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#08-23-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Aug 23, 2012 - 12:18 AM AKST
Cost recovery gives Southeast seiners more opportunities
Eight years after an enabling law passed the Alaska Legislature, the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association accomplished a long-sought goal of the Panhandle seine fleet. It raised the taxes they pay on the chum fishery at its Hidden Falls special harvest area by more than 600 percent. The addition of a 20 percent “cost recovery” assessment on the catch from the six-week Hidden Falls harvest to the regional 3 percent enhancement tax was the cost of replacing the traditional cost recovery model with a common property fishery open to any licensed commercial seiner. “It’s something the seiners have....

Homer: No show for Prop 2 group
Thursday’s “debate” turned into a discussion for packed audience
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune
The Vote No On 2 group were a no-show at a public debate on Ballot Measure 2 at the Kachemak Bay Campus Thursday, leaving Kenai Peninsula Assemblyman Bill Smith in the position of arguing their points against the measure. Cook Inletkeeper’s Bob Shavelson, ballot sponsor Mako Haggerty, Rep. Paul Seaton, and Bill Smith fielded the discussion for a packed room. All of them are in favor of the measure though Smith presented the opposition’s objections. It wasn’t necessarily a debate, but the matter of why it might be important to re-establish the Alaska Coastal Zone Management Program was thoroughly vetted. “It felt like once people got informed, they clearly preferred Alaskans to have a voice in coastal decisions and that just highlights the other side that is not working to educate, but to scare and confuse them,” Shavelson said. The Vote No group has raised nearly $767,995.31, with its primary backers listed as Shell Oil, the Alaska Resource Development Council, Conoco-Phillips and the Alaska Miners Association, according to the Alaska Public Offices Commission. Meanwhile, the Alaska Sea Party, the measure’s proponent, is listed by APOC as....

Story last updated at 5:16 PM on Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Ballot measure No. 2: Proponents say initiative will give citizens a say
By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer
If voters don't approve Ballot Measure 2, a citizen initiative recreating an Alaska Coastal Management Program, the federal government could allow finfish farming in offshore waters 3 miles out, including parts of Cook Inlet, backers of the measure said at a forum held last Thursday at Kachemak Bay Campus and attended by about 25 people. Even though Alaska bans finfish farming, fish farmers also would be allowed to pass through state waters to bring products to market. "We don't have a veto over fish farming," said Bob Shavelson, Cook Inlet Keeper, who spoke with Mako Haggerty, one of the Alaska Sea Party organizers who got the Coastal Management Plan on the Aug. 28 ballot. States with federally approved Coastal Management Plans can block federal permits for activities inconsistent with the state's plan. Alaska banned finfish farming in 1990. "We don't have a strong voice in those decisions," Shavelson said. "We don't have a strong Coastal Management Plan." Bill Smith, who serves on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly with Haggerty, spoke about the borough's Coastal Management Plan. Smith said he had invited someone from Vote No on 2, the organization opposing Ballot Measure 2, to speak. Willis Lyford, Vote No on 2 campaign manager, said he got........

USFWS Director Ashe to Attend Southeast Meetings on Sea Otters
August 22, 2012
(SitNews) WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced today that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe will be visiting Southeast Alaska at her request, to discuss the impacts of sea otter predation on subsistence, commercial and recreational fisheries in Southeast Alaska. Murkowski said the goal of the stakeholder meetings is to resolve growing conflicts between USFWS enforcement officers and Alaska Native craftsman who use sea otters and other marine mammals in their traditional clothing and handicraft.......
NIOSH Takes Alaska Lessons to East Coast Fishermen
By Lauren Rosenthal
Wednesday, August 22 2012
When NIOSH started investigating injuries to Alaskan seiners a few years ago, they found a common theme. Researchers were able to trace countless instances of crushing, amputation, and drowning back to getting tangled up in the net. "They get caught up and wrapped. And once they get wrapped, they can’t reach the controls to shut down the winch," says Chelsea Woodward. Woodward is one of four researchers on NIOSH’s commercial fishing safety team. He serves as an engineer, and it was his job to design a simple tool based on NIOSH’s seiner research.  He came up with a design for an emergency kill switch that would quickly stop the net from winding up. The fishermen who tested....

TWIC Office Problem To Get Permanent Fix
By Alexandra Gutierrez
Wednesday, August 22 2012
It used to be that if you wanted to work in a secure area of a dock facility, you had to fly to Anchorage, apply for a Transportation Workers Identification Credential – or TWIC – card, wait about a month and a half, and then go back to the Anchorage all over again to pick it up and activate it. That meant that a $130 ID ended up costing a lot more. “The TWIC card for us costs $3,000 because of the two trips,” says Mayor Shirley Marquardt. No more. Marquardt announced at Tuesday’s city council meeting that the Transportation Security Administration intends to require a contractor to open a permanent TWIC office in Unalaska starting....

Police & Fire for Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012
Posted: August 23, 2012 - 12:06am
Commercial fishing in closed area
On Wednesday, Alaska Wildlife Troopers said in a dispatch Ryan K. Green, 30, of Juneau, pleaded guilty to one count of operating a commercial gillnet in the closed area of Port Snettisham. He was fined $2,000 with $1,000 suspended, placed on probation for one year and ordered to forfeit the value of the illegally taken fish.....

Fisheries Golfers Turn Out to Aid SeaShare
Ocean Beauty Seafoods’ annual charity golf tournament garnered a record $10,000 for SeaShare, a Bainbridge Island, Washington nonprofit organization that fights hunger through seafood donations. About 130 golfers turned out on the Seattle area greens on Aug. 10, a cloudless day with high of 78 degrees, to benefit SeaShare, said Tom Sunderland, director of marketing for Ocean Beauty. “You couldn’t have asked for a better day.”.......

Federal Lawmakers Express Concern About Commercial Fishing and Shipping Safety
By Terry Dillman
Concerned about the threat that debris from the March 2011 tsunami that wracked Japan poses to ocean-going vessels, US Representative Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) met in Newport with fishing vessel, tugboat and steamship operators on June 30 to discuss what those operators are seeing in the ocean, what is being done about it, and what still needs doing. The meeting at Oregon State University (OSU)’s Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) also included representatives from the US Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and various state and local officials. Oregon authorities have established a network of 32 collection stations, and it seems everyone is on the lookout for tsunami debris that washes up on the state’s shores, but Wyden and Schrader (D-Ore.) said they were concerned about potential threats to fishing and shipping interests by debris still floating across the Pacific Ocean toward the coast of..........