UFA Update: August 26, 2013

Support UFA business members.

Make Plans Now for Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle, November 20-22.

The Fall 2013 UFA meeting will be held at Harrigan Centennial Hall at 330 Harbor Drive in Sitka, October 23, 24 & 25.

Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit – December 10-12, 2013 Anchorage Marriott Downtown http://seagrant.uaf.edu/map/workshops/2013/ayfs/

From the Executive Director

As the busy summer salmon season draws to a close, we continue to watch the MSC-Walmart issue closely. As many of you are aware, Walmart has announced a sweeping decision to only source MSC certified seafood in all of their stores. Although Walmart is rumored to have backed down and agreed to source Alaska salmon, all other sustainably managed species in Alaska that have declined to renew their MSC certification are still affected by this decision. Both the State of Alaska and ASMI are to be meeting with Walmart executives at their headquarters in Alabama, and we hope that our message of sustainability gets through to the retail giant. Alaska is the only state in the nation where sustainability is written into the Constitution, and our management practices are known as the best in the world. Help spread the word about Alaska’s commitment to responsible fisheries management!  Please take the time to contact retailers and post on social media, we need to keep promoting the sustainability of our fisheries as we seek alternative sustainability certification such as FAO-based certification (for more information visit http://sustainability.alaskaseafood.org/ ).

-Julianne Curry
Executive Director

Table of Contents

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

  1. Governor Makes ASMI Appointments
  2. Governor Parnell Names Fritz Johnson to Board of Fisheries
  3. Comment by Dec 16 on BLM Bering Sea – Western Interior Resource Management Plan and EIS Scoping
  4. EPA posts Final Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria For Ammonia–Freshwater 2013
  5. Crab Certification Audit Complete, as Crabbers Await Stock Survey Results
  6. Walmart to Work with State on Alaska Salmon
  7. Sensible decision: Walmart agrees to sell Alaska salmon after all
  8. More MSC vs. Alaska: No Alaska salmon for US troops: Sen. Begich slams Sodexo for “insult”
  9. Refusing Alaska’s Fish, Sodexo USA Says No to Wild Salmon
  10. Seafood certification – who’s really on first?
  11. Ten more companies certified via ASMI program
  12. Anglers, dipnetters, commercial fishermen exchange barbs at Alaska salmon fretfest
  13. Seeking Consensus on Salmon Management Policies – My Turn by Paul Dale, Alaska Salmon Alliance
  14. Kenai kings barely meet goal; record set for salmon catch
  15. Turbidity study on Kenai River ‘languishes’ at state level
  16. Begich holds fisheries meeting in Kenai
  17. Prices of wild caught vs. farmed seafood seen permanently diverging
  18. Gunnar Knapp named director of ISER
  19. NRDC Blog: Bristol Bay Residents to Tell EPA Administrator McCarthy the Hazards of Pebble Mine
  20. PVOA’s Brian Lynch responds to Pebble’s Shively on AK Salmon and Pebble
  21. Congress pushes EPA on giant Pebble mine
  22. EPA vows to complete Bristol Bay Mine Assessment, undeterred by critics
  23. Alaskans: The Salmon Project wants to know why you love salmon
  24. Alaska Salmon Project Online Sweepstakes: How Deep is Your Salmon Love?
  25. Bristol Bay fishermen support fleet reduction, study says
  26. Sen. Begich moves Arctic Research & Pirate Fishing bills through Commerce Committee
  27. Alaska Redistricting Board Adopts 2013 Proclamation Plan
  28. DNR: State officials push back on federal efforts to limit access to state and federal lands for resource development
  29. CDQ group battles delegation over quota
  30. CDQs bring millions in fishing profits — and jobs — to poor western Alaska villages
  31. Comment Deadline Sept 30 on NOAA Electronic Monitoring and Electronic Reporting: Guidance & Best Practices
  32. New DIPAC facility a boon to fish and folk alike
  33. Hatchery king crab prepared for first-ever ocean release
  34. Alaska Economic Trends spotlights Kodiak Island Borough economy
  35. AK SeaGrant MAP workshop-Smoking Seafood for Fun and Profit Kodiak August 28-30.
  36. Fishlines – AK SeaGrant Marine Advisory Program Newsletter for August
  37. NOAA Fisheries announces $3.7 million in funding for habitat restoration in Alaska, Oregon and Washington
  38. Alaskan fisheries allegedly endangering Skeena sockeye – Officials say it’s one of the lowest runs in 50 years
  39. Appeals Court Puts Oregon’s Gill Net Fishing Ban on Hold – For Now
  40. Radioactive groundwater at Fukushima nears Pacific
  41. Juneau Empire Editorial: Is Fukushima tainting one of Alaska’s most valuable resources?
  42. Alaska Fish Factor: Volunteer Your Vessel for Electronic Monitoring
  43. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – items from this week:
  44. DEC Request for Water Quality Information – Alaska’s 2014 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment
  45. Comment by September 13 on HB 80 Cruise vessel wastewater discharges
  46. Federal Officials Announce ‘Navigator’ Grants to Help Alaskans Buy Health Insurance
  47. Northrim Benefits Group Launches Enroll Alaska to help guide Alaskans through ACA
  48. Governor Parnell: Compass: State wise to opt out of Obamacare exchanges
  49. Comment deadline August 30 on AMHS Day Boat Alaska Class Ferry Preliminary Design
  50. Comment deadline Nov. 18 on Double Hull Tanker Escorts on the Waters of Prince William Sound
  51. NPFMC GOA & BSAI Groundfish Plan Teams meet Sept. 10-13 in Seattle
  52. Comment Deadline October 21 on Socio-economic data for North Pacific Fisheries
  53. Comment deadline September 3 on GOA Trawl Fishery Rationalization Sociocultural Study
  54. Comment by October 15 on USCG Notice of Proposed Rulemaking re PDF Type codes
  55. Deadline September 29 for Saltonstall-Kennedy grant proposals
  56. NMFS posts ESA Ribbon Seal Status Review Report
  57. NMFS posts Lower Columbia River Salmon & Steelhead ESA Recovery Plan
  58. NMFS posts NS2 Guidelines regarding Scientific Information
  59. EPA Proposes Email requirement for NPDES reporting
  60. Board of Fisheries Proposals for 2013/2014 meeting cycle available.
  61. Mark your calendar: Southeast Alaska Watershed Symposium – November 4th, 5th and 6th, 2013
  62. Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit – December 10-12, 2013 Anchorage Marriott Downtown
  63. Pacific Marine Expo – November 20-22, Seattle
  64. Request a USCG dockside safety exam online
  65. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes online schedule

1. Governor Makes ASMI Appointments

August 23, 2013, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell reappointed Jack Schultheis and Kevin Adams, and appointed Amy Humphreys to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) Board of Directors. The institute promotes Alaskan seafood and develops market-oriented quality specifications.

Adams, of Anchorage, is the current ASMI chair. He has 40 years of experience as a driftnet boat captain in Bristol Bay. Adams has also worked as an employee for the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation and the Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association. Adams is a former vice president of the Great Ruby Fish Company, and the manager for Adams Enterprises Nets and Gear. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from California State University, Chico. Adams is reappointed to a harvester seat.

Schultheis, of Emmonak, is a general manager for Kwik-Pak Fisheries. He has been involved in processing for 37 years, mostly in western Alaska fisheries. Schultheis is reappointed to a small processor seat.

Humphreys, of Seattle, is the president and CEO of Icicle Seafoods. Prior to that, she served as president of Delta Western and vice president of corporate development for American Seafoods Group, LLC. Humphreys is a board member for the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard and Wellspring Family Services. She is also a court appointed special advocate for state dependent children. Humphreys holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington. She is appointed to a large processor seat.

http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.html?pr=6575

UFA congratulates Kevin Adams, Jack Shulteis and Amy Humphreys, and thank them for serving on the ASMI board.

UFA Press release from June 3: UFA At-Large board member Kevin Adams elected as ASMI Chair

http://www.ufa-fish.org/press/2013-01%20UFA%20Press%20Release%20-%20Kevin%20Adams%20ASMI%20Chair%20May%202013.pdf


2. Governor Parnell Names Fritz Johnson to Board of Fisheries

July 31, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today appointed Frederick “Fritz” Johnson to the Board of Fisheries.

Johnson, of Dillingham, has fished for salmon and herring in Bristol Bay since 1979, and has operated a drift gillnet permit since 2000. For the past five years, he has served as the regional fisheries coordinator for the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, a position that has acquainted him with Board of Fisheries issues and processes. He founded the Bristol Bay Times newspaper in 1980, and published the weekly paper until 1992. He has also served in media and public relations positions for the Bristol Bay Native Association and Bristol Bay Housing Authority, and is a current board member of Nushagak Electric and Telephone Cooperative, Inc. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks…

http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.html?pr=6562

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Long Time Dillingham Fisherman Named to Board of Fish  – Jay Barrett/KMXT Kodiak
http://www.kmxt.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4912

Congratulations and thank you Mr. Johnson for being willing to serve.


3. Board of Fisheries Proposals for 2013/2014 meeting cycle available.

The Alaska Board of Fisheries 2013/2014 Proposed Changes in Pacific Cod, Chignik Finfish, Lower Cook Inlet Finfish, Kodiak Finfish, Upper Cook Inlet Finfish; and Statewide King and Tanner Crab; and Supplemental Issues.

Proposal Book:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/fisheriesboard/pdfs/2013-2014/2013-2014_proposal_book.pdf

Meeting Info – scroll down and click on meetings for more info.
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo

See item #60 below for Board of Fisheries Proposal Book for 2013-2014 Cycle.


3. Comment by Dec 16 on BLM Bering Sea – Western Interior Resource Management Plan and EIS Scoping

SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended (FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Anchorage Field Office, Anchorage, Alaska, intends to prepare a Resource Management Plan (RMP) with an associated Environmental Impact

Statement (EIS) for the RMP for the Bering Sea-Western Interior (BSWI) Planning Area and by this notice announces the beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues. The RMP will replace the existing 1981 Southwest Planning Area Management Framework Plan and portions of the 1986 Central Yukon RMP Record of Decision.

DATES: This notice initiates the public scoping process for the RMP and associated EIS. Comments on issues may be submitted in writing until December 16, 2013.

The date(s) and location(s) of any scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local media, newspapers and the BLM Web site at: www.blm.gov/ak.

Federal Register Notice:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-18/html/2013-17224.htm

BLM Bering Sea – Western Interior Resource Management Plan home page:
http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/planning/bering_sea_western.html


4. EPA posts Final Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria For Ammonia–

Freshwater 2013

ACTION: Notice of availability of final criteria.

SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 304(a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of final national recommended ambient water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic life from effects of ammonia in freshwater (EPA 822-R-13-001). The final criteria incorporate the latest scientific knowledge on the toxicity of ammonia to freshwater aquatic life…

EPA’s recommended section 304(a) water quality criteria provide guidance to States and authorized Tribes in adopting water quality standards for protecting aquatic life and human health. EPA’s recommended water quality criteria by themselves have no binding legal

effect. These national recommended criteria for ammonia in freshwater are intended to protect aquatic life and do not address human health toxicity data. The water quality criteria for ammonia for the protection of saltwater organisms are not being updated at this time.

EPA’s national recommended final acute ambient water quality criteria (AWQC) for protecting freshwater organisms from potential effects of ammonia is 17 mg/L total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) and the final chronic AWQC for ammonia is 1.9 mg/L TAN at pH 7.0 and temperature 20 [deg]C.

ADDRESSES: Scientific views received from the public on the draft ammonia criteria documents are available from the EPA Docket Center and are identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0921. They may be accessed online at: www.regulations.gov : Follow the on-line instructions…

Federal Register notice:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-22/html/2013-20307.htm

Regulations.gov docket:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0921


5. Crab Certification Audit Complete, as Crabbers Await Stock Survey Results

…; Negotiations with Japanese buyers of red king crab are still weeks away and negotiations for opilio crab traditionally begin in January, but some marketers of Alaska crab are meanwhile engaged in what they describe as “ a big row” with Walmart over what they say are indications that Walmart is showing a preference for Russian crab.

“The primary factor has been there have been some treaties signed between Russia, Japan, Korea and China intended to deal with illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activities,” said Jake Jacobsen, executive director for the Inter-cooperation Exchange in Seattle. “Those treaties were signed, but not implemented, so there was a move to get as much landed as they could before the treaties went into effect.”

There are large quantities of snow crab and king crab from Russia this year and it is illegal, unregulated and unreported crab,” he said.

“Alaska’s crab fisheries are some of the best managed in the world,” said Tyson Fick, a spokesman for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

“With all of the well-documented troubles the Russian fisheries have had with illegal, unreported, and unregulated crab entering the world market it is surprising that we would have Walmart saying they will purchase crab from that fishery because it is supposedly defined as sustainable because of a fisheries improvement project.  We will continue to rely on all that Alaska has to offer, such as the strong reputation we have for fisheries management and the highest quality product,”  Fick said…

On August 6, ASMI announced that the first annual audit of Alaska Bering Sea and Aleutian Island blue and red king and snow crab fisheries for responsible fisheries management certification had been completed.

A copy of the lengthy surveillance report undergone by the Alaska crab fisheries is online at http://certification.alaskaseafood.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/FAO-RFM-BSAI-King-Snow-Crab-1st-Surveillance-report_Jul-2013-FINAL.pdf

For complete Margie Bauman article in Fishermen’s News, see:

http://www.fishermensnews.com/story/2013/09/01/features/certification-audit-complete-as-crabbers-await-stock-survey-results/205.html


6. Walmart to Work with State on Alaska Salmon

August 1, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell welcomed Walmart’s decision not to abandon Alaska salmon. In recent meetings with state officials, Walmart executives stated Alaska salmon is extremely important due to high customer demand. The meetings came just days after Governor Parnell urged Walmart CEO Michael Duke to reconsider the company’s decision to no longer purchase salmon from sources that aren’t certified to be sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council…

Governor Sean Parnell press release:
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.html?pr=6565

&&&

Governor Parnell urges Walmart to Reconsider Salmon Decision

Governor Parnell press release
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.html?pr=6554

&

Letter to Walmart: http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/walmart_071613.pdf


7. Sensible decision: Walmart agrees to sell Alaska salmon after all

Fairbanks News-Miner editorial August 8:

A controversy about labeling Alaska salmon appears to be headed toward a resolution with a sensible decision by Walmart to not reject the sustainable fish supply from the 49th state.

The issue arose when the state and the fishing industry decided to change the independent group they used to provide a label certifying the sustainability of Alaska salmon.

Let’s remember that it is not the presence or absence of a particular label that makes something sustainable, but Walmart had first taken the position that Alaska salmon would not be sold in its stores without the logo of the Marine Stewardship Council, a London-based group…

http://www.newsminer.com/opinion/editorials/sensible-decision-walmart-agrees-to-sell-alaska-salmon-after-all/article_289e75de-0000-11e3-881f-0019bb30f31a.html


8. More MSC vs. Alaska: No Alaska salmon for US troops: Sen. Begich slams Sodexo for “insult”

Fish Radio with Laine Welch -Aug 22, 2013:

One of the world’s largest foods contractors is the latest to snub Alaska salmon over an eco-label  – in this case, fish that’s targeted to the US troops. The company Sodexo, home based in France, has an eight year contract to provide food services to US military mess halls.  The Fortune 500 company’s policy is to only serve seafood certified by the London-based Marine Stewardship Council.

Alaska Senator Mark Begich:

“To be very frank with you – This company has decided because of some labeling issue, they don’t think Alaska fish products meet their standards. It is outrageous and appalling. We believe that the certification we have, which is Global Trust Certification that Canada and Iceland receive on their fish products, is as high standard, if not higher, than what Sodexo wants to have.

…Begich has written a letter of complaint to Sodexo, and he says he’s ready to add clarifications to the Magnuson-Stevens Act as it is being reauthorized…

Laine Welch Fish Radio story Aug 22:

http://www.alaskafishradio.com/no-alaska-salmon-for-us-troops-sen-begich-slams-sodexo-for-insult/

See more of Laine’s reporting at # 42 & #43 below.


9. Refusing Alaska’s Fish, Sodexo USA Says No to Wild Salmon

By Corey Allen-Young Channel 2 News, August 20, 2013

ANCHORAGE, Alaska—

Alaska’s wild salmon is in the spotlight again after a major federal contractor decided not to serve it because of how it’s certified.

Sodexo USA, which contracts food service programs to several federal agencies including the Department of Defense, will now only buy seafood certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

…The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute says because of shifting standards in that program, Alaska’s fisheries dropped out of that certification in favor of the Responsible Fishery Management certification system that analyzes each of Alaska’s rivers separately…   http://articles.ktuu.com/2013-08-20/alaska-seafood-marketing-institute_41430559


10. Seafood certification – who’s really on first?

Nils E. Stolpe  – FishNet USA/July 30, 2013

“Sustainability certification” has become a watchword of people in the so-called marine conservation community in recent years. However, their interest seems to transcend the determination of the actual sustainability of the methods employed to harvest particular species of finfish and shellfish and to use the certification process and the certifiers to advance either their own particular agendas or perhaps the agendas of those foundations that support them financially…

For the complete article on funding sources see:
http://www.fishnet-usa.com/SeafoodCertification.pdf

Nils Stolpe’s home page and archive are online at http://www.fishnet-usa.com/


11. Ten more companies certified via ASMI program

Ten more companies have joined the list of over 40 seafood entities that have met requirements of the sustainable fisheries certification program sponsored through the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, ASMI officials said Aug. 20.

The latest additions to the list are Trident Seafoods Corp., Pacific Live LLC, Intersea Fisheries West, Inc., Rocky Pass Seafoods LLC, North Beach Sales, Pacific Ocean Foods, Inc., Nomura Trading Co., Inc., Quality Seafood Services LLC, North Star Cold Storage, Alaska and Glacier Seafoods.

The list also includes Triad Fisheries, Glacier Fish Co., Seafood Producers Cooperative, Icicle Seafoods, Inc., Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Peter Pan Seafoods, Kwik’Pak Fisheries, 10th & M Seafoods, Canadian Fishing Co., American Seafoods Co, Blue North Trading Co, Orca Bay Seafoods and more. A complete list of all certified chain of custody suppliers under the program can be found at http://certification.alaskaseafood.org/chain-suppliers

Cordova Times:
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/133510-more-companies-certified-via-asmi-program


12. Anglers, dipnetters, commercial fishermen exchange barbs at Alaska salmon fretfest

On the day an Anchorage judge denied the demands of sommercial setnet fishermen wanting to harvest more Cook Inlet salmon, anglers and dipnetters in the state’s largest city swarmed the auditorium of a state fish hatchery at an Anchorage Fish and Game Advisory Committee meeting…

Ever since Costco started selling dipnets, a sense of entitlement among personal-use fishermen seems to have grown. It is built around the idea the system is supposed to work like this:

You go to the Big Box Store. You buy your dipnet. You drive south from Anchorage 150 miles to Kenai to get your fish just like you got your net. And if it doesn’t work out quite this way –if the harvest becomes less like shopping and more like fishing, a pursuit at which people sometimes get skunked – someone should be blamed…

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130802/anglers-dipnetters-commercial-fishermen-exchange-barbs-alaska-salmon-fretfest


13. Seeking Consensus on Salmon Management Policies – My Turn by Paul Dale, Alaska Salmon Alliance

It is part of what makes our state and community distinctive: Alaska’s wild salmon runs. They differentiate us from almost all other coastal regions in the world. Fishing is part of our heritage, whether sport, commercial, subsistence or personal use.

The key to sustainability with any natural resource is regulatory stability in terms of business planning and long-term investment. This is a significant problem in Cook Inlet, particularly in the Kenai River, due to salmon allocation issues that have been loudly deliberated for the past several years. With the past few seasons of poor king salmon returns the intensity of the debate has grown. Last year, Kenai River sport fishermen, along with East Side Setnet fishermen, were closed down to preserve king salmon for spawning escapement.

http://juneauempire.com/opinion/2013-07-29/my-turn-seeking-consensus-salmon-management-policies

&

Rebuttal by Bob Penney: The Main Point: Kenai king run is in peril
http://juneauempire.com/opinion/2013-08-02/my-turn-main-pointkenai-king-run-peril


14. Kenai kings barely meet goal; record set for salmon catch

The Kenai River kings seem to have met their escapement goal after all, but it was still the lowest return on record.

Through Aug. 15, 17,028 kings were enumerated by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s DIDSON (duel identification sonar), slightly more than the bottom of the sustainable escapement goal range for Kenai River kings.

That’s still far fewer fish than in recent years, which have seen runs of 24,000 and 27,000 fish.

The Kenai king escapement goal is 15,000 to 30,000 fish.

The preliminary estimate for in-river mortality is 1,619 fish from sport caught and catch-and-release mortality, making the preliminary escapement estimate 15,409 fish.

Additional postseason work will be done this fall to confirm that the run count seems correct, and the goal was met.

While some Cook Inlet fishermen haven’t had as much commercial harvest opportunity as they hoped for, statewide the harvest has been strong, largely due to pink salmon catches.

Through Aug. 20, commercial fishermen had harvested 236 million salmon, more than the preseason forecast of 178 million fish, according to ADFG’s blue sheet estimate…

AK Journal of Commerce story:http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/August-Issue-4-2013/Kenai-kings-barely-meet-goal-record-set-for-salmon-catch/

ADFG preliminary Harvest blue sheet: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=commercialbyfisherysalmon.bluesheet

&

Inseason Salmon Summary:http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=commercialbyfisherysalmon.bluesheetsummary


15. Turbidity study on Kenai River ‘languishes’ at state level

By Rashah McChesney, Peninsula Clarion (July 11)

KENAI — A 2011 study linking boat traffic to violations of state standards for drinking water, recreational use and health of fish and wildlife on the lower Kenai River has yet to make it through a review process at the state level.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has no formal approval process for the three-year study though the data could be used to determine whether the Kenai River should be listed as an “impaired water body” on the state’s biennial report to the Environmental Protection Agency on impaired water bodies…

The study linked excessive turbidity — a measurement of the amount of light that is scattered as it passed through the water column, the more solids suspended in the water the cloudier it becomes — with boat traffic…

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/July-Issue-2-2013/Turbidity-study-on-Kenai-River-languishes-at-state-level/

See item #44 below for DEC request for water quality information for list of impaired (polluted) waters.


16. Begich holds fisheries meeting in Kenai

By Rashah McChesney, Peninsula Clarion

During his third stop in a series of meetings on the re-authorization of the federal marine fisheries management act, U.S. Senator Mark Begich, D-Alaska, spoke about Alaskans being unified in their approach when negotiating at the federal level.

Nearly 30 people attended the third of Begich’s listening sessions in Kenai; He has also held meetings with the subsistence community in Fairbanks and commercial fishermen in Kodiak.

The sessions revolve around the re-authorization of the Magnuson-Stevens act, a federal law that covers marine fisheries in the U.S. and is now being reworked for the first time in nearly a decade… http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2013-08-22-0


17. Prices of wild caught vs. farmed seafood seen permanently diverging 

(c) The Economist Newspaper Limited, London 2013. All rights reserved

Fish are getting more expensive, but they do not all move at the same speed…

IT IS a good time to be a fisherman. The global fish-price index of the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) hit a record high in May. Changing consumer diets, particularly in China, explain much of the sustained upward movement. High oil prices, which increase the cost of fishing and transportation, also add to the price of putting fish on the table.

Not all fish are created equal, however. There are two types of fish production: “capture” (or wild) and “aquaculture” (or farmed). And they seem to be on different trajectories. Fish such as tuna, the majority of which is caught wild, saw much bigger price increases than salmon, which are easier to farm. Overall, the FAO’s price index for wild fish nearly doubled between 1990 and 2012, whereas the one for farmed fish rose by only a fifth. What explains this big difference?

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21583296-fish-are-getting-more-expensive-they-do-not-all-move-same


18. Gunnar Knapp named director of ISER

Gunnar Knapp, a professor of economics, is the new director of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research, the institute announced Thursday.

Knapp has been on the faculty of ISER, which is part of the UAA College of Business and Public Policy, since 1981. He had been serving as interim director since the previous director, Heather Hudson, stepped down in January.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/08/08/3015010/gunnar-knapp-named-director-of.html#storylink=cpy

Congratulations to Dr. Knapp on his promotion and thanks for his many years of attention to Alaska salmon and fisheries. It is worthwhile to read back on his predictions from 1998 and to think of where we’d be without the steadfast work of ASMI to differentiate our fish in the marketplace, processors to innovate new products and quality, and of Alaska fishermen to seek all manner of improvements. Most of what he predicted has come true, though he underestimated the farmed salmon industry’s difficulties with disease and environmental consequences that have made some speed bumps in their path.

The Salmon Industry: Twenty-Seven Predictions for the Future by Gunnar Knapp, 1998: http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/people/knapp/personal/Predict5a.htm


19. NRDC Blog: Bristol Bay Residents to Tell EPA Administrator McCarthy the Hazards of Pebble Mine

Bristol Bay Residents to Tell EPA Administrator McCarthy the Hazards of Pebble Mine

Imagine if a massive open-pit mine were carved into the pristine ecosystem that supported your livelihood and your region’s economy. Or if were built in a way that threatened the cultural traditions that your family has honored for generations.

It’s an alarming prospect, and that’s why so many communities in Bristol Bay, Alaska oppose the Pebble Mine…http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/fbeinecke/pebble_mine_hazards.html


20. PVOA’s Brian Lynch responds to Pebble’s Shively on AK Salmon and Pebble

KFSK Audio: http://www.kfsk.org/2013/07/02/brian-lynch-of-pvoa-commentary-regarding-pebble-mine/

This piece was in rebuttal to APRN June story: Senators Urge Caution on Pebble Mine, Partnership Says Fishing on Decline, which we included in our July 3 Update: http://www.alaskapublic.org/2013/06/14/senators-urge-caution-on-pebble-mine-partnership-says-fishing-on-decline/


21. Congress pushes EPA on giant Pebble mine
By Sean Cockerham — Anchorage Daily News

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress hope to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from blocking the gigantic Pebble open pit mine in Alaska, proposed for one of the last places left on the globe to support huge runs of wild salmon.EPA opponents in the House of Representatives held the first congressional hearing over the proposed copper and gold mine Thursday as the contentious issue gains increasing national attention.”A pre-emptive veto by EPA would set a dangerous precedent and could have a chilling effect on similar projects throughout the nation,” said Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun, who chaired the science and technology subcommittee hearing. “Investors would be wary of funding projects if they believed that a federal agency could just say no at any time prior to permit applications.”The EPA says it has the power under the federal Clean Water Act to stop the Pebble mine or impose strict conditions on its development. But the agency hasn’t decided whether to use that authority, EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson said Thursday in an email.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/08/01/3003780/congress-pushes-epa-on-giant-pebble.html#storylink=cpy

http://www.adn.com/2013/08/01/3003780/congress-pushes-epa-on-giant-pebble.html

House Committee on Science, Space and Technology August 1 hearing home page: http://science.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-oversight-hearing-epa-s-bristol-bay-watershed-assessment-factual-review

Committee press release: Hearing Highlights EPA Overreach in Bristol Bay Mining Assessment http://science.house.gov/press-release/hearing-highlights-epa-overreach-bristol-bay-mining-assessment


22. EPA vows to complete Bristol Bay Mine Assessment, undeterred by critics
Seafood.com posted Tuesday, July 30, 2013 

EPA is promising to complete its controversial draft study on the potential effects of the planned Pebble mine in the Bristol Bay, AK, watershed, rejecting calls from Republicans and industry groups who say the study is based on a biased selection of data by those favoring a novel veto of the project and could not be used as the basis for such a veto.

In a July 16 letter to Senate Republicans, EPA’s acting water chief Nancy Stoner says a final study is key to ensuring certainty for both the companies seeking to develop the project and those that rely on the watershed’s fishery. Relevant documents are available on www.InsideEPA.com  . (Doc ID: 2441024 – trial subscription required to access document).

“Prematurely stepping away from our assessment development efforts at this time, we believe, would only increase uncertainty among Bristol Bay stakeholders, including both those who rely on the Bristol Bay fishery for their livelihoods and those who are pursuing large-scale mining-related development in the watershed,” Stoner says…

Seafood.com article thanks to UCIDA: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=220520644639200&story_fbid=633689473322313

More opinion on this:

ADN Compass: EPA can and should block Pebble mine, By Jason Metrokin

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/08/24/3039469/compass-epa-can-and-should-block.html#storylink=cpy

&

ADN Opinion-Paul Jenkins: EPA Bristol Bay study is suspect in more ways than one

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/08/24/3039773/paul-jenkins-epa-bristol-bay-study.html#storylink=cpy

&

EPA Bristol Bay Mining Assessment home page: http://www2.epa.gov/bristolbay


23. Alaskans: The Salmon Project wants to know why you love salmon

By NICOLE KLAUSS — Kodiak Daily Mirror

KODIAK, Alaska — A Kodiak woman is leading a study to find out why Alaskans love salmon. The Salmon Project, still in an exploratory phase, aims to find out about the deep connections Alaskans have with wild salmon.”We wanted to understand how it relates to people’s lives and what values were associated with salmon fishing, salmon viewing or salmon eating,” project organizer Erin Harrington said.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/08/24/3040438/project-wants-to-know-why-you.html#storylink=cpy


24. Alaska Salmon Project Online Sweepstakes: How Deep is Your Salmon Love?

Where do you fall on the Salmon Scale? Take the online quiz to enter our sweepstakes and see how much love you have for Alaska’s most famed fish and you could snag some cool prizes.

http://salmonlove.com/salmon-love

More about the Alaska Salmon project: http://www.salmonlove.com/about-us


25. Bristol Bay fishermen support fleet reduction, study says
Hannah Heimbuch | Bristol Bay Times via Alaska Dispatch
July 7, 2013

Should the state of Alaska buy back some of its limited entry permits in Bristol Bay? A study recently released by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association indicates that fishermen say yes.

The organization sent out a questionnaire this spring to all 1,858 Bristol Bay drift permit holders. They are still accepting returned questionnaires, but have gotten back more than 400 so far. According to the seafood development association, which supports market, product and infrastructure improvements in the bay, most permit holders who’ve responded  favor a buyback…

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130707/bristol-bay-fishermen-support-fleet-reduction-study-says


26. Sen. Begich moves Arctic Research & Pirate Fishing bills through Commerce Committee

U.S. Senator Mark Begich helped move several pieces of legislation through the Senate Commerce Committee today(7/30) including bills that will increase Arctic research, eliminate pirate fishing practices, improve international fisheries stewardship, and ensure that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the resources necessary to recruit and retain a strong workforce.  Begich is the chief sponsor of two of the bills.

http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=b466e7d9-b908-4abc-aeab-0e1932875ddf


27. Alaska Redistricting Board Adopts 2013 Proclamation Plan

Posted by Redistricting Board Staff

On July 14, 2013, the Alaska Redistricting Board adopted its 2013 Proclamation Plan

2013 Proclamation Plan: http://www.akredistricting.org/2013proclamation.html

Alaska Redistricting Board home page: http://www.akredistricting.org/


Democrats sue over latest Alaska redistricting map

The Alaska Democratic Party filed suit Tuesday to challenge the Alaska Redistricting Board’s latest map dividing the state into House and Senate districts.The board’s third attempt at drawing legislative boundaries using the 2010 census was already under court challenge by two Fairbanks-area voters, and Democratic Party lawyer Joe McKinnon said he’s going to ask his case to be joined with theirs. Mike Walleri, one of the lawyers for the Fairbanks voters, said he hadn’t seen the new lawsuit but said he probably won’t object.The Democratic Party lawsuit said the Redistricting Board, weighted 4-1 with Republicans, drew unconstitutional boundaries by taking voters from the Kenai and Matanuska-Susitna boroughs and putting them in districts outside their boroughs. The party also objected to rural district boundaries and with districts in the Fairbanks area…

http://www.adn.com/2013/08/13/3022659/democrats-file-suit-challenging.html


ADN Compass: Redistricting plan reflects Alaska’s political reality

By Randy Ruedrich, Anchorage Daily News, Published: July 30, 2013

http://www.adn.com/2013/07/30/2999917/compass-redistricting-plan-reflects.html


28. DNR: State officials push back on federal efforts to limit access to state and federal lands for resource development

(Anchorage, AK) – In the past week, officials from the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Law highlighted broad-based concerns from numerous state agencies about federal planning efforts that have the potential to block or limit access to state and federal lands for responsible resource development.  State officials voiced their concerns in a series of letters and technical comments to federal agencies on issues involving North Slope oil and gas development, federal authority over state lands, and timber sales and land management in the Tongass National Forest…

To read the state’s comments to NMFS, go to: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/priorities/6_27_13_NMFS_letter.pdf.

To read the state’s comments to EPA, go to: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/priorities/6_28_13_EPA_letter.pdf.

To read the state’s comments to the Tongass National Forest, go to: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/priorities/7_1_13_Tongass_letter.pdf.

DNR press release 7/8: http://dnr.alaska.gov/shared/mediareleases/dsp_media_release.cfm?id=1863&title=State%20officials%20push%20back%20on%20federal%20efforts%20to%20limit%20access%20to%20state%20and%20federa


29. CDQ group battles delegation over quota
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal Of Commerce

Alaska’s Congressional delegation is reluctant to talk about changes in the new Magnuson-Stevens Act until they’ve heard more from the state, but one thing is certain: they have no intention of changing the Community Development Quota allocations in the Bering Sea.

That isn’t stopping Coastal Villages Region Fund, or CVRF, from continuing its campaign for more fish…

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/August-Issue-4-2013/CDQ-group-battles-delegation-over-quota/


30. CDQs bring millions in fishing profits — and jobs — to poor western Alaska villages

Fishing is life in much of Alaska.

Congress tried to honor that connection when it created the Community Development Quota, or CDQ, program, in 1992.

Before CDQs, commercial fishing was dominated by outside interests, most notably from foreign countries and other states, said Clem Tillion, who helped create the program as then-Gov. Wally Hickel’s fisheries guru.

The program gave six groups, meant to represent a total of 65 communities along a 50-mile stretch of the Bering Sea coast, an allocation in certain Bering Sea fisheries managed by the federal government.

The groups are nonprofit corporations that represent a total 27,000 Alaska residents. Each has a set geographic range in Western Alaska, from Atka to Diomede…

For Alaska Dispatch full story and related articles see:

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130818/cdqs-bring-millions-fishing-profits-and-jobs-poor-western-alaska-villages


31. Comment Deadline Sept 30 on NOAA Electronic Monitoring and Electronic Reporting: Guidance & Best Practices

As a part of the strategic effort, NOAA Fisheries is releasing a Discussion Draft on electronic technologies with advice and best practices for NOAA Fisheries and Councils to evaluate, add to and apply (where applicable) in developing regionally-appropriate fishery dependent data collection programs utilizing electronic monitoring (EM) and electronic reporting (ER). The document includes principles consistent with the Agency’s April 2013 Policy on the adoption of electronic technologies and was informed by five white papers commissioned by the NOAA Fisheries leadership in 2012…

To submit your input, advice or best practices to be included in the document, send an email to: nmfspolicy@noaa.gov . Your comments will be posted below for others to view.

The deadline for submitting comments is September 30th, 2013.
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/op/outreach/18_em_er_discussion_draft.html


32. New DIPAC facility a boon to fish and folk alike

Eight huge windows illuminate four long, bright, concrete tanks where tiny fry wriggle, growing with each passing day. Visitors stroll along a skywalk and look down into the swirling masses of baby fish. Follow the walkway out of the new building at Douglas Island Pink and Chum Macaulay Hatchery and stand on the deck facing the ocean — it’s built so it feels like you’re hovering above the water, Director of Operations Rick Focht said.

The $4 million project to expand DIPAC’s facilities was finished this spring, and, as of Wednesday, three of the four new raceways held 600,000 king and coho salmon fry each. The expansion, which includes the raceway building and a warehouse, was geared toward upping Juneau’s salmon population, Focht said. DIPAC is hoping for a “noticeable increase in king and coho fishing,” he said… http://juneauempire.com/local/2013-08-26/new-dipac-facility-boon-fish-and-folk-alike


33. Hatchery king crab prepared for first-ever ocean release

KODIAK, Alaska — A big test has never looked so small.Swimming in a pair of plastic tanks within the first floor of the Kodiak Fisheries Research Center are 13,000 red king crab, each no bigger than half a pinky fingernail.In three weeks, the first of these crab will be released into the ocean, marking the first time hatchery-raised Alaska king crab have been introduced into the wild, the Kodiak Daily Mirror (http://bit.ly/143DuWx) reports.”It’s certainly an exciting step; I’m waiting with bated breath to see what happens,” said Ginny Eckert, associate professor of fisheries for the University of Alaska Fairbanks and science director of the AKCRRAB project… http://www.adn.com/2013/08/12/3020137/hatchery-king-crab-prepared-for.html


34. Alaska Economic Trends spotlights Kodiak Island Borough economy

The Kodiak Island Borough, which sits on the western edge of the Gulf of Alaska, comprises the larger Kodiak Island and a series of smaller, mostly uninhabited islands. Its location on the Gulf of Alaska plays a huge role in its seafood-oriented economy and makes it one of the world’s fishing capitals.

Seafood jobs and earnings Seafood-related employment, which includes harvesting and processing, made up about 36 percent of all jobs in the borough in 2012 — more than any other industry…

Article begins Page 12 at http://labor.alaska.gov/trends/aug13.pdf


35. AK SeaGrant MAP workshop-Smoking Seafood for Fun and Profit Kodiak August 28-30.  

The workshop offers both lectures and hands-on activities led by seafood scientists at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center in Kodiak, Alaska. Areas covered will include the principles of fish smoking, safety of smoked products, brining, filleting sockeye for curing and cold smoking, hot-smoking chum, coho, and black cod, preparation of fish sausage and processing of salmon roe for production of ikura. The instructors for this workshop will be Alexandra Oliveira, Brian Himelboom and Brennan Smith and Chris Sannito. This workshop is for anyone interested in smoking and processing fish, including home fish-smoking enthusiasts, small smokehouse operators, fishermen interested in direct marketing their fish and commercial operators. The registration fee is $240.00.

http://seagrant.uaf.edu/map/workshops/2013/smokingfish2/index.php


36. Fishlines – AK SeaGrant Marine Advisory Program Newsletter for August

This month’s topics include:

  • Calendar of events
  • Using Strontium Isotope Ratios to Track Salmon Migration in the Nushagak River
  • Progress Made in Marine Mammal Stranding Response
  • Alex Oliveira Joins MAP Faculty Full Time
  • Callers Appreciate Marine Policy Forum

http://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/fishlines/2013/august.php

For more information and to participate in the Marine Policy Forum monthly teleconferences, see the AOOS Alaska Marine Policy Forum web page at http://www.aoos.org/ak-marine-policy-forum/ .


37. NOAA Fisheries announces $3.7 million in funding for habitat restoration in Alaska, Oregon and Washington

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) has announced $3.73 million in funding for habitat restoration projects in Alaska, Oregon and Washington to restore more than 1,800 acres of habitat, benefiting threatened species including steelhead, Chinook and coho salmon…

NOAA Press release: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2013/08/20_08_habitat_grants_ak_or_wa.html


38. Alaskan fisheries allegedly endangering Skeena sockeye – Officials say it’s one of the lowest runs in 50 years

A near record-low sockeye salmon run for Skeena River fisheries has cut off the catch in B.C., but conservation groups say Alaskan fishermen are not pulling in their nets, making the problem worse.

“This is probably one of the lowest [runs] we’ve seen in about 50 years,” said Mel Kotyk, North Coast area director for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Only 453,000 sockeye are expected to swim along the Skeena this year, Kotyk said, compared to approximately 2.4 million last year. The DFO has been forced to close all commercial and recreational fisheries for the area.

Speculation over the cause of the collapse continues, but Watershed Watch conservationist Aaron Hill is worried that Alaskan fisheries are causing even greater harm… http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/07/18/bc-skeena-sockeye-salmon.html


39. Appeals Court Puts Oregon’s Gill Net Fishing Ban on Hold – For Now

In last November’s election, Oregon voters overwhelmingly rejected Measure 81, which would have banned commercial non-tribal gill net fishing on Oregon’s “inland waters” and allowed the use of seine nets in their stead.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (OFWC) overturned the resounding tally of 884,913 votes (66 percent) with just four votes of their own in December. In a controversial 4-2 decision, the commissioners opted to back Gov. John Kitzhaber’s plan to move commercial non-tribal gill-netters off the main stem of the lower Columbia River into off-channel sloughs and bays. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) officials promised to expand and enhance those areas and stock them with more hatchery fish to offset potentially devastating financial losses for the commercial fishery.

The plan, however, is currently dammed up by the Oregon Court of Appeals, which ordered the state to wait after two leading commercial gillnet fishermen filed a petition asking the court to invalidate Kitzhaber’s plan.

Filed by Eugene-based attorney Ben Miller on behalf of Astoria-based commercial fishermen Jim Wells and Steve Fick of Fishhawk Fisheries, the petition alleges that the OFWC violated several state laws, among them one that requires “optimum commercial and public recreational benefits” of food fish management…

Wells, president of Salmon for All –an association of gillnetters, fish buyers, processors and associated businesses founded in 1958, and Fick noted that commercial fisheries harvest fish for the consuming public, giving all Oregonians access to the Columbia River’s resources, and “for many generations,” Oregon gave the fishermen and public “a significant and equitable share” of those resources by allowing gillnetting…

http://www.fishermensnews.com/story/2013/04/01/features/appeals-court-puts-oregons-gill-net-fishing-rules-on-hold-for-now/160.html

It’s about time this perspective on the public access to public fishery resources was made clear.


40. Radioactive groundwater at Fukushima nears Pacific

By Mari Yamaguchi, TOKYO — Deep beneath Fukushima’s crippled nuclear power station, a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant’s reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping toward the Pacific.

Now, 2 ½ years later, experts fear it is about to reach the ocean and greatly worsen what is fast becoming a new crisis at Fukushima: the inability to contain vast quantities of radioactive water.

Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/radioactive-groundwater-at-fukushima-nears-pacific/2013/08/23/a04857a0-0c1f-11e3-b87c-476db8ac34cd_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines


41. Juneau Empire Editorial: Is Fukushima tainting one of Alaska’s most valuable resources?

Posted: August 25, 2013 – 12:07am This week, contaminated water leaking from Japan’s still-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant made headlines. One of the containment tanks sprang a leak and was spilling tons of hazardous waste water onto the surrounding area, about a football field’s length from the Pacific Ocean.

Now, Japanese officials said, the situation is too big. They need international assistance…

http://juneauempire.com/opinion/2013-08-25/empire-editorial-fukushima-tainting-one-alaskas-most-valuable-resources


42. Alaska Fish Factor: Volunteer Your Vessel for Electronic Monitoring

Laine Welch (August 19)

US – Want to get onboard observers out of those small fishing boat bunks? The more fishermen who volunteer their vessels to field test new electronic monitoring systems (EMS), the faster the programme will replace that extra body onboard…

“We know we can use camera technologies, and we already have it regulated and operational,” said Martin Loefflad, director of NOAA Fisheries’ Monitoring and Analysis Division of the North Pacific Observer Program at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.

“The challenge becomes very different when you move from ‘is industry behaving the way they are supposed to by regulation, to looking at what is actually coming up on the lines, and trying to identify and measure it, and then trying to get the data from the video into the hands of a manager so they can use it to make decisions. And therein lies some of the interesting technical challenges,” Loefflad explained, calling the new venture “our first big foray into EMS.”

That’s where the F/V volunteers come in…

Only a half dozen boats have carried the EMS gear so far and many more are needed before a full-fledged EMS program can be launched.

“This is a great opportunity for fishermen to shape what is arguably a new technology and a new way of collecting data, “Carroll said. “ I would encourage as many of them as possible to jump on board.”

Questions? Contact Elizabeth.chilton@noaa.gov  or call Saltwater, Inc. toll free at 1-800-770-3241.

See Laine Welch’s full story at The Fish Site: http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/21050/alaska-fish-factor-volunteer-your-vessel-for-electronic-monitoring-systems


43. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – items from this week:

  • Salmon Numbers Soar as Fall Fisheries Begin
  • What boats fish where in Alaska – and where they call home
  • No Alaska salmon for US troops: Sen. Begich slams Sodexo for “insult”
  • Aleutian Islands golden king crab kicks off Alaska’s big fall crab fisheries
  • Pink catches set records; AK 2013 salmon season on track for all time high!
  • One Tough Job…Salmon Set Netters Share Their Summer Challenges

All these and more – online at http://www.alaskafishradio.com/


44. DEC Request for Water Quality Information – Alaska’s 2014 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is requesting water quality information for the development of Alaska’s 2014 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (Integrated Report). This biennial report describes to Alaskans the health of Alaska’s waters (as required under Sections 303(d) and 305(b) of the federal Clean Water Act) and includes the list of impaired (polluted) waters.

DEC encourages the public to submit any existing and readily available water quality related data and information for consideration by the Department in preparing the Integrated Report. Updates or revisions to the draft 2012 Integrated Report are encouraged. All data and information must be submitted to DEC no later than 5 PM Tuesday,  September 3, 2013 in order to be considered for the final 2014 Integrated Report.

DEC will review all information submitted and will public notice the draft 2014 Integrated Report later this winter. A final Integrated Report is required to be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency by April 1, 2014.  The final report will be available to the public.

Alaska’s draft 2012 Integrated Report is available on-line at: http://www.dec.state.ak.us/water/wqsar/waterbody/docs/2012finalIntegratedReport.pdf

To request a hardcopy of the draft 2012 Integrated Report or to submit water quality data or information contact DEC at…

AK DEC online news release: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=169175


45. Comment by September 13 on HB 80 Cruise vessel wastewater discharges

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) is proposing revised regulations that are required by House Bill 80, passed by the 28th Alaska Legislature, and to correct minor errors and update obsolete information contained in the chapter. The subject of House Bill 80 was commercial passenger vessel wastewater discharges…

…comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 13, 2013.

DEC Notice of proposed regulations: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=169304

House Bill 80 – full text as: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/28/Bills/HB0080Z.PDF

UFA comment letter on HB 80, Feb 5, 2013: http://www.ufa-fish.org/doc/UFA%20Recommendations%20Cruise%20Ship%20Wastewater%20Discharge%202.5.2012.pdf

Alaska Cruise Wastewater Science Advisory Panel home page and report: http://www.dec.state.ak.us/water/cruise_ships/SciencePanel/


46. Federal Officials Announce ‘Navigator’ Grants to Help Alaskans Buy Health Insurance

By Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage | August 15, 2013 – 5:13 pm

On October first, the federal government is scheduled to have its health insurance marketplace up and running in Alaska under the Affordable Care Act. If you’re not sure exactly what a health care marketplace is, you’re not alone. So, on Thursday, the Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Susan Johnson, announced grants to two organizations to help Alaskans figure out how to use the new marketplace. They’re called “navigators” and Johnson says they’re critical…

In addition to the navigator grants, the federal government is giving a total of $1.8 million to 25 community health centers across the state to help Alaskans enroll in health insurance coverage. Alaskans should be able to start shopping for health insurance October 1st for coverage that would begin on January 1st…

APRN August 15, 2013: http://www.alaskapublic.org/2013/08/15/federal-officials-announce-navigator-grants-to-help-alaskans-buy-health-insurance/

Links:

Healthcare.gov: What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?
https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-health-insurance-marketplace/

Healthcare.gov: How can I get ready to enroll in the Marketplace?
https://www.healthcare.gov/how-can-i-get-ready-to-enroll-in-the-marketplace/

Health Insurance Marketplace in Alaska

If you live in Alaska, you’ll use this website – scroll to bottom and select state – at https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-health-insurance-marketplace/ , to apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll. You can apply as early as October 1, 2013. Plan and Cost info will be available then, but you can go online now and find out about options are benefits you may be eligible for.

Health Insurance Marketplace in Washington

If you live in Washington, the Washington Healthplanfinder is the Health Insurance Marketplace to serve you. Instead of HealthCare.gov, you’ll use the Washington Healthplanfinder website to apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll. You can apply as early as October 1, 2013. Visit the Washington Healthplanfinder now to learn more.

&&&

Federal $600,000 grant aims to ease transition to Alaska health exchanges under Obamacare

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130815/federal-600000-grant-aims-ease-transition-alaska-health-exchanges-under-obamacare


47. Northrim Benefits Group Launches Enroll Alaska to help guide Alaskans through ACA

Northrim Benefits Group (NBG) is proud to announce the formation of Enroll Alaska. This new division of NBG is focused on individual health coverage for the nearly 66,000 uninsured or underinsured Alaskans. Enroll Alaska will help guide individuals through the new insurance marketplaces that have been created with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and help those who may qualify for immediate tax subsidies.

Starting in 2014, there is a federal mandate that all individuals have health insurance, whether through an employer policy or purchased through a Federally Facilitated Marketplace. Individuals with household incomes between 100-400% of Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for premium assistance via a federal tax subsidy. Enroll Alaska will help individuals determine if they qualify for a federal tax subsidy and select a health insurance plan that is right for them and their family.

Enroll Alaska will have locations throughout the state to help individuals and families during open enrollment, which runs from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. Enroll Alaska will be the go-to resource for questions regarding the ACA. Information can be found at www.enrollingalaska.com  or by calling, 1-855-385-5550.

Northrim Benefits group press release: http://www.northrim.com/home/about/press/news081913

Thanks to UFA Business member Northrim Bank for heads up on this fast approaching topic


48. Governor Parnell: Compass: State wise to opt out of Obamacare exchanges

As governor of Alaska, I have a responsibility to carefully review federal policies and consider how they will impact the 49thstate.After suing the federal government over Obamacare’s individual mandate, I said “no” to our state designing and building a health insurance exchange to meet Obamacare’s provisions. I challenged the federal government to build and pay for Alaska’s exchange itself. That was the right choice… http://www.adn.com/2013/08/09/3016496/compass-state-wise-to-opt-out.html


49. Comment deadline August 30 on AMHS Day Boat Alaska Class Ferry Preliminary Design

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities is accepting comments regarding the Day Boat Alaska Class Ferry Preliminary Design Study Report…

The public comment period on the preliminary design ends August 30. Comments should be made online through the Department of Transportation website.

More at: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/alaska_class/submit_comment.shtml


50. Comment deadline Nov. 18 on Double Hull Tanker Escorts on the Waters of Prince William Sound

SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is amending the escort requirements for certain tankers operating on the waters of Prince William Sound, Alaska (PWS). This interim rule is necessary to implement section 711 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (Act), which mandates two tug escorts for double hull tankers over 5,000 gross tons transporting oil in bulk in PWS. The Act directed the Coast Guard to promulgate interim regulations as soon and practicable to ensure that tug escort requirements apply to certain double hull tankers.

DATES: This interim rule is effective September 18, 2013. Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via http://www.regulations.gov  on or before November 18, 2013 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

Federal Register notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-19/html/2013-20075.htm


51. NPFMC GOA & BSAI Groundfish Plan Teams meet Sept. 10-13 in Seattle

The NPFMC Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BS/AI) groundfish plan teams will meet in Seattle, WA.

DATES: The meetings will be held September 10-13, 2013. The meetings will begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, September 10, and continue through Friday September 13, 2013…

Federal Register notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-21/html/2013-20391.htm

NPFMC home page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc/


52. Comment Deadline October 21 on Socio-economic data for North Pacific Fisheries

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…

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before October 21, 2013.

The purpose of this data collection program is to improve commercial fisheries socio-economic data for North Pacific fisheries, using the community as the unit of reporting and analysis.

The NPFMC, the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC), and community stakeholder

organizations, have identified ongoing collection of community level economic and socioeconomic information, specifically related to commercial fisheries, as a priority.

The proposed data collection is a continuation of a program collecting data since 2011… http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-20/html/2013-20213.htm

NOAA Alaska Fishing Community Profiles with maps: http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/REFM/Socioeconomics/Projects/CPU.php

AFSC page: Comprehensive Data Collection on Fishing Dependence of Alaska Communities: http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/Quarterly/jas2011/divrptsREFM7.htm


53. Comment deadline September 3 on GOA Trawl Fishery Rationalization Sociocultural Study

This request is for a new information collection.

Historically, changes in fisheries management regulations have been shown to result in impacts to individuals within the fishery. An understanding of social impacts in fisheries–achieved through the collection of data on fishing communities, as well as on individuals who fish–is a requirement under several federal laws…The collection of this data not only helps to inform legal requirements for the existing management actions, but will inform future management actions requiring equivalent information…

Federal Register July 5 http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-05/html/2013-16094.htm


54. Comment by October 15 on USCG Notice of Proposed Rulemaking re PDF Type codes

SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to remove references to type codes in its regulations on the carriage and labeling of Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices (PFDs). PFD type codes are unique to Coast Guard approval and are not well understood by the public. Removing

these type codes from our regulations would facilitate future incorporation by reference of new industry consensus standards for PFD labeling that will more effectively convey safety information, and is a step toward harmonization of our regulations with PFD requirements in

Canada and in other countries.

DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via http://www.regulations.gov  on or before October 15, 2013 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

Federal Register notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-14/html/2013-19677.htm


55. Deadline September 29 for Saltonstall-Kennedy grant proposals

The Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service has announced the FY2013 Saltonstall Kennedy (SK) Grants Funding Program – Fisheries Development and Utilization Research and Development Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program.

The Saltonstall-Kennedy Act established a fund used by the Secretary of Commerce to provide grants or cooperative agreements for fisheries research and development projects addressing aspects of US fisheries, including, but not limited to, harvesting, processing, marketing, and associated business infrastructures.

The objective of the SK Grant Program is to address the needs of the fisheries and fishing communities in optimizing economic benefits within the context of rebuilding and maintaining sustainable fisheries  and in dealing with impacts of conservation and management measures.

Proposals submitted to this competition must address at least one of the following priorities: Aquaculture, Optimum Yield of Harvested Resources under Federal or State Management, Fisheries Socioeconomics, Conservation Engineering, Ecosystem Studies, and Territorial Science.

Grant Proposals are due: Sunday, September 29, 2013 by 11:59pm, EST.

To find the application package please visit our website at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/omi/grants/default.htm

(click on ‘application package)


56. NMFS posts ESA Ribbon Seal Status Review Report

We, NMFS, have completed a comprehensive status review of the ribbon seal (Histriophoca fasciata) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Based on the best scientific and commercial data available, including the Biological Review Team’s (BRT’s) status review report, we conclude that listing the ribbon seal as threatened or endangered under the ESA is not warranted at this time. We also announce the availability of the ribbon seal status review report.

DATES: This listing determination was made on July 10, 2013.

Federal Register July 10: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-10/html/2013-16601.htm

NOAA Ringed, Ribbon, Spotted and Bearded Seals home page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/seals/ice.htm


57. NMFS posts Lower Columbia River Salmon & Steelhead ESA Recovery Plan

We, NMFS, announce the adoption of an Endangered Species Act (ESA) recovery plan for Lower Columbia River Chinook salmon (Oncoryhnchus tschawytscha), Lower Columbia coho salmon (O. kisutch), and Columbia River chum salmon (O. keta) evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) and the Lower Columbia River steelhead (O. mykiss) distinct population segment (DPS), all of which are listed as threatened under the ESA. The geographic area covered by the plan is the Lower Columbia River mainstem and tributaries downstream of (and including) the White Salmon River in Washington and the Hood River in Oregon. As required by the ESA, the plan contains objective, measurable delisting criteria, site-specific management actions necessary to achieve the plan’s goals, and estimates of the time and costs required to implement recovery actions. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) Recovery Plan for Lower Columbia River Chinook Salmon, Lower Columbia River Coho Salmon, Columbia River Chum Salmon, and Lower Columbia River Steelhead (Plan) and our summary of and responses to public comments on the Proposed Plan are now available…

Federal Register July 12: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-12/html/2013-16710.htm

Recovery Plan home page: http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/protected_species/salmon_steelhead/recovery_planning_and_implementation/lower_columbia_river/lower_columbia_river_recovery_plan_for_salmon_steelhead.html


58. NMFS posts NS2 Guidelines regarding Scientific Information

This final action amends the guidelines for National Standard 2 (NS2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) regarding scientific information. Consistent with the President’s memo on Scientific Integrity (March 9, 2009) and NOAA Administrative

Order 202-735D, the revised NS2 guidelines are intended to ensure the highest level of integrity and strengthen public confidence in the quality, validity and reliability of scientific information

disseminated by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in support of fishery management actions. This action provides guidance on what constitutes best scientific information available (BSIA) for the effective conservation and management of fisheries managed under Federal fishery management plans (FMPs), and adds new language to the NS2 guidelines regarding the advisory role of the Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSCs) of the Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils) and the relationship of SSCs to the peer review process. The revised NS2 guidelines also clarify the content and purpose of the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) Report and related documents. This action makes modest adjustments to current operating practices; it is intended to ensure that scientific information, including its collection and analysis, has been validated through peer review, as appropriate, is transparent to the public, and is used appropriately by SSCs, Councils, and NMFS in the conservation and management of marine fisheries.

DATES: Effective July 19, 2013.

Federal Register: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-19/html/2013-17422.htm

NOAA National Standard 2  home page: http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/science-quality-assurance/national-standards/ns2_revisions


59. EPA Proposes Email requirement for NPDES reporting

SUMMARY: EPA is proposing a regulation that would require electronic reporting for current paper-based NPDES reports. This action will save time and resources for permittees, states, tribes, territories, and EPA while improving compliance and providing better protection of the

Nation’s waters. The proposed Clean Water Act regulation would require permittees and regulators to use existing, available information technology to electronically report information and data related to the NPDES permit program in lieu of filing written reports…

DATES: Comments on this proposed action must be received on or before

October 28, 2013.

Federal Register: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-30/html/2013-17551.htm

EPA NPDES Vessel Discharge home page: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=350

We have written and asked the site managers to add this proposed rule.


60. Board of Fisheries Proposals for 2013/2014 meeting cycle available.

The Alaska Board of Fisheries 2013/2014 Proposed Changes in Pacific Cod, Chignik Finfish, Lower Cook Inlet Finfish, Kodiak Finfish, Upper Cook Inlet Finfish; and Statewide King and Tanner Crab; and Supplemental Issues.

Proposal Book:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/fisheriesboard/pdfs/2013-2014/2013-2014_proposal_book.pdf

Meeting Info – scroll down and click on meetings for more info.
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo


61. Mark your calendar: Southeast Alaska Watershed Symposium – November 4th, 5th and 6th, 2013

http://alaskawatershedcoalition.org/ and http://www.seakfhp.org


62. Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit – December 10-12, 2013 Anchorage Marriott Downtown

http://seagrant.uaf.edu/map/workshops/2013/ayfs/


63. Pacific Marine Expo – November 20-22, Seattle http://www.pacificmarineexpo.com/


64. Request a USCG dockside safety exam online at http://www.fishsafe.info/docksideexamrequest.htm


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


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

To support UFA by joining or renewing your membership.

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

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

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