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#07-07-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Senator Murkowski got an earful from the fishing industry in Petersburg
by Joe Viechnicki
July 5, 2012 9:28 am
Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski heard growing concern over the expanding sea otter population in Southeast and pleas for relief from federal requirements for the region’s commercial fishing industry. Alaska’s senior senator met with representatives of the fishing fleet and seafood processing companies during a visit to Petersburg this week.....

King Salmon Run to the Nushagak River is Expected to Reach the Escapement Goal
07/07/12 Many king salmon runs around the state are coming in lower than expected resulting in closures and restrictions. However, one of the success stories is the large king run to the Nushagak River in Bristol Bay. KDLG's Mike Mason has the story. (2:41)....

OPINION: BBNC directors, staff working on preserving culture, traditions during EPA meetings
July 6th 2:23 pm | Jason Metrokin
The opinion piece "A community's opinion should come from the community," published in the June 28 issue of the Bristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman, questions whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) public meetings held in the Bristol Bay region in June fairly represented each community. The article implies that Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) somehow skewed the public input process because board members and staff attended the meetings. To set the record straight: BBNC board members and staff were in attendance at each of the meetings, both in Seattle and throughout the Alaska communities. We were there for....

Some Alaska air taxis may owe IRS more than $1 million in taxes
Ben Anderson | Jul 06, 2012
Some of Alaska's air taxi services are up in arms over what they call unfair audits that have revealed hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and occasionally more than $1 million -- in back taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service. It's prompted a letter from Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, to U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner asking for an explanation of the audits' findings -- and what operators say are threats of further audits if they challenge those findings. At the heart of the issue is vague language in the tax code that air taxi operators say is being interpreted in new ways by the IRS, leaving them....

Air taxis under IRS fire
July 6th 2:13 pm | Hannah Heimbuch
Alaska's smaller air carriers, with support from Sen. Mark Begich's office, are seeking resolution to what some are calling bullying by the Internal Revenue Service toward air taxi companies in Alaska. The amount of federal excise tax required from an air carrier depends on its purpose — commercial versus noncommercial, or private — along with several exemption categories. Exemptions include seaplanes, sightseeing trips and small planes operating on nonestablished lines. Charter flights have typically been in this category, as their time and destination are...

It's fair time!
July 6th 2:20 pm | Ross Coen      
To say that Alaska is economically tied to Seattle is an understatement of the highest order. Our freight is shipped through Seattle. Most of our domestic flights are routed through Seattle. Alaska Airlines itself is based there. Throughout its history, much of Alaska's harvested resources—gold, salmon, timber, coal, oil—have made their way to market via Seattle. Flip through the Seattle Yellow Pages and you will find dozens of companies with "Alaska" in their names, everything from insurance firms to seafood processors to art galleries.....

Restaurants join fight to protect Bristol Bay salmon
Puget Sound Business Journal by Glenn Drosendahl, Contributing Writer
Date: Friday, July 6, 2012, 2:51pm PDT - Last Modified: Friday, July 6, 2012, 4:17pm PDT
Kevin Davis is a chef who fishes. He cares deeply about wild fisheries, so much so that he has lobbied for them in Washington, D.C., and has made sustainability a founding concept for both of his Seattle restaurants, Blueacre Seafood and Steelhead Diner.....

Shell's ice-class barge still lacks final Coast Guard certification
Los Angeles Times
Published: July 6th, 2012 04:13 PM
Last Modified: July 6th, 2012 04:14 PM
SEATTLE -- A unique ice-class barge designed to clean up any oil spills that might result from Shell Alaska's upcoming operations in the Arctic Ocean has so far failed to acquire final U.S. Coast Guard certification. Engineers from the oil company say it's no longer appropriate to require them to meet the rigorous weather standards originally proposed....

Barge Flaws Delay Shell Alaska Drilling, Coast Guard Says
By Katarzyna Klimasinska - Jul 6, 2012 1:35 PM GMT-0800
Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA)’s drilling off Alaska’s north coast will be delayed until August as the company waits for ice to clear and modifies a spill-response vessel to meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements.
“Our largest impediment to time of drilling is persistent sea ice,” said Curtis Smith, a spokesman for The Hague-based company. “We’ve moved our estimation from late July to potentially the first week of August.”....

CFIA quarantines fish farm in Newfoundland due to suspected ISA
Friday, July 06, 2012, 23:40 (GMT + 9)
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has quarantined an fish farm on the south coast of Newfoundland due to a suspected outbreak of infectious salmon anaemia (ISA). Newfoundland and Labrador veterinarians detected the virus during routine testing at the site, explained Miranda Pryor, the executive director of the NL Aquaculture Industry Association....

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