Herring are caught on the water, obviously, but they’re spotted from the air. In addition to the 48 seine boats and dozen or more tenders, the Sitka Sac Roe fishery is notable for the number of aircraft that participate. Tim DeGrazio works in Sitka’s local FAA flight service office. He says that the area over the fishery is uncontrolled air space, and that pilots are not required to obtain special clearances, unless there’s poor visibility. DeGrazio can remember only one occasion when his office has rerouted an inbound Alaska Airlines flight to avoid the herring fishery. This footage was shot by spotter Kevin Knox during the 2014 season opener on March 20, above Starrigavan Bay, looking north into Katlian Bay.
There’s a new bird in town, and she’s a little shy. After a long career in education, she doesn’t have a lot of patience for the classroom. But for the right student, she still has plenty to teach. These days, she’s settling into a comfortable retirement, just off Sawmill Creek Road-- at the Alaska Raptor Center. more
Linda Behnken, the Executive Director of the Alaska Longline Fisherman's Association was joined by Tori O'Connell, the Research Director of the Sitka Sound Science Center, to provide an update on SEASWAP (The Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project). As O'Connell explains, the project just secured $311,000 in funding to continue research on a sperm whale avoidance network this fall. The avoidance network will tag whales in the Chatham Strait black cod fishery and give fisherman devices to communicate where the whales are located. Downloadable audio. more