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Alaska board receives proposal for southeast squid fishery

December 16, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Four fishermen are looking to open a squid fishery in southeast Alaska, and the Board of Fisheries is considering the proposal.

The four Alaska fishermen say warmer waters in Alaska have led to plenty of squid relocating in the area, making it possible to begin catching and marketing them, the Juneau Empire reported Friday.

The fishermen already have commissioner’s permits that allow them to test a market squid fishery in southeast Alaska, said Karla Bush, a regional coordinator with the Department of Fish and Game Regional Coordinator, in a phone interview.

One permit was issued in 2014, and three more permits were issued this year, she said.

The fishermen have yet to find a density of squid worth fishing.

Alaska waters that historically have been too cold for market squid are getting warmer thanks to strong El Nino years, said Mike Navarro, a University of Alaska Southeast assistant marine fisheries professor, who provided a paper on market squid fishery in Alaska to the Empire.

Market squid have been observed spawning in southeast Alaska since at least 2015.

It’s still too early to tell if market squid will linger in the area, but Navarro said the long-term viability of market squid should be clearer after more years of research.

“If the water temp continues to increase as is forecasted, I would say they would be here and potentially could become abundant,” Navarro said.

The board is expected to discuss the squid fishery proposal at their meeting on Jan. 11-23 in Sitka.

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com

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