Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Info on Port Moller Test Fishery Indicies Available on ADF&G Website

AEB Fish Blog recently received a question from Linda Ralston who asked whether there is a Website containing curent information about the Port Moller test fishery indicies. AEB Fish Blog contacted ADF&G Area Management Biologist Bob Murphy in Port Moller. He said the Website to go to is: or click on the headline/title of this blog, and that will take you to the Website. There is a Port Moller link beneath the title: Bristol Bay Inseason Salmon Reports on the right side. It contains daily and cumulative indicies. Any other questions regarding the Port Moller fishery indicies should be directed to:

Bob Murphy
ADF&G Area Management Biologist
Port Moller, AK
Phone: (907) 375-2716

Thank you for your question, Linda.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

U.S. Commerce Secretary Reappoints Sam Cotten to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council

NOAA announced yesterday (June 23, 2010) that the U.S. Commerce Secretary has reappointed Sam Cotten to the North Pacific Fishery Management Coucil. Sam’s current term was scheduled to expire in August of this year. He has served three years on the Council. Sam is also the AEB’s fisheries consultant.

Three months ago, Governor Parnell forwarded his nominations for consideration by the Commerce Secretary. Those nominations to fill the Council’s Alaska seats were Duncan Fields of Kodiak and James Hubbard of Seward. The governor nominated Sam as an alternate. Afterwards, several cities and tribal councils and many individuals from the region wrote letters of support for Sam and sent them to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

Altogether, Locke announced the appointments of 19 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils. In addition to Sam’s appointment, Locke also appointed Duncan Fields, who will serve another three-year term on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

“The individuals selected for the councils are keenly qualified for these important positions,” said Eric Schwaab, NOAA Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service, in a press release. “They are the experts -- fishermen and scientists, leaders in their regions -- who will help us achieve sustainable fisheries and maintain vibrant fishing communities.”

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional councils established by the 1976 Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act (later renamed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act) to oversee management of the nation’s marine fisheries. The Council has jurisdiction over 900,000 square miles of ocean, from three to 200 miles off Alaska’s shores. Its primary responsibility is to manage pollock, cod, halibut, sole and other groundfish.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Area M Commercial Fishermen Volunteer To Sit Out First Opening of June Salmon Fishery

Seiners Recognize Concerns Surrounding
Chum Runs in A-Y-K

Sand Point, AK – June 7, 2010 – The purse seine fleet in Sand Point and King Cove has decided to stand down this week during the first sockeye salmon opening for 2010 in Area M. The Area M fishery is located around Alaska’s Eastern Aleutian Islands and Western Peninsula on the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. The first opening began today at 6 a.m. (June 7, 2010) and ends at 10 p.m. on June 10, 2010.

Chum salmon is a controversial issue. Although existing data indicates that the chum salmon catch during the Area M fishery has only a small impact on A-Y-K (Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim) chums, many residents living in the A-Y-K believe otherwise.

During two separate meetings late last week, Area M fishermen debated what action they might take in response to A-Y-K chum concerns. Seine vessel captains gathered in Sand Point City Council Chambers and at the harbor house in King Cove last Thursday and Friday evening while they hashed out their options for several hours. Their final decision was based on high amounts of chum caught during the subsistence harvest. Giving up fishing time after a long winter is a difficult decision.

“My husband is sitting on the beach right now,” said Sand Point resident Tina Anderson, “and that’s lost income to my family.”

However, the Area M fleet has learned that as long as A-Y-K residents and the Alaska Board of Fisheries believe Area M’s fishery is having a serious impact on their runs, the fleet in the Aleutians East region is under great political scrutiny.

“Area M seiners recognize the concerns of residents living in the A-Y-K (Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim region) who believe we’re catching high numbers of chums,” said Glen Gardner, Jr., a seiner and the Mayor of the City of Sand Point. “We view our stand down as a positive gesture of solidarity.”

“We’re all fishermen who feed our families and make our living in Alaska waters,” said Sand Point seiner Robin Larsen. “Our fleets are also primarily Alaska Natives. We are sympathetic to the plight of families in the A-Y-K.”

For decades, Area M fishermen have been plagued by accusations that they are affecting commercial and subsistence chum salmon runs in the A-Y-K. In 2001, the Alaska Board of Fisheries implemented severe restrictions which nearly bankrupted the entire Area M fishing fleet. The fishermen lost nearly 70 percent of their fishing time. However, scientific evidence shows that the Area M sockeye salmon fishery has very little impact on the chum salmon stock.

“Area M fishermen have been managed with chum caps, windows and other restrictions,” said Sand Point seiner and resident Dick Jacobsen. “Our fishery was very nearly destroyed.”

Impacts were so severe that by 2002, the Aleutians East region’s poverty rates skyrocketed. Fishermen lost their boats and permits. In 2004, the Board of Fisheries lifted the restrictions to pre-2001 levels after finding no evidence that previous chum salmon fishing restrictions made any improvement in chum runs in the A-Y-K.

“Local fishermen still fear they may lose the time they got back,” said Sand Point resident and fisherman Melvin Larsen. “So we’re trying to be proactive about this controversial issue.”

“We are active supporters of the scientific effort to genetically identify the stocks of chum present in our fishery,” said Raymond Koso, Jr. “That effort is currently under way. But until that work is done, any conclusions are just speculation at best.”

“We can’t do anything about the chum runs in the A-Y-K,” Mayor Gardner added. “But what we can do is show support for our neighbors to the northwest by standing down during the first run of the salmon season.”

For more information, visit .

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

ADF&G To Conduct Test Sockeye Salmon Fishery in the SEDM

Bids Due June 11 for Charter Set Gillnet
Fishing Vessels for Test Fishery

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is soliciting bids to charter up to three set gillnet fishing vessels to conduct test fishing in the Southeastern District Mainland (SEDM) on June 16, June 21, July 7 and July 13, 2010. Additional test fishing may be required as determined by the Department.

The test fishery will be used to evaluate the genetic stock composition of sockeye salmon in the SEDM. Test fishing will be conducted at three locations determined by the Department, including: East Stepovak, near Swedania Point, and only during the month of June, the Northwest Stepovak Section. All fish caught and revenue generated from the sale of those fish will become the property of the State of Alaska. Interested bidders must have prior experience set gillnetting in this area, provide all necessary equipment and be willing to fish a full complement of gear. A Department employee will be aboard the charter vessels while fishing to monitor and sample the catch.

The Request for Quotation (RFQ) format for the 2010 test fishery will be based on a percentage of the catch value, not to exceed 80% of the value. Bids should be based on a percentage of the value of the catch. The contract will be awarded to the bidders with the lowest percentage of the total value of the catch. Bids for greater than 80% of the value of the catch, will be rejected. Bids must be received at the Fish and Game office in Sand Point prior to 5:00 p.m., Friday, June 11, 2010.

Page 1 of the RFQ form may be faxed to the Sand Point office at (907) 383-2606. Please call the Sand Point Area Manager at (907) 383-2066 after faxing to verify receipt of your bid.

Learn more about the SEDM Genetic Stock Identification 2012 - 2012 by clicking on this link.

ADF&G Announces Commercial Salmon June Fishery Dates in South Unimak and the Shumagin Islands

According to a press release from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the South Unimak and Shumagin Islands June fisheries will open to commercial fishing during the following times and dates:

6 a.m. Mon., June 7, 2010 until 10 p.m. Thurs., June 10, 2010
6 a.m. Sat., June 12, 2010 until 10 p.m. Tues., June 15, 2010
6 a.m. Thurs., June 17, 2010 until 10 p.m. Sun., June 20, 2010
6 a.m. Tues., June 22, 2010 until 10 p.m., Fri., June 25, 2010
6 a.m. Sun., June 27, 2010 until 10 p.m., Tues., June 29, 2010

The June fishery occurs in the following districts and sections:

Unimak District
Bechevin Bay Section of the Northwestern District
Southwestern District
West and East Pavlof Bay sections of the South Central District
Shumagin Islands Section of the Southeastern District

All closed waters in the above locations will be as described in the regulation book or as adjusted by emergency order.

Subsistence permits for the Alaska Peninsula are available in the Alaska Department of Fish & Game offices in Sand Point, Cold Bay and Port Moller. Subsistence fishermen must obtain a permit and have it in their possession while harvesting salmon under subsistence guidelines.

Statistical charts and harvest strategies are available at the Sand Point, Cold Bay and Port Moller Fish & Game offices. News releases and commercial salmon fishing regulations can be found on the ADF&G website at . Salmon fishery announcements will be broadcast on VHF channels 6 and 73 daily at 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. and may also be obtained from ADF&G in Sand Point at (907) 383-2334 (383-ADFG).