UFA Update: August 12, 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.

From the Executive Director:Please save the date! The UFA fall meeting will be held at the Hotel Captain Cook in downtown Anchorage September 26th, 27th & 28th. The UFA meeting dates are set to coincide with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) All-Hands meeting which will also be held at the Captain Cook September 29th, 30th, & October 1st.

Every fall during an election year, UFA holds their semi-annual meeting in Anchorage in order to meet with elected officials and potential candidates as well as conduct UFA business. At the 2014 fall UFA meeting, we will also be celebrating our 40th anniversary. UFA members and interested individuals are encouraged to attend the meeting (executive session is open to UFA board members only).

In addition to our fall meeting, UFA will also hold a 40th anniversary banquet and awards ceremony on Friday, September 26th also at the Hotel Captain Cook. Please check your email at the end of August for information regarding ticket purchase for the banquet. UFA will also be offering several sponsorship opportunities to help us celebrate 40 years of protecting Alaska’s fisheries.  Please contact us if you need any additional information.
Be sure to vote early! Have a safe and productive fishing season, please feel free to contact us to discuss the issues that are important to you.

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 

VOTE WHILE YOU FISH!

Download and post UFA’s VOTE WHILE YOU FISH poster at www.ufa-fish.org .

See UFA’s July 1st election update here: http://www.ufa-fish.org/update/14/070114.htm

Early and Absentee voting for the PRIMARY Election is now open. Absentee and Early voting instructions:www.elections.alaska.gov/vi_ea_ev_ip.php

 

Important 2014 Alaska Election Dates:
Voter and polling place lookup:https://webapp.state.ak.us/electionsLookup/JSP/VoterLookupMain.jsp
Voter registration info: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/vi_vr_how.php
*** Polls are open Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ***
Aug 18 – Last day to submit your absentee ballot application electronically for the Primary Election.
August 19 – PRIMARY ELECTION DAY
Aug 19 – Deadline for absentee by-mail ballots to be postmarked.
Aug 19 – 8:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time, deadline for electronic transmission absentee ballots to be received.
Oct 5 – Last day to register to vote for the November 4th General Election.
Oct 20 – Early voting and in-person absentee, special needs and by-electronic transmission voting begins.
Oct 25 – Last day to submit your absentee ballot application by mail for the General Election.
Nov 3 – Last day to submit your absentee ballot application electronically for the General Election.
November 4 – GENERAL ELECTION DAY

 

CONTENTS
Top Action Alerts: 
Comment by August 20 on KSM Mine – see #48 (& read about BC mining area landslides in items 49-52)
Comment by August 27 on Humpback Whale delisting – see #17
Support Hawaiian fishermen opposing National Monument fishery closures – see #23

Statewide
1. State to appeal setnet initiative ruling
2. AFCA response to state appeal announcement (not found on web)
3. Court finds urban setnet ban initiative can move forward
4. KPFA Response: We are saddened by the Alaska Superior Court’s decision to allow
5. Peninsula Clarion: Setnet initiative inappropriate for fish regs
6. Opinion: Enough! Kenai dipnetters need to learn the rules, respect the resource
7. Former Pebble Partnership Employee Ben Mohr Named Fisheries Advisor to Governor Parnell
8. BOF Agenda Change Request deadline August 18
9. Yukon River king salmon returns see improvement
10. Yukon salmon: don’t pop champagne corks yet
11. Dipnet trial finds favor on Yukon, but not on Kuskokwim
12. Gold Miners Push Back Against Nome Over ‘Negative Social Impacts’
13. Gold-dredging boats in Nome get Coast Guard inspections
14. Meetings Scheduled on SE Draft Transportation plan
15. Comment deadline August 18 on CFEC regulation changes
16. Board of Forestry meets in Kodiak August 13-14

Federal
17. Reminder: Comment deadline August 27 on Central North Pacific Humpback Whale delisting & DPS
18. Revised Magnuson-Stevens draft posted for comment by Oceans Subcommittee
19. Incidental vessel discharge: Begich Bill Will Eliminate Red Tape for Alaska Fishing Vessels
20. Murkowski Introduces Legislation Requiring Congressional Approval of National Monuments
21. WP Council: Obama Monument Expansion betrays US Fishermen, Places Unfair Burden on US Islands
22. HI Marine Nat’l Monument – Tuna, Conservation and the Race for the U.S. Senate
23: Fishermen of Hawaii And The U.S. Territories Need Your Support!
24. White House seeks comments on Framework to Combat IUU Fishing – by Sept 2, meetings in August
25. Senators push for fish research in Juneau
26. Gov. Congratulates Admiral Papp on New Arctic Post
27. NFWF Announces $1.23 Million in Grants to Support Sustainable Fisheries (two in Sitka)
28. NOAA Invites Comments on Habitat Focus Areas – deadline Aug 29
29. NMFS posts Halibut-Sablefish IFQ hired skipper regulations
30. Comment deadline October 3 on Cooperative Halibut Prohibited Species Info Collection
31. Comment deadline September 10 on GOA Trawl Economic Data Report Program
32. NOAA Fisheries seeks input in Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Trawl Fishery Social Study
33. NPFMC Electronic Monitoring Workgroup to meet August 13 by teleconference
34. Comment deadline August 27 on USFS Petersburg-Kake intertie EIS
35. Comment deadline September 2 on NMFS at-sea scale regulation changes
36. Comment deadline September 8 on GOA Groundfish IFQ small blocks CQE transfer
37. NMFS posts BSAI Crab fee .65 percent for 2014/2015 fishing year
38. NMFS calls for scientific info for Steller Sea Lion critical habitat – abstracts by Aug 29 for Sept. 22 meeting
39. Comment deadline extended to Sept. 17 on USCG NVIC Maritime Security Program guidance

Marketing
40. Russia’s import ban hits Alaskan seafood industry
41. Alaska fish consumption guidelines expand species on unrestricted list
42. Seattle Times Guest Editorial: Bring local seafood back
43. Governor asks feds to buy surplus salmon
44. Bristol Bay fishermen poised to pass on pinks
45. Alaska Science Forum: Tracking salmon to their birth waters
46. Governor’s North Star Awards for International Excellence – nomination deadline Sept. 5
47. Murkowski to McDonald’s: Alaska’s Fisheries Are Protected, Sustainable

Environmental
48. BC’s KSM mine nears environmental approval – COMMENT BY AUGUST 20
49. Residents calling it an environmental disaster: tailings pond breach at Mount Polley Mine near Likely, BC
50. Begich: State Department Should Demand Investigation of Mount Polley Dam Failure
51. BC Ministry of Energy & Mines: Where Do Landslides Occur?
52. Helicopter rescue aids Tahltan salmon blocked by (other) landslide
53. A wake-up call in Alaska about ocean acidification and coastal communities
54. Bristol Bay EPA Notice of Availability And Public Hearings – August 12  – 15
55. Bristol Bay Forever Initiative – Public Forum August 13, Anchorage
56. Judge: 60 days’ notice of EPA plans not needed
57. AK Beat: Billionaire mining investor says Pebble “will not be built”
58. A year after Pebble, Iliamna Lake communities adjust to new normal
59. EPA’s Pebble play is an abuse of power — with more to come
60. Murkowski Comments on EPA Restrictions on Bristol Bay Watershed
61. EPA White Paper: Probabilistic Risk Assessment Methods and Case Studies To Inform Decision Making
62. Comment deadline September 4 on Apache Cook Inlet seismic operations
63. USFS extends comment period on Groundwater Resource Management Directive to Sept. 3.
64. Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership seeks films for AFS/AWRA fall conference
65. 2014 AFS / AWRA / SEAFHP meeting – Juneau October 20-24 (Abstracts due Sept. 15)
66. Judge rules Beringia bearded seals improperly listed as threatened
67.  ‘AlumaSki’ debuts on Wasilla Lake – & coming soon to your favorite watershed
68. Boldly going where no boat has gone before – shallow water, narrow straits
69. Water reservations: Elim Gathers River Data as Safeguard Against Uranium Mining

Subsistence
70. SHI aims to rebuild stocks to culturally, archaeologically indicated levels at historical locations
71. Officials Consider Proposed Federal Takeover of Kuskokwim Salmon Fishery
72. Saxman sues federal officials over non-rural status
73. Allakaket speaks out against Ambler road, potential harm to subsistence lifestyle
74. Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils to Hold Meetings Statewide
75. Park Service to hold Subsistence Resource Commission meetings –

Other
76. NIOSH New Product Spotlight: Live to be Salty
77. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
78. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Items from this week

Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees.

Statewide

1. State to appeal setnet initiative ruling
By Molly Dischner
Published: 2014.08.05 05:45 PM
The State of Alaska will appeal a state Superior Court decision that would permit a ballot initiative that could ban setnets in certain parts of the state.

The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, or AFCA, filed a ballot initiative petition last November seeking to ask voters whether to ban setnets in urban parts of the state, which would primarily impact Upper Cook Inlet setnetters.
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell rejected the initiative in January, based on a state Department of Law opinion asserting that it would be a prohibited resource appropriation not allowed under the Alaska Constitution.

In July, however, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Catherine Easter overturned Treadwell’s decision, and ordered the lieutenant governor to certify the initiative and allow proponents to continue the process of gathering signatures to get the question on the 2016 ballot.
The state will appeal Easter’s ruling.

Department of Law Assistant Attorney General Cori Mills wrote in an Aug. 5 email that the state will appeal the decision.
“The State plans on appealing the Alaska superior court’s decision in the set-net ban initiative case (Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance v. State) once the final judgment is filed,” Mills wrote in an emailed statement. “Alaska’s Constitution requires sustainable and responsible allocation of our fisheries for the benefit of all Alaskans. The Alaska Constitution also prohibits use of the initiative process for appropriations, including appropriations of our resources. We believe the superior court erred in finding that the proposed ban on set-netting does not amount to an appropriation and look forward to presenting our arguments before the Alaska Supreme Court.”
The issue will go to the state Supreme Court, where the record must first be established before briefs are filed or any activity occurs in the case…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/August
-Issue-2-2014/State-will-appeal-ruling-allowing-setnet-ban-initiative/


2. AFCA response to state appeal announcement (not found on web)
Dear fellow Alaskan,
The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance (AFCA) was formed to protect Alaska fish. To that end, our group has filed an initiative to ban the commercial use of set nets in urban, non-subsistence areas of Alaska. The Anchorage Superior Court has ruled that such an initiative is constitutional, and now AFCA is in the process of gathering signatures to qualify the initiative for the August 2016 ballot. With two years until the election, there is plenty of time for public consideration, discussion and debate on this issue.

We want to be very clear: AFCA supports commercial fishing in Alaska. It brings jobs, economic development and a whole host of benefits to our state. AFCA was formed with conservation in mind and we believe most commercial fishing interests in our state have a similar view. The majority of the businesses in this field are vigilant in assuring fish stocks will continue in perpetuity. It assures the long-term benefit of the industry. However, one form of commercial fishing in Alaska does not fit the mold of the rest – urban, non-subsistence set nets.

This method of fishing indiscriminately catches any fish, in fact it traps almost anything in or near the water that passes upstream, including species that may be threatened or in decline. When non-targeted species are caught much of the bycatch cannot be sold or used, thus going to waste. Set nets have the highest rate of bycatch of any fishing method allowed in Alaska’s waters.

Avoiding byctach of threatened species is the logic behind our ballot initiative to ban commercial set net fishing in urban, non-subsistence areas of Alaska. It is based on conservation and economics.

We recognize Alaska provides more than half of our nation’s wild seafood harvest and more than 90% of North America’s wild salmon. While Alaska is blessed with this natural resource in great abundance, healthy fish stocks also require good stewardship. The fish won’t last forever if we overharvest them. The way we fish today determines the state of our fisheries in the future. This is why the unhealthy, unmanageable, non-subsistence set net fisheries in urban Alaska must end.

The five state-designated, non-subsistence areas are most of the regions immediately around Anchorage (including the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough), Fairbanks, Juneau, Valdez and Ketchikan. These areas amount to 10 percent of Alaska’s land but hold approximately 70 percent of its population. Subsistence set nets in rural Alaska and personal use fishing, such as dip-net fishing in urban Alaska, will not be affected.

Over the last 25 years, many states have taken measures against commercial set nets after their fish stocks declined to dangerous levels. Texas, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, New York, and California have voted to ban commercial set nets, while Oregon and Washington have severely restricted their use.

Alaska prides itself on being a world model for sustainable fisheries management, yet we still allow the use of this indiscriminate and wasteful harvest method. It is time that we take this important step in protecting our fish for future generations.

The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance is committed to protecting Alaska’s future fish any time they are threatened. We recognize that much of the commercial fishing industry that operates in Alaska’s waters works to do the same.

AFCA supports commercial fishing in Alaska, including the Cook Inlet Drift Fleet.  We will continue to communicate that message openly as we engage in educating the public on why this commercial urban, non-subsistence set net ban is imperative for Alaska. We want to work together with all commercial fishing groups for the future of Alaska. Conservation is in the best interests of all of us.

At the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, Conservation is our middle name…

Editor’s note – We have included this in entirety only because we do not find it online.


3. Court finds urban setnet ban initiative can move forward
Suzanna Caldwell – ADN – July 23, 2014
A group looking to introduce a ballot initiative that would ban commercial setnets in Alaska’s urban areas received approval to move forward Wednesday.

State Superior Court Judge Catherine Easter overturned the state’s decision to reject a ballot initiative that, if passed, would ban setnets in the state’s urban areas.

Clark Penney, executive director of the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, the group behind the initiative, praised the court’s decision in a statement. Penney said the group would be acting swiftly to begin gathering signatures to bring the ballot measure to the 2016 primary ballot.

While the law would apply to all urban areas of the state — including Fairbanks, Juneau and Valdez — the group’s main target is the Cook Inlet commercial setnet fleet. They argue that setnets are an antiquated model that catches too many king salmon while setnetters are targeting sockeye salmon bound for the Kenai River.

Kings have had poor returns on Cook Inlet rivers in recent years, forcing strict conservation measures among the commercial and sportfishing industries on the Kenai Peninsula. In April, the court heard arguments for and against the initiative.

At issue was whether the proposed law allowed for an allocation of resources. The state argued it did, saying that banning setnets would effectively transfer the resource from one user group to another and constitute an appropriation, and in the process wipe out an entire part of the commercial fishery. The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance disagreed, saying the initiative simply banned a gear type they now consider to be outdated and harmful to king salmon.

“Urban commercial set netters are not a ‘user group’ any more so than sport fishers using fly rods are a distinct user group than those using spinning rods,” Easter wrote in her order.
http://www.adn.com/article/20140723/court-finds-setnet-ban-
initiative-can-move-forward

To follow this case, search Trial Courts athttp://courts.alaska.gov/search-cases.htm  and search by case number 3AN-14-04558CI .     (Ruling not yet posted)


4. KPFA Response: We are saddened by the Alaska Superior Court’s decision to allow the dishonest and un-Alaskan initiative effort to ban setnets in urban areas of Alaska to move forward. Regardless of what the backers of the
so named “
Setnet Initiative

are calling themselves today, this is just one more attempt by Bob Penney and his lobbying organization, the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, to put a century-old fishery in Cook Inlet, consisting of hardworking Alaskan families, out of business.

The initiative has nothing to do with conservation, it has everything to do with greed and a sense of entitlement by a small group of people…
http://www.akbizmag.com/Alaska-Business-Monthly/July-2014/
Kenai-Peninsula-Fishermens-Association-Saddened-By-The-Alaska-
Superior-Court-Ruling-on-the-Setnet-Ban-Initiative/


5. Peninsula Clarion: Setnet initiative inappropriate for fish regs
July 31, 2014 – Updated: August 1, 2014
It has been a rough couple of years for Cook Inlet fishermen…
A ballot initiative to ban a gear type has the potential to allow hundreds of thousands of Alaskans from outside the Kenai Peninsula to decide the future of the commercial setnet industry that generates millions in revenue for our local economy.
If the initiative is successful, it paves the way for fishing regulations to be decided at the ballot box and bypasses the Board of Fisheries’ process and purpose for existence.

It is a dangerous precedent to set and while we believe that evolving fisheries require fishermen who are willing to adapt, the regulation of a multi-billion dollar industry and the state’s No. 1 private sector employer through the ballot box is not the way to ensure that the state’s fisheries are prosecuted safely, fairly and with the upmost regard for the resource.
In fact, ballot-box fisheries regulation seems like a surefire way to ensure that the Fish Wars continue for years to come.
http://peninsulaclarion.com/opinion/2014-07-31


6. Opinion: Enough! Kenai dipnetters need to learn the rules, respect the resource
By Craig Medred, Alaska Dispatch News
“Why is the river running the wrong way?” a Yuppie-ish woman in spanking new waders asked as a near 30-foot Cook Inlet tide came surging back into the river’s mouth on a sunny Monday afternoon.
Ah, because the tide is coming in?
This might all be funny if it was only about silly questions. But it isn’t. It’s also about responsible use of Alaska resources.
One would think that before setting off to kill things, the men and women new to what the 49th state calls “personal use” dipnet fisheries would at least learn what it is they are legally allowed to kill. One would be wrong…
http://www.adn.com/article/20140716/opinion-enough-kenai-
dipnetters-need-learn-rules-respect-resource

Related:
Kenai Peninsula law enforcement hunkers down for flood of
dipnetters

Opinion: Possible commercial salmon opener panics Kenai dipnetters,
but is it really such a bad thing?


7. Former Pebble Partnership Employee Ben Mohr Named Fisheries Advisor to Governor Parnell
By Mike Mason, KDLG radio
The campaign manager for U.S. Senate Candidate Dan Sullivan has been picked to be the new fisheries advisory to Alaska Governor Sean Parnell. Late last year Dan Sullivan named Ben Mohr as campaign manager. Mohr has left the campaign to accept a job as Alaska Governor Sean Parnell’s fisheries policy advisor.

Mohr is from Anchorage. He has a bachelor’s degree from Alaska Pacific University and is a former Chairman of the Anchorage Young Republicans. Mohr’s selection is drawing some criticism because prior to joining the Sullivan for Senate campaign he spent 6-years working for the Pebble Limited Partnership, which is looking at developing a huge open-pit mine north of Lake Iliamna. Mohr worked as a public affairs specialist for the Partnership and he often served as a spokesperson for the Partnership. Mohr was with the Partnership for over 6-years. Ben Mohr replaces Stephanie Moreland as the Governor’s fisheries policy advisor. She held that position for a couple of years.
http://kdlg.org/post/former-pebble-partnership-employee-named
-fisheries-advisor-governor-parnell

&
profile of Ben Mohr from a 2012 Cargo Airships for Northern Operations workshop: http://event.arc.nasa.gov/airships/speakerbios (scroll down).
&
Governor’s appointments are a joke, but he’s not kidding – Shannyn Moore, July 26, 2014
http://www.adn.com/article/20140726/governors-appointments
-are-joke-hes-not-kidding

&&
Craig Medred: Shannyn Moore’s shot against Parnell went too far
http://www.adn.com/article/20140728/medred-shannyn-moores
-shot-against-parnell-went-too-far


8. BOF Agenda Change Request deadline August 18
The Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) announces the 2014/2015 meeting cycle agenda change request (ACR) deadline of August 18 is approaching.

At its October 15–16, 2014 Work Session in Juneau at the Centennial Hall Convention Center, 101 Egan Drive, the board will review ACRs for possible scheduling in the 2014/2015 meeting cycle.

ACRs are submitted by the public, advisory committees, and agencies for proposals on regulatory areas not set for deliberation in the current meeting cycle. In order for the board to approve and schedule an ACR for later in the meeting cycle, the ACR must meet one of the following criteria as established in 5 AAC 39.999.

•           For a fishery conservation purpose or reason
•           To correct an error in a regulation
•           To correct an effect on a fishery that was unforeseen when a regulation was adopted.

ACRs are due to Boards Support Section by 5:00 p.m., August 18, 2014 at the Boards Support Section office in Juneau. A postmark is NOT sufficient for timely receipt. ACR forms may be found online … at:
Online form  http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=
fisheriesboard.forms

Board of Fisheries online public notice:http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx
?id=173506


9. Yukon River king salmon returns see improvement 
Stocks exceed 42,500-fish goal
FAIRBANKS — Alaska fisheries managers said it appears they have achieved their goal of getting a sufficient number of Yukon River king salmon to their Canadian spawning grounds.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the number of king salmon counted as of this week by a sonar located near the village of Eagle near the Canadian border stood at 49,231.
That surpasses the minimum goal of 42,500 kings called for in the Pacific Salmon Treaty between the United States and Canada.
There’s a good chance the number of kings that reach Canada could surpass the upper end of the goal listed in the treaty, which is 55,000 fish, managers said.
It’s the first time in three years that the minimum treaty goal has been reached.
KTUU news: http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/yukon-river-king-
salmon-returns-see-improvement/27180304

&&
Alaska Exceeds Canadian Chinook Escapement Goal, Decline Remains a Mystery
By Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks


10. Yukon salmon: don’t pop champagne corks yet 
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 12:00 am
Stan Zuray, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

…This year, after shutting down the entire king harvest (commercial and subsistence), the Eagle sonar at the Canadian border has estimated a total passage of 43,500 kings on July 22. This exceeds the bottom limit of the U.S.-Canada escapement range of 42,500 – 55,000. Minimal escapement has been met and may reach 50,000 before all is over.

So with this I’m noticing a feeling of accomplishment and hope for the future and a “let’s crack a bottle of champagne” attitude amongst some persons.

To that I say that just yesterday, we finally admitted this run was in trouble and just experienced a rock bottom series of runs of fewer than 130,000 kings since 2007 and how is anything we have done from this position an accomplishment?
http://www.newsminer.com/opinion/community_perspectives
/yukon-salmon-don-t-pop-champagne-corks-yet/article_e4e65
388-1625-11e4-9b29-001a4bcf6878.html


11. Dipnet trial finds favor on Yukon, but not on Kuskokwim
Lisa Demer, Alaska Dispatch News
July 26, 2014
On the Yukon River, an experimental commercial dipnet fishery was wildly successful this year, landing more than 250,000 chum salmon, providing $1 million in income for village residents and saving thousands of threatened king salmon, says the buyer of the fish.
But on the Kuskokwim River, a dipnet opportunity aimed at subsistence fishermen found few takers and generated more skepticism than success…
http://www.adn.com/article/20140726/dipnet-trial-finds-favor-
yukon-not-kuskokwim


12. Gold Miners Push Back Against Nome Over ‘Negative Social Impacts’
By Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome | July 31, 2014 – 5:18 pm
A vocal show of frustration from Nome’s mining community took center stage at this week’s City Council meeting. The miners were angry about a letter the city sent to the State Department of Natural Resources complaining about impacts from the recent gold mining boom…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/07/31/gold-miners-push-back
-against-nome-over-negative-social-impacts/


13. Gold-dredging boats in Nome get Coast Guard inspections
Yereth Rosen, Alaska Dispatch News
With another busy gold-dredging season underway in Nome, the U.S. Coast Guard just wound up an enforcement campaign to check gold seekers’ vessels for safety.

The 10-day operation resulted in onboard inspections of about 45 boats, about twice as many as boarded in a similar inspection operation last summer, said Cmdr. Shawn Decker, chief of response for the Coast Guard’s Anchorage sector. Inspected vessels included fishing boats and purely recreational watercraft but the vast majority of vessels undergoing safety checks in the Coast Guard’s Operation Gold Nugget were involved in the booming gold-dredging business, Decker said…
http://www.adn.com/article/20140809/gold-dredging-boats-nome
-get-coast-guard-inspections


14. Meetings Scheduled on SE Draft Transportation plan
…the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities recently made their draft Southeast Alaska Transportation Plan available for public review, online here:http://dot.alaska.gov/sereg/projects/satp/assets/SATP_2014_Draft
_Final_Web.pdf
 ,
or SATP main page here:http://dot.alaska.gov/sereg/projects/satp/index.shtml .

…DOTPF will be holding public meetings across the region in the coming weeks, giving us an opportunity to hear from them directly and, more importantly, for them to hear from us.  Here’s the schedule.
Public Meeting Schedule for the Draft SATP Plan
DATE WHERE          LOCATION   TIME: OPEN HOUSE           TIME: PUBLIC MEETING
Aug 6  Juneau             4:30-6:30 pm      &   6:30-8:30 pm
Aug 13            Angoon           10:30-11:30 am  &   noon-1:30 pm
Aug 13            Petersburg       5:30-6:30 pm,    &   6:30-8:30 pm
Aug 20            Ketchikan        5:30-6:30 pm,    &    6:30-8:30 pm
Aug 20            Sitka                5:30-6:30 pm,    &    6:30-8:30 pm
Aug 25            Kake                5:30-6:30 pm,    &    6:30-8:30 pm
Sept 9  Skagway         5:30-6:30 pm      &    6:30-8:30 pm
Sept 10 Haines            5:30-6:30 pm      &    6:30-8:30 pm

DOT SE Transportation plan page:http://dot.alaska.gov/sereg/projects/satp/index.shtml


15. Comment deadline August 18 on CFEC regulation changes
The Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission proposes to adopt regulation changes in Title 20, Chapter 05 of the Alaska Administrative Code dealing with miscellaneous regulations, including the following:
The Commission proposes to:
Amend 20 AAC 05.245(a) by adding a new section refining the procedure to allow reduced fees for fishermen who only fish halibut as part of the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program;
Amend 20 AAC 05.245(c-e), 20 AAC 05.250(b), and 20 AAC 05.1910(h) to update the references to the federal guidelines used to determine eligibility for reduced permit fees;
Repeal all regulations relating to a vessel permit system for the former statewide weathervane scallop fishery (20 AAC 05.1425 – 20 AAC 05.1444); and
Amend 20 AAC 05.1942(a) to allow fisherman to redesignate their salmon net permit area if they have not yet used their salmon permit in the area first designated in the same calendar year.

You may comment on the proposed regulation changes, including the potential costs to private persons of complying with the proposed changes, by submitting written comments to Doug Rickey at Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, 8800 Glacier Highway, Suite 109, P.O. Box 110302, Juneau, AK 99801-8079 or by email: doug.rickey@alaska.gov .  The comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on August 18, 2014…
Under the Open Meetings Act (AS 44.62.310), the Commission will conduct a public meeting in the Commission’s Conference Room, 8800 Glacier Highway, Suite 109, Juneau, Alaska, on August 20, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. to consider action upon the proposed regulations…
Online public notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/
View.aspx?id=173426

Commercial Fishery Entry Commission home page:http://www.cfec.state.ak.us/index.htm


16. Board of Forestry meets in Kodiak August 13-14
The Board of Forestry will meet to discuss statewide forestry issues on Wednesday, August 13, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and on Thursday, August 14, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. The meeting will be held in Kodiak and will be teleconferenced…
The agenda will include reports on the following topics:
-Proposed Fiscal Year 2015 forestry, forest practices, and monitoring budgets,
-2014 legislation and potential 2015 legislation related to forestry,
-Reforestation standards review process for Interior and Southcentral Alaska,
-State consideration of assumption of authority for Section 404 permitting in wetlands,
-Forest practices effectiveness monitoring and road condition surveys,
-Wood energy in Alaska and state timber sales for wood energy projects,
-Federal forest management in Alaska including national forest planning, Roadless Rule implementation,  Southeast land ownership initiatives, Alexander Archipelago wolf status, and old growth availability,
-Revilla Island road system,
-Alaska Timber Jobs Task Force recommendations and implementation,
-Digital log scaling and 3D aerial photo projects,
-University of Alaska Fairbanks forestry research program update,
-Division of Forestry program updates and organization,
-Southeast State Forest Management Plan, and
-Forestry marketing and messaging.
The meeting will be held both days in the Katurwik Room of the Kodiak Harbor Convention Center, 211 E. Rezanof Dr., Kodiak.  Public comment is scheduled for Thursday, August 14 at 1:15 p.m.
For teleconference info see online public notice:http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/V
iew.aspx?id=173458


Federal

17. Reminder: Comment deadline August 27 on Central North Pacific Humpback Whale delisting & DPS
We, NMFS, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to identify the Central North Pacific population of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and delist the DPS under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. Therefore, we are continuing our status review for the humpback whale to determine whether this population is a DPS and whether delisting is warranted. To ensure this status review is comprehensive, we solicit scientific and commercial information regarding this species…
Information and comments must be received by July 28, 2014…
Interested persons may obtain a copy of the petition online at the NMFS Alaska Region Web site:http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/whales/humpback/ .
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14961
Comment extension posted 7/11/14:https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-16150

Hawaii Longliners Association home page:http://www.hawaiilongline.org/


18. Revised Magnuson-Stevens draft posted for comment by Oceans Subcommittee
A revised draft of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) reauthorization legislation is now available online for public review and comment, said U.S. Senator Mark Begich, chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard…
As committee chair, Begich held several MSA hearings around the nation and six listening sessions for Alaskans.  He reached out to Alaska sport fishermen, subsistence users, commercial fishermen and processors to get their suggestions and concerns.  While Alaska concerns are a priority, Begich noted the Magnuson Stevens Act is national legislation and reflects broader concerns heard from around the nation.

The revised draft can be found at:http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_i
d=645df928-1aee-416d-bb82-8739b0ad3656

Draft legislation to amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act – online via the subcommittee webpage (see bottom of page):http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Oceans
AtmosphereFisheriesandCoastGuard

Senator Begich press release:
http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2014/7/revised
-magnuson-stevens-draft-available-online

Senator Begich Oceans and Fisheries page:http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/oceansandfisheries


19. Incidental vessel discharge: Begich Bill Will Eliminate Red Tape for Alaska Fishing Vessels
Legislation Would Make Oceans Cleaner—Has Support of Fishermen and Alaska Maritime Industry

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation passed the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, a bill by U.S. Senator Mark Begich that would eliminate the red tape that has long been a burden to ships and other vessels conducting interstate and international commerce.  The bill passed the committee on Thursday.

The bill was sponsored by Sens. Begich and Marco Rubio (R-FL) who are the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard, and 28 other Senators.  The bill would set uniform standards for regulating ballast water and other incidental discharges from vessels and exempt fishermen and other small boat users.

“This bipartisan bill sets a reasonable national standard so that shippers and other vessels will get some relief from the current, confusing patchwork of federal and state rules,” said Begich. “The bill streamlines the burdensome paperwork process and has the backing of Alaska fishermen and the maritime industry.  Now that the bill passed the committee, I work to make sure it passes the full Senate and gets signed into law.”
http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2014/7/begich-bill
-will-eliminate-red-tape-for-alaska-fishing-vessels


20. Murkowski Introduces Legislation Requiring Congressional Approval of National Monuments
Stakeholders Laud Senator’s Legislation Pushing Back Against Presidential “Fiat”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski has introduced legislation requiring congressional approval of any new national monument designation considered by the President.

The bill, the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act (S. 2608), would block the Obama Administration from unilaterally using the Antiquities Act to lock up millions of acres of public lands and waters…
Praise for S. 2608, the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act

“United Fishermen of Alaska is pleased to hear of Senator Murkowski’s legislation to require Congressional approval of any National Monument designation. Decisions regarding closing our oceans should be made carefully, and UFA applauds Senator Murkowski’s efforts to ensure that the impacts to stakeholders are thoroughly considered in a public process,” said Julianne Curry, Executive Director, United Fishermen of Alaska…

Senator Murkowski press release:
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases
?ID=f4157e4f-f915-4ee5-ad2f-5895e344add8

S. 2608  Bill text:https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s2608/text/is


21. WP Council: Obama Administration’s Proposed Pacific Remote Islands Marine national Monument Expansion betrays US Fishermen, Places Unfair Burden on US Islands

Western Pacific Fsihery Management Council press release:
http://www.wpcouncil.org/2014/08/01/obama-administrations
-proposed-pacific-remote-islands-marine-national-monument-
expansion-betrays-us-fishermen-places-unfair-burden-on-us-p
acific-islands/

Home page: http://www.wpcouncil.org/


22. HI Marine Nat’l Monument – Tuna, Conservation and the Race for the U.S. Senate
On June 17, when President Barack Obama announced he wanted to create the world’s largest marine sanctuary in the south-central Pacific Ocean, many in Hawaii had the same question:
What about the ahi?
Obama’s proposal would expand the protections around several nearby islands, meaning certain sects of Hawaii’s fishing fleet might not be able to dip their nets or cast their lines in those waters anymore.

It also meant that Hawaii’s longliners, who pull in tuna, marlin and other species, could feel an unexpected pinch if Obama uses his executive powers to cordone off the area to commercial fishermen.

The gravity of the situation has not been lost on the Democratic candidates running to fill out the final two years of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye’s six-year term.

Both U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Hanabusa have said they worry about the impacts to one of the state’s most iconic industries.
Schatz has said he’s already reached out to senior presidential advisor John Podesta, one of the administration’s leaders charged with carrying out the plan, to find out exactly what’s at stake for Hawaii.
“We are strongly supportive of conservation, but we also believe that our longline fishery is sustainable and should not be caught up in an effort to crack down on the bad actors throughout the rest of the Pacific,” Schatz told Civil Beat in a recent interview…
http://www.civilbeat.com/2014/07/tuna-conservation-and-the-
race-for-the-u-s-senate/


23: re Monument: The People Of Hawaii And The U.S. Territories Need Your Support!  
Forwarded from a Hawaiian fishermen friend in need- by Friday August 15:
President Obama has recently proposed to expand the monuments in the pacific regions to extend to majority of our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).  The last monument declaration by President Bush shut down a scientifically-proven sustainable fishery in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands that provided 50% of our bottomfish (onaga, paka, etc.) to Hawaii and also negatively affected areas in the U.S. Pacific territories (American Samoa, Guam, CNMI) where the monument was declared.  The governors of these U.S. territories have already sent their opposition to President Obama as well as the Marine Conservation Alliance from Alaska and the American Sportfishing Association from the U.S. mainland, but our Presidents proposal still may shut down more areas in our own back yard without your support!
Send a quick email note of opposition by this Friday August 15th to:
President Obama via PRI@NOAA.gov


24. White House seeks comments on Framework to Combat IUU Fishing – by Sept 2, meetings in August
On June 17, 2014, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum entitled “Establishing a Comprehensive Framework to Combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud.” Among other actions, the Memorandum established a Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud (Task Force), co-chaired by the Departments of State and Commerce and made up of a broad range of other federal agencies… The public meetings and request for comments initiates a public engagement process aimed at gaining broad input and expertise from key stakeholders and interest groups to inform and advise the Task Force in developing recommendations in compliance with the Memorandum…
… (For list of questions they are seeking input on see notice below)
Meetings & webinars:
August 13, 2014, 3-5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time—Webinar/Conference Call…
August 20, 2014, 3-5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time—In-person meeting, Mayflower Park Hotel, 405 Olive Way, Seattle, Washington.
August 27, 2014, 3-5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time—Webinar/Conference Call…
August 28, 2014, 1-3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time—In-person meeting, Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill, 525 New Jersey Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20001.

Federal Register notice July 31: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-18024
Persidential memorandum – June 17: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/17/
presidential-memorandum-comprehensive-framework-combat-illegal-
unreporte

National Ocean Council:http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oceans


25. Senators push for fish research in Juneau
Posted: August 5, 2014 – 12:03am by Anna Bisaro, Juneau Empire (may require subscription)
With recent vacancies in the Pacific Northwest Research Station, Alaska’s senators and U.S. Forest Service officials are pushing for a fish habitat scientist to be brought to Juneau.

“It only makes sense that fisheries research in Alaska should be conducted by staff in Alaska, not from a remote office located in another state,” Sen. Mark Begich wrote to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell in July. “Further, the U.S. Forest Service has a number of pressing issues and initiatives that justify an Alaska-based fisheries position.”

Begich said the most pressing issues were climate change vulnerability research, watershed restoration and monitoring, fish stream crossings and the Tongass Land Management Plan Amendment scientific assessments.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski agrees that any scientist conducting research on Alaskan fisheries should be based in the state.
http://juneauempire.com/local/2014-08-05/senators-push-fish
-research-juneau#.U-pFWqNBrFw


26. Gov. Congratulates Admiral Papp on New Arctic Post
July 16, 2014, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today welcomed the news that Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr. (Ret.) has been appointed as Special Representative to the Arctic Region…

“Admiral Papp is uniquely qualified and well-suited for this post,” Governor Parnell said. “His service as Commandant of the Coast Guard and the time he invested in Alaska, America’s gateway to the Arctic, provide him with a strong grasp of the realities facing the modern Arctic, as well as the opportunities before us. I look forward to Admiral Papp, as Special Representative, strengthening the federal government’s partnership with the State of Alaska on Arctic issues.”

Governor Parnell also extended his congratulations to former Alaska Lieutenant Governor Fran Ulmer on her appointment as a special advisor to the Secretary of State for Arctic Affairs.
Governor Parnell press release:
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.
html?pr=6898


27. NFWF Announces $1.23 Million in Grants to Support Sustainable Fisheries (two in Sitka)
Two Sitka fishing projects received grant awards from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to support sustainable US fisheries and fishermen.

The Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust received $135,000 to develop and deploy processes “for inter-generational transfer of fishery rights and best practices.” The proposed project “utilizes existing legal and financial mechanisms in a novel way to achieve the goal of increased retention of economic benefits from fisheries in Gulf of Alaska communities.”

Another $38,000 went to the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association to move Electronic Monitoring systems from a pilot stage to use out on the water.
From Laine Welch’s Fish Factor:http://www.sitnews.us/LaineWelch/072814_fish_factor2.html

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Fisheries Innovation Fund page:http://www.nfwf.org/fisheriesfund/Pages/home.aspx#.U9gFYEBBrFw


28. NOAA Invites Comments on Habitat Focus Areas – deadline Aug 29
NOAA is working with the State of Alaska in the final selection of which candidate Habitat Focus Area(s) will be chosen to implement the NOAA Habitat Blueprint.
The Habitat Blueprint is a framework for strategic response to the challenges of conserving and improving habitat and preserving the benefits we derive from healthy habitats. Alaska is on the front lines of ecological changes that include the melting of the polar ice cap and glaciers and the spread of invasive species. These changes could have profound impacts on the economy and on the ecological diversity of the marine and coastal ecosystems.

A Habitat Focus Area is a geographic site chosen for its important ecosystem benefits and its potential to be successfully conserved, protected, or restored through collaboration of NOAA, the states and regional groups.  Five objectives drive the selection process and focus on sustaining healthy fish populations and coastal communities.

A team of NOAA and state experts have identified three potential candidates to list as Habitat Focus Areas, based on the Habitat Blueprint:
Chuchi Sea, Kachemak  Bay, and Whiting Harbor in Southeast Alaska.
Comment deadline:  August 29, 2014   Send comments to: AKHabitatFocusArea@noaa.gov
Additional Information: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/habitat/blueprint/default.htm


29. NMFS posts Halibut-Sablefish IFQ hired skipper regulations 
NMFS publishes regulations to amend the hired master provisions of the Individual Fishing Quota Program (IFQ Program) for the fixed-gear commercial Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The IFQ Program allows initial recipients of catcher vessel halibut and sablefish quota share (QS) to hire a vessel master to harvest an annual allocation of individual fishing quota (IFQ) derived from the QS. This rule prohibits an initial QS recipient from using a hired master to harvest IFQ derived from catcher vessel QS received by transfer after February 12, 2010, with a limited exception for small amounts of QS. This final rule is necessary to maintain progress toward a predominantly owner-onboard fishery…
Federal Register notice July 28: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-17658
NOAA Alaska IFQ home page:http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ram/ifq.htm


30. Comment deadline October 3 on Cooperative Halibut Prohibited Species Info Collection
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Progress Report on Cooperative Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Minimization
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995…
Written comments must be submitted on or before October 3, 2014…
…This request is for revision of an existing information collection.
During its February 2014 meeting, the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (Council) requested that Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) groundfish sectors (American Fisheries Act (AFA) Catcher/processor, AFA Catcher Vessel, Amendment 80, Freezer Longline Cooperative, and Community Development Quota) report (at the June Council meeting) on the progress of voluntary, non-regulatory actions implemented and recorded in their cooperative and/or inter-cooperative agreements to minimize halibut Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) through halibut avoidance, individual accountability, and use of incentives.
During its June 2014 meeting, the Council requested additional voluntary, non-regulatory information regarding the use of halibut PSC and halibut discards in the directed halibut fishery from these same five groundfish fishing sectors on actions taken to reduce halibut mortality and to report the effectiveness of those actions in absolute reductions in halibut mortality. These reports are to be provided to the Council at the February 2015 Council meeting.
Respondents have a choice of either electronic or paper forms…
Federal Register notice August 4: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-18301
NPFMC Halibut bycatch page: http://www.npfmc.org/halibut-bycatch-overview/


31. Comment deadline September 10 on GOA Trawl Economic Data Report Program
NMFS proposes to implement the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Trawl Economic Data Report Program to evaluate the economic effects of current and anticipated future fishery management measures for the GOA trawl fisheries. This data collection program is necessary to provide the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS with baseline economic information on harvesters, crew, processors, and communities active in the GOA trawl fisheries, which could be used to assess the impacts of anticipated future fishery management measures on GOA trawl groundfish management. The data collected for this program would be submitted by vessel owners and leaseholders of GOA trawl vessels, processors receiving deliveries from those trawl vessels, and trawl catcher/processors. The types of data collected would include, but not be limited to, labor information, revenues, capital and operational expenses, and other operational or financial data…
Submit comments on or before September 10, 2014…
Federal Register notice August 11: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-18675


32. NOAA Fisheries seeks input in Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Trawl Fishery Social Study
We would like to invite industry members to participate in our research efforts.
Participation is voluntary and all responses are confidential.
Who should participate?
We are interested in hearing from anyone who works in the Gulf of Alaska Trawl Groundfish Fishery and thinks they may be affected by the management change. This would include:
Fishermen
Vessel owners
Vessel operators and skippers
Groundfish License Limitation Program license owners
Crew aboard groundfish vessels
Catcher-processor operators and crew
Shoreside and inshore floating processor operators and staff
Tender owners and operators
Others that feel they are part of the industry…
How to participate:
The best way to participate in this research is to complete the survey and participate in a short interview. Researchers will be available in many geographic locations to try and meet, in person, or over the phone. In addition, the survey is available online and by mail (by request).
If you would like to participate, please contact us at:
(907) 273-4540 or GOATrawlSurvey@gmail.com

Survey page:
http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/REFM/Socioeconomics/Projects
/goatrawl/participate.php


33. NPFMC Electronic Monitoring Workgroup to meet August 13 by teleconference
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Electronic Monitoring (EM) workgroup will meet by teleconference.
DATES: The teleconference will be held on August 13, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., please call (907) 271-2896.
ADDRESSES: The teleconference will be held at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Avenue, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501-2252.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The workgroup will discuss progress with study designs, establishing data protocols, EM research and field studies, and planning for the analysis to implement EM.
The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at http://www.npfmc.org/
Federal Register notice August 1: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-18133
NPFMC Observer program page: http://www.npfmc.org/observer-program/


34. Comment deadline August 27 on USFS Petersburg-Kake intertie EIS
Corrected Notice Of Intent To Prepare An Environmental Impact Statement; Correction
…The Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on a proposal to construct, operate and maintain a new electrical transmission line intertie that would extend west across the Tongass National Forest from the Petersburg area to the community of Kake…
Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by August 27, 2014. The draft environmental impact statement is expected September 2014 and the final environmental impact statement is expected May 2015…
Federal Register notice July 28: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-17669


35. Comment deadline September 2 on NMFS at-sea scale regulation changes
NMFS issues a proposed rule to revise the at-sea scales program for catcher/processor vessels (C/Ps) and motherships that are required to weigh catch at sea. This action would make three major changes to current regulations. First, this action would change regulations to enhance daily scale testing and require electronic reporting of daily scale test results. Second, this action would require that scales used to weigh catch have electronics capable of logging and printing the frequency and magnitude of scale calibrations, as well as the time and date of each scale fault and scale startup. Third, this action would require that the scale and the area around the scale be monitored using video. Finally, this action would revise technical regulations that are no longer applicable. This action is being proposed to reduce the possibility of scale tampering and to improve the accuracy of catch estimation by the C/P and mothership sector…
Written comments must be received on or before September 2, 2014…
Federal Register notice July 31: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-18029


36. Comment deadline September 8 on GOA Groundfish IFQ small blocks CQE transfer
NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 96 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). If approved, Amendment 96 would amend certain provisions of the Individual Fishing Quota Program for the Fixed-Gear Commercial Fisheries for Pacific Halibut and Sablefish in Waters in and off Alaska (IFQ Program). This action would remove a regulation that prohibits a Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Community Quota Entity (CQE) from transferring and holding small blocks of halibut and sablefish quota share (QS). This action would allow CQEs to acquire additional QS and facilitate sustained participation by CQE community residents in the IFQ Program…
Submit comments on or before September 8, 2014…
Federal Register notice August 7: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-18678
NPFMC BSAI and Gulf of Alaska Groundfish page:
http://www.npfmc.org/bering-seaaleutian-islands-groundfish/


37. NMFS posts BSAI Crab fee .65 percent for 2014/2015 fishing year
NMFS publishes a notification of a 0.65-percent fee for cost recovery under the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program. This action is intended to provide holders of crab allocations with the fee percentage for the 2014/2015 crab fishing year so they can calculate the required payment for cost recovery fees that must be submitted by July 31, 2015…
Federal Register notice July 31: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-18000
BSAI Crab rationalization home page:https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/crab/crfaq.htm


38. NMFS calls for scientific info for Steller Sea Lion critical habitat – abstracts by Aug 29 for Sept. 22 meeting
Notice Of Public Meeting; Request For Presentations…
Summary: NMFS will host a meeting to elicit scientific information related to the designation of Steller sea lion critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). NMFS is considering revisions to the critical habitat designation to take into account new information that has become available since NMFS designated critical habitat in 1993. This meeting will provide an opportunity for NMFS to receive presentations from the public concerning new and relevant scientific information. NMFS requests that parties interested in presenting information pertaining to the identification of areas as critical habitat for the Western Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of Steller sea lion submit a statement of interest, including an abstract of the information to be presented…

Dates: The meeting will be held September 22, 2014, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. Statements of interest and abstracts must be received by 5:00 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time on August 29, 2014 to be considered for presentation during the meeting…
The meeting will be held at NMFS Alaska Fisheries Science Center, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Building 4, Seattle, WA 98115, in the Jim Traynor Conference Room. Information about designation of critical habitat under the ESA is available at:http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pr/species/criticalhabitat.htm.

Federal Register notice August 8: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-18822
NOAA Fisheries Steller Sea Lion Critical Habitat page:http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/stellers/habitat.htm


39. Comment deadline extended to Sept. 17 on USCG NVIC Maritime Security Program guidance
The Coast Guard is extending the public comment period on its draft change to Navigation and Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-13…
Submit comments and related material by September 17, 2014. Documents discussed in this notice should be available in the online docket by August 15, 2014…

On June 19, 2014, we published a Federal Register notice [1]announcing the public availability of our draft change to NVIC 01-13 and inviting public comments, by August 18, on the draft. Today, we are extending that deadline to September 17, 2014. The NVIC provides uniform Maritime Security Program process guidance to assist vessel owners and operators, authorized classification societies, and Coast Guard personnel. Please see our June notice for further information about our proposed revisions to better facilitate the transition of vessels to U.S. registry under the MSP…

Docket Number – USCG-2011-1156
Regulations.gov docket folder:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=USCG-2011-1156-0017
Federal Register notice August 12:
https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-19052

Previous Federal Register June 19: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14403


Marketing

40. Russia’s import ban hits Alaskan seafood industry
Alaska’s seafood industry is getting caught in the middle of a power struggle between Russia and western nations.
Ever since Russia seized part of Ukraine this winter, sanctions against it have been stacking up. Now, Russia’s fighting back by banning food imports from the United States and a handful of other countries.
Alaska shipped almost $9 million worth of pollock to Russia last year.
&
Earlier story: In Retaliation, Russia Bans Some Food Imports From U.S., Europe…
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/08/07/retaliation-russia-bans-food
-imports-u-s-europe/


41. Alaska fish consumption guidelines expand species on unrestricted list
Small halibut, lingcod, grayling, Dolly Varden and black rockfish among new species
ANCHORAGE— Expanded fish testing data and epidemiological studies have prompted the state to release new fish consumption guidelines that increase the number of fish species on the “unrestricted consumption” list.

“These guidelines continue to underscore the health benefits associated with eating fish and the cultural importance of fishing,” said Ali Hamade, the Environmental Public Health Program Manager. “We encourage Alaskans to use these guidelines in addition to the state’s fish monitoring program resources for making healthful fish consumption choices. The guidelines recommend unrestricted consumption of many fish species from Alaska waters, particularly those most frequently consumed by Alaskans.”

In addition to the many fish species that were already listed in the “unrestricted consumption” category in the previous guidelines — such as all five species of Alaska salmon — a number of other species were added to this category in the updated guidelines, including halibut up to 40 pounds, lingcod measuring up to 35 inches, Arctic cisco, big skate, black rockfish, broad whitefish, Dolly Varden, dusky rockfish, grayling, humpback whitefish, least cisco, sablefish (black cod), and rough eye rockfish.

Department of Health and Social Services press release:http://dhss.alaska.gov/News/Documents/press/2014/
AKfish_pr_07222014.pdf

2014 Updated Fish Consumption Advice for Alaskans- Summaryhttp://www.epi.alaska.gov/bulletins/d
ocs/b2014_13.pdf

Updated study:  Fish Consumption Advice for Alaskans – A Risk Management Strategy to Optimize the Public’s Health – Updated July 21, 2014:http://www.epi.alaska.gov/eh/fish/FishConsumptionAdvice2014.pdf

Alaska HSS Epidemiology Seafood Consumption page: “Good advice for everyone – eat fish at least twice a week…http://www.epi.alaska.gov/eh/fish/

&&&

ADN: Report: Eat all the salmon you want, but leave sharks off the menu
http://www.adn.com/article/20140722/report-eat-all-
salmon-you-want-leave-sharks-menu


42. Seattle Times Guest Editorial: Bring local seafood back
Almost 90 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad. It’s time to bring back local U.S. seafood, writes guest columnist Paul Greenberg.
The United States should be a very fishy country.
In all, we control 2.8 billion acres of ocean, more than any other nation. But despite all that ocean, nearly 90 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad…
http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2024031660_paulgreen
bergopedlocalseafoodxxxml.html


43. Governor asks feds to buy surplus salmon 
Posted: July 27, 2014 – 12:10am
By Becky Bohrer, Associated Press
JUNEAU — Gov. Sean Parnell has asked a federal agency to buy about 1 million cases of canned pink salmon to ease a glut that has weighed down prices for Alaska fishermen this year.

Parnell made the request in a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week. He wants the USDA to purchase $37 million worth of canned pink salmon under a federal law that allows for buying surplus food from farmers and donating it to food banks or other programs.

USDA purchased $20 million worth of salmon earlier this year, which Parnell called an important first step in reducing inventories to help slow a price decline that he said threatened the 2014 fishing season…
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/25/gov-asks
-usda-to-buy-surplus-canned-pink-salmon/


44. Bristol Bay fishermen poised to pass on pinks
Dave Bendinger, Bristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman via Alaska Dispatch News
July 27, 2014
The boat yards in Bristol Bay are filling up quickly as much of the fleet heads off to wintering grounds in the Lower 48.
The price for pinks, posted at about 28 cents per pound, seems too low to generate much of a post-sockeye fishing effort by many…
http://www.adn.com/article/20140727/bristol-bay-fishermen
-poised-pass-pinks


45. Alaska Science Forum: Tracking salmon to their birth waters
By Ned Rozell | Alaska Science Forum
Strontium is a trace element and a mineral people use to make glow-in-the-dark paints and toothpaste for sensitive teeth. In research for his college degree, Sean Brennan used strontium’s unique qualities to track salmon in an Alaska river.
During Brennan’s Ph.D. defense at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, adviser Matthew Wooller praised Brennan’s ambitious plan and his execution of it up and down the many webs of the Nushagak River. The Nushagak, a river swelling with the bodies of salmon right now, drains the Nushagak Hills as well as the Alaska and Aleutian ranges. The Nushagak and all its fingers provide a path for salmon from their natal streams to Bristol Bay…

Using genetics and other methods, scientists and managers are able to track fish caught in Bristol Bay to the major watershed in which they were born, like the Nushagak, Kvichak or other great rivers. Brennan’s results suggest that in certain areas fish can be tracked to sub-basins within these rivers and sometimes to even to small tributaries…
http://www.capitalcityweekly.com/stories/072314/ou
t_1212398073.shtml


46. Governor’s North Star Awards for International Excellence – nomination deadline Sept. 5
Businesses can nominate themselves for an award or may nominate another business. The nomination instructions and nomination form at are www.Trade.Alaska.Gov

Export is important to Alaska and these awards provide recognition for Alaskans’ hard work at home that results in success in international markets.  Awards are given in several categories in any given year and the “trade” category  would be the most likely nomination category for seafood export.
Nominations are due in our office by 5:00 pm on September 5, 2014. Please note that brochures, photos, and other materials count as part of the five pages…

Info & Nomination forms online at:
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/governors-office/international
-trade/north-star-award.html

The companies and organizations honored in recent years include several seafood exporters:  Icy Strait/Taku Smokeries (2013), Seafood Producers’ Cooperative(2010), Coastal Villages (2010)…


47. Murkowski to McDonald’s: Alaska’s Fisheries Are Protected, Sustainable
Senator Urges CEO to Reject Greenpeace Campaign Against Pollock
Senator Lisa Murkowski today reached out to the President and CEO of McDonald’s, urging him to ignore an anti-fishing campaign from Greenpeace that is attempting to shut down one of the most sustainably managed fisheries in the world. Murkowski cites McDonald’s own website and promotional materials touting the company’s support for Alaska Pollock sourced from a “wild-caught and sustainable fishery.”…
Senator Murkowski press release:http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?I
D=04aca8d4-ca69-4b71-b04f-880ddb1aebae


Environmental

48. BC’s KSM mine nears environmental approval – COMMENT BY AUGUST 20
By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News
Canadian environmental officials just gave provisional approval to a controversial mine planned for an area northeast of Ketchikan. Their counterparts in British Columbia have done the same.

Fisheries, tribal and other activists on both sides of the border say this is one of the last chances for critics to let Canadian officials hear their opposition…

A press release citing representatives of the Tlingit-Haida Central Council, the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association, Rivers without Borders and a sport-fishing company, names numerous problems with the project…
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/07/24/bcs-ksm-mine-nears
-environmental-approval/

To submit comments go to  https://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/document-eng.cfm?
document=99566
.

More information on KSM and transboundary mining can be found atsalmonbeyondborders.org.

Press Release from Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, 
Petersburg Vessel Owners Association, Hooked on Juneau, and Rivers Without Borders…
http://pvoaonline.org/2014/07/canadian-feds-move-to-approve-
controversial-ksm-mine-proposed-near-alaska-public-comment-
period-starts-today/

Link to form letter for commenting on KSM Minehttp://org2.salsalabs.com/o/6221/p/dia/action3/common/
public/?action_KEY=18198


49. Residents calling it an environmental disaster: tailings pond breach at Mount Polley Mine near Likely, BC
Local residents are calling it an environmental disaster.
A breach of the tailings pond on Mount Polley Mine sent five million cubic metres of toxic waste into Hazeltine Creek, Quesnel Lake and Polley Lake, with fears it could spread far and wide in the coming days.

Residents in the area, along with visitors to waterways near the Mount Polley Mine close to Likely, B.C., have been issued a complete water ban. Affecting close to 300 homes, it extends to the entire Quesnel and Cariboo River systems up to the Fraser River, including Quesnel Lake, Cariboo Creek, Hazeltine Creek and Polley Lake.

People in Quesnel are also being asked to avoid using water from the Quesnel River, and late in the day the Cariboo Regional District extended the water advisory right to the Fraser River – although they said that was a precautionary measure.
There are already concerns that the total damage will be immense. The sheer volume of toxic slurry from the pond – equivalent to 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools – caused Hazeltine Creek to expand from four feet in width to 150, and some of the sludge has already made its way into Quesnel Lake and Polley Lake…
http://globalnews.ca/news/1490361/tailings-pond-breach-at
-mount-polley-mine-near-likely-bc/


50. Begich: State Department Should Demand Investigation of Mount Polley Dam Failure 
U.S. Senator Mark Begich issued the following statement today in a letter sent to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about the Mount Polley dam failure in British Columbia, Canada.

“This week’s failure of the Mount Polley tailings pond dam in British Columbia validates fears Alaska fishermen have regarding Canada’s proposed development of large-scale hardrock mineral mines near trans-boundary rivers with Alaska.
“I was shocked by the video of this massive breach which released billions of gallons of water and millions of cubic yards of contaminated soil.  The fact the dam failure followed repeated warnings from the B.C. Ministry of Environment raises serious questions about provincial permitting and oversight of this industry.

“A similar failure at mines proposed the near Unuk, Stikine and Taku Rivers would be devastating to fish stocks which Alaska commercial and recreational fishermen depend on, as well as the subsistence and cultural needs of the Alaska Native residents of Southeast.
“Today I wrote Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to demand a thorough investigation into the cause of this disaster and its aftermath.  Additionally, with approval now pending for the Kerr Sulphurets Mitchell (KSM) mine near Ketchikan, I asked he urge the Canadian federal government to conduct a Panel Review of this proposed development before final approval.
“I remain supportive of responsible mining activities in Southeast Alaska, including existing operations at the Greens Creek and Kensington mines as well as the proposed Niblack and Bokan projects.  Yet this massive tailings pond failure raises serious questions that must be addressed.  As Chair of the Senate Commerce subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard I intend to hold a hearing on this matter.”..
http://www.akbizmag.com/Alaska-Business-Monthly/August-2014/
Begich-Steps-Up-to-Protect-Alaska-Fisheries/

More Mount Polley Mine tailing pond breach news articles:
http://globalnews.ca/news/1490361/tailings-pond-breach-at-
mount-polley-mine-near-likely-bc/
   (with Video)
http://globalnews.ca/news/1491377/impact-of-tailings-pond-
disaster-on-salmon-run-could-be-significant/

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/05/mount-polley-mines
-tailings-pond-breach-of-five-million-cubic-metres-of-contaminated-
waste-called-massive-environmental-disaster/

http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/editorials/Stephen+Hume
+Blame+provincial+government+toxic+mine/10092385/story.html

http://www.ktoo.org/2014/07/30/b-c-gives-ksm-mine-environmenta
l-ok/

http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/07/30/ksm-mine-wins-
environmental-approval-from-british-columbia-government/

Briefings:
http://riverswithoutborders.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/
KSM-Briefing-2013-10.pdf

http://seacc.org/mining/transboundary-mines/kerr-sulphurets
-mitchell-mine

KSM Mine Project Summary and other documents (Canadian Gov page):http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/details-eng.cfm?evaluation=49262


51. BC Ministry of Energy & Mines: Where Do Landslides Occur?
Some areas of British Columbia are more susceptible to landslides than others because
of their unique geological conditions…
The sedimentary rocks of the Skeena Mountains are the most prone to large slumps and shallow slides in the province.http://www.empr.gov.bc.ca/Mining/Geoscience/SurficialGeology
andHazards/Landslides/Pages/Wheredolandslidesoccur.aspx


52. Helicopter rescue aids Tahltan salmon blocked by (other) landslide
The Tahltan First Nation have been lending a helping hand to unnaturally sequestered salmon trapped behind a landslide in the Little Tahltan River, which is a major tributary of the Stikine.

“We’re wrangling fish,” said Telegraph Creek Fisheries Manager Heather Hawkins two weeks ago in the heat of the rescue effort that involved 14 workers and volunteers working overtime during “long and hot” days as they netted fish and sent them by helicopter to their natal lake.

By early last week they had netted over 2, 600 fish, some of which that can weigh over 50 pounds, and relocated them to the Tahltan Lake 6 kilometres upstream.
…Hawkins added that the landslide isn’t blocking the whole river and there are now reports of salmon making it over the blocked passage…
http://www.terracestandard.com/news/268731851.html


53. A wake-up call in Alaska about ocean acidification and coastal communities
A new study shows, for the first time, that ocean acidification is driving changes in waters vital to Alaska’s commercial fisheries and traditional subsistence way of life.

As one of our planet’s most under-recognized challenges, ocean acidification is emerging because the sea is absorbing increasing amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. CO2 concentrations are now higher than at any time during the past 800,000 years, and the current rate of increase is likely unprecedented in history. Ocean acidification is literally causing a sea change, threatening the fundamental health of ocean and coastal waters from pole to pole. And, as the new study indicates, the implications for Alaska may be profound.

Led by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and University of Alaska scientists, the study stands out not just because of findings about the intensity of ocean acidification on Alaska’s marine life, but because it assessed potential risk to Alaskan communities. The study considered social impacts such as food security, subsistence, jobs and educational opportunities. Findings indicate that communities in Alaska’s southeast and southwest regions, those that are among the most important contributors to commercial and subsistence fisheries, are also the communities most at risk. Highly reliant on shellfish and salmon and other finfish, these communities have relatively lower income and employment options. Current changes in ocean chemistry and rising CO2 levels mean their vulnerability will only grow in the coming decades…
ADN story:
http://www.adn.com/article/20140729/wake-call-alaska-abou
t-ocean-acidification-and-coastal-communities

Science Direct – study abstract and full report for sale for $39.95:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S00796
61114001141

NOAA Press release: NOAA-led study shows Alaska fisheries and communities at risk from ocean acidification:http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20140729_
oceanacidification.html


54. Bristol Bay EPA Notice of Availability And Public Hearings – August 12  – 15
Pursuant to section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 is requesting public comments on its proposed determination to restrict the use of certain waters in the South Fork Koktuli River (SFK), North Fork Koktuli River (NFK), and Upper Talarik Creek (UTC) watersheds in southwest Alaska as disposal sites for dredged or fill material associated with mining the Pebble deposit, a copper-, gold-, and molybdenum-bearing ore body. EPA Region 10 is also announcing a series of public hearings on this section 404(c) proposed determination…

…The hearing dates and locations are as follows:
August 12, 2014—2:00 p.m., Egan Center, Anchorage, Alaska
August 13, 2014—5:00 p.m., Nondalton, Alaska
August 13, 2014—5:00 p.m., New Stuyahok, Alaska
August 14, 2014—5:00 p.m., Dillingham, Alaska
August 14, 2014—5:00 p.m., Kokhanok, Alaska
August 15, 2014—12:00 p.m., Igiugig, Alaska
August 15, 2014—12:00 p.m., Iliamna, Alaska
Additional hearing details and any changes to the schedule are available at www.epa.gov/bristolbay .

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-16920


55. Bristol Bay Forever Initiative – Public Forum August 13, Anchorage
A public forum on the topic of the Bristol Bay Forever Initiative (Ballot Measure 4 on November’s ballot) will take place Wednesday August 13th in Anchorage from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the Wilda Marston Theater at the Loussac Library.
Initiative Sponsor and Igiugig resident Christina Salmon and Renewable Resources Coalition executive director Anders Gustafson will speak on the Vote Yes side supporting passage of the initiative.  Alaska Miners Association executive director Deantha Crockett and mining engineer Richard Hughes will advocate opposing the initiative. Alaska Common Ground board member and former director of DNR’s Division of Mining, Land and Water, Dick Mylius, will moderate.
This forum is sponsored by Alaska Common Ground and attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions. The event is open and free to the public.  RDC members are encouraged to attend and to arrive early to get a seat.
More info:
http://akcommonground.org/bristol-bay-forever-initiative/


56. Judge: 60 days’ notice of EPA plans not needed
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP via KINY, July 26, 2014)
A federal judge says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not have to give the group behind the proposed Pebble Mine 60 days’ advance notice of any further action it might take with regard to the project.

The Pebble Limited Partnership has sued EPA, alleging it exceeded its authority by invoking a process through which it could restrict or prohibit development of the Pebble deposit before the project goes through permitting.
Pebble requested the advance notice after EPA proposed restrictions on development.

While U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland declined to require 60 days’ notice of the next step EPA plans to take, he said he expects attorneys to keep each other and the court informed on matters likely to affect scheduling in the case…
http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/judge-days-notice
-of-epa-plans-not-needed/article_1ca153b0-14ee-11e4-8e12-001
7a43b2370.html


57. AK Beat: Billionaire mining investor says Pebble “will not be built”
Alaska Dispatch News, July 25, 2014
Mining investor declares Pebble dead: Pebble Mine will not be built, or so says a billionaire mining investor. At a conference in Vancouver Wednesday Robert Friedland said that “The United States Environmental Protection Agency has just killed the Pebble Mine in Alaska. It will not be built,” reported industry site Mining.com. Friedland is the founder and chair of Ivanhoe Mines, a Canadian mining company. The news comes, though, with a fairly significant caveat, as Mining.com notes: “Friedland… made the assertion while touting his company’s development of the high-grade Kamoa copper deposit, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
http://www.adn.com/article/20140725/ak-beat-billionaire-mining-
investor-says-pebble-will-not-be-built


58. A year after Pebble, Iliamna Lake communities adjust to new normal
Suzanna Caldwell, Alaska Dispatch News
July 27, 2014
NEWHALEN — Things are quiet on the north shores of Iliamna Lake.
Gone are the early mornings when dozens of trucks and four-wheelers would commute from the communities of Newhalen and Iliamna to the Pebble Partnership offices, located about 5 miles north of Newhalen, to prepare for exploration work at the site of the proposed Pebble mine. Also gone are the numerous helicopters, which each day would zoom from the Iliamna airport, a mere 18 miles from the proposed mine site…
http://www.adn.com/article/20140727/year-after-pebble-iliamna
-lake-communities-adjust-new-normal


59. EPA’s Pebble play is an abuse of power — with more to come
Paul Jenkins, Alaska Dispatch News, July 26, 2014
While the Environmental Protection Agency pursues its dubious war on the proposed Pebble mine project, and the end-justifies-any-means crowd applauds, we should be asking: Which project is next and how far will we allow this federal agency to exceed its lawful authority?
http://www.adn.com/article/20140726/epas-pebble-play-abuse
-power-more-come


60. Murkowski Comments on EPA Restrictions on Bristol Bay Watershed
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today (July 21) issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed restrictions on possible economic development activity on state-owned lands in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region:
“The EPA is being disingenuous in saying that this decision is only going to impact mining in a particular area of Alaska,” Murkowski said. “The EPA is setting a precedent that strips Alaska and all Alaskans of the ability to make decisions on how to develop a healthy economy on their lands. This is a blueprint that will be used across the county to stop economic development.”
Senator Murkowski press release;
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases
?ID=2a661f92-c255-426f-a722-cc6adc94a9ec


61. EPA Risk Assessment Forum White Paper: Probabilistic Risk Assessment Methods and Case Studies and Probabilistic Risk Assessment To Inform Decision Making: Frequently Asked Questions
This notice announces the availability of “Risk Assessment Forum White Paper: Probabilistic Risk Assessment Methods and Case Studies” and its companion document “Probabilistic Risk Assessment to Inform Decision Making: Frequently Asked Questions.” The drafts were released for public comment, and externally peer reviewed by experts from academia, industry, environmental groups, and other government agencies…
The Risk Assessment Forum White Paper: Probabilistic Risk Assessment Methods and Case Studies and Probabilistic Risk Assessment to Inform Decision Making: Frequently Asked Questions are available electronically through the EPA Web site athttp://epa.gov/raf/prawhitepaper/index.htm .

Federal Register notice August 12:  https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-19065


62. Comment deadline September 4 on Apache Cook Inlet seismic operations
NMFS has received a request from Apache Alaska Corporation (Apache) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to oil and gas exploration seismic operations in Cook Inlet, AK, from March 2015 through February 2020. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) implementing regulations, NMFS is announcing our receipt of Apache’s request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on Apache’s application and request…
Comments and information must be received no later than September 4, 2014…
Federal Register notice August 5: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-18444


63. USFS extends comment period on Groundwater Resource Management Directive to Sept. 3.
The Forest Service published a notice in the Federal Register on May 6, 2014, initiating a 90-day comment period on the Proposed Directive on Groundwater Resource Management, Forest Service Manual 2560. The closing date for that 90-day comment period is August 4, 2014. The Agency is extending the comment period; therefore, the comment period has been extended to September 3, 2014…
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Forest Service proposes to amend its internal Agency directives for Watershed and Air Management to establish direction for management of groundwater resources on National Forest System (NFS) lands as an integral component of watershed management. Specifically, the proposed amendment would provide direction on the consideration of groundwater resources in agency activities, approvals, and authorizations; encourage source water protection and water conservation; establish procedures for reviewing new proposals for groundwater withdrawals on NFS lands; require the evaluation of potential impacts from groundwater withdrawals on NFS resources; and provide for measurement and reporting for some larger groundwater withdrawals. This proposed amendment would supplement existing special uses and minerals and geology directives to address issues of groundwater resource management and would help ensure consistent and adequate analyses for evaluating potential uses of NFS lands that could affect groundwater resources. Public comment is invited and will be considered in development of the final directive.
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-18219


64. Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership seeks films for AFS/AWRA fall conference
he Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership will be hosting the first annual Alaska Fish Film Festival during the annual meeting of the Alaska Chapters of the American Fisheries Society and American Water Resources Association in Juneau (October 20–24, 2014).
Film Festival info: http://www.seakfhp.org/2014/06/05/1080/

Conference Details & call for abstracts:
http://www.afs-alaska.org/call-for-session-proposals-for-2013
-chapter-meeting
 :

National Fish Habitat Partnership – new fact sheet:
http://fishhabitat.org/content/2014-national-fish-habitat-
partnership-fact-sheet

Home page: www.seakfhp.org


65. 2014 AFS / AWRA / SEAFHP meeting – Juneau October 20-24 (Abstracts due Sept. 15)
The 41st annual meeting of the Alaska Chapter of the American Fisheries Society will be
in Juneau at the Centennial Hall from October 20-24.  The theme of the meeting is:
Bridging disciplines to solve today’s challenges in resource management.

We are pleased to announce that the the 2014 Alaska Chapter Meeting will be a joint meeting between AFS, the American Water Resources Association (http://state.awra.org/alaska/ ) and the Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership (http://www.seakfhp.org/ ).

Meeting Info: http://www.afs-alaska.org/annual-meetings/fall-2014

…Abstracts are due by September 15, 2014. There will not be an extension…
Call for abstracts: http://www.afs-alaska.org/annual-meetings/fall-2014/
session-proposals


66. Judge rules Beringia bearded seals improperly listed as threatened
Yereth Rosen, Alaska Dispatch News
July 25, 2014

Alaska’s bearded seals, animals with distinctive whiskers and a penchant for floating alone on pieces of drifting Arctic sea ice, were improperly granted threatened-species status in 2012, a federal judge ruled Friday.
The National Marine Fisheries Service erred in using a 100-year projection as justification for granting Endangered Species Act protections to the Alaska-dwelling population of that seal, U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline ruled.
Such a long-term projection was overly speculative, Beistline said in his ruling, which came in legal challenges filed by the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, the North Slope Borough and the state of Alaska. Fifty years into the future was generally the longest projection that could be considered reliable, Beistline said…
http://www.adn.com/article/20140725/judge-rules-beringia-
bearded-seals-improperly-listed-threatened


67.  ‘AlumaSki’ debuts on Wasilla Lake – & coming soon to your favorite watershed
WASILLA — For most, a demonstration on Wasilla Lake Saturday was their first look at the AlumaSki, a new personal watercraft developed in Alaska. Besides its aluminum construction, the craft’s shallow draft also sets it apart from would-be competitors, Mackinnon Marine Technologies founder and president Brian Mackinnon said back on shore after taking his two daughters for rides…
Lund said because of the craft’s shallow draw it can go places other crafts can’t.
“Boats are at the end of where they can go and we just slide right by them,” he said.
Mat-Su Frontiersman:
http://www.frontiersman.com/sports/outdoors/alumaski-debuts
-on-wasilla-lake/article_6c21e360-0a43-11e4-acba-001a4bcf88
7a.html

The Alaska Innovator supplement insert in the July 30 Alaska Journal of Commerce included more detail:
“As MacKinnon put it, the rocks littering Alaska rivers and the fiberglass hulls of traditional personal watercraft “don’t mix”… they call the craft an “aquatic ATV”…
We think of those rocks as the spawning and rearing habitat of salmon.
Story is online at http://issuu.com/morrisalaska/docs/ak-iv_140700_
web__1_?e=6323372/8767856


68. Boldly going where no boat has gone before – shallow water, narrow straits
Prototype watercraft takes on shallow water, narrow straits
By Melissa Griffiths, Juneau Empire, May 12
Brian Crapo has a secret fishing spot — and a secret it will remain. But one thing Brian and his brother, Darrin, will tell you is the secret to making a three-hour hike to that spot a five-minute boat ride.
The secret is the Jetwaffe, a small and nimble boat the Crapo brothers and business partner Branden Holloway designed and built themselves…
The Jetwaffe they’ve been tearing up and down rivers and creeks in, the first to take on Southeast’s tributaries, can go a little over 40 mph, Darrin said. It runs on a two-stroke jet ski engine. The next one they’ll build will have some changes, though. It will be “stealth fighter inspired: faster, more aggressive, able to go in even smaller rivers.”
http://juneauempire.com/local/2014-05-06/boldly-going
-where-no-boat-has-gone


69. Water reservations: Elim Gathers River Data as Safeguard Against Uranium Mining
By Jenn Ruckel, KNOM, July 28, 2014
40 miles from Elim up the Tubuktulik River, a small gauge sits at the water’s edge, just downstream from the state-owned Boulder Creek site—the largest known uranium deposit in Alaska, and a hot spot for potential mining.

At the base of the gauge, a level troll device pulls temperature and depth recordings every 15 minutes from the bed of the river. The device is there because residents of Elim don’t want to see mining develop near the Tubuktulik. During the 2008 Iditarod race, students and elders rallied at the Elim checkpoint to protest Triex Minerals Corporation, the Canadian mineral exploration company that was exploring the uranium deposit near Boulder Creek in 2006. Now, they’re hoping to get official protection…

Alaska is one of few states in the country to allow for individuals, in addition to state, federal and local governing agencies, to apply for reservations of state-owned water. However, Ivanoff said, the state doesn’t hand out these reservations frequently—and the application itself is a large undertaking. You need five years of data to be granted a reservation, though the application can be submitted after two years of data collection.

Shepherd said Elim anticipates submitting their application this fall. But until then, and for the next three years, he’ll continue making the 10-12 hour trip up the Tubuktulik…
Though the trip isn’t easy and chances of actually securing a water reservation are uncertain, Elim Water Advocate Emily Murray believes this work is worthwhile. Murray is working with Shepherd on applying for the reservation. Last year she was a strong voice against HB77, a state bill that would have prohibited applications for in-stream water reservations like the one Elim is currently working towards…
KNOM story:
http://www.knom.org/wp/blog/2014/07/28/elim-gathers-river-data
-as-safeguard-against-uranium-mining/

Center for Water Advocacy: http://www.centerforwateradvocacy.org/
&&&
Seattle P.I: River data gathered as safeguard against mining
http://www.seattlepi.com/news/science/article/River-data-gathered
-as-safeguard-against-mining-5654574.php


Subsistence

70. SHI aims to rebuild stocks to culturally, archaeologically indicated levels at historical locations
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN, JUNEAU EMPIRE
Archaeological records and cultural memory indicate that in addition to being more abundant in Southeast Alaska, herring spawning locations were once more consistent.
Though the Alaska Department of Fish and Game says its data don’t support either conclusion, a new program at the Sealaska Heritage Institute intends to restore herring to areas where they proliferated…
http://juneauempire.com/outdoors/2014-07-18/shi-aims-rebuild
-stocks-culturally-archaeologically-indicated-levels-historical


71. Officials Consider Proposed Federal Takeover of Kuskokwim Salmon Fishery
Commercial fishing is on hold until at least next week as state managers assess Coho or silver salmon entering the Kuskokwim river. But the clock is ticking. After a summer of long Chinook salmon closures and a weak chum run, middle and upper river subsistence fishers eagerly await word about whether the federal government will take control of the fishery.
The Office of Subsistence Management in Anchorage is preparing to present the Federal Subsistence Board with a recommendation on whether to federalize the salmon fishery, which is currently under state control.

Evelyn Thomas is the Tribal Council President in Crooked Creek, a community of about 100 people located upriver from Bethel. She says her tribal council plans to pass a resolution in support of federalization. She says the state has not listened.
“They keeping wanting to have [commercial] openings for silvers and late chum run when we haven’t even gotten enough, subsistence users don’t have fish yet, I know here in Crooked Creek, nobody has enough,” said Thomas…
http://kyuk.org/officials-consider-proposed-federal-takeover
-of-kuskokwim-salmon-fishery/


72. Saxman sues federal officials over non-rural status
August 06, 2014  (SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska – The Organized Village of Saxman filed a lawsuit July 25th in the U.S. District Court to prevent the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture from implementing a 2007 final rule grouping the rural community of Saxman with the non-rural community of Ketchikan stripping away its rural status.

Only those residents of communities identified by the Federal Subsistence Board (FSB) as rural are eligible for Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act’s (ANILCA’s) subsistence priority. By grouping Saxman with Ketchikan, the 2007 final rule removed Saxman’s rural status and effectively eliminates Saxman’s priority for subsistence uses thus denying residents of Saxman continued access to the subsistence resources they have depended on as a mainstay of their livelihood…
http://www.sitnews.us/0814News/080614/080614_
saxman.html


73. Allakaket speaks out against Ambler road, potential harm to subsistence lifestyle 
By Matt Buxton, Fairbanks News-Miner, July 26, 2014
ALLAKAKET — After another year of abysmal king salmon runs, with rain-swollen rivers making it near-impossible to catch silvers or chums and with decades of declining moose and caribou populations, the residents of Allakaket bristled at the prospect of a 200-mile industrial road running through their hunting and fishing grounds…
http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/allakaket
-speaks-out-against-ambler-road-potential-harm-to-s
ubsistence/article_4fc40bc0-1499-11e4-9704-0017a4
3b2370.html


74. Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils to Hold Meetings Statewide
The 10 Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils will meet August through October 2014 to discuss subsistence fisheries issues and review proposals to change Federal subsistence fish and shellfish regulations for 2015-2017 as well as other issues affecting subsistence in their regions. The public is welcome to participate in these meetings in person or by teleconference…

For meeting schedule see press release at:
http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/news/general/statewide-
rac-meetings.cfm

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

Federal Subsistence weekly updates:
http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/news/fishing/index.cfm


75. Park Service to hold Subsistence Resource Commission meetings –
As required by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. Appendix 1-16), the National Park Service (NPS) is hereby giving notice that the Denali National Park Subsistence Resource Commission (SRC), the Cape Krusenstern National Monument SRC, the Aniakchak National Monument SRC, the Kobuk Valley National Park SRC, the Lake Clark National Park SRC, the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park SRC, and the Gates of the Arctic National Park SRC will hold meetings to develop and continue work on NPS subsistence program recommendations and other related subsistence management issues…

The Denali National Park SRC will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or until business is completed on Thursday, August 7, 2014, at the Cantwell Community Library in Cantwell..

The Cape Krusenstern National Monument SRC will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or until business is completed on Wednesday, September 3, 2014, at the Northwest Arctic Heritage Center in Kotzebue…

The Aniakchak National Monument SRC will meet from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 3, 2014, and on Thursday, September 4, 2014, from 9:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. at the Port Heiden Community Hall in Port Heiden…

The Kobuk Valley National Park SRC will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or until business is completed on Thursday September 4, 2014, at the Northwest Arctic Heritage Center in Kotzebue…

The Lake Clark National Park SRC will meet from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, at the Nondalton Community Building in Nondalton…

The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park SRC will meet on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, and Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at the Ahtna Cultural Center in Cooper Center…

The Gates of the Arctic National Park SRC will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, and Thursday, November 13, 2014, at the Sophie Station Hotel in Fairbanks…

For meeting agendas and more info see Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-17076

Other

76. NIOSH New Product Spotlight: Live to be Salty
Falling overboard is the second leading cause of death among commercial fishermen, nationwide. And the reason for that? Not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD). In fact, none of the 191 fishermen who died in the U.S. between 2000 and 2013 were wearing a PFD when they drowned.
Live to be Salty  is a multi-media health communication intervention developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and our partners in an effort to reduce drownings, by promoting the use of PFDs on board commercial fishing vessels.
Visit Live to be Salty  to learn about the comfortable PFD options currently available for use by commercial fishermen:
http://www.livetobesalty.org/

CDC/NIOSH Commercial Fishing Safety home page:http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/fishing/


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


78. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Items from this week:
US Senate candidates slam EPA at Bristol Bay
Salmon enzyme spawns fabulous skin cream!
Ak jig fleet grows 224% – Updated fleet profiles
Mine breach poses big threat to AK
Are pampered cats contributing to overfishing?

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


Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees.

To support UFA by joining or renewing your membership, see 
http://www.ufa-fish.org/members.htm

Email list additions or corrections?  Send to ufa@ufa-fish.org .

If you received this email as a forward and would like to be added to our list, simply REPLY and type SUBSCRIBE in the subject line of this email. To receive no future emails from UFA, simply type UNSUBSCRIBE in all caps in the subject line. 
UFA never sells or releases your email information.

Compiled by staff of United Fishermen of Alaska, PO Box 20229, Juneau AK 99802 (907) 586-2820 ufa@ufa-fish.org

 

share

Comments are closed.