National Fisherman

Southeast Alaska’s Pacific herring populations seem to be on the rebound, but even in fisheries regarded as healthy, some contend herring are significantly depleted from historical levels indicated by archaeological records and cultural memory.
Herring have long been used by Tlingit, Haida and other Native peoples, who harvested eggs on kelp or hemlock branches hung in the water during a spawn, or gathered the fish themselves for meat, oil and bait.
The commercial fishery wasn’t managed like it is today until industrial fishing had been underway for decades.
Sitka and other Southeast communities still have some more abundant populations and lucrative, active commercial fisheries, as well as subsistence harvest. While the Alaska Department of Fish and Game says its management is conservative and points to increases in herring populations over the past decades, some say the area hosts far fewer herring than it once did.
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Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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