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#06-15-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Jun 14, 2012 - 06:44 PM AKST
‘Pingers’ show promise to keep whales away from nets
Acoustical “pingers,” required in some Atlantic Coast fisheries to help porpoises stay out of driftnets, are getting strong reviews from salmon harvesters on both sides of the Gulf of Alaska along with almost desperate interest from others here trying to avoid costly whale encounters. Federal officials in Alaska have raised the possibility that use of the herring-sized transmitters might amount to “harassment” under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Juneau-based distributors who use and sell them, backed by a Kodiak researcher, expressed confidence in their utility and legality. A recent email from Garland Walker, an attorney in Juneau for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, stated, “Injury, intent to injure or doing something in negligent fashion that while not intended to injure a marine mammal, would in the view of a reasonably informed person would cause injury to a marine mammal, would be considered harassment.”....

BBNC applauds EPA's study effort with Bristol Bay watershed
Posted 06/15/2012
by - Cordova Times Staff
Bristol Bay Native Corp. is hailing the public meeting response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft Bristol Bay watershed assessment as proof that the majority of participants support the EPA’s work on the assessment. The eight pubic meetings held in early June drew nearly 2,300 attendees and about 450 oral comments, according to a tally compiled by BBNC, which has more than 9,000 Eskimo, Aleut and Athabascan shareholders with ancestral ties to the Bristol Bay region. The EPA has been holding the meetings to garner public comment critiquing the draft assessment, including suggestions for additional information to be included. The document was....

Seattle seafood processor caught smuggling ozone-wrecking gases
Published 09:12 p.m., Thursday, June 14, 2012
A Seattle seafood firm caught smuggling 85 tons of ozone-depleting refrigerant into the country will likely pay $700,000 in fines and have to retrofit five fishing vessels.
Announcing a settlement Thursday, Environmental Protection Agency attorneys contended American Seafoods Co. vessels were leaking ozone-depleting gases for years while the company failed to act or looked the other way. Instead, the Seattle-based firm illegally imported....

June 14, 2012 04:41 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Conversion to Greener Technology Key in EPA/American Seafoods Agreement
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Seafoods Company LLC, Pacific Longline Company LLC, the Department of Justice, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the filing of a Consent Decree in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington. This Consent Decree resolves a dispute over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act by American Seafoods Company and Pacific Longline Company. Under this Decree, American Seafoods has agreed to pay $700,000 in civil penalties and to make a number of substantial, proactive investments to lead the industry in converting seafood processing vessels to more environmentally-friendly processing and freezing technology. American Seafoods has also purchased and retired R-22 import allowances as required by the Decree.....

Jun 14, 2012 - 06:44 PM AKST
Editorial: Council gets it right on bycatch, more work to do
“Glacial” is the word most often used to describe the North Pacific Fishery Management Council process, but that’s actually unfair to glaciers. Not even time-lapse photography would reveal much movement on reducing halibut bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska until the council’s vote June 8 in Kodiak to cut it by 15 percent starting in 2014. The only previous cut in trawl halibut bycatch was a 27.4 metric ton reduction for the rockfish program passed in 2010 that represented about 1.4 percent of the 2,000 metric ton, or 4.4 million pound, trawl halibut bycatch allotment in place since 1986. Rather than compromise on the amount of the reduction, as many expected, the council...

British writers group samples Alaska gourmet seafood
Posted 06/15/2012
by - Margaret Bauman
Members of the United Kingdom’s Guild of Food Writers gathered recently in London for a prestigious annual awards ceremony dined on an array of wild Alaska seafood, courtesy of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. The canapé selection at The Fishmongers Hall on May 30 featured mini smoked Alaska sockeye salmon bagels with cream cheese, Alaska king crab with mango and lime, crème fraiche, mini Alaska king salmon Thai fish cakes with sweet chili yoghurt dip and tartare of Alaska coho salmon

The Alaska Fisheries Report with Jay Barrett
June 14, 2012 .....

h/t Drudge .. Council overturns a ban which prevented British schoolgirl from posting pictures of her school dinners on her blog…