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#11-09-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Bison stew to birch syrup, Alaska schools eat local under new program
Alex DeMarban | Nov 08, 2012
School officials and Alaska farmers are raving about a program that's putting substantial state money toward school meals for the first time, saying the $3 million grant has improved student diets across the state and given challenged growers a reliable market. School cafeterias from Unalaska to Juneau are suddenly dishing up everything from smoked salmon to crab cakes to halibut fillets. Plans are in the works for more Alaska delights, including bison stew, sweet-potato fish sticks and birch syrup instead of refined sugar. Supporters say the buy-local program keeps Alaska money in state, gives kids healthier choices than heat-to-eat processed meals, and helps create food security for a state that imports nearly all its groceries. They want the one-time grant continued. But whether that will happen is anyone's guess. The conservative lawmaker who came up with the idea....

Job numbers rising in Alaska's seafood industry
Posted 11/09/2012
by - Margaret Bauman
Employment of fish harvesters in Alaska reached a new high monthly average in 2011, as labor economists worked to achieve a more accurate count of the men and woman reaping millions of pounds of wild seafood from the sea. Statistics compiled by economists with the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development showed an average of 8,064 workers employed in fish harvesting in Alaska in 2011, up over a previous 10-year high of 7,959 in 2001. "The seafood industry directly employs thousands of workers, some from communities without many other job opportunities," research analyst Jack Cannon and economist Josh Warren wrote in the November edition of Alaska Economic Trends. "About 32,200 people fished commercially in......

Seafood processing jobs critical to Aleutians West residents
Posted 11/09/2012
by - Margaret Bauman
Sprawling ocean waters of the Aleutian Islands, abundant with crab and groundfish, offer several hundred year-round opportunities for seafood processing jobs in the Aleutians West census area. Researchers with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development have documented, in a report published in the November edition of Alaska Economic Trends, that seafood product preparation and packaging employs 59.7 percent of the workforce in the Aleutians West census area. That compares with 14.6 percent in trade, transportation and utilities, 12.7 percent in local government, 3.2 percent in education and health services and 1.1 percent in state government. Several....

Welcome Coastal Villages...
Rocking the Boat
November 8, 2012 | Vol. 47, No. 13
We’re pleased that the largest seafood owner/operator headquartered in Alaska has chosen to make Resurrection Bay its winter homeport. Five of the catcher processors owned by the nonprofit Coast Villages Region Fund are anchored in the Seward boat harbor for repairs and maintenance in preparation for next season’s pollock, salmon, halibut, and herring fisheries. CVRF is a community development quota (CDQ) seafood processor created in 1992 when the North Pacific Council approved an allocation of 7.5 percent of the total annual allowable catch of pollock for the 55 communities within 50 miles.....

Alutiiq Hatchery pioneers shellfish science
November 8, 2012 | Vol. 47, No. 13
The Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery has been around for over 20 years now. It’s been know by several names over the years: the Mariculture Institute, the Shellfish Institute, finally the Shellfish Hatchery. It was built from funds from the Exxon Valdez criminal settlement of which $50 million went to the State of Alaska and $50 million went to the federal government. Over $3 million was carved out of the state money to construct the present facility. Chugach Regional Resources Commission (CRRC) has been the direct operator for about 10 years with Jeff Hetrick as the facility manager. It was formerly ran by Qutekcak, the local Native tribe along with the CRRC. The CRRC is an umbrella organization involving the region’s Native tribes with members.....

Council talks seafood, trails
Posted: November 8, 2012 - 8:47pm
By Dan Schwartz
Peninsula Clarion
Kenai resident Paul Shadura said he, and others in the community, want the Kenai Peninsula Borough to conduct an economic analysis of the seafood industry, at Wednesday’s Kenai City Council meeting. The analysis would place a value on the seafood industries on the Peninsula. “What we’re trying to do is have something that’s not controversial in nature,” he said, “that....

Locals gather to celebrate salmon
Posted: November 8, 2012 - 8:48pm
By Rashah McChesney
Peninsula Clarion
Local poets, fishermen and musicians gathered to share stories and songs about the importance of salmon in their lives. During the second part of the Kenai Watershed Forum and KPC Showcase speaker series, guests were invited to eat salmon and listen to locals talk about individual experiences in the larger context of salmon in Alaska. At times the stories and.....

The Alaska Fisheries Report with Jay Barrett
Nov 08, 2012
Coming up this week, a plan to shut down the largest herring fishery in the state has been turned aside by an advisory committee, the members of the Cook Inlet Salmon Task Force have been named, and how salmon are like money in the bank. All that, plus: PETA mourns the loss of saltwater bass. We had help from KDLG’s Mike Mason in Dillingham, KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran in Kenai, and CoastAlaska’s Ed Schoenfeld in Sitka.....

Alaska Native fishermen seek consolidated trial
Published: November 8, 2012
The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — Alaska Native fishermen charged with illegal fishing during a poor salmon run are seeking to consolidate their trials. Attorney James J. Davis Jr. says he wants to continue to a later date the trials for 11 of the fishermen set to start next week. Another 10 fishermen are scheduled for January trials.......

Saving Fraser River Sockeye
The recently released Cohen Commission report is a far-ranging, bold document aimed at making the federal government perform its duties with respect to the Fraser River sockeye run, which is the second most important sockeye fishery - some years it's the most important - after Bristol Bay, Alaska, in the world. See: It has also made fish farm environmental damage hit mainstream Canada. The general public now realizes the damage of marine harvest - farms should be on land. Cohen stated: "Mitigation measures should not be delayed in the absence of scientific certainty." This is his formulation of the precautionary principle for creative salmon solutions. Cohen recommended a freeze on net-pen salmon farm production in the Discovery Islands until Sept. 30, 2020 (the migration route of most....