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#10-03-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Special note.. We'll be embedding tonight's POTUS debate in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!
Fuel cells may help propel new vessels
They'll be built in Vancouver
By Aly Thomson, The Canadian Press October 1, 2012
The federal government has issued a tender calling for the design of low-emission Canadian Coast Guard ships that would incorporate hydrogen fuel cell technology. The three offshore fisheries science vessels are intended to replace four aging coast guard ships and would be stationed on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. They are part of the fleet under Ottawa's $33-bil-lion national shipbuilding procurement announced last year. The tender said the government plans to spend about $332,000 to look into integrating hydrogen fuel cell technology into the new ships, which.....

Final action scheduled for charter-commercial halibut split
Posted: October 2, 2012 - 11:14pm
By MOLLY DISCHNER Morris News Service - Alaska
Alaska Journal of Commerce
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will consider several alternatives for Pacific halibut allocations at its October meeting. The council meets today through Tuesday in Anchorage, and has scheduled two full days for halibut issues. The council is slated to take final action on the halibut catch sharing plan for Southeast, or Area 2C, and Southcentral, or Area 3A. The council is tasked with finding a way to split a combined catch limit, set by the....

Pebble opponents cry foul over developer's scientific review
Prospect developers fund non-profit center to take unbiased look.
Anchorage Daily News
Published: October 2nd, 2012 11:16 PM
Last Modified: October 2nd, 2012 11:16 PM
The group aiming to develop a giant copper and gold mine in the Bristol Bay area is vetting the scientific studies that underlay its work, turning to a Colorado-based non-profit with expertise in environmental conflict resolution. But critics of the proposed Pebble mine are having little of it.Six days of scientific review meetings organized by the Keystone Center kicked off Tuesday in Anchorage at the Consortium Library on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. Keystone describes the effort as an in-depth, objective review of Pebble's science. Mine opponents counter that the studies are lacking and that the effort is.......

Industry, GOP warn EPA wants pre-emptive veto
Posted: Oct 02, 2012 9:27 AM ADT
Updated: Oct 03, 2012 6:27 AM ADT
By Taylor Kuykendall
A company seeking to mine gold and copper in Alaska warns action being taken by a federal agency could stifle mining activity everywhere — including the hobbled West Virginia coal industry. The Pebble Partnership is seeking to mine gold, copper and molybdenum in the Bristol Bay region. The mine has faced opposition from local tribes, state legislators and particularly commercial fishermen. The bay is the home of almost half of the world's sockeye salmon population. The Environmental Protection Agency has conducted a study of potential mining in the area and its effect on the salmon population. The study, currently in draft status, could determine whether or not Pebble, or any company, is allowed to mine in the region. The problem, industry groups and the GOP argue, is that Pebble has not yet submitted a mine plan. Analyzing potential impacts without first looking at Pebble's plan, said Pebble spokesman Mike Heatwole, is reminiscent of the highly controversial retroactive veto of the Spruce Mine permit in West Virginia. "If the EPA preemptively acts against the Pebble mine before we have a chance to apply for permit, it will have major regulatory consequences across the...

Southeast numbers up and continue to rise
by Leila Kheiry
October 2, 2012 3:47 PM
For the first time in about two decades, the annual Southeast “By The Numbers” report from Juneau-based research firm Sheinberg Associates gave a somewhat rosy picture of the region’s economy. Meilani Schijvens was one of a group from Sheinberg Associates that took a detailed look at Southeast Alaska’s economy and population over the past five years. She presented some of the study’s findings last week during Southeast Conference in Craig. “For the last 15-20 years, we’ve been getting up in front of you to convey rather depressing numbers,” she said. “We’ve tried to put a good spin on them, and focus on the successes, but the late ‘90s and early 2000s were tough years for Southeast Alaska.” In the late 1990s, fishing and timber were in decline, and populations throughout the region fell by 10 percent on average, not including Juneau. Now, however, “I’m excited to tell you that we are indeed starting in on a new book of the Southeast...

Chefs Collaborative Members Sweet on Chum
By Hanna Raskin Wed., Oct. 3 2012 at 6:00 AM
A salmon tasting session at the Chefs Collaborative National Summit may have helped dethrone the king in certain restaurant kitchens.
"The Yukon chum may taste better than the Yukon king," a participant in the Alaska...

Court temporarily halts Alaska rail extension
Posted: October 3, 2012 - 12:01am
By Becky Bohrer
JUNEAU — A federal appeals court panel has halted work on a railroad extension project in south-central Alaska, pending a full hearing on the case. Monday’s decision is a win for conservationists, who argued that they — and the natural environment — would suffer irreparable harm without an emergency stay on construction of the Port MacKenzie rail extension. “As noted above ... this is a classic environmental emergency,” attorneys for the petitioners said in a...

ENDORSEMENT: Toss gill-net ban overboard
Measure 81 seeks to benefit sport-fishing industry
Published: October 2, 2012 12:00AM, Midnight, Oct. 2
With recreational sport-fishing advocates backing away from their initiative to ban gill nets, with Gov. John Kitzhaber asking the state Fish and Wildlife Commission to consider moving gill-netters off of the Columbia River’s main stem and into shallow side areas and with tribes that hold treaty fishing rights solidly in opposition, Oregon voters should cast a confident vote against Measure 81 in the Nov. 6 election.....

Canadian website linking fishermen to consumers is casting net wider
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 7:07AM EDT
VANCOUVER -- Developers of a small Canadian website that has allowed consumers to trace hundreds of thousands of fish back to those who caught them are gearing up for a global presence.
Ecotrust Canada is in talks with east-coast mussel farmers and west-coast Dungeness crab fishermen to add their products to the online traceability program offered by the website, says Tasha Sutcliffe, vice-president of the non-profit organization and director of its fisheries program.
Sutcliffe said her organization has also met with interested non-governmental organizations.....

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