Ocean for either marine life or human health, says a British Columbia scientist.
California crabbers use GPS to find whale-killing gear
Seattle Times by Ellen Knickmeyer – September 14, 2017
HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) — Fisherman Jake Bunch leans over the side of the fishing boat “Sadie K,” spears his catch, and reels it aboard: an abandoned crab pot, dangling one limp lasagna noodle of kelp and dozens of feet of rope, just the kind of fishing gear that has been snaring an increasing number of whales off U.S. coasts.
SeaShare Offers Food Aid to Hurricane Victims
Fishermen’s News – September 13, 2017
SeaShare, the Bainbridge Island, Washington, based non-profit dedicated to providing seafood to food banks, pantries, and shelters across America, has delivered thousands of pounds of Pollock and salmon to a Houston, Texas, food bank in the wake of hurricane damage.
At Larsen Bay, a cannery where the tenacious rhythm of salmon season holds sway
Alaska Dispatch News by Anjuli Grantham – September 9, 2017
The steam whistle exudes a pink cloud as it announces break time. A forklift loaded with cookies and hash browns zips from the mess hall across the wooden planks on which the Larsen Bay salmon cannery is built. The forklift stops in a corridor within a corrugated metal warehouse.
NPFMC Offers Review Documents Prior to Meeting
Fishermen’s News – September 13, 2017
In advance of its autumn meeting at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) has posted online, at www.npfmc.org, documents that are available for review prior to the meeting.
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