Far North Science

News, research and natural acts from Alaska

March 28th, 2007
Updated April 1, 2007 @ 12:49 pm

Of sharks, seals and ocean perch

salmon shark has big teeth
Salmon Shark

Scientists will tackle the mysteries of Bering Sea sharks and the decline of northern fur seals with studies funded by the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The center, underwritten largely by the pollock fishing industry but supervised by the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, awarded $300,000 in new grants for research into marine life off Alaska’s vast coast.

In pursuit of abundant walleye pollock in the Bering Sea, fishermen inadvertently catch the groundfish’s predators in the same trawls: salmon sharks and sleeper sharks. This bycatch ranges between 400 and 1,400 metric tons per season.

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March 28th, 2007
Updated April 1, 2007 @ 12:51 pm

Tundra Traverse: trailing the Mad Trapper

Far North taiga
Credit: SnowStar 2007

The SnowSTAR 2007: Barrenlands Traverse skirted one of the Far North’s mysteries: The Mad Trapper of Rat River.

In the hard winter of ’31, Albert Johnson just wanted to be left alone when Royal Canadian Mounted Police visited his shack on the Rat River in the Yukon Territory. But when he refused to answer questions about whether he was vandalizing rival traps, and shot and wounded a Mountie, the Canadian police returned and blew up the cabin with dynamite.

The Mad Trapper of Rat River emerged from a foxhole in the cabin floor with his rifle blazing.

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