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environment

Carrie Goertz, Alaska SeaLife Center

Unalaska’s Sea Grant officers have rescued a northern fur seal pup found stranded on Front Beach. The pup has been sent to Seward’s Alaska Sealife Center for care because he was found far from his rookery and had little chance of survival on his own. He’s not the first pup Unalaska has rescued this year.

In March, the Sealife Center took in a yearling ringed seal from Unalaska. Normally found on the ice, she was out of her range and having trouble regulating her body temperature.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

There’s no easy way to get rid of old fishing nets in Unalaska. America’s top fishing port is remote and nets can weigh thousands of pounds.

Now, for the first time, about 80 retired nets are on their way to a recycling program halfway around the world.

It all starts outside Unalaska’s Grand Aleutian hotel. The view is almost always the same — men moving piles of fishing nets. This day is no exception.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

Updated post: 9/14 at 2:45 p.m.

The F/V Akutan no longer has a crew and the ship's 130,000 pounds of salmon has been offloaded.

The processor has been anchored in Unalaska’s Captains Bay since late August and there’s no indication the boat will be leaving soon.

 

“The reality of it is, there's just a huge legal ball that needs to be worked through before any real decision can be made,” said Unalaska Ports Director Peggy McLaughlin.

 

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

On a sunny Tuesday night, about a dozen people are gathered on a dock. They’re practicing the skills needed to free a stranded whale.

Ed Lyman is up from Hawaii to lead the course. He has a lot of experience freeing entangled whales. He’s in town for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — working to build Unalaska’s response team.

“Here we are in Dutch Harbor, fishermen galore, capital of fishing, in many ways in the U.S.,” Lyman said. “So you have a lot of skill sets there already. But having to cut free a 40 ton whale is unique.”

Paul Wade, NOAA Fisheries

 

Before Bogoslof volcano started erupting, it was a haven for endangered Steller sea lions, fur seals, and sea birds. But scientists did not know when and if animals would return to the eastern Aleutian Island.

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