Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Maggie Wall - July 11, 2019
First a look at sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay. But not just the numbers of fish caught or forecasted. We talk with biologists about how they get those numbers and why different forecasters get different numbers.
Crab fishermen cashing in during windfall harvest in Northern B.C.
Ship captain says it is the best season he has seen on the Hecate Strait in 25 years
CBC News by Bridgette Watson - July 10, 2019
Crab fishermen in Northern British Columbia are pinching themselves to make sure they aren't dreaming this season.
Bristol Bay Harvest Exceeds 26.1M Forecast; Naknek-Kvichak Catch Now at 6 Million Sockeye
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - July 11, 2019
The pre-season forecast for a 26.11 million sockeye catch was blown past earlier this week with a mid-day July 10 harvest total of 26.5 million sockeye. In addition to the sockeye, there has been 668,000 chum salmon caught and 26,5000 chinook, both mostly from the Nushagak District, for a total landing of 27.2 million salmon to date.
The Nushagak District now shows a cumulative harvest of 12.4 million salmon, of which 11.8 million is sockeye, more than 50% above the size of ADF&G’s pre-season estimated catch of 7.68 million sockeye.
The Naknek-Kvichak District has been the latest district to see a surge in returning salmon, almost all of which is sockeye. Cumulative catch there is just over 6 million sockeye, fast approaching the 7.84 million estimated pre-season forecast. That total does not include the catch from the 8-hour fishing period that started at 8 p.m. last night and ended at 4 a.m. today or today's next catch period from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Another announcement for the commercial Naknek fleet may be made this morning.
On July 9, escapement to the Naknek river was nearly 120,000 sockeye for a cumulative of 1.3 million. The pre-season estimated escapement for the Naknek was 1.4 million. The Kvichak River escapement on July 9 was 125,000 sockeye for a cumulative total escapement of 231,000. The in-river estimate that day, however, was another 250,000 sockeyes. The pre-season forecast for the point estimate escapement on the Kvichak is 4 million.
The Egegik District remains strong with catches now totalling 8.2 million, nearly one million above pre-season estimates.
Statewide salmon landings are now at 54 million, including 30.9 million sockeye, 17.4 million pinks, and 5.4 million chum. The expected much larger catches of pink and chum salmon are yet to come.
These early catch figures compare to ADF&G’s pre-season projection of 213.2 million salmon total, with the species breakdown of 41.7 million sockeye, 4.6 million coho, 137.8 million pink, and 29.0 million chum salmon. Compared to last year, that would be 96.9 million more pinks, 8.9 million less sockeye, and 8.7 million more chum salmon. If realized, the projected commercial chum salmon harvest would be the largest on record for Alaska.
Congressmen Young and Van Drew Introduce Bipartisan Magnuson-Stevens Act Reauthorization
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - July 12, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) introduced H.R. 3697, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. Today is exactly one year from the day of last action on the same bill in the 115th Congress which passed the House on July 11, 2018 and and was received in the Senate on July 12, 2018. That day, the bill was read twice before being referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
The bipartisan legislation introduced today reauthorizes the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery and Conservation Management Act – landmark fisheries management and conservation legislation adopted in 1975. The Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) was last reauthorized in 2006.
“Alaska’s seafood industry is one of the primary drivers of our state economy, and for over forty years, the Magnuson-Stevens Act has allowed our fishermen, processors, and coastal communities to thrive,” said Congressman Young.
“I am pleased to work across the aisle with Congressman Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ), industry leaders, and stakeholders in Alaska and throughout the country to update this important law. Future generations must have access to our ocean’s renewable resources,” Young said.
“Fisheries have long been the lifeblood of the South Jersey economy and culture,” said Congressman Van Drew.
“Our marine resources support the largest commercial and recreational fisheries in the Atlantic Coast, contributing more than $2.5 billion very year to our state’s economy. The Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act ensures that we have healthy fisheries, keep anglers in the water and keep fishermen fishing.”
Several groups lauded both Congressmen as the bill was introduced, including the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, Southeastern Fisheries Association, the Garden State Seafood Association, the Recreational Fishing Alliance, and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.
“The fundamental goal of the Magnuson-Stevens Act is to balance stock productivity and economic prosperity,” said Lori Steele, Executive Director of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association.
“WCSPA members believe both can be achieved through enacting the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. Mr. Young’s bill provides the councils much-needed flexibility to design management systems to better meet all of the standards set forth in the Act," she added.
“The NJ commercial fishing industry is grateful for the leadership and bipartisan efforts of Congressman Van Drew and for his commitment to productive fisheries and a prosperous industry achieved through quality science and sound management,” said Wayne Reichle, President of Lund’s Fisheries in Cape May.
“The Garden State Seafood Association has been advocating for MSA reform since 2009. We sincerely hope that Congressman Van Drew will receive the support he deserves from all of the national recreational and commercial fishing groups,” said Greg DiDomenico, Executive Director of the Garden State Seafood Association.
The legislation tailors federal fishery management actions to give Regional Fishery Management Councils the proper tools and flexibility to manage their fisheries effectively. The bill specifically:
• Affords flexibility by allowing Councils to base fishery stock rebuilding time frames on science rather than the one-size-fits-all approach;
• Increases transparency in science and management by allowing the public to play a greater role in the development of science and Fishery Management Plans;
• Gives stakeholders a voice in the management process and requires the Secretary of Commerce to develop a plan for implementing cooperative research with fishermen and outside groups; and
• Seeks to further improve the science and data on which Councils base their management, including key provisions relating to the collection of data from the recreational saltwater fishing industry.
“Thanks to Congressman Young and Congressman Van Drew for their continued efforts to improve federal fisheries management,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane.
“There are several provisions in the bill that would benefit recreational anglers and build upon the Modern Fish Act that was signed into law last year, including the ability for annual catch limits (ACLs) to be based on a three-year average to account for natural population variability and amending Section 407 to provide the Gulf States with certification of state recreational harvest data programs.”
This bill passed the House of Representatives in the 115th Congress on a vote of 222 yeas (with 9 Democrats supporting) and 193 nays (with 15 Republications opposing.) The bill, HR 200 with the same title in last year’s Congress, was sponsored by Rep. Young and co-sponsored by nine Republicans from eight states and two Democrats, both from Texas.
Alaska Fisheries Interaction Team Pacific Cod Localized Depletion Study
NOAA Fisheries - July 2019
The Status of Stocks and Multispecies Assessment Program, Fishery Interaction Team, was formed to investigate the effects of commercial fishing on top trophic level consumers.
Climate-Based Ecological Concerns Amid Record-High Temperatures in Alaska
The Great Courses Daily by Jonny Lupsha - July 10, 2019
Temperatures in Alaska reached 90 degrees on the Fourth of July, CNN reported. This broke a 50-year record high previously set on June 14, 1969. Uncommon high temperatures cause problems for local ecology.
AK: A Petersburg veterinarian floats his clinic to Southeast communities
KFSK by Ari Snider - July 8, 2019
For most pet owners, visits to the vet are nothing special, maybe even something they take for granted. But what if you don’t have access to medical care for your pet? This is a real problem for many people in Southeast Alaska’s remote communities. A problem Dr. Ken Hill has been trying to address for years.
9 of the healthiest fish to eat, according to a nutritionist
Insider by Lara Walsh - July 2, 2019
Eating fish regularly can be a healthy part of your diet, due to its high levels of protein, vitamins, and minerals and the fact that it offers lower amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat than meat.
Coast Guard issues PWS navigation safety advisory
Cordova Times - July 11, 2019
U.S. Coast Guard officials have issued a navigational safety advisory to all mariners to follow regulations to avoid collisions between tank vessels and fishing vessels in Port Valdez and Prince William Sound.
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