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#12-13-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Washington - DC Federal Triangle: Environmenta...
Washington - DC Federal Triangle: Environmental Protection Agency West Building (Photo credit: wallyg)
Alaska’s Arctic Would Receive Major Boost in Coast Guard Bill
By Amy Miller | Office of Senator Begich 19 hours 54 minutes ago
Alaska’s presence in the Arctic and the future of U.S. Arctic strategy will be strengthened when the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act clears its final Congressional hurdle and becomes law in the next few days. Sen. Mark Begich, who co-authored the Senate version of the bill, said the bill, which has already passed the House and is now awaiting final............Other major Alaska provisions include an extension of the waiver for incidental vessel discharges from Alaska’s fishing fleet and other vessels under 79 feet. The bill extends the Environmental Protection Agency waiver through 2014......

Report: Dispersants Used After Blowout Had Few Ill Effects
By Steve Heimel, APRN - Anchorage | December 12, 2012 - 3:59 pm
The Deepwater Horizon blowout of 2010 marked the first time that chemical dispersants were injected into an oil spill underwater.  Now a report from government scientists finds remarkably few ill effects from these chemicals. That has heightened concerns of several Native groups, and others who have been pushing for tighter regulation of dispersants. Lead author of the report, Doctor Jane Lubchenko, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was a key advisor to Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson when she made the decision, shortly after the blowout, to allow them to use dispersants underwater. “It was our judgment that use of dispersants would help the oil be naturally biodegraded more...

NPFMC Approves Plan to Test Salmon Excluder  in Gulf of Alaska
Federal fisheries regulators have approved an exempted fishing permit application from John Gauvin of Gauvin and Associates to test a salmon excluder device in the Gulf of Alaska pollock fishery in 2013 and 2014. The excluder was initially developed and tested for avoiding Chinook salmon in the Bering Sea...

Unalaska Seeks Legal Opinion on Moorage Fees
By Lauren Rosenthal & Stephanie Joyce
Wednesday, December 12 2012
A clerical error could result in the city having to issue refunds to dock users. In June, city council may have unintentionally lowered moorage rates when it approved the 2012 schedule of fees and charges for city services. The ordinance was only supposed to raise PCR fees, but the packet that...

It’s all about saving the salmon runs
By Bill Smith
Dec 12th, 2012
“Anadromous Fish” means a fish or fish species that spends portions of its life cycle in both fresh and salt waters, entering fresh water from the sea to spawn. Chris Story’s assertion that anadromous fish habitat protections by Alaska Fish and Game and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers means that protections are adequate is simply not in alignment with the facts: the Borough does not duplicate the regulations of these agencies, it complements them. Fish and Game only regulates in the water up to ordinary high water, the Kenai....

Sitka herring harvest to be lower in 2013
by Ed Ronco, KCAW
December 12, 2012 5:07 pm
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game announced the guideline harvest level for the 2013 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery Wednesday. It is 11,055 tons. The harvest level, also known as the GHL, determines how much the commercial fleet is....