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#02-07-2013 - ComFish News Roundup
Federal Decision Against Road Threatens King Cove Residents
By Mary Kauffman, SitNews
February 07, 2013
(SitNews) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Tuesday evaluating a proposed land exchange that would establish a road corridor through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say after their careful evaluation of the impact of the construction and operation of the proposed road on the refuge and its wildlife resources, the agency has identified its preferred alternative as one that does not support allowing the land exchange to go forward. This “no build alternative ”decision specifically will prohibit a strategic three-way land exchange between the State of Alaska, village corporations, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The exchange would allow for construction of the road through Izemak National Wildlife Refuge on the Alaska Peninsula and provide King Cove residents with access to the airport runway in Cold Bay. “The Fish and Wildlife Service’s preferred alternative would protect the heart of a pristine landscape that congress designated as wilderness and that serves as vital habitat for grizzly bear, caribou and salmon, shorebirds and waterfowl – including 98 percent of the world’s population of Pacific black brant,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “After extensive dialogue and exhaustive scientific evaluation, the agency has identified a preferred path forward that will ensure this extraordinary refuge and its wilderness are conserved and protected for future generations.” Alaska Governor Sean Parnell expressed his deep frustration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) announced selection of a “no action” alternative saying....

Fishermen file suit over salmon management
Feb 6, 2013 - 04:59 PM
United Cook Inlet Drift Association and Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund filed suit in District of Columbia District Court Jan. 18 over the transfer of salmon management from federal authorities to the state of Alaska. The drift association, or UCIDA, and fishermen’s fund, or CIFF, filed the suit against the National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, on behalf of Cook Inlet fishermen, their families and....

Fishermen, Pebble comment on watershed assessment delay
Posted 02/06/2013
by - Margaret Bauman
A decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to further review and add to information gathered for the Bristol Bay watershed assessment is being greeted with disappointment and dismay by those opposed to a massive copper mine. Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay, a network of nearly 100 organizations that support fishermen and the industry that harvests Bristol Bay sockeye salmon, said Feb. 6 they are disappointed with the EPA's decision. The final document initially was scheduled for completion by year's end 2012, but on Feb. 5 the EPA said that more work was needed and the document would be finalized in 2013. "As the industry most directly affected by EPA's decision to delay, we are disheartened that the.....

It's Unlikely the Alaska Legislature Will Address the Pebble Mine Issue During the Current Session
The prospect of a large mine in the Bristol Bay region has prompted a lot of concern and calls for the region to be set aside from mineral exploration and development. There have also been calls to let the current regulatory process play out. At the heart of the whole matter is the proposed Pebble Mine that would sit on state owned land. That fact has resulted in calls for the Alaska Legislature to step in and clarify the situation. KDLG's Mike Mason has the story. (4:14)....

Morisky appointed to Board of Fisheries
Gov. Sean Parnell has chosen Fairbanks resident Reed Morisky to replace Bill Brown on the state Board of Fisheries. Brown, of Juneau, abruptly resigned mid-term last month. A press release Parnell's office issued tonight said in part....

Fisherwomen taking charge
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Story last updated at 2/6/2013 - 1:37 pm
By Amanda Compton | Capital City Weekly
The Sitka Maritime Heritage Society's first project was to salvage a sunken schooner that had been built in the 1880s, and its projects since its 1999 inception have been similar.
The society has a relatively obvious mission: to preserve the maritime heritage of the region. The society's current project is the restoration of the Japonski Island Boathouse into a venue that will serve as a Maritime Heritage Center. "It's an open frame boat house," said Ashia Lane, the executive director of SMHS.
The boat house was used during World War II to build wooden fishing boats and other types of sailing vessels. It has since fallen....

Copper River Salmon Wows Students in the Bronx; Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club Cooking Program goes Wild for Salmon
CORDOVA, Alaska, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Canned salmon isn't generally listed on many children's favorite foods list, but for twelve enthusiastic young students in the Bronx, cooking up salmon from Alaska's Copper River opened their eyes and fueled their enthusiasm for this wild sustainable fish. Naturally rich in heart-healthy and brain boosting Omega-3 fatty acids, the convenient canned salmon wowed students and had them reaching for second helpings. The Copper River Prince William Sound Marketing Association partnered with food writer and Newsday columnist Marge Perry to incorporate Copper River salmon into Perry's cooking program at....

North Pacific council hears agency reports
Feb 6, 2013 - 04:53 PM
Portland, Ore. — The North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting began in today with reports from several agencies. In his report, NPFMC Executive Director Chris Oliver also brought up the recent inspector general report on Fishery Management Councils. Oliver said he didn’t think that the suggested changes to the financial disclosure requirements would be a big problem to comply with. Oliver said he’s asked for more information on the changes, but has not yet received it.  Martin Loefflad from the National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, provided an update on the......

Fisheries Board to Take Up Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands Finfish Issues
A number of finfish issues – 48 in all – will be up for discussion Feb. 26 through March 4 before the Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting in Anchorage. On tap are proposals to increase harvest levels for Aleutian Islands district state waters Pacific cod guidelines, as well as bycatch issues, changes in fisheries....

Feb 6, 2013 - 04:12 PM AKST
FISH FACTOR: Volunteer fishing vessels sought for energy-saving project; bycatch shared
Volunteers are needed to test drive some new money-saving methods for “do it yourself” energy audits on fishing boats. “Just as with a home audit where you try and understand where your energy is going, you can learn how your vessel is consuming energy and find places where it might be wasted or not used as efficiently as possible, and frankly, most fishing vessels are not very energy efficient,” said Terry Johnson, a marine advisor with Alaska Sea Grant in Anchorage.  Johnson is part of a team working on a three-year project to find ways to reduce fuel and energy needs by fishing businesses. The project, led by Julie Decker, is administered by the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation with a $250,000 assist from the State of Alaska. Starting this.....

Story last updated at 4:47 PM on Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Peninsula welcomes responsible development
"Cook Inlet -- Energy for All Alaska" was the theme of the 2013 Industry Outlook Forum, organized by the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District and co-sponsored by the city of Homer. Certainly, there were presentations about energy -- oil, natural gas, electricity -- but the energy level among the 200-plus forum presenters and attendees also was evident.....

Gas and port projects keep Kenai towns hopping
Economic diversity includes oil, gas, tourism, commercial and charter businesses
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune Feb 6th, 2013
Health care facilities will take off as major economic developments on the Kenai Peninsula attempt to get costs under control in a long-term strategy, said Borough Mayor Mike Navarre. A panel of government officials gave future snapshots at the Kenai Peninsula Economic Outlook Forum 2013 on Thursday, and a chance to hear from Seward, Homer, Kachemak City, Seldovia and Kenai mayors. The peninsula’s economy is diversified in a borough larger than many states, Navarre noted. Public projects, like....

Oil, gas producers say Cook Inlet Renaissance comes with pipeline plan, new wells, Susitna Basin
Buccaneer, Cook Inlet Energy and Hilcorp say the new day’s success depends on owning their own infrastructure and equipment, working efficiently
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune
On the horizon is an underwater pipeline to get fuel from Western Cook Inlet to Nikiski and a push to replace or refurbish an aging infrastructure. Independent oil and gas drillers in Cook Inlet forecast big projects, but with the caveat that it will be different from the big oil companies’ work in previous years – smaller opportunities capitalized on for maximum drilling volume. Speaking at the Kenai Peninsula Economic Outlook 2013 Forum, a two-day conference last week at Land’s End Resort, James Watt of Buccaneer, J.R. Wilcox who co-founded Cook Inlet Energy, and John Barnes of Hilcorp Energy spoke about the work ahead. Watt, chief executive officer of Buccaneer’s, anticipates adding more gas to an....

Aerial survey reveals marine, tsunami debris widespread across Alaska coast
Ben Anderson
February 5, 2013
An aerial survey of Alaska’s shorelines conducted in the summer of 2012 had the goal of examining the impact of debris on the state’s coastlines after the March 2011 tsunami that struck Japan and swept an estimated 5 million tons of debris out to sea. The results of that survey indicated that marine debris is crowding Alaska’s shores, though just how much of that is directly attributable to the tsunami remains unclear. During a panel discussion Tuesday at the Alaska Forum on the Environment, taking place in Anchorage this week, experts with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weighed in on.....

Supermarkets cry foul as FDA proposes new food labeling rule under ObamaCare
By Shannon Bream
Published February 06, 2013
If the Food and Drug Administration gets its way, your trip to the grocery store could get a tad pricier.
Supermarket owners argue a pending federal food-labeling rule that stems from the new health care law would overburden thousands of grocers and convenience store owners -- to the tune of $1 billion in the first year alone. Store owner Tom Heinen said the industry's profit margins already are razor thin. "When you incur a significant cost, there is no way......

Wakefield Symposium focus is on climate change
Posted 02/07/2013
by - Cordova Times Staff
Response of Arctic marine ecosystems to climate change is the theme of 28th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium, March 26-29 in Anchorage......

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