SEAFOOD NEWS: Under a budgetary thundercloud, Gov. Bill Walker is trying to squeeze funding from any source. A commercial fisheries tax bump, part of nine such bills in the Legislature, has slowed to a crawl in committee as fishermen decry it.

A response to Alaska Governor Walker’s request for cuts across a broad operating budget for FY17, includes a 30 percent cut in state funding for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

SEAFOOD NEWS: Earlier this week, Senator Mike Dunleavy (R-Wasilla) introduced SB198, a bill that would impose a royalty tax on seafood caught commercially in the state.

The tax would be 12.5 percent on “the value of fish caught in state waters that the person removes from the state or transfers to a buyer in the state under the authority conferred by the limited entry permit or interim-use permit.”

In a new study by NOAA Fisheries, scientists looked at 347 Alaska communities to assess their dependence on marine resources and socio-economic well-being. This is the first time that NOAA Fisheries has used “quantitative” indicators for this type of assessment in Alaska. Scientists hope to provide marine resource managers with a scientifically sound rapid assessment of community resiliency over time.

Coming up this week, Norton Sound's crab fishery opened Monday after a delay due to sea ice, the Department of Fish and Game will take over many of the services that once belonged to the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, and Kodiak government is split over a contract with its fisheries analyst.

Despite acknowledging the need for more revenue, fisheries stakeholders raised lots of questions about the governor's plan to increase state fisheries taxes this week.

I don't even know what to say about this video other than this bearded man named Justin who lives in Alaska decided to make a video of himself dancing to all of Alicia Key's 'No One' and it's pretty fantastic.

Governor Bill Walker announced five nominations to the state board of Fish and Game on Tuesday. On the list again this year for a Fish Board seat is Robert Ruffner of Kenai, who would replace Fritz Johnson, a commercial fisherman from Dillingham. If confirmed, it will be the first time the Fish Board would not have a member from Bristol Bay.

Hipsters and Paleo diet enthusiasts around the country are embracing bone broth, drinking it up like coffee and hoping it might cure whatever ails them.

Genetically engineered salmon, approved by federal regulators just months ago, are off the table for now in interstate commerce.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Jan. 29 banned the import and sale of genetically engineered salmon or product composed in whole or part of such product into domestic markets until the agency publishes final labeling guidelines, a very lengthy process.

Gov. Bill Walker has announced three appointments to the Alaska Board of Fisheries and two to the Alaska Board of Game, all of which are subject to confirmation by the Alaska Legislature. - See more at:

Coming up this week, the IPHC boosts coast-wide halibut catch limits, trawlers agree to a Gulf-wide stand down to address the North Pacific Council, and there'll be no enrichment for Karluk Lake. And is the second time the charm for a Board of Fish candidate from the Kenai?

Halibut quotas are up overall by 2.3 percent in the poundage announced by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) at the conclusion of its meeting in Juneau early this week.

Alaska’s share added up to 21.45 million pounds, a boost of 200,000 pounds from 2015. The season runs from March 19 through Nov. 7.

Gulf of Alaska trawlers are flocking to a meeting in Portland, leaving behind a halibut bycatch situation the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is attempting to fix.

The trawlers have complaints with council process, but are also standing down from a halibut bycatch spike resulting from a pollock price dispute with area processors.

3-Minute Market Insight: After several months of strong movement, we have seen a lot of lower quality #1 Headed and Gutted Sockeye Salmon left over in the market. Buyers should be wary of sockeye offers right now - Don't be fooled by value pricing, as you are likely buying inferior quality.

Any final action by the federal government blocking large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay region will likely have to wait until the next presidential administration, a top Environmental Protection Agency official said Monday.

Read the court's decision here!

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has set the 2016 total allowable catch (TAC) for Alaska groundfish.

What a difference a year makes for the halibut bycatch controversy in the Bering Sea at the December meetings of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Anchorage. The flatfish factory trawlers, vilified for much of this year, reported vigorous and voluntary efforts at halibut conservation, and even received praise from the Pribilofs. Their zeal was prompted by what might be termed resolution number two-by-four of the fish council last summer, which slashed halibut bycatch by 25 percent.

As Arctic ice shrinks, fish will see the region in a whole new light.

With sunlight now permeating previously darkened waters, predatory fish that hunt by sight are set to invade in increasing numbers, scientists predict in a new study.

Understanding how ocean conditions and climate impact salmon year class strength is an objective of the Auke Bay Laboratories (ABL) Southeast Alaska Coastal Monitoring (SECM) project. The SECM project has collected a time series of indexes that include juvenile salmon and their associated biophysical data in coastal Southeast Alaska (SEAK) since 1997.

Coming up this week, there's controversy over releasing hatchery chums in Southeast, the Kodiak Maritime Museum starts the groundwork – literally – on its new display, and the lamprey fishery on the Yukon is a nice payday before the holidays. All that, and the dangers of fishing with explosives, coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report.

Russian fishing companies would no longer be able to market their pollock catch as “Alaska Pollock” under a provision included in a congressional spending bill expected to gain approval later this week.

Pollock is the biggest volume fishery in the U.S., and huge schools can be found in U.S. waters off Alaska and also in Russian waters. Most of the pollock fleet is based in Washington state.

Evolution is usually thought of as occurring over long time periods, but it also can happen quickly. Consider a tiny fish whose transformation after the 1964 Alaskan earthquake was uncovered by University of Oregon scientists and their University of Alaska collaborators.

A bill poised to pass the U.S. Congress would require the FDA to produce labeling guidelines before it allows the sale of genetically engineered salmon. That’s one policy rider Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she fought for that’s included in the package of year-end spending and tax bills.

Annual fees paid by holders of catch shares in Alaska’s halibut, sablefish and Bering Sea/Aleutian Island king crab fisheries will rise for the 2015/2016 season to meet costs of management and enforcement.

Kristie Balovich, budget officer for the Alaska region office of NOAA Fisheries, said Dec. 10 that coverage fees for the 2015/2016 BSAI king crab fishery went up to 1.48 percent and to 3 percent for halibut and sablefish.

Halibut dominated the federal fisheries process in 2015, with each sector fighting over reduced allocations.

Directed halibut fishermen in the North Pacific have watched their quotas drop while the trawl industry prosecuting Bering Sea groundfish has had a relatively static bycatch limit for 20 years. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council governs bycatch while the International Pacific Halibut Commission governs directed removals, and the two have not coordinated on the decline in harvestable halibut biomass.

Gov. Bill Walker and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark signed a Memorandum of Understanding Wednesday morning committing to cooperation on transboundary issues, particularly related to concerns in Southeast over mines on the Canadian side of the border.