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#10-12-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Oct 12, 2012 - 12:35 AM AKST
Halibut split approved, both sectors view action as a loss
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted 10-1 to recommend a revised 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 percentage of the harvest, beginning in 2014. The exact charter-commercial split will be different in areas 2C, Southeast, and 3A, the central Gulf of Alaska. In 3A, which includes Cook Inlet and other Southcentral Alaska waters, the charter allocation at less than a 10 million pound combined catch limit, or CCL, is 18.9 percent. Between 10 and 10.8 million pounds, it receives a flat 1.89 million pounds. When the CCL is between 10.8 and 20 million....

Oct 12, 2012 - 12:35 AM AKST
Council directs NMFS to modify new observer program
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council took up a new deployment plan for marine observers at its October meeting, asking the National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, to conduct further outreach, clarify a few components and plan to review certain items after one year. The 2013 annual deployment plan uses random sampling of two different pools — a trip-based pool and a vessel pool — to assign observers to fishing vessels. Those selected in the vessel pool are responsible for carrying an observer for 90 days, while those selected from the trip pool would......

The Alaska Fisheries Report with Jay Barrett
Oct 11, 2012 >

Wildlife Wednesday talk highlights marine mammal protection
Posted: October 12, 2012 - 12:00am
Alaska Wildlife Alliance’s Wildlife Wednesdays is back for its third season of weekly presentations until April, and coming up Oct. 17 are presentations on the Marine Mammal Protection Act and enforcement. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. To commemorate the ground-breaking federal legislation, the Oct. 17 Wildlife Wednesday event will feature two speakers intimately familiar with the MMPA. Kate Savage, a marine mammal specialist and veterinarian for the National Oceanic and....

Pebble Project Drill Program Achieves Million Foot Milestone
By Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.
Published: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 - 5:40 am
VANCOUVER, Oct. 11, 2012 -- /PRNewswire/ - Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company") (TSX: NDM) (NYSE Amex: NAK) reports that on September 20, 2012, the Pebble Limited Partnership (the "Pebble Partnership" or "PLP") surpassed one million feet of core drilled at the Pebble Project, one of the most important concentrations of copper, gold, molybdenum and silver in the world......

Buccaneer wants to get jack-up rig out of Homer
Published: October 11, 2012 Updated 17 hours ago
HOMER, ALASKA — It's been more than six weeks since Buccaneer Energy's jack-up rig Endeavour arrived in Alaska to begin drilling for oil and gas in Cook Inlet. But the rig remains tied up at the Homer harbor and plans for it to drill this year near Tyonek have now been scrapped. It was Aug. 24 when the 400-foot-tall jack-up rig Endeavour, one of the largest such rigs in the world, arrived in Kachemak Bay from Singapore. The plan at the time was for.....

Buccaneer gets earful at Council meeting
Two upcoming community discussions are in the planning stages
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune
Oct 10th, 2012
Buccaneer Alaska’s vice president visited the Homer City Council Monday night for a 10-minute talk that opened way for a couple dozen people to ask questions on drilling plans for this limb of Cook Inlet.
Mark Landt, vice president of land and business development for Buccaneer, informed the council of its West Eagle drilling program. One well is to be drilled in a gravel pit area 6.7 miles from McNeil Canyon School, 1,900 feet above sea level. It is one of nine units acquired by Buccaneer 21 miles out on East End Road, land owned by the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Currently, East End Road Services leases it to extract gravel, and it is under a Van Oss family grazing lease. The project timeline involves gathering permits in the coming months, and community outreach, Landt said. Drilling operations are to begin early next year, with 3D seismic studies and pipeline facilities to be constructed later in 2013. Buccaneer hopes for production by 2014. “We’ll be using the Glacier Drilling Rig built in 2001 by Marathon specifically for the Kenai Peninsula, which we’re currently using for drilling at the Kenai Loop...

Tiglax’s work: Getting to the Pribilof seals
Fur seals signal poor ocean health
Oct 10th, 2012
Editor’s note: The M/V Tiglax’s work as a research ship enables U.S. Fish and Wildlife scientists and other agencies to get to remote parts of Alaska that would otherwise be inaccessible. First-time discoveries emerge from the Alaska National Maritime Refuge based in Homer, making it world class for research detecting ocean health. This is the fourth in a series of articles to describe that work enroute from Homer to St. Paul.....

Compass: Susitna hydro is key to Railbelt and Alaska's renewable energy future
Published: October 11, 2012 Updated 12 hours ago
I live and work in Juneau and know firsthand what hydroelectric can do for our communities. The development of our capital city happened because of hydroelectric power, beginning with the operation of large gold mines during the gold rush in the late 1800s. Today, hydropower contributes 21 percent of all electricity generated in Alaska. With more than 3,000 rivers and millions of lakes across the state, hydro promises to play an even bigger role in Alaska's energy future.  Alaska faces unique challenges and higher costs when it comes to providing energy for homes and businesses in rural and urban regions of the state. Our electricity costs are.....

Shell Oil's next Arctic challenge? Navigating oil from ocean to pipeline.
Alex DeMarban | Oct 11, 2012
Believing the U.S. Arctic Ocean contains one of the world's richest undiscovered oil and gas plays, Royal Dutch Shell is already considering what it will take to ship vast amounts of oil across Alaska. The oil giant might just find the bonanza next summer. In recent weeks, it's punched the first exploratory holes into the U.S. Arctic seabed in more than two decades. Federal regulators won't let Shell drill into potential oil-bearing zones this season. But that's expected to happen after the sea ice begins to melt next summer, now that the company's oil-spill containment barge has won Coast Guard certification. Shell wasn't just working offshore, though. Staff and contractors spent much of this summer on the Alaska tundra, surveying an area the size of West Virginia to better understand where to place a pipeline, staging areas, pumping stations and other facilities needed to transport oil, according to Pete Slaiby, Shell's top official in Alaska. As part of that effort, Shell gathered scientific information from more than 1,000 sites in the 23-million-acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, Slaiby said, in testimony submitted to the Senate subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard. The NPR-A is....

Columbia river rolls on to 2014 treaty deadline
Canada, U.S. can then give notice to renegotiate landmark flood, power deal
By Scott Simpson, Vancouver Sun October 6, 2012
Now comes the tough part.
It took 20 years to draft the Columbia River Treaty after Canada and the United States agreed in 1944 to start talking about shared management of a vast, powerful river system that sprawls across southeast-ern British Columbia and four northwestern states. It's the biggest hydroelectricity producer in North America and because it is more flood and drought-prone than the Mississippi or the St. Lawrence rivers, it's tougher to manage. The treaty was ratified in 1964. It has no specified expiry date, and runs under its original terms until 2024. After that, the U.S. loses some clout when it comes to dictating flood control measures in B.C. Otherwise most provisions in the treaty remain in place - as long as both nations are....

Asian Seafood Raised on Pig Feces Approved for U.S. Consumers
By Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen and William Bi - Oct 10, 2012 8:00 PM GMT-0800
Bloomberg Markets Magazine
At Ngoc Sinh Seafoods Trading & Processing Export Enterprise, a seafood exporter on Vietnam’s southern coast, workers stand on a dirty floor sorting shrimp one hot September day. There’s trash on the floor, and flies crawl over baskets of processed shrimp stacked in an unchilled room in Ca Mau. Elsewhere in Ca Mau, Nguyen Van Hoang packs shrimp headed for the U.S. in dirty plastic tubs. He covers them in ice made with tap water that the Vietnamese Health Ministry says should be boiled before drinking because of the risk of contamination with bacteria. Vietnam ships 100 million pounds of shrimp a year to the U.S. That’s almost 8 percent of the shrimp Americans eat.....

EU regulators unimpressed by genetically modified crop study
Researcher saying GMOs cause tumors won't release data until EU releases theirs.
by John Timmer - Oct 12 2012, 5:10am ADT
n late September, the University of Caen's Gilles-Eric Séralini released a paper that claimed to show an increased incidence of tumors in rats fed either an herbicide, or corn engineered to resist the herbicide. At the time, he used an unusual agreement to prevent outside experts from commenting on....

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