UFA Update: July 29, 2017

Registration is open for Pacific Marine Expo. NOV 16 – 18, 2017
Celebrate Alaska Wild Salmon Day – August 10, 2017
The Fall 2017 UFA meeting will be held September 25 – 27 at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association in Kenai.

UFA meetings are open to members and invited guests.

Support UFA Business members on our website HERE.
Help support UFA today! Visit ‘Become a Member’ on our website to see the various membership levels and benefits.

Contents:

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

Statewide

  1. Governor Walker Praises Passage of Capital Budget
  2. Salmon harvest statewide grows to 77 M +
  3. Fishermen seeing higher salmon prices across the board
  4. ADF&G 2017 Inseason Alaska Commercial Salmon Summary & Bluesheet:
  5. Bristol Bay red salmon run smashes records
  6. Search underway for missing Bristol Bay crewman in Ugashik
  7. Pollock, Kodiak’s Fortune Fish – Rhonda MacBride Frontiers with Laine Welch
  8. Nome “Red Horde” Swims Through Escapement Goals; Fish and Game Projects Strong Silver Run
  9. KTVA Frontiers Follow-up – Kuskokwim King Crisis
  10. Yukon Kings Arriving In Early Blast; Kuskokwim Kings Arriving In Late Trickle (7/18).  The Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers are having
  11. Fishermen On Yukon Lose Economic Opportunity When Buyer Becomes Overloaded, Cancels Opening
  12. Yukon sees return of the kings: This year’s chinook salmon run strongest in more than a decade
  13. Output exceeding expectations for Juneau’s Alaska Glacier Seafoods


 

National

  1. Alaska to Receive $332 Million in Federal Funds to Lower Health Insurance Premiums
  2. Chris Oliver – the rare Trump appointment that is actually making scientists very happy
  3. Dave Witherell named NPFMC Executive Director
  4. Trump administration steps in on fishing limits, and the implications could ripple
  5. Generation Next: Helping young fishermen join the industry
  6. Trump administration threatens retribution against Alaska over Murkowski health votes
  7. Statement from bipartisan group of governors on U.S. Senate Health Care Bill – July 18, 2017
  8. Murkowski Works to Support Food Security, Alaska’s Fisheries, and Rural Development
  9. Murkowski, Sullivan Commend House Passage of King Cove Legislation
  10. Can the isolated Alaska Peninsula town of King Cove get its road under the Trump administration?
  11. Murkowski Welcomes Nomination of Joe Balash for Key Role at Interior
  12. Recertification of Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council – comment by July 31
  13. MSA Hearing – House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans
  14. MSA NOAA and Council Perspectives – Senate Commerce Oceans Subcommittee hearing August 1
  15. Efforts on Marine Debris in the Oceans and Great Lakes – Senate Commerce July 25
  16. Fisheries disaster funding added to appropriations bill … still in progress
  17. Comment on USCG regulations – deadline extended to September 11
  18. To schedule a dockside exam in Alaska contact…
  19. Coast Guard issues safety alert on engine room C02 systems
  20. NOAA locates Destination wreckage, Coast Guard hearing set for August
  21. NMFS ESA Recovery Plans Priorities comment deadline extended to August 28
  22. Comment deadline September 25 on NOAA Information collection – Alaska Region Permit Family of Forms
  23. Secretary of Commerce Appoints Five New Committee Members to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee


 

Marketing

  1. Senate Commerce Committee schedules American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act S.1322
  2. Alaska Salmon Price Reports
  3. USA Today – Embark on an Alaskan seafood adventure


 

Environmental

  1. EPA and Army Move to Rescind 2015 “Waters of the U.S.” Definition – Comment deadline August 28
  2. EPA seeks comments on Pebble Mine watershed mining disposal – deadline Oct 17.
  3. Murkowski Introduces GE Salmon Labeling Bill
  4. Scotland: Why the price of salmon is soaring… and the reason may put you off this wonderful fish for life
  5. No Charges, No Fines For Mount Polley Mine Disaster as Three-Year Legal Deadline Approaches
  6. CBC Canada: ‘We’re concerned’: After Supreme Court rulings, duty to consult a hot topic at AFN meeting
  7. Comment open on USFS Prince of Wales Landscape Assessment – deadline August 7
  8. DEC Antidegradation implementation Tiers 1 & 2 comments due by August 7
  9. Fishermen use technology to stay educated, updated


 

Aquaculture / Enhancement

  1. Interest in kelp farming drives state tideland applications
  2. Clever humpback whales move in for a meal at Alaska salmon hatcheries
  3. Scientist says hatchery strays could threaten wild fish populations – others say there is more to it


 

Subsistence

  1. Federal Subsistence Board rejects proposed Kuskokwim Emergency Special Action
  2. Forest Service scientists share research on changing shorelines and subsistence gathering
  3. State Reverses Decision, Disallows Yukon King Commercial Sales


 

Other

  1. Sustained by the sea: Buying into a fishing legacy
  2. FishLines – Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program newsletter for July 2017
  3. Upcoming AMSEA Trainings
  4. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Recent Items

 

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


 

Statewide

 

  1. Governor Walker Praises Passage of Capital Budget

July 27, 2017 JUNEAU — Governor Bill Walker released the following statement today after the Legislature passed the Capital Budget:

“I am pleased the capital budget was passed this afternoon. Alaskans can rest assured that construction and maintenance projects can continue, and jobs will be provided for them, their friends, and neighbors. I look forward to signing the capital budget prior to August 1.” –Governor Bill Walker..

Governor’s press release: https://gov.alaska.gov/newsroom/2017/07/governor-walker-praises-passage-of-capital-budget/

Final SB23 Capital budget bill: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/30/Bills/SB0023Z.PDF

-and tracking: http://www.akleg.gov/Basis/Bill/Detail/30?Root=SB%20%2023

Final HB 57 Operating budget bill: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/30/Bills/HB0057Z.PDF

-and tracking: http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Detail/30?Root=HB%20%2057

 

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  1. Salmon harvest statewide grows to 77 M +

Base price for Bristol Bay is $1, up from 75 cents last year.

By Margaret Bauman -July 21, 2017 Cordova Times

Processors in Prince William Sound received nearly 18 million salmon through July 19, as the statewide commercial harvest soared upwards of 77 million fish…

In Bristol Bay, where the catch exceeded 36.6 million salmon, the base price announced by Trident Seafoods was $1 a pound, plus up to an addition 25 cent for proper chilling and bleeding. Other major processors were following suit on the base price.

Statewide the preliminary numbers added up to nearly 45 million red, 19.3 million pink, 12.5 million chum, 520,000 coho and 222,000 Chinook salmon…

http://www.thecordovatimes.com/2017/07/21/harvest-statewide-grows-77-m/

 

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  1. Fishermen seeing higher salmon prices across the board

Laine Welch, July 15 – ADN

As predicted, Alaska fishermen are getting higher prices for their salmon this year.

That follows a 2016 season that saw lackluster catches in all regions but Bristol Bay, a failure of pink salmon runs, and paltry paychecks nearly across the board.

Prices paid Alaska salmon fishermen depend on the region, the species, the type of fishing gear and, most importantly, global market conditions. Salmon prices also reflect bonuses for iced fish, dock deliveries and other agreements between a buyer and seller…

https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2017/07/15/fisherman-seeing-higher-salmon-prices-across-the-board/


  1. ADF&G 2017 Inseason Alaska Commercial Salmon Summary & Bluesheet:

Bluesheet – updated daily: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=commercialbyfisherysalmon.bluesheet

Summary: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=CommercialByFisherySalmon.bluesheetsummary

ADFG Forecasts and harvest projections page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=commercialbyfisherysalmon.salmonforecast

 

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  1. Bristol Bay red salmon run smashes records

Millions of fish and sinking boats: It was a record-breaking year for the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery.

The Western Alaska commercial fishery — which produces 40 percent of the world’s harvest of sockeyes — had a stellar harvest, with record-breaking catches and a high price for fishermen at the docks.

A total run of almost 59 million fish had been counted in the region as of Thursday, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/fishing/2017/07/28/bristol-bay-red-salmon-run-smashes-records/

 

&&& Bristol Bay Fisheries reports from KDLG:

City ice machine still down due to electrical problem (7/14)
Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 14, 2017
Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 15, 2017
Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 16, 2017
A big harvest + a buck a pound: Bristol Bay 2017 will be one for the books (7/18)
City of Manakotak implements fish tax (7/18)
Epic season for Bristol Bay sockeye salmon (7/21

 

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  1. Search underway for missing Bristol Bay crewman in Ugashik

By Dave Bendinger KDLG 7/27 – U.S. Coast Guard air assets, state troopers, Pilot Point VPSO and volunteers, and good Samaritans searched all night for a crewman from the F/V Lady Colleen who went overboard around midnight Thursday…

http://kdlg.org/post/search-underway-missing-bristol-bay-crewman-ugashik

 

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  1. Pollock, Kodiak’s Fortune Fish – Rhonda MacBride Frontiers with Laine Welch

You might think salmon and halibut are what keeps Alaska’s fish processing industry humming. But in Kodiak, it’s pollock that helps to provide year-round employment.

On this Sunday’s July 9 episode of Frontiers, Alaska Fish Radio’s Laine Welch gives us a tour of the Alaska Pacific Seafoods plant in Kodiak. Matt Moir, the plant manager, shows us how fish processing has become increasingly high tech — how once a fish is offloaded from the boat, it’s tracked through every step of processing, all the way to markets overseas…

http://www.ktva.com/blog_post/pollock-kodiaks-fortune-fish-264/

 

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  1. Nome “Red Horde” Swims Through Escapement Goals; Fish and Game Projects Strong Silver Run

Following a record number of sockeye salmon swimming through Pilgrim River this past weekend — over 5,000 in two days — the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Nome waived all catch limits for the red fish.

As of Thursday morning, an additional 3,700 sockeyes were reported through the Pilgrim River.

Area manager for the Norton Sound and Kotzebue, Jim Menard, says he and his staff are encouraging subsistence fishers to get out there and stop the “red horde” before it overtakes Salmon Lake:

“We will reach, definitely exceed our escapement goal range, but as long as we don’t go over about 20,000 into that lake (Salmon Lake), we should be okay. One year, we put 80,000 in the lake; a couple years, we put 50,000 into the lake, and we had a big crash come about. What happens is, when the fry come out, there’s just not enough feed for them, so some of those age classes started to crash.”…

http://www.knom.org/wp/blog/2017/07/14/red-horde-swims-through-escapement-goals-fish-and-game-projects-strong-silver-run/

 

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  1. KTVA Frontiers Follow-up – Kuskokwim King Crisis

By Rhonda McBride, KTVA Frontiers

On Frontiers, we’ve followed the ups and downs of the king salmon crisis on the Kuskokwim River in Southwest Alaska. In 2013, their numbers hit record lows, but improved last year, to allow a limited subsistence harvest.

Hopes were dashed this season when the king run took another turn for the worse and is projected to hit another record low.

It’s been an emotional roller coaster for families who live along this river, who depend on salmon as a staple of their diet…

For video and text see: http://www.ktva.com/blog_post/episode-115-follow-frontiers-kuskokwim-king-crisis-738/

 

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  1. Yukon Kings Arriving In Early Blast; Kuskokwim Kings Arriving In Late Trickle (7/18). The Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers are having opposite experiences with king salmon this season.
    The Kuskokwim kings arrived late, in a small trickle, and state biologists now say that the run may meet escapement goals. Less than 60,000 kings are estimated to have passed the Bethel sonar station. To meet the lowest end of drainage-wide escapement, 65,000 kings would need to reach their spawning grounds…

http://kyuk.org/post/yukon-kings-arriving-early-blast-kuskokwim-kings-arriving-late-trickle

 

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  1. Fishermen On Yukon Lose Economic Opportunity When Buyer Becomes Overloaded, Cancels Opening

KYUK – 7/19 Fishermen are selling more salmon than the Yukon River’s only buyer can handle. On Monday, record-breaking sales closed a commercial opening for fishermen upriver. Those fishermen spent Tuesday watching tens of thousands of dollars swim by during the river’s first opportunity to sell king salmon this decade…

http://kyuk.org/post/fishermen-yukon-lose-economic-opportunity-when-buyer-becomes-overloaded-cancels-opening

 

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  1. Yukon sees return of the kings: This year’s chinook salmon run strongest in more than a decade

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial, July 20, 2017

After years of returns that ranged between frighteningly low and middling, prospects for chinook salmon on the Yukon River may have finally turned a corner. Even with this year’s run not yet complete, escapement goals on lower Yukon counting stations have already been met and exceeded. As pulses of fish make their way up the river, it appears near certain the fish returning to spawn will comfortably satisfy Alaska Department of Fish and Game escapement goals and treaty obligations with Canada. That’s great news for a fishery upon which dozens of Interior villages rely, and a hopeful sign that a rebound for Yukon chinooks may now be in full effect…

http://www.newsminer.com/opinion/editorials/yukon-sees-return-of-the-kings-this-year-s-chinook/article_5b037bbc-6d0e-11e7-b01e-bb5305eb8c13.html

 

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  1. Output exceeding expectations for Juneau’s Alaska Glacier Seafoods

Company looks for more ways to get fish out of Juneau to market

“This year has been kind of extraordinary,” Erickson said, “because the fish showed up a lot stronger that what the forecasts were, so you’re never quite ready. Fish don’t pay attention to what you have to say. They come when they want. It’s a highly perishable product and you’ve got to be ready to deal with that stuff pretty quick.”

…The problem with reeling in so many fish (and crab and sea cucumbers, etc.) in Juneau is it’s tough to get the products to where they need to get.

http://juneauempire.com/news/local/2017-07-26/output-exceeding-expectations-alaska-glacier-seafoods

 

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National

 

  1. Alaska to Receive $332 Million in Federal Funds to Lower Health Insurance Premiums

State approved for insurance waiver to lower premiums for individual health insurance market

July 11, 2017 ANCHORAGE—Governor Bill Walker announced today that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved Alaska’s State Innovation Waiver. The waiver stabilizes Alaska’s individual health insurance market, bringing in approximately $332 million to the Alaska Reinsurance Program over the next five years.

“Health care costs are increasingly unaffordable for a growing number of Alaskans,” Governor Walker said. “This waiver provides relief from large premium hikes for 23,000 Alaskans who are currently insured through the individual market. I thank the Trump Administration, members of the legislature, and the congressional delegation for their efforts. I especially thank Division of Insurance Director Lori Wing-Heier for proposing this innovation for Alaska, which has also served as a model for other states.”

Governor Walker press release 7/11/17:

https://gov.alaska.gov/newsroom/2017/07/alaska-to-receive-332-million-in-federal-funds-to-lower-health-insurance-premiums/

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  1. Chris Oliver – the rare Trump appointment that is actually making scientists very happy

By David Shiffman, Washington Post (7/13)

Thus far, the Trump administration has pursued an agenda that has alarmed scientists and environmentalists, including the recent decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. The administration has also been slow to appoint scientific leadership, both in the White House and across federal agencies.

But the appointment of fisheries biologist Chris Oliver to lead NOAA Fisheries — the agency within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that is charged with sustainable management of commercial fisheries worth more than $140 billion — represents a striking departure from the Trump administration’s scientific and environmental personnel and policy choices.

Oliver has worked as the executive director of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council since 1990. He has won the praise of both conservation groups and industry…

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/07/13/the-rare-trump-appointment-that-is-actually-making-scientists-very-happy/?utm_term=.2ab3713ee635

 


 

  1. Dave Witherell named NPFMC Executive Director

The Council announces the appointment of David Witherell as its Executive Director, taking over the helm from Chris Oliver who moved on to be the Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. Mr. Witherell has worked for the Council for 25 years, and has been the Deputy Director since 2002. Council Chairman Dan Hull notes that “David brings a long history of Council experience and proven leadership skills as Deputy Director. We’re very pleased and fortunate that he has accepted the Executive Director position for the North Pacific Council.”

https://www.npfmc.org/witherell-ed/

…& Diana Evans has been promoted to the Deputy Director position…

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

 

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  1. Trump administration steps in on fishing limits, and the implications could ripple

Boston Globe, July 25 – The Trump administration, in an unprecedented decision, has rejected the recommendation of a commission that has long overseen fishing issues along the East Coast, raising deep concerns about political meddling in the ongoing preservation of fragile stocks from Maine to Florida.

More specifically, the decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stirred worries about the consequences for summer flounder, one of the most fished species in the Northeast. The decline of summer flounder could have a wider impact across the region’s marine ecosystem.

Advertisement

Ross earlier this month dismissed the findings of the 75-year-old Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which concluded that New Jersey was violating a conservation plan for summer flounder that all the other states in the compact approved…

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/07/25/trump-administration-roils-regional-waters-with-unprecedented-decision/3Taqg1zIq71BUselhHux1N/story.html?s_campaign=breakingnews:newsletter

 

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  1. Generation Next: Helping young fishermen join the industry

By Samuel Hill, National Fisherman July 10, 2017

The Young Fishermen’s Development Act aims to bolster success and succession in U.S. fisheries.

…Fishermen in their 20s across the country are running into a wall of astronomical start-up costs without resources available to help them manage the transition financially. Gone are the days of buying a permit for a few grand and getting a deal on a boat from a retiring owner…

Fishing communities throughout the country have made efforts to address these issues — the graying of the fleet, always-escalating costs, education around changing regulations — but industry leaders say they are disconnected overall.

After years of planning, the Fishing Communities Coalition, an association of community-based commercial fishing groups, has developed what they believe could be a solution to the industry’s youth problem — or at least a good start.

The Young Fishermen’s Development Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate this spring, and sponsoring legislators hope the bill will help break down the barriers young fishermen face.

The bill is modeled after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s successful Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which launched in 2008 and is credited with preparing hundreds of young people for agricultural careers. That program supports those looking to get into aquaculture but did not include wild-catch fisheries…

https://www.nationalfisherman.com/national-international/generation-next-helping-young-fishermen-join-industry/?utm_source=informz&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=newsletter

  1. 1323 ~ https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/s1323/BILLS-115s1323is.pdf

H.R. 2079 ~ https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr2079/BILLS-115hr2079ih.pdf

 

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Alaska’s average health insurance cost that is 2.5 times the national average, plus the additional cost of transportation just to get to health care from Alaska rural communities is a contributing factor in the migration of permits and permit holders. -MV

 


 

  1. Trump administration threatens retribution against Alaska over Murkowski health votes

ADN 7/27 — President Donald Trump isn’t going to just let go of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s no vote Tuesday against debating Obamacare repeal.

Early Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to express displeasure with Murkowski’s vote. By that afternoon, each of Alaska’s two Republican senators had received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska’s future with the administration in jeopardy.

The response follows Trump’s no-holds-barred style of governing, even when it comes to his own party. It is his first strike of retaliation against Murkowski, however, despite her tendency to stray from the party line and the president’s priorities.

Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan said the call from Zinke heralded a “troubling message.”…

https://www.adn.com/politics/2017/07/26/trump-administration-signals-that-murkowskis-health-care-vote-could-have-energy-repercussions-for-alaska/

Murkowski’s committee postponed confirmation vote for Trump nominees

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/344142-murkowskis-committee-postpones-trump-nominees-confirmation-vote

 

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  1. Statement from bipartisan group of governors on U.S. Senate Health Care Bill – July 18, 2017

“Congress should work to make health insurance more affordable by controlling costs and stabilizing the market, and we are pleased to see a growing number of senators stand up for this approach. The Senate should immediately reject efforts to ‘repeal’ the current system and replace sometime later. This could leave millions of Americans without coverage. The best next step is for both parties to come together and do what we can all agree on: fix our unstable insurance markets. Going forward, it is critically important that governors are brought to the table to provide input, and we stand ready to work with lawmakers in an open, bipartisan way to provide better insurance for all Americans.”

From Governor Bill Wallker press release:

https://gov.alaska.gov/newsroom/2017/07/statement-from-bipartisan-group-of-governors-on-u-s-senate-health-care-bill/

 

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  1. Murkowski Works to Support Food Security, Alaska’s Fisheries, and Rural Development

Feeding and Protecting Both Alaskans and Consumers Abroad, Requires Labeling of GE Salmon

The Senate Appropriations Committee this week unanimously approved the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bill, sending it to the full Senate for consideration. The bill contains a number of priorities U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) secured for Alaska, including provisions that will both protect American consumers and support Alaska’s vital fishing industry. These provisions include a labeling mandate for genetically engineered (GE) salmon, recommendations for nutritional advice on seafood, and support for critical food assistance programs.

“In listening to Alaskans, I continued this year to prioritize provisions that help increase Alaskans’ food security, help farmers grow more crops, support our fishing families and communities, and address the severe need for housing, water and sewer in rural communities. Through a number of initiatives funded by this bill, grants will allow institutions to continue agricultural innovations to feed and support Alaskans, including protecting wild salmon and consumers. Seafood is vital to our state’s economy, and Alaskans will not accept that GE salmon, or ‘Frankenfish’, be sold to anyone without clear labeling. Consumers deserve to know what they are eating, especially when it’s not the wild-caught, healthy, sustainable real thing.” said Murkowski. “I thank my colleagues on the Committee for recognizing the importance of these issues, and how our food and resources not only affect Alaskans, but those who enjoy our fish throughout the world.”

GE Salmon: Since the FDA’s decision to approve GE salmon for human consumption, Senator Murkowski has continued her fight for the health of both consumers and Alaska’s fisheries. Senator Murkowski secured language that requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to mandate labeling of GE salmon and that continues the current import ban until final labeling guidelines have been set by the FDA.

Click here for audio of Senator Murkowski discussing her GE salmon labeling amendment.

Click here to view press release on Senator Murkowski’s GE salmon labeling legislation.

Murkowski also gained the cooperation of her colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee to include language addressing:

  • Seafood Advice: Murkowskisecured language which directs the FDA to review its January 2017 seafood advice and to make necessary technical corrections to ensure that pregnant and nursing women receive consistent and understandable nutrition advice, based on the most recent and complete science, on what seafood is safe and healthy to consume.
  • WIC Fish: Senator Murkowski included language to encourage USDA to allow more fish in more WIC food packages, to prioritize the health and cultural benefits of fish, and allow states to prioritize fish over legumes and peanut butter in implementing the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recommendations.
  • Summer Food Service Program: Understanding that in many rural areas, children who rely on school meals to avoid hunger are unable to access locations at which Summer Food Service Program meals are provided, either due to lack of transportation or lack of actual sites in their area, Senator Murkowski convinced her colleagues to express support for allowing innovative ways to ensure these children do not go hungry during the summer and school holidays.
  • Frontier States Rural Food Security:Murkowski inserted language strongly encouraging Food and Nutrition Service to finalize and implement plans to focus on locally-designed initiatives to increase food security in rural Alaska…

Senator Murkowski press release 7/24:

https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/press/release/murkowski-works-to-support-food-security-alaskas-fisheries-and-rural-development

 

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  1. Murkowski, Sullivan Commend House Passage of King Cove Legislation

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, today released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 218, legislation to authorize a land exchange needed to construct a short road between the isolated communities of King Cove and Cold Bay, Alaska. H.R. 218 was introduced and championed by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, and passed the House with bipartisan support from 248 members.

“I commend Congressman Young for his leadership and for bringing a life-saving road for the people of King Cove one step closer to reality,” Murkowski said. “After years of needless suffering, including 63 medevacs since December 2013 alone, I am grateful to have bipartisan support in Congress and – finally – an administration that understands why a road is the best and only option to truly protect the health and safety of local residents.”

https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/press/release/murkowski-sullivan-commend-house-passage-of-king-cove-legislation

 


 

  1. Can the isolated Alaska Peninsula town of King Cove get its road under the Trump administration?

By Nathaniel Herz, ADN

The message from the Trump administration official was blunt, chastising Alaska Gov. Bill Walker’s communications director for sending a press release that revealed new plans to advance a long-sought project: the road from King Cove that would run through a federal wildlife refuge near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula.

“We still have a ways to go to close this deal, and getting ahead of the public policy process, especially in the front pages of the news, may delay or derail our efforts,” wrote Steve Wackowski, senior adviser for Alaska affairs at the Department of the Interior…

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2017/07/17/can-the-isolated-alaska-peninsula-town-of-king-cove-get-its-road-under-the-trump-administration/

 

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  1. Murkowski Welcomes Nomination of Joe Balash for Key Role at Interior

Alaskan Chosen to be Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today issued the following statement after President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Joe Balash to be the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the Department of the Interior. Balash is currently the chief of staff for Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and previously served as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources…

https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/press/release/murkowski-welcomes-nomination-of-joe-balash-for-key-role-at-interior

 

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  1. Recertification of Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council – comment by July 31

The Coast Guard announces the availability of, and seeks comments on, the application for recertification of the Cook Inlet Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council (CIRCAC) for September 1, 2017, through August 31, 2018. Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90), the Coast Guard may certify the CIRCAC on an annual basis. This advisory group monitors the activities of terminal facilities and crude oil tankers under the Cook Inlet program established by the statute. The Coast Guard may certify an alternative voluntary advisory group in lieu of the CIRCAC. The current certification for the CIRCAC will expire August 31, 2017…

Regulations.gov docket folder: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=USCG-2017-0289

We have sent a letter of support from UFA.

 

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  1. MSA Hearing – House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans

…Oversight Hearing “Exploring the Successes and Challenges of the Magnuson-Stevens Act” … was held Wednesday, July 19, 2017… For hearing video archive see https://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=402475

Committee Press release:. Committee Calls for Improved Science, Local Flexibility and Regulatory Certainty in Magnuson-Stevens: https://naturalresources.house.gov/newsroom/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=402594

 


 

  1. MSA NOAA and Council Perspectives – Senate Commerce Oceans Subcommittee hearing August 1

Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: NOAA and Council Perspectives

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convene the hearing titled “Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: NOAA and Council Perspectives” at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 1, 2017. This hearing is the first in a series to examine the state of our nation’s fishery laws and guide the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Witnesses:
– Mr. Christopher Oliver, Assistant Administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
– Dr. John Quinn, Chair, Council Coordination Committee and Northeast Fishery Management Council

https://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=E9AFCF43-4EFC-4F3E-8110-1C3EACCED887

H.R. bill tracking: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/200?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr+200%22%5D%7D&r=1

 

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  1. Efforts on Marine Debris in the Oceans and Great Lakes – Senate Commerce July 25

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convened the hearing titled “Efforts on Marine Debris in the Oceans and Great Lakes” at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The subcommittee hearing will explore solutions to marine debris and provide oversight of current government efforts to clean up debris in our nation’s oceans and waterways… Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 10:00 a.m.

For archived video and info see: https://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/7/marine-debris-efforts-on-marine-debris-in-the-oceans-and-great-lakes

 

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  1. Fisheries disaster funding added to appropriations bill … still in progress

WA Reps Kilmer, Herrera Beutler add funding for fishery disasters to key Appropriations Bill:

U.S. Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) successfully added $20 million for fishery disasters relief in Washington state to a key House Appropriations Bill on Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Commerce in January issued multiple fishery disaster declarations in Washington state, at the urging of Kilmer, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and others…

https://www.thedailyworld.com/news/kilmer-herrera-beutler-add-funding-for-fishery-disasters-to-key-appropriations-bill/

The HR 3267 bill online shows the $20M allocated to the fishery disasters of 2016 which includes Gulf of Alaska pink salmon:

H.R. 3267 text: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3267/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22alaska+fishery+disaster+appropriation%22%5D%7D&r=2

“For the necessary expenses associated with the mitigation of fishery disasters, $20,000,000 to remain available until expended: Provided, That funds shall be used for mitigating the effects of commercial fishery failures and fishery resource disasters as declared by the Secretary of Commerce in 2017…”

Congressman Young & Senator Sullivan & many other Reps & Senators letter:

https://speier.house.gov/sites/speier.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/2017-04-04%20Fisheries%20disaster%20FY17%20supplemental%20SIGNED.PDF

NOAA announces nine west coast states fishery disasters (January 2017)

http://www.noaa.gov/news/commerce-secretary-pritzker-declares-fisheries-disasters-for-nine-west-coast-species

 

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  1. Comment on USCG regulations – deadline extended to September 11

We are extending the comment period on the subject request for comments that we published June 8, 2017. We are extending the deadline by 2 months because interested persons indicated they needed more time to respond. The comment period is now open through September 11, 2017…

Federal Register 7/7/17 – comment extension: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-14254

or

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/07/07/2017-14254/evaluation-of-existing-coast-guard-regulations-guidance-documents-interpretative-documents-and

Previous item: Comments wanted on USCG Regulations – deadline July 10, 2017

Federal register 6/8/17: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-11930

Updated Regulations.gov docket

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USCG-2017-0480-0063

For other fishing vessel safety info see http://fishsafewest.info/

 

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  1. To schedule a dockside exam in Alaska contact

Scott Wilwert – CCGD17 (dpi)- Juneau, AK – 907-463-2810 Anthony.S.Wilwert@uscg.mil

Ian McPhillips (beginning July 31) – CCGD17 (dpi)- Juneau, AK – 907-463-2809

 

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  1. Coast Guard safety alert on engine room C02 systems

(7/20) Even routine testing and maintenance of carbon dioxide (C02) fire extinguishing systems can put mariners at risk, the Coast Guard says in a new safety alert.
Citing two recent examples, Coast Guard officials said their own marine inspectors were not only witnesses, but at risk along with crew members from accidental releases of the smothering gas… https://www.workboat.com/news/coastal-inland-waterways/coast-guard-issues-safety-alert-engine-room-c02-systems/?utm_source=informz&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=newsletter

 

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  1. NOAA locates Destination wreckage, Coast Guard hearing set for August (7/20). Two NOAA ships, en route to scientific missions in Alaskan waters, helped locate the missing fishing vessel Destination at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation. The Destination and its six crew members were lost February 11, 2017, while fishing for Opilio crab (snow crab) northwest of St. George, Alaska… https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDHSCG/bulletins/1ab573b

 

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  1. NMFS ESA Recovery Plans Priorities comment deadline extended to August 28

On May 31, 2017, we, NMFS, published a notice of availability to revise the Recovery Plan Preparation and Implementation Priorities and Recovery Plans contained in the 1990 Listing and Recovery Priority Guidelines. We opened a public comment period that lasted through June 30, 2017. We received several requests to extend the public comment period. Thus, we are extending the period through August 28, 2017…

Federal Register notice 6/30/17: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-13714

Regulations.gov docket folder to comment: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0020

NOAA ESA recovery plans page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/recovery/

 

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  1. Comment deadline September 25 on NOAA Information collection – Alaska Region Permit Family of Forms

Federal Register July 27: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-15813

 

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  1. Secretary of Commerce Appoints Five New Committee Members to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (7/14). Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has appointed five new advisors to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, bringing the group’s membership to the full complement of 21. The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, or MAFAC, advises the Secretary of Commerce and NOAA on all living marine resource matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. These five individuals were chosen from a pool of highly qualified applicants who submitted nomination packages during an open, publicly announced process earlier this year. A nomination process is announced when vacancies occur…

NOAA announcement: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/mafac/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

MAFAC members: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/mafac/members.htm

 

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Marketing

 

  1. Senate Commerce Committee schedules American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act S.1322
  2. 1322 is on the agenda for the full committee executive session on Wednesday August 2:

https://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/8/executive-session

UFA support letter: Support for American Fisheries Advisory Committee (December 3, 2015)

 

S.1322 Tracking and info: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1322?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22s.1322%22%5D%7D&r=1

 

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  1. Alaska Salmon Price Reports
    2017 Alaska Salmon Price Report for Jan-Apr
    2017 Introductory Letter for Jan-Apr
    2016 Annual Salmon Price Report
    2016 Annual Salmon Price Report Introductory Letter

 

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  1. USA Today – Embark on an Alaskan seafood adventure

Melissa Kravitz, Special for USA TODAY (7/20)

If you love eating seafood, push a trip to Alaska to the top of your travel list.

The largest source of seafood in the USA, Alaska’s fishing boats harvested 3,233 million pounds of pollock, 891 million pounds of salmon, 722 million pounds of cod, 88 million pounds of crab and beyond in the 2014-2015 fishing season alone.

A state completely devoid of farmed fish, every piece of seafood you eat in (and from) Alaska is sustainable: The Last Frontier’s 34,000 miles of coastline are responsibly managed with permits and licenses to prevent overfishing and ensure healthy fish populations year after year, which makes sense, when so much of the local economy is dependent on healthy ocean systems — more than 31,580 fisherman (this includes women, it’s a bucket term) run Alaska’s 8,600 commercial fishing vessels.

The only state with sustainable fishing literally written into its constitution, Alaska has never had a seafood species on the endangered list, and everything you enjoy from the oceans here is completely natural…

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/experience/food-and-wine/2017/07/20/alaska-seafood-adventure-denali-homer/491784001/

 


 

Environmental

 

  1. EPA and Army Move to Rescind 2015 “Waters of the U.S.” Definition – Comment deadline August 28

Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army (“the agencies”) are publishing this proposed rule to initiate the first step in a comprehensive, two-step process intended to review and revise the definition of “waters of the United States” consistent with the Executive Order signed on February 28, 2017, “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the `Waters of the United States’ Rule.” This first step proposes to rescind the definition of “waters of the United States” in the Code of Federal Regulations to re-codify the definition of “waters of the United States,” which currently governs administration of the Clean Water Act, pursuant to a decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit staying a definition of “waters of the United States” promulgated by the agencies in 2015. The agencies would apply the definition of “waters of the United States” as it is currently being implemented, that is informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court decisions and longstanding practice. Proposing to re-codify the regulations that existed before the 2015 Clean Water Rule will provide continuity and certainty for regulated entities, the States, agency staff, and the public. In a second step, the agencies will pursue notice-and-comment rulemaking in which the agencies will conduct a substantive re-evaluation of the definition of “waters of the United States.”

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before August 28, 2017.

Federal Register:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/07/27/2017-13997/definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states-recodification-of-pre-existing-rules

or https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-13997

EPA Waters of the United States page: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule

Regulations.gov docket folder: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203

Previous EPA notice: Notice of Intention to Review and Rescind or Revise the Clean Water Rule (PDF) (March 6, 171 K)

 

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  1. EPA seeks comments on Pebble Mine watershed mining disposal – deadline Oct 17.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator and Region 10 Regional Administrator are requesting public comment on whether to withdraw the EPA Region 10 July 2014 Proposed Determination that was issued pursuant to Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, to restrict the use of certain waters in the South Fork Koktuli River, North Fork Koktuli River, and Upper Talarik Creek 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 agreed to initiate this proposed withdrawal process as part of a May 11, 2017 settlement agreement with the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP), whose subsidiaries own the mineral claims to the Pebble deposit…

Comments must be received on or before October 17, 2017…

Federal Register 7/19/17: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-15181

Regulations.gov docket folder: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369

EPA Bristol Bay home page: https://www.epa.gov/bristolbay

May 2017 EPA – Pebble settlement agreement: https://www.epa.gov/bristolbay/2017-settlement-agreement-between-epa-and-pebble-limited-partnership

 

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  1. Murkowski Introduces GE Salmon Labeling Bill

Legislation Mandates Clear Labeling, Requires Environmental Review of GE Salmon

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) recently introduced new legislation (attached) to mandate the labeling of genetically engineered salmon, continuing her years-long fight against “Frankenfish.”

The Genetically Engineered Salmon Labeling Act, co-sponsored by Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) requires any salmon that is genetically engineered to be labeled as “genetically engineered” or “GE.” The bill also requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to ensure a third-party independent scientific review of the FDA’s environmental assessment for all GE finfish, including GE salmon, for human consumption.

Press release:

https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/press/release/murkowski-introduces-ge-salmon-labeling-bill-

S.1528 – the Genetically Engineered Salmon Labeling Act:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1528?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22%5C%22Genetically+Engineered+Salmon+Labeling+Act%5C%22%22%5D%7D&r=1

 

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  1. Scotland: Why the price of salmon is soaring… and the reason may put you off this wonderful fish for life

Last month, David Cosh travelled 2,500 miles to the Kola peninsula in north-western Russia to fish for salmon. While the trip was a success, the retired businessman came away feeling it was a journey he should not have had to make.

Because back in Scotland where he lives, Mr Cosh owns a 1.75-mile stretch of his own river.

…He is in no doubt what is to blame for its decline — the hundreds of salmon farms that have sprung up in sea lochs and estuaries around Scotland’s beautiful west coast, polluting the water….

In 40 years, fish farming has gone from providing five per cent of the world’s fish to nearly 50 per cent, and in Scotland, from a few hundred tonnes of salmon a year to more than 177,000 tonnes in 2015.

As well as being the UK’s biggest food export, farmed salmon is also hugely popular here. Last year, supermarkets recorded sales of £871 million with consumers spending more than twice as much on salmon as on cod, the second-best seller.

But now, with prices rising, questions are being asked about the damage the industry is doing to the environment, as well as the quality of the fish produced.

Last year’s fall in production was in part caused by problems in Chile, which is the world’s second-largest player after Norway. There, production fell by 20 per cent after some 25 million farmed fish were killed by harmful algae flourishing in unusually high sea temperatures.

Output also fell in Norway and Scotland, largely because of problems dealing with the sea lice.

Scotland has by far the highest incidence of sea lice. In a survey published last year, the share of affected sites went from 28 per cent in 2014 to 49 per cent in 2015. Annual losses to the industry as a whole in Scotland due to sea lice have been put as high as £300million…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4712726/Why-price-salmon-soaring.html

 

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  1. No Charges, No Fines For Mount Polley Mine Disaster as Three-Year Legal Deadline Approaches

As the three-year anniversary of the Mount Polley mine disaster approaches, so too does the deadline for the province to lay any charges against mine owner Imperial Metals.

Considered one of the worst environmental disasters in Canadian history, the failure of the Mount Polley tailings pond sent an estimated 25 million cubic metres of contaminated mine waste flooding into Quesnel Lake, a source of drinking water for local residents of Likely, B.C., on August 4, 2014.

“I would have expected something to have happened by now,” fisheries biologist and Likely resident Richard Holmes told DeSmog Canada. “I know they had a lot of information to sift through but it has been three years. I’m hopeful there will be some charges forthcoming.”

While the time limit for provincial charges runs out in August, federal charges, including for violations of the Fisheries Act, can be brought for another two years.

An investigation is ongoing by the Conservation Service Office, aided by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment and Climate Change Canada…

https://www.desmog.ca/2017/07/23/no-charges-no-fines-mount-polley-mine-disaster-three-year-legal-deadline-approaches

 

&&

Mining Company Gets Federal Approval to Use B.C. Fish-Bearing Streams to Dump Tailings

https://www.desmog.ca/2017/07/11/mining-company-gets-federal-approval-use-b-c-fish-bearing-streams-dump-tailings

Lt. Governor Mallott Transboundary mines page with documents from May workshop::

http://ltgov.alaska.gov/services/transboundary-relations/

Also see DNR OPMP Canadian Large Projects webpage – with new Interactive Transboundary Map (beta) and more at

http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/opmp/Canadian-Mines/index

 

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  1. CBC Canada: ‘We’re concerned’: After Supreme Court rulings, duty to consult a hot topic at AFN meeting

Supreme Court of Canada rulings hand victory to Inuit, defeat to Chippewas

Government and industry’s duty to consult with First Nations was on the minds of many chiefs on Wednesday, after the Supreme Court delivered two rulings on the consultation process with Indigenous Peoples over energy projects.

The top court quashed plans for seismic testing in Nunavut, delivering a victory to Inuit who argued they were inadequately consulted before the National Energy Board gave oil companies the green light to use blasts of sound to detect petroleum reserves below the sea floor…

http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/afn-meeting-supreme-court-consulation-1.4222964

Tulsequah Chief Mine controversy deepens as it courts new investors

APRN July 4, Ed Schonfeld: http://www.alaskapublic.org/2017/07/04/tulsequah-chief-mine-controversy-deepens-as-it-courts-new-investors/

 


 

  1. Comment open on USFS Prince of Wales Landscape Assessment – deadline August 7

The purpose of the Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis Project (POW LLA) is to improve forest ecosystem health on Craig and Thorne Bay Ranger Districts, help support community resilience, and to use an integrated approach in meeting multiple resource objectives in order to provide economic development. The proposed action will be developed through extensive public involvement to meet the purpose and needs for the project, with activities occuring over the course of 10 to 15 years. Input from the tribes and the public will help determine the location and types of activities, and how extensively they will occur across the landscape.

The area for the POW LLA Project encompasses all of Prince of Wales Island as well as surrounding islands that make up the two ranger districts. Public involvement for this project inclues: public meetings in various communities, subsistence hearings, information posted in community areas, entries in local publications like the Island Post, and contributions from the Prince of Wales Landscape Assessment Team.

.. A second scoping period is open for public comment for 30 days following publication of the Corrected Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register, from July 6 to August 7, 2017. For more information on submitting comments, please see the Scoping Letter that was sent to interested individuals, or use the link above in the project description on this page for commenting electronically. The Forest Service has developed Draft Activity Cards to describe all activities potentially considered within the project area that could be part of the Proposed Action or other action alternatives…

Send written comments to Thorne Bay Ranger District, at P.O. Box 19001, Thorne Bay, AK 99919. Comments may also be submitted electronically at https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/​Public/​CommentInput?​project=​50337, or via facsimile to (907) 828-3309.

 

USFS page: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/landmanagement/projects/?cid=fseprd529245

Federal register 7/6/17: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-14138

 

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  1. DEC Antidegradation implementation Tiers 1 & 2 comments due by August 7

The Division of Water (Division) has released draft antidegradation implementation regulations for a 67 day comment period. The public comment period opens Friday, June 2, 2017 and closes at 5:00 pm on Monday, August 7, 2017. There will be a question and answer session and a public hearing on July 20, 2017 in the DEC Main Conference Room, First Floor, 555 Cordova Street, Anchorage. For those who can’t participate in person, a teleconference line will be available. Please see the DOW Antidegradation Policy website at: http://dec.alaska.gov/water/wqsar/Antidegradation/index.html for additional information.

Online public notice: Antidegradation Implementation Methods: Notice of Proposed Changes to the Water Quality Standard Regulations of the Department of Environmental Conservation

https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=186051

Additionally, please be aware:

The Division has decided to separate the Tier 3 (Outstanding National Resource Water or ONRW) nomination and designation process in order to obtain additional stakeholder input and to continue to work on a Tier 3 nomination and designation process that will work statewide, now and in the future. Therefore, the proposed regulations being publically noticed at this time only includes implementation methods for the antidegradation analyses relating to APDES permitted discharges. The Division is continuing to work on the Tier 3 nomination and designation process and expects to have a recommendation this fall. Additional information on Tier 3 is located here http://dec.alaska.gov/water/wqsar/Antidegradation/Tiers123.htm.

To keep informed about the development of antidegradation regulations, you may sign up for the DEC.Water.Antidegredation listserv at http://list.state.ak.us/mailman/listinfo/DEC.Water.Antidegradation/

 

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  1. Fishermen use technology to stay educated, updated

ADN – Laine Welch – As state lawmakers mull ways to update permitting laws to protect salmon habitat, a dual sweepstakes is using text messaging and social media as the means to keep more fishermen informed.

“One of the things we’ve learned over the past two years is that most fishermen are getting almost all of their information on their phones,” said Lindsey Bloom, program manager for United Fishermen of Alaska’s Salmon Habitat Information Program (SHIP).

“Since the start of this program we have heard from thousands of Alaska fishermen who say they care deeply about all issues related to salmon habitat, from ocean acidification and water quality to in-river impacts such as dewatering and blocked fish passage,” Bloom added…

https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2017/07/21/fishermen-use-technology-to-stay-educated-updated/

 

UFA Salmon Habitat Information Program (SHIP) home page: http://www.ufafish.org/habitat/

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Enhancement / Aquaculture

 

  1. Interest in kelp farming drives state tideland applications

KBBI – 7/17 – The Alaska Department of Natural Resources is beginning to work through tideland lease applications for the mariculture industry.  Current and potentially new farmers are applying to use state tidelands to grow Pacific oysters and geoducks. Those are all typical requests, but what’s different this year is the acreage farmers are requesting and the increasing interest in kelp farming.
The number of applications for mariculture tideland leases this year are the highest DNR Leasing Unit Manager Christy Colles can remember.  “This was a large year. We actually got 18 applications, 15 of those being new,” Colles said…

http://kbbi.org/post/interest-kelp-farming-drives-state-tideland-applications

 

DNR Aquatic farming program home page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/aquatic/index.cfm

 

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  1. Clever humpback whales move in for a meal at Alaska salmon hatcheries

Humpback whales are skilled acrobats, emotive singers and the most ambitious migrators of all mammals. They are also incredibly creative foragers, capable of trying new approaches to catching a meal.

Now, a study has found that these titans of innovation have learned to feed on salmon released from man-made hatcheries in Southeast Alaska.

“This is a new source of prey, as far as we can tell,” said Ellen Chenoweth, a doctoral candidate at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and lead author of the study, published Tuesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

Once nearly hunted to extinction, humpbacks are making a strong comeback in many regions of the world, in part because of their distinct ability to exploit different types of prey. The researchers studied the whales’ dining habits in Alaska in hopes of starting to understand whether they might have an economic impact on the area’s fisheries.

Alaska’s modern salmon hatcheries have played an important role in supplementing wild fish stocks since the 1970s. Run by local fishers, the hatcheries rear juvenile salmon until they are ready to be released into the ocean, where they mingle with wild fish before returning to where they were raised.

In 2008, staff members at a hatchery filmed a humpback whale feeding on salmon they had just released. Steve Reifenstuhl, the general manager of an aquaculture association that runs several hatcheries in Southeast Alaska, brought the video to Chenoweth’s lab…

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/science/2017/07/13/clever-humpback-whales-move-in-for-a-meal-at-alaska-salmon-hatcheries/

 

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  1. Scientist says hatchery strays could threaten wild fish populations – others say there is more to it

Whether it’s thanks to environmental cues, a keen sense of smell or a nifty magnetic instinct, Pacific salmon’s ability to navigate back to their home streams has captivated scientists and the general public alike.

But, contrary to popular notions, a small number of Pacific salmon stray from their predetermined paths every year. And now, a new study found that hatchery salmon that wander from their home stream could pose an additional danger to their wild counterparts.

Scientists have long warned that hatchery strays compete with wild fish for resources in streams and ocean waters, and could threaten wild populations by mixing genetically with them in unfavorable ways.

[How different are hatchery fish from wild ones? The DNA results surprised scientists]

The new findings suggest hatchery strays pose an additional threat: Their presence in some streams contributes to low-oxygen conditions that culminate in die-offs before they can reproduce…

More research may be necessary to determine how broadly the results of the Indian River-Sawmill Creek study can apply to other Alaska streams.

Mark Stopha, who coordinates hatcheries for Fish and Game — and who in 2015 wrote an evaluation of the Sheldon Jackson Salmon Hatchery and its compliance with state regulations — said other factors are likely to have contributed to hypoxic conditions.

Both of the Southeast waterways have seen “significant” impacts from man-made alterations, including gravel extraction in the Indian River, water diversion and such natural impacts as improved salmon survival rates.

“If you remove gravel from a stream, put in a dam or divert water, fewer salmon can inhabit the space, regardless of their origin,” Stopha wrote in an email. “And in some cases, the only fish you will find there could be hatchery strays (if there is a hatchery nearby) or natural strays. And those fish, while they died from hypoxia, would not have successfully spawned anyway because the system was altered.”

Sam Rabung, aquaculture section chief for Fish and Game, also pointed to human factors that complicate the study. Because some of Indian River’s water is diverted, and the mouth of the river and the fish ladder leading into the hatchery are close to each other, the waterway and the hatchery are “essentially the same.”

For Rabung, the real concern learned from the study is the extent that global warming will negatively affect stream flows and water temperature, both of which affect oxygen levels in the water…

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/environment/2017/07/02/scientist-says-hatchery-strays-could-threaten-wild-fish-populations/

 

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Subsistence

 

  1. Federal Subsistence Board rejects proposed Kuskokwim Emergency Special Action

The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) held a work session on July 17-18, 2017. During the July 17 portion of the meeting in Anchorage, the Board approved, with minor modifications, Regional Advisory Council Annual Report Replies, and accepted revisions to United States and Canada border river delegated authority letters to in-season managers that address subsistence fishing closures for treaty obligations.

The Board heard presentations on the Federal Subsistence Management Program’s budget, and a proposed hunter ethics education program for the Eastern Interior Region. Additionally, during a closed executive session, the Board discussed Regional Advisory Council nominations and recommendations to the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture for their appointments.

 

The Board discussed and rejected Emergency Special Action Request FSA17-05, which requested that the Board take three actions: (1) rescind the in-season fisheries management authority of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) Manager for the remainder of the 2017 fishing season; (2) close Refuge waters of the Kuskokwim River mainstem and salmon-bearing tributaries to the harvest of Chinook Salmon as necessary to ensure healthy populations and the viability of Chinook Salmon populations in the Kuskokwim River drainage; and (3) close Refuge waters to the harvest of Coho Salmon except by Federally qualified subsistence users to ensure the continuation of subsistence uses of Coho Salmon.

 

In rejecting FSA17-05, the Board emphasized its continued support for the collaborative Federal subsistence in-season management process that has been carried out on the Kuskokwim River to date.

 

Refuge waters of the Kuskokwim River mainstem will remain open to the harvest of all salmon for all consumptive uses under current State regulations. Fishing with gillnets will remain closed on salmonbearing tributaries specified in Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Emergency Order 3-S-WR-01-17.

On July 18, the Board visited the Kenai River community gillnet fishery established for residents of Ninilchik to observe and discuss issues with fishers and managers…

http://deltadiscovery.com/federal-subsistence-board-rejects-proposed-kuskokwim-emergency-special-action/

Federal Subsistence Board Meeting page: https://www.doi.gov/subsistence/archives

& News – for more news and specific fishery updates:

https://www.doi.gov/subsistence/news/general/subsistence/news/fsb

 

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  1. Forest Service scientists share research on changing shorelines and subsistence gathering

KFSK 7/20 – Shorelines in Southeast Alaska are changing fast. Sea levels are rising everywhere, but here, land is also springing back from under the weight of glaciers as they retreat.
Two scientists from the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station teamed up to predict what our coastlines will look like in the future. They’ve also been investigating what those changes mean for coastal species, and for communities that gather them for food.

https://www.kfsk.org/2017/07/17/forest-service-scientists-share-research-changing-shorelines-subsistence-gathering/

 

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  1. State Reverses Decision, Disallows Yukon King Commercial Sales

KYUK (7/19) – The state has reversed its decision to allow Yukon River fishermen to sell king salmon.  The Alaska Department of Fish and Game authorized the first sale of Yukon kings since 2011 during a commercial opening on Monday. The opening targeted fall chum, but any kings caught could be sold as well.
Subsistence users along the Yukon called the Department out for being so restrictive in the beginning of the king season and then opening it to commercial sales…

http://kyuk.org/post/state-reverses-decision-disallows-yukon-king-commercial-sales

 

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Other

 

  1. Sustained by the sea: Buying into a fishing legacy

ADN 7/26 by Copper River & Prince William Sound Marketing Association

Commercial salmon fishing in Prince William Sound tends to be a family business, but it’s open to anyone.

Draining from the Wrangell and Chugach Mountains, the 290-mile long Copper River feeds into an expansive delta where it meets the Gulf of Alaska. This abundant ecosystem is the spawning grounds for some of the world’s last sustainable wild salmon populations.

Each summer all five species of Pacific salmon return from the Gulf of Alaska to the nutrient-rich waters to pass their genes from one generation to the next. And every May, commercial fishermen leave the harbor of Southcentral’s tiny seaside town of Cordova to harvest the state’s sustainable resource, feeding mouths across the globe.

New kids on the Sound… Trae Lohse and Tracey Nuzzi, both fairly new to the commercial fishing industry, have very different fishing histories. They’re drawn to commercial fishing’s unconventional lifestyle, setting their sights on the waters of Prince William Sound each summer to support themselves and their families, as part of an industry that supports Alaska’s economy.

Lohse has been fishing the waters of Prince William Sound for as long as he can remember—his knowledge of the Sound and how to fish was passed down from his grandfather to his father and brothers.

While Tracey, a relative newcomer to Alaska, only meant to come for a vacation and wound up a permanent Alaska resident. Like so many Alaska transplants, she fell in love with the wild, natural beauty of the state and the untethered lifestyle commercial fishing offers.

Both Lohse and Nuzzi know they’ve entered an industry full of risk, and that their financial livelihood relies solely on the health of their fishery—but the call of the ocean and harvesting a sustainable, healthy, wild and natural resource lures them back each season.

https://www.adn.com/sponsored-content/2017/07/26/sustained-by-the-sea-buying-into-a-fishing-legacy/

 

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  1. FishLines – Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program newsletter for July 2017

UAF student Maggie Chan awarded marine policy fellowship in DC

Summer interns focus on seafood science in Kodiak

Alaska Sea Grant helps get new fish plant rolling

Alaska teachers strengthen science education with help from Alaska Sea Grant

UAF PhD candidate hired by Falkland Islands Fisheries Department

Petersburg kids get close-up look at sea creatures

…and more, online at https://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/fishlines/2017/july.php

 

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  1. Upcoming AMSEA Trainings

September 18 – December 15, 2017 – Sitka, Alaska – Online Educator’s Workshop, Cold-Water Safety & Survival

September 19-24, 2017 – Sitka, Alaska – Marine Safety Instructor Training (MSIT)

September 25, 2017 – Sitka, Alaska – Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor

…and many more in lower 48 states – see right side bar on the AMSEA home page at http://www.amsea.org/

 

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  1. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Recent Items
    -H2B Visa cap reached – Bristol Bay hurt by Congressional curveball that cut workforce by 20%. Result=trip limits, more canning, less fish taxes for BBay

-AK salmon catch about half way to 204m forecast; chums surge/pinks pokey so far

-Gross earnings, poundages from Alaska seafood go mostly out of state

-Salmon runs and catches are surging across Alaska

 

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

 

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Compiled by staff of United Fishermen of Alaska
ufa@ufa-fish.org
PO Box 20229

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