Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK - Petersburg

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Matt Lichtenstein is a reporter at KFSK in Petersburg.

Industry: Southeast Alaska Divers Not Yet Affected By China’s Shellfish Ban

An industry representative says Southeast geoduck clam divers have not been affected by China’s recent ban on West Coast shellfish import since they haven’t been fishing recently.

Fishermen Propose Broader Testing of Electronic Monitoring

Alaska fishermen want to broaden the experimental use of cameras and other monitoring devices in the federal government’s fishery observer program.

Feds Finailze Otter Use Guidelines

The federal government has finalized new guidelines on the use of sea otters by Alaska Natives. The change is aimed at better-defining a requirement that hides must be “significantly altered” in order to be considered authentic native handicrafts or clothing that can be sold to non-natives. Download Audio

Sea Otter Hunts Increase In Southeast Alaska

Southeast Alaska and the state as a whole has seen an apparent upswing in sea otter hunting in recent years. That’s according to numbers compiled by the US Fish and Wildlife Service which says this year will yield the biggest reported harvest on record for the marine mammals, which can only be hunted by Alaska Natives from coastal communities. Download Audio

Petersburg Named Best Yachting Town

A national magazine has named the Southeast Alaska fishing community ofPetersburg as its best yachting town for 2013. Yachting Magazine’s readers originally nominated Alaska’s Little Norway for the title during the publication’s 3rd annual “50 best towns” competition. Editors narrowed the nominees down to a list of ten this summer and readers then voted for their favorite in an online poll.

Southeast’s Top Choir, Band Students Converge On Petersburg

More than 120 of the top choir and band students from high schools around the Alaska panhandle convened on Petersburg this week. The community is hosting the Southeast Honors Music Festival. After more than two days and evenings of intense practice as a group, the event culminates with a public concert tonight. Download Audio

Fishermen: Lack of Affordable Health Insurance A Barrier To Industry Growth

Options for health insurance coverage can be pretty limited in Alaska for small businesses and the self-employed. That includes commercial fishermen, who make up a major segment of the economy. Some in the industry say the cost and lack of access to comprehensive health insurance is a barrier to new fishermen and an ongoing concern for those already in the business. Download Audio

Washington Company to Study Hydro Idea at Thomas Bay

Another company out of Washington just won permission to study the potential development of a new hydro-electric plant at a mountaintop lake within the Petersburg Borough.

Responders Untangle Gillnet from Humpback Whale

Marine mammal responders have wrapped-up efforts to try and disentangle a southeast humpback whale after removing more gillnet from the animal this week.

Fisherman Recovers Over Half Of Group’s Lost Canoe Paddles

A Petersburg fisherman has recovered more than half of the hand-carved cedar paddles that were lost by the One People Canoe Society late last month. Download Audio

Draft Southeast Sea Otter Population Assessment Out

The Southeast Alaska sea otter population well-more than doubled over the past decade. That’s according to an estimate from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which released a draft of its revised stock assessment this week(4/18). As Matt Lichtenstein reports, the numbers have been out for a while but the public now has a formal chance to comment on them. Download Audio

Petersburg Seafood Company Makes Big Move

One of Petersburg’s small seafood processors is about to get a lot bigger. Tonka Seafoods has bought a long-unused cannery building and dock from Trident Seafoods. Download Audio

Agencies Can Soon Use Herbicides, Pesticides On State Lands Without Permit

State agencies no longer need a Department of Environmental Conservation permit to use herbicides and pesticides on state property and rights of way. That’s unless it’s sprayed from an aircraft or directly into water.

Interviews, Physical Evidence Led to Arrest in Kake Homicide

Numerous interviews and physical evidence led Alaska State Troopers to arrest the 14-year old Kake boy they believe is responsible for the death of 13-year old Mackenzie Howard. That’s according to the Deputy Commander of the Major Crimes Section for the Alaska Bureau of Investigation.

State Proposes New Language For Logging Practices

State rules for logging steep, unstable hillsides will see some language changes under a proposal from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. The regulatory amendments were prompted by concerns from a group of Petersburg residents who worry that a potential timber sale will trigger landslides above their homes. They say the new wording fails to address the issue of public safety.

Earthquake Jars SE Alaska Saturday Morning

Southeast Alaska was jarred by a significant earthquake early Saturday morning just about midnight. The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 and originated off the coast of Central Southeast Alaska about 95 miles Northwest of Dixon Entrance. There were no reports of any significant damage or injuries.

Curry Onboard As UFA Director

Alaska’s largest commercial fishing group has a new skipper at the wheel. Julianne Curry started today (Weds 1/2) as Executive Director for the United Fishermen of Alaska. Curry grew up in a fishing family and gained statewide prominence as director of the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association. Curry says she has a deep found respect and passion for the industry and wanted to continue her advocacy on a larger scale.

Unofficial Results Show Petersburg Borough Passing

It looks like Petersburg-area voters have approved the formation of a Borough, but the count is not yet final. The mail-in election wrapped-up on Tuesday.

Petersburg Borough Vote Deadline Today (12/18)

It’s the last day of voting for Petersburg’s mail-in borough election. Ballots have to be postmarked by Tuesday. If the vote passes, the city government would dissolve and become a borough government with taxation and planning authority over an area that’s about 83 times the size of the current city boundaries. It would include the small city of Kupreanof as well as a number of other neighborhoods, residences and businesses for a total population gain of roughly 10 percent. There are some substantial private land holdings, but most of the additional area is uninhabited National Forest land.

Fishing Fleet Picks Through Details Of Expanded Observer Program

A meeting about the federal government’s fishery observer program drew a large crowd of vessel owners to the Petersburg Firehall last week. Federal officials addressed dozens of questions and concerns from local fishermen, most of whom will be included in the program for the first time starting in January.