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The LegHead Report

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Fish Radio with Laine Welch

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Galley Tables

Oct 02 2014
The Alaska Fisheries Report
Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Coming up this week, the pollock abundance is up in the Bering Sea, dive fisheries are starting up in Southeast, and the feds are looking for your help in determining the economic value of fisheries in Southwest. All that, and a bunch of halibut flew from Kodiak to Kotzebue, and boy are their flippers tired, coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from KFSK’s Joe Viechnicki in Petersburg and KDLG’s Mike Mason in Dillingham.

Oct 02 2014
Language Learning Through Storytelling
Thursday, 02 October 2014

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          It’s no question that Alutiiq language learning has grown in recent years, but tonight folks will have an opportunity to hear more about that process and what techniques are being used to revitalize it. As part of the Alutiiq Museum’s fall lecture series, local resident Candace Branson will present her master’s project through the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Branson is the education coordinator at Sun’aq and Alutiiq Language educator. She has been working with UAF’s Alaska Native Education Computer Assisted Language Learning grant to study different ways languages like Alutiiq can be taught. 
             “And my project will be to create a unit to teach Alutiiq language through storytelling. So we’re using a model that has been used in other communities and with other languages like Spanish and French and pulling a traditional Alutiiq story and translating it into Alutiiq – because many of them were documented very early on in the 1800 and 1900s in English by explorers and teachers and people who came to Kodiak out of that interest, but ended up collecting stories.”   

Oct 02 2014
Congressional Candidates Talk Fish in Kodiak
Thursday, 02 October 2014

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           Alaska’s congressional candidates descended on Kodiak last night for a debate that pitted candidates running for both the House and Senate against their opponents on a number of fisheries-related issues.
    First to take the stage at the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium were the candidates for U.S. Senate. Incumbent Senator Mark Begich squared off with Republican candidate Dan Sullivan, answering questions from a media panel, audience members and each other.

Oct 02 2014
Congressional Fisheries Debates Full Audio
Wednesday, 01 October 2014


          Kodiak hosted a series of Congressional Fisheries Debates at the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium on October 1. 

          To listen to the debate between the candidates for U.S. Senate, including Incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Begich and Republican Candidate Dan Sullivan click below. 

6.64 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup


           To listen to the debate between the candidates for  U.S. House, including Incumbent Republican Congressman Don Young and Democratic Candidate Forrest Dunbar click below. 

6.79 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup


Oct 01 2014
Pollock Abundance Up With Strong Six-Year-Old Class
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.

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