Emotions are running high as the North Pacific Fishery Management Council considers a proposal to reduce halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea. The council got a preview of public sentiment during testimony before its advisory panel this week.
Fishermen, scientists, and seafood industry representatives from around Alaska -- and the country -- are in Sitka this week for the meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The Council regulates all federal fisheries off Alaska, including pollock, cod and flatfish.
Of the thirty million pounds of halibut caught last year by commercial fishermen statewide, nearly a third was thrown back into the ocean, dead. It was netted accidentally by boats targeting other fish - especially trawlers in the Bering Sea. Now, that may change.
Taxes have dominated the conversation at the Sitka Assembly recently, as the city struggles to come up with an additional million dollars for schools. This week’s meeting erupted into a heated debate over the issue -- but there were also hints of some long-term solutions.
The Sitka Assembly voted Wednesday night to raise water and wastewater rates. The vote will increase monthly water and sewer bills from $86 to $92.
The Sitka Assembly passed a budget for the coming year on first reading last night (5-27-15). But that budget still has a million-dollar hole. The shortfall is significantly larger than expected even a week ago.
A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued a passenger from a charter fishing boat north of Sitka on Sunday night (5-24-15), after he reported chest pains.
The Sitka Assembly on Tuesday voted to approve a longterm lease at the city's former pulp mill site with Pat Glaab of Alaska & Pacific Packing, or APP - despite a protest from the site's neighbor, processor Silver Bay Seafoods.
The Sitka Assembly voted this week to raise Sitka’s sales tax cap, but they postponed two other proposals -- one to double the tobacco tax, and another to raise the summer sales tax.
The Sitka Assembly voted to increase the sales tax cap from $1500 to $3000 on Tuesday night. The increase is part of an effort to raise an additional million dollars for Sitka’s school system, and came despite passionate objections from charter fishermen.