Alaska Sea Grant Blog

Alaska Sea Grant helps get new fish plant rolling

welcome to Hydaburg sign

June 26

A new fish plant opened in Hydaburg, a village in Southeast Alaska that is revitalizing its seafood industry. Alaska Sea Grant's Chris Sannito was a lead consultant on the project, helping the plant manager meet government requirements for safe food handling.

With the world’s most valuable wild salmon fishery under way, Alaska Sea Grant promotes marine safety at Bristol Bay Fish Expo

Alaska Sea Grant trade show table

June 21

More than 40 million sockeye salmon are expected to return to Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska this summer. Of those, about 29 million could potentially be harvested, making it the world’s largest wild salmon run. To help commercial fishermen get their boats and themselves ready for the fast-paced fishing season, Alaska Sea Grant’s Gabe Dunham shared his knowledge at the recent Bristol Bay Fish Expo in Naknek.

Fishing industry backs Alaska Sea Grant funding

United Fishermen of Alaska

June 15

As Congress wades through the budget process, Alaska Sea Grant receives strong support from the commercial fishing industry.

From fish waste to Fido snacks: turning pollock skins into pet treats

a hand holding small grey squares

June 13

Alaska Sea Grant seafood specialists developed a pet treat from pollock skins that has proven very popular with dogs. Last month they won an award for the product, for “innovation in research leading to commercialization” from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization.

New technique could improve Alaska farmed oyster and kelp productivity

Man stands at worktable

June 12

Gary Freitag, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent, is getting the word out about a technique that could enhance farmed oyster and kelp productivity. The quick-result method could help farmers in Alaska, allowing for the selection of faster growing cultured individuals.

With entangled whales showing up in remote areas of Alaska, Sea Grant responds

closeup of whale tangled in net

June 9

More whales than ever are getting tangled in fishing gear and debris, causing some to drown, starve or get serious infections. Disentangling whales can be dangerous and difficult but the more people who can do it, the better. Alaska Sea Grant is hosting a training in Unalaska to prepare more individuals to respond to whale entanglements.

The sixth Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute looks for future seafood leaders

Group photo with 19 people

June 7

The Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute (ASPLI) gives mid-career employees a boost in moving up the leadership ladder, to keep the seafood industry strong and support the Alaska workforce. Companies sponsor experienced workers to receive the intensive professional development, and applications for the institute are due by September 30, 2017.

Researchers see China as growing market for Alaska salmon

people standing in food store

June 5

Researchers at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Purdue University see China as a promising market for Alaska salmon. They interviewed more than 1,000 consumers in major China cities and found that seafood from pristine Alaska waters harvested in a sustainable fishery is appealing to residents, many of whom have higher incomes.

Anchorage fourth-graders become watershed investigators

Kids examining water sample

May 5

Spring is a great time to get outside and explore Anchorage's salmon watersheds. Alaska Sea Grant teamed up with local partners this week to teach fourth- grade students from Creekside Park Elementary about what it takes to keep salmon healthy and thriving. The students became watershed investigators at Chester Creek. Check out Alaska Dispatch News’ photo gallery. 

Alaska Sea Grant to host international conference on climate change and fish

man on fishing boat with hundreds of fish

May 2

Fish populations and fisheries off Alaska are changing along with the climate. To discuss the latest research on changing fisheries, experts from around the globe will gather in Anchorage May 9–11 at the Wakefield Fisheries Symposium.

Anchorage students learn about salmon life cycle and their local watershed

scientist talking to elementary school class

April 26

The three Cs: cold, clean and connected. Anchorage school children learn about three essential ingredients for healthy salmon habitat in a classroom session taught by Alaska Sea Grant's Marilyn Sigman.

Outboard motor class offered in Ketchikan by Alaska Sea Grant

Class participants working on an engine

April 12

The snow is melting, grass is starting to green up, and Alaskans are getting ready to hit the water to fish and recreate. What better time to take a class on outboard motor maintenance? Alaska Sea Grant, in partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan campus, is offering an outboard class April 21–23.

Alaska Sea Grant hosts science symposium for the Kodiak community

Harbor, docked boats, mountains

April 11

Kodiak residents will learn about the latest scientific information coming out of their region, at the Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium, coming up April 18–21. Additional events for the community are a bird die-off workshop, a tour of the Alutiiq Museum, a whale-watching hike, a beach clean-up, and a poster session.

A Special Message from the Director of Alaska Sea Grant

salmon in a river

March 31

Update 5/25/17: The White House released its full 2018 budget plan this week which calls for the termination of the National Sea Grant College Program. National Sea Grant receives about $73 million from Congress annually for research, education and outreach in 31 coastal states, and Guam and Puerto Rico. In return, it creates some $575 million in economic impact, an 854 percent return on investment.

Alaska fishermen, processors gear up for Roe School

Instructor addressing students in seafood processing lab

March 30

Have you ever wanted to learn how to turn fish eggs into caviar, or make food products that appeal to Asian consumers in particular? Alaska Sea Grant is offering a two-day “Roe School” in Kodiak in April.

Regional place-based science conferences good for scientists and locals

Green mountains surround bay with town

March 27

Alaska Sea Grant will host two science conferences in April, one in the Aleutian Islands chain, the other in the fishing port of Kodiak. The conferences provide a forum for learning and collaborating between scientists and the public.

Two seafood science summer internships available in Kodiak

silhouette of gillnet boat on the water

March 23

Alaska Sea Grant and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute are offering two seafood science summer internships in Kodiak. One will focus on creating online content about wild seafood products and issues, and the second internship will investigate parasite control measures for wild Alaska seafood products.

Kodiak trade show set to boost fishing community

dock with boats and people

March 20

Alaska Sea Grant will sponsor several events at the 2017 ComFish Alaska trade show, March 30–April 1 in Kodiak. Take a seat at the speaker forum, sign up for a fishermen's skills competition, watch a lifeboat pop and more.

Alaska’s congressional delegation says Sea Grant funding should remain

Senator talking to group of people

March 16

In the wake of the White House's proposed elimination of funding for Sea Grant, Alaska's congressional delegation has expressed strong support for the Alaska program. In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, Alaska’s senators called the proposed cuts to NOAA, which houses Sea Grant, dangerous and drastic.

Food safety short course offered for Alaska producers

food in jars

March 9

Alaska Sea Grant is offering a short course for Alaska food processors on preventive controls for human food. Food producers who take the class will be able to comply with a new food regulation and also improve their business.

Alaska Sea Grant invites proposals for aquaculture initiatives

Man cleaning oyster nets with hose spray.

March 7

US aquaculture enterprises are thriving, but there is a lot of potential for growth in this $1.2 billion industry. To enhance growth, National Sea Grant is seeking applicants for two opportunities for aquaculture projects. Investigators are strongly encouraged to work closely with Alaska Sea Grant during letter of intent/proposal development.

Estuary fish study presented at biology conference

Two researchers measuring and tagging fish on the beach with a black dog

March 2

After two years of collecting and analyzing fish data from Southeast Alaska estuaries, Carolyn Bergstrom highlighted her work before members of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. She found that fish were more diverse in non-glacier-influenced habitats.

2017 Alaska Tsunami Bowl sparks science engagement

students on stage with a podium and projection screen

February 27

Sixteen high school teams from across Alaska met in Seward on February 16 to compete in an ocean-based academic competition. Not only did students learn a plethora of ocean facts as they prepared, they also gained academic skills as they wrote and presented a research paper.

Webinar to address Alaska’s potential seaweed farming industry

woman holding kelp

February 27

On Tuesday, February 28, Gary Freitag will present a webinar overview of kelp and seaweed farming and its potential as an emerging industry in Alaska. Marine Advisory agents in Unalaska, Petersburg, and Kodiak will host live webinar viewing opportunities in their communities.

Training for the Alaska seafood workforce

man holding tray of seafood

February 22

Alaska Sea Grant is offering educational and training opportunities to support the Alaska seafood industry, and home fish smokers, throughout 2017. Currently scheduled are courses on skills to avoid foodborne illness, roe processing, smoked seafood, and leadership training for processing company employees.

Alaska Sea Grant salmon research featured nationally

Text and pictures from a web story map

February 17

To mark its 50-year anniversary celebration, National Sea Grant featured several nationwide projects in a Research-to-Application highlight, among them Tony Gharrett’s 30-year research on Alaska pink salmon. The national program created a video animation outlining milestones of Gharrett’s studies.

Survival suit race in Cordova draws crowds

people in survival suits jumping into the water

February 15

About 40 hardy souls—including eight children under the age of 12—took the plunge in Cordova’s harbor earlier this month during the annual Iceworm Festival survival suit races.

Experts learn strategies to address possible natural resource crises

Gay Sheffield at podium addressing crowd

February 15

Alaska Sea Grant’s Gay Sheffield took part in a One Health exercise with international experts from tribes, government agencies, and academic and private sectors to address vulnerabilities in food systems. The One Health collaborative approach is especially pertinent in the Arctic, where people depend on natural resources for subsistence, including marine and terrestrial wildlife.

Research fellow helps Alaska communities measure erosion

Richard Buzard standing with a Sea Grant banner

February 10

An Alaska Sea Grant research fellow addressed the Alaska Forum on the Environment this week about his work to connect Bristol Bay residents with tools to help them monitor shoreline erosion.

An interview with University of Washington anthropologist Margaret Willson about her new book on women, Iceland, and life at sea

photo of Margaret Willson

February 3

Cultural anthropologist Margaret Willson, who will visit Alaska next week, spent her early years working on fishing boats in Oregon and in the South Pacific. Lately she has turned her attention to Iceland and its women who work at sea. Willson has a new book exploring the vivid lives of Icelandic women, past and present, and the fascinating society from which they hail. Willson took some time recently to speak with Alaska Sea Grant’s Paula Dobbyn about the origin of the book and also about her own former life at sea.

Fisheries students from University of Alaska Fairbanks win awards at science symposium

Director with two students holding awards

January 27

Alaska Sea Grant director Paula Cullenberg presented UAF students Sarah Traiger and Jenell Larsen with awards for best student presentations at the 2017 Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage.

Knauss Fellow Spotlight: Kelly Cates

Kelly Cates

January 24

University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student Kelly Cates begins her Knauss Fellowship in Washington, DC, in February at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A master’s student in fisheries at UAF, Cates will work at the NOAA Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. Her career goal is to foster better cooperation among scientists, lawmakers, government officials, and the public so that science informs important policy decisions. As she drove across the country to DC, Cates took time to answer a few questions.

Knauss Fellow Spotlight: Charlotte Regula-Whitefield

Charlotte Regula-Whitefield

January 19

With a freshly minted PhD in hand, University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate Charlotte Regula-Whitefield is heading to Washington, D.C. to begin a Knauss Fellowship in the office of Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. We sat down with Charlotte to find out what brought her to this point, and what she hopes for the experience to come.

Alaskans discuss climate preparedness and displacement at Hawaiʻi symposium

four partcipants posing for group picture

December 22, 2016

Residents from three Alaska villages joined researchers, policy experts, and others at a two-day symposium on climate change and its impacts on coastal communities worldwide. Alaska Sea Grant helped organize the event in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

Diary of a National Ocean Sciences Bowl coach

Alaska map with teams flagged

October 28, 2016

Each year, Alaska holds a regional ocean sciences competition as part of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. Sunny Rice has co-coached the Petersburg team every year since 2009.