Jillian: Recently the FDA has approved the first genetically modified fish for human consumption in the U.S. We asked Alaskans for their thoughts on the AquAdvantage salmon.
Jillian: Benjamin Mobeck, a Sand Point village elder responds to the question “Would you eat AquAdvantage Salmon?” (audio) _______________________
Chloe: I interviewed Glen Gardner, the mayor of Sand Point. He said he thinks that AquAdvantage will affect Alaska fisheries because people are looking for Alaskan salmon. He also insists that Alaska has to get on the bandwagon to promote Alaska wild salmon.
Jillian: Dick Jacobsen, Chairman of the Aleut Corporation and Captain of F/V Miss Ingrid, says…..(audio) _______________________
Chloe: I also interviewed my gram, Ivy Gardner, who I think is the smartest person I know. She said that she thinks genetically modified salmon is a bunch of bull, that we don’t need altered salmon when we have wild salmon.
Jillian: For a teenager’s perspective, we spoke to Colten Mack, a junior at Sand Point school who commercial fishes. When asked if he would eat AquAdvantage Salmon, Colten said, “No, because I’ve been around salmon my whole life and I would not want them to be any different”
Evan: I emailed Sam Cotton, the current director of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and asked if he thought genetically editing animals is a good or bad thing. He responded by saying: “Purely as an Alaskan [who] has been involved with Wild salmon fisheries and stocks since I was about your age, any threat, perceived or real, that might have a slight chance of impacting Alaskan Salmon either biologically or the markets that support the Commercial and Sport fishing industries is cause for concern. The genetic manipulations and combining selected genes from three different species is fascinating from a science perspective, but troubling from a biological perspective.”
Jillian: For the past few weeks as a senior english class we have been researching GMO salmon and have reached out to many Alaskans for their opinions, which have helped us to form ours:
Evan: We wouldn’t eat or buy genetically modified salmon.
Chloe: Because we feel that genetically modified fish could affect our way of life in Sand Point, Alaska,
Jillian: and AquAdvantage salmon could potentially hurt our fishing industry in the future.
Reporting from 830 am KSDP this is Jillian, Chloe, and Evan. Thanks for listening.
Area M Salmon Season Round Up
By Evan W. and Jillian B., Seniors at Sand Point School
The AK Peninsula, named by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as Area M, recorded the 2nd overall salmon catch on record for 2015. Even with vessels on catch limits, the season featured a record-breaking haul of nearly 16.7 million pink salmon. Despite the catch records, low prices this season significantly impacted profits fleet-wide.
In Sand Point, fishing is not just the primary economic activity, it is a family business that is passed down through generations.
Evan has been fishing since he was six years old, and got to experience the 2015 salmon harvest on board the F/V Celtic, a 58’ hansen purse seiner fishing out of Sand Point. Of all the seasons he’s had this was something special….
I remember waking up to at least 10 boats waiting to make one set so they could go home. With all their lights on, it looked like the sun was rising. Once it was our turn to make a set we knew what was coming: a lot of fish, so we were excited to make the set. We got to the wedge of our net and all we could see was this huge ball of fish and when we started rolling them aboard. It seemed like it was never ending. The rails of the boat were under water at times and the deck was full of pinks it was just unreal to catch that many in one set.
Comparatively, the 1995 season holds Area M’s overall salmon catch record of 24.8 million fish;
Danny Cumberlidge, Evan’s father (who at the time was nearly the same age), remembers the season from 20 years ago very well.
The 1995 salmon season was a large year, we had a lot of humpies come back and return that year. It was probably one of the better returns we had above probably the 10 year average. Prices for the season in 1995…. We actually had a better price than what we had this year. In 1995 I think we got paid somewhere in the ballpark of $1.20 a pound for sockeye vs the $.75 this year. The pinks… I believe it was in the higher 20’s [cents per pound] closer to 30’s low 30’s [cents per pound] in 95 vs. this year it was 20 [cents per pound] the fish was quite a bit higher.
[Reporting from KSDP I’m Jillian and I’m Evan, Thanks for listening]
On Friday, November 21st, 2015 at 10AM, KSDP will be speaking with ADF&G’s Trent Hartill, Asst. Area Management Biologist for Shellfish & Groundfish.
We’ll be discussing the (lack of) a 2015 Tanner Crab season and the trawl surveys that led to that decision. We’re hoping to have a bit of preliminary discussion about the 2015 State Cod season as well.
1pm on March 10th, 2014: Bigwave Dave spoke with Trent Hartill, Groundfish Management Biologist for Alaska Department of Fish & Game.
He got an update on the pot cod quota for the South Alaska Peninsula (18,408,522lbs total GHL for 2014). Trent said that approximately 3 million pounds had been caught so far and a bit more than 15 million pounds was still available for harvest.
KSDP’s Austin Roof spoke with Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge‘s Manager Steve Delehanty and Invasive Species Biologist Steve Ebbert before their Open House in Sand Point on January 15th, 2014. They talked about the scoping process that AMNWR has begun in order to deal with unauthorized cattle on two refuge islands.