Bering Sea Snow Crab Catch Limit Down 40 Percent

Wednesday, October 14 2015

Snow crab. KUCB file photo.

Last week the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced catch limits for the state’s crab fisheries. On Monday, a Fish and Game biologist explained how the agency determined those catch limits to a group of crabbers in Seattle. Nine local crabbers gathered at Unalaska’s City Hall to tune into the conference call and ask questions.

The biggest drop in total allowable catch – or the TAC – is for Bering Sea snow crab, also known as opilio. The total allowable catch this season for snow crab is just over 40 million pounds. That’s a forty percent drop from last season.

St. Paul Elder Keynotes Alaska's Elders and Youth Conference

Monday, October 12 2015

St. Paul elder Gregory Fratis, Sr. KUCB/John Ryan photo.

Hundreds of Alaska Natives will meet over the next three days at the 32nd annual Elders and Youth conference in Anchorage. This year’s theme is “Not in our smokehouse!”

On the conference's first morning, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker declared the day Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day.

The conference’s elder keynote speaker is Aleut (Unangan) elder Gregory Fratis, Sr., of St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs.

Shell's Oil Rigs Leave The Arctic--And Skip Seattle

Monday, October 12 2015

Shell's Noble Discoverer drill rig leaving Unalaska Monday afternoon. KUCB/John Ryan photo.

Shell's two Arctic oil rigs pulled into Unalaska's Dutch Harbor on Sunday, some 1,100 miles south of the company's drilling site in the Chukchi Sea.

The Noble Discoverer and the Polar Pioneer headed south from the Chukchi shortly after Shell abandoned its quest for Arctic Ocean oil after drilling one well this summer.

Shell spokeswoman Megan Baldino said the rigs are refueling and making crew changes during their brief stops in Dutch Harbor.

Crab Catch Limits Set For 2015 Season

Thursday, October 08 2015

Red king crab. KUCB file photo.

This week the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced catch limit numbers for the upcoming red king crab and tanner crab seasons.

The 2015/2016 Bristol Bay red king crab total allowable catch is 9.974 million pounds.

Of that total, 8.976 million pounds are allowed under the individual fishing quota. Just under a million are allowed under the community development quota.

Local Shellfish Test High For Toxins

Thursday, October 08 2015

Mussels collected from Little Priest Rock in Unalaska this summer tested positive for high levels of toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP. That’s according to Melissa Good of the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.

Good said that throughout the summer, she’s been collecting blue mussels from Unalaska for analysis by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. The last of the collection ended on September 30. Once the data is in and analyzed, Good promised to present a community lecture on her findings.

Kelty, Tungul, Pound Ahead In Vote Count

Tuesday, October 06 2015

Polling booths in Council Chambers. Photo by Greta Mart.

According to the preliminary count listed on the ballot box ticker tape Tuesday night just after 8 p.m., Frank Kelty is in the lead for City Council Seat G with 158 votes. His opponent John Waldron received 112 votes. There were four votes for write-in candidates.

City Clerk Cat Hazen says are still 28 absentee ballots left to be counted. Hazen said she plans to open and count those absentee ballots on Friday at ten a.m. 

Cuts In Unalaska Ferry Service Proposed

Tuesday, October 06 2015

The M/V Tustumena. Photo courtesy of Nancy Heise.

The Alaska Department of Transportation is proposing changes in ferry service to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor for the 2016 sailing season.

On Tuesday the state agency released its draft Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) sailing schedule for next year. If approved as is, the ferry Tustumena will sail to Unalaska once in June and once in September. In May, July and August, the ferry will make the run from Kodiak to Unalaska twice a month.

Cowboys Herding Hundreds of Cattle By Helicopter on Remote Aleutian Island

Thursday, October 01 2015

Herding by helicopter. Curtis Norman photo.

For the first time in five years, helicopters and cowboys are rounding up cattle by the hundreds on Umnak and Unalaska islands.  The Bering Pacific Ranches at Fort Glenn on Umnak Island are herding their tundra-roaming cattle to take them to market.

Alaska agriculture officials say the Bering Pacific is the state's biggest cattle operation. It's also the only one with cowboys herding by helicopter.  

Waldron, Kelty Vie For Unalaska City Council

Thursday, October 01 2015

Unalaska City Hall. KUCB file photo.

The only contested race on Unalaska’s ballot on Tuesday is for Seat G on the Unalaska City Council. Former police officer John Waldron is vying for the seat against longtime local politician Frank Kelty.

Both candidates are experienced politicians. Unalaska residents are familiar with Frank Kelty from eight years as a City Council member and his ten years as Mayor. John Waldron was elected to the borough assembly and school board in Yakutat and served as a police officer here in Unalaska. 

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