Fish Radio

April 4, 2014              

Atka mackerel range

Atka mackerel range

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch –A new bi-op, Board of Fish names and a big name comes back to Bristol Bay. Lots of fish in the news after this —

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Lots of fish news this week from one end of the state to the other.  First off, it’s status quo for the of Fisheries – Governor Parnell this week reappointed John Jensen, of Petersburg, Susan Jeffrey  of Kodiak and Reed Morisky of Fairbanks to three-year terms that begin July 1.  The appointments must be confirmed by the Alaska legislature on April 11.

Also – lawmakers are a step closer to fixing a loop hole with ‘dude’ licenses intended to let tourists experience life as a fisherman. It turns out; some permit holders at Bristol Bay were buying consecutive seven day licenses for $30 instead of annual ones. In 2005 when the program began, 47 dude licenses were sold; that number jumped to 1,344 in 2012.  The new law will limit crew to one temporary license per year.

Sue Aspelund will leave her job as Deputy Director of Fish & Game’s Commercial Fisheries Division to take the helm as director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association.  The RSDA is operated and funded by more than 18-hundred Bay salmon fishermen. From 1998 to 2003 Aspelund served as director of Cordova District Fishermen United, which  represents Copper River and Prince William Sound harvesters. It will be a sort of homecoming for her –  from  1980 to 2003 Aspelund owned and operated a salmon setnet operation on the Naknek River.

 Finally, fishermen way out west got a break this week when NOAA Fisheries changed course and agreed to relax some restrictions in the western and central Aleutian Islands designed to protect the food needs for Steller sea lions. The   Atka mackerel and Pacific cod fisheries have been closed in those regions for three years at a loss of more than $65 million a year.  New regulations should be set by next January. 

 NOAA Fisheries also decreed this week that NOAA a  listing of the Southeast Alaska herring population near Lynn Canal does not warrant an endangered species listing. the Juneau Group of the Sierra Club petitioned NOAA Fisheries to list that stock in 2007.  


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Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America.    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.