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#10-11-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Halibut capital no more?
Homer Tribune
editorial board
Oct 10th, 2012
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to revise a halibut catch share plan that opens the door to a one-halibut limit for sportfishing charters in southcentral Alaska. Remember the loud outcry from local sport fishing charters last spring? NOAA’s top official, Jane Lubchenco spent more than an hour in Homer listening as person-after-person bent her ear on why the decision would be unfair. Essentially, the council’s recommendation, made Friday, divides Alaska’s halibut quota between charter and commercial fishermen. It’s a decision that pits those two important sectors against one another, and for that we are very sorry. Of course, the council functions primarily as an advisory council, with no actual power to implement policy. But it’s on its way to the decision makers....

NPFMC recommends catch sharing plan
By Molly Dischner
Morris News Service - Alaska
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted 10-1 to recommend a halibut catch sharing plan at its meeting in Anchorage Oct. 5. The motion recommends a combined catch limit for the commercial and charter sectors, with each receiving a portion of the allowed harvest, beginning in 2014. The exact charter-commercial split will be different in areas 2C and 3A. In 3A, which includes Cook Inlet and other Southcentral Alaska waters, the..

Mail Dispute Keeps Akutan Airport Idle
By Stephanie Joyce
Wednesday, October 10 2012
Akutan’s new, $77 million runway has been open for a month, but residents and their mail are still making the trip to town on PenAir’s World War II-era Grumman Goose seaplane. A dispute over transporting the mail is holding up the process of bringing scheduled service to the new airport. Bids were due last Thursday from airlines wanting to take over the...

Begich talks mining, development in Southeast
by Sarah Cuiksa
October 10, 2012 3:45 PM
Senator Mark Begich has a busy itinerary leading up to November elections, filled largely with talks and hearings on the future of economic opportunities and development in Alaska. Begich was in Ketchikan last week for what he called an “economic tour,” which included visits to Ward Cove and the Ketchikan shipyard. He was on his way north for multiple hearings on Arctic drilling and international tourism, two of many areas he says make Alaska’s economy advantageous. “There is incredible opportunity with the way we’re positioned right now,” said...

In Canada, European seal cull blasted as 'hypocritical'
CBC News | Eye on the Arctic | Oct 10, 2012
The Canadian Sealers Association is slamming European politicians for allowing seals to be killed within their own waters, while banning Canadian seal products.
"What it shows is what they're doing now is hypocritical," said Frank Pinhorn, the association's executive director, reacting to how seals are being culled in Scotland to protect spawning salmon. European parliamentarians also voted recently to coordinate seal population control measures because of the threat they pose to fish stocks. In Sweden and Finland, seals are also killed despite the European Union's (EU) long-standing objections to Canada's harp seal hunt, which European politicians...

Salmon Fishermen Hooking Mixed Results
By Terry Dillman
Commercial salmon fishermen off the Oregon coast are so far landing considerably more fish this season than they did in 2011 and 2010, but the results, while promising, are far from satisfying for stalwarts who have watched the fishery dwindle drastically during the past decade, the last several seasons in particular. Idled for most of the past six years, Oregon’s commercial salmon fishermen entered the 2012 season riding another wave of anticipation, although their enthusiasm remained somewhat tempered in the wake of last season’s disappointment. As in 2011, the 2012 season weighed.......