Vol. 31, No. 9
The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program and the Fishery Industrial Technology Center will cohost the Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute, October 2011–March 2012. ASPLI is a training program for future leaders in the seafood industry, designed for mid-level managers, production foremen, plant supervisors, and quality assurance leaders who want to advance their careers in seafood processing. Large and small processors are welcome. The application deadline is September 20, 2011.
Up to twenty students will be accepted for the three training sessions, each in a different location. Hands-on technical training in seafood processing and visits with local processors will take place in Kodiak, October 31–November 10, 2011. Leadership training, human resource development, business management, and marketing are scheduled for Anchorage, March 5–9, 2012, and a guided visit to the Boston Seafood Show and field trips to secondary processors on the East Coast will happen March 10–14, 2012. For more information visit the 2011–2012 ASPLI website.
The 2011–2012 ASPLI follows institutes held in 2006 and 2008. Most former ASPLI trainees have continued their careers in seafood processing. At least one has become a plant manager and others are working their way up the ladder.
In August, fisheries Ph.D. candidate Peter-John Hulson defended his thesis: Dealing with Uncertainties in Integrated Age-Structured Assessment Models. ASA model uncertainties are a central focus in fish stock assessment and management. Hulson investigated age and length data, and compared historical ASA models with newer spatially explicit, metapopulation ASA models. A metapopulation consists of a group of separated populations of the same species, which interact.
Hulson found that spatially explicit, metapopulation ASA models have reduced uncertainty in management quantities compared to historical ASA models. He also concluded that with possible climate change influences on fish populations, use of spatially explicit, metapopulation ASA models will allow stock assessment scientists to more precisely predict sustainable harvest levels. Hulson is funded in part by Alaska Sea Grant. Terry Quinn is his advisor.
In August 2011 the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers hosted a science symposium in Seattle to showcase the work of the Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology (AKCRRAB) Program. Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery manager Jeff Hetrick, and science team members Ginny Eckert, David Tallmon, and Bob Foy summarized progress in hatchery science, juvenile crab biology, and population genetics, all of which are essential for potential release of hatchery-raised larvae to enhance depleted wild stocks. Sue Aspelund and Ron Josephson also reported on the process being developed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to regulate shellfish/invertebrate enhancement projects. The crab fishing industry, making up the majority of the audience, indicated their interest to continue support for AKCRRAB research. Some presentations are viewable on the AKCRRAB website
AKCRRAB is a king crab research and rehabilitation project sponsored by Alaska Sea Grant, UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, NOAA Fisheries, the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery, community groups, and industry members. Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, an association of crab fishermen, is active in research and crab marketing programs and works with fishery managers.
Alaska Sea Grant will host the biennial Sea Grant Week for nationwide Sea Grant programs. Organized by the Sea Grant Association, the meeting is scheduled for September 15–21, 2012, at the Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood, Alaska.
Every two years Sea Grant Week provides a forum for exchanging information on issues of importance to state Sea Grant programs. Sea Grant directors, extension leaders, financial officers, educators, and communications specialists will share progress, strategies, and projects in their regions. About 200 directors, faculty, and staff from all 32 Sea Grant programs are expected to attend Sea Grant Week 2012, the first to be held in Alaska.
Cordova Marine Advisory agent Torie Baker has been appointed to a one-year term on the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Advisory Committee of the U.S. Coast Guard. The 17-member national committee advises the USCG on developing and implementing fishing vessel safety standards including navigational safety; safety equipment and procedures; marine insurance; vessel design, construction, maintenance, and operation; and personnel qualification and training. The committee includes commercial harvesters, industry representatives, and safety education experts. Baker is on the Training Subcommittee.
Torie Baker and Prince William Sound Science Center's Allen Marquette are scheduling speakers for the 10th Cordova winter science lecture series, also called the "Mug-Up" series. Each Tuesday evening, September through May, the Prince William Sound Science Center, Cordova Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service, and the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program host a presentation at 7 pm in the Forest Service Building in Cordova. This month Scott Pegau spoke on Testing of a Novel Oil-spill Surveillance System. Last season talks were presented by, among others, PWSSC scientists, Chugach Alaska Corporation, adventure sailors, U.S. Geological Survey, and seventh graders.
In 2010–2011, a total of more than 1,400 people attended 41 PWSSC community education programs. It was the third year of broadcasting the lectures to Valdez through a videoconferencing connection. Feedback from the audiences indicates they appreciate the regularity and variety of programs. Presenters said they were impressed by the high number of attendees and the quality of questions and interest by the community.
The lecture series has financial support from Ocean Beauty, Cordova Telephone, Cordova Electric Cooperative, Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, Cordova Audubon, Prince William Sound Community College, and the U.S. Forest Service.