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#12-04-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Trials Reset for Native Fishermen in Salmon Cases
By The Associated Press | December 3, 2012 - 5:29 pm
A Bethel court magistrate has rescheduled the trials of 22 Alaska Natives who are charged with illegal fishing during a weak king salmon run. Magistrate Bruce Ward reset the trials for the subsistence fishermen to begin April 15....

Petersburg: Borough election ballots are here
November 29, 2012
Over 2500 ballots arrived in the mail Wednesday, Nov. 28 asking voters in the proposed Petersburg Borough boundaries if the City of Petersburg shall be dissolved and a Petersburg Borough shall be incorporated. Ballots were mailed to voters who were registered to vote by August 22, 2012. According to Alyce Houston, Regional Election Supervisor, the ballots need to be returned to the state in the return envelope and the voter must sign the ballot and include an identifying mark such as date of birth or the last four digits of their social security number as requested on the ballot instructions. The voter’s signature must be....
Alaska workers earn less than $7,000 in latest 'Deadliest Catch'
Published: December 3, 2012 Updated 14 hours ago
From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --
Alaskans made less than $7,000 working on the latest season of Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch,” according to paperwork filed by the Alaska Film Office. Out-of-state workers earned $1.3 million, the film office says....

Fisheries scholar Knapp will head ISER
Posted 12/03/2012
by - Cordova Times Staff
Economics professor Gunnar Knapp will become the interim director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage in January, filling the post being vacated by Heather Hudson. Knapp holds a doctorate in economics from Yale University and...
Unalaska: City Installs Emergency Mooring Buoy
By Lauren Rosenthal
Monday, December 03 2012
When cargo ships run into trouble along the Great Circle shipping route, they often end up in Unalaska. There are plenty of support services in town, but there's only so much dock space. And with Unalaska's rough weather, simply dropping anchor isn't secure enough. That's why Unalaska has deployed a new emergency mooring buoy...

State Officials Say Cockles May Contain PSP Toxins Year-Round
By Chris Klint
Channel 2 News
5:29 p.m. AKST, December 3, 2012
An error in a magazine story has prompted state officials to issue a reminder that cockles and other seafood may contain toxins throughout the year that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, a potentially fatal disease....,0,957497.story

Mercury Releases Contaminate Ocean Fish
By Dartmouth College 17 hours 20 minutes ago
In new research published in a special issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives and in "Sources to Seafood: Mercury Pollution in the Marine Environment"— a companion report by the Dartmouth-led Coastal and Marine Mercury Ecosystem Research Collaborative (C-MERC), scientists report that mercury released into the air and then deposited into oceans contaminates seafood commonly eaten by people in the U.S. and globally. Over the past century, mercury pollution in the surface ocean has more than doubled, as a result of past and present human activities such as coal burning, mining, and....

The Challenges of Using Hydrokinetic Energy in Alaska
Residents of Alaska face some of the highest energy costs in the Nation and that's not expected to change in the near future. However, there is some interesting research underway that could make energy more abundant and inexpensive in Alaska. KDLG's Mike Mason has this report about the prospect of using Alaska's rivers to produce hydrokinetic energy. (6:02)....

Liquefied natural gas exports will help, not harm economy, environment
By Bill Cooper, president, Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG)
12/03/12 03:00 PM ET
As our nation’s leaders work to improve our nation’s struggling economy, there is one opportunity we cannot overlook: a responsible exports policy. U.S. Senators and Representatives from across the country have voiced their support for natural gas exports as a unique American opportunity that will create jobs and strengthen our energy security. As Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) noted recently, natural gas exports represent “an opportunity to really help tilt the balance of trade in our favor for the first time in decades.” Moreover, President Obama’s 2010 National Export Initiative highlighted the...

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions
KSM mine threatens the Unuk river
By Victoria McDonald
November 30, 2012
Friday PM
Alaskans agree that plentiful salmon runs are an important part of our lifestyle. But 2012 ended with another year of low king returns. Statewide studies are searching for answers but if we were able to ask a fish, they'd supply an easy answer: "We need clean water and healthy habitat". In southern Southeast...
How an all-star team put an end to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Had to navigate a no-man's land of uncertainty during crucial 24-hour period.
by Scott K. Johnson - Dec 4 2012, 6:10am AST
When the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico exploded on April 20, 2010, 11 workers tragically lost their lives and the Macondo well began gushing crude oil—and it would continue to do so for nearly three months. A parade of attempts to shut down the flow taught the public just how difficult it was to tame a wild well 4,000 feet beneath the surface of the sea. The various techniques had oddly colloquial names considering the engineering feats they represented— names like “top hat," “top kill," and “junk shot." One by one, they failed to do the job. Then, on...