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#02-08-2013 - ComFish News Roundup
Seward: Emergency alerts hit or miss
February 7, 2013 | Vol. 47, No. 24
For Seward, getting the word out in a hurry is a problematic proposition. With two newspapers, a popular bulletin board and several facebook blogs, the fourth estate and it’s diminutive offshoots are well covered. However, the only full participant in the more immediate form of media – television – is the GCI cable system which makes it house-bound. The television and radio signals presently available in the area are not meaningful participants in local communications. Most Alaskan communities have full participation by local radio and television broadcasters in the FCC mandated Emergency Alert System (EAS). The EAS took over from the old Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) in 1997, but awareness of the change is still percolating through those who remember the “good old days” of the Cold War, and black and white test patterns on the....

NPFMC takes final action on skate habitat protections
Feb 7, 2013 - 07:48 PM
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council made quick work of a number of issues today, taking final action on skate habitats and doing the initial review of other habitat and groundfish issues. The council unanimously designated six Habitat Areas of Particular Concern for skates. The council modified the alternative slightly so that the National Marine Fisheries Service will monitor the HAPCs for changes in skate density and other concerns, but industry is not being specifically tasked with collecting data. That change developed out of the Advisory Panel, or AP.....

Baby Skates Identified As Bering Sea Research Priority (GreenPeace video)
By Stephanie Joyce
Thursday, February 07 2013
In isolated spots in the Bering Sea, there are fields of so-called ‘mermaids’ purses.’ Any beachcomber would recognize them -- small rectangular pods with pointy corners. They’re the protective casing that surrounds the fertilized eggs of skates, and in some.....

Petersburg: Borough Assembly speaks out against genetically engineered salmon
February 7, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 6
The Petersburg Borough Assembly spoke out against genetically engineered salmon by way of a resolution during its regular meeting Monday afternoon. Resolution 2013-2 opposes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's preliminary finding of no significant effect on the quality of the human environment in the U.S. with approval of AquaBounty Technologies, Inc's application to market genetically modified Atlantic salmon in the United States. “In councils past we have sent resolutions not supporting this modified salmon,” Petersburg Borough Assembly Mayor Mark Jensen said. “The State legislature is saying the same thing basically and Senator Lisa Murkowski is looking....

Labor Department study says 3 out of 4 Alaska seafood processing workers live in another state
February 07, 2013 - 8:13 pm EST
KODIAK, Alaska — Three out of four Alaska seafood processing workers are nonresidents, according to the state Department of Labor's annual "Residency of Alaska Workers" report. The number of out-of-staters has increased every year since 2007 and reached 76.6 percent last year, according to the report released last month. That was the highest rate since 1995, when 77.9 percent of seafood workers were nonresidents. Tourism also had high numbers of nonresidents. Both industries are....

Debate grows over new rules for cruise ships in Alaska
Becky Bohrer, Associated Press
8:14a.m. EST February 8, 2013
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The president of the Alaska Cruise Association on Thursday labeled as reckless claims surrounding a bill that would change how the state regulates cruise ship wastewater. John Binkley told the Senate Finance Committee that he has read reports from groups like the Alaska Democratic Party "talking about raw sewage being dumped" into Alaska waters. Binkley said cruise lines are not dumping raw sewage and have taken steps to protect Alaska's waters. Democrats said they never referred to raw sewage and Binkley was mischaracterizing their statements. In a Facebook post Thursday, the party said the bill would allow for the release of "partially treated sewage."....
Cruise Industry Brings Potentially Unfair Business to Coastal Retailers
Feb 07, 2013
Alexandra Gutierrez/APRN
The summer cruise ship season is like Christmas for a lot of coastal retailers, and they depend on the tourist income to stay open. But because the stakes are high, business has the potential to get dirty. For the first time, the State of Alaska is cracking down on third-party contractors that are allegedly treating local stores unfairly. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports from Juneau. It’s a winter afternoon, and the Mt. Juneau Trading Post is quiet. Four carvers are up in the loft area working on masks, and the only other person in the store is at the cash register. But in the summertime.....

The Alaska Fisheries Report with Jay Barrett
Feb 07, 2013
Coming up this week, false labeling of seafood isn’t just rampant on the East Coast, researchers try to find out exactly what’s living up in the Arctic Ocean, and a new processor is heading to Bristol Bay. All that, and we learn about Alaska’s first, Fish and Game commissioner.We had help from KNBA’s Joaqlin Estus in Anchorage, Northwest News Network’s Tom Banse in Seattle, KDLG’s Mike Mason in Dillingham, KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal in Unalaska and The LegHed Report’s Maggie Wall in Kodiak.....

House Fisheries Committee Updated on Trends in Salmon Markets 
A world renowned fisheries economist updated members of the Alaska Legislature on Thursday about the latest trends in salmon markets. KDLG's Mike Mason listened in and filed this report. (3:39)....

Petersburg: Transportation Advisory Board asks for more ferry service
February 7, 2013
The Petersburg Transportation Advisory Committee Chair, Dave Kensinger, attended the Marine Transportation Advisory Board meeting in Juneau and asked for more ferry service to the area. “We went to them with two proposals,” Kensinger said. “One was met with widespread support.” Kensinger asked that two vessels be rededicated out of Prince Rupert from May through September and for a fast vehicle ferry....

Fish regulations change Subsistence Board changes subsistence regulation
February 7, 2013
Changes were made to federal subsistence fishing regulations in the Yukon Northern Area by the Federal Subsistence Board at its January meeting......

February 7, 2013
Salmon Swim Home Using Earth’s Magnetic Field as a GPS
Scientists have long known that various marine animals use the earth’s magnetic forces to navigate waters during their life cycles. Such inherent navigational skills allow animals return to the same geographic area where they were born, with some migrating thousands of miles, to produce the next generation of their species. As hatchlings, sea turtles scuttle from their sandy birthplace to the open sea as if following an invisible map, and, as adults, the females return to that spot to lay their own eggs. Bluefin tuna home in on their natal beaches after years at sea to spawn. Similarly, mature sockeye salmon leave......

Will counties be able to ban aquaculture?
Friday, February 08, 2013, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
A state representative in the Washington House sponsored a bill this week that would endanger fish farm operations: it would let counties ban net pen aquaculture. “Master programmes may include provisions for siting or prohibiting the siting of marine aquaculture net pen facilities,” says the bill by Representative Kevin Van De Wege. The bill, HB 1599, does not impact any net pens already in operation, he pointed out. Steve Gray, Clallam County deputy director of the Department of Community Development, handles the county’s update of its shoreline master programme.....

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