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Comfish News Roundup #05-24-2012

Turnagain Arm, the bottom tip of Cook Inlet ne...
Turnagain Arm, the bottom tip of Cook Inlet near Anchorage, Alaska, from the mountaintop above Alyeska Ski Resort. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Togiak: Thousands of Tons of Herring Still to be Harvested
Commercial fishermen participating in the Togiak sac-roe herring fishery still have thousands of tons of herring to harvest to approach the quota. KDLG's Mike Mason has the details. (3:57)...

Committee To Address Law of the Sea Treaty This Year
By Peter Granitz, APRN - Washington DC | May 23, 2012 - 5:21 pm
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry announced at a hearing Tuesday he will bring up the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea treaty this year. Both of Alaska’s Senators strongly support treaty ratification But Kerry will wait until after the November election to bring it to a vote. Top Obama administration officials have been urging the Senate to take up the 30-year-old treaty for weeks and the Senate has now officially begun what will be a long process. The first of several committee hearings on the treaty featured the nation’s top security brass...

Alaska editorial: Law of the Sea- US should approve treaty
Posted: May 24, 2012 - 12:00am
This editorial first ran in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:
The U.S. Senate is again poised to take up the proposed Law of the Sea treaty, which has languished for 30 years. It remains a missing piece in the puzzle of future Arctic development. The treaty has been approved by 161 nations and all of the world’s industrialized countries and those that have Arctic territory — with the exception of the United States....

Trent Lott explains support for treaty he once said would create ‘UN on steroids’
Published: 11:16 PM 05/21/2012
Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott told The Daily Caller on Monday that he isn’t a hypocrite for lobbying in favor of a treaty he emphatically denounced as recently as 2007. Lott said that he no longer believes the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea — also known as the Law of the Sea Treaty — would “cede our national sovereignty, both militarily and economically,” as he said five years ago when the issue was last brought before the Senate. The treaty would grant the United Nations unprecedented taxing authority over American....

Safe Fishing is Smart Fishing
In the wake of the Coast Guard Authorization Act, demand for safety training is skyrocketing
By Kathy A. Smith
Progressive and up-to-date safety training and equipment for commercial fishermen is critical to this most dangerous of sea-going careers. And the organizations that provide lifesaving products and services to the industry are meeting a wide variety of needs across the country. “Our demand for commercial fishermen training is skyrocketing,” says Rick Petersen, Training Coordinator for the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA), a non-profit corporation that provides safety training to the commercial fishing industry as well as recreational boaters, agency personnel and school children. “It definitely has something to do with regulation changes.” The new Coast Guard Authorization Act, which became law in October 2010, has outlined....

Cause of Ammonia Leak on Factory Trawler Identified
By Alexandra Gutierrez
Wednesday, May 23 2012
The cause of a recent ammonia release aboard the Alaska Juris has been determined. According to the Coast Guard’s local marine safety detachment, the leak came from a faulty hose, which has since been replaced....

Beluga sightings spark memories
Recently released oral history project contains 109 pages of newly compiled information
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune
“Since I ran every day, I saw the belugas regularly. They were usually diving for fish. I ran along the beach below the bluff where I lived and the belugas would swim along next to me at high tide. And they would be singing while I ran. They liked to play, so they would keep pace with me for a short period of time, maybe 10 minutes, and then swim on. I remember thinking it was cool when I saw them.” – unidentified interview
Beluga stories abound, and mystery also surrounds the whale’s basic habits. But thanks to a newly released study, some of the blanks are getting filled in. Historically, Cook Inlet beluga whales likely steered clear of the southern waters beyond Kachemak Bay, where....

Seafood industry fighting for life on Ala coast
The Associated Press
Published: May 24th, 2012 02:11 AM
Last Modified: May 24th, 2012 02:15 AM
BON SECOUR, Ala. (AP) - Aching from an oil spill hangover and a decade of problems, Alabama's commercial seafood industry is fighting for survival....