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#11-16-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Assessor discusses Petersburg borough property valuation
English: Petersburg, Alaska from the air - NOA...
Petersburg, Alaska from the air - NOAA Ship RAINIER anchored off harbor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Joe Viechnicki
November 14, 2012 1:43 pm
If area voters approve a new Petersburg borough next month, the borough government will levy and collect taxes on property including land, buildings and other improvements within the new borough boundaries. The new borough would pay a private assessing company to catalogue and value all of the properties outside of city limits. Petersburg’s borough petition projects a cost of $80,000 over two years for that assessor contract....

Nov 15, 2012 - 11:28 PM AKST
Rockfish lawsuit up for oral argument Nov. 19 in Washington
An answer could be on the way soon for Kodiak processors who asked the courts to intervene and give them a guaranteed share of the Gulf of Alaska rockfish harvest. Oral argument in the rockfish lawsuit is scheduled for Nov. 19. Four companies with processing operations in Kodiak sued the National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, in the U.S. Western District of Washington in January to overturn the catch share program, which took effect in May. The lawsuit revolves around whether processors should receive a guaranteed share of the rockfish harvest. The rockfish program also allocates set amounts of high-value secondary targets such as.......

Oregon Man to Pay $100K in Illegal Halibut-Fishing Case
By Chris Klint
Channel 2 News
4:33 p.m. AKST, November 15, 2012
An Oregon man will pay $100,000 in an illegal halibut-fishing case that featured testimony from Arne Fuglvog, a former fisheries aide to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, federal officials announced Thursday. U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler’s office says U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland has sentenced 47-year-old Freddie Joe Hankins of Core, Ore. to pay a $25,000 fine, as well as a community service payment of $75,000. Earlier this year, Hankins was convicted of two federal counts of falsely reporting where he caught fish in Alaska......,0,7147999.story

OSHA Hands Out $55,000 In Fines For Ammonia Spill
By Lauren Rosenthal
Thursday, November 15 2012
English: Logo for the United States Occupation...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s been four months since an ammonia spill on a processing vessel shut down parts of Unalaska. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has wrapped up their investigation into the accident. The result: more than $55,000 in fines – and some valuable lessons for emergency responders. KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal reports. This July, the Seattle-based processing vessel Excellence was on....

Frank Murkowski misses mark on Pebble Mine comparisons
Mel Brown | Nov 15, 2012
Former Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski unfortunately and inaccurately draws parallels between attempts to stop oil exploration in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and the EPA's involvement in the Pebble Mine debate. The analogy, in a Nov. 4 commentary, is inappropriate and deserves correction. Oil and gas development has been in the hearts and minds of Alaskans for a long period of time. We find ourselves highly dependent on oil for revenue to finance the state. We depend on natural gas for heat and electricity. The Pebble Project as-proposed bears no comparison for.....

Habitat issues cited as critical to wild salmon runs
Posted 11/16/2012
by - Margaret Bauman
In a two-day symposium in Anchorage in late October, scientists pondered as potential research priorities studies ranging from stock assessments to climate change, with a goal of strengthening low Chinook salmon runs around the state. The challenge that drew several hundred fisheries biologists and stakeholders to the Egan Center in downtown Anchorage was to identify key knowledge gaps and assemble research priorities to.....

No ‘Unusual Mortality Event’ Cases Reported This Year
By Steve Heimel, APRN - Anchorage | November 15, 2012 - 11:13 am
The Unusal Mortality Event that saw seals and other marine mammals showing up with hair loss over a swath of Alaska’s northern coast may be over. Experts told a science meeting Wednesday that no cases of the hair loss syndrome have been reported so far this year. They continue to be......

Charter, commercial fishery divisions resolved
By Heidi Zemach
For The LOG
November 15, 2012 | Vol. 47, No. 14
Captain Andy Mezirow made a guest appearance at one of three city council 2013 budget adjustment work sessions last week to share some of his considerable fisheries knowledge and insight. Mezirow is owner and operator of Crackerjack Charters, an instructor at AVTEC Maritime Training Center, and a representative on the advisory panel for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). The NPFMC regulates commercial fisheries in Alaska. He addressed growing concern by local residents and charter boat operators about the past few summers of poor fishing due to comparatively weak returns of silvers, reds, kings and various other species to Resurrection Bay. When salmon returns have been.....

Southeast dive fisheries benefit from good fall weather
by Joe Viechnicki
November 15, 2012 5:03 pm
Decent weather this fall has helped divers harvesting sea cucumbers and geoduck clams from the sea floor in Southeast Alaska. One of the dive fisheries is wrapping up this month, while the other should continue through the winter.The sea cucumber fishery started up October 1st with a guideline harvest level of one point five million pounds. Divers landed most of that by mid-November. “The good thing about the sea cucumber fishery so far is the divers have all been safe,” said Phil Doherty, executive director of the Southeast Alaska Region Dive Fisheries Association, an industry group based in Ketchikan. “We’ve actually had....

Copper River continues to scour river bed & erode highway
Posted 11/16/2012
by - Jennifer Gibbins
Those glorious days of sunshine earlier this fall provided an opportunity for AKDOT and USGS engineers to finally complete survey work on bridge 339 on the Copper River Highway. And, as they predicted in August, the Copper River has continued to move east, further eroding the road. "Things change so fast out there that existing features have a short life," said Russ Johnson, engineering manager, AKDOT. Bridge 339 has been just about standing on one leg since last year. Soundings taken in October 2012 indicate that the river has continued to vigorously scour the river bed and that one leg is now....

Local processor season interrupted by flood
By Wolfgang Kurtz
LOG Editor
November 15, 2012 | Vol. 47, No. 14
One of the heretofore unheralded stories of Seward’s recent fall flooding is the loss to Resurrection Bay Seafoods (RBS) of their fresh water supply. A 6-inch line carrying the supply across the out-fall from Lowell Canyon was swept aside by the onslaught of water, rock and equipment that accompanied the drenching rains.....

Kenai Watershed Forum study links turbidity with boat traffic, levels exceed state standards
Posted: November 15, 2012 - 8:59pm
By Rashah McChesney
Peninsula Clarion
Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series examining a Kenai Watershed Forum study showing violations of state water quality standards on the Kenai River. Sunday’s story will examine community response and a potential impairment designation for the river. Boat traffic is stirring up enough sediment on the Kenai River to cause violations of state standards for drinking water, recreational use.....

The Alaska Fisheries Report with Jay Barrett
Nov 15, 2012
Coming up this week, setnetting on Cook Inlet this year... worst than you thought, as is the king salmon disaster. And, the future could be just as bleak. All that, but a ray of sunshine from Southeast. We had help from KTOO’s Kelsey Gobroski in Juneau, KHNS’ Margaret Friedenauer in Haines and KYUK’s Trim Nick in Bethel.....

Timing of sea lice treatments crucial to reduce infestation of wild salmon: study
Friday, November 16, 2012, 23:20 (GMT + 9)
Researchers from the University of Alberta have discovered how to help wild pink salmon in British Columbia (BC) recover from sea lice infestations. The team found that by altering the timing of sea lice treatments, the Broughton Archipelago salmon farming region was able to boost the health of its farmed Atlantic salmon, thereby also helping the struggling population of wild pink salmon recover from sea lice. The researchers chose Broughton Archipelago to conduct the study because it is considered the historic ground zero for....