Tag: bristolbay

Pebble, State of Alaska, Back in Court Regarding Mine Defense
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Pebble, State of Alaska, Back in Court Regarding Mine Defense

A Canadian mining company intent on building a copper, gold and molybdenum mine abutting the Bristol Bay watershed has renewed litigation, seeking to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency veto of permits for the Pebble Mine. The lawsuit filed in federal district court in Alaska on Friday, March 15, came on the heels of the state of Alaska’s lawsuit filed March 14 in the U.S. federal claims court asking for more than $700 billion in damages for state lands that Alaska contends were confiscated. Ron Thiessen, president and CEO of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (NDM) in Vancouver, British Columbia, said his company’s priority is to advance the district federal court complaint because overturning the illegal veto removes a major impediment from getting the permit to build the ...
Bristol Bay Red King Crab Fishery Scheduled to Open Oct. 15
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Bristol Bay Red King Crab Fishery Scheduled to Open Oct. 15

Alaska’s Bristol Bay red king crab fishery is set to open at noon on Oct. 15 after being closed for two years due to stocks not meeting minimal levels for fishing. The set quota is 2.15 million pounds, just slightly lower than the 2020 opener of 2.6 million pounds. The announcement from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) was cheered by long time drabber captains like Glenn Casto of the f/v Pinnacle, who called it a start in the right direction that would help pay bills and help out crew. Veteran crab captains Oystein Lone, and Gabriel Prout also praised the decision to let them fish. “It’s a needed lifeline for us to keep our businesses afloat,” said Lone, captain and owner of the f/v Confidence and f/v Pacific Mariner. “The impacts the fleet and the stock cont...
2023 Runs to All Bristol Bay Districts Exceed Forecasts
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2023 Runs to All Bristol Bay Districts Exceed Forecasts

Preliminary data compiled by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game show that the run of sockeye salmon run to Bristol Bay in 2023 was 54.5 million fish, with runs to every district within this easternmost arm of the Bering Sea exceeding preseason forecasts. Data show that the run itself was the eighth largest inshore run since 2003 and 17% above the 46.7 million average run for the latest 20-year period, stretching from 2003 to 2022. All sockeye salmon escapement goals were met or exceeded, with a total bay-wide escapement of 13.9 million fish, according to the preliminary document issued on Sept. 22. The ex-vessel value of salmon harvested in Bristol Bay in 2023, calculated by using the fish ticket weight and price paid for each species, totaled $117.4 million for all salmon...
Bristol Bay Setnetters Begin Vote on Whether to Join BBRSDA
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Bristol Bay Setnetters Begin Vote on Whether to Join BBRSDA

Efforts to bring Bristol Bay setnetters into the ranks of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) are underway. The BBRSDA is conducting an election of Bristol Bay salmon set gillnet permit holders to approve a self-imposed 1% seafood development tax of all interim-use and limited entry Bristol Bay set gillnet permit holders within Bristol Bay. The assessment would be effective on June 1, 2024. Each eligible voter may cast one ballot. All ballots must be mailed to the Alaska Division of Investments and postmarked by Oct. 9. The election closes on Oct 19. All votes are to be counted and certified by the Alaska Commissioner of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Complete details and voting instructions are available on the BBRSDA website. ...
UW-FRI Preliminary Forecast Predicts 2024 Run of 38.9 M Bristol Bay Sockeyes
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UW-FRI Preliminary Forecast Predicts 2024 Run of 38.9 M Bristol Bay Sockeyes

The University of Washington’s Fisheries Research Institute (UW-FRI) on Aug. 18 issued a preliminary preseason 2024 forecast run of 38.9 million Bristol Bay sockeye salmon, with a harvest of 26.4 million fish. The forecasted run would be 32% below the 2013-2022 10-year average, with the fish weighing an average of 5.5 pounds, according to the forecast. The UW-FRI report is based on 2023 daily in-season data from Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports. The preliminary preseason forecast suggests that 63% of the total 2024 Bristol Bay run will be 2-ocean sockeye and 37% 3-ocean sockeye. The standard UW-FRI Preseason Forecast, slated for release in November, is to include abundance estimates by age class for all nine rivers in Bristol Bay, plus anticipated 2024 harvest in num...
Pebble Permit Legal Battle Rises to U.S. Supreme Court
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Pebble Permit Legal Battle Rises to U.S. Supreme Court

State of Alaska officials are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) veto of a Clean Water Act permit needed for construction of the Pebble copper, gold and molybdenum mine on property abutting the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery. The “bill of complaint” filed by the state on July 26 argues that the EPA’s decision violates the state’s right to develop its natural resources for the maximum benefit of its people. “Bureaucrats in Washington D.C. are exercising unbridled and unlawful power to choke off any further discussion on this important decision affecting so many Alaskans,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy said.  “It’s an indefensible and unprecedented power grab that the U.S. Supreme Court should find unlawful,” Alaska Attorney General Treg ...
Bristol Bay Fishermen, Processors Clash Over 50 Cents Per Pound Base Price
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Bristol Bay Fishermen, Processors Clash Over 50 Cents Per Pound Base Price

Harvesters and processors in Alaska’s Bristol Bay commercial salmon fishery are at odds over the 50 cents per pound that processors are offering for the robust catch, a price harvesters say will leave them with little, if any, income after expenses are paid. Processors have cited not only their increased cost of doing business, but the large amount of the 2022 catch still unsold after last year’s record Bristol Bay harvest. Veteran Bristol Bay fisherman Robert Cheyne Blough organized a protest at Naknek on July 20. He said that more than 100 fishing boats that were tied together paraded back and forth from of the dock at Naknek for about 12 hours, but did not interfere with deliveries to processors there. What if any impact their protest had on the price of fish is still uncer...
Subsistence Fishermen Share Catch with Yukon, Chignik Families
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Subsistence Fishermen Share Catch with Yukon, Chignik Families

Subsistence salmon gathered by Dillingham, Alaska area residents in advance of the Bristol Bay commercial salmon fishery are sharing over 5,000 pounds of their catch with families along the Yukon River and Chignik area that are unable to fish in 2023 because of low run returns. Plans are for Grant Aviation to fly the whole, cleaned and frozen fish in August to Alakanuk, Pitkas Point, Saint Mary’s, Chignik Lagoon and Chignik Bay. Some fish will also be used by the Yukon River Drainage Fishermen’s Association Educational Exchange program where several youth will travel to communities on the Yukon and share their experiences with salmon. The salmon donation project is a collaborative effort of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association’s (ALFA) Seafood Distribution Network, plus No...
Biden Salutes Defense of Bristol Bay Salmon Fishery
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Biden Salutes Defense of Bristol Bay Salmon Fishery

President Joe Biden celebrated his administration’s defense of the Bristol Bay watershed and other environmental achievements during a mid-May gathering at the White House’s Rose Garden with Alaska guests including tribal leaders and conservationists. “Bristol Bay is an extraordinary place, unlike anywhere in the world,” Biden said. “Six rivers meet there, traveling through 40,000 miles of tundra, wetlands and lakes, collecting freshwater and salmon along the way … making this the largest sockeye salmon fishery on all the earth.” The president spoke also of a number of other conservation achievements in ceremonies in the Rose Garden on May 11, while concentrating on the importance of the Southwest Alaska watershed where millions of sockeye salmon are harvested every summer by commercia...
Market Demand, Rising Costs to Play Role in 2023 Bristol Bay Prices
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Market Demand, Rising Costs to Play Role in 2023 Bristol Bay Prices

Market demand for sockeye salmon is strong, but rising costs for harvesters and processors are expected to influence the ex-vessel price during the 2023 Bristol Bay season, according to Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) Executive Director Andy Wink. Wink said while there’s strong demand overall, the cost of everything -- from financing and carrying costs to labor, insurance and shipping -- keeps rising. Wink made the comments during an April 11 “Lunch and Learn” program presentation offered on the Bristol Bay campus of the University of Alaska in Dillingham, hosted by Marine Advisory Program Agent Tav Ammu. Wink said he wasn’t about to predict the prices to be paid to fishermen this summer in Bristol Bay, with that task being best left for processors to dec...