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Catch of the day— Unalaska

Preface

The remote Alaskan outpost of Unalaska boasts the US’s biggest commercial port, thanks to a hugely profitable fishing season. And don’t forget the oil industry and a hit TV series...

Alaska, Dutch Harbor, fishing, industry, Oil

From Anchorage, Alaska, it’s another three hours of flying over white-capped volcanoes, frozen tundra and the Bering Sea before reaching the remote Aleutian island outpost of Unalaska. It’s mid-January – the start of the snow crab, cod and pollock season – and the canneries and fish processing plants are bringing in their seasonal workers. The 30-seater Pen Air turbo-prop planes that fly eight times a day in high season to Unalaska’s Dutch Harbor Airport are packed.

Our plane stops to refuel for the second time in two hours at Cold Bay, an almost…

Where eagles dare

There are so many bald eagles on Unalaska that ­every Christmas, the National Audubon Society enlists the local community to count the birds. A recent count found more than 800 on the island.

Local children are terrified of eagles because they dive-bomb them in the schoolyard. One teacher was attacked twice in one day and needed stitches to her head. Students are taught to wave a stick over their head or hit the ground if an eagle hovers.

Last summer US Fish & Wildlife Service biologists visited to see if anything could be done to prevent the attacks. But as eagles are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald & Golden Eagle Protection Act, no one can distrurb them without a permit, even in self-defence.

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