National Fisherman

The Alaska Board of Fisheries, in a key vote Monday, sided with Mat-Su guides and fish experts pleading for restrictions on Cook Inlet's commercial drift gillnet fleet to save flagging Valley runs.
The board, more than halfway through a two-week session at the Egan Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage, unanimously backed the new rules for an existing plan that guides the drift fleet.
Several members described a sense of urgency given low numbers of Susitna River sockeye -- a priority because biologists deem them at-risk - but also weak runs of coho bound for once-popular fishing spots like the Little Susitna River and Jim Creek.
Many Valley residents drive to the Kenai Peninsula to fill their freezers these days, said board chair Karl Johnstone, an Anchorage resident and retired Alaska Superior Court judge.
"The population of this area has tried to make their voices heard at this meeting," Johnstone said. "We had an enormous amount of public comment."
Read the full story at Anchorage Daily News>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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