UFA Update: April 29, 2014

UFA mission: To promote and protect the common interest of Alaska’s commercial fishing industry, as a vital component of Alaska’s social and economic well-being.

Help support Alaska’s #1 private sector employer and protect your fishing business by joining UFA today! Visit ‘Become a Member’ on our website to see the various membership levels and benefits.  UFA members receive free subscriptions to National Fisherman and Pacific Fishing.

We have updated UFA’s Alaska Commercial Fishing and Seafood Processing community fact sheets: http://www.ufa-fish.org/cff.htm

NEW and rejoining UFA business members:

Thank you to Vital Choice wild seafood and organics – now a UFA Ocean Class business member! See their recipes and useful articles on seafood nutrition and benefits and order information at: http://www.vitalchoice.com

Thank you to Petro Marine – rejoining as a UFA Sea Class business member! See their website and locations at: http://www.petromarineservices.com/

Thank you to Madison Lumber and Hardware in Ketchikan – rejoining as a UFA Bay Class business member! See their website and locations at: http://www.madisonlumber.com/main/index.htm

Thank you to Puget Sound Hydraulics – rejoining as a UFA Bay Class business member! See their website and locations at: http://www.pugetsoundhydraulics.com/

Thank you to Resurrection Bay Seafoods – rejoining as a UFA Bay Class business member! See their website and locations at: http://www.pacseafood.com/Default.aspx?page=108

Thank you to Wells Fargo – rejoining as a UFA Bay Class business member! See their website and locations at: www.wellsfargo.com

UFA farewell:
Thanks for the contributions of lifetime fisherman advocate Davis Barrett, 1949-2014.

From the Executive Director:

The 28th Alaska Legislature adjourned on day 95 of the 90 day session. UFA watched a number of bills in 2014; here is a brief rundown of a few of the bills UFA tracked or supported this year.

SB 71 PAYMENT OF FISHERY RESOURCE LANDING TAX by Senator Micciche was amended in the legislative process to include salmon COST RECOVERY FISHERIES and also the SALMON & HERRING PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT TAX CREDIT for a final title of “An Act relating to the fishery resource landing tax and cost recovery fisheries; relating to a product development tax credit for certain salmon and herring products; providing for an effective date by amending the effective date of sec. 3, ch. 57, SLA 2003; and providing for an effective date.” The portion of the bill dealing with payment of fisheries resource landing tax will help simplify the timing of tax payments to avoid the burden of unnecessary penalties. This portion of the bill will benefit Alaska’s unique direct seafood marketers as well as many groundfish fishermen throughout the state. The portion of the bill dealing with cost recovery fisheries helps create additional flexibility with regards to Alaska’s salmon hatcheries. With the adoption of SB 71, salmon hatcheries will now be able to collect cost recovery fees from Alaska’s salmon harvesters either on a flat-rate or a percentage basis. The portion of the bill that deals with the salmon and herring product development tax credit will allow for Alaska’s processing sector to receive extended and expanded tax credits for innovation and seafood product development. By adding additional value to Alaska’s salmon and herring products, the seafood industry will provide additional revenue into the general fund in the form of an increase in landing tax contributions. SB 71 will also create incentives for the processing sector to stay ahead of increasingly burdensome EPA regulations by encouraging further development of product forms for seafood waste. The salmon and herring tax credit portion of the bill was incorporated from HB 204 by Representative Alan Austerman and was stalled in Senate Finance prior to the end of session.

UFA was pleased to support both SB 71 and HB 204. See the Senate Majority press release on SB 71 by Senator Micciche here.

SB 159 AIR AMBULANCE SERVICES by Senator Stedman (and also House companion HB 300 by Representative Munoz) addressed air ambulance insurance membership programs that allow Alaskans to pay an annual fee for medevac coverage. Fishermen are often enrolled in these life-saving medical programs, and UFA was pleased to support SB 159.

SB 140 AIDEA: ARCTIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM/FUND by Senator McGuire also passed this year, and will allow for Alaska-based loans for commercial fishing and seafood processing operations in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

HB 77 LAND USE/DISP/EXCHANGES; WATER RIGHTS by request of the Governor did not pass this year, and DNR has indicated that they will come back next year with a bill that is less comprehensive. UFA worked diligently with DNR and members of the Senate Resources committee to ensure that our remaining questions were answered and suggestions that we made were incorporated into the latest version of the bill.

HB 71 the ARDORS program was amended to include the continuation of the limited entry program for the Bering Sea hair crab fishery, with the weathervane scallop fishery being stripped out prior to HB 71 passing. The continuation of the vessel-based limited entry program for scallops and hair crab was originally attached to HB 71 in 2013 due to the stand-alone bill HB 156 being stalled by Chairman Seaton in the House Fisheries Committee. In addition to HB 156 being stalled in House Fisheries, the Senate version of the bill SB 54 was also stalled in House Fisheries due to Chairman Seaton after sailing through the Senate side in 2013 on a vote of 18 to 1. HB 71 passed without the scallop limited entry program attached, however the Bering Sea hair crab limited entry program remained attached and that program will continue. This is the first limited entry permit that has been eliminated in the 41 year history of the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) with the scallop limited entry program not being extended in the 2014 Legislative session. Continuation of both the scallop and Bering Sea hair crab limited entry program is a UFA priority, and we are troubled that the scallop limited entry program has been terminated.

Capital and Operating budget items:

Alaska Department of Fish and Game, ADF&G reductions from the 2014 session include:

  • Unrestricted General Fund (UGF): $79,686,900 down from $81,809,300 in 2014 (2.6% reduction).
  • Designated General Fund (DGF): $8,805,300 up from $9,018,700 in 2014 (2.4% increase).
  • Other State Funds (Other): $63,458,800 down from $63,153,000 in 2014 (.5% decrease).
  • Federal Receipts (Fed): $64,008,000 down from $63,713,100 in 2014 (.5% decrease).

Support of the ADF&G budget is one of UFA’s priorities and we were pleased to advocate for minimum reductions to this department that impacts so many Alaskans.

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, ASMI was reduced from the Governor’s budget by 5% leaving $7.38 million for the program. Support of the ASMI budget is one of UFA’s priorities and we were pleased to advocate for minimum reductions to this agency that the seafood industry fully supports through the Seafood Marketing Assessment tax.

Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, AMSEA was reduced from the Governor’s budget by 25% leaving $147,700 for the program. UFA was pleased to advocate for minimum reductions to this life-saving program.  

The Food to Schools program was fully funded at $3 million, this program is one of UFA’s priorities and we were pleased to support this funding item.

If there are other bills or budget items that you would like more information on, feel free to contact us.

UFA would like to thank the following legislators that are not seeking re-election for their years of dedicated service to Alaska:
Senator Fred Dyson (R- Eagle River)
Senator Hollis French (D – Anchorage)
Representative Alan Austerman (R – Kodiak)
Representative Peggy Wilson (R – Wrangell)

UFA wishes the following legislators the best of luck as they leave the House to run for service in the Senate:
Representative Mia Costello (R- Anchorage)
Representative Bill Stoltze (R – Wasilla)

 

Julianne Curry
Executive Director
United Fishermen of Alaska
Office: 907.586.2820
Cell: 907.957.4747
http://www.ufa-fish.org
jcurry@ufa-fish.org
Facebook: facebook.com/UnitedFishermenAK
Twitter: twitter.com/UFA_Fish 


Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees. UFA update compiled by Mark Vinsel, Executive Administrator.

CONTENTS
1. Governor Signs Air Ambulance Services Bill SB 159
2. Legislators pass fish bills as session end nears
3. House bill proposes adding CFEC to Fish and Game
4. More Alaska schools turn to Alaska-caught fish for lunches
5. Effort to revive parts of controversial permitting bill HB 77 scrapped
6. Court hears oral argument in setnet ban initiative appeal
7. Group Files Amicus Brief in Support of Treadwell in Defending Against So-Called “Conservation” Lawsuit
8. Alaska Jury Finds Hubbards Not Guilty on All Counts in direct-marketer revenue case
9. Juneau Empire Three Part Series on British Columbia Mines
10. Rio Tinto Gives Pebble Mine Stake to Nonprofits
11. Alaskans Win Major Victory to Challenge Coal Strip Mine Permits
12. Murkowski Facilitates Senate Approval of Treaties that Help Alaska’s Fisheries
13. Cook Inlet Aquaculture buys defunct Port Graham Hatchery
14. Coast Guard Blames Kulluk Grounding on Shell Oil’s Complacency, Risk Taking
15. BOF Meeting Summary – Statewide King and Tanner Crab (except Southeast / Yakutat) and Supplemental Issues – March 17-21, 2014
16. BOF – NPFMC Joint Protocol Committee to Meet in Anchorage May 21, 2014
17. Marine observer program now in hands of federal judge
18. NPFMC BSAI Crab Plan Team meets May 5-8 in Juneau
19. NPFMC Electronic Monitoring Workgroup meets May 15-16 in Anchorage
20. Murkowski Raises Alaskan Priorities with NOAA Administrator
21. NOAA Fisheries concludes ‘no jeopardy’ to Steller sea lions from proposed fishery management changes in the Aleutian Islands
22. NOAA Fisheries finds Southeast Alaska Pacific Herring ESA listing not warranted
23. ESA Southern Resident Killer Whale revised critical habitat & sound levels – info sought by June 24
24. Alexander Archipelago wolf listing as “endangered or threatened may be warranted” says USFWS
25. State Wins Tongass Roadless Rule Exemption Case
26. USFWS posts revised Stock Assessment Reports for Alaska Sea Otters & Walrus
27. Marine Mammal Commission meets May 5 – 8 in Washington DC
28. Comment deadline May 7 on Buccaneer Upper Cook Inlet 2014 exploratory drilling MMPA Incidental Take
29. NMFS updated fishing gear identification requirements drops vessel name
30. Comment Deadline May 19 on NMFS FFP & FPP application & forms
31. NMFS posts correction to GOA harvest specifications
32. NOAA releases Arctic Action Plan
33. Murkowski Responds to GAO Arctic Report
Senator: Document Should Serve as “Wake-Up Call”
34. Murkowski to EPA: Alaskans Concerned by “Regulatory Onslaught”
35. Comment deadline July 21 on EPA Clean Water Act Definition of “Waters of the U.S.”
36. NOAA Fisheries to develop national policy on recreational fishing
37. NOAA posts Final Rule on Area 2A Charter Halibut Catch Sharing Plan
38. Deadline June 30 for IPHC Merit Scholarship
39. NMFS workshop on At-Sea Scales for C/Ps & motherships – May 16, Seattle
40. NOAA: Crude oil causes developmental abnormalities in large marine fish
41. The Pacific’s Salmon Are Back — Thank Human Ingenuity
42. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science: Climate change, pink salmon, and the nexus between bottom-up and top-down forcing in the subarctic Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea  By Alan Springer and Gus B. van Vliet…
43. Farm salmon pose clear reproductive threat to wild gene pools
44. Engineered salmon may be a tough sell
45. F.D.A. prohibits some omega-3 claims, effective 2016
46. FDA What You Need To Know About Establishment, Maintenance, and Availability of Records-Small Entity Compliance Guide; Availability
47. NIOSH releases Paul Revere: A story of Survival in Bristol Bay.
48. Ray Troll’s Ratfish band promotes rockfish safe release with hit song:
49. Laine Welch Fish Radio – items from this week
50. Comment Period Opens For Cruise Waste Permits – deadline May 23
51. Rural Determination for Federal Subsistence Under Review
52. Comments deadline June 13 on proposed changes to Federal subsistence fisheries regulations
53. US Supreme Court rejects state appeal in long-running Katie John subsistence case
54. Federal Subsistence Board votes to limit Kuskokwim kings to federally qualified users
55. Kuskokwim Dipnet Fishery Emergency Regulation posted
56. Yupiit Nation to host salmon forum – Bethel April 30 – May1
57. Comment deadline May 21 on ADFG Invasive Pike eradication in Soldotna Creek drainage
58. Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force meets May 7-8, Arlington VA.
59. Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch
60. Report Invasive Species in Alaska – 1-800-INVASIV…
61. Nominations Requested for EVOS Public Advisory Committee – deadline May 15
62. Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) Board Announces Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Program Improvements
63. MAFAC Comment deadline April 30 on NOAA role in Sustainable Seafood Certification
64. Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines – April  Newsletter
65. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online


1. Governor Signs Air Ambulance Services Bill  SB 159
April 23, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today signed legislation allowing air ambulance service providers to offer annual membership agreements and ensuring Alaskans are able to subscribe to this service.

“I appreciate Senator Stedman and Representative Cathy Munoz for their work on this legislation that will undoubtedly result in significant reductions in out-of-pocket costs for Alaskans,” Governor Parnell said. “I also thank the men and women, the unsung heroes, behind Alaska’s air ambulance companies that provide life-saving services every day.”

Governor Parnell press release:
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release
.html?pr=6802

SB 159 final version: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/28/Bills/SB0159Z.PDF


2. Legislators pass fish bills as session end nears
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Fishers, processors and the general public will see changes to certain fisheries regulations under bills passed by the Alaska Legislature this session.
In the final days of the 2014 session, lawmakers agreed to extend and expand a fisheries product development tax credit program for processors, change the fisheries landing tax for harvesters, authorize a new source of funding for fisheries infrastructure and alter the existing Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank.
“I think that we did OK with fisheries issues this year,” said Julianne Curry, executive director of United Fishermen of Alaska. “We didn’t really have any big ticket items on the legislative horizon.”
April 20, the Legislature passed a combo bill that included Senate Bill 71 and House Bill 204. Now that is just waiting for Gov. Sean Parnell’s signature…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
April-Issue-4-2014/Legislators-pass-fish-bills-as-session-end-
nears/


3. House bill proposes adding CFEC to Fish and Game
By Bob Tkacz, For the Journal

A bill that would make the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission a division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game got an introductory hearing in the Legislature April 19, with the expectation that commercial fishermen and other stakeholders will consider the idea for possible enactment next session.

Before then the Legislature’s Audit Division will “audit” the two agencies to identify overlapping activities, entry commission duties that may not easily be merged into Fish and Game, and possible costs and savings from the consolidation…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/April
-Issue-4-2014/House-bill-proposes-adding-CFEC-to-Fish-and-Game/


4. More Alaska schools turn to Alaska-caught fish for lunches
In communities from Unalaska to Dillingham, it’s increasingly the case that wild-caught Alaska fish is what’s for lunch…
Sitka is the ninth largest seafood port in the United States, yet at the time there was no local seafood on school lunch menus. A grass-roots effort mobilized in the Sitka School District, and now grades two through 12 are served local fish at least twice a month in a program that reaches up to 1,500 students. In the past three years, over 4,000 pounds of fish have been donated to Sitka schools from local seafood processors and fishermen.
Tracy Gagnon is a community sustainability organizer with the Sitka Conservation Society. She said that in three years “we’ve seen the number of schools interested in serving local seafood increase tenfold.”Last week, the Sitka Conservation Society released their “Fish to Schools Resource Guide” and “Stream to Plate Curriculum.” Gagnon, one of the principal authors, said the documents function as a how-to for serving fish in schools. “We wanted to support the community and statewide efforts to serve local foods in schools,” she said…
http://www.adn.com/2014/03/21/3387149/more-alaska-schools
-turn-to-local.html

Sitka Conservation Society Guide to Serving Local Fish in School Cafeterias
http://sitkawild.org/2014/03/a-guide-to-serving-local-fish-in-school-
cafeterias/

DCCED Nutritional Alaskan Foods in Schools grant program home page:
http://commerce.alaska.gov/dcra/grt/NAFS.htm


5. Effort to revive parts of controversial permitting bill HB 77 scrapped
By Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau
An effort to resurrect parts of a dead permitting bill was abandoned on Friday night.
Officials from the Department of Natural Resources had been working with Rep. Cathy Muñoz, a Juneau Republican, to attach land exchange language from House Bill 77 to a separate bill concerning land sales…
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/04/21/effort-revive-parts-controversial
-permitting-bill-scrapped/

Earlier story: With permitting bill dead, some provisions may be resurrected..
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/04/16/permitting-bill-dead-provisions
-may-resurrected/


6. Court hears oral argument in setnet ban initiative appeal
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance and the State of Alaska each made a case to an Anchorage Superior Court judge today about why — or why not — a proposed ballot initiative to ban setnetters should be allowed to move forward.

The alliance, or AFCA, filed a ballot initiative petition in November seeking to ask voters whether to ban setnets in urban parts of the state, which would primarily impact Upper Cook Inlet setnetters.
At the heart of the case is a question about whether a ballot measure eliminating setnetting is considered an appropriation under state law, and thus not a question that can be placed on a ballot for the public to decide…

Judge Catherine Easter said at the conclusion of the hearing that she would try to make a written decision in 60 days.
If she rules in favor of AFCA, the group would still have to collect about 35,000 signatures and would be targeting the August 2016 ballot.
Either side could also appeal her decision to the state Supreme Court.
Although the case is focused on Upper Cook Inlet, both sides have cited concerns over the precedent it could set throughout the state.
Singer said that if this initiative were found unconstitutional, it could limit the public’s ability to enact direct legislation, an express public right.
“If this stands, there’s no room for the public to participate in fish and wildlife management,” he said.
Jerry McCune, president of United Fishermen of Alaska and a member of Resources for All Alaskans, a nonprofit that filed an amicus brief in the case supporting and extending the state’s position, said he was concerned about what it could mean if a ballot initiative could be used to change fisheries allocations and appropriate fish from one user group to another.
“What happens here could happen statewide,” he said after the hearing…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/Breaking
-News-2013/Court-hears-oral-argument-in-setnet-ban-initiative-a
ppeal/


7. Group Files Amicus Brief in Support of Treadwell in Defending Against So-Called “Conservation” Lawsuit
Resources for All Alaskans has filed an amicus brief in support of the State of Alaska’s decision that the Set Netter Ban initiative cannot proceed to the August 2016 ballot. Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell announced that decision in January based on advice from the Department of Law that it was unconstitutional.  The initiative sponsors are now suing the State in Superior Court.

“Alaska has a time-tested process for managing our resources. Even though some of us may not always agree with the results from that process, it should be open, public, understandable, and based in law,” said Jim Butler, president of Resources for All Alaskans. “Allocating resources by initiative is not only unconstitutional, but it is also bad public policy.  The proposal to ban set netters is particularly destructive because it doesn’t address the real reasons for declining king salmon populations and would instantly destroy 500 small Alaska family businesses and hundreds of other jobs.”

Former Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman, an advisor to Resources for All Alaskans and himself a Cook Inlet set netter whose family has fished near Ninilchik for 100 years, said, “This is yet another of several misguided attempts in recent years to manage resources by initiative.  As valuable as that process is, the writers of our constitution clearly understood the dangers in appropriating State resources that way.  Rather than promoting a divisive initiative that masquerades as a conservation measure, the sponsors should be engaging in constructive solutions to protect our fishing families and our resources.”
http://resourcesforalaska.com/group-files-amicus-brief-in-support
-of-treadwell-decision/

&
New fisheries advocacy group plots strategy in setnet ban initiative fight
By Rashah McChesney, Peninsula Clarion
KENAI — Resources for All Alaskans, a group formed to combat an proposed initiative to ban commercial setnet fishing in certain parts of the state, met in Kenai to talk strategy with several local fishing groups after being dealt a blow when an Alaska Superior Court judge ruled that it could not intervene in a lawsuit over the initiative.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/Breaking
-News-2013/New-fisheries-advocacy-group-plots-strategy/

To support the fight against Bob Penney’s effort to shutdown fisheries by initiative see Resources for All Alaskans:  http://www.resourcesforalaska.com/

To follow this case, search Trial Courts at http://www.courtrecords.alaska.gov  , scroll to bottom and search by case number 3AN-14-04558CI .


8. Alaska Jury Finds Hubbards Not Guilty on All Counts in direct-marketer revenue case
By Rick Smeriglio for Seward City News
At about 8:00 pm on Tuesday the 15, a jury of 12 returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty on all 12 counts against James T. Hubbard and Rhonda K. Anderson-Hubbard, who own J&R Fisheries and operate F/V Kruzof. On the most serious charge of attempted perjury, the jury could not agree that Mr. Hubbard’s actions satisfied all four conditions needed for a guilty verdict. On the misdemeanors of falsifying information on fish tickets, the jurors could not agree that the Hubbards intended to deceive anyone. State of Alaska has not announced whether it will pursue the matter further on appeal.

The morning after the verdict, Mrs. Hubbard said, “I’m heartened by the people [the jurors] who took the time for us.”…
http://sewardcitynews.com/2014/04/jury-finds-hubbards-not-guilty
-on-all-counts/

&
Local jury kills fish case
On April 15, a Seward jury voted for the acquittal of James and Rhonda Hubbard on the few charges that remained after Kenai Superior Court judge Anna Moran threw out much of prosecutor Carole Holley’s case. After the raft of dismissals, Holley persisted, padding out the remaining case by splitting it up into even more charges. However, defense attorney Eric Derleth continued to make hash of the proceedings, finally completely invalidating the state’s case according to jurors…
http://www.thesewardphoenixlog.com/story/2014/04/24/local/local
-jury-kills-fish-case/2575.html


9. Juneau Empire Three Part Series on British Columbia Mines
Anti-KSM groups seek federal help  (March 27)
Meanwhile, state agencies say there will be no ‘significant loss in productivity’ due to potential activity at proposed mine
http://juneauempire.com/local/2014-03-27/anti-ksm-groups-
seek-federal-help

KSM Pt. 2: A river runs through it, and that’s the problem (April 3)
Seabridge’s KSM mine will be as deep as any the world has seen with the potential to critically damage Alaska’s downstream resources
http://juneauempire.com/local/2014-03-27/anti-ksm-groups-
seek-federal-help

KSM part III: ‘A perfect storm’ for mining push? (April 11)
Relaxed regulations in Canada have opened doors for five transboundary mines that concern Southeast Alaskans
http://juneauempire.com/outdoors/2014-04-11/ksm-part-iii-
perfect-storm-mining-push

&
Boost in B.C. Mining has Alaska Fishermen Nervous
By Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC | March 28, 2014 – 5:37 pm
The head of British Columbia’s government has pledged to spur mining development in the western Canadian province, and that has fishermen in Southeast Alaska nervous. A group from Southeast flew to Washington D.C. this week to see how it can raise its voice in Canada…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/03/28/boost-in-b-c-mining-
has-alaska-fishermen-nervous/

Stakeholders letter to Alaska delegation: http://www.aktrollers.org/doc/media/AK%20delegation%
20letter%20FINAL%20March%2021.pdf

Note: the Alaska delegation promptly sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry in response to fishing groups concerns.  For a copy please contact the UFA office at 907-586-2820 or ufa@ufa-fish.org


10. Rio Tinto Gives Pebble Mine Stake to Nonprofits
By Liz Ruskin, APRN | April 7, 2014 – 7:43 am
The mining conglomerate Rio Tinto announced this morning it is divesting its stake in Northern Dynasty, the owner of the proposed Pebble Mine. Rio said in December it might sell, but in a surprise move, the company says it is donating its 19 percent share to two charities, the Alaska Community Foundation and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation.

Rio CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques said in a statement the donation would ensure Alaskans will have a say in Pebble’s development.

The foundations didn’t immediately announce what they will do with their minority shares in the project. The director of the Bristol Bay  education fund said in a statement the gift will help the foundation fulfill it’s mission. In the same written statement, BBNC chief executive  Jason Metrokin said the corporation’s opposition to the mine hasn’t changed…
APRN story:
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/04/07/rio-tinto-leaves-pebble-
project-donates-stake-to-nonprofits/

Governor Comments on Rio Tinto Decision – Press release:
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.html?
pr=6776

Alaska DNR Large Mines Pebble Mine home page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/largemine/pebble/


11. Alaskans Win Major Victory to Challenge Coal Strip Mine Permits
April 25, 2014 by Laine Welch
State’s loser pays attorneys’ fees law violates rights of citizens, must be rewritten
ANCHORAGE – Residents across southcentral Alaska applauded a decision from the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation (OSM) this week that Alaska’s punitive attorneys’ fees law must be rewritten when it comes to challenges to coal strip mines…

“As Alaskans who must live with the consequences of coal strip mines, we deserve access to the court system and a strong voice in the permitting process,” said Judy Heilman, founding member of the Chuitna Citizens Coalition, a group dedicated to protecting the Chuitna River from PacRim Coal’s proposal to strip mine directly through 25 miles of its tributaries. “This week’s decision protects our right as Alaskans to protect the natural resources we rely on.”

http://www.alaskafishradio.com/alaskans-win-major-victory-to
-challenge-coal-strip-mine-permits/

Alaska DNR Chuitna large mine page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/largemine/chuitna/


12. Murkowski Facilitates Senate Approval of Treaties that Help Alaska’s Fisheries
Weeks After Her Testimony Encouraged Committee Action, Senate Approves First Treaties Since 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the first U.S. Senate approval of international treaties since December of 2010, Senator Lisa Murkowski today lauded two much-needed nautical treaties being approved weeks after she testified on the nation’s need for them before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs: the Port State Measures Agreement and the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean.
Both of these treaties will protect Alaska’s fishing industry and the state’s economy by dramatically cutting down illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) ‘pirate’ fishing practices – activities that have cost Bering Sea crabbers half a billion dollars since 2000, and approximately $11 million in lost local landing revenues, and negatively impacted the market value of their catch.
Senator Murkowski press release: http://article.wn.com/view/2014/04/04/Murkowski_Facilitates
_Senate_Approval_of_Treaties_that_Help_/


13. Cook Inlet Aquaculture buys defunct Port Graham Hatchery
Facility will supplement pink salmon runs in Cook Inlet
By Rashah McChesney
Peninsula Clarion
Pink salmon fishing in the Lower Cook Inlet could soon be revitalized as the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association finalized its purchase of the Port Graham Hatchery on Monday after nearly two years of planning, permitting and logistics.

The facility has not been operational since 2007 when low returns of pink salmon and poor prices forced the Port Graham Hatchery Corporation to close. In 2010 the group asked the aquaculture association to assume management of the operation…
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-04-15/cook-inlet-aquaculture
-buys-defunct-port-graham-hatchery


14. Coast Guard Blames Kulluk Grounding on Shell Oil’s Complacency, Risk Taking
A US Coast Guard investigation blames Shell Oil’s complacency and risk-taking for an oil rig running aground on a remote Alaskan Island on New Year’s Eve 2012.
…”Tow planners did not recognize the risks, nor adequately plan for a towing evolution of such a unique vessel during the height of winter in the Gulf of Alaska.”…
http://kuow.org/post/coast-guard-blames-kulluk-grounding-shell-
oils-complacency-risk-taking

&
U.S. Coast Guard releases report of investigation into the grounding of the mobile offshore drilling unit Kulluk
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard Thursday released the report of investigation into the circumstances surrounding the grounding of the mobile offshore drilling unit Kulluk on the eastern coast of Sitkalidak Island, Alaska, Dec. 31, 2012.

A series of events contributed to the causal factors that resulted in the grounding of the Kulluk, with the most significant factor being the inadequate assessment and management of risks associated with a complex vessel movement during the winter in the unique and challenging operating environment of Alaska…

The report of investigation may be accessed at  http://goo.gl/CUXz5N

USCG Press Release:
http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2130422/U-S-Coast
-Guard-releases-report-of-investigation-into-the-grounding-of-
the-mobile-offshore-drilling-unit-Kulluk

Direct link to report is
https://homeport.uscg.mil/cgi-bin/st/portal/uscg_docs/MyCG/
Editorial/20140403/KULLUK%20COMPLETE%20REDACTED_2
.pdf?id=fc12d13cc769d1a6dc3704533f38d6cec9f3c733&user
_id=70484e677b3c4245abff23687cf15a69

Begich Statement on Coast Guard Report on Kulluk
“I appreciate the Coast Guard’s detailed investigation into the Kulluk incident and their solid recommendations for better training and stricter policies and procedures for vessels operating under Arctic conditions.  I remain a strong supporter of responsible development of the Arctic’s resources. Moving forward, it will be of the utmost importance that the strictest standards are adhered to under challenging conditions.  The Coast Guard’s investigation and recommendations here will help guide that development and gives me greater confidence about the role the Arctic will play in Alaska’s future…

Senator Begich Press Release:
http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2014/4/begich
-statement-on-coast-guard-report-on-kulluk


15. BOF Meeting Summary – Statewide King and Tanner Crab (except Southeast / Yakutat) and Supplemental Issues – March 17-21, 2014
Meeting Summary:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static-f/regulations/regprocess/fisheries
board/pdfs/2013-2014/statewide/soa_statewide_2014.pdf

BOF Meeting info page:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meeting
info&date=03-17-2014&meeting=statewide


16. BOF – NPFMC Joint Protocol Committee to Meet in Anchorage May 21, 2014
The Joint Protocol Committee of the Board of Fisheries (BOF) and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Anchorage in the Heritage Room at the Clarion Suites Hotel, 1110 8th Street, Anchorage, Alaska.  This committee is made up of three BOF members and three NPFMC members.  No regulatory action will be taken at this meeting.  The meeting primarily offers an opportunity to exchange information.
Agenda topics include: updates on Council action on Gulf of Alaska trawl bycatch management, update on Board of Fisheries Pollock Workgroup, rollover provisions from state to federal fisheries, brown crab season date changes, proposed changes to groundfish possession and landing requirements, and miscellaneous state/federal issues…

ADFG Public Notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id
=172414


17. Marine observer program now in hands of federal judge
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Bycatch accounting in the North Pacific and the costs of the revised marine observer program implemented in 2013 are at the core of a lawsuit now in the hands of an Alaska U.S. District Court judge.
Judge H. Russel Holland heard oral argument from The Boat Company, Fixed Gear Alliance and federal defendants regarding the observer program at an April 16 hearing. At the end of the hearing, Holland said a final decision on the motions for summary judgment would take some time…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/April
-Issue-4-2014/Marine-observer-program-now-in-hands-of-federal-
judge/

NPFMC Observer program page: http://www.npfmc.org/observer-
program/


18. NPFMC BSAI Crab Plan Team meets May 5-8 in Juneau
SUMMARY: The North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (NPFMC) Bering Sea Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Crab Plan Team (CPT) will meet in Juneau, AK.
DATES: The meeting will be held May 5-8, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Federal Building, 709 W 9th Street, Room 420, Juneau, AK.
Federal Register meeting notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/
2014-08875

NPFMC home page: http://www.npfmc.org.


19. NPFMC Electronic Monitoring Workgroup meets May 15-16 in Anchorage
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Electronic Monitoring (EM) workgroup will meet in Anchorage, AK.
DATES: The meetings will be held May 15-16, 2014, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the 15th and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the 16th.
ADDRESSES: The meetings will be held at the Clarion Suites, 1110 W. 8th Avenue, Heritage Room, Anchorage, AK.
Federal Register meeting notice : https://federalregister.gov/a/2
014-09428

NPFMC home page: http://www.npfmc.org.


20. Murkowski Raises Alaskan Priorities with NOAA Administrator
Former Astronaut Gives Senator Picture of Alaska Taken from Outer Space
Senator Lisa Murkowski met with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Dr. Kathy Sullivan for the first time since Sullivan was confirmed by the Senate earlier this month. Murkowski took this opportunity to run Dr. Sullivan through a line-up of Alaskan concerns including the Chinese Shellfish ban, electronic monitoring on small fishing boats and the potential of radiation from the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami entering Alaska waters…
Senator Murkowski press release: http://www.murkowski.senate.gov
/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=52f4ecad-01
23-4f90-8037-6d4adf62eb89&ContentType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15bf92da4&Group_id=c01df158-d935-4d7a-895d f694ddf41624&MonthDisplay=3&YearDisplay=2014


21. NOAA Fisheries concludes ‘no jeopardy’ to Steller sea lions from proposed fishery management changes in the Aleutian Islands

Proposed changes to fishing restrictions in the Aleutian Islands are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the endangered western population of Steller sea lions or adversely modify Steller sea lion critical habitat, according to a biological opinion issued today by NOAA Fisheries under the Endangered Species Act.
The agency estimates that the proposed fishery management changes would relieve roughly two-thirds of the economic burden imposed on Aleutian Islands’ fishermen by sea lion protection measures that took effect in 2011. Fishermen could see new regulations in place by January 2015.
…NOAA Fisheries is completing an environmental impact statement on the new fishery management measures, and expects to implement the new regulations in January 2015.

NOAA Press Release: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/newsreleases/
2014/ssl040214.htm

NOAA Fisheries Steller Sea Lion home page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/stellers/

&&&

Murkowski: Steller Sea Lion Decision Validates Push for Science-Based Policy
http://www.akbizmag.com/Alaska-Business-Monthly/April-2014/
Murkowski-Steller-Sea-Lion-Decision-Validates-Push-for-Science-
Based-Policy/


22. NOAA Fisheries finds Southeast Alaska Pacific Herring ESA listing not warranted

NOAA Fisheries has concluded that listing of the Southeast Alaska Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of Pacific herring under the Endangered Species Act is not warranted at this time.
This listing determination decision comes after an extensive status review based on the best scientific and commercial information available…
A copy of the decision is available online at the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region Southeast Alaska Pacific Herring website.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our other social media channels.
To learn more about NOAA Fisheries in Alaska, visit alaskafisheries.noaa.gov or www.afsc.noaa.gov.

NOAA Fisheries press release:
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2014/herring04
0114.htm

NOAA Fisheries Southeast AK Herring home page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/herring/
default.htm


23. ESA Southern Resident Killer Whale revised critical habitat & sound levels – info sought by June 24
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), announce a 90-day finding on a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity to revise the critical habitat designation for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)…

The petition requests we revise this critical habitat to include inhabited Pacific Ocean marine waters along the West Coast of the United States that constitute essential foraging and wintering areas. Additionally, the petition requests that we adopt protective in-water sound levels as a primary constituent element for both currently designated critical habitat and the proposed revised critical habitat. We find that the petition to revise critical habitat, viewed in the context of information readily available in our files, presents substantial scientific information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. We are hereby initiating a review of the currently designated critical habitat to determine whether revision is warranted. To ensure a comprehensive review, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to this action.

DATES: Scientific and commercial information pertinent to the petitioned action must be received by June 24, 2014.

Federal Register notice:
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/04/25/2014-09483
/listing-endangered-or-threatened-species-90-day-finding-on-a-p
etition-to-revise-the-critical-habitat


24. Alexander Archipelago wolf listing as “endangered or threatened may be warranted” says USFWS
Sitnews story: http://www.sitnews.us/0314News/032914/032914_aa_wolf.html

Federal Register notice: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/
2014/03/31/2014-06791/endangered-and-threatened-wildlife-
and-plants-90-day-finding-on-a-petition-to-list-the-alexander


25. State Wins Tongass Roadless Rule Exemption Case
By MARY KAUFFMAN (SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska
Wednesday the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the exemption of the Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Rule. Yesterday”s ruling by the Court could open the door to more logging and road building in the Tongass, the largest national forest in the U.S. and home to approximately 70,000 people living in 32 communities, including Ketchikan…
http://www.sitnews.us/0314News/032714/032714_roadless.html

No. 11-35517, D.C. No. 1:09-cv-00023- JWS OPINION is online at http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/
2014/03/26/11-35517.pdf


26. USFWS posts revised Stock Assessment Reports for Alaska Sea Otters & Walrus
SUMMARY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce that we have revised our stock assessment report (SAR) for the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) stock and for each of the following northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) stocks in Alaska: Southwest, Southcentral, and Southeast. We now make these four final revised SARs available to the public.

ADDRESSES: Document Availability: You may view the revised SARs at http://www.regulations.gov  under Docket No. FWS-R7-ES-2012-0019. You may also view them in Adobe Acrobat format by navigating to the species information page at http://alaska.fws.gov/fisheries/mmm/reports.htm .

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-08942


27. Marine Mammal Commission meets May 5 – 8 in Washington DC
The Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals will meet on Tuesday, 6 May 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 7 May 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8 May 2014, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Commission and the Committee also will meet in executive session on Monday, 5 May 2014, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m…
Five themed sessions will reflect the Objectives in the Commission’s Strategic Plan for 2015-19: The Changing Arctic; Offshore Energy Development; Marine Mammal Health and Stranding; Impacts on Marine Mammals from Fishing; and Recovery of Marine Mammal Stocks: Next Steps. The third day of the meeting, which will be held on Capitol Hill, will feature introductory
remarks from members of Congress, discussion of the outcome of the five themed sessions, a series of short presentations on the latest technological advances in marine mammal science, and a public comment session…

Federal Register notice (April 11): meeting Announcement: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-08358
Correction April 17 (corrected 2014 not 2013) https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-08817
Correction April 25 (start time on May 8 is 9:00): https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-09510
Marine Mammal Commission home page: http://www.mmc.gov/


28. Comment deadline May 7 on Buccaneer Upper Cook Inlet 2014 exploratory drilling MMPA Incidental Take

NMFS has received an application from Buccaneer Alaska Operation, LLC (Buccaneer) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a multi-well offshore exploratory drilling program in upper Cook Inlet during the 2014 open water season. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to Buccaneer to incidentally take, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during the specified activity.
DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than May 7, 2014.
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-07601


29. NMFS updated fishing gear identification requirements drops vessel name

NMFS publishes a regulatory amendment to revise the identification marking requirements for fishing gear marker buoys (buoys) used in Federal waters off Alaska. This final rule eliminates the requirement that hook-and-line, longline pot, and pot-and-line buoys be marked with the vessel’s name. The requirement to mark buoys with either the vessel’s Federal fisheries permit number or Alaska Department of Fish and Game number remains in effect…
Federal Register: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-07467


30. Comment Deadline May 19 on NMFS FFP & FPP application & forms

NMFS proposes to change criteria for submission, approval, surrender, revision, and receipt of a Federal Fisheries Permit (FFP) or Federal Processor Permit (FPP) application form; allow the use of a valid legible copy in place of an original FFP or FPP; remove unnecessary FFP and FPP application form descriptions and contact information from regulation; clarify when an FFP or FPP is required; and make minor modifications to FPP regulations. This action is necessary to reduce industry costs of complying with fishing and processing permit regulations and NMFS’ administrative costs of maintaining and updating permit application regulations and forms. This action would provide efficiency, flexibility, and clarity concerning FFP and FPP requirements. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the FMP, and other applicable laws…
Comments must be received no later than May 19, 2014…
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-08600


31. NMFS posts correction to GOA harvest specifications
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is correcting a final rule that published on March 6, 2014, implementing the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska. One table in the document contained errors…
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-08391

NOAA Fisheries 2014 – 2015 Harvest Specifications page
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/specs14_15/


32. NOAA releases Arctic Action Plan
(SitNews – Ketchikan, Alaska) – NOAA explained how it will concentrate scientific, service, and stewardship efforts in the Arctic when it released its first ever Arctic Vision and Strategy. Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, made the announcement during a keynote address to the Aspen Institute in Washington on April 16th. However, the plan was released today…

NOAA’s Arctic Action Plan
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/NOAAarcticactionplan2014.pdf

Fact Sheet of the Plan
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/NOAAarcticactionplanflyer2014.pdf

Sitnews story online:
http://www.sitnews.us/0414News/042114/042114_arctic_plan.html


33. Murkowski Responds to GAO Arctic Report
Senator: Document Should Serve as “Wake-Up Call”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today responded to the Government Accountability Office’s report on Maritime Infrastructure: Key Issues Related to Commercial Activity in the
U.S. Arctic in the Next Decade
, saying:
… “I thank the GAO for identifying the enormous need we have for mapping and charting our nation’s Arctic waterways. The shocking fact that we have surveyed less than 1% of our critical northern waters should be a wakeup call to decision makers that we must demonstrate vision and act now…
Senator Murkowski press release:
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases
&ContentRecord_id=536251ed-3b2b-4d7c-b6e4-ce8839801954&
ContentType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15bf92da4&Group_
id=c01df158-d935-4d7a-895d-f694ddf41624


34. Murkowski to EPA: Alaskans Concerned by “Regulatory Onslaught”
Senator Says EPA Needs to Better Understand Alaska, Secures Commitments on New Waters Rule
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today questioned Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy about the potential economic impact of several proposed rules, including a recent rulemaking to “clarify” a statutory definition that appears to significantly expand the agency’s control over lands and waters in Alaska.
…Murkowski described EPA’s recent proposal to re-interpret the definition of the term “waters of the United States” as a potential “show-stopper” for responsible development plans across Alaska…
Senator Murkowski press release: http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases
?ID=5bc74a67-be79-4202-b6ee-4c50a9794d09

&
ADN Compass: EPA claims too much power under the Clean Water Act
By Sen. Lisa Murkowski, April 24, 2014
What would Alaskans say if a federal agency retroactively vetoed permits for development of Prudhoe Bay, declaring it never should have been allowed on the North Slope?
What would we think if a federal agency unilaterally banned development in the non-wilderness portion of ANWR?
And what if a federal agency halted efforts to reopen the Nikiski LNG terminal, without any right of appeal, because a tiny portion of the property was once considered wetlands?
While these scenarios might have once seemed far-fetched, all of them – and more – will be possible if the dramatic expansion of EPA’s power under the Clean Water Act continues unchecked.
http://www.adn.com/2014/04/24/3440354/compass-epa-
claims-too-much-power.html


35. Comment deadline July 21 on EPA Clean Water Act Definition of “Waters of the U.S.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources. Determining Clean Water Act protection for streams and wetlands became confusing and complex following Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on Monday, April 21, 2014. The public comment period will be open for 91 days and will close on Monday, July 21, 2014…
http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/wetlands/CWAwaters.cfm


36. NOAA Fisheries to develop national policy on recreational fishing
NOAA Fisheries has announced plans to develop a national recreational fishing policy during its second national Saltwater Recreational Fishing Summit. The policy will broadly guide future actions and better integrate recreational fishing with NOAA Fisheries’ mission.
NOAA Press release: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/
20140402_recfishing.html

&&
NOAA Saltwater Recreational Fishing page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/management/recreational
/recreational_fishing_initiative.html


37. NOAA posts Final Rule on Area 2A Charter Halibut Catch Sharing Plan
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-07536
NOAA Alaska Sport Halibut page: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/halibut/sport.htm


38. Deadline June 30 for IPHC Merit Scholarship
The International Pacific Halibut Commission funds several Merit Scholarships to support university, technical college, and other post-secondary education. The scholarship fund has been established to assist the further education of Canadian and U.S. students connected to the halibut fishery and its industry. Generally, a single new scholarship valued at $2,000 (US) per year is awarded…
http://www.iphc.int/opportunities/scholarship.html


39. NMFS workshop on At-Sea Scales for C/Ps & motherships – May 16, Seattle
NMFS announces a workshop to solicit input from owners and operators of catcher/processor vessels (C/Ps) and motherships that are required to weigh catch at sea. The workshop concerns proposed changes to equipment and operational requirements for motion compensating scales that weigh catch at sea. These proposed changes would affect the owners and operators of three groups of vessels: trawl C/Ps and motherships permitted to fish for or to receive pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) under the (American Fisheries Act) AFA; trawl C/Ps permitted to fish for groundfish under Amendment 80 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI or rockfish in the Central Gulf of Alaska; and longline C/Ps with a license limitation program license endorsed for C/P operations that fish for Pacific cod using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea or Aleutian Islands areas. The workshop will be divided into three sections, and each section will focus on how the proposed changes will affect the three groups of vessels described above…
The public workshop will be held on Friday, May 16, 2014. The workshop will be divided into three sessions: AFA trawl C/Ps and motherships, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Pacific daylight savings time; Amendment 80 and Central GOA trawl C/Ps, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pacific daylight savings time; and Pacific cod longline C/Ps, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Pacific daylight savings time.
ADDRESSES:

The workshop will be held at the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) Seattle Office, 2320 West Commodore Way, Suite 300, Seattle, WA. Directions to the IPHC are on its Web site at http://www.iphc.int/component/content/article/
135-new-office.html

(IPHC address is 2320 West Commodore Way, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98199-1287)

Federal Register notice 4/29: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-09732


40. NOAA: Crude oil causes developmental abnormalities in large marine fish
Crude oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster causes severe defects in the developing hearts of bluefin and yellowfin tunas, according to a new study by a team of NOAA and academic scientists.

The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, show how the largest marine oil spill in United States history may have affected tunas and other species that spawned in oiled offshore habitats in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA Press release: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20140324
_dwh_fishimpact.html


41. The Pacific’s Salmon Are Back — Thank Human Ingenuity
Geoengineering could turn our long-barren oceans into a bounty.
In 2012, the British Columbia–based Native American Haida tribe launched an effort to restore the salmon fishery that has provided much of their livelihood for centuries. Acting collectively, the Haida voted to form the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation, financed it with $2.5 million of their own savings, and used it to support the efforts of American scientist-entrepreneur Russ George to demonstrate the feasibility of open-sea mariculture — in this case, the distribution of 120 tons of iron sulfate into the northeast Pacific to stimulate a phytoplankton bloom which in turn would provide ample food for baby salmon.
The verdict is now in on this highly controversial experiment: It worked…
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/376258/pacifics-salmon-are
-back-thank-human-ingenuity-robert-zubrin#
!


42. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science: Climate change, pink salmon, and the nexus between bottom-up and top-down forcing in the subarctic Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea  By Alan Springer and Gus B. van Vliet…

Wild salmon in the North Pacific Ocean, particularly pink salmon, have grown greatly since the mid-1970s apparently due to bottom-up effects of climate change on ocean physics and production processes. Pink salmon spend less than 2 y at sea and most stocks alternate between high and low levels of abundance every other year. In years of high abundance, they now constitute a pelagic consumer front as they return to their spawning rivers, exert top-down control over the open ocean ecosystem by outcompeting other species for shared prey resources, and drive major ecological shifts between years of high and low abundance. Their effect on competing species must be considered in international conservation policies and when developing informed ecosystem-based management strategies…
For study see:
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/03/28/1319089111


43. Farm salmon pose clear reproductive threat to wild gene pools
Farmed salmon show full reproductive potential to invade wild gene pools and should be sterilised – according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Findings published today reveal that, while farmed salmon are genetically different to their wild counterparts, they are just as fertile. This is important information because millions of farmed salmon escape into the wild – posing threats to wild gene pools.
Lead Researcher Prof Matt Gage from UEA’s school of Biological Sciences said: “Around 95 per cent of all salmon in existence are farmed, and domestication has made them very different to wild populations, each of which is locally adapted to its own river system.
“Farmed salmon grow very fast, are aggressive, and not as clever as wild salmon when it comes to dealing with predators. These domestic traits are good for producing fish for the table, but not for the stability of wild populations.

“The problem is that farmed salmon can escape each year in their millions, getting into wild spawning populations, where they can then reproduce and erode wild gene pools, introducing these negative traits….
http://phys.org/news/2014-03-farm-salmon-pose-reproductive
-threat.html#inlRlv


44. Engineered salmon may be a tough sell
The Obama administration has stalled for more than four years on deciding whether to approve a fast-growing salmon that would be the first genetically modified animal approved for human consumption.

During that time, opponents of the technology have taken advantage of increasing consumer concern about genetically modified foods and have urged several major retailers not to sell it. So far, two of the nation’s biggest grocers, Safeway and Kroger, have pledged to keep the salmon off their shelves if it is approved…
http://phys.org/news/2014-04-salmon-tough.html#jCp


45. F.D.A. prohibits some omega-3 claims, effective 2016
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is publishing a final rule that prohibits certain nutrient content claims for foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, the agency said April 25.

The rule prohibits statements on the labels of food products, including dietary supplements, claiming the products are “high” in two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Synonyms such as “rich in” and “excellent source of” also are prohibited…

Another notification for ALA, DHA and EPA came to the F.D.A. in 2004 from Alaska General Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Inc. and Trans-Ocean Products, Inc. The F.D.A. prohibited the nutrient content claims from the three seafood processors.

Baking News story:
http://www.bakingbusiness.com/articles/news_home/Regulatory
/2014/04/FDA_prohibits_some_omega-3_cla.aspx?ID=%7B7AF
B545D-53F7-40FF-822D-43664673B310%7D&cck=1

Federal Register Notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-09492


46. FDA What You Need To Know About Establishment, Maintenance, and Availability of Records-Small Entity Compliance Guide; Availability
From the pdf guidance document:

… Section 414(b) of the FD&C Act directs FDA to issue regulations that establish requirements regarding the establishment and maintenance of records – for not longer than two years – by persons (excluding farms and restaurants) who manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, hold, or import food. To implement this provision, the Agency issued a final regulation on the establishment and maintenance of records in 2004 (69 FR 71561, Dec. 9, 2004) and certain parts of the regulations were subsequently corrected in 2005 (70 FR 8726, Feb. 23, 2005). The records that must be kept by these regulations are those that are needed by FDA for inspection, to allow FDA to identify the immediate previous sources and immediate subsequent recipients of food, including its packaging. This, in turn, will help address credible threats of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals…

Excluded from the Requirement to Establish and Maintain Records, but not the Record Availability Requirements for Existing Records
• Fishing vessels not engaged in processing..

Regulations.gov Docket ID: FDA-2013-N-1421:  http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FDA-2013-N-1421

FDA Guidance page: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocuments
RegulatoryInformation/FoodDefense/ucm391329.htm

Guidance document: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/Guidance
DocumentsRegulatoryInformation/FoodDefense/UCM391440.pdf

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-07548


47. NIOSH releases Paul Revere: A story of Survival in Bristol Bay.
…the story of Shannon Ford her crew’s survival of a skiff capsizing in Bristol Bay a few years ago. I had the honor to interview both her and Don Ward about their experience and what role their personal flotation devices played in their survival. The video is about 10 minutes long and available on the NIOSH website and NIOSH YouTube channel.
NIOSH home page:
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/video/2014-115/


48. Ray Troll’s Ratfish band promotes rockfish safe release with hit song:
Rockfish Barotrauma MUSIC VIDEO .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c0CN_1veT0

Is Barotrauma Keeping You Up? Try Getting Down with Recompression
-informational video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiZFghwVOyI

ADFG Rockfish Barotrauma prevention page:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishing
Info.rockfishconservation

Thanks to Copper River Regional Seafood Development Association President Mike Mikkelson for the heads up on this item.


49. Laine Welch Fish Radio – items from this week
AK seaweeds are super foods; fight obesity, diabetes
Kodiak Students Connecting with Ocean Science
Setnet ban gets day in Court; Togiak herring price tanks
Strong US dollar means more pricey exports
Kodiak herring going slow, Next up Togiak
Earth Day! What’s trashing our oceans?

These and more, online at http://www.alaskafishradio.com/


50. Comment Period Opens For Cruise Waste Permits – deadline May 23
The Legislature approved new regulations last year for cruise ships to release wastewater into Alaska’s oceans. Since then, the state has developed a permit process based on those regulations. Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Water Director Michelle Hale stopped in Ketchikan this week to talk about the changes.

…The cruise ship defines two different regulatory mixing zones, one for discharge underway and one for discharge at 6 knots or less or stationary,” she said. “Primarily, that 6 knots or less is for stationary vessels, but we kind of had to make a break point. So, if you’re going faster than 6 knots, you get covered under one mixing zone, if you’re going slower, you’re covered under another.”
Hale said some members of the public were concerned that the permits for cruise ships wouldn’t protect the ocean enough. But, she said, her division wrote the permits in a way that treats cruise ships like other wastewater discharge systems.
…More details about the draft cruise ship wastewater permit program is available on the Division of Water’s website. That’s also the place to go to find out how to submit comments. The comment period closes May 23rd.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/04/22/comment-period
-opens-for-cruise-waste-permits/

Alaska DEC online public notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/
View.aspx?id=172127

Alaska DEC Large Commercial Passenger Vessel Wastewater Discharge home page: http://dec.alaska.gov/water/cruise_ships/gp/2014dgp.html


51. Rural Determination for Federal Subsistence Under Review
The Federal Subsistence Board is meeting in Anchorage this week to discuss several topics — including whether to change the process by which villages are determined to be rural for subsistence purposes.

The board is reviewing public comments submitted over the last year before it decides whether to recommend changes to the process.
Only the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture departments can ultimately alter the rural determination process. Under the current rules, communities with more than 7,000 people would be considered non-rural, unless they possess significant “rural characteristics.”

The towns of Bethel, Sitka, Kodiak and Ketchikan all have populations at or near that number. Many groups, including corporations formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and tribes, are asking to increase the threshold to a higher number.
: http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/rural-determination
-for-federal-subsistence-under-review/25505208


52. Comments deadline June 13 on proposed changes to Federal subsistence fisheries regulations
ANCHORAGE — The Federal Subsistence Board is accepting written comments, through June
13, 2014, on proposed changes to Federal subsistence fisheries regulations. These proposed
changes would affect Federal subsistence open seasons, harvest limits, methods for the taking of
fish and shellfish, and customary and traditional use determinations for the 2015-2017 regulatory
years.

Copies of the proposal book can be found at http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/index.cfm or by
contacting the Office of Subsistence Management at (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3888…
In addition to written comments, the public is welcome to provide comments at the Regional Advisory Council meetings in August, September, and October 2014 or at the Federal Subsistence Board meeting in Anchorage in January 2015…

Federal Subsistence Board Press Release: http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/news/fishing/comments-invited-
fisheries-regulations.cfm

2015-2017 Fisheries Proposals (6.2MB):
http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/proposal/current/upload/2015-2017
-Fisheries-Regulatory-Proposals.pdf

Federal Subsistence home page:
http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/index.cfm


53. US Supreme Court rejects state appeal in long-running Katie John subsistence case
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a long-running dispute over management of Alaska’s waterways.The decision effectively upholds a lower court’s decision in what’s become popularly known as the “Katie John case.” This continues the federal government control’s over hunting and fishing on navigable state-owned waters adjacent to federal land.The decision, a blow to the state and a victory for the Alaska Federation of Natives, upholds a 2013 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The state of Alaska had petitioned the high court, seeking review…
http://www.adn.com/2014/03/31/3402229/supreme-court
-declines-to-hear.html

Alaska Dispatch: more detail
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140331/three-decades
-katie-john-litigation-ends-supreme-court-declining-review-key-case

State 2013 filing: State of Alaska vs. Sally Jewell, Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior et all
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/
petition110413.pdf


54. Federal Subsistence Board votes to limit Kuskokwim kings to federally qualified users
By Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

The Federal Subsistence Board Thursday unanimously approved a special action request from the Napaskiak Traditional Council that would limit any available king salmon to federally qualified subsistence users of 32 specific Kuskokwim communities.
In the discussion about limiting the pool of eligible fisherman, the board heard passionate testimony about the need for chinook harvest.

“Through blood, sweat, and tears we feed our families,” said George Guy of Kwethuluk.
They also heard calls for strong conservation measures. Lisa Feyereisen is from Chuathbaluk.
“I want to be able to show my grandchildren what a Chinook salmon looks like,” said Feyereisen.
The action passed by the board doesn’t specifically open up any harvest of kings nor does it shut down fisheries that could incidentally catch kings. All it does it say who will be at the table if the runs comes in stronger than expected…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/04/22/116322/


55. Kuskokwim Dipnet Fishery Emergency Regulation posted
Notice of Adoption of Emergency Regulations of the Alaska Board of Fisheries

On March 21, 2014, the Alaska Board of Fisheries adopted, as emergency regulations, changes in Title 5 of the Alaska Administrative Code dealing with subsistence salmon fishing on the Kuskokwim River in the Kuskokwim Area, including the following:
5 AAC 07.365(d)(2) is changed to give the commissioner of fish and game authority to close the subsistence salmon fishing season on the Kuskokwim River and immediately reopen by emergency order a subsistence salmon fishing season during which a gillnet mesh size and length of a gillnet may be reduced under certain conditions and a person may use a dip net to subsistence fish for salmon.  In addition, any king salmon taken by a dip net must be immediately returned to the water alive.
Online public notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View
.aspx?id=172290


56. Yupiit Nation to host salmon forum – Bethel April 30 – May1
The Yupiit Nation Board of Trustees will be hosting a Tribal Forum for 56 Federally Recognized Tribes and fishermen on April 30 and May 1, 2014 at the ONC Multipurpose Building (Old Bowling Alley) in Bethel, Alaska. Both days will start at 8:00 am-9:00 am registration, the meetings start at 9:00 am sharp.

The purpose of the Forum is to review and update our summer fishing proposed plans that are going to have real impact on our traditional and customary way of life. Both the State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the decision on the request by Native Village of Napaskiak by the Federal Subsistence Board will be reviewed. We will also have updates on our legal fishing issues in Alaska, and an update on the Katie John decision by the US Supreme Court. As we all know, the Kuskokwim River Management Working Group has been reviewing the escapement numbers of Chinook since 1984 with the Bethel Test Fishery and the existing weirs…
http://www.deltadiscovery.com/story/2014/04/16/in-our-native
-land/yupiit-nation-to-host-salmon-forum/2000.html


57. Comment deadline May 21 on ADFG Invasive Pike eradication in Soldotna Creek drainage
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has applied to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for a permit to apply pesticide to control invasive northern Pike in the Soldotna Creek drainage area in the Kenai Peninsula.

The following project is proposed and is being reviewed by the appropriate regulatory programs.  DEC requests comments from the public regarding the permit application. Copies of the application are available on-line or upon request.

PROJECT NAME: Soldotna Creek Drainage Area Northern Pike Control Aquatic Pesticide Use Permit.

WRITTEN COMMENTS: Comments must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on May 21, 2014. To ensure that your comments are considered in relation to this application, please include the project name at the beginning of your comment. To be considered, comments must be submitted in writing to DEC at the following address:

ADFG online notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/
View.aspx?id=172235


58. Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force meets May 7-8, Arlington VA.
…the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a public meeting of the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force. The ANS Task Force’s purpose is to develop and implement a program for U.S. waters to prevent introduction and dispersal of aquatic invasive species (AIS); to monitor, control, and study such species; and to disseminate related information.

DATES: The ANS Task Force will meet from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7, through Thursday, May 8, 2014. For security purposes,
registration for the meeting is required. If you wish to attend the meeting, you must register by contacting the ANS Task Force Executive
Secretary (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) no later than May 1, 2014…

ANS Task Force home page: http://www.anstaskforce.gov/default.php
Meeting page: http://www.anstaskforce.gov/Meetings/2014_May/default.php
Draft Agenda: http://www.anstaskforce.gov/Meetings/2014_
May/Draft_agenda_Spring_2014_4_3_14.pdf

Federal Register notice:
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/03/31/2014-06974
/aquatic-nuisance-species-task-force-meeting


59. Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch
What to watch for and how to report potential invasive species on debris…
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/species/nonnative/invasive/pdfs/
tsunami_debris_species_watch_osu.pdf


60. Report Invasive Species in Alaska – 1-800-INVASIV
…Your vigilance could help us intercept and prevent the spread of an unwanted biological invader – an invasive species that shouldn’t be here and which could cause serious harm to Alaska’s native fish and wildlife species, and their habitats. Learn more about nonnative species and why your actions to report odd species are so important.

Note the location (maybe even get a GPS coordinate) and, if you can, take a picture. Then report your find to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Invasive Species Program at dfg.dsf.InvasiveSpecies@alaska.gov , or call the Invasive Species Hotline: 1-877-INVASIV (1-877-468-2748).

ADF&G Invasive Species page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=invasive.main


61. Nominations Requested for EVOS Public Advisory Committee – deadline May 15
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council is seeking nominations for the Public Advisory Committee to serve a 24 month term from October 2014 through September 2016.  Nominations are due to the Trustee Council Office by Thursday, May 15, 2014.  For more information on the role of the Public Advisory Committee or the nomination process, or copies of documents relating to the Public Advisory Committee or the work of the Trustee Council visit www.evostc.state.ak.us , or contact Cherri Womac at the Trustee Council Office, 907/278-8012…
Online public notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/
View.aspx?id=171714


62. Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) Board Announces Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Program Improvements
April 25, Juneau, AK – To continue to provide the highest assurance of responsible fisheries management of Alaska’s fisheries, the Board of Directors of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) voted to enhance the Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification program.

“We’ve built a credible third party certification program for our industry and customers, and we are evolving the program. Just as Alaska’s fishery managers and biologists are dedicated to improvements in the fishery management system, we too remain committed to continuous improvement with RFM,” states ASMI Executive Director, Michael Cerne…
http://pressroom.alaskaseafood.org/alaska-seafood-marketing
-institute-asmi-board-announces-responsible-fisheries-management
-rfm-program-improvements/


63. MAFAC Comment deadline April 30 on NOAA role in Sustainable Seafood Certification
…Due to stakeholder requests and increasing public interest, in mid-2012, NOAA Fisheries asked MAFAC to explore the creation of a NOAA certification mark or other acknowledgement that could certify sustainability of domestic wild-caught and aquaculture fishery products.  MAFAC agreed and organized a working group to investigate the topic and develop a recommendation.  Your assessment of MAFAC’s recommendation is welcome…

In developing its recommendation over the course of the past year, MAFAC invited external experts to present information on the subject at meetings; solicited public input from producers, buyers, and non-governmental organizations; conducted personal interviews; and engaged in extensive internal deliberations.

MAFAC finalized and delivered its recommendation to NOAA Fisheries in December 2013. The recommendation was supported by a majority of, but not all, MAFAC members.  The Committee included the alternative points of view in their report…
Recommendations & report:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/op/Sustainability/Sustainable
_Seafood_Certification.html


64. Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines – April  Newsletter
-New Marine Advisory Agent in Bristol Bay
-Alaskans Learn Do’s and Don’ts of Community Based Monitoring
-Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute
http://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/fishlines/2014/april.php


65. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
http://amsea.org/


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