National Fisherman


2016 marks a quarter of a century for this weekly column that targets Alaska’s seafood industry. At the end of every year, I proffer my ‘no holds barred’ look back at the best and worst fish stories, and select the biggest story of the year.

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There could be some commercial fishing early next May for king salmon returning to the Stikine River in Southeast Alaska. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is forecasting a return of just under 34,000 large Stikine king salmon next year.

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On a glacier-filled island with fjords and elephant seals, Russia has built Antarctica's first Orthodox church on a hill overlooking its research base, transporting the logs all the way from Siberia. Less than an hour away by snowmobile, Chinese laborers have updated the Great Wall Station, a linchpin in China's plan to operate five bases on Antarctica, complete with an indoor badminton court, domes to protect satellite stations and sleeping quarters for 150 people.

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Like a lot of Floridians weary of warm weather, the local fishing industry is praying for a little cool.

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Central Coast crabbers are counting down to the new year in hopes they'll be back in business soon.

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Nearly six years after being savaged by a Commerce Department investigation that portrayed it as a department basically run amuck, the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement has issued its first public annual report.

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Few fish are as lovely as the lionfish. Few are as venomous.

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Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Groundfishermen in the Northeast are 37 times more likely to die on the job than police officers, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics. They are 171 times more likely to die on the job than that average American worker.

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Sometimes technology solves a problem, sometimes it makes it worse.

When researchers at the New England Aquarium and the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown examined ropes recovered from whales entangled in fishing gear from 1994 to 2010, they found that entanglements for North Atlantic right whales, the world’s most endangered great whale species, accelerated dramatically from 1993 to 2010, in both frequency and in the severity of the entrapment.

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As temperatures begin to drop from the upper 70s to mid-60s -- with lows expected to move into the 40s and 30s -- the cooler weather could weaken the destructive red tide algae bloom that has had the Mississippi Sound north of the barrier islands in its grip since early December.

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Page 44 of 435

Inside the Industry

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association released their board of directors election results last week.

The BBRSDA’s member-elected volunteer board provides financial and policy guidance for the association and oversees its management. Through their service, BBRSDA board members help determine the future of one of the world’s most dynamic commercial fisheries.

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Former Massachusetts state fishery scientist Steven Correia received the New England Fishery Management Council’s Janice Plante Award of Excellence for 2016 at its meeting last week.

Correia was employed by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries for over 30 years.

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