Trawlers Harvest Yellowfin Sole in Bristol Bay

Seafoodnews.com [Bristol Bay Times], July 26, 2016
By Molly Dischner

Salmon and halibut may get most of the fishing attention in Bristol Bay, but that’s not the only species caught commercially here.

In a lesser-discussed endeavor, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation and other fishing companies harvest yellowfin sole each year in the Bering Sea — including in part of Bristol Bay.

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Tighter Retention Rules Prompted United States Seafoods Vessel Refit

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Undercurrent News, June 10, 2016
By Ola Wietecha
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As part a general industry move toward maximizing catch usage in response to regulations encouraging higher fish retention on vessels, Seattle-based United States Seafoods recently christened its newest vessel which will replace two smaller ships.

The company began working on a refit for the 233-foot catcher-processor Seafreeze America in March 2015 with the goal of replacing two of its smaller, 100-foot vessels.

The vessel, which will catch and process groundfish, will head north to Alaska later in the month to fish in the Bering Sea…. Continue Reading

North Pacific Council to Talk Halibut Rules, Groundfish Quota

Photo - Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion

Alaska Journal of Commerce, December 2, 2015
By DJ Summer

Photo - Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion

Photo – Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion

Dave Jacobs, left, and Steve Curl watch as Anthony Ballam lowers a halibut into the hold of the Independence in Cook Inlet. Cook Inlet, which is in Area 3A for charter halibut removals, has a recommended cut in harvest from 2015 according to the scientists at the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets this month in Anchorage to set charter harvest rules for 2016…. Continue Reading

New Freezer Trawler for O’Hara

O'Hara Corporation's Araho

Fishermen’s News, October 1, 2015

O'Hara Corporation's Araho

O’Hara Corporation’s new freezer trawler, launched on Aug. 31 by Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City, Florida, will join the Amendment 80 fleet in the Bering Sea in 2016. Company officials say it will be used for the harvesting and processing of flatfish for markets in Asia and the United States. Photos courtesy of O’Hara Corp. Read more about the Araho here from Fishermen’s News.

Seafood Entrepreneur: The Korean Woman Company Founder Who Pushed for Americanization of Alaskan Groundfish Fishery

Fishermen’s Finest CEO Helena Park, aboard the American No. 1, in the late 1980s, checks in on the cook of her crew.

undercurrentnews.com, August 20, 2015
By Jeanine Stewart

Fishermen’s Finest CEO Helena Park, aboard the American No. 1, in the late 1980s, checks in on the cook of her crew.

Fishermen’s Finest CEO Helena Park, aboard the American No. 1, in the late 1980s, checks in on the cook of her crew.

Late one night on the remote island of Unalaska, the site of Alaska’s tiny groundfish processing town Dutch Harbor, Korean-born Fishermen’s Finest founder and CEO Helena Park went from fisherman’s wheelhouse to fisherman’s wheelhouse, knocking on doors to gauge interest in a new business plan.

“My ultimate goal was to have a catcher processor,” Park told Undercurrent News, referring to her desire to go in on a vessel purchase with a fishermen two years into her career in the Alaska groundfish industry. “But I didn’t have the boat, so in the interim, I got to know these fishermen.”… Continue Reading

O’Hara Corp Christens First New Amendment 80 Vessel in Nearly 30 Years

Araho, O'Hara Corporation's new vessel

undercurrentnews.com, August 11, 2015
By Jeanine Stewart

Araho, O'Hara Corporation's new vessel

Araho, O’Hara Corporation’s new vessel

The O’Hara Corporation christened the first new vessel to join Alaska’s flatfish sector in nearly three decades this summer, marking a major milestone for the aging fleet and sending waves of excitement through the industry.

A video posted on the company’s Facebook page shows the hull of the new vessel — named the Araho — being launched into the water, in time for completion by the Alaska Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands flatfish fishing season’s start in late January. In a rare move, the company had it built on US soil. Eastern Shipbuilding Group constructed the 194-foot freezer trawler at its home-base in Panama City, Florida…. Continue Reading

Halibut Anger Lands on Wrong Target

JuneauEmpire.com [Letters], July 7, 2015
By Lori Swanson

In Tuesday’s ‘My Turn’ feature, Mr. Grutter states that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council halibut bycatch reductions approved in June are a ‘non-action.’ He may be disappointed with the outcome, but the 25 percent reduction imposed on the Amendment 80 sector is an extremely significant action that will have huge effects on fishermen and their families, who are likely to see their incomes and quality of life suffer greatly from this decision. The cuts follow the 25 percent reduction in bycatch already achieved by the Amendment 80 sector through gear innovation and changes in fishing behavior. The additional cuts will require reduced overall harvest…. Continue Reading

Divided Council Cuts Halibut Bycatch Cap in Bering Sea by 25%; Promises Further Action

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Alaska Journal of Commerce] , June 8, 2015
By DJ Summers

SITKA — The North Pacific Fishery Management Council made its second controversial compromise of the year on June 7, again related to bycatch in the Bering Sea and again after lengthy, impassioned testimony…. Continue Reading

Halibut Bycatch Cap Reduction Should Reflect What We Know About the Resource

Alaska Dispatch News [Commentary], May 28, 2015
By John Gauvin

As a fishery scientist who has worked for more than 20 years with trawl fishermen to reduce salmon, crab and halibut bycatch, I find the recent rhetoric around proposed North Pacific Fisheries Management Council changes to the Bering Sea halibut bycatch cap very frustrating. In particular, I hear media campaigns underwritten by environmental NGOs claiming, “It’s been 20 years since the halibut bycatch cap was last reduced,” implying that this has created a conservation issue…. Continue Reading

Fears Mount Over NPFMC Halibut By-catch Quota Vote

Council’s decision is likely to cost Alaskan jobs

Alaska Business Monthly [Op-Ed], May 19, 2015
By Andrew Murphy

I have been an Alaskan since 1996. I live and work in Dutch Harbor and have built a labor and equipment company providing services to the Amendment 80 vessels. The North Pacific Management Council is meeting in June to decide whether to adjust the Amendment 80 fleet’s allowable halibut by-catch. The Council’s decision is likely to cost Alaskan jobs…. Continue Reading