The U.S. Senate is poised to pass a spending bill that includes more than $150 million for federal programs important to Alaska’s fishing industry and marine navigation.
It includes $4 million for electronic monitors for the fishing fleet. Alaska fishermen on small boats have asked for cameras as a substitute for some of the human observers that record catch data. Sen. Lisa Murkowski told her colleagues electronic monitors will allow the mission to continue while “recognizing that our small fishermen just simply cannot put another body on their boat as they’re out working.”
The bill also includes $25 million for sonar mapping of coastlines, with an emphasis on the need for more data on the Bering Straits and the Arctic. It has $6 million for removing marine debris, especially debris from Japan’s 2011 tsunami that washed up on federal land.
The bill funding commerce, justice and science programs passed the Senate Appropriations Committee this week. Both Alaska senators sit on that committee, and Murkowski sits on the subcommittee that drafted the bill.
- Even though it's considered a "Product of U.S.A," Jim Gilmore of the At-sea Processors Association said up to half of the pollock served in schools now is from Russia. Thanks to the new farm bill, that might change.
- ASAA Executive Director Billy Strickland said there are club-level esports teams currently in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and Dillingham that could help start a statewide video game league.
- The corporation and its board of trustees argue the policy could help recruit talented managers. But it’s up to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration and the Alaska Legislature to make it happen.
- Former Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District Superintendent Robert Boyle said the decision to submit his resignation was prompted by various controversies at the school district.