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#02-14-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

UCIDA again sues over fed management of Cook Inlet salmon fishery
Story last updated at 3:29 PM on Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The United Cook Inlet Drift Association has once again filed suit against the federal government over management of the Cook Inlet salmon fishery. UCIDA and Cook Inlet Fishermen's Fund are suing the National Marine Fisheries Service over the decision to transfer control of the fishery from federal to state control, saying the move violates the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. While the state of Alaska has been responsible for setting escapement goals, making allocation decisions and managing the fishery in-season, in the past....

Alaska Bering Sea snow crab season shaping up as less icy
Ben Anderson
February 13, 2013
After a 2012 Bering Sea snow crab season that saw unusually severe sea ice inhibit fishermen’s efforts to catch almost 89 million pounds of the shellfish, 2013 is shaping up to be much friendlier.According to Kathleen Cole, a forecaster with the National Weather Service ice desk, this winter was unlikely to match 2012, even before it began. Despite some recent rumors of encroaching ice into the Bering Sea fishery, the situation is better than last year, she said...

Feb 13, 201302:13 PMBlog: Fish Bytes
Fish and Game announces Pacific cod openings
Feb 13, 2013 - 02:13 PM
Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game announced yesterday that the state waters Pacific cod pot fishery in Chignik Area and South Alaska Peninsula Area will open March 7.......

Tillion honored for achievement 
Posted by Newsroom on Feb 13th, 2013
Tribune staff
Homer Tribune
Clement V. Tillion was selected to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the Alaska Sealife Center. The Alaska Sealife Center will host the fourth annual Alaska Marine Gala at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage Saturday. That evening, the Alaska Ocean Leadership Awards Committee will present six awards to... #RogerThat

Story last updated at 4:17 PM on Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Spring into action to reduce bycatch
Over the years, I have heard many fishermen in this community say that bycatch in the trawl fishery in the Gulf of Alaska is wrong and that if only we could do something about it, the stakeholders in this fishery or that would be better off. Well, in recent years, amidst some pretty stark restrictions in halibut and chinook salmon quotas and escapements, we have seen some progress in this endeavor. Many, including me, think we have not done enough or won...

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 8:28 p.m.
Alaska state Senate delays vote on cruise ship bill
By Becky Bohrer, Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska -- The Alaska Senate on Wednesday delayed a vote on a bill that would change how the state regulates cruise ship wastewater. The announcement came after at-times impassioned floor speeches and five failed attempts to amend HB80, including to give ships more time to meet water quality standards set out by a 2006 citizen initiative. Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, who proposed that amendment, said the cruise industry means a great deal to the...

Copper River Seafoods Hangs ‘Help Wanted’ Sign Online
In an effort to fill close to 400 positions for the upcoming commercial fishing season, Copper River Seafoods is taking an aggressive online approach to wooing potential employees for its facilities from Cordova to Dutch Harbor. The company has posted an online video, with a link to job applications, at, to tell people about career opportunities that begin on the....

Competition Begins in Alaska Symphony of Seafood
Eleven entries in the 20th anniversary Alaska Symphony of Seafood new products contest are the center of attention today as judges decide the winners in retail, food service and smoked products categories, plus the grand prize winner. While the decision of the nine judges won’t be announced until the gala soiree and awards ceremony in Anchorage Feb. 23, those attending the reception tonight in Seattle will choose the Seattle People’s Choice Award, to be...

Crabby Crabbers? Delayed Dungeness?
The third time proved to be the charm for the opening of the 2012-2013 commercial Dungeness crab season in Oregon and Washington, but whether or not crabbers find the circumstances charming depends on where they fish. The season finally opened December 31 after two fortnight delays. Dungeness season typically opens on December 1, but in mid-November, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) officials joined those from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) in announcing the delay. Kelly Corbett from the ODFW Marine Resources Program located at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine...

Begich: Alaska needs to step up for leadership role in time of climate change
Senator talks down Frankenfish, champions ports
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune
Alaska’s climate change conditions mean new opportunities for shipping and a need to develop ports and harbors around the state, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich told a Homer group on Sunday. “Oil and gas development means we will need a fleet of ships to service supplies. Our ports are undersized to handle it,” he said. Equipment like icebreakers and a greater Coast Guard presence further north are needed. “I will work to ensure the Coast Guard and NOAA have the personnel, ships, icebreakers and infrastructure they...

Russians gain option for 25 percent stake in Exxon Point Thomson deal; why isn't Alaska at the table?
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:57 am | Updated: 12:16 pm, Wed Feb 13, 2013
by Dermot Cole
An agreement signed today at Vladimir Putin's house in Russia plays into the debate in Juneau over cutting oil taxes in Alaska. A giant company controlled by the Russian government, Rosneft,  has acquired an option to take a 25 percent stake in Exxon's Point Thomson project on the North Slope, Exxon announced today. As Exxon puts it, "It is estimated that Point Thomson contains approximately 25 percent of the known gas resource base in Alaska’s North Slope." "Participation in the Point Thomson project will increase Rosneft’s access to the latest gas and condensate field development technologies used in harsh climatic conditions," Exxon said in its announcement. In addition, Exxon says it is looking at an LNG study, not in Alaska, but in the Russian Far East. The project in Sakhalin would be a competitor to any Alaska project to export LNG. The feasibility study does not mean for Sakhalin does not mean that Exxon has no interest in...

Obama and Murkowski back green tech cash – with one huge difference
By Ben Geman - 02/13/13 01:56 PM ET
At first blush, the White House and a top Senate Republican both like the idea of steering money from oil-and-gas development on federal lands and waters into green energy R&D. President Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to create an “Energy Security Trust” that would direct some revenues into technologies that help wean cars and trucks off of oil, like electric vehicles. Turns out Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s top Republican, is pitching a version of the same thing......

UK: Horse drug may have entered human food chain
Feb 14, 6:50 AM (ET)
LONDON (AP) - Three horse carcasses that tested positive for the equine drug bute may have entered the human food chain in France, the British government said Thursday. Environment Minister David Heath told the House of Commons that eight horses from British abattoirs had tested positive for bute, and "three may have entered the food chain in France. The remaining five have not....

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