Category Archives: Announcements/ Other

Use this one if you want to share something with the class that is non news-related but very cool – for example, resources they can use on campus that would be helpful for the class, hints on how to best use course materials, etc.




How did Alaska manage the count on fish in the beginning?   Well they didn’t.   Congress had no idea where and/or how much fish was coming from any area.   In the 1890’s, the reports came from the canneries on how much was caught.   This was spread from Southeast to Bristol Bay. According to researcher’s Alaska kept better track of alcohol being shipped rather than the fish being shipped.   In 1905 they had the idea of dividing the information into regions.   This would give a better and accurate more estimate of how much and what was being caught.   Even though numbers were great no one was still managing the Alaska’s portion of fisheries.   William Thompson, a Harvard student, was hired on in 1927 to put some minds at ease using his statistics on why the areas had changed from previous years.   The catch was not as abundant and they had to travel further to get the same numbers.   In the 1950’s US Fish and Wildlife created a coding system that they used for the coast of Alaska. This system is still used today

In 1952, let’s just say Alaskans were not happy with the next outcome.   North Pacific Fisheries Convention was signed.   This gave the Japanese to fish for Salmon in the Bering Sea.   Knowing that this could and will affect Alaska’s number for salmon fishing, Congress thought the relationship with the Japanese was more important.   The only thing they agreed on was the catch numbers.   The INPFC created new areas which went by longitude and latitude to keep track of the estimates of fish that would affect Alaska.   Great history lesson for me was that in 1959 Alaska took statehood.   Finally some order or somewhat.   This meant Alaska was in control of its own fisheries.   Now with new technology and the work of ADF&G   we have better estimates and escapement numbers for our salmon fishing industry.

Basking Shark Migration



Basking Shark

Up until recently, the winter habits of the basking sharks has remained a mystery. With the help of a satellite, scientists have been able to study their migrations in the North-east Atlantic ocean. Scientists used to believe that the sharks hibernate in the waters off of the UK and Ireland. It is important to know their locations so that they can be protected.

Basking sharks face many issues including commercial fishing, boat strikes and ocean noise. They are considered endangered in north-east Atlantic waters and vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Atlantic Porkfish

The Atlantic Porkfish is a feisty and aggressive fish that you can find in almost any aquarium in the world. Their common names are Porkfish, Atlantic Porkfish and the Paragrate Grunt. The scientific name is Anisotrmus Virginicus. They are found in the Western Atlantic Ocean from Florida down to Brazil as well as the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and the Bahamas. They live  in shallow inshore waters in reefs and rocky bottoms.  Porkfish can be found at depths of 6ft down to 65 feet. They are nocturnal and travel in large schools. Very little is known about spawning but it is known that they stay in pairs during breeding season.


They are predators/carnivores and feed on invertebrates that include mollusks, worms and small crustaceans. Juvenile porkfish feed on parasites from the skin and scales of other fish. Predators of porkfish include sharks, snappers and groupers.

Porkfish are known for making grunt like sounds with their pharyngeal teeth and swim bladder which is why they are put into the Paragrate Grunt family.

Melanie Dela Rosa

Hi everyone!  My name is Melanie Dela Rosa and I am from Mountain Village, AK which is located near Bethel, St. Mary’s southwest Alaska along the Yukon River.  I am working to get my BA in Rural Development – Natural Resources.  I love subsistence foods and love being outdoors (except in extreme conditions).  I moved to Alaska in 1985 with my family and fell in love with this state.  My late father was in the US Navy so we lived in various places, but I call Alaska my home.  I have three children with my long-time boyfriend and I hope to move to Fairbanks next Fall to finish my degree.  Thank you and hope to learn more from this class and my fellow classmates.


Hello my name is Jami Creasey I have lived in Alaska off and on since 1985.   This place is amazing and that’s why I am still here.   Growing up in the community and raising my kids in a good environment. I am a single mom with 4 children and two jobs.   I love the outdoors and I am in the middle of working on my BA in Rural Development.   I thought since I live in Dillingham and we are part of a great seasonal fishing town it would be very interesting to take this class.

Law put in place to protect forage species

Small fish such as sardines and anchovies are an important part of the food web.   They are also a very important source for consumption use.   Unfortunately, these small fish have already started to become overfished.   According to Alaistar Bland on National Public Radio, “other forage species have not yet been commercially targeted.’.   This is why the National Marine Fisheries Service has passed a new law to prevent overfishing of these species.  


According to NPR, “A rule passed Monday by the National Marine Fisheries Service makes it illegal for commercial fishermen to develop new fisheries for hundreds of forage species unless scientists have first determined that targeting them will have no negative impacts on the marine ecosystem, existing fisheries and fishing communities.’.   Some of these other forage species include lanternfish and neon flying squid.   This law will help prevent overfishing to happen with these other forage species.  

Forage species are easy to harvest because they are known to gather into large schools.   By putting this law in place it is not only protecting Pacific-sardine-shoalthese species but it is also protecting the food web and the environment as a whole.   If the bottom layer of the food chain is taken out, then the entire chain will collapse soon after.


Work Cited:

Bland, Alastair. “Tiny Forage Fish At Bottom Of Marine Food Web Get New Protections.” NPR. NPR, 07 Apr. 2016. Web. 13 Apr. 2016. <>.


Climate change and its impacts on the worlds fisheries

Recent climate change in our world’s oceans has led to the decrease in phytoplankton.   Phytoplankton is a critical part in the oceans food web because many species rely on it.   This include juvenile fish.   Due to the decrease in phytoplankton as a result of climate change, juvenile fish do not have a food source which affects the entire species population.

According to National Public Radio, “Atlantic cod, European and American plaice and sole’ are seeing the worst of this ripple effect. Atlantic-cod-on-reef  Gregory L. Britten, a doctoral student at the University of California, Irvine states that “historically heavy fishing may also play a role’ in the decline of these species.   Due to the reduction of phytoplankton, these species are not able to bounce back.

Researchers have looked at many places all over the globe to see the effect climate change is having on wild fish populations.   According to National Public Radio “there were no significant declines’ in the Gulf of data=RfCSdfNZ0LFPrHSm0ublXdzhdrDFhtmHhN1u-gM,_CK7MzwNvdeO1uzk9WmpdqM_dRHj0a1nL0C2-vitEVv-BEY6UGi12zpxjxX1sxoPOi1gREiOyt9iicNTMsYmnMB4NcW8Alaska but many other places in the world the declining numbers of phytoplankton is having drastic effects on fisheries.

NOAA has put together a Fish Stock Climate Vulnerability Assessment to understand how climate change is affecting our world’s fisheries and how we can prevent them from further crashing.   This is history in the making as fisheries management will have to be flexible to our ever-changing world.

Work cited:

Leschin-Hoar, Clare. “Fish Stocks Are Struggling To Rebound. Why Climate Change Is On The Hook.” NPR. NPR, 14 Dec. 2015. Web. 07 Apr. 2016. <>.

Fisheries biologists predict another big Bristol Bay sockeye run(NWF#4)



Alaska fisheries biologist are predicting the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run to be high again based on numbers from current runs.   The predicted number of salmon to return to Bristol Bay are 36-56 million which would allow for a 30 million harvest.   This will be the third above-average season in a row. sockeye-salmon-migrating-upstream-to-spawn

Researcher, Chuck Brazil from Bristol Bay Fish and Game says “data collected last summer was used in next summer’s projections, including age, sex and length data from both commercial harvests and escapement projects.’.   This data is used to estimate the number of fish that will return to the bay in future years.   Brazil also makes the claim that “the run is expected to contain a large portion of two-ocean fish.’ which means the fish will be smaller in size.


By own work –, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Due to the predictions being so high this year’s harvest will yield high numbers.  Salmon harvesting account for 45% of harvesting jobs in Alaska.   This high prediction will not only be good for the economy but people and animals alike.







Works Cited:

Dischner, Molly. “Fisheries Biologists Predict Another Big Bristol Bay Sockeye Run.” Alaska Dispatch News. 08 Nov. 2015. Web. 19 Mar. 2016. <>.


Questioning Alaska’s Crabs Ability to Adapt to Lower pH Levels

This is an interesting article about crab fisheries in Alaska and how things may change in the future due to rising atmospheric CO2 levels and ocean acidification.


Alaska has many fisheries that are important to the United States seafood industry. Ocean acidification may have detrimental effects on the crab fisheries in Alaska due to rising atmospheric CO2 levels. New studies show that higher levels of acid in the ocean may alter the growth and mortality levels of Tanner, Blue King and Alaska Red King crab species.


Chris Long of NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center says that changes may be due to the stage of life the crab spends in higher acidic conditions. Studies have shown that some crabs that spend a time in more acidic conditions may have slower or weaker growth rates, higher mortality levels and are less able to tolerate change in pH levels. Another issue caused by ocean acidification is that young crabs are not able to retain calcium and thus their shells are not as strong. Having a weak or soft shell leaves these young crabs as an easier target for predators.

In 2013 NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center announced findings that Tanner crab and Blue King crab could have developmental delays due to ocean acidification and since then research has been steady and new findings suggest a bleak outlook for the crab fisheries. Their projections are that in the next 40-50 years, there will be less crab to catch and more efforts to catch what is there.


The next question scientists hope to answer is whether these species are likely to adapt to lower pH levels in the ocean. Some studies have shown that even in medium high acid conditions some Tanner crab larvae, embryo and juveniles have survived and even grew, suggesting that adaptation is possible. According to Chris Long, the longer some of these crabs were exposed to acidic conditions the more tolerant they became, and their ability to adapt would really depend on how fast pH conditions change.


The crab on the left was exposed to CO2 levels of today around   while the one on the right was exposed to higher CO2 levels around 2,850 ppm. This species showed unexpected  growth results and the one on the right actually grew a larger denser shell. Hopeful signs that crabs may be able to adapt.

Works Cited:

New Studies Raise Questions About Crabs Adaptability. (2016, March 1). NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from

Madin, K. (2009, December 4). Ocean Acidification: A Risky Shell Game How will climate change affect the shells and skeletons of sea life? Oceanus Magazine. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from