Two processors were arraigned on sexual assault charges in Unalaska on Thursday. Diego Mayuyo, 48, and Ismael Balallo, 45, allegedly attacked a woman at a Unisea bunkhouse on Tuesday night.
Both are accused of engaging in unwanted sexual contact with the woman. Balallo is also accused of penetrating the woman without her consent. For that he’s charged with sexual assault in the first degree, which is an unclassified felony, the most serious level of offense.
Unalaska is a designated ‘port of refuge’ for disabled vessels in the Aleutian Islands, but when it comes to the massive ships that pass by on the Great Circle route, that title doesn’t mean much. That’s because many of them are too big to tie up at the docks and there’s nowhere else for them to securely anchor.
For decades, the community of King Cove has lobbied for a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to nearby Cold Bay. Proponents say it’s critical for the remote community to have a more reliable way to evacuate medical patients. Meanwhile conservation groups contend it would devastate critical wildlife habitat.
A new lava dome is forming in the crater of Cleveland Volcano. In response, scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory bumped the aviation alert level from yellow to orange on Wednesday.
It’s the fifth time since July that the Observatory has raised the alert. A series of small eruptions earlier this month removed the lava dome that had been forming since January. None of the eruptions produced a significant ash cloud and there’s been no activity at the volcano since March 13.
Using a tiny submarine, a group of scientists have finally been able to get a good look of what actually goes on in the Bering Sea’s canyons. In the process, they discovered a new species of sponge and got a better idea of how deep-sea corals serve as a habitat for some of Alaska’s commercial fisheries.
Pollock A season is quickly coming to an end. Crews are going home, roe has been auctioned off, and industry players are already looking ahead to what B season will bring.
As of mid-March, the fleet had taken 85 percent of their 472,000 metric ton allocation. They moved at a slightly faster pace than last year, despite having a smaller quota available. They also didn’t have too much trouble with Chinook bycatch – they’ve taken about 6,500 fish so far, and their bycatch rate is comparable to last year and well under the 62,000 fish hard cap that would shut the fishery down.
The world’s supply of king crab legs is about to increase. On Friday the Alaska Board of Fisheries voted to up the Aleutian Islands golden king crab allocation by five percent.
Unlike the other crab fisheries in the Bering Sea, the amount of golden king crab that can be harvested is set in regulation. There’s a model in development that will allow fisheries managers to decide on an annual basis how much crab can be caught sustainably, but that’s still a few years out.
With Arctic drilling scheduled to go ahead this summer, Shell Oil is expected to have a big presence in Port of Dutch Harbor. In light of that, the Coast Guard has now committed to stationing more forces there in an effort to keep fish processing operations and other marine activity moving along smoothly.
For years, Bruce Wright and Ray RaLonde have been keeping a close eye on clams and mussels collected in the Aleutian region. They’ve collected samples from subsistence users and tested them for levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins. Now the Alaska Forum on the Environment has honored the two scientists with a major achievement award for their project.
The two men charged with the murder of seafood processor Jonathan Adams have both pleaded not guilty on all counts.
Leonardo Bongolto, Jr., 34, and Denison Soria, 40, stand accused of beating a co-worker at Bering Fisheries to death in February. The pair had initially been charged with murder in the first degree, but a grand jury brought that charge down. Now, Bongolto faces a charge of murder in the second degree and assault in the first degree. Soria also faces those charges, in addition to another felony charge for tampering with evidence.
Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory have lowered Cleveland Volcano’s aviation alert level. The restless Aleutian volcano exploded three times in a week earlier this month. None of the eruptions produced detectable ash plumes and the Observatory says there’s been no eruptive activity since March 13.