Vol. 32, No. 3
About 50 fishermen and industry experts attended the 2012 Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit in Juneau, February 13–14, where fishermen learned how to be leaders in their Alaska commercial fishing profession. The summit opened doors to learning opportunities for fishermen early in their careers, and opened the eyes of legislators before whom some fishermen testified.
Participants, representing 19 Alaska ports and communities, attended the House Fisheries Committee hearing on challenges facing younger fishermen today. Fisherman Timothy Nick from Dillingham told his family fishing story to the committee. After hearing from Nick and other summit participants, the House Fisheries Committee unanimously passed House Concurrent Resolution 18, pledging support for programs designed to boost the fishing industry.
At the summit, fishing industry experts gave presentations on business, banking, insurance, financial record-keeping, and seafood markets. Also covered were the science of fishing, climate change, public speaking, and how to make yourself heard on fishing issues where it matters. Training was offered on safety drills, building a successful business, and participating on boards.
"This summit gave me a great perspective on my future, and what I need to do to get to where I want to be as an Alaska fishermen," said a Kodiak participant. And a salmon gillnet fisherman from southeast Alaska noted, "It was awesome! I have recommended it to many fisherman already."
Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agents Torie Baker and Sunny Rice organized the summit. Key sponsors were the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Marine Conservation Alliance, Princess Tours, United Fishermen of Alaska, Alaska Whitefish Trawlers Association, and International Pacific Halibut Commission. A story by KTOO News has more on the summit.
Alaska Sea Grant announces funding for four research projects for 2012–2014. As part of our mission to support research for the benefit of Alaska's coastal communities, every two years Alaska Sea Grant solicits research proposals that support the goals outlined in our strategic plan. These new research projects were selected from a field of 33 pre-proposals and 15 full proposals by a rigorous peer and panel review process.
Developing Hi-Resolution Strontium Isotope Maps of Alaska Rivers to Track Pacific Salmon Migrations: The Nushagak River as a Case Study to Evaluate Spatial and Seasonal Variability. Principal investigator is Matthew Wooller, UAF Water and Environmental Research Center.
Impacts of Sea Otter Recolonization on Marine Resources and Coastal Communities in Southern Southeast Alaska. Investigators are Allison Rice and Ginny L. Eckert, UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.
Nutrition and Condition of Red King Crab Larvae: Enhancement of King Crabs to Improve Sustainability of Alaskan Coastal Communities. Principal investigator is Ginny L. Eckert, UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Collaborative Research: Building Capacity for Community-Based Marine Mammal Conservation in Bristol Bay. Investigators are Chanda Meek, UAF Department of Political Science; and Helen Chythlook, Bristol Bay Native Association.
Terry Johnson published a March 2012 Charter Log on Charter Halibut Updates, Guideline Harvest Levels, Deep Water Rockfish Return, Changes to TWIC Requirement, and many other articles of interest to the Alaska charter industry.
Johnson also compiled the new online publication Annotated Resources on Climate Change Adaptation for Alaska Communities. The websites and documents named in the publication are useful to community residents and professionals who are planning strategies for adaptation. Many of the programs address flooding, shoreline erosion, infrastructure, and relocation—topics of concern to Alaska communities confronting the effects of climate change. The 14-page PDF is on the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program website, Adapting to Climate Change in Coastal Alaska. The project is supported by the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP). The publication is also available via the Alaska Sea Grant bookstore.
Corinne Hicken, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Juneau Center, defended her M.S. thesis earlier this month, on Delayed Effects of Oil Exposure on Fish. Hicken assessed the effects of 48 hour exposure to weathered crude oil on zebrafish (Danio rerio). She looked at exposed embryonic fish, and adult fish that were exposed as embryos but raised in clean water. The exposed embryos had increased mortality, pericardial edema, and intracranial hemorrhage. Adult fish exposed to oil as embryos had decreased critical swim speed and rounder hearts than control fish. These effects may result in decreased fitness of the exposed fish population.
Hicken’s research adds to the emerging body of knowledge on long-term effects of embryonic fish exposure to low concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). While older studies showed that acute PAH exposure causes short-term effects in adult fish that were resolved when the exposure ends, more recent research demonstrates that low concentration exposure can result in lethal and sublethal effects on embryos and delayed effects on the fish that are not seen until adulthood. Chronic exposure to PAHs, even at the less susceptible juvenile and adult stages, can cause a host of effects including lesions, lower body length and weight, and reduced swimming ability. PAHs are continuously added to aqueous environments worldwide.
Hicken received funding from Alaska Sea Grant for her graduate research through a grant to her major professor, Michael Stekoll, University of Alaska Southeast.
The Alaska SeaLife Center chose Marine Advisory videographer Deborah Mercy as the winner of the 2012 Ocean Media Award. Mercy has been writing, directing, editing, and producing marine educational videos in Alaska for over 25 years. As an artist and videographer, she brings unique skills and an exceptional eye to her products. Her subjects include marine debris, the CDQ program, marine safety and survival, and climate change, for which she has used her unique footage from rural Alaska communities and onboard at-sea fishing vessels. Mercy’s work has been used by trainers to save lives at sea, by fishermen trying to maintain their businesses during hard economic times, and by community residents planning for environmental change. Her work has been shown throughout Alaska on 360 North, the History Channel, and other national outlets. The Ocean Media Award is sponsored by the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.
The Alaska SeaLife Center also selected the Alaska Sea Grant Education Services staff, led by Kurt Byers, to receive the 2012 Ocean Literacy Award. Alaska Sea Grant staff members have published books, videos, teaching materials, news stories, and online information for mariners, coastal communities, educators, and the public for 40 years. Over 25,000 educational items are distributed each year worldwide, focusing on Alaska marine topics such as conservation, recreation, seafood harvesting/handling, fishing safety and survival, and teacher resources. According to national reviewers, Alaska Sea Grant Education Services is one of the best ocean literacy programs in the National Sea Grant network. The Education Services team has hosted symposia and workshops and published the proceedings, given Alaska teachers access to marine K–12 curricula, provided safety information to thousands of mariners, and promoted marine stewardship through field guides and other publications. The Ocean Literacy Award is cosponsored by the Centers of Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Alaska and the Alaska Ocean Observing System.
The Alaska Library Association chose the book Imam Cimiucia: Our Changing Sea, by Anne Salomon, Henry Huntington, and Nick Tanape Sr., as the winner of the 2012 Alaskana Award. Published in 2011 by Alaska Sea Grant, the book is based on Salomon’s doctoral research on Native knowledge and Western science. Imam Cimiucia was chosen for "making a significant contribution to the understanding of Alaska, and exhibiting originality, depth of research, and knowledge of Alaska," according to the Alaska Library Association. The award was presented at the annual AkLA meeting in Fairbanks in February.