National Fisherman


Abysmal king salmon returns to the Kenai River already have fisheries managers curtailing fishing in one of Alaska's most popular fisheries -- and wondering what's next.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game ordered closures on the Kenai and Kasilof rivers for personal-use and sport fishermen Tuesday.

"When you look at numbers going to the Kenai, it's alarming," area commercial fisheries biologist Pat Shields said Tuesday. "It's forced our hands."

Beginning Thursday, the Kenai River from the mouth upstream to Skilak Lake will be closed to king salmon fishing. King salmon may not be targeted or retained. Fish cannot be removed from the water if accidently hooked.

Also closed is the personal-use set gillnet fishery at the mouth of the Kasilof River. That fishery, though limited in size because of space restrictions in the area, is considered a counterpart to the Kenai River personal use dip net fishery -- some people prefer to use boats and small set nets rather than wading through the water with dip nets.

That 10-day fishery opened June 15 and was set to go until June 24. By cutting the period to fish in half, biologist Shields estimates about 50 king salmon -- some of which could make it to the Kenai -- will be saved.

"Yes, we're closing a popular fishery to save a handful of kings," Shields said.

Early-run king salmon -- the first group to pass through the Kenai -- are about 60 percent through their run, according to Fish and Game. As of Tuesday, the cumulative estimate of king salmon to have passed by the sonar at river Mile 8.9 was 969 fish. By this date during last year's lousy run, 3,575 fish had passed the same spot.

Read the full story at the Alaska Dispatch>>

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

Read more...

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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