UFA Update: October 14, 2014

From the Executive Director:

Be sure to vote on November 4.  If you won’t be in your home town, act now by voting early or voting absentee:

Alaska Department of Elections Absentee & Early voting: including locations where you may be able to vote early or outside your home district: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/vi_ea_ev_ip_about.php

Or request an absentee ballot for Voting By-Mail and Electronic Transmission
http://www.elections.alaska.gov/vi_bymail_byfax.php

UFA will be sending out an election update prior to the General Election on November 4th, 2014.

2014 is United Fishermen of Alaska’s 40th year of working to protect Alaska’s fisheries and the seafood industry. To celebrate, we hosted a UFA 40th anniversary banquet, awards ceremony, and silent auction on September 26th, 2014. This ticketed event was set to coincide with our semi-annual UFA fall board meeting at the Hotel Captain Cook from September 26th-28th, and also the ASMI All-Hands meeting and Great Alaska Seafood Cookoff from Sept 29th- Oct 1st.

It was an honor to recognize a number of individuals for their service to the seafood industry in Alaska. The UFA Fisherman of the Year awards went to:

Jim Butler (2013 recipient): In addition to a long history in fisheries, Jim is now the volunteer President of Resources for All Alaskans which works to oppose the misuse of ballot initiatives to improperly allocate or restrict our state’s vast natural resources, particularly the proposed initiative to ban setnet fishing in Cook Inlet.

Bruce Schactler (2013 recipient):  In addition to a long history in fisheries, Bruce has been a tireless advocate for Alaska’s seafood in the global marketplace and has worked on issues such as Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) funds for depressed salmon markets, and efforts to establish a national seafood marketing coalition and fund.

Jim and Rhonda Hubbard (2014 recipient): As owners of the F/V Kruzof, an innovative direct marketing small freezer longline vessel producing onboard top quality halibut, sablefish & rockfish products caught throughout the state of Alaska, Jim and Rhonda have also been advocates for the development of fair and reasonable regulations for the fishing industry.

The UFA Person of the Year in fisheries politics for 2014 went to:

Representative Alan Austerman who is known for being a fisherman, Senator, Representative, and fisheries policy advisor to Governor Murkowski in addition to passing beneficial seafood industry legislation.

UFA was pleased to induct the five following individuals into the UFA Hall of Fame:

Senator Fred Dyson has served in the House and Senate of the Alaska State Legislature from 1997-2014 and is known for keeping an open door policy. Senator Dyson has always used his vast experience in fisheries and other careers to address the concerns of coastal Alaska’s families and communities.

Bob Tkacz was a tenacious, fearless, doggedly persistent reporter; seeker of fact and truth who passed away in 2014. His beat on Capitol Hill resulted in the informative quasi-fisheries publication, Laws of the Sea.

Albert W. Ball, Sr. was a Bristol Bay commercial fishermen for 82 seasons who worked until the ripe old age of 98 who passed away in 2014. Missing only one season, Albert had one of the longest commercial fishing careers in Alaska.

Jim Kallander made significant contributions to the seafood industry, while building a loyal and committed family of friends. Jim fished a range of fisheries from Hawaii to the Bering Sea before passing away in 2014.

Keith Jefferts founded Northwest Marine Technologies in 1974 on Shaw Island, WA and was instrumental in introducing the Coded wire tag to Alaska Fisheries. Keith passed away in 2014 but his technology will continue to benefit the entire state of Alaska.

Thanks to our sponsors and silent auction donors for helping make the UFA 40th Anniversary Celebration a success.  See Item #1 below…

Julianne Curry
Executive Director
United Fishermen of Alaska
Office: 907.586.2820
Cell: 907.957.4747
www.ufafish.org*NEW*
jcurry@ufa-fish.org
ufa@ufa-fish.org

Thanks to Alaska General Seafoods  – now an Ocean Class UFA Business Member!

Support UFA’s business members: Please visit our NEW UFA website www.ufafish.org and also our Business Member page which was created to show our thanks to UFA’s supporting business members.

Save the dates! For upcoming fisheries meetings, visit or bookmark the “UFA Fish Calendar” at http://www.ufafish.org/calendar/.

Oct 15-16, BOF Work Session, Juneau, Centennial Hall

Join us at Pacific Marine Expo – Nov 19-21, Seattle

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 NEW website to see the various membership levels and benefits.  UFA members receive free subscriptions to National Fisherman and Pacific Fishing magazines.

CONTENTS

Statewide

1. Kenai man Jim Butler named ‘UFA Fisherman of the Year’ at UFA 40th Anniversary Celebration

2. Senate, House candidates focus on fish topics in Kodiak

3. Kodiak Congressional Fisheries Debates Full Audio

4. JDHS grad creates wireless way to register for polls

5. Board of Fisheries readies for annual work session

6. Alaska Board of Fisheries Public Notice Work Session October 15-16, Juneau

7. Comment deadline November 12 on ADFG Comfish reporting, transport and methods…

8. Alaska Board of Fisheries  2014 – 2015 Meeting Cycle & Proposal Book

9. Vigor Alaska to build 2 ferries in Ketchikan

10. Dillingham weighs in on annexation

11. ADFG 2014 Preliminary Yukon River Summer Season Summary

National

12. Prep now for Healthcare.gov open enrollment beginning November 15

13. Report details difficulties of health care in rural Alaska

14. Items from the NPFMC meeting – Alaska Journal of Commerce

15. Vessel Discharge – Small Vessel General Permit effective December 19

16. NOAA: Pollock biomass up 60% in Bering Sea

17. NOAA celebrates October as National Seafood Month

18. NOAA Sea Grant Awards $15.9 million for projects to build resilient coastal communities

19. Comment by November 7 on NMFS AK Pinniped research financial assistance program

20. Comment by November 14 on NOAA Alaska VMS Information Collection

21. Comment deadline November 17 on Alaska Region Logbook Family of Forms

22. NOAA Final rule on BSAI Groundfish Amendment 106 Vessel replacement

23. Comment deadline November 24 on NOAA Alaska Chinook Salmon Economic Data Report data collection

24. Comment by November 24 on Round Island and Cape Pierce Walrus Protection Areas

25. Comment deadline November 10 on Capital Construction Fund changes

26. President Obama expands Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

27. Cook Inlet Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council recertified

28. MAFAC to meet October 23 by teleconference

29. Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force meets November 6

Fish Farm & Environmental

30. Pebble appeals Judge Holland’s Dismissal; second suit fast-tracked

31. Comment deadline October 20 on Navy Gulf of Alaska SEIS

32. Protesters block access to BC (Stikine) mine as it nears completion

33. B.C. breaking information act by not disclosing Mount Polley reports: lawyers

34. Comment deadline November 10 on Juneau Access Draft SEIS

35. State reports significant increase in water reservations for habitat protection

36. Alaska Energy Authority says fish IDs, other Susitna studies, sound

37. The Tongass tightrope: Balancing diverse interests by committee

38. EPA Comment extended to November 14 on Clean Waters Act Waters of the United States” definition

39. Comment deadline December 29 on EIS for anthropogenic activities incidental take in Cook Inlet – meeting November 3

Marketing

40. Great Alaska Seafood Cookoff sends winner Haugen to Vegas

41. ASMI calling all fishermen to be ambassadors for wild Alaska seafood – sign up today

42. Alaska Delegation Pushes FDA to Support U.S. Pollock Fisheries

43. USDA Officials Meet With Businesses to Talk Alaskan Exports

44. New MSC standard ups the ante on bycatch reduction, salmon hatchery controls

Enhancement

45. Ketchikan nears turnover of Deer Mountain fish hatchery to SSRAA

Subsistence

46. Tribal organizations seek greater role in land management

47. Subsistence Panel Looks Toward Future of Salmon Management

48. Applicants sought for subsistence councils – deadline Jan. 23

49. UAS Evening at Egan Lecture explains ‘the salmon, our brothers’

Other

50. NPRB Request for Proposals – deadline December 5

51. NIOSH – – Live to be Salty offers poster, bumper stickers and more…

52. Seafood Harvesters of America Summer 2014 Newsletter

53. Fishlines – Alaska Sea Grant September newsletter

54. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online

55. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Items from this week

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


Statewide

 1. Kenai man Jim Butler named ‘UFA Fisherman of the Year’ at UFA 40th Anniversary Celebration

(Bruce Schactler, Jim & Rhonda Hubbard also honored )

By Rashah McChesney, Peninsula Clarion

It was hard to hear the announcement over the din of the 150 people who attended 40th Anniversary banquet for the United Fishermen of Alaska — but when a table mate leaned over and said “Boy that’s great,” to Jim Butler, the Kenai man knew something was up.

Longtime commercial fisherman and Kenai attorney Butler and three others were given UFA’s “Fisherman of the Year” award during a Sept. 26, ceremony at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage…

Butler shares the 2013 award with Bruce Schactler, a fisherman from Kodiak. Schactler is the USDA food aid program coordinator for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and has been a longtime advocate for Alaska seafood in the global marketplace.

UFA President Jerry McCune said Schactler had been promoting the use of Alaska’s seafood as aid for food insecure countries…

The 2014 award was given to Jim and Rhonda Hubbard, of Seward, who market longlined halibut, sablefish & rockfish…

McCune, who nominated Butler for the award, said there are no set criteria — just the requirement that the fisherman be worthy of recognition.

The award was launched in 2004 when a then 13-year-old Clam Gulch boy, Jess Russell, saved his father’s life on a commercial drift boat in the Cook Inlet…

http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-10-04-0


2. Senate, House candidates focus on fish topics in Kodiak

By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce

KODIAK — Candidates to represent Alaska in the U.S. House and Senate weighed in on a variety of fisheries issues at the Oct. 1 fisheries debate in Kodiak.

Incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Begich and Republican challenger Dan Sullivan answered questions from a media panel, the audience and each other during the first hour of the debate.

Despite clear differences on many issues, the two agreed on topics such as ensuring markets for Alaskan seafood and protecting salmon and streams from foreign mines…

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/October-Issue-2-2014/Senate-House-candidates-focus-on-fish-topics-in-Kodiak/

&&&

Candidates spar over fish policy in Kodiak

KTUU TV: http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/candidates-spar-over-fishery-policy-in-kodiak/28374344

&&

AJOC EDITORIAL: Sullivan survives hostile environment on The Rock

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/October-Issue-2-2014/AJOC-EDITORIAL-Sullivan-survives-hostile-environment-on-The-Rock/

&&&

FISH FACTOR: Fireworks featured at traditional Kodiak fisheries debate

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/October-Issue-2-2014/FISH-FACTOR-Fireworks-featured-at-traditional-Kodiak-fisheries-debate/


3. Kodiak Congressional Fisheries Debates Full Audio  – to listen to both the Senate and U.S. House candidates debate, see KMXT at:

http://www.kmxt.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6090


4. JDHS grad creates wireless way to register for polls

Posted: September 25, 2014 – 12:01am

By MELISSA GRIFFITHS, JUNEAU EMPIRE

Swipe. Click. Vote absentee. That’s how easy Stephen Mell wants it to be for his tech-tethered peers registering to vote or signing up to vote absentee. He’s created a mobile site that allows Alaskans to register directly from their ever-present smartphones…

Juneau Empire story: http://chat.juneauempire.com/local/2014-09-25/swipe-left-or-right#.VDa3h1dBrFw

Vote AK (not state run) mobile site for early & absentee voting http://vote-ak.us/

Alaska Division of Elections Early and Absentee Voting: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/vi_ea_ev_ip_about.php


5. Board of Fisheries readies for annual work session

By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce

The Alaska Board of Fisheries will meet in Juneau Oct. 15 and 16 to discuss Southeast and Prince William Sound escapement goals and agenda change requests for the upcoming meeting cycle.

The board is meeting for its annual work session, where it hears preliminary reports on escapement goals for each of the regions it will discuss as part of its regular meeting cycle for 2014-15.

The Board of Fisheries sets the management plans for fisheries throughout the state on a three-year cycle. This year, the board will discuss Prince William Sound and Upper Copper/Upper Susitna finfish, Southeast and Yakutat crab, shrimp and miscellaneous shellfish, Southeast and Yakutat finfish, and statewide Dungeness crab, shrimp and miscellaneous shellfish.

The board will also discuss the locations of its 2016-17 meetings at the work session, including the locations for the lower and upper Cook Inlet finfish meetings. There has been a renewed push for the board to hold its Upper Cook Inlet meeting on the Kenai Peninsula rather than Anchorage as it has been for the past several cycles…

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/October-Issue-2-2014/Board-of-Fisheries-readies-for-annual-work-session/


6. Alaska Board of Fisheries Public Notice Work Session October 15-16, Juneau

The Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) will meet for a two-day Work Session beginning at 8:30 a.m., October 15–16, 2014, at the Centennial Hall Convention Center, 101 Egan Drive, Juneau Alaska.  No regulatory action will be taken at this meeting.  Agenda topics for this meeting include:  election of officers; agenda change requests, petitions, meeting organization and establishment of committees for 2014/2015 cycle, informational reports, and/or administrative issues that may come before the board. The board will also take up items under a miscellaneous business agenda. The board may also consider delegating its authority to the department to modify sport fishing guide regulations within 5 AAC 75.075 – 75.085 because of the sunset of AS 16.40.260 – 16.40.299 effective January 1, 2015.

This meeting is open to the public but no oral public testimony will be taken.

The audio of the meeting is intended to be streamed live on the website at:

http://www.boardoffisheries.adfg.alaska.gov.

The agenda and any other meeting documents, including agenda change requests, will be available prior to the meeting on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Board of Fisheries, meeting information webpage at:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo

Online Public Notice: http://notice.alaska.gov/174109

Board of Fisheries Oct 15-16 meeting information: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo&date=10-15-2014&meeting=juneau


7. Comment deadline November 12 on ADFG Comfish reporting, transport and methods…

The Department of Fish and Game proposes changes to regulations relating to updating reporting requirements of fishermen, processors, buyers, exporters, and operators of certain commercial fishing vessels, transporting requirements, and methods used by the Department of Fish and Game to announce certain emergency orders…

comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 12, 2014…

ADFG online notice: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/fisheriesboard/pdfs/2014-2015/proposed_changes_notice.pdf


8. Alaska Board of Fisheries  2014 – 2015 Meeting Cycle & Proposal Book

2014–2015 Proposal Book – by sections or download entire book:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.proposalbook


9. Vigor Alaska to build 2 ferries in Ketchikan

By Elwood Brehmer, Homer News

Alaska’s newest ferries will be the first made in the state after all.

Gov. Sean Parnell announced an agreement Sept. 20 between the state and Vigor Alaska to construct two Alaska Class ferries at Vigor’s Ketchikan shipyard.

Vigor Alaska estimated in a company release that the pair of 280-foot Alaska Marine Highway System ferries can be built for $101 million total, less than the state’s $120 million Vessel Replacement Fund budget.

“These vessels will be the largest ships ever built in Alaska,” Parnell said at an event in Ketchikan announcing the agreement. “Building these ferries in-state will be a major boost for Alaska’s economy. This has been our intent during the entire process.”

http://homernews.com/homer-news/business/2014-10-01/vigor-alaska-to-build-2-ferries-in-ketchikan

&&&&

Vigor adds Seward facility

The 11-acre Seward shipyard is the newest addition to the Vigor family. Seward joins Ketchikan as the second Vigor Alaska yard and eighth overall shipyard operated by Vigor. Along with the Ketchikan Shipyard, Vigor Alaska Seward is strategically located to provide services to Alaska customers in the fishing, marine transportation, and oil and gas industries.

Under new management, Vigor Alaska Seward operates a 5,000 LT synchrolift, has use of a 250 LT marine travel lift owned by the City of Seward, three side rail berths for up to 350’, a covered sandblast area, and 300’ of pier space.

http://vigorindustrial.com/facilities/seward


10. Dillingham weighs in on annexation

By Dave Bendinger, Bristol Bay Times

The city of Dillingham is moving forward with its renewed effort to annex the Nushagak commercial fishing district for the purpose of imposing a 2.5 percent raw fish tax, and last Wednesday night held a required meeting to hear from the public.

By a two-to-one margin, those who spoke voiced opposition to the annexation and the tax, which was collected in 2012 and 2013. The previous annexation, adopted by a contentious vote in the spring of 2012, was struck down last March by Superior Court Judge Patricia Douglass.

“The idea that the city can tax this public resource is just wrong,” said Diane Wetter, who said she was born, raised, and fishes at Ekuk, which will be included in the annexation.

Speaking on behalf of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation which opposes the annexation, president and CEO Norm Van Vactor said BBEDC questions the fairness of taxing the Nushagak district fishermen, fleet, and industry for the exclusive benefit of the city of Dillingham…

http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1440dillingham_weighs_in_on_annexation

&&

Dillingham City Council Delay’s Annexation Decision

The Dillingham City Council has delayed the decision about moving forward with the proposed annexation of the Nushagak Commercial Fishing District…

KDLG audio:  http://kdlg.org/post/dillingham-city-council-delays-annexation-decision


11. ADFG 2014 Preliminary Yukon River Summer Season Summary

This informational letter provides a preliminary summary of the 2014 summer season Yukon Area Chinook and summer chum salmon fisheries. Subsistence and personal use harvests for 2014 are not available at this time. For management purposes, the Yukon River is divided into several fishing districts and subdistricts…

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/applications/dcfnewsrelease/498184023.pdf


National

12. Prep now for Healthcare.gov open enrollment beginning November 15

Starting November 15th, you’ll be able to apply and enroll in 2015 Marketplace coverage. When you fill out a Marketplace application, you can compare plans based on price, benefits, and other important features. You’ll also find out if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If you’re eligible, the Health Insurance Marketplace can help you find affordable health coverage. Most people who apply qualify for premium tax credits and other savings based on their income. If you already have 2014 Marketplace coverage, you’ll be receiving important information about how to keep your coverage for 2015.

Here are some things you can do now to get ready for November 15th:

Learn about important dates and deadlines for Marketplace coverage

Download this Marketplace checklist to gather the documents you’ll need to apply

Find someone in your community to help you apply and answer your questions

Healthcare.gov blog:  https://www.healthcare.gov/blog/get-ready-to-enroll-in-marketplace-coverage/

United Way of Alaska 2-1-1- Help for Health Care navigating and more: http://www.alaska211.org/

Enroll Alaska: http://www.enrollingalaska.com/home.aspx

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Health Insurance Marketplace Navigation Help:

http://dhss.alaska.gov/amhb/Pages/InsuranceNavigation.aspx


13. Report details difficulties of health care in rural Alaska

FAIRBANKS — A new health report about Alaska says providing heath care in remote communities and an aging workforce pose challenges for delivering public health.

Also, health care organizations need to cooperate more,”Alaska’s Community Capacity Review: A Statewide Public Health System Assessment,” states. The report came out Oct. 1.

It concludes: “Alaska’s public health workforce is challenged by the lack of professional expertise in smaller communities, and an aging workforce.”…

http://www.newsminer.com/features/health/report-details-difficulties-of-health-care-in-rural-alaska/article_a3da5586-52ae-11e4-a858-0017a43b2370.html

&&

Healthy Alaskans 2020 releases state public health assessment

Report highlights strengths of state’s system and areas for improvement

Department of Health and Social Services press release:

http://dhss.alaska.gov/News/Documents/press/2014/StateUrgesProactiveSteps.Flu.EV-D68_PR_093014.pdf

Healthy Alaskans 2020 home page: http://hss.state.ak.us/ha2020/

Community Capacity Review report: http://hss.state.ak.us/ha2020/assets/HA2020_2014CCR.pdf


 14. Items from the NPFMC meeting – Alaska Journal of Commerce:

Council adjusts observer program

By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce

Fishing vessels between 40 and 57.5 feet in length will carry marine observers on a trip-by-trip basis next year under a change recommended today by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

The council took action on the 2015 annual deployment plan, or ADP, for the marine observer program, which places someone onboard commercial fishing vessels to count and sample the catch.

The National Marine Fisheries Service, or NFMS, implemented the revised observer program in 2013. Each year, the council has asked for adjustments to improve the information it collects and how it affects Alaska’s fishing fleet.

In previous years, the smaller vessels carried an observer for 60 days at a time, while larger vessels, and all trawlers in partial coverage category, carried observers for one fishing trip at a time. Smaller vessels, however, said that carrying an observer for 60 days at a time was too burdensome.

During a presentation yesterday, NMFS staff also said that changing to the trip selection pool would help adjust the costs and meet target coverage rates for all vessels…

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Blog-Fish-Bytes/Blogs-2014/Council-adjusts-observer-program/

&&&

NMFS caught up on rulemaking for North Pacific regulations

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Blog-Fish-Bytes/Blogs-2014/NMFS-caught-up-on-rulemaking-for-North-Pacific-regulations/

NMFS presents preliminary Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska bycatch numbers

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Blog-Fish-Bytes/Blogs-2014/NMFS-presents-preliminary-Bering-Sea-Gulf-of-Alaska-bycatch-numbers/

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


15. Small Vessel General Permit effective December 19…

Small Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels Less than 79 Feet

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 are finalizing the NPDES Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) to authorize discharges incidental to the normal operation of non-military and non-recreational vessels less than 79 feet in length. EPA is finalizing the sVGP, which has an effective date of December 19, 2014, to authorize discharges from vessels less than 79 feet in length, because the law imposing a moratorium against NPDES permitting of these discharges expires on December 18, 2014..

Federal Register notice:  https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-21408


Comment by November 10 on sVGP information collection

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), “Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Small Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels Less than 79 Feet” (EPA ICR No. 2504.01, OMB Control No. 2040—NEW) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a request for approval of a new collection…

Comments must be submitted on or before November 10, 2014…

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-21402

EPA Small Vessel General Permit page:

http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/vessels/Small-Vessel-General-Permit.cfm


16. NOAA: Pollock biomass up 60% in Bering Sea

September 24, 2014, 10:37 pm

Jeanine Stewart, Undercurrent News

The pollock biomass in the Bering Sea is up 60%, preliminary fish survey results released Wednesday afternoon by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries scientists show.

This positive news for Alaska’s main source of pollock is not, however, an indication of a huge quota increase, considering the total allowable catch for all ground fish is capped each year at 2 million metric tons — which typically translates into a TAC of 1.3m metric tons pollock, NOAA said. For 2014, the Bering Sea TAC was 1.267m tons…

http://www.undercurrentnews.com/2014/09/24/noaa-pollock-biomass-up-60/


 17. NOAA celebrates October as National Seafood Month

In honor of this year’s National Seafood Month, NOAA Fisheries launched an online celebration of the science, management and partnerships behind the stewardship of U.S. fisheries and their leadership role in sustainable seafood.

Celebrating Seafood, Sustainability, and Stewardship – A Message from Eileen Sobeck, Head of NOAA Fisheries

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/aboutus/leadership/october_2014_leadership_message_seafood.html

Fish Watch: http://www.fishwatch.gov/

Social Media links: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stayconnected.html

NOAA Fisheries home page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/index.html


18. NOAA Sea Grant Awards $15.9 million for projects to build resilient coastal communities

Federal grants leverage $7.9 million nonfederal match, for total of $23.8 million

NOAA Sea Grant announced today grants totaling $15.9 million to support over 300 projects around the nation that help build resilient coastal communities and economies. Through university, state and other partnerships, Sea Grant Programs will supplement the federal funding with an additional $7.9 million in non-federal matching funds, bringing the total investment to more than $23.8 million.

“As more Americans depend on our nation’s coasts for cultural, economic, energy and recreational opportunities, ensuring the long-term vitality of coastal communities and economies is crucial,” said Leon Cammen, director of NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program. “These grants support research, planning and outreach projects that will help coastal communities be more resilient to a range of natural hazards, water quality challenges, severe weather, energy needs and the effects of climate change.”

…The full list of Sea Grant coastal resilience research and extension projects can be found here.

White House Fact Sheet: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/Press_Releases/October_8_2014

NOAA Press Release:

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20141008_noaa_seagrant_resilience_awards.html

Alaska projects include:

  • Developing Long-Term Records of Sea Level Fluctuations and Barrier Beach Evolution to Enhance Understanding of
  • Ongoing and Future Coastal Change
  • Capturing spatial behaviors of observed and unobserved fishing over time using vessel monitoring system data
  • An expert and community supported decision tool for managing marine invasive species
  • Resilience of estuarine groundfish communities to future changes in glacial effluent
  • Monitoring Pinto Abalone and Kelp Forests in a changing climate
  • Marine Advisory Program and Communications
  • Graying of the Fleet in Alaska’s Fisheries: Defining the Problem and Assessing Alternatives

19. Comment by November 7 on NMFS AK Pinniped research financial assistance program

NMFS is considering the adoption of a new competitive, merit-based, financial assistance program supporting research on Alaska pinniped populations (seals and sea lions). To this end, NMFS is soliciting comments from the public and the marine mammal research community concerning possible program priorities to consider for an annual Alaska Pinniped Research Program. The objective of the program would be to support effective conservation and management of pinnipeds in waters off Alaska through a grant program focused on high priority research objectives related to NMFS recovery plans, conservation plans, research plans (including those developed with Alaska Native co-management organizations), or post-delisting monitoring plans for these species. Final competitive program priorities will be selected by NMFS after considering input received from the public.

Comments must be received no later than November 7, 2014.

Federal Register: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-23928

NOAA Fisheries Steller Sea Lion page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/pinnipeds/stellersealion.htm


20. Comment by November 14 on NOAA Alaska VMS 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 November 14, 2014…

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) units integrate global positioning system (GPS) and communications electronics in a single, tamper-resistant package to automatically determine the vessel’s position several times per hour…

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: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-21879

NOAA Alaska Vessel Monitoring Systems VMS)page: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/vms/

&&&&&&

Comment deadline October 24 on VMS EMTU vendors and MCS service providers

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-21271


21. Comment deadline November 17 on Alaska Region Logbook Family of Forms

… opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections…

Vessels required to have a Federal Fisheries Permit (FFP) are issued free daily fishing logbooks (DFLs) for harvesters and daily cumulative production logbooks (DCPL) for processors to record groundfish, Crab Rationalization Program (CR) crab, Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) halibut, IFQ sablefish, Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program (CDQ) halibut, and prohibited species catch (PSC) information.

As electronic logbooks (eLogs) become available, paper logbooks are discontinued and removed from this collection. The forms and DFL and DCPL logsheets may be viewed on the NMFS Alaska Region Home Page at http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/rr/default.htm.

In addition to the logbooks, this collection includes the buying station report, check-in/out for shoreside processors, product transfer report, and U.S. vessel activity report…

Federal Register: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-22006


22. NOAA Final rule on BSAI Groundfish Amendment 106 Vessel replacement

NMFS adopts a final rule to implement Amendment 106 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). Amendment 106 is necessary to bring the BSAI FMP into conformity with the amendments to the American Fisheries Act (AFA) in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (Coast Guard Act). This rule allows the owner of an AFA vessel to rebuild or replace an AFA vessel without any limitation on the length, weight, or horsepower of the rebuilt or replacement vessel when the rebuilt or replacement vessel is operating in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). This rule also allows the owner of an AFA catcher vessel in an inshore cooperative to remove the vessel from the cooperative and assign the Bering Sea pollock catch history of the removed vessel to one or more vessels in the cooperative. This action is also intended to improve vessel safety and operational efficiency in the AFA fleet by allowing the rebuilding or replacement of AFA vessels with safer and more efficient vessels and by allowing the removal of inactive catcher vessels from the AFA fishery.

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-21829

NOAA American Fisheries Act Pollock Management page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/afa/afa_sf.htm


23. Comment deadline November 24 on NOAA Alaska Chinook Salmon Economic Data Report data collection

In December 2009, the Council recommended that NMFS implement the Chinook Salmon Economic Data Report (Chinook Salmon EDR) to evaluate the effectiveness of Chinook salmon bycatch management measures for the Bering Sea pollock fishery that were implemented under Amendment 91 to the BSAI FMP (75 FR 53026, August 30, 2010).

The Chinook EDR Program provides information to the analysts and the Council for determining the effectiveness of the Incentive Plan Agreement (IPA).

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-22511

Amendment 91 Alaska Chinook Salmon Economic Data Report home page:

http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/bycatch/salmon/chinook/edr/default.htm

NOAA Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management page:   http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/Sustainablefisheries/bycatch/default.htm


24. Comment by November 24 on Round Island and Cape Pierce Walrus Protection Areas

Establishing Transit Areas Through Walrus Protection Areas at Round Island and Cape Peirce, Northern Bristol Bay, Alaska; Amendment 107

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 107 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). Amendment 107, if approved, would establish seasonal transit areas for vessels designated on Federal Fisheries Permits (FFPs) through Walrus Protection Areas in northern Bristol Bay, AK. This action would allow vessels designated on FFPs to transit through Walrus Protection Areas in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) near Round Island and Cape Peirce from April 1 through August 15, annually…

Comments on the amendment must be received on or before November 24, 2014.

Federal Register: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-22688

&&

https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-23635


25. Comment deadline November 10 on Capital Construction Fund changes

NMFS proposes to amend the Capital Construction Fund (CCF) regulations to eliminate provisions that no longer meet the needs of CCF participants, and to simplify and clarify the regulations to better implement the purposes of the underlying statute. These amendments would eliminate the minimum cost and maximum allowable completion time for reconstruction projects, requirements for minimum annual deposits and the requirement that any vessel acquired with CCF funds must be reconstructed, regardless of vessel condition. The new regulations would also add a restriction that the CCF program (program) would not allow withdrawals of funds for projects that increase harvesting capacity…

NMFS invites the public to comment on this proposed rule. Comments on the proposed rule must be received by November 10, 2014…

Federal Register: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-22821

NOAA CCF page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mb/financial_services/ccf.htm


26. President Obama expands Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-23319

&&&

Murkowski “Deeply Concerned” About President’s Ocean Waters Block

Senator Responds to Obama Action, Reasserts Need for Congressional Input…

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an action called a “unilateral move” to cordon off more than 300,000 square miles in the Pacific Ocean from commercial activity, President Obama today designated a large portion of the area off limits through executive action.  Senator Lisa Murkowski shared her response:

“”I am deeply concerned that this Administration has proceeded with the use of the Antiquities Act to block off an additional 350,000 square miles in the Pacific Ocean.  Having heard from commercial fishermen and territorial representatives in the region who will be harmed economically by this unilateral action, I know there is real frustration when with the stroke of a pen their concerns are disregarded.  Alaskans know full well the adverse economic consequences resulting from such sweeping federal actions, and this is a stark reminder why I am championing legislation to require Congressional consent and meaningful consultation with coastal states whenever the Antiquities Act is invoked.”

In July, Senator Murkowski introduced the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act (S. 2608), requiring congressional approval of any new national monument designation considered by the President…

http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=1a7660d4-2946-4b4e-bb98-3a0833b8615e


27. Cook Inlet Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council recertified

The purpose of this notice is to inform the public that the Coast Guard has recertified the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council (CIRCAC) as an alternative voluntary advisory group for Cook Inlet, Alaska. This certification allows the CIRCAC to monitor the activities of terminal facilities and crude oil tankers under the Cook Inlet Program established by statute…

Federal Register: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-23658

CORAC home page: http://www.circac.org/


28. MAFAC to meet October 23 by teleconference

https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-24049

Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee home page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/mafac/


29. Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force meets November 6

The ANS Task Force will meet from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 5, and Thursday, November 6, 2014…

Federal Register: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-24067

Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Torce home page: http://www.anstaskforce.gov/default.php


Fish Farm & Environmental 

30. Pebble appeals Judge Holland’s Dismissal; second suit fast-tracked

By Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce

Pebble Limited Partnership appealed the dismissal of its lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency Oct. 6 as a second suit seeking an injunction against the EPA is on a fast track for a ruling before the end of the year.

The company sued the EPA in May as the agency began a process to ban development of the Pebble copper and gold deposits northwest of Iliamna.

U.S. Alaska District Court Judge H. Russel Holland dismissed the case Sept. 26 on several of Pebble’s claims because no decision has yet been made by EPA. The case will go before the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Alaska Peninsula Corp., a Native village corporation that owns land adjacent to the state-owned mineral deposits, is also listed as a plaintiff supporting Pebble in the case.

During a Sept. 4 speech before the Resource Development Council of Alaska Pebble CEO Tom Collier said the company has no plans to give up its fight…

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/October-Issue-2-2014/Pebble-appeals-second-suit-fast-tracked/


31. Comment deadline October 20 on Navy Gulf of Alaska SEIS

…United States Department of the Navy (Navy) Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) website for Navy Training Activities in the Gulf of Alaska.

The Navy prepared a Supplemental EIS/OEIS to update the environmental analysis of the March 2011 GOA Navy Training Activities Final EIS/OEIS and May 2011 Record of Decision for the Final GOA Navy Training Activities Final EIS/OEIS.

Navy Gulf of Alaska SEIS home page: http://goaeis.com/Home.aspx

Federal Register Notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-20079


32. Protesters block access to BC (Stikine) mine as it nears completion

By Katarina Sostaric, KSTK

A nearly-completed British Columbia mine in the Stikine River watershed is expected to begin full production at the end of this month. Meanwhile, protesters blocking access to the controversial Red Chris mine may be forced out Tuesday…

Imperial Metals owns the Mount Polley Mine in eastern British Columbia, where an August tailings dam break spilled an estimated 2 billion gallons of silty water into the Fraser River watershed.

Now, Imperial’s Red Chris Mine, near the Southeast Alaska border, is raising concerns with groups on both sides of the border…

http://www.ktoo.org/2014/10/14/protesters-block-access-bc-mine-nears-completion/

&

CBC: Mount Polley mine spill fallout: Neskonlith deliver Ruddock eviction notice, Red Chris blockade continues

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/mount-polley-mine-spill-fallout-neskonlith-deliver-ruddock-eviction-notice-red-chris-blockade-continues-1.2736711


33. B.C. breaking information act by not disclosing Mount Polley reports: lawyers

Experts from the Canadian University of Victoria have filed a complaint with British Columbia’s privacy commissioner, arguing the provincial government is breaking the law by not releasing the latest reports on Imperial Metals’ (TSX:III) Mount Polley mine.

The gold and copper operation has been grabbing headlines since the collapse of its tailings dam on Aug. 4, which sent the equivalent of 2,000 Olympic swimming pools of potentially toxic mining waste into Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake.

The authority has allegedly said that by doing so it would jeopardize the outcome of several government investigations.

According to Uvic’s Environmental Law Centre, B.C.’s Mines Ministry has turned down requests to release certain documents that are required to be produced under law. The authority has allegedly said that by doing so it would jeopardize the outcome of several government investigations.

Such refusal, allege the lawyers, constitutes an “apparent” breach of the information act, as the case is “a matter of clear and pressing public interest,” reads the 60-page submission.

The lawyers are also calling on the privacy commissioner to recommend reform of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to require posting online of mining permits, orders, engineering and safety inspections and tailings storage facility reports.

http://www.mining.com/b-c-breaking-information-act-by-not-disclosing-mount-polley-reports-lawyers-11616/


34. Comment deadline November 10 on Juneau Access Draft SEIS

Notice of Availability and Notice of Public Hearings & Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) has completed, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has approved for public distribution, a Draft   Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Juneau Access Improvements Project, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.  The Draft SEIS examines ways to improve surface transportation to and from Juneau within the Lynn Canal corridor.  Testimony at public hearings and in writing will be used to prepare a Final EIS…

Public hearings and open house sessions will be held in Haines, Juneau, and Skagway.  The open house sessions will provide the opportunity to review the Draft SEIS and displays as well as ask questions.  The public hearings will provide the opportunity for oral public comment or comments to be recorded and transcribed by an individual recorder during the open house session.  Specific locations and times are:

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities is holding a series of open houses to present the draft supplemental environmental impact statement and solicit public comment.

Juneau, Oct. 14 at Centennial Hall – Open House: 1 p.m., Public Hearing: 5 p.m.

Haines, Oct. 15 at Chilkat Center for the Arts – Open House: 3 p.m., Public Hearing: 6 p.m.

Skagway, Oct. 23 at Skagway High School  – Open House: 3 p.m., Public Hearing 6 – 8pm

The Public Comment Period ends November 10, 2014…

Alaska DOT Online Public Notice

http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=174070

&&&

KTOO: DOT puts out new Juneau Access Project document

http://www.ktoo.org/2014/09/18/dot-puts-new-juneau-access-project-document/


35. State reports significant increase in water reservations for habitat protection

(Anchorage, AK) – The Alaska Department of Natural Resources is pleased to report significant increases in the number of reservations of water it has issued to protect fish and wildlife habitat.

The Division of Mining, Land and Water issued 25 reservations of water in 2013 and 31 to date in 2014. Reservations have been issued in every region of state. Of the 117 reservations of water issued by DNR since the program was authorized in 1980, 73 percent were issued since the beginning of 2010. All reservations have been issued for fish and wildlife habitat protection.

The division works in concert with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to evaluate and select key segments of water bodies important for fish and wildlife habitat. Fish and Game holds all but two of the reservations issued by the division. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management holds a certificate of reservation on Beaver Creek northeast of Fairbanks, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recently received a reservation for a reach of the Uganik River near Kodiak. The division is working on additional applications from non-state agency applicants.

“This administration continues to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the state’s natural resources. Water, a common-use resource, can be protected by reservations of water where appropriate, and the department will continue to process these applications,” said Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash…

DNR Press Release: http://dnr.alaska.gov/shared/mediareleases/dsp_media_release.cfm?id=2069&title=State%20reports%20significant%20increase%20in%20issuance%20of%20water%20reservations


 36. Alaska Energy Authority says fish IDs, other Susitna studies, sound

By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce

The Alaska Energy Authority today replied to the National Marine Fisheries Service’s comments on its salmon studies.

AEA and its contractors are studying many aspects of the Susitna River drainage as part of the licensing process; the state energy authority is looking to build a major hydroelectric project upstream of Devil’s Canyon.

AEA wrote a letter to NMFS questioning the federal agency’s comments, and asserting that the studies and data are more robust than the agency gave it credit for.

“Frankly, for NMFS to take the position that the massive amount of scientific data AEA has collected and summarized in the ISR is unreliable is untenable, bordering on the absurd,” wrote AEA Project Manager Wayne Dyok.

That was in response to the letter NMFS sent last month outlining a variety of issues with the studies.

Dyok’s letter also included a spreadsheet responding to NMFS’ specific comments.

AEA also issued a press release addressing one of the issues — salmon identification — detailing the work that was done to identify juvenile cohos and kings.

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Blog-Fish-Bytes/Blogs-2014/AEA-says-fish-IDs-other-studies-sound/


37. The Tongass tightrope: Balancing diverse interests by committee

… a few dozen people holed up in a Travelodge conference room in Juneau. There was coffee and donuts, PowerPoint presentations and an easel with big sheets of scratch paper. It was the second in a series of meeting that the Tongass Advisory Committee has leading up to its May deadline to produce its recommendations.

Representatives of the U.S. Forest Service, the timber industry, state government, local communities, tribal entities and conservationists on the committee are trying to work out policies that will let them all sustainably coexist. Their mutually shared mantra is what they’re calling the “triple bottom line”–ecological, social and economic sustainability in the Tongass National Forest…

http://www.ktoo.org/2014/09/15/tongass-tightrope-balancing-diverse-interests-committee/

Next meeting – October 8 – 10…

Tongass Advisory Committee home page: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/R10/Tongass/TAC

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-22713


38. EPA Comment extended to November 14 on Clean Waters Act Waters of the United States” definition…

This action extends the comment period until November 14, 2014. Note that additional information is available in the public docket, EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880, since publication of the April 21, 2014 proposed rule and a subsequent notice extending the public comment period (June 24, 2014; 79 FR 35712)…

Federal Register: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-24349

Previous item:

Comment deadline July 21 on EPA Clean Water Act Definition of “Waters of the U.S.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources. Determining Clean Water Act protection for streams and wetlands became confusing and complex following Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on Monday, April 21, 2014…  http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/wetlands/CWAwaters.cfm


39. Comment deadline December 29 on EIS for anthropogenic activities incidental take in Cook Inlet – meeting November 3.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the environmental impacts of issuing Incidental Take Authorizations (ITAs) pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) for the taking of marine mammals incidental to anthropogenic activities in the waters of Cook Inlet, Alaska. NMFS will hold a public scoping meeting to begin the scoping process…

All comments, written statements, and questions regarding the scoping process and preparation of the EIS must be received no later than December 29, 2014…

We will hold a public scoping meeting in Anchorage, AK, on Monday, November 3, 2014, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Loussac Library’s Wilda Marston Theater located at 3600 Denali Street, Anchorage, AK 99503…

Federal Register: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-24317


 

 Marketing

40. Great Alaska Seafood Cookoff sends winner Haugen to Vegas

On Tuesday night at Anchorage’s Marriott Downtown hotel, four of Alaska’s top chefs and their assistants gathered for a friendly but feverish competition…

In the end, after a lengthy closed-door deliberation, the judges returned to give their verdict. Spokesperson and Olympic skier Kikkan Randall crowned Haugen the winner.

Haugen will represent Alaska at the World Food Championships in Las Vegas next month.

Photos & story at Alaska Dispatch News: http://www.adn.com/slideshow/photos-2014-great-alaska-seafood-cook

&&&

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute All Hands Meeting was Sept 29 –Oct 1, Anchorage

Meetings of the ASMI Specie/Operational Committees and Board of Directors (All Hands on Deck) was held September 29 – October 1 at the Hotel Marriott Downtown, at 820 West 7th Avenue in Anchorage, Alaska.

Online public notice: http://notice.alaska.gov/173834

ASMI home page: http://www.alaskaseafood.org/


41. ASMI calling all fishermen to be ambassadors for wild Alaska seafood – sign up today for exclusive, limited edition ASMI fisherman hat.

ASMI is launching a new opt-in Fishermen’s Database online at http://fishermen.alaskaseafood.org.

Go to the website, sign up and provide a little bit of information about yourself and the fisheries you are involved in. In return, ASMI will send you a custom ‘Alaska Fisherman 2014’ hat created by local artist Scott Baxter of the Aurora Projekt. (http://auroraprojekt.com) The limited edition of hats includes both a men’s and women’s style. ASMI will use the database information to identify those Alaska fishermen who are willing to help bring Alaska Seafood’s story to life, be it through interviews, personal profiles, photo shoots, speaking to guests during media tours or attending events in their home town. For more information contact Tyson Fick at tfick@alaskaseafood.org.


42. Alaska Delegation Pushes FDA to Support U.S. Pollock Fisheries

With Russia Co-Opting “Alaska Pollock,” Lawmakers Urge Clarity in Labeling

Washington, D.C. – Alaska’s Congressional Delegation and their colleagues from Washington State are pushing the Food and Drug Administration to change the market name for pollock and clearly differentiate it from inferior fish harvested in Russia. Supporting a request by the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP), the bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote a letter (attached) to the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner seeking to change the legal market name from “Alaska pollock” to “pollock” to differentiate American-caught seafood from the 113 million pounds of Russian-harvested pollock bought by Americans in 2012.

Beyond a matter of commercial concern, the lawmakers stressed that the terminology is causing confusion about the origins of the fish, writing “pollock harvested in Alaskan waters is of a higher quality and is managed more sustainably than other pollock, especially Russian pollock.”

http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=06f6aefe-d905-4571-9fd3-8a604e9d4aa0


43. USDA Officials Meet With Businesses to Talk Alaskan Exports (Sept 23)

The USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service runs programs designed to build new markets for US exporters.  FAS associate administrator Suzanne Palmieri and deputy administrator for trade programs Christian Foster were the representatives that met in Anchorage.  They spoke with representative of Alaskan business sectors interested in exporting products such as fish and nursery products to countries around the world…

USDA Alaska Farm Service Agency Executive Director Danny Consenstein says the USDA’s role in Alaska is important for the state…

Consenstein says the USDA is actually helping the Alaska seafood market.

“An example of one of the programs that the USDA has in supporting Alaska with for many years is the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute which helps market Alaska seafood to other countries.  USDA’s market assistance program has provided over $20 million in the past five years to support ASMI to work in Alaska seafood.”

In 2011, Alaska seafood industry employed over 63,000 workers directly. In the same year, 5.35 billion pounds of fish and shellfish, worth over $3 billion, were harvested for export in Alaska waters.  About two-thirds of Alaska seafood is exported abroad, accounting for 58 percent of all US seafood exports.  High numbers like that, Consenstein says, is why the USDA wants to listen to Alaska businesses and learn how the state can partner with them…

USDA Press release: http://kdlg.org/post/usda-officials-meet-businesses-talk-alaskan-exports


44. New MSC standard ups the ante on bycatch reduction, salmon hatchery controls

The biggest change to the new Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard is an amped up effort to reduce unwanted catch — or bycatch — in fisheries, according to David Agnew, Director of Standards at the MSC…

It will require fisheries to work together to reduce bycatch, a requirement that pays homage to the “collective impact” movement gaining ground in the world of non-profits and foundations.

This new requirement could mean downward pressure on harvests, as fisheries managers will need to take into account not only their own fisheries’ impact on non-target species abut also those of surrounding fisheries.

The bycatch issue is not the only thing in the MSC standard that could put downward pressure on harvests. The MSC has also rolled out a more specific requirement in regards to salmon enhancement through hatcheries.

The new standard gives guidance on how much hatchery fish is okay to produce for certain species where there is adequate data, such as coho, which is new.

For other species, there is not specific guidance given since there is not yet adequate data on the impact of hatchery fish in those cases.

In these cases, the MSC hopes that fisheries managers incorporate limits on hatchery production where necessary, according to available data as it comes out, Agnew said.

This would apply to salmon fisheries in Alaska, where stakeholders have sparred in the past with the MSC certification system over the hatchery issue…

http://www.undercurrentnews.com/2014/10/02/new-msc-standard-ups-the-ante-on-bycatch-salmon-enhancement/


Enhancement

45. Ketchikan nears turnover of Deer Mountain fish hatchery to SSRAA

The Ketchikan City Council is nearing final approval of a proposal to turn over Deer Mountain Fish Hatchery to the Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.

The council has approved a first reading of the ordinance turning over the hatchery (located in City Park) to the aquaculture association. The vote was first reported by the Ketchikan Daily News.

The hatchery will be used to produce up to 500,000 king salmon smolt annually. Most will be released in Neets Bay, according to a KDN story quoting SSRAA production manager Bill Gass.

Capital City Weekly: http://www.capitalcityweekly.com/stories/100814/new_1222716944.shtml


Subsistence

 46. Tribal organizations seek greater role in land management

By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce

Tribal organizations are asking to take over some aspects of wildlife management, or at least to have a greater voice in the process.

That larger role in the process — an effort the Alaska Federation of Native has supported — known as co-management could ultimately simplify things by bringing all the players together.

Currently, the State of Alaska manages most land and water. The Board of Fisheries and Board of Game are responsible for most policy and allocative decisions; the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is responsible for day-to-day management. The federal government also plays a management role for lands under its jurisdiction.

In Southcentral Alaska, Ahtna Inc. is trying to develop a co-management project that puts a Tribal commission at the heart of subsistence wildlife management on Tribal and Native corporation land in the Ahtna region.

On the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, the Association of Village Council Presidents is trying to develop a Tribal fisheries commission.

But for either effort — or any other — to come to fruition, several hurdles remain, including the need for legislation to authorize the projects, funding and other issues.

The state constitution — which mandates that state resources benefit all Alaskans — can also be interpreted to be at-odds with some components of the proposals…

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/October-Issue-1-2014/Tribal-organizations-seek-greater-role-in-land-management/


47. Subsistence Panel Looks Toward Future of Salmon Management

By Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel | October 9, 2014

Tribal co-management and Chinook bycatch took center stage Tuesday at a subsistence panel at the Association of Village Council Presidents conference.

Reflecting on a tense and important 2014 season, Cora Campbell, the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game thanked the packed room of Y-K Delta fishermen for their sacrifices.

“I want to start by complimenting you on the leadership and conservation ethics that people showed this season in understanding that the salmon needed to pass to the spawning grounds. Thank you for conserving chinook salmon,” said Campbell.

Federal managers controlled the Chinook fishery early in the summer. And if tribal leaders build on momentum to create Tribal Fish Commissions, there could soon be new management players.

http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/10/09/subsistence-panel-looks-toward-future-of-salmon-management/

&&&

Kuskokwim River May Meet Its Chinook Escapement Goal

http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/10/07/kuskokwim-river-may-meet-its-chinook-escapement-goal/


48. Applicants sought for subsistence councils – deadline Jan. 23

The Federal Subsistence Board is accepting applications through Jan. 23 to fill seats on the 10 Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils. Council membership appointments are typically 3-year terms. There are approximately 35 seats open for appointment among all councils.

The councils meet at least twice a year and provide critical advice to the Federal Subsistence Board on subsistence management issues. Council meetings serve as a forum for regional public involvement in federal subsistence management. Council members must be knowledgeable about the uses of fish and wildlife resources in their region.

Individuals may apply for membership themselves, or an individual or organization may nominate someone for council membership. The application form and information about the application process and the Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils is available on the Federal Subsistence Management Program’s website: www.doi.gov/subsistence/index.cfm.


49. UAS Evening at Egan Lecture explains ‘the salmon, our brothers’

By Mary Catharine Martin, Capital City Weekly

Traditional Tlingit ways of interacting with salmon are about more than food: they reflect a holistic sense of the world taught through age-old stories for thousands of years.

University of Alaska Anchorage anthropology professor Steve Langdon, along with Tlingit elders Paul Marks and David Katzeek, spoke on the Tlingit worldview at the University of Alaska Southeast’s Oct. 3 Evening at Egan lecture. A key part of that worldview – something very distinct from Western ways of thinking – is a unification of the spiritual and the physical world.

“In Tlingit concepts, there is no distinction,” Langdon said. “There is a oneness of existence. Humanity is equal (to other forms of life) but has responsibilities.”

Salmon are beings equal to people, deserving of respect. So are bears. So, for that matter, are glaciers.

http://www.capitalcityweekly.com/stories/100814/ae_1222717449.shtml


Other 

50. NPRB Request for Proposals – deadline December 5

The North Pacific Research Board announces the release of its annual Request for Proposals (RFP).  The 2015 RFP has an anticipated funding amount of $5.9 million. This RFP is similar in form and content to past NPRB RFPs, with research priorities structured around the 2005 NPRB Science Plan. Please consult the 2015 RFP and the NPRB Science Plan for further details about this year’s research priorities.

Proposals must be submitted online in accordance with instructions in the RFP. Online submissions will be accepted beginning in mid-October 2014. The deadline for proposal submission is 4 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on Friday, December 5, 2014.

http://www.nprb.org/annual-research-program/request-for-proposals/2015-request-for-proposals


51. NIOSH – – Live to be Salty offers poster, bumper stickers and more…

Falling overboard is the second leading cause of death among commercial fishermen, nationwide. And the reason for that? Not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD). In fact, none of the 191 fishermen who died in the U.S. between 2000 and 2013 were wearing a PFD when they drowned.

Live to be Salty is a multi-media health communication intervention developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and our partners in an effort to reduce drownings, by promoting the use of PFDs on board commercial fishing vessels.

Visit Live to be Salty to learn about the comfortable PFD options currently available for use by commercial fishermen, and see  “Partner Resources” for posters, bumper stickers, and other promotional items for download and printing…

http://www.livetobesalty.org/

Also see and share Live to be Salty on social media:

Facebook (www.facebook.com/livetobesalty )

Twitter (www.twitter.com/livetobesalty ).

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


52. Seafood Harvesters of America Summer 2014 Newsletter

http://www.seafoodharvesters.org/2014/09/09/seafood-harvesters-summer-2014-newsletter/


53. Fishlines – Alaska Sea Grant September newsletter

-Texans Donate to Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit

-New Boat Electrical Course

-Beating the Odds Revised: A Guide to Commercial Fishing Safety,

-Oliveira Makes Move to ASMI

http://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/fishlines/2014/september.php


54. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online

http://amsea.org/


55. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Items from this week:

– Bump up for Bering sea crab; groundfish catches up next

– Bristol Bay red king crab quota up 16%; other crab catches

– Protecting salmon is on the Nov. 4th ballot

– US Senate candidate Dan Sullivan answers fish questions … sort of

– Salmon season gets underway in SE Alaska. Really!

 

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


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