Alaska/Pacific Coast

Sockeye output blows previous seasons out of water
Another huge run in Bristol Bay, but prices still 25% off average
Alaska Journal of Commerce by DJ Summers – September 21, 2016
For the third season in a row, the world’s largest sockeye salmon run featured above-average numbers, a late run, and sub-average prices for the fishermen. Unlike last year, however, the fishermen’s pockets so far aren’t as empty in 2016, and the overall market outlook seems to have improved.

Prince William Sound Crab Test Fishery
Fishermen’s News- September 21, 2016
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is taking a new look at the possibilities of reviving the Tanner crab fishery in Prince William Sound, which has been closed since 1988.

Alaska Halibut Season Approaches Quota: 2.3 Million Pounds Left to Catch
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – September 20, 2016
With seven weeks left in the season, halibut landings in Alaska have reached nearly 15 milion pounds, or about 87 percent of the quota to date.

In Canada (regulatory area 2B), landings are 4,129,345 pounds to date, about 72 percent of the 5.74 million pound quota. The quota for Washington, Oregon, and California, was set at 1.140, and caught by July 20, 2016. Halibut season is closed in that area, known as 2A.

Southeast Alaska (area 2C) has another 421,000 pounds to catch before the season closes November 7, 2016. The eastern Gulf of Alaska, area 3A) including ports of Yakutat, Cordova, Seward, and most of the Kenai Peninsula, has 854,000 pounds remaining of their quota. The western Gulf, including the port of Kodiak, has 367,000 pounds of quota available.  Area 4, including all of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, has a remaining 615,000 pounds to catch.

On September 16, Kodiak port sampler Dave Jackson from the International Pacific Halibut Commission reported the latest. His post follows.

Hello from Kodiak,

So far, 2016 has been great for the halibut fleet. As the Kodiak IPHC port sampler, I’ve heard tales of good fishing and fat fish! Record high ex-vessel values also make the fishermen happy. Of course, there are hard luck stories mixed in there, but hey, that’s fishing.

With three quarters of the halibut IFQ allocations landed, Kodiak processors have taken just over 2 million pounds, about 16% of the harvest. More than 350 vessel landings have occurred to date.

A change to the halibut IFQ fishery is coming down the line. Soon, halibut may be harvested with pot gear incidental to the Gulf of Alaska sablefish fishery. Proposed regulations allowing directed fishing for sablefish with pots and the incidental catch of halibut were recently published in the federal register. The public has until September 19, 2016 to comment on the regulations. More information can be found through NOAA’s alaska fisheries website.…/defa…/files/81fr55408.pdf

One of my season highlights was the spring port tour by IPHC staff members Heather Gilroy and Dr. Josep Planas. I was struck by the contrast. Heather, the Fisheries Statistics Program Manager, was on her last port tour and set to retire after decades of service to the halibut industry. Her efforts played a large role providing the quantitative scientists on staff a great data set to work with. When she retired she had been with the Comission longer than anyone else in the office.

In comparison, Dr. Planas, the IPHC Biological and Ecosystem Science Program Manager is one of the newest IPHC staff members. He is bringing a new perspective and great energy and I’m looking forward to his contributions. On his first port tour, Dr. Planas collected samples for a new sex identification project.

Well, autumn is just around the corner. We’ve had a great stretch of weather so quite a bit of halibut have been caught recently. However, there is still allocation remaining and I’m sure Kodiak will see it’s share. Take care everyone and good fishing to you.


Ninth Circuit Sides With Fishermen in Inlet Fight
Courthouse News by Ryan Borchers – September 21, 2016
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CN) — The Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that the federal government must manage fisheries in federal waters that require conservation, unless a fishery-management plan cedes control to a state.

East Coast Fishery

US, Canada broker agreement to share dwindling cod fishing
Associated Press by Patrick Whittle – September 21, 2016
PORTLAND, Maine — The United States and Canada have brokered a deal to share what’s left of the dwindling North American cod fishing business in the Atlantic next year.


Widespread algae frustrates Haines fishermen
KHNS by Abbey Collins – September 21, 2016
An unusual foe is frustrating Haines fishermen in the last few weeks of the season. A rust-colored algae bloom floating in the Lynn Canal is clinging to gillnets and turning off fish that would otherwise be caught.

Alaska fisheries escape effects of climate change for now
Alaska Public Media by Zoë Sobel – September 21, 2016
Commercial fishing in Alaska is a multi-billion dollar industry. (Aftab Uzzaman/Flickr)
With coastlines eroding, temperatures rising, and sea ice retreating, Alaska is feeling the effects of a warming planet. But a new federal report suggests fisheries in the state haven’t experienced many observable impacts of climate change so far.

Huge tsunami debris cleanup operation begins along B.C.’s West Coast
Vancouver Sun by Jeff Lee – September 20, 2016
Work began Tuesday to clear dozens of beaches on the west coast of Vancouver Island of debris and plastics, much of it washed ashore from the 2011 tsunami that swept Japan. Using a helicopter, a barge and a tug, volunteers are picking up cached bundles of garbage from one end of the island to the other.

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Shortraker Rockfish in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 09/22/2016
NMFS is prohibiting retention of shortraker rockfish in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2016 total allowable catch of shortraker rockfish in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA has been reached. This closure does not apply to vessels participating in the catcher/processor cooperative fishery in the Rockfish Program.

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Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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September 22, 2016