BC Power Line Spurs Transboundary Development (11/17). Alaska and Canadian scientists are among a large group of experts hoping to convince the British Columbia government to study the cumulative impacts of proposed development in the transboundary region.
In a letter sent Tuesday to B.C. Premier Christy Clark, 36 scientists say industrialization spurred by construction of B.C. Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line threatens the area. KTOO Audio
Scientists Warn B.C. Mining Rush Would Harm Alaska and B.C. Salmon, Clean Water (11/15). Hazelton, British Columbia – In a letter to British Columbia Premier Christy Clark today, 36 scientists asked for her leadership to balance impending industrial development in northwest B.C. with the outstanding fish, wildlife and ecological values of this largely pristine region. Of particular concern are the impacts to clean water and salmon runs in B.C. and southeast Alaska. Spurred by BC Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line (NTL), which has received environmental approvals, the rush is on to build mines, river-diversion hydroelectric dams and coal-bed methane energy projects that could radically transform the region. More
Observers to monitor SE gillnetters (11/16). Marine mammal observer boats will be on the grounds with the Southeast Alaska gillnet fleet for the next several years. It’s the Panhandle’s turn for the observer program which documents marine mammal and sea bird interactions with fisheries around the state. The observers will shadow individual gillnetters each opening and gather broader information from the fleet as well. Federal officials recently discussed the upcoming effort with Petersburg gillnetters. KFSK Audio
UFA Publishes Fishing Economic Fact Sheets to Heighten Community Fishery Awareness (11/11). The statewide commercial fishing umbrella association United Fishermen of Alaska, representing 37 fishing associations, has released a set of data sheets for major Alaska communities and boroughs. The group is seeking to provide UFA groups and members with economic information to illustrate the industry’s significance in their communities.
UFA is alarmed at the lack of public awareness about the economic contributions of the fishing and processing industry across Alaska.
“These statistics are important not only to our member organizations and coastal communities, but for talking points to assist professional fishermen in advocating at public meetings, in correspondence, and even in conversations with their neighbors,” said UFA President Arni Thomson. “Commercial fishing and seafood processing is increasingly forgotten in discussions about the relative importance of Alaska industries among policymakers and the public. Many fishermen may leave their local community to fish in other regions for as long as four or five months out of the year, and much of the processing employment is in remote areas out of sight. Out of sight, out of mind. UFA feels it is vital to our mission to bring this information out in a way that is clear and useful to help illustrate what the fishing industry brings back to the state of Alaska and its communities. Fishermen armed with the facts and figures about the value of their fisheries need to become ambassadors for their industry,” Thomson concluded. More
Hardy salmon thrived for millions of years (11/16). Fossil records show a family tree of Pacific salmon dating back millions of years. One weighed 300 pounds, sprawled 10 feet long and was named the Saber Tooth due to its protruding fang-like teeth.
Its branch fell from the family tree into extinction before the last Ice Age, about three million years ago.
Salmon inhabited their streams before humans evolved, David R. Montgomery told a packed audience Thursday night at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitors Center.
It was an appreciative audience of school children, parents, teachers, biologists, fishermen, conservationists, journalists and a few politicians – all interested in a favorite local subject: the salmon. Montgomery couldn’t have been more popular than a prom queen at a homecoming dance.
Montgomery, who won a MacArthur genius fellowship in 2008, is an expert on the history of salmon, if not through an unorthodox route. He’s a geologist, interested in rocks, soil, the rise of mountains and the fall of riverbeds, all of which relates to a fish who evolved in the upheavals of millennial landscaping. He is a professor of earth and space sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he leads the Geomorphological Research Group and is a member of the Quaternary Research Center. More
Salmon harvest will rank as second best ever, tops $603M (11/10). The 2011 Alaska salmon harvest figures are to rank second-best all time in value after postseason price adjustments.
The preliminary estimate from Alaska Department of Fish and Game for the 2011 salmon harvest value is $603 million, just trailing the $605 million final value in 2010.
The preliminary estimate for 2010 was $533 million, but postseason price adjustment reports provided to ADFG from processors, buyers and direct marketers this spring added some $72 million to the final harvest value.
Analysts from ADFG expect postseason price adjustments for the 2011 will easily push the harvest value past 2010, putting it behind only an outlier year of 1988 in total value all time.
The 1988 salmon harvest brought in more than $700 million, but Geron Bruce of ADFG Commercial Fisheries Division cautioned that year’s prices were historical outliers not likely to be repeated, while the 2010 and 2011 prices are within historical ranges. More
Crew jobs down, earnings up according to latest survey (11/10). Over the past six years average employment for Alaska commercial fishermen dropped slightly, but gross earnings were up — and that is a better measure of industry health.
That’s the conclusion of the state Labor Department’s November Economic Trends edition, which provides a great snapshot of fishing jobs and earnings in seven Alaska regions: Aleutian and Pribilof islands, Bristol Bay, Kodiak, Northern, Southcentral, Southeast and the Yukon Delta. The analysis also updates information last gathered in 2002.
It is hardly an exact science. Because fishermen are self-employed and fall outside the various wage withholding and unemployment insurance laws, the department uses surveys and industry research to estimate harvesting employment. Most of the information comes from the state’s Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, which provides detailed data on gross estimated earnings, pounds caught and permits.
Some highlights: There were 6,915 Alaska fishermen working each month on average in 2010, a decline of 2.4 percent from the previous year, and down 7.6 percent from 2005.
Most of the fishing jobs were for salmon (50.2 percent); followed by halibut (20.1 percent), groundfish (8.1 percent), sablefish (7.4 percent), crab (5.4 percent), herring (4.9 percent), and miscellaneous shellfish (3.9 percent). More
MSC. Alaska Salmon – Announcement of second full re-assessment and Proposed assessment team (11/18). The certification body, Intertek moody Marine, has announced that the Alaska salmon fishery has entered its second re-assessment. Initially Intertek moody Marine seeks to open a dialogue with all organisations or individuals with a direct interest in the fishery.
Anyone wishing to provide comments or information to the assessment process (relevant to the status of the stock, ecosystem interactions or fishery management practices) is invited to contact Dr Rob Blyth-Skyrme.
The certification body, Intertek moody Marine, has also put forward nominations for the fishery assessment team that will be responsible for assessing the Alaska Salmon fishery against the MSC Standard.
Any stakeholder wishing to provide comments on the suitability or otherwise of any of the nominees is invited to contact Dr Rob Blyth-Skyrme no later than 5pm GMT, 28 November 2011.
- Download the assessment team nomination announcement (PDF, 37.3 kb)
To view the Curriculum Vitae for each team member, please view the second re-assessment downloads
Dec 6. Gillnet Task Force, Sitka
Dec 7. USAG Annual Board Meeting
Dec 8. Regional Planning Team, Harrigan Centennial Hall, Maksoutoff Room, Sitka
Dec 12-14. North End Transboundary Panel, ADFG Commissioner Conference Room, Juneau
Dec 13. JEDC Cluster Work Groups, including ocean products, Juneau
Feb 9. Comment deadline for SE finfish BOF proposals.
Feb 13-14. Young Fishermen’s Summit, Juneau
Feb 15-17. UFA Board Meeting, Juneau
Feb 24-Mar 4. BOF. Southeast and Yakutat Finfish (including salmon, herring, and groundfish), Ketchikan Proposals (PDF 740 kB) Corrections