Commercial fisheries in Southeast Alaska have survived two years of state budget cuts but not without some changes. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Commercial Fisheries has cut some positions, ended some monitoring programs, and found some new funding sources.
Alaska relies on topographic maps that are over 50 years old. These maps, some of which were hand-drawn, are rife with inaccuracies. Rivers flow upstream, mountains are out of place and some features are missing altogether. This year, Alaska hopes to take a big leap forward by completing new maps for over half of the state.
At one point both the city of Juneau and University of Alaska Southeast were working on a joint plan to acquire the property but that stalled last year. Both have ambitious plans on how to develop the prime waterfront property on Auke Bay.
Gov. Bill Walker signed an administrative order in early 2015, creating a mariculture task force in hopes of boosting aquatic farming and fisheries. The task force has been examining all areas of the mariculture industry and will present a comprehensive plan to Walker in 2018. The 11-member panel has split its resources into five advisory committees over the past year.