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Oct 01 2014
Pollock Abundance Up With Strong Six-Year-Old Class PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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    Two separate abundance surveys of the Bering Sea are indicating a good number of pollock are coming up. The survey results released by NOAA Fisheries indicate a nearly 60-percent increase in walleye pollock biomass.
    Jim Ianelli is chief pollock stock assessment scientist at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center at the National Marine Fisheries Service office in Seattle.
    “It’s definitely good news. In 2013 we saw a fair number of five-year-old pollock. And those fish continue to be very productive and abundant in our surveys as six-year-olds this summer. And that’s right about the prime age for fisheries and reproduction. So it’s a good sign for the spawning biomass and the fishery.”
    The increase in biomass doesn’t necessarily mean a significant increase in the total allowable catch for 2015, because of the 2-million metric ton cap on all groundfish in the Bering Sea.
    “Biologically, the harvest could increase based on the productivity of the stock. (But) due to this overarching ecosystem constraint, they won’t go up much beyond what they are this year. But the conditions for fishing should be quite good, and should generally be no conservation concerns in terms of stock size and sustainability.”
    However Ianelli said the abundance of pollock could result in less salmon bycatch:
    “It’s a high priority to minimize the bycatch of salmon to the extent practicable, and having good abundances of pollock is certainly helpful in making the fishery profitable and still being able to fish in places where there’s less salmon.”
    Each year data is collected through NOAA Fisheries’ crab pot survey, which Ianelli says also works well for gathering information on pollock and other ground fish. This year was one where a second survey is also used, measuring abundance in mid-water.
    “Every other year we do a pollock survey that’s focused on mid water abundance of fish. And this was one of the years when we had both surveys operating. And they do transects with echo-sounding equipment and they do tows through echo sign to validate what species and what sizes of fish they saw.”
    The bottom-trawl survey index for pollock this year was the second highest biomass since surveys began in 1982, and is 55-per cent higher than average. The 2008 component of the pollock population, as seen last year with near-record five-year-old abundance estimates, was a major component along with the 2006 and 2010 year classes, which Ianelli says bodes well for the ecosystem and fishery.

 
Oct 01 2014
Local Production Will Challenge Emotions and Intellect PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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          A small group of local actors will take the stage Thursday evening for the opening night of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Jenny Stevens is directing the production, which she said is likely one of the most challenging plays ever performed in Kodiak.
           “I think people are excited to be able to do an iconic masterpiece like Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ It actually was performed 25 years ago by a different cast. So I think it’s exciting to be able to produce  something that is that challenging and that exciting and as relevant today as it was 51 years ago.”   
             Stevens said the play has really pushed the acting chops of its cast. She said it is challenging because it is rich with mature content and deep ideas – meant to make its actors, directors and viewers think. She said it’s definitely not a play for folks to bring their kids to as it includes language and some sexuality.

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Sep 30 2014
KHS Students Stage Peaceful Protest PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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          More than 50 students at Kodiak High School participated in a sit-in protest Friday morning. During second period students lined the hallway outside the office in what they called a nonviolent protest of the high school’s attendance policies.
          Senior Stephanie Price said a number of students had voiced concerns this year about the school’s attendance policy, specifically the administering of in-school suspensions, or ISS, after a certain number of unexcused absences. She admitted that some of the information leading up to Friday’s protest wasn’t accurate on the students’ part, but still felt the protest was beneficial in promoting better communication with the high school’s administration.
           “I think the protest in general was a learning experience for both the students and the teachers. I think the students realized that we should be more prepared when trying to make a point. And we had valid points but a lot of things were brought up that weren’t really involved with the ISS rule. And I think that from the administration point, they see that communication with the students – proper communication, just really friendly – is really all we want.”   
            Chris Aguirre is the new principal at KHS this year and said the students definitely made their voice very clear during the sit in and explained some the school’s policy regarding attendance and ISS.

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Sep 30 2014
Talk of the Rock: All About the School Bond on Tuesday's Ballot PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Today on KMXT's Talk of the Rock, host Jay Barrett speaks with Kodiak Island Borough Manager Bud Cassidy and Borough Finance Director Karl Short about the $10-million bond that will be on the October 7th municipal ballot. If passed, it will fund what are described as vital repairs to schools across the borough, and be reimbursed at a rate up to 70-percent by the State of Alaska.

 
Sep 30 2014
SeaShare Sending 13,000 lbs. of Kodiak Halibut to Kotzebue PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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    Wednesday, about 15 pallets of frozen halibut will be winging their way north from Kodiak, to be distributed to communities around Kotzebue.
    As Sea Share’s Jim Harmon tells us, the halibut is bycatch from the Kodiak trawl fleet.
    “These are halibut that were caught in the Gulf of Alaska while trawl fishermen fished for pollock and other ground fish. They’re called ‘incidental catch.’ They’re not allowed to sell those fish, they’re only allowed to sell the targeted species. So the only thing they can do with them is donate them to Sea Share, or throw them overboard.”
    The 13,000 pounds of halibut were brought back to Kodiak and processed by local canneries and packed into the 50-pound boxes.
    “The processors in Kodiak – there’s seven of them that participate with Sea Share – they work these fish in various ways. The fish that are going up to Kotzebue, are headed and gutted, and then they’re sleeved and then they’re packed in 50-pound boxes. Some of the halibut is also steak and some are filleted, and those generally go to the food bank in Kodiak or the shelters there.”
    Also donated is the moving of all that halibut by Carlile Transportation out to Air Station Kodiak, where the Coast Guard will takeover and fly them to Kotzebue on an HC-130 Hercules.
    Once in that far north city, the halibut will be distributed in town and surrounding villages by the NANA Regional Corporation.
    Sea Share, based in Seattle, has provided 200-million meals over the past 20 years across the nation.

 
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