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The United Cook Inlet Drift Association (UCIDA) was incorporated in 1980 to represent the 570 drift gillnet salmon fishing permit holders in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. UCIDA’s purpose is to enhance and perpetuate the interests of this valuable commercial salmon fishing industry.

Wild Alaskan salmon have been commercially harvested in Cook Inlet since 1882. Over the past twenty years, the drift gillnet fishing fleet has harvested more than 271 million pounds of salmon, primarily sockeye salmon. The combined efforts of the drift and set gillnet fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet have produced average annual harvests of over 23 million pounds of wild salmon for the American and world markets during the past twenty years. Five percent of the world’s supply of sockeye salmon comes from Cook Inlet.

UCIDA’s Board of Directors and staff work to promote responsible management to ensure the long-term health of this abundant salmon resource and the resulting opportunities and benefits it provides. The day-to-day work of UCIDA covers an extremely broad range of issues that ultimately affect salmon, their harvest and marketing. These may include fishery management, invasive species, oil and gas lease sales, navigation issues, endangered species acts, oil spill response, local, state and federal regulatory issues and both state and federal litigation.

The nine members of the Board of Directors serve staggered three-year terms. Elections are held at annual membership meetings. Members (Upper Cook Inlet drift gillnet permit holders) and Associate Members are encouraged to attend all Board meetings.



Office Manager – Audrey Salmon – info@ucida.org

Board of Directors

David MartinPresidentF/V Kaguyak
Erik Huebsch1st VPF/V Williwaw
Dan Anderson2nd VPF/V Paragon
Dino SutherlandSec/TreasF/V Rivers End
Ilia KuzminDirectorF/V Currency
John McCombsDirectorF/V Rayo Verde
Ian PitzmanDirectorF/V Stephanie Ann
Steve TvenstrupDirectorF/V Alaskan Lady
Dyer VanDevereDirectorF/V Swift Arrow


43961 K-Beach Road, Suite E
Soldotna, Alaska
(907) 260-9436

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More Alaska Nets, Fishing Gear Go To Recyclers

Source: Fish Radio with Laine Welch
By Laine Welch
November 15, 2018

This is Alaska Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – More Alaska fishing gear is getting recycled. I’ll tell you more after this –

Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.

ASMI’s Can Do and Cook It Frozen campaigns are designed to keep people eating Alaska seafood all year round. Learn more about the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute atwww.alaskaseafood.org

Two shipping containers were filled this week with plastic fishing nets, crab lines and other gear in Dutch Harbor and two more are headed to Kodiak for loading this month.

“The same goes for Kodiak -- we’re accepting trawl and crab line and halibut gear but all of that stuff is going to Bulgaria to be sorted because that is how the logistics and the pricing worked out.”

Nicole Baker heads www.netyourproblem.com/

“And I expect that three more containers going to Europe for recycling in the next few weeks. So I should be tying my amount that I recycled last year. I think we should have seven containers by the end of 2018.”

That will add up to nearly 300,000 pounds of old fishing gear being removed and made into new products by a Denmark company called Plastix.

“Once the nets get there, they grind them up and melt them down and turn them into plastic pellets that they then resell to anyone interested in buying recycled plastics to turn into water bottles or phone cases or whatever you might choose to make out of plastic.”

Gear made from mixed plastics also can be recycled.

“We can also recycle what I call mixed plastics, which is normally what crab line and some types of halibut line are made out of. They are not a particular type of plastic but are a bunch of plastics mixed together so those have to go to a different recycling facility.”

Baker says nylon-based gear that is used primarily in gillnets and seines is not accepted yet.

“I am currently working with some nylon recyclers to try to add that to the suite of materials that I can accept, maybe next year or the year after.”

Funding help comes from the Global Ghost Gear Initiative and the recycling push also is a partnership with fishermen and local companies.

Trident helps defray shipping costs to Europe and gear moving and loading is contributed by Aleutian Expeditors and Brechan Construction.

Baker hopes to meet with more gear recycling advocates next week at Pacific Marine Expo. Find her at booth 4425 in the Alaska Hall. The goal is get more programs going in Alaska and the Northwest.

“If you have gear to recycle and you don’t have a program already established –– please don’t let that prohibit you from reaching out. I’m in the process of starting new programs in Alaska and also hopefully on the west coast.”

Find links at www.alaskafishradio.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Get your pass now for Pacific Marine Expo. Next week! November 18 through 20 in Seattle. Visit www.pacificmarineexpo.com.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods - who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.
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Feds Approve Plan for Oregon Officials to Kill Sea Lions at Willamette Falls

Copyright © 2018 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
By Kate Williams
November 16, 2018

Officials from the National Marine Fisheries Service have approved an application from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to kill California sea lions at Willamette Falls in an effort to try to save the state's beleaguered winter steelhead and spring Chinook.

Protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the state needed federal approval to take lethal action against the pinnipeds, which have been observed gorging themselves on endangered fish at the foot of the iconic waterfall.

"This is good news for the native runs of salmon and steelhead in the Willamette River," said Shaun Clements, a policy analyst for the state on the sea lion issue. "Before this decision, the state's hands were tied as far as limiting sea lion predation on the Willamette River."

The agency said that sea lions were responsible for consuming roughly 25 percent of the steelhead run in 2017. The state applied to kill the sea lions "because their analyses showed that the high levels of predation by sea lions meant there was an almost 90% probability that one of the upper Willamette steelhead runs would go extinct," the wildlife agency said in a statement.

Predation was lower for spring Chinook, between seven and nine percent, but the predators still increased the species' chances of extinction by 10 to 15 percent, the agency said.

Clements said lethal removal was only looked at as a last resort.

"We did put several years' effort into non-lethal deterrence, none of which worked," he said in a statement. "The unfortunate reality is that, if we want to prevent extinction of the steelhead and Chinook, we will have to lethally remove sea lions at this location."

After decades of hunting, the estimated number of California sea lions dipped as low as 10,000 in the 1950s, a sparse population inhabiting the waters stretching from Mexico to Alaska. In 1972, President Nixon signed the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which barred the killing of sea lions, among other pinnipeds and cetaceans, except under very specific circumstances.

Fast forward to 2018 and California sea lions have seen a resounding recovery throughout their range. Some 300,000 of the animals now swim in the waters of the Pacific and haul out on beaches, outcroppings and public docks from the Channel Islands in Southern California to Pier 39 in San Francisco to the fish processing plants in Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River, often numbering in the thousands.

Shea Steingass, marine mammal program lead for the state, said that, at their peak, there are between 50 and 100 sea lions that congregate at Willamette Falls.

"Removal of these sub-adult and adult males will have no impact on viability of the sea lion population but will greatly improve the outlook for threatened upper Willamette winter steelhead runs," she said.

Steingass said there are roughly a dozen sea lions that have become habituated to the falls and return every year.

Critics of the plan have long said that salmon runs have been declining on the Willamette and Columbia rivers for a variety of reasons including degrading water quality, sea lions and numerous dams that impede the natural migration of salmon.

Sharon Young, marine issues field director for the Humane Society of the United States, said killing more sea lions fixes nothing and is a "draconian solution."

"It's a complete distraction from dealing with the actual problems facing the fish," Young, who has participated in marine mammal protections workgroups since 1992, told The Oregonian/OregonLive last year.

To kill a sea lion, the state must meet one of two criteria mandated by the federal government. The animals must be observed between the falls and the mouth of the Clackamas River or be seen preying on salmonids.

When either of those criteria are met, "will be transported to a secure facility and humanely euthanized by a veterinary staff," the state said in a news release. The agency "requested and was granted authority to remove up to one percent of the population's 'potential biological removal' level, a metric that translates to a maximum of 93 animals a year on the lower Willamette."
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2 days ago

United Cook Inlet Drift Association (UCIDA)

NOAA: Alaska pollock spawning earlier due to climate change

Source: NOAA Fisheries
November 16, 2018

NOAAA new study using an unprecedented 32-year data series reveals that spawning time of Alaska pollock-- target of the Nation’s biggest fishery-- varied by as much as three weeks over the past three decades in the Gulf of Alaska. The new study found clear evidence that the changes were driven by both climate and fishing.

Changes in spawn timing have major ecological and management implications. Timing is critical to survival of newly hatched fish as it determines the conditions they encounter. Many marine fish, like pollock, are adapted to spawn in time for offspring to meet the rapid increase of their plankton prey in spring. If they arrive too early, there may not be enough food; if they arrive too late, the young fish will have less time to grow and will be small compared to their predators and competitors.

Because most mortality happens during the first few weeks of life for pollock, changes in spawn timing that affect larval survival can strongly affect recruitment success--how many fish are available to the fishery two or three years later.

“To effectively monitor and manage pollock populations, managers need to understand what causes changes in spawn timing. With ongoing warming of the world’s oceans,we need to know how changing climate conditions interact with other processes, like harvesting, to influence spawning time,” says Lauren Rogers, the NOAA Fisheries biologist who led the study.

Toward that end, Rogers’ team investigated how pollock spawn timing has shifted over warm and cool periods and large shifts in age structure in the Gulf of Alaska.

“The strength of our study is comprehensive information from an amazing 32-year time series of larval fish size, age, and abundance, validated with maturation data from spawning females, and combined with at-sea process studies, laboratory experiments, and age readings. Using these resources, we were able to test for effects of climate and age structure on both mean spawn timing and duration, and forecast spawn timing under different scenarios of warming and fishing mortality,” Rogers says.
The Study Produced Two Major Findings
Warmer Temperatures Mean Earlier and Longer Spawning--To a Point

Climate clearly drives variation in spawn timing of walleye pollock, with warmer temperatures leading to an earlier and longer spawning period. However, above a threshold temperature, increased warming had no additional effect on spawn timing.

“Because temperatures are projected to be consistently above that threshold with ongoing ocean warming, our results suggest that pollock spawn timing will become more stable in the future,” says Rogers.
Older, Bigger Mothers Spawn Earlier and Over a Longer Duration

An older spawning population started spawning earlier and over a longer duration than a population of predominantly young spawners, highlighting the importance of older mothers.

This is where fishing comes in: harvesting leads to a younger, smaller population over time. In general, increased mortality reduces the mean age of a population, and this effect is strengthened if older individuals are targeted through size selective harvesting. Besides direct effects of harvesting on age structure, fishing may cause evolutionary change by selecting for reproductive maturation at an earlier age or smaller size.

“Our models suggest that changes in pollock age structure associated with sustainable fishing can shift the mean spawning date to 7 days later and shorten the spawning season by 9 days compared to an unfished population, independent of climate conditions.” says Rogers.

That shift could cause young fish to arrive out of sync with their food in two ways: by decoupling the arrival of first feeding fish larvae from temperature-driven changes in plankton production; and by reducing the window over which young fish are delivered into the ecosystem, thus increasing the risk of mismatch with plankton production.
As age of the spawning population increases, spawning begins earlier (a). Warmer temperatures mean earlier spawning to a point around 4 ℃; above that temperature, spawning time levels out (b).

As age of the spawning population increases, spawning begins earlier (a). Warmer temperatures mean earlier spawning to a point around 4 ℃; above that temperature, spawning time levels out (b).
Spawn Timing and the Future

“Our models suggest that climate change will lead to an earlier, stabilized spawning season in the future.” Rogers says. “What we don’t know is how that will affect synchrony of first-feeding larvae with production of their zooplankton prey in spring.”

Rogers hopes future research will answer that question. “We are looking at ways to evaluate match-mismatch with prey by comparing prey and larval fish production.” She also hopes to develop the model into a practical forecasting tool. “If we could use climate and age composition data to predict spawn timing 3-4 months ahead, the forecast could be used to make sure surveys are optimally timed to coincide with peak spawning periods.”

Photo: NOAA Fisheries

John Sackton
Editor and Publisher
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