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#08-15-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Industry, GOP fear power-grab by EPA in Alaska mine decision
By Zack Colman - 08/15/12 06:00 AM ET
Industry groups and Republican lawmakers fear the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to set a new precedent in Alaska that could make it harder for companies to obtain mining permits near sensitive habitats. The EPA has signaled it might reject a proposed copper and gold mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, over concerns that the project could disturb the world’s largest sockeye salmon run. The companies behind the proposed Pebble mine note that the EPA has never before blocked a mining project after a preliminary watershed assessment, and warn that doing so now would tilt the scales in favor of environmental groups that want to block energy production. Ross Eisenberg, vice president for energy and resources with the National Association of Manufacturers, said a decision to stop the Pebble mine based on the preliminary test would give environmental groups an opening to stop other projects.  “The real danger that we’ve all got is, if they can figure out how to get this done with Pebble, they can get this done in other areas,” he said. “There are lots of....  //

Alaska editorial: Fuel regs show problem with Law of the Sea Treaty
Posted: August 13, 2012 - 12:04am
This editorial first appeared in the Alaska Journal of Commerce:
On July 13, the State of Alaska filed a lawsuit to challenge new fuel requirements for ocean-going vessels plying the West Coast shipping lanes that took effect Aug. 1. The new standards imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency will raise the cost of everything that crosses our docks by at least 8 percent initially, and even further by 2015 when stricter standards kick in. The following Monday, July 16, Senate opponents to the Law of the Sea Treaty, or....

Icicle Fined for Using Ozone-Damaging Refrigerants
By Alexandra Gutierrez
Monday, August 13 2012
Icicle Seafoods is paying out $430,000 in fines to the federal government for using ozone-depleting refrigerants at its facilities and aboard its vessels. According to a complaint filed by the Environmental Protection Agency, Icicle violated the Clean Air Act by using R-22 refrigerant in a negligent manner. In 2006, the company allegedly failed to test for refrigerant leaks aboard the Northern Victor, a factory trawler that processes Bering Sea pollock. Icicle also...

Fish tax funds used to keep doors open at remote Alaska school
Jim Paulin | Dutch Harbor Fisherman | Aug 14, 2012
When the U.S. senators and top brass landed at Cold Bay last week and jumped onto a helicopter to visit an at-sea Coast Guard cutter, they hadn't informed the mayor of the visit to his community. And more importantly, from a local perspective, they weren't setting up housekeeping. When Mayor Jorge Lopez thinks of federal employees in his community, he's hoping for fulltime residents with children who will help keep the tiny community's school open. This year, for the first time he knows of, the school lacks the magic number of students -- 10 -- required for state funding, although the borough is saving the school in a pinch. "If we fall below the 10-count, we're looking at getting shut down, and that's the last thing we want. The more people we have moving to this town with kids, the better off we'll be," Lopez said. Just seven students are signed up for the start of school, but Lopez is hoping for a influx of federal assistance in the form of school-age children.....

Kodiak Salmon Harvest Up To 15-Million
Aug 14, 2012
Jay Barrett/KMXT
There's been some big fishing days in the past week around the Kodiak Management Area, with more than a half-million humpies being hauled in on a daily basis. In fact, according to Fish and Game reports, nearly a full million - 916,853 to be exact - were harvested on Friday....

Alaska editorial: Salmon mysteries
Posted: August 12, 2012 - 12:10am
This editorial first appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:
A chum salmon just can’t replace a king salmon. But in a year when the king salmon barely showed up, it’s encouraging to see healthy chum runs in the Yukon River system this summer. The abundance of chums should provide for people along the rivers who rely upon salmon for a good portion of their food during the winter months. We shouldn’t see a repeat of the...

Empowering Alaska as America’s Arctic
Bob Herron | Aug 14, 2012
Alaska, the United States, and the world are finally giving America’s Arctic the attention it irrefutably deserves. This is due to Alaskans like the late Governor Walter Hickel; Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell; former North Slope Borough Mayor Edward Itta; U.S. Arctic Research Commission Chair Fran Ulmer; Nils Andreassen of the Institute of the North; Rep. Reggie Joule; Sen. Lesil McGuire; Dr. Lawson Brigham and Dr. Mark Myers of UAF; and many, many others including the unabashed Arctic champion and enthusiastic founder of the Arctic Imperative Summit, Alice Rogoff. The promise of offshore oil development, increased shipping, mineral export, LNG export and tourism makes the Arctic exceptionally important to our future in Alaska. But we must also remember that people live in the Arctic, and improving their quality of life and respecting their views is key.....

Cloud and big data give scientists unprecedented access to essential climate insights
By Dana Gardner for BriefingsDirect | August 13, 2012 -- 22:15 GMT (15:15 PDT)
Summary: The Ocean Observatories Initiative and its accompanying Cyberinfrastructure Program aims to provide an unprecedented ability to study the Earth's oceans and climate using myriad distributed data centers and literally oceans' worth of data. A fascinating global ocean studies initiative helps best define some of the IT superlatives around big data, cloud computing, and middleware integration capabilities. The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) and its accompanying Cyberinfrastructure Program aims to provide an unprecedented ability to study the Earth's oceans and climate using myriad distributed data centers and literally oceans' worth of data. The scale and impact of the science's importance is closely followed by the magnitude of the computer science needed to make that data accessible and actionable by scientists. In a sense, the OOI and its infrastructure program, a major undertaking by the National Science Foundation, are constructing a big data-scale programmable and integratable cloud fabric for oceanography. We’ve gathered three leaders to explain the OOI and how the Cyberinfrastructure Program may not only solve this set of data and compute problems, but perhaps establish a path to how future massive data and analysis problems are solved. Here to share their story on OOI are:....

Life jacket saves man tangled in crab pot line (hauling a crab pot from a canoe? WTF? HG)
Associated Press
Published: August 14th, 2012 11:22 PM
Last Modified: August 14th, 2012 11:22 PM
JUNEAU -- The U.S. Coast Guard says a life jacket saved a man from drowning after his canoe capsized near Auke Bay....

Google chefs host local farmers for "Top of the Crop" event
The event brings Google chefs and local farmers together, showcasing fresh produce
Google has long been known in Silicon Valley for having one of the best employee food programs, which lets employees eat for free at any Google cafe. Once the cafes close, Google employees can chose from office "micro-kitchens," providing gourmet coffee machines, cold drinks, fruit, yogurt and snacks 24 hours a day. But Google chefs aren't satisfied with the degree of food perks they serve....

JULY 13, 2012, 10:01 AM1 Comment
Lobster-Inspired Tech Helps Smartphones Navigate Indoors
It’s easy enough to get directions on a phone when outdoors — but try finding your way around the mall. Soon, you may be able to pull up your location on an indoor map using a new mobile technology. The indoor location technology, which was developed by researchers at the University of Oulu in Finland, uses a smartphone’s built-in compass, or magnetometer, to scan for variations in the Earth’s magnetic field inside a structure. The information is transmitted to an online server for analysis, and then stitched together into a virtual landscape of the building......

Sweden intends to control live American lobster imports
Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
The Swedish Ministry of Environment has expressed concerns regarding live imported lobsters from North America released in territorial waters. Sweden thus intends to ban unregulated imports and sales of live American lobster mainly coming from the US and Canada, but will make exemptions for importers with a closed system for boiling lobster.....

New system allows algae to breed useful products
Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 01:30 (GMT + 9)
Southern California Gas Co (SoCalGas) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Scripps) at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) have entered into an agreement focusing on the design of an innovative system in which algae consume carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from natural gas combustion and cost-effectively convert it into valuable byproducts such as biomethane, biodiesel and animal feed....

ALASKA trailer from MILOS BRUNNER on Vimeo.

Alaska Downhill Brigade from High Peaks Productions on Vimeo.

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