Weathervane scallop fisheries will open Friday across Alaska. But it'll be a while before commercial fishermen in Unalaska can harvest the world's biggest scallops — or think about selling their catch locally.
Miranda Westphal works for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as the area management biologist for Dutch Harbor and the Bering Sea. She said the state's five-boat fleet of scallop dredges won't arrive in Unalaska until September or October.
Every summer, biologists visit Alaska to count Steller sea lions. The western stock of the population has been in decline for nearly 40 years — hitting a low in 2002. The count helps determine whether sea lions stay on the endangered species list, which puts costly restrictions on the commercial fishing fleet. Even after decades of research, the reason for the decline is still a mystery.