Tag Archives: Ketchikan Alaska

Alaska Reality Wars | Selling Out Our High Seas And Distant Shores.


The vast expanse of the last frontier is quickly becoming the king of prime time television entertainment. There is another gold rush in Alaska and its attacking our screens with the ferocity of a Kodiak brown bear. There are over twenty reality TV shows currently airing on numerous cable networks that have some affiliation with Alaska. It’s easy to assume that Alaska is just plain awesome, right? Who wouldn’t want to film in the vast expanse of America’s most remote and majestic state? Perhaps, this all goes back to our favorite famous Alaskan. No one else has enticed and disappointed America with their Alaskan charm more than Sarah Palin. During her political stint in 2008, Palin instituted an Alaska film incentive program that could give up to 200 million bucks a year to prospective production companies that met the proper requirements. Lucky for us, her daughter, Britol Palin, received 360,000 dollars for her short lived reality show, which received some of the worse ratings ever. (Second, of course, to Hook, Line, And Sisters! Just Kidding.) Over 40 Alaskan reality shows have come and gone over the years, even Sarah had her own fleeting reality moments on TLC in the fall of 2010. A few of the older shows, like the Deadliest Catch, have managed to keep their integrity and expand their fan base. It fact, it’s constantly the most popular show on Discovery Channel. Newer reality shows, like Alaskan Bush People, are angering Alaskans with their lack of local knowledge and the sensational approach to even the most mundane situations. With the possibility of the Alaskan film incentives being discounted due to budget cuts, is this a reprieve for weathered Alaskan fishermen? Don’t count on it. Another 13 shows are listed to be in currently in production according to IMDB.

This “selling out” of our high seas and distant shores hits closer to home than I ever realized it could. Over the past months, I have been in negotiation with an unnamed reality production crew, which was interested in the Commercial Fishing Film Festival. Unfortunately, I can’t really mention too many details about the “proposed” reality show due to legal mumbo jumbo. Initially, I drank the “Hollywood Kool-Aid” and was profoundly inspired by the possibilities of this new found partnership. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I had pretty much signed away any creative rights for “our” future project. Luckily, with a little back pedaling and stalling, I was able to back away from the deal. I instantly realized the unique quality of The Commercial Fishing Film Festival is in its raw independent nature. These are real fishermen, capturing real moments, with their own personal twist on their reality. Most of all, these voices and visions aren’t being stifled by some producer who knows absolutely nothing about Alaska or fishermen. If you are as disgusted of fake reality shows, tune into www.fishfilmfest.com for hundreds of commercial fishing videos uploaded by from various fishermen around the world.

It’s easy to understand the appeal of these “reality” shows. Adventure, discovery, and exploration are really at the heart of the American dream. Sadly, these ideals are being packaged by Hollywood and mass produced for prime time television at the cost of true Alaskans. Edge Of Alaska, really? Let’s hope that the redneck roundup of ridiculous reality shows finds a new land to tarnish. In the meantime… Have you seen the latest episode of Alaskan Bush People?

Check into our new FlipBoard magazine for the latest updates and articles on Alaska’s Reality Wars.  Just click on the image to jump to Flipboard.

 

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Commercial Fishing Photo Of The Day | Salmon Labels | Astoria, Or


After an incredible weekend of experiencing the FisherPoets Gathering for the first time, I wandered around exploring Astoria in all of its epic rainy glory.  Luckily, the town has a rich maritime history and a vast museum to highlight all the nautical history.  These labels easily caught my attention as I roamed throughout the cozy history of the region.  I highly recommend the Astoria Maritime Museum on your next visit to the area.

Ports Of Call | Ketchikan, Salmon Capitol Of The World


 

Two words… Liquid Sunshine! Ketchikan is the southernmost town in southeast Alaska. Located in the Tongass Narrows, Alaska’s first city is truly a rainforest. Average rainfall is nearly 153 inches per year. The main industries are focused on tourism these days. However, commercial fishing has played a huge part in the history of Ketchikan. Three major salmon processors are located throughout the town and provide much of the world with amazing wild Alaskan salmon. In the summer the town buzzes with activity as the tourists, fishermen, and cannery workers flood the town. The beauty of Ketchikan lies in its old town style comprised of numerous wooden boardwalks throughout the city. Alaska would be lost without Ketchikan’s history and heritage. Make sure to find your way to little corner of the world. Just hope that the sun is shining!

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UPDATE: North To Alaska | Track Us LIVE with Spot


Update: The weather has been the real decisive factor in this trip north.  We have been set back at nearly ever turn.  Finally, today has blessed us with beautiful sunshine.  We are currently leaving Petersburg and dodging icebergs in Fredrick Sound.  Sitka is just around the corner and herring time is almost here.  It only takes a few days of bright sunshine to bring them up from the depths.  Stay tuned for the Sitka 2011 recap and LIVE updates from the fishery.  Now we just have to get there…
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After a spell of truly crappy weather we are on our way from Port Townsend, WA to Sitka, AK. The journey typically takes about 4 days to get to Ketchikan, which is one of the biggest southernmost towns in southeast alaska. The weather could still be an issue, as the forecast is less than favorable. Lucky for you guys, you will be able to track all of our progress with the help of the Spot Messenger. I had hoped to embed the map, but WordPress has it failings when it comes to embedding certain content.   Click here or on the image to see the LIVE map.   Thanks to spsoultions.com for the demo of the Spot Messenger and a Globalstar GPS 1700 sat phone. So, we will have contact with the rest on the world even in the most remote part of the adventure. Once we are underway, I’ll be posting the sat phone number and you guys will be able to call in and ask questions about the trip or whatever you want.  Here’s a timelapse video from the trip up in 2010.  Also, here’s the sat phone number if you want to call and chat. 1 863 200 1335.  It can be a long boring ride.  So, feel free to call and ask some questions.

PhotoWalk | Juneau Harbor And UAS Diesel Tech Center


Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to enjoy some of our amazing sunny weather we have had recently in Juneau.  Initially, I was headed down to the UAS Tech Center to check out the free marine diesel seminar, but I decided to capitalize on some great lighting in harbor too.   So, here is a really weird photowalk of boats, harbors, and all things diesel.  Enjoy!

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Alaska Commercial Fishing Viewpoints | F/V Isis | Ketchikan Power Trollers


 Trollers generate some of the healthiest and freshest salmon in Southeast Alaska.  Pound for pound, it is the highest quality salmon the consumer can enjoy. The smaller vessel operations allow for great private marketing opportunities and the fishery is even open during the winter, which brings the opportunity of the cherished white King salmon.  Next time your thinking of fresh salmon in the winter, just realize that it’s possible in Southeast Alaska.  Rory and Marion Bifoss troll in the waters of southeast alaska near Ketchikan.  Check out the view from their office..

PhotoWalk | Juneau Glacier Jan 2012


Its been clear and cold in Gastineau Channel the past few days.  Even though, the temperatures are bone-chillingly cold, Juneau locals are excited to get out and absorb their rare dose of wintertime vitamin D.  The entire lake in front of the glacier froze over, allowing for awesome pics of glacier ice.  At times, it felt like an alien world out there.  Its always hard to shake the idea that the ice could break at any given moment.  Still the photos were worth it.  I’m loving the new Sony Nex.

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2011 West Coast Commercial Fishing Year in Review | Part I


A lot has happened in the world of commercial fishing within the past year. Halibut has dominated the recent headlines with serious implications of a failed fishery. Whereas, commercial salmon fishing has garnered some of the highest prices and catch returns in years. The commercial fishing industry seems to be plagued with more than is fair share of highs and lows. So, hunker down and we will go over some of last years biggest headlines in what some call the “Deadliest Business.”

Salmon

Salmon dominated the news this year with recent hints of a virus blooming in wild pacific salmon population and a geneticly designed Frankenfish that would solve all of our salmon farming issues. Also record harvests In southeast and Chignik supplied plenty of headlines too. Of course, news of an impending industrial mine in the heart of Alaska‘s sockeye country was met with fierce opposition throughout the year.
http://juneautek.com/2011/07/17/a-parade-of-pink-salmon-in-southeast-alaska/
http://juneautek.com/2011/11/01/capitalcityweekly-com-southeast-alaskas-online-newspaper/
http://juneautek.com/2011/10/24/alaska-ponders-isa-outbreak-in-wild-salmon-population/

Squid

Commercial squid fishing in California has seen a huge uptake in value within the last two seasons. In the past, the fishery could take up to six months to catch the quota of 180,000 tons. Last year they were done by Christmas. This year the boys were done by turkey day.

King Crab

Bering Sea King crab quotas were heavily cut this year, but record high prices and a quick season were great for consumers and producers. Southeast Alaskaeven got a chance at king crab this past October. Six years had passed since the last crab opener in the region, so locals were eager to cash in the on record prices.

Dungeness Crab

Dungy Crab soared this past season as Oregon delivered one of its highest valued harvests in years. The crab were selling for more than 2.65 in some regions.
http://juneautek.com/2011/01/02/oregon-crab-season-2010/

Sitka Sac Roe Herring

Sitka Herring was seriously impacted by the Japanese tsunami this spring. Right before the herring started showing, the tsunami devastated most of the Japanese seafood market, including the buyers. The tragedy resulted in a huge drop in the ex vessel price of herring. In 2010, herring were 410 dollars a ton. This spring we were only able to get 100 dollars a ton.

Up Next

The next segment will include halibut, pollock, and even some dive fisheries.  Feel free to add some suggestions or point me to stories that I may have overlookd