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#RadioChatter #05-04-2012 Comfish News Roundup

Ice the Stikine River.
Ice the Stikine River. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Stikine,Taku Fisheries start up this month
by Matt Lichtenstein
May 2, 2012 8:44 am
Commercial Gillnetters and trollers in the Petersburg and Wrangell area will be targeting king salmon in the marine waters near the Stikine River starting early next week. The District 8 king season was closed for the previous three years because the Stikine runs were not big enough. This year, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is projecting nearly 41 thousand large kings will return, which is enough for a commercial harvest. Area management biologist Troy Thynes says, ” “Now in terms of this forecast, it’s probably, over the long term, about an average size king salmon run for the Stikine....

Southeast Alaska salmon seine fishermen approve buyback of 64 permits for 'capacity reduction'
First Posted: May 03, 2012 - 4:26 pm
Last Updated: May 03, 2012 - 4:29 pm
KETCHIKAN, Alaska — Southeast Alaska commercial fishermen have approved a $13 million plan to buy back 64 state permits for purse seine fishing to boost market conditions. The region's seine permit holders voted 215-54 in favor of the "capacity reduction program" aimed at improving the economic viability of the remaining 315 permit holders. They voted from March 30 to April 30 in a referendum conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The buyback will be financed with a federal loan to be repaid over time by remaining permit holders. "We were thinking it was going to be close," Dan Castle, president of the Southeast Alaska Seiners Association, told the Ketchikan Daily News ( ). Purse seiners, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, capture salmon by encircling them with a long net....

The Alaska Fisheries Report with Jay Barrett
May 03, 2012
Southeast Salmon Seiners have voted to buy back a number of permits, king salmon fishing should begin for gillnetters and trollers in the Stikine area starting early next week, and the downside of the foreign workers visa program. We had help from KFSK's Matt Lichtenstein in Petersburg and KMXT's Jennifer Canfield in Kodiak....

Holland America Move Leaves Kodiak High and Dry
May 03, 2012
Jay Barrett/KMXT
The first two cruise ships of the season have come and gone from Kodiak, but there are another dozen scheduled between now and mid September. Next year though, the first two cruise ships of the year could be the only two cruise ships of the year. That's because, as visitor's bureau Executive Director Janet Buckingham explains, Holland America Lines is changing its schedule....

‘No’ to $2 head tax on tourists
Commission votes measure down that would raise money from Homer’s visitors
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune
At the end of hearing from about a dozen water taxi and charter boat operators on a proposed $2 head tax, the Homer Port and Harbor Commission nixed the idea entirely.
They also crossed off the proposal to build a new $2 million Harbor Office to replace the ailing building. And they put a ceiling of $4 million on the amount of the revenue bond.
The commission took public testimony at its Wednesday meeting on four proposed fee increases toward helping to pay for $12 million in harbor improvements. They were looking at fuel wharfage, moorage increases, fee rates at the Deepwater Dock and the head tax as ways to raise funds toward debt payment on a $6 million revenue bond. The other $6 million would be paid for in grants available to the City of Homer. A grant deadline looms in July, so the idea was to have the financing figured out ahead of time, said Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins.
But the first number to change in the request is the amount. Instead of $6 million....

Our View: EPA is doing its job
State challenges agency but Bristol Bay work is needed
Published: May 3rd, 2012 09:23 PM
Last Modified: May 3rd, 2012 09:24 PM
What the Environmental Protection Agency has been doing with its intensive study of the Bristol Bay watershed is exactly what the EPA should be doing. Since last year, the agency has been trying to determine if a world-class gold and copper mining operation -- the Pebble prospect -- or any large-scale mining operation can coexist with some of the headwaters of the richest salmon fishery on the planet. The Parnell administration, through Attorney Gen. Michael Geraghty in a March 9 letter, argues that the EPA should stop because it is exceeding its authority and could rob the state of its mineral rights over a vast area. EPA Regional Administrator Dennis McLerran...

Wind power fuels Alaska's push for rural renewable energy sources
Alex DeMarban | May 02, 2012
Alaska's alternative energy revolution will take a new twist this summer when 15 turbines spin to life over a trio of Southwest Alaska villages, in one of the most notable wind projects ever to reach the Bush. Like so much heavy equipment in Southwest Alaska, the turbines are old-school hand-me-downs imported from the Lower 48 -- in this case, the California desert. They seem small and stodgy by today's standards, resembling Kansas farm ornaments with four-legged bases and lattice-work sides. But at 12-stories tall, they'll tower over tiny Kwigillingok, Kongiganak and Tuntutuliak, home to about 1,200 residents total. They're a perfect fit for the small communities, experts said. And refurbished though they are, the turbines are part of a decidedly high-tech project that includes online meters residents can use to monitor electric use from home computers and electric heaters that automatically fire up when extra wind blows....

New seafood cafe opens at Bellingham Cruise Terminal
Dave Gallagher
The Bellingham Herald, Wash.
10:35 a.m. CDT, May 3, 2012
Vicki Rogers is convinced that a cafe can work at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, and she made the investment to see if she's right. Rogers recently opened Halibut Henry's Cafe at the terminal, which is one of the main stops for the Alaska State Ferry. The restaurant space has had a variety of businesses in recent years, with each having a difficult time surviving because of the inconsistent traffic that goes through the building. It can be a busy place when the ferry has docked once or twice a week, but the building hasn't caught on with local residents during other times....,0,6897269.story

Govt bans seafood from 13 Norwegian exporters
Friday, May 04, 2012, 04:10 (GMT + 9)
Russian veterinary agency Rosselkhoznadzor has imposed an embargo on 13 Norwegian fish suppliers over “non-compliance of the product with demands of Russia and Customs Union” (CU). Earlier this year, the Customs Union sent a group of veterinary experts to Norway to examine the acting surveillance system for fish, fish products and sea products exported from that country. Inspectors found several significant deficiencies, according to the Russian agency. The decision was announced following futile negotiations of the Russian and Norwegian veterinary agencies in late April, during which the Norwegian party did not provide any information on the removal of the relevant deficiencies, Barents Nova reports....

New Seafood Menu Item Brings Sweet Heat to Iconic San Diego Restaurant
Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 at 9:26 am
.......... The Mango Habanero Ono Taco joins Rubio’s expansive seafood offerings that range from shrimp and wild salmon to seasonal Langostino lobster and wild Alaska Pollock. In addition to certified sustainable seafood, Rubio’s also offers chargrilled marinated chicken and steak, “no fried” pinto beans?, salads, hand-made guacamole, and a variety of salsas and proprietary sauces – all prepared fresh daily and made from ingredients sourced from California whenever possible....