Tag: bristolbay

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...
Bristol Bay Chinook Issues On Tape for Alaska Board of Fisheries Meeting
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Bristol Bay Chinook Issues On Tape for Alaska Board of Fisheries Meeting

The Alaska Board of Fisheries is scheduled to take up statewide finfish issues, including an amended plan for managing Chinook salmon in the Nushagak-Mulchatna rivers of Southwest Alaska, when the board meets in Anchorage from March 10-14. Statewide declines in salmon stocks in several area, including the Nushagak Chinook stocks of concern, have been an increasing topic of discussion among fisheries managers, who are researching multiple related issues ranging from warming ocean waters to the nutritional values of changes in the predator-prey relationships of fish and sea mammals. Proposal 11 on the agenda for the board of fisheries meeting identifies several specific management objectives, including consistent sport fishing opportunity and a directed commercial king salmon fishery pro...
Bristol Bay Drift Gillnet Vessels to Be Inspected For Length Restrictions
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Bristol Bay Drift Gillnet Vessels to Be Inspected For Length Restrictions

Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) are giving advance notice to Bristol Bay commercial salmon drift gillnet permit holders that their vessels will be measured during the 2023 season to be sure that they adhere to the 32-foot overall length rule. AWT noted in a Feb. 14 letter to the permit holders that some adaptations in equipment have occurred in the past few years to promote produce quality and overall safety within the fleet, but that other modifications had been made for operational performance. The regulation limits gillnet vessels to 32 feet in overall length with few exceptions, they said. One exception is an anchor roller may extend no more than eight inches beyond the 32-foot overall length and may not be more than eight inches in width or height. The regulation defines “overall ...
EPA Final Determination Protects Bristol Bay Salmon Fisheries
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EPA Final Determination Protects Bristol Bay Salmon Fisheries

A final determination on plans for a proposed mine adjacent to the Bristol Bay watershed in Southwest Alaska released Jan. 31 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) favors protections for the huge run of wild sockeye salmon and a multi-million-dollar fisheries economy. The EPA said its determination would protect waters important to sustaining the area’s salmon resources from disposal of dredged or fill materials associated with developing the copper, gold and molybdenum Pebble deposit that a Canadian mining firm wants to develop. The battle between development to extract these minerals from the deposit abutting the Bristol Bay watershed has been ongoing for two decades. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the Bristol Bay watershed is a vital economic driver providing jobs, sus...
2023 Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Forecasts Anticipate Lower Harvest
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2023 Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Forecasts Anticipate Lower Harvest

Early forecasts from the University of Washington Alaska Salmon Program (UW-ASP) and Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) foresee a 2023 Bristol Bay sockeye salmon harvest of nearly 35 million to 38 million sockeye salmon, compared to the 2022 harvest of 60 million fish. Forecasts differ due to the modeling used by researchers at the two entities. The UW-ASP preseason forecast, based on historical catch and escapement data collected by ADF&G, plus additional stock, plus 38 individual stocks by age class forecasts, is 13% lower than the recent 10-year average of 57 million fish and 4% higher than the recent 20-year average of observed runs of 48 million sockeyes to Bristol Bay. In recent years, the UW-ASP program has increasingly relied on Dynamic Linear Models (DLM) to g...
2023 Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Forecasts Anticipate A Lower Harvest
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2023 Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Forecasts Anticipate A Lower Harvest

Early forecasts from the University of Washington Alaska Salmon Program (UW-ASP) and Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) predict a 2023 Bristol Bay sockeye salmon harvest of about 35 million to 38 million fish, compared to the 2022 harvest of 60 million fish. Forecasts differ due to the modeling used by researchers at the two entities. The UW-ASP preseason forecast, based on historical catch and escapement data collected by ADF&G, plus additional stock and stock by age class forecasts, is 13% lower than the recent 10-year average of 57 million fish and 4% higher than the recent 20-year average of observed runs of 48 million sockeye to Bristol Bay. In recent years, the UW-ASP program has increasingly relied on Dynamic Linear Models (DLM) to generate forecasts based on th...
Alaska Seeks Federal Disaster Declaration for Crab Fisheries
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Alaska Seeks Federal Disaster Declaration for Crab Fisheries

Alaska officials are seeking a federal fisheries disaster declaration for the 2022-23 Bristol Bay red king crab and Bering Sea snow crab fisheries. Gov. Mike Dunleavy said on Tuesday, Oct. 25 that he also has asked Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to expedite a disaster determine for the 2021-22 red king crab fishery. Dunleavy’s plea to the Commerce Department said information available to him indicated that both crab stock declines were a result of natural causes linked to warming ocean temperatures. The fisheries industry and affected communities in Alaska will need economic relief, he said. Alaska’s lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola, has also urged aid for the crab industry, in a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Appr...
Record Catch of Bristol Bay Sockeyes in High Retail Demand
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Record Catch of Bristol Bay Sockeyes in High Retail Demand

Soaring harvests of Bristol Bay’s famed wild sockeyes salmon run leaped by millions of pounds a week in July, as eager consumers were placing individual orders of up to 30 pounds each, while freezer container supplies ran low. Bristol Bay preliminary commercial harvest data posted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game jumped from nearly 47 million to 57 million fish between July 12 and July 19, while the statewide harvest rose from nearly 69 million to 89 million salmon. Fishermen in the Nushagak District alone caught over two million sockeyes that week, bringing their catch total to nearly 23 million salmon, ADF&G data show. The robust harvest vastly exceeded expectations and the availability of freezer containers. Maritime transport company Alaska Marine Lines notified ...
USCG Conducts Dockside Exams on 300-Plus Bristol Bay Fishing Boats
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USCG Conducts Dockside Exams on 300-Plus Bristol Bay Fishing Boats

Coast Guard inspectors from Anchorage say that during a two-week deployment to Bristol Bay in mid-June, they completed 351 dockside exams and issued 276 safety decals for fishing vessels in communities throughout the region. Examiners said the exams focused on safety and addressed items such as flares, charts, navigational signals, fire extinguishers, emergency position indicating radio beacons and serviceability of immersion suits. Every vessel that passed the exam earned a decal, according to the USCG. From June 13 through June 24 they also removed 117 immersion suits from service because they were not serviceable. Most vessel owners replaced the unserviceable suits with new ones, the Coast Guard said. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer David Schaeffer, fishing vessel safety ex...
EPA’s Revised Proposed Determination Scrutinized
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EPA’s Revised Proposed Determination Scrutinized

Proponents and opponents of the proposed Pebble mine project converged on the cities of Dillingham and Newhalen, and virtually in Southwest Alaska this past week to testify on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s revised proposed determination regarding a Clean Water Act permit, which they see as a long term way to stop construction of the mine. Their testimony came as fishermen and seafood processing workers headed for Bristol Bay to harvest and process the millions of red salmon forecast to return to the Bay in 2022. Several dozen opponents of the large-scale copper, gold and molybdenum mine turned out at the Dillingham hearing to testify. Mine boosters, including John Shively, chief executive officer of the Pebble Partnership, testified at Newhalen, contending that such ...