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Another down year forecast for Southeast Alaska pink salmon
KFSK by Joe Viechnicki - November 19, 2018
2019 could be another down year for pink salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game and scientists with NOAA Fisheries Auke Bay Lab are forecasting a commercial harvest of 18 million fish, which would fall in the weak category for catches over the past six decades.
Researchers work on better model for impact of fishery closures
Alaska Journal of Commerce by Elizabeth Earl - November 20, 2018
Fisheries managers are faced with a firestorm every time they decide to close a fishery because of poor returns or low population numbers. A new economic model is trying to help them see into the future to understand the effects of a closure before it happens.
Washington State Seeks $90 Million from Legislature to Improve Orca, Salmon Habitat in Puget Sound
Seattle Times by Agueda Pacheco-Flores - November 20, 2018
If approved, a $90 million budget request to the Washington state legislature could aggressively tackle what’s needed to help Puget Sound’s southern resident orcas survive.
A request on Monday by Hilary Franz, the state’s Commissioner of Public Lands, would increases the money already being spent on restoring habitats for salmon, removing barriers that inhibit the fish from reaching their spawning ground; researching ocean acidification; and removing rundown vessels on waterways, according to an emailed statement from the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
The department’s previous two-year budget for similar programs and efforts cost the agency $55.5 million, according to Franz’s staff. The overall budget for the department last year was $351 million.
“The items that we’re calling for are not new,” Franz said in an interview. “We’ve been doing this work for our Puget Sound and rivers and lakes and ocean shorelines for quite some time. The difference is that we are asking for an increase in funding so we can rapidly accelerate this work because we don’t believe we have time to waste.”
The request directly addresses suggestions from Gov. Jay Inslee’s orca-recovery task force. The group issued a list of recommendations last week to save the animals, including breaching two dams to increase salmon returns and partly suspending southern resident whale-watching tours for up to five years. It includes $22 million in operating budget requests and $68 million for one-time capital budget projects.
The $90 million request comes amid heightened concerns for the critically endangered local orcas, which suffered three deaths over the summer and haven’t had any of their calves survive in three years due to the lack of chinook salmon and the effects of pollution and vessel traffic in Puget Sound.
“This is a key moment for us,” Franz said, “to stand up and say ‘Are we going to take action and prevent the demise and lose of our critical orca and salmon species?’ “
Franz is faced with the challenge of getting state legislators to approve her request, but she is confident now is the time to address the issue.
“We have really woke up and not just people within my agency, but our community and our leaders, [that] that we have a finite amount of time to make a significant difference,” Franz said.
The package has support from the Lummi Nation and environmental advocates including The Nature Conservancy, according to the statement.
Staff for the state’s commissioner of public lands is working with Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, a prime sponsor of last legislative session’s orca-protection efforts, who said in an interview he had yet to review the request in its entirety and wanted to spend more time with it to understand it.
“We need to look at which [item] is going to have the greatest benefit for the whales,” Ranker said. “There are a lot of actions we can take today, but we won’t see the benefits for months or years.”
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Application for an Exempted Fishing Permit
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 11/20/2018
This notice announces the receipt of an application and the public comment period for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) from the Aleut Corporation. If granted, this permit would allow the applicant to test methods to minimize bycatch of Pacific ocean perch (POP) in the Aleutian Islands (AI) pollock fishery. The objective of the EFP is to develop an economically viable AI pollock fishery under current POP abundance levels. Testing will be conducted in the fishery's winter “A” season in 2019 and 2020. This experiment has the potential to promote the objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher/Processors Using Trawl Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 11/21/2018
NMFS is prohibiting retention of Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2018 Pacific cod apportionment for catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA has been reached.
ASMI names interim executive director
National Fisherman by Jessica Hathaway - November 19, 2018
Jeremy Woodrow, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Program director, will serve as the group’s interim executive director.
Alaskan Salmon Straight to Your Door
Bristol Bay, Alaska, had a record-breaking wild sockeye season. Now the fish are available in the lower 48, direct from the fishery.
New York Times by Florence Fabricant - November 19, 2018
Bristol Bay, an arm of the Bering Sea between Alaska and Siberia, is known for seasonal sockeye salmon runs, and this year’s harvest was the largest in 125 years, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. (Other salmon areas in the state have not done as well this year). The wild sockeye, known for their deep red color, are sustainably caught, carefully handled on the boats, frozen and sold in 20-pound lots — either filleted sides of about 1.5 pounds each ($16.99 a pound) or individual 5- to 7-ounce portions ($17.99 a pound). Prices include shipping, in coolers. Kept frozen, the salmon is good for up to a year. Consider the succulent fish not just for many dinners but also for gift-giving or buying as a group to share.
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