How to track salmon catches and market trends for every region of Alaska
Anchorage Daily News by Laine Welch -June 7, 2021
Buyers are awaiting Alaska salmon from fisheries that are opening almost daily across the state, and it’s easy to track catches and market trends for every region.
Would you vote for a king? Alaska pits fin against claw to practice ranked-choice voting
Alaska Public Media by Liz Ruskin - June 3, 2021
Last we checked, king crab was narrowly ahead of three other Alaska seafoods in the Division of Elections’ mock primary.
Joint Message – U.S. Interagency Working Group Marks International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing
The United States works with our partners across the world to confront illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
NOAA Fisheries - June 04, 2021
Every day, the United States works with our partners across the world to confront illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. IUU fishing activities hurt law-abiding U.S. fishermen and their consumers, damage economies of developing coastal nations, and threaten marine resources. The global economic impact resulting from these activities is in the billions, or even tens of billions, of dollars each year. Furthermore, IUU fishing is sometimes linked to criminal activity, such as human trafficking, including forced labor, drug trafficking, smuggling, and other forms of transnational crime. Wherever it occurs, IUU fishing undermines global maritime rules-based order, which has been essential to global prosperity and development for the last 70 years.
Surveys Back on Track in Alaska, Climate Data Already Coming In
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - June 7, 2021
After a year of sharply reduced surveys in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, Alaska’s Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) is back on track, planning a full complement of fish stock surveys and already getting data from ecosystem surveys that started last week.
Eight surveys are planned in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Chukchi Sea to monitor fish, crab, marine mammals, and marine ecosystems.
“Information collected as part of these surveys and other available data on oceanographic conditions, fisheries, and protected species are integrated to provide a more comprehensive understanding of Alaska marine ecosystems to support sustainable resource management and conservation,” said Robert Foy, science and research director, NOAA Fisheries, AFSC.
Ocean bottom temperatures are already coming in from the Eastern Bering Sea Trawl Surveys that began June 1. They show slightly warmer than normal temperatures in the Bristol Bay region from June 1-4, 2021.
The sea-going scientists from AFSC also track sea surface temperature changes and recently noted that “The northern and southeast Bering Sea have both tiptoed into low intensity marine heatwaves in recent weeks.”
Studying marine ecosystems means unraveling the complex and dynamic relationships among oceanography, biology, ecology, fishing, and other human activities in the marine environment. Sea surface and bottom temperatures affect all parts of the food chain from plankton to whales and birds. Ocean temperatures influence when and where the fish go which means the fleets that follow them.
“We are going to provide biweekly updates on sea surface temperatures viasocial media @NOAAFisheriesAK to share what we are learning about current conditions in the eastern Bering Sea this year,” NOAA Fisheries said in a statement.
The core mission for the eight surveys that are planned for the summer is to gather data for stock assessments on a dozen or more species. During surveys, NOAA scientists sort, weigh, and count species collected by longline or trawl. They will also collect specimens and data on various species, as requested by cooperating scientists, agencies, and institutions.
Here are thumbnails of the eight surveys being conducted this year.
* Longline Survey of the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska —
The 2021 survey continues a 44-year time-series of sablefish and other groundfish species stock trends. The survey vessel is F/V Alaskan Leader, chartered from May 28 to September 1, beginning in Dutch Harbor and with port calls in Ketchikan, Yakutat, Cordova, and Kodiak. The survey samples the Gulf of Alaska every year, the Bering Sea in odd-numbered years, and the Aleutian Islands in even-numbered years. It surveys at depths from 200 to 1,000 meters. The survey produces catch rates, species compositions, length, and age data for:
Several rockfish species
Scientists also tag and release a certain number of sablefish, shortspine thornyhead, and Greenland turbot for studying movement behavior and life history.
* Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Bottom Trawl Survey
The F/V Ocean Explorer and the F/V Alaska Provider will tag team this survey with one working May 17 to July 30 and the other June 3 to August 16. This survey looks at trends in the distribution and abundance of groundfish and crab species. During this multispecies (walleye pollock, Pacific cod, flatfishes, Pacific ocean perch, rockfish, and others) survey, scientists also collect oceanographic data and information on water temperatures, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll and other nutrients.
Scientists will also collect a suite of special collections for other investigators including rare sponges, corals, shellfish, and fishes and tissue samples during the 1,200 mile survey.
* Eastern Bering Sea Groundfish Bottom Trawl Survey
This 40 year-old nearly continuous survey monitors the status and trends in commercial fish and shellfish stocks including:
Northern rock sole
Red king crab
Data gathered are used to create annual stock assessments of these species, as well as in Bering Sea ecosystem models.
This survey started on May 25 and will go to August 1 on the F/V Vesteraalen and from May 28 to August 4 on the F/V Alaska Knight. View near-real time reports [https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/alaska/science-data/near-real-time-temperatures-bering-sea-bottom-trawl-survey] on ocean bottom temperatures and planned next stations as the scientists conduct the survey.
* Northern Bering Sea Bottom Trawl Survey
Once the F/V Vesteraalen and F/V Alaska Knight have completed the eastern Bering Sea survey, they will begin the northern Bering Sea survey, on about August 2, departing from Nome, Alaska and running through August 28. The vessels will survey Norton Sound and westward to the U.S./Russia maritime boundary. This survey was most recently conducted in 2010, 2017, and 2019 with a partial survey in 2018. AFSC monitors changes in sea ice extent and its impact on the marine environment. Movement of fish and crab species more typically found in highest abundance in the south and eastern Bering Sea is a critical focus.
* Gulf of Alaska - Southeast Alaska Coastal Monitoring Age-0 Groundfish and Salmon Recruitment Processes
The Southeast Alaska Coastal Monitoring survey has collected fish, zooplankton, and oceanographic samples annually since 1997. It will be conducted aboard the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) research vessel R/V Medeia. Samples will be taken from June 18-23, and from July 26-August 4. Juvenile fish abundance and oceanographic data collected help to produce forecasts of abundance and to describe ecological response to climate change. Since 2018, the survey has been conducted through a partnership between NOAA Fisheries and ADF&G.
* Gulf of Alaska Summer Acoustic-Trawl Survey
This biennial acoustic-trawl survey will be conducted aboard the NOAA research vessel Oscar Dyson from June 1 to July 11. Starting and ending in Kodiak, the survey covers the Gulf of Alaska shelf and bays from the Islands of Four Mountains to Yakutat Bay. Scientists will estimate midwater walleye pollock size and age distribution and abundance, collect data on Pacific Ocean perch and capelin, as well as food they eat and their habitat.
* Gulf of Alaska Pacific Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species
Also known as the Pacific Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (PacMAPPS), the Gulf of Alaska Cetacean Survey will be conducted aboard the NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson from July 28 to August 26. One of the few surveys for cetaceans and whales in this region, this updated data on distribution and density of whale species will be used in environmental planning and for consultations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act. This survey is supported by the U.S. Navy for operational expenditures.Primary target species include North Pacific right, blue, sperm, and fin whales, all of which are endangered, and beaked whales. Visual information will be collected on all species, and acoustic information will be collected for all species except porpoises and some beaked whales.
* BASIS Northern Bering Sea Surface Trawl and Ecosystem Survey
This survey is in support of ecosystem research on salmon and other pelagic nekton in the northern Bering Sea, providing annual assessments of salmon stocks and the pelagic ecosystem since 2002. This year’s survey will be conducted aboard the F/V Northwest Explorer from August 27 to September 20, starting and ending in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
"Long term, scientific surveys and the process studies and analysis that accompany them are really important,” added Foy. “The information we collect is essential because these marine ecosystems provide jobs, a stable seafood supply for U.S. citizens, and help preserve a traditional culture based on subsistence harvesting that has endured for centuries.”
On Dillingham trip, Murkowski gathers ideas on permanent protections for Bristol Bay
KDLG by Isabelle Ross - June 7, 2021
Murkowski said the best way to ensure long-term protections is for Congress to pass a law. Earlier this year, regional and statewide groups opposed to Pebble put forward several options for protecting the area.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Aleutian Islands Pollock Fishery Requirements
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 06/08/2021
The Department of Commerce, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed, and continuing information collections, which helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment preceding submission of the collection to OMB.
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