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#01-04-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Three life rafts (two pictured) sit on the beach adjacent
to the conical drilling unit Kulluk, 40 miles southwest of Kodiak
Crew Assesses Inside of Kulluk Rig
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Jan 03, 2012
A five-person assessment team spent about three hours aboard the grounded Shell drilling rig Kulluk yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. Weather conditions around Sitkalidak Island improved enough that a Coast Guard helicopter was able to lower the men and an emergency towing package by hoist to the deck of the rig. Shell’s Alaska Venture Operations Manager Shawn Churchfield said the preliminary report from the crew showed a mostly intact interior. “The salvage team was able to get to some areas below the decks. They were time limited, so they did not do the full assessment. They were able to check into some of the........
Chinook salmon is big top for January symposium
Posted 01/03/2013
by - Cordova Times Staff
Federal fisheries biologist Ed Farley, of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Auke Bay Laboratories, will deliver a keynote address on Chinook salmon and the marine environment Jan. 21 at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage. Recent sharp declines in Chinook salmon have prompted two major meetings in Anchorage and Wasilla to identify and discuss key knowledge gaps and assemble a list of potential research...

Beluga whales showing no significant increase in Cook Inlet
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 8:43 am | Updated: 8:45 am, Fri Jan 4, 2013.
Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The estimated number of endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales is showing a small but insignificant increase. The population of white whales in Cook Inlet has been struggling for years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says estimates have been...

Fisheries board takes up AYK issues
Posted 01/04/2013
by - Cordova Times Staff
Arctic-Yukon and Kuskokwim finfish issues are on the agenda for the Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Anchorage Jan. 15-20....

Central Gulf of Alaska trawl date published
Jan 3, 2013 - 01:55 PM
The National Marine Fisheries Service published its intention to work on rationalization for central Gulf of Alaska trawl groundfish fisheries in the federal register Dec. 26.....

Jan 3, 2013 - 01:28 PM AKST
COMMENTARY: NMFS must go back to drawing board on Steller sea lions
The National Marine Fisheries Service imposed draconian fishing limits in 2011 to protect Steller sea lions. The restrictions hit our Aleutian Islands communities especially hard. The State of Alaska and independent scientists reviewed the science behind the federal action and found it flawed and the restrictions unjustified. In a 2010 biological opinion on the effect of fishing on Steller sea lions in western Alaska, NMFS concluded fishing caused nutritional stress to Stellers by removing their food. At the same time, the federal agency estimated.....

Jan 3, 2013 - 01:29 PM AKST
ADFG predicts uptick in sockeye run for Upper Cook Inlet
Fishermen could catch a few extra sockeyes in Upper Cook Inlet waterways in 2013. Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game announced its sockeye salmon forecast Dec. 27, projecting a total run of 6.7 million fish, and a harvest of 4.9 million for all users. That’s up slightly compared to a 2012 harvest of 4.4 million, and about 1 million more than the 20-year average harvest of 3.8 million fish. The projections are good news for Kenai and Kasilof Rivers, but not so hot for Northern District waterways.....

Petersburg becomes 19th borough in Alaska
by Joe Viechnicki
January 3, 2013 3:47 pm
It’s official. Petersburg is now a borough.
The state’s Division of Elections certified the town’s borough vote Thursday January 3rd and the final results did not changed from the initial counts in December. The final tally is 782 votes in favor and 600 opposed.....

Proponents seek support for Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:00 am, Fri Jan 4, 2013.
Matt Buxton
FAIRBANKS – State proponents of the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project pitched the dam to the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly during its work session Thursday night. Project Manager Wayne Dyok and Alaska Energy Authority Deputy Director Gene Therriault visited to seek the support of the Borough Assembly as the state works through the lengthy licensing process of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The state is formulating a study plan, which looks at everything from environmental impact to cultural impact...

New research on algae-to-biofuel schemes quantifies uncertainty
Friday, January 04, 2013, 22:50 (GMT + 9)
A Cornell University team has used the Monte Carlo approach to quantify the role of uncertainty associated with process parameters in life cycle analysis (LCA) of algae-to-biofuel schemes for determining metrics such as Energy Return on (Energy) Invested (EROI) and global warming potential (GWP). The results, reported in a paper on the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, show that uncertainties exist at all stages of biofuel production from...

Sustainability website nears final stage
Posted: January 3, 2013 - 12:18am
Sustainably conscious Juneau residents will soon have a new resource for information as the City and Borough of Juneau Commission on Sustainability finalizes its long-awaited website. The commission met Wednesday evening at the downtown library meeting room.....

Huge population rebound for bowhead whales off Alaska's North Slope
Ned Rozell | Jan 03, 2013
Bowhead whales counted from a sea-ice perch north of Barrow are “doing beautifully,” according to Craig George with the North Slope Borough.  Since 1978, George has counted bowhead whales for an eight-week stretch each year from mid-April until June. The whales, which spend their lives in arctic waters, migrate past Point Barrow during that time. Since George and his colleagues began recording whale numbers 34 years ago, their counts have increased from 1,200 animals in 1978 to 3,400 in 2011. From those numbers of whales seen, George estimates there are now 14,000 to 15,000 animals. “It’s pretty dramatic how it’s changed,” George said....

Homer: 109 homes without electricity
A deep snowfall created power outages in much of the Homer area.
Homer Electric crews have been able to restore power to the majority of neighborhoods that experienced a power outage today, but 109 homes on North Fork and East End Road remain without power. As of 3:30 pm on Thursday, HEA crews are still working on the south end of the...

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