UFA Update: October 12, 2017

Registration is open for Pacific Marine Expo. NOV 16 – 18, 2017Travel info

Comment to EPA on Bristol Bay Mining Withdrawal of Proposed Determination before October 17 –

UFA Salmon Habitat Information Program TAKE ACTION Page

(or see item #25 for links and info)

Thanks to the Alaska Salmon Alliance, Resources for All Alaskans, KPFA, UCIDA, and Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association for helping to host an excellent meeting and reception in Kenai.

Support UFA Business members on our website HERE.

Thanks to new business member Desperate Marine LLC of Homer!

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



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



  1. Call for Applications – Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission and Board of Fisheries
  2. Board of Fisheries Worksession, October 17-19, Anchorage
  3. High salmon prices and huge catch made for a ‘tremendous’ fishing season, state says
  4. ADFG 2017 Commercial Salmon Harvest Summary
  5. Bristol Bay red king crab quota set at 6.6 million pounds
  6. Cook Inlet Smallest sockeye harvest in last 10 years; late runs made openings complex
  7. Fish Factor: Bad News for Cod, Crab Squeak By, Banner Salmon Year, Hurricane Help
  8. Governor Walker Issues Fourth Special Session Proclamation for Oct 23


  1. Supreme Court says no to hearing UCIDA case
  2. NPFMC October meeting – Salmon FMP discussion paper and documents posted
  3. USCG Safety Alert – Remain Upright by Fully Understanding Vessel Stability
  4. USCG Safety Alert: Leaky Lifejacket Lights
  5. U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.5 Million to Support Commercial Fishing Sector in St. Paul Island
  6. Nominations open for USCG Commercial Fishing safety Advisory Committee – apply by November 20
  7. IFISH 5 Intl Fishing Industry Safety and Health Conference – Call for Session Proposals and Abstracts
  8. Comment by Nov 17 on Recreational Quota Entity participation in halibut IFQ program
  9. Comment by November 20 on Halibut Sablefish IFQ information collection
  10. Comment deadline November 24 on Halibut Charter information collection
  11. Comment deadline November 20 on Alaska Region Logbook Family of Forms


  1. Alaska Seafood Industry Continues Legacy as Economic Cornerstone for Alaska
  2. ASMI All Hands on Deck Board Meeting November 28-30, Anchorage
  3. Orca Bay Seafoods, Odyssey Foods merge, Sealaska plans resource acquisitions
  4. At Seattle-based seafood giant Trident, a new generation is at the helm
  5. Seafood processed in China by North Korean labor a cause for concern



  1. Deadline October 17 for comments to EPA on Pebble Mine proposed determination withdrawal
  2. Pebble unveils long-awaited smaller mine plan
  3. This is the most valuable wild salmon fishery in the world. Under the Trump administration, it could become a mine.
  4. Lt. Governor: We are continuing to protect Alaska’s transboundary waters
  5. Petersburg OKs BC Mining resolution
  6. Judge Overrules Mallott, Sides with ballot group on salmon initiative
  7. Fish farm has 60 days to fix net pens outside Seattle as 1 million Atlantic salmon move in
  8. Connelly: State greenlights 1 million more farmed salmon for Puget Sound
  9. How the Cooke salmon escape could impact the future of ocean farming

Aquaculture / Enhancement

  1. Sitka hatchery’s chum run funds improvements


  1. Deadline February 2 for Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council nominations
  2. The Fight for the Right to Eat Seal Blubber



  1. A scientist’s second act in Alaska’s fishing waters
  2. FishLines – Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program newsletter for September 2017
  3. Upcoming AMSEA Trainings
  4. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Recent Items

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






  1. Call for Applications – Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission and Board of Fisheries

The Office of Boards and Commissions is accepting applications for the At-Large seats on the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.  Please submit your application online at:
Online public notice October 11: https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=187344

CFEC home page: https://www.cfec.state.ak.us/index.htm

Note that to serve as a CFEC Commissioner you may not be a CFEC permit holder.

You do not need to be an attorney. New appointees may be able to serve part time.

Please recommend your best and brightest individuals to serve in this important role!


Similar notice for Board of Fisheries, October 11: https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=187347

Board of Fisheries home page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.main

Orville Huntington’s and Alan Cain’s seats are up for consideration in 2018


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  1. Board of Fisheries Worksession, October 17-19, Anchorage

The Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) will meet for a three-day Work Session beginning at 8:30 a.m., October 17–19, 2017, at the Egan Civic and Convention Center, 555 W. 5th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska.

No regulatory action will be taken at this meeting. Agenda topics for this meeting may include: election of officers, agenda change requests, petitions, meeting organization and establishment of committees for the 2017/2018 meeting cycle, location and date selection for the 2019/2020 meeting cycle, informational reports, creation of board generated proposals, approval of the 2018/2019 call for proposals, and/or administrative issues that may come before the board. The board may choose to go into executive session. The board will also take up items under a miscellaneous business agenda.

On Day 3 of the meeting, October 19, the board will also cover two additional subjects on Kodiak salmon genetics research and a process for delisting stocks of concern…


Public notice: https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=186991

Board of Fisheries home page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.main


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  1. High salmon prices and huge catch made for a ‘tremendous’ fishing season, state says

Alaska’s commercial salmon fisheries saw a boom this season.

Preliminary 2017 harvest statistics from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game show the “ex-vessel” value — what’s paid to fishermen by processors — for all species was about $679 million, nearly 67 percent higher than last year’s $407 million.

Most commercial fisheries have ended for the year.

This season was the third-most valuable since 1975, and the harvest was also the third-largest since then, said Andy Wink, a seafood economist with Anchorage research and consulting firm McDowell Group. Fishermen caught about 225 million salmon this year, according to the state.


ADN October 5: https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2017/10/05/high-salmon-prices-and-huge-catch-made-for-a-tremendous-fishing-season-state-says/



  1. ADFG 2017 Commercial Salmon Harvest Summary

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has compiled preliminary harvest and value figures for the 2017 Alaska commercial salmon fishery (PDF 130 kB). Although there are still fish being caught, the majority of 2017 salmon fisheries have ended. The 2017 commercial salmon fishery all species harvest was 224.6 million wild salmon with an estimated preliminary exvessel value of $678.8 million, a 66.7% increase from 2016’s value of $407.3 million. Of this total, sockeye salmon again came in as the most valuable species, accounting for 48% of the value at $326.1 million and 23% of the harvest at 52.4 million fish. Pink salmon accounted for 25% of the value at $169.0 million, and 63% of the harvest at 141.6 million fish. Chum salmon accounted for 19% of the value at $128.3 million and 11% of the harvest at 25.2 million fish. Coho salmon accounted for 6% of the value at $37.6 million and 2% of the harvest at 5.1 million fish. The Chinook salmon harvest was 251,141 fish with an estimated preliminary value of $17.8 million.

Forrest Bowers, Deputy Director of the Division of Commercial Fisheries characterized the 2017 Alaska salmon season as a banner year for the industry and State of Alaska. “Tremendous harvests occurred across Alaska – from Kotzebue to Southeast, highlighted by an all-time record statewide chum salmon harvest. In addition, 2017 is the third year in a row statewide sockeye salmon harvest exceeded 50 million fish. Record wild salmon harvests like these are a testament to Alaska’s sound, science-based management, the professionalism of ADF&G’s staff, and thoughtful stakeholder engagement.”

ADFG press release October 3: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=pressreleases.pr10032017


ADFG Commercial fisheries home page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingcommercial.main


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  1. Bristol Bay red king crab quota set at 6.6 million pounds

By Margaret Bauman – Cordova Times, October 5, 2017

Commercial harvesters of Bristol Bay red king have been given a total allowable catch of 6.6 million pounds for the fishing season slated to begin Oct. 15, with 5.94 million pounds apportioned to those with individual fishing quota and 660,100 pounds for community development entity quota.

The announcement on Oct. 3 came from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which also announced that the Pribilof District red and blue king crab fisheries, and Saint Matthew Island section blue king crab fisheries would remain closed this season.

That’s down 22 percent from the 2016/17 quota of 8.469 million pounds, which was a 1.5 million pound reduction from the 2015/16 season. The 2017/2018 TAC is the lowest TAC going back to 1996…



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  1. Cook Inlet Smallest sockeye harvest in last 10 years; late runs made openings complex

Sockeye salmon were scarcer in Upper Cook Inlet this year, but coho, chum and pink salmon were more plentiful than expected.

Commercial fishermen in Upper Cook Inlet harvested fewer overall salmon this year than average, and made less, according to a season summary released Tuesday by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Sockeye harvests were smaller than average, and they showed up late, frontloading the commercial fishery with most of its sockeye catch for the season before July 20.

Fishermen were expecting a slow year, based on the preseason forecast, and the actual harvest was slightly larger than the forecast. Commercial fishermen brought in about 1.8 million sockeye, according to the season summary, compared to the preseason forecast of 1.7 million sockeye.

Kenai Peninsula Clarion October 4:



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  1. Fish Factor: Bad News for Cod, Crab Squeak By, Banner Salmon Year, Hurricane Help

Fishing outlooks for some of Alaska’s largest catches are running the gamut from celebratory (salmon) to relief (Bering Sea crab) to catastrophic (cod).

First the bad news.

Stakeholders were stunned to learn that surveys yielded the lowest numbers ever for Pacific cod in the federally managed waters of the Gulf of Alaska, meaning from three to 200 miles offshore….



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  1. Governor Walker Issues Fourth Special Session Proclamation for Oct 23…

ANCHORAGE—Governor Bill Walker today issued a proclamation convening the 30th Alaska State Legislature on October 23 in Juneau for its fourth special session to address public safety and revenue. On the call are Senate Bill 54, which addresses Class-C felonies, and a bill to enact a flat wage tax.

The administration is proposing a payroll tax of 1.5 percent of wages earned by Alaskans and non-resident workers, capped at $2,200 or twice the previous year’s permanent fund dividend amount—whichever is higher. For example, a person who earned $50,000 would pay $750 in payroll tax and receive a PFD…

House Bill Packet: Payroll Tax Legislation, Transmittal Letter, & Fiscal Note

Senate Bill Packet: Payroll Tax Legislation, Transmittal Letter, & Fiscal Note

Governor Walker press release Sept 22:


The draft bills do not include a requirement for withholding of estimated tax on payments to fishing crew.


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  1. Supreme Court says No to hearing UCIDA case

The lawsuit over whether the federal government or the state should manage Cook Inlet’s salmon fisheries won’t get its day in the U.S. Supreme Court after all.

Supreme Court justices on Monday denied the state of Alaska’s petitionto hear a case in which the Kenai Peninsula-based fishing trade group the United Cook Inlet Drift Association challenged the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s decision to confer management of the salmon fishery to the state…

Peninsula Clarion Oct 2:: http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/local/state/2017-10-02/supreme-court-says-no-hearing-ucida-case


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  1. NPFMC October meeting – Salmon FMP discussion paper and documents posted

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council met in Anchorage during the week of October 2…

Salmon FMP Amendment – Expanded discussion paper

Meeting Documents

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


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  1. USCG Safety Alert – Remain Upright by Fully Understanding Vessel Stability

October 6, 2017 Safety Alert 11-17… This Safety Alert addresses concerns related to vessel stability and watertight integrity. Recently, a marine casualty involving a fishing vessel in the Bering Sea resulted in multiple fatalities and complete loss of the vessel. A Marine Board of Investigation is currently analyzing the various circumstances surrounding the casualty. Although the investigation is not complete, testimony and fact finding indicate that vessel owners, operators, and crews should give special consideration to vessel stability concerns.

The need for operators to understand their vessel’s Stability Instructions (SI) cannot be overstated. It is important to understand the document. Operators and crew should seek out opportunities to further their knowledge of stability via courses, training, workshops, and visits from Naval Architects. They should also take advantage of other various initiatives, both mandatory and voluntary, to discuss and compare a vessel’s current SI to the actual loaded condition prior to departing port. An independent review of a vessel’s loaded condition, equipment, and operations can often provide important insights…



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  1. USCG Safety Alert: Leaky Lifejacket Lights

September 25, 2017 Safety Alert 09-17

It’s only right to expect the light to improve your plight on a dark night.

The Coast Guard has recently received a safety bulletin from Cruise Lines International Association that reported problems with lifejacket lights. The bulletin relates to Alcares water activated flashing lifejacket lights models Jack A1-ALK and Jack ARH-ALK (CG approval numbers 161.112/88 and 161.112/90). To date, inspections have discovered over 3,000 non-operational lights. All of the faulty lights discovered had leaky batteries (Figure 2), and some were identified as having incorrect battery expiration labels. All of the faulty lights were found to be non-operational before their expiration date. Contact Alcares for questions or concerns, including determining if non-operational lights are under warranty for a battery replacement. Phone: +45 47 19 00 00; Email: alcares@alcares.dk; Website: http://alcares.dk/leaking-batteries-found/.

The Coast Guard recommends that lifejackets with lights, especially those with automatic lights, be stored in temperature and humidity controlled, water-tight environments. Visual inspections and tests must be conducted in accordance with vessel carriage requirements and manufacturer manuals. Vessel owners/operators should check their lifejacket lights to verify that they are operational at the nearest opportunity…




  1. U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.5 Million to Support Commercial Fishing Sector in St. Paul Island

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.5 million grant to Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, St. Paul, Alaska, to help build a vessel repair and marine supply store facility that will support the region’s commercial fishing sector. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 73 jobs, retain 135 jobs, and generate $22.6 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration is committed to helping local leaders build on the economic and geographic strengths of their communities to boost job growth,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Thanks to their diligent work, the vessel repair facility and supply store in St. Paul will provide the infrastructure that local commercial seafood industry requires to further develop and thrive.”

St. Paul Island’s economy is based on fishing and seafood processing. This project expands the commercial fisheries beyond crab and locally caught halibut and benefits the local fishing fleets and the seafood industry…

Economic Development Administration press release Oct 5: https://www.eda.gov/news/press-releases/2017/10/05/st-paul-ak.htm


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  1. Nominations open for USCG Commercial Fishing safety Advisory Committee – apply by November 20
    The U.S. Coast Guard seeks applications for membership on the Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee. The Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee provides advice and makes recommendations to the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security on various matters relating to the safe operation of commercial fishing industry vessels…

Completed applications should be submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard on or before November 20, 2017…

The U.S. Coast Guard will consider applications for seven (07) positions that will be vacant on January 2018 in the following categories:

(a) Individuals who represent the Commercial Fishing Industry (four positions);


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  1. IFISH 5 Intl Fishing Industry Safety and Health Conference – Call for Session Proposals and Abstracts

Reminder: deadline for submissions is October 31st!

Download submission forms at https://ifishconference.ca.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in collaboration with the SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research (Memorial University), will be hosting the 5th International Fishing Industry Safety and Health Conference (IFISH 5) in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, from June 10-13, 2018.

The IFISH 5 conference will offer researchers, safety and health professionals, instructors, workers and industry experts, ergonomists, governmental and regulatory representatives, and other professionals the opportunity to attend workshops, presentations, and poster sessions that feature new occupational health and safety research findings and innovations. Keynote speakers will provide an overview of advances in the field and priorities for the future, and they will highlight success stories in research, training, and industry collaboration. In the evenings and between scheduled presentations and workshops, attendees will have a chance to network with organizations and individuals attending the conference.

Key themes for IFISH5 will include topics on safety in commercial fishing as well as occupational health and safety issues related to aquaculture and seafood processing. We anticipate that the agenda will include occupational safety and health studies highlighting collaboration with industry, evaluations of interventions, improvements to protective gear such as personal flotation devices, fisheries management and safety relationships, and the economic impacts of occupational safety and health…

Abstract and session descriptions can be submitted electronically until October 31, 2017. A template for submissions can be found at https://ifishconference.ca/


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  1. Comment by Nov 17 on Recreational Quota Entity participation in halibut IFQ program

…NMFS issues a proposed rule that would authorize formation of a recreational quota entity (RQE) that could participate in the Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C and 3A in the Gulf of Alaska. The RQE would be authorized to purchase and hold a limited amount of commercial halibut quota share that would yield additional pounds of recreational fishing quota on an annual basis to augment the amount of halibut available for harvest in the charter halibut fishery. The RQE would provide a mechanism for a compensated reallocation of a portion of commercial halibut quota share to the charter halibut fishery. This proposed rule is necessary to promote social and economic flexibility in the charter halibut fishery, and is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, and other applicable laws.

DATES: Submit comments on or before November 17, 2017…

Federal Register October 3, 2017: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-20894

Fishermen’s News: http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2017/10/noaa-fisheries-proposes-authorizing.html?utm_source=FN+Online+100417&utm_campaign=FNOnline&utm_medium=email


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  1. Comment by November 20 on Halibut Sablefish IFQ information collection

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Individual Fishing Quotas for Pacific Halibut and Sablefish in the Alaska Fisheries

The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995…

Written comments must be submitted on or before November 20, 2017…

Federal Register Sept. 19: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-19888

NOAA Alaska IFQ Halibut and Sablefish home page: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/ifq


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  1. Comment deadline November 24 on Halibut Charter information collection

… The Alaska Pacific Halibut Charter Program established Federal Charter Halibut Permits (CHPs) for operators in the charter halibut fishery in IPHC regulatory Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). Since February 1, 2011, all vessel operators in Areas 2C and 3A with charter anglers onboard catching and retaining Pacific halibut must have a valid CHP onboard during every charter vessel fishing trip. CHPs must be endorsed with the appropriate regulatory area and number of anglers…

Federal Register Sept. 25, 2017: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-20398


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  1. Comment deadline November 20 on Alaska Region Logbook Family of Forms

…Vessels required to have a Federal Fisheries Permit are issued free daily fishing logbooks (DFLs) for harvesters and daily cumulative production logbooks (DCPL) for processors to record groundfish, Crab Rationalization Program crab, Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) halibut, IFQ sablefish, Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program halibut, and prohibited species catch information. Catcher vessels under 60 ft (18.3 m) length overall are not required to maintain DFLs. Multiple self-copy logsheets within each logbook are available for distribution to the harvester, processor, observer program, and NOAA Office for Law Enforcement. The longline or pot gear logbooks have an additional logsheet for submittal to the IPHC.

As electronic logbooks become available, paper logbooks are discontinued and removed from this collection. The forms and DFL and DCPL logsheets may be viewed on the NMFS Alaska Region Home Page at https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/​fisheries/​rr-log.

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



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  1. Alaska Seafood Industry Continues Legacy as Economic Cornerstone for Alaska

Study finds that Alaska seafood directly employs more workers than any other private industry

Juneau, Alaska – The updated Economic Value of Alaska’s Seafood Industry report finds that Alaska’s seafood industry remains a key driver of the state’s economy. The Alaska seafood industry employs nearly 60,000 workers each year in Alaska, more than any other private sector industry, and contributes $2 billion of labor income, second only to oil & gas.

“The economic benefits outlined in this study speak to the true worth of the Alaska seafood resource. Raising the resource value means more investment, greater multiplier effects, larger public revenues and, most importantly, more jobs built on a sustainable natural resource,” said Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) Executive Director Alexa Tonkovich.

“ASMI’s mission is to raise the value of Alaska seafood, and the people in our organization work tirelessly in support of that goal. We understand it’s not only about improving the earnings of people already in the industry, which is important, but also about promoting job growth and more prosperous Alaska communities.” added Tonkovich.

The 2017 Economic Value of Alaska’s Seafood Industry report may be found online at www.alaskaseafood.org/industry/seafood-market-info/economic-value-reports .

Report announcement – Perishable News: http://www.perishablenews.com/index.php?article=0063420


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  1. ASMI All Hands on Deck Board Meeting November 28-30, Anchorage

Join us at the All Hands on Deck Board Meeting, November 28-30th, at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage, AK.

A copy of the draft agenda can be viewed on our Meeting Materials page. The meeting packets and presentations will be viewable at a later date. Please email info@alaskaseafood.org or call 907-465-5560 for more information.


Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute news page: http://www.alaskaseafood.org/news/


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  1. Orca Bay Seafoods, Odyssey Foods merge, Sealaska plans resource acquisitions

Seafood Source – By Cliff White, October 4, 2017

Orca Bay Seafoods and Odyssey Foods have announced the creation of a company that will result in the merger of their sales and operations into a single entity. A company representative said the new entity will now seek to maximize the value of Alaska seafood.

Both Orca Bay and Odyssey are based in the Pacific Northwest, and both are owned by larger companies – a majority Odyssey was purchased by Juneau, Alaska-based Sealaska in March 2017, and Orca Bay was owned by Tokosui, which is headquartered in Japan. In an interview, Sealaska Chief Operating Officer Terry Downes told SeafoodSource that under the terms of the agreement, Sealaska, Tokosui and other shareholders will work together to run the company.

Merging the two marketing and value-added processing businesses will result in greater efficiencies and economies of scale and enhance the product mix available to customers, Downes said…



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  1. At Seattle-based seafood giant Trident, a new generation is at the helm

Trident Seafoods is an industry powerhouse, but Joe Bundrant, son of the founder, still runs it from a drab Ballard building that gives little indication of its regional clout…



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  1. Seafood processed in China by North Korean labor a cause for concern

Is Alaska seafood propping up the nuclear ambitions of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un?

According to a new report by the Associated Press, that is likely the case, as labor from North Korea is pervasive in the Chinese factories processing salmon and crab from the Northwest. That workforce has its wages largely skimmed off by the North Korean government. Forced labor is an important source of hard currency for the regime.

Because of the secrecy surrounding the labor force in the Chinese city bordering North Korea where seafood processing plants are located, the team of reporters were only able to partially verify that North Korean workers are, indeed, in the workforce.

Reporters observed portraits of North Korean leaders on worker dormitory walls, examined passports, identified the distinct accents of North Koreans, and interviewed numerous business persons in the Chinese city of Hunchun, on the border of North Korea…



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  1. DEADLINE October 17 for comments to EPA on Pebble Mine proposed determination withdrawal

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator and Region 10 Regional Administrator are requesting public comment on whether to withdraw the EPA Region 10 July 2014 Proposed Determination that was issued pursuant to Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, to restrict the use of certain waters in the South Fork Koktuli River, North Fork Koktuli River, and Upper Talarik Creek watersheds in southwest Alaska as disposal sites for dredged or fill material associated with mining the Pebble deposit, a copper-, gold-, and molybdenum-bearing ore body. EPA agreed to initiate this proposed withdrawal process as part of a May 11, 2017 settlement agreement with the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP), whose subsidiaries own the mineral claims to the Pebble deposit…

Comments must be received on or before October 17, 2017…

Federal Register 7/19/17: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-15181

Regulations.gov docket folder: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369


UFA Comment Letter: https://www.ufafish.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/UFA-to-EPA-404c-Proposed-Determination-EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369-100617-CT.pdf

EPA Bristol Bay home page: https://www.epa.gov/bristolbay

Public meetings were held October 11 (Dillingham) and 10/12 (Iliamna)… Federal Register 9/2/17:

May 2017 EPA – Pebble settlement agreement: https://www.epa.gov/bristolbay/2017-settlement-agreement-between-epa-and-pebble-limited-partnership

UFA Salmon Habitat Information Program TAKE ACTION Page: https://oneclickpolitics.com/messages/edit?promo_id=3567


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  1. Pebble unveils long-awaited smaller mine plan

Granted another chance by the Trump administration, the backers of the Pebble copper and gold prospect on Wednesday unveiled a plan they say is smaller than anything they’ve considered and addresses environmental criticisms about the project.

The plan will be filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by the end of the year, part of the process to receive development permits from agencies, said Tom Collier, chief executive of Pebble Partnership.

Pebble is also planning concepts to promote economic development in the Bristol Bay region, including profit-sharing with residents…

ADN October 5: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/environment/2017/10/04/pebble-unveils-long-awaited-smaller-mine-plan/


KTVA: New Pebble Mine project sweetens the pot for locals


Pebble Partnership Plan page: https://www.pebblepartnership.com/plan.html


Pebble CEO Presents at Resource Development Council for Alaska

October 5, 2017 Vancouver– Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX: NDM; NYSE MKT: NAK) (“Northern Dynasty” or the “Companyannounced that Tom Collier, President & CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership (“Pebble Partnership”), attended today’s Breakfast Forum at the Resource Development Council for Alaska in Anchorage to deliver a presentation outlining current development considerations for the Pebble Project that will reduce the project’s footprint and significantly enhance environmental safeguards.

Northern Dynasty has posted the presentation on the homepage and Project Overview sections of its new website at www.northerndynasty.com.  The presentation will be recorded and made available for replay by event organizers by the end of the day at www.akrdc.org.

See the Presentation: Pebble – A New Path Forward
Presentation by: Tom Collier, Chief Executive Officer, Pebble Partnership at RDC October 5:
Watch Presentation


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  1. This is the most valuable wild salmon fishery in the world. Under the Trump administration, it could become a mine.

CNN, October 10, 2017

This year, 56 million sockeye salmon swam hundreds of miles from the ocean toward the rivers and streams of the Bristol Bay watershed in southwest Alaska.

Many that escaped fishermen and bears leapt over waterfalls and used a mysterious combination of the Earth’s magnetic field and their own sensory memories to locate the exact streams where they were born — and then spawned, made gravel nests for their young, and died.

“It seems like a heroic — and perhaps tragic — life cycle,” said Thomas Quinn, a professor at the University of Washington who has been studying fish in Bristol Bay for 30 years.

The salmon’s incredible migration also sustains people: Nearly half of the world’s sockeye catch comes from this one region, which is one of the last, great salmon fisheries on Earth. The returning salmon and other ecological resources create some 14,000 full- and part-time jobs, generate about $480 million annually — and support 4,000-year-old Alaska Native cultures.

Now, however, Quinn and others fear this cycle could be strained if not broken.

For more than 15 years, Northern Dynasty Minerals, a Canadian mining company, has sought to build a gold and copper mine in Bristol Bay. And this spring, the Trump administration took swift action to make that prospect more likely.

Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt met on May 1 with the CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of the mining company, CNN reported on September 22 based on interviews and government emails. Little more than an hour later, according to internal emails, the administrator directed his staff to reverse Obama-era protections for Bristol Bay, which had been created after years of scientific review. Based on that work, the previous administration had aimed to pre-emptively veto certain mining activities in the ecologically important region.

Pebble still would have to apply for permits before building a mine in Bristol Bay. Two public hearings will be held in Alaska on the topic this week. And the public has until October 17 to comment on Pruitt’s proposed policy reversal before it could be finalized…



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  1. Lt. Governor: We are continuing to protect Alaska’s transboundary waters

By Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott   – October 5, 2017

One of the best parts of my job, and one of the most challenging, is to keep working toward Alaska goals that are not easily and quickly achieved. Perhaps my role as an elder has given me patience in dealing with an ever-changing political landscape at the local, national, and international level. But that’s not to say I don’t get frustrated and impatient like you do when incremental movement seems agonizingly slow.

In regard to our transboundary watersheds, I want the Tulsequah Chief acid mine drainage stopped once and for all. I want to ensure federal resources are made available to maintain a robust system of baseline and continuing water quality measurement in all transboundary river systems. And I want to address catastrophic liability response for mines that in the future, could pose a danger to the transboundary waters it impacts. I advocated for these specific actions during my September trip to Washington, D.C when I met with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Canadian Embassy and with our Congressional delegation.

Some say the State of Alaska is not supporting a request from certain stakeholders to approach the International Joint Commission as an avenue to address these issues. While I have said this publicly before, I want to be clear that the Walker-Mallott Administration supports the efforts of those seeking the involvement of either or both the U.S. and Canadian governments in any action that is responsive to the need to protect transboundary river systems. This means providing resources to allow meaningful response and engage fully with Provincial, Territorial, State of Alaska governmental institutions, First Nations, Tribes and all stakeholders.

The Walker-Mallott Administration signed a Statement of Cooperation (SOC) and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with British Columbia (BC) last year. These documents created a structured process for our ongoing, collaborative work. The SOC has proven to be a helpful tool in continuing to build our working relationship with BC, and provides us with defined pathways for providing input on proposed permits, assessments and authorizations for mineral activities in BC. Ministry staff has continued to keep us involved in their processes.

I return to British Columbia in November to reach out to newly elected key officials, including the Ministers of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources; Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; and Environment and Climate Change Strategy. I am also planning a trip to Ottawa with our congressional delegation to press Alaska’s priorities with Canada’s federal officials. Top among these priorities is the continued protection of Alaska’s rivers.

It remains vitally important for all of us to advocate at the local, state and federal levels in this effort. With our combined efforts, we will strengthen our ability to weigh in on decisions that impact the lives of Alaskans who live, work and depend on our transboundary waters.

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott leads the State of Alaska Transboundary Working Group in Juneau.

Press release:


Lt. Governor Mallott Transboundary Relations page: https://ltgov.alaska.gov/services/transboundary-relations/

Be sure to see the Interactive Transboundary map on the right sidebar, for detailed status and information on BC mines.


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  1. Petersburg OKs BC Mining resolution

Petersburg’s borough assembly Monday passed a resolution seeking enforceable protections against pollution from mines in British Columbia on rivers that flow into Southeast Alaska. Meanwhile, Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor says he is raising the issue with both provincial and federal governments…

Lieutenant governor Byron Mallott was in Petersburg in late September and said he plans to meet with officials in the new BC provincial government in October or November.

“Commissioner Larry Hartig of the Department of Environmental Conservation will be accompanying me,” Mallott said. “It will be our first visit with this new government. I’ve recently had the opportunity to be in D.C. and meet with the Canadian government officials there as well as our EPA and state department and emphasized the need for both federal and local action in maintaining both the habitat and the pristine waters of these transboundary rivers.”

Mallott said he’s tentatively planning a trip to Ottawa along with Senator Dan Sullivan to discuss mining concerns and other topics with the Canadian federal government. The Lieutenant Governor says he’s raised several specific concerns with the federal governments of both the U.S. and Canada, including baseline water quality monitoring and an existing polluting mine…

KFSK October 3: https://www.kfsk.org/2017/10/03/petersburg-assembly-oks-bc-mining-resolution/


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  1. Judge Overrules Mallott, Sides with ballot group on salmon initiative

An Anchorage judge on Monday overruled Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and says a ballot group that includes fishing, tribal and environmental interests can move ahead with an initiative intended to protect salmon.

The Stand for Salmon group, led by a trio that includes Mike Wood of the Susitna River Coalition, says it wants to accomplish a long-overdue rewrite of Alaska’s fish habitat law through the ballot measure.

The matter ended up in court after Mallott rejected the proposed ballot initiative. The lieutenant governor, state lawyers and a pro-mining group said the measure would effectively appropriate a valuable public resource — water. The Alaska Constitution says appropriation cannot be done by initiative, and has found that both water and fish are public assets.

In his 22-page ruling, Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner disagreed with the lieutenant governor. Siding with the salmon group, he referred to an earlier Supreme Court ruling that found the ban on appropriating public assets by initiative “does not extend to prohibit initiatives that regulate public assets.”

The state is evaluating whether to appeal. That process will take weeks, said Elizabeth Bakalar, an assistant attorney general…

ADN – Oct 9: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/environment/2017/10/09/judge-overrules-mallott-sides-with-environmental-group-on-salmon-initative/


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  1. Fish farm has 60 days to fix net pens outside Seattle as 1 million Atlantic salmon move in

Washington’s Department of Natural Resources says Cooke Aquaculture has 60 days to fix problems with its net-pen operation off Bainbridge Island, or it risks losing its lease.

Just a week after the state Department of Fish and Wildlife approved shipment of 1 million more farmed Atlantic salmon to Cooke Aquaculture’s fish farm near Bainbridge Island, another state agency says it has found a hole in the nets and corrosion in the structure of the facility.

The Department of Natural Resources on Monday notified Cooke that it is in default of the terms of its lease at its Rich Passage operation. It ordered the facility repaired within 60 days, or the department may cancel the company’s lease for the facility, which operates over public bed lands…

Seattle Times, October 9:



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  1. Connelly: State greenlights 1 million more farmed salmon for Puget Sound

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has quietly given a permit to Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture to raise an additional one million farmed salmon in Puget Sound, despite an August mishap that saw thousands of the firm’s salmon escape.
Eric Kinne, manager of WDFW’s hatchery division, said the permit is not related to the company’s Cypress Island net pen facility in the San Juan Islands, where on August 19 one of Cooke’s pens collapsed and more than 100,000 farmed salmon escaped…



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  1. How the Cooke salmon escape could impact the future of ocean farming

By Christine Blank, Seafood Source, September 21, 2017

Aquaculture leaders in the United States and Canada worry that the Cooke Aquaculture salmon escape in Washington state could lead to additional regulations on all ocean net pen operations.

Washington officials estimate that more than 100,000 salmon still remain in the waters surrounding Cypress Island a month after the massive escape occurred. Many of the Atlantic salmon have been spotted in Canadian waters as well, leading Native groups, environmental groups, legislators and others to voice their concerns about ocean aquaculture operations as a whole.

As Washington officials continue to conduct their investigation surrounding the salmon escape, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has decided not to grant any permits on new Atlantic salmon nets or pens.

Additionally, several U.S. lawmakers have called for the federal government to stop all permitting for new net pens or expansions to existing pens nationwide. U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) and Patty Murray (D-Washington), along with several other state legislators, have urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to halt permitting for aquaculture net creation and expansion…



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Enhancement / Aquaculture


  1. Sitka hatchery’s chum run funds improvements

By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau – September 20, 2017

A strong chum salmon run is helping pay for upgrades to a Sitka hatchery. Returns are also good at a much larger aquaculture operation not far away.

Angie Bowers walks toward a concrete-and-metal channel next to the Sheldon Jackson Hatchery.

“These are our adult spawning raceways. So the returning salmon come up here and this is where we’re able to crowd them up and harvest them and either take their eggs or often times, if they’re not ready, we’ll put them back in that far raceway for another day,” Bowers said.

Bowers oversees the hatchery as aquaculture director for the Sitka Sound Science Center, where it’s located.

It raises pinks and cohos, as well as chums, and is part of the center’s hatchery training program…



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  1. Deadline February 2 for Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council nominations

Information packet: https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/rac_nomination_application_2018.pdf


Federal Subsistence Fall 2017 Regional Advisory Council Meeting Calendar


Federal Subsistence Board Meeting page: https://www.doi.gov/subsistence/archives

& News – for more news and specific fishery updates:



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  1. The Fight for the Right to Eat Seal Blubber

In Alaskan nursing homes and hospitals, tight federal regulations have meant that the most comforting foods for natives have been labeled illegal. That’s slowly changing…



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  1. A scientist’s second act in Alaska’s fishing waters

After a decade with the U.S. Geological Survey, Erica Madison found a new calling in sustainability

Erica Madison is an unlikely fisher. Three years ago, she left behind a 10-year career as a research scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey and bought a commercial fishing permit. “I needed a break from that world for all sorts of reasons,” she recalls. But her years of experience “always on water and working with boats” had stuck with her. “I had done some research on Port Moller, which is just outside of Naknek and King Salmon. We worked at a cannery and I worked on a fishing boat out there, and I was just like, ‘This would be a great transition for me.’ Kinda going from the science world to the working world, but really, there’s a lot of overlap.”

… “I can sell this fish and directly connect with my customer, and in that connection that’s one more person that wants to save our salmon; that’s one more person who wants to protect the headwaters of our rivers,” she says.

And her new career has given her a deeper connection to her training as a scientist. “As a biologist, I really hadn’t bridged that gap between the working fisherman and the scientist writing the papers,” she says now. “It wasn’t that helpful. I realized how little I had actually talked to the people in the water. And when I was in the water, every single day, people would just come to talk to me like, ‘Oh, you’re a scientist?’ They’d ask me all sorts of questions because I was there working with them. My ten-year plan is to somehow [bridge] that gap. I’d love to do a science school where kids come in and learn about the commercial fishing industry. They’re the lifeblood of this state. . . . My dream is to somehow have a project that would combine both my worlds into one.”



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  1. FishLines – Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program newsletter for September 2017

-Sea Grant Knauss Fellow Charlotte Regula-Whitefield brings science to arctic legislation…

-Everything Alaskans want to know about growing seaweed in our state

– Social scientist explores gender and Alaska fisheries

– Kodiak summer interns benefit seafood industry

– Marine Advisory agent Terry Johnson draws on experience to advise Alaskans



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  1. Upcoming AMSEA Trainings

Alaska trainings still with open enrollment:

November 7, 2017 – Sitka, Alaska – Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor
November 9, 2017 – Sitka, Alaska – Fishing Vessel Stability Awareness
November 11, 2017 – Juneau, Alaska – Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor
December 9, 2017 – Juneau, Alaska – Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor

…and many more in lower 48 states – see right side bar on the AMSEA home page at http://www.amsea.org/


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  1. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Recent Items
    Friday the 13th superstitions at sea

Kodiak Tanner crab fishery could open for first time since 2013

Measure to protect salmon habitat, update permitting laws, heads to voters

Fishermen share experiences, concerns about a changing climate

Alaska 2017 salmon catch tops one billion pounds for 3rd time ever; Prices to fishermen up across the board

Bering Sea snow crab, Tanner crab will open this season!

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
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