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#11-29-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Fishing groups object to federal program putting part-time observers on small halibut boats
November 28, 2012 - 5:01 pm EST
KETCHIKAN, Alaska — Alaska fishing groups want the state's congressional delegation to intervene over a federal program that will put observers on a portion of commercial halibut boats next year. The Ketchikan Daily News ( ) reports 13 groups sent a letter to the governor and Alaska's congressional delegation seeking assistance. The new North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program was approved Nov. 20 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, an arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Starting Jan. 1, biologist observers will be placed on some of Alaska's 1,300 small commercial halibut and sablefish boats to collect harvest data.....

Big Quota Buy Brings More Crab to Unalaska
By Stephanie Joyce
Wednesday, November 28 2012
Unalaska’s smallest processing plant is now a major player in the Aleutian Islands golden king crab fishery. A recent purchase by one of Bering Fisheries’ parent companies will bring an extra 1.2 million of pounds of king crab through the plant every year. Dick Tremaine is the asset manager for Siu Alaska Corporation, which owns half of the...

Nov 28, 2012 - 03:35 PM AKST
IPHC meeting format changes, model bias may be fixed
The numbers presented at the International Pacific Halibut Commission’s interim meeting looked a little different than they have in the past. The commission was set to meet Nov. 28 and 29 in Seattle to talk about the 2013 harvest, changes to the commission’s operations, research and other issues. The staff’s harvest advice has been restructured after recommendations that came out of a review process completed earlier this year. The harvest advice was presented Nov. 28 as a table of possible harvest ranges, each with the.....

Fishing in the wake of the great Angoon seine boat captains
Posted 11 hours ago by B T
My first impression of Angoon was a good one but one that brought to light the post 1970's salmon deficit. Wally Swanson, Bob Thorstenson Sr., and myself flew in to look at a net for Wally's son Rob, who was beginning to seine then, in the spring of 1982. There had been a decade of no fish for seiners, over a decade, and the only boats and seine skippers who survived were lucky or good enough to diversify: geographically, like Ketchikan, Sitka or Craig districts; other fisheries, like longline or crab fishing, or early or late season herring or dive tendering or shrimping; or diversification that takes the place of your better half having a better job that you do.  A real job. Up until very recently Angoon had a few boats to take in some of the seine harvest.....

Restructured fisheries observer program lacks harvester support
Posted 11/28/2012
by - Margaret Bauman
A new federal observer program for groundfish and halibut fisheries, effective Jan. 1, is drawing fire from harvesters, processors and others who contend that the plan is expensive, has big gaps and was completed without sufficient public input. A final rule on the program is scheduled for early December publication, with implementation in January. The industry group told Alaska's congressional delegation and Gov. Sean Parnell that they cannot support this program "that doubles costs, halves observer days, reduces coverage in high volume....

SBA loans for king salmon disaster available for Copper River
Posted 11/28/2012
by - Cordova Times Staff
Federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are now available to small businesses economically impacted by the 2012 Alaska Chinook salmon fishery disaster, including the Copper River rural education attendance area. The disaster declaration makes the working capital loans available to the primary areas of the...

Pebble mine foe sues Alaska Public Offices Commission for bias
Amanda Coyne | Nov 28, 2012
Anchorage-based money market maven and Pebble mine foe Bob Gillam is suing the executive director as well as the chair of the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC), the state agency that monitors campaign spending. Among other things, the suit alleges that APOC is biased against Gillam, and that the Commission tolerates behavior that's "pervasive and corrosive" to Gillam's rights. The suit says that in early September 2012, APOC Executive Director Paul Dauphinais met with an unnamed state official to discuss a...  //

Southeast Alaska Gillnetters Struggling With Salmon Observer Program
Commercial harvesters in the Southeast Alaska salmon drift gillnet fishery, mandated for observation under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, say changes are needed in the program because it’s disrupting their fishery. “It’s just a colossal waste of money,” said B.J. King, a veteran commercial fisherman from Kent, Washington. “They’re not telling us what they’re really after. “I was observed twice this year, and it wasn’t a very pleasant experience,” he said....
Unused Alaskan ice-breaking ferry may have a job in the tropics
The Anchorage Daily News
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA -- The Mat-Su Borough's ice-breaking ferry may finally get a job -- in the tropics. The borough wants to cut its losses and give the boat to the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, said planner Emerson Krueger, who has become the borough's point man on the ferry project. The $80 million vessel, named the Susitna, was born out of a unique partnership between the U.S. Navy, which....