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#03-01-2013 - ComFish News Roundup
Commercial salmon catch forecast is 179 million fish
Posted 03/01/2013
by - Margaret Bauman
Commercial salmon harvests are expected to rise in 2013 along with the economic potential of the catch. Biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are forecasting a large increase in commercial salmon catches in 2013 --- up from 129 million fish in 2012 to 179 million fish in 2013 -due to the projected increase in pink salmon harvests. That total is anticipated to include 110,000 Chinook salmon in areas outside of Southeast Alaska, 34.3 million sockeye, 3.9 million silver, 117.8 million pink and 22.7 million chum salmon. The projected pink harvest is about 73 percent higher than the harvest of 68 million humpies in 2012. The projected sockeye harvest is about 1 percent lower than the 2012 harvest, while the...

The Board of Fish Rejects Proposal 250 to Allow Setnet Permit Stacking in the Egegik and Ugashik Districts
The Alaska Board of Fisheries has turned down a proposal to create a new permit stacking system for setnetters in a couple of fishing districts in Bristol Bay. KDLG's Mike Mason has the story. (5:34)....

On the Trails: Mermaids' purses
Posted: March 1, 2013 - 12:00am
By Mary Willson
The name “mermaid purse” is a fanciful moniker for the egg cases of skates, which are cartilaginous fishes related to rays and, more distantly, to sharks. When some friends found a few of these egg cases on North Douglas beaches, I got interested in learning more about them. Not being a marine biologist, I had to do a bit of digging, but I got a start with the help of a genial skate biologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Here are some of the things I think I have learned. Skates put their eggs into tough, leathery cases. The cases are deposited in traditional nursery...

Story last updated at 3:46 PM on Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Small crabs, slow fishing reported in Bering Sea
By Cristy Fry
The Bering Sea opilio crab season appears to be on track to be wrapped up in an average amount of time, despite tales from fishermen still on the grounds and returning crew members about very slow fishing or multitudes of undersized crab. Deckhands reporting back to Homer have told stories of fishing on a 30-crab-per-pot average, which would not even cover fuel expenses with crab that...

Setnetters, sport guides guarded heading into 2013
Posted: February 28, 2013 - 12:45pm  |  Updated: February 28, 2013 - 3:25pm
By Rashah McChesney
Peninsula Clarion
There are some things Norm Darch has to buy for his Salamatof Beach setnet sites every year such as fuel, supplies for his crew, nets and maintenance on his equipment. Other things, like capital improvements, new boats or tractors and even hiring the same size crew, will have to wait. 6.7 million sockeye are predicted to make it back to the Upper Cook Inlet during the 2013.....

Icicle's Adak Plant to Take Summer Hiatus
By Stephanie Joyce
Thursday, February 28 2013
Icicle Seafoods’ Adak plant won’t be processing fish this summer. Icicle didn’t respond to multiple interview requests, but the company’s plant manager told the Adak city council last month that the plant wouldn’t be operating because generating power is too expensive during the slower fishing months. That’s disappointing news for Pat Davis. He owns the 48-foot F/V Cascade, and fishes for halibut and black cod near Adak. He says....

Board of Fisheries Rejects Unalaska Bay Trawl Closure
By Stephanie Joyce
Thursday, February 28 2013
Unalaska Bay will remain open to pollock trawling, but only during the months of September and October. On Thursday, the Alaska Board of Fisheries rejected the total ban proposed by the Unalaska Native Fishermen’s Association, and instead voted to open the season a month later than current regulation specifies. Vince Webster introduced the motion. He acknowledged that many locals had testified to the Board that they’ve been having trouble...

Pebble Mine & the Clean Water Act
Posted: March 1, 2013 - 12:05am
While Alaska may host a wide variety of people, thoughts and ideas, I think we can all agree that salmon are an important part of calling this great state home. Whether in our belly, on the end of our line or in our net, salmon feed us, provide jobs and support a multi-billion dollar a year economy. Our salmon are iconic. As an Alaskan and one of the 14,000 people who make my living in Bristol Bay, I’m troubled by the actions of many of our state’s leaders, including the words printed here by former....

Federal Subsistence Fishery For Eulachon Closed in Federal Waters Within District 1
February 28, 2013
(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Ketchikan-Misty Fiords District Ranger Jeff DeFreest announced he is acting immediately to protect eulachon stocks in waters that flow into District 1 due to anticipated low eulachon returns in 2013. The District Ranger, as in-season manager, is closing the Federal Public waters draining into District 1 to the taking of eulachon by all users from 12:01 A.M., Friday, March 1, 2013 until 11:59 P.M., April 29, 2013. This action has been coordinated with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), who also issued an Emergency Order close....

Massive lift ship arrives in Seward to haul troubled Noble Discoverer drilling vessel
Ben Anderson
February 28, 2013
The 708-foot-long Xiang Yun Kou arrived in Seward, Alaska on Feb. 28, 2013, to dry-haul the Noble Discoverer to port in Asia. It’s a problem that few people probably consider: How do you ship a ship? That’s exactly what Noble Corp, the company in charge of the troubled drillship Noble Discoverer will attempt to do in the coming days, utilizing a 708-foot, Chinese-flagged, heavy-lift ship that arrived off the Southcentral Alaska harbor town of Seward on Thursday. The Noble Discoverer had to be towed to Seward in November after developing a problem with its propulsion system en route to port in Washington state for winter repairs and maintenance. That followed its.....

MARCH 1, 2013
In remote Alaskan villages, teachers struggle to make school meaningful
By Sarah Garland
Wagner Iworrigan, a 17-year-old high school senior on St. Lawrence Island in Alaska, knows a lot about biology, meteorology, and math. He’s an expert at telling whether a walrus is too sick to eat, if the weather is likely to turn dangerous, and the best angle for throwing a harpoon at a surfacing bowhead whale. On a recent unseasonably warm day last fall, he skipped class to join his uncle on their boat. With nets and hooks, they motored through the choppy gray waves of the Bering Sea until the lights of their village, Savoonga, seemed farther than the stars above. They hoped to catch a seven-foot halibut or plump seal to feed the rest of the family: Wagner’s two younger sisters, a younger brother, four cousins, and a grandfather. All 10 of them share a three-bedroom house. Wagner might make a good scientist, but he’s not planning on going to college. He feels responsible for his siblings—his mother died of a brain tumor and his father lives in another village—and college is “so far from home.” He’s also unclear about what he....

March 1, 2013
Lubchenco leaves NOAA, 'disaster' behind
By Richard Gaines
Staff Writer
Jane Lubchenco’s provocative tenure as NOAA administrator ended Thursday, three years, 11 months and nine days after it began, with the groundfishey she promised to save in an apparent death spiral. Her next stop will be Stanford University, which has hired the marine scientist long associated with marine protected areas and other concepts to limit or control fishing for the spring semester to be the Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor at Stanford’s Haas Center for Public Service. No successor or acting head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been named. In the Obama administration, she delivered on his 2008 campaign promise for “change....

New intl guidelines will help combat illegal fishing
Friday, March 01, 2013, 22:50 (GMT + 9)
After several years of negotiations, countries have taken a major step against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), one of the greatest threats to sustainable fisheries and related livelihoods. International guidelines developed through a Food and Agriculture Organisation- (FAO) led consultative process aim to cut down on IUU fishing by improving the accountability of flag states - those countries which register fishing vessels and....

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