Astoria Fisheries Auction

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Good Samaritans, Coast Guard Rescue 46 Mariners

Forty-six crewmembers forced to abandon a sinking fishing vessel near Kiska Island, some 690 miles west of Dutch Harbor, were safely rescued on July 26 through the combined efforts of the US Coast Guard and private vessels.

Coast Guard officials said all 46 crewmembers from the Alaska Juris were transferred to the Good Samaritan vessels Spar Canis and Vienna Express and transported to Adak. All of them had donned immersion suits after their vessel took on water and started sinking. No injuries were reported. Weather in the area was reported as calm seas and limited visibility.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is monitoring the situation.

No details on the condition of the Alaska Juris were immediately available.

The rescue effort began after Coast Guard watchstanders from the 17th District received an electronic position indicating radio beacon alert from the Alaska Juris, and contacted the crew to confirm they were in distress, donning survival suits and abandoning ship.

The Coast Guard Cutter Midgett and an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircraft were diverted to the vessel’s location, and two Air Station Kodiak MH_60 Jayhawk helicopters were launched to Adak as a staging and refueling area. Motor vessels Spar Canis, Vienna Express, Seafisher and Ocean Peace diverted to assist after hearing the Coast Guard broadcast an urgent marine advisory.

The willingness of Good Samaritans to respond was paramount to getting the crew to safety, said Lt. Greg Isbell, District 17 command duty officer.

Wild Alaska Salmon Harvest Tops 74 Million Fish

Commercial salmon harvests in Alaska rose by nearly 11 million fish over the past week, as deliveries to processors reached a total of 49 million sockeyes, 15 million humpies, 8.9 million chums, 957,000 silvers and 313,000 Chinooks.

Bristol Bay saw its catch rise from 33 million to 37.5 million fish, including 36.8 million sockeyes and harvesters learned that the base price would be 75 cents a pound, while on the Lower Yukon River, Kwik’Pak Fisheries has been busy processing a robust harvest of 597,000 chums and 127,000 pink salmon, and more coming now that the fall chum run is under way.

Jack Schultheis, general manager of Kwik’Pak, a subsidiary of Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association, said there were some 420 permit holders out in their small boat fishery, and another 315 workers busy processing fish at Emmonak.

And the fall chum run, which got under way on July 18, is also producing very good quality fish, Schultheis said. It’s a record run, topping a harvest of a half million chums in 1984. To top it off, prices are up, demand is good, and Schultheis said he has folks he’s never done business with before asking for Yukon fish.

And the catch keeps rising in each region, with 11.9 million fish delivered in Prince William Sound, 2.8 million fish in Cook Inlet, 8.9 million fish in Southeast Alaska, 8.6 million fish in the Alaska Peninsula, 1.2 million fish in Chignik and 2.5 million fish for the Kodiak area.

BBRSDA is Out to Promote Bristol Bay Brand

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association will head into retail markets in Boulder, Colorado this fall with a pilot project to promote the Bristol Bay brand of wild Alaska salmon.

While the focus will be on retailers, the BBRSDA also has a project going with the Chefs Collaborative in the Boulder area to get Bristol Bay salmon on menus and teach chefs about the value and unique quality of Bristol Bay sockeye, says Becky Marcello, executive director of the BBRSDA.

Boulder was selected in part because of its size, and also because of its predominantly young, affluent, health conscious population, said Marcello.

The important thing, says Mike Friccero of Kodiak, a veteran harvester and president of the BBRSDA, is to tell Bristol Bay’s story.

“People want wild fish from a sustainable source. We are trying to make sure our fish is presented as Bristol Bay sockeye in more markets in the United States, and to make sure they have quality fish,” Friccero said.

The BBRSDA is getting support from the project from Copper River Seafoods.

“Partnering with the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association was a positive collaborative experience, says Scott Blake, president and chief executive officer of Copper River Seafoods. “They’ve done a great job beginning to develop a strong platform for the Bristol Bay brand.”

Blake said his company took the branding concept to their customers and successfully executed it by doing what they do best- supplying the highest quality fresh fish that matches the image the fishermen and the RSDA, are working so hard to achieve. “The fresh programs we built this year with our customers have momentum and we see potential to grow them in 2017,” he said.

Salmon Habitat Information From UFA

United Fishermen of Alaska is preparing to roll out a new online Salmon Habitat Information Program to keep the commercial fleet informed about a wide range of issues affecting their fisheries, from water quality to federal and state legislation.

But first the statewide umbrella group for commercial fisheries wants to hear from fishermen on what they want to be informed about and how to get that information to the fleet.

UFA has posted an online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UFAhabitat that will be available through Labor Day, Sept. 5. Every commercial harvester or family member who completes the survey will be entered to win a $500 Alaska Airlines or $200 LFS gift card. More information is at https://www.facebook.com/UFAAlaskaSalmonHabitat/.

Commercial harvester Lindsey Bloom of Juneau is heading up the program.

Bloom said she hopes that the SHIP website will prove to be a valuable resource on information about the health of salmon habitat that is critical to the fishery.

Plans are to fill the website with updated information on issues ranging from water quality and quantity and ocean acidification, as well as pending state and federal fisheries legislation. Also to be included will be information on how to comment or otherwise submit testimony to federal and state fisheries entities and more.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Salmonfest Celebration August 5-7

Salmonfest, a celebration of the connection of Alaskans to salmon and its habitat, is back at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds at Ninilchik for three days of fish, love and music August 5-7.

Headliners this year include the Grammy Award winning folk rock duo of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, plus several dozen other musical groups.

Salmonfest is supported by and benefits The Kachemak Bay Conservation Society, a Homer-based nonprofit organization whose goal is to educate the public, and both protect and promote Alaska's fish-filled waters. A second conservation entity, Cook Inletkeeper has joined the festival this year also as a primary sponsor and partner in “fish first” advocacy, to coordinate educational and outreach components of the event.

Speakers will include Maria Finn, author of “The Whole Fish: How Adventurous Eating of Seafood Can Make You Healthier, Sexier, and Help Save the Ocean.” Finn is scheduled to speak on how to eat the entire fish, from gill to adipose fin.

Also on the speaker’s platform will be Emily Stolarcyk, of the Eyak Preservation Council in Cordova, Alaska, who will talk about the council’s campaign to get the US Navy to conduct military training exercises in the Gulf of Alaska in the fall rather than during the summer fishing season.

Salmonfest got its start several years ago as Salmonstock, as effort of the Renewable Resources Coalition to preserve and protect the viability of Alaska’s abundant fishing and hunting resources in the face of efforts by Canadian mining interests to build a massive copper, gold and molybdenum mine near the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed. The Pebble Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of Northern Dynasty, which is a subsidiary of Hunter Dickinson Inc., a diversified global mining group based in Vancouver, British Columbia, has yet to file for permits for the development of the mine, but has made clear its plans to do so.

The US Environmental Protection Agency, after hearing extensive testimony from the public, environmental and mining industry entities, has said development of a large open pit copper mine at this location would threaten one of the world’s most productive salmon fisheries.

The Bristol Bay watershed, said the EPA, is an area of exceptional ecological value with salmon productivity unrivaled anywhere in North America, and its salmon populations are critical to the health of the area’s entire ecosystem, home to more than 20 other fish species, and 190 bird species, as well as bears, moose and caribou. Mining interests contend that the mine can be developed and operated in harmony with the fishery.

Draft EIS on Potential Cook Inlet Lease

Public comment is being sought through Sept. 6 on a draft environmental impact statement analyzing possible environmental impact of a potential oil and gas lease sale in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, a major commercial salmon harvest area.

A notice of availability of the draft EIS was scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on July 22, opening a 45-day public comment period.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management also has scheduled meetings in Anchorage on Aug. 15, Homer on Aug. 17, and Kenai/Soldotna on Aug. 18.

The draft EIS and directions for providing public comment online are available at www.boem.gov/ak244/ While recognizing that interest in exploration and development in Cook Inlet may be limited at this time, BOEM officials said they were conducting the necessary environmental review to aid in decision on whether or how to proceed with lease sale 244, currently scheduled for June 2017.

The draft EIS analyzes important environmental resources, commercial fishing of Pacific salmon and halibut, subsistence activities, sea otter and beluga whale populations, and more that currently exist within the Cook Inlet planning area, and identifies robust mitigation measures to be considered in leasing the area. The draft EIS also analyzes a range of alternatives to be considered for leasing.

Abigail Ross Hopper, BOEM’s director said that while Cook Inlet has oil and gas potential, there are sensitive marine and coastal resources that Alaska Native communities depend on for subsistence. Once the EIS is finalized, the Department of the Interior will then make its decision on whether to hold the lease sale.

Bristol Bay Salmon Tops Forecast

Bristol Bay’s wild salmon harvest has reached upwards of 33 million fish, surpassing the harvest forecast of 29.52 million fish, and the preliminary commercial salmon harvest for Alaska statewide is climbing toward 64 million fish.

Processors in Bristol Bay are offering a base price of 75 cents a pound, plus another 15 cents for salmon iced or in refrigerated seawater.

“This run came in so picture perfect for the processors, you couldn’t have asked for better for the daily catch volume,” said Shawn Dochtermann, a veteran Bristol Bay harvester, aboard the F/V Isanotski at Egegik. After the long wait, the sockeyes have been arriving in the Bay at the rate of several thousand a day. The preliminary harvest breakdown through July 19 was 11.2 million fish for the Naknek-Kvichak District, 7.5 million fish each in the Nushagak and Egegik districts, 5.7 million fish in the Ugashik District, and 508,000 fish in the Togiak District.

Harvests were also on the upswing statewide.

On the Lower Yukon, small boat fishermen have delivered 521,000 chums and 109,000 humpies for processing. And in Cook Inlet processors have received more than 2 million salmon, including 1.7 million sockeyes. On the north side of the Alaska Peninsula, 2.7 million salmon have been harvested, while on the south side of the Peninsula, deliveries to processors have reached more than 5 million fish.

In Chignik, the catch has reached over 1 million salmon, at Kodiak, upwards of 1.6 million fish, and in Southeast Alaska, 9 million fish.

AK Certification Recognized by UK Coalition

A sustainable fisheries coalition based in the United Kingdom has recognized Alaska’s Responsible Fisheries Management certification program for alignment with the performance standards held by the coalition.

The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative Steering Board made the announcement this past week during the 32nd session of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Committee on Fisheries meeting in Rome.

Alaska RFM is the first certification scheme to be benchmarked against GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool and to achieve recognition demonstrating alignment. This recognition came after a seven-month rigorous benchmark process, including a 30-day public consultation, before approval by the GSSI Steering Board.

Audun Lem, deputy director of fisheries and aquaculture policy and economics division of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, noted that the GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool is grounded in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and related instruments.

“The recognition of robust certification programs by GSSI will improve transparency in seafood certification and increase confidence in the seafood market, objectives FAO fully supports,” he said.

Susan Marks, sustainability director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, said that with more than 40 entities worldwide supporting GSSI, including retailers and the seafood industry, ASMI is pleased to have its RFM recognized for meeting the GSSI Benchmark Tool components.

“Seafood buyers want to make informed choices and GSSI provides a tool for them to identify credible certification programs,” Marks said. “We look forward to seeing how this will help resolve some of the challenges faced by those in the seafood industry,” she said.

The RFM program was developed by ASMI in 2010 to offer seafood buyers and sellers a credible, cost-effective choice in seafood certification. The voluntary, internationally accredited, third party certification RFM program was based on existing and widely accepted fisheries management models and guidance documents of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

St. Paul Offers Crab Tax Incentive

St. Paul’s City Council has created a community development tax incentive for the Pribilof Island community that reduces the sales tax for delivery of quota shares not regionalized under the federal crab rationalization program.

The plan is open to holders of B, C, processor and community development quota share, including the newly reopened bairdi/tanner crab fishery, one of the few crab fisheries not regionalized under the crab rationalization program.

Deliveries of Bristol Bay red king crab, as well as Pribilof red king and blue king crab, both of which are currently closed, would also benefit from the sales tax incentive plan, said St. Paul Mayor Simeon Swetzof Jr.

And St. Paul could use the business.

“The community has faced a double whammy of reduced opilio/snow crab TACS (total allowable catches) and reduced halibut quotas, which have severely affected the local economy,” Swetzof said.

St. Paul was hard hit economically when the snow crab total allowable catch dropped from 67.9 million pounds in the 2014-2015 season to 40.6 million pounds in the 2015-2016 season. Then there was the recommended halibut quota for management area 4CDE, which includes St. Paul Island, a drop from 3.7 million pounds in 2011 to 1.28 million pounds in 2014 and 2015, and just a slight increase to 1.6 million pounds in 2016.

The city has had to lay off personnel, cut its budget and dip into its rainy day account to make ends meet and keep its existing commitments,” Swetzof said. To keep their economy in good health, residents of St. Paul, who have not raised their sales tax in 45 years, voted to boost that tax from 3 percent to 3.5 percent, to bring the sales tax to levels comparable to those of Akutan and King Cove. Then during a final reading on a second ordinance on June 29, the St. Paul City Council voted unanimously to adopt the community development tax incentive plan for specific crab shares and species. “It’s a good plan,” said Swetzof. “The city council wanted to generate more revenue, because we took a 40 percent cut in quota of snow crab.”

The Bering Sea commercial fisheries, in particular the snow crab fishery, have benefitted greatly from investments made by the communities in fisheries in related infrastructure, he said. “It shouldn’t have to be just the local residents, who pay for the cost of building and maintaining infrastructure and providing services that benefit the crab harvesting and processing sectors,” he said.

Bristol Bay Sees 2 Billionth Salmon

Gary Isaksen, of Lake Stevens, Washington, has claimed the honor of harvesting the 2 billionth salmon caught commercially in the Bristol Bay fishery.

Isaksen owns and operates the F/V Heidi of Norway, and is a veteran of more than four decades as a commercial fisherman in the Bay. He decided to answer the call on July 6 when a reporter on Alaska public radio KDLG in Dillingham said the station was looking for someone to deliver the 2 billionth salmon.

So Isaksen delivered a 5.5-pound sockeye salmon to Casey McManus, captain and owner of the F/V Cornelia Marie, who was tendering for Peter Pan Seafoods in the Nushagak district of Bristol Bay.

“It was just fun,” he said.

Word got out a year ago that delivery of the 2 billionth salmon caught in Bristol Bay’s 133-year fishing history was expected in the summer of 2016. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game notes that since the inception of Bristol Bay’s canned salmon industry in 1884, fishermen had landed 1.99 billion salmon, 93 percent of which were sockeyes.

The catch officially declared to be the 1 billionth salmon was caught on the afternoon of June 28, 1978, also in the Nushagak River district.

Isaksen is the son of Bert Isaksen, who was born in Norway in 1928, and came to America to fish in the 1940s, after the end of World War Two.

“Dad started in the sailboat days,” said Gary Isaksen, who fishes these days with his son, Anders, his older brother Karl, and Dustin Gust, who recently graduated from high school in New Stuyahok, a Bristol Bay village.

The best part of fishing in Bristol Bay, he said, is fishing with his son, his brother, and Gust, who joined the crew a year ago. The Isaksen brothers have been fishing the Bay for over four decades and Anders for the past 14 years.

When he’s not fishing, Gary Isaksen stays busy building scale models of fishing boats, yachts and other vessels, through his company, Isaksen Scale Models, (www.isaksenscalemodels.com).

The family owned business of more than 22 years produces models that range from building prototype interior rooms, that display all furniture and details, to finished detailed exterior models showing all shapes, equipment and features.

The models aren’t just for show. Many builders order models early in the concept and design phase, to provide their client a tangible representation of what the finished product will be, the company said.

Wild Salmon Harvest Rises, Bristol Bay Waits

Alaska’s wild salmon commercial harvests more than doubled from July 4 through July 12, with deliveries to processors rising from 18.3 million to 42 million fish, in another late run year that left Bristol Bay driftnetters waiting for the surge.

As of July 12, the state’s preliminary commercial salmon harvest report showed a total Bristol Bay harvest of 20 million salmon, including 19.4 million reds, up from 6.8 million reds a week earlier, but the run was indeed late, said Greg Buck, the state Department of Fish and Game’s Bristol Bay area research biologist.

On one hand, it is uncertain whether the run will make the sockeye forecast, a run of some 46.55 million fish, with a Bristol Bay harvest of 29.52 million reds, Buck said. On the other hand, the situation isn’t all that unusual, he said.

Water temperatures have been very warm the last two years, and last year was a late run as well.

“The consensus is we are definitely late, but the question is how much,” he said. There are large scale ocean processes that go through long time series oscillations, such as the Pacific Decadal oscillation, and it is thought that some of these processes are related to the timing of returns,” he said.

Meanwhile, the overall statewide harvest continued to grow through July, bringing in 42,048,000 salmon through July 11, including 27.1 million sockeyes, 8.9 million humpies, 5.6 million chums, 256,000 kings and 244,000 silvers.

The bulk of the harvest was in the central region, including Bristol Bay, Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound, following by the Westward region, the Southeast region and the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region.

Bristol Bay driftnet deliveries to processors included 19.4 million reds, 548,000 chums, 26,000 kings, 6,000 pinks and fewer than 1,000 cohos.

Cook Inlet fishermen brought in 950,000 salmon, including 802,000 reds, 108,000 pinks, 23,000 chums, 5,000 kings and 12,000 cohos.

In Prince William Sound, processors had received 9.6 million salmon, including 5 million humpies, 2.9 million chums, 1.6 million sockeyes, 12,000 Chinooks and fewer than 1,000 silvers.

On the Lower Yukon, fishermen delivered 405,000 Yukon River chums and 87,000 humpies, and Norton Sound fishermen brought in 23,000 pink salmon.

The north side of the Alaska Peninsula had a catch of 1.9 million reds, 15,000 chums and 2,000 kings, while the south side of the Alaska Peninsula brought in 2.7 million pinks, 1.7 million reds, 301,000 chums, 5,000 kings and 5,700 silvers.

Kodiak processors saw delivery of 655,000 reds, 207,000 chums, 121,000 pinks, 15,000 cohos and 4,000 kings, and Chignik delivered 768,000 sockeyes, 44,000 chums, 35,000 humpies, 7,000 cohos and 4,000 kings.

Southeast Alaska harvest totals added up to 1.1 million chums, 689,000 humpies, 180,000 reds, 170,000 kings and 111,000 silvers.

Harbor Improvements Key to St. George Economy

Work is underway in the Pribilof Islands in Southwest Alaska this summer on repair of the south breakwater into the harbor at St. George, while in Anchorage the US Army Corps of Engineers is engaged in a study on further harbor upgrades.

The problem, says St. George Mayor Pat Pletnikof, is time is running out for upgrading the harbor to allow for year-round fish processing critical to the economic survival of the small Aleut community.

The summer project will repair breakwater damaged in a severe winter storm last December, and the three-year Corps of Engineers feasibility study on harbor upgrades still has over a year to go.

“But we don’t have three years,” said Pletnikof, who has watched too many residents leave for lack of jobs, as he fights to find enough money for diesel fuel to keep the city power plant going. “We have absolutely no economy at St. George and we keep pointing out that the federal government in 1983 said they would build us a harbor and that hasn’t happened.” To make the harbor viable for year-round seafood processing, additional breakwaters are needed for safe passage, he said.

What Pletnikof wants is for the federal government to deliver on its promise to help transform the Pribilofs from a fur seal to a more diversified fisheries economy.

Given a functional year-round harbor, St. George would be able to process Pacific cod, black cod and crab, some of the tons of seafood harvested annually from the waters that surround them, he said.

Every fisheries community that has a year-round processing plant is at the very least stable, and every community that does not is in a state of decline, and to move to year-round seafood processing you have to have a viable harbor, says Larry Cotter, chief executive officer of the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association.

The responsibility, said Cotter, rests with the federal government, to complete its promise of transitioning St. George from fur seal hunting to a fisheries economy.

Pletnikof, Carter and Nathan McCowan, chief executive officer of the St. George Tanaq Corp., have been working with the Corps and Alaska’s congressional delegation in hope of speeding up the process of upgrading the harbor.

“This is a grievance that needs to be settled,” said Cotter.

Alaska’s congressional delegation has asked the Corps to expedite its economic analysis so that the long overdue St. George harbor project can be completed.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Alaska’s Commercial Salmon Harvest Tops 21 Million Fish

Commercial harvesters in Alaska have delivered upwards of 21 million wild salmon to processors to date, and even as drift gillnetters on Bristol Bay wait for the annual surge for which that fishery is famous, the numbers keep growing.

As of July 6, the preliminary harvest figures compiled by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game showed deliveries to processors included 12.9 million sockeyes, 4 million humpies, 4 million chums, 174,000 Chinooks and 47,000 silver salmon.

For Bristol Bay alone, the catch of 8 million fish included 7.5 million sockeyes, 391,000 chums and 22,000 kings, with some 19,000 of those kings from the Nushagak district.

On the Lower Yukon, deliveries have reached 32,000 of those famed oil-rich chums, and in Cook Inlet, the harvest of 339,000 salmon includes some 314,000 reds, 13,000 pinks, 6,000 chums and 4,000 Chinooks.

Prince William Sound processors have taken delivery of over 4.6 million salmon, a catch of 2.2 million chums, 1.4 million reds, over 1 million humpies and 12,000 kings.

On the Alaska Peninsula, fishermen have harvested 5.4 million salmon, including 2.6 million humpies, 2.5 million sockeyes, 268,000 silvers and 6,000 kings.

For Chignik, the catch stands at 704,000 salmon, with 631,000 sockeyes, 39,000 chums, 30,000 pinks and 3,000 Chinooks, while Kodiak processors have received 587,000 fish, including 391,000 reds, 152,000 chums, 37,000 humpies, 4,000 cohos and 3,000 kings.


A number of retail shops in Southcentral Alaska featured specials on wild Alaska sockeye salmon fillets for the Independence Day holiday, boosting sales.

Susitna River Hydroelectric Plans On Hold

Alaska has put a hold for now on a multi-million dollar hydroelectric project on the salmon rich Susitna River in the Southcentral part of the state, due to a fiscal crisis brought on by the downturn of oil prices globally.

Gov. Bill Walker’s decision in late June to shut down that project, along with a halt on the proposed Knik Arm Bridge, drew kudos from the Susitna River Coalition, which represents upwards of 13,000 individuals, groups and businesses in Alaska who want the river to remain free flowing.

The coalition contends that the project, which would include a huge dam and 42-mile long reservoir and power plant, would have a devastating impact on all five species of wild Alaska salmon in the river, do damage to the visitor, recreation and hunting sectors of the economy, and have an adverse impact on habitat for caribou, bears, moose and migratory birds. The coalition also contends that public safety would be threatened by locating a dam in an active earthquake zone.


The coalition issued a statement praising Walker’s decision for showing leadership “that will be the governor’s lasting legacy. He is on the right side of history-preserving our salmon rivers, putting the state’s economy first and listening to Alaskans,” they said.

New Tongass Management Plan Said to Benefit Salmon

Managers of the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska have a new draft management plan that is winning praise for its protections of salmon habitat.

The alternative selected for the draft plan by the US Forest Service incorporates Tongass Advisory Committee recommendations to protect certain watersheds known as the “Tongass 77,” watersheds identified by Trout Unlimited as having high priority for protection because of their habitat, fish production and diversity of fish species.

Earl Stewart, supervisor of the 17-million acre forest, said the advisory committee also recommended protection of conservation priority areas identified by The Nature Conservancy and Audubon Alaska. Old growth timber harvests would not be allowed in some of those watersheds, although new growth harvests would be, he said.

The draft plan is online at www.fs.usda.gov/land/tongass

The transition from old growth to new growth harvests of timber would take place over a 16-year period, during which the Forest Service would try to make up to 46 million board feet of timber available annually, with the amount of old-growth timber harvest gradually decreasing, Stewart said.

A final decision on the plan is not expected until December.

Meanwhile the Forest Service is accepting objections to the draft plan only from those who had previously submitted substantive related formal comments.

According to Trout Unlimited, the draft plan would put fisheries and recreation on a more even footing with other industries in the Tongass.


“Commercial fishermen, guides and outfitters, conservationists and sport anglers commend the Forest Service, the Tongass Advisory Committee and the people of Southeast Alaska for recognizing that salmon drive Southeast Alaska’s economy,” said Mark Kaelke, Southeast Alaska project director for Trout Unlimited. “Conserving healthy salmon habitat on the Tongass will help ensure that’s always the case,” he said.

ASMI Seeks Comment on Fisheries Standards

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute in Juneau is seeking public comment through Aug. 4 on its Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Certification Fisheries standard.

It’s the first full review and reissue of the standard since the RFM program standard was launched in 2011.

ASMI said all comments received would be presented for review to the Alaska Fisheries Standard Committee, formerly known as the Conformance Criteria Committee, before releasing the final version of the Fisheries Standard. To ensure the review process is inclusive, ASMI is calling on all parties with an interest in responsibly managed fisheries to review and offer their expertise on the matter.

Interested stakeholders will find everything they need in the “Open Public Consultation” page of ASMI’s website, http://www.alaskaseafood.org/rfm-certification/stakeholder-involvement/open-public-consultation/

Comments must be submitting using the Alaska RFM V 2.0 public comment form.
Additional information on stakeholder involvement can be found at
A full copy of the Alaska RFM Certification Procedure can be downloaded at:

Additional information on the RFM program is also available at that website.

FN Online Advertising