The UFA annual Spring meeting will be held February 19, 20 and 21 in Juneau at Rockwell upstairs meeting room at 109 South Franklin St (former Elks Lodge).
Please support UFA business members .
Thanks to new UFA Lifetime member Jeremy Jensen.
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.
From the Director
It’s that time of year again! The annual UFA spring meeting in Juneau will be held February 19th through 21st in the Rockwell ballroom at 109 South Franklin St. (formerly the Elks Lodge). This meeting is UFA’s opportunity to meet with lawmakers in the Alaska Legislature, key officials in state and federal government, and discuss issues that impact the seafood industry in Alaska. The UFA meeting is open to current members (except while in executive session), and we encourage you to stop by and listen in. We look forward to another productive meeting where UFA will discuss active legislation, the net ban initiative, Board of Fisheries, and many other issues.
As usual, feel free to contact the UFA office if you have any questions or would like more information about what UFA does for you.
United Fishermen of Alaska
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.
*** Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees. ***
Table of Contents
- Kenai setnet ban initiative – Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance to Sue the State
- Kenai Fisheries panel brings fishers from all user groups to the table
- Legislature hears from ADFG on CIFF/UCIDA lawsuit
- Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet Finfish – Anchorage, January 31–February 13, 2014 (and items added to Statewide Crab)
- Deadline April 10 for 2014-2015 Board of Fisheries Proposals – SE, PWS, Upper Copper / Upper Susitna…
- Walmart: Working with suppliers in Alaska to ensure sustainable seafood
- State, Walmart Announce Agreement on Seafood
- Murkowski Commends Wal-Mart Decision to Continue Stocking Alaska Seafood in Stores Nationwide
- NGOs push Walmart to defy Congress, reject Alaska’s sustainability program (Sackton January 2)
- Pebble Mine Could Devastate Alaska’s Bristol Bay Region, EPA Finds
- Alaskans blast Jewell decision to deny King Cove road
- Begich Legislation Paves the Way for Road to King Cove
- Appeals court reinstates overfishing charges against Kookesh, two others
- Yes, Virginia, Walleye Pollock is Gadus chalcogrammus (Cod)
- Halibut harvests cut for 10th straight season
- NPFMC to meet February 3 – 11, Seattle
- Murkowski Food Advocacy Effort Builds Momentum, Expands to $20 Million Alaska Salmon Purchase
- NOAA Gives Murkowski, Alaskans More Time for MMPA Acoustic Impacts Input
- Murkowski’s Appropriations Advocacy Reaps Fishery Failure and Tsunami Debris Aid
- Juneau Rep. Beth Kerttula resigns
- The Statesman – Senator Gary Stevens visits Cordova
- Senator Micciche to address permitting bill HB 77
- State talks water rights at Mat-Su Borough meeting
- HB77 fails to define ‘irreparable’ damage to fish habitat
- Chenault, Huggins Discuss Education, Gas Line, And Fish Politics
- Ketchikan Fishing photos and stories wanted for museum exhibit
- Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Programs from this week
- Comment deadline February 3 on NOAA Changes to Chart Printing and Distribution
- Comment deadline February 3 on elimination of marker buoy vessel name requirement
- NMFS posts Amendment 99 final rule on BSAI PCod vessel replacement
- Comment deadline January 29 on Cook Inlet seismic marine mammal take
- Comment deadline extended to February 5 on APDES Storm Water Discharge General Permit
- Deadline February 12 for ACWA Water Quality, Quantity and Habitat projects
- Comment deadline March 17 on DEC Anti-degradation implementation regulations
- Deadline February 27 for Tongass Federal Advisory Committee nominations
- Comment deadline March 28 on federal Subsistence fish and shellfish regs – RAC meetings scheduled
- Comment deadline March 25 on Special Subsistence Permits and Harvest Logs for Pacific Halibut in Waters Off Alaska
- Alaska Symphony of Seafood – Anchorage, February 13
- AFSC posts Community Profiles for North Pacific Fisheries – Alaska, Volumes 1-12
- UFA Community Fish Facts sheets updated with Local Fish Taxes.
- Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
- Upcoming HACCP workshops and Better Process Control School taught by the Marine Advisory Program:
- Fishlines – Alaska Sea Grant Newsletter for January 2014
- AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
1. Kenai setnet ban initiative – Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance to Sue the State
The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance will appeal the state’s decision to reject its proposed ballot initiative that would ban setnetters in Cook Inlet.
In November, AFCA submitted signatures asking for voters to consider banning setnetting in the urban, nonsubsistence, areas of the state — such as the Anchorage area, much of the Kenai Peninsula, Valdez and Juneau. It would eliminate Cook Inlet setnetters and not have an immediate affect on anyone else, although fishermen in other communities would lose the right to setnet if Alaska’s Board of Fisheries and Board of Game removed a region’s rural, subsistence, designation in the future.
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell announced Jan. 6 that the proposed ban on setnetting did not meet legal standards to appear on a ballot.
Treadwell used an Alaska Department of Law opinion, that the initiative was a prohibited appropriation of state assets, in striking it down.
AFCA announced the decision to appeal Jan. 22 during a press conference in Anchorage, and maintained that the initiative was about conservation, not appropriation.
Kenai Peninsula Clarion: http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-01-22-0
To follow this case, search Trial Courts at http://courts.alaska.gov/search-cases.htm and search by case number 3AN-14-04558CI . (or)
Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance Set Net Ban Fails to Make it to Ballot
2. Kenai Fisheries panel brings fishers from all user groups to the table
by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion
More than 130 people had lunch together at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center where a panel of representatives from many of the fishing groups in the Cook Inlet answered questions on the ongoing conflict over fishing.
Six panelists answered prepared questions about the history of the fishery, problems with management and potential solutions to coping with the decline in king salmon…
3. Legislature hears from ADFG on CIFF/UCIDA lawsuit
By Rashah McChesney, Peninsula Clarion
A joint House and Senate finance subcommittee on Tuesday met to hear a report on a lawsuit filed against the National Marine Fisheries Service by two Cook-Inlet commercial fishing entities.
Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, and Rep. Bill Stoltz, R-Mat Su-Chugiak and others from the subcommittee, heard from the Alaska Department of Law and representatives from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on state intervention in the lawsuit; though the plaintiff, the United Cook Inlet Drift Association, declined to participate in the proceedings.
The lawsuit challenges the validity of a 2011 decision which transferred salmon management from federal authorities to the State of Alaska in Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound and Alaska Peninsula salmon fisheries.
The final rule implementing the change went into effect Jan. 22, 2013 and the drift association along with the Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund, CIFF, ask for federal oversight of the fishery arguing that salmon runs in the Cook Inlet are being mismanaged by the state….
4. Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet Finfish – Anchorage, January 31–February 13, 2014
The Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) will meet January 31–February 13, 2014 at the Egan Civic and Convention Center, 555 W. 5th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska. During this fourteen day public meeting, the board will meet to consider 236 proposals regarding the Upper Cook Inlet region submitted by the general public, fishing organizations, local Fish and Game Advisory Committees, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game…
BOF Upper Cook Inlet Meeting Information: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo&date=01-31-2014&meeting=uci
Tentative Agenda: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/fisheriesboard/pdfs/2013-2014/uci/agenda_uci_2014.pdf
Board of Fisheries home page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.main
Online Public Notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=170641
Items added to Board of Fisheries Statewide King & Tanner Crab meeting March 17-21
This SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE is being issued to notify the public of the following topic being added to the Board of Fisheries (board) schedule to be considered at the meeting noted:
The following additional topic will be addressed at the board’s Statewide King and Tanner Crab, and Supplemental Items meeting scheduled for March 17–21, 2014 at the Sheraton Hotel, 401 East 6th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska:
IN THE BRISTOL BAY FINFISH AREA: Consider amending regulations relating to deployment of set gillnet gear in the Ugashik River to remedy a navigational obstruction in the Ugashik River set gill net salmon fishery. (Newly assigned Proposal 375 – formerly ACR 10.)
IN THE YUKON RIVER FINFISH AREA: Consider establishing a purse seine fishery on the Yukon River for commercial harvest of Yukon River summer chum salmon in districts 1-3 during times of king salmon conservation, including the gear that may be used, based on an emergency finding for a Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association emergency petition. (Newly assigned Proposal 377.)…
Online Public Notice:
Statewide King and Tanner Meeting March 17-21 – BOF Meeting Info page:
5. Deadline April 10 for 2014-2015 Board of Fisheries Proposals – SE, PWS, Upper Copper / Upper Susitna…
The Alaska Board of Fisheries calls for proposed changes in the subsistence, personal use, sport, guided sport, and commercial fishing regulations for the
Prince William Sound and Upper Copper/Upper Susitna finfish and Southeast and Yakutat finfish areas, and Southeast and Yakutat crab (king, tanner, dungeness), shrimp, miscellaneous shellfish, and Statewide (except Southeast and Yakutat areas) Dungeness crab, shrimp, miscellaneous shellfish areas…
6. Walmart: Working with suppliers in Alaska to ensure sustainable seafood
We’re proud of our role in promoting sustainable fisheries. So, when salmon fisheries in Alaska indicated they wanted to adopt a new program called Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM), we respected that decision but also wanted to credibly stand by our commitment. We turned to The Sustainability Consortium, an organization made up of businesses, academics and nonprofits, to develop principles for credible fishery management. Based on their findings, we took another look at our policy. We’re pleased to incorporate the latest science by applying TSC’s principles to our sustainable seafood policy.
Walmart has proudly sourced seafood from the state of Alaska for many years, and under our newly revised sustainable sourcing policy, we will continue to do so…
7. State, Walmart Announce Agreement on Seafood
January 24, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Following focused efforts by the State of Alaska to educate, inform, and reassure Walmart about Alaska’s commitment to responsible fisheries management, Governor Sean Parnell today announced that Walmart and the state had come to an agreement, and that the retailer will continue to purchase Alaska seafood.
“This is great news for Alaska’s seafood industry and the state as a whole,” Governor Parnell said. “We are very happy to hear that Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, will continue to buy Alaska seafood. I want to especially commend the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, the Department of Fish and Game, and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) for their hard work in showcasing the sustainability of Alaska seafood. Maintaining choice in seafood sustainability certifications is important to the State of Alaska and the fishing industry, and Walmart’s decision is a major step in the right direction.”
Governor Sean Parnell press release: http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.html?pr=6714
Walmart reps ‘schooled’ on Alaska’s salmon industry by Laine Welch
Time: Can Walmart (and Other Mega-Corporations) Do Good?
8. Murkowski Commends Wal-Mart Decision to Continue Stocking Alaska Seafood in Stores Nationwide
Announcement “Clear Vindication of Our Superior Sustainable Management”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wal-Mart today announced that it will continue to buy Alaska seafood for its nationwide stores, concluding a four-month review of Alaska’s sustainability standards and practices. Senator Lisa Murkowski – who has been pushing back against outside groups attempting to question Alaska seafood since last Summer – had the following has been taking on sustainability concerns from outside entities
Senator Murkowski’s press release today http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=3e45551f-e430-4bdd-b366-c1d3f09d12df&ContentType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15bf92da4&Group_id=c01df158-d935-4d7a-895d-f694ddf41624
9. NGOs push Walmart to defy Congress, reject Alaska’s sustainability program (Sackton January 2)
By John Sackton, editor of Seafood News
Note: ISEAL has responded to this article, including refuting the reference that they were set up specifically to bypass WTO conflict of interest rules. Read their response here.
Walmart has missed its self-imposed end of year deadline to review the sustainability criteria it is using for its seafood purchases.
At the same time, 8 powerful NGO’s have threatened to walk away from Walmart’s program unless it is made to resemble the scoring criteria of the NGO-founded ISEAL. ISEAL was specifically set up to bypass WTO conflict of interest rules that would prohibit NGO advisors from being both standards developers and governors…
10. Pebble Mine Could Devastate Alaska’s Bristol Bay Region, EPA Finds
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A government report indicates a large-scale copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region could have devastating effects on the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery and adversely affect Alaska Natives, whose culture is built around salmon.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday released its final assessment of the impact of mining in the Bristol Bay region. Its findings are similar to those of an earlier draft report, concluding that, depending on the size of the mine, up to 94 miles of streams would be destroyed in the mere build-out of the project, including losses of between 5 and 22 miles of streams known to provide salmon spawning and rearing habitat. Up to 5,350 acres of wetlands, ponds and lakes also would be lost due to the mine footprint.
The report concludes that “large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed poses significant near- and long-term risk to salmon, wildlife and Native Alaska cultures,” EPA regional administrator Dennis McLerran said in a conference call with reporters…
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-01082
EPA Bristol Bay Assessment page: http://www2.epa.gov/bristolbay
Begich Responds to EPA Announcement on Bristol Bay
Says Science Will Guide Review of Watershed Assessment and Proposed Mine
11. Alaskans blast Jewell decision to deny King Cove road
By Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Interior Secretary Jewell put the biggest roadblock to date in front of an effort to build a route between the Aleutian villages of King Cove and Cold Bay Dec. 23 when she denied a land swap needed for the project.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski called Jewell’s decision an “insult” and “offensive” in a press conference immediately following the announcement.
“This is a disappointing decision, extremely disappointing to me, but I cannot imagine how disappointed the people of King Cove are that the secretary of (the) Interior, who came out, who listened to them, who visited with them, turned a deaf ear — absolute deaf ear to their request for a simple ask,” Murkowski said…
12. Begich Legislation Paves the Way for Road to King Cove
“If the federal bureaucrats won’t do the right thing, I will.”
Frustrated by the U.S. Department of Interior’s (DOI) decision to ignore the public safety of Alaskans and reject a land exchange to facilitate a road linking the community of King Cove to the all-weather airport in Cold Bay, U.S. Senator Mark Begich today introduced legislation that would mandate the exchange and allow the State of Alaska to build the road.
Senator Mark Begich press release (January 15):
13. Appeals court reinstates overfishing charges against Kookesh, two others
By Casey Kelly
Overfishing charges against former State Senator Albert Kookesh and two other men have been reinstated by the Alaska Court of Appeals.
In 2009, Kookesh and three others – Rocky Estrada, Sr., Stanley Johnson, and Scott Hunter – were fishing for sockeye salmon at Kanalku Bay near his hometown of Angoon. A state wildlife trooper observed them catching more salmon than allowed under their subsistence permits, and issued citations.
Kookesh, Estrada, and Johnson challenged, saying the Alaska Department of Fish and Game cannot establish catch limits. They argued the only way to enact limits is through the Alaska Board of Fisheries.
A District Court judge agreed, and dismissed the charges against the men.
The Court of Appeals in ruling today (Friday) said the board of fish can delegate authority to the department. The case was returned to the District Court.
Kookesh says he and the other defendants would like to continue fighting, but their attorney – Tony Strong of Juneau – has been disbarred for an unrelated matter.
KTOO radio story December 27:
14. Yes, Virginia, Walleye Pollock is Gadus chalcogrammus (Cod)
“The recent change of the scientific name of Walleye Pollock from Theragra chalcogramma to Gadus chalcogrammus has created some consternation among those of us working with this species on nearly a daily basis. The decision to change the generic assignment came about through extensive genetic studies that examined the number of species and evolutionary relationships among the cods (e.g., Coulson et al., 2006; Teletchea et al., 2006; Carr and Marshall, 2008). In all of these studies, Walleye Pollock was definitively placed in an evolutionary lineage that included the Pacific, Atlantic, and Greenland Cods (Gadus macrocephalus, G. morhua, and G. ogac). The data also indicated that Theragra is more closely related to G. morhua than the other cod species, rather than outside Gadus in a separate lineage. Morphological studies have been ambiguous, the position of Theragra left unresolved among other gadid genera (Dunn, 1989; Teletchea et al., 2006). Nomenclature should be congruent with our best hypothesis of evolutionary relationships, and to recognize this relationship a nomenclatural decision needed to be made. Authors (Coulson et al., 2006; Carr and Marshall, 2008) chose to include the Gadus and Theragra cod lineages together in the single genus Gadus, rather than remove Gadus morhua from Gadus in order to retain Theragra for Walleye Pollock…
Alaska Fisheries Science Center:
15. Halibut harvests cut for 10th straight season
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
SEATTLE — Halibut fishermen will see another year of cuts under catch limits adopted Jan. 17 at the International Pacific Halibut Commission’s annual meeting.
Alaska’s portion of the 2014 catch is about 19.7 million pounds, out of a coastwide catch of 27.5 million pounds.
The coastwide catch is about 10 percent less than 2013, marking 10 consecutive years of cuts. The 2013 limit was about 31.02 million pounds coastwide, and 23 million pounds in Alaska.
The commission, or IPHC, met in Seattle Jan. 13-17 to set the catch limits from Northern California to the Bering Sea and discuss other issues in the Pacific halibut fishery.
IPHC home page: http://www.iphc.int/
IPHC Annual meeting page: http://www.iphc.int/meetings-and-events/annual-meeting.html
16. NPFMC to meet February 3 – 11, Seattle
Meeting Info and downloadable App: http://www.npfmc.org/2014-council-meetings/
See agenda for links to meeting items:
Schedule of Events and Public Comment Info
Observer Advisory Committee Agenda
Bering Sea Canyons Workshop Agenda
Ecosystem Committee Agenda
Enforcement Committee Agenda
Federal Register notice January 16: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-00737
NPFMC home page: http://www.npfmc.org/
17. Murkowski Food Advocacy Effort Builds Momentum, Expands to $20 Million Alaska Salmon Purchase
Department of Agriculture Purchases Canned Pink Salmon for Food Banks Nationwide
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After successfully encouraging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand its efforts to provide more produce to food banks and affiliates nationwide last week, Senator Lisa Murkowski was able to help convince Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to use $20 million in existing funds to also purchase Alaska canned pink salmon for Americans in need.
Senator Lisa Murkowski press release:
18. NOAA Gives Murkowski, Alaskans More Time for MMPA Acoustic Impacts Input
Senator’s Push Gets Extension for Better Science, More Accurate Conclusions, “You Have to Allow for Time to Weigh In”…
Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve of 2013, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) opened a one month nationwide window for comments on its study results of acoustic noise on marine mammals. However, given the timing very few Alaskans or Americans knew about the opportunity – and Senator Lisa Murkowski called it an “unwelcome holiday surprise” while pressing the administration for more time.
Today, NOAA responded to her call and added 45 days to the comment period for interested parties to participate, which was initially scheduled to end next Monday. The new deadline will be March 13th…
The draft guidance is available in electronic form via the Internet at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/ .
Submit Comments at www.regulations.gov identified by [NOAA-NMFS-2013-0177],
or go to Docket: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0177
Federal Register Notice (Original December 27: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-30951)
(We have not found an updated Federal Register Notice for the comment deadline extension
NOAA page: Seeking public comment on Marine Mammal Acoustic Guidance
NOAA page Ocean Acoustics: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/
NOAA’s Marine Mammal Acoustic Guidance – Status of NOAA’s Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammals…
19. Murkowski’s Appropriations Advocacy Reaps Fishery Failure and Tsunami Debris Aid
Senator’s Campaign Gets $75M for Fish Disasters Nationwide…
The 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill marks a major benchmark for Senator Lisa Murkowski’s negotiations for Alaska that address a wide range of marine needs for the state – most notably providing $75 million for recent fishery failures nationwide, including Alaska’s Chinook disaster in 2012. It also boosts tsunami debris response efforts, advances a much-needed electronic monitoring alternative for Alaska’s small boat fishing fleet, and millions in government loans to improve the commercial fishing fleet…
Senator Lisa Murkowski press release:
20. Juneau Rep. Beth Kerttula resigns
By Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO, and Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN
The House Minority Leader announced her new job Tuesday afternoon in a speech on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives.
She will be a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford.
Anchorage Rep. Chris Tuck has been selected by the Democratic caucus as the new minority leader…
…On Wednesday, the House Committee on Committees met briefly to approve a request by minority Democrats to have Rep. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, replace Tuck on House Resources…
On the Senate side, Minority Leader Hollis French, in a floor speech, called the majority’s rejection of proposed committee changes a troubling decision that doesn’t foster good will in the opening days of the legislative session…http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/5de168e104844e91bbfcf75062ce4729/AK-XGR–Committee-Changes
21. The Statesman – Senator Gary Stevens visits Cordova
Posted 01/17/2014, Jennifer Gibbins, Cordova Times
Long recognized for his ability to build consensus, statesman, professor and Senator Gary Stevens and his wife Rita recently spent three days visiting Cordova last week. Stevens represents Cordova as part of Senate District R, a district that includes 35,000 residents across 60-some communities from Cordova to Kodiak…
22. Senator Micciche to address permitting bill HB 77
Posted: January 16, 2014 – 8:33pm By Becky Bohrer, Associated Press
JUNEAU — A Soldotna legislator on Thursday said he has asked that a controversial permitting bill be sent to the Senate Resources Committee for further review when the Legislature reconvenes.
Sen. Peter Micciche, who held community meetings on HB77 last month, said his constituency does not support the bill in its current form.
23. State talks water rights at Mat-Su Borough meeting
Saturday, January 18, 2014 12:00 am
Andrew Wellner, Mat-Su Frontiersman
PALMER — State Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Ed Fogels said he thinks people are misinterpreting a bill his department has proposed for the Legislature.
House Bill 77 does a number of things, but the piece that has been most controversial in the Mat-Su deals with in-stream flow reservations.
A flow reservation mandates that a body of water maintain a certain water level.
Someone with a flow reservation can block a permit application from a person or business seeking to remove so much water from the body as to drop below that level.
The legislation would restrict those reservations so that only government bodies and agencies could apply for them.
HB77 bill tracking: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=HB%20%2077&session=28
24. HB77 fails to define ‘irreparable’ damage to fish habitat
Melanie Brown, Alaska Dispatch, January 20, 2014
While fish and game habitat is often sacrificed in the name of development, Alaska has never said no to a large mine permit application. Yet the Alaska Department of Natural Resources is attempting to gut the permitting process, the only process through which Alaskans can weigh in on permit decisions, by streamlining this critical public participation via a piece of legislation called House Bill 77. The bill narrowly escaped being ratified by the Senate before the state Legislature called its recess last spring.
If this bill becomes a law, the DNR commissioner will have singular power to approve general permits as long as he thinks that the development will not cause significant and irreparable harm. The bill does nothing to define what the commissioner views as “irreparable.” For instance, does the commissioner think damage caused by an open pit mine at the headwaters of salmon producing streams can be mitigated and repaired? Does DNR think that mining through 11 miles of salmon-bearing river can result in a river where salmon will continue to return after its coal seams are excavated?
Alaska DNR Chuitna Large Mine page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/largemine/chuitna/
25. Chenault, Huggins Discuss Education, Gas Line, And Fish Politics
By Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
January 21, 2014 – 4:28 pm
As lawmakers begin the 90 day session, House Speaker Mike Chenault and Senate President Charlie Huggins say there is just one must pass bill this session- the budget.
But the majority party has other items on their agenda, along with a commitment to fiscal restraint.
I asked Speaker Chenault to outline his priorities…
Representative Chenault, you’re from the Kenai Peninsula and Senator Huggins, you’re from Wasilla . Both of your bodies of constituents are very invested in the strength of salmon runs in Southcentral. Do you have plans to delve into fish politics this session?
Rep. Chenault – It’s never been my intention to ever get into fish politics. I come from the lower Mat-Su and Charlie comes from the upper Kenai, and while we may have our differences of opinion, I don’t think that fish politics ever plays well or allocation issues ever play well in the legislature…
Senator Huggins, are you willing to wade into the fish politics issue?
Sen. Huggins – Well, we have people in Mat-Su, and Mike just described some of that, but what I see is we have to put all the moving parts of fish escapement, return, and everything that falls in between those two. … I’ll sum it up very quickly: There’s something wrong when you can be from Washington State and you can be selling fish and making money and people in Wasilla can’t even go fishing in the streams. But there are a lot of variables in the middle. There aren’t any evil people and the fish are suffering, so I say that whatever we do, we air on the side of the fish. All stakeholders are gonna have to give on this. The Board of Fish, I support them in the allocation business, and I don’t want to see the legislature in the allocation business because I don’t think it works…
26. Ketchikan Fishing photos and stories wanted for museum exhibit
The Ketchikan Museum Department is seeking YOUR photos and stories to capture and share the tradition of commercial fishing in Ketchikan, past and present.
Ketchikan locals are invited to submit one commercial fishing photo with information and one paragraph story to be included in a digital slideshow of memories that will be enjoyed by locals and summer visitors alike. This community history project will be on display during the Tongass Historical Museum’s 2014 winter – summer exhibit, First in Fish: Ketchikan’s Commercial Fishing Traditions. The digital album will also be saved in the Museum’s records for future generations.
First in Fish will open Friday, February 28 with a free opening reception from 5 – 7 PM.
27. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Programs from this week
Plan to ban AK setnetters goes back to court
Sens. Murkowski & Begich differ on EPA and Bristol Bay
Alaska Pollock, Pacific Cod, Crab and More
Pollock opened for trawlers Monday in the Gulf and out in the Bering Sea.
Sen. Murkowski asks for 60 day extend for input on undersea sounds/marine mammals
EPA says Pebble Mine is a bad idea: Reactions
And more – online at http://www.alaskafishradio.com/
28. Comment deadline February 3 on NOAA Changes to Chart Printing and Distribution
Notice To Advise The Public Of Changes To The Printing And Distribution Of Noaa’s Nautical Charts, Including Digital Charts, And To Seek Public Comment…
Summary: NOAA is making significant changes to nautical chart printing and distribution, and is seeking public comment. This notice informs the public of the Office of Coast Survey’s approach to expanding navigation products and services, and explains how mariners may continue to access the nautical charts necessary for safe navigation of U.S. waters and to meet regulatory carriage requirements.
DATES: Written, faxed, or emailed comments are due by midnight, February 3, 2014.
Federal Register notice January 2: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-31378
29. Comment deadline February 3 on elimination of marker buoy vessel name requirement
Summary: NMFS proposes to revise the identification marking requirements for fishing gear marker buoys (buoys) used in Federal waters off Alaska. This proposed rule would eliminate the requirement that hook-and-line, longline pot, and pot-and-line buoys be marked with the vessel’s name. The requirement to mark buoys with either the vessel’s Federal fisheries permit number or Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) number remains in effect. This action is needed to remove a regulatory requirement that is unnecessary. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI Groundfish FMP), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA Groundfish FMP), and other applicable laws…
Comments must be received no later than February 3, 2014…
Federal register January 3: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-31416
30. NMFS posts Amendment 99 final rule on BSAI PCod vessel replacement
Summary: NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 99 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). Amendment 99 enables the holders of license limitation program (LLP) licenses authorizing a designated vessel to catch and process Pacific cod in the BSAI hook-and-line fisheries to use newly built or existing vessels that are not eligible under current vessel length and capacity restrictions. This action is necessary to promote safety-at-sea by encouraging the replacement of older vessels with newer and more efficient vessels that are able to meet modern vessel safety standards. This action is intended to facilitate the increased retention and utilization of groundfish by allowing sector participants to use larger vessels with increased processing and hold capabilities…
Federal register January 6: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-31556
31. Comment deadline January 29 on Cook Inlet seismic marine mammal take
Summary: NMFS received an application from Apache Alaska Corporation (Apache) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to a proposed 3D seismic survey in Cook Inlet, Alaska, between March 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS requests comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to Apache to take, by Level B harassment only, five species of marine mammals during the specified activity…
DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than January 29, 2014.
Federal Register Notice December 31: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-31333
32. Comment deadline extended to February 5 on APDES Storm Water Discharge General Permit
Extension of Notice of Review of an Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (APDES) preliminary draft general permit entitled Multi-Sector General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity (MSGP)…
ADEC’s Wastewater Discharge Authorization Program web page at: http://www.dec.state.ak.us/water/wwdp/index.htm
Public Notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=170913
33. Deadline February 12 for ACWA Water Quality, Quantity and Habitat projects
Alaska’s Clean Water Actions (ACWA) Partnership – Solicitation for Water Quality, Water Quantity and Aquatic Habitat Projects, Fiscal Year 2015
There are several parts to this solicitation, see the application for full details.
Two types of projects will be considered for funding through this solicitation for projects occurring during the 2015 fiscal year (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015):
1) Projects that address identified water resource protection or restoration activities on ACWA high priority waters. The ACWA High Priority Waters List is available as Appendix D in the application. The solicitation will only accept project applications for waters found on the ACWA priority waters list and the actions identified for those waters.
2) Projects that address identified statewide or area-wide stewardship activities as described in Appendix C of the application. Specific educational opportunities are included in this year’s grant application.
DEADLINE for all applications is 5:00 p.m. February 12, 2014
34. Comment deadline March 17 on DEC Anti-degradation implementation regulations
Antidegradation is a tool used to protect the water quality in the State of Alaska. Antidegradation implementation is the method or process for determining whether and to what extent the water quality may be lowered.
The Federal Clean Water Act requires states to have an anti-degradation policy and implementation methods…
DEC Division of Water staff drafted antidegradation implementation method regulations, which were posted for formal public comment on January 13th, 2014. The department will accept comments throughout the 60 day public comment period ending March 17th, 2014.
Online Public Notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=170773
DEC Antidegradation page:
35. Deadline February 27 for Tongass Federal Advisory Committee nominations
(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska – The U.S. Forest Service published its intent on Monday to establish a federal advisory committee to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chief of the Forest Service on developing a sustainable forest management strategy for the Tongass National Forest, with an emphasis on supporting a transition to young growth management. The Forest Service is now seeking nominations to fill fifteen vacancies. The committee will include a diverse group of stakeholders and will operate in a way that is open, transparent, and accessible to the public.
The Tongass Federal Advisory Committee is being established as a result of both the five-year review of the Tongass Land Management Plan and a July memorandum from the Secretary of Agriculture, Addressing Sustainable Forestry in Southeast Alaska. The Committee will be expected to provide advice on transitioning to young growth in a manner that supports the existing forest industry in Southeast Alaska. Advice from the Committee may also inform modification of the Tongass Land Management Plan.
The U.S. Forest Service invites persons interested in serving on the Tongass Advisory Committee to submit a nomination by February 27, 2014. Any individual or organization may nominate one or more qualified persons; individuals may also nominate themselves…
USFS Tongass Advisory Committee page: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/home/?cid=stelprdb5444388
Federal Register Notice January 13: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-00326
36. Comment deadline March 28 on federal Subsistence fish and shellfish regs – RAC meetings scheduled
Summary: This proposed rule would establish regulations for fish and shellfish seasons, harvest limits, methods and means related to taking of fish and shellfish for subsistence uses during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) is on a schedule of completing the process of revising subsistence taking of fish and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years and subsistence taking of wildlife regulations in even-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable cycle. When final, the resulting rulemaking will replace the existing subsistence fish and shellfish taking regulations. This proposed rule would also amend the general regulations on subsistence taking of fish and wildlife…
DATES: Public meetings: The Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils will hold public meetings to receive comments and make proposals to change this proposed rule on several dates between February 11 and March 21, 2014, and then hold another round of public meetings to discuss and receive comments on the proposals, and make recommendations on the proposals to the Federal Subsistence Board, on several dates between August 19 and October 24, 2014. The Board will discuss and evaluate proposed regulatory changes during a public meeting in Anchorage, AK, in January 2015. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for specific information on dates and locations of the public meetings.
Public comments: Comments and proposals to change this proposed rule must be received or postmarked by March 28, 2014.
…The Federal Subsistence Board, through the Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils, will hold public meetings on this proposed rule at the following locations in Alaska, on the following dates:
Region 1—Southeast Regional Council – Anchorage – March 11, 2014.
Region 2—Southcentral Regional Council – Anchorage – March 11, 2014.
Region 3—Kodiak/Aleutians Regional Council – TBD – March 20, 2014.
Region 4—Bristol Bay Regional Council – Naknek – February 11, 2014.
Region 5—Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Council – Bethel – March 5, 2014.
Region 6—Western Interior Regional Council – Aniak – February 25, 2014.
Region 7—Seward Peninsula Regional Council – Nome – March 18, 2014.
Region 8—Northwest Arctic Regional Council – Kotzebue – February 18, 2014.
Region 9—Eastern Interior Regional Council – Fairbanks – March 6, 2014.
Region 10—North Slope Regional Council – Barrow – February 12, 2014.
Federal Register Notice January 10: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-00239
Meeting page: http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/calendars/index.cfm
DOI Federal Subsistence notice: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo&date=03-17-2014&meeting=statewide
37. Comment deadline March 25 on Special Subsistence Permits and Harvest Logs for Pacific Halibut in Waters Off Alaska
This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection…
This information collection describes special permits issued to participants in the Pacific halibut subsistence fishery in waters off the coast of Alaska and any appeals resulting from denials. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) designed the permits to work in conjunction with other halibut harvest assessment measures…
DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before March 25, 2014.
38. Alaska Symphony of Seafood – Anchorage, February 13
The Symphony is an annual competition for new value-added products made from Alaska seafood. More information is attached and at this link: http://www.symphonyofseafood.com . If you are not able to travel for the event, we would be thrilled for you to pass this on to any industry members in the Anchorage area who may be more readily available to attend.
Tickets to the Symphony must be purchased ahead of time. Tickets go on sale next week and are available through Centertix:
- Online at www.centertix.net
- By phone: 907-263-ARTS (2787)
- Or in person at 621 West 6th Avenue in Anchorage
39. AFSC posts Community Profiles for North Pacific Fisheries – Alaska, Volumes 1-12
Community profiles for North Pacific fisheries – Alaska. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-AFSC-259 (Volumes 1-12). (pdf., 51 MB Note large file size – 5,308 pages).
NOAA Economic and Social Sciences Research Program home page:
(this page relates to the project and has regional links and info, though we do not see the above document posted here).
40. UFA Community Fish Facts sheets updated with Local Fish Taxes.
We have updated UFA’s Alaska Commercial Fishing and Seafood Processing community fact sheets with additional tax revenue from local municipal and borough fish taxes – thanks to Andy Wink and the Alaska department of Commerce.
The updated sheets are Aleutians East, Aleutians West, Bristol Bay Borough, Dillingham, Lake and Peninsula Borough, Kodiak, Sitka, and Unalaska-Dutch Harbor.
UFA updated Community Fact Sheets: http://www.ufa-fish.org/cff.htm
Alaska Department of Commerce Taxable database: http://commerce.alaska.gov/dnn/dcra/OfficeoftheStateAssessor/AlaskaTaxableDatabase.aspx
41. Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
January 2014 http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildlifenews.main
Blasting Kanalku Falls By Greg Albrecht http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildlifenews.view_article&articles_id=641
The History of Upper Cook Inlet Salmon Fisheries – A Century of Salmon By Katie Sechrist and Joe Rutz
42. Upcoming HACCP workshops and Better Process Control School taught by the Marine Advisory Program: http://seagrant.uaf.edu/map/workshops/index.html
Better Process Control School – February 3–5, 2014, Anchorage, Alaska
HACCP—Anchorage, February 6–7, 2014
Ammonia Refrigeration Training Class March 10–14, Palmer Palmer, Alaska
Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium 2014April 22–25, 2014, Kodiak, Alaska
If you need more information, please contact Brennan Smith (email@example.com ).
43. Fishlines – Alaska Sea Grant Newsletter for January 2014
Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summits Top 300 Graduates
Students Give Research Talks
Marine Mammal App
…and more, online at:
44. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees.
To support UFA by joining or renewing your membership, see.
Email list additions or corrections? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you received this email as a forward and would like to be added to our list, simply REPLY and type SUBSCRIBE in the subject line of this email. To receive no future emails from UFA, simply type UNSUBSCRIBE in all caps in the subject line.
UFA never sells or releases your email information.
Compiled by staff of United Fishermen of Alaska, PO Box 20229, Juneau AK 99802 (907) 586-2820