DJ Summers

Bristol Bay forecast goes bust

Bristol Bay needed volume to make up for a soft market, but state biologists say there’s no reason to expect that it’s going to happen now that the season’s unofficial point of no return has passed. Not only will the run come in far less than forecast, but likely come in well less than the 20-year average harvest.

Bristol Bay sockeye, Alaska’s most valuable fishery, is coming up far less than the forecasted commercial harvest of 37.6 million fish, which would have been the third-largest since 1960.

Small business, health care sectors steady for state banks

It’s steady as she goes for the first quarter of 2015 at Alaska’s financial institutions, with consistent gains in total asset and net income growth for all but a few of the state’s leading banks and credit unions.

Like 2014, interest rates are low in the first quarter of 2015, and consumers with pent-up expansion plans are poking their heads above the waters of the Great Recession for small business loans.

Dr. Trombley brings concierge medical practice to Anchorage

Dr. Dale Trombley, like a growing number of doctors, has found a way to cut his costs while providing what’s become an unfamiliar concept: a doctor who knows his patients.

“It’s nice to have a healthcare provider who knows you, who knows your issues, who watched you grow up,” said Trombley, who graduated from St. Louis University Medical School in 1974. “That’s what concierge patients are looking for. They want to see their doc.”

Mumford tapped for fish board

Gov. Bill Walker’s office announced May 20 that Robert Mumford has been appointed to the vacant seat on the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

“I am pleased to announce Bob Mumford as my appointee to the Board of Fish,” Walker said. “His vast range of experience in multiple fields — as a commercial pilot, hunting instructor and fish and game State Trooper — has taken him all over the state.”

Board of Fisheries seat open again after Ruffner rejection

Gov. Bill Walker has yet another appointment to make to a shorthanded Board of Fisheries, and this time the Legislature won’t be in the equation.

After the second of his two board nominations failed to replace resigned chairman Karl Johnstone, Walker will have to appoint a new name from a long list of applicants by May 19. There is no official call for applicants, but applicants are encouraged to submit resumes to the governor’s Boards and Commissions office no later that May 15.

Banks seek to up fishing presence

The rationalization of federal fisheries has created a healthier environment for Alaska banks to underwrite commercial fishing industry loans.

Alaska’s banks had a healthy 2014 in spite of the nervousness over falling oil prices, spurred by increased consumer market confidence and commercial construction. 

The five Alaska-based banks together grew their total assets 9.3 percent from $5.4 billion in 2013 to $5.9 billion in 2014. Net income grew a collective 11 percent, from $55 million in 2013 to $61 million in 2014.

Lower prices could mean more markets for state’s wild salmon

Too much red and pink salmon could be a blessing in an ugly disguise for 2015. 

The commercial fishing industry has a pessimistic outlook for the price of Alaska salmon in 2015, due in large part to one of the largest pink and sockeye salmon run forecasts in 50 years. A healthy U.S. economy is driving a strong dollar, which can harm exports, and key markets have vanished.

Sportfishing businesses can apply for Cook Inlet 2012 salmon disaster relief

The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission is now accepting applications from sportfishing businesses in Cook Inlet for $4.6 million in disaster relief funds from the 2012 salmon season.

The commission has $4.6 million to be distributed to sportfishing related businesses showing losses during the disaster period. Examples include guides, lodging, restaurants and sport fishing gear retail businesses.

Former fish board candidate charged in residency case

Roland Maw has been charged in Montana following an investigation regarding residency issues. Jim Kropp, chief of law enforcement for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, confirmed that the state has charged Maw, who owns property near Dillon, with seven counts of affirming to a false statement in order to obtain a resident hunting license.

Alaska Supreme Court to consider setnet ban initiative later this year

The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance filed its final brief with the Alaska Supreme Court on March 5 to allow a ballot initiative that would ban commercial setnet harvest in five non-rural areas around Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula, Valdez and Juneau. If allowed, the initiative could be on the Alaska Primary Election Ballot as early as August 2016.

Maw withdraws name as nominee for Board of Fish

Gov. Bill Walker’s shakeup of the Alaska Board of Fisheries is off to a rough start. 

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is currently investigating Roland Maw — nominated by Walker to a seat on the board to replace former chair Karl Johnstone — over holding resident licenses in Montana while drawing the benefits of Alaska residency, including Permanent Fund Dividend and resident fish and game licenses.

Walmart launches ‘The Alaskan’

ANCHORAGE — Walmart announced on Jan. 28 the launch of an in-store brand, The Alaskan, for sale in every Alaska Walmart Supercenter and 20 Washington stores, as well as 14 additional products of wild Alaska cod, salmon, rockfish, sole and crab to its general stock.

The new items are on shelves just a couple years after Alaska seafood in Walmart stores was in jeopardy following a company plan to only stock seafood products carrying the Marine Stewardship Council certification for sustainability.


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