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#RadioChatter #03-29-2012 Comfish News Roundup

New Halibut Cove pink run hits incompatibility snag
• Idea of enhancing fishery for commercial and personal use raises questions
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune
A new pink salmon enhancement project brooding 30 million fry at Halibut Cove Lagoon could be in the works if the Cook Inlet Aquaculture gains a stamp of approval on its request.
Cook Inlet Aquaculture has applied for permission to install rearing pens in the middle of Halibut Cove Lagoon. The plan is now under a 30-day review period by Director of State Parks Ben Ellis. Executive Director of the Aquaculture organization, Gary Fandrei, said the request was made as a cost-recovery measure for the Tutka Bay Hatchery. It also will enhance the commercial and personal-use fishery. Pink prices were 5.6 cents a pound at the lowest point in recent years, but have now risen to 40 cents a pound. “We’ve had a lot of interest in reopening the Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery but to do that, we had to find financial resources to pay for the project. We have some of our own, but need to look for other sources,” he said. The Department of Fish and Game suggested using Halibut Cove Lagoon in a cost-recovery plan. “We would temporarily access that stock until they came back to Tutka in large enough amounts. The idea is to let 100 percent be harvested,” Fandrei said. The stock work would need to continue for a minimum of four years. Once CIAA has its share of about 50 percent, other commercial fishermen could harvest the rest for profit. Initially, Cook Inlet Aquaculture requested, and was granted, a permit from Fish and Game to raise 85 to 100 million in net pens the size of a football field....

Grand jury issues indictment for ocean dumping by fisherman
Associated Press
Published: March 28th, 2012 08:25 AM
Last Modified: March 28th, 2012 08:26 AM
KODIAK -- A federal grand jury has indicted a Kodiak man on charges of dumping pollutants from his vessel into the harbor at St. Paul in the Pribilof Islands.....

Sitka Tribe’s ads protest herring harvest
by Ed Ronco, KCAW
March 28, 2012 12:07 am
The commercial herring fleet remains on two-hour notice today. Aerial and vessel surveys north of town showed little change in herring activity on Tuesday. No samples were taken Tuesday, but test fishing will continue Wednesday throughout the sound. So far, samples have shown a mature roe percentage near 9 percent. Fish and Game generally waits for mature roe percentages near at least 11 percent before calling an opening....

House Backs Bill to Help Young Alaskans Finance Fishing Ops
By Office of Representative Bryce Edgemon 03/28/2012 07:22:00
HB 261 Would Help Them Secure Financing, Increase Alaskan Ownership
(Juneau) - The Alaska State House yesterday unanimously passed a bill to increase Alaskan ownership of Alaskan fisheries by enabling a larger number of state residents to secure the level of financing necessary to purchase limited entry commercial fishing permits.
HB 261 modifies the Commercial Fishing Loan Act to address the economic reality of today's permit costs. The bill doubles the maximum loan amount for entry permits from $100,000 to $200,000.....

Southeast Alaska Tanner Crab Worth 3 Million $USD
by Matt Lichtenstein
March 27, 2012 11:28 am
Southeast Tanner crab fishermen landed their biggest catch in over a decade last month. That’s according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which just came out with a preliminary estimate for the commercial tanner harvest, which closed in late February. Lead crab biologist Joe Stratman puts the catch at one-point-one million pounds. “This harvest exceeded last season’s harvest by 210 thousand pounds and is the largest tanner harvest in the last 11 seasons. You have to go all the way back to the 2000/2001 season to find a larger harvest,” he says. 70 Permit holders took part in the fishery, which started in mid-February. It was open for a week in the most popular “core” fishing areas, and 12 days on the “non-core” grounds. The Southeast tanner grounds are all in the Northern part of the region. Stratman says the largest effort and harvest took place in District Eleven which includes Seymour Canal off Admiralty Island, Holkum bay and Snettisham off the......

Story last updated at 3:57 PM on Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Miners across Alaska busy with expansions, new projects; seven producing mines in operation
By Tim Bradner
Morris News Service - Alaska
From far Southeast Alaska to the far Northwest reaches of the state, minerals companies are busy with projects. Alaska has seven producing mines now, one more than last year. The new producing mine is Nixon Fork on the upper Kuskokwim River, a remote location where fuel and supplies must be flown in. Several new mines may move into production in the coming years, all in different parts of the state. Here's a review of the producing mines and prospects around Alaska:
The new Kensington underground gold mine north of Juneau has completed....

New ferry service buys boat
by Matt Lichtenstein
March 28, 2012 8:40 am
Southeast Alaska’s newest ferry service just bought its first vessel. Officials with the Coffman Cove-based Rainforest Islands Ferry say they closed the deal for the used oil-rig supply vessel Tuesday morning. After a refit, the boat is slated to ferry passengers and vehicles between Ketchikan, Prince of Wales, Wrangell, and Mitkof Island, south of Petersburg.
“We actually closed on a boat today, we own a boat,” says Heather Hedges. Hedges is Marketing and Tourism coordinator for the fledgling Rainforest Islands Ferry service as well as the city of Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island. She says the price was just over 2 million dollars for the 160 foot vessel, which is currently still in the Gulf of Mexico. Built in 1992, the Ashley Alyse McCall was owned by SEACOR Marine which transports crews and supplies to offshore oil rigs. The vessel is expected to cruise a bit faster than larger Alaska ferries, while using substantially less gas. Hedges says she’ll be renamed the Rainforest Islander.....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Story last updated at 3/28/2012 - 10:43 am
Juneau fisherman makes his case for salmon in the nation's capital
By Amanda Compton | Captital City Weekly
JUNEAU - Jev Shelton has been fishing commercially for 51 years. For the last 40 of those, fishing has been his primary source of income. The Juneau resident and former member of the Pacific Salmon Commission grew up in Washington, just south of Vancouver, B.C....

Science Conference Starts Thursday in Dillingham 03/28/12
Much of the new research focused on Western Alaska will be presented at the 5th annual Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference that is being held this week in Dillingham. KDLG's Mike Mason has this preview. (3:56)...

Board of Fish Proposal to Deal With Ideas to Restructure the Salmon Fisheries in Bristol Bay 03/28/12
The Nushagak Fish and Game Advisory Committee has agreed to submit a proposal to the Board of Fish that seeks to set up a process for how to consider ideas to restructure the salmon fisheries in Bristol Bay. KDLG's Mike Mason has the story. (5:50)...

State looks at financing seafood real estate deal...

Thu March 29, 2012
Pollock Fleet Sees Quicker Season
By Alexandra Gutierrez
Pollock A season is quickly coming to an end. Crews are going home, roe has been auctioned off, and industry players are already looking ahead to what B season will bring. As of mid-March, the fleet had taken 85 percent of their 472,000 metric ton allocation. They moved at a slightly faster pace than last year, despite.....

Thu March 29, 2012
Research on Bering Sea Canyons Sheds Light on Coral's Role in Ecosystem
By Alexandra Gutierrez
Using a tiny submarine, a group of scientists have finally been able to get a good look of what actually goes on in the Bering Sea’s canyons. In the process, they discovered a new species of sponge and got a better idea of how deep-sea corals serve as a habitat for some of Alaska’s commercial fisheries. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of California Santa Barbara, and Greenpeace undertook the project. John Hocevar, who is Greenpeace’s Oceans Campaigner and one of the lead authors of the study. He says that the research was important because little....

Snow crab still slow going; Gulf shallow trawlers closed
Mar 28, 2012 - 03:41 PM
Other tidbits from the morning staff reports:
Fishing for Bering Sea snow crab is still slowed by ice covering the fishing grounds, with last week’s catch of 2.4 million pounds less than half of the previous week. The staff report from ADF&G stated that 53.44 million pounds of the 88.9 million pound quota has been taken so far, or about 60 percent. Ten vessels have checked out of the fishery and 40 to 50 vessels are currently standing down.....

What to Look For in a New RSW Chiller
By Rick Greenquist
The most common on-board refrigeration system in the fishing industry, besides galley refrigeration, is the Refrigerated Sea Water (RSW) system. For the fisherman that needs to refrigerate his catch, the reliable operation of the RSW system is extremely critical. Inadequate capacity means shorter trips; unreliable operation can mean the loss of the entire catch, as well as the loss of fuel and supply expenses for that trip....

Dune Lankard to Speak on the Sustainable Seafood Supply Chain in Houston on April 5
Dune Lankard, Founder of the Eyak Preservation Council, will speak at Sustainable Packaging Symposium 2012, April 3-5, in Houston. The former commercial fisherman turned community activist and entrepreneur will discuss his experiences building a sustainable seafood supply chain...

Observer program on track, funding still not set
Mar 28, 2012 - 02:57 PM
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council came to order this morning with a lengthy review of the regulatory process, followed by a progress update on the restructured observer program scheduled to take effect in 2013. Martin Loefflad of NOAA said implementation is on schedule. A presolicitation notice was posted last week seeking contract bidders for observers, and the proposed rule should be published before April 1.....

Nome residents roll along with higher fuel prices
Associated Press
NOME, Alaska — The measure of how challenging it can be to live in Nome, Alaska, starts with a dollar sign. There are plentiful, painful reminders all over this Being Sea coastal community. At the grocery store, it's $39.25 for a 12-roll package of paper towels. Toilet paper costs $37.85 for a 36-roll package. Want a 2-liter of Diet Pepsi? It's on sale this week for $4.49. At a restaurant, breakfast for one will run about $16....

Rural Alaska
Lawsuits filed over payment for historic rural Alaska winter fuel delivery
Jill Burke | Mar 27, 2012
A one-of-a-kind international fuel delivery to ice-encased city on Alaska's western coast may be recent history, but a new journey through the litigation that was bound to follow is just beginning. Recently filed lawsuits over who should pick up the tab for the extraordinary effort to open a winter corridor of commerce for a single delivery through hundreds of miles of thick sea ice shows that behind the scenes, the path to Nome was more rocky than rosey....

Story last updated at 3:50 PM on Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Tell legislators you support money for ocean research
Point of View
By Pete Wedin
As I look out on Kachemak Bay, I know that the waters of the bay, Cook Inlet and the Gulf of Alaska are teeming with organisms that nourish the fish that I depend on to make a living and to fill my freezer. Some days, the water is too rough to go fishing, but still, I know the fish are there waiting for when I can go.... //

Story last updated at 5:23 PM on Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Homer: ACS launches new home Internet service
ANCHORAGE — Alaskans have a new choice for home Internet with the launch of Alaska Communications Home Internet Service. With speeds up to 10 megabits per second, Alaska Communications delivers...

Story last updated at 4:44 PM on Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Sustainable certification stirs debate over programs
The decision by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and at least eight major salmon buyers to pull out of the Marine Stewardship Council's sustainability certification program has caused a bit of a flap in the industry, including allegations by ASMI that MSC is making false accusations regarding the causes and implications of the action, and push-back by ASMI to counter the claims.....

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