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The latest blog posts and news releases from Alaska Sea Grant

Lack of sea ice sends seal pups and walrus calves to beach (5/21/2019) - Alaska Sea Grant, Kawerak, Inc. and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are preparing to place signs along the beaches near Nome, alerting the public about an increasing number of ice-associated seal pups resting along the shore. The signs remind the public not to disturb the animals, unless they are Alaska Native engaged in subsistence…
harvesters in a small boat approach a dock with a load of seaweed Seaweed farmers in Alaska gear up for large haul (5/7/2019) - Blue Evolution is collaborating with the University of Alaska and Alaska Sea Grant on seaweed research aimed at developing cost-effective cultivation methods for several native species.
Woman in waders and boots standing on dock Juneau oyster farmer battles red tape to grow family business (5/1/2019) - Meta Mesdag is a commercial photographer and mom to three young children. More recently, the Southeast Alaska resident added oyster farmer to her resume. Mesdag is the owner of Salty Lady Seafood Company, a small-scale mariculture operation in Bridget Cove, north of Juneau. She launched the company in April 2018 with the goal of having…
A man and woman wading in a stream Scientists study fate of salmon in a changing Alaska landscape (4/22/2019) - From coastal shores to inland mountains, salmon are part of the fabric of Alaska. Salmon have been harvested by Alaska Natives for thousands of years and remain a critical part of the state’s commercial, recreational and subsistence fisheries. As anadromous fish, salmon spend the first months to years of their lives in freshwater before migrating…
Carbon dioxide sample from Utqiaġvik provides wake-up call on climate (4/18/2019) - How does the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere measured at Hawai‘i’s Mauna Loa volcano over the last six decades compare with the air above Alaska? During a recent spring trip to Utqiaġvik, I had a chance to find out by visiting the farthest-north atmospheric observatory operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration…
underside of a shrimp with small shrimp eggs visible Unraveling the mysteries of spot shrimp (3/26/2019) - Northern spot shrimp are an important species in Alaska, for commercial, sport and personal use. But in Alaska’s southeast panhandle, their numbers are declining for reasons that are not at all clear. In the Juneau area, the spot shrimp fishery has been closed to sport and personal use since 2013 due to low abundance. Could…
Juneau company makes waves with kelp (3/26/2019) - Wild salmon, king crab and halibut are hallmarks of Alaska cuisine. But another ocean product is increasingly making it way onto store shelves and dinner plates. It’s a sea vegetable called bull kelp—a salty, crisp plant packed with vitamins and nutrients such as calcium, iodine and iron. A small but growing company in Alaska’s state…
Water samples detect low levels of Fukushima-related contamination (3/13/2019) - A slightly elevated level of radioactive contamination connected to the Fukushima nuclear disaster has been detected in the northern Bering Sea. The level of cesium-137, a radioactive isotope, is extremely low and not considered a health concern, according to state epidemiologists. The sampling, conducted by residents of Saint Lawrence Island, documents the Fukushima plume’s northern…
Woman talking to group Kodiak agent works with tribes to keep residents safe from PSP (3/6/2019) - Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a significant concern in Alaska, where many residents harvest clams, mussels and other bivalves for food and recreation. PSP is of particular concern in the Kodiak region, where it is prevalent. Since 2012, Julie Matweyou, a Marine Advisory agent with Alaska Sea Grant, has been working with the communities of…
Public comments sought for Alaska Sea Grant review (3/5/2019) - Alaska Sea Grant is preparing for a program review by a team convened by the National Sea Grant Program. The review will be conducted April 9–11, 2019, at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and will consider all aspects of Alaska Sea Grant’s programs, including management and organization, performance, stakeholder engagement and collaborative activities, including those with…

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