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Dec 17 2013
Hilsinger Takes On Consulting for Crab Group
Tuesday, 17 December 2013

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John Hilsinger. (UAF photo)

 

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    A long time Alaska fisheries biologist has signed on to be the new science advisor for a group of crabbers who ply their trade in one of the state’s more far-flung fisheries. The Aleutian King Crab Research Foundation recently announced the hire of John Hilsinger, who will take over as consultant from Denby Lloyd.
    “My job is to advise them. I work with the biologists from both the NMFS and Fish and Game, and other consultants, and advise them on projects and how those projects should be conducted so that we can get the information we need to develop a good long-term sustainable management regime for golden king crab.”
    Hilsinger says six boats have participated in the golden king crab fishery, which has been a directed fishery for more than 30 years, with a yearly harvest capped at 6-million pounds.
    The Aleutian King Crab Research Foundation focuses on improving research into golden, and to a lesser extent, red king crab. Given the expense of sending test boats to survey the deep water crab that live amid underwater mountain ranges along the Aleutian Chain, the foundation has been trying to use fishermen to gauge recruitment.
    “An example of an early projects of the foundations, they got 25 small-mesh pots. And one of the boats took out a Fish and Game biologist and they fished those pots over an area and actually demonstrated conclusively that there was a lot of small males and females. So that was a huge piece of information that made everyone more comfortable with the sustainability of the stock.”
    Hilsinger, who was a research and management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for nearly 40 years, is helping design a survey to learn more about the golden kings and perhaps allow an increase in the allowable harvest.

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Dec 17 2013
Pollock Target Up for 2014
Tuesday, 17 December 2013

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Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB
    Fishermen will be able to harvest a little more pollock from the Bering Sea next year.
    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to bump up the catch limit to 1.267 million metric tons at a meeting in Anchorage last week.
    That limit is about 1 percent higher than this year's. Representatives from the fishing industry lobbied for an even bigger pollock harvest.
    Donna Parker is with the Arctic Storm Management Group, a pollock fishing company.  She told the council the Bering Sea fleet found an immense amount of fish this year – so much that they went slightly over their catch limit.
    “It’s not always going to be like this, and in fact, not too long ago, we lost a half a million metric tons because the pollock stock had declined. Well, now it’s back up. It’s incredible,” she said. “Please let us have access to it.”
    About three years ago, the pollock stock took a major hit. The fish didn’t seem to be reproducing as much, and many fishermen were struggling to fill their quotas.
    Setting a safe harvest limit was a challenge for the North Pacific council.
    Now, stock assessments show that Bering Sea pollock seem to have recovered.
    There are plenty of other kinds of fish that get harvested out there, like yellowfin sole and northern rock sole, and according to federal law, the total groundfish catch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands cannot exceed 2 million metric tons. So, in order to bump up the pollock limit, the council had to reduce the harvest for other groundfish.
    Glenn Reid, from the Pacific Seafood Processors Association, said that industry members had a tough time negotiating among themselves about the fish they could cut back on.   Reid said the council -- which is made of industry stakeholders and resource managers -- struggled with it too.
    “It’s not just us who argue over very small amounts. It also happens around the table up there. So I think it’s clear that little bits do mean a lot, and they mean a lot to different participants in these fisheries,” he said. “That’s why it’s so hard to come up with a number.”
    Council member Craig Cross, of Aleutian Spray Fisheries, proposed the final harvest limits.
    All 11 members of the board voted to approve the plan.  

 
Dec 17 2013
Morning Rotary Brings 'Coats to Kids'
Tuesday, 17 December 2013

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              Even though temperatures are predicted to increase later this week, the past few days in the low teens have definitely announced winter’s arrival to Kodiak. This time of year typically entails thicker-than-usual jackets, but sometimes the proper cold weather attire isn’t within the financial means of some families. That’s why the Kodiak Morning Rotary sponsors “Coats for Kids,” an annual program that recycles used coats and helps keep the island’s youth warm during these especially cold months.
             Marita Kaplan is a member of Morning Rotary and helped organize this year’s Coats for Kids, a program she said has been going on since about 1997.
             “So this idea started then to have coats donated for people that have children that need coats for the winter. And several agencies in town are participating in different ways. Like the dry cleaners that are at Spenards, or behind Spenards there. They clean all the coats that we bring them for free. And  then we go and deliver the coats to the Salvation Army who then stores them and gives them out to people or families that come to the Salvation Army and ask for a coat from the Rotary program.”
              Basically, folks in the community are asked to donate lightly used, good condition coats to various drop off locations around town. There are collection boxes at Safeway, Kodiak College, Lindsay’s Gym and on the Coast Guard base.

Read more...
 
Dec 16 2013
Post Doctoral Fellow Finds New Home in Kodiak
Monday, 16 December 2013

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abhijit-240.jpgBrianna Gibbs/KMXT

           Abhijit Chatterjee never thought he’d call Alaska home. But his academic interests laid out a path that ultimately led him to Kodiak where he is currently a post doctoral fellow at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center.
           Chatterjee grew up in Kolkata, India, where he earned his bachelors in chemistry and then later pursued a bachelors and masters in food technology and biochemical engineering. In 2007 he embarked on a huge adventure, and decided to move well beyond the borders of India to pursue a PhD in civil and environmental engineering at university of Alaska in Fairbanks. 
            “I shouldn’t say that I wanted to come exactly here because Kolkata (Calcutta) is a pretty tropical place and in summer time temperature goes above +40 Celsius, and in Alaska it’s -40 Celcius.”
            But during his master’s thesis, Chatterjee was working on a water treatment project that involved removing metals using a bacterial absorption process called bioabsorbtion. He said he was always interested in pursuing a PhD in the United States and found the program at Fairbanks fit his interests most. 

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Dec 16 2013
New Police Chief Sworn in to Office
Monday, 16 December 2013

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            The city’s new Police Chief, Ronda Wallace, has held her new position for almost a month, but Thursday night she was officially sworn into office.
            “And that I will faithfully and honestly, that I will faithfully and honestly, perform the duties of chief of police, perform the duties of chief of police, so help me god, so help me god. Congratulations. Thank you.”            

            That was City Clerk Debra Marlar administering the oath of office to Wallace during Thursday’s regular city council meeting. City Mayor Pat Branson said it is a Kodiak tradition to administer the police chief’s oath of office during a public ceremony.
            Former police chief, T.C. Kamai, was also at Thursday’s meeting and took part in another Kodiak tradition – presenting the chief with their new insignia, or emblem. 
            “It is the custom within the culture of the Kodiak Police Department that an outgoing chief present his rank insignia to the incoming chief. So we’d like to do that tonight and I’ve asked Chief Wallace’s husband to assist me in doing this. It’s my hope that these insignia bring you as much courage, wisdom and luck as they brought me.”
             Kamai retired from the police department in September after 25 years of service.

 
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