UFA Update: January 5, 2017

Thanks to New Sea Class Business member – Leading Retirement Solutions
& New Bay Class member – Alaska Railroad – Seward

Support UFA Business members on our website HERE. 

Help support UFA today! Visit ‘Become a Member’ on our website to see the various membership levels and benefits.

Got health insurance for 2017? Open Season on ACA Enrollment

Affordable Care Act open enrollment season is open through January 31.

Enroll Alaska can provide individual assistance with your enrollment, and follow-up assistance if needed during the life of the plan – bypassing the healthcare.gov system.

Or try it on your own at www.healthcare.gov .

Businesses: US Small Business Administration:For more on how the Affordable Care Act impacts your business, see www.sba.gov/healthcare.

 Board of Fisheries Candidates wanted – see item #14


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


  1. Walker-Mallott Administration Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Budget
  2. Governor Walker details budget cuts to date:
  3. Governor Announces Legislative Staff Changes
  4. Alaska lawmaker who has long shunned spotlight is becoming Speaker
  5. Alaska House Majority Coalition Finalizes Committee Seats
  6. Incoming House Majority Alters Budget Subcommittee Process
  7. Rep. Seaton Previews 2017 Legislative Session
  8. BBRSDA thanks processors for 2016 Cost Recovery Funding
  9. McDowell Group Cost/Benefit of Avoiding Cost Recovery Fishery
  10. Alaska Board of Fisheries to meet – Kodiak Finfish January 10-13
  11. With relaxed regs, Cook Inlet saltwater-king anglers get a bonus
  12. Board of Fisheries meeting summary – Lower Cook Inlet Finfish Nov 30–Dec3
  13. BOF proposal deadline April 11 for SE & PWS finfish, Statewide shellfish for 2017-2018 cycle
  14. Wanted: Three Board of Fisheries seats up in 2017
  15. Alaska Economic Trends – January Newsletter of the AK Department of Labor
  16. 2016 hauled in mixed bag for commercial fisheries
  17. Alaska commercial fishing picks and pans for 2016 – By Laine Welch
  18. Year in Review: Fisheries


  1. Senate passes Sullivan-Schatz-Markey International Fisheries Bill
  2. US takes stronger role in international fisheries
  3. Congressmen Seek Investigation Of Hawaii Fishing Practices
  4. Senator Sullivan Announces Committee Assignments for the 115th Congress
  5. President’s Bering Sea Executive Order – Walker-Mallott Administration’s Response
  6. Bering Sea protection is a boon to Alaskans
  7. Navy will report to NPFMC on GOA plans
  8. Gulf rationalization dies a quiet death
  9. Other options sought to address GOA trawl bycatch
  10. NOAA plan: set aside more salmon for belugas
  11. December NPFMC Newsletter – results from the December meeting
  12. NPFMC Crab Plan Team meeting January 17 – 19, Seattle
  13. NPFMC Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan Team meeting January 19-20, Seattle
  14. Federal judge tosses another fisheries management rule
  15. IUU Fisheries – NOAA Final Rule to implement seafood import monitoring program
  16. Major seafood companies come together to crackdown on illegal fishing, improve industry transparency
  17. How Banned North Korean Seafood Could End Up on Your Dinner Table
  18. NMFS BSAI & GOA Groundfish 2017 and 2018 Harvest Specifications
  19. NMFS Amendment 101 for Longline Pot Gear in GOA Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Fishery
  20. CFEC Meeting & comment by February 17 for Southern Southeast Inside sablefish longline pot gear
  21. NMFS Amendment 47 rule for BSAI Crab IPQ use caps clarifications


  1. AFDF Alaska Symphony of Seafood coming February 22 – deadline for products January 6
  2. ASMI posts Winter Seafood Market Bulletins
  3. Wholesale Prices for Bristol Bay Salmon Trending Up
  4. NFI counts down the top 5 seafood studies of 2016
  5. USDA seeks Pollock for School Lunch program

Fish Farm & Environmental

  1. Alaska, British Columbia detail transboundary mine pact
  2. British Columbia will clean up Tulsequah mine upstream of Juneau
  3. Department of the Interior issues Coal Mining Stream Protection Rule
  4. Fish board asks state to beef up salmon protection
  5. Global warming could cause fishing to decline by millions of tons each year, study says
  6. Melting permafrost changes Yukon River
  7. Alaska Ocean Acidification ‘State of the Science’ workshop delivers latest findings
  8. Comment deadline January 9 on oil dispersant use and avoidance
  9. USFS: Tongass Forest Plan Amendment supports sustainable communities and viable economies
  10. Pebble mine developer and EPA want to put lawsuit on hold
  11. Pebble backers hope Trump administration breathes new life into mine project
  12. State delays renewal of Pebble land use permit
  13. Technology could change the face of mining
  14. Comment deadline extended to January 30 on processor seafood waste discharge general permit
  15. Deadline Feb 15 for DEC Water Quality, Water Quantity and Aquatic Habitat Projects

Aquaculture / Enhancement

  1. Hatchery chum release approved near Petersburg
  2. University of Alaska Southeast Professor Studies Seaweed Aquaculture


  1. New head of Federal Subsistence Board says local voices are essential
  2. Federal Subsistence Board meeting January 10-12, 2017
  3. Federal Subsistence RAC application deadline February 3, 2017
  4. Federal Subsistence Winter 2017 Regional Advisory Council Meeting Calendar
  5. Obama Creates Resilience Area for Alaska Natives along Bering Strait
  6. Trump transition team adds Alaskan Jerry Ward as tribal liaison


  1. SeaWeb Seafood Sustainability Summit June 5-7, 2017 at The Westin Seattle
  2. Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Jan 23-27 in Anchorage
  3. FishLines – Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program newsletter for December 2016
  4. Sea Grant Books – Clean Boating for Alaska updated
  5. Fishing background feeds role as educator – Torie Baker & Sunny Rice
  6. Free AMSEA Safety Workshop for Commercial Fishermen – Juneau January 21
  7. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Recent Items

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



  1. Walker-Mallott Administration Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

$4.2 Billion Operating Budget; $115 Million Capital Budget…

ANCHORAGE—Governor Bill Walker’s fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018) budget reduces state spending while supporting vital services and protecting the permanent fund dividend. The proposed $4.2 billion unrestricted general fund (UGF) operating budget is 23 percent lower than when Governor Walker took office two years ago. To lead by example, Governor Walker will take a one-third pay cut.

Press Release: December 15, 2016:


OMB FY18 proposed budget page:


ADFG Budget detail page: https://www.omb.alaska.gov/html/budget-report/department-table.html?dept=Fish&fy=18&type=Proposed

ADFG Overview:  https://www.omb.alaska.gov/ombfiles/18_budget/Fish/Proposed/dept11.pdf

(see Comfish regional breakdown on last two pages)
Performance Indicators
Department of Fish and Game
• Boards of Fisheries and Game
• Commercial Fisheries
• Commercial Fisheries Limited Entry Commission
• Habitat
• Sport Fisheries
• State Subsistence
• Wildlife Conservation
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute


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  1. Governor Walker details budget cuts to date:

…Department of Fish and Game’s (DF&G) UGF budget has been reduced $29 million (37 percent) and 182 positions were eliminated since FY 15.

-The Commercial Fisheries Division reduced fisheries management and research projects, program support, and lab projects.

-The Wildlife Conservation division reduced management, research and habitat management projects.

-Travel was significantly reduced department-wide.

-Administrative functions for small divisions were merged, resulting in over $500,000 savings.


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  1. Governor’s Office Announces Legislative Staff Changes

Late last week Governor Bill Walker’s office sent an email to legislators announcing staffing changes to both his own Legislative Office and to the coterie of legislative liaisons at state agencies…

The email’s author, Legislative Director Darwin Peterson, took the opportunity to reassure legislators he will be returning in that role for this legislative session, as well as introduce legislators to his retooled office staff…

Fish and Game Legislative Liaison: Morgan Foss…



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  1. Alaska lawmaker who has long shunned spotlight is becoming Speaker

Becky Bohrer, Associated Press Dec 27, 2016

The incoming speaker of the Alaska House, known as a level-headed moderate willing to work across party lines, faces major tests in leading a new majority coalition and trying to secure agreement on a plan to address the state’s multibillion-dollar deficit.

Rep. Bryce Edgmon acknowledges moments of trepidation about his new role.

“But I’m also somebody who rises to the challenge,” the Democrat said…



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  1. Alaska House Majority Coalition Finalizes Committee Seats

As January’s Legislative session approaches, the Alaska House Majority Coalition has finalized its caucus committee seats…

Finance – Co-Chair Paul Seaton; Co-Chair Neal Foster; Vice-Chair Les Gara; Jason Grenn; David Guttenberg; Scott Kawasaki; Dan Ortiz

Resources – Co-Chair Andy Josephson; Co-Chair Geran Tarr; Vice-Chair Dean Westlake; Harriet Drummond; Justin Parish

Speaicl Committee on Fisheries – Chair Louise Stutes; Zach Fansler; Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins; Geran Tarr…



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  1. Incoming House Majority Alters Budget Subcommittee Process

In a move billed as an effort to make things more efficient, the new bipartisan Alaska State House Majority says they are revamping subcommittee overview of each state agency’s budget…

When the 30th Alaska Legislature convenes next month, a new budget subcommittee process will be implemented by the House Finance Committee. Previously, unique budget subcommittees were established to review the budget of each state agency. In an effort to more efficiently use the time and expertise of lawmakers, the new House Majority Coalition has decided to use the current standing and special committees as budget subcommittees. Each subcommittee will be chaired by a majority member from the House Finance Committee…


Congratulations to House Speaker Bryce Edgmon!

We look forward to working with the Finance, Resources, and Fisheries committees, and the ADFG Budget Subcommittee chair Representative Ortiz.


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  1. Rep. Seaton Previews 2017 Legislative Session

By Daysha Eaton , KBBI

The 2017 Legislative session is right around the corner. This session, the state finds itself in uncharted waters, navigating huge budgetary challenges. District 31 Republican Representative, Paul Seaton is part of an usual coalition with Democrats and Independents that he says is necessary to solve Alaska’s biggest problem, it’s budget shortfall. Seaton will hold a critical role as the House Finance co-chair in charge of the operating budget. KBBI News Director Daysha Eaton talks with Representative Paul Seaton about the upcoming session…

KBBI audio December 29: http://kbbi.org/post/rep-seaton-previews-2017-legislative-session


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  1. BBRSDA thanks processors for 2016 Cost Recovery Funding

Earlier this year, ADF&G informed industry stakeholders that it intended to move forward on carrying out a cost recovery in Bristol Bay in order to generate upwards of $250,000 to close a budget gap in the midst of statewide budget cuts.  Given that a cost recovery of this value would have taken more than 800,000 pounds of sockeye out of the common property fishery, BBRSDA and other stakeholders felt it critical to come up with an alternate plan to provide those funds.  BBRSDA committed to providing the funding to the Department and then set about gathering support from Bristol Bay processors.

Eight major Bristol Bay processors answered the call for support.  The BBRSDA would like to express its sincere thanks and appreciation to those processors that contributed in the funding effort to divert the need for a cost recovery fishery in Bristol Bay in 2016.  Thank you to Alaska General Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, Leader Creek Fisheries, North Pacific Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Peter Pan Seafoods, Silver Bay Seafoods and Trident Seafoods.  These contributions totaled nearly $100,000 and greatly helped offset costs that would have otherwise been funded entirely by BBRSDA.

This collaborative funding allowed ADF&G to continue the level of management necessary to ensure a healthy fishery while maximizing the economic benefit to the fleet – to see just how much benefit, BBRSDA asked Andy Wink, Senior Seafood Analyst at the McDowell Group, to give us a cost-benefit analysis – the economic benefit is clear.  As future budgetary constraints threaten the department, cooperative efforts guided by all stakeholders will be key to maintaining a successful fishery in the long-run…



  1. McDowell Group Cost/Benefit of Avoiding Cost Recovery Fishery

The State of Alaska is facing significant budgetary pressures. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) needed about $226,000 in additional funding to pay for fishery management in Bristol Bay during 2016. ADF&G had planned on using a cost recovery program to raise the additional funds, where processors would bid on a certain volume of fish to be harvested by contracted fishermen. The cost recovery program would have taken about 150,000 sockeye, or about 840,000 pounds of fish, out of the fishery. ADF&G anticipated raising 30 cents per pound from this year’s cost recovery fishery, a figure well below the $0.76 average base price and the estimated final price of $0.92.1

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) decided it was an appropriate use of funds to supply ADF&G with additional funding during 2016 to avoid a cost recovery program that would lower the amount of fish available for harvest by member fishermen. BBRSDA also coordinated donations from processors. In total, BBRSDA contributed $128,327 and eight processing companies donated a total of $98,000.



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  1. Alaska Board of Fisheries to meet – Kodiak Finfish January 10-13

By Kayla Desroches/KMXT-Kodiak – December 28, 2016

The Alaska Board of Fisheries gives anyone the chance to submit proposals and influence regulation…

While the comment period for Kodiak finfish closed Tuesday, members of the public can still give comment at the meeting itself.



Board of Fisheries – Kodiak Finfish, January 10-13, 2017 – Meeting page:



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  1. With relaxed regs, Cook Inlet saltwater-king anglers get a bonus

For king salmon anglers working Cook Inlet, the Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting last month in Homer offered some good news for salt-water anglers willing to brave chilly weather for a chance to catch beefy kings during what used to be the offseason.

The board now considers September a winter month, something that may help king salmon fishermen interested in bringing home more chinook filets while allowing the board, as it said in a press release, to provide “for additional sport fishing opportunity.”

How? During the summer, anglers have a seasonal bag limit of five kings. But there’s no seasonal limit on winter kings caught Sept. 1-March 31. The bag and possession limit is two kings of any size, and anglers need not record their harvests…

“To say that these are somebody else’s fish so why should we care — we should care,” Fish and Game Deputy Commissioner Charlie Swanton said at the fish board meeting, according to the Peninsula Clarion.  “That’s … not to say that there needs to be a numerical limit, but there needs to be some controls on this fishery relative to recognizing the fact that they are somebody else’s fish.”…

ADN January 2: https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/2017/01/02/with-relaxed-regs-cook-inlet-saltwater-king-anglers-get-a-bonus/


Fish Board denies most winter king proposals…



  1. Board of Fisheries meeting summary – Lower Cook Inlet Finfish – Nov 30–Dec3, 2016

Meeting Summary:


Meeting page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo&date=11-30-2016&meeting=homer


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  1. BOF proposal deadline April 11 for SE & PWS finfish, Statewide shellfish for 2017-2018 cycle

The Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) is accepting proposed changes to the subsistence, personal use, sport, guided sport, and commercial fishing regulations for Southeast and Yakutat finfish and shellfish, Prince William Sound finfish (including the Upper Copper River and Upper Susitna River), and Statewide (except Southeast and Yakutat) Dungeness crab, shrimp, and other shellfish for consideration by the board in its 2017–18 meeting cycle. The board may also consider subsistence proposals for other topics (including other areas) under the subsistence proposal policy, 5 AAC 96.615, if proposals are submitted within this deadline and the board determines they meet the criteria in either 5 AAC 96.615(a)(1) or (2).

To ensure the proposal book is finished in advance of the board meetings, the board sets Tuesday, April 11, 2017, as the proposal deadline…

Board of Fisheries online public notice:



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  1. Wanted: Three Board of Fisheries seats up in 2017

The Governor’s office of Boards and Commissions is looking for nominations for three Board of Fisheries seats that are up for appointment or re-appointment in 2017.


Sec. 16.05.221. Boards of fisheries and game.

(a) For purposes of the conservation and development of the fishery resources of the state, there is created the Board of Fisheries composed of seven members appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session. The governor shall appoint each member on the basis of interest in public affairs, good judgment, knowledge, and ability in the field of action of the board, and with a view to providing diversity of interest and points of view in the membership. The appointed members shall be residents of the state and shall be appointed without regard to political affiliation or geographical location of residence.

Board of Fisheries current roster: http://gov.alaska.gov/services/boards-and-commissions/roster/?board=037

To apply, see https://gov.alaska.gov/services/boards-and-commissions/ .


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  1. Alaska Economic Trends – January Newsletter of the AK Department of Labor

January is our annual economic forecast, and for 2017 we expect Alaska to lose about 7,500 jobs, or 2.3 percent as low oil prices and state budget problems continue. Unlike last year, when loss was mainly in the industries closely related to oil, most sectors are forecasted to lose some employment this year while losses in the oil industry are expected to slow. Health care is the exception, and tourism will also remain strong, especially in Southeast, but these industries won’t be able to mitigate overall or regional losses.



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  1. 2016 hauled in mixed bag for commercial fisheries

Homer News, December 28

As with any season, 2016 had plenty of winners and losers in the Alaska commercial fishing industry.

The year started off with a huge sigh of relief from Upper Cook Inlet salmon setnet fishermen when the Alaska Supreme Court over-ruled a decision by a Superior Court judge that would have allowed a ballot measure to ban setnets in “urban areas,” but was targeted at Cook Inlet.



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  1. Alaska commercial fishing picks and pans for 2016 – By Laine Welch

…Best Fish Legislators: Rep. Louise Stutes (R) Kodiak, Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D) Dillingham

Scariest fish story: Ocean acidification. The corrosion of crab/scallop/oyster/snail shells is already documented in Pacific waters.

Most encouraging fish talks: Alaska and British Columbia officials meeting for the first time to implement cooperations aimed at protecting transboundary waters in Southeast from mining accidents up stream…

Best go to bat for fishing: The fishermen-funded Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association and eight processors for ponying up $250,000 to cover salmon management budget shortfalls. Otherwise, more than 1.6 million sockeye salmon would have been taken as “cost recovery” from the fishery to fund counting stations, weirs and other required oversight…

Biggest fish flop: Putting the onus on fishermen to cover the research and management costs of going fishing (see above)…

Best fish connectors: Alaska Marine Conservation Council, for its Caught by Alaskan for Alaskans program.

Best fish mainstream push: Alaska herring showcased as smoked, pickled, pated and filleted by 40 Seattle restaurants for Northwest Herring Week. Credit Bruce Schactler of Kodiak and ASMI’s Herring Development Project.

Biggest fish booboo: Forty-four percent of Bristol Bay’s 1,500 active drift netters still don’t chill their salmon. That pushes down fish prices in the Bay and beyond…

…and many more, online at the Alaska Dispatch News at:



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  1. Year in Review: Fisheries

By DJ Summers Alaska Journal of Commerce

Board shakeup, drifters win, sockeyes up as pinks, crab crash..



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  1. Senate passes Sullivan-Schatz-Markey International Fisheries Bill

Bipartisan Legislation will implement Pacific and Atlantic Fisheries Treaties

WASHINGTON, DC – On Saturday morning, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Ensuring Access to Fisheries Act. The bipartisan legislation, introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA), will implement treaties ratified by the Senate two years ago to better manage certain fisheries in the North and South Pacific, and to improve international fisheries management in the North Atlantic.

“This legislation will rightfully give the United States a voice and assert our influence in both the fisheries management and conservation decisions in the high seas areas covered by these treaties,” said Senator Sullivan. “Doing so will provide opportunities for our fishermen in the future, and help to protect their current activities for generations to come.”

…Together with other existing treaties this bill would bring all high seas fisheries in the Pacific Ocean under international management bodies to ensure access for U.S. fishermen, and responsible management of ocean resources. The bill will also implement updates to the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Convention to better manage international North Atlantic fisheries. The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law…



HR6452 details:

To implement the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean, to implement the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean, and for other purposes…





Title II creates an advisory committee with seats available to Alaska fishermen.

For full text of the final version passed by the House to be signed by the President see HR 6452 at:


Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean:



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  1. US takes stronger role in international fisheries

ADN Opinion by Russell Smith, December 15, 2016

On the high seas, the U.S. has all hands on deck. Congress just passed landmark legislation giving the U.S. a formal role in international organizations that govern vastly important areas of the North and South Pacific Ocean, including the high seas adjacent to Alaska and the Pacific Islands and American Samoa, respectively…

Championed by Sens. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska; Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Bill Nelson, D-Fla.; Edward Markey, D- Mass., among others, the new legislation will help keep America out front on sustainable fisheries management. It will also provide the U.S. with a voice and vote in developing best practices in waters rich in a diversity of marine life.

U.S. fishing interests will be considered in the development of fisheries management and conservation measures across the Pacific and Northwest Atlantic. Measures to build and sustain healthy fisheries can now be consistent across these vast seas…



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  1. Congressmen Seek Investigation Of Hawaii Fishing Practices

They claim Hawaii’s longline fishing fleet is improperly using an exemption to federal law to employ foreign fishermen…

Four Democratic congressmen have written to officials at the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration claiming that Hawaii’s longline fishing fleet is operating illegally by employing — and in some cases possibly abusing — foreign fishermen…

The employment practices aboard the ships came to light as a result of an Associated Press investigation that found foreign workers employed by the fishing fleet were being held under abusive conditions…



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  1. Senator Sullivan Announces Committee Assignments for the 115th Congress

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) today announced that he has been selected to serve on four U.S. Senate committees for the 115th Congress. Senator Sullivan will serve on the following Senate committees: Armed Services; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Environment and Public Works; and Veterans’ Affairs…



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  1. President’s Bering Sea Executive Order – Walker-Mallott Administration’s Response

December 9, 2016 ANCHORAGE –Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott released this statement today in reaction to President Barack Obama’s Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Executive Order:

“We support Tribal leaders in the Bering Straits region who worked diligently to provide economic opportunities for their community while protecting valuable resources. However, the State of Alaska is concerned about any further erosion of our ability to support much needed resource development at a time when the state is grappling with declining oil prices and production. We are concerned about the timing and lack of clarity on how this executive order will be implemented in the coming years.”



Alaska Delegation Seeks Halt to Additional Offshore Withdrawals

Requests Meeting with President Obama to Ensure Alaskans’ Views are Heard and Respected



  1. Bering Sea protection is a boon to Alaskans

ADN Opinion by Natalie Landreth

In response to requests from more than 40 tribes in the region, on Dec. 9 President Obama issued an executive order creating the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area. It is clear that the action has much support and has inspired much fear. It is much less clear that those espousing the fear have actually read or fully understood the order.

[Obama administration offers parting protection for Alaska waters and tribes]

In a commentary published earlier this month,  Harry Lincoln provided an eloquent description of the region and the reasons this action was so broadly supported. I cannot improve on those words but, as counsel to 40 of the tribes that requested this action from the president, I can help dispel the fear and misconceptions that are out there about the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area.

At the outset, let’s be clear: The executive order applies only to federal waters. It does not affect the state of Alaska’s management or lands within the state, does not preclude development of coastal resources or infrastructure, and is tailored specifically to protect existing uses like fisheries. In fact, this order really is about protecting Alaskans – their ability to eat, earn a living and continue their ways of life – in the face of dramatic changes inflicted upon them. It has come about because tribes and communities are concerned about their future, have done the scientific research to show the importance of the region, and want to find a way for those most affected by management choices made by the federal government to have a seat at the table…



& Elders thank Obama for Bering Sea designation

ADN Opinion by Harry Lincoln



President Obama Executive Order (December 9, 2016):



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  1. Navy will report to NPFMC on GOA plans

U.S. Navy officials are scheduled to report to federal fisheries managers in Seattle in late January on Gulf of Alaska training exercises scheduled for early May, just before the start of the Copper River salmon fishery.

The Navy gave a similar presentation in Cordova in early December and was also to do a 30presentation in mid-January before the Alaska Marine Science Symposium…

Cordova Times December 30:



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  1. Gulf rationalization dies a quiet death

By: DJ Summers, Alaska Journal of Commerce, 2/16/2016

Gulf of Alaska groundfish will remain an open access fishery indefinitely after the North Pacific Fishery Management Council tabled a policy package that has enraged fishermen of all stripes over the last year.

Depending on who is asked, the council acted at either its best or its worst with the decision.

“The council process didn’t work. They didn’t solve the problem,” said Julie Bonney, executive director of the Alaska Groundfish Data Bank, an industry group of trawlers and processors. “They just took the political part first and ignored the management. I have to keep reminding myself, this isn’t about management. It’s about politics.”

Others said the council did exactly what it should have done in the face of so many contentious decisions on which so many people expressed opinions.

“I think this is actually the best illustration of council process, rather than the worst,” said Duncan Fields, a Kodiak attorney and former council member who was among the most vocal on this subject…



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  1. Other options sought to address GOA trawl bycatch

Federal fisheries managers will take no action for the indefinite future on a proposed Gulf of Alaska trawl bycatch management plan intended to provide the fleet with a structure under which to minimize prohibited species catch.

Instead the North Pacific Fishery Management Council indicated at its December meeting in Anchorage intent to consider other management options that could address trawl operators’ and processors’ concerns about their ability to minimize bycatch while viably engaging in the fishery.

The council spent hours considering the public comment scoping process undertaken this past summer, a preliminary draft social impact assessment and a preliminary draft regulatory impact review, plus public comment during the meeting itself…



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  1. NOAA plan: set aside more salmon for belugas

DJ Summers, Alaska Journal of Commerce

Cook Inlet could have a new group of salmon users joining recreational, commercial, subsistence and personal use fishermen: endangered beluga whales.

The National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, wants the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to start considering the dietary needs of Cook Inlet beluga in management plans, part of a nationwide Species in the Spotlight project aimed to boost eight different species to the point of delisting them from the status as a threatened species.

In a release, ADFG called the plan “unrealistic,” and the criteria for recovery “untenable.” The department stated the criteria would make the recovery plan, and the acceptance of the plan by stakeholders, impossible to achieve…



ADF&G: Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Recovery Plan’s Criteria for Recovery are Unrealistic

ADF&G press release 1/4/2017: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=pressreleases.pr01042017


NOAA Fisheries Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Recovery plan:


& Documents:

Recovery Plan for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas), December 2016


Federal Register notice January 5, 2016: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-31877


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  1. December NPFMC Newsletter – results from the December meeting

Council Appointments, Charter Halibut Management Measures & Recreational Quota Entity,

BSAI & GOA Harvest Specifications, Bristol Bay Red King Crab Savings Area, Electronic Monitoring, Gulf of Alaska Trawl Bycatch Management, and more… select by topic at:


…or full newsletter in Pdf version: http://www.npfmc.org/wp-content/PDFdocuments/newsletters/news1216.pdf

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


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  1. NPFMC Crab Plan Team meeting January 17 – 19, Seattle

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Crab Plan Team (CPT) will meet January 17 through January 19, 2017, in Seattle, WA… at the Mountaineers Program Center, Cascade Room, 7700 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115…

The CPT will review and make recommendations on Norton Sound Red King Crab final assessment OFL/ABC stock prioritization, Aleutian Islands Golden King Crab, model scenarios for final assessment, Tanner Crab modeling, Bristol Bay Red King Crab—GMACs model, Bering Sea Fishery Research Foundation survey issues, dynamic B application and discussion…

For agenda see meeting pull down menu on right side of the NPFMC home page: http://www.npfmc.org/

Federal Register January 3: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-31816


  1. NPFMC Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan Team meeting January 19-20, Seattle

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan Team (BS FEP) will meet January 19-20, 2017, in Seattle, WA…at the Alaska Fishery Science Center NMML Room 2011, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Building 4, Seattle, WA 98115.

For agenda see meeting pull down menu on right side of the NPFMC home page: http://www.npfmc.org/

Federal Register January 3: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-31817


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  1. Federal judge tosses another fisheries management rule

By: DJ Summers, Alaska Journal of Commerce – 12/05/2016

Federal judges keep smacking down the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s decisions.

For the second time in the last three months, a federal court has overturned a management decision made by the North Pacific council and enacted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS. The United States District Court of Washington overturned a 2011 decision relating to halibut quota shares harvested by hired skippers on Nov. 16.

Federal courts have overturned several council decisions in recent years. In September, a the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the council’s 2011 decision to remove Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound and Alaska Peninsula salmon fisheries from federal oversight.

In this case, the North Pacific council made a decision in 2011 regarding which halibut quota holders can use a hired skipper instead of being required to be on board the vessel. Due to the court’s ruling, NOAA will have to open that group back up after limiting it in 2011.

Julie Speegle, the NMFS Alaska Region spokesperson, said the agency will change the impacted halibut fishermen’s quota shares to reflect the court’s ruling and that the council itself will review the issue.


“The court order does not require any immediate change to regulations,” wrote Speegle….



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  1. IUU Fisheries – NOAA Final Rule to implement seafood import monitoring program

On December 8, 2016, NOAA Fisheries released the final rule establishing the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP).  The Program establishes, for imports of certain seafood products, the reporting and recordkeeping requirements needed to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU)-caught and/or misrepresented seafood from entering U.S. commerce, thereby providing additional protections for our national economy, global food security and the sustainability of our shared ocean resources. This is the first-phase of a risk-based traceability program—requiring the importer of record to provide and report key data—from the point of harvest to the point of entry into U.S. commerce—on an initial list of imported fish and fish products identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and/or seafood fraud…

Priority seafood species include red King Crab, Pacific Cod, Sea Cucumbers, Abalone, Shrimp and more…


NOAA Announcement:


Federal Register December 9: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-29324

NOAA IUU Fisheries portal: http://www.iuufishing.noaa.gov/


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  1. Major seafood companies come together to crackdown on illegal fishing, improve industry transparency

Eight big fishing companies, which combined catch more than 40 times Australia’s total seafood production, have signed a joint agreement to crack down on illegal fishing, improve traceability and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

The companies also said they would address antibiotic use in aquaculture and plastic pollution.

Meeting in Sweden recently, the companies agreed to use more cutting edge technology, including DNA barcoding and satellite surveillance to monitor the volume and types of fish species they catch.




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  1. How Banned North Korean Seafood Could End Up on Your Dinner Table

Fortune, December 20

…The official newspaper of the government of Jilin province, where Yanji is located, said in a September article that North Korean and Russian seafood is processed in a town near Yanji, before being exported to South Korea, Japan, the United States and Europe.

Reuters could not independently confirm that North Korean seafood from Yanji or nearby towns is being exported to South Korea, Japan and the United States…

The vast majority of North Korea’s exports come through China, and seafood is one of the more rapidly growing items. From January to October this year, China bought more than $156 million in North Korean seafood exports, up 74 percent from 2015, according to Chinese customs data.

Seafood exports were North Korea’s fourth-largest export to China behind coal, textiles and minerals.

It’s not clear from the data how much North Korean seafood processed in China was re-exported to third countries…



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  1. NMFS BSAI & GOA Groundfish 2017 and 2018 Harvest Specifications

NMFS proposes 2017 and 2018 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 2017 and 2018 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 on both must be received by January 5, 2017…

Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands:

Federal Register 12/6/2016: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-29152

Regulations.gov docket folder: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0140


Gulf of Alaska:

Federal Register 12/6/2016: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-29150

Regulations.gov docket folder: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0127


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  1. NMFS Amendment 101 for Longline Pot Gear in GOA Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Fishery

Summary: NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 101 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP) for the sablefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This final rule authorizes the use of longline pot gear in the GOA sablefish IFQ fishery. In addition, this final rule establishes management measures to minimize potential conflicts between hook-and-line and longline pot gear used in the sablefish IFQ fisheries in the GOA. This final rule also includes regulations developed under the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act) to authorize harvest of halibut IFQ caught incidentally in longline pot gear used in the GOA sablefish IFQ fishery. This final rule is necessary to improve efficiency and provide economic benefits for the sablefish IFQ fleet and minimize potential fishery interactions with whales and seabirds. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Halibut Act, the GOA FMP, and other applicable laws….

Effective January 27, 2017.


Federal Register December 28, 2016: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-31057

NPFMC Halibut / Sablefish IFQ Program home page:



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  1. CFEC Meeting & comment by February 17 for Southern Southeast Inside sablefish longline pot gear

The Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission proposes to adopt a regulation change in Title 20, Chapter 05 of the Alaska Administrative Code, as follows

The Commission proposes to:

  1. Amend 20 AAC 05.220(a) to include pot gear for permits issued for the Southern Southeast Inside sablefish longline fishery.

A copy of the proposed regulation change is available online at the Alaska Online Public Notice System at https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Default.aspx or at the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission webpage at https://www.cfec.state.ak.us/mnu_Regulations.htm, or you may contact Doug Rickey, Law Specialist, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission…

Comments must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on February 17, 2017…

Oral or written comments may also be presented at a public hearing to be held on February 17, 2017, at the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission Conference Room, 8800 Glacier Hwy., Suite 109, Juneau, Alaska. The hearing will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and may be extended to accommodate those present before 4:30 p.m…

CFEC online public notice December 19, 2016:


BOF Chair Jensen letter to CFEC:


CFEC Regulations page: https://www.cfec.state.ak.us/mnu_Regulations.htm


  1. NMFS Amendment 47 rule for BSAI Crab IPQ use caps clarifications

NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 47 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP) and to make minor clarifications to regulations implementing the Crab FMP. This final rule addresses how individual processing quota (IPQ) use caps apply to the Bering Sea Chionoecetes bairdi Tanner crab fisheries: the eastern C. bairdi Tanner (EBT) and the western C. bairdi Tanner (WBT). This regulation exempts EBT and WBT IPQ crab that is custom processed at a facility through contractual arrangements with the processing facility owners from being applied against the IPQ use cap of the processing facility owners, thereby allowing a facility to process more crab without triggering the IPQ use cap. This exemption is necessary to allow all of the EBT and WBT Class A individual fishing quota crab to be processed at the facilities currently processing EBT and WBT crab, and will have significant positive economic effects on the fishermen, processors, and communities that participate in the EBT and WBT fisheries. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Crab FMP, and other applicable law…

Effective January 19, 2017.

Federal register December 20, 2016: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-30068

NPFMC Crab Rationalization page: http://www.npfmc.org/crabrationalization/

NOAA BSAI Crab page: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/bsai-crab-rationalization


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  1. AFDF Alaska Symphony of Seafood coming February 22 – deadline for products January 6

It’s that time of year again … time to enter new products in the Alaska Symphony of Seafood! Whether a company is large or small, sells products internationally or into a niche, the marketplace is highly competitive. Developing new products is also a very risky investment. Companies that take this risk deserve special recognition, because “a rising tide floats all boats”. That’s why AFDF created this annual event. The Symphony recognizes Alaska seafood products above the competition. Check out what’s new this year.

Deadline to enter new products is January 6th, 2017…



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  1. ASMI posts Winter Seafood Market Bulletins

Winter 2016 – Alaska Crab Market Summary & Outlook

Winter 2016 – Alaska Salmon Market Summary & Outlook

Winter 2016 – Alaska Seafood Market Summary and Outlook

Winter 2016 – Alaska Whitefish Market Summary & Outlook – Including Herring

Winter 2016 – Halibut & Black Cod Market Summary & Outlook

Winter 2016 – Impact of Currency Fluctuations


All these are online, and more, at:



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  1. Wholesale Prices for Bristol Bay Salmon Trending Up

A new market report on the Bristol Bay wild salmon fishery says wholesale prices for sockeye products are trending up, and that produce appears to be moving faster this year.

Wholesale prices of farmed salmon are also up considerably over the past 12 months, noted the fall 2016 sockeye market analysis prepared for the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association by the McDowell Group.

Fishermen’s News January 1, 2017:


Fall 2016 Sockeye Market Report – The full report prepared by The McDowell Group.

Fall 2016 Sockeye Market Presentation – presentation from Pacific Marine Expo


These and more, online at:



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  1. NFI counts down the top 5 seafood studies of 2016

Seafood Source, December 29, 2016

The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) has released its list of the top seafood studies published in 2016 in an effort to encourage more Americans to incorporate seafood into their diets in 2017.

According to the organization, “Americans don’t eat enough seafood and often miss out on the health benefits.”

By reading up on the following five studies, however, seafood companies, fishers and other seafood-supporting institutions can help consumers better understand the wellness attributes associated with eating seafood ands quash stigmas that still surround the protein.

From boosting teenager IQs to lowering heart attack risk, seafood has been linked to many promising health…

Studies include omega-3s, pre and post natal benefits, heart and brain benefits… online at:



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  1. USDA seeks Pollock for School Lunch program

Federal agriculture officials are soliciting bids for 554,400 pounds of frozen Alaska Pollock for use in the National School Lunch Program and other federal food and nutrition assistance programs.

Acceptances are to be announced by midnight Jan. 13, and deliveries are to be made between March 1 and June 30…

The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program for public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions that provides low cost or free lunches to children on every school day…

Cordova Times: http://www.thecordovatimes.com/2016/12/30/usda-seeks-bids-to-sell-pollock/


UFA 2016 letter for increased US seafood in School Lunch and other programs:



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Fish Farm & Environmental


  1. Alaska, British Columbia detail transboundary mine pact

By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau – December 22, 2016

Alaska and British Columbia are working out details of how they will handle transboundary mine concerns. They’re figuring out how to coordinate the work of monitoring and permitting on both sides of the border.

A statement of cooperation between the state and the province signed in early October promised openness, transparency and increased environmental monitoring.

Now begins the work of meeting those goals.

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott heads up the state’s effort to address concerns about British Columbia mines near rivers that flow into Southeast Alaska.

He said state and provincial officials met via teleconference meeting Dec. 16.

“We’re trying to create a big tent here, but with a very specific process of engagement and sharing and review and critical examination of all those things that we need to,” Mallott said.

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation will address water-quality concerns. Terri Lomax is a manager in the agency’s Monitoring and Assessment Program…

Other state agencies will work on protocols for input into B.C.’s permitting process.

Mallott said the state will also develop a website to share information about transboundary mines…

Alaska Public Media story:




Alaska and British Columbia Officials Implement Statement of Cooperation

Addressing Mining and Water Quality Concerns

Lt. Governor Byron Mallott press release, December 20:



Statement of Cooperation: http://ltgov.alaska.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2016/10/20161006-Statement-of-Cooperation-Final.pdf

AK DNR BC Mines page: at http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/opmp/Canadian%20Mines/index.htm


News coverage: Alaska, B.C. detail transboundary mine pact



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  1. British Columbia will clean up Tulsequah mine upstream of Juneau

By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News – January 3, 2017

Canadian officials say they’ll stop polluted mine water from entering a salmon-rich river that flows into Southeast Alaska near Juneau. The work could include plugging up tunnels from British Columbia’s decades-old Tulsequah Chief Mine…



BC Tulsequah Chief mine page: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/site-permitting-compliance/tulsequah-mine


Thanks to Barbara Blake in the Lt. Governor’s office.


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  1. Department of the Interior issues Coal Mining Stream Protection Rule

We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE or OSM), are revising our regulations, based on, among other things, advances in science, to improve the balance between environmental protection and the Nation’s need for coal as a source of energy. This final rule will better protect water supplies, surface water and groundwater quality, streams, fish, wildlife, and related environmental values from the adverse impacts of surface coal mining operations and provide mine operators with a regulatory framework to avoid water pollution and the long-term costs associated with water treatment. We have revised our regulations to define “material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area” and require that each permit specify the point at which adverse mining-related impacts on groundwater and surface water would reach that level of damage; collect adequate pre-mining data about the site of the proposed mining operation and adjacent areas to establish an adequate baseline for evaluation of the impacts of mining and the effectiveness of reclamation; adjust monitoring requirements to enable timely detection and correction of any adverse trends in the quality or quantity of surface water and groundwater or the biological condition of streams; ensure protection or restoration of perennial and intermittent streams and related resources; ensure that permittees and regulatory authorities make use of advances in science and technology; ensure that land disturbed by mining operations is restored to a condition capable of supporting the uses that it was capable of supporting before mining; and update and codify the requirements and procedures for protection of threatened or endangered species and designated critical habitat…


Federal Register 12/20/16 https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-29958


Department of Interior press release, December 19, 2016:





““This rule was written behind closed doors, ignores nearly all input from state regulators, and is specifically intended to put coal miners out of work,” Murkowski said. “I can assure Alaskans that Congress will work to overturn this rule, and we will urge the new administration to follow the law as it considers next steps.”

Senator Murkowski press release: Stream Buffer Rule Bypasses State Regulators and Congress, Threatens the Future of Coal Mining in Alaska..



& DEC Water Quality Five Year Plan document, referenced in the rule:



AK DNR Chuitna Coal Mine page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/largemine/chuitna/


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  1. Fish board asks state to beef up salmon protection

A joint committee of the Alaska Board of Fish met in Homer on Tuesday and moved to draft a letter asking lawmakers to make more specific rules and protections for salmon by strengthening laws governing permits for those wishing to disturb salmon streams and habitat.

Critics of the current fish habitat permitting laws say while Alaska Fish and Game staff do as good a job as possible given limited resources… the current laws are thin and ill-equipped to allow state officials to turn down applications, especially for large-scale projects like the proposed Pebble mine or the proposed Chuitna coal project. They were also critical of the lack of public notice of proposed development or disturbance to salmon streams.

“What we did 50 years ago is not going to work today. The world has changed phenomenally,” said Rick Halford. “As an old redneck, I think we have got to the point where we need some real beef in our permitting process.”

The proposal being supported by the board’s committees on habitat and legislation will ask legislators to enact portions of the board’s Sustainable Salmon Fisheries Policy to the Alaska statute used in issuing permits that allow activities such as mining, building roads and bridges or crossing an anadromous streams with equipment.

Sue Mauger, science director at Cook Inletkeeper, told the committees she has studied salmon streams on the Kenai Peninsula for 16 years and come to realize that what Alaska has with its salmon streams is truly unique…





Fish board wants review of fish habitat permit process Homer News, December 15, 2016

The Alaska Board of Fisheries is preparing to move forward on a formal motion asking the Legislature to review the state’s fish habitat permitting process at the request of 13 Cook Inlet-area stakeholders.



Opinion: Alaska must put ‘Fish First’ By Monica Zappa

Peninsula Clarion, December 22, 2016



BOF Draft letter:

RC043 – ADFG BOF draft letter habitat permitting (PDF 130 kB)



UFA letter to BOF from October work session:



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  1. Global warming could cause fishing to decline by millions of tons each year, study says

Village anglers to commercial fleets could see a combined annual loss of more than 7 million tons of fish by the end of this century if global warming continues unabated, according to a report published Thursday in the journal Science.

The study is the latest in a growing body of work that seeks to quantify the economic and health risks associated with climate change.

In their new report, the authors said world leaders can avoid massive disruption of the the planet’s fisheries by limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels — the target called for in the Paris accord on climate change that was formulated last year…


Study: Large benefits to marine fisheries of meeting the 1.5°C global warming

By William W. L. Cheung, Gabriel Reygondeau, Thomas L. Frölicher

Science22 Dec 2016 : 1591-1594



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  1. Melting permafrost changes Yukon River

By Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage – December 26, 2016

A new study shows melting permafrost is changing the chemistry of the Yukon River, just one of many climate-related changes affecting the Yukon and beyond.

Hydrologist Ryan Toohy with the USGS Alaska Climate Science Center said researchers tested water samples collected from the Yukon and Tanana rivers over a period of thirty years. The results show that as upper layers of the permafrost freeze later and melt earlier in the year, ground water percolates deeper into the soil and carries more materials into rivers.

“Essentially what we found is we found a lot of the common kind of minerals and some of the nutrients in the Yukon River, and the Tanana River, had greatly increased over those thirty years,” Toohy said.

Calcium, magnesium and sulfate levels were up. Increased weathering and erosion also released phosphorous, a key nutrient for plants and animals, which went up by as much as 200 percent. That may help fish populations, as well as invasive species. None of these changes are harmful to humans, though as the trend continues, it may harm water quality.



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  1. Alaska Ocean Acidification ‘State of the Science’ workshop delivers latest findings

The Alaska Ocean Acidification Network hosted a workshop in Anchorage on Nov 30-Dec 1, inviting a broad audience across the state interested in ocean acidification issues…

Presentations are posted online including…

Why are Alaska waters so susceptible to OA? – (Dick Feely, NOAA PMEL) (ppt, video)
An OA adaptation strategy for Alaska – (Jeremy Mathis, NOAA) (ppt, video)

…and many more, online at the Alaska Ocean Observing System:



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  1. Comment deadline January 9 on oil dispersant use and avoidance

A multi-agency team is seeking public input that will help guide the development of Dispersant Avoidance Areas within the Preauthorization Area as required by the Alaska Regional Response Team (RRT) Dispersant Use Plan for Alaska.  This plan was signed and enacted in January 2016 and is part of the Alaska Federal/State Preparedness Plan for Response to Oil and Hazardous Substance Discharges/Releases, also known as “The Unified Plan.”   Avoidance Areas will be included in Section 1 of appropriate Subarea Contingency Plans. In the event of an off-shore crude oil discharge, Avoidance Areas will guide the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) in making dispersant use decisions.  More information on Avoidance Areas and how to provide public comments is available on the project website: http://nukadraft.wixsite.com/avoidanceareas

The agencies will hold public meetings at four communities bordering the Preauthorization Area and review feedback until January 9, 2017. A meeting in Kodiak will feature presentations on the policy and science of dispersants.

Detailed information about the Dispersant Use Plan and Avoidance Areas is available online at: http://dec.alaska.gov/spar/ppr/plans/uc/Annex%20F%20Appendix1(Jan%2016).pdf, and questions may be directed as follows:


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  1. USFS: Tongass Forest Plan Amendment supports sustainable communities and viable economies

Amended plan focuses on transition to young growth harvest and renewable energy development

KETCHIKAN, Alaska, December 9, 2016 – M. Earl Stewart, the Forest Supervisor for the Tongass National Forest, Alaska Region, has signed the final Record of Decision (ROD) for the amended Tongass National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Tongass Forest Plan). The Final ROD documents the Forest Supervisor’s rationale for approving the Tongass Forest Plan Amendment. The Tongass Forest Plan Amendment will become effective in 30 days….

To view the Tongass Forest Plan Amendment, Final EIS, and Final Record of Decision visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/R10/Tongass/PlanAmend.

USFS Press release December 9: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD527081

Federal Register December 8, 2016: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-29188

& AK Delegation: Final Tongass Plan Has Dire Implications for Southeast Economy



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  1. Pebble mine developer and EPA want to put lawsuit on hold

Lisa Demer, ADN January 4

The developer of the proposed Pebble gold and copper mine and the federal agency seeking to block it are asking a federal judge to halt their court battle over the project until March.

Both sides say they want the court case to be put on hold so that they can pursue settlement talks. Neither, though, is ready to talk publicly about how the case might be resolved.

The hold would extend well into the new Trump administration, with a pro-development president and appointees who want to scale back the role of government…



  1. Pebble backers hope Trump administration breathes new life into mine project

WASHINGTON — The companies behind a decade-long effort to build a massive gold and copper mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region are hoping the new administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump will breath new life into their struggling efforts.

Trump was adamant during his campaign that he would pull back government oversight for natural resource projects, limiting the scope of environmental regulations and slowdowns that stand in their way. His pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, has been a staunch courtroom opponent of what he sees as federal overreach.

So now, the company is “hopeful,” said Mike Heatwole, vice president for public affairs with Pebble Limited Partnership, the company created to ferry the project through to its golden end.

…Bristol Bay opponents of the project are “disappointed with what we think is coming down the pipe” from the EPA under the Trump administration, said Alannah Hurley, executive director of the United Tribes of Bristol Bay.

She noted particular concern with Pruitt. Hurley cited a recent New York Times article that extensively quoted a major supporter of the nominee, Andrew P. Miller, whose clients include a Pebble mine backer.

But expected support from the Trump administration doesn’t mean it’s a done deal, Heatwole stressed. The permitting process will take years.

And if the company can gather the dozens of necessary state and federal sign-offs, they still have to get the project past the Alaska Legislature. In 2014, 65 percent of Alaska voters approved a ballot measure that would give the Legislature a say on whether to ban mining, if lawmakers believe a project would endanger wild salmon stocks, adding another layer to the approval process. (Voters rejected a 2008 effort to simply ban large-scale mining in the region.)

In 2014, the EPA issued an unusual preemptive “veto” over the project’s necessary Army Corps of Engineers permit. The agency said in-depth research into the area’s ecology showed that there was no way a large-scale mining project could move forward without detrimental impacts…



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


  1. State delays renewal of Pebble land use permit

Citing high number of public comments to log and review, DNR has extended the current permit by three months but delayed deciding on full two year renewal.

Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources has delayed renewing a two year land use permit for the Pebble Limited Partnership to give state regulators more time to review an “extensive” number of public comments… KDLG Audio: http://kdlg.org/post/state-delays-renewal-pebble-land-use-permit#stream/0 .


Public notice:

DNR Extension of Multi Year Hardrock Exploration and Reclamation Permits A20156118 and A20122788 within the Bristol Bay Mining District, Pebble Project

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land & Water “Division” has temporarily extended the effective dates of two land use permit authorizations …

The operator, Pebble Limited Partnership, has timely applied for a Multi-Year 2017-2018 Hardrock Exploration and Reclamation Permit for activities associated with the continuing care, maintenance, and reclamation of exploration activities, which combines the exploration operations previously authorized under both A20156118 and A20122788.
During the review of this new Multi-Year 2017-2018 application, the Department received many substantive comments on some complex issues. The Division is extending both existing permits to be effective through to March 31, 2017. The 90-day extension of the existing permits allows DNR staff the necessary time to comprehensively consider the breadth and scope of the complex issues raised through the public process, as well as consider possible stipulations that may be deemed appropriate on any future authorization…



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  1. Technology could change the face of mining

Innovations in mining could one day lead to mines without giant holes in the ground. It sounds simplistic, but innovations in mining — from the development of sensor-driven autonomous mining machines to advances in the microbiology of minerals — promise viable alternatives for miners to operate on a smaller scale.”If you look at (mining) on a global basis, the ability for us to fund or develop these big-scale mines I think is very questionable already,” said Kip Jeffrey, head of the Camborne School of Mines at the University of Exeter in the U.K. – See more at: http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/bc-news/technology-could-change-the-face-of-mining-1.5718836#sthash.qfw0AcWh.9CS5RhBB.dpuf


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  1. Comment deadline extended to January 30 on processor seafood waste discharge general permit

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has prepared an Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (APDES) DRAFT General Permit and has extended the public notice period. The public notice comment period was to expire on January 6, 2017. By request, the public notice has been extended an additional 24 days and shall now expire on January 30, 2017.

The original public notice, permit, and fact sheet are available online at our ADEC Wastewater Discharge Authorization website (http://dec.alaska.gov/water/wwdp/index.htm) under the Public Notice section. All other information contained in the previous public notice remains the same.

Comment extension public notice December 8:


Original notice October 31:



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  1. Deadline Feb 15 for DEC Water Quality, Water Quantity and Aquatic Habitat Projects

There are several parts to this solicitation, see the application for full details.


What types of projects will be accepted and which waters need what actions?

Two categories of projects will be considered for funding through this solicitation for projects occurring during the 2018 fiscal year (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018).  The categories are:

  1. Projects that address identified water resource protection or restoration activities on ACWA priority waters. The ACWA Waterbody Specific Actions are available as Appendix D in the application. Only applications for waters listed in Appendix D will be accepted.
  2. Projects that address identified Statewide or Area-wide Stewardship Actions as described in Appendix C of the application.

Deadline for all applications is 5:00 p.m. February 15, 2017

DEC online public notice:


Application page: http://www.dec.state.ak.us/water/acwa/onlineACWAapp.htm


Aquaculture & Enhancement


  1. Hatchery chum release approved near Petersburg

by Joe Viechnicki, KFSK Petersburg

A Sitka-based hatchery organization has been granted approval for a new remote release site for chum salmon in Thomas Bay on the mainland near Petersburg. The hatchery chums, traditionally released closer to Sitka, could be an early season opportunity for commercial seiners and gillnetters. But the location has been a concern for commercial trollers and sport fishermen.

The Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association or NSRAA applied for a change to the hatchery permit that organization has with the state. NSRAA has been seeking a different release site for some of the young salmon produced at the Hidden Falls Hatchery on eastern Baranof Island.

“It gives us another release site where we can put Hidden Falls stock and hope we get a much better marine survival then we’ve been seeing at Hidden Falls the last 3-4 years,” said NSRAA general manager Steve Reifenstuhl…



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  1. University of Alaska Southeast Professor Studies Seaweed Aquaculture

A new $418,000 grant from the National Sea Grant College Program will support research aimed at helping seaweed growers in Alaska be more successful.

The grant, administered by Alaska Sea Grant, will fund a two-year study by Michael Stekoll, a University of Alaska Southeast professor with a joint appointment at the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

This research project will address questions about cultivating seaweed at higher latitudes — such as when seaweed plants become fertile, whether the timing of transferring plants to the ocean can be controlled and the optimal conditions for doing so — with the goal of helping growers become successful in this emerging industry.

Seaweed aquaculture presents a new economic opportunity for coastal Alaska. Cultivated seaweeds drive a $6.6 billion industry worldwide, and the global commercial seaweed market is growing rapidly…



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  1. New head of Federal Subsistence Board says local voices are essential

By Rachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage – November 22, 2016

Hydaburg Mayor Anthony Christianson has been appointed the new chair of the Federal Subsistence Board.

The board governs subsistence hunting and fishing on all federal land in Alaska, covering some 60 percent of the state. It’s been at the center of major controversies like the fight over king salmon on the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers.

Christianson has served on the board for four years. He says as chairman, his job will be to listen to everyone.

“I like to keep an open ear, and listen to what everybody has to say. It’s almost like listening to testimony,” Christianson said. “You’ve got to go in, you’ve got to be really unbiased.”..



Department of Interior press release:



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  1. Federal Subsistence Board meeting January 10-12, 2017

Public Meeting Agenda:

January 10, 2017: 1:30pm to 5:00pm

January 11-12, 2017: 8:30am to 5:00pm Daily

Egan Center, 555 West 5th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska


Tribal & ANCSA consultation pre-meeting:

On January 10th, prior to start of the Public Meeting, the Federal Subsistence

Board will meet at 8:30am to conduct Tribal Government-to-Government and

ANCSA Corporation consultations regarding proposals to change the Federal

Subsistence Regulations. The Public Meeting will begin at 1:30pm.

2017 January FSB Public Meeting Materials


Federal Subsistence Board meeting info archive page: https://www.doi.gov/subsistence/archives


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  1. Federal Subsistence RAC application deadline February 3, 2017

Membership applications or nominations for seats on the 10 Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils are being accepted now through February 3, 2017. The Regional Advisory Councils provide advice and recommendations to the Federal Subsistence Board about subsistence hunting, trapping, and fishing issues on Federal public lands. Membership on the Councils is one way for the public to become involved in the Federal subsistence regulatory process. Each Council has either 10 or 13 members, and membership includes representatives of subsistence use and commercial/sport use…

-RESIDENT of the region member represents

-RESOURCE KNOWLEDGE – Knowledge of the region’s fish and wildlife resources

-SUBSISTENCE USES – Knowledge of the region’s subsistence uses, customs, and traditions

-OTHER USES – Knowledge of the region’s sport, commercial, and other uses

-LEADERSHIP SKILLS – Leadership and experience with local and regional organizations

-COMMUNICATION SKILLS – Ability to communicate effectively

-AVAILABILITY – Willingness to travel to attend two or more Regional Advisory Council meetings each year (usually in October and February) and occasionally attend Federal Subsistence Board meetings.

Application and info:


Federal Subsistence Management home page: https://www.doi.gov/subsistence


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  1. Federal Subsistence Winter 2017 Regional Advisory Council Meeting Calendar

February-March 2017 – Meeting dates and locations are subject to change…



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  1. Obama Creates Resilience Area for Alaska Natives along Bering Strait

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — President Barack Obama responded to appeals from Alaska Native villages and gave them more of a say in the federal management of marine resources of the Bering Sea…



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  1. Trump transition team adds Alaskan Jerry Ward as tribal liaison

By Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – December 6, 2016

An Alaskan has joined President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team. The Trump team has selected former state senator Jerry Ward as its liaison to the 500-plus federally recognized tribes.

Ward says his selection was a surprise to him. He’s in Washington now to help with the inauguration plans, focusing on Western state participation.

“Along with that I am also working on Native American affairs, in a liaison position,” Ward said.

Ward says discussions are on-going about perhaps serving in the Trump administration beyond Jan. 20, when Trump takes the oath of office.

“I might possibly have a more permanent position somewhere, yes, concerning Native American affairs,” he said…



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  1. SeaWeb Seafood Sustainability Summit June 5-7, 2017 at The Westin Seattle

The SeaWeb Seafood Summit, the world’s premier conference on seafood sustainability, invites YOU to join hundreds of leaders and seafood professionals from around the world to progress tangible solutions for sustainable seafood! The conference will be held June 5-7, 2017 in Seattle, WA – USA. Pre-conference events will be held on June 4th, in addition to field trips on June 8th… www.seafoodsummit.org


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  1. Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Jan 23-27 in Anchorage

The 2017 Alaska Marine Science Symposium opens Jan. 23 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage, with five keynote speeches fill the agenda for the afternoon.
Each of the next three days of the annual symposium focuses on marine life in different areas of Alaska, with the Gulf of Alaska on Jan. 24; the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands on Jan. 25, and the Arctic on Jan. 26…

Cordova Times article:



AMSS page: http://amss.nprb.org/


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  1. FishLines – Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program newsletter for December 2016

Coming events

Alaska Harmful Algal Bloom Network to Form

New Alaska Sea Grant Communications Manager -Paula Dobbyn

Call for Research Pre-proposals

Alaska Aquaculture Resources

Call for Abstracts for 2017 Wakefield Fisheries Symposium

… online at https://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/fishlines/2016/december.php


  1. Sea Grant Books – Clean Boating for Alaska updated

Alaska boaters can take steps to ensure the quality of their pristine marine environment. This booklet tells how boat operations affect the environment and how to minimize your impact. Learn how you can—immediately and in the future—operate your boat more efficiently and with more environmental responsibility, and save money at the same time. Tips include how to save fuel, keep your operation and maintenance green, mitigate marine debris, respect wildlife, and access the latest boat technology. In 2016 the book was updated based on technology changes to boats and fuel…

Order online at: https://seagrant.uaf.edu/bookstore/pubs/MAB-63.html


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  1. Fishing background feeds role as educator – Torie Baker & Sunny Rice

By Lauren Frisch (SitNews) Cordova, Alaska –

With the dual perspective of a commercial fisherman and educator, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent Torie Baker strives to help Cordova fishermen connect with each other and run successful businesses.



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  1. Free Safety Workshop for Commercial Fishermen – Juneau January 21

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will offer a Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor Workshop in Juneau, Alaska on Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM at the UAS Technical Education Center, 1415 Harbor Way, Room 106. Instructor Neil Nickerson will cover cold-water survival skills; EPIRBs, flares, and maydays; man-overboard recovery and firefighting; immersion suits and PFDs; emergency drills, helicopter rescue, life rafts, and abandon ship procedures.

The workshop meets the U. S. Coast Guard training requirements for drill conductors on documented commercial fishing vessels operating beyond the federal boundary line. It is offered to commercial fishermen at no cost, thanks to support from the United States Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The cost for all others in $175 and all mariners are welcome. Interested mariners may register online at www.amsea.org or call AMSEA at (907) 747-3287.

For this and other AMSEA workshops and classes see AMSEA home page at http://www.amsea.org/


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  1. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Recent Items
    -AK salmon habitat protections have not been updated for 60 years, BOF letter asks lawmakers to do so

-Fish eating trends for 2017 include less farmed salmon

-AK fishing already in high gear: Lots of fishing and meeting updates

-One Film Maker’s Vision Starts a Search for King Crab History

-Plan your fishing business from entry to exit with Fish Biz. It’s free!

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


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Compiled by staff of United Fishermen of Alaska
PO Box 20229
Juneau AK 99802
(907) 586-2820