The Fall 2013 UFA meeting will be held October 23, 24 & 25 at Harrigan Centennial Hall at 330 Harbor Drive in Sitka.
Make Plans Now for Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle, November 20-22.
Protectour fishing business by joining UFA today! Visit ‘Become a Member’ to see the various membership levels and benefits. UFA members receive a free subscription to National Fisherman and Pacific Fishing.
From the Executive Director
The fall meeting season is officially upon us. There are a number of important meetings coming up that provide you with valuable opportunities to influence Alaska’s fisheries as well as the management process.
September 30 – October 8, North Pacific Fishery Management Council NPFMC at the Anchorage Hilton. The agenda includes: Observer program, BSAI crab program, Steller sea lions, groundfish specifications, Gulf of Alaska trawl issues, BSAI salmon bycatch, AI Pacific cod processing, and sablefish pots in the Gulf of Alaska.
October 9-11 Board of Fish Work Session at the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. Items on the agenda include: Agenda Change Requests (ACR’s), cycle organization, and stocks of concern.
October 12-16 Joint BOF/Board of Game at the Anchorage Hilton. Items on the agenda include: advisory committee process and reports, subsistence uses and procedures, and non-subsistence areas.
October 18-22 BOF Statewide Pacific cod at the Anchorage Hilton. Items on the agenda include: Gulf of Alaska harvest levels, GOA proposals, and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands proposals.
October 27-30 ASMI All Hands at the Anchorage Captain Cook. The meeting will bring together all ASMI committees including: Foodservice, International, Retail, Seafood Technical, Salmon, Whitefish, Halibut/Sablefish, and Shellfish committees. The ASMI meeting will also discuss seafood certification, current market conditions, opportunities, and Alaska fisheries.
Decisions will be made at these meetings that effect Alaskan fishing businesses on multiple levels. Both the NPFMC and BOF meetings will stream live audio for those who are unable to attend in person. The links above provide agendas, written comment deadlines, and public testimony instructions. Traveling to meetings is expensive and takes time, however we encourage you to attend if you can and talk to decision makers about the importance of a healthy and viable commercial fishing industry and communities.
As always, please consider donating funds to associations that help protect your fishing business. Thank you to all of our members for your continued support, we look forward to representing your interests at the meetings ahead.
Thank you for your time, please feel free to contact the UFA office for more information.
Table of Contents
Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees.
- ASMI Releases Economic Value Report
- ASMI All Hands Meeting & Intent to Change Bylaws October 28-30, Anchorage
- My Turn: Communities support fishing – and vice versa
- An open letter from the MSC to Alaska
- Begich Hearing Prompts Fish Policy Shift
- Tacky video bashes MSC biggest client base
- Senator Begich: WWF, MSC owe explanation, apology to Alaska fishermen
- WWF pulls “We Don’t Farm Like This” amid industry complaints
- Alaska seafood industry awaits Walmart response
- Walton Family Foundation and Darden Restaurants Announce New Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund at Clinton Global Initiative Meeting
- Alaska Flatfish Fishery Enters Assessment for RFM Certification
- Game over? Anglo pulls out of PebbleBy Tim Bradner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
- DNR Reclassifies Millions of Acres in Bristol Bay Region
- Joe Balash Named Acting DNR Commissioner
- Casting a wider net: Kenai Fisher Poet events expand during third year of local performances
- Mat-Su Culverts among fish woes
- Fish Factor: Salmon permit prices rising along with price per pound
- Southeast Conference Report: Southeast economy booming
- Alaska Sees Record Commercial Salmon Catch
- Alaska’s poor king salmon returns may benefit Pacific Northwest
- In the Tongass, every job counts – Juneau Empire My Turn by Governor Sean Parnell (9/12).
- Rescuers exhaust efforts to free entangled whale
- Bycatch fish goes to Alaska food bank
- Alaska’s mariners benefit from technological advances 24-hour maritime monitoring network based in Juneau
- Emmonak plans for long overdue Yukon port
- Alaska DOL Economic Trends October magazine profiles Yukon – Kuskokwim Delta
- US House Resources. Oversight Hearing on “Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act” (9/11).
- Electronic monitoring for fishing vessels back for review at NPFMC
- NPFMC likely to meet regardless of shutdown
- NPFMC Public Workshop for Coral collaboration Oct 15-16, Seattle
- Compass: Uncle Sam needs to clean up messes left to Alaskans
- Scientists fear ocean acidification will drive the collapse of Alaska’s iconic crab fishery.
- Sen. Murkowski: Subsistence Must Remain a Viable Lifestyle for Alaska Natives
- Huffington Post Video: A Look at Alaska’s Wild Salmon
- Commissions work to define Arctic policy
- Alaska Arctic Policy Commission meeting – Fairbanks October 22-23
- Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – items from this week:
- NOAA posts MMPA List of Fisheries for 2013
- USFWS & NMFS revise ESA Critical habitat Impact Assessment Regs.
- NMFS initiates status review on ESA De-listing of N. Pacific Humpback – comment by October 28.
- Comment deadline October 28 on GOA FMP Amendment 95
- Comment deadline October 17 on GOA Groundfish Amendment 95 halibut PSC mgmt.
- Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council meetings cancelled this week
- Comment deadline November 4 on ESA Incidental Take Statements
- USFWS posts SW AK Northern Sea Otter ESA Recovery Plan
- Comment Deadline October 21 on Socio-economic data for North Pacific Fisheries
- Comment deadline November 8 on NOAA Applications and Reports for Registration as a Tanner or Agent
- Comment deadline December 3 on EPA Water Quality Standards
- Comment deadline November 26 on EPA NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Activities
- Comment deadline December 9 on USCG OCS Safety & Environmental Management Systems
- Sitka Marine Industry Development Survey
- Assistant Professor wanted for Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (MAP) – Bristol Bay region
- Alaska Board of Fisheries to Hold Work Session Meeting in Girdwood, October 9-10, 2013
- Board of Fisheries Statewide Pacific Cod meeting October 18-22, Anchorage
- Board of Fisheries and Game Joint Board Meeting October 12 – 16, Anchorage – & time change
- CFEC meets October 11 – comment deadline October 7 on Scallop Areas, Reduced Fee Eligibility, NS Herring and Dive
- University seeks input on Salmon and Society project
- Comment deadline November 29 on Amendment 99 BSAI FMP vessels
- MAFAC to meet October 22-24, Silver Spring MD
- ANS Task Force meets Nov. 6-7, Silver Spring MD
- Alaska broker makes big move under Affordable Care Act
- Fishermen: lack of affordable health insurance a barrier to industry growth
- UFA Info on the Affordable Care Act for Fishermen and Fishing Groups
- Other Useful Links on Affordable Care Act
- EPA Proposes Email requirement for NPDES reporting – comment deadline October 28
- Alaska Salmon Project Online Sweepstakes: How Deep is Your Salmon Love?
- Comment by Dec 16 on BLM Bering Sea – Western Interior Resource Management Plan and EIS Scoping
- Mark your calendar: Southeast Alaska Watershed Symposium – November 4th, 5th and 6th, 2013
- Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit – December 10-12, 2013 Anchorage Marriott Downtown
- Pacific Marine Expo – November 20-22, Seattle
- AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
1. ASMI Releases Economic Value Report
One in seven Alaskans employed by the Alaska Seafood Industry
Juneau, Alaska. August 28, 2013 — Today the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute released a report titled “Economic Value of the Alaska Seafood Industry” which measures the impact of Alaska’s seafood industry on the U.S. economy.
The Alaska seafood industry accounts for over half of all U.S. fisheries production and is a key economic driver in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. It is estimated that the Alaska seafood industry provides a total of 165,800 American jobs, including 34,000 jobs for Washington residents in 2011.
Produced by Alaska-based research firm The McDowell Group, the report is the first of its kind, and finds that in 2011:
- The combined value of Alaska seafood exports and the retail value of Alaska seafood sold in the U.S. totaled an estimated $6.4 billion.
- The Alaska seafood industry directly employed 63,100 workers in Alaska, making it the state’s largest private sector employer.
- Total direct and secondary economic output in the U.S. stemming from the Alaska seafood industry was estimated at $15.7 billion.
ASMI Press release: http://pressroom.alaskaseafood.org/economic-value-of-alaska-seafood/
2. ASMI All Hands Meeting & Intent to Change Bylaws October 28-30, Anchorage
The annual ASMI All Hands Meeting will be held October 28-30, 2013 in Anchorage, Alaska at the Hotel Captain Cook…
Notice of Intent to Change Bylaws at the October 30, 2013 ASMI Board of Directors Meeting
You are hereby notified that changes to Article V of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) Bylaws, pertaining to ASMI Committees, will be voted on by Board members at the upcoming October 30, 2013 Board Meeting…
ASMI Events page: http://www.alaskaseafood.org/industry/events/index.html
Online Public Notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=169557
3. My Turn: Communities support fishing – and vice versa
By BUCK LAUKITIS
For the Juneau Empire
Alaska salmon fishermen just enjoyed a record season. Over 266 million salmon were harvested this summer and, although the value is still being calculated, it is likely to become one of the most valuable catches in history. The incredible abundance of salmon in 2013 is unique, but the formula for success is repeatable: healthy habitat, conservative management, a little enhancement and some of Mother Nature’s magic. Hard working fishermen, tendermen and processors prepare and make many sacrifices to have an opportunity for a once in a lifetime harvest. Fishermen compete with each other to do well for themselves and for their families, but the overall benefit to the State of Alaska of our healthy salmon resource is huge. Tens of millions of dollars flow into our coastal communities each and every year.
Although fishermen’s earnings are uneven, I always try to think of ways to give something back to my community. I encourage my fellow fishermen to do the same…
4. An open letter from the MSC to Alaska
From Kerry Coughlin, Regional Director, Americas for Marine Stewardship Council – An open letter and fact sheet to address negative and inaccurate statements about the MSC program by ASMI, Alaska elected officials and trade journal reporting.
For many years, MSC worked closely and collaboratively with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) to support its charter to market Alaska seafood in global markets. With demand for credible, independent third-party scientific confirmation of sustainability by many market buyers, MSC certification has served as a benefit for Alaskan and other fisheries in marketing to these buyers. We are proud of our relationship with the Alaskan fishing industry and proud to help bring fishermen, industry members, government fishery managers and state leaders recognition for their demonstrated commitment to sustainable fishing.
For the last few years as ASMI has developed and promoted its own certification program, MSC has stayed focused on continuing its partnership with the Alaskan fishing industry regardless of attacks and misinformation as ASMI has attempted to discredit MSC in order to gain acceptance of its own program. We greatly value the participation of Alaskan fisheries in the MSC program, and we have harbored hopes of resurrecting a cooperative and productive relationship with ASMI to support the Alaska fisheries that continue to choose MSC certification. However, in the face of escalating misinformation by ASMI, elected officials, and inaccurate and unsupported conclusions by John Sackton in particular in writing for the Seafood News and Undercurrents trade journals, MSC is compelled to speak out against falsehoods regarding the MSC.
The debate around MSC not only is being framed wrongly, but narrowly. What is really at stake is our entire conservation agenda, as a nation and as a player in protection of seafood – a vital global food resource that provides 16 percent of the world’s animal-based food protein…
Say what? Does MSC really represent “the entire conservation agenda, as a nation”? I had no idea that they were responsible for the EPA, ESA, Clean Air Act, NEPA, National Park System, Marine Protected Areas, and other aspects of the nation’s conservation agenda.
5. Begich Hearing Prompts Fish Policy Shift
By Heather Handyside | Office of Senator Begich
The federal government announced it is dropping guidelines for federal purchases of seafood that could have excluded Alaska salmon and other sustainable seafood from national parks and military bases in advance of a hearing announced last week and chaired by U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard.
Following the hearing the National Park Service (NPS) indicated they fully support the new guidelines. Wal-Mart Senior Director Jeff Rice also voiced support for sustainability standards, indicating sustainability was important for their customers and their corporate vision.
Senate Commerce Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard Subcommittee hearing, Sept 24: The Role of Certification in Rewarding Sustainable Fishing
6. Tacky video bashes MSC biggest client base
Fish Radio with Laine Welch] September 20, 2013
It’s not smart business to publicly blast your biggest client base. The seafood industry reacted with outrage this week to a video posted to YouTube that shows cartoon animals and plants being dragged across a farm landscape in what appears to be trawl gear. It then switches to an underwater ocean scene that asks “We don’t farm like this. Why do we fish like this?” It ends with “Choose MSC certified sustainable seafood.” The problem is – 84% of the tonnage of the Marine Stewardship Council’s certified fisheries comes from trawl gear.
Richard Mullins of Alaska Marine Nutrition is a spokesman for the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation which, among others, demanded an apology and asked why the MSC allowed its name to be attached to the cartoon in the first place. The MSC has disavowed involvement in the video, which was produced by the World Wildlife Fund and Loblaws, Canada’s largest food retailer. It has since been removed from all on line sites. John Sackton of Seafood.com harshly criticized the MSC, saying the video exposes a real truth – that MSC governance procedures allow stakeholders with no scientific credentials or understanding to influence changes to its standards. Richard Mullins says the MSC is on its way to irrelevance…
Laine Welch Fish Radio: http://www.alaskafishradio.com/tacky-video-bashes-msc-client-base/
7. Senator Begich: WWF, MSC owe explanation, apology to Alaska fishermen
Posted: September 25, 2013 – 12:02am By U.S. SEN. MARK BEGICH
As chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Oceans and Fisheries, I have the chance to brag about Alaska’s fisheries.
Alaska produces more than half nation’s wild fish. Fishing is important to our economy, culture and lifestyle. While our fisheries are managed by complex rules with high standards, this is why Alaska is known for quality seafood and sustainable stocks.
That’s why I was offended by the recent “We don’t farm like this” video produced by World Wide Fund for Nature Canada (WWF) in support of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The short animated video grossly misrepresents the harvesting methods of longline, purse seine, and trawl fisheries and smears them as unsustainable.
Juneau Empire My Turn (subscription required): http://juneauempire.com/opinion/2013-09-25/wwf-msc-owe-explanation-apology-alaska-fishermen
8. WWF pulls “We Don’t Farm Like This” amid industry complaints
World Wildlife Fund Canada has pulled its animated “We Don’t Farm Like This” spot from the web following complaints from the commercial fishing sector…
The MSC statement, issued Sept. 18., said:
The MSC understands the concerns about the animation recently released by WWF Canada and appreciates their swift action at the request of MSC to remove it from their media channels. The MSC did not participate in the creation of the animation, nor does it endorse it.
The message delivered in the animation is confusing, creates a negative message about some fishing gears and fails to indicate the positive commitment to sustainability made by many fisheries…
Marketing Magazine Canada story:
Sorry but we do not have any working links to the video.
9. Alaska seafood industry awaits Walmart response
In the line-up of fishermen on an Anchorage side street leading to a Walmart superstore, John Renner stood smiling, holding high a sign reading “What is Vladimir Putin’ In Them Humpies?”
Beside him stood Jack Hopkins, holding high another sign that read “Alaska State Constitution Demands Sustainability.”
“We are here today to tell Walmart that they are swimming against the tide when it comes to Alaska salmon,” said Renner, vice president of Cordova District Fishermen United, who, along with Hopkins and several dozen others travels from Cordova to Anchorage to set the record straight on just how sustainable Alaska wild seafood is.
10. Walton Family Foundation and Darden Restaurants Announce New Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund at Clinton Global Initiative Meeting
by the Walton Family Foundation
A new Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund that will help address overfishing – one of the largest threats to the global seafood supply – will leverage philanthropic, industry and government resources to help develop and advance Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) worldwide.
The Walton Family Foundation (WFF), in collaboration with Darden Restaurants, plans to create the new fund as an investment model. The fund, announced at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting, is being developed as an official CGI Commitment to Action.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will manage the new fund, and with its partners, will develop a structure for matching contributions, select projects and evaluate the effectiveness of funded projects.
Advised by the New England Aquarium, Florida based Darden Restaurants – owner of the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains – is the initial contributor. The WFF and its partners plan to identify and recruit other contributors.
11. Alaska Flatfish Fishery Enters Assessment for RFM Certification
Alaska’s flatfish fishery, in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands, and Gulf of Alaska, has entered into assessment by Global Trust Certification, in a program sponsored by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.
The fishery will be assessed against the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization-based Responsible Fisheries Management certification program which Global Trust provides. If successful, Alaska flatfish products will be eligible to make the RFM certification claim and carry the RFM ecolabel, ASMI officials said in an announcement Sept. 10.
For other certification information and to monitor the progress of certification of Alaska’s other major commercial fisheries, check online at http://certification.alaskaseafood.org/fisheries
12. Game over? Anglo pulls out of PebbleBy Tim Bradner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
The future of the Pebble mine is in doubt after the major backer of the project pulled out Sept. 15.
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. CEO Ron Thiessen and Pebble Limited Partnership CEO John Shively said they will press forward with the Pebble project west of Iliamna Lake despite the withdrawal of Anglo American Plc, a major London-based mining company that was a 50 percent partner in the effort.
“Despite our belief that Pebble is a deposit of rare magnitude and quality, we have taken the decision to withdraw following a thorough assessment of Anglo American’s extensive pipeline of long-dated project options,” said Mark Cutifani, CEO of Anglo American, in a formal statement Sept. 16.
Anglo American pulls out of Alaska’s proposed Pebble mine
Published: September 16, 2013 By Sean Cockerham — McClatchy Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — One of the two companies seeking to build Alaska’s Pebble mine is dropping out of the project as scrutiny grows over its impact on wild salmon.
British mining giant Anglo American said Monday it is withdrawing from the Pebble Partnership, a 50-50 venture with Canada’s Northern Dynasty Minerals.
Anglo American will take a $300 million charge for dropping out.
Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani said the company wants to focus instead on lower risk projects.
“Despite our belief that Pebble is a deposit of rare magnitude and quality, we have taken the decision to withdraw following a thorough assessment of Anglo American’s extensive pipeline of long-dated project options,” he said in a written statement. “Our focus has been to prioritize capital to projects with the highest value and lowest risks within our portfolio.”
Northern Dynasty vowed to press forward on the mine.
“Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Partnership have both the expertise and resources necessary to advance the Pebble project,” Northern Dynasty CEO Ron Thiessen said in a written statement on Monday.
It’s not clear what Anglo American’s withdrawal will mean for the operations of the Anchorage-based Pebble Partnership, which Northern Dynasty and Anglo American set up in 2007 to design, permit and run the mine.
The Pebble Partnership is circulating an internal memo that says “Pebble remains an important project for Alaska and we will share additional information about the way forward for the project in the days and weeks ahead.”
13. DNR Reclassifies Millions of Acres in Bristol Bay Region
By Garrett Turner, KTUU Channel 2 News, September 5, 2013
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that the reclassification of 3 million acres of land within the Bristol Bay area was not a result of any settlement met between the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and plaintiffs.
The original story incorrectly represented that reclassification as a result of a decision made in the fall of 2012.
After the Alaska Department of Natural Resources made revisions to the original 1984 Bristol Bay area plan in 2005, environmental groups and Bristol Bay communities brought a law suit against the state agency.
Last fall, DNR entered into a legal proceedings to correct errors and address legal action involving Bristol Bay Area’s plan.
However, DNR officials want to make clear despite the fact the department has reclassified more than 3 million acres within the Bristol Bay area, it was not a result of the legal actions that preceded it.
Plaintiffs from the original case now have the opportunity to appeal DNR’s reclassification, said DNR spokeswoman Elizabeth Bluemink in a written statement.
“Just because a particular area is designated as being suitable for wildlife habitat, doesn’t mean that the land is not available for other uses,” DNR Commissioner Joe Balash said.
That’s where the controversy lies. The wildlife habitat classification doesn’t restrict other companies or groups from leasing lands out for other types of resource extraction like with the Pebble mine prospect. The classification can make companies like the Pebble Partnership adhere to sometimes more stringent regulations.
“I think what they did was perfectly appropriate,” Pebble Project’s John Shively said. “They felt like they had some problems with the plan that needed to be fixed. The state has the authority through the regulatory process to make sure if we’re going to want mine that we mine correctly.”
The DNR did meet its settlement requirements but Renewable Resource Foundation’s Anders Gustafson, who is a main opponent of the Pebble Project, says it didn’t completely give the petitioners all they wanted.
“An initial glance it looks like some of the things the petitioners asked for were granted and other things were maybe ignored,” Gustafson said. “The bottom line is that we’re looking to make sure the renewable resources of the area are protected.”
DNR Bristol Bay Area Plan – Adoption of 2013 Plan Amendment: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/planning/areaplans/bristol/amend/
14. Joe Balash Named Acting DNR Commissioner
September 24, 2013, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today named Joe Balash acting commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources. Balash has served as deputy DNR commissioner and fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Dan Sullivan.
15. Casting a wider net: Kenai Fisher Poet events expand during third year of local performances
By Rashah McChesney, Peninsula Clarion
…It’s the third year that fisher poets — mostly local folk so far — have gathered on the Kenai Peninsula to celebrate their common experiences as commercial fishermen.
The tradition, which began in Astoria, Ore., in 1998, brought poets, songwriters and even students of the commercial fishing industry to perform and educate the community on their particular brand of creative culture-sharing…
16. Mat-Su Culverts among fish woes
By ANDREW WELLNER Frontiersman.com Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman
PALMER — It can be difficult, sometimes, to keep track of all of the competing studies and claims about fishing in the Valley and why returns have been so poor these last few years.
Some anglers in the Valley say the poor returns of fish are due to problems in the ocean.
But a new study called “A Watershed Perspective on Salmon Production in the Mat-Su Basin” — commissioned by the United Cook Inlet Drift Association, a commercial fishing group — points the finger at habitat degradation in Mat-Su.
The study says culverts are one specific piece of the problem. The Mat-Su Borough refers to the type of culvert in question as “Anadramous Water Body Crossings.”
Report Links Rapid Borough Development to Low Mat-Su Salmon Returns
By Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage | September 4, 2013 – 10:45 am
Causes for the Matanuska Valley’s poor salmon runs – usually blamed on Cook Inlet commercial harvesters – are getting another look.
New evidence links the diminishing runs to habitat degradation caused by rapid development within the Matanuska Susitna Borough.
There were a dozen or so new ordinances heard at a recent Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly meeting, and two of them dealt with salmon habitat improvement.
The Borough recently put more money for salmon management studies on its legislative wish list, but Larry Engle, who is on the Borough’s fish and wildlife commission, told the Assembly that the problem begins at home.
“I think we have identified that we have a serious problem,” Engle said. “Over the years of culvert installations we need to do something different.”
“Absolutely hundreds of miles of habitat are not used fully, or at all, because of these barriers.”
He said that 668 culverts in the Borough had been evaluated by state Fish and Game and almost three quarters of them have been deemed unsatisfactory in relation to fish passage…
17. Fish Factor: Salmon permit prices rising along with price per pound
By Laine Welch, Fish Factor/For the Journal
Alaska’s record salmon season has permit brokers hopping as buyers seek to break into or expand their fishing opportunities in many fisheries.
Notably, brokers say there is “a lot of great buzz” at Bristol Bay, despite a lackluster sockeye fishery that saw the bulk of the red run come and go eight days early.
“Prior to the season the drift permits went for under $100,000, but we just sold one for $125,000,” said Doug Bowen of Alaska Boats and Permits in Homer.
Most of the bump is due to optimism about the sockeye base price of $1.50 per pound, a 50-cent increase from last year.
Data from the state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission show that Bristol Bay driftnet permit values have remained near or well over $100,000 since 2010, and increased steadily each year after dropping below $20,000 in 2002…
18. Southeast Conference Report: Southeast economy booming
More people live in Southeast Alaska now than ever before, and the economy is booming, according to a report from the annual Southeast Conference.
The report uses 2010 as a benchmark while evaluating the region’s economic and demographic standing as of last year. It was presented at the annual conference of local leaders happening in Sitka this week.
More than 74,400 people now live in Southeast Alaska — an increase of about 2,800 over two years. That figure surpasses the record set in 1997, and population isn’t the only rising figure.
There are more employees than ever, and they are enjoying the highest total payroll after adjusting for inflation. Job earnings have increased about 10 percent since 2010.
In the private sector, seafood and tourism industries are leading the way for the region with total earnings near $246 million and $174 million, respectively. The two sectors employ more than 10,000 of the region’s 45,996 employees…
The report projects in future years that tourism will grow while mining stays stagnant. The timber industry and government sector are expected to shrink. The seafood industry’s fate will likely be heavily dictated by government decisions looming next year.
Juneau Empire (subscription may be required)
Southeast Conference Economic reports:
Southeast by the Numbers
The 2013 report provides a two-year snapshot of the Southeast Alaska economic and socioeconomic trends.
The Maritime Economy of Southeast Alaska:
This publication quantifies Southeast Alaska’s maritime economy. Just over one-quarter of all Southeast Alaska wages are directly earned through ocean related employment in 2012. Taken together the businesses and government agencies that are directly tied to the ocean comprise Southeast Alaska’s largest economic sector.
19. Alaska Sees Record Commercial Salmon Catch
Alaska’s commercial salmon catch has reached a record 260 million, up from 221 million in 2005…
FISH FACTOR: Salmon harvest keeps setting records (Laine Welch)
2013 Preliminary Alaska Commercial Salmon Harvest – Blue Sheet:
2013 Inseason Alaska Commercial Salmon Summary- Final update: September 13, 2013
These are the final inseason summaries for the 2013 salmon season.
20. Alaska’s poor king salmon returns may benefit Pacific Northwest
…The Seattle Times ios reporting a record run of fall Chinooks – “the largest in 75 years” – to the Columbia River. How can this be bad news for Alaska? Easy. It’s more evidence for what scientists call the PDO, or Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a shift in ocean temperatures that alters production in the North Pacific ecosystem…
Pacific Decadal Oscillation papers, etc: http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/
21. In the Tongass, every job counts – Juneau Empire My Turn by Governor Sean Parnell (9/12).
The story of America includes starting a business and passing that entrepreneurial spirit on to your children. Whether it was a farm, a hardware store, or something else, America was built by these kinds of family enterprises, and family businesses still power Alaskan opportunity.
Southeast has all the elements necessary to succeed. Low-cost hydropower, mining opportunities, forest products, and aquaculture provide a diverse base for a vibrant economy.
Alaskans are just asking the Obama administration for a fair chance to put in a hard day’s work.
My Turn: Governor: Don’t forget about tourism and fisheries By Mark Kaelke (9/13).
22. Rescuers exhaust efforts to free entangled whale
Petersburg Pilot, September 12, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 37
Steve Lewis / Chichagof Conservation Council
Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network responders John Moran of NOAA Fisheries and Fred Sharpe of the Alaska Whale Foundation approach the whale. Moran steers the response vessel while Sharpe attempts to cut the netting entangling the humpback whale.
Responders out of Juneau were able to free a portion of gear off the humpback whale that was entangled in a gill net August 23 in Frederick Sound. Petersburg volunteers were the first to reach the snared whale but were unsuccessful in removing the net. They did manage to attach a satellite buoy to track the humpback, helping the Petersburg team and other officials including those from National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration monitor the animal as it moved north towards Juneau…
23. Bycatch fish goes to Alaska food bank
Efforts bring thousands of pounds of incidentally caught fish back to Alaska
By Matthew F. Smith, KTVA (Sep 8, 2013)
ANCHORAGE – Thousands of pounds of salmon and halibut taken by trawl fisherman are making their way back to Alaska, and the state’s food bank is working to get it out to those in need.
The fish are incidental bycatch of pollock fisheries in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska.
The Washington-based nonprofit Sea Share is close to getting 100 percent of that bycatch back to Alaska.
24. Alaska’s mariners benefit from technological advances 24-hour maritime monitoring network based in Juneau
By Jennifer Canfield, Juneau Empire, Posted: September 7, 2013
The Marine Exchange of Alaska provides a service so fundamental to boating safety most might assume the U.S. Coast Guard, or another governmental agency, runs it.
The exchange tracks and collects data on vessels equipped with an onboard tracking system; it does for boats what the Federal Aviation Administration does for planes — and it’s run as a non-profit by a couple of retired Coasties.
The exchange is housed in a modest building near the Juneau entrance of the Douglas Bridge.
Inside is a data and tracking center that’s staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
There are numerous flat screens on the walls; one shows the location of every traceable vessel off Alaska’s coasts and even some off the coasts of eastern Russia, Washington and Oregon.
It’s an operation that Executive Director Capt. Ed Page wants to share with the public.
Page has plans to construct a new facility that would house not only the exchange, but also a visitor’s center that would educate people on what the exchange does and on the maritime industry in Alaska.
The City and Borough of Juneau has already donated the land and, during the last session, the Legislature gave the exchange $1 million toward the new building.
Page had hoped to break ground in May, but funding he anticipated from a Department of Transportation grant didn’t come through.
25. Emmonak plans for long overdue Yukon port
By Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal Of Commerce
Posted: September 9, 2013 – 12:01am
ANCHORAGE — The longest river in Alaska and the third-longest river in North America does not have a landing.
Emmonak, the community of about 800 at the mouth of the Yukon, has plans to change that. The city has proposed a $16 million, 650-foot port that would be a transportation hub in Western Alaska, Emmonak City Manager Martin Moore Sr. said.
Not having a port at the mouth of the Yukon River has been a burden for communities all along the river and he said the infrastructure is long overdue.
“This dock is not for Emmonak, but for the whole region and it’s an important factor in bringing the cost of energy and the cost of transportation down,” Moore said. “We pay exorbitant fuel prices to do our commercial fishing and to do our subsistence way of life.”
26. Alaska DOL Economic Trends October magazine profiles Yukon – Kuskokwim Delta
October Trends profile’s the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, the southwestern region of the state made up of the Wade Hampton and Bethel census areas. Situated along two major rivers, this spread-out area relies largely on government employment and subsistence, which is mostly seafood. Though the villages look to the city of Bethel as a regional hub, the communities are far-flung and mainly situated in optimal spots for salmon harvests…
Trends archive: http://labor.alaska.gov/trends/
27. US House Resources. Oversight Hearing on “Reauthorization of the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act” (9/11).
Archived Video and Witness Statements, including excellent comments by Dr. Ray Hilborn.
28. Electronic monitoring for fishing vessels back for review at NPFMC
Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
The restructured observer program, and plans for 2014, will be up for discussion at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in October, including the electronic monitoring component of the program.
The National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, has been working on a pilot project to see how electronic monitoring, or EM, could be used as part of the observer program.
That’s something many in the industry hoped would be part of the program all along.
Jeff Stephan, director of the United Fishermen’s Marketing Association, wrote in an email that his organization “strongly supported the concept of NMFS expeditiously moving forward on all EM fronts.”…
Sea lions, Gulf quotas, salmon bycatch top council agenda
29. NPFMC likely to meet regardless of shutdown
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce, October 1, 2013
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Anchorage this week will continue regardless of a government shutdown.
The council manages federal fisheries offshore from Alaska, and expects to have a quorum even if Congress does not pass a budget to continue government operations, according to council staff…
NPFMC- Items for the October Meeting
Agenda Sept 30 – October 8: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc/PDFdocuments/meetings/1013Agenda.pdf
NPFMC home page: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc/index.html
30. NPFMC Public Workshop for Coral collaboration Oct 15-16, Seattle
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will host a public workshop for developing possibilities for collaboration in order to survey areas of coral abundance, to identify and develop tools for coral impact reduction, and potential management measures to be considered for conserving areas of coral concentrations and associated fish productivity…
DATES: The workshop will be held on October 15, 2013, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and October 16, 2013, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
ADDRESSES: The workshop will be held at the NMFS Alaska Fishery Science Center Traynor Room, 7600 Sand Point Way, Building 4, Seattle, WA.
31. Compass: Uncle Sam needs to clean up messes left to Alaskans
By Rep. Charisse Millett, Anchorage Daily News September 8, 2013
Many of our Alaskan communities and private organizations are being plagued by the past actions of others. Near villages, streams and in forests, relics of projects from a bygone era pepper the landscape. Drums of oil containers, long abandoned military stations and solid waste dumps are reminders of a time when the lands of our state functioned essentially as a laboratory.
32. Scientists fear ocean acidification will drive the collapse of Alaska’s iconic crab fishery.
DUTCH HARBOR, Alaska — For decades, the crab piled up in fishing boats like gold coins hauled from a rich and fertile sea.
But the very ocean that nursed these creatures may prove to be this industry’s undoing.
New research earlier this year shows that Bristol Bay red king crab — the supersized monster that has come to symbolize the fortunes of Alaska’s crab fleet — could fall victim to the changing chemistry of the oceans.
Barring a hasty reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions — or evidence that the creatures could acclimate to changing sea conditions — a team of scientists fears Alaska’s $100 million red king crab fishery could crash in decades to come.
That grim possibility also raises alarm about the crab fleet’s other major moneymaker, snow crab.
“With red king crab, it’s all doom and gloom,” said Robert Foy, who oversaw the crab research for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Kodiak, Alaska. “With snow crab, there’s so little known we just can’t say. But we don’t see anything from our experience that’s good for any of these crab. Some is just not as bad as others.”
33. Sen. Murkowski: Subsistence Must Remain a Viable Lifestyle for Alaska Natives
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today (Sept. 19) hosted a hearing on the impact of the Alaska National Interest Lands Act (ANILCA) and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) on wildlife management and traditional and customary activities in Alaska.
“Today’s hearing marks the beginning of a new dialog on subsistence; one that recognizes the changes that have occurred over the last 20 years,” Murkowski said. “My hope is that we can engage all Alaskans in a civil and productive conversation about subsistence and our wildlife and fish management decisions.”
Thursday’s hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee was a follow up to public meetings Murkowski held across Alaska earlier this year. Murkowski said the hearing was an opportunity to highlight the challenges Alaskan natives face every day in putting food on the table…
Committee hearing page:http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2013/9/full-committee-hearing-to
34. Huffington Post Video: A Look at Alaska’s Wild Salmon
Buying a fish at the fish counter in a grocery store is so disconnected from the reality, that it’s often hard to imagine why a wild Alaskan salmon might be so much more expensive than a similar looking farmed salmon. But head out to Alaska and take a ride on a fishing boat, and the differences become clear quite quickly. We went to Juneau to get the real story behind Alaskan Wild Salmon…
35. Commissions work to define Arctic policy
September 7th 1:44 am | By Jim Paulin
A top state legislator last week tried to avoid a fight with the federal government by seeking a closed-door meeting with an official of the Obama administration, in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor.
Two different Arctic commissions met last week in the Aleutians and friction was felt between the state and federal panels. The United States Arctic Research Commission is made up of eight commissioners and is tasked with helping the federal government develop its Arctic research plan and how the newly created national Arctic strategy will be implemented. The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission also convened in Unalaska, with its 26 commissioners working to continue an effort to guide Arctic policy for Alaska. When members of the federal and state commissions met, however, there was tension. The state commission sent a letter to the federal commission earlier this summer asking that it play a leading role in the development of the federal Implementation Plan for the Arctic Region and noting that more collaboration is needed…
United States Arctic Research Commission: http://www.arctic.gov/
36. Alaska Arctic Policy Commission meeting – Fairbanks October 22-23
Alaska Arctic Policy Commission page: http://www.akarctic.com/
AARC Fairbanks meeting October 22-23 agenda: http://www.akarctic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Fairbanks-Meeting-Agenda.pdf
37. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – items from this week:
October is National Seafood Month – Where people eat the most/least seafood
Bringing Your Livelihood to the Table Makes an Impact
Fish meetings give glimpse of 2014 groundfish, halibut catches
Gov. Parnell talks Chuitna/Pebble Mines, water rights, radiation testing
No Effort, Bad Prices, and Low Fish Counts… Fall Cod is a Snooze
All these and more – online at http://www.alaskafishradio.com/
38. NOAA posts MMPA List of Fisheries for 2013
SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its final List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2013, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The final LOF for 2013 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. NMFS must classify each commercial fishery on the LOF into one of three categories under the MMPA based upon the level of serious injury and mortality of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery. The classification of a fishery on the LOF determines whether participants in that fishery are subject to certain provisions of the MMPA, such as registration, observer coverage, and take reduction plan (TRP) requirements. The fishery classifications and list of marine mammal stocks incidentally injured or killed described in the Final LOF for 2012 remain in effect until the effective date of the Final LOF for 2013.
DATES: This final rule is effective September 29, 2013…
Changes to the LOF for 2013:
NMFS reclassifies the “Alaska Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Rockfish trawl” fishery from Category III to Category II.
NMFS reclassifies the “Alaska Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Pacific cod longline” fishery from Category II to Category III.
NMFS reclassifies the “Alaska Bering Sea sablefish pot fishery” from Category II to Category III…
Federal Register Notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-29/html/2013-21054.htm
NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources List of Fisheries home page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/lof/
39. USFWS & NMFS revise ESA Critical habitat Impact Assessment 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”), are finalizing a revision to our regulations pertaining to impact analyses conducted for designations of critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (the Act). This regulation is being finalized as directed by the President’s February 28, 2012, memorandum, which directed us to take prompt steps to revise our regulations to provide that the economic analysis be completed and made available for public comment at the time of publication of a proposed rule to designate critical habitat…
DATES: This final rule is effective on October 30, 2013…
Federal Register Notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-28/html/2013-20994.htm
40. NMFS initiates status review on ESA De-listing of N. Pacific Humpback – comment by October 28.
We, NMFS, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to identify the North Pacific population of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and delist the DPS under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The humpback whale was listed
as an endangered species in 1970 under the Endangered Species and Conservation Act of 1969, which was later superseded by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We find that the petition viewed in the context of information readily available in our files presents substantial scientific and commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted…
We are hereby initiating a status review of the North Pacific population of the humpback whale to determine whether the petitioned action is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to
this population from any interested party.
DATES: Scientific and commercial information pertinent to the petitioned action must be received by October 28, 2013…
Federal Register Notice:
NOAA Office of Protected Resources Humpback Whale home page:
41. Comment deadline October 28 on GOA FMP Amendment 95
NMFS announces that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 95 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) for review by the Secretary of Commerce. If approved, Amendment 95 would modify the FMP to: establish halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) in Federal regulation; reduce the GOA halibut PSC limits for trawl and hook-and-line gear; reduce trawl halibut PSC sideboard limits for American Fisheries Act, Amendment 80, and Central GOA Rockfish Program vessels; and provide two additional management measures associated with halibut PSC accounting for Amendment 80 vessels subject to halibut PSC sideboards and for halibut PSC made by trawl vessels from May 15 through June 30, which would maintain groundfish harvest while achieving the halibut PSC limit reductions intended by this action. This action is necessary to reduce halibut bycatch in the GOA, and is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
DATES: Comments on Amendment 95 must be received on or before October 28, 2013.
Federal Register text: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-29/html/2013-21068.htm
42. Comment deadline October 17 on GOA Groundfish Amendment 95 halibut PSC mgmt.
SUMMARY: NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 95 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). This proposed action would modify halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) management in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) to establish halibut PSC limits for the GOA in Federal regulation; reduce the GOA halibut PSC
limits for trawl and hook-and-line gear; proportionately reduce a subset of trawl halibut PSC limits (also called “sideboards”) for American Fisheries Act, Amendment 80, and Central GOA Rockfish Program vessels; and adjust the accounting methods for halibut PSC sideboard
limits for Amendment 80 vessels, as well as halibut PSC used by trawl vessels from May 15 through June 30. This action is necessary to reduce halibut bycatch in the GOA, and is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
DATES: Comments must be received no later than October 17, 2013.
Federal Register text: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-17/html/2013-22362.htm
43. Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council meetings cancelled this week
Tuesday, October 1
Cancelled – Southcentral RAC – Copper Center
Cancelled – Rural Determination Hearing in Copper Center
Wednesday, October 2
Cancelled – Southcentral RAC – Copper Center
Cancelled – Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta RAC – Bethel
Cancelled – Rural Determination Hearing in Bethel
Thursday, October 3
Cancelled – Southcentral RAC – Copper CenterAll day
Cancelled – Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta RAC – Bethel
For the following week, check back at the DOI Federal Subsistence meetings page at: http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/calendars/index.cfm
(We cannot guarantee that the site will be updated with future cancellations)
44. Comment deadline November 4 on ESA Incidental Take Statements
In order to make the implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) more effective and less burdensome, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services) are proposing to amend regulations governing Incidental Take Statements (ITS) for endangered species.
An ITS describes the amount or extent of “incidental take” of a threatened or endangered species (e.g., harm to that species) that is anticipated to result from an action by a federal agency. ITSs are produced by the Services as part of a biological opinion resulting from consultations with the federal agency under Section 7 of the ESA.
…DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before November 4, 2013.
NMFS Press Release: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2013/08/29_08_fws_.html
USFWS News Release: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2013/08/its_news_release_8_29_2013.pdf
45. USFWS posts SW AK Northern Sea Otter ESA Recovery Plan
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of our recovery plan for the southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni), listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of
1973, as amended (Act). Our recovery plan describes the status, current management, recovery objectives and criteria, and specific actions needed to enable us to delist the southwest Alaska DPS of the northern sea otter…
An electronic copy of the draft recovery plan is available at USFWS AK Sea Otter page: http://alaska.fws.gov/fisheries/mmm/seaotters/recovery.htm
Federal Register text: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-06/html/2013-21718.htm
46. Comment Deadline October 21 on Socio-economic data for North Pacific Fisheries
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995…
DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before October 21, 2013.
The purpose of this data collection program is to improve commercial fisheries socio-economic data for North Pacific fisheries, using the community as the unit of reporting and analysis.
The NPFMC, the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC), and community stakeholder
organizations, have identified ongoing collection of community level economic and socioeconomic information, specifically related to commercial fisheries, as a priority.
The proposed data collection is a continuation of a program collecting data since 2011…
NOAA Alaska Fishing Community Profiles with maps: http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/REFM/Socioeconomics/Projects/CPU.php
AFSC page: Comprehensive Data Collection on Fishing Dependence of Alaska Communities: http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/Quarterly/jas2011/divrptsREFM7.htm
47. Comment deadline November 8 on NOAA Applications and Reports for Registration as a Tanner or Agent
SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before November 8, 2013.
The Marine Mammal Protection Act exempts Alaskan natives from the prohibitions on taking, killing, or injuring marine mammals if the taking is done for subsistence or for creating and selling authentic native articles ofhandicraft or clothing. The natives need no permit, but non-natives who wish to act as a tanner or agent for such native products must register with NOAA and maintain and submit certain records. The information is necessary for law enforcement purposes…
Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
Federal Register text: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-09/html/2013-21799.htm
48. Comment deadline December 3 on EPA Water Quality Standards
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing rule updates to federal water quality standards (WQS) regulations. For the first time in 30 years, EPA is proposing changes to the core requirements of the federal water quality standards (WQS) regulation that interprets part of the Clean Water Act.
The proposed rule addresses the following key areas: Administrator’s determinations that new or revised WQS are necessary, designated uses, triennial reviews, antidegradation, variances to WQS, and compliance schedule authorizing provisions.
Proposed changes are available online at https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-21140.
EPA will accept public comments for 90 days beginning on September 4, 2013. Comments must be received on or before December 3, 2013. Details on how to submit formal comments are available here.
EPA is hosting two public webinars and one public meeting during the public comment period. To register for the public webinars and/or public meeting, please visit: http://www.tetratech-ffx.com/wqsregs/public/.
The public webinar and public meeting dates and times are as follows:
- Public Webinar 1: September 24, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST)
- Public Meeting: October 23, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST) at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in the Visitor Center Auditorium in Washington, DC.
- Public Webinar 2: November 14, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST)
For more information about the proposed rule, see: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/wqs_index.cfm
Federal Register 9/4 with links: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/09/04/2013-21140/water-quality-standards-regulatory-clarifications
Fed Register text: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-04/html/2013-21140.htm
49. Comment deadline November 26 on EPA NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Activities
SUMMARY: EPA’s Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 are today proposing for public comment the draft 2013 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for stormwater discharges from industrial activity, also referred to as the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). This draft permit, once finalized, will replace the existing permit covering stormwater discharges from industrial facilities in EPA’s Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, and 10 that will expire September 29, 2013, and will provide coverage for industrial facilities in areas where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority in EPA’s Regions 7 and 8. This draft permit is similar to the existing permit and will authorize the discharge of stormwater in accordance with the terms and conditions described therein. EPA proposes to issue this permit for five (5) years. EPA seeks comment on the draft permit and on the accompanying fact sheet.
DATES: Comments on the draft general permit must be received on or before November 26, 2013.
Federal Register notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-27/html/2013-23660.htm
50. Comment deadline December 9 on USCG OCS Safety & Environmental Management Systems
The Coast Guard intends to promulgate regulations that will require vessels engaged in OCS activities (defined in 33 CFR Chapter I, Subchapter N) to develop, implement, and maintain a vessel-specific Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS) that incorporates the
management program and principles of the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice for Development of a Safety and Environmental Management Program for Offshore Operations and Facilities, Third Edition, May 2004 (API RP 75). The Coast Guard intends for this SEMS to be developed and implemented by the vessel’s owner or operator and
compatible with a designated lease operator’s SEMS required under Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) regulations. The Coast Guard seeks comments on whether a SEMS that incorporates the management program and principles of API RP 75 is appropriate for
vessels engaged in OCS activities, would reduce risk and casualties, and improve safety on the OCS. Comments should address the feasibility of implementing a SEMS that incorporates API RP 75, the compatibility with BSEE SEMS regulations, potential methods of oversight, safety
issues, costs and regulatory burdens, and other issues of concern to the regulated community and general public. The Coast Guard would use such comments to assist in developing these new regulations.
DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before December 9, 2013 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.
51. Sitka Marine Industry Development Survey
The City and Borough of Sitka and the Sitka Economic Development Association are considering marine services-related development at their Sawmill Cove Industrial Park. Several projects are being investigated for feasibility at the 75-acre waterfront industrialcenter located about five miles southeast of downtown Sitka. Those projects include a deep water bulkhead dock, a boat haul out facility, and a moorage area for large vessels.
We are looking for input from boat owners or others who decide where vessels are to be moored and/or hauled out for maintenance or repairs. We would like your input to help us understand the demand for the boat haul out and large vessel moorage developments, and how best to configure them. Even if your vessel does not currently use Sitka for these kinds of services, your opinions will be valuable to this study.
Please take a few minutes to fill out an on-line survey located at
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SawmillCove , or contact the Sitka Economic
Development Association for a paper copy by calling 907-747-2660 or e-mailing
firstname.lastname@example.org. Our home page is at www.sitka.net/.
The information you provide for this survey will be used only in combination with all
other responses. Individual survey answers will be kept confidential…
52. Assistant Professor wanted for Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (MAP) – Bristol Bay region
This Tenure Track faculty position provides marine extension services to residents of 33 rural communities in the Bristol Bay region of southwestern Alaska. The position is part of a statewide system of Marine Advisory Program (MAP) faculty who provide information and technical assistance to the public relating to: commercial fisheries development, coastal economic development (such as fish processing, tourism or marine business management), community-based science and environmental monitoring, resource management, marine conservation, and marine resource education.
Bristol Bay’s population of approximately 9,000 is culturally and linguistically diverse. The regional economy is based on a mix of cash-producing commercial fishing and jobs and subsistence activities. Increasingly, Bristol Bay residents participate in careers and public involvement in natural resource management, environmental monitoring and scientific research. The Bristol Bay Native Association and the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation are among several regional entities that would be key community partners for the MAP member.
The Bristol Bay MAP position is headquartered in Dillingham, the economic and population hub of the region. The MAP office is located at the UAF Bristol Bay Campus and the MAP position works closely with other University educators.
This is a tenure track position ( 9 months salary guaranteed) with the possibility of an additional 3 months of grant‑funding.
Department: UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences – Marine Advisory Program
Location: Dillingham, Alaska
Posting Date: 08-30-2013
Review Date: 12-01-2013
Closing: Open Until Filled
Posting Number: 0067434
To apply please go to https://www.uakjobs.com and click on posting 0067434.
53. Alaska Board of Fisheries to Hold Work Session Meeting in Girdwood, October 9-10, 2013
The Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) will meet October 9-10, 2013, at the Alyeska Resort, at 1000 Arlberg Avenue, Girdwood, Alaska, beginning at 8:30 a.m. No regulatory action will be taken at this meeting. Agenda topics include: election of officers; agenda change requests; petitions; meeting organization and establishment of committees for 2013/2014 cycle; informational reports and/or administrative issues that may come before the board.
Online Public Notice:
54. Board of Fisheries Statewide Pacific Cod meeting October 18-22, Anchorage
BOF 2013-2014 cycle Proposal Book: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/fisheriesboard/pdfs/2013-2014/2013-2014_proposal_book.pdf
55. Board of Fisheries and Game Joint Board Meeting October 12 – 16, Anchorage – & time change
October 12-16, 2013
Anchorage Hilton Hotel at 500 West 3rd Avenue, Anchorage
- 2013 Proposal Book (PDF 448 kB)
- Department of Law Comments (PDF 2,302 kB)
- RC-2 ADF&G Comments (PDF 907 kB)
- RC-3 Report on Proposed Changes to Nonsubsistence Areas (updated 9/19/13)– ADFG Technical paper #396 (PDF 16,063 kB)
- RC-4 Overview of the Advisory Committee System (PDF 2,096 kB)
Supplemental Notice September 30 – – Start TIME NOW 8:30 A.M.
The start time for this meeting of the Alaska Joint Board of Fisheries and Game has changed. The meeting is currently scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m., October 12, 2013 at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel, 500 West 3rd Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska. The previously noticed start time for the meeting was 1:00 p.m.
The public hearing portion of the meeting will begin following staff reports and continue until everyone who has signed up and is present has been given the opportunity to be heard. Additional public hearings with board committees may be held throughout the meeting before consideration and adoption of proposed changes in the regulations for the various topics. An agenda will be posted daily during the meeting. The Joint Board will take oral testimony only from those who register before the cut-off time announced by the board chair at the meeting.
Supplemental Public Notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=169782
56. CFEC meets October 11 – comment deadline October 7 on Scallop Areas, Reduced Fee Eligibility, NS Herring and Dive
The Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission proposes to change regulations on scallop administrative areas, reduced permit fees, Norton Sound herring permit maximum numbers, and emergency transfers of non-transferable dive fishery permits… The Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission proposes to adopt regulation changes in Title 20, Chapter 05 of the Alaska Administrative Code dealing with miscellaneous regulations, including the following:
The Commission proposes to:
1.Amend 20 AAC 05.230(a)(13) to allow for two administrative areas in the scallop fishery;
2.Amend 20 AAC 05.245(c-e), 20 AAC 05.250(b), and 20 AAC 05.1910(h) to update the references to the federal guidelines used to determine eligibility for reduced permit fees;
3.Amend 20 AAC 05.320(c) to increase by three the maximum number of Norton Sound herring gillnet permits; and
4.Amend 20 AAC 05.1740(b) to provide for the emergency transfer of non-transferable dive fishery permits.
You may comment on the proposed regulation changes, including the potential costs to private persons of complying with the proposed changes, by submitting written comments to Doug Rickey at Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, 8800 Glacier Highway, Suite 109, P.O. Box 110302, Juneau, AK 99811-0302 or by email: email@example.com . The comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 7, 2013…
Under the Open Meetings Act (AS 44.62.310), the Commission will conduct a public meeting in the Commission’s Conference Room, 8800 Glacier Highway, Suite 109, Juneau, Alaska, on October 11, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. to consider action upon the proposed regulations.
Online Public Notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=169448
Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission home page: http://www.cfec.state.ak.us/
57. University seeks input on Salmon and Society project
University of Alaska Center for Salmon and Society: Feasibility Assessment and Proposal Development
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), in conjunction with the University of Alaska system state wide, is seeking to develop its capacity and contribution to the future of the northern wild Pacific salmon resource that is so important to so many people in Alaska, northwestern Canada and the Russian Far East. UAF is assessing the feasibility of developing a new university center focused on wild salmon – housed at the university and engaged with people from many walks of life throughout, and beyond, Alaska.
We continue to seek feedback from a wide range of people, state agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses, Alaska Natives and anyone else who wishes to provide input. We invite you to engage with this effort by reviewing the Science Advisory Team draft proposal and share your comments. You will find the proposal along with UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers’ invitation to review at https://web.sfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/cfsas/?p=4
As noted, comments should be sent to Teresa Thompson at the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences: firstname.lastname@example.org.
58. Comment deadline November 29 on Amendment 99 BSAI FMP vessels
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council submitted Amendment 99 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) to NMFS for review. If approved, Amendment 99 would enable the holders of license limitation program (LLP) licenses authorizing a designated vessel to catch and process Pacific cod in the BSAI hook-and-line fisheries to use newly built or existing vessels that are not eligible under current vessel length and capacity restrictions. This action is necessary to promote safety-at-sea by encouraging the replacement of older vessels with newer and more efficient vessels that are able to meet modern vessel safety standards. This action is intended to facilitate the increased retention and utilization of groundfish by allowing sector participants to use larger vessels with increased processing and hold capabilities. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and other applicable laws.
DATES: Comments on the amendment must be received on or before November 29, 2013.
Federal Register text: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-30/html/2013-23770.htm
NPFMC The Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Groundfish FMP page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc/fishery-management-plans/bsai-groundfish.html
59. MAFAC to meet October 22-24, Silver Spring MD
This notice sets forth the proposed schedule and agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC)…
DATES: The meeting will be held October 22-24, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the NOAA Science Center, 1301 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
…This meeting time and agenda are subject to change. The meeting is convened to hear presentations and discuss policies and guidance on the following topics: seafood certification and sustainability, Endangered Species Act and section 7 consultations, outcomes of the Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries 3 conference and next steps, recreational fisheries issues, and the NMFS budget. The meeting will include discussion of various MAFAC administrative and organizational matters and may include meetings of the standing subcommittees.
Federal Register text: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-10-01/html/2013-23968.htm
MAFAC home page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/mafac/
“This site will remain accessible during the federal government shutdown. However, information on the site may not be up to date and we may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted”
60. ANS Task Force meets Nov. 6-7, Silver Spring MD
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a public meeting of the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force. The ANS Task
Force’s purpose is to develop and implement a program for U.S. waters to prevent introduction and dispersal of aquatic invasive species
(AIS); to monitor, control, and study such species; and to disseminate related information.
DATES: The ANS Task Force will meet from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6, through Thursday, November 7, 2013. For security purposes, registration for the meeting is required. For deadlines to register for this meeting, please see “Public Input” under
ADDRESSES: The ANS Task Force meeting will take place at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Building 3 (SSMC3), Room 4527, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (301-713-0174).
Federally managed water bodies and AIS issues.
Asian Carp Surveillance Plan Outside of the Great Lakes.
Draft Snakehead and Lionfish Management Plans.
National Invasive Species Awareness Week.
Arkansas ANS Management Plan.
Technical Center for Aquatic Nuisance Species.
The final agenda and other related meeting information will be posted on the ANS Task Force Web site at: http://anstaskforce.gov.
ANS Task Force website: http://www.anstaskforce.gov/default.php
Federal Register notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-10-01/html/2013-23907.htm
61. Alaska broker makes big move under Affordable Care Act
By RICHARD MAUER — email@example.com
The Parnell administration’s decision to cede the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplace to the federal government created a wide opening for a brokerage in Anchorage to create a new business connecting uninsured Alaskans to medical coverage.
Enroll Alaska, an affiliate of Alaska-based Northrim Bank, has a website and is setting up agents around the state, including at kiosks at every Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club and at hospitals and clinics. Its retail blitz will start with the opening of Obamacare enrollment Tuesday.
…While other insurance brokers say they will be participating in the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace, none have come close to the effort by Enroll Alaska, a division of Northrim Benefits Group. Enroll Alaska was registered with the state corporations office in June. Boling was hired from a large village Native corporation about five months ago…
Enroll Alaska website:
62. Fishermen: lack of affordable health insurance a barrier to industry growth
by Matt Lichtenstein
September 23, 2013 9:10 am
Options for health insurance coverage can be pretty limited in Alaska for small businesses and the self-employed. That includes commercial fishermen, who make up a major segment of the economy. Some in the industry say the cost and lack of access to comprehensive health insurance is a barrier to new fishermen and an ongoing concern for those already in the business. From Petersburg, Matt Lichtenstein has more on the story as part of a CoastAlaska series on health care in Southeast..
63. UFA Info on the Affordable Care Act for Fishermen and Fishing Groups
64. Other Useful Links on Affordable Care Act
Groups Work To Educate Alaskans On Health Insurance Marketplace
Affordable Care Act May Not Cover Alaskans Most In Need of Health Insurance
What You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act Next Year Will Bring Some of the Biggest Changes to the Health-Care System http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304213904579093371338509610.html
Ten things the Exchanges won’t tell you:
Applying For Health Insurance Requires Some Homework
65. EPA Proposes Email requirement for NPDES reporting – comment deadline October 28
SUMMARY: EPA is proposing a regulation that would require electronic reporting for current paper-based NPDES reports. This action will save time and resources for permittees, states, tribes, territories, and EPA while improving compliance and providing better protection of the
Nation’s waters. The proposed Clean Water Act regulation would require permittees and regulators to use existing, available information technology to electronically report information and data related to the NPDES permit program in lieu of filing written reports…
DATES: Comments on this proposed action must be received on or before
October 28, 2013.
Federal Register: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-30/html/2013-17551.htm
EPA NPDES Vessel Discharge home page: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=350
We have written and asked the site managers to add this proposed rule.
66. Alaska Salmon Project Online Sweepstakes: How Deep is Your Salmon Love?
Where do you fall on the Salmon Scale? Take the online quiz to enter our sweepstakes and see how much love you have for Alaska’s most famed fish and you could snag some cool prizes. http://salmonlove.com/salmon-love
More about the Alaska Salmon project: http://www.salmonlove.com/about-us
67. Comment by Dec 16 on BLM Bering Sea – Western Interior Resource Management Plan and EIS Scoping
SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended (FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Anchorage Field Office, Anchorage, Alaska, intends to prepare a Resource Management Plan (RMP) with an associated Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) for the RMP for the Bering Sea-Western Interior (BSWI) Planning Area and by this notice announces the beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues. The RMP will replace the existing 1981 Southwest Planning Area Management Framework Plan and portions of the 1986 Central Yukon RMP Record of Decision.
DATES: This notice initiates the public scoping process for the RMP and associated EIS. Comments on issues may be submitted in writing until December 16, 2013.
The date(s) and location(s) of any scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local media, newspapers and the BLM Web site at: www.blm.gov/ak.
Federal Register Notice:
BLM Bering Sea – Western Interior Resource Management Plan home page:
68. Mark your calendar: Southeast Alaska Watershed Symposium – November 4th, 5th and 6th, 2013
70. Pacific Marine Expo – November 20-22, Seattle
71. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees.
To support UFA by joining or renewing your membership, see ‘Become a Member’
Email list additions or corrections? send to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Compiled by staff of United Fishermen of Alaska, PO Box 20229, Juneau AK 99802 (907) 586-2820share