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#06-16-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Ice-free crab season almost complete
June 15th 5:29 pm | Jim Paulin
With receding sea ice fully opening the snow crab fishing grounds, it's likely that a little extra time was all that fishermen needed to catch all the quota, even with some problems with forbidden females. Bering Sea opilio snow crab fishermen were on track early in the week to finally catch the entire quota by Friday's extended deadline, according to shellfish biologist Heather Fitch of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Unalaska. "It's going awesome," she said Monday, with only 2 million pounds remaining from an 88.9 million pound quota. The previous week....
Sealaska land legislation merged into larger bill
by Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News
June 13, 2012 2:34 pm
The Sealaska land-selection bill has been folded into a larger Congressional measure, increasing its chances of passing. U.S. House Republican leaders on Tuesday moved its provisions into an omnibus bill. The Sealaska legislation, authored by Alaska Republican Don Young, is among 14 other bills in what’s called the House Conservation and Economic Growth Act. They say the act will go before the full House next week....

Tugboat captain sentenced for wreck that spilled fuel
Man admitted he was playing video games when vessel hit reef.
Anchorage Daily News
Published: June 15th, 2012 08:59 PM
Last Modified: June 15th, 2012 10:23 PM
A captain who admitted to slamming a tugboat into Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef while playing video games in 2009, causing the vessel to leak fuel, was sentenced to home confinement and probation in federal court Friday.....

Rumsfeld still opposes Law of Sea Treaty
Admirals see it as way to settle maritime claims
Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld criticized the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Treaty as a potential burden on U.S. companies, just hours after six four-star military officers had hailed the treaty as a key diplomatic tool. The diametrically opposed assessments of the treaty were aired before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday. The military officers said the U.S. would have to rely solely on military might to project power abroad and could lose access to energy resources in the extended U.S. continental sea shelves if the Senate does not ratify the treaty. “Competing claims in the maritime domain by some coastal states are becoming more numerous and contentious. Some of these claims, if left.....

Bristol Bay Fisheries Report for June 15 06/15/12...

Missing 5-ton bag of PCB-laced soil in Bristol Bay raises worries
Hannah Heimbuch | Dutch Harbor Fisherman | Jun 15, 2012
As Bristol Bay swells with the annual influx of seafood industry workers, there is one visitor in particular Dillingham residents would rather see departing. That’s the 11,000-pound dirt bag that slipped into Nushagak Bay last November and continues to evade detection by cleanup crews.....

Ketchikan: Moorage facility project on the move
by Leila Kheiry
June 15, 2012 2:40 PM
The Ketchikan Gateway Borough is moving forward with plans to develop a new moorage facility to accommodate Alaska Marine Highway System vessels, as well as the NOAA research ship Fairweather.....

AK: The Goose
By Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB - Unalaska | June 15, 2012 - 4:44 pm
The Grumman Goose seaplane has served the Aleutian region for the better half of a century, shuttling residents from remote islands to Dutch Harbor. But once the new Akutan airport is complete later this summer, water landings in the Bering Sea will be a thing of the past.....

OPINION: FCCs proposed changes likely to do more harm than good in Alaska
June 15th 5:18 pm | Carey Restino
In blistering testimony last week, Alaska's lawmakers grilled the FCC about the way its reform of support for smaller communication companies might well hurt the very people it is trying to help — especially in Alaska. Communication is a given today — to operate in today's marketplace, one must have high-speed internet, and it is that truth that prompted the FCC to migrate subsidies and support from phone systems to wired or wireless broadband systems. But in many areas of Alaska, that could do a lot more harm than good. Though the FCC could....

FDA urges removal of Korean shellfish from the market
Friday, June 15, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking to have molluscan shellfish imported from South Korea removed from sale due to potential contamination with norovirus. Food distributors, retailers and food service operators as asked to stop selling and working with all fresh, frozen, canned and processed oysters, clams, mussels and whole and roe-on scallops from Korea......