Issue: April 2024

BBRSDA Selects New Executive Director

BBRSDA Selects New Executive Director

Seafood industry veteran Lilani Dunn has been promoted to executive director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA), which represents drift gillnetters harvesting the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. Her appointment was announced Feb. 21.  She succeeds Andy Wink, of Wink Research & Consulting, who served as executive director of the BBRSDA for five and a half years. Dunn joined the BBRSDA in 2020 to oversee the association’s salmon marketing efforts, after holding positions with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) and Orca Bay Foods. She is the president of Northwest Fisheries Association, a member of the National Fisheries Institute and serves as chair of ASMI’s domestic marketing committee. “The marketing program is our single bigg...
Coalition Defends Limits on Trawler Halibut Bycatch

Coalition Defends Limits on Trawler Halibut Bycatch

A dispute over the amount of halibut allowed as incidental catch by trawlers targeting groundfish in the Bering Sea has prompted the newly-formed Halibut Defense Alliance to intervene in litigation on behalf of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS, NOAA Fisheries). The coalition includes commercial fishermen, charter operators, processors and community organizations that represent halibut-dependent communities across Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, who support the NMFS decision to allow more bycatch when halibut abundance is high and less bycatch when abundance is low. As of early March, the Justice Department was preparing the entire administrative record, with all related documents, to deliver to the federal judge in Anchorage. After that, both sides in the case were to brin...
Miso Marinated Sablefish

Miso Marinated Sablefish

Miso marinated sablefish from Alaskan Leader Seafoods, at $11.99 a pound, is one of more than two dozen varieties of frozen seafood stocked by the new Costco Business Center warehouse in Anchorage, with a focus on restaurants, hotels, offices and convenience stores. Also among the frozen seafood offerings is Alaskan Leader’s Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fillets. The fillets are at a sell price of $8.99 a pound, a dollar less than the refreshed fillets of Alaska sockeye salmon sold in the refrigerated section of two other Costco stores in Anchorage.  Photos by Margaret Bauman.
British Columbia Commercial Vessel Master Fined for Illegal Fishing

British Columbia Commercial Vessel Master Fined for Illegal Fishing

The master of the commercial prawn fishing vessel Darkstar has been sentenced following a long-running court case over illegal fishing in British Columbia’s Strait of Georgia, Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans revealed Feb. 23. Judge S.M. Merrick ordered the vessel master to pay a fine of $250,000 and forfeit all gear seized (with an approximate value of $80,000) after previously finding him guilty on May 24, 2023 of a total of 13 violations of Canada’s Fisheries Act. On July 2 and July 3, 2020, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Conservation and Protection fishery officers seized the vessel master’s prawn traps, which were illegally set in the Strait of Georgia Glass Sponge Reef Marine Refuges near Sechelt. This area is protected and closed to all prawn fishing due to the hab...
Calif. Lobster Fisherman Convicted of Poaching for 3rd Time

Calif. Lobster Fisherman Convicted of Poaching for 3rd Time

A California lobster fisherman has been convicted of a multitude of commercial lobster fishing violations, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) said March 5. It was the third commercial lobster poaching conviction for Christopher Miller, 67, of Los Alamos, since 2014. According to CDFW, Miller has pled guilty in Santa Barbara Superior Court to falsifying commercial fishing records, harvesting lobster out of season, and abandoning at least 156 commercial lobster traps around Santa Cruz Island and the Santa Barbara Harbor. After closure of the 2021-22 commercial lobster season and being ordered to remove his lobster traps by CDFW wildlife officers, Miller failed to retrieve any of his traps, posing a significant and detrimental hazard to the state’s marine resources, off...
Trident’s Analise Gonzales Joins SeaShare Board

Trident’s Analise Gonzales Joins SeaShare Board

Analise Gonzales, the director of specialty brands with Trident Seafoods Corp., has been elected to the board of directors of SeaShare, a nonprofit based on Bainbridge Island, Wash. that provides seafood to food banks nationwide. Her appointment, which was announced on Feb. 13, is the latest change in leadership of the 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1994. In January, SeaShare announced the August retirement of Jim Harmon, who has served as executive director for 23 years. Global marketing executive Hannah Lindoff of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute was named to succeed Harmon. In a statement, Gonzales said she was honored to join the SeaShare board. “As someone who is an omega (healthy fats) enthusiast, I am genuinely thrilled to contribute to SeaShare’s mission, and to hig...
Marine Debris Foundation Establishing Headquarters in Juneau

Marine Debris Foundation Establishing Headquarters in Juneau

The Marine Debris Foundation (MDF), established by Congress as a public-private partnership with NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, will base its headquarters in Juneau, Alaska. The foundation, on the campus of the University of Alaska’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, has enormous potential, said Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, who made the announcement Feb. 21 in his annual address to the Alaska Legislature. NOAA’s program is our nation’s sole government agency exclusively focused on the complex issue of marine debris,” foundation Executive Director Susan R. Sherman, said. “Government agencies typically enter into public-private partnerships like this one to expand the scope of work they can accomplish,” she explained. “Government agencies by design have statutory limitations that ...
IPHC Plans 2024 Setline Survey in 5 of 8 Regulatory Areas

IPHC Plans 2024 Setline Survey in 5 of 8 Regulatory Areas

Fishery-Independent Setline Surveys (FISS) across three of four bioregions and five of eight regulatory areas are planned by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) to begin in late May, with the intent of sampling a total of 525 stations. The IPHC said in a Feb. 15 announcement that it expects first hooks to be in the water by May 25. Financial woes for the IPHC, whose funds are directly related to halibut sales, have resulted in fewer stations being scheduled this year, compared to 2022, when the survey planned for 958 stations and completed sampling of just 864. The overall allowable coastwide catch of halibut in Alaska for 2024 is down about 5% and prices are also lower, all of which impacts IPHC income. A list of stations to be surveyed, by regulatory area and charter ...
Oregon Lists Southern Resident Orcas  as Endangered, Adopts Survival Guidelines

Oregon Lists Southern Resident Orcas as Endangered, Adopts Survival Guidelines

Southern Resident orca whales, whose numbers have dwindled to 75, are now listed as endangered under Oregon’s Endangered Species Act. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on Feb. 16 voted unanimously for the listing, saying the orcas’ reproductive potential is in danger due to their small population size, inbreeding and other issues. Scarcity of prey, especially Chinook salmon, which makes up the bulk of their diet, plus sound and vessel disturbance and exposure to high levels of contaminants were cited as primary reasons for the decline. The Oregon coast is an important travel corridor for Southern Resident orcas in the K and L pods, with the area near the Columbia River mouth serving as a foraging hotspot. Oregon’s coastal waters were federally designated as critical habitat in 2...