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#08-01-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

What’s the truth about Prop. 2?
Homer Tribune 8-1-2012
In an op-ed piece this week, we hear from former Gov. Frank Murkowski who is urging Alaskans to vote no on Prop 2. This is a measure that many contend would put the vocal chords back in the voices of people living on Alaska’s coasts. Those who argue against it say it’s another layer of bureaucracy that holds up development projects like gold mines, oil fields, gas development, coal fields, building in sensitive tidal zones and projects along those lines. Murkowski touts the latter opinion. He is against it, citing a case where a trapper’s cabin was questioned under the old system. And, of course, he is. It was Murkowski, and his Chief of Staff Jim Clark, who mastered the plan to get rid of the Coastal Zone Management Program and centralize all decision making power on the Department of Natural Resources. Murkowski rises from his quiet retirement to fight this ballot measure. “Prop 2 will do nothing more than add more government and another permitting layer that will delay projects and cost jobs,” he writes. “As proof — only seven out of 60 Alaska legislators supported what will be Proposition 2 when it was proposed as legislation in the 2012 session of the Legislature.”....

Southeast troll fleet king catch short of target
by Joe Viechnicki
July 30, 2012 4:38 pm
Southeast’s Alaska commercial troll fleet came up well short of the targeted catch of king salmon in a nine day opening early this month. The target number was over 98-thousand chinook in the first summer opening July 1st through the ninth. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says the actual catch was just over 61-thousand. Fish and Game’s regional troll biologist Pattie Skannes said catch rates dropped off after the first week of fishing. “When people....

Pirate Fishing Bill Moves to Senate Floor
Legislation to end the multi-billion dollar practice of pirate fishing is headed for the Senate floor, while another measure dealing with genetically engineered salmon has been dropped for now, in hope of stronger support in the future.....

A Delay in Considering Senator Begich's "Frankenfish" Bill 08/01/12
U.S. Senator Mark Begich decided this week to pull his "Frankenfish" bill from immediate consideration by a Senate committee. KDLG's Mike Mason explains. (3:09)... //

Economists Still Uncertain How Farmed Fish Will Affect Wild Salmon Prices
Going into the wild salmon season in Alaska, there is some concern over how farmed salmon prices will affect those of wild salmon, and fisheries economists are still waiting for more data to make a determination....

Today's Catch - Put a Salmon in your Tank
............. But a novel new technology is revealing a silver lining to the cloud of massive farmed fish die-offs:
Biogas. Equipment manufacturers Global Fluid S.A. and Landia have developed a line of pumps, seals and choppers to process the infected fish into fish silage, preventing further contamination, but also producing valuable, protein-rich fats and oils for use in biogas plants and paint manufacturing. The salmon are macerated in custom-engineered silage processing units, which comprise a stainless steel tank, chopper pump, control panel, recirculation pipe and valves.....

Dumb and dumber, Alaska version
Posted: August 2, 2012 - 12:08am
Not only do the Alaska Board of Fish (BOF) and the Alaska Board of Game (BOG) care little about your State Constitutional rights to feed your family fish and game from our lands and waters, they also don’t care very much about your safety. Effective Jan. 1, the BOF prohibited the use of felt soles while sportfishing. Not to be undone in the “dumb department” the BOG followed suit, banning felt soles for hunting, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Don’t blame ADF&G for....

Juneau: Grocer seeks northern outpost
Seattle-based Myers Group eyes Foodland lease
Posted: August 1, 2012 - 5:46pm  |  Updated: August 2, 2012 - 12:05am
Within the next 10 days Myers Group, LLC may negotiate ownership of the lease currently held by Alaskan and Proud Grocery. “We’re working hard to bring a first-class, full-service store to Juneau,” said Tyler Myers, president of Myers Group LLC ( However, Myers is cautious to declare success....

Fairbanks: Smoked Salmon Products Recalled for Possible Botulism
By Chris Klint
Channel 2 News
4:38 p.m. AKDT, July 31, 2012
ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Smoked salmon products made in Alaska and sold in the Fairbanks area have been recalled by their maker due to possible contamination with botulism-causing bacteria, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation....,0,5540774.story   / //

Bristol Bay Receives USDA Grant to Fund Bristol Bay Jobs Accelerator Project
By USDA 20 hours 45 minutes ago
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, August 1, 2012 – USDA-Rural Development Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund today announced that the Bristol Bay Native Association (BBNA) in Dillingham will receive a combined USDA-RD and U.S. Economic Development Administration grant award of $405,023 to fund the Bristol Bay Jobs Accelerator Project.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “The national initiative seeks to support rural partnerships by identifying and leveraging local assets and strengthening linkages to industry clusters.  Strong industry clusters promote robust economic ecosystems and....

‘Iron chef’ cooks for M/V Tiglax
The unlikely art of impossibly good meals on the world’s roughest seas
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune 8-1-2012
The days of plopping beef gravy atop a mountain of instant mashed potatoes to keep a slab of meatloaf moist are long past when it comes to Chef Ryan Lee’s philosophy of food. It’s also no easy task to boil pasta or broil chicken on 40-foot seas. An Iron Chef competition comes out wimpy compared to Lee’s daily toil getting out three squares. He doesn’t forego the labor of sauces, dips, toppings, chutney – or deserts.
Aboard the M/V Tiglax, en route to points throughout the 3.4 million-acre....

Bristol Bay salmon land on Dillingham school lunch menus
Carey Restino | Bristol Bay Times | Aug 01, 2012
Six years ago, the only fish being served in the schools of one of the richest fishing regions in the nation were breaded, battered farmed fish from distant shores. A conversation between a school district chef and a supervisor at Peter Pan Seafoods in Dillingham changed all that. Now, a program encouraging fishermen to donate fish to the school lunch program is an annual event, and other areas of the state are following suit. The Fish for Kids program is run and supported by Peter Pan Seafoods in Dillingham, and allows fishermen to allocate a certain number of pounds of their deliveries to the processor toward school lunches. Organizers keep a running tally of the number of pounds of fish each....

Prince of Wales Area redefines its economy after the timber decline
August 01, 2012
(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - This month the Alaska Trends magazine produced by the Alaska Department of Labor is taking a look at the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, which includes Alaska’s second-largest island and some of the more remote communities in Southeast Alaska. The Prince of Wales area’s water, forest, and land and their many users are its economic core - the region has a rich history of fur farms, mining claims, and quarries, and transitioned to fly-in fishing lodges and mariculture. The article written by Economist Mali Abrahamson reports that Prince of Wales relied heavily on logging for decades, but the decline of the timber industry and deindustrialization throughout the 1990s forced the region to redefine its economy and look more toward government jobs and tourism. Timber is still a cottage industry in the region, and Viking Lumber is one of its largest private employers writes Abrahamson. However, the availability of industrial....

Workers start cutting up Oregon tsunami dock
AP Environmental Writer
Published: August 1st, 2012 10:05 AM
Last Modified: August 1st, 2012 01:35 PM
With a crowd of spectators lounging in lawn chairs and snapping photos, workers on Wednesday started cutting up the boxcar-sized Japanese dock that was torn away from a fishing port by last year's tsunami and washed up on an Oregon beach.....

Aug 1, 2012 - 09:19 AM AKST
Study: Dispersants may have hurt Gulf food chain
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A study on possible effects of the 2010 BP oil spill indicates dispersants may have killed plankton — some of the ocean's tiniest plants and creatures — and disrupted the food chain in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the nation's richest seafood grounds. Scientists who read the study said it points toward major future effects of the spill. One called its findings scary....

NE: Fishing job losses continue as landings rise, NOAA says
By Richard Gaines, Gloucester Daily Times
Posted Aug. 01, 2012, at 5:47 a.m.
New England’s commercial fishing industry continued its consolidation through last October, with fewer vessels and crew taking more trips and catching more fish with greater gross value, according to figures released Tuesday by NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Regional Office. The number of vessels in the active fleet dropped by 10.3 percent between 2010 and 2011, and by 20.3 percent between 2009 and 2011, based on analyses of the first six months through October of the fishing years that began each May 1. The number of crew positions is also down, by 13.2 percent over the two years, and 9.8 percent just from 2010 and 2011. The two-year period marks the time since NOAA and its New England Fishery Management Council converted New England’s groundfishery to the controversial catch share management system. Over the two-year period, gross weight of fish landed increased 20.1 percent, while gross revenues from the landings climbed 38.5 percent to $195 million, but a NOAA spokeswoman....

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