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#01-06-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Fish Factor
Alaska’s salmon catch topped 100 million fish for 25th year in a row
By LAINE WELCH
January 6, 2013
(SitNews) -   Prince William Sound topped all other Alaska regions for salmon catches last year – but not by much. Fishermen in the Sound squeaked by their colleagues in the Panhandle by just 44 fish to get the #1 ranking for the 2012 season.   The tally:   34,390,000 salmon crossed the docks at PWS compared to 34,346,000 for Southeast. For the second year running, Southeast Alaska beat out Bristol Bay for the most valuable salmon catch.  According to preliminary numbers from the state, Southeast landings totaled $153 million at the docks, compared to $121 million at Bristol Bay. Bristol Bay can still lay claim to being home to Alaska’s most valuable salmon fishery by far: sockeye, valued at $117 million.   Alaska’s second most valuable salmon catch in 2012 was chums in Southeast worth about $83 million ex-vessel. Prince William Sound ranked third for salmon value at $111 million; Kodiak was number 4 with a salmon season worth  $46 million.  Cook Inlet’s fishery rang in at.... http://www.sitnews.us/LaineWelch/010613_fish_factor.html

Alaska winter will challenge Shell ship salvage
5:56 PM, Jan 5, 2013
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Responders on Saturday prepared to hook a main tow line to an oil-drilling ship grounded on rocks near a remote Alaska island. Officials overseeing the response to the grounding of Royal Dutch Shell's Kulluk barge said they could use the line to "test capabilities" as they prepare to recover the ship. But the plans were subject to tides and weather, which can be fierce in the North Pacific during winter.... http://www.statesmanjournal.com/viewart/20130105/UPDATE/130105017/Alaska-winter-will-challenge-Shell-ship-salvage-
U.S. Army CH-47 helicopter -
KODIAK - January 5, 2013 - The U.S. Army CH-47
helicopter undergoes testing exercises
slinging a generator that will be used
in support of the Kulluk recovery effort.


Kulluk Tow Plan Approved from Sitkalidak to Kiliuda Bay By Neil Torquiano
Channel 2 News 7:16 p.m. AKST, January 5, 2013 (video) http://www.ktuu.com/kulluk-tow-plan-approved-from-sitkalidak-to-kiliuda-bay-shell-ktuu-20130105,0,2974021.story


In Old Harbor, hitting the rock
Jill Burke | Jan 05, 2013
OLD HARBOR -- With a massive oil rig grounded near a coveted island beach, the families of Old Harbor, Alaska – the closest community to the site – are keeping close watch. The fishing village is located in a protected strait just beyond the open waters of the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean, where the oil rig Kulluk and her escorts ran into nightmarishly foul weather that would, in the end, defeat them. Here, the leadership groups that in other villages have been known to work against each other appear to work in harmony. The tribe, the local corporation, the city – they all want the same thing: the rig off the beach and with it, any.... http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/old-harbor-hitting-rock

Shell VP Denies State Property Tax Prompted December Departure
Jan 04, 2013
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Thursday night Royal Dutch Shell’s vice president for Alaska and two Coast Guard commanders updated the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly on the response to the grounding of the floating drill rig Kulluk. It was the first public briefing made in Kodiak since the rig went hard aground on Sitkalidak Island in a New Year’s Eve storm. The first question directed at Shell Alaska VP Peter Slaiby after his prepared statement to the borough assembly got right to the point: “Was this rig being moved, in whole or in part, for tax reasons?" asked Assemblyman Mel Stephens. "I’ve seen an article saying that in fact that was the case; that it has something to do with the situs of the rig on January 1, determining whether tax would be... http://www.kmxt.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4370