Fish Radio
Scallops, seine pollock opportunities get few takers
April 16, 2015

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – No Kodiak takers for scallops or seine pollock fisheries. More after this –

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 Alaska is trying to provide new fishing opportunities inside state waters but the two latest have fallen flat as a flounder. A scallop fishery that reverted to open access this year drew no takers by the April 1 deadline.

 We only had four vessels that registered and those are the same vessels that have historically been participating in the fishery in recent years. 1

 Mark Stichert is Fish and Game area manager for groundfish and shellfish for the Westward Region, which includes Kodiak, Chignik and Western Peninsula. One boat signed up for scallops at Yakutat. Stichert says he wasn’t surprised at the lack of interest –

 The scallop fishery is a high capital investment and there’s not a lot of extra scallop gear laying around the state. So I think if the fishery were to grow it’s going to take some time. 3

 Alaska’s Weathervane scallop catch typically produces about a half million pounds of shucked meats each year. Most scallops are dredged in federal waters, three miles and beyond offshore.

 There were no takers again in the Westward Region for a new seine pollock fishery that opened this month and will continue into June. It’s the second year for the trial fishery permitted by the state Board of Fish. For seiners, Stichert says there have been lots of tire kickers –

 There’s been a fair amount of interest, and we had a couple of public meetings and a number of people have come into the office and explore the possibilities and ever since that time we haven’t had anyone give it a try specifically for seine here in Kodiak.  The original proposal was largely aimed at developing trawl fisheries for pollock inside state waters but it also included an opportunity for other gears such as jig and seine vessels.

 A couple of seiners fished for pollock during the winter near Homer. The trial catch limit is set at 100,000 pounds of pollock per trip. There’s a lot of pollock out there and even at 12 or 13 cents a pound, it makes for a good pay day.

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