Issue: July 2022

From the Editor: ‘A Scallop Disco’

From the Editor: ‘A Scallop Disco’

According to a recent article in the British newspaper The Guardian, a new and unorthodox fishing technique is not only effective when it comes to catching scallops, but could also help preserve fragile seafloors. And it involves use of disco-like LED lights to attract fish. The article, which was published May 18, says the discovery occurred when marine scientist Dr. Rob Enever and his team at Fishtek Marine, a southwest England-based fisheries consultancy, designed small underwater lights to help protect fish stocks by replacing the need to use fish to bait crab and lobster pots. “The lights were supposed to attract crabs into the pots. But quite unexpectedly, scallops, which can have up to 200 eyes, were more attracted to the LED lights, the article states. “It’s like a scallop ...
Navy Responds to Plea Against Gulf of Alaska War Games in Spring 2023

Navy Responds to Plea Against Gulf of Alaska War Games in Spring 2023

Joint military exercises in the Gulf of Alaska in 2023, which take place every other spring on the eve of the Copper River commercial salmon fishery, are already drawing fire from entities concerned about adverse impact on the area’s fishery and environment. While the actual scheduling of the Northern Edge war games will be determined by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, opponents of holding the exercises in May are asking Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Northwest to avoid holding the event in May 2023. The Copper River District has been experiencing below average harvests for several years and when it opens for 12 hours on May 16, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is expected to take a conservative management approach for the start of the season. In years past, harves...
NMFS Issues Final Rule  on Ocean Salmon Fisheries Off  Washington, Oregon, California

NMFS Issues Final Rule on Ocean Salmon Fisheries Off Washington, Oregon, California

The National Marine Fisheries Service has issued a final rule establishing fishery management measures for the 2022 ocean salmon fisheries off Washington, Oregon and California and the 2023 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 16, 2023. Measures in the final rule vary by fishery and by area and establish fishing areas, seasons, quotas, legal gear, recreational fishing days and catch limits, possession and landing restrictions, and minimum lengths for salmon taken in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone off Washington, Oregon and California. The management measures are intended to prevent overfishing and to apportion the ocean harvest equitably among treaty Indians, non-Indian commercial, and recreational fisheries. They’re also intended to allow a portion of salmon runs to escape the oc...
Vessel Profile: ACI Boats Building Commercial Fishing Catamarans

Vessel Profile: ACI Boats Building Commercial Fishing Catamarans

American Samoa fishermen stand to benefit from four modern “Super Alia” vessels that evoke the region’s culturally significant alia sailing canoes. ACI Boats has been awarded a $3-million contract with the American Samoa Government’s (ASG) Department of Commerce for four “Super Alia” commercial fishing vessels. The four aluminum catamarans are to be constructed at the 20,000-square-foot ACI facility in Port Townsend, Wash. The name “Super Alia” evokes the maritime heritage of the iconic alia sailing canoes of the South Pacific. The boats are to be identical 38-foot by 14-foot semi-displacement catamarans, designed by ACI and Coastwise Marine Design. They’re set to be constructed with 5,086 aluminum hull skins with 5,052 aluminum interior transverse frames. Design features include ACI...
Mariculture  Enhancement Bill Passes Alaska Legislature

Mariculture Enhancement Bill Passes Alaska Legislature

Mariculture enhancement legislation has passed both houses of the Alaska Legislature, lifting the hopes of shellfish researchers for a future in which hatchery production of juvenile king crab would boost stocks to a sustainable commercial level. House Bill 41, sponsored by Rep. Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan, creates a regulatory framework with which the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) can manage shellfish enhancement projects and outlines criteria for the issuance of permits. It sets out stringent safety standards to ensure sustainability and health of existing natural stocks. ADF&G Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang must also make a determination of substantial public benefit before the project can proceed. HB 41 also allows the ADF&G to set the application fee for a she...
Coast Guard Cutter Cuttyhunk Decommissioned

Coast Guard Cutter Cuttyhunk Decommissioned

One of the U.S. Coast Guard’s remaining 110-foot Island-class patrol vessels, the cutter Cuttyhunk, was decommissioned May 5 in a ceremony at Air Station Port Angeles in Washington. Cuttyhunk, one of 37 remaining such Island-class patrol boats in service, was the 22nd of 49 of the vessels built. A fleet of 154-foot Sentinel-class cutters will replace the Island-class vessels, according to the USCG. The Cuttyhunk was commissioned in 1988 to support various USCG operations, including search and rescue, drug and fisheries enforcement and maritime homeland security. During its 34-year tenure, the vessel’s crew has accomplished more than 1,000 operations ranging from responding to searches and rescues in the Pacific Northwest to helping in various submarine escorts. Commanding Officer and ...
The American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act

The American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act

At the time of the writing of this column, the American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act (S. 497) (the “act”) is sitting on the President’s desk awaiting a signature. We are operating under the assumption that the President will sign this bipartisan piece of legislation. The act would enable the fishing industry to have a say in how certain fisheries research and development funds are allocated, particularly funding opportunities available under the Saltsonstall-Kennedy (S-K) Program. In early May, NOAA Fisheries announced that it was funding 44 projects totaling over $11.8 million under S-K programs. Legislation passed in 1939 empowered the Secretary of Commerce to “carry out a national program of research and development addressed to such aspects of United States fisheries (including, ...
Norton Sound King Crab Summer Access Fishery Opens June 15

Norton Sound King Crab Summer Access Fishery Opens June 15

A summer open access commercial fishery for Norton Sound king crab opened in mid-June in Nome, Alaska, but a major purchaser, Nome-based Norton Sound Seafood Products—a subsidiary of Norton Sound Economic Development Corp.—said it may not begin buying until early July. Until there are buyers, crab permit holders were on their own to be director-marketers or catch-sellers of their harvest.  Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials announced May 23 that the fishery would open on June 15. At that time, no buyer had registered for the harvest. During the 2022 winter commercial fishery, eight permit holders harvested 7,357 pounds of red king crab. The guideline harvest level (GHL) for the winter commercial fishery was 27,328 pounds. A total Norton Sound red king crab GHL for the winter ...
Oceana Expedition Documents Seafloor Habitats

Oceana Expedition Documents Seafloor Habitats

An expedition from the nonprofit ocean conservation organization Oceana this spring used remotely-operated vehicles and other tools for eight days to document the seafloor and ocean life in several locations and depths around Kodiak Island. Their goal was to observe, photograph and record seafloor habitats and associated marine life, to protect important seafloor areas in the Gulf of Alaska from bottom trawling, where huge nets are dragged for miles along the seafloor. The expedition was related to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Essential Fish Habitat review process, which is currently underway. Under the review, conservation measures for ocean habitat in Alaska are considered once every five years.  Oceana is campaigning to establish new protections for Gulf of Alaska...
Wild Alaska Pollock Mural Unveiled at Seattle’s Pier 91

Wild Alaska Pollock Mural Unveiled at Seattle’s Pier 91

A colorful 100-foot mural celebrating wild Alaska Pollock now adorns an entire side of a building on Seattle’s Pier 91, the global headquarters of the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers and home to Glacier Fish Company, a harvester and processor of the succulent whitefish. The mural, entitled “Heritage” by the artist Kyler Martz, utilizes the rich colors seen on cans of seafood from the Pacific Northwest’s seafood industry, hinting at the past, a link that supports the strong wild Alaska Pollock industry in place today, GAPP CEO Craig Morris explained. The mural is a fitting tribute, Morris said, to the men and women who work in the wild Alaska Pollock fishery every day and who bring the versatile, nutritious and sustainable fish to global consumers. Martz, a well-known a...