National Fisherman

Fisheries projects throughout the state would receive a boost in the Legislature's budget.

The Legislature's fiscal year 2014 capital budget included more than $12 million to study Alaska's fisheries, much of it for work in Cook Inlet including drainages in the Matanuska-Susitna borough.

Topping the list of projects was $7.5 million for Gov. Sean Parnell's Chinook Salmon Research Initiative. In Parnell's version of the budget, that item came in at $10 million. Parnell's research initiative included an additional $20 million over the subsequent four years, for a total $30 million, five-year effort.

The initiative, which was a response to declining king salmon runs throughout the state, is meant to look at what was happening to the salmon. As proposed, the undertaking would look at 12 indicator river systems from Southeast Alaska to the Arctic, gain a better understanding of the factors affecting salmon, and offer strategies to enhance viability and increase returns.

The budget would also include $2.5 million to look at Susitna River drainage salmon and $2 million for king salmon in Northern Cook Inlet.

Those projects would be undertaken by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, or ADFG.

ADFG's Susitna drainage project would look at research, restoration and enhancement, while the Northern Cook Inlet funding is specifically for enhancement.

ADFG Deputy Commissioner Kevin Brooks said additional research would receive funding in the Legislature's operating budget, as subcommittees added money for certain work that wasn't part of ADFG's request. That research includes sampling, salmon enhancement, monitoring escapements and genetics work.

Read the full story at the Alaska Journal>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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