UFA Update: May 30, 2014

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

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

UFA farewell:
We honor the passing of Albert Ball, Sr
“Albert moved to Alaska in 1931 at the age of 16, joining his uncle in Aleknagik. He worked as a trapper and commercial fisherman. His career as a salmon fisherman lasted 82 years, with only one missed season. He established a fishing operation at Ekuk that now includes four generations of family members.”

Fisherman, merchant & legislator Carl Moses Remembered for ‘Full Career’ of Public Service
KUCB Unalaska:
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/02/former-aleutians-
state-rep-carl-moses-dies/

Obituary:
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/adn/obituary.aspx?pid=
170939052

Governor Parnell Remembers Bob Tkacz:
“Sandy and I were sad to hear that Bob Tkacz had passed away earlier this week. As a longtime member of the Capitol press corps, his absence will be felt by many. Bob’s persistence and understanding of Alaska government and issues will be missed. We extend our condolences to Bob’s family and friends, as well as his colleagues in the press.”
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release
.html?pr=6847

UFA appreciates the effort and dedication that Bob applied to getting the facts correct on complicated fisheries issues, and his longtime personal efforts as an unofficial ambassador to Pacific Rim countries for Alaska seafood.

From the Director,

As the summer fishing season approaches, we would like to take this opportunity to remind our members that 2014 is an important election year in Alaska. Along with the majority of the Alaska State Legislature being up for re-election this year, elections for our Governor, one of our two U.S. senators, and our sole congressman will occur. As always, UFA encourages our members to reach out to candidates and elected officials in order to discuss your concerns and to help educate policy makers about the importance of the seafood industry to your family, your community, and to Alaska. As always, you can find UFA’s helpful community commercial fish facts on our website at http://www.ufa-fish.org/cff.htm.

Alaska is a big state; running for office is an expensive and time-consuming job. We highly encourage UFA members to consider holding fundraisers or donating to candidates that you believe will fairly represent you. Words are important, and actions can speak volumes. Show your support by donating, planting signs, and taking the time to talk to candidates. Find the full list of candidates at the Division of Elections page at http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ci_pg
_cl_2014_prim.php#district
.

Have a safe and successful fishing season, please feel free to contact us to discuss the issues that are important to you.

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

CONTENTS
State
1. Hat In The Race – (UFA President) McCune files to run for state House
2. Gov. Parnell signs $12.8B budget, made no line-item vetoes
3. Legislature added $107 million to operating budget, revised numbers show
4. Funny River Fire Update 5/30 – 193,243 acres with 46% containment
5. Tyonek fire 100% contained
6. Harvest Mounting – Copper River harvest climbs to over 505,777 salmon
7. Flood of red salmon gives Chitina dipnetters bonus fish, extra fishing days
8. Weak Kenai king runs force fishing guides to adapt
9. Commercial fishing groups, feds, testify on Cook Inlet salmon management
10. Early breakup on Yukon River could mean early king run
11. Warm water lures salmon back to Alaska rivers: 
12. New Fisheries Might Be Headed to Unalaska with new Steller EIS
13. NOAA posts final EIS on impacts of Steller sea lion protection measures on Aleutian Island fisheries
14. River turbine to be tested at rural Alaska village (Kvichak River)
15. Ketchikan students learn sea skills
16. Vigor Industrial announces new merger…
17. NIOSH “Live to be Salty” campaign to increase PFD usage on fishing vessels
18. Treadwell: Alaska’s Fisheries Need Real Help from D.C., Not Meddling
19. State Primary Election August 19 – deadline June 2 for candidates, July 20 for voter registration
20. BOF-NPFMC Joint Protocol Committee Managers meet, tackle state waters Gulf issues
Federal
21. Begich and Ostebo Bring Arctic Updates, Answers to Unalaska
22. Arctic May Not Be That Busy, GAO Report Says
23. $9.6 million in Fishery Disaster Funds Coming to Y-K Region
24. China lifts ban on U.S. West Coast shellfish
25. Coast Guard offers dockside exams in Bristol Bay June 9-13 (Egegik) & 9-20 (Dillingham & King Salmon)
26. House Resources Committee Moves Bill Updating MSA – Young amends
27. Administration opposes Coast Guard bill
28. Fisheries of the U.S. – Economics and Status of Stocks Released
29. NOAA: Alaska fish worth $1.7B in 2012
30. FISH FACTOR: Commercial sector dwarfs sport impact; gear contest underway
31. Dr. Richard W. Spinrad named NOAA’s chief scientist
32. Comment deadline July 7 on NOAA Halibut Catch Sharing Plan information collection
33. NPFMC Meeting June 2 – 10, Nome
34. Bering Sea fishery management needs to change for halibut users across Alaska
35. Deadline August 31 for WWF Smart Gear Competition
36. Comment deadline July 11 on USFWS/NOAA ESA “Destruction or Adverse Modification” regs.
37. Comment deadline July 11 on ESA Procedures and Critical Habitat designation criteria
38. Comment Deadline July 11 on ESA Critical Habitat Exclusions
39. Fifteen to review Tongass management plan
40. USFS Notice of Intent to Amend Tongass Forest Plan
41. Deadline July 7 for USDA Rural Energy for America grants, July 31 for loans…
42. Comment deadline July 7 on BSAI Groundfish Amendment 100 and GOA Amendment 91 re Grenadier regs
43. Comment deadline June 13 on BSAI Groundfish Amendment 100 and GOA Amendment 91 re Grenadier reporting
44. USFWS opens 5-year review on ESA Short-tailed Albatross…New info sought by July 7
45. Comment deadline July 7 on USFS BMPs for water quality protection on Nat’l Forests
Hatchery & mariculture
46. Kake hatchery slated for closure
47. Half-shell hopes – Kake pins hopes on oyster farming
48. Alaska Farmers & Shellfish Growers Eligible for USDA  Cost of Transportation Help
49. Plans underway to restore burned hatchery
Environmental
50. NOAA-led researchers discover ocean acidity is dissolving shells of tiny snails off the U.S. West Coast
51. Research Center to Monitor Acid Levels
52. Pebble cites EPA emails in claim assessment was biased
53. IG to investigate EPA Bristol Bay process; Pebble blasts assessment
54. Canadian mine projects pose concerns for fisheries
55. CBS 60 Minutes – Salmon farms of the future in three parts
56. Project to restore herring, starting with Sitka
57. Timber, roads and death –Edna Bay seeks incorporation
58. EPA final Rule on Fish Kills at Plants Angers Environmentalists
59. Comment deadline July 14 on EPA draft Water Quality criteria for human health
Subsistence
60. Inter-Tribal Fish Commissions to Meet in Bethel and St. Marys
61. Yupiit Nation: Alaska Natives should have say in salmon management
62. Alaska Natives hopeful about BIA move to allow tribal land trusts
63. Comment deadline June 30 on BIA proposed rule re Tribal land trusts
64. Bill Encourages Tribes to Work With State on Jurisdiction
And more…
65. Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines – May Newsletter
66. Free Injury Prevention Workshop for Commercial Fishermen – Juneau June 4
67. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio  – Items from this week

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


1. Hat In The Race – (UFA President) McCune files to run for state House
President of United Fishermen of Alaska and Cordova District Fishermen United has filed as a Democrat in the race for Alaska House
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1422hat-in-the-race
-mccune-files-to-run-for-state

We will send more information on candidates for Alaska’s elections soon after the filing deadline June 2.


2. Gov. Parnell signs $12.8B budget, made no line-item vetoes
By Matt Buxton, Fairbanks News-Miner
FAIRBANKS — During his years in office, Gov. Sean Parnell often found things he didn’t find agreeable in the budgets passed by the Legislature. Whether it was $6 million for upgrades to the Noel Wien Library in 2011 or $1.2 million from pre-kindergarten grants in 2012, he’s found places to apply his line-item veto.
But this year, Parnell announced that he’ll be leaving the budget intact, thanking the cooperation of a “functioning Legislature” for staying within his requested budget.
The budget bill, passed a year after Republicans swept control of both bodies in the Legislature, totals $12.8 billion this year. Parnell said lawmakers were “wise stewards” of public money, reducing unrestricted general fund spending from $7 billion last year to $5.9 billion this year…
http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/gov-parnell-signs
-b-budget-made-no-line-item-vetoes/article_0ece9168-e702-11
e3-b6b5-0017a43b2370.html


3. Legislature added $107 million to operating budget, revised numbers show
FAIRBANKS — When Alaska legislators approved the state operating budget a month ago, they made a point of saying they’d reached a goal of cutting the governor’s spending plan by about $50 million, or 2.2 percent.
As often happens, however, those statements came before the full budget picture was clear…
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140524/legislature-
added-107-million-operating-budget-revised-numbers-show


4. Funny River Fire Update 5/30 – 193,243 acres with 46% containment
Fire crews again took advantage of the cool and moist conditions as they continued to “mop-up” (extinguish all burning material) up to 300’ from the firelines. Yesterday, very light precipitation was reported over most of the fire area. Up to .02” of rain fell in the west end of the fire. Winds gusted to 40 mph on the east and northeast sides of the fire igniting unburned islands of vegetation interior to the containment lines later in the day. Today, there will be periods of rain, with east to southeast winds 8 to 16mph with gusts of 25 to 35mph near Kenai River Canyon.

Crews will continue to “mop –up” on the west side of the fire in the Kasilof and Sterling Highway areas (up to 500’ from firelines) and in the Funny River Road area. Containment lines on the north side of Torpedo Lake and north side of the Kenai River will be improved and strengthened. Hotshot crews will also continue building fireline south of the fuel break in the Browns Lake area. Fire containment is now 46 percent, with 759 firefighters working to keep the fire away from populated areas.
Several consecutive days of heavier rain are still needed to alter the overall fire activity. Residents can expect to see smoke from inside the perimeter of the fire into the summer.

Alaska Interagency Incident Management – Funny River Fire page for latest updates:
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3878/


5. Tyonek fire 100% contained
By Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage | May 28, 2014 – 12:11 pm

The Tyonek Fire is now considered 100% contained. It burned about 1,900 acres. Most of the crews and resources are now being used on the Funny River Fire instead, though some personnel and equipment will stay behind to make sure the fire stays under control.
No one was injured in this fire. However, fire officials say locals should pay attention to standing trees that burned and may topple in strong winds. The fire started on May 19 and burned between Tyonek and Beluga villages.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/28/tyonek-fire-100-contained/


6. Harvest Mounting – Copper River harvest climbs to over 505,777 salmon
Fifth opener 36 hours scheduled to start on May 29

Harvests are starting to pick up in the Copper River fishery, keeping processors busy, and in the words of Michael Clutter, plant manager for Ocean Beauty Seafoods in Cordova, “we are pretty happy with it.”

By mid-day on May 28, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Cordova office had tallied up an estimated harvest of 148,900 sockeye, 1,190 king and 1,950 chum salmon for the fourth period opener. That brings the season total to 480,400 red, 4,407 Chinook and 20,970 chum, biologists at Cordova said.
– See more at: http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1422harvest-
mounting-copper-river-harvest-climbs#sthash.GXnigWbU.dpuf


7. Flood of red salmon gives Chitina dipnetters bonus fish, extra fishing days
http://www.adn.com/2014/05/30/3493993/flood-of-red-salmon-
gives-chitina.html?sp=/99/188/


8. Weak Kenai king runs force fishing guides to adapt
By Craig Medred

Warmer-than-usual water temperatures lured the salmon of Alaska back a little early this year, but no one was fishing for them on the fabled Kenai River in May. Few of the first salmon to return to that stream — the big kings, or chinooks, for which the Kenai became famous — are expected, and for that reason the season is closed…
After years of bounty, Alaska seems to be on the wrong side of what scientists call the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a shift in water conditions in the North Pacific. Historically, a “warm regime” benefited Alaska salmon while Northwest salmon struggled. A “cold regime” benefits Northwest salmon while Alaska salmon suffer…
http://www.adn.com/2014/05/22/3482374/weak-kenai-king
-runs-force-fishing.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1


9. Commercial fishing groups, feds, testify on Cook Inlet salmon management
ANCHORAGE — A federal judge heard oral argument yesterday in the lawsuit regarding whether or not Cook Inlet should be in a federal salmon management plan.
Alaska has managed its own salmon since statehood, and neither party is questioning that. But the United Cook Inlet Drift Association and Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund, who brought the lawsuit forward in February 2013, want federal oversight of salmon management — and believes that is what congress has intended in its regulations of fish in federal waters…
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-05-27/commercial
-fishing-groups-feds-testify-on-salmon-management


10. Early breakup on Yukon River could mean early king run
By Tim Mowry , Fairbanks News-Miner

FAIRBANKS — With breakup on the lower Yukon River arriving two weeks early, fisheries managers are wondering if the king salmon will show up early, too.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is scrambling to get staff in place at the mouth of the river as soon as possible to catch the beginning of the run, which typically doesn’t show up until the last week in May.
http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/early-breakup
-on-yukon-river-could-mean-early-king-run/article_cab66d10
-df23-11e3-8c44-001a4bcf6878.html


11. Warm water lures salmon back to Alaska rivers: 
King and sockeye salmon appear to be returning to Alaska’s Copper River about a week ahead of schedule as Gulf of Alaska temperatures remain unusually warm, according to officials with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game…
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140526/ak-beat-warm
-water-draws-salmon-back-alaska-rivers

ADF&G 2014 Inseason Alaska Commercial Salmon Summary
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=commercialbyfishery
salmon.bluesheetsummary


12. New Fisheries Might Be Headed to Unalaska with new Steller EIS
Next year will likely bring new fisheries to the western Aleutian Islands, now that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued itsfinal report on the way commercial fishing affects an endangered population of Steller sea lions.
The agency came out in favor of allowing more fishing in its environmental
impact statement, or EIS, on Friday morning…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/26/new-fisheries-might-be-
headed-to-unalaska/


13. NOAA posts final EIS on impacts of Steller sea lion protection measures on Aleutian Island fisheries
NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region today announced release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Steller sea lion protection measures for groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. The proposed action addresses two needs: to protect endangered Steller sea lions, and to minimize economic impacts on the groundfish fisheries in the Aleutian Islands, to the extent practicable…

NOAA press release: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2014/
sslpmeis052314.htm

Final EIS page: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/Sustainablefisheries/sslpm/
eis/default.htm


14. River turbine to be tested at rural Alaska village (Kvichak River)
By DAN JOLING, Associated Press

A company that hopes to build underwater river turbines as a clean power alternative to diesel in Alaska villages has unveiled a prototype due to be tested in July.
Ocean Renewable Power Co., based in Portland, Maine, showed off its RivGen Power System on Wednesday in Anchorage. The device built with backing from the Alaska Energy Authority and the Denali Commission will be installed in July on the bottom of the Kvichak River to generate power for Igiugig, a community of 50 about 250 miles southwest of Anchorage…

The company has permits to operate the turbine through September. A crucial part of its review will be how well it hooks into the village power grid and its effects on fish. At least three underwater cameras will monitor fish movements in the crystal-clear Kvichak River, which flows from Lake Minchumina at the village.
Alaska Journal of Commerce:
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce
/Breaking-News-2013/River-turbine-to-be-tested-at-rural-A
laska-village/


15. Ketchikan students learn sea skills
KETCHIKAN, Alaska — The Ketchikan School District’s 45-foot training boat Jack Cotant is getting a workout during the spring, but a recent trip to Petersburg was a new adventure.

Maritime teacher Rick Collins, ocean science teacher Julie Landwehr and Director of Distance Education and online teacher Mark Woodward took eight students from Kayhi on a multi-day trip to Petersburg and back, leaving Ketchikan on April 23 and returning April 27…

Eight students from Kayhi went north on the Jack Cotant. Upon arrival, four flew home and four returned on the boat. The crew welcomed two maritime students from Petersburg for the return to Ketchikan.

Collins said he was surprised other communities around the state don’t have designated maritime programs, and especially in Petersburg where “they have a huge fishing fleet, and they’re very much about maritime and the water. I think it would be a natural fit for them.”
Anchorage Daily News:
http://www.adn.com/2014/05/25/3485345/ketchikan-
students-learn-sea-skills.html


16. Vigor Industrial announces new merger…
Vigor Industrial, which operates the Ketchikan Shipyard, announced Wednesday that it has merged with Oregon Ironworks.
Oregon Ironworks, with its facilities in Oregon and Washington, fabricates equipment for various industries including marine, hydroelectric, bridges and commercial construction. Under the terms of the merger, Oregon Ironworks will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Vigor Industrial…
http://www.krbd.org/2014/05/21/vigor-industrial-announces
-new-merger/


17. NIOSH “Live to be Salty” campaign to increase PFD usage on fishing vessels
When you live to be an old salt, you’ve heard it all. “If you fall in you’ll die of hypothermia anyway.” “PFDs get tangled in lines and nets and pull you in.” “PFDs restrict my movement.” Awww, whale whiz. Modern PFDs are designed to stay out of your way and keep you alive. Wearing a PFD will extend your survival time in the water and give your crew a fair shot at fishing you out of the drink. So stop spewin’ crap and start wearin’ your PFD.
http://www.livetobesalty.org/ & Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/livetobesalty


18. Treadwell: Alaska’s Fisheries Need Real Help from D.C., Not Meddling
Anchorage Daily News Compass by Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell – May 19, 2014…
Since my two GOP competitors for the U.S. Senate are skipping the Kodiak debate on fisheries, here’s what they’ll miss: my 40-year experience in the fight for Alaska’s fisheries has equipped me to take on Washington, D.C., to keep our fish abundant, our decision-making local, and our fishery industry vibrant…
Every statewide election, Kodiak’s Chamber of Commerce sponsors the major debate focused on fisheries. Slated for May 23 during Crab Festival, it was to air on APRN. One of my Republican competitors said he had another commitment. The other did not respond.

I’m going to Kodiak and will visit with fishing families there and throughout Alaska. Fisheries are a resource and a way of life that must be protected…
http://www.adn.com/2014/05/19/3476611/compass-alaskas
-fisheries-need.html?sp=/99/328/#storylink=cpy


19. State Primary Election August 19 – deadline June 2 for candidates, July 20 for voter registration
Deadline for filing for candidacy – June 2.

The deadline to file paperwork to become a candidate for a statewide or legislative office is 5:00pm on June 2, 2014. For information about becoming a candidate, visit http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ci_pg.php or contact the Division of Elections.
Deadline for voter registration for voting in Primary: July 20, 2014
August 19 Primary Election information: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ei_primary.php
Division of Elections: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/
Regional Elections offices contact list: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/csm_contact_reo.php


20. BOF-NPFMC Joint Protocol Committee Managers meet, tackle state waters Gulf issues
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce

State and federal regulators met May 21 to discuss how to coordinate their efforts and create complimentary management in the changing Gulf of Alaska fisheries.
Members of the Alaska Board of Fisheries and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council gathered in Anchorage at their annual joint protocol meeting to discuss the issues of mutual concern, including how to address changes coming for the Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce
/June-Issue-1-2014/Managers-meet-tackle-state-waters-Gulf-
issues/

BOF Meeting page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetingi
nfo&date=05-21-2014&meeting=jointprotocol

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


21. Begich and Ostebo Bring Arctic Updates, Answers to Unalaska
By Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB Unalaska, Tuesday, May 27 2014

United States Senator Mark Begich and Coast Guard Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo jumped off for a quick tour of Cold Bay and Unalaska. It was Begich’s first visit to Unalaska — and he told constituents at a public meeting that the timing was right.

“Shell got good word on Friday -– or Thursday — that they are going to finish their EIS,” Begich said. “The federal government will be. Which is very important, because that kind of dictates what they’re going to do next. And that means more than likely, they’re going to be moving forward hopefully next summer in larger project development.”
… In an interview, Ostebo said that the Coast Guard will eventually need to increase its presence in Unalaska. If a cargo ship experienced a spill or grounding on the Northern Sea Route — which cuts through melting ice above Russia — Unalaska would serve as a jumping-off point for emergency response.
But its days as a long-term storage facility for pirate fishing vessels are likely over, according to Ostebo…
http://kucb.org/news/article/begich-and-ostebo-bring-arctic-
updates-answers-to-unalaska/


22. Arctic May Not Be That Busy, GAO Report Says
By Liz Ruskin, APRN | May 7, 2014 – 6:05 pm

As the ice goes out in the Arctic, many people predict more ships will be drawn through the Bering Straits to take advantage of a shortcut between Asia and Europe. But, a recent government report suggests less ice may not mean more ships…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/07/arctic-may-not-be
-that-busy-report-says-2/

Government Accountability Office report:

Arctic Issues: Better Direction and Management of Voluntary Recommendations Could Enhance U.S. Arctic Council Participation
GAO-14-435: Published: May 16, 2014. Publicly Released: May 19, 2014.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-435


23. $9.6 million in Fishery Disaster Funds Coming to Y-K Region
Federal officials and 11 groups have settled on how to split $20.8 million in federal fishery disaster funds for recent poor king salmon runs. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Region will get $9.6 million while Cook Inlet gets $11.1 million.

Julie Speegle is a spokesperson for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Alaska.
“Funds can be used for activities that restore the fishery or prevent a similar failure in the future, or assist the fishing communities affected by the fishing disasters,” said Speegle.

Four groups are now putting together spending plans for the Y-K region. Those include the Association of Village Council Presidents, the Tanana Chiefs Conference, the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association and Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association.
Speegle says she expects the plans to go through several approval steps before funds are released sometime this fall. The money is in response to the poor Chinook salmon runs on the Yukon in 2010 through 2012 and on the Kuskokwim in 2011 and 2012…
http://kyuk.org/9-6-million-in-fishery-disaster-funds-coming-
to-y-k-region/


24. China lifts ban on U.S. West Coast shellfish
China has lifted the import ban on geoduck clams and other shellfish from the US west coast imposed back in December, reports China Daily USA.
On May 23, China made public its decision to lift the ban on imports of live seafood including clams, oysters, mussels and scallops from Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington State.

No timetable has been set for the readmission of US geoducks to China, though…
http://www.undercurrentnews.com/2014/05/27/china-lifts
-shellfish-import-ban-from-us-west-coast/


25. Coast Guard offers dockside exams in Bristol Bay June 9-13 (Egegik) & 9-20 (Dillingham & King Salmon)
The summer salmon fishing season is about to get underway in Bristol Bay, and one federal agency wants to make sure boats are ready. The Coast Guard says it will offer dockside examinations of commercial fishing vessels in Dillingham and King Salmon from June 9-20. Examinations also will be available in Egegik from June 9-13…

Fairbanks News-Miner: http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/coast
-guard-offers-dockside-exams-in-bristol-bay/article_f92da506-d
c3e-11e3-a344-001a4bcf6878.html


26. House Resources Committee Moves Bill Updating MSA – Young amends
The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee today moved a bill to update the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the primary fisheries law in federal waters. Alaska Congressman Don Young amended the bill to allow subsistence fishermen a voice on the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

Fish like halibut and pollock are caught at sea, but Young says inland fishermen should also have a say in how they’re managed.
“All I want is for them to have a voice, the same voice that the commercial and sport fisheries have, so they have utilization for a living source of food,” Young said.
Nominees for the North Pacific Council can be qualified based on their commercial or recreational fishing expertise. The law doesn’t mention subsistence users, and Young says they’re being short-changed on the Council…

His amendment would require the Alaska governor to consult with subsistence users before nominating North Pacific Council members…
Current law says membership on the management councils should be “balanced” between different types of fishermen, commercial and recreational. Young’s amendment doesn’t change the balancing requirement to give any weight to subsistence…

APRN: http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/29/committee-
moves-bill-updating-magnuson-stevens-act/


27. Administration opposes Coast Guard bill
By Pamela Glass, Workboat.com

The Obama administration is urging the Senate to reject a House-passed Coast Guard Authorization Bill, saying the legislation would weaken federal marine safety programs and increase costs to the Coast Guard.

In an April 17 letter to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Brian de Vallance, acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, said the administration “strongly opposes” the House bill and urges the Senate to delete many aspects of that proposal.

“The bill would sharply increase the cost of shipping emergency food aid, potentially denying relief to more than 2 million persons in need annually,” he wrote. “Additionally, it would degrade federal marine safety regimes, increase risks within the maritime operational environment, and both increase the Coast Guard’s operating costs and prevent the service from realizing planned savings.”

Also, the letter said, the bill fails to include other Coast Guard legislative initiatives that are “critical to the Coast Guard’s response capacity.”

De Vallance says the Senate should strike the following provisions from the bill:

…• A permanent exemption for small commercial vessels of less than 75 feet in length from having to obtain permits from the Clean Water Act to discharge substances that are incidental to their normal operations. “The administration believes that discharges from small commercial vessels and fishing vessels pose the risk of an adverse cumulative effect on the waters of the United States.”

Workboat 5/8/14: http://www.workboat.com/Online-Features/2014/Administration
-opposes-Coast-Guard-bill/?utm_source=NewsLinks&utm_medium=
Email&utm_campaign=InformzNews


28. Fisheries of the U.S. – Economics and Status of Stocks Released
Two new NOAA reports show strong economic gains from fishing, continued improvement in fish stocks
U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generated more than $199 billion in sales in 2012, a gain of seven percent over the previous year, with the economic impact of fishing jobs increasing three percent from 2011 to 2012, according to a new NOAA Fisheries economics report.
Further, two more fish stocks were rebuilt to target levels in 2013, bringing the number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish stocks to 34 since 2000, according to another NOAA Fisheries report also released today.

Taken together, the two reports, Fisheries Economics of the United States 2012 and the Status of U.S. Fisheries 2013, show positive trends in the steady rebuilding of the country’s federally managed fisheries off our coasts, and the important role fisheries contribute to the United States economy.

NOAA Fisheries of the United States page:
http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/commercial-fisheries/fus/fus12/

NOAA Press release: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2014/04/28
__04__statusofstockspressrelease.html


29. NOAA: Alaska fish worth $1.7B in 2012
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Published: 2014.05.08 03:40 PM

Led by salmon and pollock landings, North Pacific fishers earned more than $1.7 billion from the commercial harvest of 5.3 billion pounds of fish in 2012.
In 2012, salmon landings were worth $441 million, pollock was worth $343 million, crab was worth $275 million and Pacific cod was worth $191 million, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service report titled “Fisheries Economics of the United States 2012.”
Alaska’s harvest represents more than half of the seafood commercially harvested in the United States and about a third of the value. In 2012, the total commercial take in America was about 9.6 billion pounds, worth about $5.1 billion…


30. FISH FACTOR: Commercial sector dwarfs sport impact; gear contest underway
By Laine Welch, Fish Factor/For the Alaska Journal of Commerce

The debate over which sector – commercial or recreational fishing — provides the bigger economic punch can finally be put to rest.
The annual “Fisheries Economics of the United States” report by the Department of Commerce shows once and for all that in terms of values, jobs, sales and incomes, the marine commercial sector far outscores saltwater recreational fishing.

A breakdown of the extensive report by market analyst John Sackton shows that in 2012, commercial fishing had $140 billion in sales compared to $58 billion for sport fishing.

And for the value contributed to the national economy, commercial fishing added nearly $60 billion, double the recreational sector.
In terms of jobs, the seafood industry employed 1.27 million people compared to 381,000 for sports anglers…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
May-Issue-3-2014/FISH-FACTOR-Commercial-sector-dwarfs-
sport-impact-gear-contest-underway/


31. Dr. Richard W. Spinrad named NOAA’s chief scientist
(May 9) the Obama Administration named Dr. Richard W. Spinrad as NOAA’s Chief Scientist.  An internationally recognized scientist and executive with more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Spinrad will be the senior scientist for the agency, driving policy and program direction for science and technology priorities. Until this appointment, Dr. Spinrad served as vice president for research at Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis, Oregon, and from 2005 until 2010, was the head of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the head of the National Ocean Service.

NOAA press release http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20140509_
spinrad.html


32. Comment deadline July 7 on NOAA Halibut Catch Sharing Plan information collection
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…
Written comments must be submitted on or before July 7, 2014…
This request is for a new information collection.

Numerous management measures have recently been proposed or implemented that affect recreational charter boat fishing for Pacific halibut off Alaska, including the adoption of a Halibut Catch Sharing Plan (78 FR 75843, December 12, 2013) in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C and 3A that alters the way Pacific halibut is allocated between the guided sport (i.e., the charter sector) and the commercial halibut fishery…
To help inform potential future policy discussions about the CSP, NMFS Alaska Fisheries Science Center plans to conduct a survey that will collect information on general attitudes toward the CSP and the GAF leasing program from Area 2C and Area 3A charter boat businesses (CHP holders), and ask them to indicate their preferences for hypothetically relaxing specific features of the GAF leasing program that are employed in similar types of programs in both fisheries and non-fisheries contexts…

Federal Register May 8: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10546
NPFMC Charter Halibut CSP page: http://www.npfmc.org/charter-halibut-catch-sharing-plan/


33. NPFMC Meeting June 2 – 10, Nome
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will hold the 218th Plenary Session June 2-10, 2014  in Nome, Alaska at the Mini Convention Center, 409 River Street, Nome, AK… The agenda will be continually updated with the associated documents.

Other meetings to be held during the week are:
Scientific and Statistical Committee June 2-4, 2014 – Elementary School – 1057 E. 5th Ave
Advisory Panel June 3-6, 2014 – Old St. Joe’s – 407 Bering Street
Agenda: http://legistar2.granicus.com/npfmc/meetings/2014/6/893
_A_North_Pacific_Council_14-06-02_Meeting_Agenda.pdf

Schedule of events: http://www.npfmc.org/wp-content/PDFdocuments/meetings/
Schedule0614.pdf

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


34. Bering Sea fishery management needs to change for halibut users across Alaska
Alaska Dispatch Op-Ed by Buck Laukitis

OPINION: What happens in the Bering Sea affects all halibut users in Alaska, and the system need to change because it treats halibut as a currency to be spent, but never to be saved.

This year the Magnuson Stevens Act will be reauthorized by Congress. The MSA is the law by which the National Marine Fisheries Service and the North Pacific Fisheries Council manage the federal fisheries off of Alaska. In public hearings, the message that “all is well in Alaska waters” and “no major changes to the law are needed” has been echoed by many groundfish industry lobbyists. Although no one will dispute that the Bering Sea groundfish industry is a behemoth, its financial success is coming at the expense of other users. Halibut fishermen in all areas of the Bering Sea have a catch limit of 3.2 million pounds this year. The estimated bycatch cap in the Bering Sea is almost 8 million pounds…

The council must balance the requirements of National Standard 1, the requirement to achieve optimum yield, and National Standard 9, to minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality to the extent possible…
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140522/bering-sea-
fishery-management-needs-change-halibut-users-across-alaska


35. Deadline August 31 for WWF Smart Gear Competition
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is launching the 2014 International Smart Gear Competition, which seeks and supports innovative solutions to address fisheries bycatch, the unintentional catch of fish and other marine species.

The competition begins Saturday and ends August 31, 2014…
For more information, official competition rules, and instructions on how to enter, visit www.smartgear.org


36. Comment deadline July 11 on USFWS/NOAA ESA “Destruction or Adverse Modification” regs.
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the “Services” or “we”) propose to amend our regulations, which implements the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Our regulation establishes the procedural regulations governing interagency cooperation under section 7 of the Act. The Act requires Federal agencies, in consultation with and with the assistance of the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce, to insure that their actions are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat of such species. In 1986, the Services established a definition for “destruction or adverse modification” (§ 402.02) that was found to be invalid by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth (2001) and Ninth (2004) Circuits. We propose to amend our regulations to replace the invalidated definition with one that is consistent with the Act and the circuit court opinions. Finally, the proposed amendment is part of the Services’ response to Section 6 of Executive Order 13563 (January 18, 2011), which directs agencies to analyze their existing regulations and, among other things, modify or streamline them in accordance with what has been learned…
Federal Register Notice (May 12) https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10503

NOAA & USFWS joint press release:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2014/04/02__05
__esajointpressreleasefws.html

USFWS Improving ESA Implementation page:
http://www.fws.gov/endangered/improving_esa/reg_reform.html


37. Comment deadline July 11 on ESA Procedures and Critical Habitat designation criteria
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the “Services” or “we”), propose to amend portions of our regulations, which implements the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Our regulation clarifies, interprets, and implements portions of the Act concerning the procedures and criteria used for adding species to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants and designating and revising critical habitat. Specifically, we propose to amend portions of our regulations that clarify procedures for designating and revising critical habitat. The proposed amendments would make minor edits to the scope and purpose, add and remove some definitions, and clarify the criteria for designating critical habitat…
We will accept comments from all interested parties until July 11, 2014…
Federal register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10504


38. Comment Deadline July 11 on ESA Critical Habitat Exclusions
We, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, announce a draft policy on exclusions from critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act. This draft policy provides the Services’ position on how we consider partnerships and conservation plans, conservation plans permitted under section 10 of the Act, tribal lands, national security and homeland security impacts and military lands, Federal lands, and economic impacts in the exclusion process. This draft policy is meant to complement the amendments to our regulations regarding impact analyses of critical habitat designations and is intended to clarify expectations regarding critical habitat and provide for a credible, predictable, and simplified critical-habitat-exclusion process…
We will accept comments from all interested parties until July 11, 2014.
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10502


39. Fifteen to review Tongass management plan
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has named 15 people to a committee providing advice on changes in Tongass National Forest management. The main topic is how to transition to second- or young-growth timber harvests.
The committee members are:

  • Jaeleen J. Araujo: Sealaska Attorney; Juneau
  • Wayne K. Benner; City Administrator, Thorne Bay
  • Kirk A. Hardcastle; Commercial Fisherman, Juneau
  • Philip A. Hyatt; Small Mill Owner, Thorne Bay
  • Lynn Jungwirth; The Watershed Research and Training Center, Hayfork, CA
  • Chris Maisch; State Forester, Fairbanks
  • Brian T. McNitt; Alaska Conservation Foundation, Sitka
  • Eric L. Nichols; Alcan Logging, Ketchikan
  • Richard J. Peterson; Executive Director, Tlingit-Haida Central Council, Juneau
  • Keith E. Rush; Conservation Forester, The Nature Conservancy, Juneau
  • Carol M. Rushmore; Municipal Economic Development Director, Wrangell
  • Erin Steinkruger; Tatoosh School, Prince of Wales island and Portland, OR
  • Andrew L. Thoms; Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka, AK
  • Woody Widmark; Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Sitka, AK;
  • Wade Zammit; Sealaska Timber Corp., East Sound, WA

Alternates:

  • Leslie A. Cronk; Ketchikan
  • Jason R. Custer; Alaska Power and Telephone, Ketchikan
  • Robert D. Mills; CEO at Kake Tribal Corpoation, Kake
  • Christopher W. Rose; Sutton,
  • Kathryn A. Troll; Juneau Assembly member, Juneau

http://www.ktoo.org/2014/05/27/fifteen-review-tongass
-management-plan/

USFS Press Release:  http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2014/releases/05/t
ongass.shtml

Tongass Advisory Committee home page: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/home/?
cid=stelprdb5444388


40. USFS Notice of Intent to Amend Tongass Forest Plan
The Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that evaluates an amendment to the 2008 Tongass National Forest Plan. The Record of Decision will consider and identify changes, if any, to the current 2008 Forest Plan…

Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by June 26, 2014. The draft environmental impact statement is expected to be mailed by August 2015, which will begin a 90-day public comment period. Public meetings and subsistence hearings will be scheduled during the 90-day comment period. The Record of Decision is expected to be signed by August 2016…

Additional information is available on the Tongass Forest Plan Internet site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/land/tongass/la
ndmanagement
.

Federal Register Notice 5/27/14: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-12061

Notice of Intent to Amend Tongass Forest Plan
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r10/news-events/
?cid=STELPRD3801588


41. Deadline July 7 for USDA Rural Energy for America grants, July 31 for loans…
This Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) announces the acceptance of applications under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for Fiscal Year 2014 for financial assistance as follows: grants, guaranteed loans, and combined grants and guaranteed loans for the development and construction of renewable energy systems and for energy efficiency improvement projects…
…dates as follows:

For renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications: July 7, 2014.
For renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications: On a continuous basis up to July 31, 2014…
The program is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation’s critical energy needs…

Federal Register notice May 5: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10054

REAP home page: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/bcp_reapreseei.html


42. Comment deadline July 7 on BSAI Groundfish Amendment 100 and GOA Amendment 91 re Grenadier regs
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) submitted Amendment 100 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 91 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). If approved, these amendments would add grenadiers to the ecosystem component category in the BSAI FMP and GOA FMP. This proposed action is necessary to limit and monitor the incidental catch of grenadiers in the groundfish fisheries…
Comments must be received no later than July 7, 2014…

Federal Register notice May 5: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10210


43. Comment deadline June 13 on BSAI Groundfish Amendment 100 and GOA Amendment 91 re Grenadier reporting
NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 100 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 91 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). This proposed action would add regulations to improve reporting of grenadiers, limit retention of grenadiers, and prevent direct fishing for grenadiers by federally permitted groundfish fishermen and is necessary to limit and monitor the incidental catch of grenadiers in the groundfish fisheries…
Comments must be received no later than June 13, 2014.
Federal Register notice May 13: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-1105


44. USFWS opens 5-year review on ESA Short-tailed Albatross…New info sought by July 7
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are initiating a 5-year status review under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), of the short-tailed albatross. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any such information that has become available since the last review for the species…
Dates: To ensure consideration, we are requesting submission of new information no later than July 7, 2014. However, we will continue to accept new information about any listed species at any time…

Federal Register May 5: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10181
Previous 2009 5-year review: http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/five_year_review/doc2623.pdf
ADFG Short-tailed Albatross page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=specialstatus.
fedsummary&species=shorttailedalbatross


45. Comment deadline July 7 on USFS BMPs for water quality protection on Nat’l Forests
The Forest Service proposes to revise Forest Service Manual (FSM 2500) and Handbook (FSH 2509.19) directives for best management practices (BMPs) for water quality protection on National Forest System (NFS) lands to establish a National system of BMPs and associated monitoring protocols and require their use on NFS lands in order to meet existing mandates under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (Clean Water Act) (92) and corresponding State laws. The National system of BMPs would provide a systematic approach to protect water quality from land and resource management activities taking place on National forests and grasslands and utilize suitable monitoring, and established Regional, State, Tribal, and local BMPs. These proposed revisions would help ensure the consistent use and monitoring of BMPs and provide appropriate analyses for evaluating BMP implementation and effectiveness on a regular basis. Public comment is invited and will be considered in development of the final directives…

Comments must be received by July 7, 2014…
Federal register notice (May 6): https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10363

USDA Forest Service National Best Management Practices (BMP) Program:
http://www.fs.fed.us/biology/watershed/BMP.html#Direction

Draft National BMP Program Handbook: http://www.fs.fed.us/biology/watershed/Draft_FSH_2509_19.pdf


46. Kake hatchery slated for closure
KAKE, Alaska (AP) — The debt-saddled Gunnuk Creek Hatchery is slated to close, prompting concerns from local leaders and residents about the impact that will have on the town’s economy and access to fish.

Kake Mayor Henrich Kadake Sr. said closure will cost about 30 jobs.
The hatchery owed the state nearly $14 million it was denied another loan. That left the hatchery, owned by the Kake Nonprofit Fisheries Corp., unable to operate. It defaulted on its payments and the state foreclosed.

Kadake and hatchery manager John Oliva blame a dam failure above the hatchery in 2000 for much of the trouble the facility found itself in, Capital City Weekly reported…

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Kake-hatchery-slated-for
-closure-5495547.php


47. Half-shell hopes – Kake pins hopes on oyster farming
By Mary Catharine Martin | Capital City Weekly

KAKE – Timber, construction and commercial fisheries are down, the cannery closed decades ago, and the salmon hatchery here is closing next month. The Organized Village of Kake, the Hoonah Indian Association and organizers across Southeast have another hope: oyster farming.

Oysters aren’t native to Southeast Alaska, and oyster farming isn’t new here, but Alaskan oysters have advantages over those grown in warmer climes, oyster bars are ever popular, and teamwork, say farms’ proponents, can help make it a lucrative effort. Other kinds of shellfish farming provide even more opportunities.
The Southeast Soil and Conservation District, a recently created entity that aims to become a clearinghouse for information and opportunities across Southeast Alaska, hosted a workshop on shellfish farming in Kake at the beginning of this month.

Along with the Soil and Water District, representatives from the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, the Organized Village of Kake, the Hoonah Indian Association and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game attended the workshop. Haa Aaní, Sealaska’s rural economic development limited liability company and the creator of OysterFest, is an important backer of the cause…
http://capitalcityweekly.com/stories/051414/new
_1206564746.shtml

Southeast Soil and Water Conservation District home page: http://www.seswcd.org/home


48. Alaska Farmers & Shellfish Growers Eligible for USDA  Cost of Transportation Help
July 21, Alaska farmers can sign up for the US Department of Agriculture’s Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program…
Fish producers are not included in the plan, but oyster farmers in Southeast and Prince William Sound can take advantage of the program…
APRN:
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/27/alaska-farmers-eligible-
for-usda-transportation-help/

USDA  Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program page: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/newsReleases?area=newsroom&subject
=landing&topic=pfs&newstype=prfactsheet&type=detail&item
=pf_20130709_insup_en_xpo.html

We honor the late Senators Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye for their work in initiating this program with the intention of including fishermen.


49. Plans underway to restore burned hatchery
The operator of a salmon hatchery near Petersburg says it is moving forward with plans to rebuild the portion of the facility destroyed by fire in March.
The Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association operates the state-owned Crystal Lake hatchery.
The association’s operations manager Bret Hiatt told the Greater Ketchikan Chamber Of Commerce Wednesday that the coho salmon release was lost in the fire and so was a large portion of king salmon.

The Ketchikan Daily News says that to compensate for the loss of coho, the operator is holding some of the 2014 release for 2015, when the destroyed fish would have been released.

The association hopes to have a simplified incubation structure completed by fall. Hiatt says the operator hopes to have control of the project…
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/05/27/plans-underway
-restore-burned-hatchery/


50. NOAA-led researchers discover ocean acidity is dissolving shells of tiny snails off the U.S. West Coast
A NOAA-led research team has found the first evidence that acidity of continental shelf waters off the West Coast is dissolving the shells of tiny free-swimming marine snails, called pteropods, which provide food for pink salmon, mackerel and herring, according to a new paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B…
NOAA Press Release April 30:

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20140430
_oceanacidification.html


51. Research Center to Monitor Acid Levels
By Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks | May 27, 2014 – 6:09 pm
Remotely operated vehicles will be plying Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska this summer, measuring acid levels. The float and glider vehicles are the latest technology deployed through a long running monitoring project overseen by University of Alaska Fairbanks Ocean Acidification Research Center Director Jeremy Mathis…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/27/research-center-to-monitor
-acid-levels/


52. Pebble cites EPA emails in claim assessment was biased
By Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce (5/15)

Pebble mine developers claim they have proof Environmental Protection Agency officials acted with bias and a pre-determined mindset when examining the potential risks a mine could pose to Bristol Bay fisheries.

Documents and email chain records from as far back as 2010, obtained by Pebble Limited Partnership through the Freedom of Information Act, show EPA Region 10 staff in lengthy communications about the prospect of preemptively banning large mines in the Bristol Bay watershed. These communications occurred between staff within the EPA and with agency staff and conservation group members…

Pebble claims additionally that the peer reviews of drafts of the watershed assessment call its scientific validity into question…
AK Journal of Commerce” http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
May-Issue-3-2014/Pebble-cites-EPA-emails-in-claim-
assessment-was-biased/


53. IG to investigate EPA Bristol Bay process; Pebble blasts assessment
By Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce (5/8)

The Office of Inspector General for the Environmental Protection Agency asked EPA Region 10 officials for a list of names, documents, dates and spending associated with developing the Bristol Bay watershed assessment when it notified the office May 2 that a review of the assessment process would be conducted at the request of Pebble Limited Partnership and members of Congress.

In February, the EPA said it intended to initiate a seldom-used process to block large-scale surface mining in the Bristol Bay region to protect the region’s robust salmon fishery, using the 1,000-plus page watershed assessment as a basis for its decision…

AK Journal of Commerce: http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska
-Journal-of-Commerce/May-Issue-2-2014/IG-to-investigate-EPA-
Bristol-Bay-process-Pebble-blasts-assessment/


54. Canadian mine projects pose concerns for fisheries
Margaret Bauman, Cordova Times

A mining boom in northwest British Columbia is a matter of growing concern for commercial fish harvesters in Southeast Alaska and the Western Mining Action Network, who worry about adverse affects to clean water and healthy fisheries.

Of particular concern are five Canadian mine projects located in watersheds of key salmon rivers that originate in British Columbia and flow into Southeast Alaska, into the Taku, Stikine and Unuk rivers.

It is, said Chris Zimmer, campaign director of Alaska Rivers Without Borders, in Juneau, a triple whammy for the fish, water and people in the transboundary region, given the major mining boom, weakened Canadian permitting processes and environmental safeguards, and a lack of engagement on these concerns by the state of Alaska and the federal government.
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1420mining-boom
-canadian-mine-projects-pose


55. CBS 60 Minutes – Salmon farms of the future in three parts
May 11, 2014, 6:30 PM|Namgis First Nation Chief Bill Cranmer, environmentalist Alexandra Morton, and salmon farmer Ian Roberts talk about land-based salmon farms, where fish are raised in tanks instead of the ocean…
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/salmon-farms-of-the-future/
&
Saving the wild salmon
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/saving-the-wild-salmon/
&
Wild-caught or farmed? The diner’s dilemma:
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/wild-caught-or-farmed-the-
diners-dilemma/


56. Project to restore herring, starting with Sitka
Before statehood and the advent of scientific management, Southeast Alaska’s herring populations were harvested — and depleted — without much thought for the future. Herring reduction plants were numerous in the region in the early twentieth century, but the industry was short-lived. Many believe the herring population in Sitka Sound now is a fraction of what it was in those days, and wonder if herring stocks — like salmon — can be restored. A recent grant intends to launch that effort…
“Culturally it’s important obviously as a major subsistence resource in the Sitka area but also very important in trade,” says Chuck Smythe, the Director of the history and culture department at Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Smythe says there are places that used to attract herring that don’t anymore. “Some of the oral history suggests that herring just sort of stopped coming and moved to another area.”

He is working with the Sitka Tribe to figure out why they stopped coming, and how the population might be restored throughout Southeast. The Alaska Native Fund granted SHI $15,000 to develop a herring restoration plan in the Sitka vicinity. They chose Sitka because it still attracts heaps of herring. Jeff Feldpausch, STA’s Resource Protection Director, agrees. “Right now Sitka has one of the larger herring stocks in Southeast.” Close to 80,000 tons of herring…

Emily Forman, KCAW Sitka radio: http://www.kcaw.org/2014/04/28/project-to-restore-
herring-starting-with-sitka/

ADFG Commercial Fisheries Herring page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=
CommercialByFisheryHerring.main


57. Timber, roads and death –Edna Bay seeks incorporation
For four years, Edna Bay residents debated whether or not to incorporate. The council kept working on its problems and continued to encounter hurdles imposed by the state. The Forest Service donated fuel tanks for a depot – but the state wouldn’t give the community land to store the tanks. “We went through a tremendous amount of difficulties trying to obtain site control,” Poelstra said.

With the state balking, Edna Bay residents signed a petition demanding incorporation and filed it in March 2013.
Eight months after the petition was filed, Edna Bay learned that someone had filed a Respondent’s Brief against its incorporation drive. It wasn’t anyone who lived in Edna Bay or even owned land there – it was Sealaska Corp., the regional Native corporation for Southeast Alaska…
Capital City Weekly:
http://www.capitalcityweekly.com/stories/052814/
new_1207885193.shtml


58. EPA final Rule on Fish Kills at Plants Angers Environmentalists
The Obama administration issued a scaled-back regulation meant to keep fish from being sucked into the water intakes of factories and power plants, winning support from industry while drawing fire from environmentalists.
The regulation issued yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency specified a range of options that facility operators can use to reduce the 2 billion fish, crab or shrimp that die each year in water intakes. Environmental advocates said that the agency had punted by leaving decisions with state regulators, and they threatened to sue to force tougher action.
“EPA has promulgated a largely worthless rule,” Steve Fleischli, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s water program, said today…
Bloomberg News:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-20/epa-rule-
on-fish-kills-at-plants-angers-environmentalists.html

EPA Cooling Water Intakes page: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/cwa/316b/
Federal Register Notice, pre-publication (PDF) (539 pp, 8.2MB) (May 19, 2014)


59. Comment deadline July 14 on EPA draft Water Quality criteria for human health
EPA is announcing the availability of draft updated national recommended water quality criteria for the protection of human health for the purpose of obtaining public comments. EPA has updated its national recommended water quality criteria for human health for ninety-four chemical pollutants to reflect the latest scientific information and current EPA policies. This draft update is based on EPA’s current methodology for deriving human health criteria as described in “Methodology for Deriving Ambient Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Human Health (2000)” and does not establish new policy. EPA’s recommended water quality criteria provide technical information for States and authorized Tribes to establish water quality standards under the Clean Water Act to protect human health…

DATES: The public comment period begins on May 13, 2014 and ends on July 14, 2014. Technical comments should be submitted to the public EPA docket by July 14, 2014.

Federal Register May 13: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10963
EPA page: http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/standards/criteria/
current/hhdraft.cfm
.


60. Inter-Tribal Fish Commissions to Meet in Bethel and St. Marys
By Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel | May 16, 2014 – 9:49 am

Just weeks before the salmon run begins in earnest, discussions are underway to form two inter-tribal fish commissions, one each for the Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers.

Myron Naneng is the President of the Association of Village Council Presidents, which is coordinating the formation of the groups.

“What we feel is the state of Alaska has not managed the fisheries for sustained yield because they’re catering more to the commercial fishing interests rather than their own citizen,” said Naneng.

Naneng envisions a co-management structure where tribal leaders work very closely with government biologists. That would involve integrating the knowledge and experience of people who live on the river…
AK Public media report: http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/16/inter-tribal-fish-c
ommissions-to-meet-in-bethel-and-st-marys/


61. Yupiit Nation: Alaska Natives should have say in salmon management
Emotions flared up at a meeting of the Yupiit Nation last week, where members gathered together to create a game plan for the dwindling king salmon run.
“There’s a real possibility of civil disobedience,” said Yupiit Nation Chair Mike Williams, Sr., in an interview with The Tundra Drums…
http://www.thetundradrums.com/story/2014/05/08/local/yupiit
-nation-alaska-natives-should-have-say-in-salmon-managemen
t/1299.html


62. Alaska Natives hopeful about BIA move to allow tribal land trusts
Last week, Alaska Native tribes learned that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is proposing a rule that would remove a provision prohibiting tribes from taking land into trust in Alaska.

Mike Williams, Sr ., of Akiak, said that the rule could go far in approving the state of Alaska Natives in rural Alaska. By allowing Alaska Natives to put land into trust, they could take steps to empower their communities to deal with the issues of domestic violence, sexual abuse, alcohol abuse and more…

Carl Jack, who is from Kipnuk, said that giving control of land back to Alaska Natives could better position them to take leadership on fish and wildlife management.
http://www.thetundradrums.com/story/2014/05/08/alaska
/alaska-natives-hopeful-about-bia-move-to-allow-tribal-land-
trusts/1308.html


63. Comment deadline June 30 on BIA proposed rule re Tribal land trusts
This proposed rule would delete a provision in the Department of the Interior’s land-into-trust regulations that excludes from the scope of the regulations, with one exception, land acquisitions in trust in the State of Alaska…
Comments on this proposed rule must be received by June 30, 2014…
http://bia.gov/WhoWeAre/AS-IA/Consultation/index.htm

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-09818


64. Bill Encourages Tribes to Work With State on Jurisdiction
The sponsor of the Safe Families and Villages Bill, U.S. Senator Mark Begich, said the bill encourages tribes to work with the state of Alaska to develop agreements on tribal court jurisdiction. But he said it also gives tribes a way to take on added responsibilities through an agreement with the federal government…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/27/bill-encourages-tribes
-to-work-with-state-on-jurisdiction/


65. Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines – May Newsletter
-Fisheries Bycatch Progress Evident, Say Symposium Presenters
-Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium Held
-Marine Mammal Conservation in Bristol Bay
http://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/fishlines/2014/may.php


66. Free Injury Prevention Workshop for Commercial Fishermen – Juneau June 4
AMSEA will conduct a free injury prevention workshop in Juneau on Wednesday,
June 4, 2014. The workshop title is “Strains, Sprains and Pains: Ergonomic Injury
Prevention for Commercial Fishermen”. Participants will learn about ways to avoid
musculoskeletal problems common in commercial fishing and share ideas on
ergonomic changes that fishermen have made on their vessels. Fishermen may bring a
mat to practice some exercises to “tune up” their bodies before, during and after the
season.
This workshop will be held from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM in Room 133 of the UAS
Technical Center, 1415 Harbor Way. This workshop is free to commercial fishermen.
To register, contact AMSEA at 747-3287.

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


67. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio  – Items from this week:
AK landings vs. harvests vs. values
Salmon markets show steady seasonal variations at wholesale
Frankenfish labeling advances in DC
Crab, shrimp shells used in bio-plastics, car coatings that heal scratches

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


 

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

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