ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska commercial fishermen lost an estimated $16.8 million in direct revenue tied to fishing closures because of recent poor king salmon returns, according to new figures prepared by state officials.
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Commissioner Susan Bell enclosed the estimate of losses by commercial fishery permit holders in a letter to the Alaska congressional delegation. An estimate in September put the suspected loss at more than $10 million.
The figures, Bell said, did not reflect the total financial loss for Alaskans. Crew members missed the opportunity to fish and earn wages. Support businesses could not supply commercial fishermen.
"Processors and their workforces also suffered from lower throughput, and unexpected loss of market share," Bell said. "Additionally, fishing communities suffered from a loss in fish and sales tax revenues."
Gov. Sean Parnell requested disaster declarations over the summer following weak king salmon returns that had state fisheries managers closing seasons to ensure that enough fish reached breeding streams. In some cases, managers halted fishing for other salmon species so enough kings could escape.
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Callifornia crabbing: Here's a fun video shot on the decks of the Majestik while catching Dungeness crab off the coast of northern California.
Alaska fisherman and commercial fisheries activist Kevin Adams was elected chairman at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute board of directors meeting on May 9 in Anchorage.
The governor-appointed board consists of seven members: five seafood processors and two industry representatives actively engaged in commercial fishing. Adams was appointed to fill a harvester seat by Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2004.
With 38 years of fishing experience in Bristol Bay, Adams has long been an active member in the Alaska fishing industry, ASMI says. He has worked for both the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation and the Bering Sea Fisherman's Association, and represents Alaska fishermen on numerous boards.
The Northeast Regional Planning Body, a group of state, tribal and federal representatives from New England who are working to implement the National Ocean Policy and address critical New England ocean issues, is holding a series of public meetings in May and June.
The meetings are being held to discuss draft regional ocean planning goals and associated potential actions. The planning body seeks input on these goals and actions. Additional information on the group's progress can be found here.
The meetings will also provide an opportunity to review draft maps and products from initial efforts to gather information on the natural resources and diverse uses of the ocean, including fishing, transportation, energy and infrastructure, aquaculture, and recreation.