Coming up this week, the pollock abundance is up in the Bering Sea, dive fisheries are starting up in Southeast, and the feds are looking for your help in determining the economic value of fisheries in Southwest. All that, and a bunch of halibut flew from Kodiak to Kotzebue, and boy are their fins tired, coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from KFSK’s Joe Viechnicki in Petersburg and KDLG’s Mike Mason in Dillingham.
Coming up this week, the halibut season is underway now, and we get a little refresher on the regulation changes for 2014; the herring GHL in Sitka has been reduced, and what’s a fishing town supposed to do when it’s told to diversify its economy? We had help from KCAW’s Rachel Waldholz in Sitka, and KFSK’s Angela Denning in Petersburg.
As you may recall, Dominos Pizza made some waves last week with a few Alaskans over its latest “Powered by Pizza” television commercial, which included this tidbit.
“No one’s coming up with a world-changing idea over halibut. No way.”
Alaska Senator Mark Begich was quick to respond, releasing a tongue-in-cheek list of some great historical events that were accomplished over halibut, such as the signing of the U.S. Constitution, the writing of the Gettysburg Address and landing on the moon. None of which are true, of course, but Begich thinks humor delivers the message effectively.
“You know at the end of the day you know sometimes you’ve got to use a little humor, a little fun to get your point across. And this one I think will. I think it will show we’ve got a great product. When it comes to Alaska halibut we’re known around the world. The finest restaurants in the country serve our food, and for them not consider it as a product to be utilized in their pizzas, I think would be a mistake. But if they don’t, they don’t, but at least don’t dis our fish.”
In Anchorage during a break in Congress, Begich said he got another idea to send the message to Dominos that Alaska halibut shouldn’t be the butt of jokes. He sent a fresh halibut fillet to J. Patrick Doyle, the CEO of Domino’s Pizza in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“So we went and got some fresh right over there at New Sagaya. In Anchorage, there’s lots of places to go to, that was where we literally I was next to when I got the idea. I said, ‘Let’s go there, they might have some,’ and of course they did, and they shipped it out. I believe it went out today. So they flash-freezed it so to keep it as fresh as possible.”
In the letter Begich sent with the halibut fillet he admitted that Alaskans sometimes do have dinner that comes in a flat cardboard box, but he pointed out that halibut, and indeed all Alaska seafood, might be a bit healthier.
“You know it has a little humor, but it’s a serious issue of our fish product and making sure people understand the value of it. And also that it is healthy, it’s a great product, it’s sustainable. And that’s a good thing for us, and we’ll see what the Domino’s president says.”
Begich said it’d be great if Domino’s went on to develop a halibut pizza, and he looks forward to talking with Doyle and sending him some recipe ideas submitted to his Facebook page.
Coming up this week, another example of how sunshine and salmon don’t mix, one of the Alaska Fisheries Report’s oldest and dearest friends has been appointed to the Alaska Board of Fisheries, and then there’s this: “No one’s coming up with a world-changing idea over halibut. No way.” Why does Dominoes hate halibut? We had stories this week from KDLG in Dillingham, thanks to Mike Mason, and from KYUK in Bethel, thanks to Angela Denning-Barnes.
Kodiak halibut is transferred from Lynden Transport to an Air Station Kodiak C130 bound for Kotzebue on June 25. Lynden Transport photo
An Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules took off yesterday (Tuesday) morning, headed for the Arctic Circle. It’s not unusual this time of year as the Coast Guard continues increasing its presence in the far north, but this flight had aboard a little something extra: 13,000 pounds of filleted and vac-packed halibut.
The halibut is bycatch from trawlers delivering to Kodiak, and its shipment to Kotzebue was organized by Sea Share, a Bainbridge Island, Washington, organization that redirects fish that once was tossed overboard to food banks. In 20 years, Executive Director Jim Harmon says Sea Share has donated over 180-million seafood meals around the country. Continue reading
Coming up this week: the final halibut GHL is still a little up in the air even as fishermen prepare for the season opening, a floating processor’s crew is stranded and homeless in Kodiak after their ship runs aground, and a smart phone tour of Alaska’s busiest fishing port. We had help this week from KCAW’s Ed Ronco in Sitka, KMXT’s Brianna Gibbs in Kodiak, KDLG’s Mike Mason in Dillingham and KFSK’s Matt Lichtenstein in Petersburg.