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#RadioChatter #05-05-2012 Comfish News Roundup

Erin McKittrick, Ground Truth Trekking,
Erin McKittrick, Ground Truth Trekking,, Nushagak River, draining into Bristol Bay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2011 Bristol Bay sockeye harvest was coolest yet
Posted 05/04/2012
by - Margaret Bauman
A survey of Bristol Bay salmon processors in 2011 season shows that the percentage of chilled salmon delivered by the drift gillnet fleet more than doubled in five years, while the combined chilled harvest of both drift and set netters rose to 48 percent. The total of 53 percent of sockeyes chilled by the drift gillnet fleet compared with 24 percent of fish chilled in 2008. The Northern Economics survey for the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association also found that 20 percent of the overall 2011 harvest, up from 15 percent in 2010, went into fillets in first wholesale product form, while the percentage of salmon processed as headed and gutted frozen product fell from 51 percent in 2010 to 45 percent in 2011. The percentage of canned.....

Alaska Salmon Bake a local Fairbanks favorite
by Staff Report
May 04, 2012
FAIRBANKS - Pioneer Park is also the home of the Alaska Salmon Bake, an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring fire-grilled salmon, Alaskan halibut, Bering Sea cod and prime rib. The Salmon Bake operates from mid-May to mid-September and dinner is served nightly from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The buffet is $32.95 for adults and $16 for children and includes a salad bar, baked beans, rolls, dessert, and beverages. Beer, from the nearby Silver Gulch Brewery, and wine are available at extra cost....

By Laine Welch
May 3, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 18
Action finally going to be taken on Gulf of Alaska halibut bycatch
It has taken a quarter of a century, but fishery managers are finally poised to take action to reduce the five million pounds of halibut allowed to be taken as bycatch in Gulf of Alaska (GOA) fisheries. Industry watchers are hoping that public comments will sway them to make the largest cuts under consideration. Currently, 2,300 metric tons of halibut bycatch is allowed in the GOA groundfish fisheries. That is further broken down to 2,000mt for the trawl sector and 300mt for hook and line fisheries, primarily the cod fleet. Those are the two fisheries that have the highest amounts of halibut bycatch. At its June meeting in Kodiak, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) will vote to cut the Gulf “prohibited species” bycatch limits by five, 10 or 15 percent. “These are fairly small cuts at this juncture but.....

Legislature Staffing Arctic Commission
By Alexandra Gutierrez
Friday, May 04 2012
The Arctic Policy Commission is now taking membership applications. The body was created by the legislature this year, and it has...

City Hires New Ports Director
By Alexandra Gutierrez
Wednesday, May 02 2012
Longtime resident Peggy McLaughlin has been selected as the City of Unalaska’s new ports director. She will be replacing Alvin Osterback, who left the department in December. McLaughlin first came to Unalaska in 1993. She worked as a pollock processor on a factory trawler, and later joined Horizon Lines’ local office. She stayed with....

An Alaska fishing community takes care of its own
May 3, 2012
When it comes to grassroots fishing organizations, they don’t get much more innovative than the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, based in Sitka and led by Linda Behnken. Behnken and ALFA are working on many fronts, supporting fish stock conservation, raising capital to buy fish quota to keep members in the game and selling fish through their own label, Alaska’s Own. Linda Behnken directs the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association. Behnken, 50, draws on a rich tapestry of experiences in stewarding the group. Fleeing her native Connecticut for adventure in 1982, she talked her way onto a black cod longliner as a deckhand in Sitka. After buying her own boat and chasing halibut and blackcod for several years, she headed back East for a master’s degree in environment science at Yale, then returned and took up a position on the powerful North Pacific Fishery Management Council in 1992, just before the council begin assigning new tradeable catch allotments for halibut and black cod under what’s known as the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) system. Behnken’s talent has been in...

Panetta: Climate change a national security threat byJoel Gehrke Commentary Staff Writer
May 3, 2012 1:19pm
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared global warming a national security threat yesterday during a speech before an environmentalist group in Washington, D.C. "The area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security," Panetta told the Environmental Defense Fund last night. "Rising sea levels, severe droughts, the melting of the polar caps, the more frequent and devastating natural disasters all.....

Cordova Newspaper Makes Comeback After Sale
Local Buyer Discovers 'People Really Want Print'
By Ted Land
Channel 2 News (video)
8:39 a.m. AKDT, May 4, 2012
CORDOVA, Alaska—
Several months after its sale, the Cordova Times newspaper, according to locals, is thriving. Last year it was one of several publications that Calista, an Alaska native corporation, decided to shed from its portfolio of assets. The local news business was "not supportive of the company's long-term financial interests," a press release read at the time.....,0,156345.story

Shell asks judge to uphold drill permits ahead of lawsuits
Oil giant asks judge to uphold authorization for exploratory drilling.
Associated Press
Published: May 4th, 2012 10:10 PM
Last Modified: May 4th, 2012 10:11 PM
JUNEAU -- Subsidiaries of Royal Dutch Shell PLC are making "improper use of the judicial system" by suing to head off challenges to permits that put them closer to exploratory drilling off Alaska's northern shores, an attorney for a conservation group said Friday....

Ten charged in St. Paul (Trident) fire
May 4th 3:53 pm | Jim Paulin
The fire that destroyed a warehouse in St. Paul in February was deliberately set, and 10 people have been charged with various crimes, according to Kevin Alberg, the island village's director of public safety.
Alberg said the criminal charges include first degree criminal mischief, second degree criminally...

Dillingham city manager resigns
May 4th 3:56 pm | Carey Restino
Dillingham is once again searching for a city manager. After less than a year on the job, Dan Forster announced recently that he would be leaving the position at the end of June.
The move came because of health concerns, Forster said, and not because of the recent contentious vote to annex the waters of the Nushagak Commercial Salmon District, which inspired some angst between the city of Dillingham and outlying villages....