National Fisherman


ILIAMNA, Alaska — It was another subfreezing day in Alaska as Glen Alsworth prepared for a 200-mile flight to a remote southwestern region of the state. Oreos, diapers and milk were among the items he stored in the back of his plane.
 
Before long, the single-engine aircraft glided past the Redoubt Volcano and through the ravines of glacier-runoff water. Wonder and satisfaction crossed Alsworth’s face.
 
“I look out the window – that’s my office,” he exclaimed.
 
Alsworth is known as the “flying mayor” in the Lake and Peninsula Borough, balancing his time between running his small airline and volunteering as the mayor of a region that’s caught in a debate over how international trade will shape Alaska’s future.
 
This isolated place is home to the proposed site of North America’s largest open-pit copper mine. Pebble Limited Partnership suspects that more than $300 billion worth of minerals lie below the ground.
 
But it also sits at the headwaters of the Bristol Bay fishery, home of the world’s largest population of wild salmon and a major piece of Alaska’s multi-billion-dollar seafood export business.
 
Read the full story at Sacramento Bee>>

Inside the Industry

The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.

The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.

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