Kenai was 31st on the national list of top seafood producers for 2012, despite another devastating year for local commercial fishermen. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Service (NOAA) published the report yesterday, with 13 Alaskan fisheries making the top 50.
In the top five, Unalaska was #1, the Aleutians #3 and Kodiak #4.
The 49th state produced close to 55 percent of the nation’s seafood in 2012, with a value of around $1.7 billion to fishermen.
U.S. Senator Mark Begich chairs the Senate subcommittee on Oceans and Fisheries. He noted that production was down slightly from 2011, but with a record pink salmon harvest this year, he predicted Alaska would be in the lead again next year.
Begich is currently working on the reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Act, with “listening sessions” held around the state. Begich met with Kenai sportsfishermen last August, with a visit to the Kenai River Sportfishing Association’s banquet and a public meeting at the Challenger Learning Center…
Sen. Begich(D-AK): “However we decide the final outcome, people want to make sure it’s balanced. Now, commercial also feel that dependent on the region you’re in, some have an abundance of some type of product, but if you go into this area or down in Southeast, halibut is a concern for everyone now, charter and commercial. So, we’re not going to make those decisions now, what we’re more interested in is getting what that input is. And there’s some very innovative ideas that today I heard on recreation, but I think for the next four or five months or so, a lot of listening and gathering.
In Kodiak he met with commercial fishing groups and in Fairbanks he focused on subsistence fishing issues. Comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org