Written by Linc Bedrosian
It is a bit ironic, but the Salmon Policies Alliance Compass piece which ran this week in the Juneau Empire stated, "...the Kenai River is not at risk or in crisis..." Really? The very next day, the Kenai River and the East Side Set Net (ESSN) fishery were closed for fishing due to a dismally low return of Kenai kings. While there is a big run of red salmon, the Kenai kings caught by the ESSN has put the Kenai king run in jeopardy.
The closing of the river last week by Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) was absolutely the right thing to do, it should have been much sooner. The seven largest kings ever caught came from the Kenai — each weighed over 90 pounds. Our Kenai kings are a world renowned national treasure. They must be protected. The extremely low return numbers of Kenai kings tell the tale — we must act now or these spectacular fish will be lost forever.
There are two means of commercial fishing for reds in Cook Inlet. There are about 640 Drift Fleet boats which fish two or more miles off shore.
Last year, the drift fleet proved they could harvest the reds without catching Kenai kings. Other than interception of North District reds and silvers, we have little problems with the drift fleet, since they catch few Kings. Earlier this year, we pled with the Governor and the Commissioner to not use the ESSN, but use the drift fleet as they did so successfully last year. Then, they caught 95 percent of the state's red harvest goal.
The second means of commercial harvesting reds is the fixed-in-place "set nets".
Read the ful story at Juneau Empire>>
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.Read more...