July 2nd 2014

Alaska Weathervane Scallop Season 2014

 

This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Scallop season has started. Hear more after this…

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It is scallop season again… July 1st marks the start of the fishery and so far it’s shaping up to be the same as prior years.Scallops

 

“The GHL for the 2014/2015 season in Kodiak is 185,000 pounds of scallops, and that is consistent with the GHL the last couple of years.”

 

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Mark Stichert is an Area Management Biologist for Ground fish, shellfish, and dive fisheries in Kodiak. The harvest numbers may be the same but there have been a few changes to this year’s season.

 

“Beginning this year this season state waters are open. It is an open access fishery for scallops, meaning that it is no longer a limited entry permit.”

 

Stichert says there has been interest from fisherman, but as far as efforts this year it looks as though it will stay the same.

 

“To date we haven’t had anyone register or obtain an observer to fish in that fishery so we anticipate the same 4 vessels that have historically fished the last 4 or 5 years to be the only vessels that will fish during this scallop season.”

 

Managers are also re opening an old scallop bed.

 

“We are opening a small area in the Alaska Peninsula that has been closed for the last five years due to low abundance or low recruitment in that area.”

 

The exploratory fishery in that area is to see if the young scallops were able to regenerate and thrive during that time.

 

“We set a 7,500 pound GHL in that area. It is open to anyone that is registered in the fishery, and then through the observer data we get we will be able to summarize the information collected from the fishery and get a better sense of what the stock is doing.”

 

The state wide harvest is just over 400,000 pounds. Dock price has been at or above 10 dollars per pound for the past couple of years.

 

“Historically the two largest beds are Yakutat and here in Kodiak. Historically there has been some fishing that has occurred inside Prince William Sound and up in Cook Inlet, those two areas are both closed this season due to low abundance. We have fishing that occurs in the Alaska Peninsula, a small fishery in Dutch Harbor, and then a fairly sizeable GHL in the Bering Sea.”

 

Alaska’s scallop fishery brings in around 4 million dollars each year. Learn more about scallops at www.alaskafishradio.com

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. www.oceanbeauty.com   In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie Mangini

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