Friday, December 18, 2009

New SEAS Board member

Seth Wyman- Viking Spirit was elected to replace Jim Zuanich's vacated seat. Mr. Zuanich-Marshall Tito retired from the SEAS board after 15 years of service.

Bryan Benkam-Kona Rose, Dan Castle-Little Lady and Bradley Haynes-Empress were also elected to their previously held seats.

Have a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. There will be a January or February newsletter reporting on the Task Force and Board meetings that were held in Ketchikan on December 7th and 8th.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2010 Forecast

Denby Lloyd, Commissioner
John Hilsinger, Director
Contact: Ketchikan Area Office
Steve Heinl 2030 Sea Level Dr. #205
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901
Phone: (907) 225-5195 Date: November 9, 2009
Fax: (907) 225-0599 Time: 4:00 p.m.
The Southeast Alaska pink salmon harvest in 2010 is predicted to be below average, with a point estimate
of 19 million fish (80% confidence interval: 11–32 million fish). An actual harvest of 19 million pink
salmon would be 48% of the recent 10-year average of 40 million pink salmon. The 2010 forecast is a
“model average” of two forecasts: 1) a forecast of the trend in the harvest, and 2) the forecast trend
adjusted using 2009 pink salmon fry abundance data provided by the NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries
Science Center, Auke Bay Laboratories.
A brief discussion and description of the forecast methods can
be found at:
Department staff will be available to discuss this forecast and plan for the 2010 season at the SE Alaska
Purse Seine Task Force Meeting scheduled for December 8, 2009, in Ketchikan. In addition, staff from
the NOAA Auke Bay Lab plan to attend this meeting and present their 2010 pink salmon harvest forecast
for Southeast Alaska.
News releases web site:
Office Ketchikan Petersburg Wrangell Sitka Juneau Haines Yakutat
ADFG 225-5195 772-3801 874-3822 747-6688 465-4250 766-2830 784-3255
ABWE 225-5111 772-3983 874-3215 747-3254 465-4000 766-2533 784-3220

Friday, September 25, 2009

2009 SEAS Board of Directors Election

Nominations are currently being taken for the seat being vacated by Jim Zuanich as well as the seats currently held by Dan Castle, Bryan Benkman and Bradley Haynes, who are all running for the board again.

Please feel free to email or call the office or post on here your desire for a nominee for the Board of Directors.

The service is 3 years and involves 2 major meetings a year, usually in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg or Seattle. There are also several teleconferenced meetings a year.

You members will receive a mailer shortly with a nomination form which you may use but you may also call it in or email it in as well.

Good Day.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Details Emerge in Kookesh Case

New details emerge in Kookesh caseSockeye fishery where citation was issued was near collapse in 2001

By Eric Morrison | JUNEAU EMPIRE
The sockeye fishery Sen. Albert Kookesh and three fellow subsistence fishermen are accused of overfishing in July was on the verge of collapse less than a decade ago due to overfishing, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

Kookesh, D-Angoon, Stanley D. Johnson, Rocky L. Estrada Sr., and Scott T. Hunter were cited for illegally harvesting 73 sockeye over their limit on July 12 in Kanalku Bay near Angoon. District Attorney Doug Gardner filed paperwork Tuesday that joins the court cases together. All four men have pleaded not guilty and a trial has been set for Oct. 5. The maximum fine for the citation is $500.

The men were cited after harvesting 148 sockeye with a beach seine net, 73 more salmon than allowed on the valid permits in their possession at the time. Each person's subsistence permit allows for 15 sockeye to be harvested from the Kanalku Lake area. One man in possession of a valid permit wasn't cited.

According to the court documents, Kookesh first told the trooper that the group had about 60 to 70 sockeye before the fish were counted. After counting, Kookesh said that additional permits from people not present also were valid toward the limit.

It is "common knowledge in Angoon that everyone could fish everyone's permit," Kookesh is quoted saying in the affidavit.

In contrast, Kookesh told The Associated Press in August that he would fight the case to help align the state constitution with federal law governing subsistence on federal land.

Kookesh said his lawyers advised him not to talk to the media about the case. However, he did say that many Alaska Native organizations have gotten on board in support of his case to resolve the jurisdictional issue.

Federal law passed in 1980 requires that rural residents receive subsistence hunting and fishing priority to protect rights for Alaska Natives who surrendered aboriginal land claims. The state constitution says fish, wildlife and water are to be reserved for the "common use" of all Alaskans. Courts have interpreted that to outlaw a rural preference.

Meanwhile, the annual return of sockeye to Kanalku Lake looks good this year but scientists worried the fishery was on the verge of collapse in 2001, said biologist Dave Harris of the state Department of Fish and Game.

"We kind of worked out an agreement with the community (of Angoon), sort of a voluntary closure where we didn't close it but the community agreed not to fish it for a number of years," he said.

The escapement of sockeye, or number of fish that return to spawn, at Kanalku Lake in 2001 was 229 salmon, according to the ADF&G. In 2002 it was 1,630, before slipping back to 276 in 2003.

Some ignored the voluntary closure, and it became a contentious issue in Angoon, so ADF&G began actively managing the area again in 2006, according to court records. The number of fish per subsistence permit from Kanalku Lake was set at 15 sockeye.

"In these areas that have a limited escapement you want to have a limited harvest out of them and that's why we put a 15-fish-per- permit limit," Harris said. "That was kind of our first step, to cut back the permit level on that lake and expanded the opportunity in some of the other areas so it wouldn't prove a hardship for people."

He said fishery management in recent years has led to a stronger-than-normal sockeye run this year - about 2,000 salmon.

"This year definitely has a great level of escapement, certainly the highest we've seen in awhile," Harris said.

It is difficult to say how harmful, if at all, the alleged July 12 overharvest would be to the Kanalku Lake run, he said.

"By exceeding their permit limits it was more of going against the rule of the law, basically, going against the regulations that all the other people are abiding by," Harris said. "The regular folks that are abiding by the permit stipulations are contributing to improving the runs."

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Kookesh

Kookesh to fight fishing citation in court
Troopers allege Kookesh exceeded subsistence catch limit; trial set for Oct. 5


Sen. Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, will fight a subsistence fishing violation citation in court.

At an Aug. 12 hearing in Angoon, Kookesh with three other men pleaded not guilty to one count of exceeding the subsistence salmon limit, a non-criminal offense. A trial has been set for Oct. 5.

An Alaska State Trooper wildlife officer contacted Kookesh, Scott Hunter, Stanley Johnson and Rocky Estrada Sr. on July 12, in Kanalku Bay near Angoon. A fifth person there was not cited.

"They were in possession of 148 sockeye salmon that they took while subsistence fishing with a beach seine," Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said.

Each of the men had a valid subsistence permit allowing them to collectively take a total of 75 sockeye.

"There were an additional 73 salmon in their possession," Peters said. "Those were taken to the senior center in Angoon because we took them away from them because they were not allowed to have them."

Kookesh was out of state on Friday and could not be reached for comment.

Kookesh was elected to the state Senate in 2004 to represent District C and had served in the state House of Representatives since 1996. Kookesh is also a board member of Sealaska Corp. and serves as co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives.

Kookesh lists his occupation on his Alaska Legislature Web page as a commercial fisherman and a lodge and market owner-operator. "Subsistence activities" is the top listing under his interests.
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Friday, April 24, 2009

UFA Honors Senator Ted Stevens (KTUU Video)

April 24, 2009 Contact Mark Vinsel, Executive Director
For Immediate Release (907) 586-2820
United Fishermen of Alaska Honors Senator Stevens in
Inaugural Alaska Seafood Hall of Fame
Senator Ted Stevens honored with Lifetime Achievement award, among twenty industry leaders
named to Hall of Fame.
In celebration of 50 years of Alaska Statehood and sustainable fisheries management, the United
Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) honored former Senator Ted Stevens for his record of
accomplishments dating from Alaska Statehood to the present, and named nineteen other
individuals to its inaugural Alaska Seafood Hall of Fame. The honor recognizes individuals for
their lifetime accomplishments in promoting and protecting Alaska’s seafood industry and fishery
Senator Stevens was presented a UFA Honorary Lifetime Membership and Lifetime Achievement
award for his work for sustainable fisheries spanning Alaska’s first 50 years of Statehood,
including establishing the 200 mile limit; the Magnuson-Stevens Act, establishment of regional
fishery management councils, ban on high seas driftnets, and his continuing work to bring a stop to
illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries worldwide.
“Alaska’s fisheries were a focal point in the impetus behind the statehood movement, and through
statehood, Alaska was able to influence national fisheries and ocean policy. Alaska’s founding
fathers and fishing leaders took many very difficult steps to bring the necessary protections to
rebuild and sustain fishing communities. Without the work of these twenty individuals, and
especially Senator Stevens, we can only guess what would now remain of our fisheries stocks and
fishing communities,” said UFA President Joe Childers.
In accepting the award, Senator Stevens called upon commercial fishermen to join together to
continue his work to stop IUU fishing.
UFA followed a two step process of open nominations followed by voting by the full board of 41
fishing leaders that comprise the UFA . Over fifty people were nominated and the top twenty after
voting were named as inaugural inductees. The awards were presented at an industry banquet at
the Comfish trade show this week in Kodiak, Alaska.
“The nomination and voting process was a very educational look back into the fifty years since
Alaska statehood, reminding all of us that we owe our fisheries to the vision and hard work that so
many individuals have made, and inspiring all fishermen and those who work in fisheries to
continue this arduous and often frustrating work. The nomination list includes statesmen,
innovative fishermen, activists, processors, biologists, regulators, and many who spanned across
more than one of these categories.
“There are many men and women in the fishing community whose work might already well
qualify them for inclusion, but that would agree that their work is not yet done. The list of eligible
individuals will continue to grow and UFA will elect new members yearly,” said executive director
Mark Vinsel.
UFA honored the following Alaska Seafood Hall of Fame Charter Members:
Bob Alverson, U.S. Senator Bob Bartlett, Bob Blake, The Brindle Family, Chuck Bundrant, Al
Burch, Phil Daniel, Oscar Dyson, Senator Dick Eliason, Governor Ernest Gruening, Governor Jay
Hammond, Gordon Jensen, Knute Johnson, Armin F. Koernig, Jerry McCune, Alaska State
Representative Drew Scalzi, Alaska State Senator Clem Tillion, Tommy Thompson, and Bob
Thorstenson Sr.
“These individuals each made lasting contributions that helped Alaska fishermen and women
continue our sustainable fisheries to the present and into the future. We look forward to
recognizing the many others that are helping ensure our sustainable fisheries through to future
generations,” said Vinsel.

UFA Hall of Fame announced in Kodiak Commfish

Seafood Hall of Fame honorees announced
United Fishermen of Alaska unveiled its inaugural Alaska Seafood Industry Hall of Fame list at a gala dinner tonight in Kodiak (Deckboss, April 16).

And now, without further ado, here are the 20 big names:

Bob Alverson
U.S. Sen. Bob Bartlett
Bob Blake
The Brindle family
Chuck Bundrant
Al Burch
Phil Daniel
Oscar Dyson
State Sen. Dick Eliason
Gov. Ernest Gruening
Gov. Jay Hammond
Gordon Jensen
Knute Johnson
Armin F. Koernig
Jerry McCune
State Rep. Drew Scalzi
U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens
Clem Tillion
Tom Thompson
Bob Thorstenson Sr.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Board of Fisheries Feb 17th, Sitka

We're packing up to head to Sitka.

The RPT came up with a concensus agreement in December that ATA, SEAFA, USAG, PVOA, SSRAA, SEAS and the Petersburg ADFG Advisory Committee signed off on thus far.

There is precious little direct purse seine action--aside from the standard 58 foot request and the 2nd net onboard a boat-- aside from our intent to get some more surveys and test fishing done in the north and the trasmittal to the Board of Fisheries of our joint effort at the purse seine task force, with the Kanalku sockeye situation with the Forest Service biologist Ben Van Allen. ((Documenting the 75% mortality rate from Kanalku stream throuugh the falls to Kanalku Lake.

The RPT concensus agreement will leave Nakat unopened for 3 years, Anita Bay, Deep Inlet and Neets Bay (after June 20) will be 1-1 sharing time with the driftnet fleet.

Aside from this, the NSRAA board has committed to dealing with the enhancement imbalance issue, and SSRAA has committed 10 million further fry to Kendrick and has committed to establishing a remote release site near Port San Antonio, in Bucarrelli Bay near Craig.

The sport issues are major as there are battles heating up over herring, troll and longline fisheries. Many of our brothers, cousins and selves participate in these fisheries. Be sure you are supporting PVOA and SEAFA so that you have a voice in these other important fisheries. Although SEAS does not specifically tackle the other species, we represent 15% of the membership of UFA and we are at the forefront of volunteering our time and the time of our Executive Director to the cause of protecting and promoting commercial fishing in this great state of ours.

So. Any questions, call the SEAS office at 907-463-5030