Thanks to new UFA Bay Class Business Members Bulletproof Nets, Taku River Reds, and Marine Surveyors of Southeast Alaska.
Please support UFA business members .
Thanks to new UFA Lifetime members Steve Reifenstuhl, Aaron Jolin, Steve Brown, and Matthew Alward.
Protect your 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.
UFA new items: UFA Responds to AFCA Action to Reallocate Salmon through Initiative – Press release, November 12 (see items 5 -7 below).
We have posted the 2013 Edition of UFA Alaska Fishing and Seafood processing Community Fact Sheets, including Alaska and Washington statewide sheets, online at- Related UFA Press Release, December 16
From the Executive Director
As the year draws to a close, UFA is taking this time to reflect on the past fishing season and legislative session. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the UFA booth at Pacific Marine Expo this year! Thanks to the help of numerous member group volunteers, UFA picked up a record 40?? new members in the three day period. UFA welcomes our new members who help keep this great organization afloat.
We know many of you had very profitable 2013 fishing season, and we encourage you to consider giving a little extra before the new year starts in order to protect your fishing business. Please support your local gear group association and encourage others to support UFA.
UFA has made great strides in increasing awareness of the fishing industry, and your advocates at UFA are looking forward to yet another productive legislative session. Keep in mind that many elected officials are running for state office in the coming year, and they need your support and encouragement to run a good campaign. Please consider donating to those who help protect your fishing business and understand the complexities of Alaska’s largest private sector employer- the seafood industry. A contribution before the end of the year to show your support will really impact those running for office. We also encourage you to hold a fishing industry fundraiser for elected officials. Help increase the awareness of the fishing industry by sitting down with candidates in your district and in other parts of the state. If you need any help, please feel free to contact me with questions or requests.
As always, we highly encourage you to donate to the UFA Fish PAC; they need your support before the year closes! Please contact the office if you need additional information.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays from the UFA office. We look forward to another productive year!
United Fishermen of Alaska
Table of Contents
- Ten Part Series: Morris Communications presents “The case for conserving the Kenai king salmon”
- Fish Wars Heat Up, By Scott Christiansen, Anchorage Press
- Kenai River king salmon need more in-river protection
- Kenai / Soldotna Fish and Game AC election meeting and BOF proposal discussion Dec. 30 (Anchorage AC too)
- Peninsula fishing groups debate set net ban initiative – Alaska Division of Elections to reach decision by Jan. 6
- Under guise of conservation, anti-setnet initiative seeks to reallocate Cook Inlet salmon
- Kenai fishing groups file opposition to proposed setnet ban – see ONLINE PETITION
- DNR Cancels Public Meetings on House Bill 77
- Central Peninsula speaks out against HB77
- Facing vocal opposition, natural resources bill may face tough go in Senate – Anchorage Daily News December 11, 2013
- Young Fishermen’s Summit report – Fish on, speak up, by Hannah Heimbuch
- NPFMC Goes Digital with new website and ipad app
- NPFMC – Items from the December Meeting
- Magnuson Stevens Reauthorization – House Natural Resources draft posted for comments
- Fish board adjusts commercial regulations in lower Cook Inlet
- Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet Finfish meeting – January 31 – February 13, 2014, Anchorage
- Strong Cook Inlet sockeye run of 6.1M forecast for 2014
- NOAA Removes the Eastern Steller Sea Lion from the Endangered Species List
- Geoduck industry fighting China’s shellfish-import ban
- Begich Urges China to Renew its Imports of Alaska Shellfish
- Begich Praises Pacific Seafood Processors for Salmon Donation
- Begich to FDA: Leave Surprises to Santa this Season – Puts Agency on Notice about Frankenfish Approval
- Begich Objects to Canadian Approval of Frankenfish Eggs for Panama
- Will FDA Salmon Ruling Lead to Labeling Law?
- NOAA: Coastal ocean aquaculture can be environmentally sustainable
- Senator Murkowski Calls on Walmart to Carry Products Made with Salmon from Alaska
- The Battle of Dude Creek – Gustavus plan revision highlights Habitat Division
- Fukushima Radiation – Little Impact on Alaska Seafood
- ADN: Alaska health exchange website getting better but not perfect
- 30. Resource Development Council Resource review – December 2013 issue
- Juneau Economic Development Council and USFS Innovation Summit – January 29-30, Juneau
- Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines newsletter for December
- Alaska Economic Trends – November Seafood Harvesting Jobs issue
- NOAA Fisheries of the United States – 2012
- Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – items from this week
- Deadline February 14 for Comment on AK Regional Response Oil Dispersant Policy
- Mental Health Trust Adopts Resource Management Strategy – comment by January 10, 2014
- USFWS approves copper-clad lead shot for migratory bird hunting
- Comment deadline December 31 on NPFMC Amendment 102 for CQE sablefish in Aleutian Islands
- EPA posts Alaska seafood processing discharge and effluent data – Comment deadline January 6.
- NOAA processor survey – Comment deadline January 6 on new data collection
- US Coast Guard extends comment period to Jan, 23 on OCS Safety and Environmental Management System Requirements
- Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) December 3-5 meeting summary:
- Comment deadline January 17 on Pinto Abalone ESA 90-day listing finding
- Halibut catch sharing plan set for 2014 implementation
- NMFS posts IFQ Halibut and Sablefish Cost Recovery fee 2013 – 2.8%
- Comment deadline January 9 on BSAI groundfish 2014-2015 Harvest Specifications
- Comment deadline January 9 on GOA groundfish 2014-2015 Harvest Specifications
- NMFS Notification Of Standard Ex Vessel Prices for groundfish and halibut observer fees
- NOAA posts MMPA List of Fisheries for 2014 – comment deadline January 6
- Deadline Jan. 6, 2014 for 2014 Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Mitigation Infrastructure Grants
- Deadline Jan. 6 for Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Hatchery Enhancement Grant Program
- NOAA posts Procedures for Government-to-Government Consultation With Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations
- Applicants Sought for Subsistence Regional Advisory Council Membership – Deadline: March 21, 2014
- Northeast Fishermen look for your help – Raffle for new car up to $45K or $25K cash
- Help Wanted: Assistant Professor Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (MAP), Bristol Bay region
- Alaska Board of Fisheries to meet in Kodiak, January 7-10 on Kodiak Finfish
- AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
- Notes on Unsubscribing or Subscribing
1. Ten Part Series: Morris Communications presents “The case for conserving the Kenai king salmon”
Introduction by William S. Morris III/Chairman and CEO/Morris Communications Co:
“Morris Communications’ history in Alaska dates to 1969 when the company purchased the Juneau Empire. Today, the company also owns and operates Alaska Magazine, The Milepost, Where Alaska, the Alaska Journal of Commerce, Capital City Weekly, the Chugiak-Eagle River Star, the Homer News and the Peninsula Clarion. The company also owns and operates six radio stations in Anchorage — KBEAR 104.1, KWHL 106.5, MIX 103.1, KOOL 97.3, KFQD 750, KHAR 590 and 96.7 — and KAYO 100.9 in Wasilla…
Because of the tremendous importance of this wonderful species of salmon and because of the decline in their numbers, the newspapers owned by the Morris Communications Corp. will be presenting a 10-part series entitled, “The Case for conserving the Kenai king salmon.”
The purpose of the series is to find the facts and put them into simple and easy to understand terms in the public domain. We hope that this series can make a major difference in the long-term growth, management and sustainability of this great fish…”
Part 1: Widespread decline of kings points to natural forces By Molly Dischner, Rashah McChesney
Part 2: Salmon species – other than kings – thriving around Alaska, By Abby Lowell
Part 3: Kings drive news, sockeyes drive Inlet economy, By Rashah Mcchesney
Part 4: What became of the Yukon kings? An in-river look, By Dan O’Neill
or if blocked at Juneau Empire, try
Part 5: Alaska salmon management: A unique process for a unique state, By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Part 6: Questions remain about king counts after ADFG shift to high-tech sonar, By Rashah McChesney
Part 7: Management challenge: ‘fish wars’ escalate as king productivity ebbs, By Andrew Jensen
Part 8: Fishermen focus on how ADFG sets, achieves escapement goals, By Molly Dischner (December 18):
Look for parts 9 and 10 in the any of above publications, in the next two weeks.
2. Fish Wars Heat Up, By Scott Christiansen, Anchorage Press
There’s an established fishery war on the Kenai Peninsula that heated up in recent weeks on two battlefronts: politics and news media. The feud is yet another struggle over gear type and licensing, the type of controversy that’s become more common as Alaska fisheries get more popular and the state gathers more “stakeholders” while Mother Nature and the hatcheries stubbornly refuse to make certain every stakeholder gets precisely the fish — or freezer full, or paycheck — they want out of their fishery. This particular feud is at least three decades old and pits commercial sport fishing guides and their clients against set net fishermen on the Kenai Peninsula. The sport fishers eye a particular prize: getting more trophy-sized king salmon upriver. The set netters have a prize, too: just keeping their jobs…
Andy Hall, a set net fisherman who is also a former editor and publisher for Morris, said readers should at least be aware of what is going on at Morris as they read the coverage.
3. Kenai River king salmon need more in-river protection
By Dwight Kramer|, November 24, 2013
In recent years we have seen a troubling pattern of near record low returns of both early and late run Kenai River chinook salmon. We believe the declines in statewide chinook fisheries are largely due to marine survival issues, however, we also feel that part of our Kenai River decline can be linked to in-river harvest patterns, fishing on middle river mainstem spawning fish throughout July, insufficient spawning area protections, selective harvest of our larger age-class fish, and multiple years of over-harvest of the population due to biased high sonar counts…
4. Kenai / Soldotna Fish and Game AC election meeting and BOF proposal discussion Dec. 30 (Anchorage AC too)
The Kenai/Soldotna Fish & Game Advisory Committee will hold an election meeting on Monday, December 30th at the Soldotna Sports Center, located on K-Beach Road at 6:30 pm.
Also on the agenda will be:
Upper Cook Inlet Board of Fisheries proposal discussion.
Online Public Notice:
Upper Cook Inlet proposals for February Board of Fisheries meeting are online at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo&date=01-31-2014&meeting=uci
Also, the Anchorage Fish & Game Advisory Committee Game Sub-committee will meet on Monday, December 30th at 6:30PM at the CMM General Contractor office located at 18743 Old Glenn Highway, Chugiak, AK. Agenda includes continue discussion of Interior Region Proposals, starting with Proposal #91.
Notice is online at http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=170556
5. Peninsula fishing groups debate set net ban initiative – Alaska Division of Elections to reach decision by Jan. 6
By Hannah Heimbuch, Homer Tribune
Shortly after the new year, Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell and the State Division of Elections will decide whether an initiative to ban set nets off Alaska’s urban shores will go before the state’s voters.
The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance announced their proposal one month ago, citing the declining Kenai River king run as proof that stronger conservation methods are needed in the salmon fisheries. From the AFCA perspective, that means reducing the number of king salmon intercepted by shore-bound commercial fisheries targeting sockeye salmon… http://homertribune.com/2013/12/peninsula-fishing-groups-debate-set-net-ban-initiative/
6. Under guise of conservation, anti-setnet initiative seeks to reallocate Cook Inlet salmon
Zach Hill, Alaska Dispatch
7. Kenai fishing groups file opposition to proposed setnet ban – see ONLINE PETITION
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
As the deadline to certify an initiative to ban setnetting nears, fishing groups are filing legal opinions with the state opposing the measure.
The Kenai Area Fisherman’s Coalition and the Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association have each sent a letter to the state offering a legal opinion on the ban. The Alaska Salmon Alliance also plans to weigh in…
In November, the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, or AFCA, filed a petition to ask voters to consider banning setnets in certain “urban,” non-subsistence parts of the state. The initiative talks about urban areas statewide, but for now it would essentially ban setnetting in Cook Inlet.
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell is required to issue a decision on the initiative by Jan. 6.
The Kenai setnet ban initiative is described as “not allocation” on the “Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance” website at:
(Not to be confused with our friends at the Alaska Salmon Alliance, online at www.aksalmonalliance.org )
ONLINE PETITION: The Alaska Salmon Alliance Protect Our Kings petition is now online at http://www.aksalmonalliance.org/sign-our-petition/
8. DNR Cancels Public Meetings on House Bill 77
Since the Legislature gaveled out this spring, state officials have been trying to build support for a controversial land management bill that couldn’t get enough votes in the final days of session. Public meetings were supposed to be part of their outreach effort. But APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports that the Department of Natural Resources has called those meetings off… http://ktna.org/2013/11/21/dnr-cancels-public-meetings-on-house-bill-77/
9. Central Peninsula speaks out against HB77
Commenters: Changes to bill are needed; don’t cut the public out –
Kenai Peninsula Clarion, December 10
The central Kenai Peninsula’s sometimes polarized community came together Monday to protest the proposed House Bill 77 during testimony in Soldotna.
Without exception, the public expressed displeasure for two portions of HB77: the removal of public input on permits and the loss of personal access to water reservation…
The main concern of those attending the hearing, which was held in the Kenai Peninsula Assembly Chambers and sponsored by Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, was that the bill would centralize decisions on state land use with the commissioner of DNR, and therefore the governor.
Micciche called for hearings in Soldotna and Homer, he said, because he received more email correspondence for HB 77 than any other bill during the 2013 Legislative session…
10. Facing vocal opposition, natural resources bill may face tough go in Senate – Anchorage Daily News December 11, 2013
HOMER — One major unresolved bill from the past legislative session, a sweeping law to eliminate public notice and comment when some permits are issued, ran into fierce opposition in meetings this week in the Kenai Peninsula district of Sen. Peter Micciche, prompting the Soldotna Republican to declare the measure in deep trouble.
House Bill 77, a product of Gov. Sean Parnell’s administration, teetered on the verge of Senate passage in the closing days of the 2013 session in April, but was stashed in the Senate Rules Committee when vote counters projected a 10-10 tie on the floor — a single vote shy. The bill had passed the House in March and is high on the Senate agenda when it reconvenes next month.
But Micciche, a moderate once considered a “yes” vote by opponents of the bill, said constituents have been flooding his office with comments and are even buttonholing him on the street. Nearly everyone is opposed, he said. “I would be unlikely to support the bill in its current form,” he said Wednesday. The administration should withdraw the bill and re-write it, or Senate President Charlie Huggins should return it to a new round of committee hearings, Micciche said.
Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/12/11/3226129/facing-unified-opposition-natural.html#storylink=cpy
Anchorage Daily News editorial: Our View: Either rewrite House Bill 77 or kill it
Kenai Peninsula Clarion: HB 77 Needs Work
UFA comments HB77-SB26 Water Allocation Senate Finance (Mar.11,2013)
11. Young Fishermen’s Summit report – Fish on, speak up, by Hannah Heimbuch
When I sat down for the start of the Alaska Young Fisherman’s Summit in Anchorage last Tuesday, I didn’t know a single face at my table. I’d driven up from Homer alone in the wee hours, preparing to absorb as much information as one fisherman/reporter could.
But as introductions were made, I realized that I was far from the only local to show up. Six other Homer women stood to give their names and fisheries, which ranged from Cook Inlet to Bristol Bay, with Gulf and Western territories in between. There were about 60 young fishermen present from all over the state, and the Homer contingent made up the majority of the women. Four young men from the village of Razdolna also made the trek north.
12. NPFMC Goes Digital with new website and ipad app
The Council has moved to an entirely new document management system which allows a new, easier way for the public to view items related to a Council meeting. All the items associated with a Council meeting, either before or after, are available to the public via the online database: npfmc.legistar.com . The items are searchable and downloadable, and there’s even a feature to be alerted if something new is posted on a specific agenda item. This means the entire Council notebook is available online. An easier interface is available through an app for the ipad called Granicus. Call the office if you’d like more information on this feature.
NPFMC home page: http://www.npfmc.org/
13. NPFMC – Items from the December Meeting
SSL BiOp Extension Request
BSAI and GOA specs
Round Island Transit Area
Chinook PSC Rollover
Octopus/Skate Directed Fishery
GOA Pot Gear for Sablefish
These and more, online at http://www.npfmc.org/2013-council-meetings/
14. Magnuson Stevens Reauthorization – House Natural Resources draft posted for comments
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act governs the recreational and commercial harvest of fisheries in Federal waters. It was last authorized by Congress in 2006 through fiscal year 2013 and Chairman Hastings has unveiled a draft proposal to renew and modernize the law. The draft proposal would implement common sense reforms that will promote increased flexibility and transparency, improve data collection, create jobs, and give predictability and certainty to the coastal communities that depend on fishing activities…
Discussion Draft: http://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/magnusonstevensactdiscussiondraft-113.pdf
15. Fish board adjusts commercial regulations in lower Cook Inlet
By Molly Dischner, Kenai Peninsula Clarion, December 14
Lower Cook Inlet commercial fishermen will see some changes in the boundaries for certain fisheries next year.
Alaska’s Board of Fisheries tackled a handful of proposals that will affect commercial boundaries and markers at the Lower Cook Inlet meeting in Anchorage last week.
Salmon seiners will operate under redefined boundaries and use latitude and longitude coordinates instead of physical markers in certain parts of Lower Cook Inlet.
The public panel, including fishermen, that discussed those proposals during committee work came to a consensus to support them, despite concerns about some changes…
Board of Fisheries Lower Cook Inlet Finfish December 8-11, 2013 Meeting documents and summary of actions are online at:
See also Notice of Proposed Regulatory Changes in the 2013–2014 Meeting Cycle
And Notice of Proposed Regulatory Changes- Errors and Omissions
Alaska Board of Fisheries home page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.main
16. Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet Finfish meeting – January 31 – February 13, 2014, Anchorage
Meeting Information page:
17. Strong Cook Inlet sockeye run of 6.1M forecast for 2014
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce (Nov 26)
Upper Cook Inlet could see another strong year for sockeye returns if the 2014 forecast for 6.1 million fish comes to fruition.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game released its 2014 forecast Nov. 19, which predicts a run of between 4.4 million to 7.8 million sockeye, or red, salmon. That would be an above average return for the region.
ADFG 2014 Upper Cook Inlet Sockeye Salmon Forecast
2014 BRISTOL BAY SOCKEYE SALMON FORECAST (PDF 216 kB) – 11/27/13
2014 NUSHAGAK RIVER CHINOOK SALMON HARVEST PROJECTION (PDF 109 kB) – 10/22/13
Other forcasts and reports are being added- for your area see ADFG Commercial fisheries home page , select an area and the tabs for species, and forecasts.
18. NOAA Removes the Eastern Steller Sea Lion from the Endangered Species List
After public input and careful scientific review, NOAA Fisheries has found that the Eastern Population segment of Steller sea lions has recovered and can be removed from the Endangered Species Act. The is the first species NOAA has delisted due to recovery since the eastern North Pacific gray whale was taken off the list of threatened and endangered species in 1994…
NOAA press release (Oct 23): http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2013/easternssl102313.htm
Federal Register notice (Nov 4):
NOAA Eastern Steller Sea Lion page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/stellers/edps/status.htm
19. Geoduck industry fighting China’s shellfish-import ban
By Jay Greene, Seattle Times business reporter
Washington geoduck farmers and harvesters have turned to politicians to help overturn a Chinese shellfish-import ban that’s all but shut down the local industry. Washington geoduck harvesters and government officials, including Gov. Jay Inslee, are scrambling to overturn China’s decision to ban some shellfish exports from the Pacific Northwest…
Fish inspectors in China notified the U.S. Embassy on Dec. 3 that China was tentatively suspending imports of geoduck and other “double-shell aquatic animals,” such as oysters, because they found high levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, in a Nov. 21 shipment of geoducks…
Alaska dive industry: Southeast Alaska Divers Not Yet Affected By China’s Shellfish Ban
By Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg | December 19, 2013 – 10:15 am
An industry representative says Southeast geoduck clam divers have not been affected by China’s recent ban on West Coast shellfish import since they haven’t been fishing recently.
According to Southeast Alaska Dive Fisheries Association Director Phil Doherty, other factors have been keeping divers off the grounds since early this month…
20. Begich Urges China to Renew its Imports of Alaska Shellfish
Tells Ambassador that Alaska Maintains Highest Safety Standards…
In a letter today (Dec. 17) to Chinese Ambassador to the United States Tiankai Cui, Begich asked for help lifting China’s recent ban on geoduck clams, a prized Chinese delicacy that flourishes in the waters of Southeast Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
21. Begich Praises Pacific Seafood Processors for Salmon Donation
40,000 Pounds of Salmon Headed to St. Lawrence Island
U.S. Senator Mark Begich praised members of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association (PSPA) for their donation of 40,000 pounds of seafood to the residents of St. Lawrence Island who are facing a severe food shortage this year due to unusual ice conditions that stymied this year’s walrus hunt…
22. Begich to FDA: Leave Surprises to Santa this Season – Puts Agency on Notice about Frankenfish Approval
U.S. Senator Mark Begich put the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on notice that any changes to Frankenfish policy must be well-promoted and must include ample time for public debate – not obscured by a release during the holiday season. In a letter to the FDA yesterday, Sen. Begich reminded the agency about last year’s unwelcome and untimely announcement.
Press release: http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=cd42261a-4e47-41ea-8a43-a73f762b0e72
23. Begich Objects to Canadian Approval of Frankenfish Eggs for Panama
(Nov. 26) Proposes Ban of Shipments of Engineered Salmon Roe through U.S.Routes
U.S. Senator Mark Begich today voiced his strong objection to Canadian authorities’ approval of the sale of genetically engineered salmon eggs for production in Panama. The announcement of approval of the production and sale of Frankenfish roe appeared in a routine announcement from Canadian authorities yesterday, raising fears the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was poised to approve the sale and production of the genetically engineered (GE) fish for human consumption…
Canada OKs Production Of Genetically Modified Salmon
24. Will FDA Salmon Ruling Lead to Labeling Law?
As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prepares to release its final ruling on whether a genetically engineered salmon will end up in grocery stores, a handful of northwestern lawmakers are watching especially closely.
The salmon, developed by a Massachusetts-based biotech firm, AquaBounty, would be the first genetically modified animal approved for consumption and commercialization. While the FDA has already said the salmon would be safe to eat and would pose no threat to the environment, the agency has yet to flash its final green light. That approval could come any day.
If and when it does, some lawmakers want the genetically engineered salmon to carry a label saying it’s genetically modified, in part, they say, to preserve the identity of their state’s fisheries.
“It’s a hundreds of millions of dollars industry for us,” Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, said in an interview. “Our salmon’s going to be sitting next to an inferior product and consumers won’t know the difference because there’s no label.”
Earlier this year, Begich introduced a bill that would require labels on the genetically engineered salmon. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, attached the measure to the 2014 Agriculture appropriations bill, winning a 15-14 vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee in June. The spending bill would require the FDA to spend at least $150,000 on a label identifying genetically engineered fish…
25. NOAA: Coastal ocean aquaculture can be environmentally sustainable
Little to no effects on coastal ocean environment seen with proper safeguards, planning…
December 18, 2013
Specific types of fish farming can be accomplished with minimal or no harm to the coastal ocean environment as long as proper planning and safeguards are in place, according to a new report from researchers at NOAA’s National Ocean Service.
The study, led by scientists at National Ocean Service’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), evaluated the environmental effects of finfish aquaculture, including interactions with water quality, benthic habitats, and marine life across various farming practices and habitat types…
“We did this study because of concerns that putting marine finfish farms in the coastal ocean could have adverse effects on the environment,” said Dr. James Morris, NCCOS ecologist. “We found that, in cases where farms are appropriately sited and responsibly managed, impacts to the environment are minimal to non-existent.”
NOAA Press release: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2013/20131218_aquaculture.html
Report: “Marine Cage Culture and the Environment: Twenty-first Century Science Informing a Sustainable Industry.
26. Senator Murkowski Calls on Walmart to Carry Products Made with Salmon from Alaska
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski is continuing to lobby the largest retailer on earth to carry products made with salmon from Alaska. On Wednesday Senator Lisa Murkowski sent a letter to the incoming CEO of Walmart outlining her concerns with the current purchasing practices of Walmart in regards to salmon from Alaska…
Senator Murkowski Press Release: “No Doubt” Alaska Seafood is Sustainable:
27. The Battle of Dude Creek – Gustavus plan revision highlights Habitat Division
By Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau | October 25, 2013
Now, the cranes aren’t the only thing causing a fuss at Dude Creek. The wetlands have become an unlikely battleground in a fight that could decide how millions of acres of sensitive land in the state are managed…
Hank Lentfer represents the Nature Conservancy on the planning team. The conservation group had been planning to let the state manage their reserve in Gustavus, but that deal has been put into question by changes to the special areas planning process. (Alexandra Gutierrez/APRN)
The management plan had been cut in half and was covered in red edits. Whole sections on scientific research and local knowledge had been stripped. When it came to things like geological exploration or hazardous waste disposal, phrases like “will not allow” were replaced with “may allow.” Everything that was prohibited before could now be permitted on a case-by-case basis and without public notice.
28. Fukushima Radiation – Little Impact on Alaska Seafood
Current data indicates that Alaskan Seafood is not affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant reactor damage, or subsequent activity surrounding the power plant. We have been coordinating with other state and federal agencies to monitor the situation at the Fukushima plant and will take action if it becomes necessary. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the lead agency on food safety. Additional information regarding response and testing can be found on their website here.
Fish and shellfish from Alaskan waters and beaches are not affected by the nuclear reactor damage in Japan and are safe to eat; they are, however, still subject to local toxins such as paralytic shellfish poisoning.
29. ADN: Alaska health exchange website getting better but not perfect
Since its Oct. 1 launch, navigators, certified counselors and brokers helping individual Alaskans sign up for health insurance have expressed frustration over the technical glitches that barred most people from completing enrollment on HealthCare.gov during its first month.But recently, two months into open enrollment, the Internet site has begun looking up, said representatives from the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, the private broker Enroll Alaska, and Susan Johnson, northwest regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Enroll Alaska, an affiliate of Northrim Bank, has enrolled 86 people in Alaska’s online marketplace and 36 apart from the website so far — most in recent weeks, said Tyann Boling, its chief operating officer…
Deadline to enroll is December 23, 2013 if you want your coverage to begin on January 1, 2014.
The deadline to get insured and avoid a penalty is March 31, 2014.
Enroll Alaska – http://www.enrollingalaska.com/home.aspx
Phone support: 855-385-5550 (toll free) or 907-770-5100
United Way 2-1-1 Navigator page (Call 2-1-1 or 1-800-478-2221)
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium – for help with exemptions that apply to Alaska Native and American Indian people.
See http://anthctoday.org/aca/ or call 907-729-7777
Alaska (Federal) Healthcare Exchange:
State of Alaska Division of Insurance Affordable Care Act page: http://commerce.alaska.gov/ins/Insurance/ACA/exchanges.html
UFA Info on the Affordable Care Act for Fishermen and Fishing Groups
30. Resource Development Council Resource review – December 2013 issue
Topics in this edition include:
- State revenue forecast
- RDC files amicus
- Donlin Gold tour
- Pebble: the investment case
- Mining industry update
- Tourism industry update
- Fishing industry update
- Forestry industry update
- Multiple use on the Tongass
- Coexistence: fish and oil
- Conference thank you (pdf)
- Portman congratulations (pdf)
31. Juneau Economic Development Council and USFS Innovation Summit – January 29-30, Juneau
The Innovation Summit is an annual gathering of leaders interested in forming better solutions to further the economy of Southeast.The forum fosters collaboration across sectors and industries and delivers fresh ideas and new perspectives from in and outside of Alaska…
32. Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines newsletter for December
33. Alaska Economic Trends – November Seafood Harvesting Jobs issue
AK Department of Labor Economic Trends Archive: http://labor.state.ak.us/trends/
34. NOAA Fisheries of the United States – 2012
…online at: http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/publications.html
NOAA Press release (Oct 30)
UFA Alaska and Washington Community Fishing and Seafood Processing fact Sheets:
35. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – items from this week:
-Hatcheries provide 30% of AK wild salmon
-Each year about one third of Alaska’s salmon catch comes from fish hatcheries.
-As Visions of 2014 Fish Numbers Danced in Their Heads
-Early numbers for next year’s commercial fisheries are all the buzz…
-AK fishing facts for 26 regions: Fish bucks go far beyond the docks
-US consumers call for fish, healthier fast foods – but don’t buy it
-Standing By The Brand
All these and more – online at http://www.alaskafishradio.com/
36. Deadline February 14 for Comment on AK Regional Response Oil Dispersant Policy
Notice of Public Comment Period for Proposed Changes to the Alaska Regional Response Team’s Oil Dispersant Authorization Policy…
The public comment period for Annex F, Appendix I (Alaska Regional Response Team Oil Dispersant Authorization Plan) will remain open through February 14, 2014, and is being opened prior to public comment on the other topics to maximize opportunity for public input and to coincide with a multi-agency, public outreach effort.
AK DEC Public Notice:
More info at Alaska Regional Response Team – www.alaskarrt.org (see right sidebar)
37. Mental Health Trust Adopts Resource Management Strategy – comment by January 10, 2014
Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the provisions of AS 38.05.801 and 11 AAC 99, the Executive Director of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office (TLO) has determined that it is in the best interest of the Alaska Mental Health Trust and its beneficiaries to adopt the Resource Management Strategy (RMS) as the long-term asset management strategy…
Online public notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=170432
Mental Health Land Trust documents: http://www.mhtrustland.org/index.cfm?section=Press-Room&page=Media-Releases&viewpost=2&ContentId=797
38. USFWS approves copper-clad lead shot for migratory bird hunting
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, approve copper-clad iron shot and fluoropolymer coatings for hunting waterfowl and coots. We published a proposed rule for approval of copper-clad iron shot and fluoropolymer coatings in the Federal Register on September 26, 2012 (77 FR 59158). We considered comments on the proposed rule, and we believe that neither the shot nor the coatings will pose toxicity hazards to fish or wildlife or their habitats…
Federal Register notice:
Draft Environmental Assessment for Approval of Copper-Clad Iron Shot – online at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-R9-MB-2012-0028-0004
NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NWFSC-83 – An Overview of Sensory Effects on Juvenile Salmonids Exposed to Dissolved Copper:
Applying a Benchmark Concentration, Approach to Evaluate Sublethal, Neurobehavioral Toxicity
“The review does not address the effects of dCu on salmonid habitats, although copper is also highly toxic at low μg/L concentrations to aquatic primary producers and invertebrates (i.e., the aquatic food web)…”
“Recent experiments on the sensory systems and corresponding behavior of juvenile salmonids contribute to more than four decades of research and show that dCu is a neurotoxicant that directly damages the sensory capabilities of salmonids at low concentrations…”
39. Comment deadline December 31 on NPFMC Amendment 102 for CQE sablefish in Aleutian Islands
NMFS announces that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 102 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) for review by the Secretary of Commerce. Amendment 102 would implement a Community Quota Entity (CQE) Program for sablefish in
the Aleutian Islands regulatory area. The proposed CQE Program would be similar to the existing CQE Program in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Amendment 102 is necessary to provide additional fishing opportunities in fishery dependent communities of the Aleutian Islands and sustain participation in the sablefish IFQ fisheries…
Comments on Amendment 102 must be received no later than 5 p.m., Alaska local time (A.l.t.), on December 31, 2013…
Federal Register notice Nov 1: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/01/2013-26106/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-bering-sea-and-aleutian-islands-management-area#h-4
40. EPA posts Alaska seafood processing discharge and effluent data – Comment deadline January 6.
SUMMARY: This notice makes available for public review and comment additional data and information gathered recently by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from seafood processing facilities in Alaska and other publicly available sources. These data relate to the applicability of and discharge requirements for the Alaskan seafood subcategories of the Canned and Preserved Seafood Processing effluent limitations guidelines. EPA is providing preliminary results of analyses of the updated data and preliminary indications of how these results may be reflected in EPA’s final response to petitions submitted in 1980 by certain members of the Alaskan seafood processing industry, and in amended effluent limitations guidelines applicable to certain Alaskan seafood processing discharges which EPA is considering whether to promulgate in final form.
DATES: Comments on this Notice, as well as any additional pertinent information and data must be received on or before January 6, 2014.
Federal Register (Nov 7): https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/07/2013-26483/alaskan-seafood-processing-effluent-limitations-guidelines
For more info enter Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2013-0652 at www.regulations.gov
41. NOAA processor survey – Comment deadline January 6 on new data collection
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.
Written comments must be submitted on or before January 6, 2014…
The objective of the survey is to collect information on seafood plant characteristics, plant ownership, operating costs, capital costs, labor and revenue related to the processing of marine fish species. As specified in the Magnuson-Stevenson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1996 (and reauthorized in 2007), NMFS is required to enumerate the economic impacts of the policies it implements on the harvesting and processing sectors of the commercial fishing industry, as well as to coastal communities. The information collected in this survey will be used to provide information on potential impacts of management decisions on the fishing industry. In general, analysis of cost and revenue information for the seafood processing plant and other activities of the plant allow analysts to estimate the economic contributions and impacts of marine fish processing to each coastal state and nationwide.
…Respondents have a choice of either electronic or paper forms.
Federal Register notice (Nov 7): https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/07/2013-26666/proposed-information-collection-comment-request-commercial-fisheries-seafood-processor-survey
42. US Coast Guard extends comment period to Jan, 23 on OCS Safety and Environmental Management System Requirements
The Coast Guard is extending the comment period for the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) entitled “Safety and Environmental Management System Requirements for Vessels on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf,” published on September 10, 2013, until January 23, 2014. We are extending the comment period at the request of industry to ensure stakeholders have adequate time to submit complete responses…
Federal Register (Nov. 12)
43. Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) December 3-5 meeting summary:
MAFAC review of May 2013 MSA reauthorization priorities:
MAFAC priorities for further consideration
MONF3 findings – potential implementation routes
ESA Section 7 Consultation Process Working Group Report
…and more, online at:
44. Comment deadline January 17 on Pinto Abalone ESA 90-day listing finding
Summary: We, NMFS, announce 90-day findings on two petitions received to list the pinto abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana) as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to designate critical habitat concurrently with the listing. We find that the petitions and information in our files present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. We will conduct a status review of the species to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to this species from any interested party…
Information and comments on the subject action must be received by January 17, 2014.
Federal Register notice (Nov 18): https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-27553
NOAA Pinto Abalone Status review page:
45. Halibut catch sharing plan set for 2014 implementation
The National Marine Fisheries Service offered some management certainty for Alaskans interested in catching halibut when it announced that it would implement the new catch sharing plan in 2014. Under the plan, or CSP, commercial and charter operators in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska will have a combined catch limit next summer, with each sector taking a certain percentage of that pool of fish. The exact percentage each sector takes are different in Area 2C and Area 3A, or Southeast and the central Gulf of Alaska, respectively, and also vary with abundance…
NOAA final rule on Halibut Catch Sharing Plan
NMFS issues regulations to implement a catch sharing plan for the guided sport (charter) and commercial fisheries for Pacific halibut in waters of International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). This catch sharing plan replaces the Guideline Harvest Level program, defines an annual process for allocating halibut between the charter and commercial fisheries in Area 2C and Area 3A, and establishes allocations for each fishery. The commercial fishery will continue to be managed under the Individual Fishing Quota system. To allow flexibility for individual commercial and charter fishery participants, the catch sharing plan also authorizes annual transfers of commercial halibut quota to charter halibut permit holders for harvest in the charter fishery. This action is necessary to achieve the halibut fishery management goals of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Federal Register notice (December 12): https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-29598
NOAA press release (Dec. 9): http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2013/halibutcsp120913.htm
NOAA Sport Halibut home page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/halibut/sport.htm
46. NMFS posts IFQ Halibut and Sablefish Cost Recovery fee 2013 – 2.8%
NMFS publishes individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices and fee percentage for the IFQ cost recovery program in the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific. The fee percentage for 2013 is 2.8%. This action is intended to provide holders of halibut and sablefish IFQ permits with the 2013 standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2014…
Federal Register notice (Dec 4: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-29023
NOAA IFQ cost recovery program page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ram/ifqfees.htm
47. Comment deadline January 9 on BSAI groundfish 2014-2015 Harvest Specifications
NMFS proposes 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications, apportionments, and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2014 and 2015 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area…
Comments must be received by January 9, 2014…
Federal Register (Dec. 10): https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-29352
NPFMC Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Groundfish FMP page:
48. Comment deadline January 9 on GOA groundfish 2014-2015 Harvest Specifications
Summary: NMFS proposes 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications, apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2014 and 2015 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska…
Comments must be received by January 9, 2014…
Federal Register (Dec. 10): https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-29354
NPMFC Gulf of Alaska Groundfish FMP page:
49. NMFS Notification Of Standard Ex Vessel Prices for groundfish and halibut observer fees
NMFS publishes standard ex-vessel prices for groundfish and halibut for the calculation of the observer fee under the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program (Observer Program). This notice is intended to provide information to vessel owners, processors, registered buyers, and other participants about the standard ex-vessel prices that will be used to calculate the observer fee liability for landings of groundfish and halibut made in 2014. NMFS will send invoices to processors and registered buyers subject to the fee by January 15, 2015. Fees are due to NMFS on or before February 15, 2015…
Federal Register (Dec. 9): https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-29356
NOAA Restructured Observer Program home page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/observers/
50. NOAA posts MMPA List of Fisheries for 2014 – comment deadline January 6
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its proposed List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2014, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The proposed LOF for 2014 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 mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery…
NMFS proposes to add grey whale (Eastern North Pacific) to the list of species/stocks incidentally killed or injured in the “Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands crab pot” fishery…
Federal Register (Dec. 6): https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-29208
List of Fisheries home page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/lof/
51. Deadline Jan. 6, 2014 for 2014 Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Mitigation Infrastructure Grants
The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development is pleased to announce the availability of 2014 Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Mitigation Infrastructure Grant funds. Eligible entities are encouraged to submit applications for grants which help mitigate economic impacts to Southeast Alaska fisheries interests from the reduction in the Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon harvest…
Total funding available for the 2014 grant program is estimated to be $870,671.00 ($190,715.00 in category 1 and $679,956.00 in category 4).
Based upon funding available during the 2014 application cycle, potential grants are limited to the following categories:
1. Ice-making and storage infrastructure projects providing service to coastal area of:
4. Infrastructure projects that will provide a lasting benefit to the sport Chinook salmon fishery under one or more of the following criteria:
a.Fish cleaning float improvements;
b.Fish waste disposal; and
c.Improved access to ice.
Eligible applicants for this program include: municipalities, Alaska Native tribes, regional development organizations, incorporated nonprofit entities, and businesses.
Online Public Notice:
Application and info: http://commerce.alaska.gov/dnn/dcra/GrantsSection/ChinookSalmonInfrastructureGrants.aspx
52. Deadline Jan. 6 for Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Hatchery Enhancement Grant Program
The purpose of this program is to help mitigate economic impacts to the fisheries interests from the reduction in the Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon harvest.
Total funding available for the 2014 grant program is estimated to be $464,361…
Eligible applicants include a hatchery that holds an active permit issued under AS 16.10.400 and 5AAC 40.
Info and Application: http://commerce.alaska.gov/dnn/dcra/GrantsSection/ChinookSalmonHatcheryEnhancementGrants.aspx
53. NOAA posts Procedures for Government-to-Government Consultation With Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations
In compliance with Executive Order (E.O.) 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (November 6, 2000), the Department of Commerce (Department) adopted a Tribal Consultation and Coordination policy statement. This policy establishes the manner in which NOAA works with Federally recognized Indian Tribes when developing NOAA policies that have Tribal implications. This Handbook is intended to assist NOAA, including its regional and field staff, in conducting effective government-to-government consultations and fulfill NOAA’s obligations under E.O. 13175 and Department Administrative Order 218-8 on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, and the Department of Commerce Tribal Consultation and Coordination Policy…
54. Applicants Sought for Subsistence Regional Advisory Council Membership – Deadline: March 21, 2014
The Federal Subsistence Board is accepting applications through March 21, 2014 to fill seats on the 10 Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils. Council membership appointments are for 1- to 3-year terms. There are approximately 40 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: http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/index.cfm . The application form and additional information is also available by contacting Carl Johnson at the Office of Subsistence Management at (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3676…
55. Northeast Fishermen look for your help – Raffle for new car up to $45K or $25K cash
(Raffle tickets are $300 and the raffle will be held when 300 tickets are sold.)
Northeast Fishery Sector Inc. (Sector 13) is a non-profit membership organization that was established in May 2010. Membership is comprised of fishermen from Massachusetts south to North Carolina. The members of Sector 13 operate under strict federal regulations and self imposed rules and regulations. The sector has 54 registered federal permits with boats ranging in size from 40’ to 100’. They primarily fish using trawl gear for cod, haddock, flounders, fluke, squid, and whitting-regulated species-on Georges Bank and in Southern New England waters.
Home page: https://www.nefs13.org (see link to raffle)
56. Help Wanted: Assistant Professor Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (MAP), Bristol Bay region
his is a tenure-track faculty position that 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) specialists and agents who provide information and technical assistance to the public relating to: commercial, subsistence or sport fisheries issues, coastal economic development (such as seafood processing, tourism or marine business management), commercial fisheries development, community-based science and environmental monitoring, resource management, marine conservation, and marine resource education.
Info and Application: http://www.sfos.uaf.edu/employment/Bristol_Bay_MAP.pdf
57. Alaska Board of Fisheries to meet in Kodiak, January 7-10 on Kodiak Finfish
…due to a lower than anticipated number of proposals, the meeting will be reduced by one day…
Board of Fisheries press release:
Meeting Information: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo&date=01-07-2014&meeting=kodiak
58. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
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Compiled by staff of United Fishermen of Alaska, PO Box 20229, Juneau AK 99802 (907) 586-2820