Archives for July 2014

F/V’s set to get break from permits to hose off decks

Fish Radio

August 1, 2014

 

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch … Fishermen are set to get a break from nitpicky water discharge permits. More after this –  

Vessel Incidental Discharge Act Credit: epa.org

Vessel Incidental Discharge Act
Credit: epa.org

 Fish Radio is brought to you by the At-Sea Processors Association. APA fishing companies hold job fairs and support training programs to promote good paying job opportunities for Alaskans in the Alaska pollock industry. Learn more about fishing and processing jobs at www.atsea.org

 Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.

 

Fishermen won’t need special permits to hose off their decks thanks to a bill moving through the US Senate.

 Essentially, this Vessel Incidental Discharge Act extends a moratorium that was already grant to commercial fishing industry from 2008 and it’s been up every couple of years. It would extend this moratorium indefinitely so commercial fishing vessels don’t have to apply for a ridiculous discharge permit every time rain falls onto your deck and flows overboard. That’s incidental discharge to the normal operation of a vessel. So it just cuts the red tape that fishermen would have to incur. 3

 Brett Veerhusen is director of Seafood Harvesters of America who has been watch dogging the discharge bill. It still has to get final approval from Congress, but with strong bipartisan support, he is confident it will make it through.

 We really appreciate the bipartisan support that Sen. Begich and Rubio have been able to garner for this VIDA, it’s quite remarkable and it just shows that whether you’re in the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of Maine or the Gulf of Alaska fishermen nationwide feel very strongly and appreciate the Senators’ work and hope that Sen. Begich takes this to the Senate floor for a vote.  

The discharge bill is part of the Clean Boating Act passed by Congress in 2008. It provided a permanent exemption for roughly 13 million recreational vessels but not for commercial fishing boats or other vessels in the maritime industries. Veerhusen says it’s imperative that the discharge exemption be passed before it expires on December 18th.

 We want to make sure that this Congress does not allow this moratorium to expire on Dec. 18 of this year.

 After Dec 18 commercial fishing vessels will be subject to these permit requirements to test the water that runs off their deck from deck wash or rain. That is completely onerous and ridiculous and burdensome.

 Seafood Harvesters of America formed in June and so far includes 14 regional fishing groups.

 

This is welcome news to folks on the Hill to have a succinct national voice regarding these issues. Traditionall fishermen have gone about trying to effect federal law from a regional voice standpoint and we are able to synthesize these voices into some common goals and concerns.  

 

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

Southeast AK has best Dungeness season ever; More fishing updates

Dungeness crab Credit: pacseafood.com

Dungeness crab
Credit: pacseafood.com

Fish Radio

July 31, 2014

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch … Lots of fishing going on from one end of Alaska to the other. Highlights after this —                                      

 The At-sea Processors Association’s contributions to Alaskan universities represent the largest privately funded marine research program in Alaska’s history. Learn more at www.atsea.org

 Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.

 

With a few exceptions, most of Alaska’s salmon fisheries are rather lackluster. statewide the salmon catch has topped 87 million and more than 47 million of those fish are sockeye salmon. Nearly 29 million of the reds are from Bristol Bay, 17 million over the preseason forecast. Most boats have called it a season, but many are sticking around for pinks and cohos.

 Chignik finally got its first sockeye opener for a week starting July 21.

 The Lower Yukon is enjoying its highest chum catch since 1989 at nearly half a million fish.

 The statewide pink catch was nearing 39 million; 27 million humpies were from Prince William Sound. There’s still a glut of holdover pinks from last year’s record run and that’s pushed down prices to about 25 cents a pound with a few cents more for chilled and delivered pinks.

 In other fisheries, jig boats continue fishing for cod and black rockfish around Kodiak and at Cook Inlet. Jiggers are fishing for ling cod at Prince William Sound where trawlers also are still targeting sidestripe shrimp.

 For halibut 61% of the catch has been taken with about six million pounds remaining out of the 16 million pound catch limit. For sablefish, 68% of the nearly 24 million pound quota was taken. Homer has boosted its lead on Kodiak for halibut poundage, with Seward third. For sablefish, Seward leads all ports followed by Kodiak.

 Pollock fishing continues in the Bering Sea along with cod and numerous flounder fisheries. Red king crab is still open at Norton Sound and the Aleutians golden king crab season opens in mid-August. Pollock will reopen in the Gulf on August 25.

 Perhaps the biggest fish story this week is the Dungeness crab fishery in Southeast, which is seeing its best season ever. The total catch this year is pegged at nearly 6.5 million pounds for 150 crabbers who are getting about $3/pound, up 50 cents from last year. The summer dungie fishery closes August 15 and reopens October 1.

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.