National Fisherman


Editor’s note: This is the ninth in the Morris Communications series “The case for conserving the Kenai king salmon.”
 
Alaska’s long-lived monarch — the king salmon — has fallen from its throne.
 
The species, which once thrived as a fabled ruler in state waters, was sought-after by fisherman from all over the world. Their massive presence in rivers like the Kenai, the Yukon and the Taku, to name only a few, brought sport and commercial fisherman to banks and river mouths for a chance to harvest this mighty resource.
 
The largest known king — weighing in at 126.5 pounds — was caught in a fish trap off Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska in 1938.
 
Today, fish of that caliber are seemingly nonexistent. Alaska has seen unprecedented declines in recent years resulting in declarations of economic disasters in some regions, or simply empty freezers in others. Researchers, management officials, commercial fisherman, subsistence users and sport fisherman are coming to the same conclusion — the fish are fewer and the sizes smaller.
 
That’s why scientists like Joe Orsi and Jim Murphy, both fisheries research biologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are digging deeper into decades of research to put forth evidence and findings that may lead to a solution or at least a clue to the cause of the startling downward trend.
 
Read the full story at Alaska Journal of Commerce>>

Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

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