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U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Heads North for Arctic Deployment
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U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Heads North for Arctic Deployment

The US. Coast Guard cutter Healy, the nation's largest, most technologically advanced polar icebreaker, is en route to Alaska to begin months long Arctic deployment and support scientists engaged in three distinct science missions. Coast Guard officials said that Healy left Seattle on June 13. The cutter is the Coast Guard’s only icebreaker equipped with scientific instrumentation by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support Arctic research and is considered ideally specialized for scientific missions providing access to the most remote areas of the Arctic Ocean. The first mission, in support of the Arctic Observing Network, is NSF-funded. During this mission, the Healy is to service subsurface moorings in the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, conducting a survey of the bound...
McKenzie River Restoration Benefits Upper Willamette River Chinook
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McKenzie River Restoration Benefits Upper Willamette River Chinook

NOAA's Office of Habitat Conservation says the numbers of threatened Upper Willamette River Chinook salmon are increasing, thanks to habitat restored in Oregon's McKenzie River watershed. In 2022, NOAA provided $1.7 million to the McKenzie River Trust in congressionally-directed community project funds to restore 150 acres of floodplain habitat at Finn Rock Reach, an important habitat for Chinook salmon. An update issued by NOAA Fisheries on June 3 said that adult Chinook spawned in restored habitat last fall, laying eggs in 65 “redds” - gravel nests they scour out of the river bottom. A new generation of juvenile Chinook is now growing there and will eventually head downstream toward the ocean, they said. McKenzie River Trust Restoration Projects Manager John Trimble said the...
Early Alaska Commercial Salmon Catch Exceeds 1M Fish
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Early Alaska Commercial Salmon Catch Exceeds 1M Fish

Estimated commercial harvests in the 2024 statewide Alaska salmon fishery topped one million fish as of Monday, June 17, as two districts in Bristol Bay opened in the wake of Copper River/Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet fisheries. Deliveries are also coming to processors from Cook Inlet, Kodiak and the Alaska Peninsula. Prices for the coveted Copper River sockeye fillets are holding their own at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, at $34.99 a pound, and as high as $37.97 at online retailer FishEx in Anchorage. Some retailers meanwhile have begun offering fresh from the ocean Cook Inlet sockeye fillets for $12.99 to $21.99 a pound. In upscale restaurants in Anchorage, gourmet entrees of Copper River reds this week were $49 at Simon & Seafort’s, and $32 at Orso. Al...
Washington, Alaska Tribes Seek Consultation on BC Transboundary Mining Issues
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Washington, Alaska Tribes Seek Consultation on BC Transboundary Mining Issues

Indian tribes from Washington state and Southeast Alaska that have ancestral homelands along salmon rich transboundary rivers are asking the British Columbia government to consult with them regarding mining operations with potential adverse impacts on rivers and fisheries. Officials with the Lummi Nation and southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission (SEITC) said June 13 that they were notified by the BC Environmental Assessment office that they would have a limited voice over port expansion of the BC Roberts Bank Terminal. Roberts Bank is home to a twin-terminal port facility on the mainland coastline of the Strait of Georgia in Delta, B.C.  It is also known as the Outer Harbour of Canada’s busiest port. The tribes contend that the project would have an adverse impa...
Area 2A Commercial Pacific Halibut Season Opens June 25
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Area 2A Commercial Pacific Halibut Season Opens June 25

The first three-day commercial directed Pacific halibut fishing season of the year in convention waters off the West Coast begins at 8 a.m. on June 25 and runs through 6 p.m. on June 27. NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement, along with state and federal fisheries partners, have advised that they will be out on the water and at the docks, conducting patrols throughout the season. Patrol partners include the U.S. Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement, Oregon State Police and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police. The patrols will focus on ensuring compliance with the rules and regulations governing commercial Pacific halibut fishing. They include but are not limited to proper marking of fishing gear, permitting and vessel documentation, min...
Silver Bay Acquires Trident Seafood’s False Pass Processing Facilities
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Silver Bay Acquires Trident Seafood’s False Pass Processing Facilities

Trident Seafoods and Silver Bay Seafoods on June 7 announced that they’ve reached an agreement for Silver Bay to acquire one of Trident’s processing facilities and fuel business. Trident’s False Pass operation, located in the community of False Pass, a remote southwest Alaska fishing community on Unimak Island located between the tip of the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands, is dedicated entirely to processing salmon. The facility’s located next to Silver Bay’s False Pass processing facility, which opened in 2019. “The acquisition of the False Pass operations will create efficiencies between the two neighboring processing plants and includes a fuel facility that provides critical fuel services to the community and fishing fleet,” Silver Bay Seafoods President and CEO C...
NOAA Fisheries Announces Changes in Alaska Survey Portfolio
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NOAA Fisheries Announces Changes in Alaska Survey Portfolio

The Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) said in early June that it plans to redesign and reprioritize efforts in several of its surveys this year, while advancing ways to more efficiently collect data and accomplish its research mission to support sustainable fisheries management. The new survey combines the current eastern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the northern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, and portions of the historical Eastern Bering Sea slope survey. AFSC is also suspending one survey due to shortfalls in cost recovery to the industry in conducting the survey, related to depressed economic value of the harvest. It’s all part of a NOAA Fisheries multi-year effort, announced June 7, to strategically respond to climate-driven changes in the environment, maintain fi...
Southeast Alaska Harvester Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Records, Endangering Whale
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Southeast Alaska Harvester Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Records, Endangering Whale

A 54-year-old commercial fisherman from Southeast Alaska has pleaded guilty to false labeling of fishing records in violation of U.S. law. The fisherman admitted to violating the Lacey Act, which prohibits trade in wildlife, fish and plants that have been illegally taken, possessed, transported, or sold, and illegally taking a sperm whale in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The case was investigated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement. The U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Alaska said that Dugan Paul Daniels of Coffman Cove is to be sentenced Sept. 16. He faces a maximum penalty of six years in prison. U.S. Attorney for Alaska S. Lane Tucker said June 6 that a federal district court judge would determine any se...
Higher Pacific Salmon Abundance in Canadian Arctic Linked to Warming Seas
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Higher Pacific Salmon Abundance in Canadian Arctic Linked to Warming Seas

A new study by researchers at Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the University of Alaska Fairbanks links higher Pacific salmon abundance in the Canadian Arctic to warming ocean temperatures. The study, published June 5 in the journal Global Change Biology, found that a two-part mechanism was tied to the presence of salmon in the Canadian Arctic. Warm late spring conditions in the Chukchi Sea, northwest of Alaska, drew salmon into the Arctic. When those conditions persisted in the summertime Beaufort Sea, northeast of Alaska, salmon could continue to Canada, researchers said. Canadian and Alaskan scientists, working together with communities in the western Canadian Arctic, connected the salmon booms experienced by subsistence fishermen in recent years with a sequence of warm,...
Expedited Review of Salmon Disaster Plan Requested by California Congressmen
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Expedited Review of Salmon Disaster Plan Requested by California Congressmen

Congressional representatives from California say complete closure of the state’s ocean and river salmon fisheries has been devastating for their constituents and that federal agencies should expedite the review and approval of the 2023 California fisheries disaster plan request. U.S. Representatives Jared Huffman and Jimmy Panetta and Sen. Alex Padilla, all Democrats, made their request in a June 4 letter to Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and NOAA Administrator Richard Spinrad. Last year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office requested that U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo declare a federal fisheries disaster after the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the state closed the season because of weak Chinook salmon stocks. “Any accele...