Adak Plant Taking Deliveries

Thursday, July 21 2011

Icicle’s new processing plant in Adak is now up and running.

The seafood company formalized their lease of the facilities in April, and spent the spring making upgrades. The plant had been left vacant since former tenants Adak Fisheries went bankrupt in 2009, and serious maintenance work was need to get the plant operating again. On July 3, Icicle was able to buy their first fish.

Vice President of Operations John Woodruff says that the plant has been buying longline fish, mostly halibut with some black cod and Pacific cod. Right now, he says that the company’s major goal is attracting boats out to the western Aleutians.

Pacific Cod Fleet Continues Transition to Cooperative System

Tuesday, July 19 2011

The Pacific cod fishery is a month into B-season, and the freezer longline fleet is fishing at an even pace under a quota system.

KUCB's Alexandra Gutierrez has more.

Illegal King Crab Auction Raises Eyebrows

Wednesday, July 13 2011

A big auction for blue king crab is underway in Seattle, and it’s got some members of the seafood industry talking. The product isn’t being sold by the usual distributors, and it isn’t from Alaska waters. KUCB’s Alexandra Gutierrez has more on NOAA’s sell-off of a quarter-million pounds of seized Russian crab.

Chum Bycatch Means More Closures for Pollock Fleet

Tuesday, July 12 2011

The pollock fleet is allowing more fishing grounds in the Bering Sea to be closed in an effort to reduce the high levels of chum bycatch.

On Monday, representatives from the pollock cooperatives agreed to expand the salmon bycatch avoidance zone by another 1,000 square nautical miles. That brings the total area that can be closed at any given time to 5,000 square miles.

So far, the fleet has taken an unusually high number of chums this B season. As of this week, it had taken approximately 53,000 chum salmon. Last year, only 13,000 chums were taken over the course of the whole season. Most of that bycatch was taken during the first two weeks of the season, before the fleet started making targeted closures based on where salmon was being caught – a system known as the rolling hotspot program.

Rockfish Pilot Program Puts Bycatch to Use

Friday, July 08 2011

Last week, the northern rockfish fishery opened up in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. While rockfish is targeted out in Southeast Alaska, this small fishery operates differently and it’s under a somewhat new management style.

It’s only recently that northern rockfish have been treated as anything other than straight-up bycatch. Before the Amendment 80 fleet was established, catcher-processors had a set limit of how much rockfish they could take incidentally while harvesting Pacific Ocean perch or Atka mackerel.

Shell Rig Leaves Unalaska

Friday, July 01 2011

Shell’s mobile drill rig left Captains Bay yesterday evening and is now making its way to Seattle for technical upgrades.

According to Shell spokesperson Curtis Smith, modifications to the Kulluk are expected to cost tens of millions of dollars, and the goal is to lower the rig’s emissions by 90 percent. The modifications to the Kulluk are expected to take ten months.

The Kulluk is a major part of Shell’s Arctic exploration plan for next year. The company was originally slated to use the rig as a back-up relief well unit in the event of a blowout. But now, the Kulluk and the drill ship Noble Discoverer will be used to drill wells in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas should Shell get approval from the federal government. Shell’s arctic drilling plan was held up this year after the company was unable to secure air permits.

Chum Bycatch Higher Than Usual

Thursday, June 30 2011

Chum bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery this B season is outpacing recent years.

According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, more than 37,000 non-chinook salmon have been taken as bycatch through June 27, just a little more than two weeks after the B season opening date. By comparison, just over 13,000 chum salmon were taken in all of 2010.

Still, bycatch isn’t near the levels of 2004 and 2005, where approximately half a million chum salmon were taken in B season.

News Community About Site by Joseph Redmon